I Won

I went home yesterday. The limo driver by the name of Steve Mazalin told me “sometimes you have to do something truly awesome and incredible to get people to notice just how talented you are.”

After being stuck in the wrong stories and getting denied good ones or having prize stories taken away, I finally proved my at times vastly overlooked worth when it came to writing stories that I truly cared about or stories that gathered some interest.

Waking up at 630 in the morning is something few look forward to let alone someone who sees journalism as work and as a class, maybe a hobby at best. I was on the sports writing roster with a classmate, the esteemed and regarded sports writer. We pulled up at Cal Lutheran University for the Tri County Journalist Write-off and I thought “oh joy, let the day begin.”

15 schools, 3 counties, Ojai’s first private boarding school invitation, way to represent right? Time to prove my worth.

While the speaker, an 18 year old world record holder, was giving his piece to us, his press conference, I thought his story was gold for me to work with.

I worked until the 10 minute to go mark to meet the 90 minute deadline, I signed my sport writing piece A8 (my id number) and walked out feeling that I had really written my finest journalism work of the whole year. Better than any blog or assignment I had ever done.

I sat in the auditorium watching the other schools win in every other category. I watched their joyous and appreciative expressions and thought, “my moment’s coming.”

“For second place, Ojai Valley School‘s Ryland Steve…..”

I didn’t even hear my last name being said, I was too excited. I was already walking towards the stage to accept the trophy. It was surprisingly light. (:

I held it and felt so much pride. All my frustrations over the past year, I was finally being recognized, or at least that’s how I felt. Everyone from the other schools clapping for me. I don’t mean to sound arrogant or cocky here but I was just so happy I won that award. Being the only one from school to walk away with a trophy just added to the joy. I guess I’ll never have to write anything about bandwidth ever again. Hooray.

I’m not trying to sound curt, I’m just so excited. It’s still sinking in.


The Social Network Review. Who was the bad guy?

So I just watched the Social Network for the second time with my mother and sister. As it turns out, Armie Hammer, one of our neighbors in Santa Monica, played the Winklevoss twins in the movie. This fact however is there just for show and provides no bias in any way. Here’s my observation this time around when I could focus on the movie and not have an alcohol joke made every 5 minutes or the phrase “heyyyy, that’s inappropriate” made more than once.

So we know that Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is the founder of the internet phenomenon facebook.com and the main character of the movie. He starts off working with the Winklevoss twins and their associate Divya Narendra on a site called HarvardConnection.com. It basically does the same thing facebook does. Zuckerberg allegedly steals their idea and starts facebook. The movie has just as much footage of the lawsuit in 2008 as it does flashbacks to their days at Harvard in 2004. So with the movie  basically summarized, here is my question: Who was the antagonist?

Now we know that we as a film audience are incensed to support little Zuckerberg against the big bad Winklebi however, look at the qualifications. Zuckerberg makes his girlfriend break up with him at the beginning of the movie and then writes a scathing blog entry about her. He then insults the entire female population at the school by comparing their looks on facemash.com. This gives him 6 months academic probation. He alienates his only friend Eduardo Saverin by almost completely removing him from the company even though he was the co founder, and of course, is accused of intellectual property theft by the Winklevoss twins. If this is truly how facebook is created, then Zuckerberg is no different than any other typical CEO who will step on anyone to reach the top.

Now in the mean time, all the Winklevoss twins and Narendra are guilty of are being the bump in the road for this creation to take place. Yet really think about it here before you either think rationally or act typical. They were only normal kids with an idea at an ivy league university who they feel had robbed from them. The idea was revolutionary and worth a lot of money so they did what they thought was right. Whether it be physical appearance that portrays them as bad guys or if you thought their actions were wrong, they were only doing what they thought was right. After all, many people agree that Eisenberg protrayed the facebook founder as a socially awkward jerk. Should all this be true, then we as a film audience have some thinking to do.

You be the judge.

