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Everything posted by marcorandazza

  1. Okay... here is a funny story. I'm getting married next weekend. Cliff was supposed to be my best man. (My current best man was supposed to be godfather of my kids). So I'm planning my bachelor party... which isn't going to be the same. I invited my fiancee's dad. She says "well, I guess that is okay... it isn't like there are going to be whores at the party." And I fuckin burst into tears saying "no, my whoring buddy is dead...." Well... on the up-side... I finally figured out what to do with his ashes. I am having a flask engraved with: the usual, name, date of birth, date of merge with the infinite... but also with "Rest in Slack" and "Don't knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run away. He hates that" on it. And... one of the up-sides to Cliff dying... his best friend in law school, Ryan and I have gotten pretty close since Dec. 30. I've asked Ryan to come to my wedding and take Cliff's seat. He'll have that flask in his pocket throughout the ceremony. My whoring buddy is dead...... that would sound so fuckin FUNNY if it was in a book or a movie. Fuckin sucks when it is in your actual life....
  2. Cliff, i found your Redwing boots.. I was using them for motorcycling, but man, those things suck! Oh yeah, and "they" say time heals all wounds... thats fucking bullshit. I dont feel any better today than I did a year ago. New Years used to be my favorite holiday.... now it is just "the day I stopped having a best friend." I didnt even bother to leave the house because I didnt want to be a downer at anyone else's party.
  3. Regarding me being "not a bad guy to contact...." feel free to do so. However, contrary to the incorrect stereotypes about lawyers, I have very strong ethics... therefore, I can't say that I'd take such a case. Not because I don't think it has merit. It might. I just don't think I am the best man for the job. This is the kind of case that, if you put it together, should be handled by the absolute best man for the task. I have seen many important cases that turned to a big double-malfunction because the attorney who took the case was motivated by lucre and/or ego. In situations like that, when the case is lost, the lawyer gets to go on with his career -- but the cause suffers a horrible setback. That all being said, I can think of nobody better to lead the team on something like this than Fred Morelli. When it comes to this area of law, he's the Jolly Green Giant, and I'm a Keebler Elf. On a case like this, I'd consider it an honor to just carry Morelli's briefcase for him. That being said, feel free to take any materials you find on my blog, and if there is some small way that I can help out -- don't hesitate to ask. One thing that I think I could do is this: I teach Sports Law, and I have a lot of talented students. If you wind up hiring a good lawyer for this case, no matter what, I'm sure that you will be hard pressed to fully fund the suit. This case could easily run to six figures. I'd be more than willing to talk to the attorney who takes the case, and put him in contact with some of my students. Perhaps some of them would be willing (under your lawyer's supervision) to do research and memos to cut down on costs for you, and gain practical experience for themselves. I'm not promising anything, but even though I don't jump anymore, I still consider myself to be "part of the community." I'm certain that if I put out a call for help for something on, I'd get more than I needed. (Actually, that has already happened -- back in January) So, in that spirit of "be excellent to each other," I'll certainly do whatever I can that will be both ethical and likely to help, rather than hinder, the cause.
