Fier Thy Words

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Don’t Ask Me What I’m Doing After College

by Scott Spinelli (Funny How?)

1/31/08

They say you’re not supposed to talk about two things at a bar: religion and politics. Since I haven’t really been to temple since my bar mitzvah (that’s more than eight years ago for you gentiles out there) and I’m about as politically informed as the eggplant parmigiana in my refrigerator, I’m going to add another no-no:

“So what are your job plans when you graduate?”

I hate that question for a number of reasons, but largely because my response pales in comparison to that of the person asking. People don’t generally ask questions like that, in my experience, because they’re genuinely curious. They ask as a front, so they can tell you how great their job is.

You can almost hear them counting down the seconds before they can finally give up the charade of listening to you, and blurt out their situation.

“Well, I’m not sure, I might go back and live with my – ”

“Wow, really…That’s awesome. Yeah, I’m going to the city to work for JPMorgan. I mean, no big deal really. Entry level sort of thing, I’m starting out at 75 thousand a year, so whatever.”

“Oh, you see, that’s funny because I was offered that exact same position, but turned it down. I accepted something a lot lower-paying, based out of my parents’ house, so…”

I don’t really say that last part, it’s mainly in my head. The truth is most people don’t have any idea about what they’re doing after they graduate. In fact, most of us don’t even know what we’re doing at the moment.

Ask anyone around you, point blank, “What are you doing right now?” You see that glazed-over look in their eyes. Thought so.

Whatever it is I wind up doing in the future, I can almost certainly rest assure it tops some of the “jobs” I’ve had in recent past.

Most recently, I attempted to work at Barnes & Noble. Let me make one thing clear: it’s not as easy as it seems. There are several rounds of interviews, practical demonstrations, take-home exams, strength exercises, proof of family bloodline requirements, etc.

My attempt was foiled almost immediately. In line for the first interview, I heard a simple question asked of the woman being interviewed at the time.

“Who are some of your favorite authors?”

I completely freaked out. All of the sudden, I couldn’t think of any books I had ever read. I had to leave the line and go around the store to find an author I recognized. The only thing I could think of was R.L. Stine. He was the only author I could remember having read more than one book by.

At that moment, I realized the ultimate problem with trying to work at a bookstore, albeit in the café. Those who don’t read will have a problem selling people books.

My shining moment (or gaggle of moments, as it was), came the summer after my freshman year.

If I’m anything, I’m proud of my heritage, at least the Italian side. So, what better way, I figured, to represent my family than to work for a true, homemade Italian pizzeria – Domino’s.

Not looking to make a career out of peddling assorted types of breadsticks, I found myself often messing around to enjoy my time there.

Don’t worry, I didn’t do anything disgusting. I’m talking Disney-type fun.

For instance, at one point during the summer, my manager wanted me to have a name tag in case the regional inspector came to our store. The problem was the only one left was the one her son used. No big deal, right? I guess not, unless you think I look like a “Carlos.” In a week or so, I got fed up with being Spanish. I changed the name tag to Giuseppe. Real Italians selling real Italian cuisine.

One other particularly interesting point of silliness came from a simple jousting session. Another delivery person and I would fight with the instruments used to make the pizza. Call it passion, call it idiocy, but for whatever reason, we got so caught up in the duel, we forgot to cut the pizza. After the delivery was made, a phone call came in to the store.

“Umm, I’m sorry, but the pizza I just ordered wasn’t cut.”

My friend answered, stone-faced.

“Well, do you have a knife?”

That’s the mark of a good job. Does it matter that only a month after that phone call we were both “laid off?” Maybe. Maybe not. What’s truly important is: does the job yield enough stories to make a girl laugh at a bar? If the answer is yes, then stay away from talking about whatever job you have coming up next.

Scott Spinelli’s column appears every Thursday in The Daily Orange. If he could have one superpower, it would be to have that “sore throat” voice constantly.

January 31, 2008 Posted by | Spinelli | Leave a comment

‘Shea’ Hey to the new King of Queens: Mets deal for Johan Santana!

mets-johan.jpg    johan-mets.jpg    santana-jersey.jpg
Calling all Mets fans- you don’t have to hide any longer.

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Mets agreed to trade for 2 time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a package of four prospects consisting of CF Carlos Gomez and pitchers Kevin Mulvey, Delois Guerra and Philip Humber.

The trade is pending the completion of a contract extension, as Santana has one year and 13 million dollars on his current deal. Santana is believed to be seeking a deal in the range of 6 or 7 years at a cost of between 120 and 140 million. The Mets have maintained they are looking for an extension of 5 years.

The Mets and Santana have 72 hours to complete an extension.

USA Today first reported the trade, which I first heard about from Metsblog.com.

I really wanted to pretend I was a member of the media in announcing this on my blog, and so i did it.

After the disappointing end of last season, the Mets needed to make a big splash, and Johan Santana certainly qualifies. This move, once official of course, puts the Mets right back onto the radar and into a playoff contender once again. Santana is a proven ace, and moving to the National League and pitcher friendly Shea Stadium (for next year anyway) will only contribute to what should be an dynamite year.

Props to Omar Minaya for getting this done and re-energizing a fan base that was desperate to matter again, and equally desperate to put the bad memories of last year’s collapse behind them.

Way to go Omar, way to go.

And for the first time out of my mouth in what feels like forever….

LETS GO METS!

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Sports | Leave a comment

Update

Hey everyone-

Firstly, thanks for the support- In the first week I had the new site open to viewing I got over 200 visits so thanks and keep on checking in!

Secondly, I changed the movie review section completely, and i’m still working on it, but check it out if you get a chance.

I added more quotes to the Scrubs page, and I’m constantly searching the web and episodes for more.

I already have some crazy ideas for more top 10 lists like the my TV character list and also with the Super Bowl less than a week away expect a big post later in the week with my prediction and thoughts

Lastly, dont be shy and comment on a post or one of the pages and even feel free to make suggestions or to argue with something I said.

Your opinion is no less important than mine, although mine are published on a blog so maybe they are slightly louder.

Thanks again!

