Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Transsexual Sportswriter

Mike Penner, a writer for the LA Times, will no longer be he:

Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine.

I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

First of all, props to Penner for being true to himself (soon herself). Secondly, I wonder how big a story this will be. In sports homosexuality is a considered a tremendous taboo and transsexuality... frankly, there's been zero talk about the subject. Personally I've never heard of anyone in the sports world being a transsexual. This may be a first or at the very least one of the first public announcements of a transsexual sports. It'll be interesting to see if Penner's peers broach this subject. Or maybe they won't. Maybe the only one who needs to care is Mike Penner.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dear ABC

Thanks for the awkward wide-angle dolly shots and grating Pussycat Dolls intro.

NBA fans everywhere

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Robert Horry Lived in the Land Before Time

My friend sent me this link. Check out this boxscore carefully:

UPDATE: 4/17/07

Popovich is hilarious:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Top Ten Favorite Film Directors

A list that will surely expand and evolve.

Included below are:
- The director's name and ranking.
- Movies by the director that I've seen.
- The averaged Netflix Rating of the director's movies.
- Comments on the director's body of work.

UPDATED 4/12/07


John Ford

Netflix Rating:


The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Searchers

The shortcomings in Grapes are forgiven by the influential, iconic and profound masterpiece, The Searchers, my all-time favorite. (-)


Joseph H. Lewis

Netflix Rating:


Gun Crazy (1950)
The Big Combo (1955)

Two of the most amazing film noirs ever. The dazzling imagery, bitter dialogue and brutal violence leave an indelible mark. (-)


Otto Preminger

Netflix Rating:


Laura (1944)
Fallen Angel (1945)
Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

A decent detective flick is sandwiched between two mesmerizing mystery films. (-)


Alfred Hitchcock

Netflix Rating:


Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window
To Catch a Thief
North by Northwest

The master of suspense himself. Vertigo and Rear Window stand out as the cream of this crop, but also check out Thief for its unforgettable dialogue. (-)


Martin Scorsese

Netflix Rating:


Mean Streets (1970)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Raging Bull (1980)
The King of Comedy
After Hours (1985)

While Scorsese's earlier works emphasize style over substance, Raging Bull remains an enduring masterpiece. Avoid After Hours. (-)


François Truffaut

Netflix Rating:


The 400 Blows (1959)
Shoot the Piano Player

Exhilarating best describes Truffaut's whimsical yet tragic tales. (-)


Billy Wilder

Netflix Rating:


Double Indemnity (1944)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Some Like It Hot (1959)

He made perhaps the best detective flick ever, a superb courtroom drama and certainly the funniest movie ever. Mr. Wilder could do it all. (-)


Francis Ford Coppola

Netflix Rating:


The Godfather (1972)
The Conversation (1974)
The Godfather: Part II
Apocalypse Now
The Godfather: Part III

While Coppola is rightfully praised for The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now, his excellent paranoia thriller shouldn't be forgotten. (-)


Nicholas Ray

Average Netflix Rating:


In a Lonely Place (1950)
Rebel Without a Cause

While Lonely Place fails to be worthwhile, Rebel's compelling love story remains unforgettable.


John Frankenheimer

Average Netflix Rating:


The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Seconds (1966)

One political, the other psychological. Both great thrillers. (-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Jemele Hill Takes Imus to Task

Last time I wrote about's Page 2 Jemele Hill I was criticizing her notion that Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan. This time I'm commending her for taking a stand against Don Imus.

In case you haven't heard, Imus is a rather popular radio personality who described the Rutgers women's basketball team as "rough girls" and "nappy-headed ho's." Imus almost hit the trifecta on stereotyping and belittling an entire demographic. I would almost be impressed if I weren't so flabbergasted.

Even his "apology" on Al Sharpton's radio show yesterday was... well, you figure out what Imus was sorry for:

"Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far."

"How am I unscathed by this? Don't you think I'm humiliated?"

"Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it"

So what is Imus sorry about: the fact some remarks have landed him in hot water or that he may be a racist? I sure didn't see any apology to the Rutgers basketball team in there. To be fair, Imus is meeting the team in the near future so maybe -- hopefully -- this situation can finally be put behind everyone.

On a side note, Don Imus says something insulting yet legal and gets a two-week suspension while Colin Cowherd purports an illegal on-air attack and escapes relatively unscathed.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Crazy/Courageous Person Swims the Amazon
After 3,272 miles of exhaustion, sunburn, delirium and piranhas, a 52-year-old Slovenian successfully completed a swim down the Amazon river Saturday that could set a new world record for distance -- one he's broken three times already.

He said he was lucky to have escaped encounters with piranhas, the dreaded toothpick fish, which swims into body orifices to suck blood, and even bull sharks that swim in shallow waters and can live for a while in fresh water.

"I think the animals have just accepted me," he said. "I've been swimming with them for such a long time that they must think I'm one of them now. I still have dolphins swimming with me."
In case you didn't know, this is how piranhas roll:

Wow. I salute you, Mr. Martin Strel.

Friday, April 06, 2007

10-Second Film Reviews #25

Almost as exciting as Opening Day and completely free of anabolic steroids; it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings (out of five stars):

Out of Time: Denzel Washington stars as a flawed cop wrongly accused of murder. There are tons of obstacles placing Denzel between a rock and a hard place; when this thriller works it's fantastic. Unfortunately the story gets in way over its head and resorts to easy answers to tie up all the loose ends. John Billingsley provides some comedic relief as Denzel's right-hand man. (***)

There's Something about Mary: It's easy to see why everyone is crazy about Mary. Cameron Diaz's character is sweet, sarcastic and smoking hot. The plot revolving around a group of guys pursuing her isn't particularly clever or even plausible. The comedy, however, brilliantly blends together outrageous gross-out jokes, witty dialogue and hilarious sight gags. (****)

Casablanca: A tepid opening overtly explains the complicated conditions surrounding a certain gin joint. Peter Lorre steals a scene early on, but ultimately the story turns to the compelling transformation of Humphrey Bogart's character. The story of Rick and Ilsa is the stuff of legends, as he casts the shackles from his past to provide a safer future for those closest to him as well as strangers he'll never know. (****)

Children of Men: A mesmerizing interpretation of a crumbling future where violence is plentiful and allegiances are skewed. Director Alfonso Cuarón's long takes dazzle, terrify and comfort all at once; that's how engrossing and complex they are. A few missteps in the story do little to quell the constant danger that threatens the characters -- and the entire world. (*****)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Seattle's Top Ten Prospects

According to Jason A. Churchill of the excellent Prospect Insider:

1) Adam Jones, OF
2) Jeff Clement, C
3) Brandon Morrow, RHP
4) Tony Butler, LHP
5) Ryan Feierabend, LHP
6) Chris Tillman, RHP
7) Justin Thomas, LHP
8) Bryan LaHair, 1B
9) Wladimir Balentien, OF
10) Greg Halman, OF

So there's reason to be excited about Mariners baseball after this season. Too bad 2007 won't be much fun. You know, considering the misguided Soriano trade, the even more misguided Doyle trade, the fact the team overly depends on Willie Bloomquist (aka Dick Schofield Jr.) and Grover.