It's the end of the world as we know it...

Politics, philosophy, the law, current events, left leaning debates, religion, baseball, football, pop culture, growing up Greek, random events in my life...whatever hits my mind at the time.

6.2.06

So I passed my belay test, and can now go rock climbing any time I want to without instruction. Excitement. My mom thinks one should need more instruction before they can go climb on their own, but really, as long as you know how to put the equipment on right, you aren't going to fall very fall.

Obviously, my friends and I are violent people. During the Superbowl, we enjoyed all the violent commercials. The Fex Ex commercials where the dinosaur ate the pacage, then crushed the caveman was a big hit. And I won't lie to you, the theft control Sprint one was watched more than once. (This is why God invented TiVo...)

On a more peaceful wavelength, I really liked the Dove commercial (though one of the girls at the party asked what the song was. She hadn't heard True Colors before. Ahh, yes, you know you are old when...)

As usual Budweiser had some great ads. The Magic Fridge one made us laugh. The streaking sheep commercial was cute as well. The bear and the beer was good, but again, we liked violence. :) I think my favorite was the tiny Clydesdale horse that thought that it was pulling the cart. And it was - with help. It was adorable.

Which leads to the obvious. Any commercial that uses animals is great. Budweiser used that it it's advantage. The two Careerbuilders ones (working with jackasses, and the monkey's partyting b/c they had the sales report upside down and thought they sales were up) both were fun. Best ever? No. But fun.

For the second year in a row, I most enjoyed the Ameriquest "Don't Judge, We Won't" commercials. Though neither were as clever as the guy cooking for his girlfriend with the cat covered in red pasta sauce, both were good. The first one, with the wife and daughter walking in on the doctor right after he killed a fly and saying, "that killed him" cracked me up. The second one with the plane turbalance causing the woman to fall on the other passenger made me laugh as well. Clever clever clever. How can I get a job at Ameriquest making commercials? Yes, I'm serious. That is the idea job to me.

The other one that I really liked was the sports scores on the cell phone one, where the old man started in on the younger man who was checking his scores on his cell. Back inthe old days. The stereotypical "walked to school uphill both ways" speech. (And yes, I think I would have liked it even if it wasn't a Browns fan. The pause after "We did it the old fashioned way. We went" and before "to the internet" made the commercail for me.)

As for the worst commerical, I really hated the Burger King commercial. It did not entertain at all. Though the competition is close: the Diet Pepsi commercials were awful. And the music video one was way too long. The Jackie Chan one was just stupid. And did anyone else wonder why they placed Diet Coke in their ad. Yes, it got stamped, but at the end of the day, it's still free advertising. I hated the Hummer commercial (and that wasn't new either, was it?) I also didn't like the car commercial withthe models in white mascara. I won't lie; I had nightmares last night.

And is anyone else disturbed by FIVE blades Gillette premiered? FIVE. Really, is that necessary in life? I mean, what will five blades really get that three blades will not. I think we are getting a little bit out of control, I really do.

A few other random thoughts: MacGyver is getting old. And porky. And movie trailers are just a waste of time. The Desperate Housewivescommercial wasn't bad - though let's be honest, it was completely unnecessary. Is anyone NOT familiar with Desperate Housewives at this point? And if so, where have they been living? And was that one car commercial in Spanish and English a commercial for the hybrid car or a commercial for speaking English?? The Sprite airline security ad was clever as well.

* * *

What about the game, you ask? I was disgusted. Not because I actually cared who won the game. In case you hadn't noticed, the Browns fielded a high school football team (not a Texas high school team, b/c a Texas high school team might have beaten them, but just a regular high school team.) In fact, the Browns have more or less fielded a high school team since they returned to the NFL. A few more years of that, and we'll be Cincinnnati. So I didn't care who won, but I really hate bad officiating. Especially when said bad officiating determines who wins a game. Let alone who wins THE SUPERBOWL.

