Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ad of the Month

Apparently the average white male (well, I'm assuming white) are up in arms over this Gillette ad. A commercial that just asks men to be more thoughtful; more kind; more of a role model for boys and younger men.

White Charlottesville going, non-gay cake baking, lynching guys can't have that. They'll be weak. They'll be pussies. They'll be typical.  Or worse - snowflakes.

I don't think this is as good at the Nike / Kaepernick ad, but they're not quite for the same audience, yet they both pissed off the same audience.

Typical.  White men: it's all about them.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

.....and Justice for All

Two movies in less than half a month?  Crazy.

Let's face it, we know any decent flicks are about to dry up now that it's 'award season' (still awaiting my prize from the Globe win......).

Saturday, after a snowing / perilous walk, we dropped Shep at his apartment and hightailed it to see On the Basis of Sex.

Sure it's about the Notorious RBG, but you know, her husband is played by Armie Hammer, so why not throw his image up here?

I barely remember Felicity Jones from Star Wars: Rogue One, yet here she is, playing pre-Supreme Court member, Bader Ginsberg, in what seems a horribly miscast role.

I guess Jones is fine, but that's as far as I can take it.

The movie centers on her law school and first big case life. It's a 20 year period (or so) from the mid 50s to early 70s. While I was not familiar with RBG's work pre-SCOTUS, the story here seemed way to predictable (spoiler alert:  she doesn't lose the case.)

And when I say 'predictable' I don't mean with the particulars of the case, but the set up and execution.  The taking of the case, the worse case scenarios, the stumbling in the courtroom  - until that moment when the lead realizes Chutney couldn't have been washing her hair at risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate in her perm!

Ok, it wasn't quite that, but you get the idea. It was very formulaic. ....and the end was extremely heavy-handed.

Kathy Bates, as usual, was probably the best thing in the movie. Steven Root and especially Sam Waterston were justifiably unlikeable - as they were the right-on-cue 50s-minded white males (read: predictable).  Justin Theroux was fine, but not horrible though you saw even for that time the 'liberal' white male wasn't all that liberal.

Hammer, and especially the girl who played their daughter, were possibly the best on screen. The girl would become the heart and promise of the movie - and while kind of expected, the filmmaker didn't overplay it.

The theater was well attended, opening weekend and all. Since it was a matinee, the audience was, well, elderly - present company included. Had there been a fire, we would have perished due to the walked and cane crowd. Or we could have escaped by running over folks I assume, but the fall-out from that would be horrible.

The  two folks behind us were talkers. The lights had already gone down, so we didn't see them arrive.  It's not only that they talked, it was just at weird times and well, the wrong kind of things.  A lot of "awww!", but with upward inflection that made it seem like it was an endearing moment, when it really wasn't.

It really got to the point you thought they'd say, "no girl!  do NOT go into that courtroom!" 

I am amazed by all the television advertising for this movie. It's not that great and the subject has what I would consider very limited appeal.

On the Basis of Sex isn't winning any awards. It's not a stinker, but it's not going to take home any Razzies either.



2018 Movie Count / Goal: 02 of 15


Song by: Metallica

Monday, January 14, 2019

My Music Monday

I totally forgot - new year; new My Music Monday logo. I went back where it all started for me:  AM radio.

I know AM still exists, but for the life of me, I can't tell you the last decade I tuned in.

This change made me think of some of the songs I'd hear on those airwaves, but no worries, I'm not doing an AM radio theme.......yet.

I don't have a theme. Sometimes I think they help me select songs, sometimes they are a hindrance. So, we are still in random phase.

I've used a number of Annie Lennox or Eurythmic's songs over the past years, and I'm sure there will be a few more here and there. Today I'm going with their last album, 1999's Peace, and their first single from it, "I Saved the World Today".

Peace was totally overlooked as an album, and while not stellar, it deserved more.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 106th 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik and myself - that I know of.....as it's the only blog post he's still doing......for now.  

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

05:21.  Sadly the time I got out of bed, as Shep demanded.  
More sadly, I'd been up since 03:30, when Shep decided to come to bed after sleeping downstairs. 

06:00.  Return from freeeeeezing a.m. dog walk. 

08:18.  Prepping b'fast. 
Shep and I dozed on the couch after his walk. So a late morning meal for me.

10:47.  Blogging. 
I'd like to say these posts magically happen, but they don't.  They're work. 

12:30.  Lunch.  Tuna.  Made by me. 

13:30.  What to wear?  What to wear?
Planning on taking Shep out, but it be cold. 

14:00.  The more you know. 

14:30.  Winter hike.  
The wooded paths were all ice. Very very treacherous, but I didn't fall. Barely. 

16:00.  Off to the movies. 
None of the ones listed on this side of the marquee. 

