Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Top Five

Top Five Reality Shows and Why I Enjoy Them

5. Wipeout - Wednesday Nights ABC - I consider all gameshows reality TV. If you haven't seen this show, you need to just trust me, and take the time to watch it. Remember the fat kid in grade school that used to get picked last for kickball? And the bimbo blonde cheerleader in high school whose whole world revolved around what other people thought of her? Well, imagine hundreds of people like that, but now they are all grown up, they are fatter and dumber, and are on giant obstacle courses with foam and mud. I cannot do it justice, you must watch at least once.

4. The Bachelor/Bachelorette - not sure where or when it's on - but Michelle watches it occasionally as I am falling asleep. I am not a fan of this show. In fact, I can't think of a worse premise for a television program. However, it's amusing to hear all of the guys talk about how they have this "special connection" with the current season's attention-starved bachelorette. Then, they get sent home and they cry about how they are heartbroken over a girl that they have been out with twice. It's like a trainwreck - you don't want to watch, but you just have to.

3. So You Think You Can Dance - Wednesday and Thursdays FOX - those who can't dance, watch. That explains why I think I like this show. I never thought I would ever understand who is a good dancer and who is NOT a good dancer. But, I am starting to get it. This is the 2nd full season that I have been watching, and I can honestly say (and I promise, I am the most manly of manly men) I really really love this show.

2. The O'Reilly Factor - everyday 5PM Fox News Channel - I know what you are thinking, not a reality TV show. You are wrong. Nothing is more reality TV than the news. And I think my favorite news guy in the world ever is Bill O'Reilly. In fact, for Father's Day, I was hoping to receive a No Spin t-shirt, or an American Patriot t-shirt, or at least a No Pinheads bumper sticker - no such luck. I never miss an episode - the Factor is the best, except when he has that moron Glenn Beck on.

1. American Idol - I can't wait for Idol to start again. This show has turned into a cultural phenomenon and (once again, manly man) I absolutely love this show. From the hideous auditions, to the Hollywood week, to the top 24 contestants, I love it all. I love the judges, except for when Paula gets excited and can't form complete sentences. I love that every year, there is some crazy contestant that is not that good that makes it to the top 5 (like Sanjaya). And I love that ever since I have been watching, I think America has gotten it right every year.

I would be interested to hear some of your favorite reality TV shows . . . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bad News Backs

I mentioned in a previous post that the D-Backs are suffering through a bad season because of various reasons: injury, offensive woes, managment, etc. I would like to retract that statement after this weekend's series with the Angels and replace it with the following assertion: The Arizona Diamondbacks suck. Bad. Real bad.

There have been several moments during this season where I have decided in a fit of fury that I will not watch this team anymore because it is just too maddening, only to return to watching them because of my passion for baseball. However, I decided yesterday, after the absolute embarrassment that was the top of the 5th inning, what I was watching WASN'T BASEBALL. I cannot watch them anymore.

For those of you that didn't watch the ill-fated 5th inning of yesterday's game, it started with a fairly routine groundball to shortstop. Stephen Drew picked it up, made a perfect throw to 1st baseman Mark Reynolds. It hit him right in the glove, and he dropped it. Just dropped it. Error number 1. Then, the AL pitcher, who never hits, EVER, singled to left field. Then, a hard hit ground ball to third was bobbled which cost the D-Backs a run. It wasn't counted as an error, because he actually recorded an out. Then, a fairly hard hit line drive was hit right at Justin Upton - I mean right at him. It glanced off his glove and rolled to the wall - I mean, I honestly thought I was seeing things. Another run scored on the D-Backs 2nd error of the inning (actually 3rd if you counted the 3rd baseman's bobble). At that point, the D-Backs were still in the game so they pulled the infield in to stop the runner on third from scoring. What happened next was so spectacular, I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it. Ground ball RIGHT AT the 2nd baseman, Felipe Lopez. I mean, he didn't have to move one step in either direction. The ball went right through his legs. It was so ridiculous that even the homer D-Back announcers starting bagging on the team. 1 hit by a pitcher, 3 errors (actually 4), 3 runs scored, 1 out recorded. The pitcher, Max Scherzer, got pulled, the new pitcher came in, threw 3 pitches and gave up a two run homer. Game over.

If it weren't so laughable, I probably would have cried. The Bad News D-Backs were swept by the Angels and not only have the 2nd worst record in Major League Baseball, but also have more errors than any other team IN THE WORLD. I honestly don't think I can watch them again this season. It's too painful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday - A Day of Rest?

