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Things that will allow me to live in the woods by myself, but still have wifi and not drop dead and get eaten by bears

I ****ing hate New Year's Resolutions and I never keep one.  So I need to call them something else.  I'm going to call them, things that will allow me to live in the woods by myself, but still have wifi and not drop dead and get eaten by bears.

I will stop complaining about insignificant things. I am so critical of the people who complain about traffic on the way to their six digit job, but I complain when the TV goes out and I can't watch the game and eat nachos.  I need to stop that shit.

No more shots.  Shots kill me. Shots make me wake up in the middle of the street. Shots make me pee in places that aren't a toilet.  Shots make me spend ridiculously more money than I need to spend.  Shots also make me believe that the strange girl who asked me to buy her a shot is interested. Estimated time I'll keep this up.... St. Paddy's Day

Get my hip looked at.  I haven't been able to walk without pain in over seven months. I need to do something.  I have a high thre…

Quickie Review - American Mary

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie other than the fact that it was popular among a small group of horror enthusiasts on Twitter.  So last night, upon the urging of the "Monster Honey" from a wonderful group of gals called The Horror Honeys http://www.thehorrorhoneys.com/, I dove in.

The movie stars Katharine Isabelle, who horror fans will remember from Ginger Snaps trilogy and Freddy vs Jason.  Isabelle plays Mary Mason, a beautiful young, but not too young, medical student who is an exceptional student and we learn quickly how devoted to her craft she is.  Needing money, the broke student goes to take a job as a stripper (massages) and shows up with a garter belt and a resume.  So up until this point (about 15 minutes), we're expecting this to be the typical exploitation film. Not so fast, this bad boy...er girl, is written and directed by Sylvia and Jen Soska, who are known in the horror world as The Twisted Twins. The Twins carefully construct each character a…

The 21 Best Movies I Watched In 2013

Here is the simple criteria.  These movies could have come out in 2013 or they could have come out in 1913. This list is simply a list of the best of the best from my laying in bed with my thoughts, some coffee (maybe a snack) and film in front of me.  They are in no particular order, but I may give some "best of" nods at the end.  This is out of well over 100 movies.

Everything Is Illuminated - A young man's search to find out about his heritage.
The Kings Of Summer - Boys coming of age.
Secret Honor - One man fictional showing of Richard Nixon unraveling.
La Jetee/Sans Soleil - Sci-Fi & Documentary done exquisitely.
Stoker - Superb thriller about a family being torn apart.
Dear Zachary - Absolutely heartbreaking documentary.
Lincoln - Biopic with incredible cast, recounting a great moment in history.
Silver Linings Playbook - Beautifully touching tale of the craziness of love.
Django Unchained - Wild West meets Hip-Hop meets Social Commentary
Argo - Near perfect d…

Free Writing - Take 31 (Speed round)

Feeling cold. A feeling that is usually foreign to me. Things I can't control weakening my being. My thoughts keep coming back to an unexpected turn. A true punch to the gut, a gut filled with the happiness of a Christmas duck, but one that has left nauseous, not because of it's decay, but because of something so completely unprepared for that it beats my soul.  I will get by and I will survive this bump in the road. I have metaphorically (and literally) become my own bump in the road and need to one day be the car.

Christmas Irony and Epiphany

I'm staying away from the religious and celebratory irony and going straight to the sources.  I don't even want to get into the irony that was the mass at the Vatican.  When the Pope contradicts what's in the Bible, what is left?  Maybe I need a little lesson on blessings, but when the Bible says do not pray for idols and then the Pope says he must bless the statue of the Baby Jesus, I'm going to question everything I hear from here on out, even more so than I usually do.  Oh look, I got into it.

I digress.  This year, Facebook showed me just how funny and ridiculous faith, appearances and people's general levels of happiness are.  The people who told me they love everyone, because that's what Jesus taught, spewed hate and vile words nearly every day.  The people who posted pictures of their vacations, trips to sporting events and lavish dinners cried the blues or, more often than not, let slip that all was not well either financially, emotionally or in the wor…

Quickie Review - Everything Is Iluminated

A near perfect film, in that it adds humor to a topic often devoid if such an emotion. It could be classified a road trip movie, but that would trivialize the awakening in the final third of the film. The end message, while confusing in sine ways, was brilliantly done. The movie is all about understanding; self, surroundings & we all can learn from each other. It is that illumination that makes all of the same. We just need to be brought to that point and this movie dies so beautifully.

