Monthly Archives: October 2019

Knock, Knock, Knock And Then We’ll Shout… Halloween! 2019!


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I originally posted this one on a Halloween many full moons ago and it seems appropriate to revisit it when the leaves are falling, the wind is more crisp and Halloween is here. Special thanks this year to my sister, The Dedicated Librarian for uncovering the ACTUAL piano music book we had as kids!

When I was a kid, I had piano lessons once a week for years.

They didn’t take. I play guitar now…

But, every October 31st, I have the desire to sit back down at a keyboard and plunk out one of the few songs I think I still remember note-for-note. No, I am sure that I remember it.

Except for the title. The title, I didn’t remember, but a quick, internet search told me it’s called (creatively) Halloween Song. That same search revealed that I (and my sisters) are not the only people of a certain age who learned it. Many folks did.

I have great memories of Halloween and I am more mindful of them now because Halloween is The Cinnamon Girl’s favorite holiday.

I remember…

  • the spray painted gray robot costume made of boxes and brown paper bags, milk caps and 8-track tapes
  • wearing coats over my costumes on many, many Halloweens because of snow
  • perfecting the “Clark Kent-changing-into-Superman” costume long before I saw it marketed
  • choosing and making costumes for Stretch and Sous Chef when they were younger
  • HJ jr meeting my father for the first time at a Halloween party. Dad was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and HJ jr thought the fairly sizable hernia jutting under the costume was part of the costume… he was shocked when he next met Dad in normal clothes!
  • watching the joy that this holiday brings The Cinnamon Girl

But, I must admit, all of those memories are set to the sound track of Halloween Song. I remember it so well… I know all the lyrics!

So, happy fall, all! Great ready for All Hallows Eve and enjoy the song!

Halloween

Halloween the wind is blowing, spooks and goblins all about!

Halloween and out we’re going, now to play the game shout out.
Knock, knock, knock, and then we’ll shout!
Knock, knock, knock, shell out shell out!
Then a gust of wind comes blowing, blows my jack-o-lantern out”

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Filed under Cinnamon Girl, Halloween, Holidays, The Cinnamon Girl, The Dedicated Librarian

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 23 – 29, 2019

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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 8.21.32 PM

The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Batman: Curse of the White Knight #4

Writer: Sean Murphy

Artist: Sean Murphy

Writer/artist Sean Murphy is creating quite the compelling and complete world in Batman: Curse of the White Knight, the sequel to the popular Batman: White Knight. This alternate history of Batman has been consistently riveting and has illustrated Murphy’s deep knowledge of and clear respect for the history of the character. What makes this pocket of the Batman universe so good is that Murphy honors the traditional Batman tropes without being wedded to them.

In this corner of the DC Universe, Batman is an even more hard-boiled character than we have come to recognize but he is also somehow more connected to and committed to family. That family most immediately includes Dick Grayson, Jim and Barbara Gordon and Duke Thomas and the spins that Murphy has put on each of them are evocative and effective. More broadly, that family has room for a fascinating interpretation of Harley Quinn and a damned impressive one of John Paul Valley.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight is a terrific read and it’s beautifully rendered by the author with his collaborator Matt Hollingsworth. It’s the kind of story I don’t want to see end and it seems DC might be paying attention. Letting Murphy continuing playing in this part of the universe is a very good and very fulfilling idea.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The 2019 Denver Broncos Week Eight | Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts


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LAST WEEK’S RESULT

Prediction: Kansas City 20 @ Denver 23

Actual: Kansas City 30 @ Denver 6

BACKGROUND

Is the season over?

It’s over in Denver for Emmanuel Sanders.

Some feel it’s over for Joe Flacco.

It’s over for many fans.

Not for me. There are too few opportunities to cheer for the Broncos, no matter the challenges and the struggles and, while I don’t see too many more wins on the horizon, I want to keep the faith… for the future.

KEY MATCH UP

The key match up here is the Broncos vs. the Broncos. It’s that simple. How does the team react to massively under performing – again – and losing an offensive star? How do they play when their chance to make the play offs are, realistically, zero? How do they play against a team that has everything to play for?

Can the Broncos beat the Broncos? If they cannot do that, they have no chance against a good Indianapolis Colts team.

X-FACTOR

Von Miller says he wants to get “spicy.”

Bring it, Von.

I am not (and cannot foresee ever being) on the “Trade 58” bandwagon. I am on the “Change a Game” bandwagon.

Winning this one is going to take a Spicy Von.

Get Spicy.

PREDICTION

There is no rational reason to pick the Broncos in this one. It feels as though they are reeling and stuck between trying to be relevant and committing to rebuild.

I don’t think this game changes that equation much.

I also don’t think they win it.

Denver Broncos – 17

Indianapolis Colts – 33

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Filed under Denver Broncos, Football, Football Prediction, NFL Football

The Essential Story of My Mother on Her Birthday


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To honor my mother’s birthday this year, I thought I would share the essential Mom story, the one that really captured who she is as a mother and a person, how she made me the man I am and what her life has meant to me, to my sisters, to her grandchildren and to those who are lucky enough to know her.

I set to work outlining a few ideas about this, jotting down notes and memories to share, searching for the best one – the quintessential story.

I made a list that included her laying beneath my sisters’ and my cribs and shaking them with her feet to entertain us, putting a toy with a suction cup on her forehead to make my sister laugh before Mom and Dad were going out to a public event and pulling it off – leaving a broken circle of blood vessels, always talking to me about superheroes and Stars Trek and Wars, coming to all of my plays, listening to songs I wrote as a kid, being my best supporter in romance young and old, listening to every story of heartbreak I endured and enduring them with me, always being my biggest supporter, reading the novels I have written, sharing laughter and tears, sharing in the birth of my children, in my marriages, in my life.

But here’s the point: there are too many stories, too many notes, too many memories that are wonderful and perfect about my mom. There are too many moments to choose just one that is truly quintessential.

Here is what is essential: I have, always and forever, known the true, deep and abiding emotion of unequivocal love. There is no greater gift I could ever have received. Mom’s love made me who I am and it’s a gift I try to share.

And I love you, Mom. Forever and unequivocally.

Just like you.
unnamed

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Filed under Birthday, Family, Mom, Mother, Mothers, The Mater

Link’n’Blog – 10.25.19 | Respect Unites

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

It is said that sports often bring out the best in people.

Hard to argue when you watch the clip below. It doesn’t matter what jersey one wears… respect unites.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 16 – 22, 2019

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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Batman #81

Writer: Tom King

Artist: John Romita, jr.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

It cannot be that easy, can it?

Tom King and John Romita, jr. are certainly making it seem that way.

If one could have found a complaint with King’s Batman run in recent months, it may have been that the pace was playing out in the slowest of burns.

Yeah. No longer.

As the action of City of Bane continues to ramp up with Batman’s return to Gotham City, King illustrates that he has as much facility with big screen action payoffs as he does with smaller, intimate character beats. In fact, its the contrast between those types of storytelling that make this issue pay off, pay off and pay off. For those who wanted Batman back, retaking his city and re-establishing himself as the alpha in Gotham, that story is here. For those who enjoyed the slower connections of Batman and Catwoman, that story is here. For those who wondered how all the plot points from King’s entire run might tie together, that story is here.

Every story is here.

And so is John Romita, jr., whose very style defines pay off.

What a ride. It’s a shame to anticipate its end.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blog – 10.18.19 | Empty Cup Awards

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

I have never had a cup of coffee.  This is true.

It is also true that I could do a better job convincingly drinking a fake cup of java than these professional actors…

This is a delightful video from Slate the #emptycupawards.

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