Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!    

It was almost 11 months from the release of "Panopticon", the first new work in 21 years from Peter Gabriel, and the actual release of his album i/o. (I'd link you to his website, but the it seems to be down.)

Normal cycle is usually 6-8 weeks from first "single" release to the full album. Gabriel even completed a world tour to promote the album before the it was even released in December 2023. 

Honest to g-d, I had forgotten about i/o completely, and if there was any promotion for the disk, it was completely under the radar. I'm not 100% sure the disk even charted anywhere. 

Normally, this behaviour would be a record company trying to bury a bad album.'s Gabriel. Even his worst material isn't bad. Allegedly, he's been working on this disk for the last 20 years. It might be closer to him tweaking it to death than anything else. 

Perfection is the enemy of good. 

To add to this: there are three versions of i/o (of which I know):  The Bright Side. The Dark Side. The In Side. All have the same 12 songs, just different mixes. It's a good way for you to part with your $$$. 

For the record, I'm reviewing the Bright Side mix. I sampled the Dark Side - and honestly there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference, but I didn't delve into it either. 

"Olive Tree" works well, until it doesn't. It starts off so great, and then the horns (or the synth made horns?) take over the song - more so than they should or needed. "Playing for Time" is eerily like a Randy Newman song from any Toy Story movie - in voice and style. It's not bad, but, it's not for me. 

There are stand-outs, of course, "Panopticon", "the Court", "Love Can Heal" and "Four Kinds of Horses".

Those looking for "Sledgehammers" or "Big Time" need to look elsewhere. There is much more in common with his first four solo disks than that, though it does infuse a bit of So

Sonically, the recording is excellent. But when you tinker with is so much, it will either be great or horrible, with no in between. Allegedly at least one song has between 120-150 tracks that had to be mixed together. Even with the gadgetry, most of the songs are understated and very calm. 

I like i/o a lot. I'm not over the moon about most of it. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Ad of the Month

Yes, usually I have a video for these. Not today. 

Now and then I forget a good ad doesn't necessarily come in video form. Sometimes print or billboard media is still effective. 

But it made me laugh. 

It seemed like it could be fake, but with some digging - not a lot - it seems to be legit. 

I'm sure some moms with liberty like group would have a coronary should they ever actually see it - on the way to their three-way. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

My Music Monday

I like the group Wilco.   

They've been around for three decades with pretty steady output the entire time, though 2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is probably inarugably their most critically lauded disk of their career. 

They put out a new disk at the end of last year, and I keep happening upon what I think was the first release from that album called "Evicted".

Close to the opening, right before the lyrics start and even the first line or three, the music closely resembles "Raspberry Beret" by Prince and the Revolution. 

It is a little quirky in terms of cadence, but such is Wilco. It keeps my attention. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Going Out Tonight

Two beers. 

In a day!

Let me semi start out with, I have not given up drinking, but I've kind of given up drinking. Not consciously. 

It might be all the running. But since the Columbus Marathon, I've had eight drinks. Total. Last evening, I had two beers. The last time I had two drinks was the day of the marathon - to be clear after the run. 

As for these two beers? My first alcohol of 2024. 

The occasion? My new running group, which is seemingly quite social, held their annual banquet last a bar. Two drink tickets were provided by them, and I used them, though I wasn't sure I was going to. 

There was dinner, dessert, the bar (obvi) and awards. All were fine and socializing was good too. 

I will admit, I snuck out during a slideshow. At first it was of this couple who ran the Berlin Marathon last September - which was fine, since you know: running group. Then they traveled Europe and we had to watch their vacation photos. 


I barely want to see my own. So I Sammy Jo'd my second beer and snuck out. I'm hoping no one noticed, but it'll be a week before I see most of them. Some I'll see this morning for the Sumday a.m rum, for which few people turn out. I think I did it deftly. Some might be envious I had the courage to take the leap. 

A woman I sat with was very adept in her convo skills:  "so, your 'significant other' didn't want to sit here tonight listening about running??".   Good for her for making assumptions but not jumping to them. But I responded, "no. no he did not".

