Sunday, August 11, 2019

Walk With Your Wallet

Last week, I read a number of articles about people canceling their Equinox memberships and Soul Cycle classes due to one of the investors' political ties with Donny T. I was also told by someone not to wear New Balance gym shoes or shop at Home Depot because the ownership of those companies are right-wingers who support Donny. I firmly believe in walking with your wallet meaning making a political statement with the way you spend your money. If I don't like the way a company is handling its business, then they will lose my business. I also understand that you have to be realistic about boycotting. Most of us will probably never stop using products or services from a company whose leadership gives to political parties and causes we disagree with, but we can do our small part to try and spend our money with businesses and organizations whose views we do support. There's a Jewel grocery store in the city where I live that seems to overrun lately with panhandlers. You have to walk through a gauntlet of panhandlers just to get in and out of the store these days and I'm tired of it. I'm about ready to walk with my wallet and take by business elsewhere because I'm tired of being asked for money every time I visit the store. I understand there's a homeless problem in and around Chicago, but does that mean I should get asked for money by 3-5 people when I'm just trying to buy some frozen waffles? It's annoying. I don't give money to panhandlers. I give to the Chicago Food Depository instead or support Chicago Cares. Give to the churches and synagogues that provide free meals to those in need rather than some dude hitting you up for change outside of the grocery store.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

RIP Toni Morrison

I was shocked and saddened to hear about Toni's Morrison's death this week. She was such a great writer and a literary tour de force. She will be missed. I hate that I never had the opportunity to see her in person, but I did enjoy many of her books. I recently re-read her novel Paradise to try and gain a better understanding of it because I felt I didn't get a lot of it when I read it the first time many years ago. RIP, Ms. Morrison.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Between the El Paso and Dayton shootings, you'd think the only thing going on in the US right now is one mass shooting after another. I didn't even know about the Dayton incident until I was at the Y later this morning. I hadn't seen the news or read any news on my phone until then. Sad. I find it interesting that when some white nationalist shoots up a bunch of folks, he's considered "sick" but when a minority does it, he's called an "animal." But that's what happens when you have a POTUS such as Donny T. (who spent most of his day on the links) who publicly states that there are good people "on both sides" when referring to people who are human garbage. Scratch that. These aren't people. They're animals! Lock THEM up!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Worth the Money?

I have Netflix streaming and a Netflix DVD subscription (that I've had for years when there was no streaming available). When I signed up for the streaming service, I rarely even used it until maybe about a year ago. But, for me, the shows and movies available with the streaming service don't seem worth the money.  I understand Netflix is trying to build its base by creating its own shows and not having to rely on purchasing the rights for network shows. However, the majority of the shows and movies offered just don't seem worth it to me. I'll start watching something and then abandon it because it wasn't holding my interest. Plus, there's not enough international content. I still have to rely on the DVD service to see a lot of things that aren't available through streaming (and the DVD content isn't great either). When I read recently that Netflix lost subscribers, I can't say I was surprised. I'm thinking about cutting the cord myself on at least one of their services (and it would probably be the streaming).

I also bailed on several shows I tried to watch when I had HBO for free (because I refuse to pay for HBO). I bailed on Game of Thrones (not my cup of tea), Euphoria (drug-addicted teens? Hard pass on that one), Chernobyl (I fell asleep during episode one and woke up to episode two), Big Little Lies (suburban moms? Hard pass again), Insecure (couldn't get into it), and Succession (didn't care for it). I watched (or tried to watch) the first episode of each of these shows and had no desire to watch any additional episodes. I did fast forward through a few episodes of Girls, but only ones with Andrew Rannells in them because Lena Dunham and that crew make my neck hurt. But it's not all gloom and doom from me for HBO. I love Curb Your Enthusiasm and I've seen every episode of that show, but only via DVD or during a free HBO weekend. Larry David is a genius!

One thing I do like about streaming services and On Demand is that you're allowed to pick what you want to see and that's great. Eventually, cable in its current form will go extinct and an a la carte service will be the norm. I just hope by then that the offerings are better than what we have now.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Playlist

My new short story, The Playlist, will be published July 27. The Playlist is the story of Chicago ophthalmologist Patrick Holt and his partner, marketing manager, Clayton Teal. Patrick wants to move to the suburbs, but Clay doesn’t. The two men, who share a condo together in the city, are having a hard time coming to an agreement about their future living arrangements. An argument ensues and Clay storms out of their home and heads to the gym to burn off steam. While he’s running on the treadmill, he listens to a playlist Patrick recently made for him. The playlist contains nine songs and each one reminds Clay of times, both happy and sad, that he and Patrick shared over the years.

The characters in The Playlist also appear in the author’s novel, Baggage, and the short stories “Three Cakes” and “Blue Velvet,” all available from JMS Books.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Dumb Donny Strikes Again!

After spending a rather laid-back week in California (shout out to the great folks of La Jolla!), I had to come back to reality and back to more foolishness from dumb Donny T. Go back to where you came from? Uh....Michigan? Detroit?  Pressley really should have come back on him hard. If it had been me, I would've gone with, "My parents, my grandparents, their parents are all from the United States. You can't say that. I'm more American than you are!" I'm so tired of him and his bullshit and I wish someone would call him out as the human garbage that he is. And I'm tired of people claiming he's not racist. Do some research and read about how he and his father were sued by the government for discriminating against blacks who tired to reside in their buildings in New York in the 1970's. This has been going on for a long time, folks.

Anyway, I'll try to focus on something more zen like California...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Barf Boat

During my remaining time in California, I went on a whale watching boat ride this afternoon and actually saw a whale and some dolphins. Great! What wasn’t great was how several people on the ride got sea sick and spent the last half of the three-hour cruise barfing into plastic bags and garbage cans. Gross. I’m not one to get motion sickness so I was fine, but I felt sorry for the sick folks. I’m sure they were glad to get back to the dock and off of that boat.