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Found 9 results

  1. Here is to the Wizards. They made the playoffs. Do you realize they have had the aggregate worst record in the NBA since 2000. They probably had one of the worst records between around 1980 and 2000. They have been a disappointing team. ....and I've followed them virtually all of that time. I started watching them way back....in Baltimore...When Wes Unseld turned them into a fearsome team and Earl Monroe was a one of a kind unstoppable offensive whirlwind. They had other great players back then including the incredibly powerful Gus Johnson. And then the team got BETTER. They won a championship in the late 1970's had an excellent team....and a couple of dismal decades.... So it is good to see this team with some young stars plus some wise stable veterans finally make the playoffs. The Washington Post has an astonishing statistical look at the Wizards season thanks to 6 cameras attached to the tops of arenas catching every moment of every game. Here is an astonishing little detail one might never know: John Wall basically controls the ball more than any other player on any other team. Lots of other little nuggets in the story. In any case good luck Wizards in the Playoffs. You would have made Abe Pollin proud. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Wes Unseld (DonRocks)]
  2. What if I told you there was a wine business that started about 45 years ago, with a wine enthusiast who has developed relationships with all the really good wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma, who has access to some of hardest-to-find or small production (like 150 cases, and he bought them all) wines, with a wine shop and wine bar that you plan to visit for 2 hours and end up staying for 6 hours...? Greg O'Flynn is now on my list of great wine merchants, and California Wine Merchant is now on my must-visit list of places to drink wine in San Francisco. Greg is an affable guy whose passion is all about wine, and the wine he pours shows it. Full disclosure -- I am now in his wine club, where I will be receiving six special bottles every other month. I tasted some remarkable wines, but what struck me almost as much was how fastidious Greg and his employees were in keeping the Riedel glasses pristine, or topping off the open bottles with Argon at the end of every night, and the rarity rack where most of us back east don't sip some of these wines. Among others, I enjoyed healthy pours of Robert Biale "Like Father, Like Son," Kistler, Branham Estate zin, L'Angevin (which is a $42 chardonnay, but made by the same winemaker who made the $150 Peter Michael chardonnay.) Greg is a wonderful fellow and his place is a museum of California (and other areas of the world) wines. In fact, last Thursday night, we also enjoyed a tasting of Italian wines from the Fruili region, and I tasted some first-ever wines for me, like Tokai -- which has to be spelled that way to avoid EU regulations associated with Hungarian Tokay or Tokaji -- and Refosco. I will return to this establishment every time I set foot in San Francisco.
  3. "Lenny" (1974) - Directed by Bob Fosse (Academy Award Winner for Best Director of "Caberet," Academy Award Nominee for Best Director of "All That Jazz," Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay for "All That Jazz") Produced by Marvin Worth (Co-Producer of "Malcolm X") Written by Julian Berry (Co-Writer of "The River") Featuring Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce (Academy Award Winner for Best Actor as Ted Kramer in "Kramer vs. Kramer" and as Raymond Babbitt in "Rain Man," Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor as Benjamin Braddock in "The Graduate," as Enrico Salvatore "Razzo" Rizzo in "Midnight Cowboy," as Michael Dorsey in "Tootsie," and as Stanley Motts in "Wag the Dog," Thomas Babington "Babe" Levy in "Marathon Man,"), Valerie Perrine (Montana Wildhack in "Slaughterhouse-Five," Eve Teschmacher in "Superman" and "Superman II"), Jan Miner as Sally Marr (Madge the Manicurist) --- As of this writing, "Lenny" is one of 43 films to be nominated for the Academy Awards "Big 5" - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress (it didn't win any, but with "The Godfather, Part II" and "Chinatown," there was some stiff competition that year. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** One interesting thing that viewers may not notice is the scene where Bruce is talking about "stag films," and how harmless they are compared to, for example, "King of Kings." However, right after that, Bruce is driving away in a rainstorm, gets T-boned by another car, and then smashes into a ... stag. I'm not sure what this means, but it can't possibly be a coincidence. The cinematographer Bruce Surtees gets credit for this, and numerous other shots, such as Lenny and Honey glancing at each-other between the legs of other people. I found the initial threesome scene utterly fascinating - there was no dialogue, and no music; just facial expressions on top of complete silence. Yet, the eye contact "spoke" more than any words could ever say. And this is another example of Bruce using real-life situations to give him inspiration for his stand-up comedy routines (obviously, many comedians do, but it's *really* apparent in this film that Bruce positively milks his antics, extracting all he can from them). Like so many stand-up comedians, I don't find Lenny Bruce to be the least bit funny - he comes across to me as more of an Andy Kaufman: a performance artist; at least Richard Pryor made me laugh, and George Carlin, even if I wasn't always laughing, entertained me endlessly. Similarly, this film had certain things in common with "Man on the Moon," which was more depressing than funny.
