May Misc Mix

deerToday the merry merry month of May has its final appearance in locations worldwide. If you managed to miss all 31 shows you’re out of luck for the remainder of the season and will have to wait until it hits the road for the 2016 tour. (Hint: order your tickets now; they go fast.)

It’s been a slightly strange month in Minnesota. Temperatures have shown strong indicators towards summer, but winter’s chill has been persistent.  Last night’s low was 44 degrees (Fahrenheit), and it’s only 66 degrees here late in the afternoon.

Even the deer are acting strange!

But bear with me for a little baseball talk — I have to say a bit about the Minnesota Twins (I’ll aim for brevity, but you know that’s not my style).

Torii Hunter and Trevor Plouffe

Torii Hunter & Trevor Plouffe

I wrote early this month about how they took off in May after a slow (even bad) start in April. That first month they went 1012, were outscored 86100 (going scoreless three times), and averaged only 3.91 runs per game.

May started with four straight wins, a loss to Oakland, and then four more wins. (Ironically, I was at that one loss on Cinco de Twins Game.)

I wrote again a bit later about the game I saw and how they’d gone 82 for the first ten games in May and seemed to be playing much better baseball.

The big question was: can it continue?

As far as the merry May month goes, the answer is: Yes!

Also: Wow!

Glen Perkins

Perkins get save #19!

The Twins are 207 in May giving them a 3019 season so far! For the team to be 11 games above .500 is pretty amazing. They only briefly kissed two games above in the 2014 and 2013 seasons (and never got above in 2012 or 2011). This year they’ve been above .500 since May 2nd.

Their stats in May are impressive: They’ve outscored opponents 139104 (never going scoreless), and averaged 5.15 runs per game (MLB average is typically just over 4.00). Pitchers had a 3.57 ERA (3.66 starters, 3.40 bullpen)

What’s weird is that they’re consistently out-hit (244264). But they’re way more efficient at converting hits to runs — 57% compared to only 37% by opponents. This seems to come from some tasty multi-run innings. It’s also weird that they’ve done most of their scoring early in the game.

twins win 2015-05-31
I said I’d be brief (yeah, I lied through my fingertips, sue me), but between the previous paragraph and this one, the Twins won a seriously pucker-inducing final game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Great way to end the month!

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Let’s mix it up with some movies in May.

I’ve written before about vampires (here, here, and here). While I enjoy the traditional approaches, I especially enjoy storytellers who put a new spin on them.

Lucy Liu - Blood Hunter

Lucy Liu ranked only #41 on ‘Top 50 Sexiest Vampires’ list!

Rise: Blood Hunter (2007) does not. It stars Lucy Liu as Sadie Blake, an investigative reporter who ends up being killed (and raped) by evil vampires. But the force is strong in this one, and she wakes up (as a vampire) in the local morgue. The vampires hadn’t intended to turn her. She’s horrified by the change and her blood lust, and commits suicide.

Or rather tries to. She wakes up in the care of a benevolent vampire, Arturo, who trains her so she can seek vengeance against those who turned her (and killed her informant).

The film also has Michael Chiklis (The Shield, The Commish, the Thing) as a police detective who is the father of the murdered informant. He is also seeking vengeance, and he’s initially chasing Sadie until he realizes she has the same goals.

I give it a solid Eh (on my Wow!, Ah, Eh, Meh, Nah, Ugh! scale). It’s worth seeing if you love vampire movies and/or Lucy Liu. (It would be uncouth of me to mention the nudity, but I will mention that the director, Sebastian Gutierrez, wrote Snakes on a Plane.)

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Let the Right One In (1)

Clue: she’s not cold!

Let the Right One In is a superior vampire movie from Sweden. It’s based on the novel by the same name. As with many European films, American viewers may struggle with the slower pacing, but I advise sticking with it. It gets under your skin, and there’s a lot that’s hidden.

You’ll get a lot more out of it if you do some online reading (or have read the novel, which I have not). It’s about a bullied 12-year-old boy, Oskar, who makes friends with a new neighbor, Eli, an apparent girl his age. As the film develops (or if you’re seen any advertising), she is revealed to be a much older vampire who was turned at a young age.

The screenplay was written by the novel’s author, John Ajvide Lindqvist, and does have some significant departures (all blessed by the author). In the novel, the girl is actually a castrated boy tortured and turned by an evil “demon” (vampire) long ago. There is a raging controversy among fans of the film as to whether that carries over.

Let the Right One In (2)

If they enter uninvited…

The role is played by 11-year-old Lina Leandersson, who is clearly a girl. At one point in the film, Eli says to Oskar, “I’m not a girl.” Fans are divided on whether she means she’s a vampire or a boy. The director has been coy about answering — to the point of giving conflicting answers in different interviews.

