Bug (2006)

To be honest I haven’t seen much of Ashely Judd’s work beyond her appearance in Star Trek and 3 of her most high profile films (A Time To Kill, Double Jeopardy & Kiss The Girls). However I do know that she is an amazing actress and this movie just reaffirms that fact. Bug is a 2006 psychological drama with elements of horror (very loosely) directed by William Friedkin and starring Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon and Harry Connick, Jr.. The film, written by Tracy Letts, is based on his own play of the same name debuted at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before being purchased by Lions Gate Films, who released the film the following year in May 2007.

Agnes White (Judd) is a waitress living in a run down motel in rural Oklahoma and has never really recovered from the disappearance of her then 6 year old son who went missing from a supermarket 10 years ago. When she starts to get silent calls she assumed that it is from her abusive ex-husband Jerry Goss, who was in jail and just got released. When not working she indulges in heavy drinking and snorting cocaine with her best friend and occasional lover the lesbian R.C. One night RC introduces Agnes to a drifter named Peter Evans, who later tells her that he used to be in the army. When RC has to go back on an emergency, Agnes & Peter bond while they spend time talking her place. The awkward Peter spends the night sleeping on the floor as a lonely Agnes didn’t feel like letting him go without having a place to go to. However the next morning, she wakes up to find Peter gone and Jerry in her home. When Peter returns with breakfast Peter intimidates him before leaving for a “job”.

Peter & Agnes spend the day having sex, two lonely strangers desperate for belonging and seem to genuinely feel for each other. However Peter’s paranoia starts acting up; he is obsessed with the fact that there are bugs in the room and they change the sheets, even though Agnes cannot see the bug. He claims to be able to “pick up on things” that most people cannot  He claims to be bitten by the bugs and soon he is disinfecting her place while she is out shopping with RC. However Jerry comes visiting and starts verbally abusing Peter for the bug that he is testing under a microscope. He lashes out at Agnes when the ladies return until he is chased away but RC finds herself on the receiving end of Agnes’ fury for not seeing the bug that Peter is going about and saying that it is feeding off on his blood. Peter explains that during his time in the army he was the subject of immoral testing and that he and others have been implanted with microchips. He claims to have found and removed the chip in him, after which he began to be infested with the bugs. Agnes sinks deeper into his explanations and becomes equally convinced of this sinister plot by the US government & military and lashes out at RC chasing her away.

The unlikely couple pad Agnes’s home with tin foil (to block the signals) and are visited by Peter’s doctor, Dr. Sweet, who was led to the motel by Jerry. While the calm doctor tries to explain in clear terms as to Peter’s delusions, Agnes seems to believe him but Peter emerges from inside and kills the doctor. The two actors display a frantic & manic despair – Jerry’s incessant banging outside the door seems to them that the military has arrived to arrest them – and they decide to burn the place along with their bodies and so strip naked and pour fuel over themselves before setting the place on fire, killing themselves.

Critic Roger Ebert wrote, “The film has caused a stir at Cannes, not least because its stars, Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, achieve a kind of manic intensity that’s frightening not just in itself but because you fear for the actors.” Truly the fit that Shannon perform is a sight to behold and Judd’s frantic performance scenes is award worthy. The movie as a whole isn’t very memorable but these two do an amazing job. 7 outta 10 for me, but 10/10 for the lead pairs acting especially in the second half.

This entry was posted in Movies.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Nights!

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! What’s your favorite way to spend Saturday night?

It’s been a while since I spent it like that but I have rather simple dreams about how to spend Saturday nights. Start the evening early, have coffee at a cafe and wait till 7pm. Get a couple of friends together and hit a bar, drink a few beers while there’s a football match being shown live on the big screen tv. Eat some good food and laugh and crack jokes. End the evening with an ice cream cone and good byes to the friends with promises of doing the same the next weekend.

