Sunday, May 31, 2009


This afternoon, I watched the Oliver Stone movie W. which I'm sure most people know is a biopic of George W. Bush and his youth through his first term as president. Taking away any political thoughts I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. I understand it was filtered through Oliver Stone and there were scenes that were quite good but no one can know what happened (I'm thinking mostly of the War Room scenes and how they showed the evil of Dick Cheney and the logic/goodness of Colin Powell).

Josh Brolin was great in this though and he really has turned into if nothing else the best actor to come out of Goonies (with apologies to Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton and Sean Astin) with his recent performances in Milk, and No Country for Old Men and at times he looked EXACTLY like the actual George W. Bush.

This movie actually does not paint our ex-president as a bad man, but someone that was trying to live up to his father's expectations and how he wanted to have a legacy. Also, I was very creeped out by Richard Dreyfus' performance as Dick Cheyney which was so on-point it was scary.

Drag Me To Hell

I just got back from seeing the newest movie from Sam Raimi, Drag Me To Hell.

Some history: I grew up on horror films and still love them to this day. I am a late bloomer to the Sam Raimi type of horror film. I saw Darkman in the theater when I was a kid, but had never seen Evil Dead beforehand. I saw the Evil Dead trilogy in college and immediately loved it. Some of the most fun horror/comedy movies around however I can understand why people don't enjoy this type of movie (even if I think they're wrong).

As you can probably guess, I'm also a HUGE Spider-Man fan and think the movies are all quite good with 2 being the best, 1 being quite good and 3 had potential to be good, but is flawed in numerous ways (which I will not get into now).

So yesterday my friends Nick and Kerri told me they were going to see this. I had originally not planned to see this movie in the theater and instead opting to wait until it was available on Netflix, but since friends were going and I had nothing going on tonight I figured why not. I can't thank them enough for the idea since I enjoyed it immensely.

The movie is not perfect, but there are no dull parts. It starts with a big action scene that will set up what we are in for then jumps from Mexico to LA where we meet the main character Christine. She is quite normal and she just has a little bit of bad luck that gets her in a jam where a little devil will find her and literally drag her to hell in 3 days.

With most Raimi movies, the plot is really an excuse for him to use his camera gifts, and fantastic puppets and make-up skills to show some awesome gross-out scenes and he really delivers here. There are at least 3 scenes that made my theater scream in delight/terror/disgust and joy. I really do not want to give anything away, but I was very happy with the entire movie and with an almost perfect ending that has to be seen to be enjoyed.

The acting was also quite good for a "cheesy horror film" with Alison Lohman proving to me that she is one of the better young actresses around today. Too bad the last movie I remember her in was Matchstick Men which was 6 years ago so I hope this opens some doors for her. Justin Long who normally bothers me was pretty good in this movie, although I'm pretty sure he's contractually obligated to pimp Apple products everywhere he goes since there were Mac computers and Iphones all over this movie. For all the Raimi purists, the yellow Oldsmobile Delta 88 has a very prominent role in the movie, but I don't remember seeing Maker's Mark anywhere. Maybe because of the PG-13 rating, they couldn't show booze.

So to wrap up, if you enjoy horror, and velveeta covered movies, please do yourself a favor and go see this movie (or at least rent it when it comes out). And if this movie tought me anything, it's to never say no to a gypsy when they ask you for a favor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mark your Calendars

On July 14, I know what I am doing and I suggest everyone else does the same thing. Go out and buy $240 worth of pudding (where are you going to get $240??? SHHHHHHH), dip your balls in some baba ganoush, and don't forget to bet all your orphans because the greatest sketch comedy show is finally being released on DVD. That's right! The State is coming and I will be buying this DVD from Amazon, for the small price of $42.99 for every episode of a telelvision show that is the basis for most of my sense of humor. This DVD even comes with commentary by the entire cast, so that means watching every skit twice. I cannot wait. In the meantime, I will watch and rewatch my copies of Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten and even Role Models to prepare.
You can pre-order this here and in the meantime you can watch some skits on facebook by either becoming a friend of The State, or just clicking here.

