Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

In the news, Hawaii is looking to pass legislation that will ban smoking for anyone under the age of 100. Fake ID’s are about to get a hell of a lot more interesting on that island, tell you what. Meanwhile, football season has come to an end . . . until this weekend when the Alliance of American Football kicks off its inaugural season. Eight teams, and nary a major market. It’s a league worth rooting for since the Patriots won’t be involved. And in the weather . . . Mama Nature is playing the North East like a street corner hustler doubling down after losing time in the clink.

And there was a State of the Union speech this week which I never got around to watching on account of my binge watching Mr. Robot. But I see where Nancy stole the show until Bernie tried to steal it back. Those crazy kids.

Without further ado, my top five heroes ‘o the week!

Shine On, Crazy Diamond- One of the greatest downhill skiers in the history of the sport is calling it quits. And it’s just not going to be the same without her. The thirty four year old out of St Paul, Minnesota made her World Cup debut in 2000. After which she got down to the business of crushing slopes and winning. Much. Her trophy case includes four World Cup overalls, eight World Cup season titles and three Olympic medals. She became the first American woman to win gold in the downhill at the 2010 games in British Columbia.

She crashed hard during a Super G run on Tuesday and still got back up after being attended to. And finished the race. It was a testament to her courage and tenacity that she wouldn’t let the mountain send her out from the ground.

Her retirement is the right move for an athlete who’s endured an insane amount of punishment over her career. From Mantle to Koufax, and Sayers to Seles to Vonn, sometimes it’s the body making the decision even if the talent still has miles to go. The memories Vonn leaves behind are better than gold. They are priceless.

Patriots Fan Brings It Home- Meir Kay is a Patriots fan, but don’t hold that against him. Because while we all have to pick a team to root for, Kay is really all about bringing hope to the desperate places. And not for nothing, but the man knows how to throw a kick ass Super Bowl party. He’s been doing it for a few years now, and the video which accompanies this post is from two years ago when the Pats played the Falcons.

Whereas most of the country hunkers down at sports bars and house parties for the game, Kay brings the party to the peeps who need it the most. He shuttles around town inviting the homeless to his makeshift crib where he supplies the jerseys, grub and beverages. Not to mention the humanity which society has stripped from them. Now that is winning. Thank you to Dale for the 411 on this one.

Zero Of The Week- There’s only one zero this week, and it goes to the Democratic Party. With the exception of Nancy Pelosi, who was a one woman photo bomb the other night.

The Dems just cannot get out of their own way. The Big Three of Virginia politics– Governor Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring- find themselves in a world of shit. Northam insists it wasn’t him dressed in blackface in his med school yearbook and there ain’t too many peeps buying it. Fairfax also dressed in black face when he was in college, but he’s admitting to it. And then there’s Herring, who is facing sexual assault charges that date back to 2004. Three strikes and Virginia is starting over.

On the national scene, the party is looser than a Craigslist Chevy at Daytona International Speedway. Sloppy, discordant, scandal ridden and running out of time. Because it’s one year to Iowa.

Tin Cup Maestros- PGA golfer Gary Woodland invited Special Olympian Amy Bockerstette to join him for a practice round at the Phoenix Open recently. Woodland has enjoyed a good deal of success in his ten years on the tour, with three wins and over twenty two million in career earnings. Last year, Amy became the first collegiate golfer to compete with Down Syndrome. When they took to the links, they carried on like life long pals.

Amy’s drive off the tee veered left into the bunker. With Woodland and a growing fan base cheering her on, she beat back the sand pit to set herself up beautifully on the green. She finished it off with a stone cold ten foot putt to finish the hole at par three.

My favorite part of this video (supplied courtesy of Frank) is when Amy is walking down the fairway as the crowd roots her on. She turns to Gary and says “They love me!”.

And how.

Don’t Stop Believing- Silvano Columbano became a rock star thanks to a Fox News piece which claimed the NASA scientist stated that alien life has visited our blue planet. Social media’s tentacles did the rest and before you know it, Columbano’s ‘claim’ had gone viral.

