I haven't posted for a while, and I just wanted to share some random thoughts on a number of topics. You may or, more likely, may not care:
1. Last night, Mrs. Bartender and I watched Once In A Lifetime, the documentary that came out this summer about the Cosmos. I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I do remember as a kid living in NJ the phenomenon that briefly was the Cosmos (including the presence of Pele). (Fitting that I post this today when the most famous, although not the best, soccer player--David Beckham--comes to the USA.) I highly recommend this film. It is a lot of fun, the stories about the pre-Pele Cosmos are comical, Shep Messing alone is worth the price of the movie, and Georgio Chinaglia comes off as an even bigger jerk than one could imagine. I also really enjoyed that at the end of the film when they mention that Pele would not appear, you hear the sound of a cash register (he wanted $100k). Amazingly, however, the word cocaine was never mentioned, despite frequent discussions of Studio 54, pictures of Steve Rubell, and Chinaglia's well known drug problems. I also imagine Steve Ross, the Warner communications CEO and de facto Cosmos owner, knew how to have a good time. (Also sad to see Ahmet Ertegun looking so dapper and well; he and his brother co-founded the team.)
2. We also watched two other movies over the weekend--Syriana and Transamerica. Both were good, but the former was definitely better. I know everyone complains about how confusing Syriana is, but (1) I really didn't think it was that confusing and (2) part of the point of the movie is that no one knows exactly what is going on. I realize these two points are slightly contradictory, but I knew enough to follow this extremely well acted film. Whether any of what it portrays is accurate is a different question, but as far as movies go, it was an excellent film and a worthy successor to Traffic.
As for Transamerica, Felicity Huffman (half of Filliam H. Muffman) has been rightly and roundly praised. The movie is a little slow in places, and I really don't understand who would drive from NY to LA and not take the interstates. He/she needs to get back to LA quickly; one would think that you would go as fast as possible. Btw, a great performance from Burt "Paulie" Young as Bree's father. Finally, I thought her son did not have to be as screwed up as he was. Her gender identity issues were central to the movie, but I just thought his were a little much from sexual abuse by his stepfather, unclear sexual orientation, to, ultimately, gay porn. Yes, it's a life many of us have led, but it made the movie a little more distant for this viewer.
3. College football has, I hope, finally eaten the goose that laid the golden egg. The never ending bowl season ended with a whimper Monday night as Florida throttled OSU. Most bowl games are meaningless, but now to stretch things out for a whole week after New Year's makes one care even less. Not surprisingly, the ratings for the non-"championship" games were a joke (including for the unbelievable Boise State-Oklahoma game), and Notre Dame continues to get into games they don't deserve because they are Notre Dame. The system is as crooked as professional wrestling, and yet no one bothers to do anything about it. (And all praise the one voter who voted Boise State number 1. )
4. No shocks with the baseball hall of fame voting. By this summer, the focus will (rightly) be on Ripken and Gwynn and not Big Mac. Ripken and Gwynn both easily deserved election although the latter was certainly the better player. I am only (slightly) disappointed that the Goose narrowly missed election, but based upon his vote total and the fact that no new candidate next year will be elected, Gossage is a shoe-in to join the Hall in 2008 (barring the discovery that he used steroids during his stellar career).
5. Last night on Letterman, Peter O'Toole appeared. I don't know whether he was completely tanked or after years of alcohol abuse, his blood alcohol level has just hit a steady state of around 0.15, but he is a hoot. (If he were an American, I don't think he could get away with it.) He told a great story in which he and Peter Finch were about to be thrown out of a pub in Dublin so they bought the bar. Luckily, when they realized what they had done the following morning, the checks had not been cashed and all was forgiven. A true legend.
6. Watched the first episode of The Knights of Prosperity, and I was entertained enough to add it to my DVR. (Episode 2 is on the DVR, but this required some fancy footwork as the President spoke until 9:25.) A great cameo from Mick, and the show certainly has potential.
7. Have I mentioned you should watch The Office? Just making sure. And last week's My Name is Earl was the best of the season as they watched an episode of Cops featuring Earl and company prior to Earl's discovery of karma. Too hard to explain if you didn't see it, but you should. (And can, as it is, I believe, available on NBC.com until tonight's episode airs.)
8. Set your DVR/TiVO/VCR. Next Thursday, worlds will collide. Colbert is on O'Reilly and then O'Reilly will be on Colbert. ''I look forward to the evening,'' Colbert said. ''It is an honor to speak face-to-face with a broadcasting legend, and I feel the same way about Mr. O'Reilly.''
That's all folks.