Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Volunteers Needed for the 30th Annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival

We're less than two weeks away from Celebrate Fairfax and volunteers are still needed. If you have 3-4 hours next weekend, come on out and help. I already shared information about this year's headliners, so here is what you need to know about the rest of the event and volunteer opportunities.

Celebrate Fairfax! needs YOU as part of its 2,000-member volunteer team for the 30th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, June 10-12 at the Fairfax County Government Center. More than 2,000 volunteers assist in running the event’s activity areas, which will include award-winning programs, national headliner performances, 90 plus concerts on six stages, a carnival and more than 25 acres of non-stop action!

Produced by the award-winning non-profit organization Celebrate Fairfax, Inc., the festival serves as the signature annual event for all of Fairfax County. Members of Celebrate Fairfax’s Volunteer Program assist in a variety of areas including: live performances, exhibitor relations and information, assisting with activities in ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue, Greenology, or ticket taking and monitoring admission gates.

Aside from providing an integral service, participants receive special benefits including free admission to the festival, a volunteer t-shirt, snack, and beverage. Volunteers also are eligible to win one of dozens of door prizes that are donated by area attractions, restaurants, and businesses.

With Celebrate Fairfax’s convenient online registration form, volunteering is easy! To join the 2011 Volunteer Team, go to www.celebratefairfax.com and click on “Get Involved” then on “Volunteers.” Follow the instructions for registering or contact the volunteer coordinator, Ashley Evancheck at (703) 324-9423 or CelebrateFairfaxVolunteers@fairfaxcounty.gov.

For general information about the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival please visit www.celebratefairfax.com or call (703) 324-FAIR (3247).

The 30th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is a presentation of Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. and will be held Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12, 2011. Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization commissioned in 1982 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Its mission, “The Celebration of Fairfax County and Its Communities,” is met through the production of the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, Fall for Fairfax, Frostival, and educational programs such as the Northern Virginia Events Network.

Even if you're not able or interested in volunteering, I hope that you come out to Celebrate Fairfax and enjoy the event!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mark Your Calendars

Forget turkey and stuffing. I plan on spending Thanksgiving seeing this movie:

Sure, I'm going to enjoy the summer first, but it's not too early to pencil a movie into my calendar, right?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Return of Sean Analyzing Popular Song Lyrics

Welcome to the second edition of my analysis of popular pop song lyrics. (The first AMAZING version is available here.) Let’s take a look at five relatively current hits.

Enrique Iglesias - Tonight (I’m Lovin You)

Here’s the situation been to every nation

Really Enrique. You’ve been to North Korea, South Sudan, Nauru and Tuvalu? I demand to see your passport for proof.

(Same song)

You know my motivation
Given my reputation
Please excuse I don't mean to be rude

I believe that your reputation is someone who dates a former Russian tennis player known much more for her off the count activities than her tennis abilities. Unless of course your reputation is lying about visiting every nation.

Justin Bieber – Never Say Never

I’m strong enough to climb the highest tower.

Okay Canadian boy, let’s see you climb Toronto's CN Tower, eh.

Jessie J – Price Tag

It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag

It’s not too early to think about my child’s first birthday party, so I wanted to see if Jessi J is available to perform. Since she doesn’t need my money and I should forget about the price tag, I look forward to seeing her perform at my home. You can even stay in our extra bedroom to help us save some money, money, money instead of putting you up at a hotel.

Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull – I Like It

My life is a movie and you're just Tivo (heh)

I disagree Pitbull. Can you go the theater and pause or record a movie? I can record two movies at once with my DVR and while catching up on Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. "My life is Tivo, you're just a movie" makes much more sense.

Britney Spears – Till the World Ends

See the sunlight
We ain’t stoppin’
Keep on dancing till the world ends

The official song of the May 21, I mean October 21, 2011 rapture.

Seeing this wallpaper everywhere may also be a sign of the world ending.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Movie Tagline Edition

Since a movie-themed Trivia Tuesday worked well last week, let's try another one today. Your challenge is to name the film title based on the taglines from the Hollywood feature films and the release date listed below.

