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I, Too...Understand

I didn't want to watch the video of the five Memphis police officers beating killing Tyre Nichols.  Yet, I knew I had to.  For myself, I needed to feel the entire situation. Not just the details from the incident. Not the sadness from the confirmed facts. Not the hurt as I empathize from my own experiences. Not the thoughts from the social discourse and political climate.  Nope. Just for the raw evil that it is. That is us. America.  I've shared my story about my own encounter with police officers when I was a teenager. Now, at thirty-seven, that experience still carries with me. I'm forever marred by the idea that my skin, my look, my presence - which at the decision of someone else  who may consider it a threat - can be the complete elimination of me.  And that is not entirely understood from a viewpoint that even loved ones, or those who may claim to love me, love my skin, my body, and my presence, still may not completely understand. They may not understand the compl
Recent posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/29/22

3 Up 1. Five Memphis Officers Charged - It's a bittersweet "Up", but one of necessity. The five officers who brutally beat Tyre Nichols to death in what has been determined as a traffic stop filled with procedural violations and a hellacious video of their beating to go with it being charged is a step in the necessary direction.  2. City of Memphis - Kudos to the City of Memphis and their office for understanding the duty and responsibility of releasing the videos of the murder of Tyre Nichols. We've seen in various cases where these kinds of evidence are withheld - that office deserves credit.  3. Royal Rumble Event - On a much lighter note in the "Up" section - and in the world - is the Royal Rumble event this weekend. So much fun. Check out my thoughts and reviews here .  3 Down 1. Tyre Nichols Video - Just utter disbelief, and worthy of a shake my head. We need answers, justice, and of course, change. Some of my immediate thoughts on the video release t

Royal Rumble 2023 Review: "Absolute Drama. Wrestling at its Best"

Absolute drama. Wrestling at its best.  That's all I can say as the 2023 Royal Rumble premium live event went off the air. This is not some rare take or outlier perspective I'm going to offer. The wrestling was good. But damn, everything that is the Sami Zayn and The Bloodline storyline is why pro wrestling is the best form of entertainment there is. Yes, they've twisted and turned along the way, even in some areas where you thought this was going to be predictable, but the entire thing has been layered magnificently where it's honestly conceivable to understand anyone's perspective in the entire thing.  I've long thought Sami vs. Roman wouldn't headline Wrestlemania with the E opting instead to go with The Usos vs. Zayn and Owens, but I honestly at the posting of this, cannot state that's the best direction.  Although, while it may not be on the front burner (and it'll probably eventually get there), having Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns where both of

Thoughts on the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

I honestly had zero interest in this year's Hall of Fame Ballot.  I know, I know...how dare I?  For me, the 2023 ballot wasn't as sexy or overly interesting. I really thought this would be another year in which no one got in. From the names on the ballot, the controversial ones like Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield that we knew the outcomes for, and the lost hope for guys like Jeff Kent, I found myself feeling like the theme which now clouds Scott Rolen's 2023 selection - just a lot of VERY good guys.  There isn't anything wrong or disrespectful about that. A lot of the names are now those that resonate with me as I get older and can honestly decide on without extrapolating numbers from baseball references. Call it old school, or somewhat ignorant, but like many, I'm at the point of my life where my first evaluation is instant - did he feel like a Hall of Famer?  If the answer is yes, then it's settled. If the answer is no, I'll do my due diligence in look

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/22/23

3 Up 1. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Too often it is a day for faux remembrance of spewing fancy quotes we pull from the man himself, but truly, it is a reminder of where we've been, and how far we need to go. And of course, how special of a human being Dr. King really was.  2. Late Father's Bucket List - This story is awesome! Especially as someone who has lost their father, this is pretty special.  3. Sailor Survived 24 Days - I HAD TO add this to the "Up" for this week. Getting rescued is positive, but surviving 24 days at sea on seasoning cubes is what movies get made from. I'm sure this will be that as well.  3 Down 1. Florida Ban on AP African-American Studies - Disappointing. Aggravating. Yet, not surprising. So many have had to search for such kind of history on their own, including me. From black authors to the books and perspectives left out of the curriculum, we learn in the public school system. Yet, here we are now banning them, and not just ignoring

