Thursday, November 20, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
This isn't a topic I talk about much, but it is nonetheless one I care about quite a bit. I enjoy opera. At least, in theory I enjoy opera. In practice, not so much. Sadly, most productions suck now, and superior older performances aren't available in the quality we can get now with better recording techniques. And then there are truly great performances that just aren't available.
Take, for example, the 1990 performance of Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, the one starring Samuel Ramey, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Kurt Moll. No I'm not naming the leading ladies. I'm going to be the first writer not to do it. Face it, the basses are the stars of this performance, and if you disagree then you haven't seen it. Not that I blame you. For some reason, this performance is not available on DVD. Why is this?
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
This is the beginning. Of all the toys that were brought over to America as Transformers, this may be the earliest one designed. It may even predate the Takatoku Valkyrie, though the precise dates of these things have been obscured by the over 30 years that have passed since.
Obviously I had to have such a thing.
Friday, November 7, 2014
I know it’s November. Halloween should just go away; pack it neatly in boxes in an upstairs closet where it will wait to haunt next year. I started strong with this year’s celebration but puttered out when the constraints of life grew as heave as Marley’s chains.
I did, however, come away with a few great lessons.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Friday, October 31, 2014
For the 2014 reshowing of the 1966 classic It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, ratings averaged 6.28 million viewers (CNN.com). With a demographic of 2.1 million viewers in the 18-49 age bracket, the broadcast beat shows such as Arrow and Hell’s Kitchen. Since this is the forty-eight rebroadcast, garnering that amount of viewers shows the Peanuts Gang has yet to be irrelevant. Consider also that the DVD of Great Pumpkin sells every Halloween and has been available to purchase via streaming services.
When I caught this year’s presentation (my fortieth), I realized that Linus deserves top billing over good ole Charlie Brown. Now I am a pure fan of Charles Schulz’ comic strip Job. My initials are the same, my hairline mimics Chuck’s, and we both share a commonality in the world constantly pulling away the football from us.
For all of the endearing qualities of the lovable loser Charlie Brown, I have to side with his best friend for the sake of the Halloween show. Through It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I have discovered how the blanket wielding young man provides life lessons that will propel each one of us to be better people. Here are five simple reasons why everyone needs to be more like Linus.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Halloween would be the best day of the year to watch movies, if not for the countless kids coming to the door at unpredictable times, with no way to know when it's finally over. You'd think the total lack of decorations or lights outside my house would be a hint that there's no candy here, but I guess my house looks enough like a Halloween display as it is.
This year I'm only watching two movies, The Giant Gila Monster and The Killer Shrews. The two films are a natural fit for a double feature. Both were filmed back to back by the same director, Ray Kellogg, and both debuted on the same day. Neither is all that long, but together they make for a nice night.