Monday, July 04, 2005

Star Spangled Ramblings

First, let’s just get this out of the way because it’s one of the top movie speeches by one of the top movie presidents of all time:

”Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.


That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”


I really need some consistent summer television to watch. Reno 911! is back, which is nice, Real World premiered and Monk is coming back on Friday, but honestly, I miss my series. OC, Arrested, Desperate Housewives, Amazing Race, Real World/Road Rules: Challenge…and now that the NBA playoffs are finished, it’s like I don’t even have a purpose.

And yes, I’m basing my purpose in life simply on the new episodes of my favorite television shows. Just wait ‘til we get Tivo in the dorm.


Looking back at War of the Worlds and looking at the criticisms, yes, the ending is not that well done and sort of anti-climatic for a gigantic invasion movie, and yes, the plot doesn’t really involve Tom Cruise, but I think this is a great way to look at a disaster movie. If giant aliens started attacking the big cities, what Spielberg does with Worlds is what we’d be seeing, not something like ID4 or Armageddon. We’d have no idea what the alien plan was, and really no chance at stopping them, so I think it’s maybe a helpful, depressing feeling to have, a but a realistic one at that.


Big comeback by the Buccos yesterday, and hopefully that gets them off the shnide. They’ve sucked for the last three weeks or so, with games against the Greatest Team in the World Washington Nationals, Cardinals and BoSox finally taking their toll. This homestand, against average Phillies and Mets teams, will be important. Nothing less than 5-2 is acceptable, and will they begin starting Ian Snell? A guy starts in AAA the entire season, then you bump him up and start bringing him out of the bullpen? No wonder he’s struggling.


We were going to watch Independence Day last night after poker – won by Frank Nagy over myself, who has been playing some nice cards as of late, if I don’t mind saying – but instead, we started playing some intense 4-on-4 hoops. Dill, Franky, Joe and Drew vs. Myself, Pete, Caldwell and John. I think the scores of the three games were all 21-19, with the opposing team taking two.

Few points I want to make here:

1) There is basically nothing I enjoy more than a good game of hoops with people who know what they’re doing, looking for post-ups, flashing to the basket and doubling when the opportunity arises. Good basketball is hard to fine.

2) Brian Caldwell has to have one of the top ten sets of hands on this earth. Dribbling in traffic, stripping every single shot, grappling rebounds – there’s no one I know that’s even remotely close.

3) I wish I could dribble.

4) Just like Matt Daymut and I are contending in the Western PA decathlon, featuring DunkBall, pool, beer pong, Halo and a variety of other events, I think I could set up a series of competitions between Dill and Pete and charge a solid ten bucks admission. There probably isn’t higher entertainment than the verbal battles they have.

5) Franky’s been playing AAU ball for about two years now, and he’s turned into a sensational player. I dubbed him the Mini Manu a couple years back, for he’s lefty with floppy hair, and he’d be doing the Argentine champ proud with his slicing, dicing drives and smooth jumper. Granted, we had John guarding him - ”I’ve been suggesting a defensive switch for two and a half games now!” - but I don’t think there was anyone stopping him.

Good times balling, and I’m going to spend an entire post sometime talking about my personal pick-up hoops dream team.


I’m really upset I have to actually leave the house and do stuff today (Family reunion, Buccos game), because not only is there a Monk marathon on, but Sci-Fi’s running a day of Twilight Zones. This is the best marathon since FX ran Jingle All The Way for 24 consecutive hours across Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


Because this is a blast:

”Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo. You got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad... and what the hell is that smell? I could've been at a barbecue! But I ain't mad.”

(And you’re telling me a Will Smith-John McCain ticket wouldn’t romp in 2008? There’s no question in my mind I would vote for them.)


Unless, of course, they were running against Bill Pullman. Then we’d have some conflicts of interest.


Anybody else absolutely terrified G-Dub may get to appoint two or three Supreme Court Justices? I can't wait to hear the debates over his nominations, which will definitely give me a reason to tune into C-SPAN.


I know I promised I wouldn’t talk about NBA stuff, but the prospect of the Clippers signing Ray Allen – or even Joe Johnson or Larry Hughes – to play along side my man Shaun Livingston is really too exciting to keep quiet about. Then if they pick up Luke Walton…oh man.

Do you realize the Lakers could easily be the worst team in California by the time the season begins? Golden State will be running with Baron and J-Rich, the Kings are always solid and now the freaking Clippers could be rocking a Ray Allen/Corey Maggette/Elton Brand core.

Sorry, I couldn’t help it.


What do you see first, Wedding Crashers or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? We’ll be up in the Dux on opening night – hopefully attending a Yankees/Red Sox tilt at Fenway – but I’m thinking I’d have to go with the guaranteed hilarity of Crashers, where I’m feeling Vince Vaughn is going to go all Old School charming and smooth, then the complete craziness of Depp.

And yeah, I’m really disappointed that after next weekend, the summer movie season could basically end and nobody would care.


And one more, just for the hell of it:

“THAT'S RIGHT! Thats what you get! Look at you, ship all banged up! WHOSE THE MAN? HUH? WHOSE THE MAN? Wait until I get another plane! I am going to lower your friends RIGHT BESIDE YOU! “

Will Smith is the friggin’ man.


Time to get ready for some quality picnicking and Pirates game. Hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth, sorry for the utter crappiness of this post, but I wanted to throw something up before I left.

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