The Daily Bongo

May 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 -- Evening

News from the Pens today. It seems that there will be a press conference sometime tomorrow at Mellon Arena to announce that Sidney Crosby is the new team captain. Since the retirement of Mario Lemieux over a year ago, the team has not had a captain. Crosby was named the alternate captain, but it was felt that he was too young to take the team on his shoulders. At the age of 19 (20 in August), Crosby will be the youngest captain in NHL history.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 -- Afternoon

At lunchtime today, I went to the Schenley Plaza for some food and a nice location to sit and study. There is a tent at the Plaza with chairs, tables, and muscial entertainment. Today was different. Today we all were treated to a belly dancing display from Morgiana. The girl who was there was youngish girl, on the skinny side. She really didn't have any boobs so there was no boob jiggling. She was fairly proficient at hip maneuvers however. The thing that really annoyed me, however, was that the first song she danced to was Another One Bites the Dust. It just wasn't a belly dancing song in my opinion. She transitioned into more typical belly dancing music, but it was basically hip shaking. She won't be back at Schenley Park this season. It's on to more typical lunchtime musical fare.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 -- Evening

I don't know if I have been studying enough for the GRE bcause my scores haven't changed much in the past two weeks. I think that I'm going to have to really start cracking down because I don't have alot of time left until I take the exam. I finally made the appointment for the test and will take it on June 26. So I need to keep an eye on the clock to make sure that I am prepared.

So even though I should have been studying yesterday, I took out some time to read some manga. I'm reading InuYasha: a Feudal Fairy Tale by Rumiko Takahashi. The story is very entertaining. The main character is a girl named Kagome, who is pulled into a well by a centipede createure at the Temple where she lives with her grandfather, mother, and brother. The creature is after the Jewel of Four Souls which is inside of Kagome. When Kagome climbs out of the well, instead of being in the current day (1997), she is back in the Sengoku Period (which is around 1478 to 1605). There Kagome finds that she is the spitting image of Kikyo, a brave teenager who died while "killing" InuYasha, a half human, half demon character. InuYasha is left dead, caught by an arrow against a tree. In the battle with the centipede creature over the Jewel of Four Souls, Kagome frees InuYasha, who now lives. They overpower the centipede creature, and Kagome finds that she has power of InuYasha, and he has to obey her "sit" command. Other demons in the area want the Jewel of Four Souls, and during one of the battles the jewel is broken into bits. Hence the start of the lengthy serial detailing the attempts by Kagome and InuYasha to recover the bits of the jewel. Between fights with demons, Kagome goes back and forth between the village inhabited by the elderly brother of Kikyo and the current time. the various adventures fly by, and we begin to learn more of the character of Kagome and InuYasha. This is a very good manga series and one that I would highly recommend. There's alot of action, good plot, characters with depth, and not too much martial arts.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- Evening

The Indy 500 was shortened by rain today. The race was stopped earlier by rain--shortly after the 100 lap mark. When the storm stopped, and the track dried, the race resumed. However, it was again shortened by rain, and this time, it was final. Only 156 of the 200 laps were completed. There were 26 lead changes, and in the end, Dario Franchitti won the race. Danica Patrick was in second place for parts of the race and finished in eighth place. I haven't been able to see the full results to find out where Sarah Fisher and Milka Duno finished. The most annoying part of the finish was Ashley Judd. She's married to Franchitti, and was trying to rush in and kiss him alot. The poor guy just wanted the opportunity to enjoy the win, and she kept on dashing in to kiss him. Very annoying!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- Early Afternoon

I have to admit that I am having serious hockey withdraw. Part of the reason is the poor decision making on the part of the NHL and Gary Bettman. The NHL did itself a great disservice by having a week pass between the final game in the Western Conference final and the Stanley Cup. I can only imagine what the ratings will look like for the Cup. After all the first two games are being played on Versus--a channel which isn't available to everyone. The rest of the games (anywhere from two to five) will be on NBC. By the time that the games show up on network television, most people will have either forgetten that the season isn't over or will have found something else to do. Probably the only people outside of Canada who will be watching the games will be me and the some of the hockey fans in Anaheim.

