Yankee Stadium

Yankee StadiumI visited (New) Yankee Stadium for the second time on Sunday night.* Disappointingly, much like the first time I went there, I was pretty unimpressed.

I really wish this ballpark had more history going for it. Considering that Yankee Stadium cost $1.5 billion to build and is owned by the New York Yankees, far and away the winning-est and richest baseball team there has ever been, there is a surprising lack of evidence that would let someone know it. The one thing going for it in this direction is Monument Park:

Monument Park

Monument Park is an outdoor, quasi-museum that honors many past Yankee players and staff along with several Popes, the victims and responders of September 11th, and Nelson Mandela. There are a bunch of plaques and a little garden that people can walk through. It’s a cool piece of history that I don’t believe exists at any other ballpark in this capacity. It’s just too bad that’s all for history.

Aesthetically, the place is pretty boring. As I was walking around the park, a lot of the walls were just plain white. No plaques or decorations. It’s a lot of concrete and these arch things:

2015-04-12 21.12.40

Most of the food around the park seemed to be served in buckets. I saw buckets full of fries with sliders, fries with fried chicken, and fries with fried chicken sliders. There were souvenir batting helmets (pretty bucket-like) filled with nachos, too. I happened to order several non-bucket related items. I had an overcooked sausage, a “New York” pretzel (which was good, but still just a pretzel), and a bag of peanuts. Meanwhile, if I had gotten a hot dog, there were no options for onions or relish.

On the plus side, there didn’t seem to be any bad views of the park. I was in (relatively) cheap seats and could still see the whole field well:

Three photos stitched.

Three photos stitched together.

One last note about the park: The sound system was unbearable. The music was crazy loud, as if the fans aren’t capable of being excited unless their eardrums are being constantly pounded. There were so many sound effects, it was bordering on a cartoonish level. Every time there was a run scored by the Yankees or the Yankees struck someone out, another sound effect would start-up. Why does that need to happen? Shouldn’t cheering be enough?

So, all-in-all, near the bottom of my list of ballparks. Which is fitting since I despise the team but still, I was expecting more.

*I got to see my hometown team and arch rivals of the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, lose horribly. Though I don’t believe that tainted my experience.

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Agree? Disagree? Neutral opinion? Let me know!Twitter #YankeeStadium

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry, the latest sketch by Horseshoe & Hand Grenade Productions, is out now!

A sketch about a loser and his smart-ass brother, mom, and love interest.

Starring: Matt Aromando, Chris Griffin, Kirsten Ecker, and Lauren Berstein
Written by: Chris Griffin
Edited by: Laura Miner
Directed by: Matt Aromando

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Chuck Jones’ Consistent Characters

Yesterday, someone posted on Reddit the rules Chuck Jones had when creating Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner cartoons. The list is amazing and here it is:

Source: imgur

Source: imgur

I can appreciate this on many levels but the most important to me is how defined these simple characters are based on just this list. Something that pulls me out of a lot of fiction is when a character does something I don’t believe they would. That’s not to say characters have to be predictable or can’t grow but if Wile E. Coyote gives up and decides the Road Runner isn’t worth it, then it’s no fun anymore.

My favorites from this list are definitely 8 and 9. Remember, “Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy,” is telling us all that there is always something holding us down. And replace “The Coyote” with “Matt” in: “The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures,” to sum up my life pretty well.

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Internet Outrage

Grandpa SimpsonThe internet has become, among many things, an outrage machine. I’ve meant to write something about how fake it all seems but I just couldn’t figure out how to do it tactfully. Then, I watched an episode of The Simpsons from—somewhat unbelievably—1993. Grandpa Simpson in a non-sequitur from, The Front:

When I read your magazine, I don’t see one wrinkled face or single toothless grin. For shame. To the sickos at Modern Bride magazine…

I don’t even know what was being lampooned here but it rings true to this day.

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My Best Picture Ranking for the 87th Academy Awards!

With great pleasure, I’d like to share my ranking of the Best Picture nominees for the 87th Academy Awards. I’m told this is how the real voters do it! They rank the films 1-8 and then “they” do some funky math to find out the winner. Apparently this ends up with some wacky decisions because the film with the most first place votes doesn’t necessarily win. (Remember, it’s always better for something to be average! Then people can’t hate it too much.)

So, this is obvious, but I’ll say it anyways: These are my opinions! The Oscars is just an awards show! I thoroughly enjoyed all these movies (except Boyhood). That being said, here’s what I thought…

8) Boyhood – I’m sorry to say this to anyone who enjoyed this movie but it’s the only nominee that I found to be a struggle to watch. I just wasn’t into it and the gimmick of having people age in real-time didn’t do anything for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

7) Whiplash – I’ll say this, it’s an impressive feat to keep me engaged in a movie about a jazz drummer for two hours. JK Simmons was as excellent, as I had heard ,in a Full Metal Jacket kind of way.

6) The Theory of Everything – The acting was great, especially for such a difficult role, and it made me way more emotional than I thought it would. Though maybe the main character just lived too long for me (see: the next few movies on my list).

5) Selma – Martin Luther King Jr. is an idol of mine. I find a lot of the things he’s said to be so inspirational. I remember writing a paper on him when I was younger and being so amazed at how young he was when he was killed and how I thought he could do so much more if he had lived a full life (maybe the most obvious thing I’ve ever said). The movie does an excellent job showing one of his most admirable aspects, his views on non-violence, which I feel is so important to any cause.

4) American Sniper – A film that was so much better than I had expected. I went in with a few liberal biases going against it. I had heard it was glorifying war. That it was war propaganda. I found these claims to be unwarranted. At times it even seemed critical of war. To me, this was a movie about PTSD and the suffering it causes. I’m a complete pacifist. I hate the idea of war but I know it exists and I’m glad I’m not personally fighting in them. There were some moments that I thought were a little too corny for my tastes but overall a very compelling movie.

3) The Imitation Game – This movie made me cry. It was, like American Sniper, another movie I wasn’t totally looking forward to. I thought the trailers told the whole story and it wasn’t a story I really cared about. Then I actually saw it and I was so impressed. There was so much more to the movie than I thought there would be. Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing is my choice for acting performance of the year (though that’s not what this post is about).

2) Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – This could easily have been tied for my favorite film of the year—and the difference between 1 and 2 was my hardest—but I didn’t want to cop-out with my rankings. This movie kept me wondering what was happening in the most magical way. I was engaged in every moment. I think if there was a camera on me as I watched it, I’d be wide-eyed the entire time occasionally mouthing the word “woah.” I can understand why a lot of people didn’t like it. The movie was strange but that’s what made it so interesting. It also, despite some unreal scenes, felt so real to me and had such an honest sense of art. As I was watching this movie, I said to myself, “This is one of the coolest movies I’ve ever seen.” Also, the music, the directing, the acting, and the cinematography, all were amazing.

1) The Grand Budapest Hotel – The most enjoyable of all the movies nominated, which is really why I go to the movies. I’m admittedly biased towards both comedies and Wes Anderson but that’s the way it is. I love the acting, the writing, the scenery, how it was filmed, how it was edited, the use of models, everything. There were so many little details put into the movie, which I expect from directors like Wes Anderson. This is also, amazingly, the first Best Picture nomination for Wes Anderson, which is unbelievable to me. Bonus points from me for coming out as a wide release well before “Oscar season.”

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Agree? Disagree? I'd love to talk about it!Twitter #oscars