Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Angel Falls Back To Earth

Hooray! Another goal for the year finally crossed off the list. IT was a long time coming, as bad weather delayed my jump for almost a month. Clouds STILL managed to roll in right as we were taking off, but no matter. I wanted to skydive and i did from about 10,000 feet. It was a fantastic experience. one I would do again in a heartbeat. I was very nervous going into it, but I was wearing my Rafa shirt for extra confidence and therefore managed to hold it together. It really was quite a crazy sensation because you don't FEEL like you're falling but you know that's you're falling. It's amazing. My sincere thanks to the awesome people at Skydive Long Island including Brian my tandem jump instructor, and Alex my videographer. It was also very nice to have my dad, sister and two nieces with me. Thanks for making the drive all the way out there!

I'm very glad I faced two of my biggest fears which are heights and falling (which pretty much add up to a fear of letting go) and it feels very good to have made it through.

So between the skydiving and the half-marathon, it's been a physically and mentally draining weekend. At the same time it was all very refreshing. Time to think of my next challenge....

Rafa's Fight For 5: Inconceivable!

Dude, Rafa LOST. He lost early. He lost pretty badly, to be honest. I don't know what to feel. I think I'm still in shock. Sure, Soderling has weapons and if Rafa didn't play his best, Soderling COULD win, but who thought that would happen? Not me. This whole tournament has been weird because I haven't gotten to see Rafa play live AT ALL thanks to the sucktastic "The Tennis Channel." So I've been keeping track of the action on line with score tracker and video highlights. It's not the right way to watch Rafa tennis! And now Rafa's run is over for this tourney.

Rafa said it best himself: "I have to accept with the same calm when I win than when I lose. After four years, I lose here, and the season continues, [Soderling] did well. He did very well but I didn't play my best tennis. I didn't play my tennis, and for that reason I lost. That's it,.. I was not calm enough to face the important points, so I had to fight. But sometimes fighting is not enough. You have to play a good level of tennis... Sometimes people think I win because I'm physically fit, but, no. When I win, it's because I play well, and that wasn't the case today."

I would also like to say that it was reported the French fans did not support Rafa in his effort and that it hurt Rafa's feelings and to that i say WHAT THE FUCK, ROLAND GARROS CROWD?!? You are all DEAD TO ME!

Finally, before heading home to Mallorca to celebrate his birthday with family and friends and clear his head by swimming in the pool at his family's house, Rafa expressed his hope for a Federer win this year. “It would be great [to see him win it], so that he can complete the Grand Slam. If anybody deserves it, it’s him."

Since that is Rafa's preference, I can easily endorse Fed's ongoing campaign to win the French Title. Therefore from this post on, my ongoing French Open posts will change from Rafa's Fight for 5, to Federer's Fight for a First! Hopefully it will do him better than the posts did you. You're still my hero, Rafa. See you on the grasscourts. Vamos!

Running to Coney, Warrior-Style

"Seize this moment in your hand. Take it and run." ~ Last of an Ancient Breed

Saturday was the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. It was a BEAUTIFUL Morning and a very fun race that went from Prospect Park down to Coney Island. I have to give a shout out to the race volunteers who did their best to make runners go to their proper starting corral, and even told some interlopers in my section that they would have to leave. They couldn't catch everyone and of course a few people made the first mile and half very frustrating for the rest of us as we got boxed in by slow-pokes. Just start further back! It's not gonna kill you! Why do you want to get passed by everyone who runs faster than you? How does that help you mentally? I just don't understand.

Anyway, the race went very well. I feared my left leg might go gimpy for a second there, but then it went back to normal and i actually finished in strong fashion. And then once i was done, I was in Coney! Woohoo! Coney always makes me think of rides, hot dogs and The Warriors. It's a little weird that Astroland is closed, but the Cyclone is still there and the Wonder Wheel and it still feels like Coney. I had told myself that I would go on the Cyclone and get a hot dog at Nathan's, but after I finished racing, I really didn't want to do either. I remembered the Cyclone as being physically taxing, and my body was already hurting. And I was hot and dehydrated and the thought hot dogs at that point was not really appetizing.