Thing is, Columbano only speculated as to the possibility of alien life visiting our crib. His opinion is that we should stop skimming the water on all the unidentified phenomena and perhaps dive in to some serious homework on it. And his “research paper” as Fox News called it, was really just a document that he prepared in order to get feedback from his peers as to how research on the topic might look going forward. The distinguishing characteristic being that a research paper details hard evidence, whereas Columbano’s document simply outlined the hypothetical scenarios.

I don’t want Columbano to become a caricature. He’ll become a checkout line curiosity if we don’t keep his real motivations in the sunlight. Brilliance and vision oftentimes gets vandalized this way. Thanks to lazy reporting and pinball machine facsimiles driven by the techno-cultured noir that passes as real news.

Like Scully, I want to believe in close encounters and phoning home and signs that actually mean something. And if alien life happens to be reading this and not wasting time with Fox News porn, please do me a solid.

Call me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

This week’s news included more investigations, government shutdown stories and football games that peeps take much too seriously. And then there was the Covington High School lesson in viral economics. It was a frightening look at the power of social media.

Yanno . . those survivalists might be onto something.

The Lesson of Old Lady- A pretty special pooch named Old Lady becomes the first canine to make the Heroes edition, and with good reason. After being lost for seventeen days in the woods, in sub-zero temps, the 10 year old St Bernard was rescued. Again.

When it comes to survivors, this lady is a front page headlines super-heroine whose paws are mighty and whose ability to overcome inspiring. Her two and a half week ordeal in the wilderness came on the heels of having been rescued from a puppy mill, where the owners were using her to breed. Her nine lives are not the result of luck, but of an impenetrable will that us two legged peeps could learn from. Because life has been telling her to quit since the day she was born. And she’s here for one simple reason.

She didn’t listen.

Rudy Guiliani- Remember when he was “America’s Mayor”? Holy Fiorello, this guy’s reputation has taken a bigger hit than Sears shares. His disingenuous denials of any Russian collusion with the White House have morphed into a pathetic series of genuflecting gaffes in the new year. Basically, Rudy taunted the press for much of the last two years whenever questioned about discussions between Trump and the Russians. He behaved very much like all those mob lawyers he once took on as Attorney General of New York back in the eighties, when he was busy taking down the mob whilst sewing the seeds for a Mayoral run.

Rudy’s omerta license must’ve expired, because he’s been pretty chatty as of late. He flipped his story into an admission that discussions about a Trump Tower Russia were going on between Trump and the Russians throughout 2016. And then Rudy got more specific, admitting that talks were taking place from the time Trump announced he was running for President all the way up to and after his election night victory. Now Rudy claims all that chatter on his part was purely hypothetical.

It’s sad when you watch a political figure become a trivial pursuit question and a caricature of his former self. It’s even sadder when you realize he chose this path.

Magnum PI- The only reason Roger Goodell is still capo di tutti capi is because he’s been a rainmaker for the league during his tenure. Much like the retired MLB commish Bud Selig, Goodell has preached for the fan’s best interests whilst screwing them royally. From pricing families out of the game to looking the other way in the CTE crisis, the NFL boss has always proven expert at saying one thing and doing the other.

Excepting for now, when it feels as if Rajah has been auditioning for a role in the A Quiet Place sequel. With the white hot noise that has resulted from “Pass Interference-Gate” in New Orleans, and with fans hollering for more replays and even a do-over, the commish remains silent. Excuse me but . . what in the blessed fuck is this guy being paid for if he refuses to get in front of a microphone and address this mess? Goodell pulled in thirty five million last year and is negotiating a new contract in which he is asking for 49 million a year, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for him and his family. You’d think for that money that he might . . yanno, actually show up?

