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Showing posts from 2023

NXT No Mercy 2023 Review: "Tonight was good enough to have me take notice of Tuesday nights"

I can't tell you the last time that I watched NXT. I was a casual viewer of the brand back in the black and gold days (who wasn't?) and the anti-WWE feel (despite it being a WWE product) that it had. NXT felt different, looked, different, and offered a product that was distinct.  Then came NXT 2.0 and all of its colors (and Vince McMahon's influence) and I was out.  These days, the brand is sort of just there for me. I'll turn it on on a Tuesday if it's a last resort, or the thing I'm very much into is on commercial. But tonight, your boy randomly took a chance on NXT No Mercy. And after it left the air, I was not only entertained but somewhat interested in the product going forward.  I'm not saying I'm returning to black-and-gold levels of interest, but tonight was good enough to have me take notice of Tuesday nights.  Here are some quick notes on NXT No Mercy 2023:  - WWE's business is booming. I know we hear and read that all the time, but it real

Thoughts from 2nd 2024 Republican Primary Debate

Well, that was the shits.  That was my immediate thought after the ending of the 2nd Republican Primary Debate. There was no need to get in-depth, analyze, or even generate a profound perspective on the event. This debate season continues to lack substance or real authenticity from the hanging truth that it won't change the influence of the American public.  Trump skipped the second debate, and while in my opinion, he should be there, I don't blame him for not selecting to do so. His lead in the polls has left most of this field behind on this stage trying to separate themselves from one another, without taking big enough strides to actually do so.  In this debate, there were a few more light jabs thrown at the former President, but overall, nothing significant enough to give this viewer enough to take a chance on the party.  What we got was more of the same - constant yelling, inaudible moments, random insults at one another, statements for shock value, party-line repetitivene

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/24/23

3 Up 1. Five Americans in Iran Released - Obviously, these kinds of dealings involve tons of politics. However, it's always great when Americans held for such reasons return home.  2. Tigst Assefa Record - I'm always - ALWAYS! - fascinated with marathon runners. The mental feat is astounds me. Assefa broke the Women's record by more than two minutes. So crazy. So much props.  3. End of Screenwriters Strike - Sure, it'll be nice to get new television and overall content this upcoming season. However, I'm more so happy for the screenwriters who get what they deserve.  3 Down 1. Migrant Crisis - Obviously, our country has an immigration issue. This isn't new, and what's more unsettling is both political parties use this as political influence, and both have had opportunities to fix the issue. From here in NYC, to the southern border, and more - the crisis has shed light on so many of the "morals" and "standards" we claim to have within the

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/17/23

3 Up 1. Never Forget - We remembered 9/11 once again this week and it's quite surreal to think that there are casualties from that day happening. My heart goes out to the families of those affected. With that said, it's also really nice to see that 9/11 truly isn't a day we forgot. In a time where hyperbolic statements are made, there remains commitment and honor to the day - as it should be.  2. New COVID Vaccines - As we head into the winter months, COVID infections are expected to rise. With the FDA's approval of new vaccines, it is still amazing to me that we  3. Unicorn Giraffe - I just thought this story was cool. In all of the craziness in the world, we get wacky and random stories like this of spotless giraffes popping up.  3 Down 1. Libya Floods - Everything about the Libya floods has been heartbreaking. The images are horrific. The fact that 11,300 people perished, is unfathomable. Prayers up for Libya.  2. Lauren Boebert - I'm not going to touch on Boeb

20 Years Since College - It Stares At Me Every Day

I wanted to write a "Dear Freshman Self" note in this post to mark the twenty-year milestone of when I first stepped on as a college student. I just couldn't find the words and the disconnect that brings about the romance of connecting with one's former self.  It's partly frustrating because the day is so very vivid in my mind to this day. And of course, the next four years to follow, like many, provided such essential moments and life jewels that would develop me in various areas - some that I've still yet to understand.  So yeah, it's been twenty years. Twenty freakin' years!  As amazing as the time since has been, I still somehow continue to struggle to find the words to capture what that milestone means. I know it's important. After all, I'm punching the keys to search for it! I've tried so many times to sit in front of my laptop and pen a letter to an eighteen-year-old me who had no idea of what was to come.  Twenty years ago, I carrie

