Monthly Archives: May 2013

When Mosquitoes Attack

It really started earlier in the day, because even when I break the rules, I observe the rules. I had two Aleve in the morning, then another two Aleve sometime in the afternoon, knowing damn well that the instructions restrict consumption to three Aleve in 24 hours, and only if the pain subsists. Later that evening, in bed and alone, my face starts to itch; what comes to mind? The side effects of Aleve abuse, or signs of an allergic reaction. There I am itching my temples, cheeks, and chin, as my concern starts to spread, the affected area begins to condense. Just as I’m about to reach for and re-read the bottle, to properly inform the forthcoming EMT operator of my self diagnosis, the pulsating mound protruding from my inner right eyebrow gives away the culprit. A slight shade develops as I confirm the marble sized mosquito bite blocking my eyelid from properly opening; it looked quite robotic actually, like I was shape shifting in the moment.

My parents are both Saint Lucian, nothing like this happens to them. My sister and I are Canadian and wildly allergic, not fatally, just cosmetically. My sister in particular has a history of mosquitoes twice biting her eyelid, which completely shut her eye closed and gravely scared our family the first time. I have been hospitalized three times in my life, the first was from a mosquito bite engulfing my forehead as a child, I don’t actually remember this, the story just gets retold by my parents every summer; the other two occasions require separate blog posts. Between now and then, my mosquito victimization has been limited to large quantities of bites lacing my arms or legs, most uncomfortably on my thumb where every movement constituted an itch.

Being an outdoorsy person, my summers are hard. I have left rooms due to mosquito shadows in my peripheral vision, because even in a room full of warm blooded Americans, I’m always the target. I refused to go to sleep that evening until I killed the mosquito terrorist and wasn’t an all night buffet. The hunt was short, within ten minutes the mosquito was mangled with a 700 page collection of Sherlock Holmes stories; then I fell asleep without applying any magical solutions from my internet searches. The site flattened overnight from its original beveled square shape. Without suffering through any real urges to itch, all remnants of the original shock were gone within two days. Great way to start the season, this is war, I’m going on the offensive this summer; in the mean time, hopefully I just survived the West Nile virus, and earned lifelong immunity.


The Great Gatsby Review

I have never consciously read a book and purposely watched the theatrical adaptation; my prerogative has been the exact opposite, whereby I actively avoid doing the two. I read Malcolm X and never saw the Denzel Washington performance, that I’m assured was robbed of an Oscar. I still rate Fight Club as the greatest movie I have personally ever seen, and I will never read the book; although, once I learned of the author, I have since read eight other Chuck Palahniuk novels. My first exposure to this phenomenon was Michael Crichton with the Jurassic Park series. I saw the original movie first, for which I was so thankful for Steven Spielberg. Then I read the follow up, The Lost World, before despising Steven Spielberg during the film release. So, if I think the story is worth its salt, then I read it; otherwise, I watch what I can of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potters, and Hunger Games of the world before saving my sensibilities.

I was originally sold on the Great Gatsby movie, because having assumed the Tom Hanks mantle without a word of praise, Leonardo DiCaprio is the most underrated actor of my generation. I must be one of the few American educated adults who wasn’t forced to read F. Scott Fitzgerald in grade school, except I knew of his reputation and decided the book should take precedence. Let me begin by saying, F. Scott’s wordplay is brilliant, as is the first half of The Great Gatsby. The characters are introduced, and their nature is well defined with background. We follow a young man, Nick Carraway, from the Midwest exposed to the surreal Eastern seaboard of riches, particularly where the legend of Jay Gatsby is in full bloom. Every character expresses a different recollection of Gatsby: is he a bootlegger? Did he kill a man? How illustrious can one soldier’s career have been? Where the grandiose questions are endless, everyone is interested in discussing him, while no one is interested in knowing him.

Without spoilers, once the Gatsby veil is lifted, we’re treated to a barely above average story. The momentum simply doesn’t carry through, and dully grasps at action sequences to distract you from waiting for the story to end. If those same action sequences are filmed right, the Great Gatsby movie has a rare opportunity to be better than a good book; and that’s exactly what the Great Gatsby is, a good book. Final rating: Bueno.

NBA Playoffs 2013 Round Two

That’s right, we’re skipping ahead straight to the second round. The Heat took care of business against the hapless Bucks. Brandon Jennings should be suspended to start next season for guaranteeing four wins, or any wins for that matter. The Knicks would’ve swept the Celtics if not for the J.R. Smith suspension; expect a win at Madison Square Garden tonight. The Pacers will trudge through the Hawks, and attempt to rekindle a New York vs. Indiana rivalry, that I will not feel punished to watch. While the Nets surprised me in their first game against the Bulls, they appropriately lost the series from ahead with home court advantage. Honestly, we’re all waiting for the Knicks vs. Heat Eastern Conference Finals to generate any excitement on this coast. Given a healthy Chandler and Kidd, ala Championship Mavericks, my choice remains Knicks over Heat for a spot in the NBA Finals.

The West is where intrigue lives. The Clippers and Grizzles rematch from last season looked like a contest, until Dennis Scott reminded me of two offseason moves that favor the Grizzlies: the release of Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin. Did you really expect Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin to BANG with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol? When Chris Paul has to go off for thirty points and game winning drives at home, bet on the grind house in six. The Spurs, against a Lakers roster stockpiled with future hall of famers, would have swept a healthy Kobe Bryant all the same. We’re still waiting for Harden to drop fifty on the Thunder before the Rockets go on vacation. Though Durant will have a transcendental second round series, the effects of the Harden trade and Westbrook injury will practically guide my Spurs into the Finals.

I’m having a hard time calling a clear cut winner between the Nuggets and Warriors. The obvious break out player of the playoffs so far is Stephen Curry! Then again, he’s also the softest star player left, and is expected to survive alternating nights of intensity> When his coach started mentioning hit men in regard to grazing fouls, older fans of the game immediately knew that boy wouldn’t have survived the nineties.

So really, not much has changed in the NBA since my last review of the season, with the exception of Jason Collins revealing his homosexual orientation. The best part about these gay admissions is when the ex-wife claims to have not known; sure. I begged and pleaded for Jeremy Lin to explode out of the closet and stake a realistic claim to athletic equality across sexual orientation. Jason Collins’ announcement has been blown far out of proportion, because he doesn’t have a memorable basketball related moment. He’s so far out of basketball, that his announcement sounds like a cry for employment. To reiterate, because goodness forbid I’m not sensitive about the topic, I’m Pro-Homo; however, mentioning Jason Collins and Jackie Robinson in the same breathe desensitizes me to the seriousness of this discussion. The reality of the matter is this isn’t breaking news and networks are forcing the issue; so please stop interrupting my games with replays of Jason Collins taking charges from Shaquille O’Neal, to not make a point.