1. The List is Life (1993)

2. An epic of miniature proportions (1998)

3. He’s having the worst day of his life...over, and over (1993)

4. There’s something about your first piece (1999)

5. His story will touch you, even though he can’t (1990)

6. One Dream. Four Jamaicans. Twenty Below Zero (1993)

7. Does for rock and roll what “The Sound of Music” did for hills (1984)

8. The true story of a real fake (2002)

9. Some guys just can’t handle Vegas (2009)

10. Cut the red wire (2008; though we think it is 2009)

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

TMI Thursday: My Life As a Parent

I had a running joke that once a friend of mine got married, I never talked to them again. Unfortunately, this really wasn’t a joke as I lost touch with many of my friends throughout my 20s after attending their weddings. They moved on with their lives, and maybe I wanted to remember our friendship as it was when we were in high school or college. Soon, my friends started having kids, and in many cases, this made keeping in touch difficult, especially if they lived out of town. Now that I’ve been a parent for approximately two months, I understand why.

Since my child was born, I have not read any books, played XBOX, worked as a soccer referee, or done any type of exercise unless you count sprinting for the bus or Metro or walking up and down stairs to do laundry. I received the movie The Other Guys from Netflix in mid-March but only watched it this past weekend. My DVR has filled up quickly, and it’s so bad that I haven’t even watched the two Paul Reiser Show episodes yet, even though NBC announced several weeks ago that the show has been cancelled. I finally cut my toe nails, but only after they reached epic length. I recently discovered that my “postage stamp” front yard is a disaster. Fortunately, we’re having a high school kid take care of it. My car is overdue for an oil change. There have been countless times when I search all over the place for certain objects (toothpaste is the usual culprit) even though it is directly in front of me. What I really need is a full night of sleep, something that hasn’t happened since our child arrived. So if I’m slow to reply to e-mails, I update my blog less often or seem a little short on the phone, it’s not you, it’s me.

It may sound like I’m complaining, but I like being a dad. It’s amazing how much our child has grown already and how much I love him. Of course, it would be great if he would sleep for significantly longer stretches. Controlling his neck would also be a plus.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pittsburgh: Home of Indian Actresses

I recently learned that Aarti Mann, the actress who portrays Priya Koothrappali on CBS’ hit show The Big Bang Theory is from Pittsburgh. Specifically, Ms. Mann moved to Pittsburgh as a toddler, grew up in Mt. Lebanon and Wexford before settling in Fox Chapel, and graduated from Shady Side Academy.

Earlier this television season, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiled Anisha Nagarajan who played Madhuri on the recently cancelled NBC show Outsourced. Nagarajan grew up in Squirrel Hill and Fox Chapel and graduated from Fox Chapel Area High School in 2002. See a theme here? If you’re a female actress of Indian decent, the road to stardom is through Pittsburgh. Move to Pittsburgh (or even better, be born in Pittsburgh), attend a high school in Western Pennsylvania and a sitcom is in your future!

I understand that some of you may have your doubts about this. You may believe that two Indian actresses from Pittsburgh does not make a trend. I disagree. Mindy Kaling of The Office probably visited Pittsburgh at some point. In addition, Aishwarya Rai, arguably the world’s most beautiful woman, is a Steelers fan.* Trend!

* Ms. Rai's support of the Steelers didn’t seem to come up in the 60 Minutes interview, so I cannot confirm that Ms. Rai is a Steelers fan...except that she is.

Here's footage of the Aishwarya Rai-60 Minutes video:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

I'm not a big horror movie fan. I have little interest in spending $10+ to see blood and torture stuff on the big screen. However, if you're a fan of movies, you should enjoy this week's Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to identify the horror movies from the 10 movie posters below.

I'm not sure that I would classify all of these as horror films, but just go with it.

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Monday, May 16, 2011

You Had Me At Jadeworld

I recently received the following offer from DIRECTV:

Besides the fact that I couldn't read this promotion, I'm excited about the opportunity to get MandarinDirect and Tai Seng Entertainment. Of course speaking and understanding Mandarin would probably help.

Anyway, does DIRECTV assume that I speak Chinese (or is it Mandarin or Cantonese)? Is DIRECTV trying to encourage folks to learn other languages? Do they have some type of partnership with Rosetta Stone?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

National Archives Fail

Express printed this advertisement for programs at the National Archives in yesterday's edition.

The Jewish Holiday Traditions and Cooking in America program looks interesting, but, oh, I guess I missed it since it took place on March 25th. Seems rather odd to promote an event that took place 6+ weeks ago. Perhaps, this is a preview of a future event and we should mark our 2012 calendars.

