Monday, May 31, 2010

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Rocket Science (2007)

DPRocketScience What is it about?

Hal, a stuttering high school freshman joins his high school debate team after his world changes when his parents separate. After being mentored and falling in love, Hal’s life changes again, and he's left wondering about life and life, and whether it is as hard as rocket science.

Who is in it?

Reece Thompson – Hal Hefner

Anna Kendrick – Ginny Ryerson

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dome Pondering Import – Roy “Doc” Halladay’s Perfect Game

In previous DP Imports, I’ve discussed the rarity of pitching a perfect game. However, just this month, we have witnessed Dallas Braden accomplish the feat with only a few days later to see Roy “Doc” Halladay do it as well. Halladay, one of the most impressive and entertaining pitchers to watch in all of baseball blanked the Marlins on May 29th, 2010 to record the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The following is a video of Halladay’s final out in his perfect outing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New York City Super Bowl Signifies Evolution of NFL

nycSuperBowl When it comes to some of the largest shows on earth, New York City has hosted, or has been home to many, if not, all of them. The Grammys, VMA’s, All-Star Games, Championship games, Broadway plays, you name it, it’s been here. Except for one. The Super Bowl.

In 2014, the NFL’s biggest event will come to the New York-New Jersey area for the first time. And unusually, the accepted bid by the NFL has caused a flurry of debate amongst fans, analysts, and league officials over the New Meadowlands Stadium (Which has yet to receive an official name) hosting Super Bowl XLIII.

What seems to be the biggest concern over the issue is not the city, area, or capacity in which New York and New Jersey can handle such an event. New York City can throw a party. And New York City goes big on everything. The reaction of fans and the mayor at a parade when the accepting bid was announced proves how serious this is to the area. The concerns are revolved around the weather and the precedent this will now set for the league moving forward.

Why is the Super Bowl in cold weather?

This argument I find very perplexing. Many feel that the Super Bowl should be a reward for the teams that make it there, and should be played in warm weather. However, this is probably the biggest fallacy created in the football world. I understand the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to reach from an organization stand point, however, just getting there should never become a vacation. Does a prize fighter become number one contender and suddenly feel the need to relax a bit? Should World Series games in cold weather cities be moved out west or to the south to ensure a reward for winning their league’s pennant? Heck, cold weather cites are good enough to decided conference championship games, but not the Super Bowl?

Ridiculous, I know. Yet this is the opposition’s biggest worry.

In fact, a Super Bowl in New York City will ensure the best team will win. Championship teams in any sport win on their ability to adjust. Climates obviously affect football with warm climate teams having an advantage on cold weather teams in warmer climates and vice versa. The unknown in weather will force teams to adjust and initiate different ways to perform.

What if it snows?

The idea that if the game becomes a mess with snow and windstorms, that it may affect ratings, business, and the overall success that is Super Bowl week. This is understandable. In fact, let’s just admit it, Super Bowl weekend really isn't about the fans and their comfort, or the players and theirs. The biggest concern when it comes to a snow-filled Super Bowl is how it will affect the huge businessmen and head-honchos that loiter around Super Bowl week. It’s easy to please these types in 85 degree weather in South Beach. However, in East Rutherford, New Jersey in early February – yeah, not so much.

Super Bowl XL was considered a dud in Detroit due to the inability to present the SupernycSuperBowl2 Bowl week activities and style the NFL intended to. However, despite most of the blame being directed at the cold weather, the city of Detroit was (and still is) in a perilous position, not offering much for such an event. That situation had more to do with location than weather.

Anyone else remembered Super Bowl XLI? In Miami. In a warm weather area. Yet, it rained throughout the entire game. Never has anyone complained about the outcome of that game.

Listen, the idea behind Super Bowls in warm-weather cities is to limit the amount of external elements on the NFL’s biggest game. That is understandable. However, the sole reason for the NFL being king in American sports is due to their ability to evolve. From Pete Rozell, revenue sharing, television programming that presents a personal experience, and even the enforcing of new rules (slowly becoming a higher scoring passing league), the NFL has evolved before other leagues, and knows what is best for their game. And one more time, they have made a decision in moving the Super Bowl to the New York-New Jersey area for a Super Bowl which will undoubtedly begin a movement of the league’s biggest game to many more regions, states, and cities.

Indianapolis has already gotten Super Bowl XLVI, with New York receiving Super Bowl XLVIII. Maybe Seattle is next? How about Foxboro? How great would a Super Bowl at Lambeau Field be? This may be the next evolution of the NFL.

Sounds good to me. More importantly, it sounds good for the overall health of the game.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Beginnings

img116 “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end”

That was the quote of a roman philosopher named Seneca which was then immortalized by the band Semisonic in their song, “Closing Time”

And as the days in this life continue to pass by, we enter new chapters and phases in our life. In those chapters, we grow, we develop, we remember, and we prepare for what lies ahead. On a beautiful Wednesday morning as I sit here on the proverbial stoop punching the keys, I find myself looking back on a year that isn’t half way in completion, but has been a testimony of renewal.