The two leads are incredible. I’m giving this one a Wow! rating. It’s a must-see for any fan of the genre. Don’t confuse it with the American remake, Let Me In (which I’ve not seen and cannot comment on).

I keep meaning to mention the most recent X-Men movie (Days of Future Past). I didn’t care for it. A definite Meh! Enough said.

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Moving on to TV shows (and basically moving right past them). Most of the network shows are done for the year, and it’s interesting to see who made the cut for next year.

Most of my favorites will be back (I think I’ll do a TV series post soon), but I’m sorry to see Battle Creek and Forever only go one season (especially the former). I’m also a little sad about Constantine. I sort of felt the TNT show Perception had run its course, so I’m okay with its cancellation.

I’m embarrassed to admit watching a show on Bravo, but I really enjoyed Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (and, yes, a big part of that is due to my long-standing crush on Lisa Edelstein). But it’s actually a pretty good show, and it cracks me up that Bravo has to explicitly advertise it as a scripted show (to the point of actually superimposing bits of the actual script over the promo).

Long-time readers know I have a serious antipathy for “reality” shows, and all those Housewives of… shows are about as low as those go (hence my embarrassment about watching a Bravo series).

Girlfriend’s Guide did get renewed, and so did another guilty pleasure, TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles (and, yes, another long-standing crush, this time for Angie Harmon). New episodes of that are due in June.

Stay tuned for more television appearing on this blog soon(-ish).

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I teased about the deer acting strange.

deer-1

“Doe, a deer, a female deer…”

Something really cool happened to me today during my morning walk. I live in an country-like suburb on the border between farmland to the south and city suburbs to the north. It’s a great area, with wooded parks and really nice walking paths. Various woods support a population of deer and wild turkeys — one catches glimpses of them all the time.

So this morning I’m walking and come around some bushes to see a small deer on the path about 20 yards ahead. I freeze and watch it for a several minutes. At first I try to be as still as possible so it won’t spook.

It seems to accept my cautious presence. Then it takes several steps towards me! I’d stopped holding my breath by then and had even made a little noise.

As usual on a walk, I have my iPod, so I start softly singing along with the tune, and the deer still didn’t spook. So I walk very slowly up to it and pass right next to it (singing the whole time).

deer-2

Bye, bye!

I turn and look back as I walk away, and the deer just calmly watches me.

I have certain spiritual associations with deer (long story, and my spirit animal is actually the dragonfly), so it was a special treat for a Sunday morning. I’ve never been arm’s length from a wild deer — not one that was alive, anyway.

And then the Twins end the month with a well-fought win, plus the KC Royals and Houston Astros both lost today, so the Twins, for the moment, are the #1 team in the American League!

How ’bout them May apples!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

16 responses to “May Misc Mix

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Shout Out to our sister team, the Texas Rangers. In the mighty merry month of May, they’ve done very well. Look at their MLB rankings:

    AVG: #3 (.273)
    Runs: #1 (158)
    Hits: #3 (284)
    HR: #1 (42)
    RBI: #1 (148)

    They’re our sister team because both the Twins and the Rangers are former Washington (D.C.) Senators teams. The original Senators (established in 1901) moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season. The new Senators (established in 1961) moved to Texas for the 1972 season.

    The teams are also sisters for being the only two American League teams named after their states rather than their cities. (Bonus points: what National League teams have that distinction?)

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Very Interesting Factoid: The last time the Minnesota Twins won 20 games in a month? That would be 1991 — the last year we went to (and won) the World Series.

  • rung2diotimasladder

    Gotta watch out if you come across a pack of deer. I once got chased and boy are they fast. Luckily I was on my bike and the deer wasn’t all that eager to catch me, just scare me away.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Males with antlers protecting the herd, I assume? Antlers on an angry male deer could definitely be a problem. As you found, they’re more interested in running you off than actually dealing with you. The one I encountered was a female, so no antlers, but even so I wouldn’t dream of approaching a herd!

      My biggest concern was that she’d accidentally kick me. As you indicate, their leg muscles are powerful. If you’ve ever seen deer jump, it’s incredible. Boing, boing, boing! Amazing. Part of the joy of the experience of getting so close was watching the muscle play under the skin. Kind of delicate things, deer, but you can still see their power.

    • SelfAwarePatterns

      A friend of mine, when he was a little kid, once got chased by a pack of deer. He got away by diving into a large pond and swimming across. His family was on the other side, watched the whole thing, and reportedly teased him mercilessly about it. Apparently it never occurred to them that he was in actual danger.

  • reocochran

    I enjoyed “Perception” but did not want the young girl/companion to get remarried to her ex-husband. I also liked the guy’s blonde companion who was in his imagination and past. I feel that this actor went beyond his role in “Will and Grace” and also, the western one, wasn’t he the bad guy in the t.v. version of “Lonesome Dove?”