18:30.  Bibibop (Asian chipotle) for dinner. Never been.  It wasn't bad at all. 

18:45.  Changing outfits again.  Fuzzy dog pants. 

20:15.  Dessert.  


There you have it. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Angel

I know Sophie has her fans out there.  So this week is a good one for you.

Sophie isn't at all subtle. She's an in-your-face kind of girl. 

Dinner?  Did you say "dinner"?

Henry & Co. 
Henry likes to put my arm in his mouth - so I let him. 

Most mornings - Soph gets my leftover cereal milk.

Shep isn't a cuddler with me per se. He is with 710, so extra special when last week he crawled on me for bunches of snuggies. 

Pic of the Week.  
She's kind of an angel. 



Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Friday, January 11, 2019

Borderline



The kind of fencing I want to see at the border.



Song by: Madonna

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Dictator

For the record: I did not watch BLOTUS' televised whatever-it-was the other night. It was never going to happen. Nor did I read about it later, or the Democrats response. 

This entire government strike shutdown is just too much.

BLOTUS' assertion that he can and might keep the government shut down for months or YEARS isn't as preposterous as it sounds.

First off - let's talk the economic impact. We're not just talking the 300,000 or so workers who have zero income coming in - and not working.  There's also the 500,000 or so who are working and not getting any pay.

For months or years - how is this sustainable without plummeting the U.S. into a very decrepit state? 

Unless of course, that is the plan.

All we need is one Harvey or Katrina to push that far past the brink - and yes, hurricane season is upon us.

But this shutdown isn't just about the government workers - all the areas that are supported by those folks, including places to eat, etc are in peril as well.

The other day, I got a text from my friend Jeremy, who said it took him 3+ hours to get back into "the country" when he flew from Mexico to Atlanta. He was "in" Atlanta, but with less and less TSA support, it was three hours to process him through customs.

And exactly how are the military folks being paid? Or are they? And if so, for how long?  Or is the plan only to pay THEM, to keep you under their thumb?

Here is why shutting down the government for an extended period of time isn't preposterous:

If one was planning, plotting and scheming to truly fully take over, why not cripple the infrastructure: roads, air, rail, military, emergency services?  Why not only pay the military so they "keep the peace" at your directive?  Why not surround yourself with some of the worst people in the world who are happy to spew propaganda - and yes, I'm looking at you Fuckabee-Sanders.

I've said before that I don't believe that BLOTUS will leave the White House voluntarily even if voted out. But with a government shut down - who exactly is administering the 2020 election?  The DOJ?  Fuck, they're not even removing easily validated false claims about 4,000 terrorists arrested at the Mexican border (honestly, do we believe that our jails would be wall to wall Hispanics? Where would BLOUTS but the other people of colour??) out of their records.

Yes, I get this sounds maniacal, and I sound like a raving loon, but............what if I'm not?

It is not like we have not seen this coming - albeit, it is at a faster pace than even I would imagine, but now he's under a 2020 deadline.




Song by: the Clash

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

the Show Must Go On

Before we get into 2019 movie going, let's wrap up 2018's films, shall we?

I wasn't that jazz'd by (m)any. We hit 19 (20 for 710).  Call Me By Your Name probably tops the list with Isle of Dogs being a close second. the Cakemaker was third.

We saw more documentary films than ever before in a theater and loved/hated Three Identical Strangers.

I was disappointed with the Incredibles 2 - but maybe other viewings will change that.

Raybeard's movies and mine did not overlap this year. Some I believe had to do with release dates between here and the UK - and a number to which we never got (KkKlansman, Boy Erased, the Miseducation of Cameron Post, Deadpool 2 (whom my friend, Arnie says is better than the original), and a Wrinkle in Time (I kid. Neither I, or apparently anyone else, wanted to see that!)).

We beat our 2018 goal of 12. For this year, I increased it to 15, trying not overstretch as I did two years ago.
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One movie in 2018 we did not see until this last Saturday (yes, I'm behind in posting), was Bohemian Rhapsody.

The last My Music Monday post wasn't an accident, ya know.

I wanted to see it more than 710, but he agreed to accompany me. It was only still playing at two theater's in town and for one showing per day. I honestly thought we'd be the ONLY people in the theater as I assumed anyone who wanted to see this already had - how wrong I was. The place had a very decent sized crowd for a movie that has been out of 2+ months.

We were almost the youngest!  I was so surprised to see the 70 (and older?) set there. But you know, Queen released their first album 46 years ago too. These folks could have been in their 20s then. Of course, I'm still in denial that radio plays 80s music on "oldies" channels.

When the film first came out, Morty mention it was good, even though it had some historical inaccuracies. And he was right - on both counts. The movie is good, even if the songs aren't always chronologically correct.  Maybe others wouldn't notice that kind of thing - but Morty and I are not "others" when it comes to music and release dates.

