How was Rocky Balboa as a movie?
Well, honestly, it was average. I enjoyed the nostalgia aspect and all, but as a stand alone film, it’s not much to talk about. Somehow, Rocky got smarter since V, where he could barely spit out a sentence, and made as much sense as the ICF patients in my work facility, and, his son grew up, and was still a little ungrateful prick. Antonio Tarver had all the charm and charisma of a post-stroke Mr. T, and quite frankly, some of the flashbacks, especially during the final fight were creepy and disorienting. (Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the old one of course, where they were in the boat and Gene Wilder starts singing that creepy song while horrifying images are flashing by).
But thats neither here nor there. Because all it took was one scene to turn all of that around.
When Rocky finally agrees to do the main fight, his life once again becomes a media storm. So of course, his son being the ingrate that he is, confronts him about his decision, complaining that he has been living in his shadow for too long, and for him to do this fight would place him back further in, leaving him with no identity of his own. I know, boo fucking hoo.
Anyway, as they are standing outside, Rocky puts him in his place. Life is hard, he tells him, nothing will ever hit you and punish you as hard as life can. He then goes on to say how when you get battered and beaten so bad, sometimes you need to point fingers, to make yourself feel better, or less responsible. He finishes with, what makes someone a winner, is not so much what they do, it is being able to take the hardest shot life can give you, and getting up.
Getting up makes you a winner. Not to mention, his tone and delivery were on point. It was one of those strange moments, where I reached up and found that there were tears slowly beginning to overflow out of my lids. It was funny to think I was such a wreck from life that a Rocky line could evoke such emotion from me. But it was just the timing of the thing, and the realization that my fight is far, far, from being over. In fact, it has barely begun. This last part hit home today especially.
After that, there was a moment, right at the end, when the champion belts Rocky with his hardest shot. He goes down, but holds himself up with his glove, talking internally. He has a short talk with himself, and ends it with, alright now, get up. Those last words burned themselves into my brain.
I kept telling myself that over and over today. Walking through the old westbury campus, trying my hardest not to throw up on shrubbery.
I was fine all day. A little tired, but thats all. And then, Danielle decided to call and ask about the boys passports. Predictably, the conversation degenerated from there. (For any newcomers, she is my ex-wife, and mother of my boys). Of course, I asked why those were needed, and where they were going, and then I got upset when I did not get a straight answer. And no, I don’t know is not a straight answer. So, from there, things went from bad to worse, at one point, I had to swallow back a large unexpected load of bile after hearing that buying nice pretty baubles equates to caring about somebody.
Of course, my retort was, well, if thats all it took, I would have stayed in school, told you to take care of the real important stuff, like getting around and the babies, and then made it all better for you by keeping you draped in nice shiny things.
Strangely enough, that was not received very well on the other end. I choked back insults as best I could, and then took some heat for my song parody. (which you can read a couple of entries below, cleverly entitled, to the right…) Which, as I stated in my other blog, had nothing to do with her.
I do not know if she actually reads this, or if it relayed second-hand, either way, I wish to make myself perfectly clear.
When I want to talk about/write about you, this is what it looks like, ok?
But I cannot say that is the only reason I almost had a nervous breakdown. It’s simple really, I was scared shitless. Well, no, I am scared shitless.
See, I am taking out loans. This is new to me, as I have always played the poor minority card and gotten my cheap suny education paid for by financial aid. (thank you liberal douches for making my college education cost effective). Basically, if I am overwhelmed by work, or unable to do well, or unable to complete again, and bear in mind, there would only be one reason for this to happen, as I am generally an excellent student, and thrive in an academic environment (for reason, see above), I would be forced to start paying those loans back fairly quickly, and, not to mention, not have a degree to show for it.
So yes, I am scared out of my wits. The only thing I really have going for me, aside from my rusty academic talents, is the fact that I will have a virtual sea of support here, compared to the last time, when I was not only fighting to get good grades, I was fighting to live my life, and unfortunately, pretty much everyone elses too. At the very least, some people will be happy to see me trying to get ahead this time around.
All of this residual anger, and nerves, and fear came to a disgusting and unexpected head as I sat in an office, getting advisement.
I began to think, and gag again, angrily trying to shoo bitter words and terrible fears from my thoughts. All the while doing my best to pay attention to the nice lady telling me all about Research Methods I. This resulted in more gagging by me, which in turn prompted her to ask me, “Are you ok?” Now, you could be ready to hurl, and swallow it back a hundred times, but all it takes is one outside acknowledgement, and thats it, game over. Say hello to my little friend.
A small torrent of spit and greenish bile spurt forth, and I coughed from the effort of furiously trying to hold it back. Meanwhile, my advisor narrowly missed getting her pants soiled by jumping back quickly. She yelped and began to suggest medical attention, asking me repeatedly if I was ok. Obviously, no. But I recovered quickly, and waved off her attempts to convince me that I needed to be seen by a doctor. I told her the truth about my day, and chalked it all up to a severe case of anger containment, and rattled nerves. I cleaned up the rather small puddle, took my newly printed sheet and left for the financial aid office after apologizing profusely. Inwardly, I applauded her reflexes and hoped I could hold it together for a little longer.
