November 21, 2013
Currently the subject of a rape case investigation, Florida State QB Jameis Winston has apparently taken to hiding out on Twitter in his best Randall Cunningham mask.
Oh well, you know what they say about Black quarterbacks.
September 3, 2013
Being a sports fan means never aging. It means that year after year, youth is recycled and everyone is again a 21-year-old looking to make his or her mark. The dream of sports is one of beauty and youth and endless possibilities.
The nightmare is so often what happens when those beautiful young athletes become a little older, a little slower and a little less beautiful. For even the most successful athlete, 40-years-old is about the limit. Then life begins. And life can often be unpleasant for these formerly beautiful young men.
Boxer Tommy Morrison is the latest tragedy to come from the sports world. Morrison died yesterday at the age of 44, most likely of AIDS-related illness, despite long denying he was HIV-positive or that the HIV virus even existed. From all reports, his final years were spent in hospitals and in a fugue of conspiracy theories.
I remember when Morrison arrived on the boxing scene. A more perfect example of Midwest American good lucks and personality will never be found. If you knew boxing, you knew Tommy was limited. But you also knew he could punch and that he came to fight. Morrison actually accomplished more than he should have, as he smartly out-boxed a slower George Foreman for some type of version of a heavyweight title. Morrison made some money in the ring and entertained fans, but a weak chin meant he’d never rise to greater heights, however, and a then a diagnosis of HIV changed everything.
And like so many before him, Morrison’s life outside of athletics was one of madness.
The stories of athletes – especially fighters and football players – falling apart after sporting retirement are everywhere. As but one example, for Mike Webster, life after football meant a brain-injured stumble through a life that would end early. Whether it is from brain injury, financial distress or personal demons, however, the life of a former athlete is often one of struggle, physically and emotionally.
Mind you, some athletes find success off the playing field. But for every Magic Johnson – who thrives off the court despite his famed battle with HIV – there are 25 Websters and Morrisons.
But regardless of the plight of the once-worshipped, for sports fans, every year is one of renewal. Did you see Jameis Winston yesterday? So young, so gifted. The world is his.
And so the new replaces the old in sports, as it must. For sports fans, it’s an eternity of watching young men excel. For the young athletes, however, it is but a blip of time that will eventually lead them to an uncertain future.
August 30, 2013
DAMASCUS, Syria — Speaking in front of his soon-to-be destroyed home, soon-to-be-killed-by-an-errant-missile Mustafa Zuabi, 9, said he thinks U.S. President Barack Obama will be justified in his soon-to-come-attacks on Syria.
“Obama put himself in a pickle,” said Zuabi, whose body will not be found. “He drew a line in the sand against Assad. He has to act.”
While the UK has seen its government thwart military action in Syria, sources say Obama is steadfast in carrying out the attack. This comes despite a U.S. public that as grown skeptical of military usage, as well as evidence and intelligence that have yet to be confirmed about whether Syrian President Assad carried out the chemical attacks on his own people.
Despite this, Zuabi said Obama will be correct when he carries out a small scale attack that will kill a “small number of Syrian citizens,” including Zuabi.
“With the budget clashes upcoming, Obama can’t afford to appear weak on the international stage,” said Zuabi. “This could have serious implications in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
“Face it, the GOP will attack Obama, regardless,” added the soon-to-vaporized Zuabi. “But weakness is not something a Democratic president can portray. Ask Jimmy Carter.Obama has to blow something up, regardless of what anyone says. Otherwise e loses political capital.”
August 29, 2013
Friends, his blog has come under fire recently for being, among other things, “Insipid,” “Sophomoric,” and “Largely unattended.” These allegations wound me, and I feel it is time for a response.
That response is this – MLK would have loved this blog.”How do I know this? Well, check out this quote from MLK, which I found in 10 seconds via Google:
“We will never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
I think that about says it all right there, and anyone who debates me on this point not only is going against MLK, they are also saying they condone police brutality on African-Americans. So just shut up already.
