20 July 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Because I've desperately wanted to blog but lacked the focus to do so lately, I decided to steal an idea (while giving credit, mind you, so it's technically not stealing nor is it plagiarism but it's also easier to write steal than give this kind of long-winded explanation) that I saw an old college friend borrow from someone else (language alert on that last one). The original idea is to discuss ten things (on Tuesday) going on in my life as a means of catching up, but I'm just going to modify it to apply to ten things that I've done or been thinking about. Sure, most people will be reading this on Wednesday (if ever), and a Five on Friday idea would be much easier, but it's still technically Tuesday as I begin to write and Friday would be a much more difficult day to attempt this, which leads to number one.

1. Coming on the heels of our anniversary weekend trip to Las Vegas, the wife and I are headed out there for a truncated one night stay to show some friends how to do things up right. Never in my life did I expect to be the kind of person that could show Vegas newbies around town, but with our trips over the last few years coming about every six months, I guess it's time to accept that my wife and I are those people.

2. Aside from the time I spent lesson planning with Ms. Windt last month, today was one of the most productive of the summer. I replaced my car key battery, took Spider-Man (the dog) to get his vaccinations, saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon, got some quality reading time in, and went to the gym. This is what passes for accomplishment during the summer.

3. Spider-Man (the dog) has been having a bit of a rough time today due to said vaccinations or just the visit to the vet in general. Either way, dog vomit is annoying but also a great name for a hardcore punk band. He's fine now, thankfully.

4. Speaking of lesson planning, thanks to mine and Ms. Windt's foresight, we have the first four weeks of Frosh Honors English planned out. This is an amazing feat. Trust me.

5. A trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man leaked today. When it comes to comic book movies, I really try to give them the benefit of the doubt until their release, but so many things bug me (HAH!) about the choices Marc Webb and company are making for the film that I'm beginning to wonder if the director got the gig based solely on his name (See what I did there?). The costume hasn't wowed me mostly because I don't like the rounded off red section that remains disconnected from the belt, however, I understand the need to set the costume apart visually from the Raimi movies. I don't even mind that Sony has chosen to reboot a franchise whose last movie came out just four years ago. Despite the so-so box office returns, The Incredible Hulk was a short-term reboot that fixed and addressed the problems with the Ang Lee original. What kills me is the idea that we, the audience, have such short-term memories that they need to once again do another retelling of Spider-Man's origin. The same applies to the upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel. You know those "Previously on..." segments at the beginning of one hour dramas? That's how long it should take to tell the origin of any comic book character that's had a film in the past 25 years. Comic books have told interesting stories about superheroes for nearly 80 years now and have done so without needing to constantly spend a third or more of their content space devoted to the origin of the character.

6. CM Punk really is the Best Wrestler in the World right now, and I'm glad I spent money watching him put on a classic match at WWE Money in the Bank. I won't bore anyone by recapping his recent phenomenal storyline here; it's hard to appreciate if you're not a long-term fan. However, Punk's exit that night (a screencap of which I included) was one of the greatest in recent memory. By the by, if anyone knows a way to get me a copy of the shirt he wore to the ring for his match that night, I would really dig it. The current asking price for an XL on eBay has been in the neighborhood of $250, since it was a limited edition deal that was only available at the show in Chicago. But I figure the many people who will see this are industrious and/or richer than I am, so it never hurts to ask.

7. Why isn't there a Dunkin Donuts presence here in Southern California? Granted, not having access to yet another donut chain is probably good for my wallet and waistline, but I am a glutton for movie tie-ins, especially comic book movie tie-ins. After getting a Thor Big Gulp cup back in May, I assumed that 7-Eleven would handle all of my Marvel needs by handling the Captain America stuff, too. Then I could have a matching set of Avengers cups prior to the team finding their way to the big screen next summer. Unfortunately, Dunkin Donuts scored that particular license, and none exist in a 50 mile radius. Seriously, I looked. It doesn't help that the franchise still advertises in California, thus rubbing it in my face that I can never drink a Captain America Coolatta. I don't even know what a "Coolatta" is but if Captain America puts his name on it, then it can't be bad.

8. I also wanted to devote an entire entry to testosterone replacement therapy and it's use among UFC/MMA fighters, but I devote too much space to the latter subject on this blog as it is, so I'll just speak to the former here. It's cheating. Men that do genuinely need testosterone replacement therapy fall into two camps: those who are later along in life (usually in their late 40's to early 50's) and experience a genuine drop in their body's level of testosterone and those who have artificially boosted their level of testosterone through the use of steroids and damaged their endocrine system to the degree that they now need to bring their body's amount up to normal levels. If fighters fall into either of the two camps, they should no longer be professional fighters. Period. Here's what most people seem to forget about the use of steroids in mixed martial arts: they don't make a fighter stronger, granting an incredible Hulk-like physique. They aren't a super soldier serum that will suddenly make scrawny Steve Rogers into taller and buffer Captain America. A person taking steroids will not wake up with more muscles the next day or the next week. Steroids allow people to recover from workouts faster so they can workout more without the fatigue and muscle soreness associated with working out. It doesn't matter if a fighter tests positive for steroids on the day of their fight, as is the norm for testing with almost every state athletic commission these days. Should a fighter test positive on that day, that person is an idiot who didn't get the full use out of the steroids in the first place. Taking steroids during their training camp is where the benefit lies. This is why UFC should pay for truly random out-of-competition testing for their fighters as condition of the new health insurance the company has provided for them. Anyone who claims a need for therapeutic use should be shown the door, which sadly includes Chael Sonnen, a fighter I happen to enjoy a great deal.

9. Noticing gray hair in my beard is really cool because I feel like I'm one step closer to that distinguished professorial look I've always wanted to achieve. Next stop, corduroy jackets with suede elbow patches!

10. Man, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was an awful movie. However, Sam Witwicky's mom is still the most entertaining character in the entire franchise. Even if Shia LeBeef fails to return for the next one, I sure hope his parents make an appearance.

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