I have probably seen each and every one of these episodes numerous times when they originally aired, or back in 2000 when I bought the entire series on one VHS tape on ebay for approximately $60. This DVD is a bargain compared to that. Until July 14th, I will not mention The State again. We'll just consider them "off limits" just like that big wide-open gate over there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some Funny stuff

After the Lost finale, I watched the Jimmy Kimmel show. I already posted the Lost Secrets, but there was also an interview with Matthew Fox which needs to be seen. It has very little to do with Lost at all, but it is quite funny.

Enjoy by clicking here

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun Stuff

On one of my regularly visited message boards, there is one person that always makes me happy. Every Friday, this guy posts Weird Images He Found While Searching the Web This Week. It always puts a smile on my face. This comes from a comic book messageboard, and although some things are comic book related and people will not understand all the things on there, but it doesn't matter. I rarely understand all of them, but they always make me laugh.

Feel free to check out the newest one here.

I always know the weekend is about to begin whenever I see this post, or if I go away for a weekend, I look forward to seeing it. I can only hope he never stops.
And much like a magician, and I would not want to know how to do his tricks, I do not want to know how he finds some gems sometimes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why was the new Star Trek so great?

This quick video clip explains why we may have liked the movie a little too much. It's mostly for humor, but there are a ton of spoilers here.

Enjoy, if you can.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

For the Lost fans

I will not go into writing about the Lost finale which was insanely awesome, but there are too many questions and too much to talk about. Instead I will just point you to what I was reading. Mostly all 50 pages (so far) of discussion on my favorite nerdboard. These guys are pretty good at doing their research and have good ideas at times. Check it out here.

There is also the new Doc Jensen column on Entertainment weekly. He always has great ideas, even if they are a bit high-brained. Enjoy

Afterwords, I did watch Jimmy Kimmel which had a pretty funny bit. If you remember the old Conan O'Brien skit called "Secrets" this was pretty much the same thing only about Lost Secrets. I found most of them on youtube and you can watch them all here:



Jin Again

Ben Again

Ben and Jin Together


Jin #3

Ben #3


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series Season 1 is available to watch in the watch it now feature on Netflix. I've never seen any of these episodes. I just watched the first episode named The Man Trap. It is just OK, but I'm very surprised at the special effects. They are much better than I expected them to be.

I will update these as I watch, but Season 1 is 29 episodes, it may take a while. Instead, I will just post updates on the really good ones.

Dead Like Me

I loved the show Dead Like Me when it was on Showtime. I just finished watching the direct to DVD movie. Now, it was nothing special but it wasn't bad either. It would have been another good episode, but I'm glad I didn't have to pay any money to see this.

Dead Like Me was created by a guy named Bryan Fuller. After that show he went on to do Wonderfalls (which had potential, but I only saw one episode), then he was the head writer on Season One of Heroes (AKA the only good season that show ever had).
He then went on to create Pushing Daisies, which was one of the most fun TV shows on for 2 years (or more accurately 2 half-seasons) until it was canceled this year.

I hope he finally makes something that sticks and finds its audience since all of his shows are quite good.

The Dead Like Me movie had some problems, most notable in the casting replacement they had to do for certain characters. The movie followed a typical arc, and I would love to see a sequel sometime since the ending left open a bunch of really cool possibilities.

If anyone has a chance, this show is worth Netflixing sometime.