Love you all-

Adam

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Say Hello To…An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

1/28/08

vito.jpg                                         scarface.jpg

Can you believe how quickly January has flown by? I guess as the saying goes time flies when you’re wasting your life away…

…But seriously, this past weekend was spent primarily indoors as I guess somewhere between the sub-zero temperatures and the number of friends abroad there just wasn’t a lot to do Friday and Saturday night.

However, not going out didn’t mean not having a productive weekend- no, I didn’t open a notebook or textbook (or my book bag for that matter)- but productive in the sense that I finally took the time to watch two of the most recognizable films- arguably of all time- in the Godfather and Scarface.

I had always been under the assumption that the two films were a lot alike (and not because Al Pacino happens to play a main character in both) but because of the mafia/drug world/crime theme going on.

Before I get into both films, I’ll give a warning right now that if like me prior to this weekend, you have not seen either film, go watch them and come back because there will be some spoilers along the way. If you don’t care, then lets dive right in…

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Ill start first with The Godfather. Mentioning the Godfather generally is accompanied with the phrase “greatest movie ever made”, and according to the American Film Institute, it ranks second only to Citizen Kane (a film I also HIGHLY recommend for anybody who appreciates cinematography), and IMDB has it ranked numero uno on it’s list of the top 250 movies of all time, as voted on by movie goers.

I am somewhat surprised at myself for taking so long to see The Godfather, not only because I love movies and this one is supposedly among the greatest ever made, but because one of my favorite TV shows ever is The Sopranos, a drama based on the life of members of La Cosa Nostra (the Mafia).

The Godfather, starring the mega famous Marlon Brando as Don (Boss, Tony Soprano character of the film) Vito Corleone, a very young (and at the time relatively unknown) Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, youngest son of Vito, Diana Keaton as Michael’s girlfriend and eventual second wife, and Robert Duvall as family Consigliere (counselor or adviser to the boss, Silvio from Sopranos was Tony’s consigliere).

Aside from having a star studded cast, the film itself did not disappoint.

Beginning with the Wedding of Vito’s daughter, Connie, you are taken into the world of “The Godfather” (Brando) and you watch as he balances celebrating his daughter’s wedding while also conducting business inside at the same time. The power and respect he has gives you an idea as to how commanding a character he is.

The majority of the first part of the film is to show how things work in the Corleone family, as the principle rules are that the Family always comes first, whether it’s a personal matter or a business matter.

The best early example of this is when The Don is asked a favor by his Godson, Jonny Fontain (a fictional celebrity Singer/Actor), to land a role in an upcoming film which has been denied by the studio head. The Don sends Tom (Duvall) out to California to take care of things. After being initially threatened and turned down, he is invited to dinner with the studio exec, whom once again declines to work with Jonny. Tom leaves in the middle of the meal, telling the exec that The Don likes to be immediately notified of bad news.

The next scene cuts to the exec waking up from his sleep, covered in blood, but not his own. In one of the most famous scenes in movie history, the exec removes his sheets to reveal the severed head of a horse he owned, which he had shown off and bragged about to Tom prior to their meal. The scene shows just how bad an of an idea it is to turn down a request of Don Vito Corleone. Consequently, Jonny receives the part in the film, as we later see an enormous bouquet of flowers delivered from Jonny to Vito, thanking him.

The real meat of the film revolves around the rise of Michael, who following the shooting of Vito in a fruit market, is visiting the hospital one night to check up on his father, and realizes that nobody is on guard to protect him. Upon realizing this, Michael shows the first real signs that he is ready to step out from the quiet, polite war solider he is introduced to us as, and hides his father while convincing a group of assassins that the hospital is in fact being protected. When Michael encounters an officer who we later learn to be corrupt, the officers breaks Michael’s jaw after refusing to leave the hospital, where he was not supposed to be.

What was really well done in this movie, among other things, was the way in which you see the rise of Michael, from this very reserved, almost under appreciated member of this big crime family, to eventually succeeding his father and taking over the family. Among the other notable parts of the movie are when Michael takes it upon himself to deal with some of the issues on his own, much to his family’s surprise. Another very famous scene is in the Italian restuarant, when Michael retrieves a gun from the bathroom and executes (figuratively and literally) the plan of taking out the corrupt cop and Mafioso behind the hit on Vito.

Michael goes into hiding in Italy, falls in love with a local girl and marries her, only to be discovered and narrowly avoid a hit on his life, which results in the death of his new bride. Upon returning home, he reconnects with Kay (Diane Keaton) and marries her. Following the death of his older brother, an apparent heir to the thrown, Sonny, Michael continues his rise to the top after he is handpicked by his recovering father to lead the family.

After Vito dies of a heart attack playing with one of his Grandsons, Michael is able to (with the advice of his father) figure out who within his own family has betrayed them, and also succeeds in taking out the heads of the 5 major crime families, flexing his muscle and earning newfound respect.

As the movie ends, Michael officially takes over as Godfather, ringing in the dawn of a new era in the Corleone family.

All in all, While I would probably stop short of considering it the greatest movie ever made, I have no issues with anybody making the case that it is such.  The movie, while very long, was cinematic art at it’s best, with a dynamic cast and memorable performances all around.

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In the interest of not turning a review into another summary, Scarface has also received it’s fair amount of hype, and I was equally as excited to  see Scarface, the movie about Tony Montana, Cuban defector arriving in Miami in 1980.

The film takes place in Miami and similarly to The Godfather, centers on the rise and fall of an Al Pacino played character.

In Scarface, Tony Montana starts out running favors for a drug boss and works his way up the ladder, using his fearlessness and reckless abandon to stop at nothing to achieve his goal of getting to the top.

I thought the film was good but hardly great.  Michelle Pfeiffer plays the female lead as the girlfriend of the the boss Tony starts to work for, and eventually marries Tony during his rise.  Her character was sort of useless in my mind, as Tony initially becomes completely obsessed with getting her to fall for him.  Once he gets the power and the money he seems to lose interest in her, as she continues to waste away her days sitting by a pool snorting coke all day.

