Here’s What I Know, Volume #18: Cancer is a relentless asshole and I hate it

Life isn’t fair, and the proof comes in a variety of ways.

Before we get into what else I know, let’s talk about the unfortunate truths one can’t change.

First off, cancer is a relentless asshole that took another good person in their 30’s this week. Former Cardinal Chris Duncan passed away at the tender age of 38 after a seven year battle with brain cancer. I could list a thousand reasons why Duncan didn’t deserve to die, but I will only get more mad and start breaking shit.

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to know someone in order for their passing to make you sad. Some people just make a connection. This was true when Le’Roi Moore, saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, passed away in 2008. I didn’t know Moore, but his death rocked me. The way he played the sax, enlivening Matthews’ lyrics, spoke to me.

Second, life isn’t fair to the hard workers. Talent tromps hard work in so many areas. Look at the Antonio Brown saga in Oakland. One of the best receivers in the game fucked around with an organization for an entire summer before being granted his release. First off, he messed up his feet in a cryotherapy accident. Second, he made a big deal about the NFL not letting him use his old helmet. Then, he thought Oakland was attacking his character.

Personally, I think this dude fucked up his feet on purpose so he could delay his arrival in Oakland. After all, he was traded to Oakland. Brown didn’t sign with them. He walked away from $30 million guarantee, signing with New England for half of that. Next time, just say you don’t want to play there. Speak up.

Where else can you screw with one employee so bad it becomes a public embarrassment only to sign right away with another employer? The NFL. Brown is one of the best receivers in the game, so he gets to be an asshole. That’s life.

What else do I know?

~Oil Changes After 60,000 miles start to suck. You take the car in, knowing full well something could be wrong. It’s like going to the doctor in your late 30’s. You just hate every single second of the experience. What could go wrong? A lot. My Elantra survived its checkup, even if I had to replace my own cabin air filter.

~There’s nothing quite like family drama. I’m talking about picking restaurants to eat at and navigational issues. Silly, stupid, mundane bullshit. I am sure this level of tedious drama is not limited to the Buffas, but a worldwide issue. I think things would go a lot smoother if we all could decide on where to eat without getting heated and territorial.

~Be more precise. Here’s an issue I have with Uber after 3,100 rides in two years. The people who need Uber rides and Uber app help. I mean, a human being knows I can’t pick them up in the middle of an on-ramp to a major highway, correct? Every weekend, I get some zombie drunk who thinks 10th and Clark is a reliable pickup point. They turn out to be down the street. When they get into the car, it’s my fault. Another thing, when you see the car spinning in circles on the map, that’s not true either. Our car isn’t a fucking surfboard. We are just turning around.

~I still have little to zero interest in NFL games. I don’t even like college football, but that’s for different reasons. The NFL, more than any other league, is an institution of greed, carelessness, and pure garbage. I feel like I am cashing a check on my soul whenever I take in a full game. Others may feel this way about other sports, but with me, football is a pure waste of time. I do love some the drama off the field, but on it, I couldn’t care less.

~My wife is catching up on Showtime’s SHAMELESS, and I can honestly tell you this show is a strong series that holds up. It’s not just the great performances of Emmy Rossum (who is gorgeous) or William H. Macy, but the delicious mix of drama and comedy. The show can go from a laugh to sadness in a heartbeat without true manipulation. Also, there’s honesty about addictions, family dysfunction, and the general chaos of life. I also like how dirty that fucking house is they live in. Other shows always features homes that are way too clean. Jeremy Allen White also put in good work here as Lip Gallagher.

~Kevin Costner is quietly one of my favorite actors. Why some don’t find the goodness in this man’s craft is beyond me. Like it or not, he owns an Academy Away for “Dances With Wolves,” but there’s so much more to his resume. The sports aspect is genuine: “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham,” “For Love of the Game,” and “Draft Day.” Remember Clint Eastwood’s “A Perfect World?” Costner owned that film as an ex-con on the run with a child in tow. He killed it this year’s “The Highwaymen” and is the centerpiece of Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone.” He’s enjoyed a couple comebacks, endured a few rough patches, but always seems to put out solid work. One of his most underrated: “Mr. Brooks,” where he played a family man living a double life.

~I’d like to state for the record that I was wrong about gooey butter cake. Russell’s on Macklind, the best brunch spot in town, gifted my family with an entire cake a week ago, and we annihilated it. I played a healthy part in its demise. It started with a small re acquaintance and turned into a steamy love affair between man and dessert. It’s very sweet, but the bread crumb like texture of the cake evens it out. Fuck food critic mode, just go get some. I was wrong, which happens a lot.

~Running gets harder every year. 4-5 miles feels like ten these days. My knees hate me after those long ones, as if concrete was supposed to be kind of body parts.

One more thing. Be nice to each other. This should be trending. I am not talking about opening doors or helping a blind person to a bathroom (I’ve done this a few times); just smile more often. Sometimes, people just need to be told that everything will be okay, even if it’s really not. Everyone has a stormy forecast of shit ahead, but someone reaching out and saying it will pass sure does help.



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