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Showing posts from 2017

Going old school in a new era

Confession time.
I am a 38-year old curmudgeon.
I'm not speaking about everything in life. There have been the occasional old man rants over the years. Clickbait headlines will always annoy me. And don't get me started about keeping people off my lawn.
And today, I'm going to add sports to the list.
Am I shaking my fist at the television (or internet), complaining about the lack of respect these kids have today for the game? No. If anything--thanks to the rise of the internet--there might be more respect for the history of the game than there ever was.
Will I stand on a soapbox and tell you how today's players in various leagues aren't as good or as tough as the players of yesteryear? No. Generations produce different aspects of greatness, with things like safety coming into play. (Though I will say there is a certain league that has done a fair amount to eliminate fun from their games. Different story, different time.)
Sports are ingrained in me. I will take watc…

Local dad to children: Love is not a secret ingredient

Landing as the second-favorite parent in his family for all these years finally took its toll on local dad Ray Hansen.
Fed up with second-tier adoration, Mr. Hansen revealed to his children a family secret he'd been harboring for years: their mother's cooking did not in fact include the secret ingredient of love.
"Love is not something you can mix in with flour and milk," Mr. Hansen told his two teenage kids. "Your mother loves you--just as I do--but never once has she put love into your cookies. And her meatloaf? Ground beef and onions are included, but there is no love. Love cannot be measured in a tablespoon or a quart."
Questioned as to why he chose Father's Day to deliver this stunning revelation to his kids, Mr. Hansen defiantly replied, "To be quite honest, I was tired of my kids believing I didn't love them as much just because I didn't cook.  Yeah, I barbeque from time to time, but am I going to say, 'Kid, these hot dogs are m…

The Cleveland Cavs: Dreaming the impossible dream

photo credit: en.wikepedia.org
The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly like to make things interesting as far as the NBA Finals are concerned.
The 2017 iteration is trying to outdo the 2016 championship team by trying to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the title.
In 2016, the Cavs shockingly came back from a 3 games to 1 deficit to take down a Golden State Warriors team which had won a regular-season record 73 games.
To even get one victory in this series, it has taken a herculean effort by LeBron James and a record-setting 24 made three-pointers in game four victory to get the Cavs even this far. 
James--in 2016--had quite the Finals, finishing with averages of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists. In 2017, he is doing his best to outperform those averages, despite essentially having the same makeup of players supporting him.
To wit, his 2017 stats (thru four games): 31.8 ppg. 11.8 rpg. 10.5 ppg.
via YouTube.com
The man--hated or loved--will go down as one of the greatest of all-t…

June newsletter: Volume 1, Issue 2

Growing up in a pre-cable television society, television watching in the summer revolved around a collection of shows.When I wasn't outside playing Wiffle ball--creating fantasy leagues in my head and ultimately knocking the game winning home run out of the park--I could be found in front of the television.
This wasn't a day long thing, as I was also responsible for building forts on my family's property and collecting ants and placing them in jars to study their tunnel making ways. But when I did find myself in front of the television, my eyes belonged to The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, and the original Batman.
These were the syndicated shows of my childhood heyday, to which my Sundays to this day usually involve The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, and Saved by the Bell on in the background on MeTV as I go about my Sunday chores.
Batman had taken a back seat over the years, but I still indulged myself in the occasional Saturday night viewing on the above menti…

A sneak peek at 'The Dragon Princess'

The NBA Finals? The United States Men's Soccer team? Ol' 45 continuing to ruin progress of this nation?

Presenting myself with a multitude of options to talk about this week, I decided to go the easy, self-promotional route, finally settling on an excerpt from THE DRAGON PRINCESS.

Nearly three years ago, I published my first fantasy novel via Kindle Direct Publishing. Coming up on nearly finishing the first draft of its follow up THE BLUE GEM, I decided to do this gentle reminder: THE DRAGON PRINCESS is still available to purchase and download for only 99 cents here.

(And along the pandering lines, if you feel like leaving a review on Amazon or my profile on Goodreads--good or bad, anonymous or not--please do. Both criticisms or affirmations help me grow as a writer. Appreciate it.)


The plate of food was shoved into the cell and the sound of scampering feet dissipated. Princess Riyana of Thurston waited until the door at the far end of the hall closed before emerging from the sha…

Conversations with myself: The Dirty Dancing remake

Wednesday night. Shortly after 9 pm (MDT). A night of meetings and running errands culminates with me sitting on my couch. Turning on my television--instead of the writing I should be doing--I begin to mindlessly scroll through the channels.
Before going any further in my search, my brain recalls a buried thought, one I'd wished would have stayed buried: The remake of Dirty Dancing was on.
Turning the channel, I find we're currently on a commercial break. Roughly 45 minutes remain so I should be joining just as the movie is ramping up.
ME: Should I really be doing this?
MIND: Oh come on. You've sat through Lifetime Channel movies about Saved by the Bell. You can easily do this.
ME: You're right.