    I like “Rizzoli and Isles,” would recommend reading some of Tess Gerritsen’s books if you haven’t already. I am laughing during one of the early ones, where Rizzoli’s mother gets dressed up in a short dress, leaving her husband to go to a party where the older cop is a retired co-worker of the two women. I don’t remember names off hand. The character Rizzoli in the book is married and Isles is sleeping with a Priest. The Isles character has dark hair. I wonder why she didn’t keep it dark? I loved her when she was in “NCIS” and challenged the Tony Character.

    I will miss “Forever” and “Battle Creek.” I wonder why they didn’t give those one more season to ‘find their audiences?’ Both had fine actors who were unique in their roles, one of course, drama and the other, wacky comedy.

    Smitty, I liked the movie, “Z” and felt this was like a vampire movie, but not. I like Lucy Liu in her role in “Elementary” and also, find her good in many other movies or roles. I can see why you feel she and Angie Harmon are ‘sexy.’ I agree! I prefer dark haired women, maybe since I used to be one. I tend to add red or blonde to my hair as I grow older, it adds ‘spice’ or at least one brother and my dear old Dad thought so. Of course, my Mom had auburn hair and green eyes, so that was why he liked my choosing red… take care, my friend

    Go Twins: you are doing it big time!! Glad they turned around and shocked many people in their improving their game, W.S. 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Yeah, I think a lot of fans wanted Daniel to end up with Kate. I did at first, but as Donny proved to be a really decent guy, I found myself rooting for them. Daniel has issues he needs to work through before he’s really ready for anyone like Kate.

      I never saw Lonesome Dove, but McCormack’s Wiki page does list him as being in it, so good call! And I totally agree about him doing a great job going past Will Truman. That was something that struck me early on in the series!

      As I’ve said, I mainly watch Rizzoli & Isles because of Angie Harmon, but I may try the books one of these days.

      I’ve stopped wondering why good shows get cancelled and bad ones keep rolling on. It makes no sense to me.

      As for the Twins, they’ve completely collapsed in June. It’s like someone turned off a switch. The games this month so far have been painful to watch. After getting our hopes up, it’s really crushing and depressing. But there’s a lot of season left — we’re just past the 1/3 mark, so all hope is not yet lost.

  • reocochran

    I hope you knew I had to look up Eric McCormack’s name. I am not sure if I am spelling this but I must go home and eat, Smitty.

  • ~ Sadie ~

    Hey WS! I’ve missed you 🙂 Hoping to catch up a little today! Love your movie rating scale, BTW!! One of my past jobs had deer all over the grounds & it was common to see mommies & babies every spring – especially cool when there were 2 fawns 🙂 You could walk right up to them & take their pictures & they’d just sit there. Love Rizzoli and Isles too, season premiere is tonight 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Hey Sadie! I figured you were busy with your new job. How’s it working out for you? Or maybe you were just out in your backyard watching the owls? 🙂

      • ~ Sadie ~

        I’ve only seen the owls once. My dog was jumping up in the tree one day right after I took that pic and I haven’t seen them since.

        My job, well I am not sure about it. My boss isn’t super motivated, maybe because he isn’t living off of his 401K, and now that I have this license he said I could also sell Medicare Supplements, which everyone needs & I am appointed to a company that I think offers a good product including an tax-free annuity program that you can use to help pay your premiums & earn 3% on your money which is more than they get anywhere else. It’s not a lot but every little bit helps, especially some of the elderly. BUT my boss says we need to focus on LTC where my role is to mostly make phone calls all the time to make appointments for him.

        I am growing bored with this, and the leads are old, and when I am scrubbing the apps or other admin or training related duties he doesn’t want to pay me saying me having skin in the game means my OJT isn’t paid time, unless it comes from my commissions – like scrubbing the applications – which may or may not be approved and then they have 30 days to change their mind.

        I’ve hardly made any money and none of the policies sold since I got my license have completed underwriting yet, so I have seen no commission money. I never aspired to spend my days making phone calls, so doubt this is going to last too long. I have started looking for another job and we’ll see if I can find something either in my old field or this new field. But I’ll keep helping him, since it is a little money, and it’s paying for our health insurance.

        So, NO I am not happy, with the exception that it is 10 minutes from my house, I come & go as I please & it’s right on the water. Today makes 2 years ago that I was laid off from my last real job . . .

        I’m down, but I’m not out . . . LOL!! 😉

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Sorry to hear the new job isn’t working out. Having one at all is something, and having one that aligns with your skills and interests is pretty rare. I was mostly blessed by that in my career (except for the last year or so — hence the early retirement). My personal life is mostly a black empty void, so a pretty great career is the compensation.

        Close to home and right on the water is pretty cool. Paying for medical is a plus. Hang in there and maybe something better will come along. That often happens once you’re not desperately seeking.

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