Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Happy Star Wars Day!



Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Last Star Wars Day, I kind of shrugged.  16 years or so of ambivalence regarding Star Wars had drained me of any enthusiasm for the movies.  At most, I think, I mustered a picture of Princess Leia.

On Monday, I hung a print of the above X-Wing image in my office at work.  That's how I roll.

But, hey, The Force Awakens brought me back in to the Star Wars fold, something I, frankly, thought impossible.  I figured that even if I liked it, it'd still feel like something of an echo of something else I used to like.  But, instead, I'm as excited about Star Wars now as I was in college.

So, here's to a Star Wars day I can feel is mine, too!  And to celebrate, here's some artwork promoting the movie!  And, heck, here's to Rogue One, coming soon!

Friday, April 1, 2016

BvS Watch: Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice (2016)



If you've been following this site for any length of time, you're aware that I was not a fan of Man of Steel, the 2013 Superman opus intended to return Superman to cinema splendor at the hands of name-brand producers and directors with good relations on the WB lot.

It's no secret that, in general, I am not a fan of director Zack Snyder.  I've stated previously I find him an interesting visual stylist, but challenged in both development/ understanding of character and the ability to successfully convey a story.  Man of Steel presented moment after moment that signaled either Snyder's utter lack of familiarity with Superman, an utter contempt with which he views the character, or, a certain contempt for decency.  Really, you had to lay the blame at the feet of both Snyder and, literally, everyone involved in the production.

I've seen the comments online, and I've spoken to some of you who've seen it.  I got it.

Despite this reaction, and my best intentions to not see the follow up to Man of Steel, last night I finally broke.

I had an opportunity to see the movie at no cost - and as I knew I would not be providing Warner Bros. with my hard earned monies and the overall growth of the box-office, I figured I was just a pair of eyes staring at a movie screen.

With the poor reviews and Earth-shattering approach to the proceedings, I confess to a certain morbid curiosity.  After all, I would get a chance to see Aquaman on the big screen.  Aquaman!

In truth, and this is hard to write - this movie greatly improved upon Man of Steel, and, indeed, provides a path forward for Superman in the 21st Century that no prior incarnation really grasped.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter Short Film For Your Enjoyment

For your Easter melancholy/ mirth - here's a film shot by our own Paul T (it's less than 5 minutes. You've got the time.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day: Warren Gamaliel Harding, America's 29th President

Ol' Number 29
I've been trying to use President's Day to spend some time at least Wikipedia-ing the non-All Star Presidents of the United States.  As in any period, the pool of folks in play trying to be President and who actually win out (and what they do when in office) can tell us a lot about the times in which they lived.  So, with the batch of cartoon characters we've currently got gunning for Leader of the Free World, I really look forward to books written about this era, which will be called America's "WTF? Era".

In the wake of World War I and the iffy conclusion of the Woodrow Wilson presidency,* an unlikely Republican took the nomination on the 10th ballot of the GOP convention in the summer of 1920.  back then, party folks showed up at a real convention and really placed ballots.  The convention was not a televised advertisement.  A lot of dirty laundry got aired and political fortunes were won and lost overnight, and if I could reduce the election cycle to four months, I would gladly opt for the old-style form of corrupt politics over today's corrupt politics.

Once selected, Warren G. stayed home and ran a "front porch campaign", something I think 99% of America would fully back if it would mean the news cycle would stop shouting at us.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Having a Rough Valentine's Day? You Got Nothing on Theodore Roosevelt

Just a few years out of Harvard, Theodore Roosevelt was living in New York City in the Roosevelt family home with his mother, his father having had passed just a few years before.  He was an incredibly young, brash and vocal member of the New York State Assembly and so was in Albany when he received word his wife had gone into labor with their first child.

He raced home, and en route received word his wife was gravely ill.  By the time he arrived home, the child was born and his wife was comatose.  She passed on the 14th.

At the same time in the same house, his mother also died of typhoid.

This is the entry from Roosevelt's diary on that terrible day.

goddamn, that's heartbreaking

Roosevelt responded to all this by quitting politics, buying a ranch in South Dakota and becoming a cowboy.  That is, until the call to New York politics became too much and he went on to become the TR we all know and love (and fear).

The baby survived, becoming the completely out-of-control Alice Roosevelt, about which TR, as President, once said "I can either run the country or I can control Alice, but I cannot possibly do both."

So, as you throw your pity party for yourself that you're not having a good Valentine's Day, remember - you could have gotten on Tinder today and resolved your issue.  And, you're certainly not responding to any of this in ways that are generally recognized as totally bad-ass, a la President Roosevelt and his cowboy-solution.