Reactionary Fans- New Orleans made it back from Hurricane Katrina, so I’m fairly certain that a football score ain’t the end of the world. They were robbed? I don’t know about that. Because if you’re going to go back and change the non-call on the Saints last drive, then you’re gonna have to change the non-call on the preceding Rams drive in which Jared Goff was grabbed by the face mask; because that would’ve made it first and goal for the Rams at the one yard line, and that would’ve change the dynamics as well.

Saints fans threaten lawsuits and rail on about how the integrity of the game has been compromised, and I have to wonder. Isn’t this the same organization that once presided over “Bounty-Gate”, in which bounties were awarded for knocking players out of the game? Sorry but, I ain’t taking ethics lessons from that organization or that punk head coach. It was a bad call, but it wasn’t a crime. They’re right about Goodell’s Houdini act, but spare me the Opera.

Paying It Forward: Organized religion has taken a beating thanks to degenerate priests, for profit apostles and a status driven, country club ethos that permeates too many churches. Jesus is a glove-box totem for many; to be used in moments  of crisis as well as to proselytize on politics and people.

Pastor Noah Schumacher’s journey to the better places of this world began a few months ago when he learned his mother was suffering from liver failure. He went through a series of tests to see if he might be able to donate a portion of his liver, but he wasn’t a match. The transplant coordinator he worked with informed him he was a perfect match for a dying child who was also in need. After talking with his wife and kids, Schumacher agreed to undergo the six hour surgery. No matter the possible complications or the significant recovery time. He was in.

This story spread like wildfire throughout his community and now neighbors and strangers alike are being tested themselves in order to see if they might be a possible donor for Schumacher’s mother. Turns out, you can win favor and a good name in the sight of higher powers if . . yanno, your faith is this strong.

Schumacher isn’t waiting for Jesus to take the wheel.

He’s driving.

 

 

 

The Fight To Regain Sanity

There’s a scene in the movie Goodfellas when wig shop owner and independent bookmaker Morrie Kesseler gets whacked most unceremoniously by Tommy DeVito (played by Joe Pesci). One minute he’s climbing into a Cadillac with the intent of negotiating his share of a big score over coffee whilst picking up a danish to bring to his wife Claire, and the next minute his brain stem is being severed with an ice pick.

This scene reminds me of what’s happened to this country since the 2016 Presidential election. We are Morrie. We were promised a danish and what we got was an ice pick in the neck.

Regardless of whether you climbed into that Eldorado or not, you sure as shit are wearing cement shoes. I realize this analogy is anathema to those peeps who think watching Fox News makes them a patriot. They are plenty fine excusing the unsightly state of affairs in Washington, believing it to be a matter of renovation.

On the campaign trail, a Trump presidency promised to ‘drain the swamp’ of business as usual politics. Instead, it is simply giving us the business. As usual. But with glaringly unique consequences whose comedy is perverse, insidious and downright hateful. It is as if the American people have been written into the scripted cheat sheets of a reality show. Only thing is, the shit ain’t funny and the scenarios are toting generational price tags. And maybe the worst part of this whole sordid mess is that, in the end, we can’t really blame the Russians or the flagellating GOP, or even the fucking Kardashians. Nope, the cold hard truth of the matter is that we’re all to blame.

This is what happens when the nation stops paying attention to the box scores in Washington. This is what you get when an electorate is more well versed in pop culture than who their elected representatives are. We got complacent. We assumed sides mattered more than progress. Debates became more a matter of being right than of getting it right. Somewhere along the way, we lost our compass and we just let the winds lead us.

So we were saddled with a President who wants to build walls; never minding the fact that such a mindset is analogous with burning bridges. We have a President who believes in name calling and alternate terminology and yet wants us to believe he’s a modern day Churchill. I have to think old Winston could’ve taught Trump a thing or two about what a national emergency looks like. And how walls are nothing more than symbolic trinkets compared to the heart and soul of a nation’s ability to stand together.

