Friday, May 29, 2009

Impending Nuptials: Archie and Veronica???

I love Archie comics. They are silly, mushy, and lots of fun even if they make you cringe occasionally. The good ol gang are practically a part of my life. Which is why I nearly had a myocardial infarction (Ok, I'll admit it pollysyllabic pyrotechnics can be annoying as hell, so lets call it a heart attack) when I read that issue # 600 will feature Archie's big proposal to snobbish Veronica. Can you imagine the nerve of those editors! After stringing you along for seven decades and making you believe that this triangle is eternal, they bust it up.

What kind of storyline can we expect after this colossal catastrophe? Perhaps Betty will start chasing Moose and form an unlikely triangle with him and the flirty Midge. Jughead and Reggie may go after the jilted blonde and try to entice her with burger breath and hot air respectively. Or we can expect the comic to take a dark turn a la Harry Potter with Archie having an adulterous affair with Betty. Eternal youth and innocence be damned, didn't Peter Pan grow up? Heaven forbid! What if this is the end of the road for Archie and the gang particularly since the imbecile editors have decided to sacrifice the main hold - your - breath twist?

Perhaps like Betty, we can only hope that it is a publicity - stunt gone hopelessly awry. I remember that Scott Adams once attempted to increase readership by bumping off corporate bumpkin Dilbert. He claimed it was an ineffective ploy and like him one can only hope that the head honchos at Archie comics Inc. (or whatever) come to their senses quickly. But the most likely scenario may be that i am overeacting (It is known to happen, ask my husband). After all the title says "Archie marries Veronica, Part 1: The Proposal". In retrospect, I don't think that sounds very conclusive. In the meantime let us keep our fingers crossed for our fave love triangle and also - rans the world over.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Play the Game

I watched Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Nuggets the other day. Actually I watched the last 4 minutes as it is common knowledge that the fourth quarter or to be more specific the last two minutes of the fourth quarter is the only part worth watching. It was a close game with Kobe Bryant getting really hot to help his team rally and take a 105 - 103 win. It should have been an adrenaline - packed viewing experience but as the last 4 minutes dragged on towards eternity (it felt like that to me, although it was closer to a half hour) I found myself headed for snooze city.

How is it that one of the most high - octane games on the planet has been reduced to this pitiable state? It is supposed to be the NBA where "the amazing happens", but the only amazing thing about it nowadays is the number of timeouts that can be squeezed into the final two - minutes. Sometimes they have as many as nine timeouts in less than six minutes which is more than the points that are likely to be scored in the same duration!

I hate timeouts for many reasons. The obvious reason is that it is such a buzz kill! There you are sitting at the edge of your seat wondering if LeBron is going to pick up where MJ left off and consolidate his position on the NBA equivalent of Mount Olympus when you find yourself watching some odious anti - dandruff shampoo commercial or worse , a close - up of some beady - eyed, puffed - up - with - self - importance coach.

Second it is such a cop - out. Players call timeouts when they are in a tight situation and rather than rise to the task (as MJ would certainly have done) they chicken out and go running to coachie (wonder what Freud would have said about the coach complex). Similarly coaches ask for time when the other team is in the process of soundly thrashing their boys' backsides. Personally I think it is a classic
example of how terrible sportsmanship and crass commercialism can ruin a fine sport beyond redemption.

Other sports suffer from similar deficits particularly cricket but Basketball is the worst. Thankfully the F1 drivers have not started abandoning their cars in the middle of the race to go huddle with their mechanics and Tennis stalwart, Roger Federer flies solo having passed up the chance to have someone hold his hand when Nadal is in the mood to savage him. Anyways to get back to the topic at hand, I have a suggestion for the NBA - Do the sport a favor, just play the game and ban the timeout. Coaches can plan strategy during practice sessions and as for the mandatory commercials which I understand are the lifeblood of every sport, air them at halftime and when the NBA bad boys get vicious, as is their wont drawing fouls by the dozen. This way the fans can have fun watching the final two minutes on TV instead of reading about it on MSN which as the situation now stands is the prefered choice for many. Are you reading this Mr. David Stern or is that a stupid question? :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Formula 1 : Rise of the Machines

India is suffering from IPL fever. I am also running a slight temperature. Have been following the fortunes of the Chennai Super Kings despite the superhuman effort needed to wrest the remote from hubby who has nothing but disdain for India’s new religion. My warning that he will be burnt at the stake as a heretic have fallen on deaf ears. But even as I watch the men in yellow slug it out on foreign shores, I find my thoughts wandering to F1, that Mt. Everest of auto racing.

The sport is practically unrecognizable with the new rules that have been implemented. Unlike the autosexuals who constitute F1’s rabid fan following, for me auto racing is all about the drivers. Those fellas race at speeds of up to 360 km/h! I feel like the car is spinning wildly out of control when I am doing a feeble 20. Dad once said I have three speed levels – slow, slower, slowest (Sigh, the truth hurts). And as for the gears, and clutch, and the other complicated gizmos, they represent differential calculus, algebra, geometry, men, and the million other things I find incomprehensible. So for someone who has taken the the term “lousy driver”, to new depths these guys are Gods.

The current season however has witnessed the fall of the Gods as the drivers have diminished in stature even as the cars have grown omnipotent. Former champs like Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton remind me of myself behind the wheel. Of course the rubbish cars they are driving are to blame for their hopeless bumbling. And Jensen Button is the same driver he always has been and owes his newfound dominance to the sexy Brawn GP. Guess the drivers are just along for the ride and the cars are the real stars. May as well put those amazing hunks of metal on the podium. Hate to admit it, but the autosexuals may have had it right all along. And perhaps I could undergo a magical transformation and turn into a fantastic driver if only I could get my hands on a Brawn GP or a Red Bull!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Ice Man and His Ice Cream

It must be hard to be Kimi Raikkonen these days. It was bad enough that he did an abysmal job defending his world championship title last year, but his performance this year is simply too painful for words. He seems to be having this insanely dysfunctional relationship with his car and his team. Sometimes his lacklustre attitude reminds me of a snow man. Whatever happened to the cool dude with the nerves of steel who gave Schumi a run for his money?

Kimi's problems have been further compounded by the introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems(KERS). The inclusion of this system adds about 30 kilograms to the car making it hard for the meachanics to distribute ballast around the car. Therefore many teams have asked their drivers to shape up (read eat with the appetite of a sparrow) if they want to perform like sleek cheetahs as opposed to rampaging hippos.
Kimi, unfortunately seems to have trouble sticking to his diet. It is being muttered that his generous proportions are seriously weighing down his chances of winning this year. His prediliction for chocolate ice cream is not helping either. This little tidbit has given commentators like Steve Slater the fodder needed to poke fun at the "chubby chappie". He is constantly being informed that "... a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips!" Sheesh!
Recently, at the Malaysian grand prix he was caught on camera with his lips wrapped around an ice cream when the race was called off due to rain. The other drivers were twiddling their thumbs or cosying up to the pushy press types, but apparently Kimi was at fault for choosing to chill instead.A big hue and cry was raised regarding his motivation issues. But what was he supposed to do anyway? Beg the rain to go away?
As a soldier destined to fight the battle of the bulge for a lifetime, my sympathies are with the Ice man (as Kimi is fondly called) and his sweet tooth. Guys like Slater remind me of my mom and sis who are forever berating me for my midnight trips to the fridge and its Aladdin's cave of treasures for the true foodie. Seriously, Sheesh!
Enjoy your ice cream Kimi. Then go get em Tiger! Show em who is the true champ! Ice cream lovers and chocoholics all over the world are rooting for you.