Tag Archives: Sue Sylvester

I’ve decided I liked “Glee” finale. The Stanley Cup comes to Chicago. And Snowball, the dancing cockatoo

OK, I think I’m ready to talk about the “Glee” finale.
I needed a day to process. Plus, I know many of you are like me: you DVR the show, and watch it a day later. So now I don’t have to worry about spoiling anything.

The finale made me angry and happy at the same time. It made me angry because there were SO many ludicrous plot points, things that absolutely made you suspend reality even more than usual. Such as, how could Regionals allow a judge (Sue Sylvester) from the same school as one of the teams competing? Why does Olivia Newton-John suddenly turn so mean, when she seemed friendly the last time she guest-starred? And Idina Menzel can’t handle being Rachel’s mom, but she adopts Quinn’s baby?

I know, I know, I shouldn’t nit-pick. But that stuff drives me crazy. You have to give the viewers some points for intelligence. And there was so much overly-schmaltzy stuff with Mr. Schu.

Then I thought about all the good stuff on the finale. The amazing, transcendent six-minute montage when Vocal Adrenaline sang “Bohemian Rhapsody,” interspersed with Quinn giving birth. The fantastic Journey medley, bringing the show back to the beginning. (By the way, how weird is it that Fox is showing the whole season again starting tonight, but not the pilot episode that had “Don’t Stop Believin'” in it?).

The great, heartfelt moments between the club. The great Sue monologues interspersed. And of course, the warm, touching final scene with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sung by Puck (quickly becoming my favorite character) and Mr. Schu.

I love this show, even though I think it ran out of steam toward the end. It was a breath of fresh air on TV this year, and if they can cut out 1-2 musical numbers per show, and get back to the great storylines they had before the Olympics, I’ll be one happy Gleek.

**I know that most of you who read my blog, to my great sorrow, aren’t hockey fans. But the Stanley Cup Finals concluded Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

And as I watched them skate around with the most beautiful trophy in sports, I got goosebumps. Because if sports gives us one thing, it allows us to see grown men at the happiest moment of their careers, with smiles like 6-year-olds at Christmas.

This is the culmination of decades of work, all wrapped up into one glorious hoisting of a trophy. How often do we really get to see a person at their absolute apex of happiness? Not often. Which is why the Cup celebration gets to me, emotionally, every time.

**So being that this video has been seen like 3 million times, I might be the past person to have seen it. But I saw a story about Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo, on CBS Sunday Morning, last week, and I’m quite literally amazed. Watch how this incredible bird dances to the beat.

Some rude New Yorkers, “Glee” sliding downhill, and a really bad idea mixing the KKK with learning

You ever read a story and not know whether to be more horrified by the action, or the result?

That’s kind of how I felt reading this story in the New York Times Tuesday.  According to a study by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, 51 New Yorkers in 2009 assaulted a bus driver by spitting on them. Fifty-one! That’s once a week, a bus driver, who is simply doing his job and going about his life and trying to earn a paycheck, had to endure the indignity of getting expectorated on.

So that’s pretty shocking, right? Even in New York, there should be manners, right? Well, that’s not even the most shocking part of the story.

After being spat on, the report said, drivers took an average of 64 days off work following the incident; the equivalent of three months of paid leave.

This is unbelievable to me. Of course being spit on is disgusting, rude, and those who do it should be prosecuted. But 64 days off following an incident? That seems like blatant abuse and incredibly irresponsible of the drivers.

Man, first it was the railroad conductors taking advantage of taxpayer money last year, and now the bus drivers. Geez.

**You people know I love “Glee.” Have adored it ever since it first aired and they did that amazing “Don’t Stop Believin'” cover.

But something has happened between the first batch of episodes, and when it returned from its winter hiatus: They’ve forgotten the storytelling. They’ve forgotten a lot of the humor. And they’ve given us way, way, WAY too many musical numbers. Look, I love the musical numbers; Tuesday night the whole KISS thing was great, and I don’t like Lady Gaga but the performances were good.

It feels like the whole episodes have no point except to put on the songs, and Tuesday we didn’t even get Sue Sylvester for a minute.

(By the way, who the heck ever figured Mike O’Malley had such acting chops? That was a phenomenal scene with Finn in the basement.)

I’m still a big fan, and Tuesday’s episode did have some nice moments. I just feel it’s getting closer and closer to ridiculousness and (dare I say it) self-parody.

**Finally, here’s another page from the really, really bad idea book: A teacher in Atlanta, Catherine Ariemma, allowed four students to wear KKK costumes to school to film a school project about racism.

Oh yeah, the county where the school is, Lumpkin, Ga., is 95 percent white.

I’m thinking maybe there was a better way to illustrate that lesson, Mrs. Ariemma. Did they come to school with flaming crosses in their backpacks, too?

Another peek behind the sportswriter curtain, a heartwarming story, and the Glee fall finale

So this is another one of those “what it’s like to be a sportswriter” blog posts.

I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool things in my 12 years as a sportswriter. But one thing I’d never done, in my years of covering high school sports, is stayed in one place for four consecutive years, and gotten to cover a star athlete from their freshman year, all the way through senior year.

At my last three journalism stops, I’d stayed three years or less, which is pretty common for young writers. So kind of like a teacher who works with a kid for a long time, then wonders how they turned out, I never really got to see the full 360-degree maturation process of these young athletes.

‘Til now. Katie Lindstrom is a volleyball player at Warner Christian Academy, a small Christian school in South Daytona, Fla. She’s everything you’d want in an athlete: quick on her feet, makes smart decisions, and is unfailingly upbeat and encouraging.

