Friday, April 27

Lost Friday - "D.O.C."

Lost Friday - D.O.C.
Season 3 - Episode 18: "D.O.C."

Welcome to a very special Lost Friday. We have so much to discuss, I don't even have time to finish this sente

Today was 'Take Your Child To Work Day' at my office, which is almost as fun as 'Please Kick Me In The Schwanz With A Steel-Toed Boot Day.' I spent my afternoon cowering in fear and hiding all of my breakable toys, wondering what I did to deserve such punishment and sticky hands. I even ran to the store and bought a bunch of candy so they would stop asking me questions.

Boy, I had everything planned out. I had a 10 minute speech planned on the ins and outs of the Examination process. Ten minutes on everything they would ever need to know about taking a test. I was going to let them fill out their own Scantron sheets, print big stickers with their names on them; pretty much change their lives forever concerning the subject of examinations on a State level. I was going to be the one they remembered over the weekend and told all their school friends about. The cool one.

Instead, they screwed with my toys, took all my Fun-Size candy bars, chewed me up and spat me right the hell back out. When they left, I had to look down and see if they took my pants, too. The saddest thing was having to go back around my work area and throw away all the neat stuff I planned for them; stuff nobody would ever see. No; actually the saddest thing was being gang-raped by 13 children and having to smile the whole time. Connor tied my Slinky in a knot! They had my Lucky Cat and were waving it around over their heads! That thing cost me fifty bucks!

"I'm going to tell my Mom that you said you hated her," chimed one of the older girls. Seriously. I'm not even close to making that up.

Apart from that, I'm back in the gym again, and my muscles are all atrophied and sore. Every time I'm there, I'm forced to watch the personal trainer meticulously sculpt and preen his already chiseled frame. He's over there, squatting 900 pounds over a pit of flames, and I'm squirting out pee trying to benchpress a barbell with no weight on it. Not cool, buddy.

This week, I wanted to do something a little different than usual for Lost Friday. the episode itself was interesting and captivating enough, but some moments were more important than others. For those of you who want me to run down the hard-nosed facts, these Cliff's Notes should get you all caught up:

Do Not Look Directly Into The Roundhouse.

1. Jin's mom = Blackmailing whore.
2. Sun = Unfaithful; not sure who the baby daddy is.
3. Jin = Paying off Sun's debt through murder and Roundhouse kicks.

4. Jin = Sun's baby daddy.
5. Sun = Probably gunna die.
6. Juliet = Still evil. Hates Ben.

7. Mikhail = Not dead. Repairs woman's lung.
8. Jin = Really wants that satellite phone.
9. Parachutist = "Everyone on Flight 815 is dead."
10. Jin = Did I mention the Roundhouse kick?

Happy? Good; now let's talk about something else. Something wonderful. Something that could possibly go down in history as the Single Greatest Moment In The History Of Lost.

I'm referring, of course, to Jin's Roundhouse Kick.

The Roundhouse Is Not Your Friend.

Completely unnecessary and absolutely out of nowhere, Jin unloaded on Mikhail with the intensity of a Korean Chuck Norris, sending Patchie to the mat and scoring one for the dude with the unfaithful wife. It was over-the-top, pandering and possibly borderline racist, but it was also pure gold.

To fully appreciate and dissect this most wonderful moment, we need to delve into some history. What exactly is a Roundhouse Kick? Where did it come from? Did the word 'awesome' even exist before the Roundhouse Kick was invented? I need answers!

Slow down, fat ass. I'm getting there.

From Wikipedia: "A roundhouse kick (also known as a round kick or turning kick) is a kick in which the attacker swings his or her leg around in a semicircular motion, striking with the front of the leg or foot. This type of kick is utilized in many different martial arts and is popular in both non-contact and full-contact martial arts competitions. The kick has many variations based on stance, leg movement, striking surface, and the height of the kick."

In Popular Culture: "Possibly due to the move's combination of motion and power- the attacker spins fully around, which makes for a powerful-looking attack- it became a prerequisite feature in many fighting video games and a common 'finishing move' in martial arts sequences in film and television. The latter case is best exemplified in Walker: Texas Ranger, in which the lead character (played by Chuck Norris) almost always defeated the episode's villain with a reverse roundhouse kick, inevitably to the head, shown twice from different angles."

Now that you're all caught up with the most devastating and amazing Move in the History of Devastating and Amazing Moves, let's get into the particular kick in question: Jin's.

Mikhail accidentally walked into the scene in the jungle, as Jin, Hurley, Charlie & Desmond were all trying to figure out how to save the woman that fell out of the sky just minutes earlier. After trying to make a break for it (and amazingly not running into any trees with his horrible depth perception), Jin catches up with him and promptly hands him his ass on a platter.

