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Aug. 7th, 2007 | 11:03 pm

Move along to

THE NEW, LESS PRETENTIOUS BLOG.

I know, it's hard to believe.

John P. Gallo

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Wage Slave.

May. 23rd, 2007 | 08:29 pm

It got
Hot in a hurry
Enough to make sweat
Saturate my cap
And later leave
Dry salt stains on the bill
High water marks of work and weather
But wouldn't be surprised
If it was cold this weekend
Nature's mood swings
Not unlike my own
"Happy and sad and back again
I'm not cryin' now too much"

But, darling, you get all the weather first
Out on Lake Michigan
Watch Chicago Doppler today
And know what sky
Ohio sees tomorrow

You're out in the city where
Winds blow people
Into unlikely romances
Love like the lottery
Except with good odds
Get's hopefuls thinking
It's just a matter of time
Or so I'd imagine
Back here my lone companions
Books by the stack
Whithered writing on crinkled yellow pages
Foreign authors
Sharp words dulled in translation
(Or so I'd imagine)

Makes one wonder about
Sapir-Worf
Does language shape expression,
Understanding?
If a Spanish book
Is read in English
What is lost?
If Central Time calls
Eastern Standard
Is anything gained?

Is experience worth loneliness?
In a minimum wage jail cell
And 40 hours a week in shackles
Keeping me from getting on a bus
And coming to see you.


John P. Gallo

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A little sumthin' I wrote in creative non-fiction...

Mar. 1st, 2007 | 12:00 am

I threw this together in half an hour, combining sources from a New York Times article about the struggle for soldiers returning home from war and an Esquire interview with a soldier who got hit with an IED and is now living as a triple amputee. A lot of this is ripped directly from the articles, but I like the way it turned out. Here goes:

It's because the story doesn't start when the IED goes off, blowing the front end of your Humvee into your lap, ripping off your legs and your left hand. It doesn't start when you take 120 units of blood on the way to Walter Reed. It doesn't start when you come out of the operation in Germany, your wife on the phone and her boyfriend screaming in the background, "Haven't you told him it's over? That you aren't wearing his ring anymore?" It doesn't start with your variety of hands for various occasions, with the purple hearts pumping blood into the desert sand, or the fact that you will never pick up your kids because your new legs won't allow you to bend over because it'll throw your balance off and you'll fall. The story doesn't start there. It starts with a bus ride to the base, a long, hot, humid drive into a stupid fucking war.

John P. Gallo

SOURCES:

http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/ESQ0107bryananderson

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/23/us/23military.html

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There are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right...

Jan. 27th, 2007 | 02:42 pm

Two words for you fine folks:

Weightless workouts.

Kevin Burls just led me through about half an hour of weightless workouts. For those of you who are unaware, weightless workouts are like weightlifting, but you use your body weight to do everything. We started at 1:30, finised at about 2:05, and I was unable to move for about 30 minutes. Like, I was surprised I could make it up the stairs.

But this is good. It feels good. I wasn't that sweaty, just completely exhausted.

But Kevin explains that eventually I will be better at these things.

So here is my first short term goal: I want to work out to the point where I can beat Ryan Conatti at wrestling. That is when I know I have made progress.

John P. Gallo

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Football update + various and sundry.

Jan. 21st, 2007 | 11:00 pm

After going 0-2 this week, my playoff record stands at 5-5. As happened last year, if I correctly predict the Super Bowl, I will be over .500 for the playoffs. Speaking of which, that Colts game was fantastic. Peyton Manning didn't choke, Tom Brady kinda did, and the Super Bowl is offense vs. defense. Storylines abound!

Now, onto the important news...



That's right America! Steelers Watch is back with an all new edition for 2007. I'm excited about this coming season, and I am expecting big things from the boys in black and gold, and even bigger things from Mike Tomlin, who, probably, will be named as the Steelers new head coach. After Whis left, I started rooting for Mike because other leading candidate Russ Grimm is fat, and Mike is skinny. I can't trust a fat head coach.This is the Steelers third head coach in 38 years, the Steelers first Afrcian American coach, and a young, defensive minded guy. Sounds sort of like the last coach, no?

Still, the question on everyone's mind is this. Does this:



=



It could very well be. I'm kind of sad to see the old 3-4 go (that's the rumor, anyway), and I'm not sure how the whole Cover 2 system works. However, the Steelers did run a cover 2, 3-4 style defense back in the Steel Curtain days, and it seemed to work out pretty well back then. And it isn't like Dick LeBeau is going anywhere either. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how all the personal fits into the new scheme. Just keep in mind, if they run a Tampa 2 like the Colts, that means one of our three linebackers won't be starting anymore. That could be an intriguing sub-plot to this offseason.