Some of the better aspects of the film were the overall performance of Pacino who proved that his best years were clearly before the turn of the century, as he actually sounded convincing as a cuban drug lord, hell bent on taking over.

You also have to appreciate that 1980’s backdrop, because nothing beats 80’s music in Miami, which seems to stuck in time should you visit.  From what I hear parts of Miami are still living in the 80’s, and good for them.  They were better times then these.

Back to the movie, Pacino takes command of the movie from start to finish, and even when he shows compassion by refusing to kill a member of the media who is traveling to the UN with his family, about to expose the underworld Tony was being asked to protect by his business associate. Not wanting to kill a wife and their children, Tony aborts the mission, sealing his own fate in the process.

Although the plot is pretty predictable, hearing the word fuck over 200 times never got old, and the movie was entertaining.  It was also long, and unlike Godfather, the movie had a few parts where things sort of dragged out and stalled.

All in all, The Godfather was the better movie, but both were very entertaining and worth watching.

John Elway finally won that elusive Super Bowl at the end of his career, while last year director Martin Scorsese finally won an Oscar after years of being snubbed.

And after years and years of being embarassed to admit I had never seen them, I can finally say that yes, I have seen The Godfather and I have seen Scarface.

And neither movie disappointed.   If you for some reason have yet to see either, you should probably get on that.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Movies | Leave a comment

A Distrubing New Trend In My Life

1/26/08

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There are a few things which have always been synonymous with Adam Fier.

The Mets. Sports. Watching too much television. Underachieving in school. McDonald’s and the #2 extra value meal (2 cheeseburgers). And possibly the one thing that you could always associate with me which without fail could always be found in my refrigerator was Coca Cola.

My best friend Joe and I, throughout all of middle and high school and even into college probably consumed enough Coke to earn stock in the company. I’m talking about multiple cans a day when we were home, and then the largest sizes conceivable when going out to the mall or a restaurant or baseball game, etc.

I honestly cannot come up with a metaphor which would accurately describe just how much Coca-Cola I used to drink, and continued to drink up until about 2 months ago.

At first, I tried cutting back, which basically meant limiting myself to a can a day or attempting to only order the smaller sizes while resisting the always tempting free refill. Is there anybody out there who doesn’t rank the free-refill among the greatest decisions the restaurant business has ever come up with?

The problem with Coke is how addictive it is, and how dependent you can become on the caffeine (I didn’t know thats how it was spelled either).

And while you can make all the clever connections to the drug, I can tell you first hand that the headaches I started to get when I first stopped drinking Coke were similar to the headaches I get when my mother starts asking me how to use the computer in our house thats been sitting there for over two years now.

However in going along with my efforts to revolutionize my diet, the first big step I took was cutting out Coke all together.

Now this was during Thanksgiving break 2 months ago, and to this day I can say with 100% honesty, I have not had a single sip of regular soda since the day I got back to school this past November.

Initially, my first ideas were to just stop drinking all soda, and replace them with water and a variety of juices. Little did I know that Juices, for all the nuritional value they offer you, contain almost as many calories as soda. So my Juicy Juice I started getting hooked on (fruit punch flavored, just like back in the day when it was center piece of my brown bagged lunches) was actually not all that much better for me than Soda, as far as trying to shed some pounds were concerned.

I had flirted in the past with trying diet soda’s, however I had become so used to the exceptionally sweet taste of regular soda that I was just unable to adjust to the alien-like tastes of a diet beverage. And if you you think Coke Zero had a chance, the after taste it gives you made me miss the morning breathe I worked so hard to brush away earlier in the morning.

I finally decided that after 6 or 7 weeks of being soda free to give diet soda another chance, hoping that since it had been so long since I had a sip of a cola of any kind, my tastes would have changed enough to tolerate a change.

Starting with Sprite zero, which I can tell you tastes an awful lot like Sprite, was a good way to get my feet wet in this whole process. However the biggest and most shocking transition took place less than 2 weeks ago, when I was at the dining hall and decided to give Diet Pepsi a second go around.

There were two main problems I had with Diet Pepsi. The first and most obvious was the fact that it was a diet drink with an awful after taste I couldn’t stand. The second problem was my loyalty to Coca-Cola brand products (which is why I only drink Dasani water if I have a choice), and even though Syracuse is a Pepsi campus, I always used to make sure my fridge was stocked with Coke.

However on this night, a shift was made and a new era begun, as I legitimately enjoyed that watered down sampling of Diet Pepsi, so much so I considered getting a refill (but ultimately declined because I was too lazy to get back up).

And maybe you’re thinking, “we’ll thats ok Adam, it was a one-time deal, what are the chances it will stick?”

Well the very next day, I went to the vending Machine and spent $1.50 on a Diet Pepsi for the first time in my existence. Never before has money from my pocket been spent towards a diet beverage of any kind, yet there I was, willingly succumbing to the power which was taking over me, known as Diet Pepsi.

Since then, I have been back to the dining hall where I again got myself some DP and then went food shopping the other day and bough a 12 pack, officially marking the beginning of a new age in my life.

I can’t say I’m proud of myself, because Diet Pepsi goes against everything I stand for, not to mention the fact that all I keep hearing about is how Diet soda leaves you at a higher risk of getting cancer thanks to the Nutrasweet. However as I sit here right now, slightly parched and in need of a cold, refreshing beverage to quench my thirst, all I can think about (no, not the chemotherapy I probably am now destined for), but that small little baby blue can of goodness, known as Diet Pepsi.

While Coke will forever hold a very special place in my heart, I no longer dream about those cute, computer generated polar bears at the North Pole, guzzling down a icey cold Coke.

In fact the more I think about it, maybe the reason those guys are slowly becoming extinct has nothing at all to do with Global Warming.

Maybe its time they, like me, made the switch to the dark side. And of course when I say dark side…

dp-can.jpg…I mean beautiful baby blue side.

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Personal | 1 Comment

Growing Old Not a Bad Deal

1/24/08

by Scott Spinelli (appearing in today’s Daily Orange)

Funny how?

If you’re looking for a movie to take a date, or even prospective date, to, look no further than “The Bucket List.”

