Archive for March, 2010

Druggies & Preps & What Came Later…

Posted in Stuff on March 27, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

There is a new movie out, based on a wildly popular tween-age book series, “Diary of A Wimpy Kid”. While I haven’t seen it, Aidan has given me the gist of it.

It apparently revolves around some kid’s experiences as a Middle Schooler. Ahh Middle School. Remember those days? I sure do.

Middle School, for me anyway, is when clicks started to form. In Litchfield there were two very distinct clicks:

The Druggies and The Preps.

As a member of one of these groups, your role was clearly defined.

The Druggies wore stone-washed jeans with rips at the knees. A Druggies trademark clothing was a black T-shirt with a popular rock band on the front. Some of the more popular Ts were Poison, Def Leppard, Skid Row, Warrant, Motley Crue, Aerosmith and the “hardcore” druggies fashioned Metallica and Megadeth T-shirts.

 The Preps wore Khakis, polo shirts and sweaters. Their trademark attire were Skidz. Remember those? Colorful baggy pants that the druggies called “MC Hammer Pants”.

While Druggies listened to mostly the rock bands featured on their T-shirts, Preps musical tastes could be defined, by today’s standards, as cheesy. (yeah and Poison and Skid Row were cool)

A Prep listened to Millie Vanilli, Jesus Jones, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Boyz To Men and stuff like that. Safe music.

The Preps got good grades and more often than not, came from money. Druggies got average grades, at best, and usually came from broken homes.

In case you are wondering, I ran with the Druggies.

But, the funny thing is, none of us did drugs. (except for maybe Bush Marcantonio)

I know I didn’t smoke pot till I was 17. I tried coke once in college and hated it while shrooms and acid didn’t come until my late teens/early 20s.

You see, the preps nicknamed us the druggies because, in the late 80s and early 90s only someone who used drugs would listen to hard rock music, do poorly in school and dress the way we dressed.

And to be fair, us “drug users” coined the name “Preps” because only a preppie wuss would dress the way they dressed, think it was cool to kiss ass and get good grades and listen to (gulp) Vanilla Ice.

At lunch we Druggies sat at our table while the preps sat at theirs. At school dances Druggies sat out when “U Can’t Touch This” played while The Preps cleared the dance floor during “Youth Gone Wild”.

The only time we really came together was during recess -when we played football on the soccer field. Everyday it was the Druggies vs The Preps in touch football.

No one click had the advantage. When it came to athletics the druggies and the preps were on even footing. Looking back on it, if we played 100 games of football during middle school, I’d say the druggies and preps probably split ’em 50/50.

There was also another group -The Tweeners. Nobody called em Tweeners but that’s just what they were. Not quite a druggie. Not quite a prep. A tweener was embraced, somewhat, by both groups and his role was never clearly defined.

A perfect example of a tweener was someone who wore the rock and roll T-shirts, but managed to get good grades. Or someone who got bad grades but listened to both MC HAMMER and Slaughter. Some tweeners wore stone-washed jeans and a turtleneck.

Below is a list of the clicks as I remember them.

DRUGGIES:

  • Me
  • Tai
  • Jesse Paulo
  • Chris Marcantonio
  • Jermiah Manning
  • Jared Biggos
  • Luke Chappius
  • Jason Bronick
  • Tim Sharr

PREPS

  • Bub
  • Cooter
  • Alden Boynton
  • Tony Pasquierello
  • PJ Zeller
  • Goat
  • Andy Torrant
  • Scott Arenz
  • Steve Cebik
  • Ed Federovich

TWEENERS

  • Joe
  • Stahj
  • Ads
  • Mattie O
  • John Farabee
  • Rich Decker
  • Ethan Antanucci

When high school started things slowly began to change. A lot of the druggies either moved away, went to Oliver Wolcott Tech or dropped out while some of the preps went away to private school.

During the first two years of High School we were so busy trying to fit in and not get beat up by the older kids we kind of forget that we were from different clicks. We found solidarity through our fear of such a big scary place called Litchfield High School.

During sophomore year, I became great friends with Adam and Tai. While we were just “buddies” in middle school, the three of us became like family in 10th grade. “Where there’s one there’s three ,” people used to say.

At the same time, Bub, Cooter and Goat had remained great friends since Middle School.

Then, throw in eternal Tweeners, Joe and Stahj, best friends since middle school. Joe had become close with Goat through a lot of their “smarty classes” while Goat had also become close with Adam because they worked together at Toll Gate Golf.

Yes, Goat has always taken credit for bridging the gap between the three factions.

It wasn’t long before the 8 of us started hanging out. We met mostly at Stahj’s house at Tannery Brook. Cooter also lived there.

By senior year, some girl, who shall remain nameless, said this during Art Class.

“Everywhere I look I see the 8 of them hanging out. They think they are so great.”

Unbenounced to her, one of us was eavesdropping in that same art class. He reported back to the group what this girl had said, about the 8 of us thinking we were so great, and a nickname was born.

Druggies, Preps and Tweeners had eroded and what remained was molded and twisted and shaped into “The Great 8”.

There was a very distinct line in the sand when it came to The Great 8.

