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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Concert Time! The Pixies

Hey all,

I'm a bit behind on this post but last Friday my friend Jason and I caught The Pixies in concert. The Pixies are one of my top 5 all time favorite bands and one of the last bands that I felt I utterly had to see live in concert. The Pixies are one of the proto-punk, alternative bands that were responsible for ushering in the alternative rock revolution of the early 1990's. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana called them one of his primary influences and claimed that Smells Like Teen Spirit was his own personal attempt to rip off the Pixies.

The band formed in the mid 80's and found some middling success with their first EP Come On Pilgrim and found slightly more with their first full length album Surfer Rosa, featuring soungs like Gigantic and Where Is My Mind. Though it was really the 1989 release of the seminal Doolittle Album that gave them a taste of success, with songs like Wave of Mutilation, Here Come's Your Man, and Debaser. The band was made up of leader singer Black Francis, bass player and back up vocalist Kim Deals (who would later form the Breeders with her twin sister), Lead guitarist Joey Santiago, and drummer David Lovering. The band is heavily influenced by religious and social imagery and has a sound that swings from vocally melodic to fast and abrasive. During their tenure from the late 80's to the early 90's, the band found huge success abroad in Europe, but only mild success in America. The recorded five albums, the height of which was Doolittle, before in fighting between the increasing controlling Francis and the angry and ostracized Deal. Deal wanted more input on the writing and creative side and Francis didn't want to relinquish control. The constant struggle between the two lead to the breakup.

Years later tensions lessened and the band agreed to play some reunion shows in Europe which led to the band playing more together. Much of the band's reformation is captured in the wonderful documentary loudQUIETloud, which chronicles the bands first tour in nearly 15 years. The success of that tour and the passing of time really showed the band the legacy they had left behind and have played more shows over the years. Last year they booked a few dates to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Doolittle and the success has carried the tour to additional dates, where I caught them in Mesa.

There was an opening act by a band that was called Fuck You. I don't even want to waste time talking about them as I hated them. It sounded like something a step above white noise, but cranked extremely loud. The Pixies took the stage around 9:15 and played nearly 2 whole hours. Since the tour was celebrating the Doolittle album, they played the album in its entirety, including some unreleased B sides. They played 20 full tracks off the album, ending with the song Gouge Away. My personal favorites were Here Comes Your Man and Debaser, as the crowds really got into those songs and enlivened the performance. After Gouge Away, the band left the stage as the audience chanted for more, and they came out to play the encore. They started with a variant take of Wave of Mutilation, which they had already played. This time they played the UK edit, a wonderfully slower version of the song that I'd never heard before and was awesome. They ended the encore with the song Into the White. One of the few Pixies tracks where Kim Deals is on the vocals, they flooded the stage with white smoke and played the song illuminated in a smokey shadow of white. It was a great effect that really sold the song. You couldn't see any of the performers, only their shadow, as Deal sung the haunting lyrics of Into the White. Amazing.

What was even better? They came out to do a second encore, playing 4 of their best non-Doolittle hits, starting with Veloria, then going into three of my favorite tracks, Dig For Fire, Where Is My Mind?, and ending with my favorite Pixies track, the Kim Deal sung Gigantic. It was an amazing end to an amazing performance. I couldn't believe my luck in getting to hear so many of my favorite tracks and the great stage value they gave in the show. It was even better that I got to share it with my best friend Jason, who rarely goes to shows anymore. Still, its been a great month for concerts for me, with The Pixies, Weezer, and Devo (all top 10 bands for me) this month. I always worried that I may never get the chance to see the Pixies play live, with the tensions and history of the band, and to be able to be a part of the show was fantastic.

End of Line.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 27

Eva signaled Bartley to hold up and he reared back on the reins, stopping the stage. She had been riding ahead, ensuring the trail remained clear for the stage when she saw them. More of the creatures, creatures like what Evan had turned into. There was at least 4 of them, huddled around....something, rending pieces of flesh from the carcass of whatever it had been and devouring the guts and brains of the poor dead thing. Eva wasn't sure what to do. There was no way around the monsters if they had any hopes of getting the stage into town they would have to go through the monsters. Rex simply didn't have the time to go around and neither he nor her father could take cutting cross country in their condition.

She looked back at Bartley who was holding up his battered old rifle. He mostly shot the old thing to start the herd moving, she wasn't sure if he had even fired it at another person since that Indian raid all those years ago. Still, he had used the weapon in self-defense at least, she was less sure about Moore. That dandy was the biggest fraud she had ever seen. He may be a financial wiz, but killing a man was another thing entirely. She rested her hand on her own revolver, wondering if she had the stones to kill again. In the moment her instincts had kicked in against Evan. Cold blooded killing though was another thing. Then again, could you really kill something that had already died?

She crept back to the rest of the men at the stage, a few hundred yards away. They had moved as slowly and as quitely as close as they could, but now they had to decide on what to do next. Eva knew what the answer was, even if she didn't like it very much. She looked up at Bartley and nodded, understanding what she was going to say without needing words. Bartley and her had worked together a long time, he'd been around her almost her whole life, sometimes they didn't even need to speak to know what they were thinking. What her father and Thomas would say, well that may be a different story.

Moore was talking to her father in hushed tones, the door to the cab open. Her father was seated across from Rex, who still tossed and turned feverishly, moaning in pain and discomfort. Moore leaned into the cab, but cut short his conversation as Eva drew closer and instead leaned back, an ill smile hitting teh corners of his mouth.

"Dad... Thomas, there's no way around the four... things... on the road ahead."

She cast a glance at Rex, still writhing in fevered pain.

"Let's be honest here, Rex look's worse than he did ten minutes ago. We don't got the time to cut around them and frankly we are equipped to travel with his cross country."

Eva pointed left out mentioning her father's infirmary, but it hung in the air unspoken. Her dad tugged in the corners of his bushy mustache, his mind a whirl in thought as Thomas spoke.

" Eva, what you're suggesting then is that we.... ATTACK these creatures? How do we know that they even mean us harm? Surely we can just ride by them or ignore them or something."

Caleb cut short the pointed response that had been on the tip of Eva's tongue.

