Monday, February 28, 2005

"Audrey, DON'T INTERFERE!!!"--Jack Bauer
By far the best show on TV. I work Mondays, so I miss it, but the miracle of DVR is working for me.
What strikes me this season is the lack of the annoying character ... you know, Kim, Chloe ... there was always someone who you didn't want to watch. But this season, every character, save Driscoll's crazy (an now dead) daughter, is vital and intricate to every plot. I already am planning on picking up season four on DVD.

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Best 24 characters
1. George Mason
2. Jack Bauer
3. Nina Myers
4. Tony Almeda
5. Sherry Palmer
6. David Palmer
7. Victor Drazen

-If I were to cast a movie, Xander Berkeley would be in it somehow. George Mason's performance in season II even tops the always superb Keifer Sutherland. I haven't seen in much since George Mason was killed off on 24, and that's a shame.

By the time
... Maurice Clarett gets drafted, Mike Piazza will have sympathy for him.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Day 365
Tomorrow (March 1) will mark the one year anniversary of the Vitamin Z, which proved, among other things, that I was a conservative sports fan music and film and pop culture freak.
A full year of posts, a full year of words. It's kind of cool, for both me, and the seven family members (and Nihar and Vivek and Aaron and Phil) who read this site.

Song quote of the day
Call out the instigators, because there's something in the air
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right
And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together now--Thunderclap Newman

The Oscars
Chris Rock bashes Bush one minute, then thanks the troops for "fighting for freedom". There wouldn't be freedom in two countries, and wouldn't be reform in Egypt right now, without George W. Bush.
I still love Chris Rock, though.

Halle Berry is beautiful
Renee Zellweger needs a sandwich. I liked her better when she was normal looking. Lowell Mather was nominated for an Oscar? I bet he won't win. Here it comes and ... Morgan Freeman wins best supporting actor. He's great, but I was pulling for Thomas Haden Church, just based on being an old Wings fan.
Thomas looked like he couldn't believe he was there. He also took the loss to Freeman like he knew it was coming

I would pay to see Williams, one of the funniest people alive, host the Oscars. But he won't, because he would offend EVERYONE. He's hilarious tonight, as he usually is. No commentary for best animation, since I just don't care. The Incredibles win. Curtis A. said it was funny.

The award should go to whoever makes Harrison Ford look middle aged. They didn't get it. They weren't even nominated. A true crime.

She's at the Oscars? Why? Was Tiffany Theissen not available? Here's Beyonce. I saw her get punk'd last night on MTV. Somehow I bet that will be more entertaining than the song she is singing. If there was ever a time to be happy for DVR, this is it, as I FFWD right through it, thanks to missing the first five minutes and going back to check out Church's reaction to losing.

Chris Rock is doing an amazing skit about regular people not seeing the nominated movies. Martin Lawrence might have just had the line of the night. Most young people probably have no idea that Albert Brooks is anything other than a "normal person."


Sci-tech awards? I rewind an re-watch the Rock sketch.

Pierce Brosnan
He sounds like he's been screaming at a wrestling tournament all weekend. A lame segment, messed up anyway because James Bond was coughing through the whole thing.

"When he's not amazing us with his performances, he's boring us to death with his politics."--Chris Rock, on Robbins, who IS a great actor.

Best supporting Actress
Kate Blanchett wins. I think she's a terrific actress, although I have seen practically none of her movies, other than The Gift. I think Curtis A. saw The Aviator and liked it.

OK, time for a break from this ...

And We're Back
So that's what Jeremy Irons looks like. His joke about movies being too long is well-taken. I went to see Meet the Fockers last night, and it just kept GOING. Cinemetogrophers get recognized, and I recognize my fast forwarding. Although lets see if Passion wins ... No.

Penelope Cruz and Salma Heyak
I love you two. OK, FFWD time.

Antonio Bandaras Singing
Oh, THIS ought to be good. I'm not sure if he's a better singer than an actor, and that's not a compliment in either case.

Natalie Portman Presents
"And I applaud them ..." I am sure they are grateful. And do actresses just look for ways to show cleavage in an almost dirty way? What's wrong with a normal dress?

