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Showing posts from January, 2015


Earlier this week, Andrew Sullivan announced to his readers that he would soon be ending his blog. There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the audience, and now Sullivan is reconsidering (or, to be more precise, is looking into the idea of having the blog continue without him at the helm, instead run by a team of people). One need look no further than to see how something like this might play out, what with the film critic's web site continuing to publish the reviews of others after he passed away almost two years ago.
In truth, I am uneasy about such things. It can be argued that Ebert's web site has been a success since his death. Admittedly, I periodically check its reviews, and sometimes happen across a reviewer who I likely never would have heard of otherwise. That's what Ebert was wanting, I think -- both to keep film criticism alive, and to nurture a new crop of reviewers, giving them the needed exposure. It's not the same, of course…

Top 10 Songs of 2014

I'm going to be honest. As far as recent years are concerned, 2012 was my favorite for doing these Top 10 Best Songs lists. I still listen to that playlist. Such great music. 2014 did have its moments, however, and here they are. Oddly enough, of my top ten favorite songs from last year, the list contains two by dead people. Remember: they just have to have been released in 2014, not necessarily recorded in 2014.

Without further adieu...

The House As a Home

I happened across the listing by chance, as one so often does when perusing the internet. Curiously enough, I am familiar with both the house and the listing agent, the house having once belonged to a friend's family, and the listing agent being an old school chum. But it's the house that grabbed me. It's the house that, frankly, tugs at my heart strings.
315 S. Garfield Ave. in Champaign, Illinois is, in many respects, a house like any other. Cape code-style, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, located on a nice, quiet street (I promise I'm not attempting to do an ad for it). So, yes, a fairly typical middle-class home in the midwest. What makes this abode special (to me) is its history. Here resided my good friend Derrick and his parents Ike and Linda. Here, dear reader, I spent many happy moments of my youth.

An Unsuitable Way to Die

There was a bit of stir this past week as a Dr. Richard Smith opined that dying from cancer is probably -- to his mind, anyway -- the best way to go. There was, of course, much indignation expressed at such a point of view. Folks have felt the need to redress Dr. Smith by recounting how awful cancer is to experience and deal with (be it personally or as a caretaker). They are, of course, correct in their assessment: cancer is an awful, terrible disease.
For reference, here is a quote from Dr. Smith about why he finds cancer preferable to more sudden forms of demise:
"So death from cancer is the best ... You can say goodbye, reflect on your life, leave last messages, perhaps visit special places for a last time, listen to favourite pieces of music, read loved poems, and prepare, according to your beliefs, to meet your maker or enjoy eternal oblivion. "This is, I recognise, a romantic view of dying, but it is achievable with love, morphine, and whisky.
There it is. Oddly, I&#…