Halloween (2007)

I may be in the minority, but sometimes I cannot sleep at night, or I wake up really early in the morning and I just lie in bed and watch movies. This happened to me on Sunday morning. After going out until 2:30 AM Saturday night, for some reason my body told me at 6:18 AM it was time to wake up and it was not letting me go back to sleep for anything. So, what else is there to do at 6:18 AM, but watch a movie. And a gory horror movie works best for early rising.
The new Halloween by Rob Zombie is available to watch on demand and being a HUGE fan of the original (this is an understatement by the way) I did not see this movie in the theater and was wary of it. I remember watching Halloween 1, 2 and 3 virtually every year on Halloween day and when I was around 10 years old, I watched 4, and 5 and finally was able to see 6 my Freshman year of college (and being so disappointed after the great cliff-hanger of 5 but that's a post for another day.) I remember hating H20 when it came out, and the newer version with Busta Rhymes that I saw in the theater, so I was starting to think maybe Michael Myers mythology was over and done.
Then I watched this movie. Rob Zombie is hit-or miss for me. House of 1,000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects both have their positive aspects and I would rank in the "good" category with Devil's Rejects actually the better of the two. This new Halloween suffers from some of the same problems the original had, but it also has some very great aspects to it. The best thing about this movie is the first 30-40 mintues. In John Carpenter's original Halloween movie from the 1970s, we see a first-person point of view shot of a little boy kill his sister while wearing a clown mask, and then we flash forward 15 years until that little boy is all grown up, breaks out of prison to try and finish the job. This happens in the first 5 minutes of that movie.
Rob Zombie took those 5 minutes and lengthened them into a great 40 minute mini-film where we get more background into Michael Myers homelife and more explanation as to what made him so angry/disturbed to commit these acts. Zombie paints a picture of a kid with repressed homicidal tendencies that kills animals in his spare time. On top of that, he has an abusive father and an older sister that couldn't care less about him. He also has a stripper for a mother who although she loves him greatly, is the cause of ridicule from his classmates. We see a day-in-the life of 10 year old Michael Myers and what causes him to make his first human kill of a person (we assume) and how that spills over to his 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
This first 40 minutes borrows so well from the first movie that I am happy to have this in Halloween canon and was shocked at how good this movie was. Michael then goes to the mental institution and we see more of his relationship with Dr. Loomis than ever seen before. Although this is decent, Malcolm McDowell is not as good Donald Pleasence who simply WAS Dr. Loomis.
The rest of the movie plays out similarly to the original, but the scares were not as good for me. We see many of the same scenes only with more gore and I come from the school of horror where less truly is more. Sure I love my buckets of blood as much as the next guy, but I find the scariest movies really are where your own imagination goes with it more than what is on screen. I will say I was happy to see Danielle Harris in this movie who played Michael Myers' niece in Halloween 4 and 5 (two of my favorite movies when I was 12 years old or so).
But the real problem is since the last hour of the movie is basically a retelling of the original, it just pales in comparison. I have no problem with watching the first 40 minutes of the new Halloween movie and then throwing in John Carpenter's original and watching them as one long movie. That might be fun.

Also, one quick sidenote: The Halloween music is my favorite movie music of all time. It is just perfect. The right amount of spookiness and fear and power in music. You can listen to it here.

It really is perfect and probably the main reason for my love of the original movie.

Fun Fact: Michael Myer's original mask is just a rubber William Shatner Halloween mask that was sold anywhere painted white. This is interesting for these Star Trek times.

A fun website for all.

There is a site I visit everyday. It is Sporcle. On it, there are quizes ranging in virtually any topic you can think of. Sporcle is a timed quiz where you have to try to name as many things as you can possibly think of in a time frame decided by the site. For example, if you are a movie fan, one of today's quizes was to name however many High School Movies given the year and one main actor in it. If you are a sports fan there are topics such as yesterday's quiz of "Name every player in the MLB Hall of Fame broken out by team".

Please do yourself a favor and just go on it when you have 10 minutes of free time. You will find that an hour later you can keep playing. You can also hit a button on the top right of the site that simply says "Random Game" and it will bring you to a random game. If you don't like it, move on, but if you do play to your heart's content. Many people I know can now name every president in the US History or name every country in the world, or all the states and capitals simply because of this game. The only negative of this game is you will get nothing done for the rest of the day once you start. It is THAT addictive.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The New Star Trek

Last night I went to see the new Star Trek movie with Aubs. Before I say anything about this movie, I will give you some History.