How I spend my Saturday nights now? I watch football by live streaming it, eat some biscuits with my coffee at home and eat a mostly simple dinner at home with the folks. The only thing cold I drink is usually just plain ole water from the fridge.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Day 2 Babysitting Barfi

The second evening with Barfi went without much incident as well. Reached there by 6:45 pm got Barfi from my sister’s in laws’ place and me and the Barfster went to the apartment and chilled for bit. While I had a coffee, he feel asleep at my feet as I got online. When I got hungry, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and Barfi wanted some of it as well. I broke off a piece and placed it in his bowl but dude was insistent that he wanted what was in my hand itself! So he ended up with half my sandwich.

At 8:30 pm I gave him his dinner and then took him out for a little walk. He slept as I made my little dinner and ate it in peace. However at night he didn’t sleep in the same room as me, he was playing with his toys out in the living room and didn’t even bother to check up on me at all. Here’s another video I made in the morning just after I gave Barfi his breakfast.

Take A Chance On Me

What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell!

The biggest chance is one that I am yet to take. I have a decision to make in the next few days. I’m broke and I need money and therefore have been looking for a better job with better pay. Things have been tough. Well I got selected for and been offered 2 jobs. Unfortunately for me, I had to reject the first one because of the issues they seem to be having. They are a newer setup and the project I was interviewed for and got hired for was not the same as the one they wanted me to join. A few days after I came back from attending the interview in Trivandrum, I got the call saying that I was selected and they they would get back to me with details. 2 days later when the HR calls me, things have changed drastically from what we had discussed – the post was the same, salary was lower, project & process was different and the shift timings were terrible (4am to 1pm)

Now, knowing from recent experiences that late night shifts will create havoc with my health and affect my sleep and asthma problems, I was hesitant. Also the fact that I felt that this company was not organized enough. 2 days later they called again for confirmation and were still sketchy with the details. I stated the fact that I was not comfortable and asked for an email with details and an offer letter. They sent me the confirmation email on the date of joining but no offer letter or details and I was to join 2 days later, as dates changed. I said no and explained why in the email. They said “let’s see what can be done” but haven’t called back till now. That was on Monday (14th April).

Since then I have applied for, interview over the phone and been selected for another job which I feel  is better for me but…there’s a couple of issues. One is that the job requires for me to travel quite a bit within the state – which they were upfront about from the get go. Which is fine since they will reimburse me for stay, food and travel. That’s alright, even if I do not like traveling much. The second part is this trip for an induction to be held in Mumbai (Bombay) which they didn’t tell me during the interviews but sent me the info in an email! And the cost of travel and stay is going to be terrible on my already broken down wallet. They will reimburse me but… I’m sure that the cost of just the stay is going to be way, way more than what I can get reimbursed as per their policy.

So I am in two minds right now. I will be discussing this to the regional head when I meet him this afternoon. I am very apprehensive about this trip because of the cost but what else do I do?

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Day 1 Babysitting Barfi

Well I spent last evening and the entire night at my sister & brother-in-law’s apartment. While they are away on holiday with my two nephews and niece, their 1.5 year old pug Barfi is being taken care of by my sister’s in laws (who live in the same building). However to give them a break from the energetic young monster, my sis asked me if I could go and take Barfi in to her apartment and stay there for a few nights during the next 7 days. I said ok and so yesterday evening at around 7 I went to the building and took Barfi off of my sister’s in laws’s hands.

Barfi was happy to see me (I have only spent time with him twice before this) and came with me eagerly. We went in and he settled down after a few minutes of me playing with him and a teddy bear. There wasn’t much left to do in the evening so I waited till 8:15 pm and then heated up his food and gave him his dinner. Once he also had some water, I took him outside so he could do his business. We came back up to the apartment and then I made myself some dinner while he started dozing off.

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At around 9:30 pm I lay in bed with a novel while Barfi kept playing with his chew toy and the teddy bear. In between he would nap while sitting – he looked like a funny looking Laughing Buddha in that pose . However my sister neglected to tell me that Barfi sleeps on the bed – on either of my two nephews’ beds. That’s what he is used to. So he kep jumping on the bed in the room I was in and I kept chasing him away! I tried leaving him outside the room and closing the door but he kept scratching at the door!

