Showing posts from 2016

The Ends and the Means

Point your ear to the sky. Choose one, left or right, it doesn't matter. Tilt your head skyward and listen carefully.
Hear that? The far away whispers bouncing between canyons and mountain peaks. That's the universe. She's reaching out, extending an invitation to converse, to engage, to be present in the moment. What is she saying? What is she telling you?
She is telling you to change. She is telling you to move forward, to keep marching on with your head held high and boots firmly entrenched. She is telling you to love and to let love in. She is telling you to fight. She is telling you to give up.
The murmurs are received from all angles. They are soaked in whiskey soaked brains, virginal hearts, and shattered souls. The thoughts and the universe meld, tugging, tearing, and tormenting.
The universe leads the way, the universe blocks your path. Is the design for you or are you the design? Hollow steps echoing in the hearts chamber.
Are you listening? Are you ignoring? Tra…

Carrie Fisher: A Star Among the Heavens

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More so than in any other year of recent memory, 2016 has claimed its fair share of celebrities.
Carrie Fisher was so much more than simply a celebrity.
She was so much more than Princess Leia. True, the character was a strong female character; one who was as much as a hero as her male counterparts. 
Fisher was an actress, yes. She was also a wonderful, sharp-tongued, witty writer. She was an advocate for mental health and depression. Fisher battled her own demons throughout her life, rising above addiction and pushing through fame to achieve so much more with her life.
Another idol and inspiration taken from the world perhaps too soon. Different people admire her for various reasons. Fisher will not quickly or easily be forgotten, especially to those close to her in life.
She joins quite the collection of people who have passed in 2016. Ali. Rickman. Bowie. Prince. George Michael. Wilder. These names hardly scratch the surface of people--celebrity and otherw…

Greetings and Wishes 2016

In sitting down to write this year's Christmas letter, I was having trouble figuring out where to begin. Do I begin with the positives? Do I sprinkle in some negatives? Do I run a poll to see what Christmas movie people like better?
The options appear to be limitless. 
Instead, I decided to start out with two questions on everyone's mind when they haven't heard from me in awhile: Do you have a girlfriend yet and Do you need more Christmas music on your iPod?
No, not yet, is the answer to the first question. But I'm always accepting applications.
And a resounding yes is the answer to the second question.
I begin listening to Christmas music usually in mid-November. I'd say about ten percent of the songs on my iPod is comprised of Christmas music. Five versions of Silent Night? Done. I have the classics. I have the local music. I have The Muppets and I have Tom Waits singing New Year's Eve.
Do I get tired of it by this time? Not usually. I still tend to break up…

December, December

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The fog rolled in, gently encasing the valley. Growing. Swarming. Leaving nothing to chance, I continued on, my goal to do one thing: make it out of Walmart alive.
It was Saturday, the holiday rush in full throttle. Lord hear my prayers.
Traffic snarled, the growing gray abyss of no help to my cause to get there quick. It was a fool's mission, I know. Plans go awry all the time when Walmart is involved. Why would this time be any different?
Parking can destroy the will of any man during the holiday rush. Preparation is the key. The options are limited. Choosing not sit idly by, like the man with his blinker on for an eternity waiting for a closer spot, I opt to park farther away. My legs will have to carry me to the building, saving my soul for the patience that will be surely tried inside.
The Gods are smiling upon me, as generous cars let me pass in the intersection of the parking lot. I'm halfway there, my eyes scanning the area for driver…

United We Stand

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To the strong, independent women I know (and I don't know). To the people of different races, different cultures. To LGBT friends and acquaintances (and strangers). 
The health of our future, the stabilizing of our climate, the safety of mankind. Compassion, inclusion, and creating a country proud to call home.
All of it.
I'm with you.
The voices will not remain silent.  Progress will not be swept aside and will not be erased. So many years and so many fights will not be forgotten. All that has been accomplished--in the past eight years and beyond--will not be stripped away.
Not without a fight.
Standing tall in the face of adversity, despite the ache in the gut that has been felt by many over the past four days, is what makes us stronger. We may fall nine times, but know for certain we'll get up the tenth.
Protest. Donate. Speak up. Listen. Lift up your hearts to those that experience the social injustice on a daily basis. So many people have…

American Sports Franchises Thirsty for a Title

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A billy goat. A dash of bad luck. A sprinkle of a die hard fan. Leon Durham. Add those together and you have the beginnings of the recipe for the curse that has haunted the Chicago Cubs for over 70 years.
In winning the 2016 World Series, the Cubs collected their first World Series title since 1908. Their seven-game victory effectively ended the longest title drought among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.

