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Showing posts from January, 2016

Pic of the Week

Actress Lauren Cohan, perhaps best known for her role on AMC's The Walking Dead, is in a new suspense movie titled The Boy. I saw it last night, and she was the best part of the film. Lauren also used to be a model, and is our Pic of the Week.

Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

Years -- decades -- ago, when I was a lad, folks like my mom, grandma and people their age would sometimes talk about where they were when past events occurred. The JFK assassination is the one I heard about most. The adults would get a misty, far-away look in their eyes, summoning their memories of that terrible day. These particular scenarios come flooding back today because it is the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and now I am one of the older people getting that misty, far-away look in their eyes.
January 28th, 1986 was a Tuesday. A quick Internet search helps lock that down. Most everything else I remember without assistance. I was in fourth grade, Mrs. Keller's class. Except Mrs. Keller wasn't there that day. We had a substitute. I can't remember her name, and that's a shame as she came across as quite a nice person. Young(ish), slightly stout, with hair that could've been styled with a bit more flourish, I remember her interrupti…

The Emasculation Contemplation

Identity is a curious thing. More so now than ever, it is something that appears to be a in state of flux. Everything from John Gray books to marriage equality to increased visibility of the transgender movement leads us down a path of potential growth and enlightenment. Push back against such development is, oddly enough, coming from many people from the African-American community.

2015 Films (Almost There)

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, for the movies that were released in 2015. I therefore thought it would be a good occasion to update my Top 10 Films of the Year list. There are still a few movies I'd like to see from 2015, but this list feels pretty solid for the time being.

1. Spotlight 2. It Follows 3. Brooklyn 4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 5. Mad Max: Fury Road 6. Magic Mike XXL 7. Grandma 8. The Martian 9. Bridge of Spies 10. Room

I hope to see The Revenant this weekend. I've long been a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Pic of the Week

Our latest of pic of the week is British actress Emma Rigby, most recently seen on last week's episode of Death In Paradise.


David Jones (aka David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust) passed away yesterday after living 18 months with cancer. He'd just turned 69 years of age, and dropped a new, well-received album. While I wasn't an uber-Bowie fan, it is true that I appreciated his musical presence. How could you not? Bowie represented the quintessential 'other' in rock & roll, somehow existing in both the counter-culture and the mainstream, sincere to both.
Following are my favorite David Bowie songs (in chronological order):
Changes Starman Rebel Rebel Sound and Vision Under Pressure (w/ Queen) Let's Dance Hallo Spaceboy (w/ Pet Shop Boys) I'm Afraid of Americans Everyone Says Hi
Twenty-nine years my senior, David Bowie has been a part of the cultural landscape for as long as I've been alive. There's always a bit of shock whenever that sort of correlation comes to an end. On an objective level, I understand that, compared with the thousands of years of humanity, Bowie's 69 years is b…

Life, Death and Other Short and Long-Term Relationships

An actor died recently, and his death was announced by his daughter on social media. To dabble in understatements, the daughter was quite distressed. Her actor-father was 86 when he died. My initial reaction to the overt display of emotion was to internally chide the woman. 'Your dad lived to be 86,' I thought. 'You got more time with him than a lot of other people have with their parents. Why the huge sadness?' Upon reflection, I realized I was being callous.
It occurs to me that perhaps when we have had someone around the longest is when their death will impact us most? There is something to be said for becoming used to someone, to their presence, to their influence on your life. Of course, length of time may not always play the most important role. It's true that we can know a person a comparatively short amount of time and yet still mourn them dearly when they pass away.

Rear Window

Growing up on South Draper St. in Champaign, IL., I had the best bedroom a boy could wish for. With walls and trim painted in orange and beige, it was a fun little room. In the evenings and on the weekends I'd watch PBS on the small black & white TV situated across from the bed. On the bed, I'd sometimes build a fort and pretend I was defending it from an oncoming horde. A desk somehow fit in there, as well, and I'd put the small blue typewriter my parents gave me on it, and plunk-out short stories, or use it to interview my 3rd grade teacher for a writing project.
Of everything in my childhood bedroom on Draper St., I think perhaps my favorite part of it was the window. This portal to the outside world was big enough for me to sit on the sill and take-in what was beyond, yet feel safe enough within the confines of the room itself. The window looked-out onto our back yard, where there was a tall Sycamore tree (so tall, in fact, that I could see it from the playground …


"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it."           - Ellen Goodman

I've seen the above quote shared several times on social media. It's supposed to be one of those deep, meaningful, stop-and-make-you-think observations. Granted, it made me stop and think, though I'm not sure it generated the sort of reaction that was intended.
We've all daydreamed of hitting it rich and no longer having to work. A jobless life of wealth and relaxation is sought after by many. Of course, for most, it's not possible. So, it's off to work we go. A lot of folks look upon this as some sort of drudgery or punishment. We judge our lives (and the lives of others) by what sort of employment is to be endured, and how much we have to show for it.