May 2009


“Fever Pitch” is on TV this weekend.  I love this movie.  Not only is it an adorable romantic comedy, but it’s a baseball movie.  Jimmy Fallon loves the Red Sox.  No, he loves them.  Drew Barrymore is a workaholic who falls in love with him, but can’t compete with his love of the team.  Anyway, it’s amazing and funny and I’ve already watched it on TV twice, and I own it.  (Sidenote:  Why are movies that we own so much better on TV?!)

I love baseball movies.  I can’t decide which one is my favorite, but it’s probably a dead tie between “The Sandlot” and “A League of Their Own.”  “The Sandlot” has Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez, Hamilton Porter, Squints, Smalls, Wendy Peffercorn & The Beast.  “A League of Their Own” has Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, Geena Davis, Jon Lovitz, Lori Petty, the cows, Madonna, hell, even Rosie.

I guess its a good thing I’m not an umpire; I wouldn’t be able to make the tough calls.

Other baseball movies I adore:

“Field of Dreams” – I love in Iowa, for pete’s sake!

“The Rookie” – Dennis Quaid, such a D.I.L.F.

“For the Love of the Fame” – Kevin Costner, he’s pretty good.

“Angels in the Outfield” – Hey, it could happen!

“Major League 1 & 2” – Wild Thing!

“Hardball” – Keanu Reeves teaches inner-city kids how to play and becomes a better man in the process.

“Little Big League” – What if you inherited a baseball team?  What if you were a kid?

“Rookie of the Year” – Henry breaks his arm and becomes the best pitcher, ever.

“Summer Catch” – Freddie Prinze, Jr., ‘nough said.

The summer reading program has started at work.  It is one of my favorite things Barnes & Noble does.  Any 1st-6th grader that reads 8 books and fills out a summer reading log earns a free book!  Awesome.  We are also giving them a sheet of paper to write their name, age and favorite book on to hang in the Kid’s department all summer long.  I wish they did that when I was little (if they did, I didn’t have a B&N nearby).  Little readers are the most excited, cutest, proudest readers of all.  I love them.

This past week I have been thinking how nice the evenings have been (weatherwise) and have been having really strong memories of summer nights when I was a kid.  I remember going to the pool every day, all day, and then going home and my mom would be making dinner and my dad would be lighting the grill and I would sit outside and read.  I think the youngest I must have been doing this was 7 or 8.  The first “series” books I remember not being able to put down are the “Kids of Polk Street School” by Patricia Reilly Giff.  They have new covers since I loved them, but they are still so good.  I repurchased the whole series a few years ago, although I am sure they are still in a box in my parents’ basement.  I love visiting old “friends” like Emily Arrow, Richard “Beast” Best and the other kids of Ms. Rooney’s class.

Questions:  

Any books you associate with summer?

What were your favorite books as a kid?

One of my guiltiest TV pleasures, and I really enjoy TV, is “Wipeout” on ABC.  This show is amazing.  (And just started airing new episodes for Summer)  A group of contestants, it might start at 40, eventually gets narrowed down to 3 by completing, or failing to complete as the the case may be, a series of obstacle courses.  Those 3 move on to the ultimate course that looks like a level of “Super Mario Brothers.”  Much like “Most Extreme Challenge,”  several of the obstacles are near impossible for the average person.  The best wipeouts are replayed in slo-mo.  The man or woman left standing wins $50,000.  Who wouldn’t make a fool of themselves for that kind of money, especially in this economic climate.

I also enjoy “Hole in the Wall” on Fox.  Here, teams of contestants stand on a platform and must contort their bodies to match the cutout shapes in the wall coming toward them, lest they be pushed into the pool of water behind them.  Hilarity ensues.

What both of these shows have in common, is the possibility for disaster.  And disaster is inevitable.  When people willingly put themselves in the position to have an “America’s Funniest Home Video” moment, I can’t help but watch.  And laugh.  A lot.

I saw a bright green caterpillar on the sidewalk today.  He didn’t seem particularly hungry, but he sure was cute; for a bug.

People.com is reporting that Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in big screen adaptations of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta novels as Dr. Kay Scarpetta.  Scarpetta is a medical examiner who always manages to get herself wrapped up in the crime.

I am not happy about this.  Not only do I despise Jolie, I love those books.  They were my transitional novels from the children’s department to the adult fiction section, since there was hardly a teen section 10 years ago.  The point is, they are dated.  Some are from the late 8os.  Without completely revamping and updating the series, they will be irrelevant.  However, if they are updated, their integrity is in jeopardy.  I wish this adaptation would not happen.

I also think Jolie is too much for the role.  She’s too glam, too Hollywood, too much hair.

I always imagined someone like the late Natasha Richardson in the role.  Not that she wasn’t glamorous, but she was more down to earth.  I could imagine Meg Ryan in the role.  Or at least 1990s Meg Ryan.  

Since it’s the first film version of the books, why not choose a younger actress, maybe Rachel McAdams, that way the series can continue longer.  Jolie will be too old soon, if not already.

Question:  Any adaptations that you were unhappy about or, conversely, surprisingly happy about?

My dream adaptation is Michael Vartan starring as Dr. Alex Delaware in Jonathan Kellerman’s series about a psychologist who always manages to get wrapped up in the crime.

There were two days last week that were gorgeous.  The sun was warm, there was a slight breeze, the grass and the trees were green.  THERE WERE NO BUGS.  

I have a degree in Biology, so I like nature.  I think grasshoppers, ladybugs, praying mantises, beetles, bees and even mosquitoes are pretty cool.  They are funny looking and can do some neat things, like make honey and suck blood.  But, I do not like the little bugs that fly thisclose to my face and buzzzzzz in my ear.  They are annoying.  I hate them.

Also, I got the fruit flies.  Something in my garbage must have attracted them.  So, now I have fly paper things hanging from every corner of my kitchen.  Gross.

I was really excited when “Law & Order” was renewed for its 20th season, tying “Gunsmoke” for the record.

“Law & Order” is the mothership of, “Wait, I know that guy from something…Oh, yeah.  He was a killer/rapist/husband/victim/lawyer on ‘L&O’.”

Several actors have gotten their starts on the series; Benjamin Bratt, Jill Hennessey, Jesse L. Martin, Chris Noth and Angie Harmon, just to name a few.

I loved Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe).  I still miss him.  He was an awesome actor and the best “L&O” has ever had.

He was replaced by Dennis Farina (whom I wanted to love as a native Chicagoan), but he could never fill his shoes, and tried too hard.  When Jesse L. Martin announced he was leaving (not to mention the way his character, Ed, left the show) I didn’t think I would ever care about the series again.  

Jeremy Sisto changed that (and restored my faith in Chicago-born actors).  His Detective Cyrus Lupo has made the series fresh.  I have loved Sisto since “Clueless” and “A Lot Like Love,” but his sensitive, veteran kept me glued to the screen.

Then, Anthony Anderson joined the cast and I was worried.  I saw more of “Kangaroo Jack” in the commercials than I ever cared to.  But, once again, I was proved wrong.  As soon as he called Sisto’s character “Lupes” I knew it would be fine.  I can’t wait for season 20 to begin.  

Question:  Who’s your “Law & Order” dream team?

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