It was all a dream. I used to read Word Up Magazine. Then slowly at first–and soon quickly–the internet began to overtake the publishing industry. Some saw it as a digital democratization. Others feared the worst, and were perhaps correct in stating that it begat the death of quality journalism. Fewer and fewer advertisers bought physical ad space as blogs were created literally faster than we could count. Several notable publications ultimately would go fully digital or die entirely. Some lived on in an ugly state of stasis or half-life unfit for their past glories. Salt-n-Peppa and Heavy D up in the limousine.
One giant leap for a man.
May 2, 2014 was my last day at Ziba, the employer that put up with me for the past five+ years. I had fun and I learned a lot. I’m tremendously excited for what I’m up to next and I think it’s a good step forward. But that starts Monday. Today is a good time to look back for a minute. (Click for full size.)
Soon this will be the abstract for my doctoral thesis.
Beyond it’s feasibility, we worry a lot about the moral and ethical issues of time travel. However, I’m confident that in the future scientists and philosophers alike will agree that the ultimate butterfly effect question to consider is what would our technological, cultural and societal landscapes look like today if, on that fateful afternoon he WAS feeling it and thus Drake never chugged that Sprite and therefore did not transform himself into a terrifying genocidal Sprite robot?
We, the Portland Trailblazers.
Photo by Bruce Ely for the Oregonian.
I am not a professional basketball player. I am certainly not a member of my favorite NBA team, the Portland Trailblazers. Truthfully, and even though I go hard in the paint, I’m not all that good at basketball. And so it goes that I can be kind of militant about making sure that I and everyone in my vicinity say ‘they’ instead of ‘we’ when referring to a sports team in particular the Blazers. We aren’t they. As much as we wish we were, most of us aren’t world class athletes. We didn’t put in the hours and the shots and we certainly don’t make the money. We aren’t on the team. Words mean things and we shouldn’t say that we are part of the Portland Trailblazers organization. Does this view and propensity to correct make me kind of a dick? Perhaps.
Here’s the thing, thanks to a pretty darn tremendous last second shot by Damian Lillard that I watched projected onto a brick wall at the outdoor patio of Bar Bar on Mississippi Street Friday and that conjured up images and spectres of all of our favorite Brandon Roy shot (also against the Rockets), the Blazers won a playoff series for the first time since 2000. Not incidentally that was the longest ongoing playoff series victory drought in the NBA. Was. And it all makes me feel dangerously and hypocritically invested.
I was 14 during that 2000 Western Conference Finals series. I was probably wearing cargo shorts, I had a haircut that in retrospect I have named ‘curtains’ and I had a very difficult time coming to terms with the result. The Blazers came back from a 3-1 deficit and were up by 15 in the fourth quarter of game seven before it all fell apart. They lost and Shaq made a crazy Shaq face that I wanted to punch after he slammed home the ostensibly game sealing alley-oop. It made me hate the Los Angeles Lakers in a way that I’m not sure I can ever get over. It makes me, to this day, petulantly remind people that Kobe Bryant is an alleged rapist.
With the win on Friday and really with this whole season, Damian Lillard and Lamarcus Aldridge and Terry Stotts and Wes Matthews and Robin Lopez and Nic Batum and to a much much smaller and very different extent, seemingly always confused 14 year old Meyers Leonard are all working together to heal my non-insignificant and weirdly identity-building wounds.
Friday was also my last day at Ziba, my employer for the past five plus years. I’m moving on and now so are the Blazers. Friday marked an end of an era for both of us and it just all felt so solipsistic. Maybe their success is a harbinger for the success I think and hope I will find at my new job. Of course I know I’ve placed far too much importance on Friday and on that terrible evening in May of 2000. I know the Blazers aren’t doing all of this for me. They are doing it because it is their jobs. But more than ever I feel kind of a little bit like it’s for me. It feels like it’s a we thing. We, the Blazers, won. And maybe, just for a little while, just for this playoff-run, maybe that is alright.
Everything in the NBA is a tire or dumpster fire.
Check out my newest, dumbest project yet: Everything in the NBA is a tire or dumpster fire.
I read a lot of NBA blogs and noticed that, sort of like when we all started using tilt-shift on our Instagram photos for like six months, writers writing about pro hoops were often comparing players, games, and teams, mostly the Knicks, to tire fires and/or dumpster fires. To be fair, it is a pretty evocative image. Since I’m the worst I am documenting the trend. If you find any instances of this cool thing, send them my way.