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At around 11:30 pm I let him back in and switched the lights off to go to sleep. He fell asleep on his little doggie bed but at around 2 am I woke up to find him sleeping right next to me on the bed. LOL, I actually got a fright as I opened my eyes to see two big eyes in the dim light . Then I put him out of the bedroom and on his doggie bed and he was too sleepy to come back in and so I closed the door and slept without incident. I guess tonight I’ll let him sleep on the bed near me.

RIP Gabriel García Márquez

The literary world lost a legendary icon as Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday. Marquez, whose novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” put Latin America and the style known as magical realism on the international literary map, was 87. He died yesterday at his home in Mexico City surrounded by his family, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, head of the Mexico’s cultural agency, said in a telephone interview.

The Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. García Márquez started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985).

The international recognition García Márquez earned with the publication of his novels led to his ability to act as a facilitator in several negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerrillas, including the former 19th of April Movement (M-19), and the current FARC and ELN organizations. The popularity of his writing also led to friendships with powerful leaders, including one with former Cuban president Fidel Castro, which has been analyzed in Gabo and Fidel: Portrait of a Friendship.At the time of his death, he had a wife and two sons.

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (6 March 1927 – 17 April 2014)

This entry was posted in Books.

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!

I have a question for people who live in countries like the United States and Canada. Well I guess it goes for the UK, Australia & New Zealand as well. I have only heard this term from people from North America and so I aim it towards them. When you guys say “I/we like to entertain at home” – that just means having people over for drinks & dinner, right? Maybe some music, maybe a movie afterwards on the dvd player or on tv? Perhaps a game or two?

That’s the impression that I get and I see the lovely dinner or lunch parties that people host in their homes, with lavish food either elaborately and stylishly prepared at home or catered with wine and other booze and perhaps one or two types of desert with coffee to wind up the affair. Or it can be a more casual affair with just good food and some board games while music blares from your music system. But when I hear that term, someone saying that he/she “likes to entertain” at home I get a different image altogether.

Because in my mind,  entertain means…something different from what is mentioned above. We call that having a diner party at home or just plain old having people over for food and drinks. I’d never use the words “I’m entertaining at home”.  When I hear some on a show or a movie say that – “I had visions of the host doing juggling, doing a stand up comedy routine, making thing disappear, sawing a woman in half and or going “now pick a card”! Or perhaps doing flips or going wild doing antics that will cause a wild round of applause! I know I’m weird and being silly but that’s it seems like to me in my head.

“Ladies & gentlemen and children of all ages – what you are about to see is done by a trained professional. Do not attempt to duplicate what you are about to see at home!”

2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs : Quaterfinal Matchups

Well the Stanley Cup playoffs are upon us and the toughest competition to win the ultimate prize of any team sport begins. Wednesday night sees 3 quarter-finals lineups playing the first of a best of 7 series and it looks like a long playoff. I don’t see any outright favorites for the cup but I guess Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh & Boston will be the teams to looks out for.

For Canadian dominating the league in terms of number of players, there’s only 1 team from Canada in the playoffs – the Montreal Canadians. 4 teams in the West – Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary & Edmonton – were the last 4 in that conference. In the East, Ottawa & Toronto failed to progress finishing 11th & 12th respectively out of 16. That’s terrible for the goald medal winners of the last 2 Olympics. My support is for the Canadiens of Montreal for this campaign but I doubt that they will win more than 1 series. Look for the cup to be won by one of those four I mentioned.

This entry was posted in Hockey.

Barfi Grown Up

I finally went to see Barfi (my sister’s Pup) again; the last time I saw him he was a wee puppy back in October 2012 a little after my sister & brother-in-law got him for their kids. He’s grown quite a bit and I went to my sister’s apartment this afternoon to see him as I’ll be taking care of him / baby-sitting him for a few evenings as my sister & her family are on holiday. During the day my sister’s parents in law will feed him and walk him and I’ll come over by 6 or 6:30 pm and spend the night at the apartment. I’ll give him his dinner and take him for his night walk and potty time. In the morning after breakfast I’ll come back home.

