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Showing posts from November, 2011

Comforting Persona

Next to PBS, my favorite television network is probably Turner Classic Movies. TCM has been a staple on most cable line-ups for nearly twenty years, and part of its allure (besides the excellent programming of classic film and the no-commercials policy) is the venerable long-time host, Robert Osborne. A film historian of great repute, Mr. Obsorne provides the introductions and exiting remarks to every movie aired on TCM during the evenings. He is returning to the network tomorrow night after an almost five-month hiatus due to health reasons. I, for one, am more than pleased.

Pic of the Week

Today is the 26th birthday of British actor Ryan Sampson. I've enjoyed him in the TV series After You've Gone, as well as his villainous turn in a Doctor Who two-parter during the David Tennant era. Happy Birthday, Ryan!

"At night, the dream returns...."

I'm not a superstitious person. I don't believe in ghosts, nor in the effects of black cats or broken mirrors. But I am afraid of the number 52. I dislike it immensely. It is, to me, unlucky. If I ever constructed a building, it very likely wouldn't have a 52nd floor. Why all the hate for this number? Simply put, my dad died at age 52, and it has since become my antagonist. I measure my life as a countdown to that age, to the time when, perhaps, this journey will be at an end.

Night of the Hunters

Yet another division has arisen between the Champaign Police Department and the citizenry of Champaign. Over the summer, a young man was stopped for jaywalking after leaving a bar. He was mouthy. For his sins, he was pepper-sprayed and, perhaps, choked. I say "perhaps" because, after viewing the video of the incident, it is unclear that he was in fact choked. Regardless, it was a rough time. It's doubtful either the police officer or the young man made a new friend that night.

The Languid Dead

Last night was episode 6 of Season 2 of AMC's hit series The Walking Dead. It's a show I came to late. Well, after a few episodes, anyway. The program premiered last year on Halloween, and I had little desire to watch yet another depiction of a zombie apocalypse (there's only been, what, 50 million such movies about the subject within the last decade or so?) At any rate, the first episode proved to be a monster success, and I kept hearing good things about the show, so I tuned-in around episode 4 of Season 1, got caught-up with everything during one of the many all-day marathons that AMC aired for it, and was suitably hooked. After 6 episodes, the show went on hiatus until this Autumn. So far, Season 2 has been a pale shadow of its predecessor, and last night's episode was part & parcel of why that is.

Pic of the Week

It's the 36th birthday of actor Jimmi Simpson (so, he's still quite young, really). I loved his performance in Date Night. Enjoy.

Hero Worship

There's been a column from the Washington Post making the social media rounds recently, as it relates to the Penn State scandal. It's written by Thomas Day, and he's a Penn State alum, former member of Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation, an Iraq war vet, and a Catholic. And he's lost his faith in coach Joe Paterno and the rest of Penn State hierarchy. He has also lost faith in his parents' generation.

Love, Sex and Intelligence

Let's talk about sex. You know.... physical attraction, not necessarily the act, itself. But we can talk about that as well. What -- if anything -- influences our levels of attraction toward certain people? What inhibits them? Is it nature vs. nurture? A bit of both? And is it good or bad to assign labels to people's sexuality? Let's explore, shall we.
There are a lot of factors that shape our perceptions of what sexuality is, and those include (but are not limited to): culture, religion, age, environment and life experience. I have my own views of human sexuality. Yours may differ. That's ok. I wouldn't expect us to agree on every single point. Yet I think it's an interesting subject to discuss. The 'life experience' factor is a biggie, probably as influential as religion or culture. 

Lyrical Idiocy

Today I'd like to chat with you about something we're all probably guilty of engaging in. That's right, folks, I'm talking about the misheard song lyric quandary. You know the drill: You buy a new CD (or download a song, if you're one of those young whippersnappers), turn up the volume, sit back and take-in the music. Eventually, you begin to sing along with the vocals, whether they affect you in a happy or melancholy way (depending on your mood), and you're one with the music experience.
The aforementioned ceremony is all well and good, until you happen, one day, to perhaps share the song with someone else. It could be on purpose --- "Hey, I loooove this new song, you've gotta' hear it!"  --- or on accident --- "You're in my car, and I'mma play this music, whether you like it or not" --- and you begin to sing along with it, swept-up in the glory of the moment. That's where the trouble begins. A brusk friend might interrup…

Smilla's Sense of Smell

I was on the bus to work this morning, and the fella next to me, African-American, smelled like cigarette smoke. A very familiar cigarette smoke. I'm not up on all the brands of death sticks. I lived with my father for twelve years while he smoked them like I drink soda pop, yet I couldn't -- if my life depended on it -- tell you want brand they were. Same with my uncles. Yet, this morning, the guy sitting next to me smelled just like them. The flood of memories that smell brought to mind was, to say the least, quite heady.

Pic of the Week

If you're not already familiar with British actor Ryan Cartwright, then you should be. The definition of 'dishy,' Ryan has featured in such quality TV shows as Hardware, Bones and, currently, Alphas. With a voice that could melt butter, and a face subtle in its beauty, Mr. Cartwright is our Pic of the Week.