And the worst part of it was the fact that the calls affected scoring. First, there was the pass interference on the touchdown. Which, as the commentators stated, was extremely questionable. Extremely. Then there was the Roethlisberger touchdown. This was extremely close, actually. I didn't think he broke the plane while in the air. It was impossible to tell. Whatever the call on the field was couldn't be overturned because there was not undisputed evidence. But there was nothing that I saw to suggest that the ball did cross the line. Hard to say for sure, but still. Then the hold on the Seahawk's pass to the 1 yard line. You know it's bad when the announcers, upon watching the replay, say, "I have no idea where that hold call came from."

It's impossible to guess where the game would have gone. That's at least a 14 point difference for Seattle, and 7 less for Pittsburgh (the interception came soon after the hold on the 1 play. No interception, no ensuing touchdown by Randal El. And maybe in 10-14 less for the Steelers (if the Steelers are stopped at the 1 on Roethlisberger's TD).

I accept that referees in all sports are human and make mistakes. It just seems incredible that every mistake went against Seattle. And I didn't even care who won. Imagine the frustration that a fan felt! Yes, the commercials were clearly better than the Superbowl this year. Both the playing, and the officiating.

Oh, you know what else bothered me? The fact that they kept on having commericals of the Steelers with the Superbowl trophy but only had one of Seattle. Even the media was doing it! Even my friend at my house, a Pittsburgh fan, commented on it.

FYI, you can check out all of the Superbowl commercials here.

* * *

Don't forget to set the TiVos for Arrested Development this Friday night. Yes, yes, yes, the Olympics opening ceremony are on. Let me help: they run with a torch and light the main torch. There will be lots of people wearing flags, or flag colored shirts, and walking and waving at the cameras. Basically, it's a larger scale city 4th of July parade. Clearly Arrested Development is more interesting - and if it's not (or if you go out on Friday; I have Flogging Molly tickets myself), that's why God invented TiVo. (You know, I'll throw a plug out for Veronica Mars too. Just because it's brilliant so you all probably aren't watching it. SHAME! I'd only point out you people are the reason that Sports Night, Jack and Bobby, and My So Called Life were cancelled too. Not that I hold grudes but I think that the actors from the last one care able to collect social security by now.)

And while we are on tv, Grey's Anatomy followed the Superbowl. Am I the only one who finds the main character totally unlikable? She is whiny, she is selfish, and she can't act to save her life.

* * *

Wait wait wait. When testifying before the senate, the Attorney General does not have to be sworn in?? Are you f'ing kidding me? Yes, because politicans have shown themselves to be honest and truthful. What was I thinking? Give me a break. The entire process is a joke. Are we at home not supposed to realize that?? Though some conservatives are breaking with Bush on his spying program. And one of them is (allegedly) Ashcroft, who supposedly had some reservations about the program. How much does an action violate your rights before ASHCROFT things that it's questionable?? But I actually meant during the hearing.
"I find your testimony honest, straightforward. You legal reasoning is well articulated," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. "I don't agree with it all." Graham said he was concerned about the president's argument that his commander-in-chief status gave him the authority to launch the program. "Taken to its logical conclusion, it concerns me that it could basically neuter the Congress and weaken the courts," he said.
Well, duh. You know, just when I'm ready to completely write off humanity as a failed experiment ...

* * *

Things to do in Cleveland this week. First, Rent is town at Playhouse Square. I adore Rent. I'm heading out to see it on Thursday. This isn't part of the Broadway series, but a good call for a week. Then Saturday I am going to see Robert Dubac in The Male Intellect, An Oxymoron on Saturday. He's hysterical, I've also seen this before. It's at the Odean - before it closes (BOO!) Fear not, I have O.A.R. tickets on Wednesday, and Flogging Molly tickets on Friday, so I won't be bored on the other days. Though that's a lot of shows in a short time, when the best come to town, you take advantage.

