Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ruminations on the Oscars and other things

First and foremost, my lovely wife reminded me that as of today we are roughly T-minus two months and counting until Baby Vittas is scheduled to make her appearance. 




Like, really exciting.

So, the Academy Awards were Sunday, and everybody was happy with that. 

I had a couple thoughts I would like to share even though I/we got tired and went to bed at approximately 9:45 on Sunday night. 

I'm not really what you would consider a film connoisseur or anything of that nature, so I can't really comment on any of the films that were nominated for Best Picture. In fact, of the ones nominated we only saw Les Misérables, which of course I thought was awesome, and I'm sure my Dad agrees. If you asked him I'm sure he'd tell you it was the greatest motion picture ever made. Right up there with, I don't know,  Field of Dreams. Or perhaps 1941

(By the way, still can't get over John Travolta butchering the name of the film during his time at the microphone. Stop it. Stop talking. Did your scientology Gods tell you to say it like that? Stop it right now.)

We also saw The Impossible, and it confuses me why it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture yet made me cry more than any movie I can ever remember seeing. Probably Mel too (although she may not want to admit it). 

I thought Seth MacFarlane did an above average job. Could he have been better or funnier? Sure, I guess so. But then we probably all could. 

The problem with hosting the Academy Awards is its become almost a hobby to watch the show and nitpick every little thing that's done, said, or sung instead of sitting there and enjoying the monologue and the rest of the show for the giant waste of time and beating that it usually is. You can blame Twitter  and the internet for that. 

Anne Hathaway won Best Actress for her role in Les Miz, which I thought was very deserving. She played her heart out in that movie. Her version of "I Dreamed A Dream" gets my vote as Biggest Guts Ripping Out Performance Of The Year. 

(Weird, sorry.)

And then we went to bed. Didn't really want to stay up until 11:00 at night. 

Incidentally, I was out walking the dog earlier and was listening to the Les Miz soundtrack when I came across what I consider to be among the greatest three minutes and fifty four seconds in movie soundtrack history. 

(Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the movie, and don't want me to spoil things, don't click the next two links. Pretty much just stop reading now.)

It happens maybe 20 minutes into the film when Hugh Jackman sings "Valjean's Soliloquy." Again, just another gritty and heart-wrenching performance, this time by Hugh, who has a really good voice. Here, Valjean comes to grip with the fact that he's a thief and a horrible person and it's time to change. Very awesome. 

So listen to that, hear the way it ends, and then imagine it seamlessly transitioning (which I know will be hard because you'll probably get bogged down and have to fight through one of YouTube's commercials)...

Into this.

A big, dramatic, swooping scene going from the past into setting up the beginning of the rest of the story. 

Boy let me tell you, when we saw this and I heard those strings and that brass, that right there got me fired up for movie watching. I think I turned to Mel in the theater at TinselTown Grapevine and gave her one of those smiles and all-knowing nods the way we do right somebody hits a clutch three-run double (sports analogy). 

This isn't even mentioning the opening scene of the movie, which has another moment like that as well. 

That goes into "At The End Of The Day", which is an important song itself as well seeing as how it introduces everyone to Fantine and all her wheels-offedness. 

(Okay, you can start reading again).

Anyway, that's enough for now, so I think I'll take my crazy Gene Shalit costume off and wrap this thing up. 

Except I'm not really sure the proper way to end this. 




Here's a very stereoptyical picture of a French person. 

Bye for now. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The One Where I Talk About Josh Hamilton

Vent session commence.

Sometimes it's still hard to believe that this is Josh Hamilton as we know him now.

Not this Josh Hamilton anymore. 

Or this one. 

Or the one that was making Mel and I get misty-eyed seeing him be interviewed on the field after winning the pennant in 2010. 

Sure he still will be all those things in our memories, and those will last a lifetime. And we will pass them on to our daughter one day.

Still, the memory that stands out now is the one of him cutting up and making jokes about how the Rangers "should have put a ring on it" as far as the Rangers' efforts to re-sign him to a contract go. 

So with that said, let's be honest here for a moment. 

That little tidbit that came out today/yesterday about the notion that Arlington isn't a baseball town in and of itself is not really that big a deal to me. All he was doing was answering a question by giving his opinion. No one can, or should, fault the guy for that. Frankly, it's not really that far from the truth, the ENTIRE STATE isn't really a baseball first kind of place. It is, and probably always will be (unless something changes drastically) a football state. D/FW is a Cowboys town regardless of what some stupid poll shows. That's just the way it is. 

So I tend to agree with the fact that yes, Arlington probably isn't a baseball town. It would be cool if it was, but it's not. And yes, Rangers fans are probably a little spoiled by the last couple of years. 

So now that that's cleared up....

Let's take a look back at some of the things Josh Hamilton has had to deal with during the course of his career in Texas. Again, I preface all of this by saying without question that the man is absolutely entitled to his own opinions:

He's had demons come back into his life.


He's gotten beaten up. 

And played a role in an incomprehensible tragedy.

And at no point, in my recollection, did fans abandon his side through any of that, yet the guy has the gall to bring up the fact, again, that he was booed a lot last season. 

My favorite comment of that link up above was this:
It’s just like last year, when I got booed after going 2-for-4 in a game, driving in a couple runs, and I struck out the other two times. 
Good. Grief. 


Please just shut up. 

Hey, you also played like crap for three months.

Hey, you also dropped that ball in Oakland. 

And hey, you also went 0 for 4 in the Wild Card game and saw a grand total of 2 pitches. (I think it was more like 8, but whatever.)

I guess what I'm getting at in all of this is: It is irresponsible and just plain ridiculous of the guy, even if he is just generalizing, to talk this way about the same fans who stood by his side through the trials and tribulations in his life during his five years here. 

Yes, Arlington may not be a baseball town in the same sense that New York, Boston, or Philadelphia are. It's not going to ever be until some World Series titles begin to accumulate here. 

And God help us all if the Cowboys win another Super Bowl before the Rangers win a title.

But here's what Deadspin had to say in regards to the points Josh is trying to make earlier today. 
First, that Rangers fans are bandwagoners and shouldn't have booed him when he struggled because he brought them a pair of pennants. Second, that any true baseball fan won't boo him when he returns in a division rival's uniform, because of the good times they had together. The accuracy of both of these statements is up for debate, but the point is now moot: the surest way to get booed is to publicly say you shouldn't be.

There's going to be tough times this season in Arlington and there's a lot of question marks. But this is a better team in the long run without him on it. No question.

End vent session.