I know I’m a bit late, but I got around to seeing this “hysterical” comedy this past weekend, and may I say, it was a joyride. Terminally ill patients, recycled jokes and a Morgan Freeman voiceover. The only thing it was missing was some zany Ben Stiller cameo.

Alright, fine, maybe it’s not the best choice for wooing a female. I don’t know why I even saw the movie to begin with. To be fair, the writing was on the wall, and people even warned me against it.

Initially I asked my dad to go with me.bucket-2.jpg

“You try turning 60, and see if you want to go see a movie about two terminally ill patients.”

Fair enough.

That Saturday night was easily the most depressing Saturday night of my life. There, I am, in a crowded movie theater, with two of my friends, and I’m almost in tears at the end of this movie.

I don’t know what it was that I expected. It wasn’t as if there was really any chance for anything different to happen. The word “terminal” really only means one thing when it comes to sickness.

Really, if you want to mess with an older relative, take them to see this movie. It’s a sort of “stay-away-from-the-light” film.

“Alright Grandpa, we’re going to go see ‘The Bucket List,’ I just figured you’d like to know what’s on-deck.”by
That being said, while I did expect to contract a disease on the ride home, I can’t wait to get old. For clarification purposes, when I say old, I’m really talking about people that are older than 75.

Once you’ve reached a certain age, you can really just do whatever you want, within reason.

For instance, a few years back I was at a family party where, to gain entry, you had to say which way you voted in the Dewey-Truman election. I’m eating something, talking to someone and out of the corner of my eye, I see a woman doing some sort of shimmying. Turns out, she was just taking her leg off so she could sit in comfort. That’s all, just removing a leg.

Younger than 75, you get a look for scratching your nose. Older than 75, limbs can be removed without a second glance.

My grandmother, while we were eating dessert at my house, once sneezed so hard her teeth came out. We all laughed, though we did our best to hide it. Actually, my brother fell off his seat so hard I thought he had broken his wrist trying to break his fall. But, as for my grandma, she simply got up, washed her teeth, came back, and continued on, as if nothing happened.

That’s the second great thing about being old. You’ve been through so much at that point; no one gives you any crap. As an example, my grandpa puts so much sugar in his cereal in the morning you’d think he was Buddy the Elf. But, while we all want to scream at him, no one really says anything. There’s something about having been through more World Wars than wives that gives him a pass.

Another thing I’m excited for with regard to getting old is gift-getting. At 21, when I get a gift certificate, I have as long as I want to use it, which often creates too much anxiety.

You know, I could use another pair of jeans, but why don’t I wait and get a pair of shorts. But, will I want shorts then? I really like these jeans, but shorts would be the smarter choice. Then again, it stays cold here for a while, but I don’t have too many pairs of shorts, or do I?

When I’m 75, that gift instantly begins to expire the second you get it. If you want “27 Dresses” on DVD, go out and get it. And when you’re that old, you don’t even have to lie about why you’re buying it. Everyone knows it’s because of Katherine Heigl and how incredibly large her, uh, sense of humor is.

Well, maybe some things won’t change.

Scott Spinelli’s column appears every Thursday, and he, like most seniors, can’t get enough of class-assigned readings.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Spinelli | Leave a comment

My Favorite TV Characters

1/23/08

This is a legitimate, hardcore top 10 list. I wanted to update the top5/10 list page and while I’ll be adding this to it, I decided to go all out and really put forth some effort into this (hence the fact pictures make their first appearance in the new blog.

I tried hard not to pick the main characters on shows because that would be too easy and too generic, so I put some thought into this and came up with a list I’m sure has some flaws (I’m willing to bet my top choice will be questioned) but for the most part im pretty proud of this.

If only I worked this hard on anything else.

So here they are, my 10 favorite TV show characters, along with why they make my list and some great quotes I found from each.

10. Susie Green, Curb Your Enthusiasm (portrayed by Susie Essman)

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On a show featuring the creator of arguably the most successful sitcom in television history, what makes Curb (and any other show for that matter) are the supporting characters. While Larry David is genius when it comes to handling the situations only he manages to involve himself with, my favorite character on the show is the wife of Larry’s friend and manager, Jeff. Susie Green to me takes the cake in terms of giving the show a burst of energy, whether its calling her loving husband a fat fuck or referring to Larry as a four-eyed fuck, Susie is never dull and never shy about saying what she really thinks, while having a mouth on her which dishes out the sort of profanity that you wouldn’t expect to hear from a middle aged mother and wife.

Memorable Quotes:

· [Larry steals the head of a doll from Jeff’s daughter’s collection] “You fat fuck! And you bald piece of shit! Where’s the fucking head?”

· [Thinking Cheryl is yelling at her] “Fuck you, you car wash cunt! I HAD A DENTAL APPOINTMENT!”

· Larry: “Not quite my cup of tea, but… y’know, uh, it’s nice.”

Susie: “All right, you know what? Fuck you… and fuck your tea.”

 

9. Stewie Griffin, Family Guy (voiced by Seth MacFarlane)

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I only recently really started to get hooked on Family Guy. I would occasionally watch the show when it premiered on Fox a few years ago, however after getting cancelled and brought back I never really gave the show a chance. However thanks to my roommates who are big fans of the show, I started watching it more regularly last year, and now I try to watch it as often as possible. One of the reasons is Stewie Griffin, the infant child of Peter and Lois. I, like many others, could not for the life of me figure out whether or not his parents understand him when he talks, while the family dog, Brian, engages in deep conversations with him. Regardless, between the fact that Stewie talks with a sophisticated, witty personality and seems to want nothing more in life than to kill Lois and rid himself of the family around him, Stewie probably ranks second on my list of cartoon characters behind somebody later on the list.

Memorable Quotes:

· “Damn you, vile woman, you’ve impeded my work since the day I escaped your wretched womb.”

· Stewie: “What the hell is this?”
Lois: “It’s your favorite honey, tuna salad.”
Stewie: “Oh, really, is that what it is? Because I could have sworn it was mayonnaise and cat food.”

· (to one of the prostitutes at Cleveland’s house): “So, is there any tread left on the tires? Or at this point would it be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?”