  4. This is funny - in 1974, I went to Don Budge Tennis Camp, and one evening we went to see the Baltimore Banners play. Who on earth are the Baltmore Banners, you might be asking? This was Baltimore's World Team Tennis (WTT) team which lasted precisely one season. Speaking of banners, I remember seeing one which said, "Our Jimmy's The Champ!" This was right after Jimmy Connors won his first Wimbledon, and he played for the Baltimore Banners, believe it or not: They signed him to a $100,000 contract to play for 22 of the team's 44 matches, so I got to see him in his prime). That summer, my parents got to watch me hit tennis balls with Don Budge - I will never forget how they sent me to this camp when they couldn't afford it.
  5. Rashaan Salaam had two *major* football achievements: 1) He won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 2) He was the youngest NFL player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in 1995 Tragically, Rashaan Salaam passed away today. May you have found peace, sir.
  6. I was just watching "Mozart in the Jungle," and for some strange reason, got fixated on long-forgotten songs, and I guess it's because of the name that "Bungle in the Jungle" popped into my mind, which will probably have a similar effect on sheldman as "The Swingin' Six," and their "Zip Code" jingle. At one time, I believe Jethro Tull was respected, but this was probably the song that did them in - it's the equivalent of The Beatles singing "Love Me Do," except in reverse chronological order. There isn't much to like about this song, and quite honestly, I'd completely forgotten it was by Jethro Tull. What this post does, however, is give me the opportunity to raise a crazy piece of rock trivia. Jethro Tull was one of the most famous agriculturalists in world history, I swear to God. Click on that link and see for yourself. It's this alone that validates the post, even though sheldman may be stewing, like a tomato in a pressure cooker. Just to push him over the edge: Next up: a check-in on Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey," and an exploratory piece on whether or not rock-and-roll musicians are concerned with their "art" more than they are becoming millionaires. Also, looking into the hypothesis of whether an early verse in "Honey" - when she wiped the snow off the twig to prevent it from dying, then slipped and fell when she came back in the house - is hidden foreshadowing, as yet undiscovered by any serious musicologist - I think it's a legitimate possibility, and not as outlandish or implausible as it may initially seem.
  7. And this thread could just as easily go in the Art forum, or the History forum - I'm actually thinking about moving it to the latter. I've decided to pick up my copy of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, DC (my copy is the 3rd Edition), and study it a bit. The link is to the 5th Edition, which came out in 2012 - if it's substantially different, and people want to attend this party, I'll spring for it, since a lot has changed in the past 21 years. After the introduction, Tour A starts off in Capitol Hill, with an 8-page description of the Capitol (and more detail later about certain aspects of the Capitol). Anyone interested in doing a pseudo-walking tour with me? I want to actually see these things, rather than simply reading about them - I had no idea, for example, that the Capitol had corn-cob and tobacco-leaf capitals (a capital is the top part of a column). Also, I always thought Robert Mills was responsible for the Capitol Dome; here, he doesn't even get a mention (although I'm sure he'll be mentioned in the Washington Monument (*) section) - Thomas Walter is credited with making the dome as high as it is today (it looked really "squat" in bygone eras), and I cannot imagine it like that after having seen the current version my entire life. Did you know they extended the east face by 32 1/2 feet in 1959-1960, and in the process, added *102 rooms*?! If anyone wants to do an on-your-own group tour of DC's architecture and discuss it here, I'm game. (*) Who knew that before the Washington Monument, the world's tallest building was the Cologne Cathedral? Boy, I certainly didn't.
  8. I've always been curious about "The Dinner Party," but have never spoken with anyone who has actually seen it in person. Just how accessible is it (each side of the triangle is 16 yards long), and and how much time would you say needs to be spent there to get a good feel for it? Is the setup conducive to spending, say, an hour? Is there any reading material handy, or do you have to buy it at the gift shop first? It looks like it's fenced in, and unless you can get close enough to hover a little bit, I doubt it could be fully appreciated (each plate, for example, is hand-painted). The shape of it is something I've always found amusing (I take my inspiration from very disparate places).
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