Another Rock line
"Oprah Winfrey is here. She's so rich that I saw John Kerry proposing to her an hour ago."
See, I told you I like Rock. This makes up for the Bush bashing earlier on. Congrats to Chris for bi-partisan bashing.

... still rules.

The best living American director looks like Harry Carey with those black rims. I love just about every Scorsese film I have seen.

Remembering the past
Marlon Brando gets more applause than Ronald Reagan. My biggest problem with the memoriam is the applause, because only "known" actors get lots of applause. Does it matter now that they're gone? Why can't there be no applause, and no distinction between people in death?
Still, Hollywood DID applaud for Reagan, so that's something.

Combs is at the Oscars. Even he seems to be wondering what he's doing there. Josh Grobin sings, and that's an AUTOMATIC FFWD. And here's Prince. I love Prince, and he looks about as subdued as I have ever seen him.

Who's Jude Law?
For god sake, get a sense of humor Sean Penn. They wonder why Hollywood is out of touch, and it's because they take themselves so seriously. Sean just ends up coming off like an ass, which is not a new thing for him. Hilary Swank wins. She's a good actress.
"I'm just a girl from a trailer park with a dream."
Well, that's a new take on an acceptance speech. I think the speech may still be going on, actually.

"Sean Penn, my accountants would like a word with you." Good, shut the self righteous one up.

Samuel L.
Continues to just ooze cool.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Nick Weber, my long time friend, tells me I would like this movie. As it is, it won for ... something. The guy that won was pretty funny and modest actually.

Best Actor
I hope Jamie Foxx wins. He did. Yes. Ray Charles is smiling somewhere. Nice, classy speech by Foxx.
"I see Oprah, I see Halle, I just want to say your names."
Also a nice moment with him and his daughter and his grandmother.

Best Director
Scorsese doesn't win again. Simply amazing. Eastwood thanks Dick Goddard. HUH? Cleveland's Dick Goddard? Probably not.

Best Picture
Streisand. Oh boy. She and Hoffman. I actually would give Meet the Fockers ** 1/2 stars, in case you're wondering. Once again, Barbara makes it all about her. Just amazing. Clint and Million Dollar Baby win again. Maybe I should see this movie.
Clint is the MAN, by the way. He's not a good actor, but he's the man.
And we're out.

Back at the ranch
It will all be alright once my knees stop aching and I don't here the words "Two, TWO!," in my sleep.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Environmental PC
As I attempted to clear space on my computer this evening, I wanted to locate the trash can, since every computer I have ever known has had a trash can.
After five minutes of an exhaustive search (read "pressing buttons with no reason") I finally discovered that my computer doesn't have a trash can. It has a recycling bin. This is just another reason why I detest the environmentalist movement.

Not that posts have been all that frequent, but for the next three days I will be packing up my computer, guitar and a bundle of nerves and head down the road for the state wrestling tournament. It's my first one, so I am not quite sure what to expect. What you, the reader, can expect of three days of not much activity, unless I somehow find internet access and at the same time not be busy with work.

Suddenly, I realize Becker is on and have to leap up from my chair and stop what I'm doing ... to change the channel.

And Al Davis' love for fan friendly character guys continues. Next month, the Raiders draft Maurice Clarett.

Barry Bonds and the importance of being polite
Once there was a guy named Barry who did some wonderful things on the baseball field. He could hit home runs like no one had seen in a quarter century. He broke records that weren't around long enough for the ink on them to dry.
He was going to pass the record of a man who is seen as much more than a man.
You'd think he'd be the most loved athlete in years. You'd think he'd have endorsements and songs written about him.
Well, no.
Barry Bonds is not a nice man. He's not really photogenic. He's not admired like Mark McGwire, not fawned upon like Sosa. No, he's treated the same way that ... well ... he treats everyone else.
Barry Bonds is Barry Bonds. The truth is, I'd like to believe he's not juiced. I'd like to believe everyone is not juiced.
If there were, or was, no steroid issue, I'd be in Barry Bonds' corner. I like the painful honesty of Barry. I like that he says "I'm a jerk, deal with it," rather than be a pain in the ass all the time except when the cameras are rolling (See Sosa, Sammy, supposedly *)
But it's the steroids.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Song Quote of the Day
The future is no place
to place your better days--Dave Matthews Band

