Monday, September 11, 2006

Seasons Are A Changing

Today, as you can see above and of course know, is September 11th. That’ll be a day, for the lack of a better term, which will live in infamy with our generation. I won’t go on about it too long, as far greater writers have written far greater things about the events of that day and those that precluded and followed it, but I wanted to make note of it. In class today the “Where were you when it happened?” was brought up, and upon my recollection, I was pleased to know that the two names that I will carry on with me for the rest of my life when looking back on the tragedies will be Mrs. Jack and Mr. Smeltz. As far as the molders of me from the high school years, I couldn’t ask for two better people to be wedged in the back of my mind anytime 9/11 is mentioned.

(The other reason I’m avoiding an extended essay? I’m not qualified enough to riff on the policy decisions made over the last five years, and my uninformed ranting about the idiocy of the conservatives and lack of competency from the liberals would probably be looked back upon with a frown. I do find myself really intrigued by the various 9/11 conspiracies, as far-reaching as they may be. Check it out on Wikipedia sometime, as it’s an interesting read.)


I find myself sitting in class, gathering information from my variety of great professors this semester and starting to already become nostalgic about the entire concept of time passing and semesters going by. Thankfully, of my classes this semester, the majority of them are the type of knowledge-gaining experiences you can leave knowing you’re smarter walking out then you were walking in.

The epitome of this is my Fundamentals of Journalism class that takes place for two and a half hours every Monday morning, and frankly, I wish it took place for two and a half hours every morning. It’s taught by a former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, so you couldn’t really ask for a more experienced tutor in the ways of the press. We all gather into 114 Pasquerella Center at 9:35, exchange our greetings and then Professor Ciccone begins to go through the assignments we e-mailed to him the previous Thursday. It’s basically critical sodomy, as he tears apart the majority of what you’ve written in front of the entire class. Every once in a while they’ll be a bright spot of “Well, you almost got this right, but it’s basically terrible”, but it’s a slicing and dicing of my work like no one’s ever done before. I wish I could pay him to do it with everything I write.

Still my favorite newspaper editor of all time. RIP Lane.

I’d like to think I showed improvement from week one to week two, but who knows. The problem arises from the fact these assignments are supposed to be concise, easy-to-read and with simple language. What do you know of that I’ve written that involves simple, formal language or any sort of brevity? It’s rambling, colloquial and conversational, and I love it. It’ll probably kill my grade in that class, though I’m hoping I can find a happy medium.

My Shakespeare and Film class and second Theo requirement are also taught by three great professors, and my Irish classes don’t seem to be too bad. Still, I get anxious with the thought of only two real semesters of Notre Dame education left. Sure, DC will be great, but there’s not a lot of class selection available to me. There’s so much I want to learn, and considering the rate of which people are pushed out of here at four years, there’ll be so much I don’t get to touch upon. I’d love to quadruple major in English, FTT, Psychology and Marketing, but alas, it is not to be and only through a lifetime of living and great books will I be able to gather the totality of knowledge I wish to acquire.

Of course, it’s probably a good thing I don’t have thirty credit hours of class and work associated with it, since the football season deserves its full allotment of attention.


The other season I couldn’t be more excited about starting up? Television, of course, as Prison Break kicked off three weeks ago and Dancing with the Stars begins the reality fun tomorrow night. Slowly starting up will be some of my old favorites – Veronica Mars, The Amazing Race, My Name Is Earl, The Office, How I Met Your Mother – as well as Grey’s Anatomy, a show who finale so fizzled any interest I had in it that I must continue watching if only to see how it recovers on its new night and time.

I'm sad because I'm hungry.

Even more exciting than the returning shows (How will I handle dealing with Veronica Mars on a once-a-week, no DVD’s format?), are some of the new ones. I’ve already extolled the virtues of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which I think premieres next Monday, but there are so many more delectable treats to test out. Alan Sepinwall runs down through a lot of them in this post, which should give you a good idea of what you might want to check out as the weeks pass by.

Some other ones on my list to at least look at? Heroes, Kidnapped, The Class, Ugly Betty and Friday Night Lights, if only because I love Kyle Chandler and still can’t believe the lack of care they showed on Grey’s when he blew up carrying the warhead out of the operating room. I also might check out Smith and Shark, but since I have the feeling I’ll be drug into Survivor and Amazing Race, there’s only so many hours afforded to one man in every week. When that one man is a college student who also has made a pact with the devil to live and breathe all things NCAA football, that time becomes even more precious.

In a little bit of random Lost hate and Veronica love, I present you this letter from one Lost fan breaking up with it because of their love for a certain blonde PI. This second link I’m including only because it makes reference to Ellen Pompeo and her constant whining, which as you know, I enjoy mocking endlessly. The Office Season Two, one of the finest cumulative efforts for a television season I’ve seen, comes out on DVD tomorrow, so that’ll be added to the collection, and any of you that want to enjoy the Veronica Mars experience before the third season begins way off on October 3rd, both of those DVD sets are available for borrowage. I never wrote my love letter to VM so you can understand how fantastic of a show it is, but until I get around to that, you’ll simply have to trust.

Kristen Bell does well with formal wear.