Rami Malek did a fine - if not an eerie - job as Freddie Mercury. As you'd expect, he carries the movie. Some of the mannerisms were just creepy - down to the way he held his mouth and smoked. I kept invoking every parent ever thinking, "your face is going to freeze that way".

It's not an end-all / be-all movie, but it can't possibly be. It's more than little sanitized - and not just about Mercury's sexuality (though that is way cleaned-up too).  While I like(d) Queen, it is doubtful a band can be on such an agreeable level about so many thing so much of the time.  Still, you're not going to please everyone.

I get that Mike Myers, as a record exec, is a nod to his re-re-re-introducing the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" to the U.S. market with the movie Wayne's World. Still.........I wasn't impressed.  And I had to endure MTV playing "Bohemian Rhapsody" for an entire summer, every 7th song. That actually made me loathe the song for two decades.

I thought Tom Branson Allen Leech did a better job being the creepy assistant agent. Honestly, he bared no resemblance to the guy you see on Downton Abbey.

There are allusions to Mercury's sexual proclivities, but nothing overt. The wearing of the silk robes is more disturbing than guy-on-guy action.

Malek does - and doesn't do - his own singing. As you'd expect, it's lip-synched from recorded music, but only some of the vocals are his and some are from someone else, then blended together. Still Mercury looms large...and how could he not.

While I always liked the music of Queen, it was nice to have another glimpse into that those tunes. I laughed and laughed at references to Roger Taylor's "I'm in Love With My Car", because my 12 year old reaction was the same one the band had when deciding to record or add the song to the 1975 album, Night at the Opera. 

Still to hear songs like "Don't Stop Me Now", "Who Wants to Live Forever?"  and "Hammer to Fall" was great.

I was hoping for more of a Purple Rain moment. The story was going to be the story, but I wanted incredible live performance shots. Those only truly came at the Live Aid event.

I liked the movie a lot and more importantly, 710 who was on the fence, was glad we went.




2018 Movie Count / Goal: 01 of 15


Song by: Queen

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

You Better You Bet

I won.

I mean, why bury the lead?

I wish I could feel better about said win. Don't get me wrong, I do not feel bad about it, I mean, I'm winner !!!!

This Globes match-up is the most Mike and I have ever differed on our choices. Usually, it comes down to 3-4 categories.  This time it was 14 (!), which is also his humour level age......and I'm being generous.

But we (actually, the HFPA) were way off on their selections. Our opinion, obvi. I suppose it could have been us, but.......ehhhhh.....that would admit defeat. So it still came down to the last two categories, which annoyed me.

As Mike and I picked some of the same bigger items, as we neared the end, I figured the worst I could do it tie.  ...and I could live with that.

We both decide the hosts left a lot to be desired......though Mike likes Sandra Oh for some reason. I think he thinks she's Lucy Liu.....which of course makes his choices even more odd.  But we did chat through the telecast, some about the hosts.   (I'm in blue.)



Mike said we should the ones to host it. I think he's right, actually. I mean, we couldn't get any less laughs than Sandberg and Oh giving out flu shots - could we?  Apparently, the hosts were already inoculated for 'humour'.

Christian Bale had more humour thanking Satan for the inspiration to play Dick Cheney.

Our back and forth was good, but we've done better. We didn't have great material with which to work, though Mike certainly tried to jab me.  And he called me - correctly - on wanting to beg off early and go to bed:  "This is the time u start whining".  It's true - the man knows me, and he's not even Prince.


But the Golden Globes is just the warm up, though I'm save that judgment after the Oscar nominations are released. We might not have some of these choices.

As for the results, I post them as so Mike does not thinking I'm cheating, though I did audit them twice.

I couldn't bring myself to write 'Mike wins' next to his categories, so I kept it about me - as it should be.

Best Motion Picture – Drama (neither of us)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (neither of us)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (me)
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (neither of us)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (me!)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (both of us)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture (me me me!)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture (neither of us)
Best Motion Picture – Animated (not me)
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language (both of us)
Best Director - Motion Picture (both of us)
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (neither of us)
Best Original Score – Motion Picture (neither of us)
Best Original Song – Motion Picture (both of us)
Best Television Series – Drama (neither of us)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama (not me)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – (neither of us)
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy (neither of us)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (me me me)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (not me)
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (neither of us)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (neither of us)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (neither of us)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (me me me)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (neither of us)


I will give credit where credit is due:  Mike congratulated me and we both went to bed. Well, I did. I'm assuming he did. I didn't gloat - which is a lesson he could learn. But until then, I'll just thank him for participating in the contest he goaded me into asking him to participate in.

