Friday, January 13, 2017

The Hills Are Alive

TigerBlog walked outside yesterday morning and was greeted by temperatures near 60.

This was in the middle of January in Central New Jersey. The warmth felt so good against his face that he wanted to start singing, like Julie Andrews in the beginning of "The Sound of Music."

Okay, so this wasn't Salzburg, Austria, a place where TigerBlog has been, by the way. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful places he's ever been.

TigerBlog is pretty sure that the first movie he ever saw in a movie theater was "The Sound of Music." His grandmother Judy took him, to a movie theater that used to be across the street from what is now the Freehold Raceway Mall.

He's positive the first R-rated movie he ever saw in a movie theater was "Animal House."

"The Sound of Music" is the kind of movie that would never get made today. Imagine the meeting:

"I have a great idea. It's a musical about how a family stood up to the Nazis through their ability to sing together."
"What? No zombies?"
"Any violence?"
"Well, there is a scene where two nuns disable the cars of the Nazi leaders by removing some wires."

The original version of "The Sound of Music" was a Broadway show. The movie version, starring Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as as the Captain, came out in 1965 and won an Academy Award for Best Picture, one of four musicals in the 1960s to do so. Can you name the other three? Can you name the only musical to win Best Picture since?

TigerBlog will give you a paragraph or two to think about it.

In the meantime, TigerBlog will tell you why a movie with so much cheesy dialogue and next to no action remains one of his all-time favorites. First, there is the opening scene, the one where Julie Andrews sings "The Sound of Music" with the Salzburg scenery all around her.

Then there are all of the other songs. Top to bottom, they're pretty much all great - "Do-Re-Mi," "Climb Every Mountain," "Maria," "My Favorite Things," "Sixteen Going On Seventeen," "So Long, Farewell" and, TB's favorite, "Edelweiss."

The movie also has some funny moments, especially with the nuns at the abbey and the Captain's sarcasm. And it's very uplifting, with the way the Captain and Maria come together with their "love conquers all" story and then win their small battle against an overpowering opponent.

TigerBlog also loves the way he can see any part of the movie and love it. Turn the movie on at any point, and you'll hear one of those songs or see one of those scenes.

Oh, and the other three musicals in the 1960s to win Best Picture? They were: "West Side Story," "My Fair Lady" and "Oliver," all of which are TB favorites as well. After Oliver won the year after "The Sound of Music," no musical would win until "Chicago" in 2002.

How did TigerBlog get on this? Oh yeah. The weather yesterday.

It's supposed to cool off a little this weekend, but it's still pretty nice out for January. This weekend is a big one in Princeton Athletics, which then will shut down for first semester exams.

It's a unique academic calendar, and the trickle down to athletics is that Princeton won't be competing at all at a time when pretty much everyone else is in full competition mode.

Before exams, though, Princeton has a full weekend, with 16 events featuring 10 teams beginning today and running through Sunday.

TigerBlog hasn't looked this up, so it's possible this isn't correct, but he's going to go out on a limb and say that his weekend will be the first time that Jadwin Gym hosts Ivy League basketball doubleheaders that don't feature games against Penn.

Princeton will be home with Brown tonight and Yale tomorrow night, with the women at 5:30 and the men at 8. The home weekend is necessitated by the start of final exam period, and Princeton will be at Yale and Brown next month, in doubleheaders there, which will mark the first empty weekend in Jadwin in February in a long time.

The men's team defeated Penn last week in its league opener, while the women lost a close game to the Quakers. There's a long way to go in both races, and of course this is Year 1 of the Ivy tournament.

Neither Brown nor Yale has played an Ivy League game prior to this weekend in men's or women's basketball. 

The men's hockey team is also home this weekend. If you wanted, you could see women's basketball at 5:30, men's hockey at 7 and men's basketball at 8, depending on how they're all going. TB is sure someone will do the tripleheader.

Princeton is home tonight against Cornell (standing room only tickets left) and tomorrow against Colgate. Princeton lost to both on the road in November before going on the run that energized the team before the long holiday break. The Tigers were swept at Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend, but the team played much better Saturday than Friday after the layoff.

There's also home women's swimming and diving this afternoon (3) in what will be the final home appearance for head coach Susan Teeter, who is retiring after 33 years. There is also home men's and women's squash against Dartmouth and Harvard tomorrow and Sunday.

And then it's exam time. It'll probably get cold again.

It certainly wasn't yesterday. In fact, TigerBlog went to lunch with his friend Corey, and when he got into his car after, the temperature read "66."

A few minutes before he got into his car, TB walked out of the restaurant and was taken aback by how warm it was. It was like late spring had dropped out of nowhere.

It may have been January 12 in New Jersey, but he could feel the sun on his neck - and it felt heavenly.

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