Saturday, September 30, 2006

8 years, man...8 years!!!

(that title works better if you channel Jeremy Pivens' Grosse Pointe Blank character, Paul, while reading it)

8 years ago God brought you into our lives, and they haven't been the same since. Thankfully. :)

I cannot think of anyone I'm prouder of...only 1 I'm more blessed to know (tho' there are 3 others at his level). He's the Riker to my Picard. My right-hand man. Trustworthy, honorable, smart, goofy. Everything a Dad could ask for.

Love ya, Frodo. Happy birthday.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Geek Post for the week (hopefully longer)

Trying to tone down the geekiness around here, but sometimes it's hard. Was going to write something about the Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark casting news--I think it's inspired. And then I noticed that the good folks over at Aint It Cool News had already said it for me:

I can’t even express how much I love that choice. First of all, congratulations to Paramount and Marvel for having the nerve to pin their franchise on Downey. He’s had some rough years, but if I’ve ever seen anyone aggressively work to rehab their career, it’s Downey. Even in his darkest days, he was doing good work, but lately he seems more in touch than ever with what makes him great as a performer. He’s excellent with comedy, and he can break an audience’s heart with ease. Rare combination.

Words of Wisdom

The 9/25 Partially Clips

I feel violated. . . . and not in a good way.

Watched X-Men: The Last Stand last night (SPOILER WARNING). I'm tempted to utter some imprecatory curse against Bryan Singer for abandoning the project for that Superman flick, but I figure the, did I mention there might be SPOILERS?

Taking a break for those who want to avert their eyes.

...but I figure the disrespectful way that Marsden was utilized and dispatched pretty much makes up for it. And honestly, all the blame for this falls at the feet of Ratner and 20th Century Fox.

I seriously can't think of anything I like about this flick. The storyline...was pretty shabby. I'm willing to bet that last night's Smallville premier had better FX. Ditto for the score! If you notice the score it'd better be because it's the only redeeming thing in a bad flick or just something perfect. This was noticeable because it made a couple of scenes seem better in contrast. The costumes annoyed me. Jackman's hair bugged me (so did Barre's come to think of it--and I promise you, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about hair--just look at my pictures). And don't get me started on Beast--or Angel (tho' the scene at the beginning w/him as a lad--that one worked)--or Leech--or...ack, just have to stop now.

Romijn and Ashmore worked for me. I think that was about it. Even the almost perfect Paquin fell flat (been a fan of hers since The Piano). Stewart was wasted. McKellen couldn't save it with all his gravitas.

I felt so ripped off by the tie-everything-up-in-a-tidy-bow of a happy ending, that I didn't check out one special feature, deleted scene or alternate ending.

Best thing about this DVD? The Sneak Preview of the Simpsons movie that showed up on the main menu. And I'd already seen it from the video grabs that people did at various comic cons this summer and posted on YouTube. But this was cleaner and with better audio.

Grade? D. Save yourself the time and trouble unless you have to know how things wrapped up. And even then, make sure you use a 2-for-1 coupon or something.

Rusty, I know you disagree. Feel free to comment away and convince me I'm wrong. Kletois and I are up to the challenge :) (also have to believe that SpideyGeek will chime in my support, or I will lose all faith in her career.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value."

-- Thomas Paine

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

By Popular Demand

(popular there is loosely defined as "1 person")

Despite my self-description as a TV-junkie, there's really only one or two writer's work I can identify w/o looking at the credits (Aaron Sorkin, David E. Kelley, Joss Whedon, maybe David Milch)--Whedon's moved to the big screen, Milch is focusing on cable, leaving Sorkin and Kelley as the 2 distinctive voices. And only one of them doesn't spiral into self-parody and a series being out-of-control within a season or two. Which is why I'm very excited that Sorkin is back.

I first got into Sorkin's style via the summer promos for Sports Night on ABC, which convinced me I was gonna love the show before it premiered. Then it did. And I did. ABC has yet to atone for the way they treated that show. Then he moved on to the West Wing, and I didn't follow--just wasn't up for the politics. A couple years ago I stubmeld into a marathon on Bravo, and have made up for that error. Still hate the politics, but love the writing.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard about his new gig, Sudio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Yeah, sure, Sorkin is using Whitford and Perry as stand-ins for himself and Schlamme. Who cares? Whitford and Perry were great (and I'd watch them do pretty much anything, anyway).
Not sure that Amanda Peet totally sold me with her performance, but she was good enough; Steven Weber played an excellent network jerk; it was good to see D.L. Hughley get some work; ditto for Timothy Busfield (who has made up for his involvement in thirtysomething by his work as Lloyd Stevens on Ed and Danny on West Wing). Need to see more of the rest of the cast before I really decide about them.

