All posts by Rob Darnell

The Road Within (2014)

712youpdrel__sy445_Finally I get around to telling you about this fantastic movie, The Road Within. I would love it if everyone stopped what they were doing right now, logged into their Netflix accounts to  watch this movie.

Why is this movie so important to me? Why do I want people to watch it? Well, mostly it’s because the lead character has an extreme case of Tourette’s..

I might have Tourette’s, or rather, I’m pretty sure I do. I admit, I have never been diagnosed, though I hope to have a confirmed diagnosis eventually. It really makes me mad when people wave off the notion that I might have Tourette’s and tell me, “Oh, you’re probably just frustrated.” as if I wouldn’t know the difference.

I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and it all seems to fit. I wouldn’t say I have an extreme case, but it is bad enough that I often feel like the Disturbance of Peace. I keep my windows closed at night because I’m terrified of my neighbors hearing my outbursts. I don’t worry about it so much during the daytime, because there’s usually lawnmowers and things like that running that I feel covers most of my outbursts.

But at night, it’s pretty quiet outside and I worry that people can hear every word that comes out of my mouth, whether I shout it at the top of my lungs or just blurt it. I feel that with the windows closed, my outbursts are at least muffled. Of course, sometimes they are very, very loud outbursts and I think the whole neighborhood hears them, even when my windows are closed.

What people don’t understand is these outbursts are not in anger. Yes, I have a terrible temper and I do yell in anger a lot too. But that’s a whole other issue and it doesn’t bother me near as much as the Tourette episodes do.

The stuff that comes out of my mouth during the Tourette episodes is often embarrassing shit and it comes out for no reason. It’s like some freak takes over the part of my brain that controls my vocal cords and tries his damnedest to destroy my reputation. Or as Vincent described it in The Road Within: “There’s a clown in my head, and he shits in between my thoughts. And he forces me to do the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate moment.”

So, why The Road Within?

Sure, there’s Jim Carrey movies, and you might’ve seen documentaries about Tourette’s, and whatever else. But I feel that The Road Within really shows you how Tourette’s works. I also find this movie entertaining, while many other accounts on the subject are boring.

The movie opens up with Vincent at his mother’s funeral. This is a stressful time for him and his Tourette’s are in overdrive. He’s twitching and blurting out numerous obscenities, all of which leave him visibly embarrassed. Eventually he gets up and exits the church to do some screaming outside.

Vincent’s father, Robert, sends him to a home for teens with problems. There Vincent meets Alex, who is a germaphobe, and Marie, who has anorexia. The three of them end up stealing their counselor, Mia’s  car to take a trip to the beach where Vincent wants to leave his mom’s ashes.

Their friendships develop along the way and they gain better understandings of each other, as do Robert and Mia who are in pursuit.

Is Stopping Power a Myth?

Is stopping power a myth? Does a .357 Magnum pack a harder punch than a 9mm? Or is there really no difference in the bullet’s impact?

I don’t know and it seems the experts can’t agree. But we have these swinging steel plate targets that deflect the bullet to the ground when shot. When I shoot the 9mm, the targets swing like they’re supposed to. Not always, but sometimes when I hit the targets with the .357, they practically flip over.

Because it’s only sometimes, I can’t say with certainty that it’s because I was using a .357 Magnum or if it’s because my aim was a little better with some of the shots. But the targets don’t flip like that when I use the 9mm, so maybe it is the .357 that makes them flip.

 

Lapeer Lightning Sings the National Anthem

Last week, the Lapeer High School freshman football team were at an away game in Flint Township. They had lined up for the National Anthem and when they were informed the Anthem wouldn’t play, they took it onto themselves to sing it.

I think that is awesome. I’m seriously impressed. I can’t believe no one has produced a video of this yet. There’s got to be a video. There’s got to be several videos. I very much want to see this on video.

Anyway, I’ve seen some articles that are making this about politics. This really had nothing to do with Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand during the National Anthem. Nor was it a stand against liberals and it wasn’t an attempt to boost conservative pride.