There's alot of talk about the Indy 500 which will be starting in less than an hour if the rain holds up. There are three women in the Indy this year: Danica Patrick in position 8 (middle of the third row), Sarah Fisher in position 21 (outside of the eighth row), and newcomer, Milka Duno, in position 29 (middle of the tenth row). Sarah Fisher has been consistently good over her career, and has the honor of finishing second in one of her races. There's alot of talk about how good the women will do this year. Another topic making the rounds is the promotion of the two "attractive" drivers, Patrick and Duno. I think that both Patrick and Duno are using their looks to get somewhere, so I don't blame the men in the sport. More later on the race.

Friday, May 25, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens are trying to address their weakness in the defense area by picking up a minor league defenseman, Jonathan D'Aversa. D'Aversa was playing in the Ontario Hockey League, and has the stats of a scoring defenseman. Also, the Pens have tendered offers to both Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts. There wasn't any information on the type of offer, and how receptive the two players were.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 -- Evening

The Anaheim Ducks beat the Detroit Red Wings last night. The final score was 4-3. Detroit had two goals in the last half of the third period, but it was too little, too late. The Stanley Cup games will start on Monday in Anaheim. The Ducks had the "home team" advantage because they were second in the Western Conference as opposed to fourth for the Ottawa Senators. Also in the regular season, the Ducks had 110 points to the Senators 104. I am rooting for the Senators to take the Cup. The only thing I don't understand is why the series isn't starting until Monday.

Tonight was the finale for American Idol. The show was two hours of performances and recaps. My favorite part was the return of the "bush baby" guy, Kenneth Briggs, who won the Best Buddy award. They gave it to him and this guy he buddied up with in the audition show. The funniest part was when Ryan Seacrest said that the show had sponsored a bush baby at the Milwaukee Public Zoo in Kenneth's name. Melinda Doolittle sang a few times, and it's obvious that she is a good singer. She should go far even without winning the show. The show ran over the two hours, and finally it was time to announce the winner. 70 million people voted and the winner was Jordin Sparks! She deserved the win, and I'm sure she'll be a success.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 -- Evening

Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis gave their final performances this evening on American Idol. The big news was the fact that Paula Abdul trippped over her chihuahua. Paula broke her nose and bruised herself badly. Blake Lewis sang first, and his first song was onw hw performed before, You Give Love a Bad Name. It was the usual beatboxing crap. I think that Simon Cowell said it all by saying that Blake was a good performer, but that as a singer, he ain't all that. Jordin was brave and sang a song that she didn't sing before, Fighter by Christina Aguilara. Jordin did a very nice job. It's obvious that she's the one who is a much better singer than Blake, and that she really deserves a record contract. Whether she wins or loses, she will have one. Simon said that he gave round one to Blake. Blake's second song was Room Five's She Will be Loved. This one was better. However, I just find Blake boring. Jordin sang Martina McBride's A Broken Wing. Jordin sang her heart out for this one. It's hard to believe that she is only 17 years old. All three judges loved Jordin's performance. Time for the last song which is the "recording song." Blake sings This is my Now. This song wasn't too bad, but not that great either. I think that I prefer Blake's voice without the beatboxing. HIs voice is weak though, and Blake's voice gets drowned out at times by his backup singers. Only Paula was happy with the song. Neither Randy or Simon was very enthused with it--and I can understand why. It was just a strange song. Now Jordin sings This is My Now. She does a great job with the song. It's like it was written for her voice. In fact, the song was the perfect fit for her, and she got teary eyed at the end. It was a perfect moment. If Jordin doesn't win, I'll be gobsmacked. Randy told Jordin that she was the best singer and that she deserved to win. Simon told Jordin that she wiped the floor with Blake with that song. The thing is that he's not wrong--even though Randy tried to play him down. If Jordin doesn't win, there's no justice. There are four hours to vote. I really do hope that Jordin wins.