Ah, my latest thing. I just got done watching Gimme Shelter. This is after taking in the six days it required to sit through Woodstock. Everyone talks about the 60s, and the greatness of the period. I was born 11 years after the 60s ended, and I never really "got" them. I assume it's because I didn't live then. Of course, I don't really get the 90s and 80s either.
But the 60s, and the lingo, and the flower-power,and the 500,000 unwashed in upstate New York, well, I don't know. Why would anyone want to go three days without a shower, to sit with the masses to hear bands play out of tune? (Woodstock is very musically disappointing. I understand why,but I guess I thought that given its hype, the music would be, I don't know, decent?)
The thing is, I LOVE the music of the late 60s. I love Janis and Hendrix and The Who. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young produced some of the most moving music I've ever heard.
I guess I understand the civil rights, I understand the fear of Vietnam. What I don't understand is what came with it.
And I really don't understand why Woodstock needed two more versions of itself. Fred Durst is no Ritchie Havens.
I know, this doesn't really make sense, but then neither did the Woodstock era. This is not to knock it. I guess you had to be there, at least in my case.

The Bush Tapes
Is there a real reason these were released? We're not exactly talking the missing eight minutes of Nixon here. George Bush pretty much said what he has said since 2000. So I guess the message here is that he talks the same in private as in public?
Wow, a politician who says what he really thinks. Weird. (OK, my partisan Bush support likely showed in that remark.)

Boy Aisha Tyler has come a long way since being the love triangle between Joey and Ross on Friends. You'd think that by now the evil doers in the world would figure out that instead of trying all these complicated schemes that never seem to work, they should pool all of their money and try to kill Jack Bauer. Though, I am not entirely certain he CAN be killed. He was hit by a car last week, and wasn't even limping in this episode.
I still love the show though.

Zach v. Hockey
Wow. I make one little remark comparing roller derby to the NHL, and my good friends are all over me. For the record, my point was not to compare hockey to Roller Derby, but merely the NHL to Roller Derby.
My point was over exposure and relevance. A league that cancels its season, uncancels it, then recancels it, it really going to have some credibility issues. That's all I was saying.

Bill Maher and the mirror
You know, I am drawn to Maher's show like an insect to light. I know the show is going to tick me off at some point, but I still watch. Maher has annoyed me ever since he was on Comedy Central, but I give him credit. He at least makes me want to pay attention.
This week, he had Tommy Thompson on. Thompson played it smart, just keeping his mouth shut. That's good, because if you dare promote a non-Maher view point, you will be booed, and won't get any words in. Thompson picked his spots well. If it were me, I'd be screaming at Maher for being an arrogant jerk who is not as smart as he believes. Yes, I know, it takes one to know one. Then someone would yell some snappy, nonsensical remark and get cheered by the home crowd.
I do wonder though, why Maher generally stacks the deck in his favor, with two liberals and one conservative.
After all that, I thought this week's show was his best in a long time. It was good conversation between Joe Biden, Robin Williams and Thompson.
For one week, the show showed its potential.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Song quote of the day
I'll send you down the only road I've ever been down--The Verve

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Condoleeza is a Browns fan ...
as if I didn't respect her enough.
Now, onto other things:
The NHL has become the great tease. I am just happy that they have enacted the "Dusty Finish" twice in one week. Virgil Runnels would be so proud. I am also happy, because the latest turn of events sends the NHL to the same secluded place where Roller Derby has been residing for the last 20 years.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Song quote of the day
Even my best friends
Even my best friends
They don't know
I'm searching for the philosophers stone--Van Morrison

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Switch on your electric light
So maybe, just maybe, I jumped the gun on the NHL. I am actually hoping they cancel the season, or go away forever for that matter. Sports is in many ways what I do for a living, but hockey just does not, and will never, interest me.

