Dear Science: Analysis

For the first two months of the Album Club, I have absolutely loved the featured albums.  And when I read on Peter’s blog that although he liked the albums, he didn’t love them, I was always a little disappointed.  I wonder if Peter will feel the same way when he reads this review.

So yeah, in case my last paragraph was not clear enough, I liked TV on the Radio’s Dear Science, but I didn’t love it.  The interesting thing about this, though, is that I have had a devil of a time trying to figure out what exactly it is that I don’t love about Dear Science.  I mean, on paper, it seems like the kind of album that I would love: its intelligent, its songs are all good, it uses a wide range of instruments, one of the lead singers sounds exactly like David Bowie, and it has received rave reviews.  Sure, I know that I really shouldn’t be swayed by reviews, but lets face it: I read music reviews and they do affect my perception of the albums they discuss.  But I guess not entirely, since I am not as much in love with Dear Science as so many music critics seem to be.

But getting back to the album: I actually really like pretty much every song on the disc, but every time I tried to listen to the entire album in succession, I tend to get board half-way through, and start to wish it was still March so that I could listen to Bruce Peninsula instead.  But yeah, I can’t really figure out what is turning me off.  Um, maybe the horns (although I like other bands with horns).  Maybe its a little to jazzy for me.  Maybe its too slick and over-produced.

All this is not to say I didn’t like the album – I did, but I just didn’t love it.  In conclusion, Dear Science is a great addition to my iPod playlist, but its not enough to hold my attention for its entire length.  My favourite songs of the collection (besides Golden Age, which is a given) are Dancing Choose and Red Dress: I love the way TOTR tackle serious social and political issues through songs about dancing (and, of course, I like dancing to them). 

Sorry for the somewhat shorter album club  post, but I’m in the middle of studying for final exams – my last ever! – and I don’t have too much free time.

Champions, And Not Just In Our Eyes

For any of you who believe that my softball career this year has been a failure because the RELLS’ Bells only won one game (ahem, Dad), I have good news.  If you have been reading this blog from the beginning, you may remember that in addition to Team RELLS, I play on another team with my old section-mates from my 1L year on a team called Juiced.  Juiced is the only 1L team from 06-07 that stayed together for our entire time at UVa Law, and last weekend JUICED WON THE CLASS OF 2009 (3L) TOURNAMENT!  Now, because the tourney was on a Sunday, I did not play, but I still feel proud of my team, much as I imagine that a team’s player who is injured during the post-season would.  So, congratulations Section J ’09 for shaking our defeat at the 2006 1L tournament and bringing the championship home where it belongs!  (Wow, that link takes me back).

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Then

 

Now

Now

Good Food, Good Company, and Good Softball

Although some of you might not consider a season with only one win a success, us on this year’s RELLS Bells would beg to differ.  We all had a wonderful time this season, and to celebrate our success, Theresa and I organized a BBQ – Softball party.  Perhaps because our team was so popular, perhaps because it was over 30 degrees Celsius (about 85 fahrenheit), or perhaps because it will probably be the last time we could all get together as a group, but we had a great turnout.  So thanks everyone for joining us yesterday, and for joining us for the whole season.  It’s been an honor.

A couple of the members on our team, Landon and Sarah, are skilled photographers and took pictures of the the event.  So rather than try and keep you engrossed for 13,ooo words, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Theresa, the barefooted Softballer

 

Look at that Concentration

Yes, Team RELLS Did Actually Field Pregnant Players

We Were Also the Only Team With a Nursery-Aged Entourage

Nick Is Catching Some Good Air With This Swing

Bravo Miss California

OK, So I’ve been hearing about this Miss California controversy for days now, and it has upset me enough that I’ve been moved to speak up.  Basically, my problem with the recent media coverage is that it has not given Miss California’s answer the credit it deserves.  Everyone is debating one way or another about the final phrase of her response: “In my family I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”  However, they completely ignore the first part of what she said: “I think its great that Americans are able to choose one or the other.  We live in a land where you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage.”

So taking her quotation as a whole, it seems quite clear to me that what Miss California said was basically: “People should be able to choose whether to support or practice gay marriage, but I personally do not believe in it.”  Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that is a fantastic answer – one that should be praised from people on both sides of the issue.  She respected the gay rights activists’ point of view, but did not compromise her own opinion.  I mean what more do her opponents want?  That she not only agree that  gays should be allowed to marry, but also fully support the practice in contrary to her own upbringing and religious beliefs?

Miss California’s answer respected gay marriage activists while maintaining her own opinion, and her opponents should give her the same courtesy.

UPDATE: So, after watching a little more of Miss California, it seems like she may not be quite as open-minded as I initially gave her credit for.  But even if her initial answer to the pageant question doesn’t reflect her true views, I still think that it demonstrates a good attitude towards the issue.

