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Paul Wesley

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  1. I go to a lot of live music, but there are close to zero artists who I'd go see under those circumstances.
  2. "Casting JonBenet" is bizarre, and unlike any movie I've ever seen. A community theater in Boulder has a casting call for a play about Jon Benet. Then the usual assortment of drama people (including several self-absorbed whackadoos) who want to be in the production show up and try out for each role. These screen tests are filmed for a documentary. Each actor 1) reads lines from the script, 2) offers their own theories on the murder and on the Ramsey family dynamics, and 3) tells about their own psychological traumas, and how those traumas give them insight into the case. Five minutes in, you'll think, "I'm not watching this shit." But then you will. And you'll soon be left to wonder WTF just happened. I'm not sure if I'm telling you to watch it or warning you away.
  3. Paul Wesley

    Cut short

    I just listened to "Five Leaves Left" in its entirety, which I haven't done in a couple decades. I forgot how great it is.
  4. I just searched this thread to see if anyone had commented on this series. I'm 3 episodes in. My wife is over it ("We get it!"), but Dr West is a train wreck that I can't look away from. The guy is just beyond loathsome. After being proven wrong over and over and over again by DNA testing, he still lacks ANY humility or self-reflection. In fact, he's so stubborn in his self-righteousness that he lets a documentary film crew follow him around while he endlessly congratulates himself for being such a badass. I mean, if modern DNA analysis was proving that I had wrongfully locked up numerous black men, I probably wouldn't participate in a documentary about that. And even if I did, I'd probably take the Confederate flag memorabilia down from my office, and I wouldn't drive around downtown Hattiesburg and talk about the importance of civil war monuments. There are about four other "fuck this guy" moments that I won't list in case anybody else wants to watch it.
  5. A few things about those '95 Rockets, one of my all-time favorite sports teams. Any of y'all who aren't interested in a Rockets fan blathering on a Michael Jordan thread, just scroll down. The '95 Rockets had a very ugly regular season , especially considering that they were the defending NBA champion. Kenny Smith has talked about an arrogance and self-satisfaction that crept into the team that year. They suddenly felt that their practice facilities weren't good enough, their hotels weren't good enough, their flights weren't good enough, etc. Late in that season, they traded Otis Thorpe for Clyde Drexler. It was a Hail Mary trade. Thorpe wasn't much of a scorer, but he was a very athletic 4, and he allowed the Rockets to match up against teams like Detroit and New York, who were still playing the very physical style of bully-ball (which was about to go out of fashion in favor of speed and 3-point shooting, though I'm not sure NBA fans knew that at the time). Houston management, to their credit, saw the writing on the wall... they were likely headed for a very early exit from the playoffs. Even after that trade, the Rockets limped along. They had a sub-.500 record in the last 35 games of the regular season. They were a very mediocre team by any metric. On top of losing Thorpe, their starting 2-guard, Vernon Maxwell, who was a fierce perimeter defender and among the best 3-point shooters in the league, started pouting, faking injuries, and became a locker-room cancer. He resented losing minutes to Drexler, and he quit the team after their first playoff game. So one game into the 1995 playoffs, the Rockets were the 6 seed, without two of their most essential ingredients from their championship the year before, and they were playing sub-.500 basketball even after the arrival of Drexler. I don't know what kind of odds you cold have gotten in Vegas for them to repeat as champions, but they weren't even in the discussion of who the favorites were. They were 6-11 in the regular season against the four teams they would eventually face in the playoffs. What followed was one of the most unlikely playoff runs in the history of team sports. They played the four teams with the four best regular-season records in the league, giving up home-court advantage in every round. They set an NBA record for road wins in the playoffs, which is a mark unlikely to be broken. They got an absolutely transcendent performance from Hakeem. You could make a hall-of-fame caliber highlight reel using only his footage from that one-month period. Their draft picks from the prior years proved prescient. Neither Robert Horry nor Sam Cassell was a lottery guy or an especially dazzling pick on draft day. Each had careers far beyond the