“I’m Done Talking, Let’s Play”

First of all, yes, I did go see a movie. YAY!

And that movie was Battle Of The Sexes, which was excellent. So double YAY!

And Aless was with me. So TRIPLE YAY!

Battle Of The Sexes itself really good. Emma Stone is fantastic, the focus of the movie is completely different than I thought it would be, but we’ll get there. If you’re unfamiliar with the “battle” at the center of the movie, it refers to an exhibition tennis match between long time champion Billie Jean King and retired Hall of Famer Bobby Riggs. It was a media circus, a referendum on women’s sports and a defining career moment for King.

But that match is barely even a part of the movie. It’s much, much more about King, her sexual awakening, (King’s a lesbian, but was married to a man for most of her 20s.) the founding of the Virginia Slims Women’s Tour, and her push to have equal prize money for female champions (A fight she won. The US Open was the first tournament to comply. Billie Jean King is THE SHIT you guys. Read about her.)

Stone’s performance is exceptional. Actually every performance in this movie is exceptional, but she sets the tone. Her confusion as she falls in love with her hairdresser is palpable, her standing her ground is exceptionally rendered.

Steve Carrell brings a broken childish humanity to Riggs too. His story is less compelling but still interesting, an aging addict trying for one last score. He plays Riggs as complicated, a little confused, and somewhat backward (though nowhere near as backward as he came off publicly.)

The supporting cast gives really strong performances, with standouts (naturally) from Alan Cumming and Sarah Silverman. (Seriously, if Silverman doesn’t walk away from awards season without at least a few dozen nominations and at least one statue, I’ll be shocked.)

Overall this is a solid movie, made revolutionary by the life of it’s subject.

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Battle Of The Sexes
  4. Dunkirk
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  6. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  7. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  8. The Dark Tower
  9. Cars 3
  10. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers

Goodbye Christopher Robin – I was sobbing at the trailer for this. Forget about the actual movie, I mean, I’ll see it, but oof.

Wonderstruck – I’m pretty sure I read this book and really enjoyed it. The movie looks really good though.

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Go Sportsball! Score the points!

The fall is one of my favorite times of year. (Pumpkin Spice! Sweaters! Costume Season! My Birthday!) And not least of all because it’s time for Football!

I’ve written about my complicated relationship with my family’s chosen favorite sport a time or two, and being a football fan these days is something that comes with a heavy load of, “my fave is problematic” rationalization.

I’m not going to deal with that right now. Because I’m too busy heading out to South Bend, Indiana for the first time to go to the Mecca of football fans, Notre Dame!

Two of my cousins are currently attending the University and The Irish happen to be taking on Georgia Tech this weekend, where four of my cousins (and one of their spouses) graduated from.

This is after spending last weekend at Fordham seeing my cousin play in a game against Villanova and at Yankee Stadium seeing them play the Toronto Blue Jays. (Baseball, also being a sportsball, it counts) THEN I went home and watched the Men’s Final of the US Open.

What I’m saying is that sometimes it’s nice to leave my superhero hat at home and cheer on talented people who run really fast at each other, and I wanted to celebrate that.

I can be more than one thing is something that I often have to remind even myself, and these weekends are a case of that.

So remember kind reader, that you too can be more than one thing! Go forth and do that.

And Go Irish!

It’s all for The Sacco and The Shiva

I’ve talked before about football and how much I love it and how much it’s meant to me. And I’m really excited for the season to start for a lot of reasons. I’m psyched that I can hang out and watch games again, now not having to work on Sundays or Monday nights. (Might actually get to a couple of games instead of just the 1 I got to last seasons.)

But one of the greatest things about football season coming back means that The League is back.

If you haven’t watched The League, I must assume that you either don’t like football or you don’t like things that are awesome or funny and I guess your life is probably pretty sad.

But, to get you up to speed, The League is about a group of friends and their fantasy football league. The show is “semi scripted” (You know, like Curb!) and always pretty raunchy and like most of FX’s original programming, deeply and truly messed up in the best way possible.

As the gang, Kevin, Jenny, Taco, Ruxin, Andre & Pete all compete for their beloved Shiva (their trophy is named for an unfortunate high school classmate who in fact grew up to be a hot awesome doctor.) and of course, if they lose get the loathed Sacco.