Monday, May 21, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens office has been going out of their way to alienate the fans. The latest story that has been making the rounds is that season ticket holders with a half season plan (21 of the 42 games) are being asked to ante up for a full season to keep their seats. It seems that there has been a high demand for full season tickets. Part of the reason may be that the team did well this past season, and some fans are participating in the fair weather act. The other part is that those who have season tickets will get the in with the new arena. Now some of the half season ticket holders are saying that they feel cut out of the process. Their option is to turn in their seats and get tickets in a section that is not as good. I wonder though, what are the Pens to do? They are looking for the guaranteed seat by having someone purchase a full season. Even though the half season tickets cost more than a full season, over the span of a year, the Pens make more from the full-season. I know that it would suck if I were a 20 game ticket holder. Right now, I would like to move my seats to another area of the arena, and it doesn't look like it will happen. My hope was to move to an area where I wouldn't have a head in front of me. That's probably not going to happen because of the current ticket fiasco.

Saturday, May 19, 2007 -- Evening

It has been a few days since I had anything to write about, but today there were two events of note, both on NBC. The Eastern Conference final match-up between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Senators. The Sabres needed the win, and the hometown crowd showed up, both physically and emotionally. The atomosphere in the HSBC arena in Buffalo was electric. The crowd overflowed into the area around the arena which was full of fans and pompoms. The Sabres scored first, but Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza scored to give the Senators the lead. Fortunately for the Sabres, the Senators took a slew of penalties in the third period. The Sabres were able to tie the game with a goal by Maxime Afinogenov. The game went into overtime, but the Senators were not to be denied. Daniel Alfredsson scored at 9:32 in OT to give the Senators the win and the Eastern Conference Championship. The Senators have just been hot throughout the playoffs, and I am rooting for them to continue the donimination through the Stanley Cup finals. Unfortunately for most fans, NBC cut from the game to the Preakness stakes with the remainder of the game broadcast on Versus. Although I am a hores racing fan too, I think that that the hour of filler before the race could have been reduced for at least one hockey OT period. I finished watching the game on Versus, and noted that in the post-game handshake line that Heatley was being very nice to the Sabre players, giving quite a few of them a hug and longer words of congratulations on performance and encouragement for next year.

As for horse racing, all the excitment was at Pimlico for the 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes. I really didn't have a favorite, but I did favor Hard Spun. The race started out fast with Xchanger setting a blistering pace. Hard Spun was lying in third and made his move on the backside. So did Street Sense and Curlin. It looked like Street Sense was going to win because he had the lead, but Curlin didn't give up. Curlin got his head in front for the photo finish win. That means no Triple Crown again this year. This is the longest drought of winners in Triple Crown history, with the last one by Affirmed in 1978. The time for the race was a fast 1:53.46. You really have to wonder what would have happened if Curlin didn't run into traffic in the Kentucky Derby. Even with the traffic, he was able to finish in third. The Preakness finish had the same top three finishers as the Kentucky Derby--just in a different order. Also in racing, the Barbaro Stakes was held before the Preakness and was won by the Michael Matz trained, Chelokee. Chelokee won the 1 1/16 mile race by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:43.44. Silver Express was second and Zephyr Cat was third. Sonehouse and Dancin Buddha rounded out the field.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 -- Evening

Chris Pronger received a one game suspension for his part in the hit yesterday on Tomas Holmstrom. After the officials reviewed the tapes of the game today, they decided that although Rob Niedermayer was penalized during the game, Chris Pronger should receive his fair share. It was a nasty hit. It's really scary when you see a player being pancaked into the boards head first. That's called boarding, and that was the penalty that was assigned to Niedermayer. The NHL really needs to do something to prevent things like this because Holmstrom could have been seriously injured.

The post positions were selected today for Saturday's 132 running of the Preakness Stakes. Only nine horses are entered. Some people are expecting Hard Spun to do a good job and ruin Street Sense's Triple Crown bid. If Hard Spun runs like he did two weeks ago, I think that he might have a very good chance. Michael Matz is going to race Chelokee in the Barbaro Stakes on Preakness day. The original intent by Pimlico Racetrack was to have Barbaro make an appearance on Preakness day, make a lap around the track, and then have the horses run in the Barbaro. Well, Barbaro won't be there physically, but he will be in most fans' hearts.

