Lazy Sunday CVIII: Spring Break Short Story Recommendations 2021 Recap

Well, it was fun while it lasted—another Spring Break is in the books.  I enjoyed this brief respite, the eye in the middle of the storm that is the Spring Semester.  The next couple of weeks will be a flurry of activity for yours portly, followed by the long, graceful descent into summer vacation.

Like last year, I’ll be recapping the short stories I recommended this past week, and offer up a short ranking of them.  The list will be shorter by two this year, as I dedicated last Monday to a movie review and did not reblog an earlier short story review Thursday.

Oh, well.  Here’s what I did read:

So, how do they fall this year?  You’ve probably figured it out, but it was an easy call: Michael Noonan‘s “The Personality Cult” won the day for me.  Here is my ranking:

1.) “The Personality Cult”
2.) “Black Tancrède”
3.) “Out of the Deep”

There you have it!  Happy Reading—and haunting!  Mwahahahahahaha!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Silence of the Lambs Book Review

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This Spring Break Week I’ve been reviewing and recommending short stories, something I began doing back in 2020.  To wrap up the week, I thought I’d offer up my review of Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel Silence of the LambsThe film is a masterpiece, and quite a faithful adaptation of the book.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Easter Weekend 2021

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

It’s Easter Weekend 2021!  Unlike last Easter, which was “decidedly un-Eastery” in The Age of The Virus, this Easter is starting to go back to normal.  By the time you read this post, I will have had my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, so I’m either fully medically acceptable to our cosmopolitan elites—or dead.  Gulp!  I’m not sure which is worse.

Regardless, more and more folks are vaccinated, and churches have been reopened for many months now here in the South (they never should have been shuttered in the first place).  I fully expect that tomorrow will see a return, albeit a perhaps socially-distanced, diminished return, to the jam-packed Easter services of The Before Times, in the Long, Long Ago.

Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, probably in a dead-heat with Christmas.  Just as Christmas celebrates Christ’s Birth, Easter commemorates His Resurrection—the ultimate testament to Christ’s Victory over Death, the Devil, and the Grave.

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TBT^2: April Fool’s Day: A Retrospective

The Kindle version of The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot goes live today!  If you pre-ordered the book, it should pop up in your Kindle app today.  At $5, it’s a very easy lift, as is the paperback at $15.

It’s April Fool’s Day, a holiday for mirth and merriment, but one I dedicate to remembering the day twelve years ago when I faced unemployment during the worst job market since the Great Depression.

In rereading last year’s TBT and the original “April Fool’s Day: A Retrospective,” I’m reminded how good God has been to me.  Last year I’d lost most of my private lesson students due to The Virus; now, I’m back up to seven students (six weekly, one twice a month), and I’ve just released a book (the Kindle version goes live today!).  Gigging still hasn’t really picked back up, but Bandcamp sales have been decent (and another Bandcamp Friday is tomorrow!), and my front porch Spooktacular was a blast.

I’m still hustlin’, but I’m also taking more time to appreciate life.  Perhaps the hard slog of my twenties has finally paid off here in my mid-thirties.

With that, here are “April Fool’s Day: A Retrospective” and “TBT: April Fool’s Day: A Retrospective“:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: High-Rise (2015)

Lately Hulu’s algorithm—in the bleak future math problems determine our entertainment choices—has been suggesting tower-based movies to me.  Yes, it is a genre:  films that take place in the claustrophobic confines of apartment buildings, like the 1993 thriller Sliver, starring Sharon Stone and William Baldwin.  That flick was so-so, and the character motivations didn’t really make sense, especially the dashing computer nerd Baldwin portrayed, but it was one of several Hulu has recommended lately that depends upon a high-rise for its setting.

So it was the Grand High Algorithm suggested 2015’s High-Rise, a film both set in and an homage to the 1970s, specifically the dark sci-fi flicks of the decade.

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Inspector Gerard eBook is Coming 1 April 2021 (Out NOW in Paperback)!

This announcement is no April Fool’s joke:  next Thursday, 1 April 2021, I’ll be releasing my first-ever book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot, available as a digital eBook (available 1 April) and a physical paperback (available now!).

Inspector Gerard is an absurdist, postmodern, film noir private investigator who always solves his cases—sometimes before he’s even seen the clues!

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More Pillow Hoggin’

Well, it looks like self-righteous twerp David Hogg’s proposed progressive pillow company is, so far, a colossal flop.  Hogg announced a pillow company to rival Mike Lindell’s popular MyPillow, and immediately the mainstream press went to bonkers:  Washington Post published a fluffy feature before the company even had a name, and Newsweek thinks that Twitter followers are a substitute for actual clients.

Hogg is so clueless that he failed to register the trademark “Good Pillow,” the ultimate name of the company; a clever individual from North Carolina snagged it the day after the Newsweek piece was published on 10 February 2021.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

Roman Polanksi is a sexual weirdo and a fugitive from justice, but, dang, he makes good movies.  A couple of weekends back I stumbled upon The Ghost Writer (2010) on Hulu, more evidence that the streaming service is upping its game.

The Ghost Writer is a product of the Bush Era, when Hollywood was obsessed with Bush Derangement Syndrome—a psychological condition akin to Trump Derangement Syndrome, but which now seems quaint and cute by comparison.  The plot involves a ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) hired to punch-up the boring, windy memoirs of a Tony Blair-esque former British Prime Minister.  The former PM is facing prosecution for war crimes for his alleged role in illegally torturing terrorists during the War on Terror, and while he is considered a “world-historical” figure, his pro-war stance while PM has made him deeply unpopular.

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Lazy Sunday CV: Grab Bag II

Here we are, another Sunday, which means it’s time for another Lazy Sunday.  I’m feeling particularly lazy this weekend, so instead of searching out a particular theme, I’m offering up another grab bag of miscellaneous posts.  I tried to pick three posts from the past year—one from March 2020, one from March 2021, and another random post.  For that random post I went to October 2020, because I love all the spooky stuff I write in October.

So, here they are—your second Lazy Sunday grab bag:

  • The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973” – It’s amazing how everyone was losing their heads a year ago over toilet paper.  I still see signs in stores warning customers they are only allowed one package of toilet paper per visit.  I had (thankfully) purchased fresh toilet paper about a week before The Age of The Virus began, not out of special forethought or insights into what was to come, but because I was running.  Thank God for that.  This post details another toilet paper shortage in 1973, fueled by the reckless comments of a Wisconsin Congressman.
  • Monsters” – This post dealt with an issue of The Hedgehog Review about monsters.  As a fan of horror movies, I enjoy speculation about monsters, and am particularly interested in “cryptids” and cryptozoology—the study of presumably mythical and/or undiscovered species.  Who knows what wonders are still out there to discover—maybe the Lizard Man of Lee County?
  • The Joy of Romantic Music IV: Claude Debussy” – A more recent post, this piece is the fourth installment in my ever-growing The Joy of Romantic Music series.  I’m a real sucker for French Romantic composers, and Debussy’s beautiful, painterly Impressionism is quite lovely.

That’s it for another Sunday.  Enjoy this smattering of posts—and have a wonderful week!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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***NOTEThis link is NOT a subscription to my SubscribeStar Page; it is for a one-time donation/tip via PayPal. To subscribe to my SubscribeStar page, use this URL:   https://subscribestar.com/the-portly-politico***