I eagerly await my..............ummmm............hey!   I don't know what I await, if anything.

If nothing else, my prize could be just be my title image.



Song by: the Who

Monday, January 07, 2019

My Music Monday

Today I'm going with Queen's "the Show Must Go On" - the final track from their final album, Innuendo.

The album / song would be released about 8 months before Freddie Mercury died.

I know people will say that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the pinnacle of Queen. I would soundly disagree. Their catalog is vast and diverse with lots of great choices, but I think this song - more than symbolically - really speaks to the band overall.

The bulk of the song was written by guitarist, Brian May, but it stemmed from the band's rhythm section - Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

As Mercury was in his final run of life - I find the strength of the vocals on this song to be  just amazing.

"Show" was eventually released as a single, only weeks before Mercury's death. As such, there was no original video. Below is the official video, but they are just clips taking from concerts and older video footage.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Golden

So, Friday afternoon, I getz a text from Mike. You all know Mike, even if you don't "know" Mike.  You know OF Mike. It's probably best for all of you that's the way it remains.

He wondered - he did - if I got lost in the holidays, as I had not asked him to participate in a Golden Globes contest.

Silly me. I didn't initiate. As is the social convention, a lady likes to be wooed and asked. So I asked. She He accepted.

All was good.  Until I looked at the categories and nominees.


F.U.C.K.




I'm in blue - with the two typos. I'm sure you're all fluent in autocorrect.

But I am right - 'anything goes' at the Globes. I have no idea what I'm doing. My only consolation is: neither does Mike. Not only in general, but specifically to this.

Since he got to me to ask him at the last moment, I had no prep post, so we are just going in with the nominations and the choices - and hopefully some witticisms.


Best Motion Picture – Drama “Black Panther” “BlacKkKlansman” “Bohemian Rhapsody” “If Beale Street Could Talk” “A Star Is Born”

710 saw one more movie than I in 2018. This was it. He knew he had no chance of getting me to go. I encouraged him to go without me.  He claims I'd like half of it. He didn't elaborate. I didn't ask.  KkKlansman probably deserves it more, but.......it didn't have Gaga in it. Lucky them. 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Glenn Close (“The Wife”) Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”) Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”) Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)

I didn't see it. I have no plans nor desire to see it, but the HFPA gave Madonna a globe for Evita, so anything is possible.  Sorry Glenn - you're a loser.......again. 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”) Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”) Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”) Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Guessing here. Well, guessing everywhere. 

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” “The Favourite” “Green Book” “Mary Poppins Returns” “Vice”

Not wild about the choices. It will probably go to Poppins, but the question would be 'why'?

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”) Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”) Charlize Theron (“Tully”) Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)

Coleman was the best thing about the movie. 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Christian Bale (“Vice”) Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”) Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”) Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”) John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)

Bale was amazing, in such an unlikeable role.  Reilly & Redford were in movies no one saw, except maybe the HFPA.  

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture Amy Adams (“Vice”) Claire Foy (“First Man”) Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) Emma Stone (“The Favourite”) Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)

Weisz and Stone will cancel each other out, though I think Weisz should win. But I like King in general. And honestly, I don't want Adams to win. 

 Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”) Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”) Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)

It might go to Ali; but Grant might walk away with this, regardless of what I thought. 

Best Motion Picture – Animated “Incredibles 2” “Isle of Dogs” “Mirai” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

I believe this was my favourite movie of 2018. I wanted to like the Incredibles more, but Isle of Dogs wins out. 

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language “Capernaum” “Girl” “Never Look Away” “Roma” “Shoplifters”

Roma is on our shortlist to see, and the only other one I've heard of is Shoplifters

Best Director – Motion Picture Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”) Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”) Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”) Adam McKay (“Vice”)

Haven't seen Roma.......yet. But by all accounts it's Cuaron's crowning achievement - as if he can do better than Prisoner of Azakban!

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”) Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) Adam McKay (“Vice”) Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie (“Green Book”)

It's a talky movie - and they use the C word, which they won't be able to show in the clips. 

Best Original Score – Motion Picture Marco Beltrami (“A Quiet Place”) Alexandre Desplat (“Isle of Dogs”) Ludwig Göransson (“Black Panther”) Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”) Marc Shaiman (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

Why does a Quiet Place even have a score. I mean, "ssshhhhh".  People love schlock, so give it to Shaiman, I suppose. 

Best Original Song – Motion Picture “All the Stars” (“Black Panther”) “Girl in the Movies” (“Dumplin’”) “Requiem For a Private War” (“A Private War”) “Revelation’ (“Boy Erased”) “Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”)

I'd like it to be Annie Lennox ("Requiem), but everyone raves about a Star is Born. Meh.  

