Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dome Pondering - 2016 Year in Review


Man, was 2016 rough, or what? This year continuously kicked the you-know-what out of all of us in various ways, regardless of your opinion or beliefs on various topics. 2016 was a year that was insanely politicized and filled with death, loss, injustice, and overall, difficulty. As you can imagine, I am not completely sad to see 2016 go.

Nonetheless, it's my favorite time of the year, and of course, this is my favorite - and biggest - post of the year - The Dome Pondering Year in Review (Year in Review History)! As always, we're going to hand out some year-end Pondy awards, and wrap this year up with some personal reflection and thoughts.

Before jumping into yearly tradition, I would like to thank all of you for your constant support of this tiny slice of the internet where I share my thoughts and punch the keys on various topics. I continue to be amazed at your readership, your feedback over on Twitter (@DomePondering), and your support in the continued progress of Dome Pondering.

With all of that said, let's hand out some Pondys, yo!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Pondering 10 - Most Fascinating Things of 2016

So, I've decided to make this an annual "Pondering 10" post. As you can tell, I'm big on reflection and history, and this post allows me to present a different style that I don't get to cover in my biggest - and most favorite - post of the year, the DP Year in Review. Which if you're new to this little blog, is coming soon! Be sure to check it out. Until then, check out the posts from the past. 

With that said, 2016 has been awfully, draining, with some interesting things happening. But yeah, it's been mostly draining. Regardless, here are the ten things I found most fascinating in 2016. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Would You Rather: Questions 51-60

51. Would you rather get rid of all the bad drivers on the road, or never have to wait in line at stores and restaurants? 

I live in New York City, so fewer bad drivers, the better. I'm not all that concerned about having to wait in line at stores and restaurants. Quite frankly, I shop a ton online, and I frequent many mom and pop restaurants here in the city that I am pretty familiar when they are available. Oh, and I take advantage of making reservations. 

52. Would you rather be a ninja, or a pirate?

If it's a Pittsburgh Pirate, then sure, sign me up. If it's the Jack Sparrow version, then nah, I'll pass. Being a ninja is wayyyyy cooler. 

Pondering Picture #75


They still do.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/18/16

3 Up 

1. Craig Sager - We unfortunately lost Craig Sager this week, but really, his death and the way he has been celebrated around the NBA is a reminder that you should indeed live life to the fullest. Yo know, the way Sager did. 

2. Ta-Nehesi Coates - I'm a HUGE fan of Coates' work. Of course, this week his latest article for The Atlantic went live, and as always, it's awesome. Titled, "My President Was Black", Coates dives into the Presidency of Obama in a different way from a different perspective, only one Coates can offer. I'm 3/5 complete, but the article has been tremendous thus far. Be sure to check it out. 

3. Sasha Banks and Charlotte - It's come to the point where I expect big things from these two, and after tonight's first-ever Ironman (or Woman) match, that expectation remains. These two were amazing in their 30-minute-plus match, telling a wonderful story in closing an epic feud for 2016. It's safe to say, Charlotte will wind up winning the DP Female Wrestler of the year. 

3 Down

1. Kanye West - So after going crazy, Kanye now meets with Trump, and it's headline news. Kanye and Trump? Yup, I'm not sure what it is, but that's bad. If politics and possible positions were discussed, then this is really, really bad. 

2. "Celebrity" Couples - I never seek this stuff out, but when it hits the headlines of websites and publications I read, I get annoyed. I don't care about Rob Kardashian (whoever that is) or the relationship status of the Flip or Flop hosts. I wish everyone well in love. Why, oh why, do we as a society care so much about C and D-level celebs? 

3. Boxing - So yeah, the video of Bernard Hopkins falling out of the ring is indeed kind of cool. But you know what isn't, having an over-the-hill legend of your sport doing so, when he shouldn't even be in the ring. It just goes to show you the state boxing is in. The sport is stil one that people who invest their time into, it's horrifically mismanaged.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Keep the Broken Brilliance


I would really love to sit in on the creative meetings that spur and generate the things like "Final Deletion", "The Great War", and of course, this week's, "Total Nonstop Deletion". After all, much like the first two, this two hour spectacle, a new format to the broken spectacle, produced the same feeling for me - what did I just watch? 