The collapse of a dynasty

Of all the moments which took place during the past 8 months, my favorite moment was watching JJ Barea drive to the basket from half court to have his collar bone meet the unforgiving elbow of Andrew Bynum. Barea’s shot would end up going in and Bynum was ejected from the game, ripping off his jersey in frustration as he walked into the tunnel. In a moment which sums up the severe frustration from the only Laker who played like a two time champion, the Lakers, their season, their coaches career, and their throne was swept away in a sea of white and blue coming from the crowd.

Quite the embarrassing way for 11 time NBA championship winning coach Phil Jackson to call it quits, swept in the second round. A 44 year veteran of the league, coach of the great Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant could very possibly be stepping down after this season. With him, the era of Lakers glory could very well be over.

Why do great dynasties fail? Why do they crumble and fall after years of revered greatness? Social crumbling, the loss of cohesion with leadership, military, and economic structure. They lose because other invading territories want what the dynasty has. They have power, resources, and control. They face decline from their super powers and henceforth, they become weak and vulnerable. The Roman Empire, the Han Dynasty of Eastern China, and most recently, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Changes in the front office represent the government going in another direction as uncertainty of the future clouded the practice atmosphere. It is a great distraction for a team. The fact that after Pau Gasol posted a mere 13 points per game and played tentatively the entire playoffs. Derek Fisher’s illustrious career has been reduced to experience thanks to the inevitable sting of time and may henceforth be replaced by a younger and faster point guard. Ron Artest‘s contract is also in jeopardy. Key components are at risk of being moved thanks to an in balance in salary and production. Changes from the front office can be felt. Other than that,  Kobe Bryant played with a lack of fire, evident from his inability to close games 1 and 3. As a whole, the collective effort aside from Bynum wasn’t there. The military is your defense and line of protection from the invading enemies who want your throne. The Lakers did very little to veer off the opposing teams attack. While they scored 101 points per game during the season, in the post season, that’s what they allowed. After a valiant effort from Chris Paul and the Hornets in the first round exposing the human side of the Lakers, and of their dominant post defense in 6 games, the Dallas Mavericks defeated them in a clean sweep.

With the Mavericks now the favorites to win the NBA Finals, they have gained all that the Lakers once had: a championship trophy, dominance known through

Here’s whats’ new

Come next week, the Ojai Valley School varsity baseball team will play their final game against the hated Cate Rams. It’s been an eventful season to say the least and today we could have, probably should have, but came damn close to beating Dunn school. They’re playoff bound folks, they’re good. We went up there today and gave them a hell of a battle and showed resiliency and heart. I think our team is worth watching. We have a lot of talent invested in the future and we are gaining respect from teams around the league, the exact teams that once mercied us are now struggling for wins, or for their lives. So that’s Wednesday. Don’t worry, we’re at home, you don’t have to move.

Immediately following that game, I hop on a plane to NY to watch my sister get married. Mary Stevenson and Hari Mahedev are a great couple that I have known for years now. They’re both Ivy League graduates, they’ve both become doctors and they’re in love. Besides I’ll get to see most of my family again, I’ll be able to rock my new threads, I’ll get to witness a very happy moment, and maybe I’ll meet a few brides maids who I like. You never know but it’ll be great.

I’ve celebrated the end of AP exams (I took 3 in 4 days) with a healthy diet of South Park cartoons and Dominos Pizza. Plus I’ve enjoyed my guitar lately. I’m really making it sound good.

That’s my current life. What’s yours?

Good Riddance

“Word is Obama killed him with a pitching wedge from 30 yards out”

Those were the words from a US Naval Officer on an internet chat board regarding the new found confirmation from President Obama and the White House that Osama Bin Laden, the man who had been on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list, the man had founded Al Qaeda in the early 1980’s, and the man who masterminded the world’s most deadly recent attacks, including the bombing of several American embassies, the 7/7 bombings, the bombings in Spain, and the September 11th attacks, is dead.