· “Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but you’re a total bitch.”

· (Lois finds a note in Chris’s pocket)
Lois: “Huh, what’s this? You know Stewie, Mommy doesn’t usually read things out of Chris’s pocket. She’s more respectful than that.”
Stewie: “Whatever helps you sleep at night, bitch.”

 

8. Dr. Mark Greene, ER (portrayed by Anthony Edwards)

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On a show that has been on 14 years now, if you can believe it, ER has cemented its place on the NBC go-to programming list, as year after year, despite the changes in characters, the show continues to be one of the more watched shows every week. Among the dozens and dozens of doctors on the show, my favorite was Dr. Mark Green, who always seemed to just make you feel as though everything was going to be alright. He was genuinely nice yet always seemed to be having issues needing his patience, whether it was his teenage daughter who accidentally allowed Mark’s newborn daughter to digest ecstasy, his ex wife his daughter lived with and subsequently left, and eventually his own health, Dr. Green really had a way of extinguishing the flames and ending up on the other side better than he started. One of the saddest and yet most powerful episodes of television I know I’ve ever watched was when Mark died due a brain tumor. Watching him spend his last days with his family while still trying to teach his daughter about living life the right way to the very end was emotional enough, until he saw as he helplessly, but peacefully died in his sleep.

Memorable Quotes:

· Dr. Elizabeth Corday: You might consider boarding school. She could use some structure
Dr. Mark Greene: I could sell her off to pirates.
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: You develop a sense of self worth, community, respect… it worked well for me.
Dr. Mark Greene: Yeah, but…
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: But what?
Dr. Mark Greene: You’re British.

· [On a rapist in trauma]
Malik: Let the bastard die.
Dr. Mark Greene: He’s a patient like any other. He gets our best effort.

· Dr. Elizabeth Corday: That’s it, Mark. I’m not stayin’ here anymore. Every faucet leaks; your toilet actually rocks.
Dr. Mark Greene: I kind of like that.
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: There are things scurrying about in the walls. Do you know what scurries about in walls, Mark?
Dr. Mark Greene: Bunnies?

· [to young patient] “Next time you have a pinata, make sure the other kids are done swinging at it before you dive for the candy, okay?”

7. Ari Gold, Entourage (portrayed by Jeremy Piven)

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The inner workings of Hollywood were brought to our eyes thanks to the dynamic job of Jeremy Piven who plays Ari Gold, mega-agent to pretty boy Vincent Chase on the HBO hit show Entourage. Another show I was slow to get into, by the time I started getting addicting midway through the second season one of the primary reasons was Ari. Nothing is better on the show then watching Ari rip into his ‘gaysian’ (gay and Asian) assistant, Lloyd, who somehow manages to put up with a never-ending stream of insults and stick by his bosses side when he loses his job. Ari is actually more complex than meets the eye, as he tries (poorly) to balance his personal life with the personal life of his biggest client. While the show is never dull, the writing that goes into Ari’s character seems to be on a different level than the rest of the show, as he is constantly both kissing the asses of those above him and around him, sacrificing his dignity should the situation require it. Ari cares as much if not more about Vince and his career then his own family, however its seeing the love and passion you know he has buried deep down about both which make you forgive him if he ruins his own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. You know you still want to hug it out with him.

Memorable Quotes:

· “So you come to me for advice. I’m gonna fucking cry. All right, here’s what you do. You deal with talent the same way that you deal with women. You have to make them believe that they need you more then you need them.”

· “Listen to me, Lloyd, do you want to make it in this business or fold shirts at a Chinese laundromat? Pledge.”

· [Ari is about to leave his kid’s birthday party for business reasons]
Ari’s Wife: Where are you going?
Ari Gold: They flew in the liver, and I gotta do the transplant.

· “Silence is fucking golden.”

· “Tell Drama he’s on the top of my list of things to do today, along with inserting needles in my cock!”

· “I didn’t go to the Lakers game because they were playing the fucking Bobcats… And I came here today because I thought this was a session on how my wife could learn to communicate, how to answer a question without a question, basic Humanity 101, which I thought, given your wall of fucking diplomas, you could easily fix, or if you couldn’t, you could give her a pill that would either fix it or make her a mute. But now, to turn around and gang up on me? I have work to do. I have hundreds of clients to deal with, and just so we’re clear, I don’t care about ANY OF THEM. They’re ALL just a number, like Wife #1 and Therapist #7… GOOD DAY!”

 

6. Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs (portrayed by John C. McGinley)

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The second doctor on the list, Dr. Cox has got to be one of the most entertaining characters you’re going to find on television. The mentor of main character J.D., even though he refuses to acknowledge it, Dr. Cox is best known for his fast talking rants and endless supply of girls names for J.D., while at the same time being a damn good doctor who underneath the hard ass outer shell he presents cares deeply about both his patients and fellow doctors, including the one who looks up to him the most. While Dr. Cox likes to walk around with his god-complex and opinionated speeches about how he hates everything from the Yankees payroll to Hugh Jackman. The best aspect of his character is when you get to see the human side he has, whether it was him breaking down at Ben’s funeral (his brother and law) or being an absolute mess when he accidentally kills 3 patients, the few moments where you get to see him connect with the rest of the Scrubs bunch makes a guy you love to hate, but ultimately just flat out love.

Memorable Quotes:

· “Okay, think of what little patience I have as, oh, I don’t know, your virginity. You always thought it would be there, until that night Junior Year when you were feeling a little down about yourself and your pal Kevin, who just wanted to be friends, well, he dropped by and he brought a copy of About Last Night and a four-pack of Bartels & James and woo hoo hoo, it was gone forever – just like my patience is now.”

· J.D.: Ooh, Dr. Cox, can I ask you something?
Dr. Cox
: The answer is yes, it was me who saw you doing leg lifts in the gym on that inflatable ball. It was quite the display of girl power.

