State of the Season 14 – Be Smart and Kind and Do the Right Goddamned Thing

Hello all! A lot has happened in the last three months which should come as no surprise, but many of those things sure did surprise and even shock us. Some of this was reflected in my writing, but ultimately I approach these posts with whatever ideas and feelings strike me that day.

Today, of course, I am peering over my shoulder to review what I wrote about over the last twelve weeks. Typically, I have a picture of my main man crush, Chris Pratt, adorning this post, but today is Tom Selleck’s birthday, and if anyone can displace the Pratt for a post pic, it’s the man with the greatest mustache the world has ever seen. Happy birthday, Tom! In case you missed any of it, here’s what crossed my mind over the last quarter of a year:

“I Put A Hex On You” – Since the previous State of the Season fell on Halloween’s eve (otherwise known as Hallow’s Eve Eve), I had to kind of push back my originally intended spooky subject matter, but it didn’t feel quite right. Isn’t it weird how a single day can have a sort of season leading up to it, but the day after feels like all that build-up anticipation deflates? This is really noticeable on Christmas, even when we try vainly to keep that energy going via New Year’s.

At any rate, it felt like I needed a sort of Halloween hangover cure that contained a little bit of the werewolf that bit us inside a concoction that was more what I usually serve up, and voila! a post around PBS’ “It’s Okay to be Smart” and the favorite shape of Nature.

“We Got Him!” – I love John Oliver, and I love his magnificent show Last Week Tonight. Fortunately, we do not need to wait too much longer for its return.

“O-H-I-O! Rip His ****ing Head Off!” – This is the latest chapter of my annual look back at the Ohio State-Michigan game from 10 years prior.

“I Must Respectfully Rant” – This is what I wrote in response to the tide of sexual misconduct allegations.

“Sex, Beer Pong, and Xenomorphs: Monday Musings on How Fincher’s Failure is Superior to Scott’s (Recent Commerical) Success” – Sometimes that weird thought you have at a party morphs into so much more, similar to how that strange, spidery space creature that latched onto your friend’s face morphed into a terrifying, macabre hellbeast (or should I say, Star Beast?). This thought of mine coincided nicely with the timing of YouTuber The Long Take’s release of his analysis of Alien 3.

“Rey’s the Stakes” – I had been hanging onto the title for this one for a while. Originally, I had planned to write a post elaborating on a fan theory I quite liked that proposed Rey to be Luke’s daughter who had been a child growing up around his new “So You Wanna Be a Jedi?” school where she had a close connection with her older cousin Ben. Things go awry when Ben turns to the Dark Side and adopts his new identity as Kylo Ren, but while he actively seeks to destroy his uncle and the other followers not falling in line with his new order, Ren is still Ben when it comes to Rey, so he takes her to the farthest edge of the galaxy to live “safely” on Jakku. My initial excitement gradually waned, especially as I considered how unlikely it was that all these pieces would fall into place and realize how little I actually wanted it to. I did know that regardless of whether any of this came true in The Last Jedi, Rey is the face of this trilogy and all that occurs in it depends on her choices and actions. For what it’s worth, I did correctly guess her actual heritage, so…there.

“Awesome Abe Say Slavery Sucks and Racism’s Rotten” – Here’s the short version: the American Civil War was fought over slavery and supporting the Confederacy equates to supporting the enslavement of human beings, so stop waving around your stars and bars, which by the way was not even the actual flag of the Confederate States of America. The flag typically referred to as the Confederate flag was the battle flag of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia troops.

“Thank God for Queen” – This song came on my playlist today! And I loved it! This is the one Christmas song that I can listen to (and sing along with) outside of the holiday season. Man, I hope they don’t mess up that Freddie Mercury movie….

“More Music for the Soul” – My fourth annual list of songs to give you some guidance or zen or joy or whatever you may need in life. I rushed this one a bit as I packed for a trip to Texas for a wedding, so it is a little thinner than I would like. Nevertheless, the only note that I’d like to add is in regards to “Only the Good Die Young”,  where Billy Joel is not saying that Virginia is going to literally die at young age, but he is warning that she will metaphorically die young and be left to live her (probably long) remaining life with nothing exciting to look forward to because she was never permitted to do anything fun or free while she was young.