Read that again. The man who for a generation embodied evil and the word “terrorism” has been pronounced dead. According to TMZ, Osama was killed by American military forces. Killed in Afghanistan, “we got him” has now become the phrase of the day. Sources from all over the world are streaming in. CNN, Huffington Post, Fox News and several other reliable news sites have confirmed that the villian was killed by an American missile strike last week in Afghanistan. This is truly a day for celebration throughout the world.

It may feel that a great piece of the mission is complete. The Taliban was removed, Saddam was executed, and finally last week, we finally had enough intelligence thanks to the CIA, we launched an attack on a compound in Pakistan where this mass murderer was hiding. A small group of Americans with great courage survived a fire fight and killed the symbol of evil while taking measures to protect innocent civilians.

As my roommate and I are sitting in my room staring at my poster of the Brooklyn bridge in the early 1990’s taken with the World Trade Center in the background,
“I’m legit stoked right now” – John Olivo
“Are you screwing with me or is this for real?” – Cole McIntosh
“He’s dead! Hell Yes! That piece of trash is finally DEAD!” – All of us.

President Obama’s press conference was streamed into my computer and we are currently holding our bottles high to the American launcher who just so happened to point his launcher in the right direction. “Obama looks exhausted,” my roommate said. Who wouldn’t be after the months upon years of effort to bring forth this outcome. The satisfaction of the work is felt, and the pursuit of justice has been rewarded. The biggest part of a legacy of terrorism which has been shadowing over the world for the past 20 years, is dead. I give thanks to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to stand up for our values abroad, to try to make the world a safer place, and to bring justice to all those who lost their lives. The victims did not die in vain. The unity of our nation has been greatly electrified. As we listened to Obama speak, we all, in unison, ended with Obama in his last address, “we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Salud boys, we got him.

This picture may be disturbing to some viewers, viewer discretion is advised. Here’s proof.

My fantasy come true

The Yankees have announced that on Sept. 14, Yankee Stadium will host “The Big 4” — a concert event featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Here’s all I can say to that, HOLY CRAP!

For many metal heads, the rift between Megadeth’s frontman Dave Mustaine with Metallica as a band has become the stuff of legend and has prevented any such concert from taking place. However, finally as a part of the Big 4’s US tour, this fantasy many of us have has finally come true. Add on Slayer, the titans of thrash, the deacons of death metal, and the craziest and fastest band sporting adidas sweatsuits, Anthrax. These four metal supergroups are sharing a stage performing some of the most famous songs metal has ever been graced with.

In Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, Metallica’s ENTER SANDMAN can be heard whenever closer Mariano Rivera emerges from the bullpen to save a game. But on September 14th, 2011, the greatest venue in America will be rocked to its foundation by a moshing maniacal metal fest in which the metal messiahs will own the night.

My Current Thoughts (Literally)

My thoughts as of this hour:

Why would you think of expanding the baseball playoffs Bud Selig? 10 teams by next year in the postseason? It’s kind of weird that we’re playing the October classic in November. If you want to watch your favorite team play the Fall Classic on Christmas day, let’s keep that as a fantasy.

Spaceballs was an awesome movie. Daphne Zuniga is totally hot and sexy in that movie and I wish I had a space winnebago. That’d be awesome.

My Kick Ass poster is falling off my wall, it’s a real eyesore.

I would love it for Facebook to stop sending me event invitations and offers to see who is viewing my profile. I don’t care because they never post anything or say hi. So stop giving me false hope by having the notification ad pop up! I’m a lonely soul folks!

I wish the Cate game didn’t get cancelled, I wanted to throw fire again. Go OVS Baseball!

I’m digging 90’s contemporary rock and punk music. Green Day, Soul Asylum and Third Eye Blind are really doing it right now.

Last but not least, it’s so refreshing to vent your emotions. You need to do it every once in a while. If you don’t, you’ll explode.