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Showing posts from November, 2016

Hooray for the Holidays

We've just celebrated Thanksgiving, and are on our way to Hanukkah and Christmas, so I thought it would be a good time to bring the holiday spirit together with one of my favorite things -- movies! We all (well, most of us, anyway) enjoy a nice holiday film. They're typically heartwarming reminders of what it means to value friends and family, though of course some of them do so with a twinkle in their eye.
Here, then, are my Top 10 favorite holiday movies:

Pic of the Week

Our latest Pic of the Week is British actor Tom York. Enjoy.

Searching for Moonlight

WARNING: spoilers for the movie Moonlight are to follow.

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing one of 2016's best films. Moonlight tells the story, over three chapters, of Chiron. We see him first as a young black kid who is befriended by Juan, the drug dealer with a heart of gold who also, sadly, happens to be where Chiron's mother gets her crack from. Little Chiron is often bullied by his peers, and is generally an unhappy soul. Part two focuses on Chiron as a teenager, his mother still addicted to crack, the bullies still after him, but this time he is befriended by Kevin, who shows him attention and with whom he shares an intimate moment.
By far the most powerful and moving portion of Moonlight is its third chapter, where we encounter Chiron as a young man. Now wearing a set of gold teeth coverings and following in Juan's footsteps as a gun-toting drug dealer, Chiron receives a call from Kevin, who is now living out of town and working as a cook in a diner. It's…

A Night at the Museum

Yesterday I went to opening night for Krannert Art Museum. It was a nice enough affair, with a good turnout of people, catered food, a lively band playing, and lots of newer art work on display. While all of that was quite nice, I prefer the older items in the collection. Some of the Egyptian pieces in the basement were 3,000 - 4,000 years old. The paintings in the curved gallery at the north end of the museum were marvelous.
Looking at paintings from hundreds of years ago, featuring people (adults, men, women and children), going about their daily lives, was quite emotional for me. Some of the works were fairly straightforward: a nobleman posing for a rather boring rendering of himself. Others, like the one set in a darkened room from the 1600s, of a woman paying her servant while holding her baby, really stood out as the closest thing they had to a camera at that time.

Thoughts on an Election (reprise)

We're a few days past the November 8th, 2016 presidential election, and I thought I'd offer some ruminations on what happened, how people have reacted, and where we go from here. Take what follows for what you will. You can agree or disagree. That's part of what makes America great.
Donald J. Trump is President-Elect of the United States. Last month, I laid-out how this might happen. He is not who I voted for, and I do not like the man, but the fact remains he will be our president for the next four years. I do not wish him any ill, because it would be hypocritical to preach love & peace out of one side of my mouth, then wish disaster upon someone out of the other side.
Many people -- myself included -- are nervous (to put it mildly) about what a Trump presidency will mean for us. He has, on several occasions, denounced equal rights for gay people. His running-mate has done much in the state where he governs to make LGBT folks feel like second-class citizens. Trump ha…

Election Day Live-blogging

I took today off from work, had breakfast with my mom, visited with some local school board members as they stood in the rain with 'Vote Yes' signs for their referendum, and will soon be headed to the university campus as a poll-watcher. It's Election Day across these United States of America, and I couldn't be more proud of my fellow Americans who've made the decision to go out and vote.
For better or worse, I've decided to live-blog today's election, up to and including the results. The majority of the focus will be on the presidential race, but I'll also post some stuff about the local (Champaign County) elections. So, if you're up for it, feel free to follow-along with me throughout the day as I periodically update this post with news, information and observations.

Pic of the Week

In honor of the Cubs winning the World Series last night, our pic of the week is Cubs player Kris Bryant. Enjoy.

Go Cubs

I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fan. For many who know me, this is not a surprise. Of course, I'm not really into sports all that much. Watching paint dry would be preferable to watching a football game. But I root for the Fighting Illini, the St. Louis Blues, and the St. Louis Cardinals. As of right now, you can -- temporarily -- add the Chicago Cubs to that small list.
First, my familial roots in the St. Louis Cardinals. My mom and uncles have long been fans of the Cards. It seemed only natural to follow suit. Mom will tell me how, as a kid, she'd lay in bed with the radio next to her, listening to Cardinals games. Or how, in 1963, still a teenager, she traveled down to the old Sportsman's Park to watch Stan Musial play his final game. Besides, St. Louis is an overall awesome city. How could you not like a team from there?
Then there are memories, of when I was growing up in the 1980s, of mom watching classic Cardinals players like Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee playing the…