Caffeinated Chronicles: Septuagenarian Serenata

Posted: February 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Culture, Ruminations | 1 Comment »

coffee1I am a serial late night eater.

I was inclined to pun, a “cereal” late night eater, but, these days, my snack of choice most often is peanut butter and apples. Rather than the Kasha nuggets, quinoa flakes, whole wheat blend with almond milk, that used to be my go to, pre-pillowtime food fix.

While I’d love to eat less after the dinner hour, it is an addiction I’ll accept.

Back in the day, it used to be cocaine, and I’d spend my evenings, doing my own version of Tony Montana.

A few extra calories, an added inch to the waistline, is easily a better alternative.

It’s no coincidence that this need to munch has coincided with another habit.

I now have, almost every night, the wackiest of dreams. Every once in awhile, nightmarish, but most of the time, just . . . weird. Engaged with people I haven’t seen in decades, people that I hardly knew at all, in strange places, some I recognize, many I don’t.

I believe I heard or read once that eating for bed causes crazy dreams. True or not, I’m drawing the connection. Read the rest of this entry »

Rants & Raves: Fifty Shades of Yoga Pants

Posted: February 25th, 2015 | Filed under: Culture | No Comments »

historyNormally in this space, on a weekly basis, I will post a podcast of my rant/ rave/ review, which I’d foisted on the radio listening public on FPK 91.9, the previous Saturday morning.

Making it possible to do so is my talented producer Brad Yost, who sends me the audio file to insert in this blog.

Well, Brad’s on vacation for a couple weeks. So, he can’t very well send such to me, can he? I mean, you know, he’s lolling on some white sandy beach somewhere balmy.

Normally I take a Pasadena, and wait until he returns. But, so taken am I with my own bon mots about 50 Shades of Grey, Peyton Place, yoga pants & culottes, I decided to record the essay in the studios here at Culture Maven Tower.

Which is to say, savor on, my loyal listeners. There’s much to be learned from the words to which you shall be exposed, should you make the right choice, the wise choice, the correct choice, and click the play button.

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Film Review Podcast: “Still Alice”

Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieOne of the most anticipated performances of the awards season is now on display in our town.

Say thank you to the cinema gods.

Say welcome to “Still Alice.”

Julianne Moore’s heralded portrayal of a fiftysomething, who learns she has Alzheimer’s Disease, is now playing in town.

Films as worthy as “Still Alice” rarely are staged for general release after the first of the year.

So, during the season of “Hot Tub Time Machine Part Deux.” we have the pleasure of viewing not only Ms. Moore’s amazing performance, but that of her co-stars Alec Baldwin as her hubby, and Kristen Stewart as one of her daughters.

For more details, listen up:

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Caffeinated Chronicles: State of Grace @ Dirty Kroger

Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Community, Culture | No Comments »

coffee1Should you happen to know or cross paths in the Lower Clifton area with a thirtysomething African American woman with short cropped hair, a pierced nose, wearing a black Carhartt jacket, bless her and wish her a good day.

Her name is Cynthia.

I stopped by the DK (Dirty Kroger) this Friday afternoon, needing only one item.

I’d run out Splenda.

I was behind Cynthia in the checkout line. I’d never met nor seen her before that moment.

As she was paying, I set my box of sweetener on the counter.

She nodded to me. Then, turned to the clerk, and said, “I’ll pay for the man’s Splenda.” Read the rest of this entry »

Film Review Podcast: “Fifty Shades of Gray”

Posted: February 13th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema | No Comments »

movieBe grateful.

Be very grateful.

No, I mean it, be extremely and unendingly grateful.

I have gone to see this movie to give you the insightful skinny before you plop down some hard earned money to experience it for yourself.

So, I wonder, can you tell by that, my view of the movie is, uh, somewhat less than positive?

Very discerning audience, mine.

You should listen anyway, for the full and complete review:

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Rants, Raves & Reviews: Oscar Snubs

Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture | No Comments »

movieYes, ye cineophiles out there, it is indeed that time o’ year we are prone to call “that time of year.”

Award season.

Golden Globes.

Grammys. Etc, etc.

And, coming soon, for a late Sunday night in front of your telly, the mother of all award shows, the Oscars.

