Da Scent

This is my first real attempt at an on-line journal. It'll be parts political, parts personal, parts other. I'll try to keep it interesting, whatever I write. Feedback is appreciated...

UPDATE: Ok, I've taken a step to avoid spammers. So anyone can post comments again, you'll just have to do a word verification first. No big deal, just a minor pain in the ass, courtesy of the fucktards.

Location: Pasadena, Maryland

Aspiring novelist (hey, write, call or e-mail if you can hook me up with a literary agent...no hurries though, I've only just started).

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar preview

Well, I finally saw my first Best Picture nominee of the year last night, and Brokeback Mountain was as good as advertised. Ledger and Gyllenhaal gave inspired performances, the scenery was beautiful and breathtaking, and the story was heartbreaking. I expect it to be taking home several statues tonight.

Here's my run down of the "mjaor" categories...

Supporting Actor
George Clooney - 40%
Paul Giamatti - 35%
Jake Gyllenhaal - 20%
Matt Dillon - 4%
William Hurt - 1%

This appears to be a two-horse race with a potential sleeper. Clooney has the advantage of being the major star, as opposed to Giamatti and Gyllenhaal, who are "actor's actors". But Oscar voters might be feeling a tad embarassed about snubbing Giamatti last year after his fabulous performance in Sideways and they might use this as a make-up Oscar. but then again, maybe they think that just giving him the nomination is making up enough...

Supporting Actress
Rachael Weisz - 75%
Michelle Williams - 15%
Catherine Keener - 5%
Frances McDormand - 4%
Amy Adams - 1%

Very close to a lock. Michelle Williams was wonderful in Brokeback Mountain, but she stands little chance of taking the award from Weisz, who cleaned up the other awards.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman - 50%
Heath Ledger - 30%
Joaquin Phoenix - 18%
Terrance Howard - 1%
David Strathairn - 1%

Hoffman won the SAG and the Golden Globe, which together indicates a high probability of success, but Ledger's performance was outstanding, and he has a very good chance if the Academy decides it's tired of handing out Acting Oscars for biopics. Phoenix has an outside shot.

Reese Witherspoon - 60%
Felicity Huffman - 35%
Charlize Theron - 2%
Keira Knightley - 2%
Judi Dench - 1%

It's either Witherspoon or Huffman, that much is certain, and the buzz is Witherspoon will come out on top. We'll see if that holds true - the indicator awards were sort of mixed (both won Golden Globes and while Witherspoon won the SAG, Huffman won the SAG for television for her role in Desperate Housewives and the SAG might have been trying to split those awards).

Screenplay, Adapted
Munich - 40%
Brokeback Mountain - 30%
Capote - 15%
The Constant Gardener - 10%
A History of Violence - 5%

It'll be Brokeback or Munich, and I'm going with Munich because I don't seeing it winning any other biggies and I also don't see it going home empty-handed.

Screenplay, Original
Crash - 40%
Good Night, And Good Luck - 35%
Syriana - 23%
Match Point - 1%
The Squid And the Whale - 1%

Crash got a massive screening right around the time of the SAG Awards and it reaped the benefit of the Award for ensemble acting. Here's saying it wins an Oscar, too - this one.

Brokeback Mountain - 65%
Munich - 25%
Good Night, And Good Luck 8%
Capote - 1%
Crash - 1%

Ang Lee was upset by Stephen Soderbergh in 2000 when he did Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (although I was pretty sure that Soderbergh, who was nominated twice in that category that year, for Erin Brokovich and for Traffic, was going to win for one of those, and he did for Traffic), and this is his make-up Oscar. But you can never count Spielberg out of any Oscar race he is in, and Clooney has some support as well.

