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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, May 11

Final Idol & Mud

Down to the final two on American Idol, Kree and Candice. Either one would be a deserving winner. Even Angie, who was voted off on Wednesday, would have been an acceptable choice. When the final three sang their third song, Candice got a huge advantage over the other two when she was given “Somewhere” from West Side Story. Any of the three would have received a standing O with that song. I hate most of the songs that get selected. Just too much peripheral noise—audience hooting, too many backup singers, too many whanging guitars. And unless you’re familiar with the song, know the lyrics, you can’t understand what they’re singing. Somewhere along the way, especially in the last three or four weeks, the contestants should all be required to sing the same song, a cappella—same song, no backup singers, no orchestra, nada. Just their voices with nowhere to hide. I’d like to see what they’d do with “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”, Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s wonderful, understandable lyrics. That would separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the real singers from the pretenders.
A few words about Mud. It’s gray, tan, or black, sometimes orange, like the stuff we used to call gumbo in my South Dakota youth—slippery as a bed of eels, sticky as super glue, sometimes deep enough to capture a loose shoe, deep enough on some back-country prairie road after a summer shower to bring my dad’s car to a tire-spinning halt until a service truck could winch it free. Ah, those were the days. But enough of the muck of my early years. My father never forgave me for my indiscretion, “borrowing” his car for an ill advised country excursion. No, the Mud I’m referring to is the film starring Matthew McConaughey as Mud, an Arkansas down-and-outer who has taken refuge in a boat that got hung up in the trees after a Mississippi River flood. Two teenage boys (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland), Ellis and Neckbone (Where but in Arkansas would someone name a boy “Neckbone”?) discover the boat and claim it as their own. Then they meet Mud, who sets them straight about ownership. The three become friends with Ellis and Neckbone bringing provisions for Mud, mostly cans of Beanie Weenies. Mud is there on the island waiting to hear from the Love of His Life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), trying to evade a band of bounty hunters hired by King (Joe Don Baker) because Mud has killed one of his sons, killed the man because he was beating on Juniper. Now Mud is waiting for Juniper to join him. He, with help from Ellis and Neckbone, bring the boat down and make it seaworthy again. Simple plot, fairly forgettable movie. But McConaughey makes it worth seeing. And Tye Sheridan makes it worth seeing. We’ll be seeing a lot more of young Mr. Sheridan.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com