"Thomas, I appreciate what you're thoughts, but I think my daughter is right here. Four of those monsters are ahead of us on the road. We don't know where they come from, or what they are, but based on what we have seen we don't want to take the chance of getting exposed to them, or even exposing our horses to them. It's obvious they have some kind of infection, based on what we are seeing happen to Rex. Plus we know hey are eating something that use to be alive. I think... God help me, that we are better suited to put them down, like we would a rabid animal."

Caleb had said that speech with a heavy heart, tugging forlornly at the bushy end of his mustache. Moore simply scowled and stalked away, drawing his gun and muttering curses. Caleb would stay with Rex and the stage, while Bartley, Eva, and Moore would take care of the creatures ahead. Bartley gingerly got down from the drivers seat of the stage while Eva pulled her rifle from her saddle holster. She checked the ammunition for at least the third time today and walked up with Bartley. Moore was waiting for the two of them, his pistol drawn and the three of them stalked closer to the creatures. They were still tearing at the carcass of what they killed, but with less fervor. There was a good 30 yards between them and the creatures with no cover so they left the safety of the underbrush. They stalked closer and Eva nodded at each, all three pulling back the hammer on their respective weapons with an audible click.

The creatures turned at the sound of the click their faces covered in gore and spittle, black fangs gleaming in the sun. It was then that the three saw what the monster's had been eating. Or what was left of it anyway. It was covered in bits of entrails and blood. The stomach had been ripped open and the skull cracked wide as the monster devoured their contents. The simple dress she had worn was torn and ripped, but the young girls dead eyes stared straight into the soul of Eva. All three of them fired.

End of Line.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hey all,

Well... I failed. I really tried to keep the posts going but I honestly had such an awful couple of days that I lost motivation to do pretty much everything. A combination of work, personal, and auto troubles really just bummed me the fuck out. A very heavy set of apathy just set in and even looking at the keyboard filled me with dread and loathing. I'm pretty sure that there is a poem in here somewhere now, dying to express the anger and resentment that I have been feeling the past few days, but I don't think I'm ready to mine that particular gemstone just yet.

I finally started to shake the doldrums of my apathy last night when I was hanging out with my friend Jason. We headed out to Mesa to check out The Pixies in concert (which I will cover in a column later this week) and it finally got me to a level where at least I didn't quite feel so angry, or bad about myself. I don't know, it just feels like more and more these past few weeks I feel really isolated and alone, as more people around me fulfill different parts of their lives, personally, professionally, I feel like I am failing at my own. I know a lot of my problems are ones I have created for myself, yet sometimes it feels like even though I am the key to solving the problems, I can't find the lock the key fits in.

If I really turn the magnifying glass on myself, I know what the real problem is. It's the isolation. I feel absolutely surrounded by people everyday, and not one of them has a damn idea. That no one really knows me. I feel like my brother has this whole other life that I only get to look in on, that the girl I like has no feeling for me. That my best friend is a world away. Maybe I am over analyzing my life, I don't know. I'm certainly over exaggerating it at least.

Everyday ends with the setting sun, and the only illumination is darkness.

End of Line.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Poetry: Memories

Hey all!

Twenty posts in twenty days! I can honestly say I am starting to feel the effects of writing every day. I'm actually a little burned out. Not of writing, most days I would tap out something on the computer to just write, but having postable work to put up has been the issue. As the month has gone on I no longer have a backlog of topic ready to write about, in fact the cupboard is pretty bare for topics other than the next chapters of Flash Fiction. I'll figure something out this week I'm sure. Only 10 more posts to go.

As for this poem, it was written in about an hour this morning. I read an article on Alzheimer's Disease that had popped up on my homepage and it got me thinking about losing your memories, losing the fabric of your life, and I wrote a poem about wanting to cling to those things in the end. Enjoy and thanks for sticking with me!


Memories fade,

Like the setting sun.

A reminder of times,

Long since begun.

A lifetimes of years,

Can seem the span of a day,

Yet the seconds of a kiss,

Can feel like hours replayed.

But as we grow old,

The seconds between,

Grow closer together,

The future less unseen.

Stories once lived,

Are now but a dream,

Those tales are but stitches,

Your life in the seams.

As the years tick away,

The more you forget,

Trying to remember,

Your world by the bit.

Lost in the revelry,

The stories of your life,

The good times and the bad,

Cut loose like a knife.

They say in the end,

You've only your thoughts,

What happens to us then,

When you forget what you sought?

So I cling tight to my dreams,

As they slip through the cracks,

These precious grains of sand,

That I will never get back.

End of Line.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Concert Time! Fall Frenzy: Weezer and Devo!

Hey all,

I spent the better part of Saturday at Arizona's Fall Frenzy concert. A huge outdoor festival style concert, this was the years second show. It's 3 straight days of music outdoors at Tempe Beach Park. It was a great local for a show, it's right along one of Arizona's trendiest shopping district on Mill Avenue, right beside Arizona State University's campus. There is always a huge influx of teens and college grade students there and it's the perfect vibe for this kind of outdoor show. The use of the word fall in the title might be a little mis-leading as it was still in the 100's throughout much of the show, though the weather cooled off considerably once the sun set. This year the three day show kicked off on Friday with Sevendust, Shinedown, The Cult, and headliner Stone Temple Pilots. Sunday was more of a hard rock bend with Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold, and Disturbed headlining along with several other acts.The only day that really intrested me, especially at the exorbitant ticket prices for a 3 day pass, was Saturday. That day featured AM Taxi, The Dirtyheads, Blue October, Devo, Primus, Sublime with Rome, and Weezer.

I should point out that of the 7 bands mentioned, I'm really only a fan of two, Devo and Weezer. Such is the price you pay to see some of your favorites though. I got to the show a little late and missed AM Taxi completely but i managed to catch the Dirtyheads set. They have one song that is getting a lot of airplay on Phoenix radio called Lay Me Down, a song in which Rome (the new singer of the reformed Sublime) accompanies them vocally. They have a kind of reggae rock feel to them and honestly I didn't really enjoy the set personally. I will say the crowd was into it when they closed the set with Lay Me Down.

