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Standing on the edge of summer

The worst part about the waning days of summer is being greeted by a typhoon that impels you (willingly or unwillingly) to stay home and stare at your computer monitor or your TV. We’d all rather be out of the house, but at this point of the season, most of us are too broke, too lazy or too timid to leave the house, bad weather and all. Fortunately, I am somewhat of an expert at keeping myself entertained. So while you’re stuck at home for whatever reason as the summer is about to end, here are a couple of things to keep you busy.

What you can watch:

Battlestar Galactica, Season 4: The final season of the most under-appreciated show on TV offers a darker, more apocalyptic plot arc as the surviving humans aboard the Galactica try to find their way to earth. While Admiral Bill Adama, President Roslyn, Kara Thrace and the rest of the Galactica brass squabble over the path to Earth and the fate of humanity, the Cylons are mired in their own civil unrest that threatens to split the calculating and once-harmonious race.

Lost, Season 4: Everyone’s favorite way to get a headache. This time, Lost takes us on different mind-zapping journey into the lives of the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors by incorporating flash-forwards, not just flashbacks, into the new season. The new narration device gives us an interesting new perspective on their lives by showing what happens to them once they get off the island. Yes, they (or at least some of them) definitely get off the island. As the sprawling and intricate web of cover-ups, secret organizations and crazy scientific theories gets unfurled bit-by-bit, we get closer to finding out what the hell is going on.

What you can play:

Grand Theft Auto IV: Dare I even say it? This might very well be the perfect game. It’s got everything a young adult would want and a conservative parent would hate. It’s violent. It’s dark. It’s funny. It gives you total freedom. It doesn’t hold anything back.

You owe it to yourself to play this game. A review will do little justice.

Who you can cheer for:

The NBA Conference Finals: As expected, the Celtics and the Pistons square off in a highly anticipated match-up of the Eastern Conference titans. If I were the Celtics, I’d be very concerned. After being taken to consecutive Game 7s by inferior teams and failing to win a single game on the road, Boston can ill-afford to exhale and give the well-rested Pistons the opening they need to pounce on another Finals berth.

On the other side, MVP Kobe Bryant faces his toughest challenge yet, as he finally collides with a team that can actually defend him. In previous rounds, nobody on the opposing team could stay in front of Kobe. Not Kenyon Martin. Not J.R. Smith. Not Ronnie Brewer. Not Matt Harpring. Not even Andrei Kirilenko. Now he faces the San Antonio Spurs and the flailing elbows and jerking knees Bruce Bowen (and Bowen-Lite, Ime Udoka). The Spurs match up well against the Lakers as they have bodies to throw at Kobe and at Pau Gasol. The only match-up problem the Spurs have is finding someone to guard Lamar Odom, because none of the Spurs’ big men (Tim Duncan, Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto) are quick enough to stay with him. That of course, goes both ways, as Odom (or Gasol for that matter) isn’t skilled enough to guard Tim Duncan. Had Andrew Bynum been healthy, this might be a different story.

What you can listen to:

Trent Reznor recently released the newest Nine Inch Nails album (“The Slip”) for FREE at their website (http://www.nin.com). I respect anyone who appreciates the fans enough to have the balls to make such a generous gesture. The album is certainly worth the few minutes it takes to download. The grit and detail of his music are still one of a kind. And did I mention it’s FREE?

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For questions, comments or corrections please e-mail me at carlfrancisramirez@gmail.com.

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