Friday, January 26, 2007

on heartattack and vine

Alright Dad, you wanted to know if you'd made the blog, so here you go.

It has been a crazy week. Dad seems to be doing really well after his heart attack on Monday. I think we all kinda figured the food at Phil's could be lethal, but we still didn't see this coming. Considering the severity of the heart attack itself (he went into actual cardiac arrest), that he was about as close to death as you can get without actually dying (as Dad said himself, or said quoting one of his doctors), it seems like he has made a fast recovery. The first twenty-four hours were pretty tense, especially Monday evening, but a lot of that was simply the shock and thinking about what could have happened. Maybe it was just me being naive, but I never felt too worried about things getting worse; once I found out about it, the heart attack had already happened and he was in the hospital. My impression was always that he was stabilized, and barring some random unforeseen complication, it was just a matter of taking time to recover. Although considering the heart attack itself was a pretty random occurrence, maybe I should have been more concerned. But now the only worry is that it could happen again. It is a little disconcerting that the doctors themselves seem surprised that it happened in the first place and aren't sure what caused it. We're praying that means there's little chance of it happening again in the future. Anyway, Dad is scheduled to come home tomorrow (Friday) and
hopefully he'll take it easy and not hop back into things too quickly.

We love you Dad, and we're glad you're okay.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The 2006 Davie Awards

Looking back at last year's awards, there were some trends that continued into 2006. This past year saw an even stronger movie crop than 2005, and there was a handful of movies I didn't get a chance to see that, from the look of them, had a good chance of making the list. Another thing that continued from 2005 was the presence of several good albums, but as in '05, there wasn't really one dominant, extraordinary CD. There also wasn't a huge number of video games that appealed to me, although video games are the group that suffer the most from time constraints. Games require such a bigger investment of time to play through and enjoy them thoroughly, so there's a much smaller selection to choose from. This is also where I'll put my disclaimer in that I don't own a Wii, so don't expect to see Wii Sports or Twilight Princess under the Best Video Games category, as my experience with both games was limited. But without further ado, I present to you the probably much-overhyped and very late 2006 Davie Awards:


As I said before, there was a slew of great movies this year, but
The Fountain really stood out among the rest. You could arrange the likes of The Prestige, The Departed, Casino Royale, or Stranger than Fiction in whatever order you'd like, as they're all exceptional movies. I thought Children of Men was fantastic and it was a clear-cut second place over the others.

Biggest Let Down: Snakes on a Plane
Runners-Up: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit
Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
, Miami Vice

I still think Snakes was really, really stupid. Borat was okay, but like Snakes, it too was overly hyped. I love Michael Mann's films, but Miami Vice suffered too much from a boring storyline.


A strong group of albums this year as well. None of them quite stood out to me as much as
10,000 Days. Tool bucked the trend of established bands releasing sub-par albums. While not quite as strong as their two previous works, it was still a fantastic CD.

Top Ten Albums
  1. Tool - 10,000 Days
  2. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
  3. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
  4. The Killers - Sam's Town
  5. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas
  6. Beck - The Information
  7. Neil Young - Live at the Fillmore East
  8. David Gilmour - On An Island
  9. BT - This Binary Universe
  10. Tom Waits - Orphans, Bawlers, Brawlers, and Bastards

The movie would not have worked without the wonderful soundtrack from
Clint Mansell. After the Requiem For a Dream OST and now this, he's making quite an impression.

Biggest Let Down: Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Runners-Up: Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist, Incubus - Light Hand Grenades,
Audioslave -

I expected more from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's first solo album than what amounted to a short, minimalist electronica album. I had reserved expectations for the new Deftones, Audioslave, and Incubus, as all three bands seem to be on the decline as far as quality goes, and sadly my fears were realized in two mediocre albums. The Eraser is certainly the best album of the four, but also the one I had the most hope for. Light Hand Grenades just sucks.

Best Concert: Nine Inch Nails in Indianapolis
Runners-Up: Tool in Columbus, Nine Inch Nails in Cincinnati, Alice in Chains in Cleveland

It will be pretty difficult for a concert to top
Nine Inch Nails July 3rd at the Verizon Ampitheater in Indianapolis. Doug and I were about three rows from the front of a jam-packed pit. The crowd was so amazing that it drew praise from the normally reserved Trent Reznor. The set list was almost as good as it could have been and the band played with reckless abandon. There was some stiff competition from Tool, Alice in Chains, and the first NIN concert, all of which were awesome shows.

Video Games

Company of Heroes was the runaway hit this year. Not only was the single-player campaign good but Doug and I have had a blast over the LAN. Half-Life 2: Episode 1 moved the franchise's story along nicely and set the stage for what should be a fantastic game in Episode 2. Lego Star Wars II was the other big hit this year.