Up next was Blue October, a band that has had some success on the radio with a couple of hits, noticeably Hate Me and Into the Ocean. Going into the performance I wasn't really a fan either way, though on the drive down to the show I listened to a really engaging interview with the bands lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld, as he talked about some of the troubles he's faced, noticeably two suicide attempts. As he has recovered he has dedicated part of teh money generated from his shows to charities helping to fight suicide and help those in need of counseling, which he had said really made a difference in his life. As they performed the songs, accompanied by electric violins, mandolins, and whatnot, you couple almost feel the palpable emotion coming from Justin as he sang. I was especially impressed with him as the say Hate Me to close out their set, he really laid everything out in that rendition of teh song and you could feel the aggression and emotion and memories that the song had cause bubble up during the performance. I was greatly impressed.

Up next was easily one of my favorite concert appearances of all time. Devo. A band that first broke onto the scene nearly 40 years ago took the stage and had a really awesome show. They erected a huge video board behind them that ran a strange allotment of classic Devo footage along with pop culture art and video in this weird medley of music and movie. The came out wearing grey futuristic jumpsuits and masks that covered their eyes, noses, and parts of their head, and set into a great performance of Don't Shoot! (I'm a Man) from their latest album which very much had a Don't Taze me Bro vibe to it. They did a couple songs off the new album, including Fresh, which I really liked having not heard that one before sliding into their biggest hits. All in all they did four costume changes, from stripping down the grey jumpsuits to show us that They ARE men, to the tear away yellow radiation suits of Jocko Homo to the flower pot hats of Whip It and Girl U Want.

I loved everything about the performance and I truly wished they had not been placed on at the brain scorching time of 4:30pm. To see the whole display and antics of the band at night would have really set it off. I am not sure if the whole audience really got the whole Devo experience, I heard comparisons to the band being like watching your father sing. I didn't see that all. I thought they put on a great show, a hybrid of the 80's and today and really proved themselves to be the father's of nerd rock. Their renditions of Mangaloid, Girl U Want, Gates of Steel, and the closing number Freedom of Choice was an experience I'll never forget and I am so glad I got to see them in concert. For me at least, they still had so much magic.

The next two acts are not bands I particularly like, Primus and Sublime with Rome. The pop that Les Claypool brought with his guitar work certainly shamed the reaction that the 20 something crowd had to Devo, but i thought the performance was fairly uninspired. Admittedly I could be the only one who thinks that. Claypool is certainly a virtuoso on the guitar and can make some especially unique music with his instrument, but I thought they didn't have much stage presence. Claypool put on a pig mask for a few songs while singing, and danced a few lazy circles, but they did get some good reactions during Jerry Was a Racecar Driver and My Name is Mud. All in all they were ok.

Next up was Sublime featuring Rome. Here I will admit to hating the band. I didn't like Sublime when they first came out in the mid 1990's, and I like them less now that they are basically a glorified cover band. Rome, replacing deceased lead singer Bradley Knowles, sounded like a pitchier version of the singer. Arizona alternative radio has always loved Sublime far more than I ever thought possible and within 3 songs I was already miserable at my spot close to the stage. So miserable that I forced my way out of the main concert area and watched the rest of the band's performance on the monitor back by the vendors. Let me preface this next sentence real quick, I don't mind people's personal choice to smoke, cigarettes, marijuana, whatever. It's a choice. There was so much weed being smoked up in the pit area that it made me nauseous. Shortly after the band sang Date Rape, I made my way out. It was overwhelming... and fairly miserable. I will say this though, they kept the rest of the crowd into it by singing all of Sublime's hits, like What I Got, Bad Fish, Smoke Two Joints, and the rest. For most people this is the first chance they had to see the band live, even if it was with a new lead singer.

The end act though made up significantly for my disinterest in the previous two acts, my all time favorite band, Weezer. They came straight out on stage to a roaring version of Hashpipe that the crowd was really into despite some technical issues with the equipment. Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo then went into a little speech about how they had been flown in on a private jet for the show and that it had actually been a little scary but hey, that's how the band rolls in 2010. He commented then that you have to take some risks. When then the band launched into Troublemaker and Rivers did just that the rest of the show, jumping on and off the stage recklessly and really interacting with the audience. The band stayed pretty close to thier hits, including Undone- The Sweater Song, Say It Ain't So, Perfect Situation, Island in the Sun, and even threw in Memories, their single off their newest album, Hurley.

It was during my favorite Weezer song, My Name is Jonas, that the show really went off the rails of normalcy. Grabbing a light up baton from the crowd, Rivers led part of the audience in an almost Olympian syle parade around teh perimeter of teh concert area to teh refrain " The Workers Are Going Home. before ascending a bank of ATM machines to sing Beverly Hills from atop of them. He didn't stop there either, as he continued to circle the perimter he ascended the fencing of teh VIP area and did a tightrope like walk across the fence top while singing Pork and Beans, specifiaclly the lines, "I'm a do the things I want to do" and "Excuse my manners while I make the scene."

He then made his way back onstage to sing the first encore, a medley cover of MGMT's Kids and Lady Gaga's Pokerface, complete with a blond wig and stage rolling gaga antics. They closed out with having some members of the audience come on stage and sing If You're Wondering If I Want You To before closing the show with Buddy Holly. I know a lot of die hard Weezer fans have called the bands latest efforts more commercial or soulless than their original efforts, like Blue or Pinkerton, but god damn they can fuck off. Weezer is the perfect rock band, fun, poppy, and audience pleasing. this is the second time I have seen them live and I have yet to be disappointed. They made the day out in the hot sun so worth it, cementing their status as one of my all time favorite performers.

In the end, I am deeply grateful for my pal Genji having hooked me up with his ticket and I wish he could have been there to enjoy the Weeze with me. Devo and Weezer was simply one of the best concert experiences and I can't wait for either to return! Tune in later this week for my take on another seminal band, The Pixies, as they show up in town Friday!

