Archive for the ‘Beautiful Things’ Category

Dec
0

Teddy Bear Tossing

The mayhem of 25,000 teddy bears flying through the air + children at local hospitals receiving all of them = Beautiful Things.

 

Feb
0

Way Back Home

This video hit me on a lot of levels. As a kid that watched “Rad” hundreds of times and lived on a bike for years (and still attends the X-games most summers in LA), I can tell you that the bike stunts are amazing, but you won’t need me to tell you that when you see it. There is also much artistry to behold in the scenery, the music, and the camera work.

You know how it’s almost discouraging when you see the awe-inspiring things that other people can create? This is one of those times.

 

 

Original link: Danny MacAskill’s “Way Back Home”

Jan
0

My So-Called Life | Retro Review

Today TV is littered with so-called teenage dramas, mostly unwatchable and predictably base. In comparison My So-Called Life, which ran about 15 years ago on ABC stands out like a diamond in a landfill.

The show was so far ahead of its time that there will probably never come a time when its time arrives. It perfectly captured the agonizing teenage quest of identity and purpose without being pretentious or careless. And it had the heart of a lion. Lead by Claire Danes in her unforgettable breakout performance, the cast of characters made you feel every emotion and you could relate in some way to all of them. You celebrated the good times and your heart wrenched with the bad, because everything that happened on the show felt real, like it was something that happened to you or could happen next week. If you’re a fan a show, you know how just hearing the theme music conjures up nostalgia, heartache, hope, angst. The writing, acting, and execution all seem flawless, but what I can’t stress enough is the realness of it. It’s raw yet refined. As today’s shows drift further and further into fantasy and superficiality, MSCL stands as a beacon of authenticity.

My So-Called Life

Inconceivably to it’s viewers both past and present, it only ran for one season. The entire series is only 19 episodes, but that only adds to the show’s mystique. Had it continued on it likely would have been the victim of network pressures and ratings chicanery. So maybe it’s better that way. For that one season they captured perfection on film, and its audience is better for it. Short-lived, yes, but timeless.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some links. Whether you are a teenager, were once one, or are thinking about becoming one, I think you will like it.

DVD box set

iTunes

Hulu

Jun
0

The Karate Kid | Retro Review

The Karate Kid All-Valley Championship

I have mixed feelings about the idea of a remake of my favorite movie of all time, but I’m going to see it. I’ll post a review, but first my thoughts on the original…

I will always remember where I was when I first saw The Karate Kid. In the living room of a friend’s house I sat stunned in a black recliner, overcome by excitement, wonder, and amazement. The year was 1986 and I was 9. I had seen movies before, probably quite a few. This was the first time one actually captivated me.

I was at just the right age for the movie to be a perfect storm. I was old enough to be emotionally involved, but not old enough to see the big payoff coming. The scene where Mr. Miyagi reveals to Daniel that the chores he had been doing were actually karate training blew my mind. I volunteered many times that summer to wash my Dad’s car. I also stained our fence, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t need it. The movie’s soundtrack provided an inspirational backdrop for many football and basketball games in my backyard – I had to buy more than one replacement cassette tape. The tournament scenes were reenacted with friends and unfortunate little brothers who involuntarily ended up playing the part of Johnny Lawrence. Thousands have created their own Daniel Larusso or Cobra Kai costumes for Halloween, and all kinds of merchandise is still made and sold on eBay. Continue Reading…

Jun
2

Beautiful Imperfection

On June 2, Major League Baseball pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from pitching the first perfect game in Detroit Tigers history. In 135 years of MLB there have been only 20 perfect games thrown – fewer than people that have orbited the moon. Its the feat of a lifetime for a pitcher.

The 27th and would-be-final batter hit a routine ground ball which was fielded and thrown to first in time to get the runner out. However, the umpire incorrectly called the play safe, single-handedly stealing the perfect game from Galarraga. The New York Times called it “easily the most egregious blown call in baseball over the last 25 years”. The Tigers’ manager and many players were understandably upset and immediately began arguing the call in defense of their teammate. Anyone who’s played competitive sports knows how upsetting it can be when umpires or referees make a bad call, and this was the worst of calls on the largest stage.

Galarraga must have gone crazy right? Nope. He offered a sheepish smile, collected himself, and calmly retired the next batter to end the game. Because of the the way he conducted himself in recording the first ever “28-out perfect game”, he will be remembered more in the hearts of many than if the umpire had made the correct call. Asked about it after the game he said “I got a perfect game. Maybe it’s not in the book, but I’m going to show my son someday.” Asked about the umpire, he said “nobody is perfect… Inside of my heart, I don’t have any problem.”

Quite the contrast from the actions we’ve been seeing from other pro athletes recently.

Its worth mentioning that the umpire involved, Jim Joyce, also handled it well. He immediately owned up to his mistake after seeing the replay, and was very apologetic to Galarraga. The next day at Comerica Park the two would shake hands as Tigers fans stood in recognition of the great sportsmanship on display. Joyce wiped tears from his eyes when the crowd serenaded him onto the stadium field with applause in a sympathetic show of forgiveness and understanding.

I just wanted to give props to both and say thanks for being good examples. I’m going to try to do the same going forward when in similar situations.