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Saturday, January 31, 2015

One last (boring) post for January

My goal is to crank out more content in this blog, even if the content is crap. So don't say I didn't warn you.

I have 30 minutes to get this in before it's officially February. I'd like to actually get in three blog posts in one month. That'd be amazing.

So I'm drinking a glass of shiraz and watching the local news, trying to simultaneously type and stop the cat from destroying the living room.

So now Saturday Night Live has started and the opening sketch is one of ersatz Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch hosting their own TV show. Not as funny as Key & Peele's Super Bowl Special that aired last night.

Watching the opening credits of SNL, the current cast are young enough to be my children. They all look like fresh-faced kids.

I love J.K. Simmons and he's the guest host. Doing a fun riff on his maniacal music teacher role in Whiplash. Various cast members flailing away on the drums while Simmons yells at them. Now Fred Armisen, a real drummer, takes over behind the kit and tears through a drum solo. Cute sketch, but not that funny.

Well, this post is tedious enough, so I'm out of here for now.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning

Remember that ebola post I wrote several months ago (see below)? Isn't it funny that we heard absolutely NOTHING about ebola in the United States immediately after the elections took place?

Nothing, At. All.

At least nothing from the major mainstream news sources (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN). If you wanted to hear anything about the ebola epidemic in Africa, you had to really dig for information. It's not as if it was over, either. Though the situation seems to be under control in Liberia, the last I checked it was still a serious problem in Sierra Leone.

Now all we hear about is something called "DeflateGate." Suddenly, The biggest news in the United States are footballs that weren't properly inflated in the AFC championship game (Super Bowl semifinal for anyone who doesn't follow American football) between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The 24-hour news networks like CNN have been treating this ridiculously overblown and ultimately unimportant story like it was a world crisis.

This is the screwy world we live in.


I sort of made a new year's resolution to try and get the hell off my phone and read more books, like the old days before, let's say, 2010. To that end, I started reading Don DeLillo's White Noise, a book I've heard lauded for years. Somehow, the book came up somewhere in conversation (perhaps a podcast I was listening to). Well, it's very good. Quite funny. A biting satire of the absurdity of academia (so far anyway--I've only read about the first 25 pages).

I have also been a connoisseur of Bret Easton Ellis' podcast. He's an author who made a big splash in the late '80s with Less Than Zero and a certain degree of notoriety with American Psycho in the '90s. Of course, he's also written many other novels and essays over a career that has now spanned almost 30 years. On his podcast, he interviews various people from the arts and entertainment and injects his discussions with his own opinions about film, literature, and music. I don't always agree with everything he says, but he always has something interesting to say. I particularly enjoy his theory of "empire" and "post-empire" America. We are now in "post-empire" America, which has been brought upon by the internet/digital instant gratification society we are currently mired in (of which I find myself a slave--trying to break free of it) . Anyway, that's the gist of what I gather from Ellis' ideas of "empire" and "post-empire."

I hadn't read anything by Ellis. I vaguely remember when Less Than Zero came out--actually remember more about the movie adaptation that was released a few years after the book. But I never saw the movie, even though its story of decadent 1980s teens should have been right up my alley seeing as that is "my generation" (though my life in the grimy Midwest was decidedly different from Less Than Zero's wealthy southern Californians).

Well, I'm being interrupted by real life and will have to get back to this later. So let me just hastily conclude this post by saying that I've started reading Less Than Zero and have a feeling that my middle-aged self will find the characters to be spoiled brats.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A ten-minute update

I have a few minutes to spare, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to drop in and say hello, while also making an attempt to not be a stranger to this blog. I have about ten minutes, so I'm here to try to crank out ten minutes of content.

As usual, I'm experiencing both the "post-Holiday blahs" and the "pre-birthday blues." I'm rapidly closing in on birthday #47 (on March 1) and I have to tell you that with each passing year they become less and less exciting. Actually, that's an understatement. I think the last time I was truly excited about a birthday was when I turned 21. It's been downhill ever since. Thus, the two month period between January 1 and March 1 tends to verge between boredom and anxiety.

What makes it slightly more bearable is that my younger son's birthday is on February 26, so at least the focus is more on HIM and less on ME. This year in particular will be eventful because he hits double-digits.

Looking at the clock and I have three more minutes to crank something out.

We went to see Selma last weekend. It's a very good movie, despite whatever historical inaccuracies it may have. It always makes me laugh when people gnash their teeth over Hollywood not getting history "right." For gosh sakes, people, these films are dramatizations, not doctoral dissertations. My feeling has always been that if a dramatic film based on a historic event/person can get the casual viewer to investigate the subject in more detail, then that film is a success.

My ten minutes is up.