Honestly, I don't go out much anymore for just about anything, so it was kind of nice. The food was fair at best, but that's kind of to be expected. I kind of expected the beer to hit me more than it did, but that is good, since I drove. 

I guess I'm feeling a little better than the day before. 

Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Saturday, January 27, 2024


Yay - Saturday.  Dogs.  Cats. 

I've still been a it laid-up with my malady from almost a week ago. On the positive note, I've surpassed my goal weight, so far by 4 lbs. Maybe more. Honestly, it's not how I wanted to drop the pounds. I've only gotten to run once since last Saturday, and that didn't last long,  

As g-d is my witness, I'm going to try to put 6 miles in this morning. 

Ken-ough about that,  Shep and Simon coming your way. 

I'd like to say Simon is jumping up to get the latch - and he is. 
However, he does this in all doorway corners, should there be a latch or not.  He's weird. 

A hike we had a BMX track next to it. No one there, so Shep traversed it. 
....and yes, like many of the bikers, he went right off the side. 

He's quick. It's just a matter of time before no one noticing him going into a cabinet and closing him in. 

A respectful distance. 

You Shall Not Pass. 
.....I did though. 

Pup Cup. 

If it's cold out during our hikes, 710 and I might get something warm on the way home. If so, Shep gets a Puppachino. Last time they asked where he was and for next time to bring him into the store. 

I don't think they know what they're doing.  .....but he is SO excited when we stop. He knows. 

Song by: Van Halen

Friday, January 26, 2024


Time to use the subtitle of this blog - Stuff & Nonsense. 

I've seen this video over the last few months and I'm sorry, but the dad's reaction is priceless. It's so pure, it's hilarious. 

Song by: the Monkees

Thursday, January 25, 2024

I'm Just Ken

The Academy Awards is still a month and a half away - which means Mike's and my 13th Annual Academy Award Guessing Game®  is a month and a half away too. 

I could have sworn it was the 14th. I even told him so. 45 days seems like an eternity, mostly because of "the controversy" (you have to sing that last word like Prince though. 

I sent Mike the ballot two days ago, giving him plenty of time to make his picks. Though some were made for us with the snubs of Greta Gerwig and Margo Robbie for director and actress respectively. Both still have nominations for screenplay and best picture respectively. 

The Academy might (?) have it out for Gerwig. She didn't get a win (though a nod) for direction with Lady Bird a few years back - nor did she deserve one for the 114th version of Little Women a year or so ago. They did nominate a number of Best Picture entries that were directed by women. Only the director of Anatomy of a Fall has a vagina. 

And you know, Gerwig can't even talk smack about the snub for fear of retribution. The joke is, Ken can - and did......because......patriarchy. 

Good for Ryan.......or his publicist.

Putting this out there doesn't hurt him, as he isn't even in the top 3-4 of the 5 performances on the nominee list, as much as I like him and enjoyed his performance. Though he just might have gotten every female voting member to come to his side, so who knows. 

But back to the Best Picture nominees. Of the 10, three of them are directed by women, only one being giving a director slot. 

I know most of the Academy is made of old white men, but Scorsese (an old white man)........again?  Mike called the watching of the Flower Moon thingy the longest week of his life. Even I gotta give him props for even attempting it. Ricky Gervais made a joke a few years about about Scorsese's Irishmen and it's length by saying they'd show a clip of it - but it's 88 minutes. 

I think it just comes down to misogyny. 

Barbie was the most successful movie of the year, not necessarily the best. I get that. Gerwig can flip off the Academy if she chooses. Over a billion $$ made, she's claimed her victory - and the right to make almost anything else she wants due to it. But that kind of success doesn't come without talent. that point, the Academy knows pseudo talent when they see it: Bradley Cooper didn't get a director nomination for his shit-fest. 

Song by: Ryan Gosling

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cooking with Blobby

Another NYT recipe that has popped up often, though it might be because my friend Jon was talking about it, entered the fray of our kitchen. 

Homemade Hamburger Helper.

