Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eileen vs the Volcano

So that big volcanic eruption in Chile a few days ago (here are some crazy pictures) created a massive ash cloud that's currently hovering over southern Australia and wreaking havoc on flight schedules. I was originally supposed to fly out today (tuesday the 14th) to Boston, hang out for a couple of days, and then fly on Friday night to Helsinki. That original flight was canceled and they couldn't get me a new one until Friday, so I scrapped that whole plan and will be going the other way around, via Singapore and onto Helsinki. (I will still be heading to New England after a few days in Helsinki)

Since I spent much of the day on hold with various airlines, I did catch up on my web surfing, in particular sports coverage- something that I used to be really into but I generally don't follow much anymore. There's been some excitement lately so here's what I've caught up on:

- Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA finals. Yay! I've had a soft spot for Dirk ever since those pictures of him and Steve Nash wasted and posing with a fan circulated around this internet a few years ago. And the Mavs beat my two most hated teams, the Lakers and the Heat, en route to their championship, so good on them.

- The Bruins are going to be playing in Game 7 of the NHL finals, a sporting event that features two of my favorite things: the Stanley Cup, easily the coolest trophy in all of sports, and the Canadian national anthem. I have anthem envy; I admit it. Canada, your bacon is a sorry excuse for ham but "O Canada" was written to be belted out at a jammed-packed sporting arena. Sadly, due to my travel difficulties I will me watching Game 7 in my workplace cafeteria rather than at a beer soaked bar in Boston.

- Bill Simmons has started a new sports/pop culture blog called Grantland (it's named after a sportswriter, not a mythical place that torments academic scientists). I'm not feeling it. I guess I'm over Bill Simmons- I used to really enjoy his columns on the NBA, but his sexist attitude towards female sports fans (see this article as a prime example. Seriously??) sometimes makes me want to punch him in the face. While wearing my Celtics jersey dress. And yeah, his writing can be downright tiresome. Bill, so you like The Karate Kid, trips to Vegas, and the Wire? WE GET IT. As for some of the other names attached to Grantland, I've written about Dave Eggers before and overall I do love his writing, but maybe he should stick to novels and McSweeny's. I also like Chuck Klosterman. But Malcolm Gladwell? Don't even get me started. I read the Tipping Point and thought it was awful. He is my least favorite kind of non-fiction writer, an essayist who portrays his own ideas and theories as facts rather than opinions. He cherry picks examples to support these ideas and often uses correlative data to make causative arguments. The hard scientist in me just can't get past the inherent bias. So basically, I think the whole Grantland concept is stupid, but that's just my opinion.


Tom said...

Couldn't agree more about Gladwell! He's the worst!

Also in sports news, the Red Sox are on an absolute tear. Gonzalez is a wonder to watch in person. If you can swing it, get to a game while you're in town. He's a marvel.

Jeff said...

Thaaaaank you. Simmons' sexism is pathetic.

In general I'm wary of guys like Simmons, Gladwell, and Klosterman. I think it's an inherent suspicion that I have of anything too popular. Sometimes I do enjoy reading them (if Simmons would just stick to writing about the NBA, I could read him all day), but they say a lot of stupid stuff.

Eri said...

On a side note, didn't we see Joe Vs. the Volcano at the Natick Flick?

J.R. said...

Simmons pop culture and Vegas stuff is totally lost on me, but the man can still write a killer sports column. The sexist thing... I mean the one you linked to was over the top clearly, but usually he's pretty innocuous. I don't know, maybe you feel like I do when I watch a Sex in the City episode and feel like I'm being subtly blamed for all the world's wrongs.

Suldog said...

BRUINS! Hope the trip is going well, and enjoy your (return) time in Titletown!