Many high schools don’t play the National Anthem before freshman games, because the freshman game is not the top event of the day. I personally don’t agree with the notion that the National Anthem should only be played before the top event. I see no reason why it can’t be played before freshman games.

But that’s how it’s done at many schools. However, apparently, it’s not done that way at Lapeer High School. Our freshman team believed the National Anthem should play. When it didn’t, they thought something was wrong with the sound system and they made sure the National Anthem was heard before the game started.

So, it wasn’t about politics. It was just good ole boys making their way the only way they knew how.

It was awesome. I’m proud that this is my town’s high school we’re talking about.

Now where’s the damn video?

Tigers in Kansas City, Part III

Well, the Tigers did not lose today. The Royals almost got ahead in the bottom of the 9th, when they had a man on second base and the batter came very close to dinging a home run, but the ball passed just outside the line. The umps did check the replay to be  sure, and ruled it a foul.

So, that was close.

The next hit that batter got–I’m not good at keeping the names of other team’s players in mind–was grabbed off the ground and tossed to first base to tag the batter out.

The guy who was on second base made it to third, so it now looked like extra innings would be added. But he never made it home. Soon there were three outs and the game was over.

Final score: Tigers 6 – Royals 5.

The Cleveland-Miami game is still going on. Currently the score is Merlins 1 – Indians 0 and the 5th inning just ended. We’ll see what happens.

Tigers in Kansas City, Part II

Ooh, I had a feeling them mean ole Royals would do this to my poor Tigers. The  Tigers’ winning streak has ended. The Royals just wouldn’t let the Tigers win tonight.

I hoped for a miracle in the 9th, but it didn’t happen. Miggie was hanging out on first, but Victor and J.D. didn’t get a hit to move him along and get themselves on base. Maybe Kid Jones would’ve saved the day,  but the Tigers had three out before he got his turn at bat in the 9th.

But tomorrow, we’ll show the Royals what the Tigers are all about. We will, won’t we? Guys? Hey… guys?

It gets worse. Cleveland won today. Now they’re five ahead of the Tigers. It’s looking even less likely that the Tigers will catch up to Cleveland.

 

Michigan Sinks Hawaii

The Michigan Wolverines went all Blue on Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors. Many long rushes and passes gave Michigan a 63-3 victory for the first game of the new season.

Next week Michigan plays UCF. Maybe that’ll be a tougher game, maybe not. I’d sure like to see Michigan win all and lose none this season.

Welp, a good first week.

Go Blue!

Tigers in Kansas City

Tonight’s game was worrisome. Kansas City put up a good fight. The Royals were  seemingly determined to wreck the Tigers’ winning streak. The Royals got ahead in the bottom of the 8th, but Miggie saved the Tigers in the top of the 9th when he hit a good one and brought home two.

The Royals didn’t score in the bottom of the 9th. The final score: Tigers 7 – Royals 6.

I kept pulling for Kid Jones. He’d made quite an impression since being called up from Triple A and I really want the Tigers to keep him around. I think he’s a valuable player and I wonder what other surprises he has in the bag. But tonight wasn’t a good night for him. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

I love baseball and I love the Tigers.

Hi, my name is Rob and I’m addicted to sports

Since getting cable TV on Monday, my sport watching addiction has come back with vengeance. I need a game a day to keep the doctor away. In the last couple years, I’d watch games on ESPN3.com or at my mom and dad’s house. But mostly all I could get was the Lions. The Tigers and the Wolverines, and even the Red Wings and Pistons, were a rare find on mom and dad’s TV, as well as ESPN3.com. Often I’d just watch different teams, but it’s always better to watch my own.

I know it’s an addiction when I realize none of my teams are playing today and I start to go cold turkey. But wait, that’s not quite right. The NFL preseason started a few weeks ago and isn’t today Thursday?