I walked toward the Cyclone anyway though, just to check it out, and once I got there i decided I had to go on it. I couldn't be scared of the Cyclone! If I chickened out on that, how was i gonna rev myself up for skydiving the next day? So I got on. Being that it was 10:30 in the morning, there was no line. I got in the back of the first car and couldn't believe how small the cars were. How did BFF and I fit in one car two summers ago? Perhaps that was why we nearly killed each other while we got thrown around on the ride. So the strange thing about the Cyclone is that while it's fun, it's also kind of like being in a car accident that lasts for 2 and a half minutes. It's so violent, that even though I had my belongings tucked away deep in my pockets, the shaking of the ride made everything come out. Thankfully my WALLET fell out inside the car and I slammed my foot down on it before it went flying away. But seriously, that ride will rough you up.

After that ordeal i was ready for food and I got my Nathan's Hot Dogs and my 44oz Barq's Root Beer for the subway ride back to Queens. It was delicious. The rest of the day was so beautiful, but my legs were so spent it was pretty much impossible to go out anymore and walk around. But I completed my top 3 objectives (and then did laundry AND grocery shopping!) so it was a very productive day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rafa's Fight for 5: Round Three - No Contest!

Nadal cruised to victory today against Lleyton Hewitt, beating him 6-1 6-3 6-1, in under two hours. There's not a whole lot to say about the match because Rafa was in such top form and there was nothing Hewitt could do to seriously challenge him. The end result never seemed in doubt.

Rafa's assessment? "For sure it was my best match here so far [this year]. I felt much better today and a win against Lleyton is always a great win. It was an amazing result."

Indeed it was. Rafa now leads in his life-time match-up against Lleyton 5-4. I was so surprised to learn they were tied coming into this match, but three of the losses for Hewitt came in each of their three French Open match-ups. I bet a lot of Hewitt's wins come on Hardcourt or Grass back when Nadal was trying to build his game on those surfaces. Unlucky for Lleyton to come up against the King of Clay so early in the competition this year. I thought he played well in his first two rounds this year. I always apppreciate Hewitt's competitive nature on court.
Coming next for Nadal is a fourth-round match up with Robin Soderling, who rather impressively knocked off 14th-seed David Ferrer today. Go get him, Rafa! Show no mercy!

Note: Whoever is taking these pictures of Rafa, is doing an amazing job. I will try to give credit where credit is due. Usually all the shots that come out of Nadal have him making crazy faces, but these pics are so clean! Click on them to really appreciate the awesomeness. For now I congratulate Bernat Armangue/Associated Press and Franck Faugere/DPPI for their excellent work.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Total Eclipse of the Song

I don't know how I'm getting so late on the Literal Video train, but now that I'm on board, I might never get off. It's songs you love, in the videos you always thought were batshit crazy in the awesomest way, fit with new lyrics that detail what's going on in the video in place of the real lyrics to the song. Sound complicated? It's really not. And they can be totally hilarious. I'm sure there are other great examples out there, but I think this will always be my favorite given the source material. I don't have any idea why they chose to make this video for Total Eclipse of the Heart, but it's classic '80s insanity and the new lyrics never let you forget it - and even point out the quick things you might be missing given the visual assault on the senses provided by this video. Enjoy, Bright Eyes. Remember: Staring at the swim team gets you killed by a gang of dancing ninja men who know how to twirl. So you best turn around.

Rafa's Fight For 5: Second Round - Broken Records

Yesterday Rafa scored another victory. Hooray! Nadal got past the No.72 player in the world, Teimuraz Gabashvili (fun name!), in straights sets: 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. This marks his 30th straight victory at Roland Garros, beating Chris Evert's record of 29 successive wins at the French Open! Rafa's trademark response?

“So what?” Nadal said. “(I’m) happy for the record, but in the end happy for the result.”


