The Wrap Sheet
A monthly airing of thoughts and grievances.
I'm going to try a little something new starting today.
I have come to the realization that most blogs are opinion-based. And while top ten lists and others are fun, they're not the only thing. I find that much of the feedback I receive comes from my opinion-based pieces.
Thanks to an idea from a friend of mine, a new segment- The Wrap Sheet- is born.
This is basically "Andrew Airs His Grievances," where I take a look at some of the events that happened in a given month and give opinions about them. You might find some of this fun to read, and it might even encourage some fun constructive debate.
The Wrap Sheet will be a monthly thing, and since June was super eventful, I figured this was a good place to start.
Again, I want to thank everyone who's been reading this blog over the last three and a half years.
Let's wrap up the month of June, now, shall we?
This month was a wild one, wasn’t it? I guess after that prolonged winter, June decided it reallywastime to bust out all over.
So let’s hucka those bejeepers and dive right into it.
If you’re not sure what I’m referring to by that, I’ll let Leslie Uggams explain.
Did you know she’s the old woman inDeadpool???I sure didn’t.
There’s a lot to cover this month, and I’ll try to keep it as organized by category as I possibly can.
Pancakes! I mean...
My featured story this month stems from the magical (or, rather not-so-magical-anymore) world of pancakes.
... I mean burgers.
Can’t re-add the Cinn-A-Stax, but you can change the LOGO??
IHOP, the beloved International House of Pancakes, went ahead andchanged its damn name. Henceforth, the restaurant will be known as IHOb, otherwise known as the International House of Blasphemy.
I mean, the International House of Burgers.
My problem with this is, well, everything.
And I believe the root of the problem, and ultimately the demise of the P, comes from the removal of the beloved Cinn-A-Stack pancakes from the IHOP menu.
Look at these. And their sweet, sweet cinnamon-y goodness.
These half-pastry, half-pancake bundles of joy were what kept me coming back time and time again. Hell, for national pancake day, I would STILL pay the $8.99 (or whatever it was) for an extra plate of these majestic creatures.
And then they were taken off the menu, and my lust for IHOP began to gradually die a little every day.
There was talk of the Cinn-A-Stacks being a secret menu item, allowing patrons to order them for a limited time until they were taken off the menu for good. When eating at the IHOP off I-90 in Newton on a fall morning some time in late 2016 (or maybe it was even before that. But it definitely wasn’t after April 2017, when they were officially ruled out as a food option), I was told that IHOP no longer made them anymore and that there was no way to recreate them, like the plans had been lost forever.
So, I say IHOP had what was coming to it. Makes sense that if you discard your BEST MENU ITEM, people will stop buying your pancakes enough for you to change your name.
I don’t have a problem with companies like Dunkin’ Donuts changing their name (at least, as far as I know there is impending change) to Dunkin’; I already call it that, and I can probably count on one hand how many donuts I purchased from there in the last 18 months.
But this? This one burns me. You’re a breakfast place, IHOP. Act like it. And if this is your idea of a publicity stunt, it’s stupid and no one likes you. I have always and will continue to refuse to eat your burgers.
IHOB. International House of Bring Back the Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes.
Moving on to politics, because if Donald Trump isn’t featured, is it really considered a month?
Of course, our cartoon president was involved in two major things that happened this past month, both of which I will touch on only very quickly because he does not deserve my attention for any more than I can bare.
The first is his meeting with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, in the first summit between the leaders of the two countries.
After much hemming and hawing, with both sides threatening to pull out, and Trump even submitting a formal letter to call off the meeting, the two met in Singapore on June 12th.
"As soon as he stops shaking my hand, I'm gonna make a run for it."
International opinion was on the positive side, but I really think it’s because the two sides met, talked, and left, without really making complete asshats of themselves.
My favorite part of this was this little nugget from Trump:
“As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo? And I explained, I said, you know, instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective. You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It’s great.”
Ah, yes. World peace in the form of real estate development. Joy.
I mean, sure, the guy does have a little bit of a point, but it just amuses me to no end that THIS is what he got out of it.
Meeting with the dictator of a country that the United States has had hostile tensions with ever since the 1950s? You know what would ease international tensions and bring world peace. HOTELS. Bingo. On to the next one.
