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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Usually, your Uncle Grambo sleeps like a bébé. Once my head hits the pillow, it's generally lights out until Jamie & Brady shake me from my slumber. But thanks to a particularily annoying combo head cold / sinus attack that's haunted me for the better part of a week, I've spent the last few nights fighting a losing battle against insomnia. The following is a brief rundown of some of the questions that have plagued me as I tried to drift off into dreamland.
Why Hasn't Someone Put Haylie Duff In Touch With Ashlee Simpson?
What's The Deal With Those New Ask Dr. Z Spots?
How Come Stacey Dash Isn't On Anyone's Radar?
Who's Gonna Be The One To Blow The Lid Off LiLo's (Alleged) Coke Problem?
Where Have All The Michael Mann Disciples Gone?
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Most peculiar mama, WHOA! Don't know about life in your neck of the woods, but for sports fans here in The D™, the events of the last two weeks have left our collective spirits more shaken AND stirred than a shitty Beefeater martini. While your Uncle Grambo was off gallavanting Big Apple Stizz, both the Red Wings and the Pistons lost individuals who were not only their team captains, but the cornerstones of the their respective franchises. While the ramifications of these departures likely won't be fully actualized until April of 2007 (when next year's NHL and NBA Playoffs roll around), there is one common sentiment that I am certain of as I type this here on July 11, 2006: to paraphrase the late Julia Phillips, Ben Wallace will never eat lunch in this town again.
In nearly 32 years of roaming this mortal coil as a Detroit sports fan, I can't remember an athlete that ever ascended into Icon Status quicker than Ben Wallace did. He arrived in town back in 2000 as an unknown and unproven commodity, during a time where you couldn't GIVE Pistons tickets away. But the city quickly came to recognize that this underdog with the big `Fro and even bigger blue collar work ethic was a living, breathing embodiment of everything that Detroit aims to stand for, and embraced him as such. The top notch marketers over in Auburn Hills took advantage of this groundswell of support and rebranded the image of the entire organization around the attitude and emotion that Big Ben brought to every game. The level of unilateral, unconditional support that he received locally gave him gave him a base of confidence that acted like the fertilizer Homer Simpson used to grow tomacco, allowing him to grow from a cast-off to an internationally recognized superstar and NBA champion in the matter of four seasons. In our eyes, Big Ben could do no wrong.
But as the old cliche goes, once you've reached the mountain top, there's nowhere to go but down. Over the course of the next two seasons, his skills on the court began to diminish considerably. More troubling than this, though, was the increasing frequency in which the internal pilot light that lit Ben's proverbial furnace of fury began to blow out. Pistons fans (including your Uncle Grambo) took note, but based on his track record, granted him the benefit of the doubt. Even when he failed to show up for the entire 2006 playoffs (except for that all-time best evs stuffing of Shaq-Fu), the Pistons organization and fanbase made it clear that we wanted him to finish out his career in Motown. The deal was simple: play for four more years, take home nearly $50 million in salary (which would've made him the highest paid Piston), and retire alongside the likes of Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, and Al Kaline as a fully-vested member of the All-Time Elite Local Sports Legends.
Unfortch for all parties involved, this is not the path that Ben and superagent Arn Tellem chose. When the moratorium on free agent signings is lifted tomorrow, Ben Wallace will sign a $60 million free agent contract with the Chicago Bulls. While you can't really fault the guy for taking a deal that will pay him $10 million more dollars over these four years, your Uncle Grambo can't help but feeling that he has turned his back on the city and the organization that made him a star now that the gettins ain't so good. Which, for a city which has HEAVILY relied on sports to be drive community pride during an unprecedently difficult economic era, makes him persona non grata in these parts for the forseeable future. While only time will tell what this will do to how we remember his career, one needs to look no further than the lukewarm reception that Barry Sanders still gets around town to see how this town treats athletes who turned their back on The D™.
Ben Wallace. It's too bad. Like sand through the hour glass, So Best has turned to So Durst. Yo homes, smell ya later.posted by Uncle Grambo |
Sunday, July 09, 2006
[pic via Egotastic]
Arrrrgh, ye scaliwags! After raking in $55 mills stateside on Friday, it looks to be headed STRAIGHT to the top of the all-time opening weekend B.O figgs. I mean, Jeffrey Wells called this weeks ago, but still ... PIRATES? Who woulda thunk it? By the time the Sunday estimates (let alone FINALS!) get in and "Pirates" ends up whupping the shinola out of the first "Spiderman" movie, all of a sudden Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley will be the biggest movie stars on the planet.
That's not to say that the second film in the "Pirates" franchise is best evs, by any stretch of the imagination. Your Uncle Grambo caught a matinee screening this aft with The Grizz, Loftus and The Senator, and I was the only one to leave with a positive impression. Yes, the movie runs about 20 minutes too long and is filled with more plot than a David Foster Wallace novel (that dice game? that father/son bonding/loathing subplot? the repeated monkey cameos?), but boy oh boy, I can't remember a movie since the original "Matrix" in which you could tell the filmmakers were able to get so many dollars off the craft services table and onto the big screen.
