Leading by 21 late in the game, looking like a sweet RU win in their second straight bowl appearance (unfortunately lost last year, but tonight would be their first bowl win even. I, of course, am listening to the game on a streaming feed on my laptop, while I type this down. - RU now up 34-10. Oddly, I am rather enjoying the game under these circumstances.
"It is whining because when you state that well known fact, you are assuming that there is a direct correlation to victory for every dollar spent. Truth be told, the top 4 or 5 spenders have just as much a chance as anyone else. There just isn't as big a difference between the best player at a position and the second, third, fourth, or fifth. Then add in statistics on whether they will all play well at a given time, impressive rookies, etc, and it makes it all the more random.
Also, if you are going to be fair, you should point out just as often that Yankees at least get into the post season with their payroll."
This is a response from my post the other day regarding the Yankee payroll. This response is from one of my best friends, but since I don't know if everyone reads the comments sections, I figured I would cut and paste this here and then offer a rebuttal.
If you read my post again, you will first notice that I am not necessarily assuming anything. While it is possible that I implied that possiblity, I believe my buddy inferred that was the message I was presenting. However, to be perfectly clear, my point is larger salary provides more opportunities and insurance for problems throughout the season (underperforming players, injuries, etc. ) It isn't necessarily about the best player at every position, but it allows the Yankees to control their own agenda in terms of roster. In short, the Yankees will never lose a player because he is unaffordable, since they operate without any real budget. They may decide a player is not worth his asking price, but not beyond their means.
Also, in case I have never before stated it, I agree with his point re: making the playoffs. The amount of money the Red Sox spend, to me as a fan, means that any less than a playoff spot (even wild card) is a failure.
Sunday Morning arrived and as I flipped through my morning paper I flipped on ESPN. Sports are usually a pleasant distraction from the misery of the real world (not mine personally, thank God, but the National and World landscape). Ah, but today was full of some of sports biggest assholes, intruding upon my enjoyment.
Isiah Thomas, failed architect of the disaster that is the N.Y. Knicks, took exception to his team being blown out, at home, again. Rather than taking his wrath out on his team to, maybe, play better, he decided that it was time for one of his players to commit a flagrant foul on a Denver Nuggets player on a breakaway. (This is typical Isiah, by the way. Back in the day, when I was a rabid hoops fan, I came of age during the Celtics/Pistons battles when Isiah was a player for the Pistons. I will acknowledge he was the greatest small guard I've seen play the game. As opposed to a scoring guard like Jordan, or an Hybrid player like Magic, Isiah was a 6ft 1 inch hard nosed SOB on the court, and I respected his game. However, he often started trouble with other players and then ran for cover behind Rich Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer. (Or as legendary radioman Johnny Most used to call them, McFilthy and McNasty) - Fast forward, and Isiah the coach is threatening Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, telling him to avoid the paint, because... well, let's just call it a veiled threat.) - So anyway, a brouhaha starts, suspensions are handed out yesterday, and surprise, surprise, Isiah walks away unscathed! In effect, the man who orders the hit walks away scot free while the executioner takes the heat.
Then there's old friend Terrell Owens, who happily acknowledged spitting in the face of DeAngelo Hall during the Cowboys/Falcons game. What more is there to say, really. T.O. is a despicable human being, a piece of garbage who was blessed with a world of talent and not a shred of integrity or character, but as usual, the league did nothing. 35 thousand dollar fine is a joke - how about suspending him for 2 games, hurting the team, and sending out a message that signing T.O. brings nothing but misery to your franchise? Nah, the NFL wouldn't have the balls for that.
Is it any reason sports have lost much of their appeal to me?, and that I often find myself picking teams to root for simply because they have a core of "good guys".
I often find myself berated by my friends who are also (inexplicably) fans of the evil empire (a.k.a. N.Y. Yankees, for the uninitiated) - they accuse me of whining about the yankee payroll - let me make this perfectly clear. IT IS NOT WHINING TO STATE FACTS! The last I checked, 200 was more than 135. (The approximate payroll, in millions, of the Yanks and Sox, respectively.) As long as the Yanks spend more than double the MLB average on payroll and nearly 1 1/2 times as much as the second highest spender (last year, the Red Sox), I can make the point. That's it. Yankee fans seem to hate to have the truth spelled out, but the only way this will change is if a) another team goes nuts and surpasses the Yankees in spending (unlikely, since no one else can afford it), or b) A legit salary cap is instituted. I would love to watch the Yankees compete with all of baseball, with equal resources. Alas, the Yankees (much like Notr Dame football) view themselves as bigger than the game. Hell, they view themselves as bigger than human beings (remember 2004, when hurricanes were buffeting Florida and people were losing their homes and all their personal possessions; the Yanks do, because they pleaded with MLB to offer them a forfeit win, since the Tampa Bay Devil Rahys were unable to make it back to play scheduled games - ah, Yankee land, always classy.
Despite the efforts of scumbag agent Scott Boras (one of the most despicable sports agents around, along with Drew Rosenhaus), the Red Sox have signed Dasuke Matsuzaka to a 6 year deal. the hopes and dreams of Red Sox Nation now reside on the frame of this 26 year old phenom. In a perfect world, the Rotation for the Red Sox becomes Father Curt at the 1 spot (based on past performance), a resurgent Josh Beckett at 2 (hopefully with a little more variety in his pitches, so he doesn't serve up as many freaking long balls), Dasuke, Soph Phenom Jonathen Papelbon at 4 (if he doesn't have to pitch as the closer again), and old faithful Tim Wakefield at 5. That staff should be enough to keep the Sox battling for the A.L. East all year, despite the bazillion dollar Yankee payroll.
As Public Employees continue to be hammered in the press and by the "tax reform" minded legislature, today's spotlight is on Nicholas Scutari, another democratic legislator who's asking for public employee givebacks and cuts. However, a quick review of the facts shows: (info availabe via wikipedia, and the financial filing form available via pdf file for Nicholas Scutari http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ethics/FinancialDisclosure/ScutariN2005.pdf
- Over 50 thousand dollars from his law firm - Over 50 thousand dollars from City of Linden - nearly 50 thousand for his NJ state legislature position - over 50 thousand from C.A.U. (a social service agency, by the way, that works hand in hand with many public employees while serving developmentally disabled - the same employees he would like to take a cut, while he is paid more than most of them for this, his fourth job.
So once again, someone receiving at least 2 tax payer funded pensions and 200 thousand annually points the finger of blame at the public employee making, at best, 50 thousand. Do the papers point these facts out - hell no! Wonder why, hmm!?
The pic shown here is of N.J. State Senator Stephen Sweeney. A Democrat (depressingly enough) who is making a name for himself by attacking state workers in the state of N.J. I just wanted to offer a couple of quick facts about this "champion of the regular folks", this crusader for the regular folk, promising to solve the property tax issues that have plagued this state for many years. His solution, of course, is to hammer the state employees.
"State unions have pointed out that Sweeney's multiple public and private sector jobs add up to much more than the salaries of the vast majority of their members. Sweeney makes $123,000 at Local 399, according to its federal disclosure form, as well as $49,000 as a state senator. Sweeney told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he donates his $18,000 salary as Freeholder Director of Gloucester County to charity and would like to take only one public pension, but can't. All told, Sweeney's income from these multiple sources appears to place him at an almost 4 to 1 advantage over the typical state worker's compensation (amounting to about $50,000) which he seeks to cut." (From the Wikipedia entry for Mr. Sweeney)
So his 3 public pensions and 190,000 dollar salary has led him to point the finger of blame at those who deserve it; the social workers and human service employees who help those in the state most in need. Damn those people and their attempts to assist low income families in need, people with disabilities in desperate need of shelter, health care, and a host of other needs, from the most basic (eating) to attempts at improving the quality of life by finding employment opportunites for this underserved population. Damned those DYFYS workers trying to protect vulnerable children.