 Best Television Series – Drama “The Americans” “Bodyguard” “Homecoming” “Killing Eve” “Pose”

It sounds like a horrible premise. I'd never watch it, so of course it will win. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”) Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”) Keri Russell (“The Americans”)

Ooooh. Julia stoops to do TV, let's give it to her. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) Stephan James (“Homecoming”) Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”) Billy Porter (“Pose”) Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)

Ummmmmm......I dunno. 

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy “Barry” (HBO) “The Good Place” (NBC) “Kidding” (Showtime) “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Because the category is 'best'. And it was. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”) Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”) Alison Brie (“Glow”) Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”)

Bergen and Messing's shows are horribly acted - and worse, not funny. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Sacha Baron Cohen (“Who Is America?”) Jim Carrey (“Kidding”) Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) Bill Hader (“Barry”)

Glover probably deserves it. 

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television “The Alienist” (TNT) “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX) “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime) “Sharp Objects” (HBO) “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon)

It's gay. It's British. 

 Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”) Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”) Connie Britton (“Dirty John”) Laura Dern (“The Tale”) Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)

King won't win for the movie nom, but possibly the TV one. Never even heard of the shows that Arquette and Dern were in. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”) Daniel Bruhl (“The Alienist”) Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”)

Sure. Why not?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television  Alex  Borstien ("The Marvelous Mr.s. Maisel") Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”) Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

What is undoubtedly the longest named category, I hope Clarkson wins for anything she does. It might be Borstein, but it might not. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”) Kieran Culkin (“Succession”) Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”) Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

For get being the Fonz; Winkler was both Dr. Saperstein and Barry Zuckercorn. 



Mike and I didn't discuss a prize. As he has a new puppy - I'm guessing it might be something pet related. I'm just tossing it out there as an idea.

The big win is in the live "chatting" we'll be doing during the show. I'm sure he'll rip on me, while I take the high road. Of course, here's hoping Ollie poops in his shoes if he hurts my feelings.



Song by: Fall Out Boy

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Walk the Dinosaur

First porn of 2019 - of the canine and feline kind anyways. It is semi-holiday driven, semi-not. You get what you get. I get what they give me. Sophie wasn't in much of a posing mood this week. Sorry you cat folks.

He's actually standing on me. But it's a great pic, if I say so myself. 

For xmas, I was very proud of myself that I found a replacement for his best toy - the dinosaur. I laughed and laughed and laughed when I opened the box. 

....and then he opened the box. 

Left: original dinosaur.  Right: the mac daddy. 
He still likes the little one. And yes, it's dirty and I cannot wash those stains out. 

She might not want her picture taken, but I found her. 

A walk to the natural history museum (where they have the real Balto), Shep happened upon a stegosaurus.  He didn't know what to think. 

....and it's also where we found out he was the center of the universe.  (as if we didn't already suspect)

I love him facing the wind. Ready for take-off. 
In actuality, he's probably smelling things from three counties away. 



Song by: Was Not Was

Friday, January 04, 2019

Build that Wall

I am avoiding as much news as possible.  Even if I weren't so much of it is rehash.  Nothing new under the sun.

While I feel for the workers not getting paid, I'm ok with the Dems holding out for the long haul. At some point, someone has to lose - let it be BLOTUS.

I'm not even ok with the negotiating down to an "acceptable" amount.  The number should be $0.

Whether true or not, I "heard" that the IRS cannot process refunds due to the shutdown. Huh? Just refunds? I would think there wouldn't and shouldn't be anyone to process tax filings.  And tick tock - April 15th is just around the corner. I'm thinking these BLOTUS supporters would be furious if they don't get their refund - but then I realized that his rich followers probably don't pay taxes, and his common folk followers don't have income, so......maybe it's not that big of deal for them.

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Nancy Pelosi ?   Meh - who the fuck cares?  I never thought she was all that during her last go-round. I certainly think she brings nothing new to the table. And while no one can do worse than Paul Ryan, I'm not even sure Pelosi can unify the house democrats, let alone sway the republicans.

When it comes to the House, it's still business as usual. Or at least business as usual 2007-11. I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but now she'd have to prove it.

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Elizabeth Warren ?  Double Meh.    

Save your PAC funds. Save your PAC. You're not getting the nomination, let alone the win. I've thrown this out here before, but Warren is nothing but talk. Everyone thinks she such a straight shooter and she really is not. She'll kind of ask pointed questions and then usually misses the mark on all the follow-ups. And I see zero legislation that she's winning or leading. I'm all for a female president, but not her. 

...and I'm sorry, but that Native American DNA stunt was just lame. 

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BLOTUS changing the narrative on "essentially firing" General Mattis........the guy who wrote a very public resignation letter. One that BLOTUS didn't even read......allegedly. He praised Mattis.....at first. Then one of his peeps, said the resignation wasn't a glowing reflection of the man or his administration. 