Brokeback Mountain - 85%
Crash - 10%
Munich - 2%
Capote - 2%
Good Night, And Good Luck - 1%

There is a lot of talk that the Brokeback Mountain will experience a backlash and that Crash has a lot of momentum, but I'm not buying it. A lot of Crash's supposed "momentum" talk is based on the movie's SAG win for Ensemble Performace, which is erroneously thought of as SAG's "equivalent" for Best Picture. Well, it's not Best Picture. It's ensemble acting. And Crash was a true ensemble movie, as opposed to Brokeback, which was largely carried by Ledger and Gyllenhaal, with some good supporting performances. Sideways won the ensemble award last year, and fat load of good that did that movie come Best Picture time Oscar Night (although Sideways did win Best Screenplay, which is what I'm calling for Crash to win). As far as Hollywood is concerned, this is the year of the Mountain.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New Abu Ghraib Photos

Wow...just saw the new set of Abu Ghraib photos...this shit is just plain sickening. If you thought the Muslims went wacko over a few cartoons, wait till the full effects of this are felt. Once again, the Untied States military has put our lives directly in danger. How can anybody justify this sort of behavior?

The Pentagon is telling us that 25 officers and enlisted soldiers have been arrested and court martialed, but I'm wondering how many people are left that are so stupid to believe that this is just a series of isolated incidents purpetrated by a few soldiers on the ground in Iraq. This obviously goes up much higher than that, and I am convinced that the orders were coming from inside the administration.

Dick Durbin apologized for making this statement, but I will not. These are the sort of photographs you would expect to see coming from the prison camps run by autocratic regimes, not by a supposedly freedom-loving country like the United States. While you're watching our athletes representing our country in Italy these few weeks, understand that when the rest of the world sees and hears "USA", these pictures are the first things that will come to mind for many of those people.

It doesn't have to be this way; I love this country and I am appalled by what these people are doing to everything it used to stand for. It can stand for all of those things again, but we, the people, have to be willing to stand up to this and say, "enough".

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Democratic Party takes another shot at their base

The people in charge of the Democratic Party are scared. They're losing their grip, and they know it. So they struck back, and took out the latest blogosphere superstar, Jim Hackett. Well, congratu-fucking-lations. You've now cost us another Senate seat.

I swear to God, the Democratic Party has to be run by the biggest group of fuck-ups on the goddam planet Earth. Everytime the path to victory is opened up for them, they burn the motherfucker down. Everytime the netroots try and save them from themselves, they stab us in the back.

Well, those assholes aren't going to get another goddam penny from me. Any donations I make from now on will be directly to candidates only. I'm not going to let those fuckers take my money and use it to strong arm capable candidates out of races.

The Dems will never, ever, be able to compete with the Repubs in fund raising UNLESS they EMBRACE the one part of their Party that isn't comepletely and utterly dysfunctional - the netroots, instead of trying to participate in this bizzare battle for Party supremacy, they better step back and see exactly how it is they can win in general elections, not primaries.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Bye bye Meirs

Harriet Meirs withdrew her own Supreme Court nomination yesterday, in a move which should have surprised nobody, seeing as I predicted it last night.

This is a pretty sad occasion, actually, as I had been enjoying this debacle whole-heartedly. However, all good things must come to an end - this one came to an end, coincidentally, just in time for Bush to make another nomination to take the focus away from all of the Plame indictments. So, what now?

We're still waiting for the Other Shoe to drop, of course, in the Plame Case, which is far, far, far from being over. And then we've got DeLay, and another Supreme Court nomination. So, keep your hands and feet inside the car, ladies and gentlemen, the ride ain't over yet. In fact, it's just starting to get interesting...

Till later, P&L...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Back, after a while

Well, I've taken a couple of weeks off from the blog, as anyone who might read this has noticed. It's probably a good thing.

