It’s Great.

Call me Random. Random McRandomton this week. Next week’s entry will be one of the more controversial of all and will get you talking on Monday AM. The working title: M.M.O.M. You’ll see. For this week, just a mish-mash.

Now…TWIB Notes!

–A leftover from last week: Working in the arena, we occasionally get to see some big-names walking around even though they mostly are kept at bay for obvious reasons. Last week though, WWE wrestler Triple H was in the house doing some press for a pay-per-view that is happening here in May. Anyone that knows me understands that I used to have an obsession with wrestling, watching up to 10 hours a week at the highest point. I became a part-owner of a wrestling promotion that never got off the ground. I was addicted, but then with time, the storylines made me lose interest and the talent wasn’t allowed to actually perform to the best of their capabilities. I won’t go into further details which I’m sure would excite you to no end, but know that I basically have scaled back quite a bit. Still, meeting Triple H (even though I believe he’s played a huge role in the industry’s collapse) would have been a huge thrill.

So there he was, 10 feet away just sitting on a couch reading a magazine. And I couldn’t muster up the nuts to go shake his hand. Why? Not sure. Even when he walked past me upstairs, I was speechless and frozen. I couldn’t even muster a ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ I’ve met some famous people before, but had nothing in the courage tank. I talked about it afterward to some friends and we came to the conclusion that just going up to a celebrity and introducing yourself for no reason is a bit of an intrusion on them and also kind of awkward.

This aspect of celebrity fascinates me: their job is to entertain people and this somehow makes them untouchable in the normal day-to-day interactions with other people, not by their own hand but by people like myself who think they wouldn’t even care to meet a fan. I often wonder what would happen if I became famous. I hope that I would take the opportunity to seek other people out and say hello rather than wait for them to come to me. I’m sure everyone says that, but ends up covered up by publicists, assistants and makeup people. Someday, I’m going to work on a ‘Level of Celebrity’ column to really distinct who’s untouchable and who should be offering to buy you a beer in any situation (like every MTV reality ‘star’). In the end, I’m sure HHH would have been cool with a handshake, a minute of conversation and the offer for me to become his man-servant…I mean, good friend. So I didn’t meet Trips and felt like a heel for not breaking through the fan barrier. Maybe next time…

–Speaking of celebrity, I caught the first few episodes of Project Greenlight, the show that gives struggling writers/producers the chance to make it big through getting selected to make a movie. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and a jerk named Chris are the producers. While the show angers me every time I see it due to its painting everyone in Hollywood as pretentious a**holes, the head-shaker of this season is a now laid-back Affleck. Decked out in an awkwardly-adorned backward hat, trendy t-shirt, camoflauge paints and new beard, Ben wins the ‘I’m trying too hard to act like I don’t care’ award. What happened to this guy? He had a good run a few years ago and was one of those male actors that crossed over to women that wanted him and guys that thought he’d be cool to hang around. Did J-Lo ruin him this badly? Was that the turning point?

Anyway, that’s my Ben Affleck thoughts. Hope you enjoyed them. And if you want to get your blood boiling, watch Project Greenlight which does a great job at making you hate the people that make movies.

–It’s Sunday night and more people from That 70s Show are on Hollywood Hold ‘Em. I have a feeling that the True Hollywood Story on this group will be pretty good. There’s a lot going on there. I’ve seen the show twice, by the way.

–Is it time to look for a new job when your boss says, “You know, you’re at a crossroads in your career”?

–Thoughts on vodka and Red Bull: being drunk and wanting to play basketball all at the same time. My new favorite drink, even though it helped add to me not knowing how to work my cell phone Saturday night. I was going to text somebody and realized I had no idea how to do it. Two words: Black. Out.

–On a final note, while it was sad to see UMaine go down in the NCAA Frozen Four tourney, it was satisfying to see UNH lose again and also the Duke Blue Devils collapse. It’s UNC time, baby!

thanks for reading,
nason

p.s. – check out the CK blog this week, linked to the right. He actually wrote something!

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It Was Just A $4 Movie…

On a Sunday after realizing that Viva La Bam is the best show on TV while also wishing I had MTV2….

