Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Birds Are Back In Town

I am not a hateful person. I'm far more likely to just let things be than to hold a grudge. Remembering who you hate and who is your rival is difficult for me, as I really just don't care about holding onto negativity. Yet, there is one enemy where my hatred runs deep and is hotter than a million suns. No human is worthy of this hate, but another animal is: The Red-Winged Blackbird, aka the worst thing on Earth.

These birds are assholes. There is no other way to put it. Actually, there is one other way to put it: They are stupid assholes. Stupid, because they are birds yet they choose to build their nests on the ground. Now, let's think about this: If I had the ability to fly, do you think I would spend a lot of time walking around to places? Do you think I would just stay in traffic, because DURRRR, I don't know no better. No, I wouldn't. I'd use my damn high flying abilities to stay above the fray. Yet these birds are so stupid that they put their nests on the ground.

Because of their nesting grounds, they like to act as if others are at fault for coming near their nests on the ground. This is when these dumbasses get into asshole mode. They are incredibly territorial, and they are more than willing to attack human beings. When I lived in Iowa, I would run near the river, and these birds would take turns swooping down to attack me like it was a scene from Mad Max. But these birds are not brave; they're cowards. They only attack the crown of my head, and they always come from behind. That's a bitch move right there.

One of the best things about moving to Florida is that I felt I was finally rid of these stupid assholes. I hadn't seen any of them since I moved down here, and I was able to run in peace. But with the new move, I have not just seen these assholes; they live in my backyard.

So far, it has been a feeling out process. They seem to be nesting far enough into the marsh that we don't have reasons to confront each other, but they still hang out in my tree. They have not tried to harm me or my dog while we play in the backyard, and I have not gotten out my tennis racket and started swinging for the fences.

What I'm hoping is that these are Florida birds, so they have retired from family life and are just retiring out their final days. That's cool by me, but the second they start to puff out their chests and come swooping at me, they're going to get a mouthful of tennis racket, and I'm strapping on my boots to go nest stomping.

Messing with people like me is the reason that "birdbrains" is such a terrible insult. It isn't wise, and I will have my revenge.

Hell hath no fury like a Hott Joe pecked.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Is There a Parallel for Ronda Rousey?

Ronda Rousey destroyed another opponent this weekend. She's gotten so good that she doesn't even have to use her world class Judo skills to beat her opponents. She is now the best boxer in the division as well. She's stupid good, and it's nearly impossible to come up with a relevant comparison for what she is doing right now. Here is my journey to attempt to find a parallel for what Ronda Rousey is currently doing.

First, it was pretty easy to eliminate any athlete involved in team sports. Even at Michael Jordan's level of dominance, a team sport just doesn't allow for a single person to so totally dominate all of their competition.

After that, I looked at the most dominant athlete of the last 20 years, Tiger Woods. As great as Tiger Woods was during his prime, he basically would have had to have his performance at the 2000 US Open in every major for three straight years to be as dominant as Ronda Rousey. Tiger Woods was amazing, and he's not even close to Rousey.

Then I took the logical step of looking at MMA. The most dominant recent champions have been Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. Both guys were dominant, but they had some struggles against opponents. Anderson Silva ripped off 16 straight wins in the UFC, but in there, even he had times of mortality against guys that could put him on his back like Travis Lutter, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen. Jon Jones has never been beaten, but Alexander Gustafsson gave him a lot of trouble, and he usually wins by picking his opponents apart, where Ronda Rousey steamrolls them.

If you want to go old school, you can look at a guy like Royce Gracie who did completely dominate from UFC 1-UFC 4. Until Dan Severn lasted over 15 minutes, nobody made it to the six-minute mark against Royce. Still, Gracie won purely with technique, where Rousey wins with not only technique but by also just being more physical than her opponents.

If I was going for an MMA parallel, the answer would have to be Mark Kerr. Kerr was not only a world-class wrestler who became incredibly adept at submissions, but then he quickly learned how to light people up on the feet and had absolutely brutal ground and pound. He destroyed every one of his first 11 opponents, where only one man was able to last past 3:04. He was the guy picked to rule over Pride. Obviously, that didn't happen, but even if you only count those first 11 fights, the level of competition that Kerr faced was usually not the greatest, where Rousey has been taking out the best of the best since her third fight.