I'm gonna alter the format a little bit. First, I'll scale down the football content on this blog. This has become a football blog, and there really is no reason for that to be true. If you want football analysis, there are better places to go. I'd love to believe I know all regarding the gridiorn sport (hey, my fantasy team is whooping some serious ass this season...) but the fact is ESPN and Foxsports and cbs sportsline, etc, etc, all have guys who know more about the game than I do. That being said, here are the games I'll be following this week, pro and college:

Maryland/Florida State
Purdue/Penn State
Boston College/Virginia Tech (tomorrow)
North Carolina/Miami (FL)


In other sports news, the White Sox won the World Series last night. The White Sox and Red Sox won the World Series in consecutive years in 1917 and 1918, neither won the World Series until last season, and now they have won the Series in consecutive years again. The odds against such an occurence must be astronomical - that's why I love baseball, and sports in general.

Rosa Parks died the other night. Rosa's legacy is, pretty much, the entirety of the Civil Rights Movement. While her death saddens me, she was 92 years old, so at least she wasn't cheated. The lesson of Rosa Parks, to me, is if you don't like something, goddamit, go take a stand. Who knows...you might change history. Before she sat down on the bus seat and refused to move, Ms. Parks was just another anonymous black woman in the South. Half a century later, we all know who she was, and we are all better for her having lived and done what she did.

Colbert Report (pornounced "re-pore") debuted last week. Brilliant as could be expected. Last night's episode was week, I thought, but then again I was pretty pissed while I was watching it, for unrelated reasons. Hopefully, tonight will be much more enjoyable for me...

The other shoe is finally looking like it may drop in the Plame Case. We're waiting and watching (the media make asses out of themselves, see last night's Daily Show)...hopefully something...soon...

The Harriet Meirs Debacle goes on...not for long though. This lady is gonna withdraw shortly. Almost a shame, this makes great TV.

Ok, all for now...P&L...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Pro Ball Week 6 Primer

The last couple weeks I've been combining this with the college ball recap, but Saturday was probably the best day I've ever had watching college ball. Every game, or so it seemed, came down to the final minute. My point is, I'm too tired to adaquately recap today's (yesterday's) action right now, and it deserves its own post. So I'll pound that out tomorrow. As for right now, here are the top 5 games to look for on Sunday:

5. Dolphins/Buccaneers - There is a lot of good pro football being played in Florida this year. Both the Dolphins and Buccaneers have shocked the masses with their quick starts, although the Dolphins imploded last week in Buffalo. Both teams, in fact, are coming off of losses. Each team is also playing in a division where wins each week are important, so even though this is a cross-conference match-up, it's a pretty important one.

4. Redskins/Chiefs - Both of these teams are coming off of losses, as well, although the Cheifs had last week off. This is the second of two consecutive tough road contests for the Skins, who still find themselves atop the NFC East. Once again, each of these teams is in a very competitive division, and so each win is paramount. Another cross-conference match-up with greater than average importance.

3. Jaguars/Steelers - Well, the Jaguars seem to have their work cut out for them. Indy doesn't look like they will be losing anytime soon, so if Jacksonville has postseason plans, they need to win, win, win. It appears as if the Steelers are going to be challenged this year for the division title by the Bengals, so they as well need every win, especially at home. I don't see this being a tie-braker as far as head to head is concerned, but division record is important when determining post-season seedings, so each of these teams will want to have this one when the season is said and done.

2. Giants/Cowboys - The Cowboys came out like gangbusters and fucked up the Eagles something awful last week. Now they host the Giants, in their final divisional home game of the season. Once again, having lost one of their first two (14-13, to the Redskins) this is pretty close to a must-win for Dallas. At least, as close as you can be at this point in the season. For the Giants, a win here coupled with a Redskins loss would catapault them into first place in the division. Also, road divisional wins are a prize to be treasured, indeed. Big game.

1. Patriots/Broncos - Thanks to their dramatic win over Washington last week, the Broncos are sitting pretty atop the AFC West at 4-1. The Patriots are coming off of an emotional win over Atlanta, but Atlanta was playing without Michael Vick. This game has lots of impliactions, both potentially for the post-season, as well as right now about where these two teams stand amongst the AFC's best.

