Larry Crowne

Though the critics are slamming this movie, it’s not all bad. It will sell on VOD and show up on Netflix soon I am sure. It won no awards with me. If you plan to see it, I should warn you that Larry Crowne is no top shelf Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts film. Neither it is worthy of co-writer Nia Vardalos, for that matter. It is corny writing akin to an after school special only its audience is unclear. It could be middle aged or 20-somethings, I am not quite sure. It is lost on me. In truth, I do not care about the intended audience. I do wonder however who will get this film.

IMDB synopsis: “After losing his job, a middle-aged man reinvents himself by going back to college.”

Commmunity college is misrepresented along with human patterns of relationships. This film isn’t horrible though. It’s a vanilla way to bide your time in between meals. It will not teach you anything profound however about real tragedies like downsizing or foreclosure. It’s a happy message … phrases like “Grin and bear it” and “Just smile” come to mind. As long as you expect that crap, you may enjoy this little fling at junior college. (That makes it sound like more fun than it is)
[xrr rating=1.5/5]

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Paterson (2016)



“A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.” -IMDB


Adam Driver Paterson
Golshifteh Farahani Laura
Nellie Marvin
Rizwan Manji Donny

Directed by

Jim Jarmusch

Written by

Jim Jarmusch

Other Info

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Thu 17 Nov 2016 UTC
IMDB Rating: 7.6

When meditating, still life nature scenes and soft spoken recordings are excellent help for me. It was as if this film purposely included such chunks in the film to entrance its viewers. Because I practice meditation and relaxation, I’m attuned to this and I found those places where Paterson read poetry and waterfalls were running in the background to be ethereal, calming.

It reminded me of the music they play when I get my monthly massage. The insertion of calming scenes however couldn’t make up for the lack of believable characterization and the presence of a very dull plot. Still, as a whole, this movie was i its own way enjoyable for me. Paterson is well versed in famous poets but for the most part, he writes like an unschooled diarist and that was hard to sit through.

Jim Jarmusch is the Director. He directed Only Lovers Left Alive. While much more experimental and “otherworldly,” that film has a similar entrancing yet undefined component to it. I’m not yet convinced this director is one I appreciate but I respect he tries doing films that are different.

Adam Driver plays Paterson, the poet by night/Bus driver by day. I had a real hard time swallowing this character. His wife dotes on him, makes special cupcakes for his lunch, and begs him to buy her a guitar. It’s all a disjointed mess if you asked me. City transit bus drivers make just above poverty level wages and yet she treats him as if he is the king with the fat bank account. Sad for her. More importantly though, she has passion while he has none. Well, he is passionate about poetry but not much more.

No one can wow me with William Carlos Williams references. My MA is in literature. I had many classes on modern poets and wrote many papers. Perhaps that’s why this all seemed very contrived to me. I like bringing the great poets back but the way Jarmusch did it here was droll and gauche. This is one where I have to part ways with the big critics who appear to love this film. I give it:


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Set Controls For The Road Ahead

Onward upward, keep on trucking … catch phrases like these are so helpful on life’s journey.

I can never get enough of photos like these.

I am driven to the road ahead. No matter what is going on around me good or bad, I always think about what is up artound the bend. I was like tis before I got married and had kids and when I was going through the early years of a family. I’m like that now, wth 2/3 still at home and in school and one moved out. Thankfully I can report I am still married.

But even now I’m peering into wha’s ahead. I’ll be one birthday older in June and I hope to be curious then. It’s the desire for more road that keeps me feeling young. Even when I ook in the mirror or at ohotos, I see a guy on a youthful quest. So, today without any further ado, I say … set controls for the road ahead, accelerate.

I reblogged this photo on tumblr.

Monkey Kingdom

Every time one of these Disney Nature films comes out, my wife and I are Johnny on the spot to take our family. The last 2 we saw at the world famous El Capitan theater in Hollywood. This one we saw in the theater here. It was amazing as expected. It presented the idea of a natural order, potentially upset by the underdog. I will give you no spoils as to the outcome. I felt this movie broke away from the convention Disney has used in the past and brought us some inspiration practically applied. It’s fitting that Disney, the champion of Princes and Princesses in the movies, challenges that concept. Our family liked that most about the film.

For a nature film, this movie is perfect in every way. Every family with young children will love it. The incredible architecture of the fallen monument they make their home is spectacular. It’s a perfect way to tell a story. I would imagine the recipe for making these things is sort of like: 1) Put cameras everywhere and shoot 2) look for what can be made into a story and 3) Make it into a story. Obviously the monkeys are not actors. Cheap labor right? Wait until the union hears about it. The monkey union? At any rate, there is love, struggle, heartbreak, and all the emotions of families trying to make it. Though the monkey’s nature is a different house than ours, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the connections to being a human in our society. This one’s a winner. I give it 5/5.

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CD Hovercrafts – A Fun Science Craft Idea

A science lesson can be such a great part of the teaching day. Unfortunately for some, it can also be the most boring. I am always looking for innovative ways to get kids’ attention while teaching them science. Bill Nye videos are very useful and they are titled by standard which makes it easy to select one for your class. But video can’t be the sole thing you rely on when igniting interest. I discovered in the last few years that crafts or experiments can awaken even the most sluggish learner.

