Phone it in Friday XXV: Spooktacular 2022 T-Shirts

The 2022 Spooktacular is coming up on Saturday, 15 October 2022, which means it’s time to have some t-shirts made up.

This year, I’m debating between two designs:

The white image is a vampire playing a bass guitar (which he is apparently hypnotizing).  The caption on the bottom reads “Blood-Suckingly Spooky Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

The yellow image is a spider whose legs make up notes on a treble clef staff.  His caption reads “Venomously Good Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

The vampire could also be made yellow (or any other color).

So, I’m asking readers for your input:  which design do you prefer?  I’ll probably only make one this year, and I’ll use reader feedback to decide which one to order.

Thanks for voting!

—TPP

TBT: The Frisson of the Night

The night has always been a time of excitement, a time when—as I wrote a year ago—music “lives.”  There’s something exhilarating and fun about the night, which is why I chose the word “frisson” to convey the tantalizing possibilities of the night.

I’m more of a morning person these days, rising early, well before the dawn.  Well, isn’t that just another way of saying “the late, late night”?  There’s not much exciting happening at 5 AM (other than reading the Bible and talking to God), but it’s still pretty dark out.  Try waking up then and you’ll see!

Still, there is a real appeal to the night.  I’m at my most alert and mentally focused in the morning and—you guessed it—at night.  Afternoons would be naptime for yours portly, if I had my druthers—and a schedule that permitted it.

Regardless, night is when everything interesting happens.  It’s the time when things go bump.  It’s probably when Bigfoot comes out to play, too.

With that, here is 15 September 2021’s “The Frisson of the Night“:

Read More »

Son of Sonnet: Change

I approached the Poet Formerly Known as Son of Sonnet (PFKSoS), Michael Gettinger, about writing a little something for the slowly approaching autumnality that I crave, and after demurring initially, he popped out this little gem about the changing of the seasons—of the world, to be sure, but also of our lives.

I’m always eager for fall weather, but Gettinger’s poem is a good reminder that we always forget the lows that come with each season, instead focusing on the highs.

Perhaps that’s not all bad; after all, how else are we to endure the heat and humidity of summer if we don’t forget them briefly and think about the pool parties and barbecues instead?

With that, here is “Change” by Son of Sonnet / Michael Gettinger:

Read More »

Open Mic Adventures VII: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to make it out to open mic night, but I’ve built up enough of a back catalog, I still have some goodies to share.

My schedule has been bonkers lately, especially with lessons, and interim reports are due this week.  I’ve also been on the road a great deal lately, so everything is a bit tight at the moment.

Fortunately, I have a real gem for your listening pleasure this week:  a cover of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Read More »

Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Best Films: #10: A Quiet Place (2018)

The Top Ten Best Films list now jumps over to Ponty, who I believe is enjoying a much-deserved holiday this week (although that was possibly last week).  Here’s hoping he’s enjoying some peace and quiet.

Speaking of quiet, Ponty’s first pick for his list is a film that explores a terrifying world in which staying quiet is the only way to stay alive.  If only students were similarly terrified into shivering silence.  Oh, well.

It’s a wonderful picture—one of my favorite recent films, too—and a very intriguing concept, executed extremely well.  I could say the same thing about this review, which is exceptionally thorough and interesting (and has me wanting to go back and watch 1963’s Jason and The Argonauts).

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2018’s A Quiet Place:

Read More »

Lazy Sunday CLXII: More Movies, Part XXV: Portly’s Worst Films, Part II

As Ponty and I are digging into what we consider to be the best films off all time, I’m continuing looking back at our major blogging project for most of 2022:  our lists of the Top Ten Worst Films.  Here’s are my next three picks from that long list:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Queen and 9/11

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Queen Elizabeth II, the long-reigning, dignified, Stoic monarch of Great Britain, passed away this week at the age of 96.  The news was shocking, not because of the tragedy of her death itself, but because I’d always assumed she would live forever—even though I knew that wasn’t possible.  Queen Elizabeth was just always there, and it seemed like she would be.

To be honest, I’m surprised she was only 96; I thought she’d already hit 100.  As it was, she was pretty close.  Her seventy-plus-year reign is the longest in the history of the British monarchy, and the longest any woman has been a head of state in all of recorded history.

The Queen’s passing, as other commentators have noted, truly marks the end of an era, an era in which the West, while fumbling a bit, still reigned supreme, and took itself seriously as a civilization.  Her death marks the final page of a long chapter in the book of Western Civilization, as her reign was the last vestige of the Old England so many of us, even here in the States, loved so dearly.

It is, then, perhaps apropos that the Queen’s death came so close to 9/11, a day of infamy which, sadly, seems to have receded further and further into the collective imagination of our divided and bickering nation.  Both the Queen and 9/11 were once symbols of national unity and patriotism, but the latter marked the death of American liberty.  Queen Elizabeth’s death, on the other hand, is a coda, the last few measures of a piece that lost its orchestra some time ago, but which managed to maintain a few dedicated musicians to play her out.

This post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Phone it in Friday XXIV: A Fresh Corporate History International Sighting with KitKat Bars

For the first time since 20 December 2020, musician, actor, and writer Frederick Ingram has posted to his niche blog, Corporate History International (with the great, if somewhat cumbersome, URL of https://corporatehistory.international).  It’s a short piece about the KitKat Bar, that delicious, wafery little delight with the memorable jingle:

Read More »

TBT: Counting Blessings

In searching through some old blog posts recently, I stumbled upon one from April 2020 about being thankful for the blessings in our lives.  The day before I’d written what I thought at the time was a doom-and-gloom post, but reading it now, it wasn’t too bad.  I do seem to remember being in an exasperated mood when I wrote it, so that probably explains, in part, the sense of contrition I experienced after writing it.

Regardless, it yielded “Counting Blessings,” a post giving thanks for God’s many blessings in my life.  It’s rather serendipitous that I stumbled upon this post again the other day, because the theme of counting one’s blessings is one I’ve been contemplating quite a bit lately.

Life is going well enough for yours portly (I’d better not say that too loudly!).  Work is clipping along and I’m hustling big time with lessons.  I have a great (and godly) girlfriend, dog, and house, and a supportive family.  Things could be worse.

With that here is 29 April 2022’s “Counting Blessings“:

Read More »