Yes, news picked up the story for a nano-second. Here is why it's important. It's one of the 1000 lies he's told - right along with the military raises. People are believing this plate of horse shit he's feeding them. It's not enough to tell people in a 23 second Lester Holt blip that this happened - show BLOTUS saying it and cut to the letter itself.  CALL. HIM. OUT. on it. All of it.  Continually. 

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....and look. It only took to day 4 of the year (or day 14 of the shut down).  I've shown remarkable restraint.....if I say so myself. 



Song by: Aimee Mann

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Forgive Me

Our final movie for 2018 turned out to be Can You Ever Forgive Me?.

This is a film we saw previews for a year ago! It took 11 more months for it to be released. I'd say I wondered if it would ever come out, but in reality forgot it existed.

As it was, the movie was playing at one theater, and at one showing per day. I'm surprised it lasted long enough for us to get to it.  Oddly enough, there wasn't a seat to be had in the house.

My first thought was: Melissa McCarthy in a dramatic-like role = Oscar baiting.  I believe this is why the delay in release - closer to award season time.

It's not quite as bad as the grab Steve Carell is trying in a Robert Zemekis film (i.e. bomb), but it seemed evident.

Also, McCarthy wasn't the first choice for the lead. Julianne Moore dropped out and was replaced.

That said, McCarthy does fine in this role. There is enough straight acting with enough light heartedness that it plays in her wheelhouse.

Richard Grant - well, he seems to play Richard Grant. He's the same somewhat affected neer-do-well guy he was in L.A. Story - Downton Abby - Girls - Gosford Park (shall I keep going?).  Though this time, he's gay!  Oh.............wait............  Yeah. He plays Richard Grant.

The story is based on Lee Israel and her true tale of trying to make ends meet scheme.

The premise was interesting and the extent of her activities are barely touched upon here, but it is fairly well executed in writing and directing.

The acting is good. There are no surprises from Grant or McCarthy, for that matter, and it's always nice to see Jane Curtain in something.

If McCarthy gets an Oscar nod, it will be for genre changing, not ability.  She is good, for sure, but it's not a groundbreaking performance just because you juxtapose a previous role of having her taking a dump in a sink.

While l liked the Can You Ever Forgive Me?, I don't think you need to rush out to see it. Netflix or HBO will suffice.



2018 Movie Count / Goal: 19 of 12


Song by:  the Mavericks

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Evil

Bet you thought I was done with my 2018 movies.  WRONG.  

After tomorrow, we'll be done. 
----------------------------------------------

Let's start off here, shall we?

We can talk about the crapfest that is the BLOTUS administration.  ...and it is.

But due to this current situation, people seem to have selective recall when it comes to Shrub & Co.  People seem to think that Shrub is no longer the worst president in history - and that might be the case.

Shrub, let's face it - was / is stupid.  BLOTUS isn't completely stupid, just manipulative and evil. There is a stupid element there, but not like Shrub.

If you're looking for a face of pure evil, look no further than Dick Cheney.  And yes, we saw Vice as our last second to last movie of 2018.

I kind of "made" 710 go. It wasn't on his short list. It was on mine, but for the life of me I'm not 100% sure why.  I liked the Big Short enough - though I didn't love it.  Vice had some of the same players (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and writer / director Adam McKay).

Vice had a similar style to the Big Short too - a way of incorporating breaking fourth walls to explain things to the audience - some funny, some not as much (for the record, Alfred Molina has an excellent scene!)

Vice also has the same problem as the Big Short. Painful subjects that apparently are not far enough back in history to not have your skin crawl at having to relive it all. We weren't far in when I was just uncomfortable: at the situation and the characters.

Bale does an incredible job - in looks, mannerisms and voice. He is just as understated horrific as the man himself, but I suppose that's the point. And it is why I was so uncomfortable.

Carell - he did an ok job as Rumsfeld in the later years, but came too close to being a slightly more vile Michael Scott in the early ones.

Amy Adams - anyone who's read any of my movie reviews of which she's apart knows she underwhelms me. I won't go as far as to say she's great here, but better than I've seen her in the past and shows a little range (and yes, spare me the Junebug comments).  Of course here she plays a completely unlikeable character. One in which you forget how someone has to just as soul, heart, and moral-less,  to be married to Dick.

Hell, McKay is a little heavy-handed (in a good way) with the Cheney's doing a MacBeth-like scene.

One does tend to forget the evil other players - Scooter Libby, anyone?  John Yoo?  Scalia?  Ashcroft?  Wolfowitz?  Rove?  Though they shouldn't.

Part of me thinks they're hoping people forget about them until a film like this comes out. Then hopefully, they're like "oh shit!"