Ithaca Calling?

Thanksgiving in a little town called Accord. Turkey, dressing (two kinds), all the other fixings and lots of wine. A nice snooze and then a bus ride to Ithaca. Lamb, chicken, delicious bean soup, pork chops, salmon, trout, cassoulet and other delicacies danced on my tongue over the two plus weeks.  Delicious dips and cheeses and once again lots of delicious wines.

So now it's time to return.  A little piece of me dies when I return home.  I'm not content there.  Happy to see friends, of course.  Can't wait to hug some tightly and wish them holiday cheer.  Glasses will clink together in celebration of health and happiness and there will be laughs, lots of laughs.  It is where I live and where I have lived for 28 years.  It no longer gives me any satisfaction to say so.  Unlike my neighbors, the town's changes aren't what bothers me.  It's the bitterness that surrounds me.  The sound of the train I had trained myself to ignore has been replaced by slamming doors,…

Snow

I don't know if there is anything I like more than sitting watching the rain from a porch or out an open window, but snow comes pretty close.  Snow fall, aside from being beautiful is so different, in that there is no sound.  Just a slow accumulation of whiteness, blanketing the black streets.  There is just something so soothing about it.

I think there's something therapeutic about a snowfall.  Almost as if this clean sheet lays down over the dirt that is our everyday life.  The pureness covers the metaphoric evils that lay beneath.  Sure, we know what is there and within hours the next day, that dirt and grime will seep through and turn that clean slate into something even worse than originally sat there.  But for those moments, when the snow falls, especially at night, we see those individual flakes, working to form something beautiful.  Like the covers we hide under at night, symbolically protecting us from all the monsters of the day, as we dream of worlds filled with fan…

Envy

Envy is a dirty word.  It's one of the seven deadly sins, but is it always bad? Envy can be a motivational tool.  I wrote about my feelings about the Seven Deadly Sins years ago, but this is a new feelings.  I don't ever feel envious of anyone, because I know we all have our warts, it's just that so many of us choose to mask them, while I'm pretty open about mine.  I just feel it's better to be open with people about who you are, what you can offer and what you can't.  I know my good qualities and I'm more than aware of those people (not all) deem to be negative.  So why am I suddenly experiencing a feeling of envy.  Well it's difficult to explain, because it's the idea of something more than a specific example.  Cryptic crap, let me start again.

I recently met someone who is with someone else.  I found them very attractive and they possess two characteristics I find incredibly sexy.  They are tiny and they are incredibly intelligent.  Obviously the…

Eight Items I Can't Live Without

I am very vocal at my disdain for the materialistic nature of most people.  I find those people lack so much in their lives that they have filled it with houses, cars, jewelry, trips, etc to compensate for life's simple pleasures that elude them.  Sure, ask them and they tell you I'm jealous or I'm compensating, but the reality is, I've never been into items. I collected baseball cards as a kid and when I got tired of that, it became frivolous in my mind to try and own stuff which really added no pleasure to my life.  These days a nice meal, some drinks and a good conversation are all I need, aside from the basics like a bed to sleep in and shelter from the elements.  That being said, there are certain luxuries we all need and I'm no different, so I made a list of the things in any given week I simply can't live without.

1.  My phone.  It used to be my laptop, but with no WiFi, I have become one of those people who needs a phone at all time.  Ironically, I aver…

Facebook Statuses from 1970 To Now

What if Facebook had always been around?  Imagine how truly amazing our statuses would have been?  So much better than today's boring bullshit about going to cross fit, doing yoga, pictures of food, etc.  Well here's what mine would have looked like if Facebook has always been around