Sadly, I rarely read anything in the states largest newspaper (Star ledger) defending the worker. Instead, Sweeney sycophants like Tom Moran and Paul Mulshine continue to point the finger at the rank and file, never questioning the hypocrisy of legislators like Sweeney. Unbelievable.
It's been awhile, so here are a few quick thoughts.
1) Thank you, NBC. Finally, a mainstream media outlet states what most of us able to walk upright with I.Q.'s over 80: Iraq is involved in a complete civil war. It's been that way for quite some time, and the poor american troops are simply bodies in the middle, absorbing violence from every direction. Of course, Mr. Bush is nothing if not consistent. Apparently, according to him, the increased chaos is due to Al-Qaeda, and there is no civil war. Once again, those of us in the fact based world have been overruled by the decider in chief, the emperor, King George.
2) I want every person who voted for this administration and supported all of the lies, offered apologies for every misstep, and blamed anyone but the "decider" to apologize. I want these apologies directly to me. Something along the lines of "Hi, my name is (fill in the blank) and I am ignorant, evil, arrogant, and unworthy of the opportunities. I have contributed to the death of thousands of Americans and many more innocent Iraqi civillians. I hereby acknowledge my idiocy and incompetence as a human being, and pledge to never again vote before conferring with a more intelligenct person." (I will be happy to provide a list of qualified individuals, starting with both my wife and I.)
3) Rutgers plays their biggest game ever this Saturday night, and it's been really nice to follow college football with a legitimate rooting interest this year. Thanks, Coach Schiano and the RU football team!
A few days ago I was flipping channels, looking for something to watch, and I came across the Barry Levinson file, Bandits. The film stars Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton as bank robbing brothers who pick up "hostage"/accomplice Cate Blanchett and mayhem ensues. There is a scene where Billy Bob's character, a hypochondriac genius, speaks about the difficulty being so smart. He tells Bruce " You know what the trouble is being smarter than everyone else? You pretty much know how everything is going to turn out, and it takes the surprise out of everything" That's how I have felt watching the Bush regime run roughshod over the country the last 6 years. I told people the war was a choice, not a necessity, and I watched the masses continue to support this amoral, thieving regime of greedy, evil scumbags. It is frustrating being smarter than the overwhelming majority, because the facts and the truth regarding many of the so called issues is available for those who choose to gather info and formulate opinions based on truth.
Anyway, I will add more later because this is a really good day, and a chance of new hope.
Reality Check, people. John Kerry has many things to apologize for; running a lousy campaign in 2006, not responding to the venomous Swift boat attacks, being such a boring candidate. However, he doesn't need to apologize for criticizing the president yesterday.
It amazes me that guys like Bush and Cheney, guys who have never found their patriotism strong enough to ante up and go provide their services to the U.S. Military, these guys constantly couch their attacks with uberpatriotic wrappings. WTF! Let's take a very quick look at the facts. I don't need to link these things, they are the facts and if you disagree, well quite simply, you are wrong
1. Bush/Cheney storm the presidency in 2000, basically appointed by the Supreme Court. It is clear the country wanted Gore, as shown by the popular vote and the thousands of people who realized their votes were being miscounted. Can anyone really doubt this, given the enormous number of lies from this regime since. Is it really hard to see that the state in which the governor is a Bush and the elections controller is nastyass ugly republican wench Kathrine Harris?
2. Bush/Cheney ignore a variety of security warnings and are asleep at the switch when the tragedy of 9/11 hits. I want to be clear here; I am not blaming Bush/Cheney for this attack. However, for all of you who say "We haven't had an attack since then, so these guys make me safe! - I say, these are the same guys in charge who were unable to prevent the first attack, so in my mind they are 0 for 1 in major U.S. catastrophes.
3. Bush/Cheney practically cream in their pants with the opportunity to channel public outrage and sadness into an invasion of a non threatening, sovereign nation, Iraq. After a brief pit stop in Afghanistan (for show, basically, since Afghanistan is still a complete mess, just not so bad when compared to Iraq), the war drums began. "Sadaam has WMD's, with rolling mobile death units. Mushroom clouds are on the horizon". - Hmmm, that's not what the weapons inspectors on the ground were saying, and as they continue to inspect Iraq (with Sadaam's cooperation, remember), the Bush boys and their pals begin to panic, realizng the WMD talk could be proven false. So they announce an attack, basically an invasion that Iraq never had a chance to avoid.
4. Promises of being greeted as "liberators, with flowers and chocolate" never do materialize. Instead, over 3 years later, the U.S. military contines to struggle, the country is more unstable than ever, nearly 300 american troops are dead with who knows how many seriously wounded, missing limbs or suffering from life long post war injuries. The u.s. standing in the world is at an all time low, troops are stuck in a never ending cycle of attacks, basically target practice in a civil war.
5. Bush/Cheney "win" re-election, once again under dubious circumstances. It's important to note, when speaking about elections, that many dictatorships and communist countries also have "elections". The word means nothing without a genuine enforcement of an honest, open voting process. Honest and open are not words associated with the neo conservative movement.
The sad truth is that this could go on and on and on.... and while I believe all politicians need to scrutinized carefully, it is imperative that enough americans demonstrate their disgust with all Republicans. It's sad, really, because I know many conservative/republicans, and if they had held Bush's feet to the fire and ensured that their leadership was responsible, competent, and even moderately honest we wouldn't be in this hole. Remember, all the problems in this country right now can fairly be laid at the feet of the G.o.P. They've been in complete control of everything; the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court. It's obvious that the republicans have no interest in monitoring their own (hell, the congress won't even hold oversight committees on the blatant war profiteering going on, primarily by companies such as Haliburton (surprise, surprse, Cheney's boys). The oil price gouging (hmm, Bush, Condi, Cheney - all with their fingers in the energy pie). However, the republicans have yet to stand up the the regime on one issue; and only now, as many republicans fight for their political lives, do we hear some criticisms of the administration (mostly directed at ancillary figures such as Donald "Skeleto" Rumsfeld).
Well, to show how excited I was about the world series, I went to bed last night (Fri.) during the 8th inning, with St. Louis up 2 runs in the possible deciding game in the WS... and upon waking up today before 6 a.m., didn't bother to check who won until 30 minutes ago. This from a pretty big sports fan... St. Louis won, Ho Hum!
A bit of sports withdrawal for me now , with no major passion for NFL teams (I enjoy the games, but nothing gets me fired up). Well, except for my hatred for T.O. College football has RU, but that's really only once a week. No real college hoops, the NBA is an all but unwatchable league with far too many thugs (yeah, Stephen Jackson, I'm talking to you!) Seriously, what other sport needs the commissioner to pass down rules of conduct like how to dress and when to leave your gun at home. Oh, and if anyone thinks that the modern NBA guy isn't representative of a host of issues "hip hot mentality, urban fatherless upbringing, arrogance and a thug mentality, attached to an uneducated, surly, pampered athlete, they just haven't been paying attention." More on that later, as I came across an article recently that touches on an old argument I had with good friend, Dr. R.J. Barcelona.
... since I last saw you... Here's the scene. Mr. green in back in town and I am on my beaten-up recliner, with Ozzy Osbourne in my ears via headphones, the wife watching Grey's Anatomy, (a pretty horrible show, to be honest.. very much for the chicks). Anyway, I of course find my eyes drawn to the tv, because my wife unfortunately has bad ears, and often uses the closed captioning while watching dvds. My sixteen pound orange cat named pumpkin is laying atop my right leg, and the red wine is causing the esphogeal problem I had surgery for to act up.. but wTF, the Mets are up 2-0 on the Cardinals in the 6th, in the first of 2 straight must win games for the metropolitans in order to earn a world series berth.