“I’m very happy about my 30th consecutive win at Roland Garros but [to be honest], I come here to win matches. I’m excited about this record but the important thing here is to play well and to be here [to play the final] on the second Sunday,”


"I played better today than [I did] the first day - won in three sets so that's good and I am happy to be in the third round."

and in continued talk of the pink shirt:

"I knew these colours since the moment some months ago Nike showed us the proposed clothing. I like pink, and I specially like this outfit very much. The whole combination I find it really nice. We wear a lot of pink in Spain and I think it is a nice colour. If you look at my website it is also pink for this tournament."

Next up: 3rd Round action against former No. 1 player, Lleyton Hewitt! Vamos, Rafa!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor has a big problem. It's not her voting record, which is within the mainstream of the political spectrum. It's not really from the right-wing political pundits, who have wasted no time erroneously labelling her a racist and an activist judge who legislates from the bench. No, her real problem is her evil twin sister, Maria.

Who is Maria, you ask? She looks really scary, no? Like maybe she'll break into your house in the middle of the night and eat your children? Well, she might! Not much was known about her before Tuesday. The Sotomayor family has done it's best to hide her from the public eye. The Obama adminstration was aware of her during the vetting process, but considered her "contained." Sonia thought Maria might stay hidden in the shadows for good, until that sly private investigator, Mike Huckabee, outed Maria to the country at large. In a public statement, Huckabee revealed to the American people what untoward intentions Maria had for her sister and for the United States of America.

Mike Huckabee: The appointment of Maria Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bipartisan way were mere rhetoric. Sotomayor comes from the far left and will likely leave us with something akin to the "Extreme Court" that could mark a major shift. The notion that appellate court decisions are to be interpreted by the "feelings" of the judge is a direct affront of the basic premise of our judicial system that is supposed to apply the law without personal emotion. If she is confirmed, then we need to take the blindfold off Lady Justice."

You see what's happening here? Huckabee has good reason to believe that Sonia won't make it to the court and MARIA will sneak in there somehow! Maria is filled with rage and jealousy for her sister Sonia's success. While Sonia was attending Princeton, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Maria was attending the School of Hard Knocks. While Sonia was spending her graduate years at Yale editing the Yale Law Journal, Maria spent her graduate years in jail, editing the Prison Lunch Menu. When Sonia was spending five years as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, trying dozens of criminal cases, Maria was being tried as a defendant in twice as many.

Life has been hard on Maria, and she can't get over her sister's success. She often dreamed of taking revenge on her twin, but could never decide how to do it. Then, while watching her favorite telenovella, "Mi Hermana Peligrosa" in the prison cafeteria, inspiration struck! She would wait as Sonia built her career, establishing trust in the community and respect of her peers. Then, when Sonia was just about to be confirmed to the highest court in the land, Maria would kidnap Sonia and assume her identity! Instead of being a centrist judge, Maria would act as an EXTREMIST! She would make ridiculous decisions and biased judgements destroying Sonia's reputation. Meanwhile poor Sonia would have to watch her evil doppleganger on C-SPAN while locked in the basement of an abandoned apartment building in the South Bronx, or maybe even the closet of her own office! Ay dios mio!

Maria was last seen earlier month when she escaped from jail hidden in a prison laundry truck! Be careful, Sonia! Keep someone with you at all times! You never know when your sister could attack and assume your identity. You can't allow her to face the Senate Judiciary Committee in your place! It would be a CATASTROPHE!

Thank you, Mike Huckabee. Thank you so much for alerting the public to the terror that could be MARIA SOTOMAYOR. People, he didn't get Sonia's name wrong, in a hasty attempt to be the first to discredit Obama's Supreme Court pick! He didn't just pick Maria out of the air because it was Hispanic-sounding and therefore "close enough." He wasn't talking about Sonia at all. He was trying to warn us about Maria, and the evil she has in her heart. Stop attacking him. He's just a concerned citizen. And if you see someone who looks an awful lot like our next Supreme Court Justice, skulking through the shadows on the side streets on NYC, carrying a blade or a spray can, that's MARIA, not SONIA. Don't approach her! She's CRAZY! Alert the authorities. Don't try to be a hero. That's Huckabee's job.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rafa's Fight for 5: First Round - Pretty in Pink

This week starts the French Open. Yesterday I watched a lot of great tennis. I was hoping to watch Nadal today, but of course the Tennis Channel had to be a dick and not share their coverage with regular television stations, so I didn't get to see him play. LAME. If you're not gonna be a part of regular TV, Tennis Channel, maybe you shouldn't monopolize coverage of one of the Majors? Just a thought.

