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Football Is Back!

September 12, 2022 at 9:30 pm
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The NFL is back,  and I don’t know whether I should cheer or weep.

Hope springs eternal, especially for fans of the Giants and Jets.   Especially this year.   Both teams had terrific drafts, picked up a lot of great young stars… or players who are supposed to be stars, at least.    Will this be the year we finally turn the corner?

Then the regular season begins.   As it did yesterday.

The Jets opened up the season with the Ravens.   What can I say?   Sigh.    Same Old Jets.

Then came the Giants down in Nashville, with the Titans.   They fell behind early, and deep into the second half I was figuring I’d be opening this post with “Life is meaningless and full of… ”

But then, hey, is that Saquon?   He’s running like he used to!   And the Giants are coming back… oops, behind again… no, wait, hey, driving… TD!!   They can tie it up… overtime… but, hey, the new coach is going for two!   And Saquon takes it in!   We’re up, we’re up!   We could actually win!  Only.. damn… the Titans are driving… they are in field goal range, hell, life is meaningless and full of…. NO!  YES!  Wide left!   We win!   We WIN!

The first opening day victory in years and years for Big Blue.   And the coach showed real guts.

Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.   A bright blue light.

Now let’s do it again, guys.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

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Random Bits of This and That

April 29, 2022 at 11:13 am
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Lots of things going on.  Good things, bad things, big things, small things.   No time for a long blog post just now, but here are a few random comments about all and sundry, some of which may interest some of you.

Looks like the Jets and Giants both did very well in the first round of the NFL Draft.   But you never know.   Both teams desperately need help, so I hope they picked the right people.  My Sundays in the fall have been a weekly kick in the gut the past few years.

DARK WINDS debuts on June 12 on AMC and AMC+.  The trailer is everywhere, so check it out if you have not seen it yet.   I was one of the executive producers on this show, a six episode adaptation of the Navajo detective novels by the late great Tony Hillerman.   Graham Roland wrote the pilot, and Chris Eyre directed.   Zahn McClarnon stars as Joe Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee.   They all did great work.   Chris, together with Robert Redford, were the ones who brought me into this project a few years back, and I am glad that I was able to help get this made… but if you love the show, and I hope you will, credit belongs to Bob and Chris and Tina Elmore and their team, to our amazing actors, and of course to Tony.

Parris and I really enjoyed the new HBO Max series MINX, a sexy sitcom about a feminist porn magazine in the 70s.   The clothes, though… I swear, I owned some of those clothes.   Might be I still do, I never throw anything away.   Watching MINX did give me flashbacks to the 70s, though.   Which is good and bad.   The 1970s were my own Dickens Decade: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Or is that now?   Yeah, maybe now.   A lot of good things have happened for me, undeniably, but so many of my friends have died over the past two/three years… we have a war in the Ukraine which could turn into a nuclear holocaust… public discourse has turned poisonous and toxic, along with much of social media, free speech is under attack, our democracy is under attack… the news is profoundly depressing.

There was an article in THE ATLANTIC recently about how social media is making us all stupid.   An impressive piece, though it was also profoundly depressing, since the author does not see a lot of hope.   You can check it out at  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/social-media-democracy-trust-babel/629369/ There’s a lot to think about there.

My people tell me that the renovations have been going well on the Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe’s original art house.   We hope to reopen soon, with a renovated auditorium and brand new seats.   Big comfortable seats.   Fewer of them, mind you — our capacity will shrink from 130 down to 78 — but hey, we only filled the place up a few times a year, usually when Neil Gaiman or Janis Ian was in town.   We will let you know when we reopen.

We are getting some great reviews for Sky Railway, and selling out a lot of trains.   We still have some more coaches to restore, so we can run more trains and longer consists, but that will come.

THE WINDS OF WINTER is going to be a big book.   The way it is going, it could be bigger than A STORM OF SWORDS or A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, the longest books in the series to date.   I do usually cut and trim once I finish, but I need to finish first.

I saw rough cuts of a couple more episodes of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and was just as pleased as I was with the earlier episodes.   Ryan and Miguel and their cast and crew are doing great work.    Those of you who like complex, conflicted, grey characters (as I do) will like this series, I think.   There will be plenty of dragons and battles, to be sure, but the spine of the story is the human conflicts, the love and the hate, character drama rather than action/ adventure.

And I did I mention?   NIGHT OF THE COOTERS is done!   Trioscope delivered the final cut last week.   It’s a short film, about thirty minutes long, based on one of Howard Waldrop’s wonderful short stories.   Joe R. Lansdale wrote the screenplay.   Vincent d’Onofrio directed and starred, with a terrific cast of supporting players.   We shot it in Santa Fe, entirely on greenscreen.   The wizards at Trioscope did the rest, providing the sets, the aliens, the special effects, pretty much everything except the actors and the horses.   We will be rolling it out at a series of film festivals through the rest of the year.   My staff is working out that schedule now.   Once we have some confirmed dates and places, we will share the details here.