In other match-ups, the Ravens better fix their season in a hurry, because a loss to the Browns might mean they're headed for a last-place season; the Vikings and the Bears are ridiculously still in the hunt for a division championship, they get each other; the Panthers will try and reestablish themselves as an NFC power vs. the Lions; the Saints will try and pick up the pieces at "home" against the Falcons; the Bengals will try and rebound against a Tennessee team that is coming off of a rare win; the Bills are going to try to make it two division wins in a row against Vinny & the Jets; the Raiders are going to host San Diego in an important match-up for both teams, as well as my fantasy team; the Texans are looking for a win, any win, and the Seahawks are going to try and make sure they have to keep looking; and on Monday Night, the Colts will see if they can't hang 100 on the Rams' "defense".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pro Ball Week 5 Recap & College Ball Week 7 Primer

Ok, not a bad weekend of football in the NFL. In fact, I'd asy it was, overall, probably the best week sofar (this is Big Picture, of course; the fact that the Redskins lost is tragic & wrong - more on that later). Anyway, here were the big games:

The shocker of the week came in Dallas. The shock wasn't that the Cowboys won - it was one they HAD to win, after all, for reasons I explained in the primer. But the final score, 33-10, certainly raised some heads. Once again, the Eagles let their opponents get out to a large lead, USC-style, but this time they couldn't complete the comeback. Philly suddenly has questions in their secondary, once considered the best in the NFC, and their lack of a running game is as apparent as ever. With the other three teams in the NFC East so much better this season (so far), don't be too shocked if January rolls around and Philly isn't in the picture...

The Bengals lost on Sunday night at Jacksonville. This was their first loss of the season, and it was on the road against a tough foe, so we shouldn't read too much into it. This was a huge win for Jacksonville, who got buried at home two games ago by Denver, and are trying to make a playoff push this season. We'll be seeing a lot of these two teams on on Top 5 games lists this season.

Same, it appears, with the Redskins and the Broncos, who fought a thriller in Denver with the home team prevailing after the Skins failed to convert what would have been a game-tying two point conversion with just over a minute to go. For the Redskins, this loss was as impressive as their wins have been. The Broncos are by far the best team they have played this season (or are they? who knows after this weekend's Dallas/Philly game...) and hanging tough like that on the road showed that this is not just a team that has taken advantage of weaker competition. For the Broncos, this was a good win, and it sets up a big time showdown next weekend.

The Falcons were without Michael Vick, the Patriots were without a slew of people, but the two teams still played a classic in the Goeorgia Dome. Atlanta scored a TD and converted their game-tying 2 point bid late in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots did what they do...marched down the field and set up Adam Vintieri for the game winning figgie (although, is it just me, or are all of Vinitieri's game winners from like 20 yards away...I'm not saying it's not impressive that he hits them all, just that it's not that impressive...). What does this mean? Who knows? It seems like Shaub is a good QB, but he's not Michael Vick. I guess we'll know more as the season goes on, as always...

Finally, the Monday Night Game lived up to it's billing (but was completely overshadowed by the Yankees losing to the Angels that night). The Steelers made a game-winning figgie drive of their own, after the Chargers scored the go ahead TD and failed on a 2 point conversion that would have put them up by three (2PCs were the theme of the week, aparently). So, in the past three weeks, the Patriots have won at Pittsburgh, the Chargers have won at New Englan, and the Steelers have won at San Diego. What does that mean? That you can not make sense of the football season. And that one game doesn't really mean much.