There is a great tea-cup analogy that at first pass is just ok, but as they tie it back later, it's powerful yet depressing as fuck.  And yes, McKay more than calls out the "liberal bias" though that in itself is tied back to facts.   ....and yes, they put the spin on how 'facts' work today.

While I can see why Vice is movie to skip, on another hand, it shouldn't be.  There are harsh realities we should probably keep on the periphery, and make sure they don't go away - unless those fuckers are tried for war crimes.

Oh - and for the love of g-d, can someone stop trying to make Tyler Perry happen as a "real actor"?  He's like the word 'fetch'.  It's NOT going to happen.



2018 Movie Count / Goal: 18 of 12



Song by: Steve Miller Band

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Another Year

2018: another year on the books.  Good riddance.

Honestly, save BLOTUS, it wasn't the worst of years. Unfortunately, avec BLOTUS, it ranks right up there. He has just made life so unpleasant on so many levels.

2018 is without a doubt the year of travel. We've never taken so much time off:  DC, North Carolina (where we got to see family) and Europe (where we got to see Brett). And I still barely put a dent in my vacation time. But all were great trips. I'm not even sure we had any bad travel days.

I'm hoping 2018 was the last year of surgery and / or physical therapy for a while, and that my mother gets and stays in better health. I know that last one is a wish - as she's 90. I know the score.

And of course, we'll break it down my the previous years numbers - such as they are - as I do every January 1st.

  • Number of posts: 396. Remember, I have Pic a Day in May (plus my regular posts). 
  • Number of unique page views: 128,347  down a total of 11,460 views from 2017.  Ouch!  Where's the love, people??
  • Month w most page views: January 2018 with 19,047. 
  • Number of comments: 1,024. That is a 7.3% increase over last year. Sure, they're probably mostly about Shep and Sophie, but I'll take it. 
  • Top post for 2018: I'm beginning to think you only come here for Shep / Sophie pictures. 4 of the 5 are pet related. Oddly enough, the most viewed post is not. 
  • My top post of all times is still a 2010 post on Camel Toe which now has  132,082.  Last year was 132,046 views, which is odd, because the year that it was 132,465 (!!!) views. See why I said "such as they are" in the intro regarding these "stats".
  • Top Five Referring Sources (in order that is non-search engine related) oddly have not changed at all in the last two years - even the order.:  I Should be Laughingthe Closet Professor (moving up a space) Doing Time in Shaker HeightsBosGuy and Sean at Just a Jeep Guy - which is pretty good since Sean seems to have dropped off the blogging world and possibly the Earth itself. (does anyone know what happened to him and if he's alright?)  Congrats to all. 
  • Viewing Audience Top Five Countries (in order) remain the same as last year, as they have the best bots to try to place ads in my comments (I'm guessing): U.S., Russia (seems that Vlad is spying on my BLOTUS rants), France, Germany, and the Ukraine. 

As 2019 goes, no set plans. I'd like to visit new countries.  I mean there are 190 to which I have not yet ventured......though safe to say that Lesotho and Burkina Faso are probably not on the short list.  And I believe, while not pain free, I might have to rejoin the gym and see what I can do to shed 10-15 lbs.....and to tighten some things up - and we're not just talkin' keggles.

I have resolved - yes, I know I don't do those - to try not to start so many sentences with the word 'no'. I hadn't realized how much I do it until a loving husband brought it to my attention. He might not even notice the word goes away, but that's ok too. 

Anyways - I hope you all had a decent 2018, and here's to having a great 2019!




Song by: Lori Carson

Monday, December 31, 2018

A Year in Music - 2018

2018 was not a stellar year for released music. I am not sure I have ever purchased such little music in my adulthood during a 12 month span.

For sure, there was some good music out there, but to the point of purchase, nothing I had to plunk down dollars for. Also, when I got my new car in May, when the 3 month Sirius subscription ran out, I was too lazy to renew, so my exposure to some music disappeared.

So, I'll do my annual best of albums / songs.  The list is shorter than most years, but you can blame the content providers more than you can myself.

Albums

I only really have three I can recommend. None float to the top as THE #1.

Neil Finn's disk, Out of Silence, is most devoid of guitars and drums. They are simple arrangements for complex songs with a choir background. All songs recorded live over four Fridays, streamed on Facebook while it happened. 

On paper, Rosanne Cash's She Remembers Everything would have been my top disk. I'm not sure if it is or isn't. It has some great work, but some stuff that sounds rehashed. When you put out an album every five years, you should want for more.  Still Cash is in good vocals and the good stuff does shine. 

Mark Knopfler quietly released an album in November with Down the Road Wherever.  There isn't anything drastically different in his music, but it's always well done and comforting.