players drafted around them. Their roster also had journeymen like former 7th-round pick Mario Elie, one of the league's very first "3 and D" players (which wasn't really a "thing" at the time either). They were one of the first NBA teams to say, "We're going to spread you out and put 4 guys on the floor who can shoot threes." Anyway, I'm writing all this in response to the suggestion that "Houston had a better team than Orlando." Which is true in the same way that it's true that the Nationals had a better team than the Astros last year. Those Nationals played better **at the time that it counted**, they got more clutch hits, they got more clutch pitching, they won games on the road where they were huge underdogs. But if you were going to auction/trade away the whole roster, they definitely wouldn't have been "better" than the team they beat. The '95 Magic were universally considered to be the future of the NBA. Hardaway was considered the next Magic Johnson (he fell short largely due to injuries), Shaq was maybe the most coveted draft pick in NBA history, and the Magic lived up to their moniker when their ping-pong ball landed him. The league actually re-wrote the lottery rules because of how powerful upstart Orlando had suddenly become, mostly due to the luck of the Shaq draft. In addition to the best young point guard and the best young center, they had Horace Grant in the prime of his career. Dennis Johnson was a great spot-up shooter, and Nick Anderson was an athletic young scorer. Before the playoffs, probably every GM in the league would have traded his roster for Orlando's. After the playoffs, they STILL would have picked Orlando's, because they were younger, more talented, and had way more upside than any team in the league, including Houston. So sure, in hindsight, maybe we'd have to agree that Houston was better because they peaked at precisely the right moment, they got one of the great playoff performances in history from a Hall-of-Famer, and they got ridiculously clutch performances from 4 or 5 journeymen on a very pedestrian bench. But starting the 1995 playoffs, there were 7 or 8 teams in the league "better" than Houston, and that included Jordan's Bulls, who would have run into the same buzz saw that Orlando did, even if those Bulls could have made it out of the East.
  6. I said he had more information than anyone ON THIS THREAD. Which is true.
  7. You could go to war with that lineup right there. Gold top with P90s, black and gold custom, Pelham blue SG. Classics.
  8. Thanks for the nice review. I think the color is Daphne blue. I'll put it in my will to you.
  9. Sometimes you go out looking for a specific style or model, and sometimes a guitar just speaks to you. Around 1995, I was on my own and living pretty much hand-to-mouth. I used to drive the battered-but-faithful Honda Civic that I bought for $300 (and had to bump start for about a year until I could buy a new starter) to the nearest mom-and-pop music store, mostly just to look at tablature to classic rock songs and try to memorize as much of it as possible without the clerks reaching the point of annoyance where they'd come interrupt, "Can I *help* you with something?" One visit, I walked in, and among the 25 or so guitars on the wall was this custom-shop Strat, and I knew instantly that it was MY guitar. Up until then, the only nice guitar I owned was a Gibson, and I wasn't even necessarily looking for a Fender. Anyway, it's still mine. It's 100% original. It sounds and plays as good as ever. I still love the color combo (it also has a pretty great bird's-eye maple neck that might not show up in the photo). I've never regretted the financial stretch for a single second. Happy Straturday, you glorious enabling sons of bitches.
  10. We're missing the guy who sneered and energetically lead the "Lock her up!" chant - later named to be Trump's National Security Advisor - going to fucking prison for lying to American intelligence services about conversations with Russians.
  11. Thank you for this legal lesson. I was struggling to understand, but your last sentence brought it into focus.
  12. I cannot follow this logic. Explain to me *why* the FBI notes would have been exculpatory? I mean, every time a criminal is lying during an interview, and one law enforcement agent scribbles a note that says, "'This guy is a fucking lying liar," but the prosecutors don't later turn over a copy of that scribbled note to the defense attorney, they've committed a Brady violation?
  13. Previously (and I just posted this reminder in the Mueller thread): Here's a reading of the transcript in a sentencing hearing. Except now, Bill Barr says, "Gosh, we're just going to have to walk away from this case, because Trump's DOJ can't possibly prove what this traitor has unequivocally admitted to doing."
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