Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kids These Days

Yesterday, my soon-to-be 11 year old cousin invited me to his birthday party. He was having a sleepover with five of his friends. His brother had a make up baseball game, so my aunt and uncle asked me if I could keep them by myself for a bit while they were at the ballpark. I had them for about four hours and then we all went to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. We played the sock game, capture the flag and basketball. If none of those are familiar to you, you never came over to my house in elementary school.

It's funny because I was sitting there with my aunt, uncle, and a table full of fifth-graders, and I was wearing my Grizzlies shirt fully immersed in the game on the big screen. None of these kids were even paying any attention to the game. They were playing trivia, which is cool. I just remember being in fifth grade and knowing starting lineups. Parker and I could probably name at least three players from each time. No lies.

I turned to my uncle and said something about it, and he thinks it's technology/ video games. That might be the case. I was enjoying the Grizz really putting it on the Spurs, but that moment really brought me down. I remembered my mom coercing me into playing basketball outside until dinner and then out again until it got dark. And that was just my mom. My dad would actually come out and work me over (he has a mean Larry Bird-ish jump shot).

I thought all hope was lost until we got home and saw how they acted. I hopped on my laptop and started editing some footage, but I was pleased by what I saw. There was a little truth or dare. Some poor kid got dared to drink toilet water. Surprise, surprise, this guy actually acted like an adult (or buzzkill depending on the viewpoint). I didn't allow that to happen. I told them that it would either kill you or give you a rare disease that made your toenails fall off. It was summer, I saw flip-flops, so it worked.

They even pulled a few pranks. I realized that the spirit of kids is alive and well even if they do seem to be hidden behind a wall of electronics. I realized pretty quick that I'm actually getting old. I could barely play 5 minutes of capture the flag without feeling like the way Star Jones looks. It was a real eye opener.

Whenever I feel depressed about getting older, I just look at Manu Ginobili. I mean, he's a professional basketball star and he either needs to get a Bosley or paint an eye on the back of that bald spot. It makes me realize that we're all vulnerable, and that's the moral of this blog post, folks.

I fell in love with the NBA (again)

Back in March, Benjamin Ray invited Parker and me to go to a Grizzlies game with him. We got cheap seats, but I really think that there isn't a bad seat at an NBA game. I always try to go to a different MLB ballpark every summer with my dad. I enjoy MLB games, but they just aren't as action packed as an NBA game. It just isn't as exciting.

I had been in love with the NBA since my elementary school days and Benjamin had completely rekindled that love for the game simply by inviting me to that Memphis game. I went to NYC the following week and went to a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden with my friend Kris. Then, I went to LA two weeks later and saw the Lakers play the Mavs at Staples Center. Those three games I had basically nosebleed seats. I really could give two craps about the tickets because the view was great regardless.

I remember being eight years old and watching Kobe Bryant play for the first time. I was mesmerized. I bought a jersey, two posters, books, trading cards, shirts, shoes, etc. that were all Kobe endorsed and whatnot. He has been my favorite player, and finally getting to see him play in person was an experience that I'll never forget. It really made me realize why I love the NBA. It's just something about the excitement.

I've been following the NBA season/post season like crazy since March. I went to Buffalo Wild Wings for a bit tonight and watched the Grizz play the Spurs. I've been completely shocked by the Grizzlies big-time play against San Antonio. I was so stoked that they pulled off the upset tonight. The Memphis v. OKC match up will be incredible (and I"m hoping to break it down tomorrow).

So, it's really got me thinking about my next sporting event. I'd love to go see the Grizzlies at home playoff game. Travis, director of Ten-Four Ministries, called me a few days ago and offered me the opportunity to fly to D.C. and shoot some footage. I jumped at the opportunity. I'll be flying out Saturday morning and returning early Sunday, but the Nationals play at home for a day game that Saturday. I'm really hoping that I'm able to catch a bit of that game while I'm there. Even if I get there late, I really want to catch part of a game.

Don't get me wrong, there's a bit of unrivaled nostalgia that surrounds a pro baseball game, but it just doesn't have the action of an NBA game. If anyone happens to go see the Grizz, please let me know. I'm definitely in.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Twilight Zone

I think I have a serious problem. It's 2 a.m. and I'm on the 26th episode of "The Twilight Zone." No, I haven't watched all of them in a row, but it's seriously been over the span of two weeks. When Netflix put the first few seasons to be instant streamed, I was stoked.

Netflix has literally changed my life. People would always ask me, "Ben, have you seen _____?" I would generally always respond with some type of no. I'm shocked at how many movies I've seen in a year and a half as a Netflix advocate. It's unbelievable. I mean, back in the day, it would cost me probably close to $30 a month for the amount of movies I get each month via DVD in the mail.

Don't get me wrong, Redbox is pretty dang chill, but I DIG my instant streaming on Netflix. I think we've tried to simplify the movie rental process, but we've actually made it more confusing. I hate, hate, hate having to wait in line at Redbox. There are several all around Florence, but there always seems to be people waiting in line. Not just that, but what happens when it rains? No one wants to hide from the elements under the "Redbox flap." If you do, whatever floats your boat, man.

Neflix has all of these people reviewing titles and it's completely screwing with what I decide to watch. There are a few people that I even give a rat's butt crack about their movie opinions. Steven Herring, Kris Kirk and Ryan Hodgin and that's pretty much it. I don't really care that Billy Joe in Wisconsin gave "Se7en" 2.5 stars, that movie is in my top 5. I'd rather have a close friend, with tastes in movies comparable to mine say, "Hey man, that movie sucked. " Or "Dude, that one is a must-see."

That means a lot more to me than the anonymous person typing over the Internet. Don't call me crazy, some people have awesome opinions. I just think some people try to act all uber, holier-than-thou movie critic when they're favorite movie is "Gigli."

I have a really simple way of deciding whether I like a movie or not. It either needs to entertain me enough that I really enjoy myself, or else it should leave me completely challenged. I can't tell you how much I love psych thrillers. They're tight.

I'm not sure where I was going with this, but if haven't signed up for Netflix, DO IT NOW! It will be a decision that you can't possibly regret. The 9 second mark describes what I want to say to you, the reader.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Picking up where I left off

As of now, I am making it a point to pick this back up where I left off. For so long I have actually had a creative outlet for my work. Now, I have found that I don't. I was not hired back as The Flor-Ala's exec. The saddest thing is that I no longer have editorials.

I am truly going to miss having 450 words to say whatever the heck I wanted and I was guaranteed that a majority of people on campus were going to be exposed to my opinions. It was awesome for my ego. I imagine it's how LeBron feels when ESPN showers him with attention, except all the tens of people that read my work probably won't follow me here. Either way, this will still be a great place for me to vent, update my friends and family that I don't see that much and let you all know what I'm working on next.

I really need to establish a time and day that I will be doing these updates and stick with it. Unfortunately, I have reached the end of my creative wits for the night. I will post again tomorrow ...