End of Line.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 26

Morgan spurred the horse down the trail. He'd been on the move about an hour by his reckoning of the sun's movement and he hadn't seen any other sign of life. He mostly cut across country, his horse wading through the tall grass. He tried to stay in the open field as much as he could, unsure of what exactly was happening. His mind turned over the events of the morning over and over, analyzing what exactly had happened. He couldn't be sure, but the blackening of the sun and the abhorrent resurrection of his wife and child had to be related somehow. He wasn't so superstitious as to believe that he was the only person who experienced this phenomenon, but at the same time he wasn't sure what to believe.

He knew how to kill the foul creatures, he just didn't know why they were resurrected. He brushed his hand across the edge of his father's tomahawk, feeling the single feather braided into the leather thong on the handle. He remembered his father telling him stories of Indian lore, telling him the stories of his forefathers. His father had been half Indian, a bastard child who had never known his own father, having been raised alone by his mother in the foothills of the Dakota's. He had grown up in a small village listening to group elders tell stories of their gods and of the old ways. Still he had never been accepted fully by the tribe and when he became a man, he set out on his own. Eventually his father had met his mother, and they married. His father never talked much about his mother, who had died of pneumonia a few years after Morgan's birth. He didn't even remember his mother, knowing only that she had been a run away too, though his father had often called her whore in the drunken rages after her death. His father grew more angry and resentful after she died, often taking those frustrations out on Morgan, whipping and beating him for no reason at all.

His father had tried to teach him the old ways, but after the death of his mother, Morgan didn't care for any God, the Christian one his mother had believed in, or the spirits his father did. Morgan was hurt, and angry, and destructive. One day the anger in Morgan's heart was to profound, and he stole away from his father, taking with him his few meager possessions, his rifle, and his father's tomahawk, the latter mostly out of spite. He had been 11 years old then. He spent the next two years eking out a meager existence, hunting for food and wandering from town to town. It was in Bisbee though that he ran into the man that would change his life. Lt. Martin Branager, US Cavalry. Branager hired the then 13 year old as a scout and errand boy, using him to translate among the different tribes of the Dakota's. Morgan idolized Branager, working with him for 3 years until enrolling in the Cavalry at 16 under Branager's command.

Morgan fingered the feathered leather thong on the tomahawk and closed his eyes, memories flooding back of the things he had done with the weapon during his time of service. He remembered the tribes they had attacked, his own people looking at him as he struck them down or herded them to a reservation. The names they had called him. He had been so angry in those days, just wanting to hurt anyone he could. He had idolized Branager and believed he was following Uncle Sam's orders. For the first time in his life, Morgan had felt like he belonged somewhere, that he was making a difference. He had believed Branager when he was told that life on a reservation would be safer for the Indians. It wasn't until years later that Morgan found out about the depths of Branager's depravity. Until that raid on that Blackfoot village. Morgan closed his eyes, burying the deep lump in his throat as he watched his comrades....his friends, slaughter those women and children. He watched as Branager gleefully struck down people who had peacefully surrendered, listened as his captain ordered him to scalp that young woman. He remembered the feelings of betrayal and the loss. The fear. His hands quivered in anger and guilt at the thought of it.

Morgan was broken from his revelry when he saw the river in the distance. He could continue across country and go through Hicken's Gorge, or follow the river the long way around. Cross country was quicker, but the Gorge was a mountainous path that boxed you in. The river would take longer but allow him more room to operate. He wasn't sure if there were more creatures like his wife out there but he knew enough of the old lore to believe that he couldn't be the only one to have experienced it. He pushed his hat back on his head and stared up at the dead sun, looking at the long black tendrils that stretched out from the once hot orb. He damn sure knew that he couldn't be the only one. He resettled his hat and spurred his horse towards the river. It would take longer to get to town, but right then Morgan Randall wasn't sure that was a bad thing at all.

End of Line.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Movie Time Rewind: Gone With the Wind

Hey all,

*edit* This review got REALLY long, sorry if I got carried away*

I thought today would be a great opportunity to do another Rewind column, one to keep the streak alive or posting 30 times this month, but mainly because I really want to talk about the film of the moth (or of last month), 1939's cinematic masterpiece, Gone With the Wind. I watched a wonderfully fascinating documentary on the film entitled The Making of a Legend: Gone With the Wind, which really rekindled my passion for the film and for the performances. Way way back when I first started this column I wrote a Rewind piece on Hollywood's Greatest Year, 1939, a year that saw the release of more historically memorable (and truly great) films than any other. The year 1939 is considered Hollywood's banner year, with the release of a score of films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz, Gunga Din, and Stagecoach among others. You can read the overview here

The story of Gone With the Wind is about Scarlett O'Hara, a southern belle growing up on a wealthy plantation named Tara. It starts off on the eve of the American Civil War with Scarlett secretly pining for southern aristocrat Ashley Wilkes, despite her knowledge that he is to be secretly wed to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton. After she confesses her feelings to him, Ashley tells her that he feels the same, but he is still going to marry Melanie. The exchange is overheard by Rhett Butler, disowned from his family and un-popular for his stance that in a war of the states, the South doesn't have the resources of the North and would lose. When war is announced, Scarlett agrees to marry Rand, a member of the Hamilton household, ostensibly to make Ashley jealous and to stay close to him.

During the war Scarlett is quickly widowed and moves into the Hamilton house to stay with Melanie to cheer her up, despite her true intentions, which were to wait for Ashley's return. She runs in Rhett again, now a Confederate hero, who announces his plans to win her over, which she adamantly refuses. She does steal a kiss from Ashley though, furthering her resolve to win him over despite his claims that he will never follow up on his feelings. As the war progresses, Scarlett and Melanie try to help the wounded soldiers, until the city is besieged by the Union Army. Scarlett helps Malanie deliver her baby during a difficult pregnancy though and manages to compel Rhett to steal them out of the city and to return them back to her home, Tara. Rhett guides them out of the burning city and the two share a passionate kiss before he returns to the war. Scarlett is left to discover her hometown nearly destroyed, though Tara still stands. Her father is stricken mad with grief over his wife's death, and Scarlett steals, herself, vowing never to be hungry again.

