Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will The Real Person Please Stand Up

64323049 As the Miami Heat prepare the for the NBA Finals, the arguments and debates over the love, or lack thereof, of LeBron James has reached a breaking point. In know, personally, I’ve had debates today over whether the treatment and hate toward James is justified. And as most of you DP devotees are aware of, I am not pro or anti-Lebron, I was disappointed in the way he carried himself through “The Decision”.

Although, “The Decision” provided monetary benefits for the Boys and Girls Club, it was a charitable donation that came with an hour long special of non-stop-LeBron, and constant PSA’s reminding of who provided the benefits. It was a charitable idea that had a huge asterisk attached to it – arrogance.

LeBron meant well. And although I’m sure he had good intentions by “The Decision”, it ultimately created a wave of dislike for him.

Is LeBron James a terrible person? Who knows?

However, there is a man, an athlete, and another common household name that receives more hatred than James can even imagine. This person is no longer an active player. And this player, I’ve somehow been in the pro-camp for as long as I can remember. This person is Barry Lamar Bonds.

There is no need to go into history, revisionist or not, and the proverbial questions of whether Bonds used performance enhancing drugs, or whether he is the true all-time homerun king in baseball. We all know the story of Barry Bonds.

However, as Bonds has removed himself from the baseball world, and we have seen the public vilification subside, Bonds made the news recently with a move that has caused the greatest of Bonds haters take a step back to commend the star-crossed superstar.

Brian Stow, a single parents, and a San Francisco Giants fan, that was viciously beaten at Dodger Stadium because of his fan allegiance, will now have his children’s college education paid for by Barry Bonds.

No press conference. No media release. No pounding of the chest that screams look at me.

A simple offer. One that exuberates generosity.

It is the kind of gesture that Bonds’ haters cringe at, while hesitantly tipping their cap in appreciation. While the Bryan Stow story sheds light on how idiotic (and senseless) fans can be over sport rivalries, it has also shown us how powerful media and societal influence can shape our thoughts on a human being.

Is Barry Bonds a terrible guy? Who knows?

Offering to pay for the full college education of Bryan Stow’s children – well, there is a statement that is legit, and deserves an asterisk of – outstanding.

Sometimes, the person we think we see, isn’t the real person at all. And sometimes, they are.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Toy Story 3 (2010)

DPMovieReviewToyStory3 What is it about?

After being mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of Andy’s attic, the toys struggle to not only escape the center, but in finding a future and closing the chapter on their past with Andy.

Who is in it?

Tom Hanks – Woody
Tim Allen – Buzz Lightyear

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Does 26 Mean?

How do you celebrate 26? How do you celebrate such an odd (odd!) year? It is not a milestone like 25. It is not significant the way 18 and 21 are. And it is not representative of any type of confirmed maturity. It is 26.

Last year, 25 had a lot of meaning. It was the silver birthday. A round twenty five. A year where the “mid-twenties” is used to describe me, and not the irresponsible sounding “early-twenties”. Heck, it is the age where yes, (Beware free advertising), I finally began to save money on my car insurance!

Not to mention, 25 marked a time where not only did I earn my Masters degree, but became engaged to my lovely tag-team partner.

25 is easy to remember. 25 will always standout.

So on a day like yesterday where yours truly celebrated 26 years of running this race called life, there was a steady hesitancy on my part on not only how to celebrate, but how to reflect and seek exactly what 26 meant to me.

So, what exactly does 26 mean?

The easy answer would simply be, it marks one year since everything happened when I turned 25 (New Beginnings).

A cheap, cop-out reason.

However, as the day went on, normal as any other day – work, work, and oh yeah, work – the ride home allowed me to slowly materialize what 26 means. On a May 25th, where figuring out how to celebrate me was the last thing in my conscious, my mind continued to comeback from this search of “26” to thoughts forced upon by the countless articles and pictures of the tornado ravaged area of Joplin, Missouri. After returning home, and relaxing with my tag team partner on the same front porch where I punched the keys about a “New Beginning” just a year ago, it dawned on me what 26 is really about – life.  DP26Mean

While it was just another day like any other hump day-Wednesday, 26 is about moments like hanging with my future wife, hugging my mother, and slapping high fives with my father. It’s about reading Facebook messages from people who I thought had long forgotten with simple messages of  “I miss you” or other personalized messages on your wall. It’s about looking at the relationships you’ve made in this race, the ones no longer active, those that are always there, and the ones you now have that you never thought would develop as such. 26 is about slowing it down, and living in the moment. 