Early reviews of the Dirty Dancing remake had appeared online a few days prior. I'd watched the trailer and there was no way I should be doing this. Even my Twitter feed was quiet, meaning even the many comedians I followed were staying away from the film. 

ME: Oh, good, it…

Glimpsing the subconscious

photo: pixabay.com
Dreams--waking or the deep sleep variety--can be frustrating, exciting, and can often provide the slightest of windows into a person's soul.
Dreams cemented in reality can range from the simple, like owning your first car or your first house, to something more personal, like settling down with a partner or achieving your goals in a chosen profession.
Exploring the subconscious of dreams that have occurred during the sleeping hours can leave a lasting impression on a person. These are dreams based off memories, based off needs, and based on desires. Other dreams are simply plastered with outrageous moments.
In seeking out these dreams, I've often wondered: Can dreams predict the future?
Sometimes, these glimpses stay with you, lingering in your mind for days on end. Are these moments recalled with exact precision? Are they expounded upon with what's related to a person's personal life at the moment?
Lately, weeks of dreams have piled up on one another…

A May Newsletter: Volume 1, Issue 1

A newsletter? How very retro of you. Back in the day, I used to provide monthly updates on this very blog. It was a nice way to keep people updated on the life and times of this lonely writer living on the outskirts of the Pacific Northwest.
Since I went out and created my own website, the monthly updates--for the most part--are now housed over there. (Sans the Christmas letter, which will be on this site for the foreseeable future). The updates seen over there are similar to what you used to read here: updates on my writing, film work, theater excursions, and the rest.
The newsletter--as this will be called--will serve as a brief glimpse into what I'm currently listening to, watching, reading, etc. One might already be able to glean some of that as part of my weekly posts. And the newsletter might not even occur on a monthly basis. (At least I'm upfront about it). It partially serves as a reason to write something when other areas of my brain are blocked. (I was able to crank…

Revisiting the early seasons of the hit show 'ER'

photo credit: maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Long before the current wave of drama-filled television, NBC's ER paved the way for the well-crafted serialized story. On network t.v., nonetheless. Pundits and fans, over the years, have pointed to HBO's The Sopranos as the show that spawned a golden age of drama themed shows on television.
David Chase--creator of The Sopranos--knocked it out of the park with his show, but it was ER, the 15-season, 331-episode series on NBC that laid the foundation for the glory to come. 
ER, created by Michael Crichton, was a staple of NBC's Thursday night lineup throughout the 1990's. Along with the likes of Seinfeld and Friends--to name a few--ER's character driven, story-focused episodes helped make Thursday nights on NBC "must-see-t.v."
Throughout the 90's, I was along for the ride. The travails of Dr. Ross (George Clooney), Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), Dr. Benton (Eric La Salle), Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle), and Nurse Hath…

Unsurpassed Classic Television Shows Have No Need for Revival

photo:commons.wikipedia.org
Everything old is new again.
At least that appears to be the ongoing trend for television shows as of late. Roseanne, the groundbreaking hit sitcom that ran nine seasons in the late 1980's into the 90's, appears to be the latest "retro" show to hop aboard the nostalgia train. It was recently announced a revival is already in the works, in which Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, and star/creator Roseanne are all on board for.



Setting aside the fact Goodman's character and family patriarch, Dan, is deceased plus quite possibly a myriad of scheduling problems with Johnny Galecki (David) and Laurie Metcalf (Jackie)--not to mention the always busy Goodman--a much deeper problem of rebooting and continuing television shows is growing among the industry.
In what a few years ago--and still is--was a booming trend in the movie industry, television shows have now proven they are not immune to this tactic.
The clamoring of fans for reunion shows have n…

Mess Around and Miss the Triple-Double

photo: Wikimedia Commons
Russell Westbrook was all in on Friday night in an effort to break Oscar Robertson's record for most triple-doubles in a single season.
What transpired in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder's blowout loss to Phoenix was the epitome of a me-first, let's-break-records style of play that pops up all too often in today's NBA.
This is not Kobe Bryant playing one-man ball in the swan song of his career. This is Westbrook--and his coach--deciding a fourth-quarter game in which they trailed by over 20 as an important time to try to set an individual record.
The Phoenix Suns--losers of 13 straight--denied Westbrook his 42nd triple-double and the Thunder a victory, winning 120-99.
Westbrook and the Thunder might say different, but leaving in the one man who could possibly carry your team to a playoff victory is nothing more than trying to set a record for record-sake.
And it's a perfect example of seeing how far an NBA player will go in …

