Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goose Egg Sweep!

What more can be said about Hisanori "The Samurai" Takahashi? He was lights-out in the pen, he's been fantastic in the rotation and could probably close, too (barring Mike Pelfrey's availability, of course).

If there's anything being a Mets fan has taught me, it's that you can never have enough uniform iterations. Or effective starting pitching coupled with timely hitting. The Amazin's go for the sweep tonight, and judging by the Phils' ongoing offensive woes, it just might happen. With Big Pelf on the hill and Reyes' most welcome resurgence, I'm even more encouraged.

This season has been a roller coaster already and it's not even June. I'd have it no other way, of course. New York Mets baseball is the best theater going.

Phillies outfielder Ben Francisco's "anglatino" name struck me as unique. I mean, how often do you meet a "Pedro Jones" or a "Jeff Garcia"? Oh, wait. Nevertheless, Francisco's forename is "Louis". Now you know, and that's one to grow on.

Kudos to Gary, Keith and Ron on SNY. Where else are you going to hear interesting tidbits about Crazy Horse and Scarlett O'Hara impressions? It was a real treat to listen to them last night, especially after having to endure the away team's telecasts. How does MLB decide which crew gets the nod for Extra Innings broadcasts, anyway? If it's anything like their bizarro blackout restrictions, it's surely a monkey throwing darts.

New Line Cinema has finally released "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy on blu-ray. In an unfortunate repeat, they've chosen to lead with the theatrical versions of Tolkien's masterpiece. After enjoying the DVD extended editions, I'll be waiting for the same this time around. The extra content really does add so much; it's like chewing on beef jerky after enjoying a filet mignon sandwich at The Childe Harold in Washington, D.C. The restaurant has closed, sadly, but that culinary masterpiece shall remain in my heart forever. Literally, I'm sure, since I used to eat there at least once a week. But I digress:

"The Hobbit" is finally in pre-production. The Shire is being recreated in New Zealand, some actors have been officially  named and others are hoping to reprise their roles. But what of the most important character of all, Bilbo Baggins? There's been endless speculation about who will be cast as the little leading man, and the powers-that-be aren't talking. Both producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro haven't so much as hinted, so the rumor mill continues to churn away faster than the one in Hobbiton.

Toby Maguire. James McAvoy. David Tennant. My vote? Francisco Cervelli.

In another fit of Tolkien-esque wonder, I've been asking myself a very important question again lately: Rohan or Gondor? If I ever had to pick one in which to live (be still, my filet mignon sandwich-clogged heart), I'd always leaned towards Gondor. The gleaming white city of Minas Tirith, the throne of the united Middle-Earth, the exiled descendants of the once-great island kingdom of NĂºmenor...

Rohan, on the other hand, was historically the little brother underfoot. The horse lords of the Riddermark were but outsiders peering into Gondorian society and its storied bloodlines. In fact, they were actually referred to in canon as "middle men",  inferior to Gondor in every way but a notch above the Easterlings who'd followed Sauron. I think Saruman captured it best in his scathing remarks to King Theoden before doing a triple lutz from atop Orthanc:

"What is the house of Rohan but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs? You are a lesser son of greater sires."

Ouch.

The older I get, however, the more I feel inclined towards Rohan. I've been told countless times in countless arenas that I'm not good enough, not smart enough, and just plain not enough. But in the end, who pulled Gondor's fat from the fire? I'd gladly trade the gleam of metropolis for the pastoral comforts of home, and that resonates even more from personal experience. Plus, Eowyn was hot.

How much did Aragorn love Arwen to resist her clear advances? It speaks a lot to his devotion and fidelity, especially considering he could have removed his sword from its hilt, if you will, and no one would have been the wiser.

My nVidia graphics card recently went belly-up, but here's to BFG Tech for actually supporting their products! Their replacement process was so painless and positive that it makes me want to write a letter. And I never write letters. The FedEx guy just called and he has my new card in hand, so I'm going to dash home, install it, fire the system up and head back into Lord of The Rings Online. Like I said, I'm a geek. But whereas I used to deny it, I now revel in it (as if you couldn't tell).

One last food-related item: If you're ever in Old Town Alexandria, VA, and looking for an interesting restaurant, check out Vermilion. Not only is their fare, service and decor impressive, they also utilize locally sourced produce, meats, fish, etc. I plan to be in town for the Mets-Nats series in July, so perhaps I'll see you there. I'll be the one dressed as a hobbit.

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