Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

29 January 2006

The Super Bowl - Don't Believe The Hype

In exactly one week, the Super Bowl will take place. In one week, the most over hyped, move over exaggerated event this side of the World Cup will occur. Now I know what you’re saying. “Can dude possibly hate the Super Bowl? Football?” I mean Football is woven into the fabric of American life right? Don’t get things twisted. I like the Super Bowl, and I even like Football. I love America and pretty much anything Americana – Baseball, football, Apple Pie, watered down light beer, an intense hatred of Soccer etc. It’s just that when it comes to the Super Bowl, I can’t get into the hype. Lets break it down. The actual game itself is watched in something like 500 countries world wide and like 20 billion (give or take a million or two) watch the game on T.V. I’m not sure why this one game gets so much attention as opposed to any of the other NFL games throughout the year. Let’s face it. 9 times out of 10, the Super Bowl itself sucks. One team blows out another. Your team isn’t playing. The goddamned game doesn’t start until past 6:30pm. Something. More times that not, the Bud Bowl, of now the Lingerie Bowl are more entertaining than the game on the field.

Super Bowl Week – The week leading up to the actual game. Every sports radio show is based in the city holding the event. Out favorite sports shows are full of nothing but NFL interviews. Old time NFLer’s trying to stay close to the game, talking about their “glory” days. Please fellas, save it for Bruce Springsteen. Countless NFL Players are going from radio show to radio show pimping some product or service so that they can pad their already fat pockets with a few more dollars. There always seems to be a controversy with the city the game is in and why it shouldn’t be there. Last year it was Jacksonville. Not enough hotel rooms and such. This year its Detroit. I mean Detroit is putting its best foot forward. And being the first cold weather city in some time to get to hold the Super Bowl isn’t an easy task. They have the week planned with plenty of fun activities for all the fans flocking to the city. They have the Eminem tour down 8 Mile. Exciting events like looting, rioting, car jacking, killing spree’s, robbing and pillaging, mugging and several other interactive activities. I bet Lions Fan is excited though. This is their first chance to have an exciting and competitive game played in their fairly new stadium.

Actual football events aren’t all that’s involved in the over hyping of the game. 500 million dollars for a 30 second commercial spot. Half the viewers of the big game watch the game only for the commercials. Looking to see who rolled out a new and funny commercial, or who pissed 75% of their ad dollars away on some stupid ass commercial (as is usually the case). The half time show – this year it’s the geriatric rocker show. Their going to roll out the Rolling Stone’s in the middle of their “Weekend at Bernie’s” World Tour. Hey legendary band, but I’m not watching because I want to see a wardrobe malfunction with Mick or Keith’s zipper on their pants! Besides, haven’t we all heard every song they have sung about 6 million times? I think they should have rolled out the contestants from Dancing With The Stars for a quick 1 minute dance for the entertainment. I mean Jerry Rice is already there right? And what could be more entertaining that watching Master P in his B-Ball shoes stumbling across a stage in the middle of Ford Field. Seriously, maybe he could get voted off if a few more people saw him make a complete ass of himself.

My main man Chuck D said “Don’t believe the hype” and I fully agree with my man. He also said he would never go solo then released a solo album but that’s besides the point. Sure I might be a HUGE baseball guy over anything else. I might prefer college ball to the NFL. My favorite NFL team might be the Buffalo Bills (and since they cannot hire a coach correctly it would stand to reason my frustrations with football), but that doesn’t mean I hate the Big Game. Its just that the Big Game is over hyped and by the time it rolls around, not only am I sick of all the hype, the game usually doesn’t even come close to the hype anyway. So in 2006, for the Super Bowl, don’t believe the hype!

22 January 2006

Baseball - Uniform Problems

With baseball season right around the corner (and lets face it, baseball is easily the greatest game played on the planet), I wanted to take some time out and discuss one thing wrong with baseball. No, it’s not steroids, or the amount of luchie they pull in a year, but its how a lot of players are wearing their uniforms these days.

For the most part, I am a baseball purist. I despise the Designated Hitter and I hate Astroturf. Although I do like the Wildcard in baseball. That being said, I like baseball players to look like professional ball players each and every time they step out onto the field. Gone today is the actual uniform look of the players. Instead you have a handful of players that seemingly wear the uniform correctly and several who wear the uniform however they want. Remember the vintage baseball footage you have seen? The uniforms have a nice look. They are snug, but not tight. The pants are tucked into socks or stirrup socks. The Jersey is not loose or baggy. Hell, you don’t have players looking like Mister T in the outfield with 600 pounds of bling bling dangling around their necks. In the 1980’s, a few players started dropping their pants all the way down to their shoe tops. That was like opening the floodgates. By the early 2000’s, the baseball uniform has gone from the fresh, crisp professional look to the “ahhh who cares how it looks” deal. The uniforms are baggy. The pants are worn right above the shoe laces. The uniforms look like some players have slept in them. Gold chains are now more prominent than eye black. Lets take a close look at some baseball uniforms…some good, some bad.

