A friend of mine (@weedorwildflower) posted this adorable picture of her son going down a "big boy" slide for the first time. It showed frame by frame how he was scared at first, and then how thrilled he was to conquer his fear. My first reaction upon seeing this was not "aww how cute" or "good for him". Honestly, my first thought when I saw this pic was, "damn I am so freaking jealous!"
What can I say... I'm a hater.
On some level I was proud of him. I mean this is a big accomplishment for him. I think I can remember back to when I went down my first "big boy" slide, and I do recall it being a pretty big deal. In a lot of ways this is his first step to becoming a man. He ain't no little bitch no more. (No offense meant here Luann. That was a compliment.) However, before I could turn my thoughts to him, I had to first think of myself. They don't call me VaneDave for nothing.
I am not the center of MYuniverse, I am the center of THE universe!
As I studied the look of pure joy and absolute thrill on this little boy's face, I wondered to myself what in life I could experience that would make me have the same expression. Find a cure for cancer? Discover a new sexual position? Find a hundred dollars on the street? None of these things is very likely to happen. (Well that is unless I can convince my wife to start taking yoga classes religiously.)
It could be sort of a sad thing to think that most of my "big boy" slide experiences may have passed me by. But then again, maybe I'm missing something here. What I could not see in this pic was the look on momma Luann's face. If I know that lady and how much she loves her boy, I would bet that his "big boy" slide experience was also a "big boy" slide experience for her. And while I may not have kids now, I'm sure I'll grow to at least like mine when I have them, so maybe I'm overlooking a whole host of opportunities here. Maybe instead of being jealous of that little boy, I was really jealous of his mom. Holy crap, I think I'm saying I'm ready for a family.
This entry just got way deeper than I intended it to get.
I don't know if men are like women and can get all hormonal and irrational when a lot of things are going on in their lives.
Sidenote - I know you guys are used to having these really well-thought-out pictures accompanying my posts, but I am posting this from my phone and I damn sure don't feel like doing that right now. You'll just have to use your imaginations for this one. I spoil the hell out of you guys anyway.
Well technically it turned out to be just one ball, but it was still painful as all hell.
Let me set the scene for you...
I was playing softball with my league team on a beautiful Sunday morning. I mean this was the type of morning where the birds were chirping, butterflies were fluttering all around, kids were laughing in the background. It was perfect and serene. My team had been riding a four game winning streak and I had come into the day feeling poised to have an awesome day. I could not have been more wrong.
Not only did my team play like crap, but then to top things off, in the late innings of the second game with my team losing 9-1 and looking dead as all, I was on the mound pitching when things really went south for me. (Quite literally!) I went into my windup, cocked back and threw a pitch toward the plate. The batter hit a screaming line drive right back at me. Before I could blink the ball was right back at me and all I could think was, "OH GOD, PLEASE HIT ME IN THE STOMACH!"
No such luck. The ball found a way to hit me directly in the nuts. And when I say directly, I mean DIRECTLY!!!
My first reaction was to find the ball (the softball, not my ball) and throw the runner out at first base. I suppose this was my competitive instincts, but I also knew that after taking a shot to the balls, I would have about three seconds before my body was paralyzed from the pain. I found the softball at my feet, scooped it up and threw underhand to first while simultaneously falling to my knees. I was writhing on the ground for about two minutes trying to catch my breath. Both teams came out and surrounded me, trying to see if I was alright. When I gathered enough air to speak, I was barely able to tell them to back up and give me some space. I needed to breathe.
I've heard people compare the pain of getting a good shot to the nuts to labor pains. If that is the case, I would like to apologize to my mom and all mothers for having to go through that. I can honestly say, that seems like an accurate comparison. Not only was I reduced to Lamaze class techniques in order to have the ability to breathe, but I also thought for a while that I was actually going to give birth to one of my balls. I thought it was coming out of me.
After a few more minutes of trying not to cry while in the fetal position on the ground I was able to get to my feet. My shortstop asked me if I needed some time to gather myself and take a few warmup pitches. I told him immediately that I was out of the game.
There was no doubt about it.
