Friday, January 2, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate Matthew Modine



I spent the down time between Xmas and New Year’s in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. I’ve been going down there for a number of years, and have become disappointed to see the town to slide further and further into the Tourist Gentrification zone. You know you’ve walked into a tourist trap when the town has both a Hard Rock Café and a Planet Hollywood. The question that always plagues me is why anyone would take the trouble to fly to the middle of Mexico and then eat a $12.00 burger at the Hard Rock? Then again, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about… I didn’t walk into the Hard Rock Puerto Vallarta, so maybe they’ve got real good shit tacked on the walls like Blondie drummer Clem Burke’s Speedo or KC and the Sunshine Band’s platform shoes.

I used to like walking down the ocean front sidewalk and checking out the scene. Typical Mexican families would all go there to see and be seen, and weathered men with pushcarts sold all kinds of mysterious street foods. The street vendors are still there, but now they sell cheap plastic toys to placate American Vacation Kids. The tiny restaurant where I once bought a lobster dinner for two with a bucket of six beers for $16 has been replaced with a two story discothèque blasting out of date club tunes to an empty dance floor. Progress… I decided to cut my losses in town.

That left me back at the resort where early one morning flipping through the strange TV channels I stumbled into the 2000 Italian financed/straight to video Matthew Modine movie “If…Dog…Rabbit”. It was one of those movies that seems like a made-for-TV commercial carrier to plop on USA Network for afternoon programming. Despite this not being a not very good criminal caper movie, I watched the entire thing through. The whole time I was wondering how this film came to pass. Shit, Matthew Modine was a pretty big star at one point. Sure, he was never “A list”, but he was in some really big movies. I will tell you this. It’s a long drop from being “Joker” in Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” to “Alec McCall” in “Funky Monkey”.

I was at breakfast trying to wrestle with the low budget movie I had wasted 90 minutes on when I decided to invent an exciting new game. The Matthew Modine Game would provide me with the entertainment I so sorely needed this vacation. Anyone I came across in the next few days would be a potential player. The Matthew Modine Game works like this… No matter what is going on in the conversation, take it back to Matthew Modine. I logged on to the web, armed myself with information about Mr. Modine, and let events transpire. Example… I was going up an elevator with a guy that asked me about my hat.

Him: Bears hat, huh? You from Chicago?

Me: No, I just bought it when I was there once cause my hair was out of control. I’m from Cleveland. How about you?

Him: Upstate New York

Me: Oh! Matthew Modine country! You ever run into him up there?

Him: Umm…No…

Me: Yeah, he moved up there right after he shot Pacific Heights!

Him: Oh…really? I…ah…didn’t know that…

Me: Yeah, he’s a big Knicks fan, so I wasn’t surprised to see him buy a place in New York. Big Knicks guy that Matthew Modine!

Him: Ah… I didn’t know that…I’ll…ah…see you later

You will really be impressed by the quizzical looks you get from people as they wonder “Why the hell is this guy talking so much about Matthew Modine and only Matthew Modine? Why Matthew Modine? Should I be concerned about my safety around this person?”

The great thing about The Matthew Modine Game is that you can play anywhere/anytime. Point out a red head in a crowd and say “That guy looks like Eric Stoltz, doesn’t he? You know who’s good friends with Eric Stoltz? Matthew Modine.” Watching the news and see footage of a military jet? “You know Matthew Modine turned down the role of Maverick in Top Gun?” Or even make it more general… “Hey, do you think Matthew Modine likes Mexican food? I bet he does…” All Matthew Modine all the time. My lovely female companion was ready to drown herself in the ocean by the second day of it.

I’ll tell you this though. The Matthew Modine Game is a lot more fun than water aerobics or beach volleyball. Try it and see.

Random Notes: Most people thought the Rose Bowl was boring this year. Clearly those people didn’t have multiple units on USC -9. At halftime and the score 31-7, it was back slapping and cigars. Late in the fourth quarter when the Trojans snapped the ball over their punters head deep in their own territory things got dicey. What was a laugher turned into White Knuckle City… I am feeling very good about the Baltimore Ravens this weekend in Miami. I suggest putting everything you have into that game… Is it possible all the road teams will win this week in the Wild Card playoffs? It sure seems like it. If I had to take one of the home dogs, it would be San Diego. I question if they can put enough pressure on Manning, but the Charger offense is firing pretty well right now. That should keep them close… I just read “Bad Moon Rising” about Creedence Clearwater Revival. It’s unbelievable how bad their contract was, and even after they called every heavy handed talent manager on the planet, they still couldn’t get out of it. It was so bad that it basically drove John Fogerty crazy enough he couldn’t write music for 20 years. It’s a good read… It took me a long time, but I am on board with Hank III. I listened to his last three records in order, and he really has a great sense of who he is and what he does that makes him a unique voice. Having the ultimate secret weapon of Joe Buck doesn’t hurt either. I highly recommend the “Straight To Hell” record.

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