Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Mix

A fellow soccer parent sent me this. I looked for attribution on the 'net but couldn't find anything convincing, so if you originated it, let me know. I do like to give credit where due. :)

I thought this was really funny. Particularly apropos items are in bold.

Is Your Kid's Soccer Taking Over Your Life?

You know it is if:

You know a few 6 year olds that are good but "lack focus".

You base the next purchase of your new vehicle on whether it will hold six kids, six soccer bags, and a portable goal.

You know every kid on every team your child has ever played on...but don't have a clue who their school mates are.

You feel lost when you have a free weekend.

You become a partner in a soccer store to save money.

You don't give your kids time-outs, you give them red cards.

You can rationalize spending $89 on the good cleats but won't spend $3 on a birthday card for your spouse.

You respond to the question, "How old are your kids?" with "I have a U8 and a U10".

You have to use a grandparent to take kid #1 to a tournament because Dad is at a different game with kid #2 and Mom had kid #3 two cities away in another tournament all in one weekend.

You find yourself missing the parents of your child's teammates during the off-season.

You wonder, "What's an off-season?"

You refuse to make any plans with your friends until you check your kids' soccer schedules.

You have been barred from the sidelines more than once. (I don't actually know anyone who has, though we do a lot of self-banning.

You have had the kids ask if Christmas is "home or away".

You yell at your kid to get up and shake it off, even after the ambulance arrives.

You need to budget for a new portable chair every year.

You have woken up in the middle of the night yelling "Get it out of there".


I just finished a nonfiction project that had me delving pretty deeply into some current topics. I have come to two conclusions. Before this, I was, let's say, 94% convinced of their truth, but still believed there were exceptions. Now, if there's any optimism left in me, you'd need a microscope or maybe a gas chromatograph or something to find it.

1. All politicians suck. No exceptions.

2. There isn't even a semblance of objectivity in today's journalism. Everything is op ed.


Okay, HOW awesome was Supernatural last night?

I have a residual cough from my recent cold, and it tends to recur at night, and reclining on the couch irritates my lungs or something. Turns out, laughing's enough to stimulate a fit, and Dean nearly sent me into mechanical pneumonia.

I know I don't need to say it again, but...Jensen Ackles is a brilliant actor. He went from over-the-top goofiness with the girly scream and "that was skeery!" grin (which I had to pause while Number One and I collected ourselves, then rewind and watch again) to sheer, incredibly subtle terror when he saw Luther in the corner.

Of course, brilliance is easier when you're given brilliant lines and direction. No way to tell how much was him and how much was fed to him, but the basic writing, at least, was excellent. I looked up who wrote this episode, and was surprised to see two names I didn't recognize, Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. This episode is the only true writing credit either has (according to IMDb, I didn't look beyond that). Color me even more amazed.

Let us not forget Jared Padalecki, who had to play straight man and did it as brilliantly as Jensen did the opposite. When his eyes flashed yellow at the end, it wasn't just the connotation that gave me a visceral gut reaction. His entire demeanor sent waves of shock (and, okay, I'll admit it, heat!) through me.

Then there's Bobby, who's such a Mary Sue (Japanese!) but you can't hate him for always knowing the answer. And they brought back Sierra McCormick, who's so good she makes me forget she's a little girl. I adore when she calls Dean "silly goose."

And we can't forget the supporting players off screen, those responsible for filming in light that shows us how green Jensen's eyes are and framing Jared so perfectly, and the gorgeous shot of the valley the mill is in, and the amusingly horrifying way Luther's head pops off and dissipates into smoke, as well as the white/green effect of Sam's eyes that tell us it's a hallucination with just a hint of doubt.

Kudos, too, for infusing a show meant to evoke laughter with such poignancy. Luther and his brother John won't get the credit they deserve (except from equally obsessive fans like me), but my heart broke for the poor guy when he cradled the kitten, and when they were pushed to do the same horrible thing to him that had been done when he was alive.

Megan, David Mattey/Luther is 6'10"!!! Who knew someone could dwarf Sam, never mind toss him around like a rag doll?

Man, I love this show.


Last week, a friend called, and asked why I was down that day. I blamed the base of my mood on the Patriots' huge loss the night before, which she really didn't understand. I get where she's coming from. I think "geez, people, it's just a game!" on a regular basis. But whether they win or lose DOES have a lingering effect on me, so I couldn't help exploring why.

I came up with identity. Your sports team is part of what makes you, you. It's often about pride of place, about connecting to the region that raised you. If you still live there, it's community. Shared goals and needs, bonding and making connections with people you might otherwise absolutely despise, except for this thing you have in common. If you've moved away, it's an anchor or a touchstone, something that connects you to where you came from, makes you belong. Some people chose their team for a different reason, maybe because a beloved family member liked that team, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or because you moved to that area at some point in your life and it has meaning because of that connection.

Not everyone needs that, and many people find it in different things. But for those of us who like competition (and you all know I'm muy competitive!) and have forged this connection for one reason or another, it sinks deep into us. And anything that is that strong is going to have a powerful effect on emotion or mood.

If you didn't "get it" before, you still won't, and that's okay. It's just a thing. Sometimes, I have a need to exposit. :) If you "get it" but have a different idea, or disagree, feel free to say so!

And Go, Pats!


Ava Quinn said...

I'm surprised you're just coming to the conclusion that all politicians are criminals. The system forces them to be. To be able to make any forward progression you have to be willing to play the game. And once you start playing, it's a very slippery slope that takes everyone down- if they stay.

Media- same dealio

On to more pleasant things. OMG it was truly awesome last night. I think it was one of my favorites. Not just because Jensen was so fantastic, but because of Luther and his brother. Luther's character and story have been done many times before, but almost every time it's done, it gets me. Of Mice and Men killed me at the end. But I loved it just the same. So tragic, but taking that story line and juxtaposing it next to Jensen's fear and the humor it generated, (yeah, you heard me, juxtaposing) it was even more poignant. Taking us from high to low in seconds. Well written!!! Big props for those two guys who you found out wrote it!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Well, like I said, it's not like a complete reversal or anything. I did believe there were some people who at least tried to do be ethical in politics, just based on numbers. Hard to think that now. And the media thing--I always felt that it was ALWAYS biased, and I've heard other people complaining that it's more blatant now. But I don't access the news very much. I don't EVER watch TV news, EVER, and very, very rarely read anything in the newspaper or online. So it was a frustrating exercise, looking for facts without opinions.
I really hope those two writers get to break more scripts! They were awesome!

Ava Quinn said...

I know you know about the politicians. :) You're a very smart lady! Its just a depressing state of affairs, is all.

I try to listen to NPR when at all possible. I've found they're less biased than some others I've found. (ahem fox news)

How did you find out that actor was 6' 10"? That is incredible!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I looked him up on IMDb! :)

MJFredrick said...

Like you, I always hope there are exceptions. I agree with Ava the system forces them to be so, though. My ds wants to be a politician and I worry ;)

But SPN!!! I never though Kripke would take Sam that far to the dark side. It's going to be a great ride. And I agree about Jensen-wow. I'm a Dean girl through and through, but this week, Sammy was smokin'.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Everyone keeps saying that, about taking Sam that dark, but I'm not convinced yet that he has. I took my cue from Dean, and he ignored it, probably assuming it was his imagination, and maybe it was.

Intensity = smoke, and Sam was rockin' the intensity this week. :)

MJFredrick said...

I hope you're right, but it makes sense. Still, poor Dean.