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Showing posts from December, 2011

Tree of Life

Today is my mother's 65th birthday. I just got back from having breakfast with her at one of her favorite haunts, the Original Pancake House. We exchanged birthday gifts two days ago, when it was my birthday. All this talk of birthdays got me to thinking (often dangerous) about what such days are really about, or what their history is.

Pic of the Week

This week we turn our gaze toward Justin Gaston, the 23-year-old underwear model and former boyfriend of Miley Cyrus. Enjoy.


Christopher Hitchens died last night. Many of you likely know who he was. Some of you may only have heard of him. To say that he was a British journalist who rose to fame on the prowess of his writing on politics and atheism, while true, would only be the cold, stock description of a vast and complicated man. Ill with esophageal cancer over the last year-and-a-half, the news of Hitchens' death has nevertheless surprised me with the magnitude of melancholy it has created within my core.
A man of sharp tongue and intellect, who rarely tired of a robust debate, Hitchens drew inspiration from George Orwell, and many (myself included) in-turn drew inspiration from him. His written output was profuse, encompassing a plethora of essays and articles, many of them for Vanity Fair magazine. He also put out the odd book, many of which wouldn't fail at rousing the ire of many a die-hard believer, incensed at Hitchens' blasphemy of their particular religiosity. But it was hard to win a…

Top 10 Songs of 2011

Well, folks, it's been....  a year. Music-wise, I can't say that 2011 has been a sterling effort, but it's been ok (certainly no 1993 or 1997, the two best years for music during the past 20 years). While I'm still trying to determine whether there are even five consistently solid albums for my 'Top 5 Albums' list, I do have a fair amount of songs that were in the running for 'Top 10 Songs of the Year.' And here they are:

Building a Mystery

Ashley & I have recently re-started watching Twin Peaks, that quirky, venerable TV series that enjoyed a bright, brilliant life before burning out quickly after a season-and-a-half in the early 1990s. The up and down quality of the program is noticeable, especially during the second season (where we have picked it up at). While the death of Laura Palmer made for good water cooler talk, other mysteries, such as possible alien abductions, Agent Cooper being investigated by the FBI, David Duchovny as a cross-dresser, and a hostile business take-over, are not quite as enthralling. Audiences thought so, too, which is why the series was cancelled in 1991.

Together Forever

Thoughts of the passage of time have been on my mind. It's my birthday later this month, so this may be an artifact of that occasion. The years go by. We take it for granted that they always will, but then, somewhere in the recess of our mind that we dare not go to often, we know that at that some point this will not be so. It is, in fact, true that we live a transient life. This seems to run contrary to what we want, nevertheless it is so.

Pic of the Week

Today is the 22nd birthday of actor Nicholas Hoult. Although he's had a steady career in film and television, I remember Nicholas primarily from the 2002 Hugh Grant film About a Boy. As you can see, he's grown up just a tad since then....

Bully Pulpit

Bullying has been in the news a lot lately. That's a good thing. It needs a spotlight shown on it, so the bullies can (hopefully) scurry into the shadows like cockroaches with the light turned on them. And, maybe, they'll take some time to contemplate their actions and words, to reflect upon how what they do to others is awful and, sometimes, nearly unforgivable. I speak from experience. I was bullied nearly all through public school. And, in turn, I tried to bully once, to assert some sort of elusive power, and it hurt just as much as being bullied, myself. The cycle of discord among our young is nothing new, but that doesn't mean it should continue.