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Showing posts from February, 2016

Leo and Me

Nearly all of us have had a celebrity crush (or two) in our day. For some it was James Dean, for others it was Farrah Fawcett. For yours truly it was Leonardo DiCaprio. Living alone during the early-to-mid-nineties, I would pine over the (many) photo shoots Leo had done as an up & coming young actor. So, yeah, I thought he was cute. Then again, a lot of actors are cute. Leo has always had something more.
Indeed, pre-Titanic DiCaprio has always been my favorite version of Leo. Before that supremely popular ship set sail (see what I did there?), Leo's resume was full of quirky, quality films. The likes of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, This Boy's Life, Basketball Diaries, The Quick and the Dead, Romeo + Juliet and Total Eclipse are enough for any actor to be proud of. His post-Titanic career is almost icing on the cake.

Pic of the Week

Our pic of the week is Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, who is starring in the movie Gods of Egypt, which opens this weekend. Enjoy.

Our Time Is Now

I'm bad with knowing the generations. Baby boomers seem to have a two-decade span of categorization. A cursory Internet search tells me that I am part of Generation X, which would appear to inhabit another twenty year chunk of time, from 1965 to 1984. I also appear to belong to Generation Y, and Millenials encroach on the end of X's time span. It's all very confusing.
One thing I do know for certain: I am 40-years-old. And, from what I can tell from many of the cues of commerce and pop culture surrounding me at every turn, this is my time. More specifically, it is a time of notice for people in my approximate age-range. Allow me to explain.

The Edge of Politics

Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court died over the weekend at the age of 79. His death was sudden. Reactions have been swift. Many people I know were not fans, and have made their dislike of the deceased perfectly clear. I have refrained from writing about it until now, though I did express some thoughts while in the car with Ashley that I now regret. Finally, I began to read some positive thoughts about the man from a smattering of social media friends and even uber-liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Honestly, such reading provided some comfort.
Politics -- and make no mistake, the U.S. Supreme Court is a political body -- has been depressing of late. Whether it's Donald Trump or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, or a bevy of Republican or Democratic in-fighting, tensions are high and manners have gone out the window. Justice Scalia, himself, often added to the fire with his blustery espousal of opinion…

Pic of the Week

Our latest Pic of the Week is none other than Australian diver Matthew Mitcham. Openly gay, and turning 28 next month, let's hear it for a fellow Matthew!

The Films of 2015

It's that time again.
Awards for the motion picture industry are flying fast and furious, and the Oscars are just a couple weeks away. In 1998, I began what has become an annual tradition known as The Matt Awards, to showcase what I consider to be the best in film for a particular year. The first awards honored the movies released in 1997. There was a particular reason I started the awards that year.... More on that later.
Now, here are the best in film for 2015, as selected by yours truly:

Top 10 Songs of 2015

To be perfectly honest, 2015 wasn't a year that particularly moved me, musically-speaking. And that's important to note, as the prime reason I listen to and enjoy music is to be moved. The emotional catharsis or introspection that results from a great song or bit of music is unlike anything else.
I just wanted to get that out of the way, before providing my annual rundown of top tracks from the past year. I don't wish to diminish these songs by any means, only to note that not all Top 10 lists are made of the same stuff.
And so....


There are some people who you can't remember a life without. Not necessarily figuratively, but in the true sense of the sentiment. From your earliest memories, some folks were simply just... there. For my minute existence in this universe, aunt Charlease is one such person. Now, like so many passages before hers, it is time to live in a world without her in it.
It's been less than a week since Charlease Williams died, so of course many memories have come flooding back, some of them ones I haven't thought of in years, perhaps decades. One such item is how Charlease would often love to tell me how her arrival in Champaign coincided with my own. I was born in December 1975. If memory serves correctly, Charlease moved here from Missouri in January 1976. "That's how I always know how old you are," she would say, in her sweet, raspy voice.