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a Latter-Day-Saint. I am a Mormon - you know, Mitt Romney, Steve Young, Orrin Hatch, just to name a few. (Hopefully, there's no one out there saying to themselves, "Wow, I never would have guessed HE was Mormon.") Anyway, we believe that the Sabbath Day is on Sunday and that it is sacred and a day of rest. So, I have decided that if I am going to try and blog at least a little something everyday, on Sundays, I will try to talk a little about religion and my faith. Hopefully, for those of you who might not be LDS, reading these Sunday blogs will take a little bit of the mystery out of what sometimes seems to be a mysterious religion.

One of the major tenets of our faith is remembering the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. This generally means that we try to take it easy on Sundays - we attend our church meetings and work with the other members in our areas, we try to provide service to others, we worship, we try to stay away from commercial activities and spend time with our families. The Sabbath Day is SUPPOSED to be a day of rest. I guess my question is - When do I actually get to start RESTING on Sundays?

This morning, I woke up at 6:15, showered, shaved and made it to the Church building right around 6:45 for a 7AM bishopric meeting. I met for 45 minutes with the Bishop and the rest of the Bishopric. Then, at 7:45, we met for another 45 minutes with other leaders in our ward talking about various members who are in need and what we can do for them. Then, with a couple other men, I set up around 150 chairs for a Sunday School class later in the day. We made it back to the chapel just in time for 9AM Sacrament Meeting only to realize that the A/C wasn't working and it was about 90 degrees in the chapel. We met for an hour, then I went to Sunday School for an hour, then to a meeting with the young women's group in our ward. After the regular block of meetings was over at noon, I attended a special ordination of a young man that lasted another 30 minutes, only to be followed by more Bishopric duties and preparing for the week's activities and service projects. I got home around 1:30, helped feed my kids, and prepared for a monthly youth meeting that night at the Bishop's home, which was eventually cancelled.

After catching a quick power nap, we left to go out to Mesa to have dinner with my Mom and sisters. Although I love going to my Mom's house for dinner, because I love seeing my Mom and sisters and eating good food (and man, did we eat some good food tonight), there really is nothing restful about 14 grandkids under the age of 10 running around and playing/fighting/loving each other. The highlight (or lowlight) was when Julia, my 5 year old, somehow cut her lip and bled all over the place and she honestly thought she was going to die. I don't know how my Mom does it - she is the picture of composure and patience. But generally speaking, NOBODY was getting any rest.

Bottom line, it's 10:50 at night and after fighting to get our kids' teeth brushed, and saying prayers and telling stories about my childhood and finally wrestling our kids to bed (and there is NO WAY they are actually asleep right now), I really don't feel like I got much rest today. In fact, I think if you ask pretty much any member of the LDS Church if Sundays feel like a day of rest, most of them will tell you emphatically, NO! they do not.

However, I love the Sabbath Day. Sunday is absolutely the best day of the week. The Sabbath Day is not necessarily ever a day of rest, it is more like a day of stress. But for me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

There Will Never be Another King of Pop

When I heard about the untimely death of Michael Jackson, as most people, I was saddened but not shocked. If there is a more tragic figure in my entertainment lifetime, I would like to know who it is. (All due respect to Aaliyah, Tupac, the Notorious BIG and that Left Eye chick from TLC) At first, I didn't think that I would be all that affected by his passing; I mean he really hasn't put out a good album since . . . well . . . since he transformed himself into a creepy white woman.

However, today Michelle and I took the kids swimming and as we swam, we listened to nothing but Michael's music, sort of as a tribute. Most of it was from the Thriller album - released 27 years ago when I was 8 years old. As we listened and watched our kids dance and sing along to the music (even Justin, who just turned 3, was grooving to PYT), I came to the realization that some music reaches across generations and transcends time. Song after song after song came on and Michelle I would look at each other and say, "I love this song".

As I got home this morning from helping a new lady in our ward move into her new home, Michelle was watching what seemed to be some type of documentary on MC Hammer (another tragic figure). He has to be about 45 or 50 years old and he was singing (well, sort of singing/rapping/breathing heavy) Hammer Time. I said to myself, "I can't believe I used to love this song". MC Hammer's music, although it was good in its time, is a good example of music that does NOT transcend time.

The genius of Michael Jackson is that his music will ALWAYS be great - no matter when or where you live. He will always be The King of Pop, and there will NEVER be another like him.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Arizona Sports Stinks (Right Now)

Before I rant for a minute, I would like to publicly thank my sister Wendi for becoming my first of what I am sure to be millions of "followers" of my blog. I am going to figure out a way to hang a picture of Wendi on my blog - much like a small privately owned business frames their first earned dollar on the wall next to their business license.