As the war draws to a close, Scarett is forced to become the family's source of income. She fashions a grand dress from her mothers curtains (a famous scene) and turns to Rhett, whom she believes is still rich. Discovering that he is broke and in jail, she instead turns to stealing her sister's fiance, Frank Miller, and through her own efforts, turns grows his business profitably during the re-building of Atlanta, by agreeing to work with Yankee contractors. She even manages to convince Ashley to run her sawmill by plying on his (and Melanie's) sympathies to keep him close. Sadly, Frank is killed after Scarlett is attacked and after another refusal from Ashley, Scarlett marries a newly fortuned Rhett.

Rhett vows to build Scarlett a new mansion in Atlanta and to rebuild Tara and the two have a daughter together. Rhett does everything in his power to win over the cold Scarlett and to ingratiate himself back into society, though Scarlett pulls farther away and tells him that they will not have another child and that they should sleep in separate rooms. Rhett tries to ignore his feelings of jealousy and after a night of drinking, announces that this is a night she won't ever forget and takes her to bed. The next morning, sober and disgraced, he apologizes and offers her a divorce, which she refuses. He leaves with his daughter in anger, but returns to find Scarlett pregnant with his child, though she doesn't want to have it. After an argument, she falls down some stairs and suffers a miscarriage. Rhett is racked with guilt and anger, which is compiled by the additional tragedy of the death of thier daughter and of Melanie, during a second pregnancy. With Melanie dead, Ashley is distraught and collapses, torn apart by grief. It's only then does she realize that she never really did love Ashley, that she loved Rhett. But by then, Rhett didn't care, walking out of her life for good, leaving Scarlett sobbing on the stairs, unsure of what to do next.

There are so many facets of this film that are fascinating, not the least of which are the trials an tribulations that were involved in getting the picture made. Gone With the Wind is a film based on a novel by first time author Margaret Mitchell, a girl raised in the south of Atlanta and who had been brought up being told stories of the devastation of the South during the Civil War by her mother. She was told about the splendor of the the Southern elite classes and the brutal falls from grace that many suffered during the war and their failure to recover afterward. As Mitchell grew older though, she very much immersed herself in popular culture. She defied modern convention at the time by becoming a reporter for the Atlanta Journal under the pen name Peggy Mitchell and writing a weekly column. It was during a period in 1926 when she broke an ankle that she first started the 10 year on and off project that would become the only book she would ever write, Gone With the Wind, based off the old stories her mother had shared. During a time where America was still in teh grips of the Great Depression and trying to ignore the growing perils around them in the world, Gone With the Wind gripped the country. The novel would go on to sell over 30 million copies and merit Mitchell with a Pulitzer Prize.

Film producer David O. Selznick had been a hot shot executive at arguably the biggest studio of the late 1930's and would present itself as THE major studio into the next decade. Selznick, though, wanted to be his own boss and make his own pictures. He had married Louis B. Mayer's daughter and using the connections he had made while at MGM, launched his own film studio on the old RKO lot, Selznick International Pictures. He produced some of the late 1930's better films, The Prisoner of Zenda, the original A Star is Born (which would be remade multiple times) and The Garden of Allah, all independently. Selznick was a perfectionist and wanted the best of everything put into one of his productions. He was even the first U.S. producer to bring Alfred Hitchcock to America, with Hitch's first American (and Oscar winning) film Rebecca the year after Gone With the Wind.

Selznick purchased the rights to Gone With the Wind from Mitchell the same week as the book was released after much consideration for the then unheard of sum of $50,000 in 1936. What began next was one of the longest pre-production tenures of a film in cinema history. Selznick turned to one of the premier freelance scriptwriters of the time, Sydney Howard, who was tasked with the herculean effort of trimming the novel down to a manageable film length. The nation was obsessed with Gone With the Wind, and the screenplay had to satisfy the expectant public. He worked on the piece for months, turning in a treatment in September that would have been nearly 6 hours long, and finishing the first draft in December of 1936. The script would go through numerous revisions over the 3 year production on the film, and despite the fact that only Sydney Howard is credited with the script, at least 5 other writers took turns at the script including Ben Hecht (another favored writer of Selznick) as well as Selznick himself, who reportedly once took a vacation in 1937 and took the script with him, in 4 suitcases. At one time Selznick, Hecht, and another writer, locked themselves in a room for 7 days and churned out another version of the script. Most believe that Howard was credited with the screenplay in the end for two reasons. One, the final script (which was never actually compiled as the scenes were often re-written the night before the shoot) most closely resembled his draft. The second reason was Howard's untimely death in 1939 after an accident on his far and it was considered a posthumous gesture of gratitude.

Selznick was an independent studio and one of his greatest concerns was the mounting costs of the picture. After a year of work on the piece and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, he didn't have a script or a cast yet. Teaming with his close personal friend and Selznick Picture favorite, George Cukor, the two launched casting sessions while the picture was still being written. The casting of Scarlett was a national phenomenon, gripping the country in a frenzy. Nearly every leading lady of the day was interviewed and screen testes, from Katherine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead to Betty Davis. During 1938 a few clear front runners presented themselves, Joan Bennett, Jean Arthur, and Paulette Goddard. Goddard was the favorite early on though all three were still in contention in December of '38. A dark horse candidate had presented herself though a few months before, that of Vivian Leigh. Goddard had been in pictures for nearly a decade and had made a huge impact with Charlie Chaplin in his masterpiece, Modern Times. Leigh had starred in little of merit, but had come to America after leaving her husband and child to run off with acting great Laurence Olivier.

Even before the picture had been cast, Selznick needed to make room for the sets to be built. In order to clear enough lot space, Selznick decided to burn down all the structures on the backlot and use the footage for the burning of Atlanta sequence in the film. In truth, during the film, the burning structures of Atlanta are sets from The Prisoner of Zenda, The Garden Of Allah, even the great gates of 1933's King Kong are pulled down around them. Trick photography and stunt doubles were used during the filming that night to capture the scene, along with every Technicolor Film Camera in existence. Selznick invited many people to the filming to watch, including his brother Myron Selznick, one of Hollywood's first agents. The legend goes, Myron brought Vivian Leigh with him to the burning, and introduced her to David with the line, "Hey Genius, Meet your Scarlett."