I’m currently teaching guitar in Summer school and I saw a science craft another teacher did I want to share. It shows how one force can work against another in unison to create movement. In this case, it is a hover craft. The materials needed are: 1) an old CD you don’t want anymore 2) a balloon 3) The “pull top” style water caps (see image) and 4) a glue gun.

As far as the lesson goes, the sky’s the limit. Do you think you could do something with this idea? I’d love to hear about it.

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Father Damien of Molokai

One character from history, biography, and film has always held my attention: Fr. Joseph Damien de Veuster.

Tell us about a favorite character from film, theater, or literature, with whom you’d like to have a heart-to-heart. What would you talk about?

Source: It Builds Character | The Daily Post

“Damien of Molokai” is a low budget movie about a real life priest who self-exiled himself to a leper colony to care for their souls. Lepersy was 100% deadly when diagnosed back then. To be sent to the island was to receive a death sentence. What’s more? No one could ever return to the mainland.

I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Damien. I’d love to meet with him and discuss what it was like finally choosing to go to the island and sealing his earthly fate. I’d ask him about experiences paying the sick visits. How horrible was it? How did he manage to encourage people in such a state? I know his stories or wisdom would help me be a better teacher and person in general.

What I’d Like to be Remembered For

It’s a good question, what would I want to be remembered for after I’m gone. As I sat with a yellow pad, a lot of the same old values came out. I listed them. After that, I decided to eliminate the ideals that I liked doing in favor of those that I truly wanted people to remember me by. I came up with 5.

  • Loving Dad: I really want to leave memories with my kids and an impression to the world that I was a loving dad. This is sometimes easier than others but it can be challenging.
  • Effective teacher: A daily/weekly/yearly process and pursuit.
  • Dedicated Blogger.
  • Reader: I need tons of work here. Instead of putting out so much I need a daily practice of taking in what others have written.
  • Loving husband: This is a fun challenge and I hope people remember how much I love my wife.

Welcome to the November 2015 NaBloPoMo writing prompts! As with all NaBlo prompts, Saturday and Sunday are for free writing.

Source: NaBloPoMo November 2015 Prompts | BlogHer

Loving Life Out on the Edge

Check out the cabana style beds, the warm water stretching out to the edge of the penthouse suite. Yeah, isn’t that amazing. I live in this sort of place, When people lay a trip on me, I go there. When they swear I better watch it or else, the boss is gonna get me or any other manner of scary paranoia going around. It’s a bunch of crap, go to this pool in your mind.

Even today I got vibes meant to take me down. Man they are all around us. Creativity shines when it’s protected. Keep your heart and mind that way.. When it’s your chance to shine be ready. Rest your arms on the edge of this pool and let your mind relax. That’s what’s creating and innovating is all about, it starts at this pool. Have you got it yet? Don’t worry, I’ll keep posting about it. If you want to know what’s going on with me? Look at this pool.


Marina Bay Sands.

I reblogged this photo on tumblr.

Travel Lightly Down Life’s Road

It’s indescribable how the future changes things.

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “indescribable.” Use the actual word in your post or just base your post on something that defies description.

If you’ve ever kept a diary you’ve probably experienced looking back at something you wrote in the past that has changed in meaning. Perhaps you were nervously anticipating an upcoming challenge that turned out being no big deal at all. Or maybe you were sounding your trumpet about an event that now, later in time, seems to have lost it’s sheen.

At 46, I could never explain this and I don’t know why I’m trying to do so to people younger than me. It’s less important to define everything and more important to define those universal themes that have stood the test of time for ones life. Like the photo above I found on Tumblr, we can’t see the track ahead clearly. The forest/city/town that we’ll see down the tracks will likely defy all current description. The best advice I can give as you travel through life is to take it easy and believe all things do change.

A Lifelong Pursuit

Women are the saving grace of humanity. Unfortunately, they are an enigma to us men. We can watch and wait patiently in hopes of gaining understanding. But understanding our lady is a lifelong pursuit.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Lazy Learners.” Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t gotten around to? What is it and what’s stopping you from mastering the skill?

Whether it was my first crush in grade school or after the first few months being married, I’ve always wanted to understand women. I love my wife, she takes sych good care of me and our kids. It would seem the things she does along that path make perfect sense but they don’t always. It seems like men are easier to figure out. They have primal motives. Women are different and that intrigues me.

There is a sort of permeating sadness in all the women I have known. It’s as if they carry an extra burden in this life. That sadness makes them beautiful. Sometimes we men will do all we can to reach out and cure their sadness but we are not usually successful. I think the human race relies on that sadness for balance. Greed, hatred, bigotry, racism … these are all sins that cause wars and strife. Women carry a place for the lost of the world in their hearts. This is partially why we find them beautiful. I learn a little more each year I am married. I wait and watch and discover. Understanding a woman takes time and an open mind the likes of which I never imagined before I got married. It makes me better being married to a wonderful woman but I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why. I’ve always wanted to understand women but the closer I get, the further it seems.