Jeremy Burnitz

While Jeremy might be more known for his imitation of one of these…

He is actually a throw back to the good ole days of baseball in how he wears the uniform. He looks like a ball player. He might create winds strong enough that New Orleans Mayor Nagin would actually call for an evacuation of his city with every swing, he gets a pass just for looking like a good ole ballplayer.

Manny Ramirez

Wow. Where to start here. I know ManRam can swing it. I know you can pencil him in for 35-45 homers a year and 140 RBI’s, but he is an abomination wearing a baseball uniform. And that’s for reasons other than the fact it’s a RedSux uniform. Dude’s pants are worn below his cleats. Granted that scumbag Barry Bonds and Mets DL Machine Cliff Floyd are other big name players who wear their pants like this, I’m focusing n Manny because he looks like a complete reject in his entire uni. It’s a miracle he doesn’t trip over himself when he tries to run (well that’s IF he tried to run).

His Jersey is so oversized and baggy that he could share it with Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder and still have a bit of room left over. His batting helmet is nasty. I know it apparently is the thing to do these days…let your helmet get so corroded and disgusting that it looks like its been an overflowing spit bucket for a Tobacco chewing Lenny Dykstra, but ManRam’s is taking it much to far.

Hey ManRam. You are making close to 20 Mil a year. For that price, is it too much to ask that you look like a professional ball player for the 162 games you have to play (and only 162 cause sorry Chowd Fan, there will be no playoff’s in 2006).

Because I could go on and on, let me drop one more example. There is nothing I hate more and I mean nothing, than baseball players wearing their hats tilted to the side. The most notable (although not only) offender is that that A-Hole C.C. Sabathia. And while you might think C.C. stands for Captain Cheeseburger because dude runs close to 3 bills, I can assure you it doesn’t (even if it should). I mean take a look at this…

Hey yo playa. Straighten out your dome piece and wear it correctly. You are making millions of dollars a year to play baseball, not to stand on a corner in the hood and sling crack. Straighten your lid out, mix in a trip or two to the gym, and start looking like a ball player. Not a Derringer toting wannabe thug gangsta homie trying to make his way on a baseball field. I mean seriously, you got ganked for your jewels and cash in Downtown Cleveland. Yeah, you got jacked in Cleveland, the mean streets of Cleveland. Maybe you need to add a couple of degrees to the tilt of your cover to look just a little more rough. You might be able to throw a baseball 97mph, but your grease dripping fastball doesn’t make you look like a goddamned ball player. Fix your fucking hat. My blood boils every time I see this jack-off and his crooked lid. I can live with a backwards hat in the dugout, but not a sideways hat on the field of play. I think MLB needs to step in and start addressing these situations!

In the 2002-2006 CBA, uniform regulations appear for the first time. There are 7 or so regulations that mostly deal with how the pants should be worn (allowing the on the shoestring look) and discouraging the baggy ManRan-FatAss look. Since there is nothing about lids in there, perhaps Bud Selig should stop thinking of ways to ruin the All-Star Game and do something about players who cannot wear there hats, pants, and jerseys correctly. With the 2006 season a couple months away, I will trade the uniform issues for the crack of the bat, the smell of the grass, the anticipation of a pay-off pitch, but there is nothing wrong with ball players looking like, well ball players.

