Saturday, April 13, 2024

What the World Needs Now

To follow up from my last post, Monday's eclipse was great! The skies in and around Chicago were great and we had about 95% coverage here, which was great for viewing. My cereal box viewer wasn't the greatest, but I did have viewing glasses as a backup. I walked to the beach at Lake Michigan and viewed the eclipse from there with other folks from the area. A good time was had by all. I didn't get any pictures of the actual eclipse because I couldn't filter my phone lens and focus my picture at the same time without blinding myself, but I did get a shot of the beach before more folks showed up (see below). 

In other news, I was watching the trailer for the new Joker movie and noticed Tom Jones singing "What the World Needs Now Is Love" in the ad. As a Tom Jones fan, I was surprised I hadn't heard this song before, but it's from an album he put out in 1970 called I Who Have Nothing. I never really cared for "What the World Needs Now..." and, as a 1970s baby, I'm a huge fan of 70s music, but the Tom Jones version is excellent. It's everything I want or need from a 1970s song. The arrangment is over the top, I love the horns, the creshendos, and Tom is just giving it his all. I was more excited about hearing Tom Jones in the Joker trailer than the movie itself (although I'm sure I'll see the movie since I saw the first one and didn't think it was bad). Years ago, when I lived in Philadelphia, I went to see Tom Jones in concert in Atlantic City and it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. Tom is an entertainer and he puts on a great show. His band was tight, his background singers were on point, and he was excellent. 

I think the world needs more than love right now, but a little love couldn't hurt either.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Countdown to the Eclipse!

Count me in as someone wrapped up in eclipse mania! I'm taking a day off from my day job tomorrow to watch the eclipse (and do some other things). I've got eclipse viewing glasses and my homemade eclipse viewer (see photo below) and I plan to walk down to the shores of Lake Michigan and see what I can see from there tomorrow afternoon. Since the next eclipse won't come for, what, 45 years and I'm sure I'll be dead and gone by then, I'm planning to catch this one live and in action. 🌒



Friday, March 29, 2024

Bridges

My sister sent me a link to an article in the Washington Post about people's fear of driving over bridges and it really hit home with me. Watching the horrific bridge collpase in Baltimore this week didn't help either. Driving over bridges freaks me out, especially ones that are high, over water, and narrow. When I lived in Philadelphia and New Jersey, I drove over the Ben Franklin and Walt Whitman bridges all the time with no problem. Those bridges didn't bother me. Why? Because they had multiple lanes in each direction and I felt comfortable enough on them to get in the middle and cruise to the other side without fear that I would go over the edge. Thankfully, I don't have to drive over many bridges now. There's one around Perdido Key in Florida that I have to drive over to get to my time share in Gulf Shores, Alabama when I go there in the fall. It's high, narrow, and has only one lane on each side. I have to psych myself up to get over it. It's not a long bridge, but it's still a white-kunckle drive for me. I have to pray and keep my eyes on the vehicle ahead of mine. At least no one can come on the side of me and run me off the road since it's only one lane each way. 

When I was younger, I don't recall being afraid of driving across bridges. I don't know when the fear set in. Middle age, I guess, but the fear is real. Driving across some bridges immediately makes my heart rate increase. I hate driving like a nervous wreck, but that's what happens when I have to encounter a bridge. 

Years ago, when I moved from central New Jersey to Brooklyn, the movers wanted to follow me in my car to my new apartment and they wanted to take the Verrazzano Bridge. Yeah, no. I'd driven across the Verrazzao before but I wasn't planning on driving across it again. I told the movers I'd meet them at the apartment in Brooklyn because I'd be taking the Holland Tunnel to the Battery Park Tunnel instead (and that's what I did). 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