My amigos, these are rough times we live in. But my blog is awesome because it has the backing of MLK. Whoever that is.
August 12, 2013
Abbott & Costello’s classic “Who’s On First?” bit, translated to Latvian, then translated back to English. The English version is on the right side. Click the volume button on the bottom-right of the text box to let the Google translate voice speak the entire bit. It makes it way better.
Click here for English to Latvian translation.
Click here for English to Lativian back to English.
July 30, 2013
The world will never know how much goodness and how much love it has lost.
I took Duchess from the cradle to her final breath.
And she paid me back by loving me completely and protecting our family.
You’ll never know how much was lost when she had to go home.
But I know. And my heart will never stop breaking.
I miss you, Duchess. I always will. Thank you for being such a big part of my life.
July 22, 2013
Há alguns meses atrás, a artista brasileira Raquel Arantes, minha sogra, estava se preparava para sua primeira exposição de esculturas. Apesar de viver em Belo Horizonte, Arantes elaborou grande parte de seu trabalho em São Paulo, sob a tutela do proeminente artista brasileiro Cícero D’avila. Durante uma ida a São Paulo, para buscar trabalhos que estavam em seus estágios finais e trazê-los para Belo Horizonte, tendo em vista a exposição, Arantes se viu vítima de um crime que arrasaria muitos artistas.
Ao terminar de colocar as esculturas em seu carro, um homem armado apareceu. O ladrão levou o carro e seu conteúdo, ambos nunca mais localizados.
É claro que fiquei extremamente triste e revoltada porque senti tão impotente naquele momento em que vi uma arma apontada para mim, me obrigando a deixar para traz um trabalho que eu tinha me dedicado tanto e com tanto amor!” disse Arantes.
“A gente não esquece o ocorrido, mas faço um trabalho mental para superar essa tristeza e essa raiva,” disse Arantes, 62.
Assim, com pouco tempo para lamentar suas esculturas roubadas, Arantes voltou ao trabalho e recriou as peças roubadas. Suas obras já estão prontas para a exposição, que começa no dia 25 de julho, no Museu Inimá de Paula, em Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil.
“Como meu marido Gilson disse, eles levaram o que eu construí, mas eles não levaram a minha capacidade de construir algo novamente”, disse Arantes. “Assim, foi com esse espírito que eu trabalhei para superar o que perdi.”
Por sua vez, D’avila – que admitiu não estar ciente que Raquel tem 62 anos – ficou impressionado com sua dedicação para recriar seu trabalho.
“Notavel a sua determinacao em suplementar a perda de sua escultura que ja estava pronta para ser fundida em bronze. Vejo que para isso ela estava bem focada no seu objetivo, tendo portanto superado este grande trauma que veio em um momento muito delicado: a preparacao de suas obras para a exposicao, confrontada ao reduzido tempo que restava,” disse D’avila.
A Arte, de uma forma ou de outra, sempre foi uma parte da vida de Raquel. Mas apenas mais tarde, com os filhos já crescidos, ela pode se dedicar, com mais intensidade, a diversos trabalhos artísticos, experimentando com uma grande variedade de materiais, antes de se apaixonar por esculturas.
“Eu me destacava nas aulas de artesanato na escola e esta habilidade se desenvolveu ao longo dos anos”, disse Arantes, que quando adolescente fazia bonecas de pano e outras coisas dentro de um orçamento apertado.
“Quando adulta, comecei a trabalhar com diversos materiais, tecidos, couro, madeira, etc”, disse Arantes. “Mais tarde, quando tive mais tempo, comecei a pintar porcelana e, em seguida, segui para a arte em cerâmica, através da qual eu pude criar peças personalizadas. ”
Mas foi o simples barro que ajudou Arantes a encontrar um meio que funciona perfeitamente para ela.
“Foi um salto descobrir que o que eu mais gosto é criar minhas próprias formas, usando argila”, disse Arantes. “Hoje, eu vejo que amo fazer esculturas de formas e estilos diferentes.”