It's really no fun to be an Arizona sports fan right now. My favorite NBA team, the Suns, just finished a woefully dismal season, where they didn't make the playoffs, traded Shaq (OK - no complaints on that one), and are about to trade away a 25 year old Amare Stoudemire coming into his prime for pretty much nobody all in the name of cutting salary and saving money . . . . er . . . . I mean rebuilding. It's pathetic. The Suns can expect to be a lottery team for at least a few years. Meanwhile, who is the best team in the NBA??? The Los Angeles Lakers. I hate L.A. sports teams.

My favorite MLB team, the Diamondbacks, are suffering through one of the most brutal seasons I can remember in terms of injuries, bullpen meltdowns, offensive inadequacies and inept management - not only in the front office, but the dugout as well. (Bob Melvin got hosed and AJ Hinch is a moron) They are currently 17 games out of first place and cellar dwellers in the NL West. Meanwhile, who is the best team in baseball right now??? The Los Angeles Dodgers. And the D-Backs got waxed again tonight 12 - 3 by who??? The Anaheim Angels. Did I mention how much I hate L.A. sports teams??

The ASU Sun Devils yesterday lost their only hope of winning the PAC 10 as James Harden was taken #3 in the NBA draft. Who will probably win the PAC 10 - you guessed it. UCLA or USC. At least he wasn't drafted by the L.A. Clippers. Yeah, I hate the Clippers too.

The Coyotes, who honestly I could care less about, are in bankruptcy and about to be sold to an owner who wants to move them to Canada. Too bad - I guess. The next time I watch a Coyotes game will be the first. I wish they would move to L.A.

The only thing we have to hang our hat on right now, ironically enough, is the Arizona Cardinals. I honestly never thought that Arizona's best hope for a professional sports championship would be the Cardinals, but that is the reality. They have an excellent coach, a terrific offense with the best passing game in the NFL (all due respect to Tom Brady) and they are poised to make another run at the Super Bowl. Thank goodness that L.A. doesn't have an NFL franchise.

So for now, I sit depressed at the thought of the Suns in the lottery, the D-Backs losing 100 games, the Coyotes in Canada (well, not so much) and the Sun Devils in the NIT. However, the Cardinals give me reason for hope - and the fact that Clippers will always be terrible. Always.

Reasons for Having My Own Blog

I have decided to start my own blog for several reasons. Some people will ask why have my own blog when my family has a blog that gets updated regularly. My response can best be formulated in a list. I like lists. Here it goes - the reasons why I have started my own blog.

1. I am the self-proclaimed funniest person in all of my family. Honestly, it's not really even that close. Natalie, my younger sister, is amusing. Wendi, another younger sister, can be rather comical. My wife Michelle every once in awhile says something that makes me chortle. But, there really is no one in my life that is consistently as funny as I am. You want proof? Just ask me.

2. I love to talk and I am quite opinionated. This is a forum where I can say pretty much whatever I want and absolutely nobody can stop me. It's beautiful.

3. I am sure that I will talk a lot about my family and my life. A blog is a very easy way to keep a journal without feeling like I am keeping a journal. My mother-in-law will be so proud.

4. I am a mortgage broker by profession - let's be honest, I've got time to kill.

5. I like to talk about sports a lot. I am a regular emailer and caller to several sports talk shows. This is a forum where I can get people to read my posts and someday I might land my dream job of sports commentary or sports analysis or sports anything. My wife will be so pleased.

6. I like to speak publicly - it doesn't get much more public than this.

7. I don't talk to my sisters as much as I would like - they generally avoid me. Who could blame them? This is a way to communicate with them without them having to admit that I am their brother. It's a win-win for all of us - communication without talking to each other. (I am just kidding, Mom) And I have a huge extended family that I would like to communicate with without having to go to family reunions. (Again, Mom, kidding)

8. I have the worst memory of any generally healthy 35 year-old male that I know. Sometimes, things happen that I don't remember in a couple of weeks. This way, I can read my own past blogs and entertain myself.

9. I like talking about things that are important to me - sports, politics, government, economics, religion, family, etc. Maybe people will be amused as I opine.

10. I have so much to be thankful for. I am about to be a father for the 4th time, I have a wonderful wife and mother of my children, I have beautiful, healthy children and a wonderful extended family. I want people to know that.

I hope to add to this blog daily and have several million readers . . . . . OK - well not really. I will be satisfied if my family reads and is amused. Actually, I don't much care who reads it - this blog is for me. Someday, I hope I will enjoy reading about my life . . . .