· Dr. Cox: Oh, gosh, Shannon, thank you so much for clarifying my point by repeating it word for word. And now, in a reciprocal gesture, can I be included in the planning of your coming-out party?
J.D.: Is that a gay joke?
Dr. Cox: No, it’s a cotillion joke. My God, Newbie, it’s been two furiously frustrating years – how is it possible that you still don’t get me? I would never compare you to the gays. I like the gays – I like their music, I like their sense of style, I especially like what they’ve done with Halloween – but our thing is that you are a little girl. That’s who you are. But that’s really not fair…

· “You’d better go ahead and enjoy this while you can, Bob, because if your evil genie goes ahead and grants your wish and I’m gone forever, then the only one you’re going to be able to contend with around here is yourself. And when you really get to know *that* person, oh, dear God, you’ll scream so loud that Satan will want to tear up that contract he made with you at birth just so he can get some sleep.”

 

5. Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano, The Sopranos (portrayed by Dominic Chianese)

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In my opinion the most underrated character on what I also would argue is the greatest show in television history; Uncle Junior begins the series as the Boss of the family after Tony, out of respect for his uncle, steps aside to give Junior the spotlight. Unfortunately Junior’s reign is short lived, as he is incarcerated and begins to suffer from dementia. The immediate rise and subsequent fall of the guy they call Uncle June is really incredible, because throughout the entire series, he reminds you of the man he was and has you believing there might really be nothing wrong with him at all. Despite not being a true main character as the seasons progress, he is involved in arguably the most shocking moment in Sopranos history, when he shoots his nephew, apparently unaware he is doing so. Junior, like most of the other characters on the show, is a very complex personality, constantly struggling to deal with the realization he is past his prime while watching his family essentially move on without him. Plus if nothing else, you got to love those frames of his.

Memorable quotes:

· “Tony, if you’re gonna lie to me, tell me there’s a broad in the car waiting to tongue my balls.”

· “You heard about the Chinese godfather? He made them an offer they couldn’t understand”

· “When I was a little kid, no older than that, I always used to wonder why nobody collected prayer cards like they collected baseball cards. Thousands of bucks for Honus Wagner and jack shit for Jesus. “

· “Don’t be so fucking smart. Things could have gone the other way, my little newphew.”

· “That man is one cunt hair away from running all of North Jersey and I am that cunt hair.”

 

4. Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World (portrayed by Ben Savage)

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Call it a backhanded compliment, but a friend of mine always used to refer to me as Cory Matthews, because in his eyes, I- much like Mr. Matthews (as Mr. Feeney referred to him as), I was more or less remarkably average in everything I did. Now I can understand part of what he was saying, and while I know I’m both well below and slightly above average in a number of things, Cory really did give off this vibe that he was nothing more than your average kid. He had a loyal best friend, great parents who loved him and a cliché older brother and younger sister (plus a new born brother towards the end of the show). But Cory was as cool as they came, mixing up being a complete goof-off in class while also managing to reel in a girlfriend like Topanga Lawrence. As he got older, he never stopped being the kid we all knew him to be, and even though it was unrealistically incredible how the whole gang ended up going to college together (including Eric and Jack- Shawn’s), watch them all grow up was a lot of fun.

Memorable Quotes:

· “We’re gonna have a child? Wait, we’ve only kissed. I mean, I knew I was a good kisser, but *wow*.”

· “It was raining… you had an umbrella… I grabbed it, stuffed it down your throat, and then I opened it. Shawn, I Mary Poppinsed ya.”

· Cory: You are going to learn something from life every day. And make mistakes. And you’ll make good friends and Mr. Feeny will probably teach you every grade you’re ever in. And maybe someday you’ll fall in love with a woman as wonderful as Topanga. How would you like that?
Joshua Matthews: Yeah.
Cory: And be lucky enough to make a good friend as Shawn. How’d you like that?
Joshua Matthews: Good.
Cory: And when you’re not a little boy anymore, when the world has taught you how to be a man… Then you’ll still make mistakes. But your family, and all those good friends you’ve made along the way, will help you. And even though you’ll think the world has gone out of its way to teach you all the tough lessons, you’ll realize that it’s the same world that’s given you your family and those friends, you you’ll come to believe that no matter what happens, somehow the world will protect you, too. “Boy Meets World.” Now I get it.

· “Mom, Listen, I haven’t been together with Topanga for twenty-two years, but we *have* been together for sixteen. ‘Kay, that’s a lot longer than most couples have been together. I mean, when we were born, you told me that we used to take walks in our strollers together in the park. When we were two, we were best friends, I mean, I, I knew everything about this girl. I knew her favorite color. I knew her favorite food. Then we became six, you know, and Eric made fun of me because it wasn’t cool to have a best friend that was a girl or even know a girl, so for the next seven years I threw dirt at her. I like to call those “the lost years”. Then when I was thirteen, Mom, she put me up against my locker and she kissed me. I mean, she gave me my first kiss. She taught me how to dance. She was always talking about these crazy things and I never understood a word she said. All I understood was that she was the girl I sat up every night thinking about, and when I’m with her I feel happy to be alive. Like I can do anything. Even talk to you like this. So that’s, that’s what I feel is love, Mom… When I’m better because she’s here… and now she won’t be. So we’re finished.”

 

3. Dr. Christian Troy, Nip/Tuck (portrayed by Julian McMahon)

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I guess you could say that one of the themes of this list would be doctors, because Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck is probably the most complex character I’ve mentioned. Dr. Troy, one half of the very successful McNamara/Troy plastic surgery practice now located out in Hollywood, is the yang to Dr. Sean McNamara’s ying. There are a few things you can count on from Christian in almost every episode: He’ll be having sex as many as two times, with two different women (occasionally at the same time), he’ll make some degrading gay joke to their anesthesiologist Liz, he’ll reveal his emotional side when you least expect it, and you will get a glimpse of his tush. What makes Christian such a deep character is how he is able to have this human side about him you rarely see because of how hard he tries to conceal it. Even though Christian is usually doing his best to sleep with some chick he can then suggest a boob job for, the great thing about him is how much he loves his family, biologically and not. He can be this dark, unsympathetic person which makes you want to hate him, for instance having sex with a woman while making her wear a bag over her head, however seeing his love for his actual son (Matt) and adopted son (Wilbur) convinces you that even without a scalpel, you can see the man Christian really is on the inside.