Then there were two. Tonight was elimination night on American Idol. They dragged out the event as usual. We had clips of the threesome having ceremonies in their home towns. Elliot Yamin returned, and his newly reconstructed teeth looked very unnatural and cartoonish. Of course, that might be because I remember the original teeth. Finally we reach the part for which we have all been waiting. There were almost 60 million votes. Jordin was the first one to get word that she would move on to the next round. Melinda Doolittle then heard that she was not going any further. The finalists are Blake and Jordin. This is such an outrage because Melinda was a flawless singer. Gosh, I hope that Blake doesn't win in the end because he is really annoying.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 -- Morning

Last night's game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks was an exciting one. Well, I would have to say that it was exciting for me because I was rooting on the Red Wings, and they won in a blow-out, 5-0. I am not a huge Ducks fan, and I think that the team plays like a bunch of thugs. They are always making cheap shots on players on the other team. Yesterday, Tomas Holmstrom was crushed into the boards from behind by two Duck players, and left the game temoporarily. Holmstrom's helmet came flying off his head, and he was lying on the ice bleeding profusely from his forehead. He wound up with 13 stitches, but no concussion. Rob Niedermayer got a game misconduct for the hit. What was funny is that after the game, this woman reporter was talking to Holmstrom, and she said that the mother in her made her have to tell him to strap on his helmet better next time. I have to admit that the same thought has crossed my mind several times. I wonder if it is the female's sensible reaction. If you can avoid serious injury, why not!

I read a funny little blurp in the paper this morning. Kellie Pickler was asked point blank by Ryan Seacrest on his radio show if she had surgically enhanced her boobs. There has been alot of talk about how Pickler's boobs enter the room minutes before she does, and it is very obvious that they aren't the same size as when Pickler was on American Idol last season. Pickler's answer: "I don't know." Geeze, come on! If you are going to say something that stupid, just say yes. We all know "I don't know" means that. Well...considering that it is Pickler, she may be so dumb that she doesn't know if they were surgically enhanced.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 -- Evening

It's down to the final three on American Idol. All three were being honored in their hometowns last weekend. Jordin Sparks was up first, and she sang a pick from Simon Cowell, Wishing on a Star. Both Randy and Paula liked it, but Simon wasn't too happy with the jazzy arrangement. As he said, he likes the more traditional version. So he didn't think it was Jordin's best performance. I would have to say that the singing was good, but I wasn't very impressed with the song. So then Paula Abdul picked the song for Blake Lewis. She picked Roxanne from the Police. I think that Blake really sucked with the song. This was definitely a very bad choice of songs for him. It sounded like extremely bad karaoke. Of course, Randy thought it was a great performance, and hot. Wow! I must be deaf! Paula thought it was good and fresh. Simon was the voice of reason and said that it wasn't as good as Sting, and that anyone singing that song is just doing a poor imitation. Finally Randy Jackson chose I Believe in You and Me for Melinda Doolittle. After listening to Melinda, I think that it comes down to the judges not picking very good songs. It finally picked up for Melinda at the end, so over all, she was the best of the bunch with her first of three songs. Simon said that it was a very difficult song to sing, and round one went to Melinda. Randy said that he picked a Whitney Houston song for Melinda because she could do it.

The second song was one picked by the producers. Jordin was given She Works Hard for the Money. I like Jordin, and I think that she did a good job with the song. Randy said that it doesn't matter what song Jordin sings, all of them are hot. Paula also thought Jordin did a good job. Simon thought it was a good performance too, although he kept on laughing at Paula. Blake was giving some song that sounded really bland and boring, and he threw more of the beatboxing crap into it. Of course, Randy and Paula thought that Blake was just the next best thing to sliced bread. Simon liked it better too, so it must just be my ears. Melinda sang an Ike and Tina Turner song. I think that the producers picked that song for her because Melinda has a Tina Turner sounding voice. It was a good choice for her. What was funny was that Randy thought that Melinda won the round, but Simon thought it was a tie.