  4. My friend Dena (Esclava Rodriguez) came over this weekend. Cliff was her AFF instructor, and Cliff and I were Esclava's "Rodriguez Parents." Anyhoo... I made Fish Head Curry for her and a few other guests. You haven’t seen pathetic until you see a guy holding a 5 pound grouper head, looking at it with tears in his eyes like it is motherfucking Yorick. Fortunately nobody noticed. Of course, I did not manage to hold it together for too much longer after that. (Yes, we ate the eyeballs). I am now officially the only person who could ever burst into hysterical tears while watching a “Jay and Silent Bob” movie. I watched Clerks II, and Dante and Randall are in a jail cell…. the scene that got me is actually is up on youtube. . Dante’s character doesn’t really remind me of Cliff at all, but I can certainly identify with Randall in this scene - and the two of them interact in a way that did remind me of Cliff and I. The scene is really funny until about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s where the tears started to well up. Of course, I just chanted in my head to myself “I will not cry in front of a house full of people while watching FUCKING CLERKS II”. About 60 seconds later, I totally exploded. And yeah, Cliff and I never planned to open a convenience store together, but there was this plan that I would drag him into the porn law business eventually, and spend the rest of my life working with my best friend. Fuckin Kevin Smith. "I hate everyone and everything seems stupid to me." "But you were always the counter balance to that... The yin to my yang"
  5. Yeah Hoo! Just before my 100th jump, someone noted that I was sporting the same color jumpsuit as Johnny. So, I got a fake beard (there happened to be one lying around), put on a frap hat, and started walking like Johnny, and I started screaming "YEAH HOOO!" and flipping everyone off. That day, the curse of Johnny Gates was born. (My 100th ended with a broken leg). FOURTH IMPORTANT SAFETY BRIEFING -- DONT IMITATE JOHNNY GATES! I wasn't very close to him, but I was sad to hear he died. Of course, once I heard HOW he died... I just had to say "what a cool motherfucker." Blue Skies Johnny... Say Hi to Cliff for me.
  6. Man, this video is awesome. Warning... if you thought you had "dealt with it" ... think again. I lost my shit after watching this. Missing man formation (discussed earlier) is such an appropriate way to describe this. Cliff was my wingman - in every arena except at work... and when he started law school, he began taking that duty too. I know that sorrow is part of the spectrum of human emotions, but I really wish I had gone the rest of my life without knowing what this feels like. Every fucking day... every fucking day... every FUCKING DAY.... something happens and I get that "Oh, I gotta call/email Cliff about this..." It only lasts for a nanosecond, and then reality punches me in the face. At least he was a skydiver... these videos would have been kinda lame if he was into knitting or something like that. I remember back when Cliff was "promoted" to being my best friend. We actually talked about it. He thought it was funny, and asked if he had to share the title with anyone. Its something awesome when you just realize that one day, the guy you're hanging out with is the best friend you have. Its even cooler when you tell them that. It gets even cooler when you tell them that 10 years later. Now I go through the list in my head of all my closest friends. I ask myself "so who is your best friend, NOW?" And my answer is ... "I don't have one anymore." It should follow logic that someone should be it now, right? Shouldn't it be that whoever my "second best" friend was should step into the void? I didn't realize that it doesn't work that way. I just fucking don't have a best friend anymore. This blows ass.
  7. Nice photos. I'd love a copy of that tribute DVD too, if someone can get it to me. I wish I could have been there for the ash dive. "Missing Man Formation" is a hell of a way to do that. Missing Man Formation ... :( Pretty much describes every triumph I'll have now. Aw man... I'm hitting that "acceptance" thing. But it isn't like what I thought "acceptance" would feel like. "Acceptance" has this connotation of "dealing with it." Not exactly an accurate way to describe this.
  8. Jen, You, of all people, have absolutely no need to defend anything to anyone. We all see different facets of our friends, and I know that if we all drew pictures of his psyche, while they would all resemble one another, they would certainly all look somewhat different. Once you say "I loved Cliff," everything else is just window dressing. Here, have some slack....
  9. Dont drop the Crazy! It makes you special. And not in a hockey helmet way... in a precious and "only you" way. Wanna hear something weird? There is a conference in Arizona that I really wanted to attend, but I was not going to be able to due to work responsibilities. This morning, I get an email that my firm is sending me after all. I guess I will have to make a little pilgrimage to Eloy. So, any Eloyians that may be present in February, I would love the opportunity to meet you. Marco
  10. Well, here I am ... back home in Florida. I had what can only be described as a voyage of a weekend. All expenses paid (well, paid by myself) to exotic Staten Island. I'm sad to report that this is not a hoax... and I was still holding out a wee bit of irrational hope. But I am happy to report that we did manage to laugh. Friday night we had a great time. We polished off a lot of Maker's Mark, Saturday it was a bottle of Patron, and a bottle of Maker's. The Eulogies did him justice. The service was perfect. And we actually managed to start making fun of Cliff -- which he would have done to us. I can't say that I actually "accept" this... but I'm not losing it anymore. Hugging Craig, and Vic, and Russ, and Brandi, Sherman, Crazy Cousin Cindy, Jen, Aviva, etc., started to put a little of my bleeding strength back in me. My big brother is gone... but i've inherited a little brother, and two sisters. Not a bad trade.