So who is responsible for this error (if it is indeed a mistake): The National Archives or Express?

Please note that we've seen these two have issues before.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Sid Bream Curse?

It was time. I’ve managed to avoid one of the most painful moments of my life for the past 18+ years, but it was time to relive game seven of the 1992 National League Championship Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. The MLB Network created a weekly show counting down the top 50 baseball games of the past 50 years. The Pirates-Braves match-up was #4 on the list.

Instead of airing the entire game, MLB Network showed all the significant moments of the game interspersed with comments from Bob Costas, a guy named Tom (I have no idea of his last name or who he is) and studio guests Andy Van Slyke, Sid Bream and Mark Lemke. I couldn’t have handled watching the entire game start to finish, so I applaud MLB Network for showing the game in this format. Anyway, I truly managed to block out much of this game that took place during my high school senior year, so I thought I would share some thoughts from watching the game again for the first time.

During the telecast, Sid Bream mentioned that some people tell him that the lack the Pirates’ success since the 1992 season is a result of the Bream Curse. I think Sid is making this up. (Seriously, has anyone heard of this Bream Curse?)

What a pitching match-up between Doug Drabek and John Smoltz. I loved Drabek.

Meanwhile, I don’t think John Smoltz has aged. He looked the same in 1992 than he did when he retired a few years ago. Well, at least when he wears a hat.

Things I still hate today: The Tomahawk Chop & Mark Lemke. The chop is just a rip-off from Florida State. As for Lemke, he was annoying as a player and useless on the broadcast. I would have rather heard Francisco Cabrera talk about the hit or David Justice discuss the game while throwing in some commentary about his relationship with Halle Berry.

Wow! Andy Van Slyke really hates Barry Bonds. You would think there would have been some type of reconciliation over the years, but not in this case.

Van Slyke also remains upset about some missed ball-strike calls by the home plate umpire. It’s not much consolation, but at least the Braves also got screwed by bad umpire strike zone recognition several years later in the Livan Hernandez-15 strikeout game.

As a sports fan still bitter about this game, I’m glad that Andy Van Slyke, someone who participated in the game, is still upset about the result as well. For some reason this is comforting that the players care as much or more than the fans. I don’t expect that in most cases, but it seems necessary for this particular game.

Can someone answer this question: why exactly was Francisco Cabrera on the Braves playoff roster?

Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox retired at the end last season as one of the winningest managers in baseball history. However, let's play the hypothetical game. Let's say that Barry Bonds threw out Sid Bream at home and the Pirates won the game in extra innings. Cox would have been destroyed in the press and by fans for not using a pinch-runner for Bream and rightfully so. I feel like that could have been Cox's legacy.

I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) that the MLB Network didn't show the Braves' postgame celebration featuring Deion Sanders and Tim McCarver. I couldn't turn away from or turn off the TV 18+ years ago, so I clearly remember watching Sanders stalking McCarver throughout the Braves locker room. This was the end result.

Rod Woodson > Deion Sanders

Now that I watched the special, I’m happy not to see this game again for another 18+ years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trivia Tuesday

I found this to be one of the tougher trivia rounds in recent memory, so let’s see how you do. Your challenge is to name the source material for each of the following fictitious lands.

1. Middle Earth (literature)

2. Hyrule (video game)

3. Prydain (literature)

4. Narnia (literature)

5. 3rd Earth (cartoon)

6. Azeroth (video game)

7. Florin/Guilder (literature/movie)

8. Oceania (literature)

9. Endor (movie)

10. Neverland (book)

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So Long Capitals

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning for bouncing the Washington Capitals from the Stanley Cup playoffs in remarkable fashion Wednesday night. The Lightning defeated the Caps in four straight games meaning that the Caps are the first #1 seed to get swept in one of the first two rounds of the playoffs since the current playoff format was adopted in the mid-1990s. I shouldn't be happy about a team losing, but I am. (My 2010 and 2009 posts partially explain my reasoning for this.)

I also enjoyed some of these text messages submitted by Caps fans on the Caps Postgame Live show (with my comments):

- At least the team got this far. Oh well. (Yes, it's amazing that the top team in the conference defeated a team that barely made the playoffs in the first round to advance to the second round.)