“2017 Was a Super Year for Movies” – You’d really be hard pressed to find a bad year for movies since movies have been made, and while there is plenty of crap chucked incessantly out at us theatergoers year to year, there fortunately is a lot of gold and greater to be mined out from the mountain of motion pictures. I will never it all, but I did see these and offer my opinions on them in this post.

Speaking of posts, I saw The Post and would add it to my “Delivered the Goods” list. Goddamn Streep, you keep churning out amazing acting like we keep expending carbon through breathing. What! You do that too?! What can’t this woman do? Her male counterpart, Tom Hanks, should have also nabbed a nomination in my opinion, but I realize that there are only so many of these to go around.

I also think that Streep will watch Frances McDormand walk up to that stage to grab her second Oscar for her performance in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, a movie I enjoyed even more than The Post. My stamp of approval still goes to Blade Runner 2049 for best movie of last year.

“The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right” – Martin Luther King Jr. said these wise words that are always applicable, but seem to have greater relevance currently in the United States than they have for a while. They definitely are the right words to title this appreciation of the man with a hope that his example will continue to lead us to harmony.

“Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote” – I try not to be political – something that is increasingly difficult in this era in America – but regardless of your own view (or mine) this is a significant case, the history of which often gets lost amidst the passionate shouts from both sides.

No matter how big it may be for you, make sure that you do not allow this or any other issue to be the only thing you consider when casting your vote. It is up to you to decide what holds the most importance on the ticket, but do not get hung up on one issue so that you disregard all others!

Thanks for reading! For both today and over the past weeks, months, and years! I look forward to keeping this crazy car careening along the road for many Mondays to come, and I hope that you’ll be there for it.

Thanks for not asking “Are We There Yet?”,



Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote

It’s a man’s world, like it or not. Even in countries with some of the best standard of living, such as my own United States of America, women rarely get an even break. Here in the States, men make more money in almost every career.  Factor in the unwanted advances of sexual harassment or worse that too many women experience and we’re looking at a rough working world for women in the USA. Consider also the general societal pressures placed upon women to dress and behave a certain way. What I really do not envy is how so many women are expected to be the producers and primary caretakers of children. Now we are really looking at some strenuous stuff that females in the United States have to contend with. So much is demanded of the ladies around us, that it is refreshing to see some justice offered to women which helps to assert their position as being equal citizens.

Today is the 45th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decisive ruling in Roe v. Wade. The Court determined by a 7-2 vote, that a woman could legal have and abortion in accordance with due process offered by the 14th Amendment, thereby striking down laws prohibiting abortion throughout the country. The landmark ruling still divides political and religious members today, but I believe that it is another critical victory for the betterment of women and society within the United States of America. just as the 19th Amendment finally granted women the right to vote in the US, Roe v. Wade secured a woman’s rights to her own body.

Roe v. Wade is widely known and referenced, but the initial court case that grew into a national ruling began as a much smaller affair in a state that frequently advertises how much bigger everything is there. In Dallas, Texas during the summer of 1969, a woman named Norma McCorvey was pregnant with her third child. She had endured a troubled childhood and young adult life which included her father leaving at a young age, her alcoholic mother beating her, another family member allegedly raping her, and her husband -whom she married at 16 – allegedly abusing her. Her first two children were already adopted out, but she did not want to have to carry and take care of another, so she sought an abortion. Problem was, abortions in Texas at the time were only legal in instances of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was in danger, so at the advice of some friends, Norma falsely stated she had been raped. Since there was no police report of such a crime though, she was unable to legally procure an abortion. Thus, she set out to obtain an operation at an under-the-table establishment, but that door was also closed after it had been shut down by law enforcement. McCorvey would give birth to and adopt out her child, but not before she had begun working with attorneys Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee to sue the state to permit abortion. For anonymity, they changed her name to Jane Roe, and the suit was brought up to the Dallas County District Attorney, a man named Henry Wade who was tasked with representing the state of Texas.