Podcasts You Might Be Missing Out On

photo courtesy of flickr.com
Podcasts have been around for years now. It is only over the past year in which I've really started to fall in love with them, fully exploring the world around me via the internet.
In fact, the amount of choices out there can feel overwhelming at times. I've started and stopped a few, mostly because I've become sidetracked when I find another one that interests me. Starting down a podcast rabbit hole is quite an infliction and sometimes podcasts get pushed out of the scope of my attention.
While there are certainly more nationally recognized ones I stick to, such as the Missing Richard Simmons podcast or the recently released S-Town podcast (in which I listened to all seven chapters in the course of 24 hours), there are other ones I listen to on a regular basis. These tackle a wide range of topics and tell very different stories, but they are podcasts I try to never miss. They might be lesser known (though many have begun to earn recognition), t…

You, Me, The Sky

The following is a piece of short, short fiction I wrote. The first line, "We know where we wanna go", was assigned as a prompt. It is from BUILT TO SPILL's song "Living Zoo".

We know where we wanna go. Laid out before us like a badly cared for yellow brick road, the path to our destination appeared to be an easy one.

Or was it?

The purpose of the journey does not matter, not anymore. The beginning mattered, but has since been clouded. As it stews together in my mind and boils down to the bare bones, the goal, the destination, and the purpose are all the same.

Life.

"Are you ready?"

Is that the voice of God? The voice belongs to that of a female. Women will gladly rejoice to know this fact. I am, in fact, indifferent to it all. The crispness of snapping fingers focuses my distracted attention. "I'm ready. Let's go."

Tanya, wearing a brand new pair of blue jeans and a skimpy top the color of meat fat, stands in the middle of the expan…

Twenty Years of Vampire Slaying

Photo: YouTube 
Twenty years ago, a television show with a cast of relatively unknown teenagers and created by somewhat unknown writer, premiered on a television network that many stations didn't even carry.
Twenty years later, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still slaying and relevant in this ever-changing pop culture (and real) world.
Admittedly, I didn't start fully investing in this show until the sixth season. And, in double-secret admittance, it was because of girl.
And I'm thankful she introduced it into my life.
Prior to the fall of 2001, I had caught a few episodes. Most of them had been from season three, the season that saw the gang battle a demon of a principal and introduced to the world the character of Faith (Eliza Dushku).
That was it. In fact, at this point in the story, I had might not even watched these episodes if it weren't for a (secret) love of Dawson's Creek. (A show I had started watching because of my love of Kevin Williamson's writing in

Memories of the Baseball Past

A song can take a person back in time. The journey into the depths of the mind can be as short as to the car ride last week or as far back to the devastating moment of the end of a relationship. Some even trigger memories from a first concert or the exact place you were at when you first connected to a now favorite song.
And sometimes, that song is Puff Daddy's Can't Nobody Hold Me Down.
For no discernible reason, the song is on an iPod. The lyrics set forth a chain of events in the mind that go back twenty years.  It's early March of 1997 and this was one of the many songs blaring from the boom box at the back of the bus. The song was one of many that found its way into the rotation for that season's baseball team. Traveling by bus for sometimes upwards of nine hours, a lot of activities were needed to pass the time. Listening to music as a group helped build camaraderie, if only for a few minutes.
The desert of Nevada, a vast wasteland of sagebrush, mountains, and t…

90's Poetry at its...Finest?

Going through some boxes today, I stumbled upon my "poetry" book. This book, a star-spangled American flag cover of my poetry, revealed the early writings of an attempt at writing poetry. The word poetry can be used very loosely here, as most it was written in my late teens. (Apart from one written about my grandpa, most likely from my freshman or sophomore year of high school.)

Over the years,I have dabbled in the form of poetry, some of which can been seen on this blog. In reality, much of this book is collection of post break-up thoughts and feelings. Though that's not what you'll be reading today.

The following are just a taste. So, in lieu of my normal weekly post, I present: Late 90's poetry from a scrambled mind.

UNTITLED
The sun set upon the mountain
ready to be gone.
The bird drank upon the fountain
singing only for fun.
The man lay there on his bed
dying time was near.
Thinking of the great life he had led
showing little fear.
Then the large sky grew dar…