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/10/23

3 Up 1. Coco Gauf & Novak Djokovic - The US Open wrapped up this weekend and tennis crowned some deserving champions. Djokovic continues to add to a remarkable career with his 24th (!!) grand slam title win. And of course, Coco Gauff won over America with her win. It's impressive to see the effect that the Williams sisters have had on tennis - wow. Looking forward to seeing the star Gauff will become.  2. Olivia Rodrigo - Her first album was fire. Even this late-thirties male enjoyed it. The sophomore album is always the toughest and Rodrigo apparently (haven't listened to it myself, yet) dropped an absolute banger in "Guts". So much so, that it broke records for debut stream with over 60 million streams!  3. Deion Sanders - There's way to much dialogue around Sanders that isn't needed. Here is what it boils down to for me - Sanders took over a program that was 1-11. He brought in 80+ players. His team is currently 2-0, including victories over a ranked op

Dear Son, Happy First Day of Kindergarten

--- 5 Years, 2 Months --- Dear Son,  Today, you started Kindergarten. And like every parent present for the first day of school, your mother and I had all the feels and emotions. From watching you line up among your new classmates to standing there with your "big boy bookbag" and your Spiderman lunch box, all of it felt as momentous and season-opening as "firsts" bring.  Yet, it was more than the "firsts" and the seasonals, or even the pictures and everything else that felt remarkably different that morning. It was the journey to this point, especially as of late - I knew you were ready for this for a couple of months now. I've been so confident that you were prepared, and you are! I could tell how stagnant the last couple of months of summer camp felt. You needed a new challenge and a new environment to push you. Finally, here we are.  At the same time, I couldn't have been more proud this morning. You handled the anxiety and drops of fear that we

AEW All IN: London (2023) Review: "This large of a crowd for an event that wasn't the WWE!"

I'm obviously registering these thoughts incredibly late, but such is the current state of pro wrestling right now - there is just so much going on, and so much to enjoy. It's a great time to be a fan, regardless of where your tribalism fandom falls - if you carry such allegiances.  I'm sure no matter what product you find entertaining, you circled AEW's All In event from Wembley Stadium as a must-watch. I don't care about someone else's "take" on the attendance total - I couldn't care less if it was the record for a pro wrestling event or not - what AEW was able to accomplish is absolutely amazing! Four years in, and the company produced an event on the levels of Wrestlemania in terms of attendance and business - that's damn impressive! Tony Khan and the entire company deserve loads of credit for taking that leap because it very much could have failed. They took a chance, and absolutely delivered (and so much more), and proved there is a subs

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/3/23

3 Up  1. Labor Day Weekend - It's the weekend where we mark the unofficial end of summer. However, the weather this upcoming week says otherwise. Nonetheless, I hope you all had an opportunity to reflect, restore, and give some gratitude on this weekend.  2. College Sports - College athletics are back in swing, providing some pretty awesome moments this week.  2a. Nebraska Women's Volleyball - 92,003 for a Women's Volleyball Game is not just a record for a Women's Athletic event, but it's pretty freakin' cool. Kudos to Nebraska Athletics and everyone who attended in making that a special occasion.  2b. Travis Hunter - I didn't get a chance to watch the Colorado vs. TCU game, however, I'm a fan of Deion Sanders, mainly from what he did for Jackson State. However, Hunter playing both ways is remarkable. Freak athlete.  3. Jimmy Buffett - The world said goodbye to Buffet whose songs can take you to a beach or to summer vibes in an instant.  3 Down  1. UNC

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/27/23

3 Up 1. Republican Debate - Sure, I would like to see these debates in another format. However, all in all, I thought this week's Republican Debate was a success. At the very least it was entertaining, but really, I think it gave a platform for the candidates to battle it out and separate themselves - for better or worse.  2. RSV Vaccine - Offering a vaccine for expectant women and new babies from suffering from RSV. -easy win, right?  3. Pro Wrestling - Pro Wrestling is on fire right now, and this weekend produced an insane amount of hours of television and events between multiple companies. An emotional weekend in many ways.  3a. Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt - Pro Wrestling lost some good individuals this week. We said goodbye to legend and hall of famer, Terry Funk, and endured the sudden passing of one of the most creative minds the business has ever seen, in Windham Rotundo, known as Bray Wyatt.  3c - AEW All In - Finally, AEW set a new record for the highest attendance for a pay

