Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Pick

Hey Folks-

So... after a long, long season I can finally put the football picks to bed by picking the Super Bowl.

It's been a season of ups (I'm assuming. I'm a Bengals fan, so any "ups" are really just hearsay) and downs (see: Bengals fan). I was certainly not expecting the Cardinals to come out of the NFC, but really the NFC has been totally beyond by understanding the whole season, so why stop in the playoffs.

How shitty do you think the Pats feel though? 11-5 and no playoffs, and a team that went 9-7 is in the big game.

Anyway, here we go..

Arizona Cardinals VS. Pittsburgh Steelers.
PICK: Here's the thing... I hate the Steelers. Not just because they are the Bengals biggest rivals. In fact, I'd argue that they aren't the Bengals biggest rivals because typically that would indicate some sort of competitive balance. That's like saying the Washington Generals are the Harlem Globetrotter's "Rivals". They may play all the time, but it's actual big news when the Generals win. That's not balance. The biggest reason I hate the Steelers is because our two cities (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati) are so similar. Blue Collar towns. Good people. Midwestern values (whatever the fuck that means). And great football traditions. On the one hand though the Bengals are a perennial laughing stock, where the ownership makes bonehead move after bonehead move. Where the players cause trouble. Where the coach is more and more befuddled after every game. On the other hand the Steelers leadership makes great moves. They sign good players that help their teams. They get rid of cancers like Plaxico Burress. They hire GREAT coaches like Mike Tomlin. They do everything right. It's frustrating to watch a team that has so many similarities in heritage be run so differently. So much better.

So... I can't. I just CAN'T root for the Steelers. It's impossible for me. I can't look at them logically. I can't do it.

All I can see is that if the Cardinals can protect Warner they'll give it a game. They can score in chunks. They have the best and most likeable receiver in the league. They are generally likeable AND they are the underdogs. It's too perfect a situation for me. SO... I'm picking the Cardinals. I may not have a lot of good reasons. It may be asking far too much from them to protect their quarterback against the best pass rushing team in the league. Still... I have faith.


I can't believe I just picked the Arizona Cardinals to win the Super Bowl. I must be on crack.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A short follow-up

This seems totally awesome to me:

So for those of you at work computers who can't click, the link discusses how there's a remake of Karate Kid in the works, and Mr. Miyagi is going to be played by Jackie Chan.

A quick note as to why this works:

While it was kinda fun to watch Pat Morita kick Johnny's ass in the parking lots and sewers of the world, it was also kind of ridiculous. I mean... I get that he's this master of Okinawan Karate or whatever, but he was also a tiny old man. His midichlorian count must have been off the fucking charts is all I'm sayin' (see above picture). On the other hand Jackie Chan is a real badass who can like... saw through souls with a swipe of his hand and do backflips over thumbtacks and broken glass and whatnot. It would make sense why this kid would believe that anything he's saying could actually help him defend himself.

And the kid is another reason why this remake is destined to be awesome... Jaden Smith is the new Macchio. Not that he's shown himself to be a particularly good actor, he's at least got the rub-off cool of being a spawn of Will Smith. That's gotta be at least 3 times cooler than Macchio would ever be. Steaming pile of shit "Day the Earth Stood Still" notwithstanding.

Also, this takes place in Asia instead of California (because it always made so much sense that there would be these roving bands of nazi-youth/ninjas in So Cal anyway). I noticed that they didn't say Japan, which is already a good sign, as trying to pass Chan off as Japanese is insulting. I wouldn't put it past them, but it's a good start.

More to come as the movie approaches. They film this Summer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quick Football

Hey Folks-

I got back from LA yesterday to find an 80 degree drop in temperature. That was a fucking kick in the teeth.

So anyway, I'm pretty tired still, and I may have more to say tomorrow, but here we go... Conference Championship Games

PICK: Well... I've been pretty impressed with Baltimore's defense all through the playoffs, and really Joe Flacco has held his own. I was skeptical about their ability to score against the Tennessee D, which I thought was 2nd in the league to the Steelers, but they managed enough to let their defense run the game. In any case, I don't think the Steelers offense is good enough to score enough points on the Ravens defense to make up for the at least one defensive touchdown the Ravens will score. RAVENS

PICK: Frankly, I don't care much about this game, aside from that I've now picked against the Cardinals twice and they've made me look silly twice. That and there's something Simmons says about bandwagon picks that makes me have an ominous feel regarding the Eagles. Oh... and if the Cardinals win, something really good happens at work. CARDINALS

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flailing is Indefensible.

(They're totally gonna make out.)
Hey Folks-

My old buddy Ron Mason and I were chatting earlier and he mentioned that he was watching The Karate Kid part 2.

I laughed and said "Oh man... that's one of the greatest bad movies ever."

To which he responded "What are you talking about? That's just a great movie!"