  11. Hahahah! Yeah, I remember that like it was yesterday. I jumped from the aircraft with my leg straps un-done, and was putting my rig on in free fall. Not my smartest maneuver. Of course, it got me disoriented, and it was either *try* and make it back to the DZ, or *definitely* make it to the golf course. Golf course is surrounded by a banana farm, and yes, I trashed the green. Some banana farmer puts me on his motorcycle and drives me back. That look on Cliff's face, as it went from abject worry to "you idiot!" was priceless. And my family would never put a hit on Cliff. We're not "that kind of Sicilians." That was Cliff's way of saying "I hope I didnt break him." Black, if you have any video of him... us... that weekend... let me know. I'm collecting it.
  12. Does anyone remember that "toast" that Cliff used to do, usually in the most inappropriate situations? Something like this: May prostitutes prosper, May fuck become a household word, ... Without further ado Cunt. Something like that. I know I am missing half the words because every time I heard it I was probably laughing beer out my nose. I remember taking him out one night, and we had a bunch of girls at the table. He stands up, stone cold sober, and bellows this "toast" out. He finishes, there is beer everywhere from me laughing, and the girls all fled. Cliff had this way of cock blocking you, but making you have *more* fun in the process. Cliff, you weird, offensive, hilarious bastard.
  13. One of my students read this thread... this is an excerpt from what he had to say: I can't help but be jealous of the relationship you had with your buddy, Cliff. It sounds like the ultimate friendship - the kind in those 80's coming-of-age movies (Stand By Me), but you got to continue that into adulthood. It sounds like you guys were the loudmouths at the restaurant that quiet people like me would mutter "look at those assholes" while secretly wanting to join in. No wonder he got an A in my course last semester. Ugh... im fucking losing it again.
  14. One of the videos posted uses the Repo Man theme as the background music. That is SO cool. In the movie, which Cliff knew verbatim, there is a point when Harry Dean Stanton screams with immense rage (at some guys called *the Rodriguez Brothers*: "GODDAMN..... DIPSHIT.... RODRIGUEZ..... GYPSY.. DILDO.. PUNKS!!!!" Whenever Cliff and I made a jump together, we'd always look at each other and yell that. He would have this funny assed laugh afterward...
  15. Fuck Stanford. Fuck Stanford in the ass. They blew it. We should send this to the admissions committee there with a note "see what you dipshits passed up!" I think I may have tried a little too hard to stuff the sadness yesterday... it exploded on me this morning. I'll have it together by the time i get to NY.
  16. STEVE!!!!! I was trying to track you down for the past few days. I had an old mobile number and an old email address. I figured your dirty ass would boil to the surface soon enough. Yeah... that weekend in Indo was one of the best of my life. What a fucking riot. Finding tequila in Lido, Indo., you saying "fuck it, give us one of everything on the menu, and bring us 10 pitchers of beer" (for what, four guys, three bar girls, and Rita.). That was an epic weekend. I keep trying to write about it more, but I just get all fucked up when I do... I'm really happy to see your name up here though. PM me your contact info.
