Thursday, April 30, 2009

I just have to say...

I just have to say that if T-Mac was still playing for the Rockets, there is no way that the Rockets would have won tonight or the series. He is gutless. And has no heart. He is a loser. I have a few more words that i could use to describe him, but they aren't family friendly so we can all just use our imaginations. We can all settle on "gelding" without ruffling any feathers. Anyway.

This team, without T-Mac, has heart. They beat a young, hungry, and scary good Portland team. The rest of the NBA better watch out, because the Blazers are going to be great, even if Greg Oden is HORRIBLE. Beyond bad. Just atrocious. He couldn't even dominate in the YMCA over 60 league. He can't even walk around without fouling.

Anyway, the Rockets play with heart and are easy to root for. Yao Ming quietly dominates, when the guards get him the ball. Scola and Landry have range, crash the boards, and play solid defense. Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry are solid at the point. Wafer is instant offense off the bench. He will dunk on anyone, at any time. Chuck Hayes plays incredible defense. Deke was the man, even if he never played more than 5 minutes at a time. Battier is clutch from the corner and plays lock down defense. Crazy Pills Artest is a bull.

I think they have a decent shot at beating LA. Not a great shot. But it's possible. I would bet on the Rockets to win, if gambling on sports was legal (ie, not wire fraud) and somebody gave me decent odds. I'd say they have a better than 1 in 10 chance.

Bottom line, it's about time they got out of the first round and I'm glad they're not playing Utah. I can't stand the Jazz. I'm rambling. GO ROCKETS. BEAT LA. BEAT LA.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yes, it's another list of random people or places or things

So, it's finals time. But you already knew that.

The frequency of random questions and thoughts is through the roof. Especially since you spend 8 to 12 hours a day in a room with the same person. It's like prison, only without anything gross. And I'll just leave it at that.

Anyway, the random comment from today is from none other than Will McMillan. Shocker there, huh?

So, as background, in our second semester of law school, Will and I saw "300" in the IMAX before we wrote our appellate briefs. It really pumped us up and we both finished our papers shortly thereafter. Since, then, our running joke has been to go back to the IMAX for motivation before finals. So, Will suggested we see "Earth" because it is narrated by James Earl Jones and that James Earl Jones is the coolest old actor. I told William he was flat-out wrong and that I could come up with ten cooler actors over 50. So, here is the list (in no particular order) with some help from Will, Abbie and Wikipedia.

1. Samuel L. Jackson. Greatest curser of all time. Enough said. Plus, he's been in over 100 movies.

2. Jack Nicholson. The Joker, Col. Jessup, As Good as it Gets.

3. Sean Connery. Not only is he Scottish, but he was the best James Bond and the best on Celebrity Jeopardy.

4. Bill Murray. Seriously, do I need to tell you why?

5. Morgan Freeman. Narrating "Shawshank" is enough for me.

6. Anthony Hopkins.

7. Tommy Lee Jones. Bonus points because his nephew went to St. John's.

8. Harvey Kietel. Mr. Wolf.

9. James Earl Jones. Wait, you're telling me the point of this list was to come up with ten actors over 50 who are cooler than James Earl? Oh, whoops. Well, in my defense, he is pretty cool. I never said he wasn't. Ok, if I have to choose somebody else, I'll go with Willie Nelson. He was in Half Baked, so he counts as an actor. If you don't like Willie Nelson, you might as well move to Canada. So, just to be clear, I am not picking James Earl Jones to be on the list. It was a joke that I'm not sure Will got. I'm going with Willie Nelson.

10. Christopher Walken. Suicide Kings, Pulp Fiction, The Milagro Bean Field War (ok, that last one sucked)

Honorable mention goes to Danny De Vito (only because of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Steve Buscemi and John Malcovich.

Monday, April 27, 2009

You know what really grinds my gears Part 6

You know what really grinds my gears? A number of things, to be honest. Good thing for all of us I've made the following list.

1. The so-called "great" iPhone. Look, I have an iPhone. When I first got it, I hated it. Honest. For about one day. My fingers were too, ahem, wide, to type text messages and emails. The phone function was only pretty good. But then I got sucked in by the ad campaign and all the cool games and toys on the phone. And all was good for a few months. I downloaded plenty of games and apps, as these kids today call them. I still really enjoy a few of the apps, especially the card games and the MLB streaming app. But, after a few months, I came to my senses. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun little game machine. Even if the apps crash more often that Ajay or anyone affiliated with Apple will tell you. The phone feature, however, of the iPhone is pretty bad. It's cumbersome to dial anyone who is not on your favorites list. Calls get dropped all the time. Even if you're just sitting there trying to talk. Especially if you're just sitting there trying to talk. Bottom line, it's fun. But it's a phone for children. If I had to do it all over again, I'd get a Blackberry. Or, as I like to call it, an adult phone.