1970 - Wait, what is that bright light. I can't fit through there....ahhhhhh!
1971 - Hey Mom, why do the other kids get titties?
1972 - I must be fucking gorgeous the way everyone makes kissing faces
1973 - Wait a minute, where are the bars on my bed?
1974 - Who is this ugly guy and why is raising a peace sign?
1975 - Grandma and Granpa gave me $5 - getting 250 pieces of gum bitches!
1976 - First grade is rough. Need a fucking nap.
1977 - I wanna be a Jedi when I grow up.
1978 - Girls have cooties.
1979 - New School. I have a free period. I'm nine? Hold me.
1980 - Wow, I'm a decade old.  Thanks for the Playboy grandpa (no really).
1981 - Wait, wasn't that the guy from that movie wi…

Free Writing - Take 30

Sipping the last sip of my morning coffee at a quarter to five. This is Ithaca life.  A nice life.  No motorcycles roaring down the road.  No sirens waking me at all hours of the night. No discourteous neighbors letting the door slam or having loud conversations outside my door.  The birds that woke me in August have gone south for the winter.  My move north seems almost apropos.  Going against the tide, against the grain, against the masses. The chilly air warms my soul.  Even today, the only sounds I heard were that of the sanitation workers, picking up the remains of Thanksgiving.  I love Ithaca's silence, because it allows me to think deeply. No worries about being disturbed and no self induced distractions.  I miss my kids, their laughs, but more so their stories.  I missed those who know me so well, ages 5-11, even better than those I call friends.  The six year old who knows my sarcasm all too well, yet people I know for 27 years are perplexed by it.  The five year old who …

Things I Don't Have An Answer For After This Week - Some That Know The Truth Will Find This Funny

Sorry, I had to do it.  You guys know me, I'm an open book.  Since Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever day it took place, the feedback I've been getting (remember, I'm blocked, I can't "stalk") has been hilarious. The people who have jumped on the bash Hopper bandwagon are a collection of people I wouldn't piss on in a fire.  And the one's who have made comments about this person have done so privately and without any contempt.  They truly feel sorry for this sad person who obviously got so much more out of our debates than I did.  That being said, I'll miss the banter, when it was kept on topic, but this person always made it personal, then ran screaming and crying when the personal attacks were rebutted. Despite his religious claims of holding no anger in his heart, anyone who read his posts, especially his comments on web pages, knows he is filled with hate and rage.  I on the other hand, do not believe in God, do not believe in this internal good…

Black Friday 2013 - A Reflection Of Society & Many I Know

In my entire life I've never wanted a gift more than time with my family during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving.  Even the thought that one of my family members would give up free family time to wrestle for toys, clothes and other items, slightly sickens me.  Throughout my life, I've been very happy for all that I've had and never wanted for anything more.  I've wanted to give more, but never once have I craved an item to fulfill my life.  Not even as a child.  When I was younger, I asked for one thing every year.  A new Nerf football.  That was my Christmas/Hanukkah list every year.

While glimpsing at the news on my phone and reading of bomb threats, brawls and alleged shootings, it saddened me that in my brief life, the world has become such a materialistic place.  Every morning Facebook sickens me with pics and posts of engagement rings, new cars, vacation spots and other shows of decadence, while millions can't even put a tuna sandwich and a salad on the …

Quickie Review - Bullhead

The description on Netflix was very misleading, but despite the sometimes muddled subplot, the movie is powerful beyond expectations. Matthias Schonhaerts is magnificent as the brooding lead. His scenes spent alone are chilling, especially those spent in his inner sanctum, a bathroom equipped with as mini fridge. The entire story is really about three characters plagued with inner demons caused by one horrid event. One it has changed so drastically he becomes the one thing he never wanted to be, one fights regret and her disdain for the men she views as animals and the other fights cowardice, with possibly another hidden secret. The pain they each feel is displayed perfectly. The subplot that attempts to tie the movie together waivers at times, but it is just a vehicle to allow the real story to come together. The devotion Schonaerts showed the role was amazing and shines through. The film is also beautifully shot which adds so much to the picture. While the subplot sometimes masks t…

Insomnia Isn't Just Not Sleeping

Insomnia is dreaming while you're awake.
Insomnia is dozing off for seconds that feel like forever.
Insomnia is hearing the hum of the refrigerator like a marching band's drum.
Insomnia is feeling your eyelids
Insomnia is the painful awareness of time
Insomnia is fear of schedules.
Insomnia is heightened sensory perception
Insomnia is thinking about the phone bill 30 times in 30 minutes.
Insomnia is having that mistake played over constantly.
Insomnia is knowing how often you pee.
Insomnia is constant thirst.
Insomnia is pain, itchiness and general discomfort.
Insomnia is the neighbors dog, cat or late night footsteps.
Insomnia is worrying that even if you do fall asleep, it won't be enough.
Insomnia is never being tired, but never being awake.
Insomnia is what keeps you going, until it tears you down.
Insomnia is waking up in a strange place, only to find it is home.