Memorable Quotes:

· “We’re in the vanity business, Sean. It’s what we do. Appearance is everything to a kid. It’s how you fit in. Snip, snip, he feels better about himself, and you, sir, can make that happen. How cool is fatherhood?”

· “The line that divides the porn industry and the plastic surgery is a thin one. We’re both selling fantasy, aren’t we?”

· “I think I work better on women I’ve screwed. Once you’ve seen a woman’s cumface, you’ve seen her soul.”

· “If you’ll excuse me I’m going upstairs to pay somebody to pretend they like me.”

· “None of us get out alive. Now you can huddle in a group and face it one day at a time, or you could be grateful that when your body rubs against someone else’s, it explodes with enough pleasure that you can forget, even for a minute, that you’re only a walking pile of ashes.”

 

2. Eric Cartman, South Park (voiced by Trey Parker)

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You might be asking yourself why a character who is openly anti-Semitic, racist, sexist and any other ‘ist’ you can think of would be not only on my list, but ranked near the top of it. Well in the case of Eric Cartman, there may not be a more brilliantly created character on TV. Since the beginning of South Park, Cartman has always managed to stand out for a variety of reason, most notably his choice of language and intolerant personality. If I had a nickel for every time Cartman made some derogatory Jewish reference, I could probably buy the rights to the show from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. An interesting tid-bit of information I found out, South Park is actually a two-time Emmy award winning show, which shows you how legitimate a show it is, or how lacking the competition in that particular category was. Either way, Cartman is unquestionably the most valuable player on the South Park team, as he is never without a scheme or plan involving everything from getting a much anticipated trip to his favorite Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita or turning his hand into the next Jennifer Lopez. Like him or hate him, you have to respect his authoritay!

Memorable Quotes:

· Cartman: You so much as TOUCH kitty’s ass, and I’ll put a firecracker in your nutsack and blow your balls all over your pants.
Stan: Jesus, Cartman.
Cartman: Well, I’m just sayn’, man, seriously, don’t mess with kitty, man.

· Cartman: Yeah, well I sneaked around my mum’s closet too and saw what I’m getting. The Ultravibe Pleasure 2000.
Stan: What’s that?
Cartman: I don’t know but it sounds pretty sweet.

· I would never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried anything, I’d be like, EH. You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie. Eh, woman, you shut your mouth, and make babies.”

· It’s a man’s obligation to stick his boneration in a woman’s separation, this sort of penetration will increase the population of the younger generation.”

· Jewish Kid: Is anyone else having problems concentrating on this? I just can’t seem to concentrate.
Cartman: Maybe we should send you to a concentration camp.

1. Chandler Bing, Friends (portrayed by Matthew Perry)

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OH MY GAWWWD! IS THAT CHANDLER BING?! Yes Janice, Chandler Bing from Friends makes the cut because he is probably one of the characters from any TV show I’ve ever watched who I most relate to (I also named one of my cats Chandler after him). First and foremost, could he BE any more sarcastic? Hopefully you picked up on that Chandler-ism, because I pride myself on my ability to turn just about anything into a sarcastic comment, much like Chandler. On top of being (in my opinion) the funniest character on the show, like many of the other characters on my list there was more to him than just being funny. His relationship with Monica highlighted how emotional he can be, while his friendship with Joey showed how much child there was in him, even well into his 30’s. What made Chandler such a great character was how well he could balance being a complete goof off while also being serious when he really needed to be. Whether it was sneaking in watching the Thanksgiving day parade when the guys weren’t around or getting locked in an ATM vestibule with a super model and only having Joey figure out the situation through their own gibberish language, Chandler is pretty much the sort of person I hope I grow up to be, because he had a hot wife, a great sense of humor, an emotional underside and a group of Friends that were always there for him. (Theme song anybody?)

Memorable Quotes:

· “Yes, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the dumbest a person can look, you are definitely nineteen.”

· “You have to stop the Q-Tip when there’s resistance.”

· “Oh, yeah, I’m a gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I’ve missed the last… twelve hundred times.”

· Ross: I figured after work, I’d pick up a bottle of wine, go over there, and try to… woo her.
Chandler: Hey, you know what you should do? Take her back to the 1800’s when that phrase was last used.

· Chandler: I got her machine.
Joey: Her answering machine?
Chandler: No. Interestingly enough, her leaf blower picked up.

…In Syndication (just missed the cut)

  • Jack Bauer, 24 (Kiefer Sutherland)
  • Pauly ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, The Sopranos (Tony Sirico)
  • Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls (Lauren Graham)
  • Simon Cowell, American Idol (himself)
  • Celia Hodes, Weeds (Elizabeth Perkins)
  • Ali G/Borat/Bruno, Da Ali G Show (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  • George Costanza, Seinfeld (Jason Alexander)
  • Jack MacFarland, Will and Grace (Sean Hayes)
  • Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
  • Jim Halpert, The Office (John Krasinski)

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Television | Leave a comment

Heath Ledger 1979-2008

1/23/08

A quick word about the Heath Ledger tragedy.

No more than 3 hours before hearing about what happened, my roommate and I were watching the trailer for The Dark Knight in which Ledger plays the Joker, after which we spoke about him as an actor for a good ten minutes.

His death has got to rank up there among the more shocking, because of how recognizable he was but more so because of how young he was.

Sounds like he was a great guy, very down to earth and a loving father before everything else in his life, and hearing about his death was truly heartbreaking, not only because he was a better than average actor with his entire career ahead of him, but also because he was a father and a genuinely good person.

Rest in peace Heath.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Movies | Leave a comment

Let The Good Tynes Roll

1/21/08

I spent the better part of the morning figuring out a catchy play on words with the last name of Giants Kicker Lawrence Tynes, and while I went with ‘Let The Good Tynes Roll”, some of the other good one liners I heard either from newspapers or my roommate Matt were:

  • Tynes after Tynes
  • Closing Tynes
  • Third Tynes the Charm
  • About Tynes!
  • From the Worst of Tynes to the Best of Tynes

Needless to say, the Larry Tynes was only part of the story last night in Sunny Green Bay, Wisconsin.