Anyway, the Steelers are a lock for the playoffs next season. Mark my words.

John P. Gallo

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NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTIONS.

Jan. 21st, 2007 | 02:58 pm

No time for analysis! The game is about to start1


GAME 1: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ CHICAGO BEARS.

FINAL SCORE: Sainst 24, Bears 21.

GAME 2: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS.

FINAL SCORE: Patriots 21, Colts 20.

 John P. Gallo

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Let her sing, Let her sing, Let her!

Jan. 19th, 2007 | 06:42 pm

It was weird. I was standing in the shower today, washing my hair (I'm not sure WHY, exactly, I just put on a hat because it was cold and now my hair looks like I've got some eighteenth century disease that is common amongst the proletariat of that time. I think it would be sort of interesting to live like that for a week. Not the real, go to the shop 20 hours a day and maimed and die in the gutter part, but more fancifal Dicken-esque version. Running around in scarves and finger gloves, picking pockets. For this fantasy to be fulfilled to its Zenith I would need to be aged 5-12. The best scamps are that age.) and I really wanted to write. It's addictive this writing thing, what with the putting words into amusing (to me at least) orders. I know I'm on to something when I can make myself giggle (I haven't done that in a while).  But having writen so much just for the heck of it yesterday, I'm hooked again. I'm a junkie. I am dirty and there are pencil shaped track marks all up and down my arm and I need to borrow just a little more cash for one more hit. Come on man, I swear, just one more to get through the night. I swear to God I swear to God I swear to God. But luckily, society likes my addiction. 'Kay, they don't LIKE it like they like football or business, but they won't lock me up for doing it. No sir, I'm allowed to write whenever I please. In fact, I can even write poems if I want, and I might. I don't know just when, but I'm pretty sure I will write another poem before I die.

A quick update on classes: They are all philosophy/literature. My life is bitchin'.

John P. Gallo

PS. I find this quote by Bill Simmons of espn.com about the upcoming AFC Championship game amusing:

"I can't believe how many readers predicted the following ending of the Pats-Colts game: Vinatieri shanks the game-winning field goal, rips off his jersey to reveal a Pats jersey, then runs across to the Pats sideline and jumps into Belichick's arms as Jim Nantz screams "Noooooooooo! Noooooooooo!" and Peyton Manning breaks out the greatest Manning Face of all-time. Would I sacrifice three months of my life for this to happen? Yeah, probably."

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The word of the week:

Jan. 17th, 2007 | 04:31 pm



This is a quick update before I do two days of homework.

John P. Gallo

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NFL Divisional Playoff Predicitons.

Jan. 13th, 2007 | 03:35 pm

I went 3-1 last week (DAMN YOU ROMO!), so here are this weeks picks.

GAME 1: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS.

The Colts are coming off a big game last week where is looked sort of like their defense finally showed up. I don't buy it. A bad defense can have one good week and it doesn't make them a good defense. The Colts have, and will continue to have, a bad defense. Herm Edwards bad, bad play calling is what did the Chiefs in.

This week, Peyton and the guys go rolling into Baltimore to face a staunch (maybe the staunchest in the NFL) Raven's defense. This is a buzzsaw for the Colts. The Ravens are so tough and physical on D I see Peyton getting flustered early. Ray Lewis and company will not drop 7 much, opting to blitz the hell out of Manning. If Manning can cope with that, the Colts will win. He won't.

FINAL SCORE: Ravens 24, Colts 10.

GAME 2: PHILIDELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS.

The first of two total toss up games. The Eagles looked good last week against the Giants. Don't let the close score fool you, division opponents are always tough, so it is huge that the Eagles won. However, I really can't pick against New Orleans with their speed on offense, surprising compitence on defense, and an entire unit playing as a whole greater than the sum of it's parts. Don't forget about Drew Brees, maybe the best passer in the league right now.

Eagles are also hurting with the loss of Lito Shepard. I think it just might be one loss to many.

FINAL SCORE: Saints 35, Eagles 24.

GAME 3: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ CHICAGO BEARS.

The Seahawks played horrific football last week, and if it weren't for a botched snap they'd be at home this week end. Chicago's D is in tact, and Rex Grossman is going to hand the ball off, alot.

Not even going to be close.

FINAL SCORE: Bears 24, Seahawks 0.

GAME 4: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ SAN DIEGO "SUPER" CHARGERS.