2. Ron Artest. Or as I've been calling him (with a credit to the blogosphere) "Crazy Pills." I realize he's a great defender, even if he defends with all shoulders, elbows and knees. (He definitely is a man, unlike Tracy McGrady. Or as I like to call him, McLazy.) But Ron, seriously, pass the ball. You're not a great shooter. Hell, you're not even a good shooter. There is no reason for you to take 20 plus shots per game, especially since most of them are long off-balance jumpers and forays into the lane that start and end with the finesse of a HumVee. If you make 5 or 6 shots and take 20, it's time to shoot less. Dump it down to Yao. Hit Shane "Batt-man" Battier or Aaron Brooks or Luis "Guacho" Scola or fearless Von Wafer. Look, I'm glad Crazy Pills is on the Rockets. The team would not be in the playoffs, let alone up 3-1 over the young and dangerous Blazers, without Crazy Pills. But PASS THE BALL, DUDE.

3. This is merely preemptive, and I know I've spoken about this before, but don't come tell me to be quiet in the library. Katy, I'm talking about you. I'm talking to you. It's only been one day of real library study time. But I know it's going to happen. Well, I realize you're going to try to tell me to be quiet, I'll roll my eyes and mutter something. Let's just move on.

4. Final Exams. This is the last time I'll ever take finals. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope it's not a freight train called the bar exam. But this is the end of finals. I'm utterly sick and tired of getting up early to go to the library to sit there all day and study. I'm done with it. And it's only been one day. Yeesh.

5. My downstairs neighbor. Guy, you've been coughing since October. You either have tuberculosis, SARS or the Swine Flu. See a doctor. It's just gross. This guy doesn't just cough once or twice. He doesn't cough quietly. It's a constant wet hacking. Yeesh.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


No, I'm not talking about storming beaches or shooting at Germans. I'm talking about the NFL draft. This is probably my favorite non-holiday day of the year. Sure, there's Opening Day in baseball and the Super Bowl, but the draft is truly my favorite. Even when it's not draft day, I love being able to tell people where a certain player went to college, when he was drafted, his 40 time, and all down the line. I'll admit it, I'm a little obsessive about the draft. You know how kids are the day before Christmas? That's how I am the day before the draft. It's a little weird, I realize. Stop trying to change me.

For those of you who aren't utterly obsessed with sports, now may be a good time to stop reading. At the same time, you might want to stick around and learn something about me. And isn't that why we're all here? To learn about our fellow man? Ok, enough of that drivel.

Ever since Madden Football came up with Dynasty Mode, where you could run a team for a number of seasons, I've been obsessed with running a football team. My absolute dream job would be a general manager of an NFL team. On Madden, I would usually simulate all the games and skip ahead to the off season, specifically the draft. Even on a video game, I was thoroughly entertained by drafting football players.

Now, back to real life. Watching the draft has always been a big deal. Throw some steaks on the grill, call your buddies up and make a day of it. It's really the ultimate football fan (read:male) bonding experience. This is not to say women don't or can't watch, but honestly how many women are going to argue about a wide receiver from Rutgers time and his time in the 40 yard dash and whether that means he can play the X receiver spot for the Giants? I love predicting which player will be a bust or who will be an all-pro. I love predicting the picks before they happen. I read about the draft year round. I devour mock drafts.

I realize becoming a GM for an NFL team is a long shot. Wes and I joked it would be more likely that one of us became an owner rather than a GM. I suppose if I can't be a GM, the next Mel Kiper wouldn't be so bad. Or maybe Adam Schefter. I don't like putting gel in my hair.

So, what is your favorite non-holiday day of the year?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top 10 Movie Trilogies

Disclaimer: Some of these trilogies, when viewed as a whole, are not exactly great collections of three movies. In some cases, two of the movies were enough to carry a less than stellar third movie. The first trilogy is the perfect example. I have seen the first two movies in this trilogy at least 25 times each, yet I have never been able to sit through the third. Yet, the strength of the first two still bring this to the top of the list.

Also, before we get to the list, movies such as Rocky do not make the list because there are more than 3. Yet, some of the movies I include have added more recent (and terrible) versions, yet the original trilogies make the list. It doesn't quite make sense, does it? Yet, it does. You'll see after you read.

