Lazy Sunday CXXXV: More Movies VIII: Movie Reviews, Part VIII

It’s a late Lazy Sunday today.  A very long homecoming weekend at school, followed by a Saturday spent at the South Carolina State Fair and a University of South Carolina football game, has me behind on the blog a bit.  As soon as I churn this post out, it’s straight to writing comments for report cards.  So much for a day of rest.

But I digress.  For the first time since Lazy Sunday CXXV, I’m back with more movie review retrospectives.  It’s fun (for me, at least) to go back through these movie reviews; I’ve written so many of them, I’ve started forgetting which movies I’ve reviewed!

This week we pick up where we left off ten Sundays ago with another three flicks:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Aniara (2018)” – I really enjoyed this movie—bleak though it is—about a space cruise ship getting thrown off course irreversibly.  It’s one of the more thought-provoking films I’ve seen in the past year, and it’s stuck with me.  It’s one of the movie reviews I’ve written that I have not forgotten.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Willy’s Wonderland (2021)” – Compared to Aniara, Willy’s Wonderland is quite lighthearted.  If you like Nicolas Cage—and I definitely do—you’ll enjoy this movie.  Unusually for Cage, though, his character doesn’t say anything, but he still manages to bring his trademark insane fury to the character, who spends a night fighting demon-possessed animatronics in an abandoned pizzeria.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Robot & Frank (2012)” – This flick ad the feel of an indie flick, with its quirky premise and craftily heartwarming story arc.  I love stuff with robots, and this movie delivers it in an interesting way:  an aging thief trains his robot nurse to help him plot a jewel heist.

That’s it for this week’s belated Lazy Sunday.  Enjoy the rest of this quiet day!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT^2: On Ghost Stories

It’s that time of year again—the so-called “spooky season,” when Halloween decorations go up, scary stories get told, and overwrought bloggers with delusions of grandeur stage over-the-top concerts from their front porches (well, maybe that last one is just me).  As the weather turns cool and the leaves begin to fall, it’s almost impossible not to settle in with some hot coffee and a good collection of ghost stories.

So, for the second year in a row, I’m looking back this TBT to 2019’s “On Ghost Stories,” a post that now will hold the distinction of being a perennial favorite.

One might think that as scary as the real world is, we’d spend less time reading spooky fiction.  It seems the opposite is the case.  Perhaps the idea that malevolence is not necessarily the result of human frailty, but rather due to wicked supernatural influences, is oddly comforting.  That evil is the result of our fallen nature—and, of course, the malignant supernatural influence up on it—is a bit easier to forget, perhaps, when reading about some ghostly figure wreaking havoc in the English countryside.

More likely, it’s just that we enjoy being scared—when we can easily flip off the television or close the book.  Horror is fun when there are no real consequences attached to it.  Then again, just watching horror movies probably isn’t healthy (I’ll report back if I suddenly get any macabre urges).

Well, whatever the reason, a good ghost story is hard to pass up.  With that, here is “TBT: On Ghost Stories“:

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Lazy Sunday CXXXIV: Friends, Part IV

Well, I’ve finally gotten enough new editions of Supporting Friends Friday to do another retrospective.  This weekend’s posts include the most recent three editions, and they’re all writers:

Well, that’s it for another Lazy Sunday.  Here’s hoping yours is relaxing, too!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: Soda City Market

Earlier this week my little town of Lamar observed National Night Out, and the local neighborhood watch put together an organic, decentralized street festival to celebrate.  Regular readers know I am an avid fan of festivals, especially this time of year, and I look forward to visiting them—the weirder, the better.

With the proximity to National Night Out and the excitement of festival season in the air, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s TBT to a post about a much larger weekly festival, the so-called “Soda City Market.”  It’s been months since I attended, but it still holds a fond spot in my heart (and my stomach).

Here’s hoping that more of these open-aired autumnal festivals make a comeback this year.  After the long drought of The Age of The Virus, we could all use some fun.

