Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Battlestar Galactica / Caprica

I know what everyone is already thinking. Man, Rick is the biggest geek in the world. But let me ask you, why is anything sci-fi geeky? Is it because of what people think of when they think of Star Wars or Star Trek? Is there just a stigma associated with it? I watched Star Trek as a kid, that doesn't mean I had an awkward social life (I did, but not in relation to the TV show...or maybe it was..) The new Star Trek film comes out in a couple weeks. I don't think I've been so excited for a movie in quite some time. The previews look great. It's JJ Abrams and I pretty much love anything this guy does. It has Harold from Harold and Kumar, Simon Pegg, the bad dude/good dude from Heroes. Good cast and what is bound to be a good film. I will be forcing you all to see this with me at midnight. Here's the trailer.

So after that little tangent. back to the focus of this post. Battlestar Galactica was an old '70s show that they started anew about 5 years ago. My brother got me onto the show as he usually does with most shows. I must admit. I was extremely impressed from the get go. There have been a few movies, and 5ish seasons, but the series finale went down not too long ago. I've found myself running through season 4/5 and I forgot how good it really is. It's won countless awards and is even the source of its own spinoff which I believe some network is picking up. (Not sure which). The pilot is called Caprica, which is one of the 12 planets in which humans live before the war went down. Seems quite interesting as well.

I give the show 4.5 Manatees. So that in itself should be reason enough to check it out.

It's been awhile...

So it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post. I've been a little busy I guess, but thinking back, I'm not exactly sure what I was doing. The weather is changing so maybe that's the answer. I'd like to get back into the swing of things and get back to a few posts a week. So many things are going on right now. Although Fall is my favorite season, Spring could be the most fun. What happens in the Spring? The weather obviously. 70 and 80 degree days, non-stop? check. Golf season starts up? check. Outdoor drinking and therefore drunk jenga on me? check. check. check. I played golf twice this past week and I must admit, I love it so much. I'm so glad my dad got me into the sport when i was younger. The biggest drawback is how damn expensive the sport is. Luckily there are a few websites that you can find some greens fees deals at, but I wouldn't really call $50 a steal in any other manner. What sport other than skiing is that expensive? It's ridiculous, yet that might be the reason why its a very fitting sport for me. I played at two courses, Old Hickory and Raspberry Falls. These courses were absolutely beautiful. The problem with beautiful courses is that they are out in the country. What does that mean? A) it takes you forever to drive there, and B) allergy central. I had problems breathing and seeing the entire day. But back to the point, not that I have one. I used to be a big TV guy. I'd watch dozens of shows and watch so many movies and I've been off of it. I need to get back to my roots. I will make efforts to continue to review movies and tv shows.

Looking back on it, this was the most random post I'll probably ever have.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Charlie Bartlett

I need to get back to my roots. Movies. Charlie Bartlett. I haven't watched any of my movies in queue for quite some time. I didn't hear much about this movie other than it was the 'new' Ferris Buehler. Do I agree? Not exactly. It was a good movie, don't get me wrong. I was actually surprised by what a good movie it was. But a big wildcard was Robert Downey Jr. I didn't realize he was in the film and to be honest, he stole the show.

The movie is about a kid that is kicked out from countless private schools and ends up at a public school. Not an unusual story line. He turns out to be a go to for advice and drugs. Not drugs in the sense of acid, weed, cocaine, like one would imagine, but mental drugs from the ever-present problem of over prescribing non-over the counter drugs. He finds his place in school and finally becomes one of the popular kids. The only real problem I had with this was that it was to the extent that was a little unbelievable. High school kids are malleable, but not quite to this extent. It featured the kid brother from Alpha Dog, a great movie by the way, as well as the girl from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, also a good film. Those three actors/actresses alone (including Robert Downey Jr.) makes the film worth watching. It shows how impressionable high schoolers really are, and how much they just need someone they can talk to, without having to hide anything. Later in the film, it even shows how the 'popular' kids don't even have their stuff together. Kids are kids, they still are trying to put together who they really are. Let's be honest, at 26, I'm still doing the same thing, granted I have a much better idea.