I was never a big Star Trek fan. That said: I have seen every one of the movies. Most in the theater (In fact, The Wrath of Kahn is my first memory of going to a movie, and I even have a slight memory of seeing the original in the theater, but very slight) I have watched almost every episode of The Next Generation since my brother is a huge fan of that show and I really enjoy it as well. And I have seen a few random episodes of each of the other series including Enterprise, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and the original Series. That's right, I cannot remember watching one episode of the original series.
Any follower of this blog knows I'm a huge fan of Lost and with JJ Abrams directing and Damon Lindeloff producing and the great reviews this was getting, I was pretty psyched for this movie.

Now for my review: The movie was absolutely amazing. It pulled off one of the most impossible feats: Surpassing already high expectations. The movie was filled with great action, acting, a fun story, some shout outs to the original movies and (I'm assuming) the TV Show. Each of the characters also had their moments to shine.
Sulu - Only had one really good scene, but it was quite good so it was enough.
Scotty - Provided a lot of the comic relief and was played perfectly by Simon Pegg.
Uhura - Played a surprising role in this movie which worked. She wasn't just an 'intergalactic cheerleader' as I remember her character being called in the original series from somewhere.
Bones - Was played so jaded and angry at the world as well as providing the most comic relief including one or 2 inside jokes.
Chekov - was also great with his signature V and W mix-ups added in for more comic effect.
Spock - was done very well and is one of the main characters in this movie but in a way that was most satisfying to anyone new to the series and he provided the explanation to any truly hard-core Trekkies that may not be happy with some of the decisions the producers decided to take.
Kirk - Was really the best in the film. The actor was quite likable and had just the right amount of Shatner in him.
Nero - The villain played by Eric Bana was also quite well played with his motivation very Kahn-like, but if you're going to borrow from an old Star Trek movie, it may as well be from the best.
There is also one surprising cameo by an actress that was the only strange part about the movie. She is a famous person, and plays an important role but it is the only time I got taken out of the movie at all.

All in all, this was a great movie and well-worth anyone's trip to the theater. Anyone that knows even a little bit about pop-culture knows enough about Star Trek to get most of the references. It had it all including a red-shirt, people beaming places, the Enterprise's first journey, a new origin for Kirk that even old-school fans can enjoy, a young Spock and Kirk, Vulcan, San Francisco, Phasers, sword fights, Red Matter, and even time travel.

Go see this one. It is worth it and I can't wait to see it again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lost 2nd to last episode of the season.

Wow. I loved it, but I am writing a paper and can't comment too much. Instead, I'll let others do my talking for me.

The new Doc Jensen article is great.


Pictures from my Yankee Stadium visit

You can read all about my visit to Yankee Stadium, but now there are Pictures to go along with that insane story.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

B is for Beer

Last week I met Tom Robbins when I bought his book. However, I was in the middle of reading Blindness so I hadn't gotten to reading his new book B is for Beer.
So yesterday on the train I began reading his newest book which I read in round-trip subway trip. It says on the cover it is "A grown up book for children" and simultaneously a "Childrens book for grown ups". I was surprised how true this was.
It is written as an actual kids book, no different than "James and the Giant Peach" or "Coraline". The story is written almost as a fable of a little girl living in Seattle that asks her father why he drinks beer while watching a sporting event. He brushes her off, but her eccentric uncle decides to allow her to taste some. She has a few other beer adventures until she has an ET moment where she drinks 2 full cans quite quickly. From there she goes on an adventure with the beer fairy who teaches the little girl how beer is made from the barley being grown, malted, fermented and then the hops being added. Speaking as someone that has enjoyed a beer or two from time to time, I was impressed with the full scientific explanation as well as a little bit of 'mystical' properties Robbins included in a book that really can be read to anyone over the age of 5 years old (except for the almost sad/depressing coda of the novel).
The book is not vintage Tom Robbins (he seems to have calmed down in his older age), but it does have a few of his patented quirks. Most apparent in the Beer Fairy and some of her explanations on the "Magic" of beer. There are 2 chapters that go a little out there and there are a few aspects of the book that maybe are not quite right for children.

