a little bit of everything

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Air Candace

Tennessee freshman, Candace Parker did what no other woman has done in the game of basketball, she dunked the ball...TWICE! This was the first time a woman dunked in the NCAA tournament, and the first time a woman dunked twice in one game. These dunks were so significant to the game of basketball that ABC broke into an NBA game to show the clips.
Parker, and Illinois native, was making a few statements with her dunks today. She was forewarning basketball fans everywhere that the woman's game is about to launch into a new arena. She was reminding the pundits that Courtney Paris may not be the hands-down winner of the freshman of the year award. But mostly she was thumbing her nose to the NCAA selection committee for slapping her team in the face. With their dominating win today the Lady Vols made it loud and clear that they are not only a force to be reckoned with, but they are hardly a 2 seed.
Will there be more dunks to come in this tournament? Who knows, but I'm sure Candace Parker will keep basketball fans on the edges of their seats for years to come.

More on her dunks including clips can be seen here.

March Madness

It's that time of year again. NCAA college basketball fever has struck the nation. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry, will formulate their brackets and try to predict the outcome of the NCAA tournament. For those of you who aren't followers of the tournament you may not be aware of the double meaning of March Madness. Madness not only refers to excitement of the whole tournament, but also to the sheer insanity of some of the decisions made by the NCAA selection committee. The errors made in the men's tournament are analyzed before, during, and after the tournament. However, many people may not realize that just as many, if not more, errors are made in the women's tournament. Just as with the men's side you have your share of teams left out, mis-seeded, or placed in odd brackets. An example of two of these mistakes was the ludicrous decision to give Tennessee a 2 seed, and place them in the same bracket as the overall #1 seed, North Carolina. Tennessee's coach, Pat Summitt, will tell you that this is a slap in the face. And she has a point. How can a team that won their conference tournament (over LSU who happened to get a 1 seed), played the toughest schedule in the nation, and was ranked second in the RPI, possibly get a 2 seed? Hell if I know! What I do know is that it is not wise to upset Pat Summitt, the Lady Vols, or their fans.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Academy Awards

My award show has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R... Sorry about that I couldn't resist.

This blog isn't the only thing being neglected, so are the movies. I'm embarrassed by how few Oscar movies I've seen this year. Last year, amazingly enough, my sister and I managed to see every movie nominated in the 8 major categories; this year I think I can count on one hand how many Oscar flicks I've seen. I figured it'd be pretty difficult to duplicate last year's movie-going feat but I didn't expect to fall so short. I guess if you're going to fall short might as well fall really short.

Despite the fact that I haven't seen many of the nominated films I'm going to make some semi-educated predictions about the awards.

Best Picture:
Brokeback Mountain seems to have this award locked up, it's been winning awards like crazy and I don't see it stopping tonight. Crash is a wonderful movie that could possibly slip through but I doubt it. I'm betting on Brokeback.

Best Director:
Who is greatly responsible for making a best picture? That would be the director so count on Ang Lee, director of Brokeback Mountain, snagging this prize.

Best Actor:
As a movie fan I love seeing great movies with outstanding performances, but come awards season it gets a little bittersweet. Why? Because you have more than one actor who gave the performance of a lifetime and only one will win. Both Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman gave "really really ridiculously good" (can anyone name the movie this quote comes from?) performances in Brokeback Mountain and Capote respectively. It's not fair but only one of them can win, and it will probably be Hoffman. He's been racking up the awards and this should be no different.

Best Actress:
Here we go again. Reese Witherspoon from Walk the Line and Felicity Huffman of Transamerica are the two front runners, deservedly so. Both incredible performances by great actors whose abilities have been overlooked for too long. So who will win? Hell if I know! My heart goes with Felicity who I've loved since the Sports Night days. But will they award a TV actor an Oscar? There are still many snobby Academy members out there who may think she's not worthy of the award. I think Reese has a slight edge here and I wouldn't be disappointed if she won.

Best Supporting Actor:
Paul Giamatti has a couple things going for him, he was completely snubbed last year for his amazing work in Sideways, and he really was good in Cinderella Man. He's taken home a majority of the previous awards and has a pretty big edge going into the Oscars. But...The Academy nominated George Clooney, the handsomest man in the world, in 3 different categories this year. It's highly unlikely that he'll win either the directing or screenplay awards and if the voters don't want him to go home empty handed they may award him here. Let's just hope they haven't seen Batman and Robin lately. Also...Jake Gyllenhaal, future father of my children, or Matt Dillon, let's do it for Johnny, could sneak in if Giamatti and Clooney split most of the votes. I love all these guys and would be happy if any of them wins but I think Giamatti has a slight edge.

Best Supporting Actress:
If I were to rank the five nominees Rachel Weisz would be at the bottom of my list, but that doesn't really matter much seeing as she's probably going to take home this award. I'm guessing if she wins the Oscar she's not really going to care that I like the other 4 actors better than her. It'd be great if Brokeback could win at least one acting award and Michelle Williams has erased all memories of Dawson's Creek with her role in this film. Not only was Catherine Keener great in Capote but she scored big laughs this past summer in 40-Year Old Virgin. And let's not forget Amy Adams who stole the spotlight in Junebug. If the Academy resorts back to their old ways of awarding young up-and-coming actors in this category Adams will runaway with it.

There you have it my semi-educated Oscar predictions. Who knows how it will all turn out? The one thing we can count on is a damn funny show with John Stewart hosting.

Many Apologies

I'm very sorry for my lack of postings the past few months. Working 2 jobs while searching for a permanent teaching position hasn't left me with as much free time as I would like so a lot of things have been neglected, this blog being one of them. I promise to make a bigger effort to get more posts done.