About a year after Norma realized she was pregnant for the third time, a panel of North Texas judges declared that the state’s laws were unconstitutional and violated the 9th Amendment’s granted right to privacy. Spurred on by other similar cases around the country at the time, the case reached the US Supreme Court in December 1971, was reargued the following October, and then finally decided on January 22, 1973.

Ironically, McCorvey’s personal views on abortion changed drastically over time and she became a pro-life advocate for the Catholic Church. She died last year at the age of 69.

Ideally an abortion is not the go-to for avoiding having a child. I firmly believe that if you are not actively trying to have a baby then you should use some form of protection during sex. There is an immense variety of different items and medications for men and women that help to prevent pregnancy. Find the best for you and your partner based upon your needs and comfort, and revel in erotic euphoria all the live long day if you desire. Personally, I prefer the classic condom as it has remained simple and effective for centuries, and it fits within my philosophy that penises are like Christmas presents: they’re best when they’re wrapped.

Of course, there are scenarios when an abortion is necessary. In these instances, it is just that women have the right to exercise this option if they so choose. Furthermore, the ruling of Roe v. Wade grants the deserved authority of a woman over her own physical self, so while it may still be a man’s world, at least it is undeniably a woman’s body.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or suggestions at Be sure to return here next week for the quarterly State of the Season recap.

You go girls,


The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right

“Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”

We set aside today to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. We are lucky to live in a world where his practice of non-violent protest helped provide non-white Americans essential rights and greater opportunity. However, it is apparent to all of us that we have yet so far to go. Things are undeniably better than they once were, but they are far from perfect. Where once men were beaten down physically, King offered them guidance and action to raise them emotionally. He said the above quote – and the title – and I think that both apply now and forever. We can always do better in creating a greater society, and in order to do so, we must remember that we cannot delay working to improve our world, and that we must not allow ourselves to submit to those who would make this world only better for themselves.

I love my country. I love the wonderful contributions that the United States of America has offered the world over its relatively brief existence. I cringe at the mistakes that have been made in my country’s past; worse among them being the forced servitude of men, women, and children for use as laborers to benefit their so-called “masters” who held themselves as greater men from a greater race. Yet in America’s darkest time, many men and women, great and unremarkable, remembered and forgotten, sought to change this and in the process completed America’s greatest course-correct.

Since that time, we have not been steering completely straight along the proper course – in fact, some people have fought to falter us. Too many would rather sink the ship than share it with others who have been oppressed too painfully for too long, but we cannot allow them to ruin the journey toward harmony. Nor can we treat them as they seek to treat those they despise, but rather seek to determine why they do so and teach them about how these people they scorn are people like they are. Character and action determine a person’s greatness or dreadfulness, not anything physical or genetic. It is only by sharing love that we will overcome hate, and by educating that we will overcome ignorance. Let’s work together to be the best we can be. It doesn’t matter where we come from; only where we’re going.

Thanks for reading,


2017 Was a Super Year for Movies

All right! Here we go, here we go, here we go now! As I have done for the past couple years, I am looking back at the movies I watched throughout the now completed year and offering my opinionated, spoiler-free take on them for you to use as you please. May my recommendations provide you the push you need to watch a great film, and may my warnings urge you to steer clear of wasting a few hours. Without further ado, I encourage you to check out my previous annual reviews if you so desire:



2017 was a great year for movies for me, and I liked a lot that I saw. However, I must acknowledge that this list of films does not contain a great many movies that I wanted to see, as well as some that I was not aware of until recently. As always, I encourage you to take my takes on these films with a grain of salt (it enhances the flavor) and remember that I’m not going tot see every movie. The following list contains all the films from 2017 (that I remember) I have seen. If you don’t see your favorite on here, it’s because I didn’t see it at all. Now let’s dive into 2017’s fare, starting with the disappointments and working our way up to the top of the cinematic mountain that was this past year.