Quickie Review - Frances Ha

I grew up with Noah Baumbach during the 4th through 8th grade and have enjoyed his vision. His realistic dialogue, captures the characters insecurities, their strengths and their quirkiness. It's easy to dismiss Frances Ha as another hipster love story, but that would be to dismiss Miss Gerwig's incredible performance. To call her a lovable loser would also be dismissive. To give up on your dreams, even more importantly, what brings you happiness, just in order to "be an adult" is heartbreaking. Gerwig is so effective and controls every scene with the mastery of a seasoned vet. Three scenes stick out, but the ATM scene was masterful. Her expression, her defeated look and her resolve, took a moment in everyone's life we take for granted and makes it a major life decision. Amazing to see a nuanced film with such incredible performances from relative unknowns.

Been A While

Almost a month since my last blog. Haven't really been feeling it recently. Don't want my reality to be misconstrued as negativity. The reality is that life's getting harder to deal with. The physical pain is causing mental pain, more in the form of anxiety. Sleep is once again foreign, unless some serious sedatives are in order, but that is causing its own issues.  I'm treading water, but the weather seems to be getting worse and the waves getting bigger. Staying afloat is more of a chore than a mission, or act of survival.

With movies, my kids and a smaller handful of friends than usual, I keep my ahead above the tide. Sometimes it seems useless as the inevitable is bound to happen. I find solace in knowing those around me are well, or at least better off, but they need to be. Others count on their strength and survival.

The walls I've talked about pressing in seem tighter. The metaphor isn't really one at all, as the space that confines me seems more like a …

World War Z - Quickie Review

The Zombie apocalypse is upon us. The genre has been shoved down our throat so much that we're numb to it. Brad Pitt taking his turn intrigued me, but what more could be done? Well, think of 28 Days Later minus the boredom.

WWZ is fresh. It's fast. It's fun. For me, that is all you need. It's pure entertainment. The metaphorical BS is left Archie door. The world is doomed and one man is trying to save what's left, but really, he just wants his family
safe. The close up zombies are few and far between, but the masses are plentiful. WWZ doesn't try to duplicate any other film. It is different and that is what makes it special. It does steal an idea from other movies, but almost in the reverse way and it works. While I normally seek substance, this won me over with style. Two hours of carefree style!

My Four Days As A Dog Owner

I've always loved dogs.  I had a Siberian Husky as a child and when she had to be put down due to biting someone, I was devastated.  I also love cats and have always had cats in my life, but when my father's cat died last year, that was it for me, other than my brother's dog.  I've been contemplating a pet for two years now and almost committed to a cat, but then time away from home put a damper on those hopes.  Last week, my sister in law asked if I would be willing to stay at their place and take care of Roman. I accepted.

Roman is a huge, black Standard Poodle.  He is one of the friendliest dogs ever.  When I first walked into the apartment, I heard him barking.  It was about 5:30AM and I wondered how good of an attack dog he might be.   I opened the door, said hello, let him lick my hand and then tried to get a few hours sleep.   Within seconds of me getting into bed, he left the living room and laid down right in front of the bedroom door and stayed there until I …

Secret Honor - Incredible Richard Nixon Portrayal

Secret Honor is Robert Altman's adaptation of a play which starred and stars Philip Baker Hall.  It is a one man show that shows a shattered Richard Nixon, drunk, maybe even insane, attempting to come clean on everything....everything in his entire life.

Please ignore anyone, who in downgrading this, refers to Hall not resembling Nixon or to the movie being a monologue.. It actually improves the tale..The entire screenplay adaptation is about presenting the mania caused by Watergate. How because of it, things that were always common became taboo and how this "new" media aims to destroy.  The film also adds to conspiracy theories, but also states much of the common knowledge both parties hide. It is both a condemnation of Nixon and a sympathetic look at the cog in the wheel who was cast out. Brilliant on so many levels.

