Wednesday, February 3, 2016


There are some people who you can't remember a life without. Not necessarily figuratively, but in the true sense of the sentiment. From your earliest memories, some folks were simply just... there. For my minute existence in this universe, aunt Charlease is one such person. Now, like so many passages before hers, it is time to live in a world without her in it.

It's been less than a week since Charlease Williams died, so of course many memories have come flooding back, some of them ones I haven't thought of in years, perhaps decades. One such item is how Charlease would often love to tell me how her arrival in Champaign coincided with my own. I was born in December 1975. If memory serves correctly, Charlease moved here from Missouri in January 1976. "That's how I always know how old you are," she would say, in her sweet, raspy voice.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pic of the Week

Actress Lauren Cohan, perhaps best known for her role on AMC's The Walking Dead, is in a new suspense movie titled The Boy. I saw it last night, and she was the best part of the film. Lauren also used to be a model, and is our Pic of the Week.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

Years -- decades -- ago, when I was a lad, folks like my mom, grandma and people their age would sometimes talk about where they were when past events occurred. The JFK assassination is the one I heard about most. The adults would get a misty, far-away look in their eyes, summoning their memories of that terrible day. These particular scenarios come flooding back today because it is the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and now I am one of the older people getting that misty, far-away look in their eyes.

January 28th, 1986 was a Tuesday. A quick Internet search helps lock that down. Most everything else I remember without assistance. I was in fourth grade, Mrs. Keller's class. Except Mrs. Keller wasn't there that day. We had a substitute. I can't remember her name, and that's a shame as she came across as quite a nice person. Young(ish), slightly stout, with hair that could've been styled with a bit more flourish, I remember her interrupting the normal lesson plan with a pained expression creeping across her face.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Emasculation Contemplation

Identity is a curious thing. More so now than ever, it is something that appears to be a in state of flux. Everything from John Gray books to marriage equality to increased visibility of the transgender movement leads us down a path of potential growth and enlightenment. Push back against such development is, oddly enough, coming from many people from the African-American community.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2015 Films (Almost There)

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, for the movies that were released in 2015. I therefore thought it would be a good occasion to update my Top 10 Films of the Year list. There are still a few movies I'd like to see from 2015, but this list feels pretty solid for the time being.

1. Spotlight
2. It Follows
3. Brooklyn
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
6. Magic Mike XXL
7. Grandma
8. The Martian
9. Bridge of Spies
10. Room

I hope to see The Revenant this weekend. I've long been a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pic of the Week

Our latest of pic of the week is British actress Emma Rigby, most recently seen on last week's episode of Death In Paradise.

Monday, January 11, 2016


David Jones (aka David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust) passed away yesterday after living 18 months with cancer. He'd just turned 69 years of age, and dropped a new, well-received album. While I wasn't an uber-Bowie fan, it is true that I appreciated his musical presence. How could you not? Bowie represented the quintessential 'other' in rock & roll, somehow existing in both the counter-culture and the mainstream, sincere to both.

Following are my favorite David Bowie songs (in chronological order):

Rebel Rebel
Sound and Vision
Under Pressure (w/ Queen)
Let's Dance
Hallo Spaceboy (w/ Pet Shop Boys)
I'm Afraid of Americans
Everyone Says Hi

Twenty-nine years my senior, David Bowie has been a part of the cultural landscape for as long as I've been alive. There's always a bit of shock whenever that sort of correlation comes to an end. On an objective level, I understand that, compared with the thousands of years of humanity, Bowie's 69 years is but a blink. Subjectively, though.... wow, what an impact he made.