Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seven Years Ago Today

Seven years ago today was the happiest day of my and my wife's lives. Our son, Alexander Michael was born on a Sunday mornining at NYU hospital. It's been a wonderful seven years. Happy Birthday, Alex!!! We love you!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises was my most anticipated movie of the summer.  Second was The Avengers, but that came out on May 3, which is technically not summer yet but opened up the summer movie season.  Anyway, the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado tempered some of that.  No, I don't blame the killings on the movie or think the psychotic murderer was inspired by the movie or comic books.  He was a psychotic murderer.  That's what they do. 

I also don't bother with the gun debate because it's futile.  Once the Robert's Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment as an unfettered right to bear arms, rather than in relation to militias (early US didn't have a standing army), the gun control lobby was toast.  Even if there were background checks and an assault weapons ban, the psychotic murderer would've still gotten guns and killed people.  Why?  Again, because he was a psychotic murderer. That's what they do.

Back to the film, and tempered excitement.  It really had to do with sadness over the whole situation. It ways on your mind and you feel for the victims families.  There was 24 hour news on it and it was hard to avoid, although I tried. Fortunately, I had my soon-to-be 7 year old son who was anxious to see the movie. He had no idea what happened in Colorado and that's a good thing.

I took him to the first showing on Sunday and we both loved it. It is such an epic film in scope and theme. Some critics have described it as "The Godfather of superhero movies" and I agree.  I loved The Dark Knight, but the late Heath Ledger's immortal portrayal of the Joker pretty much overshadowed the film.  Here, Rises does not have that issue (I, of course, would have loved to see Ledger in this movie but fate denied us that), and the movie succeeds on the collective efforts of the actors and film makers.

I've given up on the Oscars long ago.  It's nothing but a racket run by certain influential people that deem what should win and what should not.  Rises should be nominated, but who knows?  The Dark Knight got shafted out of a nomination.  Plus, there is some serious bias by the curmudgeon members of the Acadamy who vote.  They simply refuse to vote for a movie based on a comic book.  That's a shame because they'll be ignoring the best movie of the year thus far.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Golden Anniversary + 1

Fifty-one years ago today, Americo Cordero married Marion Ildefonso at Santa Cecilia Church in El Barrio, New York. The reception was at Marion's parents' apartment, which was too small for the festivities, so the party had to spill into the street.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Pop. I thank you and love you both dearly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ST: TNG -- 25 Years Later

This coming September 28 marks the silver anniversary of the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation, aka ST: TNG or simply TNG. Yeah, I know I'm jumping the gun here posting about this on July 11, but I got an email that reminded me of the anniversary.  I was like, "Holy crap, that was twenty-five years ago?"  Yes, it was.

Wow, time flies. Yes, people say that alot but it's true, mainly when you don't pay attention to something. Otherwise when you do, time seems to drag. That's a matter of human perception, but that is for another post. Anyway, back to the Next Generation which I hated at first.  Yes, I did.  I was an Original Series uber fan.  We call it now "The Original Series" because of the Next Generation, but for fans like me there was only one Star Trek. TNG was an interloper, an imposter leeching off the name of Sci-Fi royalty, no, Sci-Fi Scripture.

I watched every episode that first season, 26 in all and thought it pretty much sucked. It was crap. The special effects were nice, the best on TV at the time, but Star Trek wasn't about special effects.  It was about the big picture, the interaction of people you care about, and overall adventure. The characters were bland, there was no chemistry between the characters, and many seemed like knockoffs of the original (i.e. Riker for Kirk, Data for Spock).  It seems like the series creators thought it was crap too and made some changes, like late in the season killing off the annoying Tasha Yar (and they even gave her a lame death--jeesh, these wannabe Star Trek hacks can't even kill off a major character correctly). 

Anyway, things picked up in the second season and finally in the third season when we were introduced to The Borg as main villians the series hit it's stride.  So, yeah, I became a fan then.  Captain Picard grew on me, as did the Klingon Worf, who had the best story arcs in the whole series.  In fact, the series turned the corner when they abandoned the silly notion of kumbaya in space.  They needed conflict! And boy was there conflict throughout the third to seventh and final season.  It started with Picard's kidnapping by The Borg, through a Klingon civil war, and various other dilemma.  You cared about the characters because of who they are and what they endured.  That was the essence of Star Trek.

The series finale, "All Good Things," was one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, of any series.  In fact, it was better than any of the four TNG movies, which all should've been better than they were if they had better writing and better planning.  When it was over I was a full fledged TNG fan.  No, it was not the Original Series and it wasn't meant to be.  Yet it was worthy to stand along side it. Happy Silver Anniversary.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July, Independence Day +2

It is the 236th anniversary of the Second Continental Congress’ approval of the Declaration of Independence. The 4th of July is erroneously referred to as commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The document is dated July 4, 1776, but most delegates signed it on August 2. July 2 is actually the pivotal day in this nation’s founding. On that date, the Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence.

In fact, on July 3 the great John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

Poor John was off by two days. No one knows why July 2 was supplanted by the 4th, but it happened early. If anything, we can blame Philadelphia. On July 4, 1777 Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, then a year later General George Washington marked the holiday with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute on the 4th.

Since the celebration on the 4th rather than the 2nd happened so early, the myth of the 4th became firmly entrenched. Even John Adams had come to believe later on in life that he and the other delegates had signed the document on July 4.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Baby's Baptism

Scheduling things when you need to coordinate three sets of schedules is tough, especially with a brother-in-law in Florida and a sister who is always busy on the weekends, the two Godparents. But we were able to work things out and schedule my six-month-old daughter's baptism for this past Sunday, July 1. Yes, we had to re-schedule it twice, but still.  It worked out well.

Except for the heat. And the fact that the Deacon is part of management for Con Ed and had come off a 12 hour shift at 7 am and had to go back to work at 7 pm in the evening. Didn't matter, because the Deacon was awesome in conducting the ceremony, along with our Pastor who presided over the mass. We also lucked out in having the choir director and whole choir participate. Yes, because of the difficult scheduling we had to do a private mass and we were able to get the different moving pieces to work. I'm so thankful to all of them.

I'm also thankful for the family and friends who braved the scorching heatwave and came out to the mass and the reception afterwards at our house. I had to make extra runs to the store to get more water, but it worked. And best of all, our little Elena Marie got Baptized. She'll get to chose her own religious path when she grows up. My parents did the same for me, but they gave me a foundation and emphasized my free will through out. I love you Elena and I'm so proud and happy to share this day with you.