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Showing posts from October, 2021

FRIDAY MATINEE: No Time To Die (🍺🍺🍺)

The first James Bond movie, Dr. No, appeared in theaters two weeks after I was born, but my first recollection of 007 was hearing my older brother mention the character Pussy Galore from the movie "Goldfinger" sometime around 1968 or 1969. At that age, I didn't quite understand the joke, but I got that it was pretty hilarious and a little bit naughty. I am fairly certain I saw some of "From Russia with Love" on TV in the early '70s, but the first Bond film I saw all the way through was "Live and Let Die," on television, sometime around '78 or '79. Suddenly, I got the joke and spent the next several years searching out other Bond films on the small screen. During my HBO years in college, I added a few more titles, including the horrible "Moonraker," which turned me off to the whole affair for several years.  The first James Bond movie I saw on the big screen was "Skyfall," and that experience convinced me to tune back in

FIELD NOTES: Very superstitious?

Late night, a week ago Sunday, I watched game three of the American League Division series. The Boston Red Sox, a team I have been a fan of since Carlton Fisk's epic homer in game 6 of the 1975 World Series, played the Tampa Bay Rays. The teams split the first two games of the five-game series, and the team winning this game would be just one win away from advancing to the league championship. The Red Sox had gone out to an early 4-2 lead, but the Rays fought back and tied the game in the 8th, and although both teams put runners in scoring position in extra innings, it was still 4-4 in the bottom of the 13th, and I was beginning to wonder whether anyone was ever going to score.  
I was also getting hungry, so I walked over to our pantry and started rummaging for a snack. The pickings were slim, but I did find a bag of in-the-shell peanuts that had been part of a Christmas gift basket from my economic development partners at NCSE tucked behind the canned goods. I returned to my seat

FIELD NOTES: The Dreaded P-Word

I use an online tool called Grammarly to help me with my writing. It checks my work for grammatical, spelling, and usage errors as I type away. It's not perfect, but it catches many of my more egregious mistakes. The other thing it does is check my work for plagiarism. It does this by comparing what I write to its index of everything else on the Internet and offering a percentage assessment of how "common" my text is. Almost anything I write will score three or four percent since all writers tend to use certain words and phrases. I don't get too concerned until that number pushes up around ten percent.  This article, by the way, scores out at 2%, with Grammarly noting that it shares some common verbiage with an article titled "Fellow Catches Big Fish That Is Then Caught By Something Else," and another called "I Didn't Get My Law Degree from a Cracker Jack Box."  Yeah, not going to lose a lot of sleep over either of those, although I am kind of

FIELD NOTES: Fear itself - Movies

What are you afraid of? It is a question that has haunted our kind since we first began gathering around communal fires in hopes of keeping the unknown at bay. As a species, we like to scare each other, and ourselves. It’s a weird concept if you think about it; purposely subjecting ourselves to stressful situations to get our hearts beating and our blood pumping. And this time of year, especially, we tend to push ourselves to the limits of dread in search of that deeply unsettling feeling that a good horror novel, movie, or TV show engenders.  I thought about this recently as I watched all seven hours of the Netflix horror extravaganza “Midnight Mass.” It is one of the better horror movies I’ve seen over the past few years, right up there with “IT,” “Hereditary” and “Midsommar.” You can check out a full review on my blog, but suffice it to say it’s not for the faint of heart.  I haven’t always had a taste for horror, but it does go back a ways. When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I bou

FRIDAY MATINEE: Midnight Mass (🍺🍺🍺🍺)

I held off writing this review until I had seen all seven episodes of the new Netflix limited series “Midnight Mass.” I’ve been burned in the past by shows that start out well and then devolve into silliness as they progress. While “Mass" doesn’t completely stick the landing, I think even the East German judge would give it a solid 9. Taken as a whole, I think it is as effective a piece of horror as the combined “It” movies from a few years ago, and right on par with “Hereditary” and “Midsommar.”  The story revolves around a man returning to his childhood island home after a prison stay for a drunk driving accident that killed a teen girl. Coincidentally, it is the same day the island’s beloved elderly priest, Monsignor Pruitt is supposed to return from a trip to the Holy Land. Unfortunately, the priest has taken ill and is being treated on the mainland. A temporary priest arrives to take his place.  The story takes a little while to get going, and anyone who’s familiar with the g