Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gone Fishing

On Friday, we leave for head to our cottage for a week and squeeze in yet ANOTHER relative's wedding... (my cousin Jonathan in Ottawa)...

Getting ahold of us will be tough because cell phone calls up there are like 90 cents a minute (in other words, don't call us) and we'll have no Internet service unless we head into town and stop by the library or something...

No phone, no lights, no motor car...not a single luxury...or something...

Anyways, when we come back I promise lots of pictures, as well as pics of The Huthmans Take Manhattan. I'll leave you with a couple of photos from that of Anisa doing her Super Happy Face for Aunt Jen:

And a very poor and somewhat scary Super Happy Face from Anisa's father and her Uncle Wiggy:

See you on August 1st

Gone Fishing


Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Day Cool Died

We're slagging though the summer...I blame the heat.

The Huthman clan is in town this week, and I've been fortunate to spend lots of time with Mike and little Anisa while Ivanna has been busy with her seminars and Jen's been at work. We've got lots of pictures of Anisa sleeping her way through New York (not like that, you perverts!)

Anyways, those pics and a full recap of "The Huthmans Take Manhattan (with help from the Watts')" is coming soon...

In the meantime, I've used this blog to talk about the music I like and the movies I enjoy. Now its time to advocate for some of my favorite columnists...this column by Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor, ran in the latest issue of SI. I think it's great...hope you feel the same.


By Phil Taylor

Cool, the onetime giant of sports culture that had long been in declining health, died in seclusion last month. In a measure of how forgotten Cool had become, the moment of its passing went largely unnoticed even though the event was witnessed by millions on television, shortly after the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. In the ensuing celebration Celtics star Kevin Garnett was asked how he felt about winning the first title of his 13-year career. He threw his head back and bellowed, "Anything is possible!" as though he had just accomplished something previously thought to be beyond human capability, like walking on the sun or deciphering the plot of Lost. With Garnett's scream, Cool took its dying breath.

Authorities say that Garnett will not be held responsible for the demise of Cool, ruling that he was no more culpable than thousands of other modern-day athletes who have an overwhelming need for self-congratulation and a tendency to overdramatize. Those athletes avoided Cool like a subpoena during its final years, instead embracing midair chest bumps, primal yells and the kind of elaborate, multistep hand jive that grade-school girls do on playgrounds.

Cool was on a respirator as the end neared, its breathing more shallow with every poststrikeout fist pump by Joba Chamberlain, every dunk-and-sneer from Vince Carter and every one-act play performed by Chad Johnson after a touchdown catch. In its weakened state, it was hard to believe that Cool once walked with kings, that Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Julius Erving, Bjorn Borg and Walt Frazier were never caught without Cool, in competition or away from it. Cool not only added to their mystique but also served a practical purpose. "I always felt that [Cool] gave me an advantage," Frazier says. "It's like in poker, if the other players can't read you, it puts that uncertainty in their minds and that puts you in control."

Its age was hard to pin down, but Cool is believed to have been born in the late 1960s, around the time Joe Namath began wearing full-length fur coats and dating models (no one said Cool couldn't be fun) and John Carlos and Tommie Smith stood silent and stoic on the Olympic medal podium in Mexico City, their leather-gloved fists raised in a human rights salute (no one said Cool couldn't be serious).

Stardom quickly followed for Cool. Kids aspired to it. Men tried to embody it. Women were attracted to it. Cool reached out to established coaches, giving their gentlemanly, controlled personas a new cachet. As Tom Landry walked the Dallas Cowboys' sideline wearing a suit, a crisp fedora and an unchanging expression, Cool was on his shoulder. It was there, too, beside UCLA's John Wooden as he directed his nearly flawless Bruins -- perhaps the coolest crew ever -- without rising from his courtside seat. It seemed not so much that winners were cool, but that Cool created winners.

Only in retrospect is it clear when Cool began to hit hard times. In the opener of the 1979–80 NBA season, the Lakers beat the San Diego Clippers on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's buzzer-beating hook shot. Abdul-Jabbar was the kind of Cool customer who would hit a game-winner, stroll off the court and go put on a Miles Davis album. But this was the pro debut for Magic Johnson, the league's No. 1 pick. Magic jumped on Abdul-Jabbar and wrapped him in a bear hug, surprising the captain but charming the fans with his joy. No one knew it then, but Cool was doomed.

