Friday Video – Honeymoon Suite, “Feel It Again”

In retrospect, one could make a case for the clip for Canadian quintet Honeymoon Suite’s “Feel It Again” as an example of when music videos attack. Author Greg Prato even dedicated a chapter to the subject in his oral history of MTV, and it’s must-read material, as is (cough, shameless plug, cough) our interview with Prato. At the time, though, “Feel It Again” was cutting edge filmmaking, dudes, and a nominee for three MTV Video Music Awards.

Unfortunately, it was shot at the one moment in the lives of all five members when their hair – and clothes – looked the most ridiculous. Even worse than this picture, if you can believe that.

But get past that for a second and just watch. Singer Johnny Dee’s running in place in the chorus. All right, that’s silly, but look at everything that’s going on around him. Now he has a hat. Now he’s walking a dog. And here comes lead guitarist Derry Grehan to sing that big “Feel it agaiiiiiiin!” bit in the chorus. Needless to say, there’s a lot of shit going on here, as if someone had been studying Zbigniew Rybczyński’s videos (look him up, you won’t regret it) very, very closely. That is never a bad thing, and the chorus to this song still boasts a hook the size of an anchor. Feeel it agaiiiiiin! Don’t mind if we do. And look who was rocking the skinny jeans a good two and a half decades before they became trendy?

The real reason we’re posting this is because our high school reunion is coming up, so be warned: there will be a few more flashbacks in the coming weeks. Rock on.

  

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Training for Marathon #1: The homestretch

You’d think the hardest part about running a marathon would be…well, running a marathon. Turns out the hardest part is just getting to race day.

When I signed up for the Chicago Marathon last winter, I wasn’t entirely convinced that I’d ever be able to run 26 miles, let alone by October. Wait, I realized, forget about the race. I had a whole lot of running to do before I even set foot in Chicago. I needed to get my body ready for 26 miles, but to do that, I first had to conquer 14, 15, 16, 19 and, this past weekend, 21 miles. That’s a lot of hard miles just to get to the point where I could run a lot of hard miles. There also were a lot of internal pep talks on days when motivation was lacking, and a lot of sacrifices made by my family to accommodate my training schedule.

But as I hit the homestretch with just over two weeks before the marathon, I’ve reached the calm before the storm. After increasing mileage consistently for the past several months, my training runs only get shorter from here as I taper my miles to keep me fresh for race day. Of course, I’m looking forward to a bit of a break but, more significantly, just getting to this point in my training has given me a nice confidence boost at a time when I can use all the help I can get.

It’s important to identify and then move past mental hurdles during your training so that, when you hit the course, you have faith that you can actually accomplish your goal…or at least finish. That doesn’t mean you have to put in a 13-mile training run if you want to run a half marathon, but you better get up to at least 10. After last weekend’s 21-mile run, I now know that I can handle another five on race day. With that mental hurdle cleared, it feels like the hardest part is over. In fact, the race is now more like a reward for all the work I’ve put in than the looming menace it first appeared to be when I started training. Yeah, some reward, right?

None of this is to say that I’m taking the race lightly. In fact, running those 26.2 miles on October 9 — and, ideally, running them well — will no doubt be the most challenging singular moment of this eight-month endeavor. But now that I’ve put in more nearly 800 training miles, I’m much better prepared for the race, both physically and mentally, than I ever thought I’d be when I was slogging through the February snow and melting under the July sun. Finishing the marathon will be a monumental personal achievement, something to finally cross off the ol’ bucket list years after convincing myself that I’d never be up to the task, but I’ve already seen the benefits from all the training. This isn’t about running the race; it’s about being able to run the race, and what it takes to get there.

Training for your first marathon is a memorable and rewarding experience filled with tiny, incremental victories along the way. Each time I completed a distance I’d never before run, my confidence grew a little more. I learned that this weekend’s good run can erase the memory of last weekend’s bad run, and that 10 miles actually qualifies as an easy run when you start putting in 15- and 20-milers. It’s all relative.

I also learned that marathon training is about the journey and not so much the destination. My journey is almost over, and the destination awaits!

Jamey will be updating his Runner’s Journal a couple times a month as he trains for the 2011 Chicago Marathon – his first full marathon – on October 9. Only 17 days to go…but who’s counting, right?! Email jcodding@bullz-eye.com with comments, questions or your own thoughts on running, and see why Jamey runs.

  

2012 Ford Focus SEL Hatchback gallery

Bullz-Eye is currently cruising around town in the hot selling 2012 5 DR Ford Focus SEL Hatchback and we were impressed from the get go! The test model has a sharp Kona Blue Metallic exterior and a charcoal black interior. Forget about everything you knew about the Focus as this “Detroit Star “was built from the bottom up and just about everything from the design to the 17 inch alloy wheels is eye catching. We’ll let you know about how the 2012 Ford Focus handles and much more when we post the full review in the coming weeks!