So here he is, cute little monster and very loveable guy. He seems to like everyone, all strangers included and if he meets anyone new he just wants to be your best friend. He wanted a belly rub, some petting and scratching of his head and licked my hand gratefully after a while.

He really is a goofball and I will take some more pics and some videos during my say there. Here’s a little clip of him strutting his stuff.

Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1

It was so worth it to stay up till 12:15 and then wait till after 2am for the match to get over. Lukas Podolski struck twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat West Ham and move back above Everton in the race for a Champions League place. Matt Jarvis headed the Hammers in front as they threatened to extend Arsenal’s winless league run to five games. But Podolski levelled with a shot on the turn two minutes later for the impressive FA Cup finalists. Olivier Giroud’s classy finish and Podolski’s driven second sealed the win as Arsenal moved up to fourth. Fresh from sealing a place in the Cup final courtesy of their penalty shoot-out win over Wigan, the result was just what Arsene Wenger’s side needed to enhance their chance of qualifying for the Champions League for a 17th successive season.

With Everton playing against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, the Gunners could ill afford another slip-up following their recent poor league run. And they showed all the resilience – and quality – needed to stay the pace and hold off the determined challenge of Roberto Martinez’s in-form side. Podolski took his goal tally for the season into double figures, while Giroud’s crucial strike, early in the second half, was his 20th of the campaign. Arsenal, despite making five changes to their starting line-up, actually made a sluggish start to offer West Ham early encouragement. Antonio Nocerino’s persistence bursting in from the right-hand side created the chance and when the ball popped up in the six-yard box, Jarvis nodded in only his second league goal of the season.

Arsenal would have felt the pressure had they gone in behind at the break but they were quickly level as they found a way through a West Ham defence that had previously kept 13 clean sheets this season. Again Cazorla was the creator following a poor clearance from Stewart Downing and this time his pass was not wasted as Podolski swivelled to drill a left-foot shot across Adrian and into the bottom corner. The goal lifted the mood around the Emirates Stadium and 10 minutes into the second half Arsenal went ahead thanks to a touch of class from Giroud. The striker displayed a brilliant first touch from Thomas Vermaelen’s long ball back into the box following a corner and with his second drove the ball through the legs of Adrian from just inside the corner of the six-yard box. Arsenal’s pressure finally paid off 12 minutes from the end when substitute Aaron Ramsey headed down for Podolski to fire past Adrian and keep the Gunners firing on two fronts.

19-2 (English Version) – Season 1

19-2 is the English version of the French language Canadian series that debuted in 2011. The English 19-2 has a different cast (with one exception) and different directors but basically follows the same storylines and theme as the French version. Shot & set in Montreal, 19-2 focuses on the lives of two beat cop (patrol officers) of the Montreal Police Department. 19-2 refers to their patrol car unit #2 of the fictional station #19, driven by veteran Montreal cop Nick Barron (Adrian Holmes) and his new partner from a small town Ben Chartier (Jarred Kesso). Also starring are Mylene Dinh-Robic, Benz Antoine, Conrad Pla, Laurence Lebouf, Bruce Ramsey, Dan Petronijevic & Maxim Roy as Detective Isabelle Latendresse and Nick’s estranged wife. Tyler Hynes, Jayne Heitmeyer, Sarah Allen & Tattiwana Jones have recurring roles.

