I Hate Mondays: 03.22.04


We’re going to refer to this as the turbo column just to have something up on Monday Morning.

As much as it saddens me to make this announcement, 411 is being forced to say good-bye to Joshua Grutman. After a good number of years with the site, Josh’s schedule has overtaken him and left him no time to write for the site. I’m very sorry to see Josh go as he is one half of my favorite column on the website, that being Grut vs Daniels. I had a lot of fun doing these columns and hopefully he finds the time to come back to the site in the future. Though I can’t speak for wrestling, he’ll always be welcome here on Black.

Hopefully, we can still look forward to sports reports from Randle and the occasional column from Gloomchen either here on Black or over at 411music.

As for me, I was kind of shocked by this when I got the mail, so I’m trying to put something together.

Sometimes trips aren’t meant to happen

So I went to Montreal last weekend. I live around Albany, NY and it’s actually closer for me to take a trip to Montreal than it is for me to take a trip to New York City. The plan was to grab some tickets to the Devils/Canadiens game at the Molson Center Centre du Molson and then proceed to a night of strong beer and debauchery. The plan was for five of us to meet up and head up about 9 am. We’d get there about noon, border willing, and take that time to get a hotel, find some lunch, and head to the center to look for any day-of-event seating and, failing that, scalpers.

About a week before the event, one of the guys backed out. Not a big deal, since it made the trip easier. Four guys in a Civic is much easier than five guys in a Civic. Then, at about 11:30 pm the night before, another guy backed out. Down to three.

Well, whatever, we figured it eventually would save some scratch in the long run since we could get 1 room for three guys instead of 2 rooms for four guys. Money in the f*cking bank, baby.

So, whatever, we decide to go on with the trip. Well, guess what? Someone is over an hour late to the meeting point. Guess what else? That someone was me. Turns out, my girlfriend failed to remember the 10 minute conversation we had when I went to bed (granted it was at 2 am and she was only half awake), but still, she didn’t remember it. She got up and went off to work at 8:00 and, instead of getting me up (or even resetting the alarm clock for me) left me sleeping. I roll over to look at the clock, feeling it was kind of late, at about 10:15. Of course, I was supposed to be in a parking lot 20 minutes away 45 minutes ago. Best of all, I had left my cell phone downstairs the night before to charge and the guys I was going with don’t even know my home number. Super.

I get on the phone, assuming they’d thrown a finger in my general direction and headed up after a half-hour of waiting. It’s like that “15-minute rule” in college. Five minutes for a TA, ten minutes for a Mr, 15 minutes for a Dr. Well, it’s 30 minutes when waiting for a friend to go out drinking in Montreal. I call and they’re still there waiting, I promise to be there in 20 minutes. I almost walk out the door with no identification (which would have made getting back into the US a bit of a challenge) and we head up about an hour behind schedule.

The border going into Canada was no problem, with no line for once, so the trip up was uneventful, save for a stop in Plattsburgh for Wendy’s. Which was, apparently, the most popular Wendy’s in the world as it seemed most of the town of Plattsburgh had decided to go to Wendy’s just as we got there.

Anyway, we get to Montreal and we head to the normal hotel (which is the Holiday Inn Express on the corner of Sherbrook and St Urbain) but they have no double queen rooms left, just one king. After exchanging a look of doubt, we decide on no and start to head out the door. Then we decide a king size bed isn’t that gay if we do the head-to-foot switch up and get a cot for the night. At about this moment, our driver started to not feel so good but didn’t complain, too much.

Checked in and headed upstairs. The driver really starts to not feel good, so we leave him up there to nap while me and the other guy go downstairs to have a few at the hotel bar. We spend a few hours down there and eventually go back up to get the driver. He says he doesn’t feel great but we head toward the hockey arena anyway. Get to the Molson Centre, and guess what? No day-of-event tickets left since we waited till seven. Not only that, but the scalper prices (which one would assume would start going DOWN after the event started) started going up until it was $200 for SHITTY seats.

Deciding I don’t like hockey enough to pay that much for even a good seat, we decide to throw in the towel and get some dinner. We head back to the hotel, because apparently Montreal is much like Green Bay during a Packers game the entire f*cking CITY closes. The hotel restaurant, however, is still open since I don’t think a tornado is grounds to close a Chinese food place. My buddy orders some Singapore Noodles, takes one look at them, and declares himself done for the evening which leaves me and the other guy, who I’ve hung out with like three times in my life with a night on the town in Montreal.

Well, honestly, the night didn’t turn out that bad, as we hit up Club Supersex (easily the best and most affordable strip club I have ever been to in the US or Canada. You can’t go wrong with $40 for 6 Canadian Molsons and free table dance including some of the hottest girls I’ve ever seen with good music being played. It’s a good time for all. Well, maybe not for all, but for straight guys anyway.

All in all, the trip was one disaster after another, only saved by strip clubs with boobies. But barely saved considering we went up in the middle of a snowstorm.

A Hell of a Place to Make Your Fortune

I watched HBO’s new series that will look to replace the Soprano’s in the coming years Deadwood and after One episode, they have hooked me.

The marketing here was pulled off flawlessly. Introduce it two weeks after the beginning of the Soprano’s when the most people order HBO. As I have mentioned before, my roommate works for Time Warner cable, and the start of Sopranos season is their favorite time of year. Why? Because when you call Time Warner and order HBO, the phone tech that sold you that HBO gets a commission. There are people who order HBO and cancel it when the Soprano’s ends. So when it starts up again, a whole new round of commissions goes to these guys. They love it.

So, they start the series two weeks after the start of the Soprano’s so they can pimp the hell out of it for two weeks and get people thinking about it. They did such a good job of it that, while I didn’t get a chance to watch the Soprano’s last night, I did watch that.

A little history about me and westerns. My grandfather was a huge western fan but I never really liked watching old westerns with him. However, Tombstone with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russel is among my top five favorite moves of all time. Right up there with the first Young Guns, which, while not in the Top Five, definitely makes the top 10 or 15. So, while I’m not a big fan of classic westerns, I’m a pretty big fan of Modern Westerns.

When I saw this commercial, I knew I was going to watch the first episode because, if it was good, I’d have something to take over when the drama that is behind-the-scenes Soprano’s is finally over (of course, someday I’ll get into why the writing on the Sopranoes is over-rated but that’s not for today).

The story behind Deadwood, if you may have missed it, is basically as follows. There is a brand new town owned by this man who also owns the only casino/bar/whorehouse in town. This devious gentlemen is the bad guy of the series, concerned only about pulling in as much money as he possibly can, values be damned. Within 10 minutes of his introduction, you know you are supposed to hate him, as he beats up one his whores because she shot a man in the head who was trying to beat her. He then covers up the whole thing by paying off the doctor and anyone else in the room.

The two “good guys” in the show are Wild Bill Hickock and Seth Bullock. Bill Hickock’s name is well-known through other movies, and Bullock’s history is similar. He’s a retired Marshall who headed out to Deadwood with his partner to start a business. His final act as sheriff is the opening scene of the series, where he is forced by a mob to hang a horse thief. At the opening, you’re not sure what side of the fence he’s on, but you discover it by the end.

For a pilot, this show was great however pilots have to be great. Looking at the previews from next week, however, I have big hopes on this series I think could be in for a good run, with good storylines that extend across episodes (something the Sopranoes, for the most part, sorely lacks.

If you haven’t caught it yet, it should be on again tonight. If you miss it, try to check it out next week, following the Sopranoes at 10.


I’m not sure if I’m going to be taking over permanent Monday here or not, but check in next week to see what we’ve got.

Until then, I Hate Mondays.