The (Socially Distanced) Oscar Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tomorrow’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, not only haven’t I’ve seen these films, I haven’t actually heard of many of them. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen a grand total of zero of these, so I’ll go with Mank, since Hollywood certainly loves films about itself.

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Having seen none of these, I’ll go with the sentimental pick of Boseman in what I believe was his final performance.

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Again, I’ve seen none of these, so I’ll take a stab in the dark and pick Carey Mulligan.

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Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 1

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD.  We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world.  Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 1, again, was started in 1989 when I was a sophomore and stretches to early 1990.  It features a steady stream of hair metal, with a smattering of pop, rap and dance, with a morning zoo radio bit thrown in for good measure.

Side A

Warrant – Heaven

The biggest hit from Warrant, which I most likely originally recorded from Z95, peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts.  It has more than doubled its number of plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 6 plays 13 plays, most recently on 12/4/2018 

Young MC – Bust A Move

One of the first tunes I bought on cassingle, this one hit wonder won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1990.  It had another impressive increase, gaining 6 plays since 2015.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
13 plays 20 plays 26 plays, most recently on 9/17/2018 

New Kids Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Thanks to YouTube, I just finally tracked down this parody song that I originally heard on the Welch & Woody morning show on Z95.  I may even listen to it next Christmas.

Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

Originally written by Desmond Child for Bonnie Tyler, the song was rewritten and became the first single from Bon Jovi’s third album in 1986.  After a dry spell between 2012 and 2015, it has more than doubled in the 3 years since.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 6 plays 14 plays, most recently on 12/11/2018 

B-52s –  Love Shack

I’m still hoping to acquire the full version of the song on MP3, which I had originally taped off the radio.   In spite of that, I’ve more than tripled the number of listens over the last three years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 13 plays, most recently on 10/2/2018 

Paula Abdul – The Way That You Love Me

After stalling out on the Billboard charts on its original release in 1988, the song, along with a video by future Academy Award nominee David Fincher, was re-released the following year, making it up to #3.  Despite barely hearing the song for years, it’s added 7 new plays in the past three years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 1 play 8 plays, most recently on 11/6/2018 

Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting

The #1 hit, the third consecutive for Marx, was the second single from his second album.  After a dry spell between 2012 and 2015, it has more than tripled in the 3 years since.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 play 3 plays 10 plays, most recently on 12/12/2018 

Side B

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2014: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_222014 was a bit of an improvement over recent years in movie watching for me.  I managed to watch 78 movies last year, 16 more than 2012 and 2013 and my highest total since 2011, although it was my third consecutive year under 100.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

Repeaters (2010)
If Groundhog Day took place in a rehab and affected 3 people more messed up than Bill Murray.

Smashed (2012)
I have very little recollection of this film.

Your Sister’s Sister (2012)
2 messed up sisters and a mourning man share tequila and secrets.

Lovelace (2013)
Amanda Seyfried portrays the first lady of porn, Linda Lovelace.

Columbus Circle (2012)
A thriller about a shut-in who witnesses a murder and needs to leave her comfort zone.

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)
The latest installment brings Bruce Willis to Russia.

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are engaged forever as life keeps getting in the way of them actually getting married.

Hell Baby (2013)
A comedy about a possessed woman who is about to give birth to Satan’s spawn.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)
2 lost souls find each other as the world is literally coming to an end.

Would You Rather (2012)
A sadistic host tortures his dinner guests for his own pleasure.

The World’s End (2013)
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Mix Tape Monday – Pop

After my tape deck crapped out in 1997, I was stuck listening to either the radio or full albums in whatever order the artist intended. That all changed in 2001, when the new-fangled MP3 technology got combined with my new CD burner.

In addition to the occasional series of CDs I had burned in order to keep abreast of new music, I had created a bunch of genre-specific mixes that could be used both in the car and at the gym. This week we will take a look at the first disc covering the world of pop music by female singers.  This disc is probably the one that I put the least amount of effort into, as it covers a whole 7 different main performers and is ordered by their first name.  So, without further ado, I bring you Pop Music, volume 1.

Britney Spears – …Baby One More TIme

The debut single from the young Ms. Spears.

iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 6/9/2012

Britney Spears – (You Drive Me) Crazy

The third single from the young Ms. Spears was featured in the Melissa Joan Hart vehicle Drive Me Crazy.

iTunes stats: Never played

Britney Spears – Oops, I Did It Again

The first single from the young Ms. Spears second album.

iTunes stats: 2 plays, most recently on 4/1/2012

Britney Spears – I’m A Slave 4 U

The first single from the young Ms. Spears third album.

iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 3/14/2013

Britney Spears – I Love Rock And Roll

An ill-conceived cover of the song made famous by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

iTunes stats: Never played

Christina Aguilera – Genie In A Bottle

The debut single from the young Ms. Aguilera.

iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 6/13/2012

Christina Aguilera featuring Redman- Dirrty

The first single from the young Ms. Aguilera’s second album.

iTunes stats: 7 plays, most recently on 11/29/2012

Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, Mya – Lady Marmalade

The theme song for the Nicole Kidman vehicle Moulin Rouge.

iTunes stats: 7 plays, most recently on 7/9/2011

Pink – Get This Party Started

Written by former 4 Non Blonde singer Linda Perry, this was the first single from Pink’s second album.

iTunes stats: 5 plays, most recently on 1/4/2013

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2011 Movie Review – Part 3

In 2011, I managed to see movies that were released in 1972-1973, 1975-1976, 1978, 1985, 1997-1998, 2001-2002, and 2004-2011.

Now, continuing Thursday’s look at the second batch of 50 movies that I saw last year, here are movies 100 – 13?.

Chain Letter (2010)

A decent horror flick about the dangers of not forwarding on those emails.


The Dilemma (2011)

What happens when a cheating spouse gets in the way of business and a bromance.


Letters To Juliet (2010)

A predictable tale of love, thanks to a letter written decades ago.


The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets return to the big screen for the first time in over a decade, and it was well worth the wait.  If you grew up with the Muppets and did not enjoy this movie, you have no soul.

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