Anyway, of course Rafa shows up wearing pink and yellow, because he's fucking awesome. The background of his website had gone pink last week, so I figured perhaps his new shirt color would follow. I'm sure people will ask him about it, and we'll see what he says, but you know he can kick your ass off the court wearing any color, so I guess he figured he'd just brighten it up this tournament. Maybe he thought if he wore a crazy shirt, people would ask him more about the shirt than how he feels about the possibility of winning five French Opens in a row. It's a pretty good strategy if he doesn't want to be too much in his head about getting the title.

Rafa's through round 1 with a nice 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win over Marcos Daniel of Brazil for his 29th straight win on the Roland Garros red clay. This equals the record set by Chris Evert between 1974 and 1981.. Can he take it all the way to a 5th straight French Open Victory? Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Of course, someone in the press room asked him as soon as possible about the pink shirt. His response on why he's wearing pink: "Because it's better than dress the same color every week, no?" Yes, Rafa. It is.

Final Fantasy XII: Complete!

FINALLY. I started playing Finally Fantasy XII... i don't even know. YEARS ago. '07? '08? Jesus Christo. I don't even think PS3's existed at the time I started playing this game. I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, starting back in elementary school with the original game occupying an amazing amount of my time on the NES. XII was a great addition to the franchise. The storyline was majorly complex and often felt like a Shakespearean History play only with magic spells and monsters. Political intrigue was rampant and I'm not gonna lie and say I wasn't confused about the different warring factions and who the hell the Dynast-King was and who that weird rogue Shadow God was who seemed to be causing problems for everybody. What was manufacted nethicite? Gabranth killed the King of Dalmasca just to fill Lady Ashe with rage? WUH? It all made even less sense having been away from the story for so long. Everything else about the game was great though. I loved the setting and the characters, I grew to really enjoy the gameplay which was a big departure from previous FF battle systems. I loved it so much which was why when I became aware that I was getting close to the end months and months ago, I stopped playing. I didn't want it to end. For awhile, I ran around doing the side quests and levelling up my characters, but then I just put the game away. I wanted there to be more Final Fantasy out there in the world left for me to play. I figured I'd wait until I knew a firm release date for the inevitable Final Fantasy XIII, but... no release date was announced. it's just TBA 2009. I do not think the game will be released in 2009. I mean, we're already on June's doorstep and we don't have an '09 release date? That's not promising.

I decided since this was a holiday weekend and I didn't have travel plans, that I would take some time and finally finish the game. I am glad I did. I was closer to the end than i thought and after just a few hours of gameplay, I beat the final bosses and got the pay-off of watching the final movie sequences. I thought the end was a good resolution, and didn't have too much heartbreak - a traditional part of a Final Fantasy ending. It's much preferred if you're playing a game for 60-somewhat hours to not have the main love story end in death , or with one of the lovers trapped in some horrible ghost dimension. This was more upbeat. Thank goodness.

Now, please, Square Enix - if that is even still the company name after so many mergers - give me my Final Fantasy XIII that I've been waiting for. At least give me a release date. Is that really asking so much?

Idol '09: Kris Allen

Kris! You won! And I voted for you! AMAZING! Congratulations. Why do you look so shocked? I always enjoyed your performances throughout this season. Ain't No Sunshine, She Works Hard For The Money, Falling Slowly and Heartless all stand out as really interesting original arrangements and great performances. I think you have a great vocal quality. I thought the judges dismissive nature toward you during the second half of the season was ludicrous. But you showed them! I love how they wanted more self-confidence from you without ever trying to, you know, boost your ego. "Get confident, stupid!" is always sage, advice. But despite my judge-hate this season, I think your win is well-deserved and makes me happy.

