Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 Royal Rumble Review: Surprised, and Surprised

Courtest: WWE.com
Who doesn't love Royal Rumble Sunday? It's easily my second-favorite wrestling event of the year (after Wrestlemania, of course), and as always, it's exciting because of the Royal Rumble match, and really, because it kicks off Wrestlemania season. 

But, you already know this. Regardless, the WWE built a tremendous card for this year's Rumble and did a tremendous job hyping an event that draws and attracts so many casual wrestling fans. 

This year's Royal Rumble was a great show. From start to finish, all of it was fantastic and I really enjoyed the variety and overwhelming talent that currently lies within the WWE. In fact, no one does these mega weekends in entertainment better than the WWE (Yup, not even the NFL and their big weekend coming up). Even, NXT on Saturday night provided another element that we've gotten used to

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/29/17

3 Up 

1. Serena Williams and Roger Federer - After another Australian Open win, it's now time we start saying the word "greatest" whenever we discuss Serena Williams. One of my favorite athletes, Williams, really is just that, one of the best athletes - ever. And of course, across on the men's side, there is Roger Federer who found himself holding hardware once again. 

2. ACLU Lawyers - Whoever these lawyers are, kudos to the work they did Saturday night in attempting to get the detainees at JFK released. My opinion on the immigration ban is that it's VERY un-American, and quite frankly, an example of the twisted definition of "patriotism" and who that belongs to, in this country. 

3. WWE Royal Rumble - One of my favorite events of the year, the Royal Rumble once again did not disappoint. And of course, John Cena vs. AJ Styles is worth an "Up" in itself. 


3 Down

1. Immigration Ban - Look, this is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that we live in times where our country is blatantly singling out people and country, and refusing them access based on who they are. 

2. Emmett Till Lie - Unfortunately, because of the immigration ban, the news of a woman who admitted about lying about the Emmett Till case went unnoticed. This woman lied, and caused Till to be kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and killed. Such a shame. Such a damn shame. 

3. Facebook Political Posts - Obviously, in this intense political climate, everyone has an opinion and a story to tell. But you just have to love those who become enraged with the posts of others, then posts a political post of their own. Come on folks, social media is a public space. If you can't take the garbage that comes with it (and there is a lot of it), you're best staying off of it. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Making Sense of This

It seems like everyday there is something new. And depending on which circle of beliefs, or what "America" you live or believe is just, the last few days have been an absolute whirlwind. Again, that could be for the good, or the bad - that is clearly up to you. 

For me, I find myself having plenty of conversations with students and colleagues - and often asked about my opinion on the current political climate. Truthfully, I am not exactly at the point of exasperation, anger, and overall burnout as I was in 2016, but in a severe state of incredulousness. 

Currently, everyone has an opinion, every is passionate, everyone is fiery, and with that comes the incredible amount of fake news, untruths, misguided comments, "alternative facts", and an overwhelming realization of the vast emptiness where empathy ought to be. 

If you read this blog, it's pretty evident where my opinions and core passions lay. Yet, I am currently trying to remove myself from the process, from the constant evolution, and yes, even from the repeated resistance of the current societal climate,  in order to examine what exactly is happening, and why. It's a pretty tough task. Really, for me, it's surreal. How did we get here? Where are we going? How does this affect so many various issues? And of course, who does this affect?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pondering Picture #76


When you're working on social justice theory and research, and the power of change and resistance is in true form just outside your window.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/22/17

3 Up

1. Worldwide Women's March - This was really cool. Not only were the marches on Washington, but they spread throughout the country and even overseas. These are issues for all, and it's good to see people use that power to make their point and to be change they would like to see. 

2. Teacher Educating Children Under Bridge - I loved everything about this story. The idea of underprivileged children being taught is heartwarming. It's even more surreal when you view the pictures. 

3. President Trump's Speech - Look, giving props to the current President doesn't seem to be en vogue right now. However, I'm going to give the guy some credit for his inauguration speech, which I felt was his best speech yet. 

3 Down

1. "Alternative Facts" - My goodness, the world has gone mad when it comes to information, truth, and the dispensary of it all. "Alternative facts" is a ridiculous term, and yes, even more so is the moronic debate over attendance at the inauguration. Who cares?! And that's for both - and all - sides of the political spectrum. 