The book literally took about 2 hours to read from cover to cover and I can recommend it, but only if you are in the mood for some very light reading. I'm on the fence of if I would give this book to anyone if they were curious about Tom Robbins and his writing. Although it does have some of his classic quirks and has the fun mood that most of his books have, including a little "Hi De Ho". (which is this book's version of "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" "Ha ha ha, hi hi hi,ho ho ho")
However, since it is a book written for kids, it is not a real Tom Robbins book since his other books seem to have that extra level beyond the actual text.

Overall, the completist in me is excited to have a new Tom Robbins book and especially to have it personalized and signed by the author, but I implore people not to think this is anything other than what it is: A simple little tale for all ages about one of the greatest beverages known to man.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Neil Gaiman

This has been quite a week for me. First I met Tom Robbins, then I had my adventure at Yankee Stadium and on Saturday I met another of my favorite authors - Neil Gaiman.

I was first introduced to Neil Gaiman in the spring of 1994. I was going to visit my brother at College and was taking the Greyhound all the way down to Maryland. I was 16 years old and looking forward to my first weekend of hanging out at a College town complete with lots of beer (I'll never forget Olympia beer) and other potential debauchery. They only problem was the 6 hour Greyhound bus ride down. Now I was already a comic book fan but kept to the typical Batman, Superman, X-Men, Spider-Man etc.. I decided since I was going to be cooped up for a long time, I would buy a lot of comic books and try some I had heard a lot of about, but never read. Along with my typical haul, I grabbed the entire Vertigo collection and got 2 issues of Swamp Thing and Sandman since they said this was a good jumping on point for new readers. I bought issue 57 and 58 - the 2nd and 3rd parts of what would be the penultimate storyline of Neil Gaiman's opus - Sandman. From there I bought all the single issues until the series concluded in issue 75, but I was hooked.

Whenever I could get some money together I would buy the trade paperbacks of Sandman. It is safe to say that by 1999, I had the entire series, and it is even safer to say, I have read the entire storyline about once a year. I love it that much. I always seem to find something new and when this year Neil Gaiman released his Absolute Sandman hardcover editions, I started to buy them even though I already own the series in paperback.

I have also gotten many friends to read the series all of whom seem to really enjoy it and some have gotten pretty obsessed.
So to say I'm a fan is an understatement. I have read nearly everything he's put out (that I can get my hands on. Miracleman still escapes me, but someday...) and find his writing to be spectacular. He has an entire shelf on my bookcase that includes American Gods, Fragile Things, Anansi Boys, Smoke and Mirrors and all of Sandman and some other graphic novels he has written.

So when my girlfriend told me he was doing an interview on stage on Saturday, I jumped at the chance. We went to Cooper Union at 1PM Saturday and sat in a lecture hall with a stage that simply had 2 chairs and 2 microphones on it. Although we were late, we were able to get 3rd row seats all the way to the right, luckily we were on the side he sat on. I have seen him speak previously. I went to a reading of American Gods at the Border's Book in the WTC back in June of 2001 but it has been some time. Since then he has kind of broken out writing Mirrormask, Beowulf, Stardust and Coraline for the movies and a bunch of book including his newest The Graveyard Book. (to be reviewed once I finish reading it)

Gaiman has such a great cadence to his voice, such an easy going way of talking that is quite engaging. He speaks so slow that his words feel deliberate. He seems to have a great story about any situation that I didn't realize the hour of him talking was up so soon. He answered questions on stage on various subjects from how he got into writing comic books, to what awards mean to him to how he writes so well for children, to his similar look to arguably his greatest creation: Morpheus. He actually seems to be one of the kindest people in the world and his diminishing English accent gives him a great command over a room.