Movies that made me mad enough to grow to a massive size, turn green, and ricochet around the room knocking apart everything that’s not nailed down and some that is with great vengeance and furious anger

Life – Some really liked this movie, and I can understand why. It was not without its merits and has a great final scene, but I just couldn’t get into it. Admittedly, this negative review is primarily based on my opinion, but hey, I told you about that like 30 times already. I will say, that the reason why I never really got into it was because of repeated tropes that I had seen before. In fact, I felt like I had seen the movie before… under the title Alien and done much better and originally. I will give Life credit for casting well, and for translating the oeuvre of Alien into a current day realistic feeling scenario, but I still can’t shake how it feels too much like the 1979 horror sci-fi classic. That being said, it was not the most heinous repurposing of tried and true Alien tropes.

Alien: Covenant – This was. Pretty sad when a movie within the same goddamn franchise cannot get by without jerking itself off. Again, not everything was awful, in fact, like Life, the lead actors and special effects are pretty damn impressive. However, the story and direction is once more the detriment of another Alien movie. Ridley Scott can be an exceptional director, but he cannot recapture the same magic he honed so perfectly in his original film nearly 40 years ago. Disney’s recent purchase of Fox has prompted Scott to say he is unsure of the fate of his planned multi-film continuation of the franchise and I am actually glad to hear it. I think many artistic creators reach a point where their past successes lead them to believe that they can do no wrong and that those projects they’ve shelved for decades are finally ready to come to life. Look especially at directors who got an enormous boom with one series and had studios hand them the keys to the Ferrari, like George Lucas and Peter Jackson. How’d their prequels work out?

All this being said, it did also have a pretty great final scene.

Movies that were good and brought a lot to the table, but were still missing a little sumthin sumthin

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Marvel sequels are tricky, and it seems that only Captain America has figured out how to make the most of them (until this year, but not quite in time for this one). As usual, the need to fit the film in the grander scheme of the Marvelverse wreaks a little havoc, but the Guardians made their name on kind of breaking the mold, so there’s less mold trapping going on here. Ultimately, this one is a lot of fun, just not as much fun as the opening Guardians. However, it does offer us the continuation of these characters developing their own family with one another, with some new friends (and foes) and at the center is a truly touching relationship – even if it is kinda shoehorned in. And finally, FINALLY! Marvel had the balls to do something that has been severely lacking in its films to the betterment of this one.

Atomic Blonde – Charlize Theron does her best John Wick impression and helps deliver a fun entry into the cluster of intrigue-laden Cold War spy films. It gets a little crazy twisty and turny at times, but Theron is Bad Ass, and the aesthetic and soundtrack is totally awesome 80s.

Baby Driver – I feel like Edgar Wright watched Drive and said, “I can do that! But with Queen music!” It does feel a little too much like Drive at times, but leave it to Wright to punch everything up with perfect song synchronization.

Movies that delivered the goods and brought a smile to my face…. Unless they were sad, then it was more like a frown. Well, not a frown, but, uh, y’know, like a – um… [tongue clicks]…. Well, not a smile, but satisfaction…. WAIT!-

War for the Planet of the Apes – A fitting end to the surprisingly strong trilogy of Planet of the Apes prequels with another magnificent motion capture performance by Andy Serkis. He may mainly bring menace to Star Wars, but goddamn he can monkey around like an ape! And this time it’s against Woody Harrelson!

John Wick: Chapter 2 – Expanding on the surprisingly (I guess I was surprised a lot this year) deep and inventive world of John WickChapter 2 takes us even deeper into the mysterious underworld of crime that the titular character thrives in, adding interesting new characters and challenges along the way. This is a sequel as they should be made.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – I previously declared Tom Holland the best Spider-Man and this movie proves it. While not quite the best Spider-Man movie (Spider-Man 2 is still one of my favorite superhero movies), it is one of the better Marvel origin-sequel-continuation – what exactly is this movie? Well, whatever it is, it is pretty darn good and entertaining thanks to a lot of things working well, but we cannot overlook how placing Peter Parker firmly in high school and dealing with being a teenager as much as he deals with bad guys is the biggest change that Spider-Man needed to undertake. And let’s hear it for Michael Keaton! No one has been as consistently excellent as a comic book inspired character as he has been with a trio based on flying animals!