And that brings us up to the most common comparison, Mike Tyson. As weird as this sounds to say about Mike Tyson, he wasn't dominant enough to be compared to Ronda Rousey. Even before he won the title, he got taken to decisions by guys like James Tillis and Mitch Green, who were solid gatekeepers but guys on a level that Tyson should have steamrolled. I will give Tyson credit as he avoided his toughest possible opponent in his prime with Evander Holyfield and Ronda Rousey has avoided her toughest opponent in Cyborg. The nail in the coffin is Tyson's loss to Buster Douglas. Douglas is basically the equivalent to Bethe Correia, a beatable opponent that is meant to showcase the champion in a foreign land. Tyson got knocked out by Douglas, Rousey took less than a minute to annihilate Correia.

After going through all of these greats, it would seem like I have exhausted all of the possibilities. But then I realized the answer was standing in front of me the entire time. I don't know how I could see around his blobby existence, but I managed to do it until now.

Of course, I'm talking about Steven Seagal. He has fought the best in the world and has always come out on top. But that's the thing, he had contemporaries like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean-Claude Van Damme who had similar accomplishments, but nobody made it look easier than Seagal. He annihilated his opponents without breaking a sweat and hardly ever having a single mark on his face as a sign that he had been in a battle to the death.

Ronda Rousey is incredibly impressive, and in MMA, she has had to deal with a wide variety of opponents and situations, but it is nothing compared to what Seagal has shown in his fighting career. Just take a look at this highlight video that would even impress Miss Rousey.
Ronda Rousey is great. She is the female Steven Seagal, and there is no greater compliment than that.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Perfect Isn't Always Best

I have been married for nearly two years, and things have been great. I love my wife a whole bunch, and unless she's playing some sort of long-con, she loves me a whole bunch too. As I mentioned earlier this week, I am not my wife's type, but this also made me realize that my wife isn't really my type either. As a single guy, there is no way I would have described my wife's traits. This will surprise no one, but I would have given a very shallow and idiotic response if somebody asked me what I wanted in my future mate. The things I thought were important do not match up with my wife at all. Had I been asked to create a future wife in a lab, I would have messed it up so bad and probably would hate my creation within a week. Here are all of the characteristics my wife does not possess that single me thought were important.

Sense of Humor
A sense of humor is very important to me, as I fancy myself a fairly witty individual. My wife has a good sense of humor, but she does not find me funny. She doesn't laugh at my jokes, as she usually just rolls her eyes and calls me an idiot. I want that approval so bad, but she is very rare to give it out. She is far more entertained by me just saying and doing random things, which is a pretty nice thing. Still, as a single guy, I would have thought that I would have needed a girl who found everything I said to be hilarious (because it is), but I will admit it does feel good when what I say actually does make her laugh, as I crave that approval. Even when that happens, she is still quick to point out that I'm an idiot.

I'm not a tall guy (5'9"), so I definitely have a Napoleon complex in nearly all aspects of my life. This is what partially led me to train in mixed martial arts. I knew I couldn't be bigger, but I have always wanted to feel bigger. It seemed logical to find someone shorter than me so I could at least have a decent height advantage on my mate. I thought 5'6" was about max height I would go for. Instead, my wife is about half an inch shorter than me. I have a height advantage, but just barely. I did make sure that she wore flats for our wedding, so I could at least have a height advantage on my special day. I never thought I would end up with a lady that tall, but at least I have a chance of producing a child that is 6'0" tall.

I definitely thought I'd marry someone younger than me. That seems to be the traditional way of doing things, and it seemed good enough for me. Of course, the world is a-changin, and my wife is a year, a month, and a day older than me, so she's basically ancient. I never let her forget this fact.

Now don't get me wrong, my wife is a nice person. She cares about people and is unselfish, which is all well and good. However, I really wanted someone who would build up my incredibly high self-esteem. Instead, she is there to beat me back down to reality every chance she gets. It is very easy for me to get lost in my own cockiness, but she is there to remind me of any and every fault that I have. I really thought I would find a girl who was there to constantly be in awe of me, but it's probably best for the entire human population that I have someone to keep me in check.