Monday, February 14, 2005

So the NHL will become the first league to cancel an entire season. Luckily for them, I grew up in Cleveland, which did not have a major league team when I was growing up. As a result, I have never cared about the NHL. In fact, I see the lockout as a positive thing, since it takes up less time on Sports Center and no time for games.
No one can know when the NHL will return, and when it does, what it will look like. But I for one will congratulate the NHL owners for sticking to their guns and showing some backbone, something MLB owners have needed to do for the last two decades.
Yes, I love baseball. But sometimes, with the revenue being what it is, it appears there are only two teams with a chance to win in the American League -- The Yankees and Red Sox.

Mr. Red
Today, Barry Larkin announced his retirement. He also mentioned that he will now be working in the front office of the Washington Nationals. The Reds never made an offer.
Barry Larkin is everything a baseball player should be on the field. He worked hard, led by example and didn't show anyone up. He was also a GREAT player, and should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. For 10 years, he was the best shortstop in the National League, if not baseball.
He played his entire career with Cincinnati. Yet the Reds never called to invite him to their front office. The Reds ought to be ashamed.
This is Cleveland Indians-Andre Thornton all over again, and it's too bad, because Barry belongs with the Reds.
Here's the best baseball writer of all time, Hal McCoy, with more.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Songs that make me think of my Valentine's Day Experiences
1. Evil Woman --ELO
2. I'm a Loser--The Beatles
3. Dweller on the Threshold--Van Morrison
4. Poison-Alice Cooper
5. Lonely Days --The Bee Gees
6. I'm Down-- The Beatles
7. Oh Boy-- Buddy Holly

-Yeah, I am not a Valentines Day GUY, in case you were wondering.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Examining the Truth
Do the fans care?
I can't speak for everyone, but I know at least one that does.
I care. I care because baseball means something to me. I care because my grandfather and I used to talk about Bob Feller and the games he would take in at League Park. I care because my earliest memories include going to Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the strange smells of that old building and the feeling that even though the Indians may have lost 13 in a row, they could win today.
I care because at 10-years old, I sat in awe as Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire hammered two home runs each in the second game of a double header I was at. The Indians lost 12-1, and I thought "Wow, these guys are good," and wished "I" could do that.
I care because I need to know if the players I grew up with, if the conversations I had, meant something.
The conversations about whether Pudge Rodriguez was as good as Johnny Bench, and whether Mark McGwire was as formidable a threat as Mickey Mantle.
I'd hate to be sitting with my child in 15 years, talking about how I saw Sammy Sosa hit a home run at Wrigley Field, only to hear him (or her) retort, "Yeah well, he was injecting needles."
Maybe knowing won't change these things. But it will at least provide some answers to fans who want to know whether what they are watching is legit.
Jose Canseco has written a book. I am tempted to buy it, if only because I want to see how many misspelled words there are.
But his claims make me wonder, and not just about Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire.
Jose, as baseless as he appears at times, can't be making all of this up. We already know of two MVPs (Canseco and the late Ken Caminiti) who have confessed to using steroids. They can't be the only two.
As a fan, I want to know whether what I have been following my whole life has been nothing more than a chemical infested rats nest played on dirt in recent years.
If nothing else, it would show the greatness of Mantle, Aaron and others, whether Bonds, Sosa and McGwire even belong in those conversations.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Am I the only one who just doesn't buy the whole global warming thing? Ooh, the earth has raised 1.5 degrees. Wow, I better stop driving and walk between Tiffin and Attica.
-Now that I have alienated the whole environmental community ...
-I have a column coming on baseball steroid use written, and am just waiting a bit to post it.
-The Browns will win seven games next season. That's my prediction.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nice apology Jason. I am kidding.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Super Bowl Thoughts
Yeah, it's late, but I want to hit on a few things:

Owens: Yes, he had a great game, but his team lost. They lost. So who cares about his game? The guys we remember ... Namath, Montana, Brady, Rice, even the Fridge ... you know why we remember them? Because they win. I'd have had so much more respect for Terrell Owens if he had said, "Yeah, I played, but we lost, so who cares?"

Halftime: Paul McCartney was great, and the music was even better. I will take "Get Back" over Justin Timberlake and somebody's grandmother's private part any day of the week.

