Thursday, March 26, 2009

Year 2000 where have you gone?

I will try to regain some of the magic this weekend in Indianapolis with a plethora of great people.

And I will give to my loyal reader(s) a video of the song that takes me back to nine years ago.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All the single ladies

Thanks to Brandon for pointing this out to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The greatest shot ever

My all-time favorite sports moment is Bryce Drew's buzzer beater to upset Ole Miss. I'll always remember where I was (at home because my Dad always called me out sick for the NCAA tournament if I had a B average), my reaction (somewhere between ecstatic and ridiculous. I could not duplicate the voice if I tried) and who I called afterwards (about 10 people).

I grew up going to Valpo basketball games with my Dad and those 90s teams under Homer Drew were some of the best-coached I've ever seen.

OK, here is the clip, the quality isn't great, but I actually like this one better than others on YouTube because it sets the stage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

'He was called, he served, he is counted.'

Classic scene from the greatest television series of all time.

Love these words of wisdom

"What starts the process, really, are the laughs, slights and snubs when you are a kid. Sometimes it's because you are poor, or Irish or Jewish or Catholic or ugly or simply that you are skinny. But if you are reasonably intelligent and if your anger is deep enough and strong enough, you learn you can change those attitudes by excellence, personal gut performance, while those who have anything are sitting on their fat butts.

Once you learn that you've got to work harder than anybody else, it becomes a way of life as you move out of the alley and on your way. In your own mind you have nothing to lose, so you take plenty of chances, and if you do your homework many of them pay off. It is then you understand, for the first time, that you really have the advantage because your competitors can't risk what they have already. It's a piece of cake until you get to the top. You find you can't stop playing the game the way you've always played it because it is a part of you and you need it as much as an arm and a leg.

So you are lean and mean and resourceful, and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipice because over the years you have become fascinated by how close to the edge you can walk without losing your balance. This time there was a difference. This time we had something to lose."

~ Richard Nixon

i was reminded of this because it is posted on a friend's facebook page. i love it on many levels, one of which has nothing to do with its wisdom and insight. how many brilliant quotes and philosophies have we thrown away because they belonged to fallen men or women? it's great to be reminded that richard nixon was more than watergate, he was also one of the most unlikely success stories in american political history.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm jacked up about the weekend

like a Pot Mom who just made a big score and is ready to burn one down with her teen-aged kids.

And to express my giddiness, here is a cover of Seven Nation Army by Alice Russell. The intro is a little awkward, what with the marching violinist, but the girl can sing.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Don't Haunt This Place

by the Rural Alberta Advantage. Phenomenal song.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Bruges

A few weeks ago I added a film to my netflix queue called In Bruges. It made the list because I added all Oscar nominated films in the major categories (actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress, director, best picture, screenplay, documentary and foreign).

In Bruges was nominated for best screenplay, but despite being so well regarded critically it flew under my radar when it was released to theaters a year ago.

Having finally gotten the chance to watch the film, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. In fact, I purchased the dvd a few days later and already I've seen it four times.

What makes the film so likable? Well for starters, as the nomination would indicate, it's extremely well written. The dialogue ranges from hilarious to heartbreaking and the movie itself has elements of a comedy, an action film, a drama and a love story. I also appreciated the fact that the film isn't embarrassed to champion testosterone. Like many great films that In Bruges recollects (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Boondock Saints), the movie is about guys and presumably would be best-appreciated by guys. That said, I know many females who love the movie just as much as I do, so it's for just about anybody.

The plot sees two hit men hiding out in a postcard-worthy Belgian town called Bruges. The guys have differing reactions to the town, with one acting like a slap-happy tourist and the other out-of-his-skin miserable until he meets a girl.

Anyhow, I've been sick the last couple of days and with my most recent bed-ridden viewing I have catapulted In Bruges among my favorite movies in recent memories and I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Welcome back, Science

It was a long eight years, but we always knew you'd come home to the United States eventually.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

You're welcome

Nashville was named the manliest city in the country last week, coinciding neatly with me fixing the water heater by myself. As I said, you're welcome.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I hope you all have a safe, blessed weekend

Mine will look something like what is portrayed in the music video for new it-band Wavves. Make nothing of the fact the title of the song is 'so bored.'

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good old fashioned pleasant music

courtesy of my favorite music blog, Out the Other.

Papercuts' Future Primitive

Delta Spirit's Duncan

Free Agents still don't want to play in Green Bay

My all-time favorite moments as a sports fan are as follows: 1. Valparaiso beating Ole Miss on Bryce Drew's famous shot in the NCAA tournament. 2. The Bulls' six championships (in no special order, but Paxson's shot to beat the Suns getting special mention), 3. Being at the Cubs' Game 5 win over Atlanta in Turner Field, for their first playoff series win in 90+ years, 4. the Packers' 1996 Super Bowl title and 5. Reggie White choosing to sign with Green Bay in 1993.

He was the best defensive player in the league and he chose the Packers over more successful and more glamorous teams like the 49ers. It ranked as a top five sports moment to me, and still does. That's what a big deal it was, because I'll never forget where I was when my Dad told me Reggie picked the Packers.

As an NFL fan, I'm obsessed with the league's off-season and following which new players might join through free agency or the draft.

But for the last decade-plus, half of the excitement of being an NFL fan has been deprived from me because the Packers are one of the worst teams at attracting free agent talent. This fact was reiterated for me this week when free agent defensive end Chris Canty picked the Giants without even visiting Green Bay, despite the fact Packers' front office guys were expressing interest.

I want to be frustrated and resentful at the Packers, especially GM Ted Thompson, but I actually find myself understanding the situation on several levels. First of all, very few teams have scored a big free agent signing and rode the transaction to a Super Bowl. Building through the draft and developing your own talent has proven to be the best way to win. Secondly, I wouldn't want to live in Green Bay. It's probably my favorite place to visit, but that is solely because of Lambeau Field and the countless memories I accumulated there with my Dad and stepbrother. But it's basically just a lily white, middle class strip-mall-of-a-town with some of the worst weather you could possibly imagine.

If I were on the precipice of being a millionaire and could choose between Green Bay and any other NFL city, I would not choose Green Bay. Most top football talent is born and bred in California, Texas or Florida, all of which differ in varying degrees from Green Bay, but all of which have better weather, less alcoholism, lower suicide rates and (generally) more attractive women than Wisconsin.

It isn't impossible for the Packers to score free agents (see Charles Woodson, who's worked out quite well), but it's pretty damn hard, and that's OK. I still have the draft and maybe one of these seasons stockpiling a dozen draft picks every year will pay off. In the meantime, no hard feelings for Mr. Canty, I'd have done the same damn thing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Magdalene House, again

I returned to one of my favorite stories from last year with my friend Matthew Williams, when we worked on a project about Magdalene House a week ago.

It was a privilege for me on two fronts. First, getting a front row seat to see a brilliant guy like Matthew work. Second, to hear the women tell their stories. Let me just say, it is a difficult task to ask probing, personal questions of a close friend. To do so of a stranger, when you know their answer will hurt them to verbalize, well that's ten times more difficult. It was touching to see their honesty and vulnerability and pride.

I don't know where the project will take me. I do know the photos tell their gut-wrenching stories very well.

Kudos to President Obama

for getting his Health and Human Services secretary pick right. What a great opportunity for Gov. Sebelius considering health care will be the most important national issue during the next eight years. And someone who believes in science and the basic ideal that health care is a right and not a privilege.

Bad for Kansas, but great for the U.S.