Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (3/29/06)

It's Finals Week this week (we're on a quarter system, so fourth and final quarter starts after Spring Break).
I'm trying to keep my head above water and get grades in and such. Good stuff.
Let's get to it.
So, without further ado: OLE JACK SAYS, "WHAT THE HELL?"
The Death of a Great Show:
Well, it's
official: Arrested Development is dead. It's creator is taking a walk rather than deal with all the strife that Fox, Showtime, and ABC are giving him. I'm not sure I blame him, but, DAMN, I love that show. I'm sorry to see it go. At least its ending was such that the loose ends were tied up. I really hate when a show ends with either unfinished questions (Um, The X-Files) or with lame plot twists (Damn you, St. Elsewhere).
Au revoir AD. I eagerly await season three on DVD.
The "American" Past Time:
I know I'm late with this, but I find it absolutely fascinating that the United States, the INVENTORS of Baseball, could not even make it to the finals of the World Baseball Classic. That's right, the finalists of the TRUE World Series were Japan and Cuba. Baseball is HUGE in Japan (More so than here, I believe), and Cuba's baseball heritage is very rich, but there's something so incredibly funny about the U.S. team just stinking it up. Am I the only one who thinks this?

The school I work at sent me to a training session this past weekend. (Those who are interested can see the organization who sponsored it
I had not been to Niagara for ten years. The last time I was there was with my mother. We were driving to Michigan from New York, so we went upstate to take the Queen's Expressway across Canada (It's faster than going through Pennsylvania).
Now, ten years ago, Niagara was, well, quaint. There were some hotels, but almost everything was geared toward the falls. It made sense that people would go there to get married or honeymoon. It was quiet and serene.
My return was unfortunate. Beyond the travel issues (to be dealt with in a later post), Niagara was now, for lack of a better term, Mini-Vegas.
When my colleagues and I got to Niagara, we went our separate ways until the opening ceremony (also known as "The Plenary"). I decided to walk around Niagara, get some exercise, and see how things had changed. The hotel (and the waterfalls) were near Clifton Hill. Signs proclaim it as, "The most fun street in Niagara!" Sadly it was "fun" because of the THREE haunted houses, the TWO wax museums, and the chain restaurants (such as Burger King). Looking up Clifton Hill, which is a hill, I saw tourism run wild. Behind me, the beauty and power
of the falls roared. It was an amazing dichotomy.
At night, the true changes could be seen. There was no darkness anywhere in the town. With a brand new casino lighting up the night, you could see everything regardless of where you were. They even light up the falls now, which, while beautiful, seems slightly insane.
The Canadians I spoke to have
tried to disassociate themselves from the Canadian side of Niagara. One guy I spoke to, from the lovely town of Kenora, explained to me that Niagara was now, "an embarrassment."
"Why?" I asked.
"We're quiet folk up here, eh? This's too American now."
"Not to be rude, but what does that mean?" I inquired.
"You guys like the flashy stuff. That's why you're the biggest tourist percentage here. You and the Japanese. You love the flash of this place."
Honestly, the more I think about it, I'm not sure he's wrong. Seriously. The more I travel, the more I see places that are tourist traps. They are designed to bring in people who spend money like crazy. With SO many places, Niagara is now a tourist trap. On a side note: The Museum of Crime! You cannot have Michael Myers as you first "real" criminal. HE WAS NOT REAL! Charles Manson? Real criminal. Al Capone? Real criminal. Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger? Not even close.
It's unfortunate the way the place has changed, but change is a natural part of life.
Tomorrow, more on the conference and the details surrounding it.


Bill R said...

I agree that the World Baseball Classic results for the USA team was disappointing. It seemed as if the USA team just didn't have the drive needed to do better. I think it meant more to Japan, Cuba, Panama, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, etc, than the USA team. I'm glad Japan won it if the US wasn't going to be in the final rounds. Good concept, although I didn't like the time of year for it. On the other hand, looking forward to another baseball season here with the Twins...just around the corner. Loved your post about the Niagra Falls trip, never been there. I reget not getting there sooner now.

carolyn said...

You should devote a post just to the IB training! Please? I want to know how pretentious it was. Although perhaps the fact that the opening ceremony was called "The Plenary" says enough. I suppose that comment appears somewhat hypocritical, seeing as I'm going for an IB Diploma...but oh well.

Admin Worm said...

It's good to have you behind the keyboard again.

What more can I / we say about Arrested Development? It's funny, Leab...everyone I run into at school, work, wherever...and I literally mean to have loved AD. "I watched it every week," they say. They can even recite very obscure lines or scenes, so they're clearly not lying.

These same people profess to hate the tripe masquerading as entertainment...According to Jim...reality television...

Yet the converse seems to be the rule. Why is that? Can someone explain that? Who are these people demanding more Nanny 911? Wife Swapping? Etc. etc. etc.