Best Commercial: The NFL Network's "Tomorrow" parody. John Gruden singing, then turning around to scold his kids was priceless. I NEED that network.

Worst commercial: What does GoDaddy mean?

Worst coaching move: Note to Eagles: Clock management is important.

Best Announcer: Joe Buck, the best football announcer not named Al Michaels.

Worst Announcer: Pam Oliver is just awful. Sideline reporters should tell us things that can be accessed from the sidelines.

Best Moment: Bill Belichick is not my favorite guy in the world, but it was nice to see him share his glory with Charlie Weiss and (now Browns coach) Romeo Crennel. Bill has come a long way, and his willingness to share glory makes it that much harder to dislike him.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Howard Dean for DNC Chair
Oh dear lord.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Crennel is "the man"
As we all know by now, the Patriots have won their third super bowl in four years, beating the Eagles 24-21.
Now, the Browns have a coach.
Romeo Crennel has accepted an offer to be the Browns' coach, after weeks (and weeks) of speculation.
Here's the quote that got my attention:
Joe Linta, Crennel's agent, told The Associated Press that Browns president John Collins called him "about two minutes" after the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles to offer Crennel his first head coaching job.
I like Romeo and am thrilled he got the job. Now the hard part begins.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Panel: Superbowl addition
You know you missed it.

Andy Barch
Eagles 24 Patriots 17. The Eagles will do a great job of disguising their blitzes early, coming at Brady from all angles, stopping the running game, thus taking away the effectiveness of the play action pass later in the game. They wont allow Brady to be comfortable at all. The Eagles scoring 24 may be a stretch, but remember the Pats havent played a QB like McNabb all year long. I like the Eagles in an upset.

Joel Hammond
Because they are f****** good, and I don't see any way the Eagles can hang.

Nihar Vasavada
NE will win because Bellichik and company had 2 weeks to prepare. Also,
look at their track record, they have been there before, Philadelphia
hasn't. Philadelphia has many weapons on offense, but look what NE did
to Indy and Pitt. It might be a good game, but NE should win.

Phil Prusa
New England for 5 reasons:
1. They can change the way they play based on their opposition. Beating the Colts then switching gears to beat the Steelers is prime example of this.
2. No prima-dona distractions. Terrell Owens has been a circus show for the Eagles while the Patriots are just focusing on Philedelphia.
3. Been there, done that. This is the Patriots 3rd Super Bowl trip in 4 years. The Eagles may be happy just to get the NFC Championship monkey off their back.
4. Better QB. Not to knock Donavan McNabb, but I'd rather have Tom Brady for the year's biggest game.
5. Run baby. New England won two Super Bowls with a suspect running game. Now Corey Dillon gives them 1600 rushing yards this year? So much for that problem.

Vivek Vasavada
Here is my pick. New England will prevail due to
Corey Dillon and the fact that they have more
experience in the "Big Game". The Eagles poor run
defense will not be able to stop Dillon, who will kill
the clock leading the Patriots to another bruising but
close victory.

Curtis A.
Donavon McNabb will play like an MVP and run for 70 yards, then throw a touchdown pass to Terrell Owens.

I like the Patriots, because they just don't lose in the playoffs. The defense has shut down the best offense (Colts) and the best defense (Steelers). The Eagles are not as good as the Colts or the Steelers. Owens will be a non-factor.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Magnificent 7: Favorite TV shows
1. Pardon the Interruption
2. 24
3. Boston Legal
4. Desperate Housewives (shut up)
5. SportsCentury
6. Real Sports with Bryant Gumble
7. City Confidential

John Vernon dies
John Vernon played the hilarious Dean Wormer in Animal House, one of the funniest movies of all time. I don't know that I could name another film he was in, but his face will never be forgotten.
May he rest in peace.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Song quote of the day
I'm taking my time
I'm just moving along
You'll forget about me after I been gone--Boston

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Getting a life
Here's a new, general rule for my life: If PETA is for it, I'm against it. If PETA is against it, then I'm for it. Stories about chicken make me want to go to KFC and order a bucket of extra crispy.
Oh, and Al Sharpton, get a life. Please.