R.U. on the road, a 2 pt. dog to Navy, (a service academy!) No respect for the boys from Rutgers. However, matched against Navy's triple option offense, have held the Midshipmen to zip in the first half, and Rutgers is now up 10-0 in the 3rd, and they are driving down the field. Sweet.
But not all is happy, becasue as I type this I am listening to the game on the internet. Because it isn't available on cable, unless you have digital cable and a sports package containing the College Sports TV station... I tried to watch it via streaming video on my laptop, but there was a problem because I do not have internet explorer installed, and I use Mozilla. I'm sure it could have been worked out but it was a hassle, and watching it on the laptop wasn't so complelling to entice me to expend an unusual amount of effort, especially on a sunny yet cold and breezy Sat afternoon. Isn't it pretty sad for Rutgers, the only big time football program in the State, the State Freaking university, ranked in the top 25 for the first time in decades, undefeated and facing a legitimate test against Navy, to not be availabe for me to watch. Certainly a channel like CN8 or MSG could give up a New Hampshire game for R.U.?
UPDATE ___ Rutgers up 17-0 and they just blocked their second straight punt, starting a first goal drive from the 8 yrd line! This should extend the streak and possibly even bump the team up in the standings. Next Week, Pitt, another huge test, and then a home game against a mediocre Conn. team. Could still set up the undefeated test at home on a Thur. night against Louisville!
Ah, the beauty of NetFlix, with the ability to rent a wide array of diverse movies, the likes of which your local Blockbuster doesn't carry. (Primarily based on supply and demand.. the moronic masses demand their next cinematic experience to be along the lines of Big Momma's House or White Chicks)... but NetFlix allows me to pull out an old gem like Pickup on South Street. Directed by filmmaker Samuel Fuller and starring the always great Richard Widmark, this oddly heartening film steals some of the trappings of noir put twists them, so that the female lead (Jean Peters) plays a goodhearted girl who's "been around" but still believes in the goodness in pickpocket Widmark. The movie is spare, at only 80 minutes running time, but that is one of the reason's I enjoy these older films; far less padding than in many of todays flicks. Highly recommended, but not a must see, by any means. If you're looking for pure noir, look elsewhere.
Capote was great. I read the accolades, hear from anyone who saw it, and can only confirm their opinion. Great story, superb acting (even by the smaller character roles, such as Bob Balaban as Capote's editor). Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener are a joy to watch, even in bleak roles. Watch it if you haven't already.
I already own the first 2 X-Men movies (hello, comic geek here!) I really wanted to like this movie, and I had low expectations going in. The level of expectation I carried in was very low, and sadly the film couldn't even hit that mark. Some nice moments with Beast, and an early scene with Mystique were entertaining, but I wouldn't even know where to begin in regards to the faults. Overstuffed with face but not developed characters, the removal of one of the best actors (Patrick Stewart) fairly early on) and some piss poof costume design (seriously, it looks like both Magneto and Juggernauts helmets were made out of paper mache'! It was watchable, and the Amazon price was good, but unless you are a geek who owns the first 2, give it a watch but don't bother buying. (I did stick with the basic DVD, not the one loaded with "Extras" and a comic... I have some restraint!
Back later with an update on the Rugers Football team's efforts to continue their undefeated run to start the season... and let's hope the Mets can rebound from last night's debacle. I've stuck up for Gritty/gutty Steve Traschel, so let's hope he proves me right tonight.
This is absolutely filling me with delight, as I seem to be watching the end of the Yankees season. After being completely shut down by Kenny "The Coward of the County", he of some of the all time worst playoff stats, they headed into todays game against the Tigers with their season on the line. Thank you A-Hole, whose next RBI in the playoffs will be his first in 12 games. I mean it, from the bottom of my Red Sox heart, thank you very much.
Currently the Yankees trail 4-0, and Jaret Wright is already gone... so the vagabond lineup of Steroid Cheaters (Giambi) Douchebags (Johnson), prickly standoffish robots (Mussina), malcontents (Sheffield), obnoxious hot-heads (Posada) or prima donna overtalended, underperforming A-Hole... Sweet
8-0 Detroit Tigers lead evil empire, 7th inning!!!!!
Evil Empire $198,662,180 Vs. $82,302,069. Hell, A-Hole, Giambi, Mussina and Jeter earn 84 mil!!!
There are a lot of things the Boston Red Sox organization did wrong after winning the 2004 World Series, and I've commented on much of it before (this years debacle shined a glaring light on their lack of pitching and offensive production from center field, production that old Friend Johnny Damon is now providing for the evil empire)... but I never had a problem with not signing Pedro... Don't get me wrong, I love Pedro. The sight of old fool Don Zimmer charging Pedro and winding up on his fat ass is one of my favorites, as is Pedro pointing at Jorge "Dumbo" Posada and letting him know, hey bitch, I am in your head. The truth, however, was even in the WS year, Pedro had become a 100 pitch, 6 or 7 inning guy. A little dude with a ton of miles, it would have been foolish to risk 4 million and 52 million on him. I told people when he was signed it will be a good deal in year 1 and 2, but after that all bets are off... turns out I overestimated Pedro, since he only got 9 wins for the Mets this year (after last year's 15) and now, completely out of nowhere with no mention, it's announced Pedro needs rotator cuff surgery, in addition to both calves being strained/weakened/whatever. Sadly, the thought of Pedro rehabbing the shoulder and returning to form is very unlikely... so congrats, Theo, you got 1 right!
I still hope the Mets do well, anhyone but the evil empire!
So now Rutgers, 23rd ranked team in the country, Rutgers the 4-0 Big East Football team begins their conference schedule on the road at South Fla. Some freshman phenom qb for South Fla is playing great, but Rutgers has received another stellar game from Ray Rice, they've utilized Leonard more this week (finally), Teel has been decent, and the defense has turned it up in the second half. Now with under 2 minutes remaining, after a Blocked fg by South Fla against RU, (although there was no block on the 53! yarder by Ito earlier.
By the way, the title refers to the immortal Hunter S. Thompson, fan and critic of sports, drugs, and politics. A potent brew, to be sure, but never boring either. And he remained very prolific, despite whatever he put himself through.
OMG... RU up 8 with South Fla. getting a pass interference call their way with 34 secs left... Shit, TD south Fla.. no, called off due to holding (Whew!)
Mrs. Savvy mentions she feels bad about Trixie, (our new bundle of joyous feline energy)... because Trix is tormenting our grown up cat, Pumkin. A little late, Perhaps?! (Just kidding, honey)
Shit, South Fla scored a TD, 15 secs left, they need the 2 pt conversion to tie... shitttttt... 2 pt conversion pass.... broken up!!!!! Just need to recover the onside kick now and RU goes 5-0, with a legit shot at going 8-0 before returning home for Conn and then Louisville.
No pic tonight, just me, feeling really beat. I used a sick day today, and I hate using them when I am really feeling crappy. My throat is dry and my ears, nose, and glands ache. I have been beating up my body quite a bit the last couple of months, almost burning the candle at both ends, if you will, and wound up hurting my leg and having to back off the gym for a bit and then getting sick like this.
So now tonight, I tried to combat my illness with alcohol (to kill the germs), Mr. Green attempted to fumigate the virus out of my system, and then I went OTC with some Tylenol sinus (Nighttime), which will certainly kick in any second, and the last thing I want is to pass out in the recliner, in PJ pants, and old flannel shirt, sweat rolling down my balding head.
