Michael B. Jordan: An Adonis To Be Thankful For

Guys, listen. It’s Monday. It’s the first day back from a four-day weekend. You stuffed your face with food and then stuffed your ears with Christmas music. We shouldn’t have to be at work right now. But alas, here we are. And I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read this – aka procrastinating your work a bit more. In return, I’m going to stuff your eyes with one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, Michael B. Jordan.

Over the weekend, I saw Creed, the Rocky spin-off movie. If you know me, this may be a somewhat surprising choice for holiday weekend viewing because I usually don’t put sports movies on the top of my list. However, if you do know me, you know I’m a fan of Michael B. Jordan and HBMs in general. On top of that, I kept hearing nothing but good things about Creed, so I caved and went to see it. And let me tell you  – I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s just that good.

Preface: Rocky is one of my Pop Culture Blind Spots. If I had planned this better, I would’ve watched Rocky in prep for Creed, but turkey got in the way. I of course knew the basics of the Rocky franchise – Sylvester Stallone, Apollo Creed, Philadelphia, Yo Adrian, the steps, boxing. But not the details. I was basically going into the movie *blind*. While there were a few things that my friend (who watched Rocky for the first time the night before) had to explain to me, they were fairly inconsequential, because overall, Creed is a fantastic film that deserves all the awards. The drama, the action, the writing, the acting, the score, the directing (Ryan Coogler FTW), the cinematography – everything – was a literal knockout. It reminded me of a Friday Night Lights vibe, where you find yourself rooting for the Panthers/Lions/Creed because you’re rooting for the person, not the team. Sport is secondary, personal victory is everything. This is the end of Traci’s Creed movie review (so go see it).

Back to MBJ. I’ve previously discussed how his excellent acting skills make me cry inexplicably (yeah, I cried at Creed a couple times, so what), but on this Monday after Thanksgiving, I’m just going to present you with some pure sexy MBJ goodness.

For Creed, MBJ clearly had to get into a boxer’s shape. Playing the son of a legendary fake boxer, he had to live up to the Creed legacy Carl Weathers started 40 years ago. So my boy called up his boy, trainer Corey Calliet, a former boxer himself. Over the course of a year, MBJ worked out twice a day, drank lots of water, ate boiled chicken and broccoli and brown rice (why does that sound good to me) and gained 24 pounds of muscle. !!

For comparison, a totally still hot pic of MBJ in January 2014 on some beach:

and a year ago:

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Looong road ahead of me but…#progress

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nine months ago:

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eight months ago:

on the cover of Men’s Fitness today:

yeahhhhh. I’m here for all of it. Have I convinced you to watch Creed yet? Well let me add that there’s a romantic component to the story, involving Adonis ‘Donnie’ Creed and his neighbor, played by the beautiful and talented Tessa Thompson. Y’all, there’s a scene in the movie that involves braids that’s not even sexual and I was getting sweaty. I died. Anyways, MBJ knows how to flirt and be romantic and stuff and here’s a video of him doing that.

Have you recovered from that stupid amazing video yet? Me either. Take some time, look up more pix of MBJ in private browsing, then go see Creed. I promise you it’s worth it. If not, come back here and complain to me. But I’ll barely be listening. I have Rockys 1 through 6 to catch up on.

MBJ thanks you for your time.

So The Pope’s In Your ‘Hood

Yesterday, Pope Francis touched down in his Shepherd One (large Alitalia plane) in Washington, D.C. for his first visit to the States as Pope (and as a human). It marked the beginning of a five-day trip on the east coast, and if I’m being real, interrupted my viewing of Ellen with Lester Holt describing a Fiat 500L. Even if you’re not Catholic, or religious, it’s still fascinating to keep up with, and if you’re a resident of DC, New York or Philadelphia, it’s kind of necessary since it will probably either make or break your day. So if you’re in one of these cities where the Pope is lit’rally blessing you with his presence, here are some guidelines to follow to stay sane with the holy one.

Get Ready For Angry Commuters

In Los Angeles, we already deal with a lot of traffic. But people’s anger is tested when the President is in town, as major streets have to be closed, subsequently rerouting folks all over the place. It’s the kind of anger that’s usually taken out on all social media platforms by pretty much anyone. There’s nothing worse than assuming you’ll be on time for work only to find out the roads are closed and you have to take 15 side streets instead, but everyone else is doing the same thing and you’re at a full stop and the only way to vent your frustration is by tweeting #THANKSOBAMA.

Spot His Ride

In likely Pope fashion, he got off the plane, walked on a red carpet, greeted the Obamas and misc. members of the archdiocese and got in his sleek, black, spacious Fiat 500L. If you’re one of the folks who saw this and thought, ‘Well that’s a choice’, Pope Francis is known for using more modest cars, as a reflection of his emphasis for a simple less consumeristic lifestyle. Still, the Popemobile is nothing compared to the whip he usually rides in all around the Vatican, a Renault 4 that’s 20 years old and has over 170,000 miles on it. I know Catholics are super not into change, but come on bro, at least see if Fiat can score you a 500L after giving them free advertising.

Check Out The Website NOT Made On Geocities

Photo Sep 22, 11 21 22 PM

For some reason, I was expecting the official Pope website to look like it was made via Geocities and include a lot of WordArt and Comic Sans, but I was delightfully surprised to see that it was none of those things (although I would’ve been pleased if it had). There’s a lot of useful information on the site, and the layout is easy to navigate. But my main takeaway was that the site is run by CatholicToTheMax.com. Catholic To the Max Dot Com. In case you missed that, it’s CATHOLIC. TO. THE. MAX. DOT. COM. Not just a little Catholic, or a lot Catholic, but to the MAXimum level one can be Catholic. GOD. BLESS.

Scroll His Twitter

While he’s not the type to share his location on Swarm or crosspost his #NoFilter photos from Insta, but the Pope does have a strong Twitter following with 7.23 million. If you’re hoping to get a reply from Pope Frank, it’s not going to happen. He’s more of a tweeter than a replier.

Buy Some Swag

After clicking around the website and CatholicToTheMax.com, I discovered a treasure trove of Pope branded items. Items I never knew needed to be made, or that there is even a demand for.

“Takes selfies. Not all about the bling.” Those are actual phrases on the back of that shirt. Why are 60 year old former ad execs attempting to market to teens?

THIS STANDEE IS $160. ALSO WHO ARE THESE WOMEN.

Again, who is coming up with the ad copy and ideas for merch? I didn’t realize people still wore custom dog tags. If someone had informed me earlier, I would’ve dug out my BSB dog chains a long time ago.

Again, what year is it? Are these yellow bands leftover from LiveStrong?

I *hat* Pope Francis = We *peacock* comedy.

Learn the New Words To Mass

If you are so inclined to attend one of the Pope’s masses, it’s important that you know that the words to the mass changed in 2011. I found this out recently when Molly & I attended our friend’s wedding, which was a full mass. Now, as we’ve previously mentioned, Molly & I met at our Catholic high school, and I went to Catholic school my entire life, despite not being Catholic. But I learned the script. I was prepared for our friend’s wedding – EXCEPT I WASN’T. Stuff like ” And also with you,” has been changed to “And with your Spirit.” It’s a small change, but it’s like Jim Halpert-level pranks that are so harmless but annoying at the same time. Although if you’re pumped enough to brave the crowds and see the Pope IRL, this is kind of a moot point (A cow’s opinion).

 

Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  •  In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  •  Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”