Officer Barron is traumatized and has deep pangs of guilt; his partner Jean-Pierre Harvey and he were on patrol one night when they answered a call about a possible break in at a factory. Barron feels that that there is no need for backup as the place is quiet and they go in – Harvey gets shot in the end and although Barron gets the bad guy, his partner suffers from brain damage and is mostly restricted to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, needing special care at a nursing center. After a long break from work, Barron comes back to work and his supervisor Sergeant Julien Houle (Pla) assigns officer Ben Chartier, newly arrived in Montreal from a small town in the country, as his partner. Barron is resentful, not willing to babysit ‘bambi’ or a rookie but the orders are from above. With Commander Gendron (Ramsay) just waiting for Nick to screw up, the pressure is on. After a couple of days Ben, who has a reputation as a very clean and by the book cop in his hometown, is asked by Gendron to basically report back to him on Nick if he screws up. The straight forward Ben thinks it over and even though he & Nick are not getting along much, he tells the commander that he cannot do that to his partner.

Instead of complicated cases and detective work and cliched cop shows, this show is more gritty, emotional an character driven. Other than the huge guilt that Nick is carrying, there’s his relationship with his son an estranged wife Isabelle, who is also his senior being a detective, a role Nick himself decided to pass over earlier in his career. He is plagued by hallucinations of Harvey, who he also visits regularly at the clinic. Ben’s past is shown as also being estranged from his family; he arrested his alcoholic father who drove while drunk and almost killed a kid, leaving him on the side of the role. His older brother and father resents him while his mother tries to keep the peace. That led to his decision to move to Montreal, a move which did not go well with his longtime girlfriend Catherine and they break up after trying the long distance thing. The other cops are given time to shine – Beatrice Hamelin (Dinh-Robic) is a lesbian and a new affair with a wild medic costs her her service pistol and a reprimand from her boss. Tyler Joseph (Antoine) is an alcoholic who can barely function on some days and is being carried by his partner Beatrice who covers for him due to loyalty. But he manages to screw even his new friendship with Ben, crashing a date that Ben has with Amelie – a social worker who he met while on the job and who it turns out is Nick’s much younger baby sister.

Nick is also in an on & off relationship with fellow cop Audrey (Lebouf), which does not sit well with Isabelle as they all frequent the same bar run by Marie. Just when he looks set to commit to Audrey and gifts her a rescue dog, he & Isabelle share a night of passionate sex. The next day Isabelle changes her tune (did she do that on purpose to push a wedge between him & Audrey, who also gets along great with their son) much to Nick’s despair as he really wanted his family back. But the pick of the bunch is J.M. Brouillard (Petronijivic) who struts around like a real ladies man, being obnoxious and prissy – when Nick & Ben gets a call from a lady friend of Nick’s who is being beaten by her husband, it turns out to be J.M and he pleads to his fellow officers not to report the incident as it could very well mean his job. And the woman also pleads saying that JM will change. Over time Nick & Ben do bond but also have a huge fight when Nick catches Ben & Amelie in bed together at the family cabin. Things take a turn for the worse when Harvey dies and Audrey, who was on solo patrol near a college, is beaten brutally by a group of college students into a state of unconsciousness and ends up in a coma. The other cops finds a video of the assault uploaded to the internet and track the leader of the group.

It turns out that the assault was for revenge for a friend of theirs being busted for selling drugs and the commander tells Isabelle to leak the identity of the assailant leader to the rest of the squad. The cops surround the assailant, who pleads for his life, and they are about to beat him senseless but Ben makes the others stop and bring the assailant in. In the midst of all this Nick is called up by higher ups and told that he was specifically brought in from his hometown to Montreal, with his transfer request going through without a hitch, as they felt that he was the right man for a job. There is a leak in the division, a leak to criminal & drug gangs and all roads point to Nick – which is why they wanted a decent, straight laced cop to be his new partner. Ben cannot believe it but he is told that he is to find out if Nick really is the leak & informant, as the season ends.

Gripping, brutal, well acted and well shot. No frills, no cliches, no fancy stuff and no feel good made up goody things – just street cops on duty. Well done 19-2, I was hooked from the fist 5 minutes onwards. The show has been renewed for a second season of 10 episodes but I want a longer season.

