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Showing posts from June, 2011

Morally Getting Out of Doing Your Job

Marriage equality became law in New York last week. When it takes effect next month, however, there is at least one place in the state where folks can expect some sparks. The 75-year-old town clerk  of Volney, NY, one Barbara MacEwan, says that she will refuse to sign her name to any marriage licenses for gay couples because it is against her "morals and [her] God." Says MacEwan:

Hello, Goodbye

A conversation I had the other day made me think about how and when we say goodbye to people we know. That in turn led me to wonder about how we say hello. This dynamic tossed around inside my head for awhile, and I came to a conclusion about the two-step process. Allow me to explain my thoughts.

"Mr. Warren York on the organ, ladies and gentlemen!"

A Champaign-Urbana living legend is alive no more. Yesterday, we lost a very special one of our own, Mr. Warren York. He played the vintage organ at the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign, and we could always rely on him to be there for screenings, and for the yearly Ebertfest film festival. He was absent the last few years, due to ill-health, and the organ sat silent. He will be missed.
Here is a December 2000 article from The Octopus about Warren York's contribution to the Virginia Theatre. May he rest in peace.

The Closing of Carmon's

Yesterday, I had brunch at one of my favorite restaurants for the very last time. After roughly four years in business, Carmon's Creperie has closed its doors. I am sad beyond explanation.
It is true that Ashley & I had grown to think of Carmon's as a wonderful little respite from daily life, and of the staff as family. The charming decor made for a cozy atmosphere, with the music sheet wallpaper, the gorgeous chandeliers, award-winning bathrooms, simple but functional tables, unique salt & pepper shakers, beautiful wooden wine racks, quirky propeller fans, and intimate booth. Oh, and where else could you go and have, as background music, Dusty Springfield, Rufus Wainwright and ABBA?

Equality - Finally

The New York legislature has now legalized gay marriage for the Empire State. S'wonderful!

The Best of the Best

I know several people -- myself included -- who view the 1987-2000 drama Inspector Morse as being among the best television shows of all-time. Set in beautiful Oxford, England it was a mainstay on PBS for over a decade, and has fans all over the world. Many love the duo of the cranky, intelligent Morse and the affable, plodding Lewis. I thought it appropriate, therefore, to single-out my Top 5 favorite Morse episodes. They are as follows:

Show Some Respect

Film critic Roger Ebert caused a stir yesterday when he Tweeted and Facebooked a comment regarding the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn. For those of you just now crawling up from under a rock, Mr. Dunn and a passenger were killed in an automobile accident a couple of days ago. The police have now confirmed that Dunn was intoxicated and speeding. Ebert made the comment, "Friends don't let jackasses drive drunk." The world of Ryan Dunn/Jackass fandom went into outrage-overdrive. Ebert (kind of) apologized. The whole thing wasn't pretty.

The Winter Birthday Blues

I'll admit it: having a birthday on December 27th sucks. Really, it does. Several years of this have driven the point home. Being born between the Pagan holiday that was co-opted by Christianity into the throw-a-dart on the map equivalent of picking a birthday date for Jesus, and the secular hooplah holiday celebrating the changing of years makes for quite the downer. Not many people seem to have the time, or the inclination, to celebrate the day you were born. Couple that with the typical Midwestern winter weather that storms through around that time, and you're basically screwed.

"I Don't Speak German, But I Can If You Like....."

A friend e-mailed me a few nights ago and asked what I thought of Lady Gaga. I gave my usual reply, which is that her music is awesome, but I can't stand her "schtick." You know what I'm talking about.... the outrageous costumes, the in-your-face videos, the political statements (even though I agree with most all of them): I just want her to perform her really cool music, and leave it at that. Oh, and she can host SNL again, too. She was pretty good at it last month.

Pic of the Week

Probably most famous for his recent starring role in the acclaimed TV series Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch is our pic o' the week.

What is probably lesser known is that Benedict has his very own doppleganger who the rides the same bus I do to and from work. For the summer months, the Benedict clone is wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Ahem.

Anyway, here's the real deal. Enjoy.

A Happy Fathers Day

A few weeks ago I wrote a rather sad little post about the relationship I'd had with my father. Everything in it was true. There is no changing history, and no back-tracking. Everyone, however, is multi-faceted, including my father, and so today, in honor of Fathers Day, I thought I'd write about the good things that existed between us.

Through the Golden Age, and What People Find There

Finally got to see the highly-praised new Woody Allen movie, Midnight In Paris, and can safely say that it lives up to the hype. Part romantic-comedy, part dream-sequence, part drama, and part love-letter to Paris, this film is definitely worth seeing.


It's had accolades from the tech and filmmaking industry, been given an eyebrow-raising presentation at the movies, and managed to cross generations with its networking prowess, but the big news this week about Facebook (aside from a possible impending war with Apple) is how it's bleeding users like never before. From the L.A. Times:
Facebook lost nearly 6 million users in the U.S. last month, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of the month, said Eric Eldon, an editor at Inside Facebook, a research and marketing group that conducted the study. It was the first monthly decline in a year, he said.

I'm a Mac

So, someone's done a profile of Mac vs. PC users. Funny stuff. A lot of it falls within the realm of stereotypical expectations, although I was probably most surprised at the inclusion of The Rachel Maddow Show on the list of favorite programs of PC users. Hmmmm.

The New & Improved Doctor Who

So, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride for Steven Moffat since he took the reigns as showrunner of Doctor Who. A lot of folks have complained that his vision of the show is too dark, too fairytale-like and --- mostly with this season --- too difficult to follow. A blogger/fan contemplates some of the problems here:
Cheques are being written that currently can’t be cashed. It’s not going unnoticed; we’re staring right at it. Unfortunately for the production team, a glance to one side isn’t going to wipe it from our minds

Super Great

Went and saw the new movie Super 8 this weekend. I won't divulge any spoilers here. What I will say is that the film gave me a severe case of the nostalgia blues. It's sad, but I always knew this day would come. Allow me to explain...

How (Not) To Succeed at Sharing a Video

Before we continue with this blog post, I want you to watch the following video. It's just a minute and thirty seconds, and that's all I'll say for now....

Pic of the Week 2

With word that Scarlett Johansson and Sean Penn are no longer an item (seriously... what was that about?), I decided it was time to devote a pic o' the week to one of the few women whom I find attractive. Enjoy.

Pic of the Week 1

In honor of today being the day that BBC America airs the Series 6, Part 1 finale of Doctor Who, I thought it appropriate to have a photo of the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) in a towel. Here you go....

The Politics of Feeling Good

It's 2011, which means it's been ten years since the last political re-districting at the local, county, state and national level. Which means that it's occurring all over again this year. Actually, the new maps for Champaign County and the state of Illinois are already done -- approved by vote and, in the case of the state, signed by Governor Quinn. Democratic majorities should be safe. Some folks aren't happy about it. Fair enough. Color me unmoved.
See, I have more of an all-encompassing view of the whole re-districting/gerrymandering thing, call it what you will. The elephant in the room here is who votes, and how. No one likes to throw the spotlight of blame (or partial-blame) onto the voters but, let's face it, it does belong there to an extent. The majority of voters typically follow a pattern. They tend to either vote Democrat or Republican. Or Green, in certain cases. A small number of voters are what pundits and talking heads love to label as "swing v…


Rafael Nadal wins the French Open....

Pic of the Week

It's been awhile, but here's a new pic o' the week!

This time, it's Reeve Carney, star of the much-troubled Broadway show "Spider-Man."  Enjoy!