There’s sure to be razzle dazzle and lots of bling, if not Joan Rivers the next morning to diss the dresses.

What shall also be missing is recognition of the films and acting performances that coulda woulda shoulda been nominated, but weren’t.

But I talked about them on the radio Saturday morning. Here’s that rant, accompanied by the usual shtick from host James and myself.

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Caffeinated Chronicles: Brian Williams & The Plague of Embellishment

Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Culture, Personalities | No Comments »

coffee1Have I told you about the time I met the Beatles?

August 12, 1966. International Amphitheater. Chicago. First stop on their last tour ever.

I was with my old pal Moop. His cousin, Ron Britain, née Ron Magel, was a DJ at the Windy City’s WCFL, which was the sponsoring Top 40 station.

His bride Peach sneaked us past security at the artist’s entrance, and we sat in a box on the side of the stage, along with a noted folk singer at the time, Chad Mitchell and his gal, a woman who had been on the cover of Italian Vogue the previous month.

On the way to the box, we were briefly introduced to the Fab Four. As I’ve said through the years, it’s not like McCartney calls to do dinner after his show at the Yum!.

Have I told you that story?

No? Good.

Because, while some of it is true, the punchline is embellishment. Or, what some truthsayers would call “a lie.” Read the rest of this entry »

Film Review Podcast: A Most Violent Year

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieThere seems to be no end to our fascination with the underworld of New York City.

Or, to those who engage in unsavory businesses in that town of 7,000,000 stories.

While neither the Corleones nor the Sopranos show up here, their presence, or, at least, the sense of their presence, is ever present in “A Most Violent Year.”

It’s 1981, allegedly the most violent year ever in the five boroughs.

And Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales is trying to rise to the top of the heating oil business.

While others apparently wish he’d go away.

For my full review, listen up:

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CM’s Rants, Raves & Reviews: Richard Nixon & The Bud Puppy

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Culture, Sports, TV | No Comments »

historyThere are times, when I’m not really sure how to title these publications as podcasts of my Saturday morning FPK 91.9 rants, raves and reviews. Which I do normally the Monday after the Saturday morn before, when they are propagated live on a witting audience.

(Actually after throwing down that little alteration in the paragraph above, I may have discovered it. If that phrase is in the title, which it is not currently as I write this before posting, you’ll know I’ve changed my mind.)

Anyhow, this one’s an especially perceptive bit of buffoonery, covering matters as far and deep as political scandal, saccharine TV ads, workforce displacement . . . oh the entirety of topics fails me now, so abundant were they in number.

Which means, it is my not entirely self serving advice to listen up, for as enjoyable a couple of minutes as you’re likely to experience the day you’re here to hear.

Just click below:

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Film Review Podcast: “Mortdecai” (With special bonus short video)

Posted: January 30th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieThere times when I simply don’t understand the response of the nation’s critics to a movie.

When the tide of negativity overwhelms consideration of the film.

Such is the case with the latest Johnny Depp effort.

It’s titled “Mortdecai.”

And it’s been battered from pillar to post by just about everyone who reviews movies.

Not me.

I enjoyed it and here’s why:

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And here’s the marvelously goofy old short film, that “Mordecai” reminded me of. It’s “The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn,” featuring young Peter Sellers.


Radio Podcast: “American Sniper”

Posted: January 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieI offered my take on the latest Clint Eastwood film, during my Saturday morning FPK 91.9 interlude with James.

So, it’s double your pleasure, double your fun.

You not only get a perceptive view of the seriously popular “American Sniper,” but, that’s right, there’s more.

You also get the added bonus of my host’s not so long range sniper shots at me.

And my return volleys.

It’s not friendly fire.

FYI, I have a somewhat contrarian view of this allegedly true life tale of an American military icon.

So, you’re well advised, if I do say so myself, to listen up:

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Film Review Podcast: “Selma”

Posted: January 25th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieThere are certain moments in American history, which should never be forgotten.

The Civil Rights struggles of the 60s is certainly one of those seminal eras that should always be part of our consciousness.

Which means that this look back at the moments that fostered the Voting Rights Act is always germane and worth considering.

But is not to say that this movie about the Martin Luther King-led march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol is without flaws.

Some interesting, arguably wrongheaded, choices were made in the guise of artistic license.

For more, listen up:

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