At the end of the hour, they announced that Gaiman would be signing some books, and he is known for his enthusiasm in meeting and speaking with fans. Unfortunately today, he had a flight to catch to Paris and he could not spend the amount of time he normally does speaking with people and would limit his signing to 1 per person. Anticipating that he would be signing, I had brought 2 books. Now that he would only sign 1 book of mine and 1 for Aubrey, we were excited. Aubrey was not sure what to do since both books were technically mine and she had only read one of them. She said she wished she had bought the Graveyard Book since we had not gotten it yet and that could be hers. The line was moving, but we were still quite far away. I told her to hold the line while I run out and get the book she wanted for herself and Neil Gaiman could personally address that. I ran out across the street to the St. Marks Bookstore on 7th and 3rd and with some help found the last edition in the store. I was able to buy it and get back in line before Aubrey was at the front.

Now, Neil Gaiman is someone that I would love to spend an entire afternoon with and talk and ask question. But what do you say or do when someone you would love to meet you only have 30 seconds with? I'll tell you what I did: Nothing. I got to the front of the line, told him my name and watched as he wrote my name, and signed his name on the piece of tracing paper that precedes the title page. He then flipped over to the title page itself and drew a line going up from his name to the top of the page where he drew a quick sketch of Morpheus - the sandman. He then flipped back over the piece of tracing paper and added a crescent moon. What did I do while all this was going on? Nothing. I had a stupid smile on my face and watched in awe. He finished, I gushed Thank you and then he said "You're welcome. That was fun to draw" with a genuine smile on his face. As I stared at his new creation, he went on to sign and engrave Aubrey's book. I didn't notice what was happening, but he drew a tombstone on the title page of the Graveyard Book and put Aubrey's name on that tombstone then signed his name at the bottom. What did Aubrey do while this was going on? Yup.... Nothing. She stood there with a silly smile on her face gushing that this was happening. As she said later, we both "Carried a Watermelon" for anyone that gets the Dirty Dancing reference.

So I give you the pictures of the fruits of Neil Gaiman's labor below. And although it is difficult to tell in these pictures, my Sandman book is double the size of a normal comic book and this edition is spectacular. I cannot wait to get the entire series (once I can afford it).

Friday, May 1, 2009


I just finished reading the novel Blindness by Jose Saramago. If anyone wants to read this book and cares about things being ruined, I will only give away the basic plot, and not too much more.

This book was amazing. Not the best thing I've ever read, but it was poignant, interesting horrifying, and well written. It was originally written in Portuguese and the translator died before she finished so it's possible a little was lost in translation, but I don't think so. The plot centers around an epidemic of blindness that comes over an unnamed city (or country, or the world - we're never really sure). It traces this epidemic from the first person who on the first page is driving to work and all of a sudden cannot see. This blindness is not like any other. Instead of seeing all black, there is a milky whiteness that the infected can see. He causes a traffic jam and someone comes to help drive him home. This person becomes the second person infected. The first blind man then goes to a doctor's office and he infects everyone in that office including the doctor himself. All this happens in the first 20 pages. What happens next is where it gets more interesting. The government decides to quarantine those that are blind in an abandoned mental institution and everyone who may be infected in another wing with the army guarding over them. The majority of the book takes place in this ward and how the blind people live. I will not go into any more detail, but I will say this: This book is an amazing study on human character and morality. What do people do when everything they've ever known is gone? The book is interesting and at times very difficult to read (There is 1 chapter specifically that was possibly one of the most fucked up things I have ever read. And go back and look at my book list, I've read some fucked up stuff in my day.)