Now that the talk of a goat and Bartman can be put to rest, it is now the Cleveland Indians sitting on the longest drought in the Major League baseball. The Indians will be discussed here, as will the other longest droughts in the three other major American sports leagues.
MLB-Cleveland Indians
The Indians moved through the American League this postseason with ease. First, they swept the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Then, they took care of the Toronto Blue Jays in five games.
Yes, the Indians lost in the World Series after l…

From Negan with Love

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*The following contains Spoilers from the season 7 premiere of "The Walking Dead"
"Pissing our pants yet? Boy, do I have a feeling we're getting close."- Negan, The Walking Dead

And people thought Ramsay Bolton was sadistic.

The much anticipated season seven premiere of The Walking Dead hit the airwaves last Sunday. Boy, was it a doozy.
I am not going to spend much time on what side of the liked/didn't like it/I'm never watching again spectrum I fall in. I will say that I was enraptured, on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire one hour, six minutes (including commercials) of the episode. This was an episode that filled me with a sense of existential dread for the characters inhabiting The Walking Dead world. It is a feeling that is still with me nearly two days later.
As a disclaimer, I am only through the first ten volumes of the graphic novels. I have yet to reach the Negan arc. I am also on the side of the court that didn't m…

The Last of Laughter

I have been holed up in my house for the past four days. There is nothing left I can do, at least for now. The events have gone in different directions, the parties have all been canceled. In fact, the only reason my phone rings these days is for people to say, "Sorry. We just can't have you coming by. Maybe next year."
The emails I receive are even worse. "You sad, sad man." And "Why can't you leave us alone, freak." Or my favorite, "Stay out of our town and go back to your camp by the lake."
Mornings have started out like this for the past few weeks. I am once again lost in thought, my bowl of cereal idling by in soggy oblivion. I stare at the start-up screen of my laptop, spoon loosely gripped in my right hand. The point has arrived in which I don't want to get online. I'm scared to see what the next headline will be. What monstrosity will they dream up next? What prank will the people of the world perpetuate now?
Two deep br…

Remember September

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Autumn was officially welcomed in the other day with rain and a chill in the air, making September the beginning of my favorite time of year.
This time of year--stretching from late September to late December--has always been a favorite of mine. Between football, the baseball playoffs, the start of basketball and eventually the Christmas season, I have always enjoyed the changing of the guard from hot and sweaty to cool and collected.
From rainy mornings to sweaters and scarves. And from hot tea to the first snow fall, I often feel most at peace in these months.
It's also a time when I feel rejuvenated. Normally, for a lot of people, that feeling comes along with the emergence of spring. Not for me.
Which means it's time for an update. (Been awhile, considering my last few posts here have been related to the sports world.)
In regards to the writing world, much of my time as been devoted to the sports world. My workload--or at least att…

NFL Referees Fail Cam Newton, Fans

If the NFL is serious about the safety of players and finding ways to limit concussions, the referees in last night's Denver Broncos/Carolina Panthers game had a funny way of showing it.
Instead of talking about what a great rematch of the Super Bowl these two teams put on, much of the focus was placed on the amount of hits Cam Newton took to the helmet last night.
And rightfully so.
There were at least three occasions during the course of the game in which Newton was on the receiving end of helmet-to-helmet hits. 
These hits were not of the "blink and you miss it" variety of hits. They were in the course of game action, delivered to Newton after a throw or in the midst of being tackled.
The Broncos were flagged for this infraction once.
For a league that is looking to protect its players, especially quarterbacks, these calls were not simply "mistakes" or "errors" by the referees. And to right it off as such is simply another loosening thread o…

Wild weekend ushers in 2016 college football season

Now that college football is officially back (no disrespect to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and California Bears playing in Australia), there is one thing we can say for certain: Joe Tessitore really likes saying the phrase "18-Wheeler Package".
If Sunday night's game, a 50-47 double overtime victory by Texas over Notre Dame, is to be any indication, the 2016 edition of college football is going to be a wild ride.
Three teams in the Amway Coaches Poll top-ten lost. Another needed overtime. And a few put up the requisite 50 plus points expected of them.
All in week one.
The Houston Cougars, current belle of the ball and Big 12 hopeful, took their first step towards an undefeated season and possible playoff berth. They used a 109-yard return after a missed Oklahoma field goal, helping them defeat the third-ranked Sooners, 33-23.

The Wisconsin Badgers, meanwhile, unranked and rebuilding, used a stifling defense and some timely offense to defeat the sixth-ranked LSU Tigers 1…

Good Day, Sir

The world lost a good man in Gene Wilder today. Wilder, the star of such films as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers, passed away today at the age of 83.