I’m going to pull one out here, even though virtually nothing has changed since last week. Well, unless you consider people complaining at your work even more so than usual a change.

–In general, we as a people bitch A LOT. Think of the amount of occurrences in a normal day that cause you to complain. For me, it starts at 7:20 when I wake up and complain that it’s too early. It ends when I go to sleep at midnight and complain that it’s too early to go to bed and that I’ll be tired again at 7:20. Mix in a lot of b.s. in between and even for this happy, go-lucky guy, it’s a lot. Unfortunately, part of my job is to listen to bitching (they call it customer service in corporate speak) and somehow come out with a smile or resolution. It’s weeks like this when I realize that a) the majority of society is inherently stupid and b) I don’t want to be a senior citizen – THE ULTIMATE COMPLAINERS. So all this just kind of builds and builds and builds like it did today, following a Saturday Fan Forum and a subsequent bitch fest on a chatboard website that I check in on for the team.

My only day off and I’m posting on a minor league hockey message board. Jesus, what in the hell happened to me?

This leads into a bizarre movie I just watched, I (heart) Huckabees. It’s an offbeat, existential tale starring Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, Dustin Hoffman, Jude Law and Lily Tomlin, but is one of those films that most people will severly dislike. It’s confusing, has fast-forward paced dialogue and is abotu heady material not designed for the bang/crash explosion set. Put it this way: if you like Eternal Sunshine or adore the independent film circuit, you’ll probably like this movie. Side note: check out Rathbun’s review of his trip to the South By Southwest music/film festival that is currently featured in his blog (I think there’s a link on this site). Back to the story…

Easily the most strange 1:45 I’ve spent in front of a TV since any episode of The Amazing Race, there were two major points I picked up from it:

**How am I not myself?

This quote comes from when Hoffman and Tomlin confront Law, a successful upper-level executive for the Huckabees corporation. Through the film, issues with his inner perceptions of success and how it affects everything else in his life arise. Law then is asked this question and repeats it over and over again until he realizes that his career, his token wife, his back-stabbing, etc., has resulted in him becoming something that he doesn’t even recognize or can’t explain. He then has to lose everything in order to regain something. Again, pretty heady stuff that even made me go, “Huh? Whuh?” at times.

I think everyone at some point (especially in their mid-20s) would reach this question in their life if they actually stopped to ask it or were confronted with it. Are you the person you want to be? Is your life summed up by what’s in your house or bank account? Do you like who you are? I know they’re big questions that most roll their eyes at being reserved for those who haven’t found ‘true happiness,’ but I think they’re legit. I think it’s ok for to constantly check on your own life and see if there’s something to improve on. Part of that is questioning, which a lot of people get scared off by.

It’s been no secret that I have certain issues with stuff going on in life and am constantly up in the air about my career and where I want to be a year from now. It’s weeks like this and questions like ‘How am I not myself?’ that make me realize that the guy that works for the hockey team is not himself. I’ve changed and not necessarily for the better. I get frustrated, I snap at people, I pretend to care about customers, I deal with several bosses, grumbling employees, a tiny cramped cubicle and the promise of things getting better when they probably won’t. I, like legions of other Gen X/Y/Z’ers am confused with regard to what to do next. Honestly, I have no flippin’ idea. Zero.

But what I do know is when I ask myself the question, “how am I not myself?”, I want to have an answer and figure out how to get back. I hope to find that answer out in the next few months. Apologies if that streamed a bit but that quote really made me think. This isn’t stuff I figured I’d be thinking about after spending $4 on a movie at Movie Gallery, so I understand if you’ve stopped reading and checked out your Final Four bracket instead.

–By the way, the other great quote from the film was ‘Why is having children the ultimate performance for successful people?” I just thought that summed up my thoughts on people rushing into having kids…

–Best new show I’ve seen in a long time? Wonder Showzen on MTV2 (replays at 11:30 pm on MTV Sundays). Best way to describe it is a really f**ked up version of Sesame Street, complete with the kids. It’s twistedly awesome.

–Two of my friends turned 27 last week and are both as messed up as I am. That’s really god-damn funny. Happy birthday, jerks!