A few things that amazed me, when finding out when this was made. It speaks openly of candidates being taken from Hollywood and formed by the media machin…

Karma

I read more Facebook statuses about karma than almost any other topic not related to one's kids and pets.  Karma is the most overused and most incorrectly used term out there today.  Just could you drove your daughter's friends to the movies and had to sit through two hours of One Direction, doesn't mean you are in for a life of pedicures and back rubs. That's not the way it works.  Karma is one of over twenty aspects of the Buddhist belief as to why your life is the way it is and very little of it has to do with this specific life. You may have been a wonderful being in past lives or you may have been a tyrant.  One thing that should be known is that if you really read into it, bad promotes bad and the cycle continues.  It's Buddhists way of explaining the inequality in the world.  Much like other religions use faith and the afterlife as a tool.  In Buddhism there is rebirth, so karma when used by a Christian, Jew or Muslim is about as silly as it gets.

Here is th…

Review - The ABC's of Death

Every once in a while a movie comes along and the premise is brilliant.  That doesn't always spell success, but usually when you have an idea like the one posed to directors in this movie, you'd think it would be at least a minimal success. Well minimal is the key word. 

The ABC's of Death is a collection of 26 vignettes directed by some up and coming names in the horror business.  Each one was given a different letter of the alphabet and told to make a movie.  In case you want to see the movies, I don't want to give away the titles, because that is part of the allure of the movie.  The secret words, while in alphabetical order, aren't revealed until after the short is finished. This is actually quite effective, because it makes the viewer think about the word a bit while watching.

For brevity's sake, I'll break down the scores and the number of films that received that score.

1- 11, 2- 3, 3- 2, 4- 5, 5- 1, 6- 2, 7- 0, 8- 0, 9- 1, 10- 1
As you can see the l…

Quickie Review - La Jetee

I will give nothing away about this movie, so do not worry about a spoiler other than a reference to the movie it inspired.

I have taken a film class, worked with a director, spent vast hours studying film and yet this eluded me until Friday evening.  A friend mentioned this to me a while back and I was skeptical, being I had not even heard of it and I'm not a real fan of the Sci-Fi genre. I'm blown away.  Despite not liking 12 Monkeys (for which this film was the inspiration), I will now have to see it again, because of this film.

What amazes me the most about this film is that I knew exactly what the ending was going to be within the first few seconds of the film and none of it mattered. The film is almost entirely still images, which did a magical thing; It allowed us to make our own movie within the pauses, the fades, the darkness.  The narration leads us, but it is us who creates the full picture.  It is us who is taking the journey.  Aside from the one full motion shot,…

Worst Movie Ever Candidate - Rubber

So the writer/director spends a half a million dollars to prove that the average movie audience is stupid?  He could have saved time and money by just filming an audience watching any of the recent superhero movies or the top rated televisions shows. Yes, I got it, so please don't think condescending thoughts about how the movie was to clever for me.

What truly bothers me is that this could have been a borderline brilliant movie had it actually had some direction.  Had the people not been poisoned by died of starvation waiting for something to happen.  Had the silliness of the mass killings not occurred. Had some of the actors stepped out and some remained.  The bottom line is that the Duplex wanted to offend the viewer's lack of intelligence, but his lack of vision and skill did nothing but offend our senses.  An utter waste of time and energy.

Free Writing - Take 29

This will be a short one because it's almost 4am and this is the latest I've been awake in a long time. I had gotten myself to a pretty good schedule, but with one terrible flaw.  I've been napping at the same time I'll soon be teaching.  Three meals alone again and I forgot how much I hate it.  Dinner was awful.  Rushed, ill-conceived and added flavors that didn't meld together.  I look forward to breakfast or brunch tomorrow. Today made me realize some things about Facebook. There are some truly shattered souls out there. Smiling pics, quotes from the heavens and little jokes to mask the pain.  What about those that don't mask it. The one's who put each and every one of life's obstacles on for everyone to see?  I worry about them, hope that it's all for attention and not a cry for help.  I feel like the Internet has become a hotline that nobody answers.  I find it even funnier, although appreciated, that people don't get what I'm doing.  I…