Vishu – Spring Equinox

Vishu is traditionally celebrated as a New Year in the Malayalam Calendar, and the day is often considered as the first day of the Zodiac Calendar. However, if the equinox occurs after dawn on the first day of the zodiac calendar, then the Vishu celebrations will be on the next day, ie the second day of the calendar. In 2014, first day of the calendar falls on 14 April but the equinox occurs after 7am. Therefore Vishu will be celebrated on 15th April 2014. The Vishu Kani is meant to bring luck and prosperity for the year starting from Vishu Day Medam 1st. As Vishu marked the first day of the Malayalam Zodiac, it is considered an appropriate time to offer oblations to Hindu gods.


Ofcourse I’d be giving the gods the finger instead, if they existed. Anyways, I don’t hold any of the religious views or anything like that. I like that it’s another holiday, another new year for this culture. As a kid I liked the fact that we, my cousins & I, got money from our elders and that means buying cassette tapes or going to the movie or go get some junk food like burgers and shakes. And the sadya! Yes, I rarely go to weddings or other functions anymore so for the past 10 years or so sadyas for me are restricted to Onam & Vishu sadyas – so just twice a year. And I look forward to them.

I prefer a simple sadya; rice, kalan, sambhar, maybe some olan, cabbage thoran, some pickle and pulliserri, poppadoms and finally semia payasam. That’s it! No 100 curries or stuff, just the simplest stuff. And then I’d be so full that I’d have to lie down.

This entry was posted in Kerala.

Roshan Says To “Chillax”

After a long day at work or school, what are your favorite ways to wind down and decompress?

There are some simple ways to chillax and mellow out after the grind of the day is over. Especially after a long, tough week you need to de-stress. I like to either unwind with a couple of cold beers or some vodka on the rocks with generous splashes of Sprite or 7up. Some good food – hopefully some pizza or burgers or fried chicken for dinner will be available.

Other ways is to put on a funny movie and watch it from my bed or maybe some good tv show episodes one after the other. Or perhaps some music. Good ole hard rock music to destress oneself, get your rocks on and rock your blues away for an hour or two. Air guitar and air drumming with unabashed enthusiasm also helps. That also helps me to unwind.

Some good weed might do the trick but then I never get my hands on any. It’s harder in this country and in this city. But it helps to smoke some and relax.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

When Will I Be Famous?

Have you dreamt of becoming famous? What would your claim to fame be? Comedy? Acting? Writing? Race car driving? Go!

“When will I, will I be famous / I can’t answer, I can’t answer that” – 80′ pop duo Bros

Ok, other than the horrendous fact that I and my cousins actually listened to and enjoyed the songs of that long dead 80s boybandish, pop duo – who on this earth hasn’t ever wished that he/she would be famous? I am no different and have always had dreams of being rich & famous and heavily popular to millions and millions of adoring fans. Ever since I was a young kid, I have dreamed of being a famous singer and then a famous guitarist and then a famous singer / guitarist.

Then I wanted to be a famous tennis champion winning millions of dollars as I won all the great grand slam titles. And a football great, scoring lots of goals and winning championships for my club and then….gasp…leading India as the captain to the World Cup by scoring the winning goal in the dying seconds of the final match. And then as I became a fan of hockey / ice hockey, become the first Indian to play in the NHL and become scoring champion, points champion and MVP of the playoffs as I captain my side to become Stanley Cup champion all in my debt season! Yeah, no small feat there.

And ofcourse the acting dream. Be discovered and become a famous actor, Emmy & Oscar wins galore, be paired with a beavy of hot & beautiful actresses and have affairs with sexy female models from across the globe. Also more lately I’ve wanted to be a famous director / film maker who would make groundbreaking movies that make a billion each! Also a famous novelist who wrote books that moved you to tears while making you laugh out loud the very next chapter! All big dreams!