Man, how do you pick this game? The best team in the NFL against the best active playoff coach and quarterback in the NFL. The Pats have their shit together, but do they have an answer for LDT? Really, I think that is what it is going to come down to. If LDT has a big game, the Pats are going to loss a close one.

I really don't know who to pick, I can see either team winning. I'll pick the Chargers because Shawn Merriman has the best sack celebration, "LIGHTS OUT!"

FINAL SCORE: Chargers 24, Patriots 23.

John P. Gallo

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Top Ten Movies Countdown.

Jan. 6th, 2007 | 04:19 pm

Welcome once again to the Top Movies Countdown. In retrospect, 2006 was a surprisingly solid year. Here are the best:

10. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.



I'll admit, I probably would have liked it a lot more if it wasn't for the film's incredible hype machine. Throughout November it seemed like Borat was everywhere. The movie couldn't help but be a little disappointing. But not that disappointing! Borat was still really funny, but there was some fantatic satire running right below the surface. Like so many good movies this year, it was topical, political, and really entertaining.

9. Slither



Here's a movie I wouldn't have seen unless it was recommended by CHUD.com. This is a weird, funny, sick, fun genre movie. I'm not usually one who goes into a straight up horror movie and walks out happy. This movie, which does not take itself seriously, is a vehicle for Nathan Fillion, captain of the late great Serenity, and he gives a classy preformance. All in all, fun and funny. Not too much to think about, and as much as I detest that in most movies, it works here.

8. Little Miss Sunshine.



This, the only other straight up comedy on the list, is a very good, very funny comedy. Still, has some problems. It tries to be dark at times, a movie about screwed up people doing screwed up things. However, the movie sort of sells out at the end. STILL! I like it. I cannot forgive its problems because it is so funny. Steve Carrell is great, and his verbal spats with Greg Kinnear are memorable. I think it is worth seeing again.

7. Inside Man



I don't remember much about seeing this the first time except that I liked it. I do remember being confused. I also remeber that I liked watching Clive Owen and Denzel Washington engage in a battle of wits. Come to think of it, I do remember a lot of stuff. I remember the ending being unneccessarily convoluted. Still, it was a well written and well directed heist movie. I love Clive Owen! Go Clive Owen!

6. Casino Royale.



I don't know whether I like this movie because it is a good movie or because it is a good BOND movie. It is, in fact, the only GOOD Bond movie since Goldeneye. I liked Daniel Craig, I liked Eva Green, there was good violence, not stupid convuluted action set pieces that only existed to exist. While there was a degree of unbelievable stuff (that opening with the guy who climbs all over the stuff? Come on.), I really enjoyed most everything the movie had to offer. It made me think that maybe Clive Owen wasn't the best choice. I love Clive Owen! Go Clive Owen!

5. Brick.



Technically, this movie debuted in 2005, but it didn't show anywhere until 2006. Hence, it is eligable on this list. I love this movie so much. It's noir, but you know, in like, a high school. This could have been a schlocky film if it wasn't played completely straight. Luckily, the actors understand the premise, and exectute to perfection. This is a fantastic detective movie.

4. United 93.



When I saw this in April, I was sure this was the top movie of the year. While that is a testiment to the strength of the other films on the list, it shouldn't take anything away to this docudrama. This movie seemed like nothing but truth on camera. Amazing writing, acting, editing, direction, everything. This is easily technically the best film of the year. Not mention it emotionally messes with you like none other. On of the most important movies of the decade.

3. The Departed.



The more I think about this movie the more I like it. It is my kind of movie. Funny, violent, snappy dialog and interesting characters. Great acting from Leonardo DiCaprio (who looks like he is acting with a chip on his shoulder), Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. Lots of great twists and turns, and good choices on the soundtrack. It feels like Martin Scorscese just whipped this one out. Easy, epic, and astonishing, it feels like it is on the scale of classic tragedy.

2. Children of Men.



I saw this movie just last night and I lurved it. This dystopian drama about a world where woman can't have babies is shockingly topical. It's strangely relevant while being completely forgien. Or is it? Just all around well made. I really don't know what to say, except that I love Clive Owen. Go Clive Owen!

1. The Fountain.



For an incredibly strong film year, it takes something spectatular to top my list. This is that movie. It's visually haunting, and maybe a little too smart for it's own good. Great preformances by the entire cast, especially Hugh Jackman. I don't want to say anything else about this move, but this quote by Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón is really appropriate, "A friend of mine, Carlos Reygadas who directed Battle in Heaven, said to me that he stopped believing in films that stop when the lights come on. Now I only believe in films that start when the lights come on." This is truly a movie that starts when the lights come up.

John P. Gallo

PS. The same deal on typos.

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