The League was something I wasn’t sure if I would like or not, because I mean, look, it can get a little bit vulgar and pretty sexists and super homophobic. But I’ve learned something about myself, when the work is good enough, I can ignore those things. If I’m laughing, or I’m compelled, then I turn into a hypocrite real fast.

It’s why I finally had to give up Sons of Anarchy, that show was no longer good enough to deal with how shitty it was towards women.

Anyways, let’s talk about The League, not about my fluctuating feminist principles. I just really like this show and I’m glad to see that it’s back. It’s another one that if I had all the time and resources in the world, I would absolutely do weekly recaps of, but well, I’m just me, and I have a job that isn’t writing this blog. (Although, if only, right guys? Ugh.) Anyway, the season premier, which traditionally focuses around the gang’s draft sent them to the funeral of sattelite player Ted (played by the lovely Adam Brody.) Obviously, they had to draft with Ted’s dead body present and when they draft.

If you know the show you might think that you know where this is going but I assure you that you do not.

Kevin accidentally leaves the draft board in Ted’s coffin, and thus they must create a heist in order to get it back. It gets super convoluted, Kevin and Jenny have sex in a morgue and Taco winds up in the coffin.

Anyway, I’m very excited to see what’s ahead.

Go Giants! (Oh shut up, I know they kind of suck this year!)

Let It Go, Warrior Princess

I didn’t talk a whole lot about the Olympics. Other things held on to my attention more, but as I watched The Women’s Free Skate competition on Thursday night, I started thinking about Gracie Gold and her place in the pantheon of great American Olympic figure skaters and found myself thinking, “God, when is she going to get one of those Disney figure skating specials that Michelle Kwan got?”

Do you remember those? I loved figure skating when I was little (still do), because I was an artistically inclined girly girl, and the idea of pretty girls twirling around on ice in sparkly costumes is immensely appealing. So when Disney gave Michelle Kwan a whole hour to just skate to Disney Princess songs in 1999 it was pretty much my dream come true. I think the time has come to do this again, but let’s hand it over to Gracie this time.

Look at That Smile!

Look at That Smile!

I mean really? Don’t we all want to see her zip around the ice to “Let it Go?” (If only because it means we get to listen to “Let it Go.” Not that we need an excuse.) She could even wear her blue costume from the Olympics. Gracie has the poise and attitude of a Disney Princess, too, and actually says that when she goes onto the ice she thinks of herself as a warrior princess. This mentality will give her what she needs to channel Mulan and kill “Reflection.” (It of course will not touch Michelle’s “Reflection” but nothing ever will.) And her natural pretty blonde-ness will give her what she needs to create a memorable interpretation of “A Dream is Wish Your Heart Makes,” and “Once Upon A Dream,” would be a cinch, since she skated to “The Sleeping Beauty” in the Olympics.

This is clearly a good fit. Honestly, someone at Disney please get on this.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter announced yesterday that he’s going to be retiring after this season. This isn’t a huge shock. After he was injured two seasons ago, it’s been hard for him to get back to the unbelievable level that he used to work at.

I don’t talk about sports much here, but while my love for The New York Yankees is just about as deep as my love for any character or book or movie I’ve talked about here, it’s also always felt somehow separate. But to not mark Derek’s announcement, well, I mean, that would be asking far too much of me.

I was in the fourth grade in 1996, when The Yankees had their crazy record breaking World Series Champ seasons. That was Jeter’s rookie season and to me, Jeter has simply defined the Yanks ever since. He’s always been the model of the friendly graceful and restrained outlook that all New York athletes are expected to live up to. Derek didn’t speak out about his teammates, bosses or the incredible shake ups in the Yankee organization during his time. When he was named Captain, Yankee fans, a particularly persnickety bunch when it comes to legacy cheered.

I remember when he hit his 3000th hit, we were having a party at my house, it was my graduation party and my brother left, and drove to Modell’s to buy everyone 3000th hit merchandise. It was great and I kind of love that I was surrounded so thoroughly by the people that I love during this incredibly and historic moment.

My sports fandom is intensely personal and tied in many ways to my family which is one of the reasons I don’t write about it much. Kind of like my Catholicism and my love of Bruce Springsteen, it’s such a huge part of who I am, it just sort of informs how I relate to the world around me and doesn’t much need to be analyzed. Not to say that I follow The Church blindly or that I’d defend say, Nebraska , but when I try to put it in words it all winds up sounding pretty trite.