Free Writing - Take 28

It's later than I've been staying up since the last few nights. At least it feels like today has been longer.  The first day spent almost entirely alone and in over a month and it made me realize how lonely I've been lately.  Sure I have friends and I appreciate them, but I don't have anyone to say goodnight to, so wish my sweet dreams or to wake up and converse with each morning.  It's a lonely existence living alone.  Sure the quiet and the lack of restrictions is nice at times, but there is something about being able to chat over a meal that I miss a lot.  Today marks a somewhat painful anniversary of sorts.  Not really an anniversary, but an epiphany that was forgotten and never really recognized.  Nothing has changed in two years and I'm a lesser person because of it.  This isn't a pity cry or anything like that, no, it is merely a realization. I have cut ties with many and ironically one of those ties said hello recently.  Too late, too tired and a dy…

Movie Remakes We Need To See

I normally hate remakes and if it's from something I love, there are times when I refuse to watch the remake, no matter who is in it.  Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a perfect example of this.  I also don't like when I see remakes that aren't credited as remakes, because the writer/director completely stole the idea.  Take Hunger Games for example.  Anyone who watched it knew immediately it was an expensive rip off of the brilliant Battle Royale.  Then there are the remakes which actually work, like The Jason Statham version of The Mechanic, which stays true to the grit and violence of the original.  So this got me thinking about movies that either failed the first time or could benefit from some modernization.  They could also be made simply by pure inspiration from the original, but lacking any real ties.

The first movie that came to mind was the mid-80's horror comedy, Night of the Comet.  It starred up and comer Catherine Mary Stewart, who never really made it big, but …

The Texas Hold'Em Craze

Like most people I watched some nobody named Chris Moneymaker win the World Series of Poker.  Unlike most people, I had been watching the World Series of Poker since it's days at Binions when guys like Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson, Stu Unger and a young Johnny Chan were in their heyday.  Edward Norton in Rounders was not my introduction into the "sport."  That being said, I had never been in a tournament, but when I got my first invite, I jumped at the opportunity.

My first tournament was a fundraiser. A five table shootout. Eight men started at each table and played until there was one winner who would get their $100 back. Then the five single table winners would play until there was one winner and the winner would receive $1000.  I dominated my single table and actually was the player who knocked out all seven of my opponents.  We sat down at the final table and within about twenty hands it was down to three of us.  I was second in chips and laid back while the chi lea…

A Comment About Every Post On Facebook Over The Last Four Hours

I'm bored and I need some writing practice.  Instead of my free writing, I'm scrolling back to 8PM and I'm not going to write what the comment was, just a one or two sentence comment on the status updates, links and memes.  I'll leave off the ads the generator posts by pages I follow and keep it to people.  And no, this isn't going to be all negative, haha.  If you actually looked at Facebook a lot this evening, this is about how exciting it got....

Beautiful letter from one beautiful sister to another.
A weather status. Shocking.
Another weather status, but this one was funny.
Soccer, I have no idea who that is.
Hope your dinner was excellent.
Someone thinking Assad is controlling Obama?  What?
My friend's weekend plans.
Seaside heights fire. Sad.
Bunch of girls taking pics during dinner.
Someone's family watching a game.
Hey I posted that earlier.
One word status that makes no sense.
Hilarious new car woes.
Weird picture.
Advertising a business.
Hyping a …

9/12 - A New America

Well, yesterday was one of the more painful days on social media. Everyone telling everyone else how they are doing patriotism wrong and how they bleed red white and blue. It was about as patriotic as a cross burning if you ask me.  First I woke up to about 30 pictures of the towers, reminding me about a day that I really hate thinking about.  Do we dig dead people up and parade them around once a year to seem more noble?  No, we remember them, shed a tear and we do it in our own way, privately.