Robert Downey, Jr. is on a roll. He's really come out of the cellar with great performances everywhere, starting with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. If you haven't seen that movie, put it at the top of your list. Great movie.

Characterization is strong, story is above average. I guarantee you will be entertained, give it a roll at Red Box if you do the $1 movies.

I give it 3 Manatees. You won't be floored, but you won't regret spending 2 hours of your life in front of the TV.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Frozen Four

I would be the last person on this planet to ever believe that I would one day get into hockey. I remember being so disappointed as a kid when that was the only thing on. The whole Fox 'blue puck tail' was the coolest thing that the sport had for the short-lived season. That kind of sums it up. But my how things change as you grow up. You start to not judge things quite as much and are willing to give anything a try.

One week ago, I attended my very first NHL hockey game. Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres. It's amazing how electric the crowd was. But that wasn't even the most amazing part. I've been to Wizards games before and I must say, nose-bleed seats are not the greatest thing for a basketball game. You are just too far away from the action and some seats are definitely better than the others. Basketball is too focused on one side of the court of the other. Teams run plays, Free throws are there, in-bound passes. The game is just a slower pace.

Hockey on the other hand. Wow. Even in the 400 level, seats were great. I can only imagine what it would be like right up against the glass. The game is fast paced, there are only a few stoppages a period. And the puck is always moving. Its never really focused on a specific side for very long. The game I attended went into OT, Sabres winning 5-4. Great game, bad outcome.

So being so open to the idea of attending another hockey game, my friend Laura was gracious enough to offer up some extra tickets she had to the Frozen Four which happened to take place in DC this year. Biggest drawback? It's an NCAA event, thus no booze flowing. Thank goodness for Rocket Bar (one of my personal favorites) and RFD before and between games. The games were Bemidji State vs Miami (OH) and Vermont vs BU. As a side note, few of you probably knew that Ben Roethlisberger is a Miami (OH) alum. The first game was cool because Bemidji State made it to the semi-finals as the lowest seed in the tournament, cool in any sport. Everyone loves an underdog. Watching the game, however, it quickly became evident why they were the 16 seed. They were sloppy on the ice, but they had a lot of heart. The second game was probably one of the greatest games I'll see. I dunno if that's a good or a bad thing. BU ended up winning 5-4, but it was great. The atmosphere was tense, and it came down to who wanted it more. I will say that I was sort of amazed by how many BU students travel. We were sitting next to the student section, jam-packed with 200+ students with unified chants. Impressive. It probably added to the excitement, but I think I may in fact become a hockey fan. Who'da thunk it? I guess it helps when the Nationals are arguably the worst team in baseball, and Wizards one of the worst in the NBA. Washingtonians don't really have a choice. Is DC going to turn into a Hockey town? Maybe. But the skins, in the few select good times and mostly bad times, will always be the heart and soul of the this area's fan market. But since I refuse to ever become a true Redskins fan, who wants to buy me a Capitals jersey? Can you believe how expensive they are? All just for long sleeves? Crazy even for me.

Rock the Red baby!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flip Cup Revival

Since graduating college, one doesn't play nearly as many drinking games. Me especially. It got to the point where any card drinking game sounds horrible to me. I don't need an excuse to drink. I just drink. (Yes I know spoken like a true alcoholic) But in some drinking games, drinking isn't a punishment, but just part of the game. A reward if you will. I have come a long way since the early days of the young Manatee not enjoying the taste of beer. I remember in 5th grade when I had my first beer how horrible I thought it was. "Why would anyone drink this?! It tastes like bad soda!" How naive I was. I like to drink beer. The taste, its quite quenching.

