Difference b/t great and sucks

Seinfeld does this riff in his standup routines on the fine line between "great" and "sucks". He contends there's not much difference. You go see a movie someone claims was great. It ends up sucking. He ends his routine thus: "Great. Sucks. They're the same thing. You buy an ice cream cone, and just as you go to take your first bite, the ice cream falls off the cone onto the sidewalk. What do you say? 'Great.'" Q.E.D.
For me, this weekend was an exploration of "great" and "sucks". I went out for my first ride of the season Saturday morning. It took nearly an hour just to find all the necessary gear: waterproof warm-weather clothing, bike pump, helmet and gloves, shoes, bike tool...ever since moving, there's always one thing each week I just can't find, no matter how hard I look.
My next obstacle was my cycling fitness level, or total lack thereof. It is damn hilly near my place. Just a short 20 mile ride nearly killed me, and the rest of the evening I could barely walk. The old 65th street hill, a good bellwether for my cycling strength, climbs up quick and steep from the Burke Gilman trail. It nearly killed me. My eyes were crossed and legs quivering as I passed over the summit.
Moral of this story? Gravity sucks. Literally and figuratively.
On a related note, the weather in Seattle from November to June? It sucks, especially from a cycling perspective. I don't mind riding in the cold, but rain kills. It chills your skin, decreases braking power, leaves your drivetrain covered in goop, and leaves the roads slippery. The weather from July through some of October? Great.
The Yankees got A-Rod. Without a doubt, that sucks. I hate the Yankees, but I can't blame them. They operate within the confines of the rules established by MLB, and they do it ruthlessly well. Hicks may have overpaid for A-Rod, but it was how he spent the rest of his payroll that caused the Rangers problems. A-Rod was playing unbelievably for them, but no single player can carry a major league team. That's the nature of a sport where nine players are on the field, starting pitchers can only pitch every fifth day, and batters can only bat once every nine at-bats. Tom Hicks is a wealthy baseball fool. Of very minor consolation is the fact that the Yankees are tarnishing A-Rod's legacy by putting him at shortstop, despite the fact he's a great shortstop while Jeter's defense sucks.
Baseball Prospectus did an analysis that indicated that if you took the best players from the Red Sox and Yankees and fielded an All-Star team from just those two teams, it would be nearly comparable to an All-Star team made up of the best players from all the remaining teams. And that was before the Yankees obtained A-Rod.
I love baseball, it's a great game, but that sucks.
Also, this weekend, the great Italian cyclist Marco Pantani was found dead in a hotel room at the age of 34. Pantani's duels with Lance Armstrong in the 2000 Tour de France were awesome, and if Lance never wins a stage at Mont Ventoux he'll look back with regret at giving Pantani that victory at the top of the bald mountain in 2000.
Jason Richardson's dunk in the NBA All-Star game, where he threw the ball off the backboard, caught it in mid-air, put it between his legs, and jammed it? Great.
Stanford men's hoops held off Cal (great), and Duke lost to N.C. State (great), so for the first time I can remember, Stanford may be a legitimate #1 in the AP Poll (really great). I'm looking forward to seeing them at Key Arena as the top seed in the West Regionals.
I watched the Korean movie Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance this weekend. Some of director Chan-Wook Park's other movies have shown a spark, a hint that he might become an accomplished stylist. The lives of the characters in this movie suck. It's not much of a plot synposis, but believe me when I say it's true. Suicides, electrocutions, stolen kidneys, accidental drownings...those are some of the happier moments. It's a flawed movie (it would be much tougher punch to the gut with a more coherent social critique), but Park has the chance to become one of Korea's great directors down the road. Hearsay has it he may have already attained that greatness with Oldboy, a movie I'm dying to see.
Finally, in keeping with the Korean theme, after a day of snowboarding at Crystal today, two carfuls of hungry skiers hit the Korean BBQ restaurant Mi Rak in Federal Way on South Aurora. It's a long way to go for Korean BBQ, but from time to time I get a craving for good Korean BBQ that just can't be satiated any other way. And unfortunately, the Korean food within Seattle city limits sucks, while the Korean restaurants on both far North (Lynnwood) and far South Aurora Ave. (Federal Way) is great. Those areas are known affectionately as North and South Korea. Mi Rak was awesome; we ordered, the food arrived literally two minutes later, we were done eating inside of twenty-five minutes, and I started breathing again about two minutes after that.
Sometimes there's a fine line between great and sucks, and other times it's a forty minute drive.