This is one of the many reasons I like Jin. Sure, he could have just knocked Mikhail out with a straight right hand, or even a spinning backfist if he was feeling frisky.

But no. Oh, hell's no.

Jin wanted to send this dude a message. Why? I have no idea. Maybe he was just in a pissy mood from standing out in the rain all day. He stepped back, thought about it for a second, and said to himself, "Nope, I think I'm just going to kick this turd's head clean off."

Make It A Roundhouse Night!

Thy will be done.

Personally, I rewound my DVR and watched it 4, maybe even 5 times. With a show like Lost that prides itself on logical explanations for out-of-this-world scenarios, I couldn't think of a single reason why Jin would unleash a move like that unless he just wanted to look awesome.

And he did. And so did his wife.

Of course, there are some negative connotations to what we've just witnessed. There's a chance; a good chance, that we may never seen anything as awesome on Lost ever again. Some experts say that they should have saved the Roundhouse kick until the Season Finale or maybe even the Series Finale. The experts say that the only way to outdo one Roundhouse kick is by having the entire cast do Roundhouse kicks at the same time. Clearly, this is an idea the producers have been kicking around for Sweeps, and I really can't blame them.

Also, there's the notion that Lost might have jumped the shark with this one amazing frame of action. I mean, in the past, this scene would be something I'd write about on here as a joke; something that never happened in the actual episode, but something I found funny nonetheless. Now that things are happening on the show that I would normally use to mock the show, I'm pretty sure the Lost universe is set to implode inside of itself. You cannot parody and satirize something that already has gotten to the point where it's satirizing itself.

Step Into The House Of Round.

Sure, to you it was just a Roundhouse kick. To me, it was the most important moment of the season.

Next week's episode is titled "The Brig." It will be Locke-centric and cover his last few days on the island, picking up right where we last left him with his Father. It will contain NO off-island flashbacks; a first for the show.

So yeah, after writing 17 of these things in a row, I'm kind of taking a mulligan. Thanks for understanding, kids. Have a good weekend.


Season 3 Preview
Season 3 - Episode 1 Review
Season 3 - Episode 2 Review
Season 3 - Episode 3 Review
Season 3 - Episode 4 Review
Season 3 - Episode 5 Review
Season 3 - Episode 6 Review
Season 3 - Episode 7 Review
Season 3 - Episode 8 Review
Season 3 - Episode 9 Review
Season 3 - Episode 10 Review
Season 3 - Episode 11 Review
Season 3 - Episode 12 Review
Season 3 - Episode 13 Review
Season 3 - Episode 14 Review
Season 3 - Episode 15 Review
Season 3 - Episode 16 Review
Season 3 - Episode 17 Review

Tuesday, April 24

A Life Without Tires.

A Life Without Tires.

At 6 o'clock this morning, I heard my wife's cell phone ringing.

Wiping the crust out of my eyes, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming and rolled out of bed. Just seconds ago, I was celebrating my incredible and inspirational win at the PBA Championships, rolling yet another perfect 300 game; my 19th perfect game overall. This occasion was all the more historic, however, because I had been shot in the ankle by a rival bowler just prior to the tournament. I saw through the pain and persevered though, hoisting my trophy while "We Are The Champions" played and I was carried off by my leigons of fans. This was all happening in slow-motion, of course.

Yes, this is what I dream about. But I was awake now, and the phone was still ringing.

We didn't make it out to the phone in time, so the call was dropped. As we both goose-stepped around the kitchen, hypothesizing as to who it might have been on the other line, my cell phone began to ring. Clearly, someone was trying to get a hold of us now, and it couldn't wait until after The Price Is Right. Hell, it couldn't even wait until Regis & Kelly.

"I wonder who died," I said to the Missus before I answered.

People don't call you at 6am with good news. It's always bad. Trust me, since the birth of the telephone, nobody has ever been rushed out of bed because their friend won a tin of jellybeans at the County Fair two towns over. That kind of story can wait until after brunch. Nope, I've never gotten a call between the hours of 2 and 6am that I've looked forward to, nor will I ever.

Naturally, I was cringing when I said hello. I was waiting for the sobs of a grieving relative on the other end of the line. Either that, or the sound of a Federal Marshall informing me that they were in my driveway, and I should just come out with my hands up before they put a large hole in me. I even checked my bare chest for the red laser dot.


"Hello!" chimed a voice far too cheery for an early-morning phone call.

"Um, hello? Who's this?" I said back. I was so groggy and out of my element, it could have been my doppelganger on the other line, and I still wouldn't have recognized the voice.