In other action, the Packers beat the living shit out of the Saints (bad karma, GB, running up the score on a team knocked around from place to place by a hurricane); the Titans triumphed over the god-awful Texans; the Ravens went on meltdown mode committing 21 penalties in a loss at Detroit; the Dolphins also went into meltdown mode, committing 18 penalties and five turnovers on the road at Buffalo; the Colts offense was surprisingly quiet again, but good enough to beat the 49ers and improve to 5-0; the Browns got a big comeback win at home against the Bears; the Panthers beat the Cardinals, despite another big passing day from Josh McCown; the Seahawks took control of the NFC West with a big win in St. Louis; and the Buccaneers suffered their first lost at the hands of Vinnie & the Jets.

Ok, College Primer...

Lots of good games this weekend. The best of the best are as follows:

5. Wisconsin/Minnesota - these are two very similar teams at this point in the season. Both have one loss, Wisconsin's coming last weekend to Northwestern, Minnesota's coming to suprising Penn State. Both schools have a win over "preseason top five" team Michigan, who has been a huge dissapointment. Both teams are curretnly vying for the Big Ten Title, and neither can afford a second loss if they want to keep that dream alive. There's also the matter of Paul Bunyan's Axe, the trophy which goes to the winner of this game, currently in the possession of the Badgers.

4. Louisville/West Virginia - the prohibitive favorites to win the Big East this season, both schools have a single loss, although West Virginia's came outside of conference play. Louisville abslutely needs this win, after embarrassingly losing their Big East debut against the Bulls of South Florida. For West Virginia, they've had to hear all season about how Louisville was going to walk into their conference and dominate, and they have to want to get in their shot at the Cardinals. Since the winner of this game likely goes to a BCS Bowl, this game has huge implications.

3. Colorado/Texas - Texas has been pounding their opponenets into submission ever since their thrilling win in Columbus early in the season. Colorado is certainly the best team they have played since then, and is trying to win the Big 12 North. For second-ranked Texas, with Virginia Tech, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, and Penn State all playing so well behind them, every game is a must win if they want to stay in the National Title picture. For Colordao, a win here would be a huge feather in their cap, as well as make them the prohibitive favorties in their division (if they aren't already).

2. Florida/Louisiana State - quite simply, each team has a loss, each team has a conference loss. That means whoever loses is not only completely knocked out of the National Title picture, but out of the SEC Title picture as well. With such high expectations for each squad, this game is going to kill somebody's season. If LSU were to win this game, that would put Georgia up by two losses in their division (unless they lose a shocker to Vanderbilt).

1. Southern California/Notre Dame - perhaps this game shouldn't be ranked so high (the Trojans are 11 point favorites), but I'm tired of putting SEC match-ups at the top every week. OK, so that's a lie, but I do have high expectations for this match-up. If the Trojans have a weakness, it's their defensive backfield, and Charlie Weiss has been able to exploit secondarys so far this season. And the Irish have certainly been able to win match-ups like this in the past, even if it has been the distant past. I think we'll see 100+ points in this game. The question is, can Notre Dame get enough of those to make this entertaining?

Ok, my Top 25 heading into this week (and their opponents):

1. Southern California (@ Notre Dame)
2. Texas (vs. Colorado)
3. Virginia Tech (Idle)
4. Alabama (@ Mississippi)
5. Georgia (@ Vanderbilt)
6. UCLA (@ Washington State)
7. Penn State (@ Michigan)
8. Florida State (@ Virginia)
9. California (vs. Oregon State)
10. Texas Tech (vs. Kansas State)
11. Notre Dame (vs. Southern California)
12. Michigan State (@ Ohio State)
13. Louisiana State (vs. Florida)
14. Miami (FL) (@ Temple)
15. Florida (@ Louisiana State)
16. Ohio State (vs. Michigan State)
17. Wisconsin (@ Minnesota)
18. Nebraska (@ Baylor)
19. West Virginia (vs. Louisville)
20. Colorado (@ Texas)
21. Tennessee (Idle)
22. Auburn (@ Arkansas)
23. Minnesota (vs. Wisconsin)
24. Oregon (vs. Washington)
25. Boston College (vs. Wake Forest)

Should be a good one. Till Later...