I first met her when she was in ninth grade, in my first few months here in Daytona Beach. I’m quite certain it was the first time she’d ever been interviewed. She was extremely nervous, pausing to think about each answer, but she was unfailingly polite and friendly. I remember thinking that she was a smart kid, and one who could be a really good player one day.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years. Katie Lindstrom is now a high school senior. She just led her team at Warner to a second straight Class 1A state volleyball title. She was the unquestioned physical and emotional leader of the team, and when the championship match was over, Lindstrom walked up to the makeshift podium on the court to receive her medal from the official.

And a whole bunch of Warner fans in the crowd started chanting “Katie! Katie!” It was a goosebumps moment for her, and she started crying again.

I have to admit, I got some goosebumps, too. We write about athletes and talk to them in brief spurts of time, never really, truly knowing them. But here was a kid who in 2006 was more shy than a church mouse, and now she’d turned into a terrific leader of a team, and now after her last game people were chanting her name. I’d basically watched this kid grow up, athletically, right before my eyes.

It was truly something cool to see, this metamorphosis, and again, I liken it to a teacher seeing a student they once taught, all grown up, proud and confident and having turned out quite well.

I interviewed Lindstrom, maybe for the last time, on Wednesday. She was voted by the area’s coaches as our Player of the Year. We chatted for a while, she was her usual “sweet almost to a fault” self, and then I said goodbye and wished her good luck.

We thanked each other and then I left. It may be the last time I ever see her. Soon, there will be new freshmen to follow and other transformations to see.

The sportswriting world keeps on spinning, but every once in a while it slows down to let you see something special.

*So I try not to pimp my own News-Journal work too much on this site, frankly because I plainly acknowledge that if you were really that interested in Daytona Beach sports, you’d go to our website. (Also, I don’t think a lot of what I write for the paper is very good.)

But if you have a minute, please check out this story I wrote for today’s paper, about a high school football player whose brother died of brain cancer five years ago, but is still being honored in a special way by a football team having a special season. (That’s Shawn on the left, and Josh on the right, about two years before Josh died at age 9.)

**So thanks to my stupid cable box not working Wednesday night, I didn’t see the “Glee” finale until Thursday.

It was totally worth the wait. Loved, loved, loved it. Sue Sylvester with one of her best lines ever (“Bring it on, William. I’m reasonably confident you’ll be adding revenge to the long list of things you’re no good at. Next to being married, running a high school glee club, and finding a hairstyle that doesn’t make you look like a lesbian.”), fantastic solos by Rachel and Mercedes, the look on Mr. Schuester’s face when he hears the glee club perform at sectionals, through Emma’s phone … just great stuff.

Can’t wait ’til it’s back in April.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hates rape victims, a great new “Glee,” and stuff I learned in the bathroom today

With all the good and positive change going on in America since Barack Obama took over, there are still constant reminders of the disgusting activities that took place over the past eight years.

I’m not laying this one at the feet of the Bush administration, though. Still, it’s grotesque.

Let me tell you a little bit about Jamie Leigh Jones. In 2005, she was a 23-year-old employee of Halliburton/ KBR, a military contractor working in Iraq. While in Iraq, she says she was brutally gang-raped (is there any other kind than brutal? by seven U.S. contractors, and held in a shipping container by two guards. She was drugged, severed severe injuries, and was denied food and water.

She has been trying, for years now, to get some kind of justice for the pain and suffering she went through.

But thanks to the laws of these here United States, according to this ABC News story, Jones is still waiting for her day in court. Because the alleged rape happened overseas, she can’t press charges in a U.S. Court.

And apparently, when she signed on as an employee, she unknowingly agreed to waive any rights to a jury trial in any criminal proceeding, and was forced into having her claims decided through secret, binding arbitration.

Anyway, up to the present: A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Al Franken, has won an amendment to a defense appropriations bill, allowing private contractor employees overseas access to the U.S. Court. Specifically, Franken’s amendment would withhold defense contracts from Halliburton and the like if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sex assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.

To my utter amazement, thirty Republican Senators voted against this, and the Pentagon AND the U.S Chamber of Commerce argued against the amendment as well, saying in a letter that it could set a dangerous precedent.

Franken’s amendment may not survive the final vetting of the bill, which is disgusting.

Even after Bush and Chaney are gone, Halliburton and their buddies still get their way.

And rape victims like Jones have to wonder when they’ll ever see justice.

***Another excellent episode of “Glee” on Wednesday night. Loved the “Endless Love” duet, and the harrowing scene at Quinn Febray’s house (with the guy who played Logan’s dad on “Gilmore Girls” in it!) when she tells her parents she’s pregnant.

One big complaint with the show, though: No Sue Sylvester! I need my Sue’s Corner segment. I need her biting and caustic remarks! Looks like she’s back next week, and that Rachel Berry is turning into Sandy from “Grease.” Can’t wait.

**Finally, I leave you with some bathroom knowledge. Literally. So I’m in the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla, Wednesday, covering the state volleyball tournament, and I go to the restroom.

While there, I discover this brand-new handle on the toilet, that tells me that, to save water, I should push the handle up if there’s a No. 1 issue, and down if there’s a No. 2 issue. I was totally unaware of this breakthrough in conservation and toilet technology. I think it’s brilliant, though I want to know exactly HOW they determine how much water is required to flush a No. 2.

Boy, first the no-touch automatic flushing, and now this. What will they think of next?