As my tag team partner’s father (future father-in law and amazingly wise) stated to me in an E-mail today, “enjoy the journey”.

Because, as many, many tragedies in 2011 have taught us – most recently Joplin, Missouri – life changes very fast.

And life will change.

Turning 26, is just another change.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pondering Picture #6

DPPicture6
A solid birthday at the office.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Expendables (2010)

DPMovieReviewExpendebles What is it about?

A team of banded mercenaries head to South America in attempt to overthrow an evil dictator.

Who is in it?

Sylvester Stallone – Barney Ross

Jason Statham – Lee Christmas

Jet Li – Yin Yang

Dolph Lundgren – Gunner Jensen

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dome Pondering Import - “Macho Man” Randy Savage Promos

With the recent passing of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, yours truly has been reflecting on the talent that Savage was. An amazing talent, really. With that said, one of my favorite aspects of Savage’s talents was his ability to cut a promo. His promos, which were original, bordered on crazy, intellectual, dramatic, and intense. His abilities on the mic were unmatched, and his style will always be forever be unique. In my post reflecting on Savage’s career (Remembering The Madness), yours truly wrapped up Savage’s career as, “simply entertaining”. The following promos are two of the many that define Savage’s ability to entertain on the mic: 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Remembering The Madness

This seems to be a post that I wrote too often recently. With the shocking news of “The Macho Ma” Randy Savage’s sudden death, the wrestling world once again is mourning of another one of its own, gone too soon. I’ll attempt to refrain from getting into the saddening statistics of wrestlers dying before their 60th birthday over the past 25 years, as well as will not rant about ESPN’s trend of reporting pro wrestling news when it is negative. Instead, I want to focus on Savage, his career, his place now in this business, and how I will remember him.


I first heard about the news from a text my tag team partner sent me today. The transcript went as follows:
My tag team partner: Sad day for wrestling fans…you see the news?
Me: No What?
Me: Wow. My heart just sank…ugh.
My tag team partner: I know. I saw the news and thought of you.
Savage has always been one of my favorites growing up as a pro wrestling fan. In fact, one of the stories my lovely tag team partner rolls her eyes and laughs at (and probably wonders how crazy I was as a child), is of my 5th grade graduation. The Macho Man’s entrance theme was that of “pomp and circumstance”, otherwise known as the graduation song. Well, as a mere young lad walking across the stage, yours truly had the audacity to mimic Savage on front of an entire auditorium. 

Yeah, I know…

However, during an age where Hulkamania ran wild, yours truly had favorites in Bret “Hitman” Hart, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, and Savage. While Hogan’s place in pro wrestling history is now accurately defined as “Babe Ruth of wrestling” and “the biggest box office draw” in the business, it was guys like Savage, Hart, Hennig, Steamboat, Flair, and many, many, others that stole the show on a nightly basis. In fact I’ve always believed, Savage’s career has always been viewed with a skew because he always played second fiddle to Hogan during this era. 

Savage, a superb athlete, played minor league baseball before bringing his energetic and charismatic abilities to the pro wrestling world. Savage in my eyes, is one of those rare wrestlers that have the complete package. He had it all – the in ring ability, charisma, showmanship, and that intangible mind for pro wrestling. Let’s not forget, Savage was one of the few wrestlers that transcended pro wrestling into pop culture. He was (and still is) a household name. 

And I’ll probably be bashed by the pro wrestling purists out there, but the guy was flat out entertaining.
In my eyes, top 10 of all-time. 

In an age where it seems managers are a lost art, and many of the legends in pro wrestling always seem to exit on bad terms, its a shame some of them aren’t hired to not only mentor, but pass on and coach some of the younger talent today. 

Savage was a prime candidate for this. 

An even bigger shame, is Savage not being entered into the WWE Hall of Fame due to a falling out with the company and Vince McMahon. How Koko. B. Ware is entered into the HOF before Savage will always be a mystery.

Nonetheless, another pro wrestling great is gone. And another part of my childhood goes with it.

I will always remember Savage as what he is, one of the pioneers of evolving pro wrestling into the mainstream – one of the best to ever lace up a set of boots

I’ll never forget the madness

Ohhh yeah, dig it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Unity Road Writings – Los Capitanos

DPCaptinanos 129 days to go.