Growing up, I thought that my woman would cook and clean (and yes, I thought of them as a possession at that time). My wife does the latter, but she did not come equipped with the former (she has made tremendous strides). But I'm actually kind of happy that I do the cooking. This means that I always eat what I want to eat. If I feel like steak tacos, I can have steak tacos. If I feel like ground turkey tacos, I can have ground turkey tacos. Chicken tacos? Yep, any time I want. I really like tacos, but I also like other stuff, so I can whip up a Chicky Chicky Parm Parm, a whole beef brisket, or deep fry some things for funsies. I want to eat what I want to eat, so by doing most of the cooking, I get to do that, and that is pretty awesome.

Party Girl
This was by far my dumbest inclination. I used to be young and dumb and figured I would want to get wasted every weekend, and my significant other should be ready for a life of hard partying. Now, I am way more into fitness and would rather not feel like shit in the morning. I am a special occasions drinker. If something big is going down, then I'll party hard, but if it's just a regular night out, I'll gladly be the designated driver. There is no beer in our house, because I don't really care for casual beers; water and milk are good by me. My wife does party more consistently than me, but we're pretty cool just hanging out with the dog and going out for non-drinking nights out. I know that sounds uncool, but it makes us happy, and I'm not too worried about living out what someone else thinks we should be doing. I'm glad my wife is a chill lady.

Now, I didn't want to be seduced, but I wanted to take pride in my ability to seduce my chosen target. This did not happen. I had to use the classic tight rope act of wearing my wife down without getting arrested for harassment. I walked that tight rope to perfection, but I wouldn't say she was ever seduced, more worn down with logic of letting her know, "Hey broad, we should be together." I would like my wife to be amazed at my charm and seduction skills, but I made it to the end goal, and that's all that really matters.


So I've tried to put a positive spin on the fact that my wife does not possess the qualities that I thought I wanted in my mate, but just in case that isn't clear, I wanted to point out that my wife is super awesome. I mean, she is totally, 100% out of my league. Also, she has the one attribute that I wanted above all else.

My wife makes me happy. Honestly, it's tough to point out specific characteristics about my wife that I love, because things don't stand out, it's just that I really have trouble finding fault in any of her actions. And that's what it comes down to. Being with her is easy. I don't have to try, but she still thinks I'm cool to be around, and I thoroughly enjoy our time together.

And that's the whole point of this. None of these qualities really matter. If somebody makes you happy, and they feel the same way about you, hold onto it. My life is better sharing it with someone that I really care about, and I got lucky and found someone who is dumb enough to genuinely care about me. That's really neat (Also, nothing wrong with being single and happy; it's way better than being with someone who doesn't make you happy). As always, just try to be happy and everything else will take care of itself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Wife Has a Type, And It's Not Me

I came to a sad realization this week, as I finally had to admit that I am not my wife's type. What really hammered it home was my wife saying that "I did not see myself ending up with someone like you." That sounds bad, but that is the kind of brutal honesty that can only be had in a very stable relationship (or a relationship that is very close to ending, but I'm pretty sure we're the former).

The gentlemen she is interested in do not share commonalities with me. It's always the same type of guy that she likes, and it is literally the most boring combination imaginable. She likes tall, dark, and handsome. I definitely don't fit the first two traits. The third is at least debatable; I mean, there are many people who refer to me as Hott Joe to my face, but that may say more about them than it actually says about me. Oh, and the most important characteristic that she likes in other dudes, they must have absolutely no personality (and don't be a dick and say that I can at least fulfill that role for her).

This is never more true than when we watch The Bachelorette. She always favors the most generic looking dudes on the planet. Like, this season, it got down to the final three, and she liked the guy who nobody can remember. Does anybody even know that dude's name? I'll call him Billy. Seriously, if Billy just disappeared, would anyone have any questions? I'm not sure Billy didn't just join the show in like week six (By the way, my pick was Tanner, the only guy who actually stood up for the super drunk guy from the first episode, because, yeah, we've all gotten too drunk before. Also, he made jokes about how he couldn't believe he was still around, and I respect that sort of self-awareness). Can you name one thing Billy has done outside of being accused of being a virgin? No, because the only memorable thing about him was an interaction sparked by another person. He's as impactful as wallpaper, and that's the type of guy my wife digs.