  

Sons of Anarchy 4.3 – Dorylus

We’re only three weeks into the new season and already the cracks are starting to show in what appears to be the inevitable collapse of SAMCRO. With members split over the looming vote about whether they should get into the drug business with the Galindo cartel, Clay is trying to do everything he can to swing the result in his favor. It’s a little strange that he would try to convince Bobby to take his side considering he’s one of the cartel’s biggest detractors, but he actually seemed open to switching sides when approached with the prospect of taking over as President as reward for his loyalty. Of course, Clay was just playing him, because he’s already promised Jax to give the patch to Opie when he steps down, but Bobby didn’t know that – at least, not at the time.

But after witnessing Clay make a similar verbal promise to the Wahewa chief knowing full well that he was lying through his teeth, you could tell that Bobby wasn’t buying Clay’s faux act of sincerity any longer. Not that it really matters, because the decision went through even without his vote, albeit with plenty of drama. Piney should have known better than to go behind Clay’s back and involve Gemma in club business – and it’s likely earned him a permanent spot on Clay’s shit list (not to mention a death threat) as a result – but Gemma also needs to keep her nose out of where it doesn’t belong. Still, the look on her face after Clay’s outburst suggests that she’s never seen that side of him before, so it’ll be curious to see how that affects their relationship going forward.

And at the rate she’s going, Gemma might not have many allies by the time this season is over. She was already pushing her luck by breaking into Tara’s office once, but by doing it again, she was practically begging to get caught, which is exactly what happened when Tara’s boss walked in on her snooping around. That may have forced Gemma’s hand to take the more direct approach and confront Tara about Maureen’s letters, but while she claims that nothing good can come of Jax reading them, Tara seems to believe that she has another agenda – namely, protecting the truth about John Teller’s death. Tara clearly already has her suspicions just from the way she’s been behaving around Clay lately, but the fact that she’s gone through the trouble to make copies of the letters proves that she thinks Gemma is up to no good. SAMCRO’s queen bee may have finally met her match, and I don’t think she’s fully realized it yet.

Meanwhile, after his RICO case was seemingly ruined following the death of his undercover agent, Lincoln has turned his attention to SAMCRO in order to use their criminal dealings with the Russians and Real IRA to keep the investigation alive. He doesn’t have much to go on at the moment besides speculation about the Sons’ involvement with the Galindo cartel, so he sends Roosevelt into town to shake things up by attempting to turn Juice against the club. Apparently, Juice’s biological father is African-American, and Roosevelt thinks that SAMCRO wouldn’t take too kindly to that information. I find it hard to believe that the club would exile Juice because he’s half-black (he doesn’t even look it), so I’m hoping that nothing comes of this revelation, because the writing on this show is far too strong to fall back on such a weak subplot.

  

One and a Half Men

What made Two and a Half Men a great show? The raunchy humor was a part of it, but the lines were delivered by great actors playing hilarious characters. Charlie Sheen carried the show with his portrayal of Charlie Harper, and Jon Cryer’s Alan was the perfect foil. The contrast between the two men was real and created the perfect setting for all sorts of situations, and each character made us laugh along the way.

We shouldn’t expect Chuck Lorre and the writers to create a new version of this formula overnight, and it’s impossible to judge the new version of Men after one episode, but there was something missing in the first episode.

I’m not referring to the over-the-top swipes at Sheen’s character and the need to create a new storyline. I thought most of the jokes about Charlie’s death were forced and fell flat, while some of the cameos were funny, particularly the Dharma and Greg appearance. Lorre and his writers will move on, and these scenes have nothing to do with the future of the show.

The problem so far rests with Ashton Kutcher’s new character, billionaire Walden Schmidt, who meets Alan after trying to kill himself. I thought Kutcher was a great choice to replace Sheen, but Lorre seems to have created a flat character with the charisma and humor of a dead fish. He’s good-looking and bags beautiful babes like Charlie with little effort, but he’s also pathetic and boring, at least so far.

Cryer was excellent as usual, and he had many of the laugh lines in this first episode playing off of Walden Schmidt’s good looks and huge assets. His line that he “masturbated and cried myself to sleep” after Walden hooked up with the two babes they brought back to the beach house was classic Alan. But his loser routine worked great when played off of the charismatic and brutally funny Charlie Harper. How long can this work, however, opposite the dour Walden Schmidt?

Maybe the writers will have this character undergo a metamorphosis in part 2 of this opening episode or in future episodes as he embraces all the advantages he has in life. They have to do something, because none of Kutcher’s lines made me chuckle, let alone laugh out loud. Kutcher seemed like a good choice because he’s pulled off a zany and provocative character in the past. He can find a voice here if given the chance. Yet so far he’s more like a straight man, and that has to change. As great as Jon Cryer can be, he can’t carry this show all by himself, and so far the writers are giving Kutcher very little to work with.

  

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