I limped my way over to some grass away from the field and laid out on the grass. I still hadn't completely caught my breath and I was sweating like crazy. I had people from both teams coming up to me offering me ice, water, ointments, rides to the hospital, and just about anything else they could think of. I told them I was okay for the moment, but really I was scared as hell. My balls were killing me! I was reminded of this picture I used in a blog from a long time ago where a baseball player had suffered a fractured testicle. I was in the same exact position.
I managed to get up and walk around some about half an hour later. The game was winding down and I decided to leave and go home. As I left everyone kept asking me if I was gonna be alright, and looking at me with the most profound pity I've ever seen. I know they were all thinking the same thing. "God damn I am glad that wasn't me!"
I made it home and went directly to the kitchen for some ice. From there I went up to my room and finally had the chance to survey the damage. Upon initial inspection it became clear to me that one brave ball took the brunt of the damage. It was like left nut stepped in front of the bullet to save right nut. Here I had one swollen mess on one side, and the other that seemed to be totally fine. It was sort of amazing actually. The other part of it was where my balls were throughout the entire day. I had one hanging out where it was supposed to be, and the injured one which was riding up into my stomach like a scared dog trying to hide in it's cage. I tried to console it and let it know that things were fine now, but it was so spooked. It just would not come out of that cage. Not that I blame it. That shit was horrific. I would have been traumatized too.
Lying there throughout the day all I could think of was how many times I had laughed at someone getting hit in the nuts throughout my life. I sat there and wondered what the hell people find so funny about it. There was absolutely nothing funny about it to me on this day. I felt like writing an angry letter to America's Funniest Home Videos. Those insensitive fucks at ABC have been laughing at poor ball-injured men for years.You wouldn't laugh at a gunshot victim would you? You wouldn't laugh if someone stabbed you in the gut? It just didn't seem right anymore. It seemed so cruel.
Then I woke up the next day, after icing my ball all day and night and things seemed to be okay. The swelling had gone down some and I was actually able to move around some without being totally uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, my ball was still sore (MY BALL IS STILL SORE AS I'M WRITING THIS!), but it was clearly getting better. I was no longer feeling as worried.
So long story short, wear your cups kids. I know I'll be wearing mine from now on.
I have a friend who recently made his standup comedy debut. I remember talking to him when he first began doing open mics and how excited he seemed about it all. I know it must have been a big rush for him to finally take the stage in front of a live audience. It made me think back to my first time and how nervous I was. How I was practically shaking up on stage and hardly anyone even realized it. How relieved I was to get that first big laugh. How thrilled I was when I walked off the stage to a nice applause.
It was a great night.
I've had people ask me often when I am going to do another show. It has been over two years now since my last one. I can't really give any one particular reason why it has been so long. Part of it was that I was tired of dealing with producers. Part of it was that I got real busy all of a sudden. I think mostly though my spirit just wasn't into it the way it had been in the past. It didn't excite me anymore.
Creativity is both a gift and a burden. It can lead you to do wonderful things, but it must be nurtured. You just don't feel right inside unless you do.
I miss standup.I think I need to get back in touch with this guy here...
By the title of this post you can safely infer two things:
1) I saw Iron Man 3.
2) It was a steaming pile of crap.
I would say I don't want to spoil the movie for everyone, but really, Marvel has already taken care of that for me. I do not know how this movie got any good reviews. It was horrible. Such a shame too, cause the movie had some real potential. The best part to me was Ben Kingsley's performance as the Mandarin... while it lasted. As a matter of fact, I think Ben Kingsley's performance as the Mandarin is really all you need to know about the movie.
Without giving too much away about the movie, allow me the following rant;
So for the first 30 or 40 minutes I thought they were doing a great job with the Mandarin. I was able to look past the fact that he wasn't actually Chinese, if only because I really like Ben Kingsley as an actor. Everything else was on point though. The costume was cool and they got the facial hair down. He had this real menacing way of talking and struck the perfect mix of evil and regal at the same time. At one point I remember thinking to myself, "wow, this may be the best villian I've seen since Heath Ledger's joker!" He was that good!
Act up, and he will smack you with his pimp rings!