This already posed a problem for me. I've never had Hamburger Helper. My mother never really made stuff from a box, even as assistance. So technically, I don't know what it tastes like, so I have no true comparison. But as I read through the ingredients nothing looks bad or off-putting. It seems Johnny Marzetti-ish, no? 

And Jon raved about bought the bacon and beef. Everything else was on hand. Oh, except the bay leaf. I got that too. 

Let's get to it. 


Yield: 4 servings (lies! again, it makes 6 servings, or.....or.....I don't know what a serving size is supposed to be)

¼ cup neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable 
1 large yellow onion, diced into ½-inch pieces (ooops, diced them finer than they called for)
Salt and black pepper 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
5 strips uncooked smoked bacon, finely chopped 
1 pound ground beef 
1 cup dry white wine 
3 cups chicken stock or water 
¾ cup heavy cream 
¼ to ⅓ cup hot sauce 
2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika 
1 bay leaf 
8 ounces elbow pasta 
5 slices American cheese, ripped into small pieces 
1½ cups grated Cheddar 
½ cup finely chopped chives 


Step 1 Heat a large (12-inch) sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low, and add oil and onion; season lightly with salt and pepper. (The hot sauce added in Step 6 will add a lot of flavor, so be careful not to overseason here.) Let cook until the onions turn light beige in color and begin to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. 

Step 2 Add garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown ever so slightly, about 2 minutes. 

Step 3 Increase heat to medium-high and add bacon and ground beef, using the back of a large spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Continue to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the meat starts to sear and develop a crust on the bottom of the pan, 12 to 15 minutes. 

Step 4 Remove pan from the heat and carefully drain off most of the fat, leaving a little in the pan to keep the meat moist. 

Step 5 Return pan to medium-high heat and add white wine, allowing it to reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes. 

Step 6 Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, hot sauce, paprika and bay leaf to the pan. Mix until combined and bring to a boil. 

Step 7 Once the mixture is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring often, about 9 minutes. 

Step 8 Reduce the heat to low and stir in both types of cheese, stirring until completely melted and sauce is thickened. 

Step 9 Remove the pan from heat, stir in chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Honestly, at first I liked it. Not loved. 710 talked about the layered flavours, and there are. But as I went on, it just wasn't doing it for me. With leftovers, I honestly ate half of a lunch portion and stopped eating. 

There is an immediate aftertaste that I could not place that didn't settle with me. The only thing new I had never tried was a bay leaf, and while I fished it out, I don't know exactly what one brings to the table. Honestly, I think it was the hot sauce that I was tasting. And I love hot sauce, but maybe not in this mix? 

It's filling. It's flavourful. It's not going back on the menu. 

I get I'm a more finicky eater than most, so I wouldn't let my bias sway you. It just wasn't my cup of tea....or macaroni, as the case may be. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Sick of Myself


No real post today. 

I've down and out physically for about two days. Stomach bug of some sorts. 

Rest has barely been gotten, even though all I have done is lay around. I mean there is a lot of getting up and down with a stomach thing going on.  Still, no gym. No running. Barely walking the dog. 

On the plus side, I might make my goal weight, though it's not the kind of weight one ever keeps off. 

So, while I've had all the time in the world to compose a blog post, this is the one you're getting .

On a side note:  watching Jason Kelce watch his brother make two touchdowns in the playoffs was just fun. I'm not saying he was drunk, but I'm not not saying that either 

Either way, this is what Taylor Swift can look forward to every Thanksgiving. 

Oddly (not really) the elder Kelce had never met Swift, as he plays football in another city, so the playoff game was their first. More importantly Jason K befriended a young Buffalo Bills fan and got her to meet Taylor Swift. Sure, he put Swift on the spot, but who cares. 

Ok. I'm done. I gotta rest. 

Song by: Matthew Sweet

Monday, January 22, 2024

My Music Monday

I know zilch about the group Slowdive

According to Wikipedia, they've been around since 1989 !! So maybe it stands to reason they have a Cocteau Twins thing going on here. Maybe always. 

For being around for 35 years or so, they're not horribly prolific - their new disk is only one of five. If you're only pumping out material once every seven years or so, it would seem each album would be a 'comeback'. 