Though Magic's jubilation was genuine, over time fans and players alike became so hooked on open displays of emotion that they didn't care if those displays were real or not. Partly because of the huge salaries that athletes were making, the public wanted to see players in agony or ecstasy, as proof that they cared about more than the paycheck. The athlete who preened for the cameras and pounded his chest was assumed to have more passion than the one who kept a lid on his emotions. Cool became confused with Bland and Uninterested. Now it's not the player who bashes in the occasional watercooler who's criticized, it's the one who doesn't.

Like most stars of another era, Cool had several aborted comebacks, with the occasional athlete attempting to revive it. Tom Brady, Mariano Rivera and Ichiro Suzuki were among the last advocates of Cool, but few of their colleagues followed suit. Cool's condition was terminal.

There will be no funeral service, which is how Cool would have wanted it. In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked simply to appreciate players who don't feel the need to punctuate every accomplishment with an over-the-top celebration, who understand the beauty in letting a performance speak for itself. That would be totally Cool.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Random Musings...


**If I've learned nothing from working in New York, I've learned this: If you are a politician, you are probably corrupt to the core. It is amazing how many times I've reported on corruption cases involving mayors, city council members, etc. Amazingly enough, most of them are in New Jersey...imagine that.

**Petrozza not choosing Corey as his first pick for the final challenge of Hell's Kitchen might have been the biggest blunder in reality TV history. I'm still rooting for him though..

**Speaking of reality TV, when I first saw promos for "Wipe Out" on ABC, I really thought we'd sunk to a new low in television... Now, after watching it in a crowded bar last Sunday, I think its one of the best shows on television. You really should check it out...even if only for 5 minutes. But its WAYYY better watching it in a crowd, with all the "OOOHH!!" and "DOHHH!!!" Good times...

***We got screwed over at the grocery store the other day. We went to this place in Harlem called Fairway because its supposed to be awesome. And it was, until it came to the delivery part. We told them we wanted it delivered, because we were going to go across the street with our friend Dawn and have dinner at Dinosaur BBQ (which I am SO taking Dave to the next time he comes here)

Anyways, there delivery says "3 to 5 hours" we figured, thats plenty of time to have dinner and get home before the groceries arrive. Well, we're in the middle of dinner, its been about 90 minutes, and Jen's phone rings. Its the delivery guy...and he's at our door.

I talked to him first and went back and forth on why he was so early. He kept saying "I'm here, buzz me in" and I kept saying "Well, we're not there, we're across the street from the store and are 30 minutes away." This kept going for awhile, with me saying "you're early...that's not our fault." and then finally hanging up on him (a bit of a language barrier as well)

He calls back, this time Jen answers and reads him the riot act. Tells him to go make other deliveries and come back. He says he's going to leave our groceries on the front stoop...Jen tells him thats unacceptable...and back and forth...

Well, we get home...and the groceries are on the front stoop. On a positive note, at least we didn't have a confrontation with him if he came back after we got home. Lord knows he wasn't going to get a tip...

**Random celebrity sighting at the Fairway store though. Dr. John. You know, the legendary musician? He was shopping for yams. I feel like you need to know these things...

**With Cito Gaston now managing the Blue Jays again, and Cliff Fletcher running the Leafs from the GM office, I feel like its 1992 all over if only these two men came bring my teams back to prominence...

**Just finished watching "Rambo" in the newest one. Holy %#^!! Pretty funny to watch a 60-year-old Sly run around like he's 35 all over again...I gotta tell ya, the body count in this one is pretty high, but it served its purpose...

**Other movies I've enjoyed recently as we purge through our Netflix list: King of California, Charlie Wilson's War, The Bucket List, Ratatouille, The King of Kong, Disturbia, Deja Vu, and Enchanted.

Movie that was highly overrated: Transformers

**And finally, we can't wait to see our friends in the upcoming months. Katie and Brian this week, the Huthmans in nine days, and Kelly and Meghan next month. The rest of you...start planning your vacations here!!