And it's tough to say this about a big summer tentpole flick, but the whole Keira Knightley seduction of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow character has a May / December angle of the smoldering hottness that your Uncle Grambo hasn't seen on the silver screen since Michelle Johnson took advantage of that limey schlub Michael Caine in "Blame It On Rio" (more about the eyebrow similarities and less about the topless buzz, unfortch). I say eff all that anorexia nonsense that Fleet Street has been harping on; if K.K. was as hungry as everyone says she is, she would not have had the intestinal fortitude and animalistic passion to persuade Capt. Jack to forego his sixth Pirate sense in the last act of the movie. I'd go into more deets, but I don't want to reveal spoiler buzz quite yet.
In the post-show conversation, an interesting question arose (probs born out of "Phantom Menace" linkage). Who's got more buzz, Keira Knightley or Natalie Portman? Your Uncle Grambo must admit, I was in the minority when I called dibs on K.K; call me crazed, but the legs / abs / Brit sneer thang wins out 11 times out of 10 over the short / curveless / East Coast snobby mole-on-the-cheek thang. Maybs that NSFW nude scene in "Closer" that Mike "P-Whipped By Sawyer" Nichols left on the cutting room floor would've changed things, but all current intelligence points to K.K. and her decidedly unbodacious bodice as being the superior of the two. Has your Uncle Grambo developed into a Legs Man (as opposed to a Breast Man or Ass Man) as I approach my 32nd bday? Developing...
"Potato salad is the DJ of the American picnic. It really is. Think about it. It's gathered together from disparate sources like a remix for your tongue, it's a culinary cornerstone crucial to the outdoor chilling experience. And if potato salad's the DJ, then iced tea is the emcee, blankets are graffiti, and lawn sports are breakdancing." LOFTUS!!!
While we're talkin' Loftus, "Snorlax is fuckin' owning everyone right now!". According to JTL (and this is a direct quote), "...the Pokemon universe goes WAY deeper than you would ever expect." Because of this recommendation, look for more Pikachu coverage on this site in the not-too-distant futch.
Memo to Slate's Joshua Stein: The first rule of journalism is to "know your audience." I'd wage that you lost 99.9% of us in the fourth paragraph of your review-like-writeup of "A Scanner Darkly." Even a dude like your Uncle Grambo (who's read his fair share of Focault) felt his eyes glaze over when "neoliberalism", "soixante huitards" and Félix Guattari were dropped in three consecutive sentences. Giggedy.
Anyone who's ever spent anytime in A2 will enjoy DataWhat's touching requiem for Thano's Lamplighter. For the record, I never really dug that joint ... their pizza was WAY overrated, and the dirtbag townie ratio was way high for my taste.
Looks like Dallas Austin is starring in his own real-life version of "Brokedown Palace" ... which can't be much fun considering Kate Beckinbestever and Claire Danes aren't there to sex things up.
So even though anyone with a Netflix account knows that Oliver "Twist" Gondry
Personally, your Uncle Grambo has never been a giant admirer of Jessica Biel. Yeah, her infamous NSFW Gear photoshoot was revolutionary in ways that words cannot even describe and she was perfectly cast as an upper-crust, coked-out future Senator's wife in "Rules Of Attraction", but Hollywood Tuna's round the clock coverage of her transformation into this generation's Chyna HAS to have the editors at Esquire worried. After all, she was their controversial choice for Sexiest Woman Alive last Shocktober. Yikers Island, indeed.
And again, on the continuation tip, Esquire's `06 pick cannot POSSIBLY be anyone other than ScarJo. Not that she's a bad choice, per se (um, if you saw "Match Point", you'd agree that the camera LOVES her in a way that intensifies her hottness to mercury busting levels); it's just that this choice proves in an intrinsic way that Esquire's demo is 35-44 year old white dudes. `Cuz if they were shooting for dudes like me (I'm in the outer loop of the standard deviation of the 25-34 demo), they'd know that Catt Sadler and Olivia Munn and Ginny Goodwin and Elizabeth Banks or even last summer's choice of Kristin Cavallari* are the Toppermost Of The Poppermost In `06™. Obvs.
*Far be it from your Uncle Grambo to make snide comments about the female figgs, but someone's gotta tell K. Cav that she should wait until at least age 27 before going on The Zone. I mean, it makes the late thirtysomething Maniston look a few years younger than she actually is, but when you're 18 or 19 or whatevs like K. Cav, she shouldn't sacrifice her cleaves and developing hip curvage for Abs By Way Of Suzanne Somers. Yeah, you're fit and all, but couldja mix in a few milkshakes every now and then? That's allz I'm sayin'...posted by Uncle Grambo |