In the 2009 DP Year in Review, yours truly touched base on rediscovering desire, passion, and drive. In a time where so many people were and are struggling due to our national economy and the effects from the evils in this world, such components were imperative for not only survival, but revival. And while it reigned true for the masses, the idea was one that hit home. One that was very personal to me.

Without completely reiterating the 2009 DP Year in Review post, the last couple of years have indeed been rough. Dating back to my senior year in college, various aspects have been off or have been a huge struggle from health, employment, faith, and overall happiness. However, as 2009 ended, various aspects began to change, and being at peace with myself was an actualization.

Fast forward to the present, and it seems that Gotham City has sun light. On a day (yesterday) where I celebrated the 25th Anniversary of D-Robo (obviously I’m kidding), the completion of my Masters degree (Finally), and the acceptance of a new (and more fitting) job, there was a certain type of closure felt. As I exited Roosevelt Hall on the Brooklyn College campus for probably the last time, it felt like the weight of the world was released from my shoulders. Not necessarily weight from the ebb and flow rigors of school, but a complete turn of the page in my life. Clean slate.

And as I sit here and I recall looking over Brooklyn College’s quad with chairs lined for various Graduate students ready to jump back out into the “real world”, I could not help but think about the past few years. The struggles, the thoughts, and the experiences. The good ones such as working with children and young adults at a Teen center. Realizing how much has changed, and well, how much hasn’t. Even the quirky ones, such as how uncanny of an interest (and eye) I now have for anything physiological or exercise science related. I can’t get enough of it it seems. Yes, a weird chapter in this lifetime. A chapter now complete.

Another aspect I realized is that I love school. Say what? Yes, I absolutely love school. Not only am I a child at heart, but a huge nerd as well. I enjoy learning, and if school wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably take classes for the rest of my life. Just not at the crazy pace of six classes like this past summer. No one should experience that type of madness.

However, the most important and essential quality that I’ll take away from this is my ability to believe in myself. I’m terrible at self-confidence. I’ll be the first to admit it. My professors know it, my friends know it, and even my tag-team partner - she knows it. Yet, in the past couple of months, I’ve learned the fine area between self-confidence, arrogance, humility, and self-indulgence. It’s a fine area, but it is there. Although, it is still a work in progress to stay there.

Nonetheless, I now realize that an individual has greater fear in their capabilities and potential than their weaknesses. I have a greater understanding for the poem “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.  I accept it. I believe it. When professors recommend and urge a pursuit of a Ph.D., being afraid is no longer an option. I realize that God has given me a gift, and not utilizing or cultivating it is the biggest tragedy of all options.

With all that said, I sit here on a beautiful morning, renewed, refreshed, and ready see where this new beginning leads. On the day of learning of my resignation from the teen center, a fellow co-worker, and former veteran in the Korean and Vietnam war (Not to mention a DP devotee) said to me, “Young fella, good things happen to good people. Believe it. Sometimes it may not seem so, but believe in God, your family, and yourself, and things will work out in the end.”

Wisdom must definitely come with age. Because he was right.

Things did work out in the end. And because of this end, a new beginning has formed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dome Pondering Import – “Our Deepest Fear”

Here is a poem that speaks volumes to a number of people. The poem written by Marianne Williamson was made famous by the film, “Coach Carter” as it deals with the fear of an individual’s self-actualization. It is literature for those who are in pursuit of a dream, and for those looking to make that dream a reality.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Life Happens

Life Happens

Life happens beyond our dreams,

Goals and aspirations,

Achieved, Aspired…

Into a reality that is our reward.

 

Life steers us into the abyss,

Struggles, tears, and hurt,

And a longing desire…

Reality is what keeps us real.

 

Life is a journey for love,

The chase and pursuit,

to capture and hold on…

Removing us from reality.

 

Life is protection from a broken heart.

The walls, emotion, and issues,

Like sand through your fingers…

An illusion of reality’s journey.

 

Life is new hope.

Birth, second chances, and new chapters,

A new day, and a new life…

Reality is forgiving and engaging.

 

Life is Death.

Sadness, confusion, and the inevitable,

A reflection and moving ahead…

Reality is celebrating every. Single. Day.

 

Because, Life happens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Just Like The Son (2006)

DPJustLikeTheSon
What is it about?


A petty thief that is one strike away from being placed in jail, begins a mentoring relationship and redemption with an orphan he takes a liking too. After becoming conflicted, the thief makes a personal choice to “do the right thing” for the first time in his life by kidnapping the young boy and driving him to his sister’s house in Florida.

Who is in it?