Today's song, "alife" popped up on radio and I was kind of grooving to it. 

It has an ethereal vibe to it. I don't think I can run to it, but it's easy to listen to while hanging or driving. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024


Laurie Anderson once spoke: "days go by.....endlessly.....endlessly pulling you........into the future....days go by...". 

She's not wrong. 

As an unconscious (subconscious?) rule, I think I don't delve into the past too too much here. There are somethings I dredge up as anecdotes to tie other, more current things together. 

With that said, now and then I throw a few things in from long ago. Though this older thing still ties in a current one. 


As the title states.  That is how long Mr. 710 and I have been together in some capacity or other. 

39 years today.

We'd known each other a little longer than that, from work. We both were on the 3p-11p shift and a number of the people at work would go out afterwards now and then. But I, nor he, counted those as "dates".  We weren't even 100% sure the other was gay, let alone interested. I was. We were. 

Even this first date was mired in havoc - my '71 Maverick breaking down on the way to his place. Him coming to rescue me as my car got towed to some unknown mechanic. And all in the days before cellphones. How that all came to be is still cloudy to me. 

Today is the date we have etched into our rings. Though with 1985 on the end. 

I won't lie. 39 years isn't easy. Well, the first 15 weren't. I mean, how emotionally and mentally equipped can a 21 and 24 year old be? Ones with little life experience too. So we weathered it all together - as the vows would eventually say: for better or for worse. 

There isn't a lot of 'worse' anymore. Yes, normal life changes - birth, school, work, death, as the Godfathers might sing. We are stable, mature and strong enough to deal with it all. That wasn't always the case - mostly in my case.

It helps that 710 has the patience of a saint (whatever that actually means). I do not, Maybe Paula Abdul is correct with opposites attracting. 

It doesn't seem like 39. And 50 seems a long way off.........considering our age(s). Time is a funny thing.

As I've said before, January is a sucky time to have an anniversary. Maybe we'll go out for dinner, but the weather has been sub-zero when the wind if factored into the equation. We are not ones for the big hoopla, so, it might just be home cooking tonight. 

Maybe we will celebrate at 40. 

the title image is from 1988 (?). Our hair was darker. Our hair existed. We were thinner. That duplex is now a single house residence. I don't even know who took that picture. Clearly Ted Lasso stole his look from 710. 

Song by: the Cure

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Hit Me with Your Best Shot

There was no pet post last weekend due to 12 of 12.  

It's probably for the best, as the pets are tired of constant photo shoots. Even they need downtime now and then, I suppose. Still, no doubt, they were missed. 

Let's get to it. 

Eyes that will silently burn holes into you until he get you to do what he wants. 
I believe an afternoon walk was the agenda. 

Simon amongst my grandfathers 16mm films he took in the 1910s and 1920s. 
Look at that size. He's not even a year old yet. 

Apparently Bailey is walking herself now. 
I'm assuming she doesn't think my sister does a good enough job. 

This pic doesn't even convey how cute or sweet she is. I'd take her home in a heartbeat. 

To be fair, Simon does that to just about anyone who walks past him. Shep never even notices. 

Is the coast clear?
Simon making sure I actually leave. 

Dandruff Dog.
We got about 14" of snow yesterday (another possible 4 before I wake up today). 
Shep is only 15" so, this poses some logistical problems for doing doggie business.

Song by: Pat Benatar

Friday, January 19, 2024

Black is Black

So it seems there is nothing that a candidate won't say to get ahead in this country. 

That cunt - yes, I said it, Blogger - Nikki Haley had the fucking nerve to say, "No, we're — we're not a racist country. Brian. We've never been a racist country."

I'm surprised she didn't choke on her fried chicken, ham-hocks and watermelon when she got out that statement. 

I'm surprised she wasn't fashioning a noose out of a confederate flag during the interview, to be honest. 

Of course, Haley's Nimarata Randhawa's very next statement was that she faced racism growing up "but I can tell you today is a lot better than it was." 

Well which is it, hon??  How can you "face racism" if it didn't exist? 