This is how it should be done

11 January 2006

Time Warner Cable - All in One - a Rant

There are a lot of things in this world that piss me off. I know, I know. You're sitting there reading this like "no shit Cialini, hard to imagine you getting pissed at anything." Today's rant though, will focus on my Cable company...Time Warner of Rochester. I consider myself a valuable customer. Once a month I give these scumbags one hundred and 4 dollars of my hard earned cash. And yes Mark, that's a lot of HUMVEE's I have to wash. For that amount of scratch, I have digital cable with all the channels except the pay movie channels like HBO. I have DVR (a wonderful feature) and I have Road Runner...which has became as vital as water to my existence. Despite what you might already think, I don't mind paying this money, as I am happy with all the services. After all, nothing is free in this world. The thing is though, once a week or even twice a week, I will get letters, cards in an envelope, color cardboard like advertisements and all kinds of other propaganda from Time Warner in my mailbox. Today, I see a nice envelope. I take a look at it, curious as to who it could be from. I mean its not like I have any friends, so the choices are limited. I rip open the envelope and inside is a color card with a few inserts from....Time Warner. They are letting me know for the one millionth time, they have an "all in one" package. No shit. I already have a package from these bitches. If I wanted to have a digital phone, I would call them and order it up. Its not like there isn't a TV. commercial on every 45 seconds pimping their all in one packages, so chances are, I've seen it. You've seen it. I bet the Amish have seen it as well. With all this advertisement, on TV., on the radio, its not like I need my mailbox flooded with ads from them as well. I gotta figure I'm not the only customer getting all these ads. Hell, I bet non-customers get even more of these ads...poor bastards. I can't help but think that if they stopped sending me all of these adverts, and every other customer these adverts (after all, there is a phenomenal chance we are all well aware of all of Time Warner's Services), that perhaps my cable bill could be lowered by oh I don't know, 3 dollars? 10 dollars? Hell, probably 20 dollars. With all of this, I figure its only a matter of time before RG&E starts sending me advertisements letting me know they sell gas and electric. It won't be long before the post office starts sending out adverts to everyone under the sun stating the fact they mail letters and packages...and that they are raising the cost of stamps to $1.62 each to help cover the new advertisement campaign. Come on Time Warner, save me a couple of bucks and stop with the mailbox full of crap errrrrrrr ads. I could use that extra skrilla very effectively at the Doc's during Happy Hour.

07 January 2006

Tales From My Side, Vol. I

We've all had moments in our past were we have been embarrassed, or done stupid things, or been in situations where we wished we were someplace else. We've all been there, and years after the fact many times they turn into great great stories, even if laughs are had at your own expense. My man B-Shan has posted a couple of blogs of this nature here http://billherb.blogspot.com/ . The rest of the material he posts is just plagiarized, so skip those stories. They suck anyway.

To start, I'll share two instances that overlap. December 14th, 1995 I entered the Air Force's Basic Military Training (BMT). Back then, email was still in its infancy and even so, its not like the Training Instructors are going to give us PC's to go with our bunks. Anyway, when time permitted, we all wrote letters. One of my letters went to Bill. Over the next 7 weeks, we exchanged a few letters and Bill was kind enough to send me not 1, not 2, but 3 mix tapes contained with some of the finest rap music of the time. Again, never mind the fact that all packages we received were opened by our T. I. (Training Instructor), and never mind the fact that we had no radios, were not permitted to have or listen to music that was sent to us and what not. Mail call was a big deal in Basic. It was the only outlet we had to the civilian world. To our friends, family, etc. At mail call, the entire Flight would gather in the Day Room. 55 guys or so piling into a room (and while that may not sound too pleasant for you, its what Bill calls Saturday Night), with our T.I. sitting at a table handing out the mail. Every time Bill who was using his Captain Canuck identity back then sent me a tape, I was called to the front of the room, in front of the Flight so my T.I. could open the package. There were two notable exchanges I had with my T.I. over tapes sent to me by Mr. Shannon. The 2nd tape is the big one, but let me discuss what happened with the third tape I received first. MSgt. Rodrigue called me to the front as I had a package. He opens it up and we have the following exchange...

MSgt. Rodrigue: "Airman Cialini, you have another tape. Doesn't this guy know you can't listen to these while you are in BMT?"
Airman Cialini: "Sir, my friend doesn't know a lot of stuff, so its quite possible he hasn't picked up in the letters I have sent him that I cannot listen to the tapes he sends me here in BMT. Nobody ever accused him of being the sharpest knife in the drawer."

MSgt. Rodrigue cracked a smile for approximately 1 millisecond then went back to the menacing growl he usually had, that we were all afraid of and proceeded to yell at me. He told me I might not ever get out of Basic and get a chance to listen to the tapes. I knew I was getting yelled at because of my comment, and I found that funny. I almost laughed, but I held me bearing.