First off... No. It's not a great movie. At least not in the sense that The Godfather is a great movie. Or Finding Nemo. Or Finding Neverland. Or Finding Forrester (You got that right DAWG). Okay... Finding Forrester isn't great. It may fit into the "Great, BAD movie category that Karate Kid 2 fits in, though. Let me briefly discuss the difference...

A GREAT movie features at least a couple of the following: Memorably great performances. Spectacular (quotable) dialogue. Chilling scenes. Lasting images.

A Great BAD movies also may feature all of these things, but it also features a surprising lack of self-awareness.

For example...
The Godfather has unbelievable performances from Brando, Pacino, Duvall... All great. It features the line "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse". One of the most iconic film lines of all time. It features one of the most classic sequences ever with the baptism/assassination scene. And that final image of Michael Corleone standing there as the door closes... so lasting. So memorable. And not a single one with an unintentional laugh.

The Karate Kid part 2, on the other hand, may feature all of these same types of things... Morita/Machio, "Live or Die man?" "Die" "Wrong" **HONK**. I mean.... COME ON!!! He squeezes the bad-guy's nose! After the bad guy nearly murders his love interest? You're telling me we aren't supposed to sort of chuckle at that nonsense? How about the scene with the dancing and the ice? Daniel LaRusso is one of the most ridiculous characters ever conceived.

So anyway... here are the things that I feel beg more discussion in The Karate Kid part 2.

1) First... the plot device where Daniel-San goes to Japan with Miyagi... is so fucking stupid that I can hardly stand it. First... working in the aviation industry, I know what an ASAP ticket costs. It's a lot. I know that Miyagi has some sort of weird stash of money or whatever, but that's a fucking CHUNK of change. Second... Daniel-San actually tells Miyagi at one point that he's more important to him than school. To quote the illustrious Bill Simmons "uncomfortable". Third... doesn't it seem like there's no end to this trip? I mean... there seems to be no time-frame within the story. Suddenly Daniel-San is just gonna live indefinitely in Japan. Whatever.

2) Does it matter at all that the plot is almost identical to the first movie? Daniel-San is thrown into a situation where he's the outsider. He meets a hot local girl who also happens to draw the interest of the town badass karate expert/asshole. He gets into a bunch of scrapes (from many of which Miyagi must save him). He inexplicably ingratiates himself to the town, turning them against their "favorite son". In the final fight, he succeeds in executing a move so stupid... that the convention of it being impossible to defend is mind-blowingly retarded. And then he gets the girl, which considering that it was Macchio is maybe the most hard to swallow plot-point of all.

3) Let's talk about these "impossible to defend" karate moves. The first movie provided us with the Crane Kick.A silly, limbs flapping varietal of a jump kick that well... let's be frank. If Johnny didn't know that shit was coming, he's clearly been huffing. I mean come-the-fuck-ON.
Still... The Crane Kick isn't half as ludicrous as the... Well... I don't know that it has a name at all... I'll call it "The Little Drummer Boy". I don't really even know how to describe it except that you remember those drum toys that were popular in the late 80s? The ones with the little drum on a handle, with two wooden balls on strings that sort of whapped the drum as you rotated it back and forth? Well... I'm pretty sure your sanity has this movie to thank for thrusting that fucking thing unto the world.
So basically, during the final confrontation, Daniel-San is getting his ass handed to him (the most realistic moment in the entire know... aside from every other time he gets his ass handed to him) and suddenly Miyagi and the rest of the entire town busts out these drum things and start whapping them around. Now.. you'd think that the bad-guy, The guy who's lived in this place his entire fucking life, and who also happens to be some sort of martial arts expert would know what this gesture would mean. You'd think that in all of the time he spent training with his uncle Sato (who spends most of his time hitting a log. Seriously.) this guy might recognize the hints these people are tossing Daniel-San. Of course Daniel-San somehow recognizes the percussion display to mean that it's time to throw a relentless hail of "double punches" to the rhythm of the drums... Or to resemble one of those drums. Who knows? It's so stupid. But in any case, the karate master doesn't get it, and gets beaten like the proverbial drum by this silly little American kid who's literally never even attempted the move before. Like... how fucking embarassing.

HOW DOES THE EVIL NEPHEW NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS. HOW? I'll never understand it to this day.

That said... this movie is so watchable it goes all the way around the circle of "Bad" and ends up being great again. It's so hilariously, unintentionally funny that you have to watch it every time it's on. To see the insipid look on Daniel-San's face when he watches the little Japanese Elizabeth Shue do her tea ceremony is priceless. Watching him get his ass beat 8 ways to Sunday for most of the movie is worth the time spent.

The fight scene at the end is great for a ton of reasons. Why doesn't anyone stop this fight from happening? The dude tosses and then punches the Japanese Elizabeth Shue! The guy pulls a knife (not honorable AT ALL.) They act like this old temple with the moat is somehow impenetrable, and when they're in the middle, they're totally unreachable. Of course, the fight itself is high comedy. I mean... he honks his nose! Now does he not only NOT die with Honor, but he has to live with the shame of a modern day coo-counting at the hands of one of the most inane, pussy-ish, pretty boys on the face of the Earth. I think I'd toss myself into the bottomless abyss of that moat and be done with it.