Vivian Leigh had been acting for several years and went through a her screen tests, showing a range and talent that had not been as apparent in her earlier works and quickly won the part, officially getting it on Christmas Day 1938. Casting Rhett on teh other hand was a different matter. The entire populace of America knew exactly who should be Rhett Butler, the King of Hollywood himself, Clark Gable. Gable was under contract to MGM and in order for Selznick to get him to play the part, David had to cut a very lucrative deal with MGM. They would get distribution rights to teh film and 50% of the gross, in exchange Selznick would get $1.25 million in cash to make the picture and Gable. Gable wanted nothing to do with the picture, having made a period drama in 1937 which had flopped and Gable did NOT want to be embarrassed. Louis B. Mayer sweetened the deal by offering Gable $50,000 extra to essentially pay off his current wife so he could divorce her quietly and marry Carole Lombarde.

The other two principal actors also came with a price. Ashley Wilkes was played by Leslie Howard. Howard didn't want the role as he thought himself to old at 46. Despite his reluctance, he was really the only actor who had any command of the role in Selznick's eyes. Howard's dream though was to be a producer. To get him to commit to the role, Selznick offered him a producer's role in what would turn out to be Ingrid Bergman's breakout role, Intermezzo: A Love Story. Howard took the role and never complained throughout the process, though he never learned anyone else lines or read the novel his performance was based on, He gave exactly what he promised he would give. Olivia de Havilland desperately wanted the role of Melanie. She was under contract though but had once been a part of a packaged deal from Warner Brothers with Errol Flynn to be the film's lead when they were vying for the deal that MGM eventually got. Selznick auctioned many actresses, but it to de Havilland's personal plea to WB studio head Jack Warner's wife for her to get clearance to take the part.

Principal photography finally began in January of 1939. Selznick, while very involved with pre-production and casting for most of his pictures, usually didn't spend that much time on the set. For Gone With the Wind, he was on set daily. He and director Cukor argued over scenes and styles of the film, reshooting scenes constantly. Cukor was very much known for his ability to coach and direct women and Vivian Leigh loved working with him. They both had the same vision of Leigh, fiery, resolute, compassionate, tough. Clark Gable hated Cukor. He thought he was soft and didn't feel like he could trust the director to ensure that his performance in this "woman's film" didn't make him seem weak. Eventually the conflict on set grew so tense that Cukor walked off the set and Selznick told him not to come back. Surprisingly the two remained close friends. Shooting was halted for 17 days while Selznik worked on the script and arranged with MGM to get veteran director Victor Fleming. Fleming has replaced Cukor on The Wizard of Oz month's earlier and was pulled off the last few days of shooting their to take over the floundering set. Fleming took one look at the script and called it a mess and restored much of the Sydney Howard's version, who had taken another revision before his death.

Gable and Fleming got along famously and Fleming ran a tough set. Leigh, whom at one point adored the idea of filming this movie, did not get along with either. Her and de Havilland would often go see Cukor on the weekend who continued to coach the women on the film secretly. Despite this, or maybe even because of, Leigh would often ask to shoot longer and later, anything to accelerate the filming of the picture, one to get away from Fleming, and two, to return to her love Laurence Olivier, whom she was not allowed to see during filming. Selznick wanted his star to be "pure" and didn't want images of the two taken together.

Still filming on the movie stretched on, with Selznick insisting on re-writes and both he and Fleming pushing themselves physically with stimulants. Tensions stayed raw on everyone's accounts (except reportedly Leslie Howard) and even Fleming walked off the set for 2 weeks, replaced by Sam Wood. Allegedly Fleming left due to exhaustion, but most people believe it was punishment for Selznick's overbearing ways. he eventually returned and filming completed after 125 days.

Editing and effects works began immediately, a situation proven even more difficult with the fact that there was no real shooting script, Selznick having re-written the film so many times the only real copy was in his head. He and the film editors would lock themselves in the editing bays for days at a time, working 22 hours straight often, in order to get the film ready for its release. Many new techniques in special effects were also create on this picture. Much of the scenic shots and every ceiling was a matte painting or painted on glass and seamlessly added to the film. Even the music was done in a rush as Selznick wanted composer Max Steiner and waited until well after filming was completed to engage him on the picture. Steiner was contractually bound to another project at the time. The score was so far behind that when they previewed the first cut of the film in November of 1939, they used the score from the Prisoner of Zenda as enough music had not yet been written to accompany the picture.

Gone with the Wind debuted in Atlanta in December of 1939 and was an instant smash. The film went on to garner 13 (of the then available 17) Oscar nominations that year, winning 10 including best picture, best actress (for Leigh) best supporting actress (Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy the caretaker and was also the first Black actress to be nominated for the award, let alone win.) It also won best screenplay for Howard and for technical achievement in film making. Even Selznick was award for his efforts in film making as a whole. At the time, Gone With the Wind cost nearly 3 million dollars to make, marking it was one of the most expensive films of all time, though it would make it back at the box office. When adjusted for inflation, it remains the highest grossing film of all time, a huge task given it 3 plus hour running time.

Gone WIth the Wind carried a legacy as one of the greatest films of all times, even at the time of it's release. The scale and grandeur was unparalleled and the film's reputation certainly preceded itself. It made Vivian Leigh a star and gave her teh first of two Oscars. Despite being one of Gable's least favorite films, it remains a picture of his legacy. Hell, the legacy of Gone With the Wind would over shadow everything David O. Selznick would do for the rest of his life. Despite his success with films like Rebbecca, Spellbound, and a Duel in the Sun, nothing would ever quite measure up to Gone With the Wind. It cast a shadow on his career as both the pinnacle of his achievement, but the pinnacle of achievement at the zenith of Hollywood's golden age. Eventually Selznick sold the rights away to the film, where they eventually were picked up by MGM. Selznick was known to take gambles on a picture, as evidenced with this one, and it was only a matter of time before his gambling caught up with him. He sold his rights for $400,000 in the early 1940's. in order to keep his studio afloat.