Why is television so important for me at school? One reason is that it’s so difficult to arrange for proper cinema visits en masse, but mainly because movies blow in the fall. Take this week for example: The Covenant opened and led the box office with nine million dollars. As Cinematical notes, that’s the lowest in three years. The only thing worse than that ugly low of a first weekend take being on top? The fact I can’t tell you one fucking thing about The Covenant. I don’t know who’s in it, I don’t know what it’s about and I could really care less. Until The Prestige, The Departed and Borat are upon us, along with the rest of the Oscar fare, I’ll take my television and like it very much, thank you.

(Although, I will make a D-PAC announcement. This Thursday and Friday night, they’re showing Wordplay, the documentary about Will Shortz and crossword puzzles. Perhaps you find this deliriously uninteresting, but if you do, maybe you should try sitting through 75 minutes of British lit ramblings with no Shortz “Across and Downs” to aid your sanity. The reviews are extremely positive as well, so check it out.)


For the few remaining Pirate fans in this world, say a prayer for Freddy Sanchez. His batting title lead is now a mere thousandth of a point above wunderkind Miguel Cabrera and only four ahead of Matt Holiday. He should have went on the DL when he spiked at .355 at few weeks ago, but we’re in for a dogfight for the only redeeming factor of this Pittsburgh baseball season to have himself validated.


I’ve never been less enthused about a NFL season to start than I was on Sunday. There’s a number of reasons – the Dolphins weren’t playing, as I’d already seen Daunte Culpepper lose them the game in person on Thursday night – and that we didn’t have NFL Sunday Ticket. I really hate Comcast and the NFL for not getting together on some sort of programming deal (I won’t blame DirecTV – they were smart enough to corner the market and shall reap proper dividends for realizing what a beautiful thing Sunday Ticket was), as I’m stuck here in the middle of Colts, Bears and Lions country. As exciting as watching NFC North games and hearing announces ball-wash Peyton Manning all the time (Manning’s playoff record: 3-6, with two of those wins coming against the equally inept Jake Plummer), I’d rather get to see the best games every week. Sadly, that option will not be afforded to me, and with my immersion in the college version of the game, I’m likely to fall incredibly far behind on my NFL posts.

I think the fourth chapter of Dante's Inferno is about Heinz Field.

Still, I want to talk about the game Thursday night. It was my first time ever at Heinz Field, and I had fantastic seats – 17 rows back from the 45. Of course, it was like my own personal hell being surrounded by 64,000 Steeler fans, but the two native Miami fans behind me made it all worthwhile. Even before Heath Miller broke the long touchdown – Jason Taylor was held on that play, by the by – and Daunte was scared by the black and white “Desperado” montage, the two had the following revelation:

“You know, we really had nothing against the Steelers before, we even kind of liked them. But we really hate them now, and hope they lose every game.”

Now you can imagine how I feel after twenty years of dealing with it. The Steeler fans were actually rather respectable of my Jason Taylor jersey, as I was only jeered a half dozen times or so, which didn’t allow me to bring out my prepared “Were you aware Steeler fans are the lowest common denominator of humanity?” or “How important do you judge yourself as fans that when your team finally won a Super Bowl, they didn’t even have to play at home?”. I’ll save those for another day. As sad as the loss was, there were enough signs of goodness that I still feel this season should be a success, although that success now needs to involve a rematch and beatdown of the Supah Stees.

(For umpteen thousand Roethlisberger fans out there: Charlie Batch ran this team about as well as Ben did. The quarterback position in the offensive line/blitzing defense scheme Cowher set up needs only to be competent, and Big Ben gets to live off of that advantage. He’s nothing special, just a guy who happened into the right place at the right time.)


Dear Penn State Fans and Websites Who Think We Ran Up The Score On You Saturday,

I realized we passed for the final touchdown – a screen – and went for it on fourth down, but we could have scored a helluva lot more if we’d really wanted to run the score up on you. Maybe if your team didn’t suck so badly, or hadn’t been so outlandishly promoted by your illogical rantings throughout the offseason, you wouldn’t have found this loss so hard to swallow. As it stands, both your prognostication skills and football team have a lot of work to do.

Your friend,



For the record, I was as firmly against the new Facebook as you could really ever be. It wasn’t just that I’d like every action I take not be announced to the world, but that I like my stalking to require a little bit of skill. Anyone that doesn’t term off their own news feed is both egotistical and voyeuristic, and on top of that, probably a little bit off. (Unless, of course, they’re unaware of these options existing and are continually freaked out by the ticker now placed on their profile telling someone every time they make a wall post or update their favorite TV show.) I questioned just quitting the whole damn operation, but it’s a little bit too enjoyable to just write off, and the alternative, MySpace, I have no interest in.


I’ll again apologize for the lack of updates, but as the NFL season moves on, the NBA season grows closer and the television season comes upon us, you know I’ll need an outlet for the thoughts that creep around my head when I’m bored in class or unable to fall asleep at night. Updates will become more frequent, I promise.


Anthony said...

I'm sure that Dallas Cowboys are going to make some awesome records this season! I have already booked Dallas Cowboys Ticketsfor the opening-round series between them. Thanks Good Seat Tickets for the best seats!

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