Listen, I am a fairly middle of the road sonofabitch with nary a sacred cow in my arsenal. I didn’t believe in Trump back then the same as I don’t believe Ocasio-Cortez now. I have a problem with using the nuclear option to expedite judicial confirmation, no matter whether it’s Harry Reid threatening it or Mitch McConnell using it. Being middle of the road doesn’t make me vanilla ice cream. It makes me rocky road. I trust my eyes more than my ears, every single time. And what I’ve seen over the last couple of years troubles me. Not as a politically affiliated individual but as a human being.

Trump’s campaign slogan vowed to make America great again, which was both demeaning to the current generation and ignorant to the struggles of generations past. To my way of thinking, the greatest strength of any true democracy is in its future. You win today for tomorrow, in perpetuity. Our founding fathers understood the consequences of walking backwards.

It’s a lesson we’re still learning.

There’s a time for kneeling, and a time for standing up

Nike Ad

I am totally down with the new Nike ad campaign that features former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, even if I’m not sold on the feng shui of this union just yet.

Let’s chill with this idea that Kaepernick is this generation’s Muhammad Ali. This, ain’t that. I’m not talking about what each man risked in their respective protests, because each did result in a loss of employment. No, I’m talking about the dialogue that was culled from it.

Kaepernick is the face of a movement that is still struggling to define itself even now, mostly because you hardly ever hear the man speak. Silence does not a movement grow, and it’s one of the many reasons the anthem protests have stuttered and stalled.

Granted, this isn’t all the young man’s fault. We do live in an age where every particular is dissected and disseminated until its original intent is no longer the conversation. Problem is, his polarizing moments have followed the precepts of Instagram in that they provided optics without saying a word. Wearing socks that depict cops as pigs, sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt and touting the qualities of Fidel Castro makes Kaepernick look like one of those Hollywood fools. It sure as hell doesn’t further a movement that is in dire need of a driver.

All due respect to Kaepernick, but the anthem protests needed an Ali; it needed a voice that wouldn’t shrink under the scrutiny, a presence whose conviction would augment the steep and bumpy road to progress. I realize movements don’t work that way and that to wish for such a thing is to mitigate the organic qualities that make a cause worth fighting for. Rosa Parks didn’t choreograph her bus ride home, after all. She was just tired of the way things were and decided to do something about it.

Kaepernick is the accidental social activist. People forget that in the genesis of these anthem protests, his football career had suffered a downward trajectory. Defensive coordinators had figured him out; his statistics and his team’s record bear this out. Long gone was the shine of that Super Bowl ride he took San Francisco on a few years earlier.

It made his banishment from the league that much easier to justify, because owners could point to the numbers in explaining why he couldn’t latch onto another job after his team cut him loose. This ignores the fact that Kaep was still a better option than a bunch of quarterbacks who were still drawing paychecks from NFL teams. Not to mention the fact that my Miami Dolphins paid Jay Cutler- a quarterback with nothing left in the tank- 10 million dollars to come out of retirement for what amounted to a four month Florida vacation. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that one of Kaepernick’s former teammates and a fellow protester, Eric Reid, is still looking for a job. Reid is a twenty six year old all-pro who just so happens to be in his prime, so I’ll let you connect the dots on that one.

When you do the math, the anthem protests have resulted in jobless brothers and a shitload of rhetoric and double talk from both sides. From President Trump to Serena Williams to the NFL cutting a big check to various social causes as if that makes up for the fact they just don’t get it. Call me a cynic, but that doesn’t feel like progress to me.

The Nike ads speak to us in the language of our times. It’s a glossy meme that basically tells us to pick a side, theirs. It’s a ballsy move by a company that practices its Just Do It preach. Bringing Kaepernick into the fold was provocative, not to mention, good business sense.

Because it’s the bottom line that is driving this, not the company’s social conscience. This is, after all, a company that made its bones on three hundred dollar sneakers made in third world countries for pennies on the dollar. Phil Knight is a brilliant businessman who will never be confused with Mahatma Gandi.