It’s going to be hard to say good bye to this incredible player, but it’s definitely time to say good bye. Last season was difficult to watch. But there’s no question in any body’s mind that this man is going to the hall of fame.

But of course we still get another season of baseball out of him, so we don’t have to say good bye just yet! Looking forward to it Derek. The fans will miss you for always!

The Captain

Last night I was at Katherine’s birthday party. We were all having a good time. It was at a brew pub with a DJ, which was perfect. We were all dancing, laughing, and watching the Yankee’s play the Detroit Tigers. As they tied up the game in the eighth inning, the DJ started playing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” even though Mariano Rivera has been out since April. (This has been weird.)

Then the impossible happened. After diving for a ball, The Yankee Captain, Shortstop Derek Jeter had to be carried off of the field.

I actually cried

If you aren’t a baseball fan, let me explain to you how bizarre this is. Derek Jeter has been playing for the New York Yankees since 1995, he’s been an all star player for thirteen of those seasons, and the Yankees have won the World Series five times. This man finishes every game he’s in and plays in most of them.

After the game it was announced that Jeter broke his ankle and would be out for the remainder of the post season.

I don’t write about sports a lot. But I love New York Sports teams. Actually, just the Yankees and The Giants. Try though I might, I’ve never been able to get in to hockey or basketball. And there isn’t a New York sports fan, or really a sports fan who doesn’t admire Derek Jeter. He’s an amazing baseball player, a first class philanthropist, and deeply classy. He rarely speaks about anything besides the game, which he seems to take seriously, but not take seriously, you know?

Also he’s kind of attractive, if you’re in to handsome, rich, athletic, funny, charitable guys who gets a free Ford Edge every year

A post season without Derek Jeter is like Halloween without pumpkins, it feels terribly wrong. But here’s hoping the Yankees pull it together and win the world series for their now injured captain.

Are you ready for some football?

People that didn’t grow up in football houses never quite understand my relationship with the game.

I’d never identify myself as a football fan. A baseball fan certainly, a tennis fan, absolutely, but I’d never say I was a football fan.

It’s much deeper than that.

Football is just a part of things in my house. My grandfather is a Giants season ticket holder. Anyone who knows anything about football knows how rare that is. Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor were the first celebrity names I knew. We were a football house. My brother played football, my sister and I were cheerleaders.

I’m very proud of having been a cheerleader. It’s a strangely unfeminist thing to say, but I think it’s important. Not that little girls shouldn’t be allowed to play football if they so choose, or little boys shouldn’t be allowed to be cheerleaders if they so choose, but there’s something strengthening about cheerleading. It teaches you how to be a part of something without being the main event. If there’s anything that children and teenagers need to learn it’s that they can contribute without being the center of attention.

I spent every fall weekend of my life from kindergarten through eighth grade at football games. By high school I was fed up, so my parents stopped making me go. I’d chosen musical theatre over cheering, and still attended the occasional Friday night game when the boys schools that my friends attended played each other. But for the most part I felt free of football, and it felt great.

But sometime in December of 2007, that changed. I was a sophomore in college, and I started to really miss football. My college didn’t have a football team, and was in a small city that didn’t have an NFL team. For the first time in my life, football wasn’t a presence in my life, and I really missed it.

It also didn’t hurt that my family’s beloved New York Giants were on fire. Watching football became fun and exciting in a way it hadn’t been for me since I was a little kid.

Then the impossible happened. That February the Giants entered the Superbowl, and defeated the undefeated New England Patriots. Everyone was flabbergasted. How had it happened? How had Eli Manning, who’d always been talked about as sloppy, as champion Peyton’s less than little brother, beaten Tom Brady, probably the best quarterback of this generation? I still don’t know.

But I did know that I was excited about football again. The next season I went out of the way to watch every Giant game. When the season was less than stellar I started following The Indianapolis Colts (I love my Manning boys!) and The New Orleans Saints.

This is real love.

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the Football season. The Giants weren’t playing. They already celebrated their Superbowl victory by losing spectacularly to the Dallas Cowboys (Booo) on Wednesday. But I still woke up, watched two episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer took a shower, threw on a pair of leggings and my Peyton Manning Colts jersey (now defunct, as Peyton plays for the Denver Broncos.) and trotted downstairs. Until February, this is how I’m going to be dressed every Sunday. Though I will be wearing either my Eli Manning jersey, or my Victor Cruz jersey.

It’s football season readers.

And I’m going to fangirl all over it.