I got into a twitter war with some ass hat who kept telling me about the 800,000 bikers in Washington who were shoving it up the Muslim's ass and representing the United States of Fucking America!  Then the person told me to suck some dicks because I laughed at what I thought was a man (the name was Dan).  After cursing at me, calling me gay and some other stupid shit, she told me she was a mother.  I bid her good day and told her that I hoped her kid didn't end up to be a dumb twat li…

The Obsessive Reader Who Never Reads

There is no question I fear more from intellectual types than the dreaded literary question, "What are you reading?"  Among certain people, it is always assumed that you spend your evenings, curled up on a couch, a snifter of brandy by your side, with thin-rimmed glasses set atop the edge of your nose, completely immersed in some classic novel.   Sadly, I haven't sat down with a book in many years.  It is, among others, one of my biggest regrets.

Despite have a plethora of spare time, I just can't keep fixated on one subject.  I make excuses constantly, claiming bad lighting, no comfortable seating or an acute case of adult ADD.  Two of these three claims can be easily proven, the other is probably something I have had since birth, but luckily was born in a time where it wasn't stigmatized.  I've always had problems with reading.  Not the actual act, but the act of sitting still long enough to actually read something.  I claim also to be a slow reader, but ma…

Best First Day of School Ever

With all the pictures being posted on Facebook of friend's children going to their first day of this grade and that, it is making me slightly nostalgic.  The first day of school is an interesting one, because depending on the situation, there can be various emotions battling each other.  For most, there is a thin line between excitement and fear, something that most people try to recapture as adults, but never quite grasp that feeling of the adolescent butterflies that we fear and welcome all at once.

My best first day of school was fourth grade.  I was entering a new school and a revered school.  I had finished second grade in June of 1978 and had taken a test to get into a prestigious private school called St. Ann's.  Despite its moniker, it as not a religiously affiliated school.  At the time, it was the best school in NY and in many eyes, the best in the country.  It was far from a normal school and I looked forward to fitting into the school where not everyone had to fit …

My Ten Favorite Sporting Events - You Might Be Surprised

OK, this list isn't individual events I have been to or I'd have to include my brother getting his very first hit in little league as one.  Nope, this is the ten yearly (or close) events that I look forward to.  In reverse order.

10. Opening Day of Baseball - there is something about that five month wait that makes that first pitch extra special.

9. The Super Bowl - Despite the hype, the game is rarely as exciting as it is advertised.  Obviously, if my team is in it, this jumps up.

8. The Kentucky Derby - Name one thing you can lose money, get drunk and the best part is over in two minutes?  Scratch that.

7. Sunday at the Masters - Usually this is the best day in golf and has had some truly surprising results over the years.

6. The NHL Playoffs - doesn't matter what game, it's all the same to me. Amazing intensity for every second of the game.  Too bad the regular season sucks.

5. Any Game 7 in a World Series (Or Divisional Series) - Two best teams. Usually two great p…

Building Intensity: The Shining's Unsung Scene

Despite Stephen King's claims that he doesn't like Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of his novel, the film version of The Shining is arguably one of the greatest horror films of all-time.  What separates The Shining from most other movies is it's ability to inject the horror slowly.  Unlike Jaws, which notifies us with music or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which fills us with dreaded thoughts, The Shining scares us with the Jack Torrance's slow decent into madness.  Scenes are carefully constructed to bring us to the incredible finale, but it is one scene in particular that completes the movie for me and it's not what you think.

The entire film demonstrates how desolation both physically and mentally takes it's toll on the main character.  As he withdraws from his wife and son, he allows the demons inside himself and the hotel to overtake him.  When he finally goes after his wife and son he is completely insane. In the most memorable scene, Jack goes after his wife…

Stop Trying So Hard People

School is a time for kids to not only learn, but to find their niche.  To find out who they are.  Usually they find a group of similar people and they find their comfort zone.  As adults, they stay with that path and it defines not only them, but who they end up with and how their children turn out.  This is pretty much the way it's always been.  Sure there are some who change religions, jobs, social setting and locations, but for the most of us, the trip isn't that exciting.  For most, it's somewhat defined by our surroundings.  I'm guilty as charged, so I'm not judging.  Not happy, but not judging.

Here's the problem.  Facebook!  Facebook has turned people who have always been one way into uncontrollable animals.  With the advent of Facebook, people who were completely happy in their own lives, now crave the unknown.  Everyone is jealous of everyone elses job, marriage, house, vacation spot, hobbies and social life.  It's an absolute clusterfuck of emotio…