Mark Webber – Daniel Carter

Antonio Ortiz – Boone

Rosie Perez – Mrs. Ponders

Brendan Sexton III – Grant Bills

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Dome Pondering Import – Dallas Braden’s Perfect Game

On May 9th, 2010, Dallas Braden became the 19th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game. Braden, the most unlikely pitcher to ever throw a perfect game (24th Round draft pick), needed just 107 pitches (6 Strikeouts) of flawless pitching to put away the team with the best team in the league, and victim of   a perfect game for the second year in a row (Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game), the Tampa Bay Rays.

After his altercation with Alex Rodriguez over the “center of the universe” when Rodriguez crossed “his mound”, Braden not only can have his name attached to something more credible and worthy, but in the record books of baseball lore forever.

Friday, May 07, 2010

If You Ain’t White, You Ain’t Right…No, Seriously.

DPImmigrationDebate Arizona’s new immigration law SB170 is a very hot button issues in our current society. After several years of floundering around the issue of illegal immigration and not only finding, but drawing the line on when enough is enough, has led to one state in the union stepping up and declaring it’s version of the “the line”.

Because of that ice-breaker, now ten other states that includes Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Maryland have legislators clamoring for similar, or the same exact law as Arizona.

Whether states should have the ability to pass their own laws on immigration, a national and federal problem, is another issue, for another post, for another time.

However, as things become intensified, and very complex, one thing is for sure in all of this – there is no going back.

The issue of immigration whether some want to believe it or not, is one of the most important social-related issue facing our nation today.

While everyone has an opinion on this topic due to its controversy, I will take a stand and acknowledge that immigration is indeed a problem in the United States. Opposition to this belief will argue that the United States is indeed a melting pot. This is true. However, at what point do we stop throwing things into the melting pot before it boils over? Our government spending, taxes, and economy is indeed affected by immigrants who are here illegally, with some choosing to remain so, while Americans pay for their existence. At some point we need to take action. We do not have to shut the door on immigrants, but begin the process of legalizing them. At some point accountability needs to be in effect.

With that said, I understand Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer’s intent in her vision of this bill. Proper documentation should always be carried which is the basis of the law. The newest and most strict immigration law in our country requires anyone suspected of being in the country illegally to produce legal documentation (passport, green card, Arizona license).

While many find the bill to be aggressive, in all honesty, this practice is normal. We do it when we walk out the door with our license, and legal immigrants are indeed instructed upon receiving their green cards to do so as well. Governor Brewer furthers her point in stating that Americans that go overseas to another country must carry documentation on them to prove their visitation, which is indeed a valid point, and very correct.

And while you the reader may now believe I am in support of this bill from the previous agreements, you are somewhat right, but mostly very wrong. Very similar to this immigration bill. I find the bill to be reasonable in stature. Yet, it’s policy in enforcing it will create an open door for racial profiling.

While racism and immigration aren’t exactly partners in concept, such a bill will give way to a whole new wave of racism, stereotypes, and various social issues. Arizona, a border state, will have a very difficult time in proving racial profiling was not instrumental in the suspicion of an individual. There is no question of the large portion of who the “suspected” people will be.

Executive Director of the Arizona ACLU, Alexandra Soler Meetze, responded to the passing of the bill saying, "by signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we're facing."

The bill presents a serious tone to the joke, “if you ain’t white, you ain’t right”.

While it is an issue that has no easy solutions, we are headed toward a decision on where this nation will handle immigration moving forward. However, with this bill, we are clearly not there yet. The bill presents a double edge sword of presenting solutions and protecting the borders of Arizona while enhancing the use of racial profiling.

And while I understand that over 70 percent of Arizonians are in favor of the bill, something tells me that very little illegal immigrants from Canada and Western European countries currently in our nation will not be in high suspicion.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dome Pondering Import – Ernie Harwell’s HOF Induction Speech

In the wake of legendary baseball announcer, Ernie Harwell passing away, there seems to be a a slow fading of the old generation of play-by-play announcers not just in baseball, but in sport. In today, where production, glitz, graphics, and sometimes, even acting are part of a sporting event, often forgotten is the art of storytelling. The ability to enter someone’s home or radio and guide them for two or three hours. Talents like Harwell, Harry Kalas, Bob Costas, and Vin Scully to name are few, are instant classics. Voices, when you hear them that demand attention. And while I’ve never had the distinct opportunity to really appreciate Harwell or Kalas before their passing, from clips, sound bytes, and speeches, you are aware of their greatness. 

Although my generation is linked to the Joe Bucks, John Maddens, Michael Kays, and John Sterlings of the world, appreciating greats like Harwell and Kalas is not difficult because of their timeless work. And while very little of the announcing old guard remains, I will be sure to one day attempt to listen to the one-man announcing crew that is Vin Scully call one game before he too, leaves the game. 

The import is a transcript of Ernie Harwell’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech where he gives his definition of baseball.