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Showing posts from 2017

October: College football on display in all its glory

Friday the 13th kicked things off with Clemson's upset loss, but the top-25 in college football felt the scary after effects throughout the weekend. To many fans, pointing to bowl games and the CFB Playoff makes an easy access point in describing their favorite time of the college football season.
Forget that. 
To me, college football is at its finest in the month(s) of October and November. A fact that really kicked into gear from October 12 to October 14 in 2017.
Seven teams in the top-25 suffered losses, including four teams (formerly) ranked in the top-10. There were teams who likely have seen their playoff hopes dashed (Auburn, Washington St.), teams whose chances got incredibly smaller (Washington), teams who likely still have a shot (Clemson), and perhaps a Group of 5 team with hopes of a New Year's bowl game dashed (San Diego St.).
October--for the most part--is when the polls really begin to take shape. Teams are getting into the heart of their conference schedule an…

Finding the right balance between writing and a social life

“I should never be left alone with my mind for too long.”-Libba Bray There was a moment not too long ago I came to the realization I’d been spending too much time alone with my own mind.
I was taking a few minutes away from my daily writing when the epiphany occurred. I had stationed myself in front of the t.v., mindlessly (or so I thought) watching an episode of less-than-stellar show. The show itself is not important. What’s important was the simple fact that on the night in question I found myself talking to the t.v. show. I asked a question of one of the characters on the show and, in a different voice, answered my own question.
I panicked. How long had these conversations with myself been going on? Why were my collectible bobbleheads moved from their shelves and placed in a circle? To my surprise, I hadn’t taken the life-size cardboard cutouts I’d acquired from my days of working at a movie theater out of storage. Finding them in my apartment may have sent my mind into a tailsp…

Counting down the days until Nevada Day

Nevada Day is fast approaching. Have you picked out your costume yet?
Autumn is here. Leaves are doing their annual impressions of a chameleon, before dropping from the trees and collecting in piles on the ground. This is one of the many signals we are creeping ever closer to an important fall holiday: Nevada Day.
Nevada entered into an union with the United States on October 31, 1864. Since then, the day is marked nationwide by a celebration of candy, costumes, and general shenanigans and debauchery.
Each year, on October 31, millions of Americans--kids and adults alike--throw on a costume to celebrate this amazing day. Children even go door-to-door in their costumes, soliciting chocolate and licorice to honor the state of Nevada.
Adults have re-inserted themselves into the fun over the past ten years. Many have decided to partake in the celebration of Nevada by dressing the skimpiest costume they can find. These costumes are aptly titled "Sexy Pirate", "Sexy Cop"…

A flag less ordinary: respect, honor, and protesting

Another Sunday morning and another day in which the Tweeter-in-chief continues to spend more time on social media creating a divide rather than bridging it. In the cozy offices of--let's be honest, probably the room of his vacation estate--the 45th president of the United States tweets at will. There is no regard for others, no intelligent musings, no thought of others ravaged in Puerto Rico by back-to-back hurricanes, and he tweets with very much a blatant racist overtone.
There is no need to share these tweets here. The focus lately has been on athletes, primarily those from the NFL who continually to PEACEFULLY protest during the national anthem by taking a knee. 
Why? Because inequality and racism are still very present in the year 2017. And it's being fueled by the man who sits in the highest seat of power in the United States.
A country's flag is supposed to be representative of the people within in it. If groups of people do not feel represented--or put down by oth…

Switching 'The Journey of Now' newsletter to email format

Where you one of the tens of people asking where The Journey of Now's newsletter went?
Don't worry. Relax. I have an answer for you.
Normally, once I've written a blog post or updated my web site, I post a link to various social media outlets. In the past, this was a good way to spread updates on my writing career, updates in the theater world, or simply newsletters on this blog.
I've found--as of late--many of these posts are getting missed due to various algorithm changes or simply the amount of stuff populating social media feeds.
So, in an experiment I will be officially launching next week, I've decided to try my hand at an email newsletter (to be sent out every four weeks or so).
I detailed this over at the Jason Haskins website last month but figured I'd give a shout out on my blog as well.
The email newsletter will serve as a way to not only provide updates on what's going on in my world, but to also share the collection of blog posts I've writ…

USMNT drops qualifier thanks to sloppy play of back four

The momentum the United States Men's Soccer Team accumulated over the past nine months ran into wall in dropping their World Cup qualifier to Costa Rica. One of these days, the USMNT will step onto the pitch in a big game and play to win instead of simply playing not to lose.
For the first 20 minutes in Friday's World Cup qualifier, it looked like the team was ready to do that very thing. A good showing here would make the 4-0 shellacking the absorbed from Costa Rica in November a long forgotten nightmare.
The team was attacking, making some pretty great runs while overcoming a few sloppy passes from their back four. There was a fluidity to their passing, something I'd seen very little of from the United States over the years. 
They looked like a real team. A team that had been unbeaten in 14 matches since the return of head coach Bruce Arena.
Then, one bad formation--and a questionably placed kick from Tim Howard--later, the bottom fell out. The USMNT allowed a goal and …

The Circumstances of Arrival

Devoid of color, a wash of gray. 
A single human sporting layer upon layer of clothes. Pacing.
Desolate remnants of a full life.