Next up the Idols sang their favorite songs. Jordin was first with one of her repeat songs from earlier in the season. She sang I who have Nothing. Jordin did a great job. I liked the song the first time that she sang it, and she did an excellent job with it this time too. Simon thought that the song was just too old for Jordin who is only 17. Blake was up afterwards, but it was another one of unmemorable songs that he usually sings--in my opinion. Randy thought the song was cool, but just all right. Paula, of course, didn't have a single bad word for Blake, and even Simon liked Blake because he thought Blake's choice was a risky one. I really liked Melinda's final song. It was I'm a Woman. The song was the one that was used in the commercial that said taht the woman could do all these things, and spelled out the woman part. Simon gave Melinda a nice compliment by saying that week after week, Melinda consistantly delivered. I would get rid of Blake because I don't like him. However, I think that it might come down between him and Jordin. I just hope that Melinda and Jordin make it to the final.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 -- Morning

Last night's game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres was an exciting one. Buffalo had lost the first game at home, so there was alot of pressure on them not to lose both home games. Buffalo scored the first two goals in the first period. Then the Senators came on to score a goal each in the first, second, and third periods. As the clock was dwindling in regulation, the Senators had a 3-2 lead. Things were looking dire when Daniel Briere scored the tying goal with six seconds left in reguulation. The game went into overtime. There were two overtimes before Joe Corvo scored the winning gaol for the Senators at 4:59 in the second overtime. It's not looking good for the Sabres now because they will be heading to Ottawa for the next two games. It's going to hard to be the Senators at home. Also, the team just really seems to have picked up its play in the off-season. I'm rooting them on for a matchup in the Stanley Cup against the Detroit Red Wings.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 -- Evening

I haven't been doing much over the past week because I have been preparing to go back to school. I've been preparing information for my application and starting the study process for the GRE exam. Since my intention is to start this coming fall (said with trepidation), I will need to take the GRE by late June/early July. That means that I won't have much free time between now and then. I'm trying to schedule my work, study, and manga reading. However, I might not be able to get much blogging done. We shall see!

This evening, I went to see Benjamin Orbach speak at the local Joseph Beth's bookstore. Benjamin was there to promote his book, Live From Jordan. The book is a compliation of letters written to his parents and gives his impression of life in the Middle East, especially Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Benjamin did a great job with the talk and showed his stories were from a personal nature. It was very interesting to hear the perspective of an American who shows us that Arabs in the area are human with the same desires and wishes that we have in America. Granted there are cultural and religious differences, but the base stories are the same: going out to party as a youngster, getting a job, getting married, and having children. I just bought the book this evening, so I haven't had a chance to read it, but I am excited at reading it to see if Benjamin brings the same humorous and thoughtful perspectice to his writing as he did with his talk.

Friday, May 11, 2007 -- Evening

Alan Faneca is saying that the Steelers aren't paying him what he is worth and that he wants to be traded. The thing that i think is interesting about this story is is that it is typical of the current group of aging Steelers. First we have Hines Ward who feels he is worth elite wide receiver salary even though his stats are not near the elite status. Then Joey Porter was complaining last year about not getting enough money. Because of the salary cap, the Steelers were unwilling and disinterested in giving him more money. Top that off with the unimpressive year that Porter had last year. Now we have Faneca, coming off a mediocre year at best demanding elite linebacker salary, and publicly moaning and whining when he doesn't get it. I saw trade him.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 -- Evening

The Ottawa Senators played the Buffalo Sabres this evening, and won. The Senators have been playing well all this post season. Now they have an advantage in the series because they have a 1-0 lead by winning an away game in Buffalo. I'm cheering on the Senators, and hope that they meet up with the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup.