And we are about a week and a half away from the Easter Seals date auction. Thanks to Lori for donating. Very cool of her. I shall have to make it out to a Meet the Bloggers event sometime. But not February. There is so much going on already (especially with Jump Back Balls 15th anniversary that I know you all want to go to...) If anyone is curious what my shoes for the Easter Seals auction look like, you can see them here. Yes, I'm serious. I hope they match my dress - they might be a little off. Which would make me sad. But the dress is knee length so I don't think it will look too bad.

* * *

Do you ever feel like you are surrounded by idiots? I swear to god. The other day I was going to the 20/30 happy hour. It was at the Bier Market, a great new(ish) bar in Ohio City. Anyway, I go to the parking lot, and hand the guy a $5 to park. He looks at me and say, "parking is only $3." Well, see, I wanted to leave a $2 tip. I thought you should start a college fund.

* * *

And if I may offer soemthing. I turn 30 in about 5 months. (5 months, 4 days). Perspecive from a friend of mine (who is about 2 weeks younger than me):
The 20s are all about instability. The first two or three years are ok, but otherwise it's all about figuring out who you are and struggling--to find your career, to get your finances straight, to figure out if you want an emotional/romantic relationship and if so what kind, etc. etc. etc. By 30 you have some credibility and you've figured a lot of that out.
Interesting, no?

* * *

And my friend sent me this article about Vince Young going pro. The article (and sorry, it was emailed to me, so Im not sure of the magazine or the author or anything) said:
I feel sorry for people who can't get a thrill out of a major eventl ike this year's Rose Bowl game ... I'm mean, people who don't get emotionally involved in sports. They are missing something important in life. Everybody should have a team - actually, several teams - to root for. The greatest thing about it is that there's always next season. No matter how good or bad this season was, we'll get 'em next year. ... [A]s a sports fan, there is nearly always something new going on, another game coming up, another chance for redemption. And you change sports as the seasons change. Love affairs bloom and fade, and new love affairs begin. So partisanship in sports is something to take pleasure in.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

You know, I haven't mentioned the Coco trade to Boston at all. Here's my thoughts (I know you felt lost without them): Shapiro had made several good trades, and he deserves some trust in these matters. But boy, was that hard. The trade, for those not aware (SHAME!) involved Crisp, Riske and Bard to Boston for Andy Marte, Kelly Shoppach, Guillermo Mota, a player to be named later and cash. Then, a a subset, Rhodes to Philly for Michaels.


Now, I adore Crisp, AND I was a Riske fan (though Wedge clearly was not and seemingly didn't even trust Riske with the ball. I'm not sure why, but I think Riske is a great pickup for Boston. And we moved WAY down with Mota from Riske (AND we gave away Rhodes. AND we lost Howry to free agency - the worst failure to sign, in my opinion. Two years ago we had one of the worst bulletins. Last year we had th ebest. This year I fear we have moved back towards where we were two years ago. So I didn't like that component of the trade. Riske OR the subset of Rhodes. That puts a lot of pressure on Cabrera. And he's a pseudo rookie (I think he has too many appearances to be a rookie this season). But we have weakened our bullpen with this trade. Fact.

Bard was just a backup catcher to Victor, and as long as Victor is healthy, it doesn't matter. To the extent that it does matter, we moved up in terms of backup catchers with Schoppach. But come on, who really cares when you are talking backup catchers?? It was just an odd addition for the trade. Unnecessary.)

Now for the main bulk of the trade. Coco for Marte. If Marte is as good as they think he will be, that's great. We need a third baseman in our future, he fills that role, while we have other players who can play outfield in the minors who can develop. But who is going to play left field in the NOW? Michaels and Hollandsworth are the answer? Really?? I think I'd feel better if you'd say that Franklin Gutierrez could play left field and was ready for the majors (neither of which is likely true).

And I am warning Shapiro: LEAVE JHONNY PERALTA ALONE. If you must, trade Victor and Travis. Hell, you can even trade Grady. But leave Jhonny Peralta alone. Got it??