Still waiting!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com

#94 Says Goodbye In Style And As Captain

On an emotional night in Edmonton for the players, staff and fans as the Oilers celebrated veteran forward Ryan Smyth’s final game in style, coming away with a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The fans, however, were more interested in seeing Smyth go out on a win after a career that saw him total 386 goals, 456 assists and 842 points in 1,270 career games. Smyth, was unable to get the power-play goal that would have given him the franchise record, remaining in a tie with Glenn Anderson at 126 for his career. Smyth was loudly cheered all night and no show of respect could have been bigger than the Canucks players coming back out on the ice to shake his hand after the final whistle, before the sobbing Alberta native said goodbye to his coaches and teammates. Smyth concluded his NHL career after spending 15 of his 20 seasons in the league for the Oilers, ranking second on the franchise’s all-time list with 971 games played. He was given the Oilers captain’s ‘C’ for the game.

This entry was posted in Hockey.

Arsenal Make It To The FA Cup Finals

Struggling to assert themselves in the game despite creating a lot of chances, Arsenal scraped their way into the FA Cup final by beating holders Wigan on penalties to keep alive their hopes of ending a nine-year trophy drought. Jordi Gomez’s penalty put the Latics on course to reach another final, but Per Mertesacker’s late equaliser maintained Arsenal’s hopes of winning their first silverware since they claimed this trophy in 2005. The teams could not be separated by extra time and, when it went to penalties, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski saved Wigan’s first two spot-kicks, from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, to put Arsenal on the way to a meeting with either Hull City or Sheffield United.

Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom and Olivier Giroud were all on target for Arsenal – while James McArthur and Jean Beausejour scored for Wigan – leaving Santi Cazorla to send the Gunners fans wild with celebration and relief with the decisive penalty. Arsenal had the better of the chances before penalties, with Wigan keeper Scott Carson twice denying Yaya Sanogo, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting the woodwork in extra time. And this win will seem crucial for Arsenal because earlier in the day, Everton moved ahead by 2 points into 4th place, pushing Arsenal to 5th with just 5 games remaining in the league. Wenger stuck with his policy of replacing Wojciech Szczesny with Fabianski and playing Sanogo in attack, and the youngster almost made the crucial early breakthrough. McManaman was the central figure as Wigan went ahead after 63 minutes, referee Michael Oliver having an easy decision as Mertesacker dived in recklessly in the area. An injury to Monreal, which required his replacement by Kieran Gibbs, meant almost a four-minute delay before Gomez could take his kick, but he remained commendably cool to beat Fabianski with a perfect penalty.

Wenger needed to react but his decision to replace Lukas Podolski, rather than the struggling Sanogo, with Giroud was met with a loud chorus of jeering from the increasingly anxious Gunners fans. Arsenal, as they had to do, finally demonstrated a greater sense of urgency, and a frantic few seconds led to the equaliser after 82 minutes. Sagna had headed against the post and Carson had again saved superbly from Gibbs before Mertesacker arrived at the far post to score with a stooping header from Gibbs’s scuffed shot. The Gunners had gathered momentum and only the woodwork saved Wigan as Oxlade-Chamberlain’s powerful shot rattled out off the angle of post and bar with Carson helpless. Then came penalties – and the shot at a trophy Arsenal have waited for since 2005. Next up is either Sheffield United or Hull City.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

Until a few years ago, like maybe 26-27 years of age, I used to be a very open & friendly person. I still am to a certain degree but I no longer have that naive notion that everyone is a friend and that if I am friendly enough, I will be well liked. Since my early 20s I have learned the hard way that people will take advantage of you if you let them, that you can go into situations with the least amount of trepidation, maximum openness and friendliness and with the best of intentions at heart but you will most likely get burned unless you are also equally cautions and skeptical of people and their intentions.

I can’t pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend. He/she might well turn out to be so but that will take it’s own sweet time and if anyone – depending on their nature – wants to be friends and is open and honest, well why not? But I prefer to be careful, take my time in getting to know the person and avoid being taken advantage of or attacked when the chips are down. It’s just the way I see things at the moment and I’m not sorry about it. Yet I can honestly say that I am a very friendly person, only I am a more cautious person than before.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.