Coming out of my Pandemic shell, Bottle Rocket, Rise Against, Geek Love, Chris Paul, Braun Strowman, and more

The Josh Wells Weekly, Episode 95


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Telling jokes in a “tiki tent” behind a strip club.

Random Thought

The pandemic was a shell and it’s time to start coming out of it. I know I’ve written about this recently but I think the last time I wrote about it, I was more hesitant to crawl out of my shell. I found comfort hiding inside of it. It’s my shell, my own little place where the outside world can’t bother or interrupt me. It’s comforting. But it’s also a trap.

Pre-pandemic Josh loved the outside world. I liked hanging out, telling jokes, going to see bands, getting away, going on vacations, stuff like that. I’d sorta been deprived of it for so long that I got used to it and the lack of effort it took to not do these things was easy and although it may be detrimental to the excitement levels in my life, I like easy.

But now I got things going on. I’m going to Denver to visit a friend, see my dad, and tell some jokes (and hopefully do some cool Denver shit as well). I got tickets to see the Foo Fighters at MSG with my mom and brother. These two things, happening within the next 2 weeks or so, feel like a return to form in my head. It’s like a welcome back party. Let’s go outside. Let’s get comfortable with outside. Let’s admit there’s more fun to be had out there, beyond the boundaries of my shell.

Just having these 2 events on my calendar are starting to help me immensely. They’re like targets into a brave new world outside which is hopefully more like a brave old world that I once knew and enjoyed a whole bunch. It’s time to start living. It’s time to break away from the shell.

Movie I Watched Recently

Bottle Rocket


This was Wes Anderson’s feature-length debut as a director and stars the very young Wilson brothers (Luke and Owen) who apparently traded hair length somewhere along the way because in this instance, Luke has long hair and Owen’s hair is short.

I really dug this movie. It’s hard to explain what I like about it exactly which I think is something I feel about most Wes Anderson movies. I like them for the most part, but I can’t give you obvious reasons why. I think it’s a bunch of subtle things. The casting’s always great. The cinematography is unique and interesting at times. There’s great music. I want to say that Anderson somehow celebrates the mundane but he really doesn’t. The plot of this movie is completely over-the-top in a big picture sense but Anderson’s movies have a way of making over-the-top seem mundane and then somehow celebrating that mundaneness… if that makes any sense at all.

Owen and Luke are brothers in real life but in this movie they have been cast as best friends. They both come across as good hearted fuck-ups which is super endearing to me. Gimme all your stories about the good hearted fuck-ups. I’m here for all (well, most) of them.

Also, I’d like to celebrate the averageness of Luke Wilson. I don’t mean this in an insulting manner. I think the strength of Luke Wilson is that he comes across as average so I think a lot of people don’t have a hard time seeing themselves in him which in turn makes it easier to immerse yourself in the story.

There’s a third Wilson brother cast in this movie as well, Andrew, who plays Owen’s brother in the movie and is referred to as Future Man.

“Let’s trade hair length in a few years.”


TV show I’m currently watching

I’m not watching anything new. I was going to attempt to binge, ‘That 70’s Show,’ but it’s not binging for free anywhere. Maybe I’ll settle on something next week, or maybe not, we’ll see. Stay tuned.

Album of the Week

Nowhere Generation / Rise Against

I just can’t get into this band. I dig their, ‘anti-authority / don’t trust the powers that be,’ theme. But that’s about it. Everything else about them feels too polished for punk. I get it… it’s loud, it’s fast, the vocals are being screamed. This should be punk rock but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels like they’re trying too hard. And maybe I shouldn’t fault a band for that but I love punk rock when it feels gritty and rough around the edges and oddly incomplete. This album feels like it came out of a pricey recording studio with long night sessions with too many takes of doing the same parts over and over again. Rise Against needs less polish and a little more dirt.

But hey, maybe super polished punk rock is your thing. If they listened to me, they’d probably be less successful and that wouldn’t be fun for them. So give it a go if you think that’s something you might be into. Different strokes and whatnot.

Book I’m Currently Reading

Geek Love / Katherine Dunn

So this family of circus freaks (The Binewski’s) go out of their way to try and make sure that their offspring come out with some kind of deformity so that they can help with the family business. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t and they end up having a, “norm baby,” and so they try to get rid of it by leaving it on someone’s doorsteps. In one particular instance, they thought they had a norm baby on their hands and on the way to abandon him somewhere, they find out he has telekinetic powers and so they change their mind and decide to keep him after all. The new child (they name him Fortunato but refer to him as, “Chick”) and his extremely dynamic powers create a riff in the family. The dad brings him on gambling excursions to rig games in his favor. The older brother, Artie, is super jealous. Olly, the dwarf sister and narrator of the story, takes a liking to Chick.

To be continued... It’s been a pretty enjoyable read so far.

A Binewski family portrait.

Random sports thought of the week

I don’t really have a rooting interest at this point in the NBA playoffs so I think I may put all my chips into backing the Phoenix Suns but really I’m rooting for Chris Paul getting a ring. He’s an all-time great point guard and all he does is make everyone around him better. He’s the ultimate team guy and a coach’s dream come true. He’s been steady, consistent, and productive throughout his entire career no matter what team jersey he found himself wearing. Point guards have come and gone but Paul remains, silently consistent, the glue that keeps this impressive Suns squad together.

He’s also pretty funny in those State Farm commercials.

Random pro wrestling thought of the week

WWE released Braun Strowman (as well as some other wrestlers) and it was kinda surprising to hear. I’m not a huge Strowman fan, but I get the appeal. There’s no one else that looks quite like him. He’s a tough looking mountain of a man and they don’t usually come that big and strong. He also had some charisma and at one point even had a chant that was popular with fans (“Get these hands”). He seemed ideal for WWE and their larger than life image. They even put the title on him at one point. I’m not sure where it all went wrong and the oddness of it all had many fans on the internet spouting rumors that WWE is for sale and this was an attempt to make them more financially lucrative to possible buyers. I don’t buy into that, but something definitely feels off about this. I just can’t imagine WWE passing on a dude who could legitimately be booked as the biggest threat in the world.

Weekly Top 5 List: Top 5 NBA Players Who Don’t Have a Ring Who’d I’d Like to See Get One

1- Damian Lillard

2- Carmello Anthony

3- Chris Paul

4- Russell Westbrook

5- Blake Griffin

Weekly Quote

“I think of myself as a doom person. I'm a worrier. But I like the idea of being an optimist. Maybe I'm the kind of optimist who deep down knows it's not going to work.”

- Owen Wilson

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Upcoming Shows

Fri, 6/18

Hell Yea! Do it!

Sat, 6/19

I’m doing some shows in Denver between 6/23-6/27 if you wanna see any of those.

Book me on your things if you got things. I’m funny, tall, and wear cool hats.

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