The Lego Batman Movie – Speaking of the original of those Michael Keaton roles….

I anticipated loving The Lego Movie  and I did. I anticipated really liking The Lego Batman Movie and I ended up kinda loving it! Delving into the life of Lego Batman (whom we got a good glimpse of in The Lego Movie) we are treated to a humorous and heartwarming story that teaches us the importance of family and friends, even if we hate them. Will Arnett is perfect at breathing life into the wonderfully gray world of Lego Batman.

Wonder Woman – Keeping up the superhero theme in an era filled with superhero movies comes one of the most important movies (superhero or not) in the era. Providing the origin of one of the main players in DC’s big bad wannabe Marvelverse universe, Wonder Woman was not a promise of quality when it was released, but rather a fear of failure. Fortunately, thanks to all around good work from the entire cast and crew, this ship helmed by director Patty Jenkins sailed smoothly where its fellows faltered thanks to humanizing their protagonist, and showcasing a truly strong woman.

Thor: Ragnarok – The funniest Marvel movie yet finally delivers a worthy sequel without Steve Rogers.

Logan – Man, Fox gives their comic heroes R ratings and kills it! And kills lots of bad guys too. Logan gives Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine one of the best swan song’s in cinema by turning a superhero movie into a Western.

It – One of the most fun horror movies and one of the most horrific fun movies I’ve seen. Bill Skarsgard gives gleefully evil life to Pennywise the Dancing Clown even better than Tim Curry. Yeah, I said it. But we must also acknowledge the young cast for giving stellar performances.

Star Wars: Episode VIII -The Last Jedi – I have seen this film twice in theaters (three shy of the number of times I saw The Force Awakens in such a setting) and I definitely appreciated it more on the second viewing. The porgs were a bit too much Baby Grooted for my liking in advertising the film, but thankfully they do not get the same treatment in the film itself. The Last Jedi is not without its flaws, but the strength of the characters and their bonds with one another – both good and bad – have always been and continue to be the best part of this franchise, and it is the main reason we keep coming back in droves time and again. Even with some downright silly parts, everything that those well-developed characters bring to the table makes this one of the best movies of the year, and possibly the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back. Props to Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico for being the best new character in this Star Wars movie – the first human to receive this near meaningless honor from me since Disney started churning out new movies.

Dunkirk – An amazing look at the air, land, and sea amidst the incredible evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II. One of the greatest war films ever made. Christopher Nolan better get an Oscar nom for this.

Blade Runner 2049 – Probably the best film of the year, the decades-later follow-up to Ridley Scott’s magnificent (see? he can be great) 1982 film is even bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor and delivers with terrific acting, visuals, effects, direction, and story. Denis Villeneuve continues to slay and Ryan Gosling brings great humanity with reverence to a similar role once played by Harrison Ford. Oh yeah, Ford is back reprising that role too! And he’s amazing! Just like in The Force Awakens, Ford returns to one of his signature roles as if he never left. An amazing film that is a must-see.

Thanks for reading!


More Music for the Soul

Happy New Year! Anyone who has read this blog at the end/beginning of the year for the past few years knows that I annually provide a list of songs that I find to hold helpful lessons and messages – be they subtle or obvious – to encourage me to live a better, happier life. If you want to see the previous three lists then check them out:

“Songs That Everybody Must Hear to Better Themselves (or At Least Ease Their Whining With)”

“More Songs to Enjoy and Improve Yourself With”

“This Year Sucked; These Songs Don’t”

Notice how there’s one more each year? Now, onto the main event for 2017’s edition!

“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga – Upon watching this past Super Bowl, I realized two things: Tom Brady’s devil magic will always get the better of any team no matter what the score (unless Eli Manning is playing), and that Lady Gaga – whom I am not normally gaga about – can put on a pretty good halftime show in the midst of a tumultuous political rift dividing America. The shining moment of her Super set is her powerful equality anthem.

“Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?)” by The Buzzcocks – The title pretty clearly offers the big question poised by this song, but it is something that all of us have experienced in some way, shape, or form. In this case, The Buzzcocks offer us the undesirable situation of falling for someone who “spurns” natural emotions. No matter how attractive someone may be in any other way, refusing or demeaning your core is a dealbreaker.

“If This Is It” by Huey Lewis and The News – Sometimes it becomes apparent that things aren’t going right for less sinister reasons. It might be that it just isn’t working out because of two people not clicking. When this happens, the best course of action is to be honest and end it if it cannot be repaired rather than stringing it along.

“Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel – Okay, so let’s get one thing straight from the start: Billy Joel is trying to convince a girl to sleep with him. Furthermore, she is a virgin (her name is Virginia for a reason) and she is raised by devout Catholics who disapprove of Billy’s rockin’ and rollin’ who can only provide her with a “reputation”.

Now, I’m not about anyone pressuring someone into sex, or anything that might make them uncomfortable, but Billy does have some good points in this song. It’s obvious that Virgina has been kept on a short leash for her whole childhood (“they built you a temple and locked you away”) and that she is being brought up to live the way that her guardians desire her to, not necessarily how she wants to live. Billy points out how Virginia has been showered with gifts, but offered no “information” about what goes on outside of the world that has been constructed around her. Besides, it is more fun to “laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints”.

 “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips – This song simply, yet excellently puts so much in realistic, optimistic perspective by asking if you’ve noticed how things are.

“Althea” by The Grateful Dead – When I first started putting a list of must-hear songs that offer guidance one of the first was The Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”, which is my favorite from the band that I confess I do not have immense familiarity with. Well, both of those things have changed slightly. I’m nowhere near a Deadhead, but I have dabbled a bit more in the beyond mortal realm crafted by Jerry Garcia and friends, and “Althea” has rivaled “Touch of Grey” as my favorite from the band. But hey, things change, and sometimes they change back, and we learn more about how the world works, and who we are within it. Such seems to be the case in “Althea”, where our narrator’s on and off love affair with the titular woman is ever changing, but not necessarily growing. Or maybe it’s growing but not really changing? No matter what you hear in “Althea”, you’ll hear a great song, especially with lyrics like,

I told Althea, I’m a roving sign
That I was born to be a bachelor
Althea told me, OK that’s fine
So now I’m trying to catch her

“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. – A straightforward message to be sure, but one that we need to be reminded of sometimes. Especially in our moments of pain when we feel most alone we all need to recognize that every person on this planet also feels the weight of their pain, confusion, and frustration. Take solace in the fact that your troubles are what allow you to share in the human experience.

 “Already Gone” by The Eagles – Things didn’t work out between our narrator and his former lover, and it sounds like he’s all the better for it because he took his life into his own hands and is making the most of it. The key is that he was able to the whole time, as evidenced by the lines in the closing verse:

Well I know it wasn’t you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn’t you who set me free
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

Never forget that you, and only you, hold the key to deciding what to do with your life.

“Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers Band – Definitely don’t let anybody do this to you, but whenever you get the blues real bad, blast this sucker and sing along; it always makes me feel better.

“Political Science” by Randy Newman – Anytime satire starts to become reality, we’re in trouble. We need silly songs about doing silly things to remind us of why those things are silly. Y’know, stuff like global annihilation.

“Galaxy Song” by Monty Python – Talk about putting things in perspective! In case you ever need convincing to part with your liver while still breathing, this is just the thing for you. The numbers may not be exact, but the song is joyous, embracing the optimism of searching beyond the stars with a healthy dollop of that classic Monty Python humor.

“Us and Them/Any Colour You Like/Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd – Okay, I’m cheating a little bit here, but these are technically four songs on the famous album Dark Side of the Moon, and they blend together so well even as the style shifts with each one. The back half of this album is the perfect thing to watch an eclipse with, and the perfect set to close this post out.

