Sunday, March 27, 2011

Basketball Blues, The Big Short, and George Clooney

The Badgers got Butlered last Thursday night, another season ending with a meek exit from the tourny. The guys had trouble shooting the ball all year, so it wasn't a surprise to see them struggle shooting. They might have hit a new low though, missing 17 shots in a row. You just can't do that in the tournament and expect to win. Overall, it was another great year for Bo and the boys, another year of exceeding expectations.

While the Badgers were struggling in New Orleans, Arizona was running Duke off the court in Anaheim. My colleagues had a little bounce in their step Friday morning. Unfortunately, the Wildcats ran into the hottest team in the tournament, UConn, and they came up just a bit short yesterday. I know people here are disappointed, but the Wildcats had a great season. With Sean Miller at the helm, Arizona basketball has a very bright future.

I finished reading an amazing book yesterday, The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. The book dissects the subprime mortgage shenanigans that have seriously derailed our economy. I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to big time business, but Lewis does a nice job of explaining complex economic concepts for the layperson. I can't say I fully understand everything, but I get the gist. A relatively small number of guys basically brought the world economy to the brink of collapse. I wasn't a big fan of the whole Wall Street buyout when it was going down, and after reading TBS, I'm even less inclined to believe it was the right thing to do. It's hard not to think Henry Paulson and his Wall Street cronies got away with a money grab that would make a Russian oligarch blush.

Whenever I finish a book, I always start another one right away, just a few pages to get it going. I started reading Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists last night, and it hooked it me right away. I read about 50 pages, and then this morning I woke up early and read another 50 before everyone else woke up.

Meg and I watched The American last night. This is one of the quietest, slowest movies I've ever seen. Not that there's anything wrong with that (full Seinfeld inflection), but the movie just seemed to take itself way too seriously. I normally like Clooney, and he's fine, but this isn't one of his better movies. Speaking of good Clooney movies, my two favorites are Out of Sight and Up in the Air.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Anyone do anything fun? See a good movie? Read a good book?


  1. The Lewis book is quite good and well explicated.

    Who is going to win the NCCA hoop tournament?

  2. I watched the 2nd half of the VCU/Kansas game, and man, VCU looks like a team that can win it. I'm not sure they will, but I'll be rooting for them.

  3. Serendipitously I purged The American from my queue today, before reading your blog.

    One of my favorite George films is one of my ALL TIME favorite movies... "Michael Clayton." The cinematography is as much a part of the story as it is in "Touch of Evil".

  4. It would be nice to see Butler win it all. But I have a feeling the winner will be the winner of the UConn/Kentucky game.

  5. Munk: You're right, MC is a great movie. I didn't hate The American, but it's certainly not in MC's league. Sometimes you just gotta purge the queue. In fact, if we hadn't watched it last night, we probably would have returned it tomorrow.

    OT: I don't consider Butler a Cinderella at this point, but yeah, it would be cool if they won it all.

  6. I'd heard that The American was rather tedious. One of my favorite Clooney films is Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  7. Arlee: Tedious is a good word for it. I like Oh Brother a lot too.

  8. No tv and thus no tourney here, but I did go to a bouncy house with Lukas for a birthday party. I jumped right in and had a blast.

  9. I read about five books a week, usually two simultaneously: something silly and something serious but the past two weeks, I have been writing instead. It's my way of entertaining myself on a budget but I'm sure I'll be back to reading soon.

  10. So if I read 'The Big Short' will I start kicking, slapping and yelling in my native tongue? And how easy is it to read... how many big words are there, I don't do well with big words ~ the largest word I comprehend is Cabernet Sauvignon.

  11. I do believe one of the commandments does in fact read: 'Thou shalt not besmirch the name of Clooney.' (But I agree I <3 Up in the Air. I also loved him in 'O brother where art thou?' and 'From Dusk til Dawn.') I haven't seen the American but I've heard it wasn't that great. Still, watch it. The George fans are out there and aren't afraid to act...

  12. Hi Tim,
    Loving your blog! I'm a Wildcat myself -was there in 97 when we won it all. That UConn game broke my heart. Ah well...I think you're right though - Miller has put them through a heck of a turnaround in just 2 seasons, and though Williams is probably NBA bound, the rest of the team is still intact, and they have one of the best recruiting classes of the country coming in next season. WE'RE MAKING A RUN IN '12!
    Anyway, just wanted to say Hi and good luck on the A-Z.