If you ask me, my favorite things are traveling, exercise and red wine. If you ask Annalisa, my favorite things are Star Wars novels, Daredevil comics and LucasArts adventure games from the 90’s. Self-awareness is an important trait that I only sometimes achieve.
Dark gritty Hook reboot: The Hook
Annalisa and I stayed up way too late last night casting our Hook reboot, tentatively titled The Hook. It’s going to be stupendously dark and gritty. Get in touch Hollywood. We are accepting bids.
The Titular Hook: Robert Downey Jr.
I think this ultimately came down to Downey’s excellent use of goatee. I originally wanted him for Peter Pan but Annalisa was adamant that, not only does his goatee disqualifies him as Pan but also makes him a very strong choice for Hook. But he’s fun and dynamic and I’d like to see him act with a little bit of menace as a bad guy. He already has a good relationship with Disney and this is obviously going to be a Disney production.
Runners up: Johnny Depp (too obvious), Robin Williams (too confusing), Bill Murray (too mellow), Jason Statham (too good at karate kicking), Ralph Fiennes (too evil due to Voldemort associations and also due to pronouncing Ralph so weird).
Peter Pan: Ryan Gosling
We’ve obviously made him younger (which we can do because it’s a reboot and it’s our movie, Hook fanboys), but we believe in Gosling and think he can be a convincing middle aged sad dad, especially if you put him in some stonewashed dad jeans. We know from his Mouseketeer days that he can dance around and probably crow and stuff. We know that he can fly from that time he hung on the ferris wheel in the Notebook.
Runners up: Tim Riggins (too rugged and also his name will forever be Tim Riggins. I won’t even acknowledge his real name), Dakota Fanning (too young), Justin Timberlake (too cool), Shia LaBeouf (too Shia), Mark Wahlburg (too many muscles and we weren’t convinced he could pull a Christian Bale and get skinny), Will Smith (too After Earth), Robert Downey Jr. (too much goatee), Woody Harrelson (too unlikeable according to Annalisa), Matthew McConaughey (too hot right now), Robert Pattinson (too broody), Vin Diesel (too many neck rolls), Daniel Radcliffe (too young), Peter Gallagher aka Sandy Cohen aka Best TV Dad Ever (too much eyebrows).
Wendy: Rachel McAdams
McAdams barely barely won this over Amy Adams because of her proven chemistry with Gosling. Also, Amy Adams is in literally every single movie and Rachel McAdams is not in nearly enough movies.
Runners up: Amy Adams (see above), Dakota Fanning (too young), Meryl Streep (too much Julia Childs voice to ever trust again), Cameron Diaz (too much Ashton Kutcher).
Tinkerbell: Dakota Fanning
We basically just needed to get Fanning in this movie.
Runners up: Zooey Deschanel (too much brown hair, this was a huge point of contention because she was blond in Elf but Annalisa wasn’t buying her. At this point we had like a 20 minute digression about what a pixie is.).
Tigerlilly: Selena Gomez
Ever since Bieber got carried on the Great Wall of China and peed in a bucket and said ‘Fuck Bill Clinton’, we are staunchly Team Selena. We want Selena Gomez to do big things in her post-Bieber career so we’re taking a chance here. We believe in you Selena!
Runner up: Dakota Fanning (already cast as Tinkerbell).
Director: Steven Speilberg
I wanted David Fincher but Annalisa didn’t know who that was, so we settled on Spielberg doing the unprecedented and directing the reboot to his own movie. #innovation, you guys.
Runner up: David Fincher (too unknown apparently).
The Lost Boys: Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Justin Timberlake, Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Macaulay Culkin.
This sort of started as the place where we could cast the guys who didn’t make the cut as Peter Pan, but then we realized we were inadvertently getting the cast of That Awkward Moment back together and also the upcoming Fantastic Four. Then we just started making a group of fun guys we want to hang out with. They are all too old but we don’t care. Also, Macaulay Culkin. He’s clearly Rufio. Imagine this: we meet all the Lost Boys, they’re all big names, the crowd loves it, but who is Rufio? We haven’t seen Rufio yet! Who could top all these other leading men? We’re about to reveal Rufio, all the other Lost Boys are chanting ‘RU-FI-O, RU-FI-O’, and he appears above everyone else on his zipline or whatever and he’s mother flipping Macaulay Culkin and he’s carrying a lovely cheese pizza just for himself. The movie theater crowd goes wild. We think it will test very well in the 18-29 demographic.
Runner up: Buzz’s girlfriend. Woof.