11 Comments:

  • At 9:05 PM, Anonymous JasonB said…

    Holy cow you're goign to the flogging molly show? I JUST posted about that. I've been trying to find someone to either go with me to share driving, or someone in Chicago or Cleveland that'll let me crash at their place. I LOVE Flogging Molly live. Seriously probably my second favorite live act to see and I didn't realize until just a couple days ago they were going to be on tour.

    Daaaamn. If I end up going to the Cleveland show on Friday, I'll let you know.

     
  • At 9:05 PM, Anonymous JasonB said…

    Hmmm blogger no likes putting html links in.
    http://www.xtra-rant.com/2006/02/06/1754/

     
  • At 2:44 AM, Blogger derek said…

    Daaaam....what didn't you write about?

    Don't remind me about turning 30...I am only 4 days behind you.

    I like the Chucks..definitely your style :-D. Whoever "wins" you is one fortunate individual.

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Jason - check your email.

    Derek, I don't wear Chucks as much as I did back in college (when that's all I had) but yes, still my style. :)

     
  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    I was really unimpressed with the Super Bowl commercials, but the Ameriquest ones were my favorite, too.

    You're not alone in hating the main character of GA. Why are all the characters on the show infatuated with her? The actress is no prize either. She's a squintier, skinnier Renee Zellweger, which is not easy to do. Though, Renee can actually act.

    Of course, I pretty much hate that show. It's so heavy-handed and not even close to as clever as it thinks it is. I'm even more annoyed with the praise it keeps getting and people watercooling the next day, "wasn't it so great?" Not in my opinion, but I guess if I ran the world, people would actually watch Veronica Mars and Arrested Development.

     
  • At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There were calls that went against the Steelers, you just aren't remembering them because the Steelers overcame them. One in particular -- Stevens' fumble that was ruled an incompletion. There was only one player -- a Steeler -- who could have recovered it.

    As for Roethlisberger possibly not making the touchdown -- the Steelers were 100% this year (according to an ESPN article) on 4th and goal. It would have been like 1/2 an inch. I think they would have gone for it and made it.

    The refs sucked. Yes. But they sucked all year. Great teams overcome. There were many teams that had to do it this year. It sucks that there were bad calls in the Superbowl, but there were. All the kvetching about it (from all people) is getting old.

    One last point -- there were pictures of the Seahawks with the trophy. I think people just notice/remember the Steelers because they are more recognizable. I, for one, couldn't identify Seattle player than Hasselbeck, Alexander, and Holmgren. I might be able to guess at Lofa, but most likely not.

     
  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Regarding the prior comment about the refs. I'm a fan of neither team, I just watched the game. But imagine, if you will, that the Steelers had LOST to Indy. We'd still be hearing about the terrible calls. Because it would have been an injustice. Seattle lost in large part due to the refs -- at the least, the bad calls adversely affected the rhythm of the game. And this was the Superbowl. It's not like it's a regular season game, or even an early-round playoff game. The "kvetching" will not stop any time soon. All the polls show that roughly 70% of people who watched the game think the officiating played a part in the outcome. That's unacceptable for a game of this magnitude. Every time the game is discussed, the officials will be discussed. It's not a slight to Pittsburgh, it's a sad commentary on officials in the NFL. Pittsburgh may well have won the game with competent officials, but we'll never know for sure.

     
  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Me said…

    I am not sure if he had the necessary control of the ball. He was bobbling it before losing it.

    And I'm not say that Roethlisberger would not have made the TD from inches on 4th. What I'm saying is, it was a bad call against the Steelers. I think you could legitimately add 14 points to Seattle, and take 7 points away from the Steelers. The 7 points I'd take away aren't Roethlisberger's TD, but Randal El's TD, which came after the bad call of the pass to the 1, then the interception 2 plays later. If Seattle is at the 1, there is no interception thus no Randal El TD (incidently, the best part of the entire game. The rest of the game was just bad.)

    And no, in the first half, there wasn't a single commercial with Seattle with the trophy. We even commented at the time, and our theory was that it was done by halves, so it would start inthe second half. The first one was Hasselback eaither during halftime or the second half. The next 2 were both Steelers. There was one more later int he second half. But those were the only two.