You know what makes me less happy? All this talk post-finale about how "America" wasn't ready to accept a maybe-gay Idol so they went with a safer choice. Maybe anti-gay voting did play some part in some people's motivations across the country. How the eff would I know? They don't do exit polling. Nobody knows. I don't, however, think it's the main reason you won and Adam lost. I think that rationale is rather insulting to you and to me for voting for you. Now I would never say that people don't cast a protest-vote against someone on this show by voting for their competition. I have done that this year with Gokey, especially after his Rock Week performance. I voted for you and Allison because I was done with the free pass the judges were giving Danny, and wanted to reject the finale they'd have forced upon me. So I can see Gokey Fans who didn't like Lambert voting against him by voting for you in the finale. . And while I think people could cast a few protest votes against him on your behalf, I ultimately believe people are more compelled to vote for someone they like and not against someone they don't. For instance, I've spent several seasons of watching Idol without feeling the need to vote for anyone, so I wouldn't have picked up the phone for you during Rock Week if I didn't actually think you and Allison were worth my effort. Note that I didn't vote for Adam that week. The reason I voted for you was simple: I liked your singing more than I liked Adam's. Oh sure, Adam's got a bigger voice that can do crazier things, but that doesn't mean that's what I prefer listening to.

I also think it's weird that Adam fans who were so "SHOCKED!" by his loss - though I can understand why it's disappointing to have your favorite lose - are now acting as if "America" freaked out because Adam was maybe-gay. As if they suddenly realized this after 13 weeks of having no problem with it I find the implication that not voting for Adam is intrinsically homophobic, to be ridiculous - especially since i just finished yelling at Obama in an email about Don't Ask-Don't Tell, which I wrote after I finished an email to my state senator supporting about gay marriage in NY, which was on the heels of showing up at the Midtown Rally in support of Gay Marriage last weekend. So get over this gay non-issue, people. Kris is good and sings the acoustic rock shit that i and others enjoy. So that's who I voted for and why. I bet the vote was very close and had Adam won the story would be how "predictable" the ending as because Adam was all anyone could talk about all season. Don't rob Kris of his well-deserved victory lap over sour grapes.

Another thing to think about: as i said in a separate post, gay-ness aside, with Adam really suffered from was being the front-runner all season. He came out of the gate so strong (whether you liked it or not, it was certainly strong) that there was nowhere for him to go. The front runner almost always loses in Idol. This show is all about underdogs making good. Let me rattle off a list of names: Tamyra Gray, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolittle, David Archuleta. They were all championed early on by the judges, and while some of them made it farther than others, none of them won. All of them suffered from the reality tv rule of law about momentum that I've unnecessarily renamed "Show-mentum". Show-mentum refers to a contestant's ability to pace themselves so that they do not peak to early, while still delivering a quality performance week-to-week. Too often the best talents rocket out of the gates in the semis and then they don't really have anywhere to go. In order to win, in order for people to vote for you at the end, it has to feel for the audience like that's where your story should end. The judges, try as hard as they might to undercut their least favorite contestants, don't really decide that. It's about what the contestants do. People who are too good at the beginning suffer the same fate as those who never really connect with the audience. If it seems like being on the show can't help these people because they are either not good enough or already too good, eventually people feel less inclined to vote for them. This is what I think happened with Kris and Adam. Adam always seemed at home on the big stage, and Kris had to grow into it. When Kris did the acoustic version of "Heartless" it was a game-changer because he became new and interesting. And if someone's been watching you twice a week for almost 4 months and at the end still thinks you're both new and interesting, than you are more than likely to win. It doesn't translate to future stardom, just the finale win.

So Kris, will you be like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood (superstars), David Cook and Jordin Sparks (talented semi-successes), Fantasia Barrino and Ruben Studdard (great vocalists, but mostly ignored) or Taylor Hicks (idol albatross)? Only time will tell. I think if you connect with the right songs you could definitely be at the top of the Cook-Sparks category, which would be really sweet. Best of luck with it all. And like the other Top 10'ers. Have a great tour.