"Oh. Hi there. Didn't see you arrive. Have a seat. There's the rocking chair. Yes. The boulder will do.
Can I get you something to drink? To eat? I have Xanax as well. I think it's Xanax. Seems to do the trick on lonely nights.
What's that? You can't stay? Sorry to hear that. Was looking forward to some company. What can I do you for?
You want to hear it? Let me take a look at you... Hmm... Yes. You look young enough. Probably don't remember a lot, do you?
Lookout!
Sorry. It's a reflex. Be warned.
The broad details you've heard, I'm sure. Word of mouth likes to spread the deeds and the misgivings. It's like wildfire.  Really it's how it all begin anyhow. Hatred. The approval of hatred. There was a sense of entitlement by people of power, a desire to divide and to lie, subsequently stoking these wildfires.
Oh. Su…

Movies of 1997, part three: Blockbusters, duds, and more

photo courtesy of flickr.com
Films released in 1997--and later nominated for Academy Awards in 1998--rightfully have a foothold on their place in history. The same can be said for certain blockbusters from the same year not named Titanic. When I started this little project, my main goal was to discuss the 1998 Academy Awards and what great movies were represented that year. I had no idea it would unleash a three-part series, mostly because there were so many good films released in 1997 I'd simply forgotten about over time. The movie about a disaster at sea can cause these things to happen.
In all actuality, during those the last three years of the 90's, I was consuming movies and films at a rapid pace. Between living at home the year after high school and not really knowing anyone in my semesters at Boise State, a lot of my time was spent watching movies from not only 1997 but further back as well.
I do believe the films of 1997--classics, blockbusters, and duds alike--all hav…

Movies of 1997, Academy Awards of '98: Part two

photo: en.wikipedia.org
Films from 1997--especially many going onto the 1998 Academy Awards--have stood the test of time and continue to entertain people 20 years later. Last week we began a journey in exploring a few favorite films released in 1997. Narrowing the scope, we focused on the nominees for best picture at the 1998 Academy Awards. (Sans The Full Monty, substituted here by Boogie Nights.)
These films might have dominated the evening in any other year. Going up against a love story set against the backdrop of a sinking ship, it seems other films did not stand a chance.
Except they did when it came to acting statuettes, leaving Titanic to take home 11 Oscars but none for their actors.
Instead, actresses from the two other films we're looking at, L.A. Confidential and As Good as It Gets, went home with an Oscar on Academy Award night 1998. God himself could not sink this ship After all of these years, it is still Billy Zane who steals the show in Titanic. Setting aside he i…

The movies of 1997 and the 1998 Academy Awards

photo: pixabay.com

The year of 1997 in cinema might be one of the greatest of all-time, leading to a 1998 Academy Awards ceremony in which almost every nominated movie had a legitimate shot at winning. Of course, there was a monster iceberg movie standing in the way. A sinking ship. Hijacked airplanes. Murder. Porn stars. Aliens. John Travolta.
These are only a taste of what films released in 1997 had to offer audiences. Subject matter was sprayed in every general direction, allowing for fans of all genres to sit up and take notice. And looking back at this year, many of the movies listed were ones that influenced and impacted me in some way and a few are still on my list of all-time favorites.
For a quick reminder, here is a sampling of what movies were released in '97:
TitanicL.A. ConfidentialBoogie NightsJackie BrownCon AirAir Force OneGood Will HuntingMen in BlackAs Good as it GetsFace/OffMy Best Friend's WeddingAmistad *Many of these were nominated in one way or the other …

July coming at you with medium heat

The newsletter is a (sometimes) monthly post in which I take a look at what I've enjoyed as of late in pop culture. The following is volume 1, issue 3. Hello friends. Welcome back. 
It's been a bit longer than thirty days since I've sat down to do a newsletter. This is partially because I've been putting a lot of focus into finishing the first draft of The Blue Gem. It is also due to the fact I've written about other stuff over the past few weeks and the newsletter is partly used as a way to still write when other topics are eluding me. 
This is not to say I don't have something brewing. Hopefully coming later this weekend, I will once again travel back to the late 90's to examine some very important movies from that time.
As it is, I spent way too much of any free time watching stuff I've seen before. I've mentioned it before, but even with more than a handful of great stuff being made out there, I find myself stuck watching t.v. shows I've se…

Inches closer and miles away: A look at the United States Men's Soccer Team

photo: commons.wikimedia.org
A little over a year ago, an argument was being made for the United States Men's National Team to retain Jurgen Klinsmann as coach through the 2018 World Cup.
Then World Cup qualifying began. The United States got off to a horrendous start, Klinsmann was let go, and Bruce Arena was brought in to coach. A one-time thought of soccer ascent now failing, the U.S. turned to its past to transform its future.
Despite  Arena sitting without a loss (7-5-0) since his return, the USMNT looks as uneven as ever.
They can look brilliant, as they did in a 6-0 win over Honduras and a tie with Mexico at Azteca. And the lackluster play follows suit, such as a Gold Cup win over Martinique.
Never mind the team is gearing up for a semi-final match-up in the Gold Cup versus Costa Rica. The results--though at times a struggle--have the United States exactly where they should be in the Gold Cup. 
Arena has used--for the most part--matches in the Gold Cup to evaluate some of t…

That's Science! A formulaic journey into 1990's ABC television

photo: pixabay.com
"Pigman is trying prove the Caine-Hackman theory. No matter what time it is, 24 hours a day, you can find a Michael Caine or Gene Hackman movie playing on t.v." - Droz (Jeremy Piven), PCU

There are some days I believe the character of Pigman from PCU is a fictionalized account of my life.

Some days.
It's no secret television shows from the 1990's have a grip on me. Saved by the Bell. Seinfeld. ER. Friends. These shows only scratch the surface of what I sometimes watch to pass the time.
It was while watching an episode of Roseanne that took place at Disney World in which the wheels of my inquisitive mind began turning.
Coupled with seeing episodes of The Middle and Modern Family--two comedies currently showing on ABC--I wondered just how how many sitcoms on ABC had episodes centered on a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World.
More specifically, I wanted to focus on sitcoms airing on ABC in the 1990's (or beginning in the late 80's). Formin…