And that's not a negative remark, because I did continue to watch, and continued to watch intently, with intrigue, a slight slice of disgust, a dash of embarrassment, wrapped up in an overwhelming feeling of being entertained. This damn broken world can really has that kind of effect on you! Let's be real, I've been watching wrestling for almost thirty years now, and I throughly dig the lake of reincarnation! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

4 Your Eyes Only, Completely Raw and Amazing


In a 2016 where social justice and matters of social concern surrounds us, J.Cole's latest album is one that I thoroughly looked forward to. After Friday Night Lights, Born Sinner, and 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J.Cole's return seem anticipated by many fans of hip-hop. After listening to it for several days, I feel like I finally have a grasp on it to share. 

After all, I will tell you, and everyone else I've discussed the album with - it's not for everyone. Don't expect an album with bass-booming beats, hot one-line lyrics that are counter-culture and socially woke, but do expect an honest and raw - yes, oh so completely raw! - emotionally filled album about life, love, and loss. 

So yes, that's not everyone's cup of tea. I get it. But for me, I like love meaning and depth in my hip hop. It's why I find fewer and fewer artists that I can relate to in today's game. Cole's ability to set a narrative for the album in which he is telling a story similar to his life, yet, also speaking from the perspective of his friend who passed away, is the kind of "genius" I believe get's overlooked in today's musical realm.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Money Monster (2016)

What is it about? 

A financial analysis television show is taken hostage by an everyday-worker who helps to expose the hypocrisy and unethical behavior on Wall Street, and how this is magnified in other indirect ways. 

Who is in it? 

George Clooney - Lee Gates

Julia Roberts - Patty Fenn

Jack O'Connell - Kyle Budwell

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/11/16

3 Up

1. MLS Cup 2016 - Wow! What a thrilling game to cap off a very interesting season for the Seattle Sounders. As I stated in a post yesterday, the MLS is quickly replacing the NFL for me - again, just me. 

1a. Stefan Frei - Yo, that save was absolutely insane! Please Google that game-saving save. Tremendous. 

2. Klay Thompson - 60 points. 29 minutes. 90 seconds of possession. Those are stats that I still cannot wrap my mind around, but it happened. Klay Thompson pulled it off, and quite frankly, with that Golden State Warriors team, anyone of them can have a night like that. So scary. 

3. 4 Your Eyez Only - Now I haven't posted my review of J. Cole's new album yet, as I'm still attempting to let it settle as far as my final feelings on it. But I will say, it's good, and quite frankly, it's one of those rare rap albums that will make you think.

3 Down

1. Walter Scott Mistrial - I'm just being honest, I have listened to some of the jurors give their opinions and I just can't find it in me to give any of them the benefit of the doubt. Of all the recent shootings of young black men by police officers that have occurred over the past two years, this was the one in which I had ZERO doubts about. Now, I'm not even sure what to believe. 

2. Russian Influence on Election - I don't even know if this latest story has legs, or whatever political move it is, but if the Russians had influence on the election, I'm angry. How does that happen?! And if they didn't, I'm annoyed - just let the election go and stop wasting everyone's time. Regardless of your candidate, we have some pretty important years coming up. Either way, this needs to go away. 

3. Polar Vortex - I can't really explain what it is (and I'm sure many others can't either), but I do know it brings cold. Like some serious cold weather. I'm not down with that. Go away. Is it summer yet? 

2016 MLS Cup = More MLS, Please!


There are some who refuse to acknowledge the growing soccer trend in this country, or even the beauty of the game as a whole. However, after watching MLS Cup 2016, how can you not? What a game?!

Was it perfect? Absolutely not. In some aspects, I'm not a fan of PK's settling a winner and declaring a champion, but hey, whatevs. That's soccer. That's futbol. 