I really hate to burn another sick day tomorrow, but if I feel this lousy, well,
Wow! What a great f**king opener. I, of course, am a comic book geek, so I wanted to watch the show and like it, but I use my wife, beautiful and taseteful Mrs. Savvy, also loved the show. An extremely well told narrative, utilizing fun, creative tricks that really appeal to the comic book fan, but also someone who enjoys something a bit different. It does follow some of the flavor of the year style of storytelling, piggybacking off of Lost, by introducing characters and then showing there is a link between them, part of a grander scene. (Think novels like Stephen King's the stand, or It.)
Anyway, the show was great... riveting, well acted, involving, I'm hooked, and I highly recommend anyone who missed it to catch the encore tomoroow on NBC (check your local listings) or probably on the internet.
Now watching the new Aaron Sorkin show , Studio, and I have to say, Monday night is shaping up to be a solid TV night, replacing my old staple of flipping between wrestling and football. (That's probably a good thing, for a mid 30's dude).
Interesting sports weekend. The Boston Red Sox are eliminated (officially) from postseason contention, but the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University win huge on Sat. and now find themselves in the top 25! Really. Rutgers, the team I watched only 2 years ago lose to I-AA New Hampshire, is now ranked 23 in the country. The first time in 30 years. The season's first major test is this Friday, against South Fla in the first conference clash of the season. Go RU!
Week 5 AP Top 25 1. Ohio State (59) 4-0 1,617 2. Auburn (2) 4-0 1,513 3. USC (2) 3-0 1,491 4. West Virginia (2) 4-0 1,404 5. Florida 4-0 1,363 6. Michigan 4-0 1,318 7. Texas 3-1 1,196 8. Louisville 4-0 1,166 9. LSU 3-1 1,114 10. Georgia 4-0 972 11. Virginia Tech 4-0 945 12. Notre Dame 3-1 879 13. Iowa 4-0 864 14. Oregon 3-0 805 15. Tennessee 3-1 658 16. Oklahoma 3-1 613 17. TCU 3-0 563 18. Clemson 3-1 529 19. Florida State 3-1 510 20. California 3-1 508 21. Nebraska 3-1 327 22. Boise State 4-0 226 23. Rutgers 4-0 117 24. Georgia Tech 3-1 77 25. Missouri 4-0 70 OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES Boston College 42, Miami (FL) 37, Arizona State 34, Purdue 34, Texas A&M 20, Michigan State 20, PENNST 19, Texas Tech 17, Arkansas 13, Washington 13, Wake Forest 12, Wisconsin 6, Houston 5, UCLA 5, Alabama 3. DROPPED FROM RANKINGS Boston College 20, Arizona State 22. Complete Rankings
Welcome to the first full day of fall, my favorite time of the year. I would probably have to go with summer as my favorite season during my childhood, for obvious reasons. (Summer as a kid meant full days of riding bikes, playing with friends, day after seemingly endless day of fun... then summer jobs started when I was 13, but that was still okay. I worked less than I went to school, and had extra spending money in my pocket. It was only upon entering the "real world", when working full time means an ever repeating cycle of work (one reason I envy teachers is the opportunity they have to start anew each fall, after stepping away from students for a few months. Imagine if other jobs had something built in for that? You could step away in June from your job, maybe do something else for a few months, and then return, refreshed?)
Now I enjoy the cooler temps, playoff baseball (alas, not for the Sox this year), football, and hell, my wifes birthday coincides with the first day of fall, it doesn't get much better than that)
So now Rutgers goes for it's 4th straight win (against div. I-AA Howard) followed by a game on the road next week against South Fla. I've been burned by RU before, but this years team somehow seems different, and it is very conceivable they will head into the bye week 5-0, with games against Navy & Pittsburgh on the road followed by a home game with Connecticut. It is conceivable Rutgers will be 8-0 going into a showdown at home with Louisville, and even if they lost to Louisville and West Va, I can imagine a 10-2 record (really 9-2, since 1-AA teams don't count in the W-L). That should get a pretty solid bowl, and maybe even a major road trip, if the troops can be rallied. What say you, Salamander, Woodman, Nickster, Barce, and TryDawg?
Man this show if great. Mrs. Beast and I are on a mission - watch 21 more episodes before the new ones begin on Oct. 6. Thats 7 discs in 13 days, very doable. We knocked out 3 episodes last night and the only think holding us back now is the arrival of more episodes from NetFlix.
Big plans tonight with the crew, dinner out to celebrate mrs. beasts b-day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my super-cool wife, who (?) years ago was born, on this day: 8 1/2 years ago we began dating, and never looked back. We've lived together for 7 years and been married for over 2 and I wouldn't look back for a second... yeah, Wife!
So police busted 2 brothers who were growing marijuana in a plot of land near Rt. 280. 182 Plants off the street. Spokesman Det. Sgt. Dennis Donovan of the New Jersey State Police's Marijuana Eradication Unit was quoted in the NJ Star Ledger. WTF! A Marijuana Eradication Unit? So in a state that had a shutdown due to budgetary problems, and state and local govt. employees (including teachers, human service workers who treat and help citizens with disabilities, the aged, and children) are taking a daily beating in the press for supposed "cadillac benefits", a state that has failed to fund it's pension plan for these workers (in blatant disregard of contractual obligations)... this same state can fund a Marijuana Eradication Unit?)
I picture a room full of burly, mustached men, men of moderate intelligence and souls full of hypocrisy who monthly sit down and watch some of the old school Anti Drug Propaganda films, like Reefer Madness.
Recently watched this oddly entertaining flic, a hybrid of high school movies and raw film noir. I wanted to enjoy the movie but found myself getting frustrated in the early parts of the film. It seemed so far fetched to see these high school age kids inhabiting the roles of hard boiled characters in a 40's pulp novel. After a few more minutes I realized I was preventing myself from enjoying. The rules of noir were played fairly, no one could be trusted, the hero takes a beating the equivalent of Ralph Meeker's in Kiss me Deadly
By the end I found myself more confused than ever , but this is traditioinal for a good film noir. The reality is I was entertained thoroughly and found some younger stars I look forward to seeing, including one actress who will be on the upcoming NBC Series Heroes. I think it starts next Monday at 9 PM.
The International Atomic Energy Association angrily disputed at least 5 major points in a recent bush administration support regarding nuclear capabilities of Iran... I have long felt the Bush regime was looking for 2 more events, and I thought this would happen prior to the 2004 elections, thankfully I was wrong, but maybe just on the timetable. My fear has been another attack on american soil and a subsequent invasion of Iran. - Which, of course, makes sense, given the overwhelming success of Afghanistan and Iraq
I never got caught up in the Buffy series while it was originally on, but always had a bit of an interest in the show. The beauty of DVD is the opportunity that series box sets provides to catch up on shows like this; quality long running narratives that allow the characters to develop and grow while providing a fun backdrop of vampires, werewolves, and ghoulish evil to constantly be preparing to battle. I recently finished season 2 and eagerly await the next in the series. The nice part of DVD is I do not have to wait until next season, and because the episodes I'm watching are almost a decade old, there isn't anyone spoiling the surprises.
I have found myself strongly won over by 2 of the supporting characters on the show, the villainous Spike and the kind and pure Willow (although something happened in the finale that leads me to believe Willow is in for some major challenges of her own over the next season.)
I am currently also catching up with Battlestar Galactica, season 1, a SCI-FI show so well done that both Mrs. Savvy and i eagerly watch it together.
Upcoming shows I would like to eventually get to: La Femme Nikita, Alias, Prison Break ... plus 6 more seasons of Buffy and entire second season of Battlestar Galactica!
Ok, Ok, I haven't been here in a while. My Bud Greenie has been in town again and I have reached that generalized state of mellow, man. However, this is no excuse to pass up on my responsibility to you, my loyal readers, and to myself. So here are some quick hits.
