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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary


September 26, 2003

Exhaustion. By definition, it's means to tire extremely or completely. And, I tell you what, that's pretty much on the money about what I felt after last night's Slightly Stoopid concert at the State Theatre in St. Pete.

The evening was one of those seamless transitions, direct from work (where I had stayed late, working on postcards) to meet with Riley & Kim at Bennigan's on Dale Mabry. That's the infamous place where Desi, me and two chicks we met at a Jeff Berardelli party in the fall of 2001 went and where the girls nearly got in a fight with these two strippers who came up to Desi and I and started talking to us, giving us their VIP cards, etc. Its proximity to the Dale Mabry strip club row plays a part in some of its late-night clientele.

Bennigan's Logo
Tampa strippers sometimes take this Bennigan's slogan a little too seriously.

But last night began there not during late night, but rather in the early evening. They had Heineken on tap, which was nice. The run of sappy love songs playing from the jukebox was bad, but perhaps not as bad as the obscure selections that this middle-aged man picked out shortly after my Counting Crows/Sublime two-for-a-dollar pick ran out. Riley and I were sitting there saying "This guy is going to play some awful music," and we were right. Sometimes you just know these things.

From there it was off to St. Pete. The State Theatre is an interesting place, with an old-time feel mixed with the run-down edge of the old Cinema South in Nashville. Ratty enough to be cool, but old enough to have some personality. Or something like that.

To the band that played before Slightly Stoopid, Agent 51: ripping off riffs from AC/DC and Rage Against The Machine doesn't make you cool. Just so you know.

Playing the "I wonder if that girl is 18" guessing game during one of the intermissions I think was much more amusing for Riley and I than Kim. Without my glasses, I wanted a second opinion if this one blonde girl might be of legal adult age. I was shouted down with a resounding no from both of them. Kim actually seemed a little upset about it. Oh well, I was just asking.

Slightly Stoopid put on a good show, but dammit if it didn't drag on and on and on. If sleep hadn't been a factor, that would've been great. Slightly Stoopid has a Sublime-influenced rock sound that is excellent in a live setting. But the more the minutes ticked by, the more tired and irritable I became. I rode there with Riley, so I didn't have the option of leaving early. It didn't help things that Riley & Kim disappeared early into the set, leaving me to fend for myself amidst the masses.

One interesting thing to notice was the big mosh pit that broke out in the middle. Moshing was kinda cool when I was 15, 16, 17 years old. At 26, it strikes me as totally ridiculous. Though, I will put the crowd over for having the best mosh pit etiquette I've ever seen. A couple of times a beer bottle went flying and smashed on the ground... only for everyone to stop, make sure the glass was clear, and then go back to slamming into one another. I did get into the fun a little bit, moving up to the front of the Pitfighter-style surrounding crowd and giving some of the scrawnier pit moshers Brock Lesnar-esque throws across the pit. A little human bowling. Then there was the crazy crowd surfer who came sailing over toward me in the air. The short girl next to me was in no position to give the assist, so in one of those real-life hulk-up moments I caught the guy in an Ultimate Warrior-style gorilla press and press slam throw into the sky to my left. It was like I was performing the feats of strength in Festivus.

Unfortunately, the power games didn't do anything to quell the exhaustion. Sleep deprivation is a bitch. And the band played on.

Joe Pantoliano as Ralphie Cifaretto
If a girl offers to give you the "Ralphie Treatment", politely decline. Then run...

The show finally ended around 1 AM. Riley drove Kim and I back to Tampa. I suppose my exhaustion-induced surliness was showing, as they kept asking me if I was mad. I told them that I was, but not at them -- I just can't be pulling this shit anymore on weeknights. It kills me the next day. I knew this going in, and I was angry at myself for not planning it out better. Especially on the back-to-back night tip, I just can't handle it. An intoxicated Kim decided to climb up through the sunroof of Riley's car (as we rode across the Howard Frankland bridge, mind you), and she didn't quite understand why I declined her invitation to join her. I was totally wiped out. The energy level for me was on empty. Out of gas.

So now the weekend is here, but I don't feel like doing jack tonight. I need to rest up I think. Or at least get some sleep at some point. Though I do want to check out that new show The Handler with Joe Pantiolano (who's a great actor who starred in classics like The Matrix, Memento and most recently as Ralphie Cifaretto on The Sopranos).

While waiting at the Dodge dealership last week, I killed time making some random notes for the website, which I will dispense to you now...

-Gene Shalit doesn't need a hair trimmer, he needs a weed whacker. It's just ridiculous to see him on national TV. He makes F.F. Woodycooks' moustache look pencil-thin by comparison.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb Your Enthusiasm is a good show.

-Larry David's HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm is excellent. I haven't given it nearly enough of a chance. It's very very funny. If you didn't know, Larry David was the Executive Producer for Seinfeld in its best years (all but the final two seasons).

-Speaking of cable, I happened to catch some of the long version of Once Upon A Time In America on Cinemax not too long ago. Robert DeNiro is great in that film... though by the end, I was like enough already, this is too much. Kinda like that concert last night.

-Two movies I must buy on DVD are Half Baked and Office Space. I swear, not a week goes by where someone doesn't reference at least one of those films in conversation.

-I saw some of the movie Hackers on Cinemax... It makes 1995 (the year it was made) sure seem very dated. It's kind of depressing, actually.

-The whole "British people are mad at David Blaine" angle is baffling to me. Blaine is going without food for an incredible 33 days in a glass box high above London. Unfortunately for Blaine, this is not sitting well with the Brits, who've done everything from trying to cut his water supply to throwing paint balloons at him. Is this actually something worth getting mad about?!?

-Those AARP commercials are killing me. "If it only took one person, then we wouldn't need to the AARP." Please. This is an organization that promotes things like fighting laws that would keep unsafe elderly drivers off the roads. But like my uncle Tom Pickney would say, it's the golden rule -- he who has the gold makes the rules... And the elderly in general have more gold that people in my age demo.

-Did any of you by chance see the drop-dead gorgeous blonde chick from Yale on the season premiere of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? That sort of thing is what they need more of on that show...

-This wasn't in my original talking points notes, but I saw that the Game Show Network is about to pick up the rights to the old Regis Philbin-hosted Millionaire episodes. How did ABC manage to screw that one up? They had the hottest thing going in TV in 2000, with a format that lended itself to indefinite success, and they screwed it all up with overexposure, killing off the phone-in game and the use of endless celebrity episodes. I'll never forgive ABC for that one. At least the syndicated version of the show is around, though...

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