The Friday Hot Sheet

Sorry for the late update on this, but it's been a crazy sort of week. Lots of things happening good and bad, but the majority of them sort of under-planned. It's as if I'm aware that stuff is happening all around me -- but I feel like I'm still sort of surprised when it actually occurs. I realize that probably makes very little sense -- but like so many corporate drones one of my first moves when a new project/initiative gets going is to find out if I'm gonna have to be involved in it or not. On the occasions I find out that they don't need me, I'll go back to my normal routine --
Only to discover the whole project team standing at my desk a week later needing my help anyways.
You think eventually I'd catch on and just clear my decks whenever certain people get assigned to big projects -- knowing that they'll eventually come calling my way, but I'm more from the "ignorance is bliss" school of corporate work ethic, where my hope when I go into work every day is that I'll have nothing to do, but should something arise it will get more of my attention if I feel like it's some sort of surprise or last minute "save the day" type of deal.

As such, the past week has been full of surprises that I kind of knew were coming but did little or nothing to prepare for anyways -- which wreaked certain amounts of havoc on the things I already knew I had to deal with that then had to get suddenly shifted around.

It's not really what I'd call the best strategy, but I'm one of those folks that seems to do better when I feel like I'm under some sort of pressure. My job has degrees of that, but what I've found over my time here is that it's not that hard to create the image of pressure when I need it.
It's the same BS justification I used to use for putting off homework.
Obviously The Hot Sheet is immune to such posturing, but that doesn't mean I still don't want to get this one up. I had actually taken the advice many people have given me, which is to start this Friday feature somewhere around Wednesday and then just throw the pre-finished product up on the determined day -- but that didn't work out either.

So before Wednesday rolls around and I have to start working on next Friday's list -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.
Bronco-gateJust last week I was on Jay Cutler for being all whiny that the teams' new coach had expressed interest in trading for red-hot free agent Matt Cassell without telling him. No one likes to be replaced or told that all the things they do aren't good enough, but in a multi-million dollar business where the worst part of getting fired is having to fill out of bunch of change of address forms and re-do your direct deposit numbers for the multi-millions your new team is going to give you, it's hard (especially in this economy) to feel bad for you. But here's the thing -- they didn't get him. In fact, Cassell signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, a division rival. I can understand being mad at the coach and wanting nothing more than to go all Willy Wonka on his ass, but have you considered at all, Jay Cutler -- taking the example of your former coach and mentor Mike Shanahan, who reacted to similar treatment from his former boss, Oakland Raiders president Skeletor Al Davis by mercilessly laying waste to his team twice a year? Cassell is a good player, but I for one think Cutler's a better fit for the team (outside of this recent bout of wussified whining) -- so how sweet would it feel for him to fucking destroy the Chiefs twice a year and then trot back to the sideline and see just how much new coach Josh McDaniels thinks of his golden boy then?
My NCAA Tournament BracketsHistorically speaking my brackets always seem to start out strong and then fall apart in the later rounds. That's especially true this year, where the favorites are for the most part having their way with the lesser teams. Things will surely go to hell for me soon (I've got FSU going waay too deep), but it's always a nice sort of pyrrhic victory for a few days to think I know a little somethin' somethin' about college hoops.
Dadgum NCAA Sanctions against FSUTowards the end of 2007, the FSU football team found itself with egg on their face when 25 players got busted cheating on an Internet exam. Since then the NCAA started digging, and after a long investigation has brought down the hammer on not only the football program, but most of the school's athletic department as well. I would love to say I'm outraged and shocked, but honestly as far as I'm concerned this has been sorta coming for a while -- and it just sort of sucks that it had to happen now and leave a bad stain on what will soon be the closing of Bobby Bowden's tenure. Of course he's as much to blame for all this as anyone else, but now all this talk about him thinking about retirement last year comes into a much different focus. I can't blame the old man for sticking it out, and personally I like having him on the sidelines year in and year out -- but not only does this mean that when he eventually does retire that we'll not only have to deal with the hangover of him not being there, but also the loss of scholarships and whatever will saddle his successor with a weight that no first-year coach could comfortably overcome, which means we're probably in for a couple of consecutive years of sucking. Thanks, guys -- appreciate that.
WatchmenI know this is seriously late -- but after seeing this at the IMAX theater in Times Square with Satorical, I found myself really impressed with the way the film was put together and acted, but conflicted at how it didn't change my life the way the producers of the film clearly wanted it to. For the record, The Dark Knight didn't change my life either -- but I did find myself talking about it excitedly for a couple of days afterwards, which wasn't so much the case when Watchmen was done. It's an entertaining film. A little too long, but unlike so many other movies -- it answers almost as many questions as it raises within it's almost three-hour length. You walk away appreciating all the exposition, even though there are times when it tends to slow the experience of watching the movie down. But one of the things that I think makes the movie work is (in my opinion) one of the things that also sorta sinks it -- which is that the vast majority of it's heaviest themes are utterly dated. I feel like director Zach Snyder decided to stick to the source material for a reason, but unlike period pieces where suggested themes can be translated into modern implications, the setting of this film was just modern enough that you're sort of inclined to take the undertones on face value. In other words, (SPOILER ALERT) there's a scene in the film where Lee Iacocca gets shot in the head -- which carries an unimaginable sort of thematic and historic weight IF YOU KNOW WHO LEE IACOCCA IS. I think the vast masses of people who turned things like Twilight and The Dark Knight into international sensations don't necessarily fit into that category, and as such never really clicked into just how messed up a world where Nixon could serve five consecutive terms might be. Updating it would have been a certain kind of sacrilege, but leaving it "as is" undercut it's ability to transcend the source material. It's a choice that I'm glad the director made, but all of this "disappointment" from the studios that the film only made like 200 million dollars or whatever seems kinda misplaced, you know?
I hate my cel phone. I thought I was gonna love it when I bought it, but it's just not the good fit I was hoping for. At the same time I'm finding myself more and more tempted by the sorts of functionality that the iPhone offers, despite the fact that it's still largely out of my price range. Add to that the fact that I have no desire whatsoever to go back to dealing with AT&T, and what you end up with is a sort of frustrated place where you know you want more from your phone, but can't figure out a way to get there without going back into debt. Which is why I want want want want to get my hands on this beauty, which from all appearances offers the cool factor I want (at a price I can live with) on the network I'm already with.
FacebookMany years too late I've finally taken the plunge and signed up. Find me, friend me, fill my life with meaning and nonsense.
Komodo Dragons       The Jacksonville Zoo finally opened it's new Komodo Dragon exhibit, and weather-permitting this weekend my son and I will be dragging my dad out to see it. Not only because it's an animal he's always had an affinity for (although he's never really explained why he finds them so fascinating), but mostly because they're just flat-out cool, and much like this former matinee idol -- used to find themselves glued to fake dinosaur horns and filmed in ultra close-up shots for a ton of the movies that I still love to this day.