Personally, while not my favorite film of all time, I do mark it as the greatest piece of film making I have ever seen. Every performance is powerful. Leigh literally alights the screen with her passion and the scope of the picture never fails to awe me. If you have never seen this masterpiece, do yourself a favor, and watch it. This is what a film can mean. This is really what a film can be. Gone With the Wind, from Selznick International Pictures.

End of Line.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poetry: Element

Hey all,

I thought with the rather dreary nature of the poetry that I have been writing this month (and damn, I haven't wrote this many poems in one month since I first started the blog!) I thought it was time to do something brighter. Happier, love poetry is harder for me to write, mostly because I am rarely in a place of my own to channel these thoughts but today I really wanted to try. I will freely admit to looking an one of my favorite artists for inspiration for this poem today, Tara McPherson. The very first line of the poem is the title to one of her paintings, The Weight of Water. That title stuck with me as I looked through her art book for inspiration. Her art is usually very sad and forlorn and it helps me get my mind around other ideas. That particular piece provided the initial idea for the poem, using the elements kind of abstractly to belay the relationship of life on love.

I can tell a bit of a change in the blog for me since the restart. I am much more interested in writing creatively, new flash fiction or poems, than recycling movie reviews or other things. I'm certainly not giving up on them as I do enjoy the process, but lately I think to keep the motivation of this incredibly daunting goal which I have set for myself, 30 posts in 30 days, being more creative and less...well, opinionated or educated, has certainly been a key factor in my creative output.

As always, thank you for reading and any feedback is very much appreciated.


The weight of Water,

In snow or ice,

The cost of love,

To pay the price.

The taste of Air,

Whether smokey or sweet,

These choices we made,

For a life so complete.

The feel of Earth,

So grain or coarse,

It's the words that we say,

When we make our choice.

The sounds of Flames,

Flickered or enraged,

That ring on your finger,

Marking us engaged.

Fire and Earth,

Water and Air,

These bring to life,

All the ways which I care.

But one element,

I did leave, remiss,

The joy in my Heart,

Brought to life by your kiss.

End of Line.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 25

At first she just felt cold. Her fingers flexed slightly and she felt her chest seize up violently. She was face down in some sort of grass, as she forced her aching body to roll onto her side. Huge coughing racked her body and she spit up what felt like gallons of water. After a few minutes the coughing spasms ended, her lungs raw from the experience, Ally Marshall rolled over onto her back, staring into the black sun overhead.

She was shivering and soaked to the bone, the sun still not casting as much heat as it should have been, but she was to hurt and to tired to try to even warm herself. Her dress was covered in blood and mud, tattered nearly beyond recognition. Her face and lip still ached, though the numbness in her hands had dulled the throbbing from her ripped fingernails. The last thing she remembered was falling into the tide of the river, those creatures, creatures like her father had been, coming after her. Ally dug the palms of her hands into the wet, grassy earth and pushed herself up. The river was calmer here, forking around a lazy corner, and she realized that she must have washed ashore.

Ally gingerly sat upright, her back side still sore, feeling the throbbing in her head, and shifted the scraps of her dress to cover herself as best as possible. She sat there for several minutes, letting some of the rawness leave her aching lungs and tracing the bruises and cuts on her face, arms, and ribs. Eventually though, Ally knew she had to do something. She stared emptily at the flow of the river, wondering what choices she had. Alone, hurt, and scared, she didn't have any family left. All she was left with was her. Hot, wet tears trickled down her face, leaving the echoes of salt at the corners of her mouth, and Ally cried. Her raw lungs began to ache again and she laid back down in the muddy grass and cried. For a long time Ally just laid there, and wondered if she hadn't been better off dying at the hands of that criminal with her family, or letting those creatures kill her, or better yet drowning in that damn river.

It was a long time before Ally moved again, she wasn't even sure if she had blackened out again or not. Her eyes were red and puffy, and despite the numbness in her limbs, much of the soreness had flown back into her bones. Ally attempted to pull herself upright, wincing with each movement. She felt her bare feet squish into the wet grass and she took a few shaky steps forward, stopping to hold herself up at a tree. Her dress hung limply at her side, still wet from her experience in the river. She hung onto the tree, letting the last bout of vertigo wash away and sucking deep breaths into her ragged lungs.

Eventually she settled down, the tears having dried on her face, and she looked up at the dead sun overhead. So many things in the last 24 hours had gone wrong. Her whole life was seemingly over. She only had one option, to make for the nearest town, Desperation. At least the Sheriff or Marshall would be there. She could tell them what had happened to her family, about the bandit, she could find someone to help her. Ally looked down the river bank and though the shrubs and trees and chose to follow the riverbank, it would be longer, but without shoes or any kind of protection, it should be safer. It would trail around to the trading port and maybe she could even find a boat or a ride to help her. It was better than walking through the wild barefoot. Ally set off then, the cold sun above her, and headed towards her last hope, towards Desperation.

End of Line.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Word Balloon: Blacksad

Hey all,

I quickly realized this month that in order for me to reach my goal of 30 blogs in 30 days, I am going to have to double up on the columns this month. Which I think will be okay, as I can make up for not having columns the previous two months. For this column I thought we would take a look at the best comic I purchased at the San Diego Comic Con this year, Blacksad, written by Juan Díaz Canales and drawn by Juanjo Guarnido. The volume I picked up at con is published by Dark Horse Press, though the series has been in publication in Europe for several years though this is it's first major distribution stateside. I remember looking through some French versions of the book years ago and not really getting the whole sense of the book, or really understanding the vibe of teh whole thing. Maybe I should point out though that I like to pick up European graphic novels while at con, even if they happen to not be translated. I first starting doing this with books like Sky Doll (which I reviewed on here last year) and The Bouncer, as an excersise where I would try to extrapolate the story based on the drawn action. It was a helpful tool in setting storytelling and pacing notes as I write. Strangely I remember at the time not being blown away by Blacksad those years past. This year though, Blair Butler, a comic book reviewer who works on G4TV (and whose opinion on comics I greatly respect), recommended the book to me personally, along with a few other fantastic comics. I picked up the book in a beautiful hardcover at con, this time with an English language translation. What I read blew me away.