Rutgers kicks the crap out Illinois, the team that came back on RU last year to ruin the season opener, as Rutgers blew a 20 pt lead. 2 years ago, Rutgers followed up a win at Mich State in the season opener with a loss to division I-AA New Hampshire ( I remember because it was the first year that the boys annual Rutgers trip began, a trip which continues this weekend. Rutgers is now 2-0, with a real chance to finish out the month unbeaten (and 5-0 !). Still not sure if we will even make the game this year (we didn't last year but still had a blast).
A few weeks ago I picked this DVD up during one of those sale blitzes at Circuit City, for $5 bucks, along with some other super cheap sale titles such as both Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I had already seen the movie in the theater and loved it but Mrs. Savvy hadn't yet watched it, so we recently settled down in the viewing chamber for a watch.
I am not a huge Jim Carrey fan, but this is one of those rare movies in which a gifted physical comedian is offered a project that utilizes those physical comedic gifts of his to great affect, providing a backdrop of existentialial angst to allow him to show the range of emotions and feelings falling in love can put people through. Combined with co-star Kate Winslet (never better than here as the flighty yet loveable "crazy chick" that all guys have been attracted to at least once.
The supporting cast is also excellent, with Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Tom Wilkinson. (Yeah, Kirsten Dunst is here too, but eh!>)
The movie is one of a dying breed in Hollywood: a challenging and entertaining film about adult love and all the wackiness that entails, providing the viewers with a fun look into a mirror of our collective fears and joys when it comes to love and falling in and out of it.
Mrs. Savvy and I took in Little Miss Sunshine at the local theater this weekend. I tend to be very tentative when it comes to seeing a movie in the theater, due to the amount of morons I have to deal with when seeing a flick with the masses. (Talking, cell phones, late arrivals, kids, crying babies, etc.) The theater was fairly crowded for a Monday afternoon (it was labor day, after all) but the audience was excellent once the movie started.
Little Miss Sunshine was a very entertaining movie. It isn't full of visual metaphors or any significant depth; rather it is a fairly simple ensemble piece about a dysfunctional, (but loving) family. The cast is dead on, with great work done by Steve Carrell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and even the 2 children in the movie, especially daughter Olive.
I found some elements of a few other films. They darkness within the family interactions seemed to echo The Royal Tennenbaums, and the cross country trip was similar to Vacation.
Just to time to provide me with some new sports fan love is the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University. As a proud alum I am psyched the football team has finally entered the realm of competitiveness. I don't really care the school cut many of the smaller teams at the same time the football team grows. Quite honestly, alumni care about 2 programs at their alma mata, football and basketball. I like watching my old school on tv. Hell, I really don't give a damn about college football, except for RU.
So this year, following up on last years bowl appearance (and loss) plus a 7-4 season, the bar is raised. I want at least 8 wins and a winning bowl appearance, preferrably somewhere I could travel. I think I could roust up some interest in an RU bowl game trip with the boys, but the team has to do it's part.
So the team began with a hard fought win against North Carolina, on the road, as a 5 1/2 pt. underdog. This is exactly the kind of game RU would lose in the past. Now the next trick is to return home and take care of business against an Illinois team that pulled one out on RU last year. A win against Illinois on Sat (gametime noon) sets the table for a 4-0 start before heading on the road for 3 games against South Florida, Navy, and Pittsburgh. These are all winnable, and there are only 2 games against ranked opponents; Louisville and West Virginia. Even with losses there and the tossing out of a 1-AA game, the team could take aim at 9-2.
I was a kid when the first Battlestar Galactica series was on TV. I vaguely remember years later putting together Dirk "Faceman on the A-team" Benedict was also Starbuck on the show. (I also remember Buck Rogers but that's another story.) Anyway, I remember reading about the new Battlestar Galactica and most of the reviews were positive. I watched the minseries with Mrs. Savvy and we both liked it... smart sci-fi seems to be the theme lately. I've also been reading the Red Sonja comic being published by Dynamite entertainment and found it extremly well done. Dynamite is a small publisher that primarily publishes books based on licensed properties, (Highlander, Red Sonja, Xena Warrior Princess, Army of Darnkess, Highlander, and Lone Ranger) They've published issues 0 and 1 for Battlestar Galactica and I have to say it's been excellent. Written by Greg Pak (also writing an excellent Incredible Hulk run for Marvel) with art by Nigel Raynor. Check it out at your local comic store.
I rarely do this, but I copied an entire article about Aeon Flux from the awesome Aint It Cool News Website. I highly recommend everyone who enjoys movies and comics to check this site out. Harry Knowles is the proprietor of the site, and it was this article that prompted me to give this movie a watch... I had wanted to like the film, but was wary... of course, the promos for the flick made it appear to be hot chick (Charlize Theron) kicking ass in a futuristic action scenario while dressed in tight leather, but as anyone who has seen Barb Wire can tell you, sometimes that just ain't enough.
I recently watched the DVD of the movie, with my wife, and the review was a solid 2 thumbs up. I use her as a barometer for my geekiness; if she likes it as much as I do, it must be good. The key is that the movie actually required us to use our brains a bit (gasp!) and pay attention. Holy crap, a Hollywood that didn't require us to drop our I.Q.'s to the median so that we could just the mindless, moronic masses in enjoyment. Check out the article.
Harry says - AEON FLUX is not AEON SUX! I completely understand why Paramount was scared of this film and to show it. In fact, when I was on the set outside Berlin talking to one of the writers that was telling me what he and his co-writer were attempting to do with this story and the world of AEON FLUX – I laughed. I really did. I laughed one of those, “Oh the red states are going to love this,” sort of laughs.
Not that this film is anti-Republican – but seriously how many in the Bible belt are really going to be down for a film with plot devices involving drug induced higher planes of psychic existence where people of similarly augmented consciousnesses can gather to plot in total chemical secrecy the overthrow of their utopian existence? A film, whose design, is wholly bizarre Euro-sci-fi-esque – without a single thing that they can recognize as familiar or comfortable. How about this – how about the subject matter of cloning as the sole way to preserve humanity – because… well, it turns out “God’s Chosen Few” that survive the great decimation of mankind… well, it’s those godless fucking scientist that save mankind with their Satan ways.
Yeah, this is gonna play real well in the truck-stop edges of America. But they sure do seem to want to sell the film to that audience. Guns, action, ‘splosions – why, this thing must be a testosterone fueled relative of BARB WIRE… lol… This film owes a lot to Mario Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK – a film that I happen to love. Or Elio Petri’s THE TENTH VICTIM. But it isn’t either of those films. AEON FLUX exists in its own particular universe of logic and invention.
Imagine a Utopian society – forced to be Utopian by the industrial evils that forced the surviving remnants of mankind to live and exist inside the last walled city on Earth. Imagine, that this civilization was formed and created and molded by a group of pharmaceutically empowered scientists that – have been building on each generation’s innovations and work… for 400 years. They can place a message in a bottle of water that doesn’t need a cork or parchment… You just drink it and the chemicals create the interactive conscious conversation – by creating a psychic link between you and the engineer.
Harnesses that dial in alternative levels of existence to maximize the finite amount of space that your walled existence has. Where science and medicine has progressed to such a level that if you chose to, you could have your feet replaced with hands – that function absolutely perfectly – giving you the astonishing agility of King Kong, or at the very least Cheetah… you know, Tarzan’s monkey. Where grass can be engineered into very dangerous BLADES of grass, where strange fruits on trees become sentient spore hurling ‘darts’ that inject you with some manner of badness.
However, all of this oddness would be so much bric-a-brac if it didn’t actually serve the story and the narrative. This isn’t an action film. It’s a hard science fiction mystery. Where are people disappearing to? What is the truth of our existence? Why do I remember things that I haven’t lived? How do I know people that I do not know? It’s an existential crisis of consciousness and being.
