Saturday, November 5, 2016

Strange Day


I've known this day was coming for awhile, as the college football teams for whom I now root have long histories of games against each other. The service academy teams always play each other, of course, and often play against other teams on my list.

Today 5-2 Navy is playing Notre Dame, which is mired in a miserable 3-5 season.
The game is being played in Jacksonville for reasons which are unclear to me. Under the circumstances, it is easy for me to want a Navy win, even at the expense of the preeminent Catholic football school.

Air Force visiting Army is another story altogether. Both teams are 5-3 on the season, so a win today clinches bowl eligibility. That's a somewhat bigger deal for Army, but on the other hand Air Force has already beaten Navy, giving them a leg up on the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

I won't have any trouble rooting for my best friend Skip's No. 12 Penn State Nittany Lions, as they are playing Iowa tonight in Happy Valley. Boston College plays at home against No. 7 Louisville, a game that could turn ugly in a hurry. No. 10 Nebraska plays at No. 6 Ohio State, and Kansas visits No. 20 West Virginia, so I am hopeful of satisfying defeats for the hated Cornhuskers and Jayhawks.

Iowa State gave a game effort at Ames against No. 14 Oklahoma on Thursday night, but eventually lost 34-24.

"Will there be much cursing today? Inquiring minds want to know..."

I doubt it...but I make no promises...

Feast Day

Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, by Phillipe de Champaigne
Today is the feast day of St. Elizabeth, cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary and mother of St. John the Baptist.

The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth is recounted in Luke 1:39-56 and is celebrated as a feast day in its own right on May 31.

Elizabeth's sainthood preceded the establishment of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, so she is referred to as a "pre-Congregational" saint.

She is the patron of pregnant women.

Friday Matinee

I almost never see movies in theaters anymore, as I don't really enjoy going to them by myself.

Yesterday was a rare exception, as I visited the nearby AMC 17 to see a movie I have been looking forward to for several months.

Original "one sheet" poster
I was a big fan of Doctor Strange comic books when I was a kid, so I was glad when I read that a big-screen version of the character was in the pipeline. I've been pretty pleased with the other films based on Marvel superheroes, so I had high hopes for this one as well.

I saw the IMAX 3D version, even though my previous experiences with 3D movies have not been impressive.

This one was. The film is a mind-boggling visual feast, but fortunately not at the expense of story or character. I was engrossed from start to finish, and I'm already looking forward to the sequel
(and to Doctor Strange's appearances in future Thor and Avengers films).

"You pigged out on popcorn and Milk Duds, didn't you?"

I did snacks have gotten so expensive that I'd need to take out a bank loan...

Proximity Is Key

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Part of the fun of writing this section of the blog is reminiscing about music connected
to important stages of my life, but I also enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for new music. One of the chief sources of the latter is motion picture soundtracks, of which I have been a lifelong fan.

The new Doctor Strange film I went to see yesterday was scored by the award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, probably best known for his Grammy- and Oscar-winning score for the animated film Up.

In interviews Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson has been enthusiastic about Giacchino's score, calling it "magic in the literal sense of the word."

I agree with that assessment. The music never intruded or distracted the viewer, but its blend of conventional Western orchestration with Eastern instruments and musical styles fit the film like a glove. Giacchino also used choral interpolations to splendid effect.

The soundtrack album is currently available digitally on Amazon, and is scheduled to be released on physical CD on November 18.

Today's send-off is "Ancient Sorcerer's Secret," the first track on the album, from Giacchino's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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