With that, here is “Soda City Market“:

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Lazy Sunday CXXXIII: Inspector Gerard

It was a long, grueling week at work, including a Saturday morning spent proctoring the SAT.  It was one of those weeks where my job and my various sidelines all coincided to leave me utterly exhausted.  Anyone who has ever worked a job knows the kind of week:  seemingly everything must be done at the same time.

Well, self-promotion never ends, and after working myself weary this week, I figured I’d make another attempt at schlocking my various wares to you, my faithful readers.  As such, it seemed like a good weekend to revisit my book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard, and my various blog posts about it.  Also, some of my students learned of the book this week, so it’s on my mind (and currently only $10 in paperback):

  • Inspector Gerard eBook is Coming 1 April 2021 (Out NOW in Paperback)!” – Ah, yes, the first, excited post announcing the arrival of Inspector Gerard to the world.  At that time, the Kindle edition had not yet released, but was available for preorder.  I actually did pretty well on those, and, of course, enjoyed the initial surge of book sales from friends and family with the announcement.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Inspector Gerard Preview” – The day after my announcement, I posted three Gerard stories, “Dial ‘M’ for Malfeasance,” “Sleazebag in the City,” and “Inspector Gerard and the Video Rental Caper” to my SubscribeStar page.  Considering I was selling the paperback version for $15 at the time, that made a $1 a month subscription a pretty good deal.
  • Lazy Sunday CX: Inspector Gerard Reviews” – Soon enough, the reviews—mostly from blogger friends—began pouring in.  I think most of the reviewers “got” the book, and I even got a shout-out in a mailbag episode of Z Man’s podcast after I mailed a copy of the book to him.  I really appreciated the reviews.

Christmas is just around the corner—why not take the lazy way out and buy yourself or a loved one a copy of my absurdist book?

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico:  Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

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Lazy Sunday CXXXII: Milestones

Yesterday the blog hit 1000 days of consecutive posts, so I figured I’d keep the celebration going by looking back at past milestones here at The Portly Politico:

  • 101 Postmatians – 101st Consecutive Daily Post!” (and “TBT: 101 Postmatians – 101st Consecutive Daily Post!” – Ah, how quaint—900 days ago, I was celebrating reaching 101 posts (I apparently forgot to observe the occasion on Day 100).  In looking back at this post, it seems I’d already written some of my best posts, like “Nehemiah and National Renewal” & “Nehemiah Follow-Up”; of course, more goodness was to come.  The TBT version of the post appeared on the 200th day of posts.
  • 500” – I can tell from this 500th post that I was stretching a bit.  I did lay out my controversial theory about the “personality” of numbers (I claimed that the number “500” has “charisma, gravitas”).  The 500th day also came two months into The Age of The Virus, not exactly a glory age for liberty.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: 1000 Days” – Yesterday’s post—the big one thousand.  It’s behind a paywall, but the full post details my plans for the blog going forward, as well as offering some reflections about the last 1000 days.  The post actually landed me a new subscriber, too, at the generous $5 a month tier.  Anyone else interested in rewarding my hard work and initiative—hmmmm?

Well, that’s it for this 132nd edition of Lazy Sunday.  It looks like we’re heading towards 150 of these, so I’ll probably have to do some other ridiculous retrospective instead of creating new content.  Wooooot!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico:  Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

***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***

TBT^2: The Joy of Autumn

Well, the first day of autumn was yesterday, although my Middle School Music students came into class Tuesday saying that their Geography teacher told them 21 September, rather than 22 September, was the first day of this glorious holiday.

I have little idea when the seasons calendrically begin, other than it’s always in the low-twenties of the month:  Spring in March, Summer in June, Autumn in September, and Winter in December.  As I’ve noted before on this site, in South Carolina it’s all pretty much one big season—summer—with some intermittent sprinklings of the actual season throughout the year.  That can even mean a cold front in the summer (Thy Will Be Done) or an unseasonably warm “Indian Summer” in mid-January.  I’ve sweated on New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving many times, and it’s always muggy on Halloween.