  17. Those weeks in Asia were some of the best in my life. Hanging with my best friend, grossing everyone out with what we'd eat, being pigs in every way. I also loved that I was there in a way that could make Cliff proud of me. He knew me for so long, and saw me through a lot of changes in my life... and when I came to Singapore to be a speaker at a big conference, I loved that I was finally making him proud of me. The part you wrote about seeing the unconditional love he had for me made me cry for about a half hour this morning. I haven't gotten that from too many people in this life. I dont expect to get it from many more. That was really cool. From fuck-up to big success, he was always in my corner. I'm sorry to have confirmed the news. I wish that you and I had some other reason to re-connect. OK, happy story time! As you already noted, Cliff and I would eat pretty much anything. He was allergic to shellfish, but that didn't stop him from consuming any organic substance he could come across. It was cool to have a friend who would say "you gonna eat that eyeball?" In Singapore, we loved going to Newton Circus to get red-hot Sambal Stingray. When he came back from Singapore, I was living on Fort Myers beach, and he came to visit. An army of stingray camped out in the shallow water And we looked at each other and said "you thinking what I'm thinking?" So we hacked up some bamboo poles and made spears out of them. A beer in one hand and a spear in the other, with horrified beach-goers staring at us, we both came out of the water with stingrays jammed on the end of our makeshift spears. Next thing you know, we're grilling fresh stingray. We made a sauce out of coconut milk from the trees in my yard, and some ass-blasting hot pepper that I brought back from Laos. Of course, we got ourselves some nice frosty Singha to round out the meal. Everyone on the beach looked at us like we were complete freaks of nature. And, well, I guess that was a fair opinion to have of us. At the time, I was unemployed. I had just taken the bar, passed it, but couldnt find a job. While we were hunting stingrays, it caught the attention of a guy on the beach (well, everyone's attention, but this guy talked to us). It turns out that the guy was a partner at a big law firm where I had been trying to get a job for years. Cliff pimped me to the guy all day. By the end of the day, the guy hands me his card and tells me to make an appointment to come meet him at his office - that we needed to talk about me working for his firm. Yes, I got my first job because me and Cliff were hunting stingrays with bamboo spears - and because Cliff couldn't resist looking out for me. And now look where I am. Thanks, Cliff.
  18. Ok, I CHALLENGE ANYONE to tell me truthfully... that they never told Cliff a story with a woman in it, and he didnt ask .. "well, was she hot?" and then you say "Cliff, you sick fuck, that was my (grandmother, wife, dog, thai hooker, durian)... He says: "ok, it is sick, but... was she hot? Then you finally break down and say yes/no. I cant be the only one he did that to all the fucking time. Ha!
  19. Another one of his favorites was "steatopygia". Look it up and you'll know why. A few of us in Hollister got together at my house this afternoon to remember Cliff in his first California locale. We drank some nice German microbrews he would have appreciated and watched some videos that Adam put together. It was truly a shifting point for me. Watching his huge grin in the air brought home how happy that kid was skydiving and I was able to smile too, watching him be that happy, knowing that's how he felt on the 30th. Congratulations, Jen, on being able to bring out a side of Cliff that no one else could. As much as the flip side hurts, I'm so happy that he was able to find joy in you and your children, and a reality he had never seen before. Thank you for the words that must have been heart rending to write. All the love, Aviva He taught me what corophagia means. Ok, not as in he demonstrated... as in he sent it in a "vocabulary building" email to me. Along with steato...whatever. Funny motherfucker!
  20. Little Brother, I got some major love reserved for you. I heard all about your 21st. Cliff was so proud of you. He bragged about you all the fucking time. He bragged about what a cool guy you were growing up to be. If this helps at all, I keep watching the video of YOU in the booth in the Best Buy listening to "We Built This City" for 24 hours. Your smirk, the attitude in your face, its all Cliff there... and watching that, knowing that YOU are carrying the flag now, somehow gives me peace, and a little bit of laughter. You never know... how could you ever know that that funny as fuck stunt would one day become a source of strength to help someone who loved your brother get through this shit? Love, Marco PS - of course, it does suck that I have "We built this city on rock and roll" stuck in my head, and I will forever associate that song with Cliff's merge with the infinite. Of course, I do believe that this is one of Cliff's practical jokes that he is playing on me from the other side. Prick!
  21. If anyone needs a place to stay, the Staten Island Hotel has a bereavement rate of $119.00 + Tax/night. That is half their normal rate. (718) 698-5000 or 1-800-532-3532.
  22. The helm is yours baby. I'm glad to see there is more strength growing from this steaming pile of shit! It is infectious. Lets spread it around. Come on, more funny stories!
