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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.

Wednesday, September 16

Odds and Ends

So You Think You Can Dance just finished its twelfth season and this year the viewers got it right, naming Gaby Diaz their favorite dancer with the Czech cutie JaJa coming in second. Gaby also happened to be the best dancer. This year’s finale was two hours of showing us the judges’ and the four finalists’ favorite routines, something like fifteen or sixteen numbers. I’ve often waxed ecstatic about this show, but the dancing just keeps getting better and better. What news did we get this year? Cat Deeley is pregnant, Travis Wall is gay, and Jason Derulo stinks as one of the judges. They need to go back to having guest judges, some of the chorographers or others from show biz who know what they’re talking about, like Misty Copeland. Maybe even bring back Mary Murphy for one or two shows. When I first heard about the new format, street dancers versus stage dancers, I didn’t see how it could work. But it did, with the stagers learning how to do street and the streeters learning how to do stage. Now we’ll see how next season works out.

I’m not opposed to adding new words to the English lexicon, but how is “hashtag” an improvement over “pound sign?”

The first real week of the NFL is behind us and we found a few surprises. The talking heads are now all saying that the AFC East is the strongest division with all four teams winning—the Bills, Pats, Jets, and Dolphins. But look at the NFC West with the Cardinals, Rams, and 49ers all winning and the Seahawks, losing in overtime to the Rams. The Seahawks were nearly a unanimous pick of sports commentators to win this season’s Super Bowl. I’d have to say the NFC West is the strongest division.

Kim Davis is out of jail and back to her post . . . sort of. She still refuses to sign any gay marriage applications but she won’t interfere with her underlings who do sign them. Some of her supporters are hailing her as a hero for her stand, likening her to Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. Bah! Humbug! We need to define more exactly what heroism means. I heard the label “hero” applied to the Customs and Border Control officer who shot and killed Richard Matt. What in the world is heroic about a police officer shooting and killing an apparently drunken Richard Matt?

I think Ant-Man, the latest in the films put out by the Marvel Studios, has more appeal for an audience of ten- to twenty-five-year-olds than for anyone older. It was a silly but fun way to spend two hours without having to clutter my mind remembering it. Michael Douglas plays Dr. Hank Pym, a scientist who has developed a way to shrink things and people down molecularly, making them tiny but powerful. I found it amusing that the first shots of Douglas were in a thirty-year flashback, with Douglas actually looking thirty years younger. Kudos to the makeup staff. He and daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) are trying to stop Dr. Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from misusing this shrinking process. I knew when I saw Hope that I knew her from somewhere. Then—BAM!—I remembered her as the main female lead in Lost. Welcome back, Evangeline Lilly. Loved you then, love you now. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a nice guy burglar who gets recruited by Dr. Pym to help him in his plan to foil Dr. Cross. He becomes Ant-Man and we have a comical series of confrontations between the tiny/then big Ant-Man and the tiny/then big Yellowjacket. Fun flick but most forgettable. It seems likely that there will be more Ant-Men down the road but I think I’ll skip them.

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