We are all aware that his entire presidency is all about him, right? It’s just one huge publicity stunt to be relevant again before he withers away and dies in his insanity. We know this, right?
My overall opinion on the guy is that nothing irreparable will be accomplished. I think republicans are just happy to have their title on the presidency, and the human internet troll can have his fun before politics becomes politics again in two and a half years and every executive order he’s introduced gets overturned again.
Think about it. He’s not getting much done at all with a REPUBLICAN CONGRESS. You can’t blame the Democrats for things not getting done if your party controls both the presidency and congress.
Which brings me to my next story.
So, there were children being held in cages at the border, separated from their families after they were detained for crossing the border illegally.
And by separated, I mean there are children being held inside an old Wal-Mart in giant chain link cages, sleeping on floors or mats, totally away from their parents and forced to care for their fellow child.
No one’s political compass is exactly 100% the same as anyone else’s, I don’t believe anyone is the same in that respect. I’ve always been self conscious about sharing my precise political opinions. I’ve always tried to see both sides of an argument and empathize with each (the difference is empathy, not agreement). Perhaps my rhetoric isn’t always correct, and perhaps I’m even a little misguided in my remarks. But here are my two cents.
I think separating families at the border is cruel. I think keeping children locked away together in cages is inhumane. I think the immigration system (and while we’re at it, the prison system) in this country is all kinds of messed up and needs to be fixed. I feel like there’s deportation of illegal immigrants, and then there’s this humiliation-of-sorts that happens beforehand that just makes me angry.
Being arrested for being in the country illegally, and then held in the United States for being an illegal immigrant? I mean… it feels kind of redundant and I don’t understand why it has to happen.
Obviously one solution is to close the border completely. But I still hold out hope that this country can serve as a melting pot and we can have people from other countries living here trying to make better lives for themselves.
Why not just fucking make it easier? If you’re obsessed with removing people that are here illegally because they’re here illegally, why not make it easier to live here legally? Isn’t that the problem?
We all know “we don’t want them here because they’re here illegally” isn’t really the overt problem. We know it goes much deeper than that. There’s some other heavily-rooted shit in this country that needs addressing. I really don’t feel like getting into it at this juncture, because there’s more to get to, and God knows I’ll probably end up addressing it another time.
Oh, and don’t put children in cages. That’s pretty much the end of my thoughts on that. Stop being cruel and disguising it as patriotism.
The World Cup is happening right now!
First, let’s all laugh at Germany for getting eliminated before the knockout round courtesy of South Korea.
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the loser stream!
Secondly, look at these Mexico supporters joyfully embracing partying outside the South Korean embassy and even letting them get in on the fun.
South Korea's performance is literally why the World Cup exists.
Thirdly, I don’t know that I’ve watch a single minute because the United States is not involved. This is perhaps a generalization, but unless you live in Seattle, Portland, or perhaps Columbus, Ohio, I don’t think there are casual soccer fans that exist in America. Like, even when the U.S. is involved in the World Cup, it’s like you can smell the stench of all the fairweather fans hopping up on the “I Believe That We Will Win” bandwagon.
Oh, I 100% am one of those people. But I don’t forget that U.S. soccer embarrassingly lost to Trinidad last year to fail to qualify for the World Cup when there are other sports things happening in this world.
The USMNT lost in November to Trinidad and Tobago to eliminate themselves from World Cup contention.
The bandwagon thing is similar to the Olympics, but the United States has traditionally been successful at sports that come along every four years. But not soccer. David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney are nice and all, but it’s nowhere near enough to pull the casual fan in.
Soccer also has to compete with football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. And people can complain all they want about how the NFL and NBA are “rigged” and how baseball is “too slow” and how they “can’t see the puck” in hockey. But those same people will, nine times out of ten, go back to the “Big Four” tit when faced with the choice of that or a soccer match.
That’s nice that all that money was invested into a program that fell off the face of the earth in November, though.
Let me also touch on the U.S. Open, while we’re here.
Golf is a hard sport. But I don’t think golf should be THIS hard. A final, 72-hole tournament where the winner finishes at ONE OVER PAR? Come on.