I have been trying out the Joost beta. Joost is a creation of the Skype guys--the guys who brought really cheap phone service via the Internet. Joost is supposed to be Internet television. I've been checking out for a few weeks now, and I have to admit that I have been enjoying it. It's not really television per say. It is more like the On-Demand service. There are a list of channels, and the channels have a selection of shows. You can move through the shows and watch the ones you want, or you can just watch all of the shows on the channel. Initially I heard that the Joost would be a replacement for Slingbox which connects to your television and allows you to watch the shows from any location as long as you have an Internet connection. It's not that, but still enjoyable. My favorite channel so far is the World's Strongest Man competition.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- Late Evening

After 45 million votes on American Idol, Lakisha Jones was sent home. The final two came down to her and Blake. I think that Blake will be the person who is in the most trouble next week. The show was an entertaining one. I recorded it and then fast forwarded. The best part was the segment of the final four Idols as children. They were all cute kids.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- Evening

The theme tonight on American Idol was music from the Bee Gees. Now this was a tricky theme because this is sort of music that you can see people attempting to sing at karaoke might when they are drunk. I think that the Bee Gees did a nice job with the music but few else will. Since we are down to four singers, each had two songs. Barry Gibb was coaching the idols with their song selection. Melinda's first song wasn't all that, not bad, but not memorable. The second song was How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?. That was a whole slew better. Blake Lewis is annoying with the beatboxing crap that he does. He did Staying Alive first, then some other song that I never heard before. I just wish that I didn't have to hear it a second time because it was really boring. What was surprising was that the judges agreed with me. Well, except for Paula who called Blake the contemporary rebel of the group. I loved how Simon said the second song was completely tuneless and that Blake had a really bad night. Personally, I really can't stand Blake. He is so annoying. Of course, I also can't stand Lakisha. She just seems to be so emotionless, and I had the mouth movements that she makes. Maybe it's just that she has such a big mouth, extremely fat and mobile tongue and bad teeth. Anyway, I think that it is a toss up between her and Blake--with Blake probably going. Jordin Sparks sang both her songs with power and emothion. She is by far really the best of the bunch, and she would really be marketable if she gets a recording contract. In fact, her second song was even better, Woman in Love. In my opinion, Jordin is the person who should win the competition. We'll have to see who goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- Afternoon

Astronomers found one of the largest supernovas. It was first observed by a student at the end of last year. The star, SN 2006gy, was 150 times more massive than the Sun. What I loved about the story is that, of course, the media had to have a close to Earth destruction scenario. Eta Carinae is a star of similar portions, and it's only 7,500 light years from Earth. Supposedly, when the star has a supernova explosion, it will be possible to read from the light of it at night time. It will be viewable from the southern hemisphere. My favorite quote is from Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He says, "We don't know for sure if Eta Carinae will explode soon, but we had better keep a close eye on it just in case." Now according to the scientists, it can happen now or 50,000 years from now. I love the time frames! Of course, in the Universe's lifespan, there's not alot of difference between now and 50,000 years.

Both Craig Patrick and Mike Lange might be heading to Phoenix for openings pertaining to the Phoenix Coyotes. Patrick is one of nine people being considered for the GM position with the Coyotes. All I have to say is that Patrick in the last few years here wasn't doing a great job with managing the team. He brought Eddie O in as the coach, and made some suspect trade deals. So if I were Wayne Gretzky, I would pass him up. Mike Lange, on the other hand, wants to return to television because that's where the money is. He took a huge cut when he moved from the tv announcer position to radio game announcer. Since there is no television opportunity for Lange here, one of the local sports reporters, Bob Smizik thinks that Lange might go for an opening in Phoenix. It seems that Lange started his career in Phoenix.