She's "from" South Carolina, so, you have to help bury that critical race theory so her state and every other one it touches doesn't look so black-hating / lynching because not only are they deniers, but she wants their vote. 

Needs their vote. 

BTW Nimarata, there is an entire lynching museum over in Alabama you might want to check out. Or the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Or maybe talk to any other person of colour other than your mirror. 

And I hate that BLOTUS thinks like me (or I like him), but I had raised the flag for the Dems to use Haley's actual name every time they could - especially regarding anything race related. Yes, I get it's baiting. Yes, I get it's profiling. But what the fuck do you think the GOP has done for decades??  Longer, even. 

But here is BLOTUS, using her full name. And yes, it is a racist dog whistle.

I mean, if we were a racist nation. Which we're not. Nimarata says so. 

Song by: Los Bravos

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

For the holidays, 710 got me a device - I don't know what to call it. A hydroponic garden? A kitchen counter herb garden?

Officially, it's called the Click & Go Smart Garden 3. One can grow certain flowers, fruits or herbs in it. 


I don't know if you choose which flora you get sent, but I'm assuming you would. I didn't ask. It seemed doubtful we would be growing wild strawberry. 

That's right. Singular. The website doesn't say 'strawberries'. Whichever - we have basil, which is good, because I use that a lot. 

There are Smart Gardens 9 and 27, but my husband doesn't love me that much. It's hard to blame him. I'm a lot. 

So, I'll kind of walk you through it. 

Ya gots the container with the grow light that is angled above it. And a place for tree pods. The bar on the left rises and falls depending on the water content. It basically tells you when to add more water by where it sits. 

Basil was the herb we're doing with. There are three pods in this package. 

Each one goes in its own little cubby. 

The grow light is on for 15 hours (!!!) per day. It takes up a bit of counter space but not tons. 

As you can see from the title image, only two of the three pods have sprouted. We are seeing if the company will give us an additional pod for the foible. 

But the basil is coming along. Oh, and the grow light can move to a higher position to accommodate the growing plant. It's supposed to grow to a decent size. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Oh, and an aside: After selecting the title / song for this, I did a little wiki'ing on "Two Out of Three". There wasn't much there I didn't know - until I got to the last line..........and it KILLED me (in a good way).

Song by: Meatloaf

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Cooking with Blobby

If you come at me enough with some half decent looking recipe, I'm probably gonna try it. So when NYT kept coming about a French Onion Macaroni and Cheese, how strong willed was I going to be in the first place? 

Months ago, when I saw it, 710 didn't seem overly thrilled with the prospect, so I just didn't tell him I was making it. And honestly, what better time to make it then when we were creeping to sub-zero weather? I mean, doesn't this just scream cold weather comfort food? 

I didn't stick 100% to the Times' version. For one, due to not having as much cheese as they wanted on hand (and honestly, 16 oz of Gruyère is like $25!). While the recipe says it serves 6-8, I'm not sure who they're serving.  I cut everything by half (full version is below though) and that would still serve 6-8. 

It's a lot of ingredients and when things start to happen, it comes together quickly, so the best thing I can say is prep any and everything in advance. Still, due to timing, I had everything cleaned up before it came out oven. 


Yield: 6 to 8 servings (again, I cut everything in half and still easily could serve 6-8)

Kosher salt 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan 
2 pounds yellow or Vidalia onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced   
5 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more thyme leaves for garnish 
1 fresh or dried bay leaf (optional) (and I didn't use)
Black pepper 
1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta 
1 baguette, cut into ½-inch slices 
1 garlic clove 
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
4 cups whole milk 
16 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 5 cups) 
12 ounces white Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (not in the NYT version, but I did it anyway)
1-2 tablespoons of  Worchestire Sauce (not in the NYT verison either)

Step 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (If you’re planning to bake the macaroni and cheese in a baking dish instead of a skillet, butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish or other 3-quart casserole.) 

Step 2 Meanwhile, in a deep, large (12-inch) ovenproof skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, thyme sprigs and bay leaf, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, baking sheet or foil and cook, stirring once or twice, until the onions are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Seriously, chop your onions and grate your cheese before you do any of the above. You'll thank me later. 