Although the dudes she likes are good looking; they're not great looking. These fellas ain't Brad Pitt, and I think it bothers me way more that they are somewhat attainable. Like, if you're going to admit to your husband that you think another man is attractive, at least aim for the stars. Instead, she's aiming for a weekend getaway in Branson, Missouri.

Still, I put a ring on it; we've been married for almost two years, so she's basically stuck with me at this point. Oh, and to be fair, she's not my type either, but we'll get into that next time.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tough Enough Is Hot Garbage, And I Can't Stop Watching It

I have watched every episode of Tough Enough this season. I don't know why I have done this, because this show is hot garbage. They manage to not do anything well. Somehow no group of people have really come across as likable or interesting in this show. And yet I watch week after week. I am an idiot. I understand that I like pro wrestling, but I don't like pro wrestling enough to justify this. This is awful. But I may as well get a blog post out of it and break down each group of people, and point out who is the worst of the worst, and, even though it is not anything to hang your hat on, who sucks the least.

The Hosts
Worst of the Worst - Chris Jericho
This hurts, because I am a devoted Jerichoholic. Chris Jericho will probably forever be one of my five favorite wrestlers of all time. His best was as good as anybody's in sports entertainment. But man, he makes me very uncomfortable as a host. Everything just seems forced with him, and he rarely looks comfortable. If he isn't forcing himself into tight clothing, he is trying to force a smile, and neither looks like an enjoyable experience. Jericho is a natural entertainer, but he is proof that hosting is not as easy as it looks.

Best of the Worst - Renee Young
Renee Young actually does a nice job with things, but this show doesn't need a whole lot of hosting, so having two hosts is pretty dumb. I would lean towards keeping Renee since she's much more natural, and she made me laugh pretty hard when she gave the Gabi the side-eye after she got eliminated. 

The Judges
Worst of the Worst - Hulk Hogan
(Note: I actually wrote this a day before the controversy from late last week, and compared to that, Tough Enough has not even made a dent in his legacy, but I don't want to get into anything that important in what is essentially just my stupid thoughts on a crappy reality show. The silver lining of all of this is that he's no longer going to be a judge, so, yay?)
This is why this show is such garbage. It makes the wrestlers I loved growing up seem way less likable. Hulk tries to do the damn yes chant every time Daniel Bryan is introduced, and in his mind, he probably thinks he's putting over Bryan, but he's that old guy who is still trying to act cool instead of realizing it's way cooler to just understand that you're an adult so you don't have to worry about acting cool anymore. Childhood Me loves you, Hulk Hogan, but to ensure that love, I'd like to see you less.

Best of the Worst - Daniel Bryan
Compared to most people, I am not that big of a Daniel Bryan fan. I like him; but I don't see him as the greatest pro wrestling thing that has ever come into existence, so that puts me in the minority. Still, the guy is incredibly likable, and as Enzo Amore would say, "Ya can't teach that." He's definitely the most consistently good thing about the show, and he was part of my favorite moment of the season, but we'll get to that later.

The Ladies
Worst of the Worst - Gabi
Gabi didn't know what a promo was, so she did terrible in that challenge (Warning: This is painful to watch). 

Then she never learned what a promo was after that. At least she got cut.

Best of the Worst - Amanda
I know everyone would expect me to say Sara Lee, but I'm not going to. Sara Lee hasn't really shown much of anything, but she has a couple things going for her. She seems nice, and she's just plain enough that the average wrestling fan thinks they have a shot with her, even though she is way, way too hot for the average wrestling fan. Amanda is probably the best looking one left, and she has done pretty well in most challenges, so she deserves to go far, but she'll be ousted the first time they put her in the bottom three.

The Dudes
Worst of the Worst - ZZ
You can be a fat guy and be a successful professional wrestler, but the fat guys who succeed aren't just random fat guys with some good luck. They're athletes, and their cardio is off the charts. ZZ does not have this going for him as he consistently gets blown out in every physical challenge and doesn't have much of a concept of what a pro wrestler is, and I don't think the WWE needs a Eugene character without any wrestling ability. ZZ is just a fat guy who is out of shape and just wants to make children smile. He would make an ideal Mall Santa.