I don’t expect a lot of people to dig this film, not because I’m some big brain that looks down on humanity as ignorant retches, but rather… I happen to like SCIENCE FICTION that isn’t just “Sci-fi”. That isn’t just popcorn space ships and light sabers and swagger. That plays its concept straight and isn’t constantly winking at you demanding that you laugh at the implausible craziness of that funky looking alien in the corner. This is science fiction where the technology isn’t all over the place, hell most of it is built in, and not in the typical way. We’re talking about implanted cel phones that you just think about dialing or answering and you’re talking and listening and there is no outside noise.
How much of my liking of this film has to do with the fact that… well, I thought it was going to suck?
Probably a certain degree. That the conditions for me seeing this were that I not publish my review till noon today, I guarantee that wasn’t because they thought I’d like it. That all the screenings for critics took place at 10pm in their respective towns, thus meaning that it’d be past the paper’s publishing time before they could write up their response. Well, that’s just not a good sign. BUT more to the point, when I went to Berlin and talked with everyone on set – looked at over 2000 stills from the production, I could just find 3 shots that I thought were really interesting. That’s not very good.
I got a real weird vibe from Karyn Kusama on set, I could tell she wasn’t fond, or seemingly fond of having press on set to serve as a distraction. Or maybe, she just didn’t like me. I never wrote up that set visit because when it came right down to it – most of what the writers and producers were talking about different “high-minded” science fiction concepts. The sort of things that are usually the first things to go when adapting Phillip K Dick, because they're considered unfilmable. Every time he’s adapted – the first thing left on the shelf is anything having to do with existential crisis and drugs. However, both items are absolutely paramount to the telling of a good Dick story. That’s why I’m utterly thrilled by A SCANNER DARKLY as handled by Linklater – he’s all about the drug and existential crisis and the inner workings of perception. THANK GOD.
In a way, AEON FLUX is more Phillip K Dick than any Phillip K Dick film thus far. Which in a way, kinda reminds me of a great old Boris Karloff film called THE BLACK ROOM that Columbia produced back in the day. You see, THE BLACK ROOM is actually a better tonal adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe – than any of the films that were made in the period that purported to be based on Edgar Allan Poe.
But what about Peter Chung’s creation and isn’t this all his? Absolutely and absolutely not. I love Peter Chung’s original AEON FLUX, but what it wasn’t – was a cohesive narrative. What it was, was a brilliant propulsive anarchistic expression of pure wanton joy of amorality infused with dozens of wonderful narrative science fiction concepts as spice. I loved it. This is a cohesive narrative. This isn’t anarchy. This isn’t amoral. It may be for some, but frankly – I feel they’d be wrong. All peoples have a right to overthrow their governments by violent means if that government abuses it’s power and people. It’s kinda how the United States was formed. What’s beautiful about this is… Instead of Aeon Flux being a mindless goose-stepping terrorist/freedom fighter – she’s given the intelligence to see that what she thought was true, was not, that the threat perceived was real, but from a different source – and that in the end the band of “terrorist” ends up being mankind’s greatest patriots – protecting and saving the last free state of mankind.
I like that. It’s a good narrative. I’m actually surprised this is PG-13. The whole drug issue was handled in such a way, that I’m betting the MPAA – didn’t even get what was going on there. In fact, I’m sure they didn’t see it as a communal trip, but that’s what it was. And it’s very cool. While the non-stop killing of the tail end of the third act… well, I kinda can’t believe that got through. Sure, it’s mostly bloodless… unless you count Charlize’s fingers digging into the bloody bullet wound of her companion as she fishes for a bullet… twice. Or the shard of glass cutting into her hand as she used it to cut into a jugular.
I do wish this was an R-rated film. Why? Because I wanted wanton nudity with Charlize. Ok, I’m male. And I don’t hide it. You do get boob edges and nude backs and that glorious nightgowny thing she wears. Most of the sexuality she wields in this film is infused into her action sequences. I love the earring tongue fishing. I was on set for that shot, and it got one of the best audience reactions of the film.
What’d the audience think? Almost everyone there seemed to dislike it or not know what they thought… that sort of “I need to digest that or see it again” type of response. The two other critic types that I talked to afterwards – well… they loved it. Interesting, eh?
If you loved films like CQ, GATTACA or EQUILIBRIUM (for more than the Gunkata) – then you might very well really dig this film. If you found those films tedious bores… well, you’ll probably think the same of this. And lastly, if you constantly go around telling everyone you know that BLADE RUNNER and MINORITY REPORT are terrible adaptations of Phillip K Dick, but still cool as hell Sci-Fi… then you might, just might love this thing.
I won’t call this a great film or a pinnacle of the genre. In the end, I’m betting that A SCANNER DARKLY will make this film look like an “almost fantastic” film. This is a very accomplished and well handled work of intelligent science fiction. I hope it finds the cult audience it deserves, though I’m absolutely convinced it won’t do well at all at the box office. Click for previous story Talk Back More on this story Click for next story TalkBack
Okay, everyone I'm back off the ledge. The Sox season is officially over, as far as I'm concerned. In my opinion, the season was officially over on Aug. 26th. David Wells had just given the Sox 7 strong innings against the Seattle Mariners. 2 Earned runs, and after Mike Lowells hit gave the Sox the lead, things were looking good. Mike Timlin, the normally trusty veteran entered the game in the 8th, providing the bridge until Papelbon takes over in the 8th... and promptly blew up. The Yankees had lost earlier that day, so a win would have pulled the Sox within 5 games, which considering how they had been playing was amazing. The season was over, and as of today, the Red Sox have a losing record against the A.L., and only their 16-2 record against the N.L. prevents them having a truly awful record. So the challenge for Theo in the offseason is to find the pieces to fill in around Schilling, Ortiz, Manny, and Papelbon to make them a playoff team again. The joy of 2004 is gone, the Theo has received 2 honeymoon seasons. He blew up the team in 2005 but they still made the playoffs and lost to eventual world series champion White Sox. This year is abysmal.
Okay, now that's over, and don't expect a lot more Red sox posts. Later today, a movie review of a surprisingly good Sci-Fi Flick, Aeon Flux.
Thank you, Mr. Theo Epstein, for sending my beloved Red sox into battle with almost no quality pitching against the Yankee offensive juggernaut. Repeat this next year and you can join old friend Dan Duquette, who once said that Roger Clemens was on the downside of his career and therefore not worth signing to a new contract. This was 3 teams, 1 world series, and 5 CY Youngs ago!
Simple equation. Red Sox have to win the next two games or the A.L. East is done. 2 wins and the horror show of the last 2 days means relatively little, because the Yanks will leave town up 2 1/2 games, with 4 more games between the two teams. Lose and the Sox have to struggle for the wild card, which doesn't seem likely. I believe in Schilling, (which is why he isn't even pictured), but Wells has to be vintage Wells to pull this thing off.
Is it any wonder I drank so much last night I have a hangover today?
So things went a bit awry last night, and in an ugly (and not unexpected slobberknocker of a game) the Yanks won 14-11. However, before Red Sox Nation begins to panic, I would like to quote a line from Walter (John Goodman) to The Dude (Jeff Bridges) in the Big Lebowski: " Nothing is fucked, dude."
the pressure has increased dramatically, and it's time for Josh Beckett to start earning his money. I considered today a toss up; now it's a must win. If Beckett can step up, things go back to 2 1/2 games, then ace Yankee killer Curt Schilling takes the ball tomorrow and gets a win to settle things right back to where we started this whole thing; 1 1/2.
So game 1 went as expected, with the evil empire and their ginormous salaries, monstrous egos, and arrogance won, effectively putting arguably their best pitcher this year against the 5th starter for the Sox. Big game tonight, since a win resets the table for a 3 game series in which the Sox start Schilling, Beckett and Wells; possibly the threesome they will have to count on in the playoffs.
Quick question to the Yankee lovers... why do you hate the Red Sox? It's obvious why I hate the Yankees; they have an unfair advantage over every other team in baseball, so I would hate them no matter what team I root for. Inviting a 200 lb bully to beat up on a bunch of other guys in 1 on 1 competitions in which they outweigh everyone else by a minimum of 80 lbs, (and most teams far more than that.) So I understand fans of this rigged league supporting their team, it's easy. But why the hatred for the less well equipped teams in baseball? Remember this. The next championship the Yankees win on a level playing field will be their first, while the Red Sox won that 2004 series as economic underdogs.
Yanks/Sox. 5 games. Yanks lead the AL East by 1 1/2 games, and I can't help but feel good after the beating the evil empire took yesterday at the hands of the mediocre Orioles. So here's my quick look at the series before I head off to work.
Game 1: Jason Johnson vs. Chien-Ming Wang. Johnson is 3-11 with an ERA over 6. Wang is 13-5 with a 3.84 ERA. I think Wang has been possibly the most consistent Yankee starter, and Jason Johnson is a castoff of the Cleveland Indians. Wang has struggled a bit, but this pick is a no-brainer, advantage Yankees.
Game 2: Jon Lester vs. Sidney Ponson. Lester is 6-2 with a 4.09 ERA. Ponson is 4-5 with a 5.82. I'm confident giving the nod to Lester here.
Game 3 Josh Beckett vs. Randy Johnson. 2 former World Series Yankee killers match up. Both guys seem to be head cases. Beckett is 13-7 with an ERA og 5.2 Randy is 13-9 with a 4.92 ERA. Toss-up.
Game 4 Curt Schilling vs. Mike Mussina. The premier pitching match-up of the series, Sunday night's ESPN game of the week. Schilling is 14-5 with a 3.83 ERA. Mussina is 13-5 with a 3.54 ERA. However, big game, at Fenway, big stage, Schilling vs. Yanks. I pick Schilling on this one. both pitchers have struggled a bit of late, but I expect a well pitched game on both sides.
Game 5 David Wells vs. Cory Lidle Match-up of the two #5 starters. Wells is 2-2 with a 6.06 ERA. Lidle is 9-9 with a 4.64. Wells has been coming on and Lidle has struggled a bit, but I am still considering this a toss up.
So in conclusion, I see 2 Sox wins, 1 Yankee win, and 2 toss ups. Split the toss ups and I see a 3-2 Red Sox win of the series. This would put them within 1/2 game of the Yankees at the end of Monday, which I will gladly sign on for.
I haven't mentioned the boys from beantown in a few days because, well, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. The week of Aug. 4-Aug. 10 was absolutely atrocious for the Sox, a 1-5 week against some of the worst MLB has to offer. that's the beauty of baseball. 162 games. A season running from April, when it's still cold and you still have snow in many parts of the country, to Oct. (or even November, remember Yankee fans ?) A rough 10 game stretch equals 1/16 of the season. Think about that. 10 games equals one NFL game.
This is why you don't panic and become reactionary like the yahoos who call talk radio stations, whether it be in NY or Boston or Chicago. This is why I sometimes feel a small, very small, amount of sympathy for A-hole. Many unreasonable fans make their decisions based on a pitch to pitch basis, and that is no way to view a 162 game season.
So now, after a very ugly sweep against the Orioles (hey, a win is a win is a win, right?) the schedule gets tough. First up is 3 with Detroit and their best record in the A.L. and then 5 with the Yankees, a brutal series with a doubleheader on Friday followed by a day game Sat and then a slight rest until the Sunday night/Mon. afternoon game. This will test both teams bullpens and it is the time of season when people start stepping up, sometimes unexpectedly.
I attended the horrible loss to the Evil Empire in the Pedro pitched, Grady Little mismanaged game in the ALCS a few years back, and as the game went on and my buddy Woodman the Yankee fan (hey, he took me to the game, so cut him some slack) and I began to feel very strongly the hero would be someone unexpected. can you say Aaron Fucking Boone? -
I wish I had gone to see Running Scared in the theater. This was easily one of those films that a large screen with a booming sound system would have carried me along as the film winds its way down the rabbit hole and through a bizarre, surreal ride of violence and perversion. (Yes, there is a reason why Mrs. Savvybeast did not watch this with me.)
I watched the first 45 minutes in a start and stop fashion and was very underwhelmed. I watched the last 75 minutes straight through and found myself getting caught up in the frenetic pace and some solid acting (although not from bland lead actor Paul Walker). I enjoy films that use the Alice in Wonderland metaphor, propelling characters through a dizzying array of bizarre set pieces. The Matrix used the idea, (the original, before the series went down the crapper.) The Martin Scorsese flick from the 80's does it with After Hours. The Rob Zombie film House of 1000 Corpses utilizes this idea as well.
The real find for me in this film was super sexy actress Vera Farminga. An early season demonstrated her tremendous "ass-sets" but she won me over with her character, a loving mom, devoted daughter, yet tough as nails, sexy as hell wife. Her ability to convey emotions ranging from compassion to horror to rage in one very key scene (don't want to spoil it, but let's just say children are in jeopardy of something unspeakable at the hands of a pedophile couple).
Best of all, Vera is a Jersey girl, born in Passaic County on Aug. 6, 1973.
I've seen this freaking Hummer commercial a bunch of times but today, at the end of a long list things that have irritated me today, and even after getting in a late gym workout (late because my underarmor pants were dirty, so I had to do laundry to get a clean pair to even hit the gym, but I digress)... Anyway, let's end this unending run on sentence and begin anew...
The commerical I refer to goes like this: A woman is with her son at the park and he is next in line to use a slide or some such thing. Another boy cuts in front of her son and begins his turn on the slide (or whatever). Mom explains to the rude boy's mother that her son was next in line. Mom two (a republican, I would guess), replies "Well, now my son is next" (I enjoy the subtext of 'What you gonna do about it, bitch?' Anyway, Mom number one's response is only logical. Buy a huge Hummer so no one will ever push your son around again. WTF!!!.... You might as well pull out any of the metaphor for the bigger, most powerful vehicle, and cut to the chase... tell Mom #1, the play by the rules mom, that the only real hope for success in this country is to play hardball... why not encourage her to buy an AK-47, the gun for when, as Samuel Jackson says in Jackie Brown " When you absolutely, positively, gotta kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitute." (Jackie Brown, 1997)
Thanks to the Angels win over the White Sox, and the Red Sox 2-1 record over the White Sox, the Red Sox lead the A.L. Wildcard standings right now. Coupled with Liriano, one of the 2 studs on the Twins, who is now hurting, the Sox are in and looking good, at this moment.
A crushing loss last night for the Red Sox. 5th starter Jason Johnson went six innings with 1 earned run. The Sox were leading the Devil Rays 6-1 in the 6th inning. The Yankees had already won, so the pressure was on, and the bullpen melted, giving up 5 more runs to lose 7-6. (The Devil Rays had scored an unearned run on Johnson)
So today as I blog this, the Red Sox are not in the playoffs. They trail the Chicago White Sox by 1/2 game, and are now tied with the Twins.
My slow but steady building of the DVD Library my wife and I have put together recently acquired a few new additions. A backlog of material is currently building, so in order to motivate myself to watch more stuff, I will begin offering up my two cents of a review on the various films I watch. Today, Fargo.
