Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mo!

The New York Yankees' immortal closer, Mariano Rivera, turned 40 over the weekend. For the last 13 seasons, Mo has been the best closer in baseball and is a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer. I’ve never followed the career of a Hall of Famer player on my favorite team in any sport from rookie year to retirement, and I have the chance with Mo and Derek Jeter. But in Mo’s case, he’s the best there ever was at his position and I—and every Yankee fan of my generation—are fortunate to have seen him perform magic on the pitching mound for all these years.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! At this time we’re supposed to recognize the things we’re thankful for. My son started pre-K and as part of an art project he had to do a collage of the things he was thankful for. He chose seven things: his family, his friends, his church, animals, flowers, clothing, and food. That’s a pretty good list and I’m adopting it for this Thanksgiving.

I’m also thankful for memories. As a kid my family used to always go to my grandparents apartment on 105th and 1st Avenue in El Barrio. The apartment was always jam packed with my extended family and the food was amazingly good. I never wanted to go, however, because I wanted to see the King Kong marathon on Channel 9 and the adults wouldn’t let me. Now that that time is long gone and my grandparents are in heaven I wish I had enjoyed those times more.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boldly Going Again

Admittedly, I had great misgivings about J.J. Abrams relaunch of Star Trek, but I was presently surprised when I saw the movie. I had taken my wife and 4-year-old son to see it. Unfortunately, my son started acting up and my wife took him to the lobby to calm him down. She missed half the movie. I bought the DVD this past Tuesday (yes, I haven’t gone the Blueray route just yet) and my wife and I finally got to see the movie together uninterrupted.

My wife loved it and I liked it even more the second time. J.J. Abrams did a great job, as did the actors. My criticism still stands, however, concerning the bloated Starship Enterprise and the fish scale uniform tops, but hey, nobody’s perfect. I’m intrigued by what they’ll do with a sequel.

In watching the movie again, I noted how much Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) got beaten up. He got his ass kicked throughout the film. It was hilarious. The old Kirk would fight (and tear up his shirt) in every other episode, but 10 minutes didn’t go by in the movie without poor Chris Pine getting punched, kicked, thrown against something, or having a violent allergic reaction to medicine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Honor of Veterans Day

Today is the 56th Annual Veterans Day, having replaced Armistice Day which had been first proclaimed by then President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. My father and I served in the U.S. Army, and uncles, cousins, and dear friends of mine also served in the U.S. armed forces. To them and all past and present veterans—especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice—I honor you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!

Remarkable to think that today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. Here's a good AP article on the event. Here's another good one on the diversity on the show. I was born in 1972, so I started watching Sesame Street in 1973-74. The show was only 4 years old then, but for me it had been on forever. It was my babysitter, teacher, and friend as my older siblings went off to school. I still love that show and am so glad my son loves it as well.

Generations have been raised on Sesame Street, and we are forever grateful for the work of its creators Joan Ganz Cooney, Jon Stone, Dave Connell, Sam Gibbon, and the late, great Jim Henson.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Congratulations to the New York Yankees on their 27th world championship. It’s the second this decade and the seventh in my lifetime as a Yankee fan. The Yanks won their first World Series in 1923 when they opened up the original Yankee Stadium and their 27th when they opened up the new Stadium. Truly amazing. I can’t wait for the parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the last two times the Yanks opened up a new stadium (1923 & 1976 renovation), they faced the defending world champs. Like 1923, the 2009 Yanks lost the first game and won the Series in 6. But an amazing fact is that 11 times the defending World Champions from the National League had a chance to repeat and EIGHT times they faced the Yanks, with the defending champs only winning twice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rest in Peace, Noor Faleh Almaleki

Noor Faleh Almaleki, the 20 year old Iraqi beauty that was run over by her father because she had become “too Westernized” died yesterday at an Arizona hospital. She had clinged to life for nearly two weeks. According to reports, “Almaleki was walking through a parking lot in suburban Phoenix with her boyfriend’s mother on Oct. 20 when her father gunned the engine of his SUV and mowed down both women, police said.”

Her father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, is in custody on two counts of aggravated assault that will be elevated to murder. “‘By his own admission, this was an intentional act and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family,’ county prosecutor Stephanie Low told a Maricopa County judge earlier.”

This is a despicable act by a despicable man. The fact that an honor killing occurred in the United States is appalling in and of itself, but it is an all too often occurrence in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Violence against woman is a global crisis that I’m not sure our world leaders are willing to face.