Dec 312019

Using both my input and your input, here are my 12 favorite posts from 2019, from earliest to latest.

I really appreciate you, dear readers. Thank you for continuing to check in with me from time. I wish you a marvelous 2020. See you here and around!

 Posted by at 4:31 pm
Dec 282019 spoilers.)

Lea, the boys, and took in an afternoon matinee of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Cinemark today.

As longtime readers know, eight days after release isn’t my style, but you have to see a Star Wars film quickly if you don’t want anything ruined for you. Indeed, there was actually a small detail that was already spoiled for me heading into this viewing. (But rest assured, you’ll find none below.)

We’ve been told several times that this is the final installment of the Skywalker saga, so Episode IX is saddled with some housekeeping. It never feels overly administrative, though. There is plenty of room in its 2:22 run time to tie things up and still provide plenty of Star Wars-style action and narrative.

As with the previous two films, the familiar and the new are skillfully woven together. There is respect for what has come before (and the deft use of musical cues from across the film series deserves specific mention here). However, canon is also augmented fearlessly. Old friends return warmly and authentically, and we make a few new ones as well.

There is another brilliant turn from Daisy Ridley as Rey, with good (though mostly ancillary) work from Oscar Isaac and John Boyega. I was a little disappointed with what I perceived to be a diminished role for Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico. I think she may have been “Jar Jar”ed a bit in this script because of particularly nasty online reaction to her work in the previous film, which is unfortunate indeed.

The discord among some fans that began in earnest with Episode VIII has continued with this one, and I have no patience for it. Best I can tell, the films tell a story, and some malcontents somehow think they’re owed a different story, or that the creative team’s respect for the Star Wars universe is insufficient, or both. Then, as now, my response is: why bother watching them if you already know how they’re “supposed” to go?

This is another excellent film, and I stand by my from-the-beginning assertion that Disney acquiring Star Wars is the best thing that could have happened to it. The Skywalker story may have concluded, but we’ll have marvelous additions to the universe to enjoy for the rest of our lives.


 Posted by at 8:57 pm
Dec 192019
  • I cannot recall a more harried December. Beyond any doubt, my lax self-care has exacerbated it. I do plan to step it up here a bit when I’m on break.
  • Kids, follow along with me: 1. House impeaches. 2. Senate acquits. 3. Trump is re-elected in 2020. (We just passed 1.) Don’t assume I know anything else about it. I’m paying exactly as much attention as I did to the Russian kerfuffle right after the election.
  • Guess we need to get Star Wars tickets. Doing my best to stay away from it online, but I already gather there’s a lot of grousing.
  • I didn’t know I was getting Fargo (the series) with Hulu. Really enjoying that, though I’ve already devoured half of it. There are lots of Easter eggs for fans of the film.
  • I’m shopping for a grill for Christmas. My dad is getting model electric train stuff. Write your own joke.
  • What a strange choice of car for which to do this, but I must admit, the photos are fun. Want to see a 1974 Ford Maverick with 66 miles on it?
  • The bowls start tomorrow!
 Posted by at 5:16 pm
Dec 122019
  • My shopping is underway. Lea is the toughest, as usual.
  • The cord is cut. We have gone with Hulu’s live television for now. (Also took the opportunity to sign up for Disney+, so we’re caught up with the rest of the free world on The Mandalorian now.)
  • The first snow of the season, being short-lived and falling on warm ground, didn’t cause many problems. However, traffic certainly was snarled Tuesday night. A hearty what-the-hell-were-you-thinking to the police officers at the Kroger light on 72 just east of Slaughter/Jeff, which was in flashing mode. Instead of directing traffic, they sat and watched it function as a 4-way stop. It took me 20 minutes to get from Enterprise Way to there. No issues whatsoever after that.
  • Philip McKeon, who played Tommy Hyatt on Alice, has died at 55. RIP.
  • I have quite a #hsvhotwings backlog—a by-product of an extremely robust local economy. Watch for a couple of reviews between now and the first of the year.
  • There are rumblings of Tua coming back to Alabama next year. For most other players I’d dismiss this immediately, but I’m not so sure here. This guy just might zag when everyone else would zig.
  • I used to be pretty sure Kirby Smart would be the first former assistant to beat Saban. Now I agree with Finebaum. I think it might be Lane Kiffin.
 Posted by at 10:54 am
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