Best of the Worst - Tanner
In any competition that is not MMA, I will always root for the MMA guy, so Tanner was my guy from the start. I knew he would destroy people in anything involving cardio, and he has done that. Not only that, he destroyed the police in a course that they had trained to excel in. Most importantly, he realized that he's not the most dynamic character, so instead of trying to develop charisma, he's just trying to hit on the ladies of the house. Also, his actions led to the best moment of the show when he basically tricked Chelsea into kissing him. The judges reaction was important as Paige and Hulk were rambling about how it was awkward, weak, and he had no game. Finally, Daniel Bryan, the voice of reason, finally pipes in, and says, "I thought it was pretty smooth...he got the kiss." Was it a total scumbag maneuver? Of course it was, but nobody got hurt, so it worked. It was a smooth move, and I'm glad Daniel Bryan pointed that out.

As you can see, this show is not good. Even some of the bests only get half-hearted praise, because the show is pretty half-hearted in its delivery. It's really an awful show, and yes, I will continue to watch.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Are The Best Ages For Your Favorite Team To Win A Championship?

The Effectively Wild podcast had an interesting conversation a couple weeks ago. The situation is this: Your (possibly hypothetical, as in my case) child's favorite team will win three, and only three, championships in his/her lifetime. What ages would you want them to experience those championships? It really got me thinking as there are a lot of benefits for nearly any age and winning a championship. Still, I feel like the following ages (consider the ages approximate as there isn't much difference between 45 and 47) would be the best three years to get that title.

1. Age 11
You need to get a championship during their formative years, but at the same time, you don't want it to be too young of an age. The Bulls won their first title when I was just six, and it didn't mean as much when they were winning those titles, because it became expected. It was still great, but I feel it could have been greater. Also, the Cubs had a good year when I was five, but I don't remember it. Meanwhile, they had another good year when I was 14, and I cried when they got eliminated from the playoffs by the Braves. Is 14 a little old to be crying about sports? Well, it was either cry about sports or have sex with girls, and I had zero interest in the latter. That is why I feel that age 11 is a good balance. I think everybody finds loving sports way too much totally acceptable at that age, and it is late enough that you can fully remember and enjoy the experience.

2. Age 45
This is an approximate age, but it gives a chance for your child to share a championship with his or her child. I mean, once you're an adult, you're probably not getting the same sort of joy out of a championship, but sharing it with a child would probably be pretty boss. The first one is a no-brainer, and I feel like this is a necessity if they are going to have children. Obviously, without children, it loses some luster, but that probably still means that the kid is drinking heavily and can still enjoy a championship even slightly past his or her prime.

3. Age 25
There is something to be said for 70 years old as you can share it with two other generations, but at that age, you really cannot care too much about sports. At that age, health can become a major issue, so I just don't see the risk outweighing the reward. Meanwhile, 25 is that sweet spot for sports fandom. You are young enough to still care way too much about sports and not have too many other responsibilities, but you are old enough where you could actually afford to go all out in your enjoyment. I mean, if you are ever going to make a random trip to see your team in the championship, this is the right time to do it. There isn't a significant other and kids holding you back, and it won't be that hard for you to convince a couple buddies to join along in the adventure.

You may get more nostalgic about the other titles, but this will be the one that you'll have the most vivid memories, and that is why it has to be the third age that you would want your child to experience that championship feeling. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Trivago Guy Would Like To Have Sex With You

This is something that has been on my mind for a while, and I'm guessing that this has been on your mind as well, as how the hell can you not think about the Trivago guy? He wants what is best for you, for you to get the best hotel deal around, but does anyone think that this man has no ulterior motives? I mean, come on, the Trivago guy is clearly trying to have sex with you. And if you feel as if the "you" I am referring to cannot possibly refer to you, well, guess what? You're wrong, the Trivago guy loves sex, and he will sex you while getting you an excellent deal on a hotel.

The Trivago guy is known for great deals on hotels, but even more well known is that he has that smoky voice and seems to be a little too fit for a guy his age. Speaking of that, you could convince me his age was anywhere from 18-75. The question then becomes, does Trivago make you look old, or does Trivago keep you young? Is the Trivago Guy immortal? As you're contemplating these questions, this silver fox is plotting, as he tries to find a way into your pants.