  23. I will do my best. I can't be the blubbering sad sack I have been and still fulfill my responsibilities under the Code that Cliff and I lived by. When a man goes down, you look after his family. I need to get strong for everyone. Well, I cant very well step up if I keep feeling sorry for myself. So, I have initiated procedures in my own head to get my shit together. Today, I have a case against the City of Daytona - they arrested my client for showing her tits in public. My firm asked if I wanted to pass it on to grieve. Now dammit, Cliff would be PISSED if some douchebag took that case. It made me realize that I'm gonna have to be a lot stronger now. This losing my shit is OVER. And with that, I'm hereby stepping up to the plate. All of you, any of you, anyone, anywhere, lean on me, follow me. I'll carry the flag (unless and until someone else wants it). All I ask is that if I wind up needing a brief rest, somebody keep me from falling down). Look everyone, I am demanding that I inherit something from Cliff. ALL OF YOU. This was a great guy, and we are all missing something huge now, but if we look around at all these amazing people that he brought together, Cliff didn't have lame friends. If we all band together, I think that the friendship and love that we can give each other should act as a pretty good salve for this deep deep wound. My friendship is, of course, part of that inheritance package for all of you too. You all are entitled to a piece of the friendship and love I had for this man. I think it should be apparent how fucking huge that is, so come on under my arm everyone.... I have PLENTY left over for you. I got so much, I dont even know what to do with it. So come on down and collect a piece. Take your time, and when you get here, I'll be up on the hill waiting for you. Cliff, don't worry buddy. I got this one. Ok, who wants some love? Its only going to go to waste if you don't take it! Extra helpings anyone? -Terrasino Rodriguez
  24. Ok, lets laugh... I am on my 100th skydive and I have a bad accident. Well, not as bad as it could have been. But, my leg is mangled, bones are sticking out, its a bloody mess. Cliff arrives on the scene pretty fast. I see the "oh fuck" look on his face, and he grabs my hand. I'm nearly breaking his hand squeezing it to bleed off the pain, and I say to him: "Cliff, buddy, how bad is it really?" He laughs and says "I think they can fix it." He sees me off in the helicopter, and scampers off. to make the next load. No sense wasting a perfectly good sunny day just because your buddy broke his leg (you fucker!). After the sunset load, he walks in. I ask where he has been. He and I both laugh our asses off. He asks, "does it hurt?" More smart ass comments are exchanged. I complain that they wont give me enough morphine. So Cliff goes over to the morphine drip machine, tinkers with it for a while, then says "ok, push the button." 30 minutes later, I wake up. He asks "is that better?" I think I just drooled all over myself. Cliff had, in classic Cliff style, hacked my morphine machine to give me the dosage that he and I figured I deserved. The next day, the nurse can't figure out why all my morphine is gone. Fast forward a year or so. It is 2003, and I am finally graduating from grad school. I managed to cram a 1 year program into 3 years. Ok, maybe "stretch" is the more appropriate verb. My graduation is at 9AM. I call Cliff and tell him that I'd love it if he made it. But, it is a beautiful day, and I can hardly expect him to forego a day of skydiving. I hit the bar at 11, and by 2:00, im sloppy drunk and passed out at some girl's house. Cliff drives to Gainesville, looks for me in the bar, not finding me, he somehow finds where I have been taken to. I wake up with puke on my face, and Cliff laughing at me. He says: "You shithead, I came here for a graduation party. Now RALLY!" He pulls me out of bed, throws my graduation robe back on me, and brings me right back to the bar where I spent that morning... and we proceed to wreck ourselves. I remember telling him that day that he was, as far as I am concerned, my older brother. And... that if anything happened to him, it would be really tough for me to handle. I'm so glad I told him that. Well, the first part. The second part... I guess I'm not really playing my cards too close to my chest here, so I suppose I wasn't lying. Cliff was a funny motherfucker. I cant wait to hear more and more funny Cliff stories this weekend, and on this thread.