Okay, so I really didn't come to this thing unbiased. But what about the story? Did it work? I think so. Will have a better idea next week--once we're past the whole pilot thing--but I can see myself in for the long haul with this one. Good news: from the "next week on ..." clips, it looks like someone found the lightswitch on the set. Pilot was just too dark (not in tone, but in lighting).

So, Katy, review? Not sure I have enough info for one right now. But I'll tell you this: as the show ended, I found myself smiling. That's just not something I do a lot of.

Now I'm just waiting for Joshua Malina to be written in...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Speaking of schemes ganging aft agley

On the way home from my sleep test this morning, I was listening to ESPN radio (not in the mood for local call-in politics at 6:15 am, and I heard the words that "the Mets' win eliminates Atlanta." WHA--? I knew they were having a rough year, I was pretty sure they weren't going to be in the playoffs...but wow. September's not halfway over and Atlanta's eliminated?

Never a big Braves fan. Not a big NL guy, really. But you gotta tip your cap to 14 consecutive division titles. Braves in the postseason is like the sun coming up in the morning. You just take it for granted. This is such a strage year.

(promise, that's the last Robbie Burns title for awhile, really)

Heading off a best laid scheme ganging aft agley

This sounds like a lot of fun. Would love to do it. But not only do I know I wouldn't get done, my dear, devoted wife would probably wring my neck (in a devotedly endearing way, of course).

At the same time, can you imagine the gross tonnage of sheer dreck that will result from NaNoWriMo? Whoever puts this thing on, pushes for the sponsorships, etc. Should make a promise to read every single line of text put out in this effort. Some would be rewarding, some would lead them to change it to NaNoWriDecade. Parker--who's one of the best around, puts out 4 novels a year. 3 of which generally need a good rework, 1 of which will be hit out of the ballpark. Can't imagine there are a whole lot of folk out there at RBP's level taking part in this. Why do these folks playing at the triple-A level (at best) think that speed is the way to get this done?

I know, it's about doing it. About the discipline, the effort, the growth as a writer that comes from producing something.

Still, the more I think about it, the more something just seems wrong in the idea.

That said. I'm publicly challenging AKA Lucy to take a crack at it. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Return of Godzilla Watch 3

Starting lineup, Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS (can the streak continue?)
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Jorge Posada C
Robbie Cano 2B
Hideki Matsui DH
Melky Cabrerra LF

Mike Mussina P
What I wouldn't give to be able to watch this hear the crowd when he comes up to the plate...

UPDATE: Matsui was 4-for-4. Oh man! But that's not the headline. Bobby "His Power's Gone/He's Past His Prime" Abreu was good for 7 RBI's! 6 of those in the first! Ha. Cashman's a genius.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Misc. Notes While Waiting for my Printer to Finish

  • First Fall baseball game of the year was today. Fall Ball's a little different than the Spring Cal Ripken season: there are 2 teams (and only 2 teams), they play each other every week. The point isn't to get to the top of the standings, but to improve skills. These are the kids who are out there because they love the game and want to get better--a real pleasure to watch. No machines doing the pitching--it's kids. First time a lot of these players had faced a pitched ball period--much less one from something as inaccurate as an 7 year old with a killer fastball. BTW, I'm describing the starting pitcher for Frodo & Sam's team. The kid blew me away! Frodo's improved a lot over the summer, not sure how. Sam was in there trying his best. Hard when all the pitches are six inches above your head. He'll get there tho...
  • Oh yeah, they won by one run. Last inning of the game--finally, finally one kid gets across the plate. There was a total of 3 good defensive plays (2 from our team). But oy vey! Am hoping these guys improve a lot...and quick.
  • Would've been a good idea for me to have thought of sunscreen, or, y'know...a baseball cap. 2.5 hrs in the sun = red scalp. Gonna be fun to shave in the morning.
  • I think it would be very fun to speak like an Aaron Sorkin character for a day.
  • Gonna pass post 900 this week (D.V.). Hit 805 at GA in June. Have had a busy summer 'round here.
  • Zowie! My Totino's Pizza Rolls have apparently been exposed to gamma radiation (and have been made angry, wonder if I'll like them when they're angry). They're bleepin' huge! Pizza Rolls are a late-night studying staple food for me, haven't had any since May. How long have they been jumbo-sized?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Prayer Req.

