Baseball is Nigh…

Finally. Finally. FINALLY! We are less than a week away from baseball and I cannot wait. Spring training is usually the hardest part of the off-season to get through because of the meaningless baseball on TV that just taunts and teases, reminding you how much you missed the game.

Luckily for me, I will be attending my first ever Opening Day as the Mets take on the Braves at Citi Field and I am pumped up. Noah Syndergaard takes the mound, most of the lineup is healthy (minus poor David Wright) and it’s going to be a great day-off from work.

As for the 2017 season for the Mets, I really don’t know what to expect. Last year was an injury plagued season and I’m having trouble believing this year will  be any different. We’ve already seen Steven Matz go through his usual elbow issues. On top of that, who knows how Matt Harvey, Jack deGrom and Zack Wheeler will bounce back, and how much of a workload they each can take on.

When it comes to the offense, I feel we have a pretty solid squad 1-8, provided everybody stays healthy. I don’t really feel there is any major plus in the lineup outside of Yoenis Cespedes, but I also don’t think there’s a major weak link in the chain. Cespedes had a fantastic spring and I think he’s ready to show he deserved that big contract extension.

I’m definitely not one to make predictions, so I’m just going to hope for the best and enjoy the ride. Let’s go Mets and thank God baseball is almost back!

Lego Batman

When I first saw the trailer for Lego Batman a few months back I was pretty pumped up. Hilarious, fun, and starred Will Arnett and Michael Cera as Batman and Robin! (GOB and George Michael Bluth!!)

Much to my dismay after seeing it today, many of the funniest moments were in the previews.

But that does not mean the film doesn’t have its moments. If you are a fan of any of the previous Batman films, this movie does a great job at referencing and poking fun at the entire series. The whole idea of Bruce Wayne being a cocky, loner, know-it-all plays a big part in the plot, and is well executed.

While Will Arnett has the ideal voice for Batman, Michael Cera steals the show in many moments as the naive, goofy orphan Robin. “Rip!”

This picture won’t leave a lasting impact, but it’s worth the watch for fans of the Dark Knight who don’t take themselves too seriously.

The Book of Mormon!

Finally! After years of trying and failing to get tickets to this show I have done it!

I was meeting up with my lady for a Friday night date and really wanted to surprise her with something different, so I checked StubHub and managed to grab a pair of orchestra seats at a surprisingly reasonable price.

The main reason I wanted to see this show is I have always been a big fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s work on South Park. When the show got going, I was pretty surprised how little I actually knew about the plot. The fact that the story focuses on an attempt to gain converts in Uganda was completely unknown to me going in, but that just made it even funnier.

I truly cannot think of anything not to like about this musical. The dialogue and lyrics are hysterical. The music tends to be a little bland at parts, but to me it came off as being broadway satire.

It’s hard to pick a favorite song from this work of comical genius, but if I had to pick it would be “Hasa Diga Eebowai.” This tune truly does not pull any punches and just sums up Parker and Stone’s humor and complete fearlessness when it comes to making light of serious and touchy subjects.

So, if you are looking for a show to see, do not hesitate to loosen the purse strings a tad and spring for tickets to this fantastic musical. You will laugh non-stop and won’t regret it.

Eggplant Parm and a Pep

I went out Saturday with my shorty for a fun day filled with ice skating, pool, and a movie. In the middle of all of this, we stopped for two meals, the first at a mediocre French place for brunch, and the other at a glorious Italian spot call Casa Nonna.

Located on 38 street between 8th and 9th avenue, this cozy spot is deceivingly massive and is split up into multiple sections. When we approached the hostess, we were told the dining room was booked for the next two hours and our only option was to sit at a high top in the lounge area, which was a pretty sweet spot.

After looking through the menu, my eye was immediately caught by eggplant parm, because it’s the second best of all the parms and I gave up chicken parm for lent.

When the food arrived, it looked fantastic and tasted even better. The highlight, I have to say, was the spaghetti pomodoro. This homemade pasta, topped with a delicious tomato sauce that is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, was absolutely perfect. The first bite is like that scene in Ratatouille when Anton Ego eats Remy’s dish and is so smitten that his mind travels to another time and place.

The eggplant itself made me feel like I was sitting in a real Italian Grandma’s house eating her family’s secret recipe.

After leaving, we truly understood why the reservation book was so full. If you’re in midtown and craving Italian, you have to try Casa Nonna.

Haven’t I Seen This Before?

Groundhog Day? Source Code? Edge of Tomorrow?

Before I Fall takes the very familiar concept of a character stuck reliving the same day over and over again, while everyone in their world has their memory wiped. Except this time, it’s in high school!

Going through this movie, I completely missed the point and had to go to Wikipedia’s always immaculate plot description to find what I wasn’t getting. The entire duration of this story I thought protagonist Samantha Kingston (Zooey Deutch, daughter of Lorraine McFly!) was simply trying to find her way to her tomorrow.

But the number one source for college papers told me that Samantha had died in the car crash she and her nasty group of friends were in after an end-of-year kegger. “I can’t believe high school is almost over!”

When our journey begins, Samantha is a horrible person who disrespects her family and terrorizes one of her schoolmates, with the aid of her fellow plastics. Her boyfriend is a stripey, button up shirt, backwards baseball cap looking dude who seems like the type of guy that would punch you for bumping into him in a pub, but he’s hardly important.

Essentially, the entire point of this story is that Samantha must make her final day on earth count, and have the most positive possible impact on every person in her world. Of course, it takes plenty of trial and error to figure out what exactly she must do to get there.

Overall, this isn’t a tale that speaks to me much on a personal level, but it is a film that could greatly benefit modern teenage girls (Snapchat alert!) We see a lesson and empathy just as strong for the popular bullies as we do for their victims. If this movie makes just one adolescent oppressor look at her world differently, or convinces a tortured youth that everything will eventually be okay, then it has done it’s job.