The one thing you won't notice in his online dating profile is his height. I mean, are we sure he's not a little person?
Like, you assume that his shirt is just a little big, and his legs look just a little short. But can we be certain that the shirt isn't just a polo that drapes over his tiny body? Are those jeans or Extra Small Capris? Those shoes are a size 5 tops. He seemed nice looking in his online dating profile, and he did get you a really great deal on your hotel, so you give him some more time to impress you when you see this.
I mean, yeah, that is as derpy of a face as possible, but that is just the next step in his plan, ensuring that you underestimate him. Never underestimate Trivago Guy or the great deals you will get on his website. And are all those numbers even necessary? That's a lot of numbers, it looks like at least 30 different numbers up there. So numbery and confusing. Oh no, I'm fading fast...

Don't worry folks. That was just a dramatic interpretation of what could happen, as The Trivago Guy is passionate about trying to have sex with you, but he's still more passionate about making it easy for you to find great deals on hotels.

Trivago: Great for hotels, Awful for Abstinence.

Monday, July 20, 2015

1996 Lex Luger Was One of the Greatest Wrestlers Ever

One thing that never stops astonishing me is how great pro wrestling was. i just kind of assumed that I was a dumb kid who was easily amused. This is actually also true, but looking back on things, there were so many guys doing great things that I did not pick up on when watching it the first time around. Lex Luger is an excellent example of this as he is basically just remembered as just a muscled-up dude who was only important because he was the only muscled-up dude WCW had. He had a good look but offered nothing else. That is definitely not the case.

I think this is partly because of The Narcissist and Lex Express era in WWE when he never really was able to build momentum, although winning the 1993 Body Slam Challenge is a legendary accomplishment that still holds up today.

Still, instead of getting him a win over Yokozuna, they found some convoluted way to instead get the belt on Bret Hart while letting Lex Luger slowly fade away.

It looked like WCW was going to use him in the same way as he debuted on the first episode of Nitro and made an impact by...standing there?

Yeah, he just stood there. I guess he kind of looked around a little bit. It kind of took away from the impact when he did finally do something in protecting Hulk Hogan from the Dungeon of Doom. Then, he challenged Hogan, lost without ever having a real chance at winning.

But then something amazing happened. Lex Luger became the most inexplicable member of the Dungeon of Doom. This sounds terrible, but it actually led to the best stretch of Lex's career. He never really split from the Dungeon, but they kind of faded away from each other. Still, Lex Luger played the gutlees heel to perfection. There is no moment that better exemplifies this than this interview with him and Sting interacting with The Road Warriors. Everything Lex Luger says here is amazing.

Quickly, here are the four best things about Lex Luger this interaction.
4. "Stinger, tell 'em I'm from Chicago."
3. When the Road Warriors come out, Luger immediately gets behind Sting.
2. "If you want a Chicago Street Fight, you got it...what is a Chicago Street Fight anyway?"
1. "We'll pro wrestle you anywhere, anytime."

We'll pro wrestle you anywhere, anytime. We'll...pro...wrestle...you...anywhere...anytime. Every word is perfect. I will never stop laughing about that sentence. I would divorce my wife and marry that sentence. This may be one of the ten best promos of all time.

One time, he missed out on a title shot, because he got stuck in traffic and couldn't make it to the arena on time. He got another title shot the next week, so he camped outside the arena the night before to make sure he wouldn't miss it again.
He still lost, but at least he had plenty of potassium.

Still, that Lex Luger was putting together things like this and was still somewhat involved with the Dungeon of Doom sucked some ass, not any fault of Luger's though. I mean, just look at what he does during Road Block's Monday Nitro debut.

Luger did get him up on the third try, but I have a feeling he would have kept dangerously dropping the poor guy and shrugging his shoulders all night long if he had to.

Somehow, 1996 Lex Luger fulfilled all of the potential that one would assume when first looking at the guy. He always had the look, but he finally combined a perfectly realized character along with a hilarious worker who endangered jobbers for the entertainment of the fans. 1996 Lex Luger, you truly were The Total Package.