Fargo is one of the better Coen brothers films, and after the two most recent "Coen lite" films: Intolerable Cruelty and The LadyKillers, it was nice to rewatch Fargo for the bazillionith time and remember how great these guys are when they are pushing themselves. Personal favorites for me include Blood Simple (their debut), Miller's Crossing, Fargo, Barton Fink and the Big Lebowski.
I actually watched Fargo the other day during the insane heat wave we were suffering through in the East. The constant snow and cold of the film actually helped to transport me to a cooler place (I think Mr. Green may have helped as well.)
Anyway, if you're looking for a film with a rising body toll, spot on acting, perfect pacing (much like a perfect album lacks any filler material, a great flick never feels slow). Fargo is dark and offers a glimpse into people who are truly happy and appreciative of their normalcy, while others lack any realy sense of morality, justice, or basic human decency. It is no mistake that the film ends with Margie (Frances McDormand) riding with the albino, (Peter Stormare). Purity looks evil in the face and finds herself speechless and sad. Poignant, man, really poignant.
The Yankees made some great deals prior to the MLB trading deadline, bringing in Bobby Abreu (filling their need for an outfielder since they are missing 2 starting outfielders, Sheffield&Matsui). As importantly, they added Corey Lidle, a starting pitcher with a career winning pct who immediately upgrades the Yankees pitching and gives them a veteran, reliable fifth starter. As I stated earlier, I tip my hat to the Yankees.
However, I am tired of reading/seeing/hearing Yankee fans and egotistical, arrogant, "homer" announcers like Michael Kay genuflect at the altar of the his Yankee paymasters, on his knees ready for a group blowbang of the entire roster, crowing about how the Red Sox were unable to accelerate their lead while the Yankees struggled with injuries. First off, 200 million dollar teams don't struggle with injuries, they may have to play some portion of their season with a very good team and not a superstar laden, 1-9 all star team, but the talent remaining is at an level many teams would still kill for, even after the injuries. Anytime you can trot out Derek Jeter (possibly this years MVP), Alex Rodriguez, (reigning MVP) Jason Giambi (former MVP), Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Johnny Damon, plus a pitching staff that contains Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, the Whanger, and quite possible the greatest closer of all time in Mariano Rivera, you are still a very good team.
Now I realize the Red Sox have plenty of talent as well. (Even with their paltry 120 million dollar payroll, which is about %60 of the Yankees) but let's not forget the amount of injuries the Red Sox had suffered throughout the first 100 games of the season.
The starting rotation was supposed to consist of Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Matt Clement, and David Wells. Schilling and Beckett have been solid, even though Beckett worries me at times. They've been able to take the ball every 5 days and provided the Red Sox with a legitimate chance to win. However, Matt Clement has only provided 12 starts and he has been out since the middle of June. David Wells has given the Sox 3 starts! He started once in April, once in May, and once in July. Finally, Wakefield provided 19 starts, but he is currently out, with his last start on july 17. Add in the missing Coco Crisp and you begin to realize the Sox have struggled with injuries as well, including going most of the season with 2/5 of their starting rotation missing! So remember that when someone cries about Yankee injuries.
Thanks to Fausto Carmona (pictured) blowing up again, the Red Sox keep pace with the Yankees and take over sole possession of first place in the wild card race. Things are looking kind of shaky right now for the BoSox, with "the captain" Jason Varitek having knee surgery, the very iffy performance of David Wells on Monday night, the continued absence of Matt Clement and Keith Foulkes, Trot Nixon's head to the DL, Wakefield's absense, and the surging and healthier Yankees making a very strong push. Basically, Schilling and Beckett really have to give great starts everytime out and hope that with the offense and the end of the relief guys (Timlin to Papelbon) holding things down wins can be had on a regular enough basis... tenuous, at best.
I can not handle heat like this... really. I didn't work today, using a sick day, because I really did not want to leave the house. I was up early and the heat index was already 95, at 7 in the morning! I shot out and dropped off some drycleaning and a Netflix movie I was sending back. Stopped for a Taylor Ham/Egg/Cheese sandwich (hey, it is Jersey, ya know). Spent the majority of the day in my air conditioned bedroom or air conditioned attic. Read, drank coffee, surfed, watched movies.
Rewatched Fargo... movie review to come tomorrow.
Now I sit, deliberating if I should also take tomorrow off. I really hate this heat. I went out a second time today, primarily because my desire for food overwhelmed my desire to avoid heat. Plus the chance to eat it in an air conditioned diner... so after some coffee, salad, lemon chicken soup (tasty!) and Chicken Florentine on a bed of rice, I skipped the desert and headed back home...
It also may bear mentioning Alan Green span has beenb visiting as well, although it's almost too hot to hang out with him. Almost.
Too lazy to post a pic, sorry.. will do better when the heat breaks.. have I mentioned how much I hate it?
Don't you just hate when some jackass looks at you while your shirt is clinging to your chest, sweaty chest hair tangled protruding through the openings between buttons and your sunglasses are slipping off from the sweat running down your balding head and making your ears wet... and asks you "Hot enough for you?". Or is that just me?
Anyway, despite Mr. Bush's stated disbelief in Global Warming (or evolution, diplomacy, and humility and , well this could go on forever. It IS FREAKING HOTTTT!!! I got sunburnt just from running a few errands today, quick dashes into the store and back to the car..
Holy Crap this does not look good. Wells looks awful and if it wasn't for the monstrous Boston offense Wells would be getting crushed.... this sucks!
UPDATE! Well that was one of those wins that you really appreciate, because the Sox did not deserve that, with the piss poor pitching by Wells, but thanks to that offense and the best clutch hitter in baseball, Big Papi the Sox escape with another walk off win. Also impressive was the long middle relief performance of Kyle Snyder.
The fun part of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry over the last few years is watching the teams play the game of "anything you can do you I can do better", both on the field and off. The crushing defeat of Pedro in yankee stadium and the hr by Aaron f**ing Boone, the Sox winning 4 straight, the battle for Jose Contreras, (a win by the Yanks turned into a loss turned into a win by the White Sox), the A-Rod signing, etc. A microsm of this is the last two days, starting with my previous post regarding the comeback win of the Sox and the collapse of the Yankees. 24 hrs later, the Yankees have the momentum, with a hell of a deal yesterday. Bobby Abreu completely addresses their outfield needs, the team is not on the hook for his contract extension,and Cory Lidle strengthens their pitching, either as a 5th starter or a middle reliever. This was not a deal that only the Yankees could make, the money should not have prevented the Sox from making a deal like this, and I am very frustrated with Theo at this point. I can only hope he has something bigger brewing.
My good friend (despite his love of the evil empire) called me this afternoon. Not to ask how I am or talk about life, movies, the state of the world. He called to bust my balls. Left me a message. Gloating about the Red Sox trailing 6-4 in the 8th. The Yankees were winning 2-0 against the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Figured the Yankees would be leading the A.L. East by a 1/2 game. Told me to "Blog that, Bitch."
Funny thing happened. Mike "the man" Lowell hits a ground rule, 2 RBI double, Sox tie the game at 6 apiece, Manny Ramirez makes a sweet throw from the out field to prevent an Angel run, and David "Big Papi" Ortiz cranks a... single for the win.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, Randy Johnson melts in the NY Heat and the Yankees are destroyed by the Devil Rays 19-6! (Tampa's team salary 35 million; Jeter&Johnson's salary combined is 35 million... gotta love it.)
Super smart (and oh so humble) I often wonder if heightened intelligence is a blessing or a curse. Recognizing the evil, lies, and corruption that dominate the world, I often retreat into films, comics, sports, and other distractions. Bread and Circuses, baby!! (Don't you just wanna hang out with me now; I must be a barrel of laughs). My blog is where you can read these thoughts, and soon enough you will begin to see, I'm a pretty cool guy. (There's that humility again)