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/20/23

3 Up 1. Lahaina Community Promise - After everything we've seen in Hawaii and the wildfires in Hawaii, sometimes it feels "too early" to discuss the future, or the shift that can take place going forward. Kudos to the Governor who ensured this week that the Lahaina Community will have a say in the area's rebuild. We won't say it out of respect to the present, but the area is ripe for transition with tourists and other types of gentrification.  2. Spain, Women's World Cup - A big win this week as the women of Spain wrap up the Women's World Cup with a 1-0 victory over England.  3. Netflix Suits - I watched Suits when it aired on the USA Network and consider it one of my favorite TV Shows, ever. Seeing its renaissance on Netflix has been cool. Even more so, watching it (alongside another favorite in Bluey) at the center of the changing dynamics of television-watching culture has been interesting.  3 Down 1. Extreme Weather - Another week, more crazy weather

Thoughts from 1st 2024 Republican Primary Debate

The First Republican Presidential Debate made its way to our television - for entertainment or information, or for something else, you decide - and it did not disappoint.  As many of you who frequent this space know, I love debates, and for a while, I thought the Presidential debate would no longer be a thing as we've seen it become more of a tool used for those doing the chasing in the polls rather than sharing views and candidate ideals with the voting public. You know, the very reason former President Trump decided to skip this one. What does he have to gain?  The first debate was full of interesting moments and the first - of many to come - opportunities for Republicans to recalibrate the national perception of the party heading into 2024. Or, well, at least attempt to.  I'm not sure where I'm voting in 2024. That's the honest truth. For me, the Republican Party is a mess. An absolute mess. And to that point, so are the Dems. But the GOP feels like a party astray fr

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

What is it about? The story of the Super Mario Bros is told, as a plumber from Brooklyn named Mario, and his brother, Luigi, travel through an underground world to save a captured princess.  Who is in it? Chris Pratt - Mario Charlie Day - Luigi Anya Taylor-Joy - Princess Peach Jack Black - Bowser  Favorite Scene:  [spoiler alert] A high-speed chase breaks out that mirrors what we've come to love and appreciate in Mario Kart Favorite Quote:   "In an insane world, it is the sane who are called crazy."  Review:   The Super Mario Bros. Movie was fun. For a nearing-forty millennial like myself who appreciated the nostalgic feel of the songs and the little tidbits from Nintendo's greatest creation, this was a great film to take in with my son. Everyone wins.  Despite the nostalgia and the personal feel-goodness that it offers, the film really is a great visual. From the story, the effects, and the overall presentation, right down to the basic story of Super Mario Bros, thi

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Life in a Year (2020)

What is it about?  Daryn is an ambitious High School student in pursuit of a Harvard acceptance when he finds out that his girlfriend is dying of cancer. He sets out to give her an entire life of milestones in the last year of life that she has left.  Who is in it?  Jaden Smith - Daryn Cara Delevingne - Isabelle  Favorite Scene:  [spoiler alert] Daryn blows his Harvard meeting and ends up getting into a huge confrontation with his overbearing father.  Favorite Quote:  "Living isn't easy. But if you can manage to look past your own fears and everyone else's expectations, the reward is your life" Review:  Life in a Year took me by surprise in so many ways. It was an impulse selection and ended up becoming a film that grabbed my undivided attention in the greatest way with a severe pondering hangover. The film carries huge emotions about fear, love, and life.  The film isn't sappy. It can be a little hokey at times in regard to practicality, but overall, it doesn

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/13/23

3 Up 1. Alix Dorsainvil - An ongoing story that reminded us even the nicest of people who are genuinely trying to do good in this world have to navigate the enormous evil within it. Dorsanvil, an American nurse in Haiti to help, along with her daughter were held captive for almost two weeks. This week, we all received the good news that she was released.  2. 50 Years of Hip Hop - Ahhhh what a year of buildup to the celebration that has been 50 years of hip hop. Thanks so much to a style of music that evolved into a way of live and culture that has influenced so much within our society.  3. Eras Tour Impact - Taylor Swift's Eras tour has been assessed has having the same amount of economic impact as the Olympics. Absolutely insane. Swift reaches new heights in her stardom, and the tour isn't over!  3 Down 1. Hawaii Wildfires - Absolutely heartbreaking to see the images and the fallout from Hawaii regarding these wildfires. So many have lost their homes, livelihood, and loved on