A little comment on the writing style since that is a huge part of what makes this book as amazing as it is. First of all, the author never tells you anyone's name. They are referred to as how a blind person would understand them. To hear someone called Mike or Theresa would change the story. Instead the characters are referred to as who they are: The first blind man, the girl with the dark glasses, the boy with the squint, the doctor, the man with the eye patch. It is a strange technique but it is explained in the book why. Who they were in their old life does not matter anymore. They are blind, quarantined, infected people. What they did before and who they are no longer matters. It is who they are and become after that matters.
Also, the book is written in a style of minimal paragraph and chapter breaks. When people are talking, there are no quotation marks or paragraph breaks, or even periods to change sentences. A typical sentence will look like this:
Where are we going to go, I don't know, she should decide, we will go to the left corner.
In that sentence it could have been 2 people talking or 4, sometimes you are not 100% sure but this technique makes you a little bit on edge where you can see things from the character's point of view of being completely confused by your surroundings. It is really well done, and although you may be confused at times, I found I was able to follow most of the book and I definitely could follow the story. Some details will slip through the cracks, but that's OK.
Also, the book is so cramped with words on a single page that in the beginning it had a very interesting effect on me. As I was reading, I could read fine, but because of the subject matter I found my peripheral vision to become blurred. I could read the line I was reading fine, but all the rest of the words seemed to blur where the white of the page became overpowering and I could almost see what that "white-blindness" would look like to someone and it was frightening. It is like if you read the word yawn. Without thinking of it, you see the word yawn and all of a sudden you feel the need to yawn. I'll be at least 60% of you just yawned or are having a feeling that you need to yawn. (I kind of have it just by writing this). It is a completely subliminal thing, but effective. I'm not sure if this was done on purpose by the author or not, but I found it quite interesting and felt I should comment.

This book at times reminded me of the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy. That was another post-apocalyptic story but that was only the aftermath. I did not enjoy that book though. In my opinion, Blindness is the exact opposite of that. The Road followed a very minimalist approach of few words on a page and they hoped that saying less would say more to the reader. Blindness tells as much as they can, but in a world that is inhabited by all blind people, you of course will miss a lot of the details.

For anyone that enjoys reading stories that talk about humanity and what it means, I would recommend this. You may not like everything you read, but it is well worth the effort.

