Monday, November 21, 2005


Attempting to remain rut-less

In just the last few weeks, I've started to determine a pattern to my blog postings. Monday has meant football talk, Tuesday the top five, Wednesday something about pop culture, Thursday a news and notes, and Friday some sort of meditation on . . . something.

Well, never let it be said that Our Man in LA doesn't want to keep it fresh. Talked to the wife about this just today. "You could do the Top Five a day early," she suggested.

But that wouldn't do. You can't do a Tuesday Top Five on Monday - even on a Monday in a shortened week, where Monday really feels like Wednesday, and . . . well, you get it.

So I'm going ahead with a news and notes for this one in an attempt to channel my inner Larry King on a different day. Mostly, I suppose, none of these items rate a whole lot of verbiage. But here goes anyway:

1) Went to see Harry Potter this weekend, which isn't really news. Given that the movie took in more than $101 million, it's safe to say that just about every one of you went, too. Decent movie, I thought. Fun. I really liked Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleason's work in it.

But did anyone see the Superman trailer on the movie? Did you? Because as big a super hero backer as I am, it left me cold. I remember seeing the first Spider-man trailer a few years back, how I could feel my blood pumping faster. The Batman Begins trailer left me with something approaching baited breath. Fantastic Four looked lamer than all hell, but that's neither here nor there.

But this? With the pretty boy in the tights, and the music and Marlon Brando's voice from the 70s Superman films?

Let's just say it left me thinking, "Wow. They really did make a couple of great Superman movies when I was in grade school. Maybe I should watch those on DVD."

I mean, I'll go see it when it comes out. There was nothing inherently wrong with the trailer per se. It just felt off.

2) OK: Football news from my home state of Ohio. First and most importantly, my beloved Buckeyes managed to take down Michigan again this year after a game that almost forced me to lose faith in humanity. In the fourth quarter, Michigan was ahead - and through no fault of their own. They'd played miserably, and the Ohio State defense had been great - but the Buckeye special teams and offense had mailed it in.

I called my buddy Rick and reported to him that I might have to turn it off. It was infuriating. He said he was sticking with it, so I relented.

Thirty minutes later, he called me and taunted me for considering turning it off. Because in the time between the two calls, Ohio State's offense decided to show up, played two series perfectly, scored a bunch of points, and won the game. Whew.

For the record, I'm still not used to Ohio State beating Michigan more often than not. After more than a decade alternately known as the Cooper years and the dark ages, a Buckeye fan was used to the idea of having a ridiculously talented team get killed by an inferior Wolverine team the last day of the regular season. Maddening.

But now, with Coach Tressel in the mix, we're 4-1 against the team from up north, with a national championship and another BCS win. Not bad. Not bad at all.

3) By the way, I've heard Michigan fans taunting the kids from Ohio - talking smack about how the Wolverines have more national titles than Ohio State, how they've won more games in the series, and so on and so forth.

As such, I have composed a brief letter of response:

Dear Wolverine Fan:

Yes, we the undersigned OSU fan have heard your remarks about having won more games in the overall Ohio State-Michigan series and that you have more national titles than Ohio State. That is true. Look at you. You're ever so smart.

However, as a lowly Buckeye fan, I would invite you to consider the following:

A) Since 1950, Ohio State has won 27 games against Michigan, while the Wolverines have logged . . . 27. Two more have been ties. Two others were ties.

B) You do have more national titles. Eleven to our six. But only one of those Wolverine championships has been since 1950, while five of OSU's six have.

C) If you don't bring up Mo Clarrett or Troy Smith taking money, I won't bring up the Fab Five taking money and time-outs.

Love and kisses,


4) More football: The Bengals lost in Cincinnati, but they kept their heads above water against the Colts. Frankly, I thought I was looking at the Colts of today vs. the same team three years ago. Fingers crossed.

5) Heading to the aforementioned state of Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday. The wife and I leave LA on Wednesday.

Did I mention that the forecast in southern Ohio is 30s and SNOWY?

Sigh. Look, I know that I'm a midwesterner born and bred. I should be prepared for these things after 30 years of brutal, ugly winters.

But I'm not. After just a year in LA, the wife and I think it's cold when it dips into the low 50s. That's the kind of weather that makes us grab a second blanket nowadays. Seriously, every time now I hear somebody from out here complaining about warm weather in the winter, or about how they think that snow back east "looks real pretty" I consider throttling them.

So given that, I'm revising my request of last week . . . for the family to move. As you might remember, I'm pretty concerned that with my extended family living in bright red states like Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana, I've worried that future generations of Wielands, Gerharts, and Glazers will think country music's really neat and that science is something that can only be taught in back alleys (while some aberration called Intelligent Design makes it into the classroom).

Well, today, I appeal to my family again. This time on the grounds of my comfort. It's selfish, I understand. But it's my blog.

So please, please, please, Wielands, Gerharts, and Glazers, move away from the red states. Move now, move fast.

And while you're at it, could you go somewhere temperate? Nothing says Thanksgiving like La Jolla or the OC!

Just think it over.

It's good to shake things up every once in a while. Have fun in Ohio -- we'll be in Detroit. Ah, the midwest!
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