Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, February 12, 2005
George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was first performed on this day, February 12, 1924. I found my DVD of the Woody Allen movie Manhattan, and listened to this lovely piece of music.

I first heard Rhapsody in Blue when I was a kid. It was the signature music in those television commercials for United Airlines. When I saw Woody Allen's movie for the first time (on VHS), his use of this music to score the opening and the ending of his movie verges on sublime. The way he slowly pans through beautiful Manhattan using that clarinet "smear", and then rushes through the details of that big beautiful city with the full orchestra booming is for me one the most thrilling opening sequences in all of movies.

And Woody calls on it again at the end, Isaac and Tracy in an apartment lobby, a departure imminent. She needs to catch a plane. Full circle, don't you think?

Sunday, February 06, 2005
Super Bowl XXXIX was a back-and-forth affair that had me frustrated and nervous all the way to the end. My muscles were taut from playacting the runs, fakes, tackles and throws. Every snap had me holding my breath. I paced and shadow boxed after every play. The New England Patriots were seven point favorites going into tonight's game: why couldn't they make it an easy one for the fans? I'll tell you why. The Philadelphia Eagles didn't want to be walked over. They wanted to climb the mountain, and knock off the reigning champions.

Fourth quarter. Philly controlled the ball and the clock, but they were down by ten. Down after down after first down after first down, and then they finally get a touch down, cutting the lead to three. With 1:48 left in the game, Pats needed to play mistake-free. They needed to keep the ball. They needed to eat up the clock. But it was three and out, and I was back to biting my fingernails.

The punt by Josh Miller was a master stroke, pinning the Eagles to their four yard line. Three futile throws by Donovan McNabb. And on his last throw, the Patriots' Rodney Harrison intercepted the ball with nine seconds remaining! Tom Brady takes the knee and it's over.

The Patriots are the Super Bowl champions again. Again! And Again! I've had the pleasure of blogging about their two previous Super Bowl victories on this BLOG. And you know what? Winning doesn't get boring!