Valentine's Day - Let's Talk Romance!


Ah, romance.  Specifically, the kind we think of when we hit Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is, let's be honest, for people who are a-courtin' or long-time couples to jump through a few hoops so it's clear they're still engaged and interested in each other and the fire hasn't totally died out, but at a reasonable cost (Christ, you just bought them a Christmas present, like, 6 weeks ago.  You're not made out of money and you're still paying off those credit card bills.).  On Valentine's, single people will start to conspiracy theory minded, insisting those coupled-up folks are rubbing it in the faces of those who don't have someone with whom they readily swap spit.*

No one is going to accuse me of being the world's most romantic-type person.  Sentimental, sure.  But as "romance" is so ill-defined outside the cover of novels which are usually just set-ups for Cinemax-late-night action for people to read like its classy, I'm just not clear on what "romance" is supposed to be.  When I buy flowers, I don't really know why I'm doing it.  It's because I can read a calendar and I can replicate both human emotion and expression of emotion when given access to a website and functioning credit card.

It's probably also instructive to mention that I haven't been on a first date since 1995, and I've never seen The Notebook.  And, I have had to be instructed to please not pause movies and point out why two people supposedly in love are acting like complete morons.

So, what do I find A-OK when it comes to romance?

Let's take a look at some examples of some ideal romances in media.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year from The Signal Watch


Via the power of Ann Miller, The Signal Watch wishes you a very Happy New Year.

May 2016 bring you joy, fulfillment and monkeyshines.

Thanks for sticking with us.  You guys are the bestest.

Friday, December 25, 2015

25 Days of Super Christmas - Day 25! Merry Super Christmas!



Merry Christmas, every buddy!

In this time of thanksgiving, let's take a moment to reflect on the goodness and generosity we've received this year, and maybe how we can repay that into the great karmic circle in 2016.

For now, I wish you a day of peace and joy.  May you be with loved ones, or at least be in touch with them on this day.  And I hope, as this year draws to a close, you can cherish the good moments and put the bad behind you, with lessons learned from both.

Have a Merry Christmas, however you celebrate the day.  Jamie and I wish you the best.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

25 Days of Super Christmas - Day 24


Some More Song Selections for Christmas Eve

Yesterday we put forth some songs for your melancholy Christmas Eve.  After scrolling my Google Play, I found a few more to consider.  Maybe with a little less to discuss.


The Walkmen: No Christmas While I'm Talking

No one is going to think this is a new Christmas standard, but it's a good way to get into the evening.




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

For Your Christmas Eve Listening

Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve.  As we head into the evening, when you've tucked the kids away (or the parents), and you've got the house lights turned low, with only the soft glow of the Christmas lights on the tree to carry you through (and maybe some Elijah Craig, neat) - and it's time for some music to take you through the evening.

I can't remember a Christmas Eve in the past 30 years when I wasn't the last one awake in the house, and so it comes that I think of the night as one of solitude and of waiting.  In the morning, we'll have breakfast and coffee, then gifts and talking.  In the afternoon, we'll head over to my folks for dinner.

But on Christmas Eve we watch our family and friends drift off to bed, one by one, and, as always, we know we'll never get any sleep.  There's no use in watching a movie or opening a book.  It's time for some music and quiet contemplation.

But what do you listen to in order to maintain the mood?


Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans: The Bells of St. Mary's

Originally written in 1917, most folks today know the song as a Bing Crosby crooned ballad from the 1945 movie of the same name.  The Bells of St. Mary's gets the Phil Spector treatment, and the world is better for it.

Still, catch the movie sometime.  It's a real tear-jerker and a fine Christmas film with Ingrid Bergman in angel mode.




25 Days of Super Christmas - Day 23


Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Watch: White Christmas (1954)



It seems like Holiday Inn (1942) used to be the Bing Crosby Christmas movie of choice for television, but the past few years, probably because it's in color and because they don't have to cut out any super-racist blackface scenes, White Christmas (1954) has been the Bing Crosby film that AMC has really been pushing.  

In my book, White Christmas is the Pepsi to Holiday Inn's Coke - both are fine, but I'll usually start with Coke (well, Coke Zero or Diet Coke) and work my way backward to Pepsi.  Again - I don't want to say Holiday Inn isn't hugely problematic by any standard after 1952 or so.  It is.  But when you cut out that President's Day sequence (shudder) the story just works better.  For me, anyway.  Plus, I like Fred Astaire a magnitude more than I'll ever like Danny Kaye.

But we don't have Holiday Inn, we have White Christmas.

25 Days of Super Christmas - Day 21