- Maybe next year? Yeah right. (There's the positive attitude we like to see.)

- Keep ur heads up. We'll get em in game 5. (That's funny.)

- Did I just watch the Redskins on ice? (That's also funny.)

- Say hello to the East version of the San Jose Sharks. (That's not fair to San Jose. The Sharks have actually made their conference finals plus they are still alive in this year's playoffs.)

- What can you say. The better team won.

Let's get to that last text. This was supposed to be the year that the Capitals made a Stanley Cup run. Washington Post columnist Tom Boswell wrote about the reasons why everything was falling into place for the Caps.

Any team that wants to make a deep run toward a Stanley Cup needs many things to fall in place. It’s a long, difficult checklist. In just a few days, an inordinate number of those factors have started to align for the Caps. Win an early series quickly. Get your stars playing their best at the right time. Find a hot goalie. Watch your foes get injuries, or risk elimination, while you have time to heal. Integrate young players who find their playoff legs. Meld veterans who mesh with old stars and add poise. It’s all happening.

After early playoff exits in the three previous years (in which the Caps were always one of the top-seeded teams), the Caps finally developed a defensive system that was supposed to get them to the next level. To me and other hockey fans, this was truly the reason why this year's team was different from the other Caps teams. Of course, Tampa Bay dismissed this notion, and the Capitals, rather quickly.

So now, the focus turns to Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau. Has he filmed his last TV commercial in DC?

It looks like a keg will fit perfectly in that cup holder!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Waiting for DC United's Call

Even though my son can't control his neck yet and is likely a year or more away from walking, I fully expect him to be able to do this soon.

Apparently, the Dutch soccer club, VVV-Venlo, was so impressed by this kid's ability that they signed him to a 10-year professional contract.

My kid already has a good kick, but I need to work with him on his accuracy. Once that happens, I'll open the competition for his services to soccer clubs throughout the world. Sure, I think we'll give preference to DC United so that he can stay local, but we would have to strongly consider offers from English Premier League teams.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Choose Your Own Adventure

Did you read the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? While I read many of them, I don’t remember ever having a successful ending. I’m not even sure if I finished these books since I ended up getting stuck in a well or something. Did they ever have happy endings? Anyway, we’re going to change things up a little today. Instead of me asking trivia questions, I’ll let you provide the questions. Please leave trivia questions in any category in the comments section below and then we can try to answer them.

This will either be a lot of fun or fail spectacularly!

Good luck!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Win Win Movie Review

On Saturday, we went on our first date night since our baby arrived. We planned on going to dinner followed by watching a movie, but what movie to see. I wasn’t interested in seeing a movie about watering elephants, animated birds or anything with Madea in the title. A friend recommended seeing Win Win, a movie that I had never heard of before the weekend. I saw that the film starred Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan and scored a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Here is the film’s premise from the aforementioned website:

Struggling attorney Mike Flaherty, who volunteers as a high-school wrestling coach, takes on the guardianship of an elderly client in a desperate attempt to keep his practice afloat. When the client's teenage grandson runs away from home and shows up on his grandfather's doorstep, Mike's life is turned upside down as his win-win proposition turns into something much more complicated than he ever bargained for.

The film also features Bobby Cannavale and Jeffrey Tambor for comic relief. Of course, you will then spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out where you know Cannavale. He sort of reminds me of Joey from Friends if he moved to the suburbs, didn’t hang out with Ross, Chandler and company anymore and completely moved on from his spin-off show, Joey. In reality, I remember Cannavale from the short-lived show, Cupid. Anyway, I’m getting a bit off topic. What the movie description fails to mention (and the trailer only shows briefly) is that Giamatti’s elderly client is Burt Young. Burt Young! You know Burt Young as Paulie from the Rocky series and as Rodney Dangerfield’s driver in Back to School. It was great seeing Young again, and I feel like the movie company should promote this more.

As for the movie itself, Win Win has plenty of funny moments to go with some serious parts. It’s a good story that will keep you entertained for two hours. Giamatti and Ryan are both terrific, and overall, the film features a great cast.

Two final thoughts:

1. I don’t think I’m very good at movie reviews.

2. It’s unlikely that I’ll see many movies over the next year or so. Therefore, I need to choose what I see wisely. I’m glad that we selected Win Win. Solid movie plus Burt Young.