For the third week in a row, the Giants were on the road and underdogs heading into their playoff match-ups, and following and impressive win 2 weeks ago in Tampa, and an improbable in last week in Dallas, all that stood in the way of Eli Manning and the Giants was the immortal Brett Favre, the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field (literally) and some history. Going into the game last night, the Packers had a near flawless record of 15-3 at home in the playoffs.

However as has been the case since post season football began 2 weeks ago, the New York football Giants were not going to let a legendary quarterback, field or zub-zero temperatures control their destiny.

Sixty minutes of football was not enough for either of these teams to punch their ticket for Arizona (site of Super Bowl XLII) as the teams took the third coldest game ever in Lambeau Field history to overtime.

I had said on Saturday that I expected a Green Bay win and that Sunday would produce one of the more memorable day’s in recent football history, and while the Patriots did enough to take their perfect run to 18-0 and a game away from a place in history no team has gone before, it was the NFC Championship game which provided one of the better games I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Going into the game, there were story lines all around. Whether it was Brett Favre trying to cap off his fairy tale season with a trip to the big game, or the weather conditions including temperatures hovering around -24 with the wind chill, Eli Manning and the Giants looking to win their record 10th consecutive game away from home, Eli being the last Manning standing or the Mystique of playoff football at Lambeau Field, the game had plenty to offer before the opening kickoff.

Once the ball was kicked off, the game did not disappoint.

The Giants scored early on two possessions ending in field goals, but the old guy in green wasn’t going down without a fight, as he connected on a 90 yard touchdown strike to give the Packers a 7-6 lead.

After taking on a field goal, Green Bay went into half up 10-6 with a bit of momentum after the Giants had a drive stall with a chance to get a score before the intermission.

The second half really did have it all, including not one but two productive scoring drives manufactured by Eli, a Brett Favre interception which was then fumbled and given back to Green Bay, some big time catches on both sides, strong defense down the stretch by the Giants and of course the special teams adventure that was Lawrence Tynes.

The Giants, with the score knotted up at 20, had a chance to go up with around 6 minutes left, and gave Tynes a relatively makable kick of 43 yards which he missed wide right.

However after a strong stand by the Giants defense, which really played very well, Tynes was given a second chance to book a trip to Tempe with an even more makable 36 yard attempt, which despite a high snap but great job by holder Jeff Feagles, was booted as wide right as a kick could be made.

The Green Bay faithful had to have been thinking divine intervention was taking place, as the Packers escaped for the time being and were headed to overtime, because 60 minutes of football in -24 degree wind chill aided temperatures just was not enough.

And after winning the coin toss, with Brett Favre at the helm, the script seemed to be falling into place, as the Packers were a field goal away from giving Favre the chance to walk out into the sunset.

However on this night, it was the boys from Jersey who would have the final say, as Brett Favre looked his age and threw a crushing interception to the Giants Corey Webster, who then allowed Eli and the offense to set up Tynes for a third try at glory.

And as it turned out, the third Tynes was the charm, as from 47 yards away, and despite the fact no kick had ever been made beyond 40 yards in Green Bay during a playoff game, a booming kick sent the Giants on their way to an improbable meeting and rematch with the New England Patriots.

The game was about as entertaining as a football game gets. Scoring, turnovers, drama, a legendary QB and two historic franchises battling for a shot to end a bid for the first 19-0 season in football history. The game lived up and far exceeded expectations, especially if you take into account the field conditions included the third coldest game ever played at Lambeau Field.

I know I predicted a Packer win, and when they were up 17-13 I felt pretty good, however I would be lying if I said I wasn’t filled with a rush of excitement when that final kick went through.

And so now the longest two weeks of the year begin, as 2 weeks from yesterday the annual spectacle that is the Super Bowl will take place, and somehow, someway, the New York football Giants will be part of it.

No matter how many times you say it or hear it, it really is unbelievable that this team is facing the Patriots in the biggest game sports has to offer.

This team played so miserably for periods of time this season that making the playoffs seemed like it may not happen, and getting a wild card spot and then a chance to trip up the Patriots perfect regular season ended up paying off tremendous dividends, as Eli had a great game with 4 tocuhdowns, and the Giants actually led by as many 12 points in the third quarter, giving New England a run for their money.

And now on the biggest stage, the Giants…yes those Giants, will get a second chance to make history. And when you really think about it, should they pull off the impossible, it could easily go down as the biggest upset in the history of the sport, if for no other reason than the Patriots with a win could just as easily go down as the greatest team to ever play the sport.

On a personal note, I could not be happier for my stepfather, Paul, who at 52 years old will get to watch his team play….IN PERSON!

Last night with my help, he and his brother booked a trip through the Giants, to go to Arizona for 4 days next week and see his beloved Giants try to make history.

The early line has the Patriots as 13 point favorite, and as has been the case the last 3 weeks, everybody will undoubtedly be predicting that the Patriots finish the job and put a 4th ring on their fingers in the last 7 years.

However these Giants have been playing their best football at the perfect time, and in this league as the G-Men have now proved three weeks in a row, anything is possible.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Sports | Leave a comment

Welcome To The New Site

What’s up everyone?

After weeks of debating whether or not it was worth it, I finally decided to make this blog look a little more professional. Now I understand that the words professional and blog should never be put in the same sentence, however now everything is nicer looking and far more organized.

In addition, I was able to create pages which make this blog kinda, sorta feel like a website.

I was also able to categorize posts which makes it easy to find old posts based on what I wrote about.

I have movie reviews, my old (and more new to come) Top 5 and Top 10 lists, along with a page completed dedicated to quotes from Scrubs.

All pages are still being added to and are a work in progress, but I promise more stuff is on the way.

Finally, I have been able to devote an entire section to Scott Spinelli’s weekly column’s from The Daily Orange.  Along with posting his articles every Thursday when they come out, I have archived all of his old articles for your reading pleasure, which can be found on the “Spin Cycle” page.

Thank you for checking out my blog, and I hope you like the new look.

January 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment