Sunday, January 29, 2012

Episode 20: Inch by Inch, We Win With Minch

Greetings from a big day off at the Movie House! And what better day to have off than today? It’s PRO BOWL DAY!!! I am so excited for the Pro Bowl that I could shrug my shoulders and switch over to FOX’s cartoons halfway through.

One of the Movie House Kids, which I think is a Disney Channel series, has a cousin who plays in the NHL, former Sabre Clarke MacArthur. Unfortunately for her, I found this out literally a week after he was traded to the then Atlanta Thrashers. Having a family member playing for my favorite team likely would have gained her preferential treatment.

Instead, now that he was traded to hated Sabres rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the opposite has happened. One day I wrote up Clarke’s cousin because the Leafs beat the Sabres the day of the St Patrick’s Day Parade for “Sullying my day.” I’m not sure it would stand up in Movie House Court, but it helped to vent my frustrations.

Friday was a particularly busy day at work, due to Katherine Heigl’s latest attempt at comedy, and yet another Liam Neeson ass kicking fest. At one point, I was helping a guy at concessions while his wife was chatting with Clarke’s cousin. About five minutes after, she asks me, “So did you talk to Clarke about hockey?”

Nope, no idea it was him…

Price is Right Fail Horn SFX

So, part of the reason I am off today, is because we are having a party for my Grandfather’s 75th birthday. Of my grandparents, he is the last man standing. While he is sometimes forgetful, and doesn’t leave the house very much, there is a way to bring out of him a completely different person, let him tell his stories…

His stories defy conventional Grandpa stories, as they are more similar to the tales of drunken pirate. He tells these adventures, with such insight and detail, you would think they had happened yesterday. 

While in the army, my Grandfather had to hitchhike from Rochester to California to avoid coming back late from a break.

It was different back in those days. No one used to bother you. I was hitchhiking in my uniform one night when a police car pulled up and told me, You shouldn’t be out here doing this at night. Come on with me, you can sleep in a cell. We won’t shut the door, and in the morning we’ll give you breakfast and you can be on your way.

What the hell?!?! 

After the military, my Grandfather did what most of his peers did, got the lifer job at Kodak. If the place could only run today like it did back then, it wouldn’t be in this mess…

There were some days, I would grab a clipboard and just walk around looking at things. One time, I was doing that and my boss came over and told me I was doing a great job.”

And then there’s the booze. On Father’s Day last year, I wrote a piece on Facebook about how sports were a connection between my late father and I. On a far less innocent note, I kinda feel the same thing when my Grandfather and I trade stories of drunken FusterCluck nights. If you go by his stories, back in the day every street corner had an Irish bar on it. Either Mickey’s, or Hashy O’Hooligan’s, or Tommy Seamus McMilligan O’Rory McGee’s

Back then you used to be able to get a beer for nickel. (Note: Holy Shit!) We used to go down to (one of the previously mentioned bars) on our break and have a few during our lunch at work. Every now and then someone would have too much and have to take a half day…

--There are about 40 different awesome things in that story.

You know once payday came. I would hand the check right over to your Granny. She would take what was need to pay the bills, and then give me some spending money and drop me off at the bar on Friday.

--Future Mrs. Minch: Take notes.

75 years is a hell of a big deal. When you hit a milestone like that, I think it’s more important to be able to look back and see a lifetime of stories, rather than a overly full bank account. It’s more important to have a room full of people who want to celebrate, rather than have an entire country know it’s your birthday.

20 Episodes, an MLK special, and an angry letter that yielded no results. So far not bad. I still haven’t gotten anything free, so I can’t claim victory yet. Do me a favor, if you enjoy this, share it. Let’s get the word out. It’s easy and you will be handsomely rewarded, with Karma…maybe. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Episode 19: By the Time the Bar Closes

A very special welcome to all of you who are just joining MVW because of my brand new Facebook fan page! Boy, that was a pain in the ass to set up, mostly because my 2002 computer is wheezing through existence. Go ahead and take a look back at old MVW’s and enjoy their hilarity/fading topical relevance.

Previously on MVW, I mentioned we were heading to the Zone’s Holiday Whatever show at the Armory. I made the crack about being promised that we’d leave before Everlast went on. For those of you who forgot, Everlast farted out a hit 14 years ago, “What It’s Like.” Yes, that was literally 14 years ago, I looked it up!!! That was the headliner?! Anyways, apparently 40% of those in attendance had the same idea, because the moment New Found Glory finished their set, they BOOKED. It was a hysterical mass exodus, and we were right behind them.

Fun Fact: The Main Street Armory’s urinals are all partitioned, and look like confessionals. Also, I didn’t notice anyone getting jacked up by security, but I did see a fella regrouping in the shithouse after getting his face bloodied, and a girl with a broken ankle hobble outside of the Armory…concerts are fun.

Hey, the Oscar nominations came out yesterday. (No, come back, I’m not really going to talk about them.) My interest in the Academy Awards has been on a steady decline, since one pivotal moment, when they screwed Bill Murray out of an Oscar for Lost in Translation. I remember it well, I was at Buffalo Wild Wings, with my arch rival/friend Nick and just like that, my interest in this award took a fatal hit.

Lost in Translation is one of my all time favorite movies, and a banner performance for my favorite actor. Instead it went to Sean Penn, for Mystic River, remember that one? No? That’s my God Damn point. Had it been a few years later, the bartender at BWW could have made a call to have Penn tripped on the way to the podium.

As an employee of the Movie House, I have the ability to watch movies for free. This is a benefit that for the past 4 months or so, I have barely used. When shitheel customers come up and ask me what movies are about, (Which drives me insane. Do some research!) or how a movie is, my canned response, “I actually spend too much time on this end of the theater” Yeah I know, wocka wocka FART NOISE. The last 3 movie films I have watched are 50/50, Muppets, and Sherlock. And the only thing on the horizon I’m looking forward to is Moonrise Kingdom the new Wes Anderson…

(Half the room cheers, the other half throws wadded paper)

…I think I have retired from seeing movies.

Also, Billy God Damn Crystal is hosting the Oscars this year? What year is this? That was the only viable replacement for Eddie Murphy? You could have gone with Charlie Murphy and no one would have noticed!!! Why not have Billy Crystal and Robin Williams do it together, and make it a nice Father’s Day reunion?

Here’s a list of better potential hosts:
Steve Carell
Seth McFarlane
Todd McFarlane
Zooey Deschanel
Rex Ryan
Minch and Topeck
Christopher Walken

But no, we get the star of My Giant, no that’s too easy, everyone will say that one. We get the star of City Slickers 2, no again. I already said Father’s Day. See my point! He puts out a lot of shit, at least he did in the mid to late 90s!

Since I have been blowing up Twitter @mrminch with my thoughts on Tim Thomas, I will sum up my opinion in one line.

Yes, as an American you have every right to make that decision, and I have every right to think you are a dick for making it.

(Also, screw the damn Bruins)

That’s all for this one. Feel free to be a gem and click the little F below thus sharing this with your Facebook pals. Here’s a new line for you to put in the text box:

This is Minch’s Blog. It’s funny, and if you don’t read it, we are no longer friends.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Episode 18: The Hipster Scavenger Hunt

I write to you mere hours before heading to “The Zone’s Rover’s Morning Glory Holiday Hangover” featuring  Youngblood (I don’t know them.) Four Year Strong (They cancelled) New Found Glory (The reason I’m going) and Everlast (I was promised we could leave before he goes on.) It’s at the Main Street Armory, which is a pretty good venue. I saw Silversun Pickups (one of my favorite bands) there. It looks like high school gym. A game of dodge ball may breakout at any point. One of my favorite in concert games to play is, “Countdown to Drunk Idiot Getting Tossed by Security.” Don’t get me wrong, as my banner states, I am a social drinker, but I fail to see the logic in getting so shit hammered at a concert that you pass out or pick a fight. But what do I know?

Sports! If you paid any attention to my picks last episode, you’d notice that I was half right. I nailed the AFC match up and bombed the NFC. Now I am hoping we see a Harbaugh Bowl. I say that hoping that at the end, the two get into a brother fight in the middle of the field. You know, plenty of arm punches and headlocks, until Roger Goodell breaks them up and grounds them, (no phones, no internet, no NBC games.)

A friend of mine from high school is a very vocal Niners fan, and this week he put his money where his mouth is. As I type this, he’s en route to San Francisco to go to the game. Lucky bastard scored tickets five rows from the field. He stopped by the movie house last night, and I told him I envied him, (Half for going, half for having a team that made it to the playoffs.) He then told me the tickets were well over $500, to which I responded by vomiting. Still, it’s one of those moments to chalk up to only living once, and you can’t take money with you when you go. That of course will be my mentality when I spend that amount to see the Sabres in a Stanley Cup Final.

Speaking of which, seems like I won’t have to worry about that this year. Have you noticed I haven’t talked about the Sabres much on here? It’s because it brings me no joy. They are on what feels like a million game losing streak, and I haven’t looked at the standings recently, but I believe they are two points behind my brother’s Men’s league team. (Go Beavers!) Four points behind the JV team Dennis coaches. I am at the point where I am no longer angry, but rather sad. I miss being excited for hockey. I will readily admit listening to the first game on the WGR app, and thinking, “This is it! This is the year we’ve been waiting for.”

I could rattle off a million things they could do to fix the team, but let’s face it, I am just a shithook fan. Here’s hoping they can right the ship, (and trade Roy + Stafford, and fire Darcy)

Did you know people still send FWD text messages? I had no idea. I was at breakfast with Mom and Kristin, and they were bitching because they received the same txt like five times a piece. It carried with it the standard bullshit warning of, “send this or you’ll have bad luck.” I thought this had died out years ago. The closest I come to getting this is receiving the, “It’s a holiday so I am going to send the holiday text to everyone in my phonebook” Which is fine, since it doesn’t carry a warning of  “Send this to 43 other people or Santa is going to saw off your fingers.”

And finally, there was a pretty ugly windstorm this past Tuesday in the Greater Rochester area, and it lead to a fun night at the old movie house. I was in food court about to get my shitty dinner, when Maslyn (the other manager on.) called me to tell me a power surge knocked out four of our digital projectors. I’ll spare you the tech talk, and lead to my point, which I posted on BookFace after it happened: You can tell everything you need to know about a person the moment they have been inconvenienced. I have a high threshold. I will speak up if I’m getting a raw deal, but I try to let non lethal inconveniences slide. When some old codger tries to rally me and the other patrons at the bank against the tellers because there are going too slow, I don’t bite. Working at a movie house that cuts payroll like a butcher cuts pork chops, I have been on the other side of that coin.

Others read from the playbook titled, “Minor Inconveniences = Free Shit For Me.” We were going to give free passes to everyone to start, because that’s the right thing to do, but of course there are those who also want refunds on food (because once the movie stops, the concessions turn to sand: FACT) and also want cash refunds because, “We ruined their night” Hey buddy, my night isn’t going so hot either. Though I weep for you that your life is so fragile that an entire evening was hinging on watching a film. I’m not going to let customers who have been wronged go away empty handed, but don’t take advantage. I guess the take away message here is, Don’t be a dick.

That’s it for this one gang, feel free to like this on PageFace, or EVEN BETTER, share it on yours by clicking the little F below. Here’s a line you can copy and paste to fill in the little box when you go to share it.

Hey this is my cool friend Minch’s awesome blog for people who are sexy and cool. You should read, and you too can be sexy and cool.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A MVW Special: The True Meaning of MLK Day.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King JR. day and I feel as though it is appropriate to tell you all the story of when one of my oldest friends, Nate and I learned the true meaning of this important day…

It was the year 2001. We were all still happy Y2K was horse apples. Savage Garden was still a thing. Hollywood still had a weird love for making comedies with old codgers, (Space Cowboys, The Crew, Out to Sea.) Two young high schoolers were working that day at the movie house on a “hawking” shift. Hawking was when employees would head into the theater with a cart full of soda, candy, and ice cream (Always Melted!) and try a last minute routine to get people to by such snacks for $3 a piece before the movie started. I know this may sound awful, but I always kinda liked it. I don’t have a problem with public speaking or cracking jokes so it came naturally to me. Also, we got a commission. On the right nights, hawking was down right sweet. Especially, when the team consisted of Nate and myself, who have been friends since fourth grade. Nate is a tall skinny guy and I was a short fat guy so the comedy wrote itself…

Ok, so it was MLK Day 2001, (that sounds like a scream-o band name doesn’t it?) Nate and I were on a hawking shift that afternoon which was essentially worthless, since there weren’t any good movies out. Seriously, I looked it up, “The Pledge” came out that weekend. Any of you ever hear of that one? It had Jack Nicholson…Anyone? Ok moving on.

Nate and I walked into “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” which was released to our movie house because of its Oscar hype. There were like 15-20 people in there, not bad considering. We did our routine, which years of drinking has deleted from my memory, and a few people came up to make purchases. One was an older gentleman. He looked as though he had been ill for a while, kinda pale, and had a nasty wheeze as he spoke. As he purchased some candy, two young African American boys came up to the cart. They had to be no more than 10 or 11. They each had a buck in their hands and were asking how much things were. They realized they didn’t have enough, so defeated, they turned to go back to their seats. Then something happened…

The Wheezing old man told the boys to stop, and they could each pick out one candy because, “Today is Martin Luther King JR Day, and we all have to stick together.” Ok go ahead and take a minute, I know you’re feeling a flood of different emotions right now.

Ok, better? Well the kids were very appreciative and everyone went back to their business. Nate said to me as we were leaving the theater, “Did we just learn the true meaning of Martin Luther King JR Day?” I think we did Nate, I think we did…

It’s been 11 years since that happened, and Nate and I will reference the story from time to time. While it’s not really the “True Meaning of MLK Day” that odd yet sincere gesture was an act of kindness, and the good Doctor was a big fan of those…


Friday, January 13, 2012

Episode 17: The Mile High Miracle

Hey gang, I know it’s been awhile, but allow me to offer a tepid half hearted excuse: I have made my glorious return to the gym! Once again my plan of waiting a few weeks for the resolution crowd the leave has worked. Actually, that is kinda sad if you think about for too long, but let’s concentrate on the positives. Going to the gym has cut into my TV/Nap/Blogging time, so I am trying to get on a balanced schedule.

As most of you know, the Minch Vs The World Head Quarters is located in Western NY, and today we are experiencing the first actual snow storm we’ve had this winter, I know, we’ve been really lucky. It is serving as an inspiration to be lazy. As I look outside at the blustery snow all I hear is a soothing voice whispering,

“Why go out into this terrible weather? You can stay here, watch TV and play Arkham City.”

My lazy ass subconscious has a point. I’d say the odds of me going are 50/50, 60/40 if my friend TV’s Matt Calvin reads this and calls to rightfully yell at me. Yesterday, a friend/coworker posted that he wishes it would snow. Looking outside, I’m wondering, can you make a reservation for an ambulance? I’m going to hit this individual, likely with one of the metal stanchions. I would like to have the EMT’s there to ensure I don’t commit murder, just assault…

The other day Jeremy, my roommate, called the rent office to inquire about getting Direct TV (If you can’t guess why by now, shame) The response he got was both expected and yet, curious.

No, and Mike already knows that.”

The hell? I never asked. Unless…no it couldn’t be. Are the powers that be at the apartment complex reading this? Fortunately, if that’s true, I don’t have to back track and check whether or not I’ve been bad mouthing them, I’ve been quite satisfied with my living situation. She suggested we get some cable provider neither of us had ever heard of, “Uncle Jessup’s Good Tyme Cable and Moonshine delivery.” or something like that. So for now, we are still caught in the middle of the MSG/TWC impasse, which I think would be worse if the Sabres weren’t terrible. If you are reading this at the Rent office, maybe we throw a link in the next newsletter. Let the neighbors know!!!

I put out an APB on Facebook the other day looking for someone who is able to draw cartoons. I received a scant few responses, which may have been a result of my offer to pay them in Faygo Root Beer, (1500 Juggalos can’t be wrong.) So here’s what I am looking to do. I still need to make this sucker a little flashier, more provocative, to get the people going!!!! At the very least I’d like to start by putting up a banner, here’s a concept design…

Now imagine if that was designed by someone who can actually draw! If I took the full picture, there is also a poorly drawn globe next to it. I made Canada too thin and gave Florida balls. Also, I would have colored this pic in, but as one would expect from an apt that is inhabited by two guys in their late 20’s we don’t have any crayons. Though there is a coloring book, thanks Kayla. If you have artistic ability, or know someone who does and you’d like to help me out, drop me a line. You can have your work displayed on a blog that is viewed by dozens weekly!!!

How was the Buffalo trip you ask? The parts I remember, were just fine. If I may offer advice you my readers: Nothing good has ever come from doing shots…EVER. The night was going fine, then after taking shots, well, it turned into a whirlwind blackout, where apparently Buffalo Sabre  Patrick Kaleta, and Bills back up QB Tyler Thigpen showed up, not together, and I had a stinger sub from Jim’s Steakout. How was it? Honestly, you tell me!!! Just in case you are skeptical about any of this, here’s my cousin Joe with Mr. Kaleta himself…

Minutes later Kaleta beat the shit out of him.
The rest should be fairly believable. I mean who’s gonna lie about Tyler Thigpen showing up? What could possibly be gained there? In the end, no one drove, or went to jail, my bank account is still intact, so chalk it up to a fun night and a life lesson. Though my brother’s feelings may be irrevocably damaged after some punk kid Winnipeg fan call him an old man. Of course this was a result of Dennis calling him a “Douchebag kid in a jersey.”

There is nothing to me that mobilizes my patriotism than a nationalist hockey dispute with Canadians. Make no mistake, I hate the Boston Bruins, but I would much rather see them with the cup rather than the Damn Canucks. But hey, at least Vancouver handled the loss well…

I promise a quick turn around for the next episode. Oh, and I should probably do something special for episode 20, shouldn’t I? Any who before I go here’s some predictions:

AFC Championship: Patriots vs. Ravens
NFC Championship: Packers vs. Saints

Super Bowl: Madonna’s half time show will be awful. Not “Black Eyed Peas Awful” but hardly football appropriate.

Good Night, and Good Luck

Friday, January 6, 2012

Episode 16: What the Hell is a Dubstep?

Here we are gang, the first episode of 2012. First off, I got a great response to my open letter to MSG and Time Warner. It was the third most read thing I’ve posted, and was retweeted by people I don’t even know. I like to think it found its way to Sabres owner Terry Pegula, as there is no evidence that it didn’t. Currently, the situation is still deadlocked, and the Buffalo city council has asked the office of the AG for help. Make it happen! As I am a renter, I can’t swap out for Direct TV, otherwise I would in a heartbeat.

Moving on, this coming Monday, I begin my trek back to the gymnasium. I have always waited a week after the new year. First off, it “thins the herd” of resolution-ists. Second, it gives me one last week to sow the wild oats, (weeknight drinking, garbage plates, Wendy’s, and of course Denny’s!) For two days next week I have a gym buddy, my friend Christina (who has a similar weight loss saga as myself) will be along for the ride. We are doing a cycling class on Wednesday, and I won’t lie to you, that scares the living shit out of me. I will likely die in the middle of that, so avenge me!

I liken this whole weight loss business to flying. It’s the take off and landing that’s the bitch of it. Especially take off, getting into a routine without falling off the wagon and saying hell with it is the toughest part. Once I’m in the air, and noticeably losing weight then I’m all in, and motivation can manifest itself. If landing is maintaining, then I’ve already nose dived into the runway. Son of a bitch this was a wonderful analogy! I know some of you are fitness nuts, and I say that respectfully, how the hell do you keep up your motivation? Don’t try and sell me running outside!!! The only way I’m running on ice is if I’m being chased by a polar bear.

Coming out this week to the movie house is “The Devil Inside.” Maybe you guys can explain this to me. Why the hell is crap like this that popular? People go ape shit over Exorcism movies and fake home video movies, so the combination of the two means my shift tonight is likely going to blow. I have no interest in either to be honest with you, though I did kinda like “Cloverfield.” It can’t be that you think it’s real, right? The Vatican does not approve the recording of Exorcisms --The commercials have said this. To me that is the equivalent of saying-The Vatican does not approve the recording of unicorn hunting.

The other great line from the ads: The Vatican does not approve of this movie. Okay, here’s some other movies the Vatican hasn’t “approved.”

*Pootie Tang
*The one where Diane Lane cheats on Richard Gere with some swarthy guy, then Richard Gere kills him with a snow globe or something stupid like that.

Point being, I don’t really think the Vatican is in the business of approving movies, maybe “Passion of the Christ,” but I don’t see why. Who wants to see Jesus get whooped for a couple of hours. That’s like watching your team lose the Super Bowl on a loop. I’ve gotten off track…

I’ll give you three guesses where I’m headed this weekend. If you said, “Really?! Buffalo again??” You are correct! With what has been the worst kept secret in history, Rumple Fran got us Sabres tickets for Christmas. How poorly was this secret kept…

Early December, mid afternoon.

Mom (on the phone): How far in advance do you need to take off for something?

Me: A couple of weeks. Why?

Mom: Make sure you are off on January 7th, and you don’t work til night on the 8th.

Me: Why?

Mom: Shut up.

Me (Checks Sabres schedule. Sees 7pm game against the Winnipeg Jets)

 Well that and my cousin flat out told me days later. This time, we got a hotel room and are heading out after the game, so bad decisions will be abound! My sister will be out too, so I have her there to call any girl I would potentially hit on a “dumb bitch,” thus lessening my already poor odds. Hopefully her boyfriend, What’s his name, will keep her in check.

A great many thanks to all of you for reading. Why not be a lamb and click the little F below and share this link on your Facebook, or Retweet it! Any and all feedback is appreciated, so thanks!


Monday, January 2, 2012

An Open Letter to MSG and Time Warner Cable:

Like most hockey fans throughout this area, my new year started out on a negative note. It started with the realization that the dispute between the two of you would not come to an immediate end and may in fact result in hockey fans missing games. The fact that the both of you see this as being  acceptable is quite frankly despicable, and shines a glaring light on what we all should have figured in the first place: Neither of you give a damn about your customers…The Fans.

It’s easy to lay all the blame on Time Warner, mostly because they get into disputes with station blocks every single year. If it’s not Fox then it’s Viacom or Disney/ABC. The more I think about this situation, it seems to me that it is Lex Luthor fighting against The Joker. Two greedy villains slugging it out while the innocent people of Metropolis and Gotham suffer. Who then, will be our hero? It is my sincere hope that Mr. Pegula and Mr. Black are working on potential solution, as I believe that this sport is as important to them as it is to us.

This area has a very proud tradition of hockey. We have two of our finest serving as Captains of two of the Original Six teams. Lake Placid is the site of perhaps the greatest miracle in the history of the sport. The original Winter Classic is considered to be one of the greatest spectacles in the modern age of the hockey. These things may not mean much to the two of you, but damn it, they mean the world to us.

Personally, this sport is in my blood. My Grandfather played and coached. Right before he died, my Father was the head of initiation for Rochester Youth Hockey and was set to teach kids the fundamentals of the game. My brother played, and is currently an assistant coach for the JV team at a local high school. And while my family were participating in the sport, we were also fans. Many a night we’ve huddled around a TV to watch the Buffalo Sabres play. We have seen the highs and suffered the lows. This is our team, and your collective greed and indifference threatens to take them from us. For that, you should both be ashamed of yourselves.

I have the distinct feeling that neither of you take hockey fans seriously. Perhaps we are just a niche audience, and you figure us to be expendable. Well mark my words the both of you: hockey fans WILL find a way to watch our team. If you don’t find a way to meet our demand, then it will be you who is left out in the cold.

Fix this NOW,
Mike Minch