Thursday, January 1, 2009

...aaaand we're back!

Hello, Happy New Year, and welcome to my shiny new blog. It's been a while since I last thrilled and informed you all with my musings on movies, life, and the like... and for that, I apologize. When we last left off, way back in August, I was in Milwaukee writing about custard and cheese curds... and then, suddenly, without warning, I experienced a massive case of burn-out and couldn't bring myself to write a damn thing for the next few months. Which is a shame, because there were certainly plenty of things to write about... and I'm not just talking about movies. Let's take a brief look at what has been happening 'round these parts since I last wrote:

• After Milwaukee, I went to Chicago, where I quickly fell in love with the city, Wrigley Field, the Cubs baseball experience, and Chicago hot dogs. Unfortunately, this love-fest abruptly ended in September when the Cubs played the Mets at Shea, and I realized just how obnoxious and full of themslves most Cubs fans really are, and now I think that the entire city of Chicago can go to hell.

• I went to my mom's best friend's daughter's 21st birthday party at a bar in the East Village with the intention of hanging out for a little while and then peacing out because I thought I'd be out of my element... but ended up getting hit by the thunderbolt and meeting the girl (my mom's best friend's daughter's former college roommate, heh) who would soon become my girlfriend. We've been deliriously happy ever since, and she is actually moving into my apartment in a few weeks. (CRAZY!)

• I went to Great Adventure with this girl on our first real date, and it was arguably my single favorite day of the year. We conquered the park like never before, managing to ride every major rollercoaster (KINGDA KA is possibly even more insane the second time around), and basically fell in love during the course of the day. Awwww!

• I went to the U.S. Open for the second year in a row and got to see many big names, including Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Dinara Safina... and of course, my girl, #1-ranked Ana Ivanovic, who unfortunately lost to an unranked nobody in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Dammit!

• In what was one the most celebratory weeks of my life, I first became the Godfather of my friend Nisha's super-adorable daughter, Anika, thus giving me free reign to sling quotes like "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" and "Don't ask me about my business" as often as possible for the rest of my natural life... and six days later, served as the Best Man at my friend Pat's wedding, gave a kick-ass speech, and also organized a pretty solid bachelor party. These were both awesome experiences for which I was honored and humbled to have been chosen!

• I watched in disgust as the Mets experienced a second-straight September collapse and missed the playoffs. I also bade farewell to an old friend, Shea Stadium. My final game at Shea was the next-to-last game of the season, which featured a clutch three-hit shutout victory for Johan Santana that kept the season alive for one more day. Thus, even though the season ended on a down note, my last memory of Shea was one filled with excitement, hope and optimism... which is good, because I'll be going to at least 15 games at shiny, new Citi Field in '09.

• The biggest occurrence of the year was, unfortunately, also the saddest: My family was devastated by the death of my grandfather, Antonio J. Sarnicola, who passed away on December 5th at the age of 88. He hadn't been well for several months with various ailments, and even though he fought hard and had a seemingly indestructible will to live, it all just finally caught up with him. It's been rough to say the least, but the outpouring of support and condolences from family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers, spanning many decades and walks of life, was astonishing and a true testament to the breadth of my grandfather's awesomeness. I'm gonna stop writing about this for now or else I'm gonna cry, but I will say that as I write this, I am watching THE HONEYMOONERS marathon on channel 11 -- this was Grandpa's favorite show, which we quoted together for as long as I can remember. A HUNDRED AND ELEVEN!!!

• And of course, I saw a ton of movies -- my 8th straight year surpassing the 100-movie mark. We'll talk more about this in greater detail very soon, but briefly, it was an all-around odd year for movies. Whereas 2007 was one of the best movie years in recent memory with classics like THERE WILL BE BLOOD, ONCE and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, this year was decidedly less memorable, with plenty of solid, well-acted, and/or entertaining movies, plenty of clunkers, but few that I'd consider to be truly GREAT. Still, if I'd been keeping up my blog, there would've been plenty to write about, for better or worse. Perhaps I'll go back and review some of these movies in the coming weeks and make up for lost time... but no matter what, my annual Top 10 list is just about ready, so stay tuned for that!

And with that, I think we're more or less up to speed. Be sure to subscribe or check back often for lots of musings about movies and whatever random stuff strikes my fancy... because that, my friends, is what I'm here for.

(Oh, and if you have time to kill and you wanna go back and look through my previous blog, which is chock full of movie reviews and all sorts of goodies dating back to 2005, you can find it here:


  1. Nice post, Benjamop. Keep em comin!

  2. You should blog about birds... or maybe movies about birds.