    And I agree, when that many people think that the officiating had a part in the outcome of the game, it's not good for the game. I'm not saying it was a conspiracy or anything, I'm just saying that every bad call went against Seattle. That's a pretty random statistic.

    When your QB has the lowest QB percentage ever in the Superbowl, that's a bad stat. When you lose time of possession, that's a bad stat. When you lose the turnover ratio, that's a bad stat. And when you have all three and win the game, and the refs are THAT noticable, it raises a few eyebrows. You can't expect it to not to.

    Did Seattle's kicker have an awful game. Undoubtable. Did the refs have anything to do with that? No. Could Hasselbeck have been better? Obviously. (Though he clearly could have been worse too - Roethlisberger proved that.) And did the refs have anything to do with that? No.

    But the refs calls did affect 28 points of scoring/nonscoring, and that's questionable. Which is why sports analysts have been questioning it.

    And a bad call against Seattle that I didnt' realize was a bad call at the time (sent to me by a friend): Yet another bad call, apparently: On 1st down, Hasselbeck completed a pass to Jackson at the goal line, who was ruled out of bounds when he caught the ball. Jackson caught and possessed the ball with one foot inbounds while his other leg knocked over the pylon in the endzone. I thought he needed two feet in bounds. But apparent, this which would be a catch according to NFL rules:

    "A player will be ruled in bounds if he touches the pylon at the goal line before going out of bounds. For example, a pass would be considered complete if one foot touches the pylon and the other foot is in bounds."

    Since the play was inside the two minute warning, an instant replay challenge could not be initiated by a head coach, but only by a referee. However, the play was not reviewed even through a Pittsburgh timeout.

     
  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, it is a bad stat to have the lowest QB rating in a Superbowl ever. The QB rating system is flawed -- which must be obvious to everyone. The rating system does not take into account the third downs that Roethlisberger got (running & throwing), or the fact that he converted a 28 yd third down. In fact, I saw that if you take away one of the interceptions that his QB rating would have been better than Hasselbeck's. (And that is still with him only have 123 yds.)

    Statistics aren't what it's all about -- it's outcome, who makes plays when they have to. And we know that Seattle was not making the necessary plays. Stevens was dropping passes, as were other receivers. Jackson was running poor routes (leading to being out of bounds). Holmgren was so steamed about Roethlisberger's "TD" that he didn't manage the clock in the last two minutes of the game. Seattle punted with 6 1/2 minutes on the clock while they were done by 2 scores. Hasselbeck didn't show urgency when he had the ball in the 4th quarter.

    Holmgren was laying into the officals after the Roethlisberger "TD" at the end of the 2nd quarter. Is it possible that affected the calls in the 2nd Half? It shouldn't have, but it could have.

    It was a flawed, flawed game, both by officials and by the teams. I am amused, however, by people who think that Darrell Jackson's push off shouldn't have been called. He definitely pushed off -- and it's the right call. The NFL has deemed that there will be less touching downfield between the receivers and the secondary -- this is the outcome of that. It may not have appeared to be particularly egregious, but could he have made the play without pushing off?

    Ultimately, officiating was poor the entire season. Teams could point to a poorly officiated game in the regular season keeping the out of the playoffs. And poor officiating is part of the game -- even if it shouldn't be. In 2002, the Giants lost a wild-card game to San Fran when the refs missed a pass interference call.

    I understand a Seattle fan's frustration, but it shouldn't cheapen the victory for the Pittsburgh fans.

     
  • At 8:57 PM, Blogger EasyW said…

    Christ, there is so much here, I don't know where to begin.

    I love climbing, but haven't been i na few years. If you are looking from someplace close, WV has some grat options.

    Near me, Devil's Lake in Wisco is pretty good as well. If you want to road trip up here in the summer or fall, let me know and I'm in!!!!

    Bring yer mtn bike as well!

     
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