Golf is one of those underrated sports. Like NASCAR (yes, stock car racing is a wildly popular and fascinating underrated sport. Fight me). But the way golf is different than NASCAR is that you don’t have to be 16 and have a driver’s license to swing a golf club. Gold has the ability to garner interest from fans who watch or play at a very young age. But I think having the country’s national championship for the sport be so excruciatingly tough to watch (and I can’t even imagine how hard courses like Shinnecock Hill are to play) is going to drive away interest. People WANT to see someone run away with a championship at 20-under par. They want to see someone drive the ball 400 yards or sink a 75-footer. They want to see good golfers actually playing good golf, instead of seeing their idols shoot 11-over on the first nine of the week (looking at you, Rory McIlroy). And maybe the USGA could learn a little from the Masters, by limiting the U.S. Open to a select few courses. Just a thought.
But props to Brooks Koepka, who won his second consecutive U.S. Open. I remember the commentators during the telecast say the Koepka plays overseas a lot in Europe, and how he possesses the mental toughness to get through these tough courses, and that not many other golfers like him have such grit. I respect that.
I only want to talk about one movie, and that isSolo: A Star Wars Story.
There will be potential spoilers. Read at your own risk.
For anyone that knows me, I am a huge Star Wars fan.Solowas the first movie of the franchise that I was actually disappointed with.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine movie. Great visual effects, and some of the action sequences were quite fun.
But it wasn’tRogue Oneand, after much thought, I question whether this film actually needed to exist.
First, the good. I really liked Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role. I felt he accurately captured the aesthetic of Han Solo without coming off too much like an imitation or caricature. Then there were the effects, which were stunning.Solois one of the most expensive movies ever made, and it showed. They put some effort into the effects.
But where Ehrenreich’s Solo falls short is in the actual action, and that falls with the concept, writing, and directing more than it does with Ehrenreich’s acting.
Han Solo is a scoundrel. He’s a pessimist. His catchphrase is “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” What I saw inSolowas a dreamer, a lover, a fighter. I think that’s the wrong outlook on the character, but that’s just me, especially with no bridge showing what got him from “I have a really good feeling about this” to “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
The plot dragged in the middle, and, to be honest, I really didn’t care much about the backstory that was being presented to me.
I cared more about the characters inRogue Onehaving never met them before than I did about the characters inSolo,two of whom I have known since I was six. I guess that’s what switching creative teams mid-project will do.
Han Solo is already an epic, iconic character. No film needs to convince me that he is already even more epic than he is. They’d be better off making a movie about Obi-Wan Kenobi (which isn’t being made right now, thanks to how this film turned out) and his relationship with Qui-Gon Jinn afterEpisode IIIbecause THAT WAS A HUGE THING FOR ME AND THEY NEVER TOUCHED ON IT NOT ONE TIME AFTER THAT.
Other thoughts onSolo:
L-3 is a blatant rip-off of K-2SO fromRogue Oneand wasn’t all that funny.
Did they make this whole film from the quote “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs”? I feel like they did.
Also, Han was involved in the Imperial Navy? What?? I need to go back and watchA New Hope.
Unpopular opinion: Donald Glover was just okay. His character arc gave me no reason to believe that Lando and Han are lifelong buddies.
Oh and THIS NUGGET. (SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER)
I'm sorry... WHAT?
I guess I should be watching Rebels. The filmmakers knew they screwed up by killing off Darth Maul, so they’re trying to make this half-assed second attempt to make him relevant again. Which is fine but also not at all fine.
So we've had enough pessimism for one day, I think. Let's do a positive story, just to finish this thing out on a high note.
Time to feel good!
Go, daredevil raccoon, go!
This raccoon in Minnesota scaled a building. Not just any building, the 15th-tallest building in St. Paul, Minnesota. And I don’t mean like there was a big ladder or a cable or anything.
I mean he straight up Mission-Impossible’d this thing.
The videos and images of this adorable creature lit up Twitter, and captivated the nation as the tweets went out.
Raccoons have incredible climbing skills (according to Google), but climbing 23-story tall buildings is obviously way out of the ordinary for these backyard trash-searchers.
The New York Times chronicled the climb in story fashion and I encourage you to check it out.
And, that was your monthly report for June, 2018.
I don’t know if there are any July puns like there are for May and June, and I really don’t feel like looking. But thank you, readers, for indulging me in this new project. Leave a comment below if you like it, and let me know if there’s anything you’d rather I touch on for next time!