Playoffs: Frosted Tips

Managing a Softball Team: Good Grief

Managing a Softball Team: Good Grief

When it comes to softball playoffs at UVa law, many teams treat the game as Jenga and stack stack stack.  The best players in the league inevitably play on almost every team in the playoffs.  The Frosted Tips were no exception: they had so much of UVa’s top talent that we had about as much chance of winning this game as we had swimming across the Pacific Ocean.  The Frosted Tips were very sportsmanlike, though, and made the game quite enjoyable despite the insurmountable deficit that quickly ran up on the scoreboard.

This is not to say that we did not make some good plays on our road to defeat.  Sarah made the catch of the season out in center field, snagging a deep, high shot that everyone thought was long gone.  It was the only time any of our opponents congratulated one of our plays.  Also, Theresa, taking a long lunch break to make an appearance, showed us all how to bat with a perfectly hit single over the second basemen’s head.  And then there was Nick’s in-the-park home run.  We really don’t have a bad team.  If only all of our opponents weren’t so good.

So, our last game was a blow-out.  This really didn’t bother me though, since we had already earned a win.  And speaking of that win, I want to congratulate our team once again: we all came out with our A games and put forth a solid effort with that win, which was perfectly legitimate and well earned.  Of course, this is not to say that all of our losses were because of a lack of effort – I am really proud of the effort we all made and the attitudes we all brought to every game.  We really were lovable, and we certainly made a good impression on NGSL (if for nothing else but our nursery-aged cheering section).  So thank you team for all of your support.  I especially want to thank all of our RELLS Belles for being so dependable.  I was a little worried about moving our team into the co-rec league, but you women proved that my fears were unfounded by coming out more often than most of the guys.

I really enjoyed being the captain of team RELLS this year and I couldn’t have chosen a team I would have rather played with.  Someone better keep me updated about the future of the RELLS Softball organization.

And for everyone reading this in Charlottesville, I invite you to come celebrate RELLS Bells this Saturday 4/25 at 4:30 for some BBQ and one last game of Softball.

One Busy April

I know that I the frequency of my posting has diminished.  The fact is, in addition to softball and all of the regular affairs that need to be settled at the end of a school year (my last!), Theresa and I have had an extremely full and enjoyable socail life.  Hence, less blogging.  Here are a few of the fun things we’ve been up to (as opposed to the boring, school related matters).

Easter Bunny Brunch: our ward put on a delightful Saturday morning brunch Easter weekend.  Although we had no children to participate in the egg hunt or meet the Easter Bunny, we had a good time with freinds.  And based on the high quality brunches we’ve had of late, its quickly becoming my favourite meal of the day (it is already Theresa’s)

Uva Drama Productions:  over the past month, we have been able to attend two Uva drama productions: Fuddy Meers, which is a wild an hilarious family crime caper seen through the eyes of an amnesiac, and Two Gentleman of Verona, a classic Shakespeare comedy.  Both were fantastic.

Pinewood Derby: yesterday, our elder’s quorum held its second annual pinewood derby (or what I knew growing up as a Cub-car Rally).  I spend all last week making my car with my rudimentary toolkit, a borrowed hacksaw (thanks Scott) and some leftover furniture paint.  Even though it was not the prettiest (or, as it turned out, the fastest), I was proud of my little car.  It ran the circuit admirably, and although it did not finish high enough to earn on of the grand prizes, I did win the award for “Most International Car” (although the competition in that category was somewhat lacking).  All and all, I had a great time.

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My care is in lane 3 (what gave it away?).  The car in lane 1 won the whole competition.

Game VI: Thundercats

Today, Charlottesville woke up to a soggy morning.  The ground was soaked from a late night rain, which was still in its final stages when I drove Theresa to work.  I was sure that our game this afternoon, the final of the regular season, would be cancelled.  However, the North Grounds Softball Commission insisted that all games were on.  So a little after 2:00, I headed over to the field to check out conditions.  The diamond was a mud pie.  There was a large puddle at home plate, which necessitated a temporary base being placed to one side.  But other than the weather, everything else was stacked for an enjoyable game: both teams had enough players, we had a good umpire, and we were all available for a full game.   So we took the field for the first inning.  About five minutes into the game it started to rain.  Just a sprinkle, though, so we played through.

Despite having to run at half speed to prevent slipping in the muddy infield, the game was intense.  There were a number of great plays on either side.  A couple of ours included Kevin snagging a speeding line drive at third and Hailey’s great stop at second for a ground out.  One of their best plays consisted of a runner sliding head first through the home plate puddle, even though the ball was still in the outfield.

No team was able to sustain more than a four run rally in any inning.  No team was able to take a definitive lead.  This was probably our last chance to earn that elusive W that has slipped through our grasps time and time again, so I was nervous.  Up on the mound I was terrified of each batter, imagining him hitting a grand slam that would push my dreams of victory that much further out of the realm of the possible.  All of this made for a pretty tense game, at least within my own psyche.  Despite this, or perhaps because of this, I would say that everyone left the game having had an enjoyable afternoon – horrendously dirty, but enjoyable.

Oh, and we won.   Now I can graduate.