False Idols: KISS the title goodbye

Oh, Adam. I didn't really like you in the beginning, but then I realized I needed you to help fight off a Gokey win so I accepted you, and now i kinda adore you, you crazy-ass glam rocker. It' been a long road. getting from there to here. I was not an early fan of the theatrics and the craziness - which I felt was contrived. Ring of Fire was just too over the top for me. And i said, back at the time, that going that crazy that early was not gonna leave you anywhere to go later on. On that point, i think i was right, and i think that might be what ultimately cost you the title. I really don't think "America" suddenly got nervous that an all-but-out singer could win the title and so they voted against you. I think simply, there was no NEW left to enjoy in the final weeks, just the high level of awesomeness to which we'd grown accustomed. Emphasis on "to which we'd grown accustomed." That's never where you want to be at Final Four and then Final 2, if you want to in the whole thing. Even when you re-did Mad World in the finale, I thought your first go at it was a little better, a little more connected. And Kris really came on like Mine That Bird at the end there. He got all sorts of newly interesting. Emphasis on "newly." The American public does like its shiny new toys.

So you didn't win the competition, but you ultimately won my respect and my heart. That's something isn't it? You'll have an awesome time on tour and then you can either be Queen's new frontman or star in Rock of Ages or American Idiot or be a 21st-century Bowie, or whatever you want to do. Thanks for bringing some new energy to the show this season. Not only did you rock, you glam-rocked.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

WTF Moments With Keith Olbermann: Steele vs. Same Sex Marriage Edition

I watched Michael Steele say this on Meet The Press this Sunday, and it made no sense. He thought it was an awesome way to frame the argument. It's not. In fact, I thought the people speaking at the rally in Midtown in support of same sex marriage on Sunday did a MUCH better job of framing the issue. Same-sex marriage is a burden on small businesses? Give me a break, Steele. Olbermann once again takes the time to explain why it just isn't so.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WTF Moments with Keith Olbermann: Texas Secession Edition

The very idea of secession leads me to perform the biggest eye roll possible. It's such a moronic notion that Texas - or any state - could up and leave the Union, that it's almost not worth the energy to respond with the most basic of reasons why it would never happen. But since Governor Rick Perry refuses to let the idea go, Keith Olbermann takes it upon himself to highlight for the Governor a few of the obvious ways Texas could never exist on it's own. Now please, stop the nonsense, Gov. Perry.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

False Idols: Gokey, Going, Gone

You are so eliminated, Gokey
You are so eliminated, Gokey
Can't you see?
It's everything I hoped for
It's everything I need
You are not going past Top 3!

Such joy and happiness this brings
Such joy and happiness this brings
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so eliminated... yippee!

It really isn't personal distaste for Gokey that makes his dismissal such a happy thing for me. It has everything to do with the judges. Ever since the Top 13, the judges have been pushing SO HARD for a Danny-Adam finaleWhy? Who knows? I guess they like Danny's story. It is a sad story. And he sings fine. But they were so shameless about favoring him . Everything Danny did was golden in their eyes. The truth is that a lot of it was not that excellent and some of it sucked No matter what happend the judges urged the public to vote for him with their "A+ for effort! See you in the finals!" campaigning. It feels so nice to know that America's ultimate response to all their bullshit was, "shut the fuck up, we actually like THIS talented guy more!" and they went with Kris. It's no secret I've always found Kris more appealing and versatile a musician than Gokey. Kris's rendition of Heartless on Tuesday night was the best thing to happen this season -and Adam's had some phenominal performances, so I don't say that lightly.