D’avila – que é o mentor de Arantes e a ajudou a aprender técnicas específicas – está em êxtase com o crescimento continuado de sua protegê, bem como seu compromisso com o ofício.
“Acho que melhorou muito. Alem do seu inegavel talento, ela demonstra muita determinacao, pois faz um sacrificio imenso se deslocando de BH para SP todas as vezes que tem aulas. O seu trabalho, hoje, é o melhor testemunho disso,” disse D’avila.
Arantes – que também agradeceu a sua família, D’avila e amigos, como Nestor de Oliveira e Marcus Aurelius por seu apoio e ajuda – revela que há alguém especial que é a inspiração para sua primeira Mostra.
O nome da exposição é “Albernaz” (seu nome de solteira) e dedico este evento ao meu pai, que teria um orgulho imenso ver o meu trabalho, porque como eu, ele era extremamente hábil e fez coisas incríveis com suas próprias mãos. ”
Afinal, o que poderia ter sido um grande obstáculo, transformou-se em um triunfo para Arantes, pois ela acredita que seu trabalho, após o roubo, está ainda melhor.
“Cada peça é única. Fiz as novas esculturas pensando no que foi tomada, mas cada peça tem pequenos detalhes que diferem um do outro tornando-os únicos.
“Eu acho que cada peça que faço acrescenta algo de novo, e vejo que evolui ao longo do tempo”, disse Raquel.
July 19, 2013
A few months back, Brazilian artist Raquel Arantes – who, for full disclosure is my mother-in-law – was preparing for her first exhibition as a sculptor. Despite living in Belo Horizonte, Arantes did a great deal of her work in Sao Paulo under the tutelage of prominent Brazilian artist Cicero D’avila. While in São Paulo collecting work that was in its finishing stages to bring it to Belo Horizonte for the exhibit, Arantes found herself the victim of a crime that would crush many an artist.
As she finished loading the sculptures into her car, a man showed up. With a gun. He pointed the gun at her and stole the car – which contained several key pieces. The thief, car and art were never located.
“I was extremely sad and angry because I felt so helpless at that moment I saw a gun pointed at me, forcing me to leave behind a job that I had devoted so much and with so much love,” said Arantes, 62. “I’ve had to do mental work to overcome the sadness and the anger.”
So with little time to grieve her stolen sculptures, Arantes settled in and recreated the stolen pieces. her work is now ready for the exhibit, which begins on July 25 at Museu Inimá de Paula in belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
“As my husband said, they took what I built but they cannot take away my ability to build it again,” said Arantes. “So it is in that spirit that I worked to overcome what I lost.”
For his part, D’avila – who admitted to not being aware Arantes was 62 – was impressed with her dedication to recreating her work.
“Her determination in supplementing this loss was remarkable,” said D’avila. “She was tightly focused on her goal and was therefore able to overcome this great trauma, in a limited amount of time.”
Art was always a part of Arantes’ life in one way or another, but with her three children grown, she was able to work with a wide array of materials before she fell in love with sculpting.
“I excelled in school crafts and this skill has been growing over the years,” said Arantes, who as a young girl would make rag dolls and other things on a shoestring budget.
“As an adult, I began to work in diverse fabrics, leather, wood, etc.,” said Arantes. Later, as I had more time I worked, I began to paint porcelain and then went to ceramic art where I could create more doing more custom parts.”
But it was simple clay that helped Arantes find a medium tat worked perfectly for her.
“It was a leap for me to find that what I liked most was to create my own forms using clay and then making sculptures,” said Arantes. “Today I see that love making sculptures of different ways and styles.
D’avila – who has been mentoring Arantes and helped her learn specific techniques – is ecstatic over his protege’s continued growth as an artist, as well as her commitment to the craft.
“She has improved a lot,” said D’avila. ” Besides her undeniable talent, she shows a lot of determination, and has made the huge sacrifice of traveling from Belo Horionte to São Paulo for classes. Her work today is the best witness to that.”
Arantes – who also thanked her family, D’avila and friends such as Nestor de Oliveira and Marco Aurélio for their support and help – said there is someone special to her who is the inspiration for her first exhibit.ate
The name of the exhibit is “Albernaz” (her maiden name) and I dedicate this event to my father who would have an immense pride to see that my work, because like me, he was extremely skillful and did amazing things with his hands.”
In the end, what could have been a major roadblock turned into a triumph for Arantes, who feels her work after the robbery has been even better.
“Each piece is unique. I made the new sculptures thinking of what was taken, but each piece has small details that differ from one another making them unique.
“I think every piece I do adds something new and I see that evolving over time,” said Arantes.
July 11, 2013
As everything points to former New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez being the person who murdered Odin Lloyd, one wonders if the media will eventually take a look at some factors regarding the case. Factors the NFL would not want investigated.
Was Hernandez using performance drugs? In an era where several former NFL players have committed suicide and fought brain damage due to their playing careers, could brain damage be an issue.
Of course, it’s very possible that Hernandez is just an unstable person who was destined to kill some one. For many, though, it’s hard to see such a promising career go up in gun smoke. Regardless, the media needs to examine the issue. What part – if any – did the NFL play in the murder of Odin Lloyd?
The NFL wants no part of these questions, but they must be asked.
July 8, 2013
Ok, this book thing is starting to read like the ravings of a madman. Which is likely it’s destiny, regardless, but I should at least try and create some type of plot. This story needs some plotification, I say. So please allow me to plotify.
Listen, I’ve spent almost the last decade building my brand. I am William K. Wolfrum, the brand. You’ll find me right next to Tide and Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the majority of that time in Brazil. This has made cashing in a bit more difficult. I’m a man between two countries, as it were. Thus, it behoves me to start spending some time back in the good ol’ U.S.
Yes, Brazil is fine and I’ll likely spend most of my time down here. I have a bunch of dogs, after all. Nonetheless, now is the time to embrace what I have started. It is time to cash in. It is time to be more than just an online persona. It is time to come out.
The Summer of Wolfrum is coming, as I plan to go to the U.S. and get myself out there. I’ll do work as a pundit or a comic or what have you. I’ve made the connections. I have the name. I have the game. And now I have a plot.
(Note 1: The full story can be found on the Wolfrum Chronicled Main Page.)
(Note 2: For an explainer on this project, please go here.)
July 4, 2013
My friends, those of you know me are aware that I’m liberal. And yet you still like me. (Haha. See, liberals can have a sense of humor!).
Anyway, I feel it is now time that I define my political leanings even more fully. I am a liberal, you see, but so much more. I am THE liberal. Yes, I have seen you wishy-washy types and I have judged you as lacking. Sure, you all dance around liberal issues, but I BELIEVE them. for instance, I believe:
- The recent NSA allegations is a reason to overthrow the government.
- Edward Snowden is more god than man. See also Manning, Bradley.
- The racist war on drugs is a reason to overthrow the government.
- I believe it is a small step from using predator drone bombs on terrorists to using them on me for being such an outspoken polemic.
- If you don’t die inside every time you hear about an innocent being predator drone bombed to death, you may as well be a Republican in Alabama.
- Obama killed two American citizens without a trial. Viva la revolution.
- If you believe anything in the corporate media, you’re a jerk.
Face it, you’re a fascist and want a fascist regime full of fascism. Well, don’t include me. I’m a real liberal. And I won’t be satisfied until we’re all living in a Libertarian paradise.
Update 1: Fuck you.
June 28, 2013
When I first met Dan Mirvish, he was the behind-the-scenes half of hoax political operative Martin Eisenstadt (who was played by actor Eitan Gorlin). And while my mind was kept busy trying to keep journalists like David Shuster from being tricked by Eisenstadt, Mirvish’s mind was busy with thinking about the film “Between Us.” Unfortunately for Mirvish – and many other small filmmakers – the financial crisis began and money for independent films was scarce. Luckily, Mirvish had a built-in bridge in Eisenstadt.
While working to adapt Joe Hortua’s award-winning play, the character of Eisenstadt went viral, with news organizations reporting on his exploits in Iraq (where he “appeared on a talk show” to promote casinos in Baghdad, or his gossip about Kristen Wiig making out with Joe the Plumber at an SNL after party. Mirvish & Gorlin teamed up later to write a book about Eisenstadt’s exploits and unique political views and took some meetings for a possible TV show.
“When Eisenstadt turned into a book offer, I was presented with the option: Do I keep not getting paidto not direct a movie, or get paid to write a book. My wife wisely advised that I write the book,” said Mirvish. “When Eisenstadt more or less ran its course two years later, I recalibrated “Between Us” as a microbudget and went ahead and made it.”
“Between Us,” despite being written for the stage in 2002, was prescient in its views regarding student loan debt and wealth inequality. The story centers on two couples, portrayed by Taye Diggs & Julia Stiles and Melissa George & David Harbour who have all been friends since college.
While each couple faces pressures with marriage and family, the movie becomes a tale of two men and how one’s decision to “sell out” has led to a much more comfortable life. Still, the fact that one couple has means while the other struggles does not translate into happiness, leading to sometimes shocking dialogue such as this exchange between George and Harbour during a fight:
“One day, I’m going to murder you,” he says
“I look forward to it,” she says.
While all the actors give strong performances, it’s Harbour and George who steal the show and, with Mirvish’s direction, give what could be a simple four-person ensemble a depth and passion that will keep a viewer riveted.
For Mirvish, the film is the latest effort in a mercurial career. Having started the popular independent film festival “Slamdance,” and once worked as a speechwriter for Sen. Tom Harkin, Mirvish has earned a reputation of being a true Independent filmmaker – a reputation not hurt by how he scored such a well-known cast for “Between Us” on a minuscule budget.
More than anything, for Mirvish, “Between Us” comes from a place he can recognize.
“It also resonated with me on a more personal level with where I was in my life – dealing with young children, marriage, financial issues, and artistic authenticity,” said Mirvish. “I now have three kids and the issues the characters raise in the film are definitely ones that I can relate to, or have friends who have dealt with them. Thankfully, my marriage is much better than the ones depicted in the film, and my kids are great, too.”
For information on how and where to see “Between Us,” click here.
June 26, 2013
This is just amazing television.
June 22, 2013
It’s been, what, 10-plus years since I quit drinking? Time, it does fly. Mind you, it’s not that I take my sobriety lightly. I don’t. I just don’t use time as a gauge as much any longer. In too many ways, I’m the same person as I was the day I quit. For me, I will always be newly sober and need to be ever-vigilant.
Ok, I have no ability to write about my alcoholism without sounding like a complete tool. I’m Mr. Inspiration, producing hings like this from 2008:
It was 1,825 days ago that I nearly drank myself to death. And it wasn’t some party gone wrong. It was a culmination of nearly two decades worth of drinking. It was a desperate attempt to keep drinking when every part of me knew it was way past time to stop. It was the final act of a nightmare. It was my bottom, and I hit it as hard as possible.
And now five years later, I haven’t had a drink since.
While I quickly discovered that AA wasn’t for me, I adopted several of the 12 steps to help what has been a recovery pf 1,824 days and counting. My main step was basically accepting my wife as my higher power. She means everything to me, and has helped me in more ways that I can imagine or even express. And she continues to, every day. Mainly, I’ve taken sobriety seriously, and never take it for granted. I’ll always be an alcoholic, but I never want to go back to where I was.
1,826 days ago I saw no way out. I never could have imagined I could be sober for five years and eager for more. I was lost. My wife and family helped me find myself, and I am more thankful than I can say.
If you’re lost, just know you don’t have to be. That recovery can happen. That no matter how bad it is, and how deeply you’ve buried your secret, you can be the person you want to be and should be. If you’d like to chat with me about anything, click on my name in the “Contributors” section over on the left. Or find a family member or friend you trust. It’s hard, I know. But it’s worth it. Because life can be beautiful if you’re willing to see it with a clear mind.