Songs


I am TOTALLY obsessed with Rosanne Cash's "the Only Thing Worth Fighting For".  When it comes through on rotation, I easily hit 'back' 4-5 more times.  Originally released by Lera Lynn for HBO's True Detective 2 (and co-written by Cash, Lynn and T-Bone Burnette), Cash presents a more commercial, appealing and addicting version (my opinion, of course).



You saw me feature White's song a few months back on a My Music Monday segment. It really battles for first place with Cash.  I was hoping for a full disk from him by year's end, but you know.....tick tick tick........one day left.


Released right at the top of the year, Finn's album got lost for many, not that it was ever going to be a huge seller. I've grown to love "Chameleon Days" even with Finn's falsetto vocal, especially with the balance of the choir vocals (think mid-60s adult contemporary / Ray Coniff stuff) works extremely well.


Van Morrison is man who just doesn't stop. Just a few weeks ago, he dropped this 40th (!!!!) album of original music in 51 years with, the Prophet Speaks.  I have not reviewed it yet, as I have not taken it all in. So far, all sign are positive in listening experience.  There's a lot to like on it, but so far I've gravitated to "Ain't Gonna Moan No More".


I am hoping 2019 has a little more to offer in the way of interest for me.

I was without XM radio for a while and kind of didn't miss it, until 710 played terrestrial radio. OMFG - so so so bad. Just one song that was worse than the last.   But srsly, when I reinstated XM, the first song up was Portugal the Man's, "Feel it Still".  As if the first 22,108.873* times weren't enough.  Ironically, the song was on Alt-Nation, which would have fit at one point, but hardly alternative at this one.

I never wanted to be that guy who never progressed musically and only listened to things that were released up until a certain time, but I'm tellin' ya, these 'artists' are not making it easy.


*I rounded way way down. YouTube hits alone are almost - get this - 200 MILLION (!!!)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Year in Pictures - 2018

One more trip around the sun - assuming that the U.S. voting public still believes we are heliocentric - documented in pictures.

As is the case, I attempt to use photos I have not posted. You might have seen similar ones, but not these (except the one of Spo and myself). And some come from my Instagram account, and those are usually devoid of people and dogs.

This entry, in no way, captures the entire year, just 1-4 glimpses per month. But it's all I got.

January 2018 - Meredith's surprise 50th
Ditto caught me in a laugh due to Sam (avec cap) making a joke at my expense. 

January 2018 - cross country tracks at the polo fields. 
Instagram pic. No filter. 

January 2018 - Surgery day. 


February 2018 - Post surgery on my busted hand. 

March 2018 - Bonding
...with Georty's grandchild.  Yes, you read that all correctly. 

March 2018 - March for Our Lives

March 2018 - Asserting my 1st Amendment right.

March 2018 - Renwick Gallery in DC
Before I Die...... exhibit.  Patron participation encouraged. (click to embiggen)

April 2018 - a turbulent day on Lake Erie. 
Instagram account. 

April 2018 - 05:00 dog walk and moon-cloud scape.
Instagram account. 

May 2018 - Fairport Harbour. 
The skies would open up before we made it back to the car

May 2018 - Shep & Mom
Friends forever......even if the treats run out. 

June 2018 - 100th Birthday
Aunt Marge, my 2nd cousin Ted and the birthday boy, Clete

July 2018 - Kusama
Another portal into her artwork. This one you peered into, but there was no actual room. 

July 2018 - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Walking the beach with 710 and my sister-in-law

August 2018 - Shep conquering Dad #2. He conquered me day 1. 


September 2018 - Welcome Siggie!!!!

September 2018 - Pastoral view on dog walk. 
Instagram account

October 2018 - a brief visit with Dr. Spo

October 2018 - Storm Approaching. 
Instagram account. 

October 2018 - Doug & I. 
I was in Chicago for a conference and met up twice with my dear, long-time friend, Doug. 

November 2018 - drinks (and apparently condemnation) with the former "other" Brett.  London. 

November 2018 - the Eye from (near) Downing St. 

November 2018 - Strangers on a Train

Possibly my favourite picture from our Europe trip. 

Couple across from us on the EuroStar.  I accidentally kicked her Pret a Manger bag which was on the floor and she said, "don't worry about it", after my apology.  Which is four more words than she said to her husband the entire ride. 

Naturally, I back-storied it all:  This trip to Paris was their last grasp at their marriage. But look - she's totally dead behind the eyes. He was more handsome than the pic suggested, so naturally he was having multiple affairs.  And she knew it.  This trip would not save their union. 

(p.s. I had a lot of time on the 2h:24m ride)

November 2018 - Paris. 
The required tour Eiffel shot. 

December 2018 - Petey remembrance

December 2018 - Irony? Sarcasm? 
Unfortunately, I don't think it was either. I think there was an actual Jewish BLOTUS supporter at a Chinese restaurant we went to on xmas night. 


No doubt more images in 2019.