There are going to be plenty of people who slam Kaepernick for getting in bed with a company that doesn’t give a fig about social justice. But not me. I never begrudge a man for making bank, it’s un-American. I simply hope that with this new platform, he is able to grow into the job of social activist. He proved that he’s invested in furthering his brand. Now I want him to use Nike the way they’re intent on using him. Use this spotlight to mobilize, challenge and yes, speak out.

Just do it.

 

Tricking out my Tuesday

In a recent interview, Wednesday and Thursday were asked to describe Tuesday’s best attribute. They replied in unison, “It ain’t Monday,”.

Now, maybe this has something to do with the fact that Wednesday and Thursday are so close . . they’re practically inseparable. But I do believe they have a point, yanno? Tuesday could do with some hype. Think about it, Tuesdays were in such dire need of some disco magic, they engineered an entire ad campaign centered around tacos. Nothing against tacos, but they can pitch the weekend on their shit until the sun stops showing up to work and they’d get nowhere. You know why? Because it’s the weekend! Friday is sexy just the way it is, and Saturday . . well Friday wants to be Saturday when it grows up, so there’s that. Sunday is so fucking cool, it can putz around for half the day and still make up the time with a little something called brunch.

So Tuesday, it needs big flavor all the way around. From the tunes you fix on to the vibe you ride on, to the annoyances you dip into a rant sauce. And maybe I have a couple to share with y’all.

Like . . .

. . . Urban Meyer wants us to know that he didn’t know, until he knew, but that when he knew, he still didn’t know, yanno?

. . . Terrestrial radio sucks. It never changed, which is one of the reasons peeps get their favorite music anywhere and everywhere else. An industry where management never takes chances, is an industry on the slow road to obsolescence. Which is why I only listen to FM radio by mistake.

. . . PETA lobbied to have Nabisco’s parent company change the design on their animal crackers box recently. The animals will no longer be depicted in circus cages. Now they will be seen roaming across a savanna. So time, energy and monies were poured into this effort to ‘free’ artistic representations of animals on a cookie box. So, how long until eating these crackers will be considered animal cruelty?

. . . And while I’m talking PETA, I just learned that they also went after Pokemon, because the object of the game is to chase and capture (fictional) animals. And yes . . we are all doomed.

. . . When someone cuts me off whilst driving, I no longer get upset. I simply raise my phone and pretend I’m taking a pic of their license plate. Now, they don’t know what Imma do with that info. For all they know, I could be a serial killer who’s gonna pay them a visit. Mission accomplished.

. . . To athletes who want to be taken seriously and yet behave like fools. Well then how about this? Grow up and buck up. Until then, stop your whining and be men dammit!

. . . To any dude who says “we’re pregnant”?  No, son . . she is pregnant. You had one job, and it was the easiest and most enjoyable part of the pregnancy. So shaddup with this we’re pregnant nonsense. She’s pregnant, you’re a glorified bystander.

I’ll end this rambling rant with an antonymous equivalent. It’s my favorite video of the week for more reasons than the one. Back in the not so distant past, I excoriated Penn State University for their role in a horrendous cover up. But, as with Ohio State, Michigan State, Baylor, Louisville, Syracuse and the laundry list of other schools that have been wracked by scandal, Penn State isn’t about one man. These great schools are about so much more than that, and to have witnessed James Franklin’s success at PSU is a truly special thing.

Franklin is a good man who does things the right way. And wins. And maybe it never scores him a national title, but I sure as hell hope it will some day. And I hope he always takes his responsibility as the face of a program this seriously. I hope he never arrives at a juncture where he thinks he’s bigger than the name of the school he works for.

And I hope he always keeps his great sense of humor. Because to invite Keegan-Michael Key to Homecoming Week is an inspired and brilliant move by a head coach who actually gets it.

More of this . . . we need it.

 

 

 

Cinema Parenthesio

Movie Theater

As with most things recreational, I tend to binge.

Books, tennis, pain pills and yes . . movies. It doesn’t matter as to the method,- Amazon Prime, HBO, Redbox or the theater- I tend to gorge myself in concentrated pockets.