I'm glad the judges were put in their place. They overreached. Their dismissive attitude toward Danny and Allison was really aggravating for the past few weeks. So the judges don't get what they want and America gets the two best contestants in the finals. I think that rocks. Best of luck in the Finals, boys!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WTF Moments With Keith Olbermann: Miss California Edition

This is a new segment on Countdown and will most likely be a recurring feature here, if follow up installments are like this one. Miss California's claims for the past two weeks about how tough it is to be a total media whore have been nothing but irritating. There's nothing left to say about this annoying young woman besides the fact that she needs to accept she simply LOST THE FUCKING COMPETITION - A COMPETITION THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT IN THE FIRST PLACE! It means SO little in the grand scheme of things, in fact, that she can violate her contract 6 ways til Tuesday and they still won't fire her because she grabs headlines and looks hot with her fake boobs. I know it must be eating away at her that the coveted title of Miss USA (which God had ordained she would get and a gay man's vote, put asunder) will forever be out of your reach. Even if she can't accept this reality and is milking her 15 minutes for everything they are worth, please let this "story" go, Cable News Networks. I beg of you. There's enough real shit to focus on and fill your 24/7 news cycle.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marry Me, New Star Trek Movie!

OMG. I love this new Star Trek Movie!!! They always say love comes to you when you're not looking for it. I was not looking to love this new movie. I was hoping to enjoy it. That was all. I grew up loving the original series in re-runs, and became a devoted fan of the Next Generation in it's third season. I've followed DS9 and Voyager, but I didn't have much love for Enterprise or the last few movies. The whole thing needed a reboot, some new blood and some fresh ideas. So after a few years off the radar, in walks this new film simply titled "Start Trek." I liked what I saw from the trailers. I was very impressed with the comic prequel. All advanced word on the film was not only positive, but brimming with excitement. Despite all of this, my inner trekkie refused to really go into fanboy overdrive - I've been wounded before by my favorite sci-fi franchise. Still, I was looking forward to the movie and had a big goofy grin on my face as the lights went down in the theater and the world of Star Trek literally exploded onto the screen.

This is by far the best of the trek movies. Khan through Voyage Home are very enjoyable and have their merits, but this is the most vital theatrical trek experience I have had. I am super glad I managed to stay spoiler-free going into this movie. There were so many shocking twists to established lore that each one is still sorta exploding in my brain. I will be revisiting each change in its own post, as I need time to process the changes and also see the movie again!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be in love with Star Trek again. I didn't think it was missing from my life. It was. And now it's back! WOOOO-HOOOO!!I loved the cast. I loved the action. I loved the comedy. Quinto, Pine, Saldana, Cho, Yelchin, Pegg - they are all so good! Karl Urban is both DeForest Kelly AND Bones at once! Crazy! Oh it's the best thing ever. I'm in love. I'll be talking about this one for a long time to come. Live long and prosper, movie franchise! I'll be seeing you in IMAX soon enough!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Amazing 14 times over!

Congrats to Tammy and Victor for winning Season 14 of the Amazing Race. Tammy and Victor, aka Team Family Law, were my favorites this year - along with Mel and Mike White. I'm very happy the sibling team won. They ran a very good race, seemed to enjoy all the travelling and challenges, and after a hilarious/disastrous third leg in Romania, they really started to pull it together and work well as a team. I always hate when the stress of the trip turns team-mates against each other in the final legs of the race. Forunately, that didn't happen for these two. I thought they had a good chance at winning just by the way the season had been edited. I mean, you can never really know, but I thought Cara and Jaime were shown as being very beligerent to their cabbies and Margie and Luke were a little TOO INTENSE about racing, so I wasn't really totally surprised to see level-headed Tammy and Victor coming through in the end. I actually thought the second and third place teams came to grips with their impending loss in a really touching way. The final cab rides to the finish line were all very emotional. Tammy, in the lead, almost couldn't let herself believe she was going to win, she was so happy. Right behind her were Jaime and Cara, very upset but very supportive of each other, and then after them was Luke and Margie, with Luke feeling like he let down his mom, and Margie consoling him as only a mother can. Oh, it was heartbreaking! But very exciting and a satisfying end to what i thought was a good season. But let's try to get to more continents next time, guys! I meant THREE? Including North America? I know Asia is very big and has a lot of countries, but maybe we spent a LITTLE too long in China? Maybe?