Meanwhile, we hope to start shooting a second Howard Waldrop film in about two weeks.   Completely unrelated.   H’ard (as Gargy used to call him) never wrote the same story twice.    This may be the Year of Waldrop.

There’s more, there’s more, there’s always more.   But that will need to do for now.

 

 

Current Mood: busy busy

A Win for Big Blue

November 9, 2021 at 12:07 pm
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It is always good to see the Giants win one… though the season’s record is 3-6 even after Sunday’s upset victory.

Still, still, most commentators gave Big Blue no chance against the Los Angeles… er, Oakland… er, Las Vegas Raiders, the high-flying silver-and-black leaders of the AFC West.   It was nice to prove the talking heads wrong.

Credit for the win really belongs to the defense.   The Raiders outgained the Giants by a considerable margin, but time and time again the Gmen stiffened inside the red zone and forced Carr and company to settle for field goals in place of touchdowns.   In the end, that made all the difference.   A couple of key interceptions and a forced fumble and recovery at game’s end helped a lot as well.

Daniel Jones played an okay game, but most of the Giants offense came from the run.   That was especially encouraging since Saquon Barclay was still out, a positive test for covid coming in on top of his ankle woes.

Whether this represents any kind of positive omen for the rest of the season is hard to say, but it really doesn’t matter much.   This season is pretty well gone already.   But a hard-fought victory that comes down to the final seconds… that does put me in a considerably better mood.

Let us just say… life is full of ups and downs.

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Victory in Black, with White

October 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm
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Who WERE those men in black?

They couldn’t have been the New York Jets, could they?   The same team that got spanked by the Falcons and humiliated by the Patriots?   No way.   I mean, they did things the Jets have not done all season.   Scored in the first quarter.   Took the lead.   Got first downs.   Throttled one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL.   They ran, they passed, they scored.   And that quarterback who came off the bench, four years in the NFL and never started a game before… or even played, till last week.   Mike White?   Is that his name?  I doubt that even Fireman Ed knew it till last week.

But every Jets fan knows it now.   He passed for 400 yards!  Against a tough Bengals D.   No Jets quarterback has passed for 400 yards since Vinnie Testaverde, back in the dawn of time.   Chad Pennington never did it.  Mark Sanchez never did it.  Fitzmagic never did it, Geno never did it, Sam Darnold never did it.   Mike White did it.   He bounced back from a hellacious hit too.   And he caught the two point conversion on a trick play.

I love this guy.   He was everything Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold were supposed to be, but weren’t.

I know, I know.   It’s Halloween.   This must be some kind of trick.   I will wake up tomorrow and it will be Halloween all over again, and the game will have been a dream… a nightmare for Cincy.   Then I will have to watch the real game, and it will be a horror.

But meanwhile… what a treat!

The Jets should wear those black uniforms every week.

And Zach can take his time recovering.   Please.   I want to see if White is real (please please please please please).

Meanwhile, life is marvelous and full of joy.

Current Mood: giggly giggly

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Win One, Lose One

October 26, 2021 at 8:33 pm
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Well, this Sunday was somewhat better.

The Giants won one, at least, defeating the Panthers and Sam Darnold… who got benched before the game was over.  Maybe the Jets did the right thing letting him walk after all.   The final score was pretty lop-sided, but only because Big Blue came on hard in the fourth quarter.   For most of the game it was 5-3.   Yes, really.   Daniel Jones looked good… as a receiver as well as a quarterback… but the win really belongs to the defense.   Let’s hope they can do it again.  (Though next week could be MUCH harder).

As for the Jets game, the less said, the letter.   Not a defeat, a humiliation.   Our kid QB looked awful, and then he got hurt.   Now he’s out two to four weeks.   Mike White, the guy who came off the bench, had never played in a regular season game before, but he threw a touchdown with his first pass.   All in all, he actually looked better than Zack Wilson.   Which did not help much, since the Pats were scoring every time they touched the ball.   I see that the Jets just traded for Joe Flacco today.   Whether to back up White or to replace him, I am not sure.   Was Flacco the best option, though?   They could have signed Cam Newton off the street, no draft choices required.

Guess we will find out.

Right now, looks like the Jets will be picking second in the 2022 draft.   Maybe first, if the Lions ever win a game.

Life is… well, mostly wretched, but once every few Sundays they let you win one.

Current Mood: discontent discontent

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Sunday Sorrows

October 17, 2021 at 7:47 pm
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Well, at least the Jets did not lose this weekend.

They had a bye.

The less said about the last two Giants games, the better.   It does not help that half the team seems to be injured, including half the offensive line and most of the top wideouts.   We had a rookie who was flashing some great moves at receiver, to be fair, but now he is hurt too.