Yankee Stadium 2.0

Yesterday I made my first trip up to the new Yankee Stadium, and what an amazing trip it was. I went with my friend Dan, his wife Casey and her good friend AJ. I thought we had bleacher seats and I was so excited to go to Yankee Stadium and love sitting in the bleachers (especially now that there is beer). I did, in fact sit in the bleachers, but before that we had an adventure.
Now let me make this known: I was always of the opinion that the Yankees needed a new stadium about as much as I need an asshole on my elbow. They had won more championships than anyone else in their original stadium and baseball is a very superstitious sport in its own right. That said, I will conceded that new stadium is quite gorgeous and looks a lot like the old stadium looked before the renovation was done in the 1970s. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
AJ's is from California and her neighbor there is some guy who's sister just happens to be the Assistant GM of the Yankees named Jean Afterman. I met my friends outside of Gate 6 at 5:30 and we walked all the way around the stadium to Gate 2 and went into the Executive lobby. They called up and we waited while someone came to greet us. Dan and I decided to explore the stadium a little. We walked up to where the field level seats began and saw the field which looks almost identical to the old field. The difference is in the amenities. Each of the seats are padded in about six inches of pleather and look quite comfortable. The food going around the stadium is a bunch of NY staples included Johnny Rockets, Brother Jimmy's, Moe's Carribean, Famiglia Pizza, and more Deli's than I expected. Along with Nathan's and Hebrew National hot dogs and a lot of expensive Becks, and reasonably price Budweiser ($6 for 12 ounces, or $10 for 24 ounces. You can guess which one I had 4 of.)
After we walked around, Dan and I went back to the Executive lobby and waited. The lobby was about 50 foot high with 2 large changing pictures of old Yankees, my personal favorite piece was the life-sized cast-iron statue of George Steinbrenner standing next to the elevators smiling at all guests. After 10 minutes or so, we were greeted by a page who brought us up to the 3rd floor which is the level that has all the luxury boxes. We walked over and met Jean Afterman who may have been one of the genuinely nicest people I've ever met. She welcomed us into her office and gave each of us a beautiful blue Yankee cap with the white NY insignia. We sat down and we just chatted for a while. Then she said she's like to show us around-- the only problem is since the stadium is so new, they don't have an official tour itinerary yet. We walked out of her office and I immediately realized that the office right next to hers with the door open belonged to Brian Cashman. On his wall were interchangeable plaques of all the players in the Major league team as well as all the minor-league teams. Behind his desk he also had 2 miniature World Series Trophies. I was in shock at where I was.
From there she brought us into the War Room. This is the room where they decide on who to trade, where they bring in players to discuss contracts and more. The room had a large conference table in the middle and an AMAZING Sony projection screen on the wall. Jean informed me that this thing had the most amazing picture of anything she's ever seen and she wants to get one in her home. The walls apparently swing out where they keep track of all the players they are interested in, but the season is young and the room was quite clean. After that Jean brought us down the hall where each of the luxury suites are. Outside of each Suite was a page and literally every person said "hello" to us. They were all quite friendly. Outside of each box were beautiful pictures including a picture montage of the 3 Yankees that have thrown perfect games and the line-up of the 1927 team. Each luxury box was numbered and outside it had a list of key Yankees that have worn that number.
Jean was able to bring us into one of the luxury boxes and they are gorgeous. Our was around 3rd base and inside has a full kitchen and bathroom with 3 couches and TVs. This box was stacked with a pile of sushi ready for whoever was going to come there that day (or not show up and let all the food probably go to waste). There was also popcorn and other finger-foods. Each of the boxes have 2 rows of seats outside that are under heat lamps in case it gets cold. The window opens up so even if you are inside, you can feel the wind on your face and there are 2 flat-screen TVs outside so you can watch the broadcast of the game as you watch the game. I'm telling you: I could get used to living in that type of luxury.
Jean continued walking us all the way through the hallway past the really nice bar at the end of the hallway, then she brought us back. Unfortunately, the game was about to start or else she was going to try and get us into Memorial Park. But instead she said she would try and hook it up "Next Time". I doubt this next time will ever happen, but it was very kind of her to offer.
We left her to do her job and I honestly cannot thank her enough for giving this Yankee Fan a memorable experience and I cannot thank AJ enough for the amazing opportunity she provided. We then went to our seats in the bleachers. We got our hot dogs (Dan got a Johnny Rocket Burger) and our beers for the start of the game. The new bleachers have a lot more leg room so it makes it much more comfortable to sit there. And for $12 it really is a great way to spend the day. Especially if it's sunny and warm. Between the Right and Left Field Bleacher sections is a balcony where all the concession stands are. You can also just stand and watch the game there. This is something the old Yankee Stadium was seriously lacking. Beneath that concession stand is the Mohegan Sun Bar. You are INSIDE the black glass that serves as the backing for the hitters to see the ball better. Apparently, they give out tickets to this before the game starts and there are a limited number of tickets, so I think it would be a fun place to watch the game but I was unable to get in there even with Dan asking for just a minute to run and see what it looked like.
On top of all this, the Yankees won the game 7-4. The Bleachers were as roudy and fun as always with only 2 people getting kicked out (one for his own safety since he was dressed in full-on Angels gear, but he came back). And the other for talking smack to the Angel's pitcher in the bullpen.

Overall, it was a great day, a great experience and loads of fun. The new Yankee Stadium is much nicer than the old one (at $1.5 Billion it better be). It is very clean and new. The bathrooms are very open and inviting and I did not have to wait once in my 4 visits.
Thank you AJ, Dan, Casey and Jean for a great day. Go Yanks!