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Bullet Train (2022)

What is it about?  Several assassins board a train with various missions just to find out their missions have a collective purpose. Who is in it?  Brad Pitt - Ladybug Joey King - Prince Aaron Taylor-Johnson - Lemon Brian Tyree Henry - Tangerine Favorite Scene:  [spoiler alert] Wolf enters the train and immediately gets into a scuffle with Ladybug who he thinks is responsible for his wedding's misfortunes including the death of his wife.  Favorite Quote:  Lemon: You ever watch Thomas the Tank Engine? Tangerine: Here we go. Lemon: Hey, you watch something nowadays, what is it, huh? Nothing. It's twists, violence, drama, and no message. What's the point? Huh? What are we supposed to learn? Everything I learned about people I learned from Thomas. -- Ladybug: Man, fate for me is just another word for bad luck. And that, that follows me around like... I don't know, something witty. Review:  Bullet Train had a nice long stay on "My List" on Netflix for the sheer reas

Hard to Kill 2023 Review: "A Great Way to Kick Off 2023"

Impact Wrestling continues to be the most solid pro wrestling product - at least for this fan. Yes, there are some other exciting things going on in different companies, but for me, Impact does the most with the least, and that's a good thing.  As noted in some previous posts on Impact Wrestling, I was all about bringing in Bully Ray. I get the hesitancy because,  here we go with old stars taking up television time , but everything about the Bully and Josh Alexander storyline has been done well. It's been personal. It's a different look for Alexander. And it's a nice blend of history for the company with Bully returning, a nice mix of a veteran and your current top guy, and overall, something very different we've yet to see from Alexander as champion.  This is the case up and down the roster and the product for Impact. Add to this theory Mickie James vs. Jordynne Grace. And the tag team scene. And everything else. The company continues to rehabilitate older stars, l

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/15/23

3 Up 1. Healthcare Debt Removed from Credit Score - This is a small win in a direction that just seems, well...reasonable. Healthcare is expensive and not exactly the fault of an individual's ability to handle their finances responsibly. The subtle change (with restrictions) is a nice addition that ought to help many battling health issues, yet not derail their entire personal life.  2. Alyssa Thompson - The teenage phenom comes off gaining some International play but becoming the first overall pick in the NWSL. Thompson's future is SO bright, and this should be part of that narrative when we marvel at her journey.  3. Ozone Layer Recovery - For years, as a kid, I remember hearing that "we were constantly damaging the Ozone layer". Many thanks to Captain Planet and the Planeteers for that insight. I'm glad to see there has been some progress there.  3 Down 1. Brazil Democracy - It's a shame to see politicians around the world pull from our history with senti

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/8/22

3 Up 1. New Year - Happy New Year to you all! I've written it in a bunch of emails, mainly to be courteous, but I really do wish you the best for you. I hope 2023 is a great one for all of you DP readers.  2. Buffalo Athletic Trainers - Let's give it up for the Athletic Trainers of the Buffalo Bills who performed with courage, steadfastness, and urgency in regard to Damar Hamlin. We should be celebrating those trainers more.  2A. Athletic Trainers - And because I'm always around them, let's give it up for Athletic Trainers in general. They do so much and very much go unnoticed in the space of sports, athletics, and performance.  2B. Damar Hamlin - Praying for Hamlin and his family... 3. Broadway Bounceback - We all like to believe we're back from COVID, but we're not. But it's news like Broadway having its biggest week of sales since the pandemic began is some nice news. Everyone in the theatre industry deserves it.  3 Down 1. Damar Hamlin Situation - Horri