Then about halfway through the movie things started to change. There was way more Guy Pearce and way less Kingsley. The Mandarin literally didn't do shit in the movie for a solid hour. This is also because this movie really should have been called Robert Downey Jr 3. I swear, this dude spent about twenty minutes total in the Iron Man suit. GYWNETH PALTROW SPENT MORE TIME IN THE IRON MAN SUIT!!! We get it already! Tony Stark is a genius and Robert Downey Jr is a world class smart ass. MOVE ON WITH THE STORY!!!
In fairness, he is a world class smart ass. Take a look at this mugshot!
Getting back to the Mandarin, about halfway through the movie, you started to get the feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong. The movie had not been especially good to that point, but there was still hope that things were building to an incredible finish. Then that is when things really started to unravel. Robert Downey Jr literally ditches the Iron Man suit in some kid's shed in Tennessee, goes shopping at Home Depot for supplies, then shows up at the Mandarin's cliche druglord mansion in Miami. Yes, Miami as in South Florida Miami. They even make fun of this in the movie!
Next up, armed with his Home Depot arsenal, Robert Downey Jr is able to single handedly infiltrate the Mandarin's complex, dodging multiple rent-a-thugs and hookers along the way, and hunt down the Mandarin. Keep in mind, Home Depot RDJ was able to do this even after the FBI, CIA, and the Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle's ridiculous red, white, and blue War Machine outfit) could not.
In retrospect, I probably should have taken this as a warning sign.
Once inside Scarface's... errr, the Mandarin's MTV style crib, RDJ makes past various leapord skin and gold plated decor into the Mandarin's lair. (His King sized master bedroom, complete with walk in closet and master bath.) After kicking two bitches out of the bed, RDJ comes face to face with the villain himself! Out pops the Mandarin, and the epic showdown is set...
...EXCEPT THERE'S A TWIST! (M. Night Shyamalan style.)
The man we think is the Mandarin is really not the Mandarin. Turns out the whole time we were all cowering in fear, instead of being the maniacally evil and all powerful Mandarin, Ben Kingsley was instead revealed to be Guru Tugginmapudha(Kingsley's character in the classic Mike Meyers film, The Love Guru). You think I'm joking right now, but I really am not. I wish I was joking. I wished at the time that the people in the movie were joking. I kept waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out at some point (Are Ashton Kutcher Punk'd jokes still relevant?), but it never happened.
BEWARE THE MANDARIN!!!
Needless to say, at this point the movie was fucked. If you are asking why I didn't just walk out of the theater at that point, it is a fair question. I really should have. My heart just wasn't in it anymore after that. They could have had all the Avengers and X-Men make cameos and I wouldn't have even cared. I would have still been shaking my head wondering why the hell they would do that to the poor Mandarin. Such a good character, played by such a good actor and you fucking make him into a gag? YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME MARVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just for effect here are some more exclamation points:
Going in to a "blockbuster" movie such as this, I am always a little bit prepared for disappointment. This is especially true if it's a sequel. But the level of disappointment I felt when I left this movie is almost too great to describe. I didn't even bother to stay till after the credits, even though I knew there would be something after. I just knew it would be pointless and stupid, whatever it was. I've since confirmed with friends that it was. There is a special category I've created for sequels that fall so mind numbingly flat as this one did. There are bad sequels (X-Men 3, A Good Day to Die Hard), there are shit sequels (Hangover 2, The Friday after Next), and then there are the category of sequels that I like to call the "Never Happened" sequels. Here is a quick list:
"NEVER HAPPENED" SEQUELS Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Jurassic Park 3 Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Rocky 5 Jaws 3 Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
and now, thanks to the complete anal butt raping (I actually did reference it in this post) of the Mandarin, Iron Man 3 "Never Happened".
It’s been a while since I’ve had PD grace these pages. In fact it’s been so long, that I had to go back and reacquaint myself with some of his work. While I was taking my refresher course, I decided why not post some of these entries for any newbies who may have no clue who it is that I am talking about. So, here you go people;
PimpDave's Greatest Hits(or Bitchslaps, if you will)