Today 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).
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 10–12, were outscored 86–100 (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 8–2 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!
The Twins are 20–7 in May giving them a 30–19 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 139–104 (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 (244–264). 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.
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!
Let’s mix it up with some movies in May.
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.)
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.
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).
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).
I teased about the deer acting strange.
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).
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.
How ’bout them May apples!