• Arts, Entertainment & Media

Teaching -- and Learning

For several months now I've been teaching my lover to play the piano. I started learning piano when I was about six: he and I are now in our 50s and there were a few decades there where I didn't live in the house with a piano. So this process has involved first... Read more →


I don't usually go for dramas with a dark side, but if I were grading the show, I'd give it an A.... The season-one poster states, "We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing...." That's about right. Early on, we learn that John (Kyle Chandler) had killed... Read more →


For months, my outlook was bleak, and I doubted my ability to change it.... There were multiple causes, and they don’t matter. What matters is that I'm writing about it in past tense.... What helped me recover... Through a weird progression of events, I revisited specific songs that had (decades ago) made me feel empowered, hopeful, and bursting with potential. Read more →


Since 2012, well-deserved praise has showered on Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson for their performance of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven at the Kennedy Center.... A bazillion articles noted the emotional currents in that auditorium, especially Robert Plant’s reactions. But when I recently re-watched the video, what wowed me were Jimmy Page’s reactions, Read more →


A friend of mine and I have been kicking around a story he wants to tell. He has the story, I have the writing experience. So for months now we've talked about it periodically, and we've been watching movies to see what works and how it works. Picking them apart. Recently we watched "Lincoln," which is a remarkable film. Read more →


So there I was at the D.I. (Utah's thrift store) again, and what did I find? Nothing but (flourish of trumpets) the original, the one and only, first release of the Star Wars soundtrack...on vinyl...ooo, glossy, lovely vinyl. Not sterile, vacuous CD, but a real record with all the hiss and pops that... Read more →


I don't care whether politicians have illicit sex with consenting adults. I might be shocked if they didn't. But “family values” voters do care, which makes the DC Madam scandal relevant if any 2016 candidate ever hired prostitutes. Rachel Maddow's sarcastic-sounding comments on the revived scandal suggest that she disagrees . . . BACKSTORY Read more →


I like Debra Winger and Sam Elliott. But 5 minutes into the first episode, I wanted to turn off The Ranch. I figured I should watch 3 episodes before writing about the show. Some lines drew a chuckle. Some obvious attempts at humor flopped, and the laugh tracks (canned laughter) were annoying. The... Read more →


The New York Post said: "A former strategist for a pro-Donald Trump Super PAC claimed in a shocking column that even the GOP front-runner himself . . . never had any real intention of being President." What's so "shocking"? It was apparent months ago that Mr. Trump wasn't serious about being president--when he... Read more →


Fox so-called-News whined over Donald Trump's sexist remarks about Fox so-called-journalist Megyn Kelly after he recently called her “sick” and “overrated.” (Last summer, he blamed Ms. Kelly’s attitude on her menstrual cycle). Given Fox's handling of Read more →


I laughed again when re-watching Alpha House episodes after a couple years. If you like satire, if you like writer Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury comic strip), Alpha House is worth a try. Streaming is free if you have Amazon Prime. The basics: 4 Republican senators share a swank crash pad in DC: Gill John... Read more →


Mr. Trump is serious about winning primaries, but I wonder whether he actually wants to win in November. Most friends think I’m way off, but I still doubt. Trump’s tactics play well with 40-50% of Republican-primary voters, but November is a different playing field. And Trump continues soiling that field. To win in... Read more →