1. The Godfather. The first two movies are two of the top 5 to 7 movies of all time. The third is utter crapola. Yet, this is the top of the mountain. Imagine that. I always stop and watch whenever I see these on AMC or any other channel.

2A. Indiana Jones. I'm only considering the movies starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Not the 186 year old version in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or whatever it's called. I never even saw it. I just assume it was lousy. But the first three movies were classic action adventure movies in the 1980s.

2B. I know I'm cheating with the numbers here, but deal with it. You're not the IRS. Get over yourself. The Terminator and T:2 were so great, they can carry the flop of T:3 and the what I can only assume will suck T:4. T:3 was so bad I watched it with my brother and we forget we had seen it and rented it again and were surprised when it was terrible the second time and then remembered we had seen it a few months earlier but had blocked it out because it was so bad the first time but we forget and rented it again because we forgot how bad it was the first time and then were surprised when it sucked the second time. T:2 may have been the best action movie of all time. May have been.

3. Just the same as Indiana Jones, Die Hard (the first 3) were incredible. Pure action. Bruce Willis at his best. Then, one generation later, another version with the same aging (decrepit?) star. Still, you have to love the first three Die Hard movies. I think the third one was the best. But #1 was great. As was #2. Just a great trilogy, plus a stupid fourth which I am (once again) conveniently leaving out of consideration.

4. Back to the 1980s (and 1990 for #3) for Back to the Future. How many times have you seen these movies? Every time, they're great, aren't they? I knew you'd agree with me.

5. Major League. Again, like the Godfather series, the third installment of Major League can only be categorized as a disaster. However, the first two are great. Well, the first one is great and the second one is pretty good. Still, the first was strong enough to carry a solid movie and a real flop. And, yes, I am aware I compared Major League to the Godfather. Sheen, Snipes, Bernsen, Berenger and Quaid can compare with Pacino, DeNero, Caan, Brando, Duvall, and Vigoda.

6. I suppose at some point I'd have to include Star Wars. I'm going with the first trilogy (in terms of release), which is the second trilogy (in terms of the story). I guess this was more influential for other people than me, but it has to make the list.

7. Sticking with the science fiction genre, the Lord of the Rings collection makes its appearance. These were good movies, even if they were a bit "nerdy." I'll admit it, I have them on DVD. But I feel kinda dorky because of that. I'll live though. (Disclaimer: I think I'm a little crabby because the Rockets got hosed in Portland. All I'm saying is any time Joey Crawford is involved, the home team wins and the series is extended. I'm not saying the NBA is fixed. I'm not saying refs are crooked.)

8. The Man with no Name trilogy. If you don't like these, you're not a good person. Clint Eastwood at his best (and not his leathery-ist).

9. Even though he can't act, Keanu Reeves did star in the Matrix trilogy. Even if this may have been a Biblical allegory, the Matrix was still pretty dang cool. It did start the whole bullet dodging sequence.

10A. I considered making this higher on the list, but the third movie left such a bad taste in my mouth. It really was terrible. But the strength of Captain Jack Sparrow, who was actually in the first two movies (and not so much in #3) allows The Pirates of the Caribbean to round out the list.

10B. The Bourne Series. Look, I know a lot of people loved this movie. But I fell asleep watching one of them. In the theater. During the afternoon. It just didn't deliver the way it could have been. Just like Pirates, this was a lot of hype and marketing and not much in the way of a good movie. Both make the list because of potential, but rank this lowly because of failure to live up to that promise. Disagree if you want to. That's what the comments section is for, folks.

Honorable mention: Rambo, Blade, Alien, El Mariachi (Had it not been for Once Upon a Time In Mexico, this would have made the list) and Naked Gun.

Not so honorable mention: The Fast and the Furious, Crank, The Transporter, Scream and Final Destination.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Top 10 Lawyer Movies

Well, with my law school career coming to an end (I have 11 [and counting] classes left), I figured now was as good a time as any to post my list of the top 10 lawyer movies.

1. Let's start with my favorite lawyer movie and one of my favorite movies of all time: A Time to Kill. There was a great line by Samuel L. and a great acting performance by Matthew McConaughey, perhaps the only one of his career. His closing argument was phenomenal.

2. This is a little more on the light side, but it is still a Southern murder movie involving two youths. My Cousin Vinny. This is how NOT to do cross examination.

3. Another quotable movie emerges at #3. A Few Good Men. A typical opening statement by the prosecution. One of Jack Nicholson's finest moments. Even Jack Bauer had a role in this movie.