I went to the official Detroit Lions website and checked their schedule. Thank the Heavens, there is a game on today. It’s just a preseason game, but it’s a game, a game that at least helps us predict the outcome of the regular season… or so we tell ourselves.

What a game it was. Several players made impressive plays. The Lions successfully kept the Bills out of the End Zone. The final score is, Lions 31 and Bills 0.

That was the last game of the preseason. The regular season starts September 11, when the Lions face the Colts. I’ll probably watch that at my mom and dad’s house. It’s what we’ve been doing for the last several years.

So, out of the four preseason games, the Lions won two and lost two. If the preseason could accurately predict the regular season, by the preseason results, I guess that would mean the Lions will win half their regular games and lose the other half.

But in reality, regardless of how the preseason went, the regular season is always iffy. The Lions might fail miserably or this might be the year they break the terrible curse. I say that every year, so we’ll just have to see.

I was pleased to see that the Lions have Jake Rudock. He was Michigan’s starting quarterback last year. I thought he did very well with the Wolverines and he seems to be doing well with the Lions.

Matthew Stafford is still with the Lions too, so I’m not sure who the starting quarterback will be. But maybe they’ll both get playing time during the regular season.

Socks are Worn in Detroit

Yep, the Tigers swept the White Sox, winning all three games of this series. Justin Verlander pitched today and lasted seven innings. He’s still got the arm.

The score was tied up in the eighth inning, 2-2. The Sox did not break the tie in the top of the 9th.

JaCoby Jones just might find himself dubbed Rookie of the Year. Last night was his first time in the show and he’s determined to stay. He was the hero last night and he was the hero today.

In the bottom of the 9th, the score was still tied. Jones was on third base when the ball was hit to centerfield. Jones made a mad dash and slid into homeplate.

Tigers: 3 – White Sox: 2

Will the Tigers Sweep the White Sox?

The answer to the big question will be revealed tomorrow.

Tonight’s game went sour early when the White Sox got in three runs in the second inning, while the Tigers remained scoreless. It sure looked like trouble for the Tigers and I thought I’d be writing a bummer tonight.

The score was still 0-3 in the bottom of the fourth when J.D. Martinez scared the shit out of me. He hit himself in the leg with the bat and was hopping around for a bit. A medic went out on the field to check him out. I thought they would take J.D. out of the game, and then what were we going to do? But J.D. swallowed his pain and returned to the plate.

J.D. didn’t get a square hit that inning, but eventually walked to first base. Justin Upton came up next and he packed a hard hit, sending the ball far and high over centerfield, but unfortunately the ball dropped before it was over the wall and was caught.

The fourth inning ended with the 0-3 score remaining.

It was the bottom of the fifth when Ian Kinsler turned it all around with his home run, bringing the score to 2-3. The Tigers were still behind, but there was hope.

Bottom of the sixth, J.D. hit one deep into left field and hauled ass to second base.  Upton was up next and he wasn’t playing around. He sent the ball rocketing through centerfield and brought J.D. home.

While Upton was hanging out on second base, JaCoby Jones came up to bat. As I understand it, tonight was Jones’ first time in the Show. I believe he was called up to replace the guy who was injured yesterday.

The kid is good and he had family there to see. In the previous inning, Jones’ folks were interviewed as they sat watching the game. Man, they looked so proud when he hit the ball deep into right field, bringing Upton home.

The Tigers were ahead then, 4-3. But the sixth inning wasn’t over yet. Kinsler came up and brought in two more runs.

The Sox pushed back in the top of the seventh, but only managed to get in one run. J.D. was first at bat in the bottom of the seventh. He smashed the ball over the wall and brought the score to 7-4.

JaCoby Jones wasn’t done yet and swatted a hard roller down centerfield bringing in another run before the seventh inning ended. No one scored in the eighth or the ninth.

Tigers: 8 – White Sox: 4

A side note: The White Sox must have a fashion expert in their locker room. I really like the jerseys they wore tonight. I oughta get me one of those. Maybe one with Avila’s name on it.