My movie binging tends to take the place of regular bi’ness, since I can’t seem to do two things at once. When I ain’t gobbling up a half dozen books in no time flat, I’m a daily reader of blogs, magazine articles and news articles. When I ain’t losing at tennis, I’m going strong with my running and stationary bike regimen. When I make the prudent (foolish?) decision not to pop a happy pill, I’m luxuriating in a three finger salute to my favorite bourbon. And when I’ve had my fill of documentaries and TV series . . I go full length motion pictures.

This past week happened to be one of those movie weeks I speak of, in which I digested several flicks and nibbled on a whole bunch more. I was going to do a top five movies of my week, but the count went a tad bit higher than that. So instead, Imma give a short spill on the virgin entrees I sat down with, by arranging my fare in categories . . from the ridiculous to the sublime.

The Ridiculous:

The Snowman- I went in expecting a horror/psychological thriller and I got a trip to the DMV. In other words, a two hour wait in which I prayed for death (mine). A great cast- Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, Chloe Sevigny and J.K. Simmons coupled with Martin Scorcese as the executive producer? What could go wrong? Apparently, everything. The plot is shit for, the flashback scenes are confusing as fuck and the ending is completely predictable. And now I’ve wasted two hours and two and a half minutes on this flick so let’s move on.

Funny Snowman

The Sublime: (Note, not all of these flicks were perfect. But they were all worth it. Even if they can’t erase . . . yanno.)

The Disaster Artist- I’m usually not into movies about movies but this take on one of the worst movies ever made (The Room) had me from the get. James Franco doesn’t just play Tommy Wiseau- the enigmatic actor/director- he is the guy. The self deprecating theme gives this movie its charm. The idea that you should follow your dreams, even if it takes you right over a cliff, gives this movie its soul.

A Quiet Place- I was mesmerized/intrigued/disturbed by the hook to this movie. I went in expecting a zombie flick, and this wasn’t that. It was actually way better than that. If asked to give a two word description for this post-apocalyptic tale, I’d go with Words Matter. Solid if not spectacular, it’s a story that sticks to its guns instead of overreaching. Which is pretty damn refreshing in an age of cinematic superfluity (say that one time fast). I’m not crazy about the idea of a sequel, but this flick is a lean, mean dish of yes.

A Quiet Place Funny

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri- I already knew Frances McDormand was top of her class, but Jeezusy Christmas! And I ain’t in agreement with the peeps who trashed this flick for its complicated characters. Their censure feels more like censorship, and I’m sorry, but when we start writing shit based solely on a person’s comfort level, we are all doomed. This flick doesn’t pander or pose, it hits you hard and it doesn’t stop hitting you. It ain’t a perfect film, but maybe for this scene . . which became an instant favorite of mine.

Mission Impossible- Fallout- Tom Cruise made me love this franchise. Because the fact that he’s actually bat shit crazy sells this dish at full retail, no matter the plot. Knowing he’s risking life and limb with each new installment is worth the price of admission. I wasn’t in Rotten Tomatoes love with MI-6, but it was still worth the buttered popcorn heartburn. All I ask of my action movie is that it actually gives me, yanno . . action. And that the good guys and the bad guys make the implausible scenarios worth buying into. Sold!

Tom Cruise

Crazy Rich Asians- Now we’re talking. I saved the best for last, because this is a flick I could watch several times over and laugh just as hard every single one of ’em. It’s got everything you’re looking for in a rom/com: Kleenex moments, passion, laughs, deliciously simple scenes dancing in harmony with the great big ones. And yeah, that love and romance stuff too. Constance Wu and Henry Golding shine as the leading couple. Awkwafina upstages the always hilarious Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan is simply stunning and Michelle Yeoh is at her badass best.

Crazy would have scored favorite movie of my week for the wedding scene alone, but it wins best summer flick for checking every box on my movie going list. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and, unlike that (every) visit to the DMV, you won’t want it to end.

That’s entertainment.