If you didn’t party with us on the weekends you hated us and we probably hated you too. If you were a female who partied with and hooked up with us, you were dubbed a “Great 8 Girl” and if you weren’t, you most likely loathed our existence.

I admit, we were very clicky as a group of friends. And truth be told I may have missed out on a lot of good friendships because of it. My attitude back then was kind of short sighted. All of ours were.

Each guy in the group had 7 best friends. Most people were lucky to have one. So who needed any more.

While high school was more fun for us than it ever should have been,  I kind of regret thinking that way sometimes.

As Garth Algar once said, “We fear change.”

I am amazed that I still consider all 7 of those guys my best friends. Even Joe who doesn’t call me.

Amazed because it’s been nearly 20 years since we left high school and we’re all relatively close.

My dad used to say when I was younger, “At your graduation take a good look around the room, that may be the last time you ever see those people.”

Lucky for me that didn’t happen.

Yeah  a lot of us have families and kids of our own now but just this week I texted back and forth with Goat and would have gone out with Bub tonight if I wasn’t feeling ill.

Sometimes, when things aren’t going my way, I ask myself if I’m being punished at this stage of my life. Punished by some cosmic force for all the fun I had when I was younger.

Maybe I had too much of a good time back in the day and when things go bad in adulthood, it’s because I’m paying back some cosmic debt in order to balance the scales.

I think that could be the case. I think sometimes I think too much. I think iCarly is a good show even though it’s for pre-teens.

And there is one Preppie I always wondered about:

What the hell ever happened to Steve Cebik?

DRUGGIE MIX TAPE:

  1. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
  2. Dr Feelgood by Motley Crue
  3. 18 and Life by Skid Row
  4. Heaven by Warrant
  5. One by Metallica
  6. Up All Night by Slaughter
  7. Love in an Elevator by Aerosmith
  8. Every Rose Has it’s Thorn by Poison
  9. Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth
  10. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N Roses

PREP MIX TAPE

  1. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
  2. U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
  3. I Wanna Sex U Up by Color Me Badd
  4. Girl U Know It’s True by Milli Vanilli
  5. Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones
  6. The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground
  7. Bust A Move by Young MC
  8. Wild Wild West by Escape Club
  9. Straight Up by Paula Abdul
  10. Every Little Step by Bobby Brown

GREAT 8 MIX TAPE:

  1. Walk on The Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket
  2. Alive Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam
  3. I Alone by Live
  4. Everything Zen by Bush
  5. Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
  6. Hey Jealousy by The Gin Blossoms
  7. Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
  8. Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band
  9. December by Collective Soul
  10. End of The World As We Know it by REM

And I must say, while putting the finishing touches on this post, End of the World As We Know It just came on over Pandora Radio.

Cosmic Forces at work indeed.

“Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline!”

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RICHARD ALPERT reveals the TRUTH

Posted in Lost on March 23, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

With Richard taking center stage this week, actor Nestor Carbonell has gone on record as promising big reveals about the island and those passengers who were once aboard the Black Rock.

On top of that I hear the REAL Man in Black, the guy from the beach last year talkin to Jacob, is also back. We haven’t seen him in this role since he was introduced in the season five finale. The Man in Black won’t be alone. His nemesis Jacob won’t be far behind. The Episode is called  Ab Aterno which translates (so I’m told) to:  “since the beginning of time”

In terms of answers is this the episode we’ve been waiting for?

I’m told that WHAT the Island actually is will be revealed. The producers have dropped three clues.

  1. It’s a four letter word
  2. There is an O in the word.
  3. The word doesn’t contain an A or an E.

My money is on DOOR. The island is a door.

But I must admit if tonight’s episode ends with Richard telling the castaways the island is a door and then the screen fades to black and the LOST logo pops up, I’ll be a bit pissed.

Including tonight’s episode we got 9 to go. I want answers.

Things I’m looking forward to….(in no particular order)

Posted in Stuff on March 20, 2010 by bigdaddygouda
  • Easter Dinner at Moms
  • Wrestlemania 26
  • Season 3 of Breaking Bad
  • Season 5 of Rescue Me
  • Season 3 of True Blood
  • The start of the 2010 New York Yankees Baseball Season
  • Red Mountain Ave
  • The birth of my niece
  • Picnics at Jay/Jamie’s and Mark and Gesette’s
  • The final 9 episodes of LOST
  • U2 at Giants Stadium in JULY
  • Summer Movies (Iron Man2, Eclipse, Shrek 4, Nightmare on Elm Street, Predators, The Expendables, etc etc etc)
  • Road Race Weekend Party at Bub and Mere’s
  • Winning my office March Madness Pool

My dog did this and my dog did that and then….

Posted in Stories on March 19, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

If nothing else, adopting Andy the Puggle has given me a new subject to write about when my mind is otherwise blank…like today.

 Andy has got me outside at least twice a day. While some may not believe me, I am being truthful when I say I’ve walked him at least once every day since he came to live with me in November. And most days, I walk him twice.

One thing I noticed right off the bat as Andy an I began our walking tradition is his idiosyncracies when it comes to doing his business.