After months, days, and hours of thinking, deliberating, and even calling a few last-minute audible, I have finally made a decision on my best man, or shall I say, best men. From what I have heard from many people, this decision is one of the easiest in putting together a wedding. However, for me,  it has been a lot more difficult in comparison because I’ve never had one-true-best friend. I’ve never had that guy. I’ve never had that Paul to my Kevin Arnold. Over the years I’ve always had a few guys that I’ve grown with, changed with, and experienced this race called life with. Therefore, making a sole decision on who would be the guy, often seemed like a big decision, and in all honesty, an unfair one as well.

Nonetheless, a decision has been made. I’ve decided to go with three best men (with an almost fourth that declined) for 9.24.11.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Unity Road Writings – Picture Perfect

131 days to go.

This past weekend the tag team partner and I headed up to Syracuse, site of 9.24.11, for a four day weekend packed with several tasks for the wedding. Such tasks consisted of meeting with the Deacon of the church where the wedding will take place, and finally taking some engagement photos, which is a huge deal to my super creative and artsy tag team partner.

On a Friday afternoon, we began the tasks by meeting with the Deacon who had us fill out some minor paper work. All, which seemed standard included the usual information of name, address, and phone number that any form would entail. Following the competition of the papers, we discussed the various options for readings, progressions, and possibilities for the ceremony. After much of the informational discussion, the Deacon presented us with a test that we should take that is pretty much a compatibility test. Both of us answered a few questions via scantron and a number two pencil, which was awesome. Yeah, I know, I’m a big nerd. Nonetheless, our answers will not only compared between us, but compared to some big shot psychologist that apparently knows what perfect love should look like.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

All Grown Up

Out in the open

Are all the secrets once hid,

Innocence no longer protecting,

All the things never known you did.

 

The person I thought you were,

And all the “times” we shared,

Now seems like a footnoted blur,

And I question whether you really cared.

 

I’m no longer a little boy,

And my loyalty is no longer blind,

Truth can no longer be coy,

For it is what I intend to find.

 

So quit thinking of you,

Quit covering up,

Quit doing what you do,

And just give it to me straight up.

 

I’m all grown up, I’m all grown up

 

Because of my age,

I’ve been exposed to the real you

Nothing left to gauge,

Nothing left to review

 

I now see the real you,

Unsure if it is a sight I can bear

I wonder if know you are exposed too,

I wonder, where do we go from here

 

I’m all grown up, I’m all grown up

Monday, May 09, 2011

Pondering Picture #5

DPPicture5
On a Monday morning, I realized, the Nets move to Brooklyn is underway, and (very) real.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead.

D{BinLadenCNNHeadline 
It’s five words that caught me by surprise as I washed dishes after dinner on a late Sunday night. Five words that caused a sense of shock, a sense of relief, and a sense of eagerness to find out more. Was it true? Was it really him? How did he die? Did U.S. forces kill him? Many questions flooded the thought process emotions ran wild, speculation rampant, and feelings that were tied up in a hardened knot, unraveled as confirmations came in through the television. 

Almost twenty four hours after hearing President Obama deliver the message that Osama Bin Laden is dead, the feeling is still surreal. With patriotism running throughout this nation, and a somewhat odd and eerie feeling of closure, the day felt like a celebration. A celebration of justice. A celebration of freedom. A celebration of democracy. A celebration of patriotism. A celebration of globalism. A celebration of conquering evil.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

2011 Bucket List - #45 Join A Sports League

Following four years of playing college baseball, one would think that staying active and involved with sports would come naturally and very easy. However, never considered are the new responsibilities, expectations, and changes that life would bring following college. For your truly, this was indeed the case as playing sports, an hobby that consumed me growing up, now seems like an appointment and process to participate.

Following college, new responsibilities of a job and the effects of torn ligaments in my foot forced me to be idle for several months. With the healing of my damaged foot also came a sluggish and slothful lifestyle, and of course, much needed weight gain. 

However, 2010 was a year that yours truly decided to – and did – get back into shape. Along with that, I decided to finally start playing sports the way I used to. A pursuit to regain the past, and bring it to the future, if at all possible. 

If father time allowed me. 

And hopefully, if it wasn’t too late.