One of the big things I’ve gotten from blogging is the ability to be more open as a person. And the one area of my life I’ve tried to be more open about is my alcoholism.
Not too long ago I celebrated my fifth anniversary of sobriety, and I wrote about that here. It was received with a lot of positivity and a lot of people sharing their own experiences.
But this weekend, I wanted to write to those of you still out there fighting your demons, whether it be alcohol, drugs, food or anything else that has grabbed a hold of you and won’t let go. And really, my message is simple and as non-preachy as could be:
I’m thinking of you.
Because this weekend is a holiday weekend. And whether you celebrate Easter or not, I know that holidays can be just plain awful for the addicted. I have drank away more holidays than I could ever hope to remember. And I have spent holidays actively trying to get away from friends and families so I could drink. Holidays can really suck if you have an addiction.
So if you’re out there, and fighting through this holiday weekend, know that you aren’t alone. Know that others are struggling just as you are, and that others like myself have struggled through holidays. Whatever your addiction is, there are others out there, even among the Shakers that have a pretty good idea of how you’re feeling this weekend. So please hang in there.
Because you aren’t alone. We’re thinking about you.
Now, I really felt those things at the time, and still do. But that’s just a part of being a recovering alcoholic. It’s great and useful to try and express a level of positivity, but it doesn’t mean I’ve shared anything. How drinking affected and continues to affect me in day to day life are areas I’ve rarely tread. It’s too real for me, I guess.
All I can say is, it’s made me feel older than I am. More tired than I should be.
It’s a lot like when you see a basketball team gets down by 25 points and then make a valiant comeback but falter at the end. I feel like I just can’t completely overcome it. The battle for me has been to close the deficit, not overtake it. I just don’t feel like I have the gas to get all the way to the finish line, that I’m developing into one of those aging ex-addicts who have the look of a whisper and time.
It’s more than a decade later. The feelings of shame have gone. The strong urges have gone. All that’s left is me, trying to make up for lost time. And, you know, speaking of time, I just did the math and today is day 3,794. And I still don’t want to go back.
(Note 1: The full story can be found on the Wolfrum Chronicled Main Page.)
(Note 2: For an explainer on this project, please go here.)
June 19, 2013
As this is being written, thousands of Brazilians have risen up in a sort of “Brazilian Autumn.” What started as a protest over a small raise to public transit fares has now blossomed into a full-on wail of dissatisfaction with the government. And rightly so. While all the world hasspoken ofBrazil’s nascent economic power, the average Brazilian still sees a government that taxes them at ridiculously high ile offering very little in return.
The beginning of he Confederations Cup has taken the feeling from dissatisfaction to anger, as Brazilians see new soccer stadiums – all much less accomodating to the poor – and an effort to push as much dirt under the rug as possible. And all this bowing to FIFA – including suspending parts of its constitution during the World Cup – has opened people’s eyes to a nation that still lags behind on basic infrastructure. “It’s like a war zone here,” said my brother-in-law Marcelo after visiting a poor northern state in Brazil.
Aside from the myriad changes and problems the World Cup brings, here’s another – the soul of Brazil is already being sold. Take this recent advertisement from Nivea:
As a friend told me, “I wonder how much it cost to get all the Black people off the beach?”
There are some areas in the south of Brazil where the people come from a Scandanavian decent (Imagine Gisele Bündchen), but those are the exception. Brazil is defined by its diversity and even more so by its Black population and the legacy of slavery. Unlike in the U.S., there was rampant relations between the different sects – Portuguese, African slaves & Native Brazilians – from early on. It makes for a diverse populace.
But, you know, there are still Black people here. Especially being it seems the ad was shot in Rio, which has a teeming Black population. Who go to the beach.
You view Brazil as a growing economic power and as a land of beautiful people who love samba and soccer. I live here and see a country of ordinary, hard-working people who have grown tired of the status quo and are now protesting a corrupt and out-of-touch government.
And I support them.