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Champions (2023)

What is it about? An ambitious basketball coach on the development circuit is ordered by the court to coach and lead a basketball team of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Who is in it? Woody Harrelson - Marcus  Kaitlin Olson - Alex  Matt Cook - Sonny  Favorite Scene:  Marcus meets the group for the first time and they introduce themselves and their special qualities.  Favorite Quote:  Your heart's a long way from your knee. Suck it up!"" Review:  Champions is the ultimate feel-good film. In fact, I can't remember a film that I've seen that has genuinely made me feel positive during the film, at its climax, and once the credits begin to roll. Champions stayed with me in a way that really makes me want to watch again. It's that good.  I wouldn't expect a deep plot in this one. It is simple and straight to the point. Where Champions shines the most is in its ability to de-stigmatize individuals with intellectual disabilities with humor and dialog

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

What is it about?  Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell returns to the active mission, battles his past, and takes on a new role as he leads Top Gun's elite graduates. Who is in it?  Tom Cruise - Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell Jennifer Connely - Penny Benjamin Miles Teller - Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw Favorite Scene:  [spoiler alert]  After being relieved of his duties, Maverick again goes rogue and shows everyone that the mission is possible, despite the required dangers.  Favorite Quote: "It's time to let go." Review:  I'll refrain from going in-depth on everything regarding Top Gun: Maverick. The film is a HUGE blockbuster film and has made millions, carries Tom Cruise as a headliner, and at this point, the jury is pretty much out.  Top Gun: Maverick is good. Like, really good. There is no need for me to endorse it. But I will express this, what makes this film ultimately stand out and resonate with me is simply its ability to off

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/6/23

3 Up 1. Postpartum Depression Pill - The FDA approved an oral treatment to help women with postpartum depression, and that's pretty cool. The entire experience surrounding pregnancies and families feels like it's become more difficult if you just watched your nightly news. It's great to see some steps in a positive direction for a topic that still feels taboo.  2. Simone Biles Wins U.S. Classsic - She's back. And it looks like she's better than ever. Biles returned after two years and well, yeah, she won. As always.  3. Job Market - I have no idea how to explain the job market. It's weird. We keep hearing about a potential recession, yet, job growth is still on the rise, and well, it feels like no one wants to work. All of it, is weird. Regardless, job growth is a good thing. Yeah? 3 Down 1. Niger Coup - I wish our media focused on international affairs more, but you can definitely argue we have enough here at home to digest. Regardless, the coup in Niger with

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Creed III (2023)

What is it about?  After retiring and moving into the next stage of his career, Adonis reconnects with a childhood friend who brings him back to his past that places him in an encounter that is more than a fight.  Who is in it? Michael B. Jordan - Adonis Creed  Tessa Thompson - Bianca Creed Jonathan Majors - Damian Anderson Favorite Scene:  [spoiler alert] Immediately after winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Adonis confronts Damian on the beach.  Favorite Quote:  "The higher you get, the harder it gets." Review:  It's really hard NOT to like Creed III. Yes, I'm a fan of the Rocky Series, and in many ways, I think that the Creed franchise has brought modern elements and a new underdog story to the new millennium, and possibly even to new fans.  Off the heels of a predictable (yet still good) Creed II where Adonis battled the son of Drago, this installment in the franchise sees the film take on a storyline arc that is about the fight,  and so much more. The ove

WWE SummerSlam 2023 Review: "Old man complaints aside, I enjoyed SummerSlam"

Is anyone else tired from SummerSlam? Wheeeeeeewwwwww! I love WWE's summer party (though, it was a bit early this year), however, this one was super long. Four and a half hours, well over midnight, the entire thing just felt exhausting and taxing. I know, I'm getting old. However, while the night was entertaining, by the time we got to Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso, I wondered if I had much left to be engaged or to care as much. I also wonder if the Jimmy Uso turn didn't resonate with me as much because of the fatigue? Ehhh... So yeah, old man complaints aside, I enjoyed SummerSlam. Some matches really carried the night and that is even more apparent looking back on the lengthy night.  Here are some quick thoughts and comments on SummerSlam 2023:  - Often, the official song of a Premium Live Event is something current, but there was the very fitting vibe of "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf as the vibe and sound of SummerSlam. I thought the song was very fitting.  - I s