Yesterday, I took part in the draft for one of the two fantasy football leagues in which I'm involved. It was actually a nice change of pace from the stress of my other league, which operates on an auction basis; throwing out players for bid, trying to outbid everyone else for that key running back or franchise quarterback, and then having to participate in a second round of drafting players and -- if your roster isn't full at the end of that -- possibly taking part in a supplemental draft.
This one was much nicer; Commissioner Dave got a great group together for the Yahoo league, and I'm joined by teams with such great names as Footsies (Coach Julie), We Are the World (Dave) and Prime Time (Coach Kim). I opted for something representative of the area where I live and work and dubbed my franchise Beltway Bandits (insert lobbyist comment here.....).
At the end of the 15 rounds, I ended up with perhaps the best roster I've ever had in any league in which I've participated -- and while that's exciting for me, there's an extra sense of anticipation in this league due to the fact that limiting it to eight folks means that everyone has a great roster, and every week will have some ridiculously high scoring and terribly close games. As I head into opening weekend, I have the following weapons at my disposal:
QB - Matt Hasselbeck
QB - Jon Kitna
RB - Edgerrin James
RB - Jerious Norwood
RB - Steven Jackson
RB - Brian Westbrook
WR - Marvin Harrison
WR - Steve Smith
WR - Plaxico Burress
TE - Alge Crumpler
TE - L. J. Smith
K - John Kasay
K - Jeff Wilkins
Defense - Pittsburgh
Defense - Jacksonville
Let the games begin!
From 15 minutes on, though, there was no question about the level of humor -- and the nice thing is you don't necessarily have to be an afficianado of British comedy to get the jokes in this movie. There were a few sight gags, but the situations which develop, the great dialogue and the oustanding acting (from an ensemble cast that included very few people with whom I was familiar) made for a great time. Adding to the great atmosphere for the film was the fact that we went and saw it at the first "talkies" theater built in Roanoke, the Grandin, and the crowd -- while not terribly big; maybe 30 or 35 total -- was really into the film and laughing the entire time.
I've read a lot of mixed reviews on the film, and they seem to be split down the middle. Some reviewers say that it got only an occasional smile out of them, while others call it a laugh riot in the tradition of Peter Sellers or Monty Python. I thought Variety had one of the better reviews (excerpt):
"With a circus parade of mourning Brits and enough appalling circumstances to set proper Englishness back to the Dark Ages, "Death at a Funeral" pits decorum against sex, drugs and dysfunction. The winners? Auds who know you laugh hardest when you're not supposed to, and who appreciate the humorous qualities of embarrassment, blackmail and the twitting of the upper classes. Box office will likely be modest, but reaction will be strongly positive."
I give it four out of five stars, and the NOVA Dad critic's award. As a bit more of a teaser, here is the trailer for it:
Lastly, I've picked up my copy of the new book on Mother Teresa that has generated so much controversy and debate during the past several weeks, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. For those who may not be aware, some of the letters included in this book reveal that she endured a period of several decades (up until the time of her death in 1997) where she didn't feel the presence of God at all in her life. Many people have said that her feelings on this are no different than the dark period experienced by many major religious figures throughout history, while others are arguing that continuing her work while feeling this way and proclaiming God's love for the poorest of the poor amounts to nothing more than living a life of hypocrisy.
I've read many blog posts and internet discussion group entries on this book, but have declined to offer any input until I've actually read the entire book and looked at the letters in question in the context of her entire life. My hope is to put something on here (maybe one entry, maybe a series) when I've read it, and possible engender some discussion above and beyond that which I've already seen.