For instance, why do I consider it news that all the cast and crew of "The Sopranos" has agreed to a sixth season?
Because, despite my disappointment in a do nothing season four, I still love the show.
And now I have 23 more episodes to look forward to, instead of just 13!
Plus, the anticipation of new addition to the cast, STEVE BUSCEMI!
I ALSO am obsessing over the news that in the fifth "Harry Potter" book, "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix", author J.K. Rowling has killed off a main character.
This is BIG new for Potter fans, as not the speculation begins over who that character might be. Personally, I'm HOPING it's not Ron or Hermione.
I'm thinking it's likely Dumbledore. Perhaps Hagrid. It would fit in nicely with other similar type stories (look at Star Wars for example... Quai Gon AND Obi Wan die... They are teachers to Obi-Wan and Luke...)
So, here I await this Saturday's release of the fifth "Potter" story, and September's season five of "The Sopranos".
Also, a quick aside, I hear that Manchester United traded David Beckham (who "Bend It Like Beckham" is named for) to a Spanish team. Expect divorce papers to be filed by Posh Spice any day now...
Roger Clemens pitched his ass off Friday night in what was a tremendous game to watch, one in which he reached not one, but two HUGE milestones in his sure-to-be Hall-of-Fame career. He not only struck the 4,000th batter in his career (Edgar Renteria), but won his 300th game as well!
He is the first pitcher to get to 300 wins since Nolan Ryan did in 1993, and the first to reach 4,000 strikeouts since Ryan did in 1985.
I'm not gonna go into the whole "what hat will he wear" thing, as it's pointless to discuss until he's actually elected, but I do want to bring up this Late Show Top Ten List from yesterday.
Roger's Top 10
Top 10 things baseball has taught Roger Clemens, from last nights's Late Show with David Letterman.
10. I look sweet in tight pants.
9. If you work hard enough you can be successful, oh yeah, and it helps to have 8 all-stars on the field behind you.
8. There's not a damn thing to do in Milwaukee.
7. During a tense game I can eat 2 or 3 rosin bags.
6. You can melt an umpire's gruff exterior with a simple hug.
5. For Barry Bonds to be performing at this level at the age of 65 is truly remarkable.
4. The best practical joke? Tell a teammate they're traded to the Devil Rays.
3. It doesn't matter if you win or lose...Well, it didn't when I was on the Red Sox.
2. Good nickname: Rocket. Bad nickname: Lard-ass.
1. Adjusting your cup doesn't do anything...just makes you feel good.
My congrats to Roger "The Rocket" Clemens on these great acheivements!
Last week, a pretty momentous occassion for us die-hard Yankee fans happened.
Derek Jeter was named the 11th Captain of the team.
The first since Don "Donnie Baseball" Mattingly retired in 1995.
Added to the list of Chase, Peckinpaugh, Ruth, Gehrig, Munson, Nettles, Randolph, Guidry, & Mattingly. (Yeah, I know I'm forgetting one, but like YOU would have known Chase & Peckinpaugh...)
This was a surprise to few Yankee fans, as Derek was unoffically the Captain since Donnie retired anyway, and despite his youth (he's not even 29 yet...) But let's look at this "kid" for a second here.
This is a guy who had four World Series rings by the age of 27, who is the only man ever to win an All-Star game MVP AND World Series MVP in the same season, a five time All-Star, who holds the career postseason hits record with 101.
A man who thrives under the biggest spotlight in sports, as the shortstop of the New York Yankees.
He's considered one of the top three in the game, his name ALWAYS being said in conjunction with Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra. (Who loses there is last year's AL MVP, Miguel Tejada, who is almost NEVER included in that group).
What makes Jeter great is his willingness to face the music at all times. He never shirks away from the media, no matter how banged up or down he might be after a loss.
He has been nothing but total class and an absolute joy to watch.
There is a very good chance he'll be above 1,500 hits by this year is over, likely at 1,600-plus by this 30th birthday. I would say his chances of getting to 3,000 hits are pretty good right now, if he can stay healthy.
He also has a decent shot at 1,000 runs scored by his 30th birthday (June 26, 2004, BTW).
Right now, you'd have to say, this kid has all the makings of a Hall-Of-Fame caliber player. If he has the length to his career, he should be right there.
There may be better home run hitters, guys who hit for higher average, better on base guys, better fielders, better stolen base guys, but how many put all those tools together AND are one of the best clutch players ever?
Derek Jeter does, and Derek Jeter deserves to have his name there with Ruth, Gehrig, Munson, and Mattingly.
Every New Year's Day for two years running, my wife, Sheila, and I sit in front of the television for hours watching Bravo!
Every New Year's Day, they show a marathon of Cirque Du Soleil. From the first time I ever saw one of their shows on TV (about five years ago) I have been a big fan. I love the whole atmosphere, the look, the sound, everything.
As some of you may know, for the last two years, Sheila has been going to college full time. You may also know that on May 8th, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holdel, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kean University, with degrees in Early Childhood Education and Sociology.
Simply put, she worked her ass of for this, and deserved something special as a graduation present.
On, on May 1st, what do I see walking through the Subway here in New York? Posters with directions how to get to Cirque du Soleil on Randall's Island.
And the wheels started spinning.
A few days later I had won fantastic seats on e-bay for the May 11th show!
So the stage was set. Sheila was going to see her very first live show of Cirque du Soleil for her Graduation present!
Luckily, the tickets arrived in time to give them to her ON Graduation day.
Unluckily, come the day of the show, despite allowing 2 hours to travel all of 20 miles, we arrived 10 minutes late. (Thanks to REALLY foggy, wet weather, three accidents and the George Washington Bridge.)
So we walked in with the show already started, and we dazzled before we even got to our seats.