2. Yordana Ventura and Andy Marte - Such a tragic loss for the game of baseball. Months since the loss of Jose Fernandez, the game loses the young star, Ventura, and a grizzled veteran in Marte on the same day to car accidents. 

3. Westbrook Snub - NBA All-Star voting has always been the worse. Maybe the Russians have been hacking them for years? Kidding. But seriously, how does any respecting fan not vote for Westbrook over Curry? How can you average a triple-double and NOT be elected to the game? 

1 Idiot

1. Madonna - Her remarks about the White House were idiotic. I'm all for protests, but that comment was just stupid. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Mood - SMH


It's rare that I use a GIF to accurately describe how I'm feeling, or as the kids say, "mood right now", but that's exactly what I had to do this weekend. Just check the Twitter feed. Of course, after much of the hyper-politicized atmosphere that was 2016 began to mellow as the calendar turned, all of it erupted once again this weekend when Donald J. Trump officially became the 45th President of the United States. 

Now, if you're expecting a verbal backlash, or some rant on President Trump, I'm sorry, this post won't be that. I've already been there, moved on, and am attempting to not start this calendar year with the political unrest and rage that I carried in 2016. Or at least, maybe, I'm saving it for when the time calls for it. 

My issues with Trump are short and sweet, but effective - I have a deep passion for social justice and educational equality. If you're a longtime follower of this little blog, or if you know me personally, and you know my past, you are well aware of my passion for those two topics, and why they exist. Both are very big reasons I do not find solace in Trump as the leader of our country.

And I'll leave the appointing of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary as is. It annoys (and insults) me tremendously as an advocate for educational equality and as a higher learning professional. Also as stated, I'm trying to chill out coming off of 2016.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thoughts on the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot


Another year, another Hall of Fame class decided, and as always, there are all sorts of eyebrow raising shenanigans going on with it. Of course, this is all my point of view, the way everyone else has an opinion and viewpoint whenever these results are revealed in January. 

First, let me say congrats to Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez. All of them are tremendous players, none carries any doubt of their legitimacy for the Hall of Fame. Just tremendous ball players who deserve the day they have coming to them in Cooperstown in July. I'm actually super stoked for Raines, who was such a complete player.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stuck with Melo, For Better or For Worse


Haven't we been here before? The Knicks on a losing binge. Some ridiculous scandal or scenario that only happens to the Knicks occurs (see: Derrick Rose). Not even a whisper from Phil Jackson and/or management about the losing or said wack scenario. Carmelo Anthony looking like an overrated superstar. And as always, Knick fans growing frustrated with everything that is Knicks fandom. 

Yup, I'm there with you all. 

Of course, as each year goes by, the contentious argument that is Melo's tenure as a Knickerbocker ensues, with the latest being that Phil Jackson is not too fond of Melo's game, perhaps even wanting to find a way to get rid of him. 

And as expected, they met, and Carmelo Anthony reassured us all that he still wants to be a Knick. Wash. Rinse. Cycle. Repeat. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/15/17

3 Up

1. Obama Farewell - It was an absolutely well done speech by the President. The open gathering in Chicago was a nice touch, and as always, he delivered with an awesome speech. The closing line of "Yes we can, Yes we did" was the kind of line every debater or speech-giver gives dreams of. Again, well done by the President. 

2. Paul Ryan Town Hall - So much props to Speaker Ryan for his open town hall on CNN this week. Ryan received some very heavy questions from the audience, especially some that pinned him into distancing himself from President-elect Trump on specific issues. He handled himself gracefully, honestly, at times, humorously, and also, provided a new side which everyone can respect, despitedyour political affiliation or stance. 

3. "Diversity" Coin - OK, so it's not going to change race relations in America, but featuring lady liberty as a black woman is a nice beginning to a series of coins to present our our country's diversity. Now, if we can just get rid of awful human beings like Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. Just saying...

3 Down

1. Derrick Rose - This dude is the worst. He walks out on his team, and then has the nerve to come back and criticize his coach. And yeah, he's looking for a max deal this summer. Ugh.

2. Fox News - Not playing sides here - I know how some get with their CNN/MCNBC/Fox News preferences. Regardless, flipping over to Fox News to hear Sean Hannity and a few others rip Obama for not mentioning Chicago's murder rate in his farewell speech was rather dumb, and downright reaching. I understand the station's political stance, but the continued politicizing of Chicago, and the constant reaching to drive negative content was poor. Especially, in this moment. 