But I digress.  The discussion about when autumn really begins (some Bing!ing revealed it is 22 September this year, not 21 September) led to an impromptu crash course in songwriting.  We began listing all of the qualities of the fall, and the qualities of the then-soon-to-be-departing summer.  The students then crafted those into verses (about all the fun summertime stuff that was disappearing), with the chorus being all about how great the autumn is:  pumpkins, scarecrows, falling leaves, etc.

The kids ate it up.  I made up some cheesy crooner melody to go with it as a placeholder, but a precocious seventh grader began experimenting with an unusual C-Db-Eb chord sequence, which completely changed the melody.  I broke the students into groups to begin writing new verses, and another student took it upon herself to compile the lyrics into a master Google Doc.  Another student—a visual artist trapped in Music class—supplied the artwork for our soon-to-be-hit single, featuring a scarecrow and some other creature dancing around a flaming pumpkin (it’s pretty awesome).  Our little scribe-compiler mentioned that we needed a bridge, so we’ll have to get hopping on that.

It was completely unplanned—one student even suggested, snarkily, that I hadn’t planned a lesson that day, so I created this one out of thin air.  It’s only half true:  I did have a lesson planned—we were going to write, clap, and count rhythm lines—but the discussion of autumn sparked the idea for a much more engaging lesson about writing songs (which is, essentially, writing poetry, but better—there’s music attached!).

Anyway, here’s to autumnal weather to come—and good, middle school-penned songs to go with it.

With that, here is “TBT: The Joy of Autumn” (thanks to Pontiac Dreamer for today’s picture!):

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Lazy Sunday CXXXI: Friends, Part III

The celebration of friendship rolls on (read Part I and Part II), this week heavily featuring blogger buddies.  One of the real joys of blogging is the opportunity to read other bloggers’ writing, and to build up a community of like-minded writers.  These three writers definitely fit the bill:

  • Supporting Friends Friday: Mogadishu Matt” – Mogadishu Matt at Free Matt Podcast writes some of the more interesting “slice of life” commentary I’ve ever read.  He’s particularly humorous when writing his own, hard-boiled responses to letters sent to advice columnists.  He’s a man who has lived a rich—if not always easy—life, and he’s learned and grown from those experiences.  That really comes across in his writing.
  • Supporting Friends Friday: photog” – Good old photog is the proprietor of Orion’s Cold Fire.  I consider photog my closest blogging ally, and some of my writing for his blog got the juices flowing again for my blog.  He writes on everything from politics to photography (thus the nom de plume) to Star Trek.  Check him out!
  • Supporting Friends Friday: Audre Myers” – Audre is a fun-loving, child-like, but wise writer who frequently posts for Nebraska Energy Observer, Neo’s blog (which features far more stuff about English and American history than it does about running electrical lines in rural Nebraska).  Writing this tribute to Audre proved to be a turning point for my own blog:  Audre has tons of fans in Great Britain, and now traffic to my site has increased five-to-ten-fold on a daily basis, thanks simply to Audre’s friends and well-wishers commenting on the blog.  I’ve never had such lively comment sections, and that also means more comments from Audre herself!

Well, that’s another Sunday in the books.  Enjoy your day and support your writers!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico:  Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

***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***

Lazy Sunday CXXX: Friends, Part II

The friendship rolls on this Sunday, as I continue to look back at past editions of Supporting Friends Friday (read last week’s here).  Introducing the (nearly) weekly feature has been a real joy, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite of my regularly recurring series.

The three installments featured this Sunday are a bit of a mixed-bag, unlike last week’s heavily musical selection.  We’ve got a professor and her book of poetry; an organization dedicated to helping bull terriers; and another musician buddy of mine:

Well, that’s it for another Lazy Sunday.  Thank you for being a friend!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico:  Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

***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***