What I Learned Over Memorial Day Weekend

A three-day weekend with only a few actual plans can often be the best kind of open weekend. Errands get run. Binging of TV shows happens. Laundry actually gets folded and put in drawers and closets. This particular Memorial Day Weekend, I found myself mindfully making some observations I’ll share with you now, almost all in chronological order:

  • Dodger Stadium is an absolute gem, and should NEVER be replaced. Sure, the Chavez Ravine parking system is an uneven, uphill/downhill slog of confusion, and Mr. McCourt continues to overcharge for its use. But from the seating to the bleachers, from the pavilions to the Dodger Dog itself, some may equal – but nothing beats – this idyllic location as a place to enjoy a ballgame. Plus, the Dodgers won the Friday night contest that I enjoyed with my generous host and good friend David Gershwin, 4-1.
  • Joxer Daily’s pub in Culver City is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, hard to get into when a big match is on the line. If you’re rooting for Liverpool in any big, decisive contest, I highly recommend camping out overnight by the front door.
  • Gareth Bale is Game of Thrones meets the soccer pitch. The Welshman, his man-bun, and facial hair all played out of their collective mind in Saturday’s Champions League Final, and in just 35 minutes sealed the win for (the evil, “Duke-like” Real Madrid). Bale made a fool of (Colbert Style) poor Liverpool goaltender, and Thor stand-in Loris Karius, who woke up on Sunday grateful for not being Colombian.
  • Gareth Bale cannot play for England in the upcoming World Cup. Whaaaaat? I checked with multiple sources to affirm this – the guys at the barber shop AND my Ukrainian neighbor who follows international soccer – so you know it’s true. He plays for Wales, who have a pretty good national team all their own. And his play for Wales in World Cup qualifying DQ’s him from now playing for England. This is REALLY unfortunate for the Brits, who havne’t won a World Cup since 1966.
  • Target no longer seems to sell televisions smaller than 40 inches. Yeah, I got nothing here. It just seems like the whole world is determined to put a movie screen in their house.
  • “Ibiza” is a new gal-pals road trip movie on Netflix. It stars Vanessa Bayer, a personal favorite from her years on Saturday Nigh Live and “Trainwreck,” and she practically steals the show in this ridiculous, very improvised (we think) romp/road trip comedy. Enjoy.
  • “Solo, a Star Wars Story”… is AWESOME! The lead up to the film was unfortunately dogged by bad production stories in entertainment media, including the replacement of its dual director team with Ron Howard, America’s “play it safe” movie-maker-in-chief. But it’s 2 full hours of great origin story, lovable characters, and is a fantastic heist caper! A few points on the film:
    • Emilia Clarke shows far more emotional range here than she does on Game of Thrones
    • Alden Ehrenreich was phenomenal as Han “I don’t have people.” (you’ll get that joke when you see the movie)
    • Chewbacca shows why he’s the most lovable character in Star Wars Cannon
    • Donald Glover is fantastic as Lando, and Paul Bettany … well, doesn’t he just make everything better?
    • Show-Steeler and all around funny woman – “Fleabag’s” Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37, was a droid revalation
    • Line of the movie, for real Star Wars fans, from Glover’s Lando Calrissian: “Mining colonies are the worst.”
    • Missed opportunity: I think they should have made the young woman who plays Enfys Nest into Mon Mothma. Thus, another quick origin story revealed. Any other Star Wars fans agree?
  • Thandie Newton is a woman I want on my side in a nasty rumble with the Socs (You know she’ll stay gold). In both “Solo” and “Westworld,” her savvy, heart, and toughness are impressing the Hell out of me. She’s definitely someone I would call in a jam.
  • Best Buy DOES sell televisions smaller than 40 inches. But interestingly, we ended up with a 39” model. A lot of effort to ultimately save 1” of space. Still, our new “baby” is Roku enabled. So we’ve got that going for us.
  • Michelle Wolf has a new Daily Show-esque weekly half hour on Netflix. I love Michelle Wolf. And it was funny as Hell. Check it out!
  • This season of “Supergirl” is never going to end. Sure, they took a couple months off this winter. But what full-season (20+ episode) Network show goes into June without having aired a season finale?! Not that I should complain about getting more campy, low-tech CW fun than I expected.

Any particular lessons or observations YOU may have experienced over the long weekend?  Share in “Comments,” please!

2 Comments

  1. I saw Solo, too. However, thanks to rlthose fancy-schmancy reclining seats at AMC, I might have been “resting my eyes” at critical plot points in the first act. MIGHT HAVE 😉 But I thought this was by far the joke-iest Star Wars movie ever. And while I wholeheartedly agree with your take on Howard, this didn’t seem like a typical Howard “safe” pic. And the SFX were phenominal. Almost worth the mid-range two-figure sum we spent for 3 tix, parking, and popcorn. That said, can’t wait to stream ot at home in, what, 3 months?

  2. Enjoyed your “Things I Learned Over Memorial Day” post. A little LA centric but enough in there for an East Coaster such as myself. As far as Solo, here are my thoughts:

    1) The color palette was really oppressive and depressing. If I’m looking for fun escapism I need some sunshine baby. I think I also suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

    2) It was good as an homage to westerns and heist flicks but if it really wanted to earn an A+ rating it would need to be more original. Or it could be an all time classic like Ocean’s 11 or The Italian Job. But alas it is not as good as either of those movies.

    3) The actors were great but the character development was subpar. I felt like I knew a little about each character but never enough to make me really connect with a character in either a positive or negative way.

    4) I don’t think the Millenium Falcon was utilized appropriately. It needed a MUCH better reveal and have a better back story than the one presented in the movie. Also I think there was a lot of fascinating ways to go with the Lando/Han relationship which was wasted.

    5) My current rankings as of today*

    V, IV, VI,VII, R1, VIII, Solo, III, ……………………….I, II

    * My thoughts on VIII are evolving. I appreciate what it is trying to do, I’m just not there yet. My final evaluation will probably depend on where IX takes the story. If it goes in a kick ass direction I’ll be inclined to like it more as a table setter.

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