Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Review: Fleishman is in Trouble

Fleishman is in Trouble
Amazon
From Fleishman is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

Open quote 
Rachel was gone now, and her goneness was so incongruous to what had been his plan. It wasn’t that he still wanted her—he absolutely did not want her. He absolutely did not wish she were still with him. It was that he had spent so long waiting out the fumes of the marriage and busying himself with the paperwork necessary to extricate himself from it—telling the kids, moving out, telling his colleagues—that he had not considered what life might be like on the other side of it."

A novel that captures the unhappy state of a marriage as believably as the most talented writer can. Not bad for a debut novel.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Goldfinch (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Goldfinch (2019): Museum explosion. Missing painting. Traumatized boy. A coming of age tale that is worthy of the Pulitzer Prize novel. The famous painting is the hook, which eventually is at the heart of a thriller plot. But mostly this is a character study of young Theo. B+

Compare to my review of the novel by Donna Tartt. Spoiler: I liked the movie, but I liked the novel even more.

Monday, September 16, 2019

POTD: Monument Valley Happy Hour

From 2018 09 20 Monument Valley

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Arizona's Monument Valley. Monument Valley likely conjures up old Westerns like John Ford's "Stagecoach," but modern day tourists can enjoy it at leisure from the deck of a hotel and visitors center that offers as spectacular a view of the Old West as you can find anywhere.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

POTD: Geronimo

From 2018 09 20 Monument Valley

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Monument Valley along the Arizona/Utah border. This was the location used by Hollywood director John Ford for several classic Westerns, including the 1939 movie that made John Wayne a star, "Stagecoach." In the movie, a U.S. Cavalry Lieutenant warns the stagecoach passengers that "Geronimo and his Apaches are on the warpath." (Yeah, old movies were racist.) It was John Ford movies like Stagecoach that stamped Monument Valley in generations of movie-goers minds as what they think of when they think of the American West.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Conversation with Jeff Bradford

This article was originally published in "Richardson Living" magazine. Read it on that website or read it here. Or read it in print. In mail boxes now.

A Conversation with Jeff Bradford
Executive Director of Fine Arts, Richardson ISD


In 2019, for the eighth straight year, Richardson ISD was named one of the best communities in the nation for music education by the California-based National Association of Music Merchants. That is just one of many awards for RISD just in music. RISD also offers education in theatre, dance, and the visual arts. Over the years, the RISD has had some illustrious leaders in fine arts. Former directors went on to lead the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the Texas UIL Music organization, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and the University of Oklahoma's "Pride of Oklahoma" marching band. Today, their big shoes are filled by Jeff Bradford as Executive Director of Fine Arts for the Richardson ISD. Richardson Living spoke with Jeff about the state of fine arts in RISD. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Elections Have Consequences, Lesson #214

The Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze is a rabble-rouser. Sometimes his rants are spot on. Sometimes not. But he's always worth reading. Dallas needs him. And if you read him with the right squint in your eyes, you could say Richardson needs him, too. His latest report on a vote by the Dallas City Council on a big zoning case at Northwest Highway and the Dallas North Tollway is a case in point.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

POTD: A Sugary Confection in Stone

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. No story today. The image says it all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Derry Girls (TV 2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Derry Girls (TV 2018): Set in a Catholic girls' school in Northern Ireland during the religious Troubles. Fast, sassy, irreverent, and sometimes touching. Always hilarious. It's rare for a TV comedy to get me to laugh out loud, but this one does every episode. A-

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

POTD: Plate Spinning

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. Remember the old variety show act of plate spinning? Ed Sullivan would feature someone who would try to spin a half dozen plates on top of slender poles to the ever-increasing tempo of "Sabre Dance"? I was reminded of that by this rock formation in Bryce Canyon. Yeah, I'm old.

Monday, September 9, 2019

POTD: Switchbacks Up

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. It shows the switchbacks of the trail up from the bottom of the canyon to the rim. An escalator would be nice.

After the jump, even tighter switchbacks.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Boys (TV 2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Boys (TV 2019): A world full of superheroes, all co-opted by an evil corporation for profit. Interesting concept. Cardboard characters. No nuance. No humor. Middle episodes are better as focus shifts to "the boys" who resist. Ending resolves little, leaves many questions. C+

Saturday, September 7, 2019

POTD: And a Tree Falls

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. It shows that a tree can be as beautiful in death as in life, still providing us with a place to sit a spell and rest and enjoy the world.

A bonus photo after the jump.

Friday, September 6, 2019

POTD: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. For reasons clear to anyone who's read the novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I thought of it when I saw this indomitable tree deep in Bryce Canyon.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

POTD: Tight Squeeze Ahead


From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. It shows a tight squeeze on the Navajo Loop Trail that takes you from the rim all the way down to the bottom of the canyon and back up another way.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

POTD: Down Into the Canyon

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. It shows the early part of the Navajo Loop Trail, a 1.3 mile round trip that takes you from the rim all the way down to the bottom of the canyon and back up another way. A strenuous walk (for an old guy), well worth the time.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

POTD: At the Rim

From 2018 09 19 Bryce Canyon

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Utah's Bryce Canyon. If you've never been there, like I hadn't, try to fix that.

Monday, September 2, 2019

POTD: The Bluest Lake

From 2018 09 17 Crater Lake

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Oregon's Crater Lake. Crater Lake is the bluest lake in the world. Change my mind.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Idle Thoughts: Rare Sweltering Summer

Tweets from August, 2019:
  • 2019-08-01: DMN headline: "Rare sweltering summer grips Alaska."
    "Rare." I guess when each summer is hotter than the last, you could say each one is technically "rare."
  • 2019-08-01: @RepLanceGooden, how many heart-wrenching stories of children separated from their parents and put in cages have you heard and still stood by without doing anything?
  • 2019-08-01: @JimSchutze, Silly Jim. The reason the News didn't first have that "basic, Journalism 101, garden variety conversation" you identified is because the News is not a product of the journalism school. It's a product of the business school.

After the jump, more idle thoughts.