So what games do I find acceptable nowadays to play while drinking? Unless you're at a bar and are playing shuffleboard, pool, or darts, really not a whole lot. Put simply, it was only beer pong. A game of half skill, half luck, half drunkenness. (It's a big game) You get to cheer, you get to feel pressure, you get to feel excitement, you get to feel defeat. Everything you would want in a game. This was the only game I was ever interested in playing after college....until 2 days ago. Apparently it was a big part of UVA Law to play flip cup all the time...and when I say all the time, I mean every party. Maybe flip cup to law schoolers is what beer pong is to most people. I had one instance of playing flip cup in July '06. It was not pretty. No one told me not to fill my cup as high as I was, and about 12 quick games in, I remember nothing. I got so bad that I went to breakfast the next day, drove both Tiffany and Courtney to downtown in C'ville. Came home. Went to go to dinner that night and had no recollection of going to breakfast in the same area.

Rick: "Where do I go? Where is this restaurant?"
Tiffany: "Just go to where we had breakfast. You can park where we did then."
Rick: "Breakfast? What the shit are you talking about?"
Courtney: "This morning...when you drove us to breakfast."
Rick: "Is it bad I have no recollection of this? Did we really go to breakfast??"
Tiffany: "Rick. You drove."
Rick: "That's not good..."

That gives you an idea as to what happened. So, clearly, I couldn't really evaluate how fun flip cup is. I barely remember stuff from the morning AFTER, let alone the night OF drinking.

Mere's birthday brought about a lot of good times, but lets be honest, the invitee that brought a CASE of Hurricane's really got the party started for me. Really? did anyone know you could buy a case of Hurricane's? Flip cup commenced. The same pros that make Beer Pong so awesome are present for flip cup, but the team is larger, and the atmosphere is electric. I got so excited winning one time that I almost punched out the ceiling light when i jumped up and down for joy.

Round 2.

Opening day of baseball. One of the best days of the year. First time to start grilling and not feel strange about it. Pong table in the backyard. Guys vs. Girls. Flip cup all day. I think everyone would agree that it was a great way to spend a Sunday. Ridiculously fun. Best part of the day? Tough call, but when I say tough, I mean there is a clear winner. Jon drank his beer early, everyone screamed at him, he spit it back in the cup, then when everyone yelled at him to go, he drank it again. Amazing. And let's not forget there was one of Jon's infamous rants. I live to be present for those.

From this point going forward, I will force others to play this game at parties. or boring afternoons. Whatever the case. Let's flip.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


No, not the movie as everyone probably thinks...I went bowling tonight for the first time in months, maybe even years. Once upon a time when I lived quite close to the fairfax circle bowling alley, we used to go quite often. Yes I may fit the bill because I'm fat and white, but only partially (White that is). I forgot how much I loved this game. Everyone gets excited. Its not really a sport, but more of a leisurely activity which I'm king of...(aka. Darts, Bocce, Golf) I went with two of my good friends Que and Raf and I'm not going to lie, I took all of their money.

The thing I think I like about Bowling so much is that 300 will pretty much always be elusive to me. In basketball you can hit 3s, even half court shots. Baseball, you can probably hit a homerun (at least in softball I have). But to bowl a 300? I could easily go my entire life without doing that, so you'll always try and perfect your game. Just like golf. Shooting par for the average golfer is probably unattainable. But it doesn't stop us poor schmucks from trying.

You all know me pretty well, I own pretty much any random sports equipment possible. I own skis (I don't go that often). I own a pool cue (I rarely use it out of fear of people making fun of me cause I'm not very good at pool). I own a bocce set. I own EVERYTHING. Does it shock anyone to know that I own my own bowling ball? My own bowling shoes? Probably not. Does it shock everyone that tonight I probably averaged a 160 and even bowled a 223? probably yes. It's probably also not shocking to everyone that my arm and leg will probably be sore from it. Embarrassing? perhaps? Am I ashamed? No. I think I bowled 7 games tonight. Let's see you do that...

I hope we can get more people to go bowling because I think it gets a bad rap. In the words of Bowl America... "It's fun for the whole family!"