Dome Pondering - 2022 Year in Review

What a wildly, polarizing year that was 2022.  Sure, as we close the year, 2020 feels like a decade ago, and "pandemic life" seems like a time that is difficult to remember (or understand). Yet, no matter how much we attempt to pull away, the awfulness of 2020 and all of its impact has left us in 2022 unpacking from it, cleaning up after it, restoring ourselves after it, and/or learning to deal with lingering leftovers as we move forward.  2022 was the perfect bundle of reflection and renewal. For good, bad, excellent, and worse.  Before jumping into this year's Year in Review, I want to THANK YOU , the continued reader of this blog and this eighteenth edition (!) of the Dome Pondering - Year in Review. It is not lost on me that my contribution to this site has slowed down (as such is life), and of course, the world consumes content in a much different (and some would say easier, but not better) way. Yet, after all of these years, it's still pretty damn cool to see th

The Pondering 10 - Most Fascinating Things of 2022

There goes another year beyond the pandemic - are we still in one? Yeah? No? Whatever. Regardless of what we're identifying this year as, in the immediate reflection, 2022 is an incredibly busy year where we went from an almost lockdown with variants and returns of COVID to the most "return-to-normal" we've experienced since 2019. 2022 was indeed that kind of year, filled with a mixed bag of leftovers, new strife, and dealing with what will stay here for a bit longer going forward.  As always, before the traditional (the 17th annual!!!) Year in Review post , here is a quick post on the things I found the most fascinating in 2022.  Most Fascinating Things: 2015 , 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , & 2021 Dome Pondering - 2022 Year in Review coming soon.  --- 10. "How the Word is Passed" - Clint Smith's book (A New York Times Best Seller) was by far my favorite of 2022 to read. I had the pleasure to meet Smith at a work conference, and my encounter, l

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/18/22

3 Up 1. Argentina Wins World Cup - Today's World Cup Championship was an amazing game to cap off what has been an amazing tournament. Kudos to Argentina, the nation, and so many of it's soccer fans.  2. Lionel Messi - Nothing like seeing a great finally get the missing accomplishment to solidify greatness (and to silence all of the critics).  I guess we'll see him at Miami FC soon?  3. Endrick - In an all-soccer "Up" this week, we'll round it out with Endrick, a sixteen-year-old from Brazil who already goes by one name, and just landed a $63.3M contract from Real Madrid. That's quite some cash for a sixteen-year-old.  3 Down 1. FTX Collapse - Is it me, or have we seen an abundance of these crypto companies showing vulnerability - or sheer fallout - as of late? With multiple athletes, celebrities, and others admitting losses, we also await the fallout and impending extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried to the United States of fraud and money laundering.  2. Migr

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/11/22

3 Up 1. Protection of Same-Sex Marriage - Well, what do you know? Our elected officials CAN work together to get important policies completed that accurately and democratically represent the people. Cynicism aside, it's good to see this bill get passed. Imagine the huge step back that this would have been. 2. Britney Griner Home - I honestly don't care about the politics around this story. Griner needed to come home. And I'm glad she finally is.  3. Impact Wrestling Main Event - Everything that was "Speedball" Mike Bailey vs. "The Walking Weapon" Josh Alexander on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling was what makes pro wrestling so great. Both guys put on a classic that lasted almost an hour, and it was one of the best matches I've enjoyed in a long time. Kudos to both men.  3 Down 1. Grant Wahl - It's the kind of story that is super emotional for the following reasons: 1) Wahl was the premiere journalist in the soccer real; 2) Wahl was be

Coach 'Prime' Shaking and Exploiting the System

Deion Sanders was always one of those athletes in the '90s that I admired growing up. Exceptional. Larger than life. Just felt like you couldn't duplicate him, because, well, you couldn't. He did things his way, he was flashy doing it, and he was damn good at backing it up.  That was ultra appealing, dreamy, and easy to get into for teenage me who was tall, slow, geeky, introverted, and did I mention, slow? So yeah, "Prime Time" was super aspirational.  Fast forward a few decades, and Deion Sanders is again "doing it his way" by taking his talents to Colorado University to become the Head Football coach, a few years after the resurrection HBCU institution, Jackson State. As you can imagine, especially in today's culture, everyone has an opinion on Coach Prime's (who the heck gets called Coach [enter nickname here]?) decision.  Once again, I'm enthralled with Deion Sanders. Here are some quick thoughts on what has become a hot-button topic wra