Step 3 Uncover and continue to cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If the onions look dry, add a few tablespoons of water at a time to prevent them from burning, scraping up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet. (You will need to do this several times.) 

No additional moisture needed added, but if you do, consider beef stock instead of water, to give it that French onion soup vibe. 

Step 4 While the onions are cooking, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until 2 minutes shy of al dente; drain and set aside. Rub one side of each baguette slice with garlic. 

Macaroni only takes 5 minutes to cook, and if they want you to do it 2 minutes less, you might consider starting the pasta after you make the Béchamel. I cooked for the full 5 minutes, btw.

Step 5 When the onions are a deep golden brown, discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and deglaze the skillet with the vinegar until evaporated (actually, take out the onions too - they'll go back in), scraping up browned bits as you go, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When melted, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and has turned a light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. 

Step 6 Reserve 1 cup of the Gruyère. Carefully add the remaining Gruyère and all the Cheddar to the caramelized onion mixture and carefully stir until melted. If your pan is big enough, add the cooked pasta and stir to combine, or combine the sauce and pasta in the prepared dish. 

Step 7 Spread the pasta mixture in an even layer in the prepared dish, then top with the baguette slices, garlic-side up. Sprinkle the toasts with the reserved 1 cup Gruyère and season with pepper. Place the skillet or dish on a sheet pan and bake until bubbly and brown in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. If you like a crispier top, broil for a few minutes. Let cool slightly, then garnish with fresh thyme leaves

It came out great - and very onion-y, which was kind of the point. It reheats nicely. As I said, half the recipe makes 6-8 servings and so far we're only done with four. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024


Without fail, at the end of each calendar year, the Oscar bait comes out, and like chum, people and nominating committees eat it up. 

What I don't get is, like clockwork, everyone sees it coming, the movies and performances are rarely that good and people fawn all over them. 

Maestro is the 2023 version of this. 

Shot in black and white, and no one is ever without a cigarette - so you know it's a serious piece of work.

There is a lot of talking only for talking sake, but there is little story - nothing direct. There are snippets of a story that the viewer has to piece together. If you didn't know anything about Leonard Bernstein I'm not sure you'd ever piece it together (read: anyone under 35 who is not gay or a music major).

I keep hearing about people who watch programs / movies with closed captioning on. We haven't done that yet, but Maestro kind of makes the case for doing it - needing it, even. 

I'm guessing if Bradley Cooper gave any direction at all it was something like "forget EVERYTHING you know about enunciation. Just do the opposite!" 

Sound and Sound Mixing were the next things to be tossed out the window. It also seems he takes delight in how the dialogue is fast and everyone talks over everyone, so you pick up on about 37% of what is said. It's a mess. 

If you're looking for any insight to the composing Bernstein, you've found the wrong film. There are moments of music from West Side Story and On the Town, but nothing about how they came to be is there. 

Actually, if you're looking to know anything about Leonard Bernstein, it would be better to hit wikipedia. Save for one phone call about how he got his break, you're not gonna know a fucking thing about him from this movie. One toss away line about how he slept with both of one kid's parents is the 2x4 used where the bisexuality in the rest of the film is barely there, but they want to know that you know. 

Cooper's performance is meh at best. His vocal affectation is more distracting than the controversy about him wearing a prosthetic nose. 

Carey Mulligan - whom I still say is the poor-man's Michelle Williams - is ok. She's always just "ok".  People keep raving about her performance and save one scene (maybe, maybe two) there isn't much to it. And the one scene almost comes out of nowhere - considering - and is off the mark, but the delivery is good. And yes, compared to the others in this movie, of course she looks good. 

Don't even start me on the miscasting of Sarah Silverman. 

The flow is just bad. Some scenes are rushed, some d-r-a-g on and on and on. Some completely unnecessary. It clocks in at over two hours, but I swear it seems twice that long. 

