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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

FANTASY FRIDAY: Adapting Storm of Swords

In fiction, Game of Thrones, TV, writing on 08/31/2012 at 17:44

Production on the third season of Game of Thrones is well underway, and with the March 31st premiere approaching much faster than the sixth installment of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, let’s take a look at what the HBO show has in store for us this go round.

the others

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Boston Celtics ready to deliver

In boston, sports, TV, writing on 08/31/2012 at 17:21

With the Boston Red Sox laboring through a forgettable 2012 campaign, the New England Patriots preparing to put another disappointing Superbowl loss behind them and the Boston Bruins trying to figure out what the heck has gotten into Tim Thomas (not to mention a sad first round playoffs exit), the Boston Celtics once again occupy the most hopeful position in the New England sports world.

2013 Celtics

As always, that hope is beleaguered by a thousands ifs, buts, and what ifs?

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In Uncategorized on 08/31/2012 at 03:09

Hopefully this season will be start a huge turn around?

Saturday Night Live enters its 38th season on September 15th and NBC has officially announced that Ted writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane will host with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Craig also slated to take on hosting duties in the weeks to come.

Frank Ocean will make his “SNL” debut alongside MacFarlane. Ocean released his studio debut album “Channel Orange,” in July 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. He originally gained notoriety within the industry for his writing collaborations with top artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Beyonce.

Gordon-Levitt hosts for his second time on September 22nd. The Golden Globe nominated actor will next be seen in Looper and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln due out later this year. The musical guest on his show will be Mumford & Sons, making their debut on the show. The Grammy nominated group’s second studio album, “Babel” will be released on September 24. Their debut album, “Sigh No More,”…

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Andy Roddick, the most literary character in sports

In fiction, sports, TV, writing on 08/30/2012 at 23:08

No “continue reading” here. I want this to be seen in full, whoever stumbles across this.

Moments ago Andy Roddick announced this year’s US Open would be his final tournament.

As a writer and an avid tennis/basketball fan, I find the circles I travel in to be quite varied. My athletic friends don’t often read great literature, and my literary friends usually don’t understand the appeal of sports, marginalizing whatever contest to the basics: bats, balls, helmets, etc.

It’s unfortunate, because the literary world and the world of sports intersect on a regular basis.

AR

Look no further than Andy Roddick, the epitome of the everyman American trying to survive in a market that got more global every day.

Roddick grew up watching the greatest generation of American tennis; Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang—men who accounted for 27 grand slam titles, hundreds of weeks at number one and several Davis Cup titles.

As he grew up, Roddick became a man who was no longer admiring the accomplishments of his forefathers, but who struggled mightily under the public eye as he tried to emulate their achievements. Make no mistake, Andy never flinched in the spotlight, never begrudged his unfavorable position of bearing the burden of American tennis, nor that he was born into a generation featuring the two greatest players the sport has ever seen: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

AR

In 2003, when—in the grand scheme of things—Roddick was still a child (21 years), Roddick won the US Open to the delight of a home crowd. The future looked bright, like it does to all 21 year olds. From then on out, though, tangible achievements were hard to come by.

With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal combining to win all but two major tournaments from 2004 Wimbledon through the 2011 Australian Open, Roddick never won another major. He did, however, reach four additional finals, including the 2006 US Open. He was stopped by Roger Federer every time.

Roddick’s successes came in subtler, less advertised forms. While not only being the top ranked American for the better part of a dozen grueling seasons, Roddick spent most of that time inside the top 10. As he said in his press conference, of all the players who hit the tour around the same time as he did, only Federer is still playing well. Indeed, Roddick outlasted all of his contemporaries in terms of consistency.

Roddick, like a true literary hero, lost the big moments—but took away smaller treasures; in 2007 his stalwart position as Davis Cup captain paid off with a victory over Spain, and a childhood dream was realized.

Over the years Roddick’s 32 titles (third amongst active players), 610 wins (second amongst active players) and 2003 year end ranking of #1 have been glossed over as the American media berated Roddick into shaping his game into what they believed would win him another major. Roddick ignored the criticism and continued developing his game in the way he saw fit, manifesting most notably in a semi-surprise run to the 2009 Wimbledon final, where he infamously lost 16-14 in the fifth set to Federer, one of the greatest matches ever played.

AR

The most literary qualities Roddick possess are also the most admirable. While he could be volatile and downright bratty during matches, Roddick has never ducked out of the chance to do good in the world, playing countless charity events and starting his own foundation, which he plans to focus on after his tennis career wraps up. Roddick was also undoubtedly the hardest worker of his generation. While Nadal is often lauded for his tenacity, it is easy to be fearless when you are the best player in the world. Roddick held that title only very briefly, and was able to give a thousand percent even after the most brutal losses or stretches of lackluster results.