3. Ringling Bros Closure - After 146 years, the Ringling Bros are closing business. It's unfortunate, but the times are changing, and this staple is closing up its touring forever. So sad. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Jason Bourne (2016)

What is it about? 

After going into hiding, Agent Bourne is drawn out of hiding to discover more about his past. 

Who is in it? 

Matt Damon - Jason Bourne

Tommy Lee Jones - CIA Director Robert Dewey

Alicia Vikander - Heather Lee

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gonna Miss Obama


Watching President Obama's farewell speech brought so many emotions and feelings to the forefront. Like everyone who supported the 44th POTUS, the evolution of his Presidency can be traced parallel to our own lives. Where we were when he won the Presidency, how we felt, and of course, what it means in the grand spectrum of our beings, and in our world. 

The latter I wont even attempt to tackle. It's too deep and too extensive to capture on this blog. Ta-Nahesi Coates did a tremendous job doing so in his piece, "My President is Black". Definitely give it a read if you can. Very much worth your time. 

As for where we were and how we felt, of course, that depends on you. For me, I can share with you that much of my adult growth and progress has been in an America lead by Barack Obama. I was 23 when he was elected, and I write this as a 31 year old man excited that I can one day tell a potential son, with honest fervor, despite the color of his skin and the burden that comes with said brown skin in this country, that he can be President. Many still do not understand the power in that access and truth. But such is life. Such is our road to overall empathy and racial understanding. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/8/17

3 Up

1. Happy New Year - Good riddance, 2016. I wish all of you the best for 2017! 

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo - The Greek Freak is an absolute pleasure to watch. His name evokes just that - freak! I had an opportunity to watch the improvements of Antetokounmpo this week as he took on my New York Knicks, and of course, he gave them the business. That kid is going to be special to watch over the next few years. 

3. Tracee Ellis Ross - I don't really care for the Golden Globes. Sorry, I just don't. However, in reading about Ross' speech on the underepresentation of specific subgroups in Hollywood was very admirable. 


3 Down

1. Istanbul New Year Attack - Awful. Absolutely ridiculous. 

2. Ft. Lauderdale Shooting - Another sad story within the first week of 2017. And of course, it sheds light on the rules and policies of gun carry rules on flights. 

3. Russian Hacking of Election - Look, evidence and reports are moving closer and closer to confirming this happened. I don't care what your political affiliation is, this stinks. The idea that there was foreign influence in OUR elections is troubling to say the least. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Before We Go (2014)

What is it about? 

After a woman misses her train and is stranded in New York City, she meets a musician playing in Grand Central which sparks a night of randomness that forces them both to confront their fears. 

Who is in it? 

Chris Evans - Nick

Alice Eve - Brooke

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Would You Rather: Questions 61-70

61. Would you rather celebrate your birthday or Christmas?

This one is tough. I'm not one to make a big deal over my birthday, nor have I enjoyed Christmas day, you know, with all the spirit and stuff, for almost a decade now. Experiences will do that. However, in a perfect world, I would love to recapture that Christmas magic. So I am going to go with Jesus' Birthday. Maybe someday, that will return for me. 

62. Would you rather say everything on your mind, or never say anything again?

I have a blog, so easily, it's everything on my mind. It doesn't have to be verbal. But not saying anything, at least to me, I find annoying. I like hearing and reading the opinions from others. Unless of course, they are just outrageous. 

63. Would you rather be able to make people fart on command, or have flashlight hands?

Call me crazy, but the "make people fart" option is insanely hilarious to me. Yes, I'm very juvenile. I'm going with that. After all, flashlight hands? Come on, there is an app for that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Girl in the Book (2015)

What is it about? 

An aspiring writer must deal with her past and overcoming "Wakening Eyes" in order to help her overcome the demons of her present, all while, freeing her from writers block to pursue her dream. 

Who is in it? 

Emily VanCamp - Alice Harvey

Ana Mulvoy-Ten - Young Alice

Michael Nyqvist - Milan

Monday, January 02, 2017

Dome Pondering Movie Review: White Girl (2016)

What is it about? 

After a night of partying, a sophomore girl falls hard for a guy she just met in an ungentrified part of New York City, which leads to an array of issues as she attempts to get him back. 

Who is in it? 

Morgan Saylor - Leah

Brian Marc - Blue

Justin Bartha - Kelly