As far as peeing is concerned he will make water anywhere. He pees on trees, bushes, rocks, street signs, tires, snowbanks, curbs, little mounds of dirt, big mounds of dirt and basically anything else he passes along our walks.

After the first few days when Keely, his former owner, asked how things were going, I said, “Fine, except Andy always pees on himself.”

Needless to say, she had owned Andy for four years and he had never peed on himself, so she asked me to explain.

Every time Andy was finished peeing he would immediately use his two back legs to kick up the ground beneath his feet. Kind of like he was digging with his back paws. Debris (gravel, dirt, leaves, snow) would shoot up from his powerful kicks.

What the hell was he doing? Well, it was pretty obvious to me. He had peed on his feet and was trying to dry them off. Right?

WRONG!!

Keely (and then Google) set me straight. Apparently, the reason Andy is peeing on everything is to mark his territory. Yeah, I knew that. But the reason he is kicking dirt up after he urinates is to bury his scent.

He owns that rock he just peed on. Now it’s time to cover all traces that he’s been there so no other dog will claim it from him. Makes sense. I guess.

Now when it comes to doing a number 2, Andy is much more picky. He has to find the perfect place. Never on the road or other hard surfaces. It has to be soft. He prefers grass but I’ve seen him launch in a pile of leaves and in a snow bank.

And the instant Andy makes his deposit into the earth he bolts, and leaves the scene as fast as the can.

You’d think the smelly mess he just left was about to self destruct and he needed to get out of there as soon as possible.

Andy is in his own world when he walks. He doesn’t pay attention to other people, animals or cars. All he wants to do is sniff stuff and he aint gonna let nothing get in his way.

Which leads me to the only problem I have with him.

God forbid he picks up the scent of another animal. Not a dog or a cat but something a little less common. Something he rarely sees, like a raccoon or skunk.

Even if we are indoors and a racoon comes within the vicinity of the home, he freaks out, running around the house, whimpering, looking for some sort of escape.

I swear, if a squirrel farts outside Andy will hear it and freak out.

So on the days when we go for our walks and Andy picks up on one of those unfamiliar familiar scents he goes into a sort of frenzy. He runs in circles, trying to pick up the exact location of the animal. No matter how bad he has to go to the bathroom he wont stop until he no longer smells the animal or the scent leads to a dead-end.

Which makes me wonder, what the hell would Andy do if he actually caught up to one of these animals? I don’t think he’d know what do. I mean, this is the dog who barks at spiders but is terrified to do anything other than bark at them. In our house Andy is third in command, behind me and whatever insect may be in the vicinity at any given time.

So here I am blogging about my dog. I feel a little like one of those FACEBOOK moms who status updates every aspect of her child’s life: “Little Jane burped today…Little Johnny has a cold…..Little Mary is watching Dora….Little Jeffery is eating goldfish.”

Anyway, I digress.

Stay tuned for future updates on Andy the Puggle, including stories about his fear of water and his hatred of every brand of dog food I’ve ever put in front of him.

LOST Season 6, Episode 8: Recon

Posted in Lost on March 16, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

In many ways “Dr. Linus” mirrored “Sundown”. Both were about characters (Sayid/Ben) struggling with a dark potential, and in both cases the struggle itself is motivated by the impact on the innocents around them. Last week, though, the flash-sideways was more of a suspense play as we knew what the worst case scenario was for Ben – the big question was whether he would act once again to betray Alex; and he didn’t.

When Ben almost walked off to join NOTLocke, I really could see it going either way. Illana’s “I’ll have you” line completely changed the game. They were both fantastic. A really stand-out scene.

And hey, hats off to Nestor Carbonell’s Richard ALpert.  His character has always been interesting, but this is the first time he’s been given an opportunity to show a weak side and reveal some truth about his past. Carbonell nailed it, and Matthew Fox was also fantastic as a Jack who has suddenly found religion on the Island. The scene with the dynamite fuse running down, like the jungle encounter of Illana and Ben, was one of the best individual scenes of the series.

Tonight’s episode is called  “Recon” and ABC is playing this one pretty close to the vest. Not showing much in the way of previews and not telling us who the episode centers around. I’m thinking Jin/Sun but I could be wrong. It could be someone else. But who?

Last but not least, it looks as if Whidmore has finally made his way BACK to the island. But how? And who is he with? Desmond? Penny? The LOST children: Baby Kwon and Aaron?

And who wants to bet that it is Whidmore’s sub that eventually takes The Man in Black and his posse off the island thus creating the sideways timeline? Yep, I’m sticking by that theory.

A Real Rose Ceremony

Posted in Funny Video on March 13, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

Another classic Springer clip. Fast Forward the YOUTUBE clip to about 2:20. The segment starts with a woman telling her underappreciated sister that she found 3 men from her hometown who would be willing to date her, since her current boyfriend don’t treat her right. The three dudes come to the stage and present her with flowers while her jealous boyfriend watches…The rest my friends, writes itself.

NUTTY PSYCHO POOF!

Posted in Funny Video on March 12, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

I’ve been waiting for years to see this clip again. Remember this one guys? “Nutty, Nutty, Nutty as Hell.”