(Not) Scary Movies

I love a good scary movie. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I've seen one that was truly scary. Earlier today, I saw the new movie Late Night with the Devil. The trailer seemed interesting because the film's plot involved the whole satanic panic frenzy from the 1970s and threw in some Exorcist-like possession. I'm not a fan of devil movies, but this one looked to be a step above the usual demonic movies out there. Unfortunately, the movie didn't deliver for me. I was falling asleep during it and actually drifted off for a few minutes. It had a decent plot, but there were too many scenes of people talking that didn't move the story forward. The story also got convoluted at the end. Was the talk show host's membership in some weird, cult-like group responsible for everything that happened? I don't know and, by the end, I didn't really care. The only good thing that came out of seeing Late Night with the Devil was seeing previews for two other scary movies that actually looked scary: Cuckoo and In a Violent Nature. I'm also looking forward to the Beetlejuice sequel (not because I expect it to be scary, but because I liked the first Beetlejuice movie.) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Random Questions and Observations

I was trying to think of a theme for this blog post, but I couldn't come up with one, so I decided to go with some random questions and observations.

1. When will Andy Cohen's days of fame be over? Surely, someone else who's more professional and more personable could be at the helm of the Bravo enterprise (or whatever you want to call their current lineup).

2. Who, exactly, is JLo's current audience? People her own age? Younger people? 

3. Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" performance at the Oscars was really great. It was just what the show needed to give people something fun to watch and enjoy. As someone who saw the Barbie movie and thought it was good, but not great, I did like Ryan's pink suit and all of the ridiculousness of his Ken performance Monday night.

4. Jon Stewart is a welcome presence as the Monday night host of the Daily Show. 

5. Enough about the Royal Family already. Jeez. They're in the news more than the Kardashians these days. 


Sunday, March 3, 2024

Too Much Time on (Your) Hands

I watched two Netflix docu-series over the past few weeks. The first one, called Lover, Stalker, Killer, centered around a guy who was stalked by a woman he dated. The second one, called American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders, focused on a journalist who supposedly committed suicide, but many believed he was murdered because he was looking into a software program that the US government used supposedly to spy on other nations. Both of these series seemingly don't have anything in common, but I realized after finishing the second one that they did have a common thread. In the first one, a woman spent an incredible amount of time and effort stalking a guy. In the second one, a reporter spent an incredible amount of time and effort trying to figure out of a guy was murdered. Watching both series made me wonder, Who has this kind of time on their hands??? I can't understand how some folks go so far down the rabbit hole with stalking or obsessing over celebrities or trying to figure out who really shot JFK that their lives are seemingly overtaken by their obsessions. Don't they have day jobs? Bills to pay? Family obligations? Lives to live? Maybe I'm just too lazy to take on a task like trying to solve a murder or stalk a dude who dumped me. I can see teenagers or young adults being wrapped up in the life of a celebrity. (Look at the Taylor Swift fandom, for example.) But I don't get adults in their 30s+ doing this kind of thing. It's like having another job. Yeah, I worked 8 hours for some corporation and now I'm going to put in another 6-8 hours stalking my favorite celebrity/the one-night-stand who dumped me/the weird guy in my apartment building/whoever. I don't get it. Aren't you exhausted enough by life in general? Apparently not!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Bama BS

Once again, government leaders in my ancestral home state of Alabama are showing why the state frequently ranks near the bottom of all of the United States in terms of education. By declaring that embryos are children, they're effectively restricting people whose only means of having children via IVF from doing just that. So stupid. Alabama politicians frequently make decisions that go against its own interests and this ruling is just another example of that. Alabama also doesn't have a state lottery. They'd rather have their citizens drive across the border to Georgia to play the Powerball or Mega Millions (and put money in the peach state's coffers) than have their own state lottery that could fund much-needed educational programs in their own state because they're against gambling (or some nonsense). More BAMA bullshit logic. 

My father is from Alabama. My grandparents had a farm there and I've grown up going there all my life. I have a love/hate relationship with the state (and right now the hate is strong). Every time I think about retiring to Alabama (because, let's face it, the cost of living is low there), the state does some backwards shit like the embryo ruling and I change my mind about relocating there.