Thanks for reading and listening! Orbit back here next week for my list of favorite films from 2017.

Can we have your liver then?


Thank God for Queen

This year has been a rough one. For as tough of a pill as 2016 was to swallow throughout much of it, this one seemed to take the cake… and throw it out the window while maniacally laughing like a demon. Damn it, demon year! We wanted to eat that cake.

On top of everything else on my mind (which has thankfully been able to reside in another galaxy lately), today is Christmas, or Xmas, as I prefer to call it now thanks to Futurama taking what started as a mixture of winter festivals that were funneled into a Christian occasion and making it a truly universal celebration. Whatever you celebrate this time of year, the winter solstice holiday season is a time to gather together with friends and family to appreciate each other and the joys of life. Unfortunately, I have come to despise Christmas over the years – part of why I have stopped referring to it as Christmas in favor of Xmas – due to a number of factors like but not limited to:

  • My frustrating extended family’s presence
  • My frustrating extended family’s narrow view of the world and people living in it
  • My cousins – who I like – receiving an immense degree of appreciation from other members of our family I’m less crazy about because they better fit the ideas of “success” that those other family members hold (it hurts more when people you also appreciate, but more for being good people, are praised more than you simply because they make more cha-ching. Not all of us pursued careers in business, Uncle Bob!)
  • My family terrifying my dog by arriving in such great numbers and feeding her junk food that upsets her stomach. A little turkey or ham is fine, Aunt Jean, but when everybody offers her some… do you see what I’m driving at?
  • Enduring my tenth Christmas without my dad. My grandmothers too, one of which I lost right after Christmas one year. I’m certainly not lost without three of my most beloved family members, but I do greatly miss them even after many years. I know I’m not alone in this, as the holidays make us remember the good times and the good people we once had.

I have previously stated my disdain for the repetitive music that plagues this time of year, and I still shake my fist at the avalanche of Christmas covers that consume the airwaves whenever I jump off my Spotify playlist; however, I did hear one of my favorite songs that is Christmasy-inclined recently, and it helped me to remember the good memories of this day and to focus on the positives of living here and now. It may be crazy, both with Christmas, and outside of it, but damn it we should enjoy the good parts where we can, and thanks to Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, I am smiling today after hearing their terrific song, “Thank God It’s Christmas”. I gave a gracious shoutout to Queen and this tune in my aforementioned Christmas songs post, and here I’m singing the praises of Rock and Roll’s greatest singer once again. Whenever this season encapsulates you with its madness, or whenever you think about anything anyone “in charge” did this year or in the past, or whenever anyone spills the beans on a scene from The Last Jedi and you still haven’t gotten to see it (but, c’mon, it had the second-biggest opening, how were you not one of those people?), then listen to Freddie and the gang truly offer tidings of comfort and joy:

Thanks for reading and listening! Have yourself a Merry little or large Christmas and awesome final week of this troubling year. Let’s make the most of the remainder of this year and carry on strong into the next. I’ll be back next week with my annual must-hear songs post, followed by my annual recap of my favorite movies from the year.

Merry Xmas!


Awesome Abe Says Slavery Sucks and Racism’s Rotten

Today marks the 152nd anniversary of the adoption of the most important legislation in United States history: the Thirteenth Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment officially abolished slavery within the United States and its territories, building off of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that was issued two years earlier.

With the American Civil War over, the task of reconstruction began, especially within the South. The country could be made whole again, and in many ways it has healed, yet there are still some fundamental rifts that show how visible and ugly the scar that was left by the Civil War is. Primarily, there seems to be a misunderstanding of why the American Civil War was fought, and I’d like to let my old buddy John help to clarify that:

Nothing like a British man to properly inform us on United States history. Hopefully  future generations within the USA will understand the bloodiest conflict in their country’s history, and the bloody practice that initiated it.

Thanks for reading and watching. Send any questions, comments, or suggestions to I hope to see you return next week.

Happy Hanukkah,


Making Mondays a little less Mondayish for all with words to educate, inspire, and try out my stand-up routine with.