–Speaking of 27, I was in American Eagle a few weeks ago and was browsing around. I turned to a commotion at the front desk where the staffers had decided to spur on an arm-wrestling contest between two of the female workers. Instead of throwing in $10 on the blonde, I thought, “Man, how unprofessional.” That’s when I realized that I may be too old for American Eagle.

–E is showing Hollywood Hold ‘Em, which features ‘young Hollywood stars who invite E into their house for a game of hold ’em.’ I love cards, but this phenomenon is getting a bit too trendy. I’d love for some old-school Texas guys to just come in and show the L.A. kids what cards are all about. I’m not vindictive or anything, but I have the feeling that celebs are hiring ‘professionals’ to teach them poker so they can stay in the now. It just drives me crazy…that’s all.

And that’s about it. Later.

-thanks for reading,
nason

A blog about nothing

I have zero for y’all this week. We had four games in seven days, so unless you want to hear about hockey, I got zero. A few random notes to tide you over, mostly focusing on TV since I like the fact it can think for me whenever I press the on button…

–I always wondered if it was possible that The Simpsons might be wearing out their comedic welcome. After seeing a little bit of this season, it’s possible. One of the best shows on TV has finally lost its edge.

–Speaking of tv, if you’re not hooked on “The Contender,” then you and not Mike Jackson should be on trial. The show is friggin’ awesome. It’s right up there with “The Apprentice” and “The Ultimate Fighter” as my three must-watches of the week. I don’t need a TV gal to tell me that either.

–Thanks to the snow (or rather the fear and crisis the local meterologists helped fester this weekend), we got killed at the box office this weekend. I mean, slaughtered. All because of the threat of 12-24 inches that never fell. If you don’t see me sacrifice a weatherperson on air by the time I’m 50, I’ll give you all $5 canadian.

Uhhh…that’s about it. I’m done.

-thanks for reading,
nason

Fire, Mullets and Thad: The Past 7

Mullets, truck fires and the 1980s revisited wrapped up the week that was Nason’s last seven days; an interesting mix of deception, amazement and a celebration of hair.

–We wrapped up our final Mullet Night promotion earlier this week, a night where we honor the hairstyle known as the ape drape, Kentucky waterfall and neck warmer. This is the third season we’ve had this promotion and it gains national media attention through ESPN, CNN and tv stations throughout the country that pick up the story through satellite feeds. Yours truly took on the fictional role of Dave Sholow, the executive director of the Mullet Hall of Fame – a fictional place that provided the backbone of the promotion as we induct a new member every year. What was entailed in this title? Not much other than a couple radio appearances and a speaking role at the press conference we had last season. Whenever I think about looking in another career direction, I wonder if I’ll find a job where I can play a curator of a fake museum based on a hairstyle made popular by guys like Billy Ray Cyrus and European hockey players. Do you find these job descriptions on Monster.com?

–Whenever your roommate says they’re going to move out, two things should come to mind. One is how life will be after they leave. Two is if you’re going to have to help them move their shit. The trio of Allenstown has now become two as the man known as either Page, Adam or (chuckle, chuckle) Blaine has moved to an apartment closer to his law college campus. And yes, I had to help move which is one of those somewhat enjoyable/somewhat tedious social contracts you enter into with good friends.

After the move was complete Wednesday night, we drove to the UHaul place and then planned a goodbye dinner of sorts at KFC. Yep, fast food restaurants…that’s how we roll, dog. We pulled in and I went to find the car key drop as Page checked the mileage. When I got back, he looked at me and said, “There’s smoke coming from the dash.” Figuring it might have been a bad belt or some a piece of Whatchamacalit burning in the defroster, we stuck around for a few minutes to see if it was going away. Good thing we did, because it didn’t. It got considerably worse and a call to 911 was made. Good thing we did that too.

As Page was on the phone explaining what was happening, he said, “Is there fire? Nope…just smoke. Wait..now there’s fire.” A small flame started flickering behind the dash lights and within five minutes, the UHaul truck we were in was ablaze. We’re not talking a small little campfire; this was Backdraft-material. We were watching and eagerly awaiting the fire department (one of those experiences where minutes seem like hours) to arrive as the concerns about what could possibly happen began to grow. One was that the truck would explode, providing an experience that would never be forgotten but also one with serious reprecussions. The second was that the truck parked right next to the firebox would soon catch on fire too. Luckily, the fire department showed up and very nonchalantly put out the flames, leaving a charred moving unit in its midst.