I just posted a prayer request over at my seminary blog, for those of you who are the praying type.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Too Soon?

Remember just before United 93 hit the theaters this spring, and then again just before World Trade Center premiered, there was this refrain of, "It's too soon." It's too soon for a's too soon for us to remember's too soon for whatever.


Tonight my manager and I are approached by some 30+ year old woman, holding four DVDs--Friends with Money, Just My Luck, some other "chick flick," and United 93. "Have you seen any of these?" I hadn't and said so, manager had seen Just My Luck (which she called "cute") and the "other" one which she said was pretty good. Manager tells her that she's heard "Friends" was "more of a mid-life crisis movie." Customer holds up United 93, "What's this about?"

Ummmmm, I think. "It's about that plane on 9/11 that..." The manager cuts in, "Y'know the one that crashed in Pennsylvania." Blank stare. Me again, "the one that the passengers took over, made crash before it could hit anything." Blank stare. "The one on 9/11?"

This woman had no idea what we were talking about. It's five years later--FIVE YEARS!! She had no idea what we were talking about--thankfully she got distracted by the idea of Antonio Banderas doing ballroom dancing (oh, hey, I remembered--the other chick flick was Take the Lead) and headed off before the conversation continued (and my dismay hit critical mass).

It's not too soon. It's not too soon. It's not too soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nomination for Funniest Yankee Post of the Week

Can't see anyone beating this one: Royal(e) with Cheese from Canyon of Heroes (possibly the nicest looking Yankee blog around).

Hitting for the Cycle

Without really trying to (initially, anyway). On study breaks today, have posted to each blog I contribute to today. Personal best.

Summer Reading: Kill All the Lawyers by Paul Levine

If I started it before Labor Day Weekend, it counts, right? For the record, it's not that I've stopped reading since July 27, my last Summer Reading post--but it seemed that no one really cared, as much as I found the discipline helpful (even had a complaint or two). So I'll limit these to the books I really want to talk about. 'Sides, school's back in session, and I don't have that much time for extra-curricular reading period (but one of my professors last year impressed upon us the importance of doing so to keep our minds fresh. So I'm going to try).

Enough of that. Steve Solomon, Victoria Lord and all the rest are back for #3 in Paul Levine's series about mystery-solving lawyers in love, Kill All the Lawyers. Weighing in at an anemic 368 pages (the first book was 576!), I wondered if it would stack up as well. It did.

The weaknesses I felt about book 2 weren't present. First, there was more Bobby. The heart of the series is Bobby. Period. Let Steve grow/mature. Let Victoria loosen up/accept Steve. Let the supporting cast become more well-rounded characters. Fine. But the emotional core will always be Bobby. He has to be a player in each book. Just don't see who Levine can pull it off otherwise.

Secondly, there was a real element of risk involved. Trying to avoid spoilers, I'll put it this way. The bad guy set out to frame someone for a horrible crime. And it really looks like that person was going to fall into deep legal trouble--maybe so much so that it'd have to be resolved in the next book. Sure, utlimately, there's no doubt that the team of Solomon & Lord will save the day at some point. But I fully expected arrests, interrogations, trials, fall out, etc. I just didn't get that feeling last time out.

Character-wise, I did think Victoria got the short end of the stick this time out, but not sure where Levine could've stuck more of her in. Maybe in Book 4, which the back cover assures us he's hard at work on. Although I didn't mind too much. Rather have Steve's voice than hers dominate the book. They were on their home turf--so most of the supporting cast from Book 1 was back, just not as prominent. Which was good, Levine needs to use them regularly, but sparingly.

The pacing was excellent, yet again. Note to my writer friends out there who haven't picked Levine up: You should just to study this aspect (and you'll discover yourself enjoying the read anyway). The way he can jump between having you chuckle and having you lean forward in anticipation. Good action scene to wrap things up.

Another solid outing for the team, looking forward to the next..

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Threw up a quickie over at Two at Parbar.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Music for a Brain-Dead Friday...

this is either sheer brilliance or utter stupidity...not sure which.