4. The oldest movie on my list, To Kill a Mockingbird is, again, one of my favorite movies of all time. The book ain't so bad, either. Atticus Finch is the model of what a lawyer should be: integrity, honor, morals. There isn't much more to add.

5. Philadelphia. A sad movie, but a great movie. I really enjoyed the fact that Denzel Washington was not as holier-than-thou as he usually was in the mid 1990s. Also, there was a funny spoof on Family Guy.

6. Primal Fear. This was the first movie in which Edward Norton displayed his incredible acting ability. Great movie, great ending. Richard Gere played a typical defense attorney where people always wonder what trick he has up his sleeve.

7. Another Tom Cruise movie, but The Firm was a very good movie.

8. Another racial inequality in the South movie, Ghosts of Mississippi is a movie I stop to watch whenever I catch it on TNT or HBO.

9. the Pelican Brief. This movie scores points for me because it was filmed in New Orleans and Julia Roberts played a Tulane law student. A scene was even filmed in then law school building Jones Hall room 102.

10. A hilarious movie, Trial and Error, rounds out my top 10. This is basically 90 minutes of Seinfeld's Kramer being Kramer, not to be confused with Kramer vs. Kramer. An out of work actor decides to pretend to be an attorney. High jinks and shenanigans ensue.

Honorable mention goes to 12 Angry Men (the original), Jury Duty (just kidding) and The Devil's Advocate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Orleans

I was in New Orleans this weekend for a wedding. After the wedding (and a beat down at black jack by the lovely people at Harrah's) we (and by we I mean a lot of people from the wedding) went to Pat O'Brien's. We walked in and saw Mark Cuban, billionaire, standing in the corner. His Mavericks were in town to play the Hornets. I walked over to him, introduced myself and asked if I could buy him a drink. He said that he should buy me a drink, but I told him it would be my pleasure to buy the drink. So I bought the billionaire a Hurricane. He introduced himself to the people I was with and talked with all of us for about 15 minutes. He said he was meeting up with some people later. He gave us some insight into why he was unable to buy the Chicago Cubs (the other owners didn't want him to join, he says). I asked him to trade Dirk Nowitski to the Rockets for Carl Landry, but he didn't think that was a good move. As he left, he came over to us and said bye and remembered our names. Quite impressive.

In other news, the trip was a lot of fun. There are a number of jokes that are simply out of bounds for a family blog such as this. I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Leave Barrack Obama Alone

Ok, let's start out with the obvious. This is not a political blog, and, except on the night of the election, I've steered clear of politics. Some of the most touchy subjects are religion and politics. This is not a political issue. So don't overreact and accuse me of anything. Repeat, this is NOT about politics.

As a disclaimer, I will say I am an Obama fan. Did I wish he had more executive leadership before became our President? Sure. But, at the same time, change was needed, and, so far, it seems as though he hasbeen the changed we needed. Granted, not much has happened yet, but just a new face in the office seems to be a start in the right direction. Do I think Obama is the next Lincoln? No, but that is a tough comparison to make on anything other than a superficial level. Lincoln was one of the top three Presidents (arguably number one) in our history; Obama just recently completed his first 100 days in office. But hey, they were both Senators from Illinois.

Ok, I promised this wouldn't get political, so before I break my promise, let me make my point. I'm sick and tired of hearing about every little thing that happens to Obama. If his wife gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod, I don't care. And neither should you. Why would anyone care about that? I realize some people are calling Obama the first celebrity President, but this is going too far. I don't care what he lives to eat, where he goes for his morning jog, his favorite websites, how he bowls, or any such nonsense. I want to know what Presidential duties he is performing and how he is performing them. Do I care what Obama's Final Four picks are? Nope, sure don't. All I'll say about that is I got 3 out of 4 and I'm pulling for UNC tomorrow so I can get second place in, uhh, a bracket for, uhh, pride and, uhh, honor. That's it, pride and honor and cash. Whoops.

Anyway, back to Obama. I don't want to sound like the guy (Stephen Crag) who said he was not Mark Twain (NOT safe for work: profanity), but leave Barrack Obama alone. Let the man (I'm not being sexist Laura and Abbie, he is a man...I'm stating a fact, so relax) do his job. Let him lead our country. There is a war going on. Our economy is not exactly booming. But Obama's choice for First Dog leads the evening news. Or whether he used his middle name when talking to Nicolas Sarkozy and what that means for our national security. Get with the freakin' program, people.