Monday, May 7, 2007 -- Evening

I have become addicted to a new passion over the past couple of weeks. Yes, I have started to read manga. Manga is Japanese for comics, and usually refers to comics that were originally printed in Japan. Of course, there are tons of books out there telling folks how to draw comics in manga style. I'm not so keen on the action items. I prefer the human drama/comedy manga. My favorite so far has been Maison Ikkoku. It's a comic by Rumiko Takahashi and covers the antics of the inhabitants of Maison Ikkoku, a boarding house. The people are wild, partying characters, and the story mostly focuses on the romantic foibles of Yusaku Godai and Kyoko Otonashi. Their relationship is mangled by a numerous misunderstands, and the fact that they don't talk about their feelings to each other. Yusaku is a loser who was a fail-out on his college exams. He eventually passes, and the books follow him through college and his job search. Koyoko is a young widow who comes to Maison Ikkoku as the manager. An anime was made of the series, and I am renting it from Netflix to see how it is. I read most of the series, and just missed two middle books that I've just gotten out of the library today. I really want to read more of Rumiko's mangas.

The other manga that I am reading is the Kindaichi Case Files. This is a mystery series with Hajime Kindaichi who is a slacker with an extremely high IQ (180). He goes to Fudo High School, and he solves the mysteries with the assistance of Miyuki Nanase and sometimes with Detective Kenmochi. It's amazing how many people, especially young teens, wind up gorily and graphically murdered in the manga. That's the one thing that is interesting about manga. There is alot of nudity and adult type themes. The audience is targetted for young teens, but sometimes it just seems pretty graphic for a teen. There's alot of sexual content too--Hajime, Miyuki, and another kid are climbing with the aid of chairs. They fall at one point, and Hajime has his face under Miyuki's skirt looking at her underwear. The other kid is beneath Hajime and yells at him to move because something hard is poking him in the face--meaning Hajime's penis. The manga are fun, and as I said, I'm an addict. They are such quick reads so I keep on going to the library to get more!

Saturday, May 5, 2007 -- Early Evening

The 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby just finished a few minutes ago, and boy was it a thrilling one. Curlin has dropped from the early morning favorite, and Street Sense had replaced him. When the horses broke from the starting gate, both Curlin and Street Sense fell to the bottom of the pack, with Street Sense all the way in 19th place out of the 20 horse field. Nobiz LIke Showbiz was in a good posiition near the front of the pack, placed just right to avoid the blistering pace that Hard Spun was setting with a 46 second first half mile. Street Sense's jockey, Calvin Borel, kept the horse up along the railing, and fortunately, racing luck was on their side when the entire pack of horse moved away from the railing to leave an opening for Street Sense. Borel took advantage of it, and rode Street Sense from 19th place to first. The leader of the race, Hard Spun, held on for second, and Curlin finished in third. Street Sense finished the 1 1/4 race in 2:02.17. He did not receive the $1 million dollar Barbaro bonus because he only finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Hard Spun. I didn't think Street Sense would win because he did have the jinx of having won the two year old Juvenile championship. Also, he really extended him self in his Florida Derby win and the hard loss by a nose in the Bluegrass Stakes. The most famoous attendee of the race was Queen Elizabeth II, who was in Virginia yesterday to celebrate the 450h anniversary of the settling of Jamestown. Now all the discussion will be geared towards the Preakness, and if Street Sense could be the next Triple Crown winner. I'll post the complete results on my horses page later this evening.

Friday, May 4, 2007 -- Early Afternoon

The playoff games have been really exciting so far this season. For the most part, they have been close games with the deciding goal coming in the last part of the third or in one of multiple overtimes. Last night, the Anaheim Ducks moved on to the Western Conference Final. I was really hoping for an all Canadian final with the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa is looking in good shape, and I really hope they beat the New Jersey Devils. I really like Martin Brodeur, but the Devils' GM was such an egotistical idea for getting rid of the coach. I'd love to see the Devils fail so Lou Lamoriello gets his comeuppance.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 -- Evening

The post positions were drawn for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. The field was packed with the maximum of 20 horses. Michael Matz will not be Chelokee in the race because his winnings didn't make Chelokee eligible for the race. If more than 20 horses are entered for the race, they rank the horses by earnings. The top 20 earners get in. Chelokee was in 22nd place of the horses that were entered, so he's out. Of the horses that are running, Curlin, Street Sense, and Nobiz LIke Showbiz are generating the most talk. I think that I'm going to go with Nobiz Like Showbiz, especially if his trainer rigs him out with the blinkers and cotton for the ears. There is a $1 million bonus if the winner wins the race by more than the 6 1/2 lengths by which Barbaro won. For the post positions, go to my horses page.