Yet, in a year in which sports has given us the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Cubs, it's only right that the Seattle Sounders finally - FINALLY - break through and win their first cup. After all, for years, they've been excellent, and have been one of the league's premiere franchises. 

The Sounders have consistently been a prime example of attendance excellence, topping 40,000+ per game. They've had the same club manager Sigi Schmid for years. And of course, they've had Mr. USA, Clint Dempsey on their squad. But year after year, they've always fallen short of the MLS Cup.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Okay With Chapman


I have to say, the sticker price has me in shock. As someone who loved Mariano Rivera (still my favorite athlete of all-time), I am having a hard time imagining a closer in pinstripes making $17M per year that isn't, you know, Mariano Rivera! But as the saying goes, "that's baseball, Suzyn". And that's baseball, especially in today's market. 

Yes, I really did like Andrew Miller more than Chapman. I actually, really, really, really liked Miller! Still do. But, here we are. Needing a closer. And Chapman fits the bill without us losing a draft pick. 

Am I concerned? Of course. Anytime your team commits to any star long term, there is that trepidation. Five years is a long time for a reliever, and the last time a reliever got that, it didn't go so well (Remember B.J. Ryan and the Blue Jays?). 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/4/16

3 Up

1. Alan Horujko - Kudos to officer Horujko who reacted quickly and effectively and was able to take down the Ohio State active shooter. Such a crazy world we live in. Who knows what kind of horror could have been if not for his heroism?

2. Trevor Noah - I'm not a fan of Tomi Lahren. I know she has plenty of followers for her viewpoints, but some of her comments are just downright imflammatory. I believe she knows this, and like many, plays off of the fears and anger of many. Regardless, I commend her for doing the Trevor Noah interview. And of course, much props to Noah who handled it fairly, yet, really stuck it to Lahren who was unable to answer a few poignant questions - more on this below. Noah was absolutely fantastic in this interview, and really made me into a fan of his. 

3. Russell Westbrook - Anyone else in the world of sports more locked in than this dude? Holy triple doubles, Batman!

3 Down

1. Ohio State Shooting - An obvious one here. I'm so sick of mass shootings. I'm so burned out on this plaguing occurrence in our society. 

2. "Black Protest" Question - Trevor Noah's question to Tomi Lahren of "how is a black man supposed to protest in this country?" really peaked my interest. Because really, "how" is a damned good question considering the backlash of various stances recently. Of course, Lahren dodged the question. Ugh. 

3. Trump's China Tweet - Forget the SNL Tweet, which I just chalk up as Trump being Trump. But calling out China over Twitter. Like, seriously? Really? The next four years really are going to be interesting. 

Saturday, December 03, 2016

ROH Final Battle 2016 - Count Me In Again!


I'll admit, I haven't watched much ROH over the past year. I'm not quite sure if I wasn't interested in the product, or if it's the fact I was spoiled in having their programming offered in the New York City area, then pulled away when Destination America decided to be render itself obsolete (OBSOLETE!) once again after hosting a pretty interesting wrestling lineup. Truth be told, I forgot Destination America even existed until that previous thought. 

Nonetheless, Final Battle has always been a great show for ROH, and upon reading some good reviews, I decided to check out the show and jump back into the product. I'm pretty glad I did as not only did I enjoy it, but I truly am invested in the ROH product again.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Doing 'Cruiserweight' Right This Time


It's odd to use the term "cruiserweight" once again, but hey, the 90's are cool again, right? Or, maybe, just maybe, it's Vince McMahon's continual pursuit for complete and utter pro wrestling dominance? Yup, I'm sure we're both on the same page - the latter reasoning. 

Regardless, why not? After all, the WWE has this amazing Network (it really is fantastic) and it's historic library of pro wrestling's past, and quite frankly, how can they not want fresh content to added to it to drive viewers to use it for more than just the past. I'm a fan of the venture. 

But really, let's be quite frank, despite the slanted storytelling of the Monday Night Wars that is full of the victors rearranging the narrative, cruiserweights, and that style of pro wrestling has been a void that the WWE hasn't captured quite well - ever.