The Weight of Gold

The Weight of Gold is a documentary that came out this year on HBO. I’m going to summarize as well as give my thoughts about the documentary.

The documentary touches on Olympians about the things they go through before and after the Olympics. This documentary is excellent because I find it rare to see Olympians’ stories and the grind and process they go through to prepare themselves for the Olympics. Michael Phelps, to me, is the greatest Olympian of all time. He was the narrator of the documentary, and he also made an appearance.

Shaun White is a very known snowboarder who also made an appearance in the documentary. The first time I learned who Shaun White was was through the 2011 movie, Friends with Benefits. He addressed some of his tough times he went through as an athlete. Many of these athletes/Olympians suffered from post-Olympics depression.

Most of them feel lonely and vulnerable. Athletes questioned themselves about their careers and mental health.
Mental health is the main idea of this documentary. It was sad to see how many Olympians have committed suicide because of mental health. Sports can take so much out of you mentally and physically. These athletes compete for every four years in the Olympics. So you can’t imagine the amount of pressure they have to win the gold medal.

It also caught my attention that these Olympians don’t make enough money. Some of them have second jobs to make ends meet. Not everyone can be like Michael Phelps. If you finish Silver or Bronze, you won’t make enough money.

Michael Phelps explained the difference between being great and good. He didn’t go into detail about being a “Good” athlete, but he said that to be great, you have to put in so many hours every single day. You don’t have to go the extra mile, but when you want to be great, you have to be. It’s one of the essential sports documentaries I’ve watched this year.

Ahmed’s 1994 ‘Back in the Days’

Today, I’m going to discuss one song that puts me in my feelings, haha. That’s right. We all have songs that make us feel emotional, and we can relate. The song I’m talking about is called “Back in the Days” by Ahmed. The music was released in 1994.

The chorus of the song makes you emotional. “Back in the day when I was a kid, I’m not a kid anymore, but some days, I wish that I was just a kid again.” Uff, such a classic song. It may be a one-hit-wonder, but the music is beautiful as fuck. The first time I listened to this song happened to be when I was 12 years old. I was watching Bet’s Top 25 Countdown. They used to give that on Saturdays from 2 pm to 5 pm. Every Saturday, a different rapper or singer would host the show and share their Top 25 favorite videos/songs. In this particular episode, the boy band B2k hosted the show. J-Boog, one of the four members of the group, mentioned Ahmed’s Back in the Days as part of their Top 25 videos.

Ever since that day, I NEVER forgot about that song. God bless my memory! I also want to thank Spotify because now I can listen to it any day when I feel like it.

I’m wondering what Ahmed is up to nowadays. This question always comes to mind when there’s a one-hit-wonder, and you never hear from them again. Every Hip Hop fan should take a moment to listen to this song IF you haven’t listened to it yet.

Raising Victor Vargas

Raising Victor Vargas is a classic Romantic/Drama independent film. I can’t believe that it took me 18 years to learn about this film.

The 2002 film is about a Dominican teenager (Victor Vargas) played by Victor Rasuk, who has nothing but girls on his mind. He is very smooth-talking with the ladies, but he falls for a cute girl (Judy Jimenez) played by Judy Marte, who is out of his league. Victor tries to do everything to get her attention. He also has to deal with his grandmother’s strictness, raising him and his two other siblings. The setting takes place in the Lower East Side. One of the things I spotted in the movie is the Hamilton Fish Pool. I’ve been to that pool twice.

I enjoyed this film for many reasons:
1) The main characters are Dominicans in real life—great all-around performances.
2) It’s a natural coming of age story that is not stereotypical. Real and heartwarming.
3) The grandmother’s chemistry with the three teenagers reminds me of my grandmother raising me and my sisters. When my parents would go to work, she would take care of us. My grandmother was strict, but not overly strict, and she was very loving.

I first discovered who Victor Rasuk was when he appeared in the movie, Feel The Noise, starring Omarion. Seeing him in this film felt like I’m watching him backward because Raising Victor Vargas came out way before Feel The Noise. This also applies to Melonie Diaz.

Melonie Diaz is a supporting actress in this film. However, I first learned about Melonie in another independent film, and the movie I’m talking about is the heartbreaking Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan.

Melonie is a talented actress, and she’s going to continue to be around for years to come.

Raising Victor Vargas is streaming on platforms such as Netflix, Tubi, and Amazon Prime. I highly recommend you should watch this coming of age film.

***I do not own the rights to the image

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Ahhhh! The classic comedy and one of my favorite Jim Carrey movies, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. This is one of the first movies that made me fall in love with the genre and made me become a fan of Jim Carrey at such a young age.

Before Pet Detective, Jim Carrey gained exposure with the sketch comedy series, In Living Color. His show’s performances led to many opportunities, and became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 90s. Pet Detective is arguably the film that set the tone of Jim’s film career.

This film made you realize at the time that Jim was going to be a box office machine. I loved him in that movie. His comedic timing, the production took place in Miami (one of my favorite cities in the world), and his on-screen chemistry with Courtney Cox was outstanding; this was before Courtney landed a role in Friends. I found out who Courtney Cox was because of this movie.