Results on American Idol, and unfortunately Phil Stacey went home first. It sucked because Lakisha was paired with him, and she was safe. The show was an hour long, and Phil left at the midway point. Phil sang the Blaze of Glory song, and went through the audience shaking hands and thanking people. He ended the song with a group hug with the other contestants. Phil is class act. Tonight two people left the show, and the second person who left was Chris Richardson. He was smiling and trying not to let people see him sad.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 -- Late Evening

The Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers game was a heart breaker this evening. The game was well played, and the Rangers pulled ahead in the third period to a 2-0 score. Buffalo came right back with a score to bring the Sabres within one. However, with 13 seconds left in the game, it looked like Buffalo scored. The play went to Toronto for review. It was funny watching the refs, but at one point, the one guy went to his knees, and I was joking about how afraid he was to give any answer because one team or the other would attack him. Well, although the replay looked like the puck crossed the line, it was hard to see beause of the shadow from Henrik Lundqvist's leg pads. So it was declared no goal. The two are tied now at two games a piece. I think the Sabres were robbed! But there's nothing I could do about it. Play goes back to Buffalo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 -- Evening

The NHL announced the finalists for the various awards that are not based on statistics today. The Pens feature heavily in the awards this year. Sidney Crosby was nominated for the Hart Memorial and Lester B. Pearson awards. Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are nominated for the Calder Trophy for Rookies. The one that I am most excited about is Michel Therrien's nomination for the Jack Adams Award for the best coach. I hope that he wins it. Here is the complete list of finalists:

Award for outstanding rookie
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins
Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche

Award for outstanding defensive forward
Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes
Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks
Jay Pandolfo, New Jersey Devils

Awarded to most valuable player to his team
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Award for outstanding coach
Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres
Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks

Award for outstanding defenseman
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks

Awarded to player that displays sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

Awarded to the most outstanding player as voted by fellow NHLPA members)
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Award for outstanding goaltender
(For the first time since the inception of the NHL awards in 1983, there are more than three finalists in a category; There was a third-place tie in balloting for the Vezina, resulting in four finalists.)
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

I watched American Idol this evening, and I really disagreed with Simon Cowell. It was Bon Jovi night, and Phil Stacey started it off with a great job singing Blazing Glory. Simon Cowell thought it wasn't that great and Phil would be out this week. I think that when he says that stuff sometimes, he really influences the audience. I have to admit that the whole mannequin look really freaks me out. Jordin Sparks didn't do a very good job with Living on a Prayer. That's the problem with genres. Bon Jovi music is not Jordin's cup of tea. As for Lakisha Jones, her outfit was vomit inducing! She had on a black tank top with broad red horizontal stripe from the bottom of her boobs to the top of her big belly. It topped off a pair os spandex looking pants. Lakisha, keep this outfit in the closet--or throw it in the trash! Bon Jovi thought that that Lakisha's rendition of this one jazzy song of his was good. It was better at the end, but a Lakisha fan I ain't. So I'm hoping that she is one of the two leaving tomorrow. Blake Lewis, is so fricking lame! He died his hair black, and sang You Give Love a Bad Name. He did an obnoxious amount of beatboxing. I was underimpressed with the performance. Of course, the judges thought that it was the most original version of a song ever on American Idol. Jon Bon Jovi wasn't too impressed and said that 16 beats of beatboxing in a singing competition might not go over big with the audience. Chris Richardson sang Wanted: Dead or Alive. Chris' version was a shriek fest. I think ot the six that remain, he is one of the weakest singers. He's basically trying to get by on the Justin Timberlake effect. As usual, Melinda Doolittle did not disappoint. She is a true professional, and she is able to pick out sings even in genres that aren't her true style. She had a very Tina Turner sound this evening with Happy a Nice Day. Who do I think will leave tomorrow? Lakisha and Chris. At least they are two that I hope leave.