Sitting watching something as surreal as this was one thing. Another is thinking back over the day and thinking, “Oh my god…that could have happened at (insert place here)” which would have made things a lot worse. Here at the house, at the new apartment, driving around, filled with Page’s stuff at any point or the worst one of all: at the gas station where we filled up 10 minutes earlier. Wow. It got me thinking a lot about things happening for a reason, guardian angels and all that gobbeldy-gook you hear about from people who have had near-death experiences and crap. But I think this experience in how lucky we were made me come to grips with stuff that I’ve thought about but never made opinions on.

I’ve never been a religious guy and have been in churches only for weddings or to get directions, but I now am convinced that something or someone looks out for us. Is it a God with long hair and a beard? Is it space aliens? Not sure, but I but I sure believe in something. I definitely not clearing my Sunday social calendar to attend church, but I’ll think twice and not be quick to judge those that do.

–So from fire to cold drinks, I had the opportunity to share some bar space and conversation with several players from the Monarchs while out and about Friday night. Dealing with athletes can be a funny thing and one of the most frequent questions I get is “What are the guys like?” In Portland, we had little-to-no interaction with players so it created this wall if you saw them out or interacted with them. Now, it’s different and makes things a lot more comfortable. Listen, at the end of the day, pro athletes are just like anyone else but just have a profession that is an entertainment option for a lot of people and can bring great financial rewards. It’s the latter that can change even the greatest person into a big jerk. Luckily, I’ve had good experiences and being able to carry on a conversation with these guys that doesn’t involve hockey is something I think is appreciated by both parties.

Oh yeah, we got hella drunk too – one of those nights when you think you’re fine until the next afternoon when you feel like you spent a night hanging out with the Sex Pistols as opposed to your work friends. Needless to say, my night ended blearily watching a VH1 show on Vince Neil getting plastic surgery. These are the things that I hope I can pass on to my kids someday…

–80s Party, pt. II: Being mentally deficient on Saturday, I could barely decide what to do: one was to head to my friend’s place in Derry, NH, for a night of debauchery with old high school friends or trek up north to hit up an 80s party that other friends were holding. After going over it my mind again and again, I decided to head to Portland as the amount of effort the guys put into planning the party was too much to pass up. This was decided at about 6 pm and with my Magnum PI outfit having been scrapped due to moustache malfunctions, I picked up a pair of Aviator sunglasses, grabbed a trendy polo shirt and pulled out a sweatshirt string for a retro headband. The look was complete, but the character was not.

Thus, ‘Thad’ was created – a brash young punk who has money made from Dad’s yacht club and likes to think or say pretty much anything he wants. Per the usual interactions, I did the bits on and off to get laughs but one person didn’t exactly know what to make of it: the new girlfriend (who we had never met) of one of the guys. Put it this way: upon meeting her, she asked what my name was and I replied, “Your dream.” And it was on…

Later on, good friend The Messiah came up to me laughing. I asked what was so funny and he said, “Ben’s girlfriend…hates you.” Apparently, she thought the whole thing was real including a talk we had on the porch where I got Hilton sister attitude thanks to some prompting from some friends. Suddenly, I became concerned that someone genuinely disliked me and I pleaded for Ben and The Messiah to make things right. (A day later, I’m convinced this was a drunk reaction as today I was pretty friggin’ impressed that I pulled off the stunt. I had a goofy grin for half the drive home thinking about the stuff I had said.) Surprisingly, the guys were a bit reluctant to clear up the misconception – happy to see me suffer I guess – and later on, told me they attempted to talk to her but to no avail. ‘Thad’ was a success, at least for 99% of the party.

I guess I’m not sure why the opinion of someone I’ve never met and may never see again affected me so much, but it did. I’m definitely not sorry for creating Thad, but…but nothing. I think Thad needs to make another appearance…soon.

And that’s that…I love when a week comes together. I doubt this next seven days will compare, but that’s why you play the games.

–thanks for reading,
thad