Wilder was someone I looked up to not only as an artist (actor and writer), but as a person. I only knew how he was perceived in public--not personally--but that image he portrayed in public was a man to aspire to (behind only my father, grandfather, and a few others in my life).

The effects of Alzheimer's had Wilder leading a largely private life for the last fifteen years or so, but he was always spoken and thought of with fond esteem.

Some of the earliest movies I remember watching have Wilder in them. Movies that I have enjoyed multiple of viewings over the years: Stir Crazy, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and, of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the movie with perhaps the greatest entrance of all time.

These movies have always had a special place in my heart and they always will. It was…

Las Vegas: Take My Money, Please.

I went to Las Vegas and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.

That could be the theme of every trip I've taken to Vegas since I turned 21. That's an astounding two times I didn't geta lousy t-shirt.

When I was younger, before Las Vegas turned into the "family friendly" mecca people seem to think it is, before the Strip was littered with families from near and far, parents would return from their Vegas excursions with the all-too-classic t-shirt "My parents went to Las Vegas and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". It was as if to say, "Hey kids. We just had a fantastic time reliving our youth while you were stuck here with a babysitter. We hardly thought about you for the past few days, but hey, we bought you a funny t-shirt."

I reiterate: I went to Las Vegas and didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.

At this point, I think receiving a t-shirt should just be complimentary to all gamblers Can you buy t-shirts at a price of 4 for $9.99 in Vegas? Ye…

Thrills, Spills and Agony in Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics in Rio aren't even a quarter of the way over, but already we've seen exhilarating highs, heartbreaking lows, and agonizing defeats.
The first three days of the Olympics have reaffirmed this: for 17 days every four years, the spirit of unified nations, athletes and fans alike, is alive and well in the world.
Gone from my Facebook feed are the scathing, unrelenting political posts that have dominated social media over the past six months. They appear sporadically but have fallen to the wayside for the most part.
These stories have been replaced with stories like Katie Ledecky, the United States swimmer who shattered the world record in the women's 400-meter freestyle. Ledecky is also expected to come home with a Michael Phelpsian haul of medals.
Speaking of Mr. Phelps, the most-decorated of American swimmers added to his loot on Sunday night. He swam the second leg of the U.S. men's gold medal winning 4x100-meter freestyle relay team. 
Phelps now has…

Taking a Dip into the Water Polo Pool

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Every four years, the best of the best in sporting events like swimming, gymnastics and track & field, to name a few, are brought together to determine who is the top athlete/team in their respective fields.

These sports, along with basketball, soccer, and volleyball--both of the beach and indoor variety--are among the more popular viewing spectacles when it comes to the Olympics.

To the surprise of many, there are other events out there. Events that many people only remember exist when the Olympic games roll around. Events like diving, rowing, and, most important of all: water polo.

The U.S. Men's water polo team opened play today, faltering late and losing 7-5 to defending gold-medal champion Croatia.

The U.S. Women's team, ranked number one in the world and the defending Olympic champions, open up play on Tuesday in group play again Spain.

Water soccer-wrestling, as I like to call it, is one of those sports many might not think about excep…

Boise's Burgeoning Film Community

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Hollywood, for right around 100 years now, has been known as the epicenter of the film industry. Each year, thousands of people with dreams to be actors, actresses, writers, directors, producers and hangers-on flock to Los Angeles to hopefully achieve their dreams of stardom. (Or a career. Take your pick.)
Over the years, thanks to advances in technology and rising production costs in the City of Angels--not to mention tax breaks in others states, cities, and territories--the making of television shows and movies has increased tremendously outside the city of Los Angeles.
Take the state of Georgia, for example. Thanks to the success of The Walking Dead and generous tax credits, there has been a boom in the film industry in the state of Georgia. It's a dream that people in many states have in hopes that major productions stop by their beautiful state.
Boise, Idaho hasn't quite reached that level yet, but at the rate things are going, it's …

Of Irrational Fear

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"From early reports, the results clearly show that the people voted in incumbent Mark Townsell, but to the astonishment of many, the electoral college selected James Hatcher as President. Many state's representatives voted for Hatcher, often against what the people wanted." 
Back in the year 1998, about a year out of high school and very early in my writing career, I started a screenplay called Rebellion. I had forgotten about it over the years, but last night's acceptance speech by Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president had me digging through a box of my old writings to locate this script.
Upon finding it, I discovered I'd handwritten 72 pages--much more than I thought--of bad dialogue and choppy scenes. Pretty much what you'd expect from a 19-year old taking his first real crack at screenwriting.
The story is about a rich man that basically buys the presidency. He want to insure that the country will be great agai…