The second tape however, was different. I still have a sore spot where I had my ass chewed. As I was standing in front of the Flight at parade rest, MSgt. Rodrigue opened the package Bill sent me and proceeded to give me the usual crap about receiving a tape, then it happened. MSgt. Rodrigue started to read the song titles and right there, Side A - Song 1, titled "Communism". Perfect, the Cold War might be over, but in the military, Communism will always be a tool to help instil Esprie De Corp. MSgt. Rodrigue started to fly off the handle. I snapped to attention as he accused me of a myriad of things including being a Communist, being someone who was out to destroy the country he had spent a lifetime serving and fighting for, being someone who was pissing on the memories of all those that served before me and several other things. At some point, I tuned him out as I daydreamed of dropping a payback beat down on my good buddy back in New York. When it was all over, I had trouble sitting down for quite sometime. I still get chill up my spine every time I see or hear Common's "Communism". Looking back on it now, its funny, and for anyone with Military experience, its one of those stories we LOVE to share, our tales from Basic, or time on TDY, or in the field. Once I graduated Basic, on the day we had a town pass, I went into San Antonio and bought a nice new walkman and enjoyed the tapes B-Shan hooked me up with. I still have those tapes now and listen to them regularly. For the cost my ass had to pay for those 3 tapes, trust me I will be enjoying them for years to come. Thanks B...I think!

Further tales of Mail Call. Its not like I didn't have enough problems with Bill sending me tapes, in the 4th week of training, an Airman was washed back into my Flight. His name was Airman Sweeney. When you say his name, and my name (pronounced Sa-lean-ie) they sound very similar. So much so that MSgt. Rodrigue used this to screw me Sweeney and myself. At mail call, he always did his best to make my last name sound like "Sweeney" so that when I didn't answer, he would jump all over me about not knowing my name. Whenever he would call Sweeney's name, sure enough it sounded like "Cialini". I would get blasted for answering when he wasn't "calling" my name. In all of this, somehow Sweeney never got the ass chewing I got. It could be one of those "things", but I'm convinced MSgt. Rodrigue just liked screwing with me. In hindsight, it's just one of those funny things now and it makes for good story telling...unless your boring or have no sense of humor...hey, not everyone's perfect.

Even those these events made the once great Mail Call a living hell for me, they have given me a lot of material for story telling and BSing. Oh, and 10 years later, I am still crafting a revenge plot against Bill for that "Communism" incident...but don't tell him!

03 January 2006

It's Not Over, 'Till It's Over

Wow - It's 2006 and the Holiday Season is over…but is it??? I'm afraid not. We still have a few more months at least before we can take a breather. Just around the corner we have…

VALENTINES DAY - That’s right ladies and gentlemen. It’s the Holiday where (and this mostly applies to men only because evidentially women don't have to by their significant other shit), a man has to break the bank buying his woman gifts of jewelry, candy, expensive dinners, sexy clothing, flowers etc. If the guy is lucky, he might get laid, but when you look at the Piece of Ass to Cost ratio, sadly for most guys it isn't worth it.

***Disclaimer*** Not all guys are hampered by a materialistic woman. I'm one of those guys thankfully. But between the scandalous greedy ass hoes and the media telling us 6 carats says "I love you" the perception is what it is.

So gear up fellas. Start working some overtime, because in just over a month, you gotta spend spend spend to show your ladies how much you love them!

Next up…

St. Patrick's Day - Luckily this day is just a blip on the radar screen for the most part, but the closer you get, the more evident it gets…This day sucks too. It's bad enough that everyone wears green. And if you don't, you are accosted like you just got done roasting 6 million Jews in Germany. This is the one day a year where everyone is Irish. Yeah? I'd rather black and in the middle of a Klan rally in the middle of nowhere first. What's better than an actual excuse to get drunk right? Lets also not forget to celebrate potatoes, sheep shagging, and the Irish cuisine that involves boiling everything.

On Deck next…

Good Friday/Easter - Well, because of all the intolerant people in the world, Good Friday is no longer an actual Holiday. I mean I'm not exactly religious myself, but I'm not going to be offended by a religious holiday…especially one that gives me a free day off of work. Well, it used too anyway. That was before all the tree banging politically correct liberal hippies had their way. God forbid that the Christian majority in this country celebrate something religious. I mean why not do away with Easter while you guys were at it. And Easter is only considered among my commercial spend money holidays because 2 days after Christmas, while strolling through Wegmans…Easter Candy plastered everywhere. Don't get my wrong, love Cadbury Crème Eggs, and I could pound down bag after bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs, but I don't need to see Easter Candy 2 days after Christmas. Nor do I need to see egg coloring kits, or baskets, or people telling me that if I love kids, I will spend a paycheck coloring eggs and hiding them so some punk ass brats….excuse me, extremely grateful youngsters can go off and find them. Also, lets not ignore the hoards of Catholics who will make their yearly pilgrimage to church, thinking going on this one day of the year makes up for them skipping the other 51 weeks. Guess what…if he is up there…then he isn't fooled.
Right about now ladies, we can all start to relax. Holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July are up next. Holidays with true meaning and holidays that won't have you max out the ole credit card. So keep your head above water if you can. Only a few more months of Commercial spend all your ducats holidays left!