The show is centered around the old mythological story of the "Flight Of Icarus"
The show, production and music are all quite good, and some of the stunts are breath taking. The clowns, in traditional Cirque style, are offbeat and very funny. The show is about two and a half hours with a half hour intermission in the middle.
Instead of telling you about each different performer and what they do (since I wouldn't know proper terms or names and such), I'll just suggest that you all tune into Bravo! this coming Saturday night when "Varekai" premieres.
What makes this show kind of special is that Bravo! was running a Cirque reality program called "The Fire Within" which tracked several members of this troupe from the first rehearsal to opening night. So, when you see someone from the show, it's kind of like watching a friend perform in that strange "we all feel like public figures are people we know" kind of way.
The concessions were a bit pricey, but they had a combo of Varekai's CD and Tour Program for $27 which I thought was a good deal.
In all, if you live in the New York area and want to have a great time for a few hours, I HIGHLY recommend this show. It's one of my favorites! (Quidam being my fave... Which is on Bravo! tonight at 8 PM!)
Also, I just was this today over on Iwon.com. The new Vegas show for Cirque du Soleil, called "Zumanity", is going to be for a crowd of over 18 only! It is being called "Erotic cabaret".
I received the following in one of my many daily e-mails from His Holiness, Pope Buck I. Read on and THINK some, and you just might learn something before it's done... Hey, hey, hey...
Published on Thursday, May 29, 2003 by the National Catholic Reporter
Is There Anything Left That Matters? by Joan Chittister, OSB
This is what I don't understand: All of a sudden nothing seems to matter.
First, they said they wanted Bin Laden "dead or alive." But they didn't get him. So now they tell us that it doesn't matter. Our mission is greater than one man.
Then they said they wanted Saddam Hussein, "dead or alive." He's apparently alive but we haven't got him yet, either. However, President Bush told reporters recently, "It doesn't matter. Our mission is greater than one man."
Finally, they told us that we were invading Iraq to destroy their weapons of mass destruction. Now they say those weapons probably don't exist. Maybe never existed. Apparently that doesn't matter either.
Except that it does matter.
I know we're not supposed to say that. I know it's called "unpatriotic."
But it's also called honesty. And dishonesty matters.
It matters that the infrastructure of a foreign nation that couldn't defend itself against us has been destroyed on the grounds that it was a military threat to the world.
It matters that it was destroyed by us under a new doctrine of "pre-emptive war" when there was apparently nothing worth pre-empting.
It surely matters to the families here whose sons went to war to make the world safe from weapons of mass destruction and will never come home.
It matters to families in the United States whose life support programs were ended, whose medical insurance ran out, whose food stamps were cut off, whose day care programs were eliminated so we could spend the money on sending an army to do what did not need to be done.
It matters to the Iraqi girl whose face was burned by a lamp that toppled over as a result of a U.S. bombing run.
It matters to Ali, the Iraqi boy who lost his family - and both his arms - in a U.S. air attack.
It matters to the people in Baghdad whose water supply is now fetid, whose electricity is gone, whose streets are unsafe, whose 158 government ministries' buildings and all their records have been destroyed, whose cultural heritage and social system has been looted and whose cities teem with anti-American protests.
It matters that the people we say we "liberated" do not feel liberated in the midst of the lawlessness, destruction and wholesale social suffering that so-called liberation created.
It matters to the United Nations whose integrity was impugned, whose authority was denied, whose inspection teams are even now still being overlooked in the process of technical evaluation and disarmament.
It matters to the reputation of the United States in the eyes of the world, both now and for decades to come, perhaps.
And surely it matters to the integrity of this nation whether or not its intelligence gathering agencies have any real intelligence or not before we launch a military armada on its say-so.
And it should matter whether or not our government is either incompetent and didn't know what they were doing or were dishonest and refused to say. The unspoken truth is that either as a people we were misled, or we were lied to, about the real reason for this war. Either we made a huge - and unforgivable - mistake, an arrogant or ignorant mistake, or we are swaggering around the world like a blind giant, flailing in all directions while the rest of the world watches in horror or in ridicule.
If Bill Clinton's definition of "is" matters, surely this matters. If a president's sex life matters, surely a president's use of global force against some of the weakest people in the world matters. If a president's word in a court of law about a private indiscretion matters, surely a president's word to the community of nations and the security of millions of people matters.
And if not, why not? If not, surely there is something as wrong with us as citizens, as thinkers, as Christians as there must be with some facet of the government. If wars that the public says are wrong yesterday - as over 70% of U.S. citizens did before the attack on Iraq - suddenly become "right" the minute the first bombs drop, what kind of national morality is that?
Of what are we really capable as a nation if the considered judgment of politicians and people around the world means nothing to us as a people?
What is the depth of the American soul if we can allow destruction to be done in our name and the name of "liberation" and never even demand an accounting of its costs, both personal and public, when it is over?
We like to take comfort in the notion that people make a distinction between our government and ourselves. We like to say that the people of the world love Americans, they simply mistrust our government. But excoriating a distant and anonymous "government" for wreaking rubble on a nation in pretense of good requires very little of either character or intelligence.
What may count most, however, is that we may well be the ones Proverbs warns when it reminds us: "Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks the truth." The point is clear: If the people speak and the king doesn't listen, there is something wrong with the king. If the king acts precipitously and the people say nothing,
something is wrong with the people.
It may be time for us to realize that in a country that prides itself on being democratic, we are our government. And the rest of the world is figuring that out very quickly.
From where I stand, that matters.
***A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Sister Joan is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality, and past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Sister Joan has been recognized by universities and national organizations for her work for justice, peace and equality for women in the Church and society. She is an active member of the International Peace Council.***
Imagine that folks, me AGREEING with someone from the Catholic church...