If you're going to create a movie like this, educate us, or actually have some conflict. Bernstein's wife seemed to know from the get-go about his bisexuality and "accepted" it. The faux fight mentioned in Mulligan's one big scene is far from necessary and there is little to no impetus for it......except Oscar Clip Showing Time!!!!!

Maestro is a vanity project purely for vanity's sake. If it were for Vanity's sake, I'd get on board. 

I suppose it was better to waste my time at Netflix than at the cinema. I'm not getting the accolades. And I ain't giving them either. 

2024 Movie Count / Goal: 02 of 15

Song by: Stevie Ray Vaughn

Monday, January 15, 2024

My Music Monday

I have featured Love Fame Tragedy twice before in this here My Music Monday thingy. 

They are a splinter group from the Wombats and Bastille. The two songs I heard before (and as) I started at the gym, so they've been good to play while working out. 

I have not purchased a full disk of theirs, but there are songs that pop up that I like - such as the first two times I posted. 

Loving the title of today's selection: "Don't You Want to Sleep with Someone Normal?". 

I mean, what is normal? 

So far I'm enjoying it. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Slip Sliding Away

I had every intention of seeing a movie yesterday and reporting it out today - but you know: nap!  It kind of killed a part of the day. 

That said, it was the Old Man's Running Group yesterday morning. It was Polar Vortex-ish, but technically it hadn't arrived by the time I left the house at 06:45. I travel the farthest to run with this crew. As it would turn out there were only nine of us (as opposed to two dozen or so) who usually are there - and only five us were running, the others walked. 

The 27 degrees wasn't horrible. The 30-40 mile gusts and the continual 25 mile hour headwind wasn't all that pleasant, but not a show stopper. 

This is a paved trail that winds though a west side metro park. It follows the path of a river where folks fish and kayak. It's not really a swimming river, though Shep has been in often. The path - depending on how far you go - is varied in its elevation and how much is through the woods or near open fields. 

It would turn out that the woods part and the open areas would prove problematic in different ways. 

In the woods, two of us would end up clearing branches - like 15' ones - off the trail. It slowed the run for sure, but as much as I'd like to say we were doing it for others (and we were) we knew we had to run back this way and they were dangerous. In the woods, the pavement was pretty dry and runable. That was the first 1.5 miles. 

The open areas, where arctic like winds were present, made any wet-ish surface smooth as glass. I first hit a bridge that made me teeter. I had no desire to go over the edge, so I slowed down where I could. You think that would be easy, but the change of pace and the ice made it more difficult than you'd think. 

My big issue though I knew was coming. Right after the bridge was a decline. Two folks were ahead of me and I saw them put on the brakes too. That had to be walked.  The next 1.5 miles were just treacherous. But not consistently, which almost made it worse. 

Part of this path is somewhat sloped too. The path is set up like a roadway, with a dividing line for people going each way, or to pass. But when sloped, I always run to the outside left, because it is the flattest (and easiest) to run.  Not yesterday. 

It didn't matter where you were on that slope, you just kept sliding downward as you ran. It was just a recipe for injury. So, I went up and ran in the street when there wasn't any grass on which to run. 

At the three mile mark, I turned around. Three others went another half mile, and we all lost Mark at the 1.5 mile marker. 

The wind was so brutal though. Running back, any space that had not been slippery was now nothing but ice. Those winds, and the dropping temps, made anything that had been dry 20 minutes ago were not. 

I was totally on board why the other folks had not shown up to run. 

That said my time didn't suck. Had it been dry and debris free, I might have had a great run - even with the winds. 

More importantly, I met up with the other old fogies at the bakery afterwards. Movie discussion seemed to be on the agenda - mostly Tim Burton, which led into some Pee Wee discussion. I had to hold back on my knowledge of all this for not seeming "weird".  I'm still finding my footing with these folks. 

As it is expected to be single-digit temps today, no one is seemingly doing a Sunday run. I'm glad of this. Had anyone expressed interest, I probably would have caved and gone. Maybe I'll go to the gym. 

....and ugh, that pic. I've been at Fat Camp the gym for almost two years. Normally (I think) my face looks thinner. But not here. Maybe it's the bakery. 

Song by: Paul Simon