Well I just made it on the old self-imposed quota here of four posts a month. It also gives me breathing room not to concoct an April Fool's joke. My regular content borders on the jokeline and seriousness to begin with, so I don't feel any particular need to joke it up extra hard tomorrow. Just as I am not any sweeter on Valentine's Day, any more expectant of winter ending on Groundhog Day (seriously, why is it still pretty damn cold), and any more likely to give gifts on Christmas (I'm vaguely a Jew).
I found myself viewing a rather choice Hallmark Channel film entitled "Chasing a Dream," during a somewhat insomniac-ish evening not long ago after catching wind of the existence of said film on a running forum. You can check it out here. It's about 90 minutes, and I certainly watched close to the whole thing, skipping some middle bits. It offended me as both a runner and a human, and as writer even, but I did keep watching. Blame accepted.
The vague outline is a chubby football-playing teenager's quest to run under 4 minutes in the mile, as a high schooler. He is doing this to fulfill the dream his childhood friend had. His childhood friend who trained hard and is at least lithe in build. And who dies running home from a party he didn't want to be at, dragged there by CFB (chubby football player). The football player is a Lawrence child, as in Joey and Matthew Lawrence. Tubbly and unathletic in movement, he'd be as hard to believe as a credible football player as he is as a runner. With no prior running experience, Lawrence takes off on short-legged sprints with looks of anguish on his face with every step. As someone who wasn't far under 4:20 in the mile, and never made faces like that, I found this, to use the word at least once more, offensive. With no disrespect to the Special Olympics, he looks more qualified to participate in those. Here is the part where I say I am allowed to say that because I have been called a retard while running.
The rest of the film fits the complete lack of research and realism brought to the film. When Lawrence is DQ'ed from the state sectional for knocking his top competitor — who has a poorly contrived African name — to the track, his competitor pleads for Lawrence to be re-instated by sending a fax to the state athletic board. What? This, yes, is set, in 2011. Earlier, there is a high school party scene where attendees jam out to a boombox, one that I don't even think has CD capability. That's not a knock, those things are just hard to come by, especially in the ritzy southern California area portrayed. There are also an awful lot of shots of New Balance sneakers, and when Lawrence races, he does so in shitty flats, not even a pair of spikes. At least his African opponent looks like he can run (in a way more normal fashion than I do when running, that's for damn sure), strange as it is to see his smooth gait confronted by the clodding disabled person that Lawrence portrays. Take it from my own style that it doesn't always look pretty, but there is a limit to the believability.
Spoiler alert: they set up a special race and Lawrence loses to the African but they both break 4! Argh, if only I had played football all of high school and then stepped onto the track, sprinting stiff-legged with a look as if I need to crap my pants, I'd have beaten Alan Webb to becoming the 4th high-schooler to break 4 minutes! New Balance kicks and the boombox were sure to be essential as well. But featuring a heartfelt theme using recycled Everwood cast members, it is what it is! Yes, it was a complete mockery of the sport I love, but everything about it was so preposterous that amusement superceded true anger.
In lighter news, I think this children's choir cat duet would make for a wonderful improv warm-up game. On second thought, though, I think it's great as is. Legitimately performed at a church.
Next, I've got an oldie but a goodie, oldie to me only as I stumbled upon it recently. In general I find British news, tabloid, and real, more fun to read. So check out this dude fathering kids and working the system. It really is a tremendous read.
And last but not least, a little news from the tennis world or, at least, in the tennis world it constitutes news. I am a tennis fan, no question, but it's amazing how in need of a story news sources can find themselves. So in need that they might post as news something about a news story that shows how in need of news something is...This article (and ABC News) alleges a frustrated David Ferrer lobbed a ball into the stands to quiet a crying baby. There's all sorts of things wrong with this situation, but I'm ignoring all of them to say that there are, as I type this, over 6,000 comments on the article. Over 6,000. I can't say if all of them are tennis fans. But let's just imagine that they are, and think of the people who watch tennis. It's generally the more affluent, just like the people who play the sport. The same people clamoring for Groupons and writing reviews on Yelp. The kind of people who produce self-masturbatory internet content thinking that their opinions...oh wait a minute...
Carry on folks, carry on. Stay safe out there.