And of course the drum-punch thing.

So there it is... My Karate Kid Part 2 Review

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Football is Still Happening

Hey folks-

So first... How's about a hand for the Florida Gators. My first favorite football team won another National title, though to be fair to Utah... kind of an uncontested title. Still, it's totally awesome.

Secondably... I expect to have a post coming up regarding my audition for "Blue Ash Idol" tomorrow afternoon. It's sort of a local version of "American Idol". It should at least be interesting, and something to write about. Stage parents will be there, and that is always the makings of a good story.

Third... My NFL Picks last week were so, sooo bad. 1 for 4. Blech. I think I'm getting a little burned out, to be honest with you..

Here are my winners for this weekend:

Next week will be light on the posts, but I'll have a good one late in the week, discussing my foray into California for the first time. Should be interesting.

Also, I joined a Writing group, and this week our theme for writing is "Fire". I'm thinking on that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Misremembered Youth.

Hey Folks-

So for some reason I've really felt the urge to build a model airplane. I have no idea why. It's not something I ever spent much time doing as a kid. (Or any really). I just really wanted to do something sort of OCD and artistic and, also, I really am getting into aviation more and more. It's interesting, and certainly taking an interest in aviation can't hurt my job performance.

For some reason I've got this weird nostalgia for model building. This makes no sense at all, since I believe I ATTEMPTED to build one model of anything in my life. A 1967 Corvette, which was a great idea, but I was a dumbass and decided to paint first before assembling. This was stupid. And the thing never got assembled at all. I'm just not sure where all of this nostalgia comes from. I don't really even recall my dad talking about building models.

Aaaaanywhooo....a few weeks back I went into a hobby shop and looked at all of the model airplanes they had available. I really wanted a business jet, like a Gulfstream or a Lear product of some kind. Something that is directly applicable to my own job and life in aviation. I was disappointed to find that none seem to be available in this ilk at all.

Sure you have your fighter planes and air force jets and biplanes and things like that, but no business aircraft.

I looked online. Nothing. I looked at 2 other hobby stores. Nothing. I came to the conclusion that this just wasn't out there, so I ventured to the Boardwalk Hobby Shop in Mt. Lookout and after staring at the different options for a good 30 minutes, I decided that while I couldn't do business aviation models, I COULD do commercial passenger planes, which is the next closest thing to what I do. So... I picked out a cool looking vintage-y prop jet called a DC-6. In fact... here's the picture.Now... Isn't there something oddly appealing about this box? Like... I don't know why this plane is flying so fucking low over that waterfall, but for some reason the packaging makes me feel comforted. Like this plane model has been sitting in the store for 35 years. I almost expected the directions to be littered with inappropriate, racist language and references to gas being 16 cents or something. It just feels vintage-y to me, and that's why I bought it. Also, I really like the brushed aluminum planes that used to fly around. I think they're neat.

I thought this would be a good foray into model building, as it doesn't seem overly ornate. A couple of days went by, until last night, when I had a chance to sit and build the model as I watched the Ohio State game. I bust open the box to find this:Now let me just tell you that this is rated as a level 2 model (I believe out of 5) and some of the pieces are fucking TINY. Like... I have literally no idea how these would be applied. I even used some fingernail scissors as makeshift tweezers to make up for my fat fingers, and it was fucking hard.

I can't say that I was overwhelmed, but there were definitely points where I thought... "God damnit. I hope this is over soon. If it's not, I may go insane." I felt like one of those movie serial killers who painstakingly catalog or track or do whatever.

I wish I had more of a story to tell. It was just hard. And not really that much fun. Maybe painting it will be more fun, though I don't know when that'll happen. I haven't purchased the paint yet. I did nearly lose one piece because it was a) super effing small and b) so firmly attached to the little white framing that I had to cut it out using the aforementioned scissors. This of course made it shoot through the air and land out of my line of vision. To the point where I spent 15 minutes crawling around on the ground in search of this little tiny piece of plastic only to discover it on the couch next to where I was sitting.

In any case, I think that for my first model I did a pretty fucking spectacular job (sans paint, of course). What do you think?
Oh... and lastly:
Yeah... It's going great.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?

I know it's an old reference at this point, but I can't help myself in making the Jim Mora joke. I can't.

In any case, after a STUNNING Week 17 where I went 13 and 3 to end the season, I finish at 153-102-1 (Say it with me "Fucking Tie")

Here're my playoff picks for the first weekend (I realize that I am a day late with 2 of the games, but Alan and I picked verbally. He can attest.)

FALCONS (wrong!)
COLTS (wrong!)


So not only am I honest, but I'm dumb.