NEWS AND NOTES

-This year's Royal Rumble was a decent enough effort from the WWE. The Rumble match, with its 30 participants and over the top rope battle royal like atmosphere, has always been one of my favorite matches. This year's edition falls in the middle category of not bad to pretty good. It milked the hanging on by a thread spot a bit too much, but I give them credit for trying to make things exciting. Rob Van Dam returned for the match to much excitement, if you're a fan, of course; which I'm kinda not. Randy Orton won, which worked well within the context of the Rumble storyline, as he and his Legacy crew worked together till the very end. Other than that match, the big highlight of the night was Matt Hardy turning on Jeff Hardy, costing his brother the WWE title. Overall, decent enough wrestling action.

-I only caught the last 4 minutes or so of the Superbowl, but, man, that was excellent! Great back and forth action made for an exciting finish. Although, where was the review of the final Cardinals play where Warner got the ball knocked out of his hands?! Something smelled fishy there. I caught a couple of the commercials today, like the new trailers for GI Joe, Transformers 2, Star Trek, and the awesome MacGrubber Pepsi spot! That last one was the best of all, but I wonder if non-fans of SNL were left scratching their heads?

-Christmas went rather well as far as getting some new games for the Wii. The titles included de Blob, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Dream Pinball, and The Complete Lego Star Wars. All of them are pretty good for one reason or another. While it took me a while to really get into Smash Bros., I've finally really caught a good stride in the story mode, and it's really enhanced my enjoyment of it. Otherwise, the brawl mode moves way too fast. de Blob is a nice game with very smooth animation and graphics, and is rather fun to play. The object is to recolor the town, after the evil Inkt Corp has desaturated it. I've also downloaded a couple of Wii Ware games in the last month: Tetris Party and World of Goo. The latter is one of the best games I've played so far on the system, while the former offers some unique innovations on the timeless classic, like a Balance Board compatible mode!

-My final line for the SFLOI fall/winter softball league was .415/.436/.642, 22 hits (including 2 HRs, 1 Triple, 4 Doubles), 7 RBIs, and 15 runs scored. Offensively, I did much better than I did with the DC Bullets (although I'm still not sure what the final line there was), but I had more at bats (55) in which to work out the kinks. I even hit an over-the-wall home run in the last game, which gave me a nice highlight end the year with. Since then, I've hit the batting cages to keep sharp until the new season starts. And with SFLOI, that could be at any time!

-Me and Marilyn hit the James Jean show recently at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. It was very cool to see his work in person. We wanted to go to the opening, since Marilyn went to school with James, but a double whammy of a huge snow storm and her not feeling well made it impossible. Sounds like we missed a good one! Anyways, the work is astounding, highly imaginative, and very inspiring to see. Get down there before it's over!

-So I think I'm a fan of Power Rangers: Jungle Fury. There I said it. What do you expect, I grew up on Kaiju movies! I could say more, but I fear I've said enough.

-Is it weirder that I always seem to love the American Idol casting shows? Shut up, Sal!

-Speaking of AI, I gave my sister the XBox 360 version of the show for X-Mas, and the couple of times I've played it, I have to say I liked playing the pop star. Haha! On a more manly note, Mortal Kombat vs. The DC Universe is excellent! Grr! Fight!!!

-Upcoming on the blog, I'll have the last of the Bes-ball Hot Stove Division Roundups, more Kung Food! and Scriptage, and possibly something brand new. For those that are wondering when The Battle of Brooklyn will begin, it may be a little while yet. I'm mentally prepping for it. It's actually kind of scary to start committing to this story. Is it a short story? A novel? I don't know, and that's the scary part. I'm going to let it write itself. We'll see how it goes.

-I'll be at the NY Comic Con this coming weekend roaming around, doing a little schmoozing, and giving out a few copies of The Hill. If you see me, give me the what's up, and we'll catch up. Hope to see some of you folks there!

That's the news and I am outta here!