"It's Sherry."

"Sherry who? Are you a telemarketer? Because if you are, you just ruined an awesome Bowling Dream, lady. You should be ashamed--"

"I hate you."

As it turned out, it was our lifelong friend (we signed a contract) and new neighbor, Sherry. Apparently, she destroyed her tire on a pothole yesterday, and awoke to find it flat just before she was heading out to work.

I was quite aware of the pothole in question. We have a PetSmart on the East Side of town that has nothing short of a living, breathing sinkhole in the parking lot. I've seen ice cream trucks disappear into this thing, and Sherry thought she could just speed up and go over the top of it.

Now, her right front tire was shredded and she was late for work. It needed to be changed, but she didn't know how. Ruh-roh!

Sherry's husband Ben was working two hours north at the time, so she called me. I get the feeling that she must have called everyone she had ever met in her last 22 years on Earth before she settled on dialing my number asking for automotive assistance. I'd rather attempt to explain the ending of 2001: A Space Oddesey to a dog before even considering popping the hood on a car.

"Hey, do you know how to change a tire?"

So, there I was. Standing in the kitchen in my boxer shorts, six in the morning, approaching a huge crossroads in my path to becoming the least dependable person on the Goddamn planet.


Yeah, that's right. I never learned how to change a tire. Oh, I know I should learn, you can save the lecture. It just has never come up until now. I always figured that when I finally got a flat tire, I'd just leave the car for dead and settle into whatever town I happened to be in at the time. Maybe get a job at the local grocery store; start a new life. A life without tires.

"You don't know how to change a tire? But you're a man!"

"Yeah, but just barely. Here, talk to my wife."

My Father-In-Law could change a tire in his sleep, so we arranged to have Sherry call him up. If anything, he'd tell her to call a tow truck and shuffle back to bed, much like me and the Missus were about to do. Guilt and feelings of worthlessness were plaguing me, but I didn't know how to change a tire, therefore I had no way of really helping her out.

Trust me, she did not want me to come over there and start tinkering with stuff. Within 30 seconds, I'd have a pulled groin, the bumper would be completely removed for some reason, and two other tires would be flat. I was actually doing her a favor by leaving her out to dry.

As I was getting ready to go to work, I was feeling like a real douche nozzle. I felt like I had let down a friend that had a certain amount of faith and respect in me. I mean, if you let someone down once, chances are they're not going to ask you again if they need help. It may have been the easy way out, but I honestly didn't want that. I may be functionless and lazy on the surface, but deep down, I want to be the person you call when you get locked out of your apartment. When you need a pickle jar opened. When you need to put your cat to sleep. I want to be that guy, but I refuse to take the necessary steps to be in that position of responsibility.

Looking in my bathroom mirror, I looked back at myself and scowled. I was a turd.

An hour later, I pulled out of my driveway and headed off to work. Down the street, I saw Sherry, still sitting in her car, looking pathetic and talking on her phone. Sure enough, her tire was still seriously flat; and sure enough, I still didn't know what to do. I pulled in to let her know that I was a monolithic loser, and she shouldn't ask me to do anything for her ever again.

As it turned out, she was waiting on a tow truck, and she would be charged a little for them to come out and throw the spare on. However, because she was a Saturn owner, they would replace and take care of all the other stuff at the dealership for free. I guess there are some perks to driving one of the worst cars on the road today (don't tell her I said that; her car is way nicer than mine). In the end, she was just a little late for work, and probably out about 20 bucks.

This was a big deal for me, though. Karma isn't good to me, and I knew that this meant that I was going to get a flat tire of my own...and soon. I'd probably deserve it, too.

Furthermore, this meant that I needed to start accepting more adult responsibilities now that, you know, I'm 25 stupid years old, and I've lived on my own since I was 18. How I've made it this long without crashing and burning is beyond me, and I realized that I didn't want to find out.

I buy self-cleaning litter boxes because I'm too lazy to provide basic turd-scooping needs for my cats. I live in apartments and condos because I don't want to do any lawn care or landscaping. If anything breaks in the house, I call a maintainence guy to come over and fix it. The last time I looked under the hood of my car, it was to change the brake fluid, and it took me over 5 minutes just to find the right hole to dump the liquid into. I have jumper cables in my trunk that still have the 'Happy Birthday!' tags on them, and my wife already knows not to call me when something goes wrong.

For God's sake, is there anything more unappealing and sad than a guy who can't do these things? I mean, it's absolutely pathetic. This flat tire was the wake-up call I so desperately needed to function at the base level as every other guy in the world. Yes, it took a borderline-emergency situation to make me realize that I was completely unreliable.