In short (hah!) Roddick’s career would translate into a book we would describe as “the next great American novel.” Perhaps I am the writer for the job, but I fear I’d not do justice to the tall, accomplished and venerable figure Roddick cuts. And that’s my whole point: Roddick’s literary story was told day in and day out since he was a young boy hitting tennis balls off his garage, dreaming of winning the big matches on the biggest stages. It was not written in the sense fiction writers/readers are used to, but it was a great read nonetheless.

Lance Armstrong responds to “heinous” USADA ruling in open letter

In sports, writing on 08/30/2012 at 17:02

Last week former cyclist and seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong responded to the USADA’s charges against him in a very candid, open letter, where, among many other assertions, Armstrong declared he was still a seven time champion, something the USADA could never take away from him. And he wasn’t bluffing.

Lance!

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Laura Robson ends Kim Clijster’s career at the US Open

In sports, TV, writing on 08/30/2012 at 16:57

Wednesday night’s lineup on Arthur Ashe Stadium featured two British players, world number three Andy Murray and eighteen year old Laura Robson, who paired to win the mixed doubles silver medal in front of a home crowd at the 2012 London Olympics. The two found themselves in polar positions Wednesday night, with Robson a huge underdog against the twenty-third seed and three time champion Kim Clijsters, while Murray was heavily favored over inconsistent Croat Ivan Dodig.

Clijsters, Robson

Laura Robson, however, went on to post arguably the biggest win of her singles career.

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John Isner, America’s number one guy

In sports, TV, writing on 08/30/2012 at 15:43

American players are, as always, under the most scrutiny in New York, where this year there is a new face atop the men’s game.

For the past eleven seasons, excluding a handful of weeks where James Blake and Mardy Fish dawned the crown, Andy Roddick has been not only the top ranked American male tennis player, but the only American player relevant at big tournaments.

Roddick turns thirty this Thursday, and the new era of American tennis has begun to emerge.

John fucking Isner

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Andy Roddick eases into 2012 US Open as 30th approaches

In sports, writing on 08/28/2012 at 19:28

For the second year in a row, Roddick played a rookie compatriot early in the US Open. Last year in the second round he handled Jack Sock in straight sets, and this year looked to deliver NCAA star Rhyne Williams the same fate. Williams, ranked 283 in the world, needed a wild card just to make the qualifying draw where he won three matches, while Roddick finds himself at one of his lowest rankings in a decade—still good enough for the tournament’s 20th seed.

Andy

Like sixteen year old Victoria Duval the night before, it’s exciting to watch such a young, homegrown athlete make their grand slam on Arthur Ashe stadium.

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TOP 10 TUESDAY: Narrator’s in Fiction

In fiction, writing on 08/28/2012 at 15:13

As a writer, I really struggle with first person narrative when it comes to long pieces. It allows the writer to get into the protagonists head immediately, and can be a great tool in short stories, but developing a particularly captivating voice over the course of a novel is a painful, complex process.

Marvel at some of the best, craziest, most unique narrative voices in fiction to date.

10. Holden Caulfield, “The Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger

Catcher is a polarizing read, and Holden is the most polarizing element of the book. While his antics can become tiresome, his inner-dialog repetitive and his cynicism pretty far off base (at times, anyway), there is hardly another novel with such an intimate narrative. Holden tells the story from a psychiatric ward, and there is very much a wall between the events of the book and the reader–a wall named Holden Caulfield. Catcher is not a book, but a conversation, and Holden is one of the most dynamic conversationalists you’ll come across.

Holden

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3D Movies Have Got to Go (and they are!)

In Uncategorized on 08/28/2012 at 13:54

Trends are a tricky thing, as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Disney/Pixar are likely to find out over the next eighteen months.

In September of 2011, Disney re-released their 1994 classic The Lion King in theaters. To help promote the film’s Blu-ray release, the movie was converted to 3D. Disney’s plans were for a limited, two week run. Those plans changed considerably when TLK scored more than thirty million dollars opening weekend and clinched the number one spot at the box office. Those plans drastically changed when the movie went on to match that feat in its second week, and again a third time.

TLK3d

TLK 3D spent more than three months in theaters, earning ninety-four million at the domestic box office and an additional eighty-three million worldwide.

How could any self-respecting businessman walk away? Immediate plans were put into place for 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and The Little Mermaid, three of which were scheduled for 2013.

Now here’s the trick.

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