 

 

 

Sorryless Sunday Morning

I am proclaiming this Sunday to be the intermezzo of my Woodstock series of posts. So in lieu of flower power, Imma post the first in a brand new series that will show up on the regular once I’m finished spilling on my three days of peace and music in the Catskills with the lovely Q.

I used to do a “Sunday Morning Coffee Love” post on my old blog. I don’t want to steal that title, so I came up with Sorryless Sunday Morning because it had a Lionel Richie groove to it. I may change up that title in future posts, but the vibe will remain the same.

Sorryless Sunday Morning posts will feature blog shout outs, quick hits on whatever is dancing in ‘me noggin and a music video that brings the requisite chill to my Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy.

  • My son’s first week of teaching is in the books and it frazzled him. He’s in that new teacher zone where he’s gonna have to learn his rhythm. As with anything else an individual does that is worth doing, he’ll figure it out. A shout out to Frank at A Frank Angle for dishing up some pieces he wrote on teaching for me to give to my son. Frank is a scholar and a gentleman, and I’m blessed to call him my blog neighbor.
  • Speaking of blessed, the lovely Q wrote a beautiful piece at A Dalectable Life about love and friendship- and how it endures. Later on, we had a rather involved discussion about writing and published works, to which I’ve been stewing on ever since. I feel sometimes that I am hopeless in my take on the matter, so her nudging means more than she will ever know.
  • As for published authors, John Howell at Fiction Favorites is back in the lineup after his surgery a couple weeks ago. He’s the Mike Trout of the blogosphere in that he comes to play (write) every single day, and he brings it. Whether he’s writing his weekly mystery series, a prompt challenge or his haiku . . he engages you with his wit and his clever wordplay. Blog life is always sweet when he’s in the room.
  • As far as good tunes go, tune into Tara’s sizzle over at Daisy Smiley Face if you’re looking to vibe on some musical goodness. Tara operates on the same wavelength as yours truly as far as her musical tastes go, but every once in a while she’ll introduce a singer or group I’ve not heard of. And it’s always a slam dunk.
  • And to round out my top five blog shout outs for this week, Imma mention a chica who tells terrific tales about tails. Monika at Tails Around the Ranch also speaks gardening and Colorado and hockey, fluently. And she just started up a new online business called Sam’s K9 Kreations, so make sure to check it out!

As for my quick hit thoughts? I gots a few . . . .

  • I’m cutting ties with Walking Dead after this coming season. Like the old Carole King song goes, the feeling has died (for me) and I just can’t hide, and I won’t fake it.
  • Urban Meyer has been exposed for the phony he is, but winning will prove to be the deodorant of his odorous tenure. So here’s hoping he gets a clue before someone else becomes a victim.
  • One of my favorite Clint Eastwood lines, in an endless sea of ’em . . .
  • Jacob DeGrom of the Mets probably ain’t winning the Cy Young, but I happen to think he’s the best pitcher going this season. And if I’m a Mets fan, I’m pissed that ownership is wasting his immense talent.
  • In response to the peeps who call him overpaid, Raiders coach Jon Gruden threw shade at Tom Cruise; basically saying that no one complains about how much Cruise makes in a movie. Well . .having just seen the latest installment of Mission Impossible, I can tell you that Cruise is the only thing that drew me to the franchise. And if I’m laying down money, Imma go with Cruise over Gruden . . every day, and yes, twice on Sunday.
  • Going to see Crazy Rich Asians with the girl. Yes, the rumors are true. I am all about the rom-com.
  • Going to see The Nun when it comes out in a couple weeks. And no, the rumors are not true. I will not be wearing diapers. I also won’t drink any beverages beforehand . . .
  • I don’t think peeps understand that impeachment does not mean the removal of the President.
  • Braciole, like my lechon, is a dish best served in variations. The stand alone opening night dish is pure gumba-licious. The next day sammy is slamming. And every day thereafter . . it’s the dish that keeps on giving.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Sunday. Be sure to tune in next week for my next installment in the Woodstock series. Have a wonderful Sunday, and an even better week.

Peace, love and music