The past few years — maybe longer than than, the months and years have been flashing by in a blur and I have lost track — I have pretty much forgotten what a “day off” looks like.   I have so much to do, so many projects, books and films and television shows, even a railroad, that I have been working seven days a week for longer than I care to remember.   EXCEPT during the NFL season, when I take Sundays off to watch the Jets and Giants games.   Sundays used to be a nice restorative for me.   The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat… usually, with two teams, there was a good chance that at least one of them would be competitive.

No longer.   The Jets and Giants are both awful, and the rare signs of progress (like two weeks ago) always prove illusory.

I do not have the energy to dissect games like today’s Giants loss to the Rams.

Life is miserable and full of pain.

Might as well work.

Current Mood: depressed depressed

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Overtime! Overtime!

October 3, 2021 at 6:37 pm
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Gasp.  And gasp again.

Hey, hey, what do you know.   The Giants WON!  And the Jets WON!   On the same day.  Both in overtime.

Of course, the NFL and DirecTV had both games on at the same time, which meant I had to record them both and spend all day switching back and forth between them, while falling further and further behind.   I also had to avoid looking at the scores at the bottom of the screen, lest one game spoil the other, or vice versa.  Both teams entered the day at 0-3, and I had every expectation of them ending it at 0-4.   The Giants had played pretty well through those first three losses, losing the last two on last second field goals as time expired, but they were playing the Saints in the Superdome.  Even without Drew Brees, the Saints are a pretty formidable team, and more so when at home.   As for the Jets, well, they were in Jersey against the Titans, and the Titans are no powerhouse… but Gang Green had looked so absolutely wretched in their first three outings that I figured we’d get crushed anyway.

The way the Jets game opened, it looked like my fears were well placed… but in the second half they came alive, and HOLY HELL our kid quarterback (who has a helluva arm, even if he does look as though he is straight out of high school) started heaving bombs down the field.   To JETS receivers, not the other team.  And suddenly we were winning.   Then, of course, with a game almost won on a 4th and 10, we committed a killer penalty and almost blew it, and the Titans tied it up and sent it into overtime and Parris was charging up our home defibrillator.   My teams have a way of stopping my heart.   (That’s a joke, guys.   A joke.   I feel compelled to add that, for fear of what kind of headlines you might see on the clickbait websites elsewise).

But then, after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Jets went to overtime, won the toss, marched the ball down the field, and snatched it right the hell back.   Whoeee.   A VICTORY!   After last year, Jets fans had mostly forgotten what that felt like.

Meanwhile, over on t’other channel, the Giants were doing the same thing.  That game started tight, with the G-Men holding up well against the New Orleans O, but then the Saints started pulling ahead and I started feeling gloomy.   But NO!  The Giants came back, and Danny Dimes had the best game of his career, making some heart=stopping heaves and earning his nickname.   Could we possibly have turned a corner?  Oh, that would be sweet.   It is only one game, of course… but if Daniel Jones can keep it up, Blue could well get Big again.

Oh, and the throws that Zach Wilson made… DAMN, what an arm.   So that’s why the Jets took him.   He keeps that up, he’ll need a nickname too.  The BYU Bazooka?   Mad Bomber 2.0?  Zach the Cannon?   Some of his heaves took me back to the heyday of the AFL, when Broadway Joe and Darryl Lamonica were firing balls fifty yards downfield.

All in all… a much sweeter Sunday than the last few.

And the minions all went wild.

Life is magical and full of joy.

This week, at least.

 

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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Thursday Night Football

September 16, 2021 at 11:34 pm
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Well, that was a kick in the balls.

I really thought that the Giants and the Jets would be much better this season.   They had (I thought) strong drafts and good offseasons.

A week and a half into the new season, they are a combined 0-3.

Life is meaningless and full of pain.

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0-8

November 1, 2020 at 3:22 pm
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The Jets played the world champion Kansas City Chiefs this afternoon, and the result was just what you’d expect.

That’s 0-8 now.

And Gase still has a job.

 

Current Mood: gloomy gloomy

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Another Ugly Loss

October 28, 2020 at 3:06 pm
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Need I even mention that the Jets lost another one on Sunday?

It was actually the best game they played all season.   They had the lead for almost three full quarters.   Unfortunately, the game was four quarters long.

After a promising first half, Gang Green managed four yards of offense in the entire second half.

And this weekend they have to play the world champion KC Chiefs.   That could be very ugly indeed.

Writing these weekly football posts has gotten to be a very wearisome task.   I think I may pause for a while.  There is just not much to say.  At least nothing that I have not said before.

The Jets are just awful and they need to fire Adam Gase, the sooner the better.

Current Mood: gloomy gloomy

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