Best TV Show: The Office
Runners-Up: Scrubs, Top Gear, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, My Name Is Earl,
Late Night with Conan O'Brien

It's pretty obvious that I think NBC is doing something right, as every show but the hilarious British series
Top Gear is from the network. The Office continues to be the best show on television and the show is sandwiched between two other great comedies NBC's Thursday nights, My Name Is Earl and the resurrected Scrubs. The ill fated Studio 60 was surprisingly clever; it's not normally the type of show I'd watch. Conan is still the funniest person on television.


Most Disappointing Sports Event/Moment: Bengals' mediocre season
Runners-Up: Steelers win the Super Bowl, Rick Franklin loses UFC Middleweight title, U.S. World Cup team fails to win a game, UC's basketball team is robbed of an NCAA tournament berth

The failure of
the Bengals to live up to the expectations set last year by claiming the AFC North title was easily the most disappointing aspect of sports this past year. Watching the Steelers march through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl was a close second, as was seeing Rich Franklin get picked apart by Anderson Silva.

Best Sports Event/Moment: The (continued) Rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
Runners-Up: Georges St. Pierre wins UFC Welterweight title, UC upsets undefeated Rutgers

Obviously it was a lot easier to think of disappoints in sports this year than things that went right. It has been great to see the continued rise in the popularity of the UFC, and of MMA sports in general. Things are still looking up going into 2007, with some landmark names coming to the UFC, and more Pride Fighting events in the U.S.

Alright, well I'm sure we're all glad that's finally over. Here's to 2007!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

on the backs of the bruised

Something besides Ohio State's BCS Championship performance had me irritated last night, and that was hearing about the San Diego Chargers' third-string tight end being arrested for a DUI. Actually, it wasn't the arrest itself that ticked me off, but that fact that this is this San Diego's seventh brush with the law this season. That's right, only one less than the Cincinnati Bengals. Where are all the pundits and talking heads now? While the Bengals are supposedly nothing but a bunch of criminals and thugs, nary a word is spoken against the Chargers. I wonder if it has anything to do with them being the top team in the NFL with a 14-2 regular season record. Everyone wants to point out the Bengals' off-field problems and label them a bunch of convicts, but the reality is that at least 35 NFL players have been arrested this year, so it's obviously a league-wide problem. Not that the media will care.

My annoyance continued today as we failed to get tickets for UFC 68 in Columbus. I can't believe how fast they sold out. Hopefully this will be a sign of how popular MMA events are here and the UFC will host more in Ohio in the future.

Carson Palmer is one of three finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year, but it'll be tough to beat Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

my head is unraveling

The new quarter of school has begun and my first impression is that it should be better than last quarter. My "Communism in Europe" and "U.S. & WWII" classes both look the most promising. I don't have my "Writing Columns and Reviews" class till tomorrow night, but hopefully that will be worth taking. Maybe it'll help my writing on here. My Spanish class only had five people in it which does not make me optimistic for that class. I also started the my two-quarter history senior seminar, and although the subject matter we're dealing with isn't something I'm too interested in- spiritualism in the 1800s (meaning things like psychics and talking to spirits, not religion and spirituality) - I do like the professor. I also like the way my schedule is set up: on Monday and Friday I have class 10-12, Tuesday I have nothing, Thursday I only have a night class 6:30-9. Wednesday is the sole exception, when I have class 10-12, 3-5:20, and then 6:30-9. I set it up that way to give myself time to work on every day but Wednesday. The problem is that the whole finding a job thing hasn't panned out so far. But since I don't have a job right now I hope I can use all that free time to get some of the many things I done that I didn't do over break and get ahead on my work for this quarter, which there will be a lot of.

I often have trouble getting a good, full night of sleep. I'm much more of a night person and not a morning person at all (you can tell by the fact that only one posting in the last month has been done before midnight). Which explains why I'm up at 3am, even though I have to take Austin to the airport tomorrow morning. Over break I think there were very few nights that I went to bed before 2 or 3 in the morning and I don't remember having much trouble sleeping at all. Last night I went to bed earlier (granted, it was still around 1) and didn't get to sleep for at least an hour. I'll admit it could have been due to some nervousness/anxiety over the new quarter starting. Once I start going to bed around midnight, we'll see how my sleeping compares to when I go to bed later.

Speaking of Austin, the reason he's going to the airport is because he'll be in Chile (and Argentina a little) for the rest of January. The Asylum won't be the same this month without him.

I think it's astonishing that Child's Play has almost raised $1 million this year. What a fantastic cause. They're making a final push to try and reach the seven-digit mark, so if you have any inclination towards helping out, do so now!

Still working on the Davie Awards. I don't continual mention them with the intent to build them up into something glorious, because there's not going to be much to them. I'm just waiting because there's one or two more things I'd like to watch or play first. I think I'm starting to ramble, and I do need to get some sleep before morning.

like shackles on your feet

Rich Franklin. Matt Hughes. Tim Sylvia. UFC 68: The Uprising. March 3. Columbus, Ohio.

This announcement just made my night. It already looks like Daniel, Rob, and I are going. If anyone else wants in, tickets go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 9. It won't be cheap but it'll be worth it.