[Listening to:  Yes - "Heart of the Sunrise" ]


Dorian said…
Don't get an iPhone if you actually want to use it as... well, a phone. As a neat gadget, it rocks though, but you might as well get an iPod Touch for that. :)
Werdna said…
Heart of the Sunrise is a great song. Not as great as I thought in high school, but great.

Read the Watchmen comic all the way through recently (never did). It is dated. In the same way that Frank Miller's Dark Knight is dated. Reagonomics, cold war, Nuclear fear, etc. LXG on the other hand held up well for a comic... errr graphic novel.

Hook me up on Facebook. and Bronco-gate, FSU and cell phones are definitely on the downward spiral.

Ever since we left FSU ;)
Adam said…
I would also recommend against the iPhone. I just got one (the 8GB model came free when I re-upped with O2), and I love it. But I think the build quality is highly suspect, the camera is basically worthless (and shockingly bad for the price), and it's a bit bulky. You're basically carrying around your iPod all the time. That kind of sucks when you want to travel light. All that said, though, it is nice to be able to browse the internet and check football scores and stuff (like Facebook, I suppose). But I wouldn't ever pay for an iPhone.

No matter what you decide to get, I recommend AGAINST any kind of Bluetooth earpiece.
Anonymous said…
The Watchmen is just an example of what can happen to man with a severe case of blue balls.

The iPhone as a phone, does suck. It sucks iBalls. As a gadget, meh. Not worth the money.
Hex said…
Dorian -- I like the gadget style functions, but I'm not interested in an actual iPhone. That's why the Samsung is so attractive to me.

Werdna -- I should probably read watchmen. The story had so many layers it seems like it would be totally worth it.

Adam -- I don't get the bluetooth headpiece. I know some places require them when you drive, and I guess I can see the sense in that, but otherwise, what's the point?

WIGSF -- *rimshot*
Werdna said…
Watchmen, like most of Alan Moore's stuff, has layers some barbed commentary and more 3D characters than Frank Miller's stuff. It is definitely worth a read and is (as the jacket says" one of Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels. Not comic books, novels. It is an interesting read on a few levels (satire of culture, criticism of comics/superhero mythos, the plot- which is a little hackneyed, the art, and the constant references to all sorts of media). It is over rated though.

In some ways it is comic book's Catcher in the Rye, which is why movies.

I had no appreciation for any of this stuff in High School (aside from reading all of Bill Wilson's X-men in 7th grade), but going to comic-con and meeting some of the authors and artists gave me a little better appreciation and a smidge of perspective.
Werdna said…
Why movies based on Watchmen would suck.
Adam said…
Isn't Watchmen originally a comic book series that was later combined into a 'trade paperback' or whatever? If so, I don't think it qualifies as a so-called 'graphic novel.'

Not trying to be a prick or anything, but I think it's funny the way comic book nerds get all precious about these things.

Never been too into that sort of stuff, but I did read 'David Boring' and thought it was pretty good. Oh, and I read that Superman 'Red Son' book, but I'm not sure if that was a graphic novel or not. But I liked it, though.

I'll be glad when the current superhero movie thing finally dies off. That and the recent(ish) trend to take classic movies (The Pink Panther, Charade, The Ladykillers) and remake them.

In spite of how over-rated The Matrix was (and over-copied), it was at least a new movie that made a hell of an impact. Same thing, I suppose, with Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction. I can't wait to see what the next 'life changing' or 'revolutionary' movie will be.
Werdna said…
I don't know how watchmen was released, but once it hit a certain density it was only readily available via trade paperback/graphic novel. I still think they are comic books as illustrated by my earlier posts, just bigger. Although there are some beautiful hardbacks of Moore or Gaiman, and there are some good stories- they'll probably not shake the stigma. Which is fine for a disruptive media, if there were no stigma it wouldn't be punk rock (see Avril etc.).

It is lame how people get spun up about graphic novel vs. comic. I guess it is somewhat socially unacceptable for adults to read comics in the US (perfectly okay in Japan for instance), so there needs to be some cognitive dissonance resolution. "others think it is lame, but I like it".

Choice supportive bias usually comes in about here.

I'm okay with it being punk rock.