The financial aid office turned out to be a short visit. The process was explained, the papers were given to me, and I left feeling slightly more knowledgeable, and a bit more frightened. In short, I have a week to come up with several thousand dollars in tuition, from loans, blood donations, etc… or my newest attempt at a college degree will be a short one.
Bear in my dear reader. I had my pick of universitys coming out of high school, many of them on either academic scholarships, or athletic scholarships. Granted, almost all were athletic, but nevertheless, Seton Hall and Penn State have standards that certainly transcend an above average wrestler at best. Yes, of course I hear the question on all of your minds, well Tobas, why wouldn’t have attended those universitys, or any of the countless SUNY schools you were accepted to? (basically, every single one I applied for, I settled on Albany, but I’m about to get to that part).
Simple, I did pick a school. I chose Albany, and was enrolled, and was even given my room-mate list, which happened to include one of my close high school buddies Josh. Sadly, when the time came to get the loan, my parents waffled on signing and all my years of hard work in high school came to a crushing, motivation destroying end. Needless to say, I was extremely bitter about this, yet I chose to go to NCC anyway, opting to use the little savings I had to purchase my fathers old nissan pick-up. At the same time, I was also set to begin my first day on the job at Levitz Furniture, where my sister worked at the time, so, college, and new job, same day. Wasn’t what I hoped for, not even close, but I was determined to make the best of it.
So, I go to school, work my first day, and there I am, driving home on hempstead turnpike. I stop at a red light, wait patiently, see green, then hit the gas. And here is where inexperience rears its ugly little head. Everyone always sees some asshole trying to beat the light, and most have you have probably been that asshole at some point, I know I have. I knew nothing of that danger and plowed ahead, not noticing that the other cars hadn’t moved yet. Unfortunately, since I was in the middle lane, and the line was staggered, I could not see what the others could.
What I could not see, was a legally deaf girl (I’m not making this up people), blowing through the yellow at eighty miles an hour. The impact was horrific. Driver side, and then only thing I can remember is feeling as if a giant metal hand had punched my entire left side. After that, there was a short moment of looking up, hearing liquid spilling, and the drivers side window breaking loose and shattering on my bloody head. Words came to me, but they sounded far away, things like, “get him out now! the gas is leaking!” and then, “look at his chest, he needs an x-ray a full catscan now.” (Afterwards, I discovered they were referring to my mutation, and I laughed thinking how that must have looked to an ER doctor).
Somehow, I survived, and with relatively minor injuries. Some swelling in the brain, twisted vertebrae, but nothing to keep me in for more than a few days. The doctor attributed this to my being young and in very good shape. I, of course, interpreted this as a cruel jest of the Hebrew God, and immediately became completely and utterly disillusioned with everything and everyone. All that work, all those years, and for what? Community college and a near fatal wreck? As I thought at the time, and even now sometimes, I could have been sitting right pretty in Albany with a few sorority girls, and the only wreck would have been my hangover in the morning.
I eventually returned to NCC. But it was only because my good friend needed a classmate who could help him in class, and I would have a free ride to and from school, provided I signed up for all the same courses as him, which I did. Little did I know we would spend so much time baiting hooks as opposed to reading books, but thats another story. I managed respectable grades, but by doing only the bare minimum required of me. I was there, but only to be doing something, at the time, I could care less about anything.
Coincedentally, it was not long after that I started dating Danielle.
In retrospect, I would say things went from bad, to worse. And that really is saying a lot, factoring in the car crash and all. Does that sound mean? Maybe. But the truth is, I would have traded ten car wrecks for one life wreck.
It was only after getting married, and having sebastian, that I began to realize I would not be given a chance to return to school unless I really pushed the issue. I was called selfish, irresponsible, and pompous. Regardless, I still worked full time, went to school full time, and when my mother couldn’t take sebastian to work with her to watch him, even took that incredibly well behaved little boy into class with me, and begged professors to let me stay and learn. Which luckily, they did (One was reluctant, but then she saw sebastian about to cry and she relented). I finished my associates in three semesters, taking 12 and 16 credits at a time, and managed to finish my last semester with a perfect 4.0, earning a 3.4 gpa overall.
After being beaten down by life again, I abandoned my college career shortly into my life at old westbury, and returned to being what I was, a stupid fool.
So, as I lay here now typing, and listening to the latest blow up involving the other members of my family, do you think I feel a little bitter? Do you think I might want to point a finger or ten? Oh yes, I certainly do.
But it’s not what you do, it’s whether you can take that massive haymaker and hold yourself up, because sometimes all you have is that rubbery arm propping up your beaten body, and you have to talk to yourself for a little while, and convince yourself that this time, you are going to do it, and you are going to get it right.
So, I am sure this tale will have mixed reactions from my readers, some good, some bad, but in the spirit of spitting in the face of your jailer, I will say this much,
Chances are, if you read this, and you don’t like what you saw, you can go and fuck yourself with a spiky, rusty, metal, staph infested dildo, because I fucking hate you.
Interpret that however you like dear reader.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this shit. Even if, you happen to be someone I want fucked with a rusty, metal, spiky, staph infected dildo.
“Hey, everybody, we’re all gonna get laid!”
-Rodney Dangerfield (Back to School)
Live it, Love it.