Hey, if you need a Haiku or poem written, you know who to call! Can't remember the name of that one guy that used to be on that one show? I'll be there in a jiffy! For everything else, forget about it! You know I can't get my hands dirty! So what if I only live 50 yards away! Hell, do you know how long it took me to write this entire story? An hour. I can yank a hilarious and meaningful essay out of absolutely nothing in less than 60 minutes, but I can't work a freaking wrench?


Yes it was just a flat tire. Sure, it wasn't even my flat tire. But it made me a better person.

After work tonight, I'll hit the gym for an hour. Then I'll spend an hour in my garage, forcing myself to become a tire-changing machine.

It's the least I can do.


1. Find a safe spot to pull over. If you're on the freeway, pull over as far onto the shoulder as you can. Don't park in the middle of a curve, where approaching cars can't see you from far away. Also choose a flat spot; jacking up your car on a hill can be a disaster. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Be sure to set your parking brake!

2. Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat. Use other tools or supplies if needed.

3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don't remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. You can also try hitting the wrench arm with a rock.

4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Different car models may have different places to put the jack; consult your owner's manual for specific locations. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about six inches off the ground.

5. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won't get scattered, and pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.

6. Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can't go any farther.

7. Put on the lug nuts. Don't put them on tightly, just make sure they're on enough for the spare to stay on the car for a moment.

8. Lower the car back to the ground. Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level. Remove the jack from underneath the car.

9. Make sure the lug nuts are tightened. With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.

10. Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk. Make sure you don't leave anything on the side of the road.

Monday, April 23

CDP Wayback Machine - DWI Edition.

Dave Thomas Was A Saint, You Ass!
("Would You Like Lies With That?" - Originally Published 05/02/06.)

Last week, I made a late-night run to Wendy's for a baked potato. I wasn't necessarily in the mood for a baked potato; I was just in the mood for anything I could digest and convert into waste matter.

At the time, I hadn't gone grocery shopping in approximately eight months and was beginning to eat things I found in the windowsills. My sheer laziness and apathy for all things foodal prevented me from driving the sixty yards to the market and filling up on whatever my hungry heart desired. Instead, it made more sense to waste money and eat garbage until my body could take no more.

Usually it was Taco Bell that got my business late at night, but tonight I was in the mood for a lawn bag full of french fries, handed to me by someone who spoke english.

I pulled into the barren Wendy's parking lot with the intention of using the drive-thru. As I went around back I was recklessly cut off out of nowhere by a busted-ass minivan. The van had used the side entrance and floored it just to get in front of me. Certainly, this person was exceedingly hungry; far too famished to wait the extra fifteen seconds it would have taken me to grab my items and hit the road. I felt bad for him, in a way. You really shouldn't have to wait so long for nourishment that it becomes a life-or-death thing, especially in a country that sells cheese in a spray can.

A little angry, but more confused than anything, I waited behind him as he slurred loudly into the menu box. Watching the reflection in the van's side mirror, I saw that it was some mustached, 20-year-old turd, eyes glazed over by the gallon of gin he washed down shortly before taking the wheel.

Fantastic. Maybe it was better that he was in front of me.

I shook my head and reached down to grab my wallet when I saw my dashboard start to illuminate. I looked up just in time to see the van backing up towards my car. Alone at the time, my lips parted and I squeaked 'whhaasaa?!' as I threw my wallet down and fumbled with the gearshift to get the hell out of this guy's way. I backed up about a yard when he finally stopped and went forward, ending up right where he started, just in front of the speaker.

I kept my distance. This man was so hungry he was clearly capable of anything.

I was just getting my bearings together when I saw the driver waving something out of his window. What could it be? A gun? A knife? A more focused glance revealed that it was a $20 bill, which he was thrusting towards the speaker.

Read that again; let it wash all over you. He was presenting his money to the magic voice in the box. I jest you not.

After about ten seconds of this, he must have realized that the menu display wasn't going to take his money in exchange for food, so he pulled up to the window. By the time I made my order and got up behind him, an actual human being had finally confiscated this fool's cash and hopefully his license.

I guess what the guy wanted was going to take a while, so the cashier told him to pull out front, and they would bring it out to him when it was ready. If he was as drunk as I thought he was, chances are he ordered the entire left quadrant of the menu, only to eat one fry and puke in the bag once he received his meal.

So, the cashier tells him to pull out front, the guy nods, rolls up his window and calmly drives away. Right out into the street and down the highway. Keep in mind that he already paid.

I'll bet that sometime later in the evening, that guy's going to say to his friends, "I'm hungry, we should go to Wendy's!"