As I was revelling in the Team Family Law win, I realized I had NO IDEA who had won last season, which could have only ended last November. I couldn't remember ANY of the final 3 teams from last season. I had to go online and check it out, and of course it was Nick and Star. I was okay with them winning, and i liked their whole season too, but it had already completely left my memory. It quickly got erased it from the DVR in my brain. I think Team Family Law's win will be more memorable.

I have to say the quality of the Race has really picked up these last few seasons. This was my favorite show on television during it's first few seasons, but then there were stumbles with the Rob and Amber season, the Family Edition and the annoying season where the hippies won. Things bottomed out during the All-Star Season, but ever since then, things have worked really well for the show. I hope the next season is equally compelling. Life is better when the AMazing Race is actually amazing. I'll see you in the fall, Phil!

Mother Lovers!

Justin Timberlake made another hilarious appearance on SNL this weekend.
Happy Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

False Idols: Between a Rocker and a Hard Place

Oh Allison. You will be missed. I am glad you lasted as long as you did. The judges never fully gave you their support, you were imperiled in weeks where you gave amazing performances, but you kept moving on. I have enjoyed how Idolatry on has been fascinated with you and their campaign to "Save the Rocker" has been hilarious. Their comparisons between you and 70's Wonder Girl and Run Lola Run were not without merit. I didn't really think America had enough good taste to ever take you into the Final 2, but I was hoping that Gokey's total flame out on Tuesday would've been enough to spare you and take him out. Apparently, I don't know who America wants to be the next Taylor Hicks so they can promptly forget about him as soon as the finale ends with him winning and then never buy one of his records. Some day I'll learn!
You're a cute young rocker chick with your whole life ahead of you. You've got a great voice. You're gonna do fine. You don't need the stress of this stupid show anyway. Take care, baby girl! Wear whatever effing clothes you want. I'll listen to your music regardless.

Contestant on The Edge/ Rant of the Week

Mr. Gokey. Dream on, indeed. I'm not even gonna touch your performance this week, which we both know was not good. I'm accepting that you're a nice dude, you have a cool rasp to your voice. You've been through some rough stuff on your life, but you keep on truckin'. I don't have any idea why the judge's decided you were going to the Final 2 eleven weeks ago. I don't know why they praise you no matter what. I will be voting for Kris like crazy next week as a protest to Allison's ouster this week, which i think was brought on in part by the judge's goading her into talking back. I've decided YOU are not the real problem I have you. You are doing the best you can do. I believe you want to win and you want to be a good performing artist. I've decided it's the judge's protective nature of you that is truly what bothers me. So instead of hating the player, I am hating the game. I'm so sorry you had to get caught in the middle of my fight with the judges over whether or not your "artistry" should be crammed down my throat. I'm sorry it took me so long to figure out what the real problem was. Have a great trip home and a fun final three week. I will be voting for your competitors on Tuesday night.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

If it's Sunday, It's... a Win for Rafa!

Woohoo! This is the third Sunday in a row where Rafa has been playing for an ATP Tournament Championship, and it's also his third win. This week it was the Rome Master Series Event, following victories at the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open. Nadal broke an Open Era tie with Thomas Muster, who won Rome titles in 1990, 1995 and 1996. Jaroslav Drobny and Martin Mulligan also each won three titles before the Open Era. But Now Rafa's got four! It was his 15th Masters Series title, one more than Federer and two shy of Andre Agassi’s record of 17. Rafa also improved his tour-best record to 38-3 this year, winning five of the eight tournaments he’s entered.

Rafa makes cheering for him super-easy during the clay court season. But please, Rafa. I am BEGGING you to take a week off now! You've been playing great. You've been beating up on everybody. No one can touch you. Don't you now want to take a nap, or just spend some time at home? Like for instance, today it was rainy and cold and I've been sitting around my house cleaning my apartment and watching movies. It feels great! You need this kind of day every once in a while.

I couldn't watch your match since I don't (yet) get the Tennis Channel. I did keep track of the live score online. I'm very very happy for you that you've been on sure a roll lately, but if you play again this week, I'm gonna be upset. You've earned a break. We've all earned a break. Stay home and eat some junk food and watch a dvd. You'll be glad that you did.