It took me so many years to find out that Jim is one of this film’s three writers. So not only is he the central star, but he also flourished as a writer. I had the chance to watch Pet Detective once again but on Netflix last night with my little sister. This is one of those movies that I’ll never get tired of watching.

1994 was Jim Carrey’s MVP year. Why? Three of his films were major box office success (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask.)

It’s crazy to think that I was around when Jim Carrey was at his peak. Being an artist, when I try to write a good comedy script, I always try to find some inspiration from Jim’s early films. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Jim Carrey comes out of the bathroom with his pants all ripped up and delivers the line, “DO NOT GO IN THERE! WOOOO.” Another honorable mention would be the scene where he does the instant replay. I can’t imagine how many times the crew members were laughing just by watching Jim Carrey.

It’s been 26 years since Pet Detective hit the theaters. I will always be grateful to Jim Carrey for giving us so many memorable films.

***I’m not the owner of the image

End of the Summer

We have reached the end of the Summer. I’m extremely saddened. Every time we get to this point, it means to start taking out your sweaters, jackets, and later coats.

I’m from New York. We only have great weather for a short amount of time. When Winter hits New York, you want to stay inside. It’s freezing in the wintertime or, as we New Yorkers from the hood like to say, “brick.” It’s a brick city, haha.

I don’t have a problem wearing sweaters and jackets. The fall season is fine, but it’s a step closer to Winter. I don’t understand people who love Winter. I hate that at 4 pm it is dark outside. I hate wearing so many layers on top of me. I hate that I get sick because of the change in weather. The most significant upside about Winter is the holidays and the fact that I don’t have to spend too much money.

This Summer was utterly different than any other Summer. Why? Because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, I couldn’t travel. It was too risky. The month of July was dull. I didn’t do anything fun or exciting. However, the month of August was solid. I went to Atlantic City with my cousin, went to several tourist attractions in New York City, and I spend more time checking out new places in New Jersey. Not too bad for the second half of the Summer. Oh yeah! I also created a YouTube Channel. I’m using my new YouTube Channel to upload content such as traveling, food experience, unique attractions, movies, sports, etc. It’s a versatile channel.

This is me in Atlantic City.

I hope that next year’s Summer will be better than this year. It’s been a very trying year, but the important is to be alive and healthy. I will remain to continue to do that significantly since the seasons are changing.

Heat vs Celtics Game 1 ECF Highlights

The Miami Heat has shown up again during crunch time. They defeated the Boston Celtics, 119-116 in overtime.

Boston had a comfortable lead at the start of the 4th quarter, but Miami never quits. They will battle until the end. Tyler Herro made some big shots and the right playmaking decisions. Jimmy Butler, aka Jimmy Buckets, hit a three to give the Heat the lead late in the 4th quarter. Celtics made one free throw to tied the game at 106. Jason Tatum tried to win the game with a three, but he missed. The game went to OT.

The biggest play of the night, especially in overtime was Bam Adebayo. He made one of the most fantastic blocks in playoff history, and indeed the best block of this year’s playoffs. Tatum was going to go for a dunk, but Adebayo said, “not on my watch.” It was a terrific basketball defensive play and helped Miami to a Game 1 win.

Celtics guard Kemba Walker has been struggling for the last three games. Kemba needs to play well for the Celtics to win, which I hope not since I want Miami to win this series, hahaha.
Game 2 will be tomorrow night.

Nuggets vs Clippers Game 7

Tonight is the finale of the Nuggets/Clippers Western Conference Semifinals. The winner will face the Los Angeles Lakers.

I’m incredibly shocked at the turn of events that this series has taken. After trailing 3-1 for the second time in these playoffs, the Nuggets play great with their backs against the wall. Clippers had a double-digit lead entering the second half in both Games 5 and 6. Clippers seem to have lost poise. What is going on with the Clippers?

I see a Clipper team that looks too comfortable once they have a comfortable lead. I see a Clipper team that chemistry is missing. Nuggets coach Mike Malone is out coaching Doc Rivers in the previous two games. They look vulnerable. For a team that’s loaded with great talent and can play defense, this is disappointing because I want to see a Clippers vs. Lakers showdown in the Western Conference Finals. This will be the real NBA Finals for the bubble.

Clippers might not win it all this year. It’s sporadic to see a team come all together in their first year. The only team I can remember that won right away in their first season together was the 2008 Boston Celtics with the Big 3 (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen). Miami’s Big 3 (Lebron, Wade, and Bosh) didn’t win in their first season together, the 2015 Cavs didn’t succeed in their first season together, and the list goes on. The Clippers have played only 18 games together in the regular season with a healthy squad. They need more time to gel together.

As for the Nuggets, they have been arguably the biggest surprise in these playoffs. This team is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Their starting five are all under 26 years old. They are young, have depth, and they can play defense. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr will be future All-Stars in this league. If the Nuggets can stay healthy and stay together, they will be a title contender sooner than we think.

I hope the Clippers win tonight. This is the first time in Kawhi Leonard’s career to put his reputation to the test. He needs to have a big game tonight. He’s a two-time champion, and I feel that he will respond tonight. However, he needs help from his bench (Montrezl Harrell and Lou Willians). Both of them are not playing well at all. Both of these Sixths of the Man Winners need to make some adjustments tonight. Paul George has been playing well in this series, but he needs to have another big game.