Blacksad is a crime noir story set in the 1950's, though instead of humans, the story features anthropomorphic animals. John Blacksad is an anthropomorphic cat who also happens to be a classic noir detective. Dark Horse's collection features the three current books in print (with one due out in Europe later this year) compiled into a single trade. There are three different volumes, each on playing on classic 1950's story plots. The murder of a famous actress with ties to Blacksad's past, a story about racial intolerance, and another tale depicting Russian spies and stolen nuclear secrets. The stories are a well worn path, but writer Canales sets the book up in such a way that even though Blacksad suffers from the foibles of the classic noir detective, personality traits like an unflinching code of black and white ethics, the pursuit of an idealized justice and a propensity to protect women, as well as the pursuit of the truth no matter the consequence, the book is staged in such a way to make these compelling signature traits and not character or storytelling crutches or faults.

First let's take a look at the three different tales compiled in volume 1. The first story pits Blacksad in a murder mystery where he has to find out who killed his es girlfriend. The story is very much a staple of the detective genre, the hard boiled un-compromising detective, the rich mogul, the impotent police chief, and, oh yeah, the red hot bombshell. The second arc is much more of a political statement, though still rooted in the 1950's mentality of the show. It's a tale of political corruption and racism, white animals, or pure animals, against the mixed colors of the masses. It very much draws on the political turmoil of the 50's between the white and black cultural tension lines, while drawing on a little hint of leftover Nazism and Klan mentality. The villains are white polar bears, white ferrets, albino pigs, and throughout it all, like a any good noir story, a beautiful woman caught in teh middle who's allegiances are not quite what they seem. The third arc is a straight up political thriller, Russian spies stealing political secrets with our detective stuck in the middle of a real boiler. Add in a deadly femme fatale who wants to run away with Blacksad, and you spell all the elements of a classic noir thriller in the vein of Hitchcock.

Despite the easy familiarity of these traditional plot elements, writer Canales and artist Guarnido really find success in the presentation of the material. Canales shows a real range in adapting each anthropomorphic animal into the perfect real world counterpart. Whether its the slipperiness of a lizard hitman, the innocence of a distraught schoolteacher (a doe), the German Shepard of a police chief, the sultriness of Blacksad's ex lover, a fox, or even the die hard curiosity of our detective as a cat, each character is well thought out and completely formed. he even approached the "staple" stories of the noir genre with some outside the box thinking, something that is especially well done in the third arc with the Russian spy. What sold me though was that you were immediately immersed into this world and the fact that the main characters are animals no longer matter, you are deeply ingrained to the story by that point. It really adds a layer of subtext to each character, a level of relatability or at least as a point of reference, for each character to be a summary of the image that his animal archetype represent.

To get top that level of subtext though you have to have some really great art to go along with the series. Guarnido brings just that. From characters to background, he sets the mood and tone of the series. He really captures the look of New York or Las Vegas in the 50's and 60's, from design to costuming. It all pulls the work together to give it that 50's feel. His characterization is lush and vibrant, making them appropriately sexy, or funny, or tough, as the situation needs. I remember looking at the first big splash page in the collected and being blown away by the composition and color of the piece. It was amazing.

That's not to say the book doesn't have a few hiccups. Like I said it does suffer from some of the foibles of true genre work (though I feel like it elevates itself above standard noir tales). You won't be surprised by the direction of the story, though I do feel you will find some interesting twists in the tale. the weakest of the three tales is easily the racism tale, as it never really dives into the concepts of so many different types of species are prejudiced against other types simply based on skin or fur color. I realize that the writer is trying to tell a broad scope story about the pointlessness of measuring oneself against the skin tome of another, but when using animals it would have been just as easy to use animal species to tell the same point. I have heard that this was merely another means to demonstrate the futility of of the argument, but from my point of view it really just boils down to making the story more black or white, if you will pardon the pun.

All in all Blacksad is a really great comic carrying a flavor that you will not find anywhere else on this continent. It's so tough to find good translations of quality foreign comics as many of them don't get the same exposure that super hero comics do. There are some serious creators over there working on producing long form original graphic novels and its a shame we don't get to see more. Blacksad is a top quality book that tells a fantastic story with gorgeous art. Dark Horse continues it's trend of picking unique titles that fit outside the normal mainstream of capes and cowls by adapting this great work. Check it out and if you like it hopefully Dark Horse will release volume 4 in the coming months. The deluxe hardcover edition of the comic is gorgeous and should be available at most retailers or online- Blacksad, by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido from Dark Horse Press. You won't regret it.

End of Line.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Poetry: Every Passing Day

Hey all!

I gotta say, It hasn't been easy, but I'm currently on my 30 for 30 streak and I'm still on track, though really I need to start branching out in some different territory. By the 20th day its just going to end of being alternating Flash Fiction and Poetry posts. I've still got an idea for a few more columns, specifically a make up column or two on the Rewind or on the Word Balloon.

But I digress, let's dive into the origins of this poem in particular. It basically stems from a few objects. One is a poem I wrote a few months back called Seasons of Age, where I tell the poem as each stanza as a measure of time. I wanted to use that same motif to tell a story, in this case a love story. The thoughts of unrequited love and heartache, and even loneliness permeate a lot of my poetry because I think that's a way I deal with some of the personal demons I'm facing. The story in the poem today is a fictionalized version of things from my past, things that shaped some of my experience, and some complete artistic bullshit. You can decide what parts are real and what parts are not.

At any rate the poem is really telling s story of love through a series of chance meetings, what happens at each meeting, and how things wind up in the end. It's certainly not a poem that breaks any conventions in content, though I did think I broke some contextual contents, telling a much longer form poem that relays a story more than it relays an ideal. Maybe its a subtle difference, or maybe I'm just full of shit and waxing hypothetical. The bottom line is I wrote the poem and I hope you like it, or find something that you resonate with. Thanks for reading.

Every Passing Day

I met her once

When we were teens.

A schoolyard crush,

Had paved the scene.

Her dark red hair,

Dyed from brown,

With bluest eyes,

That upturned my frown.

I never did quite say,

The feelings hid inside,

Just bottled them up deep,

Wanting quite to cry.

She had her own sweet love,

Of whom I could not match,

So I pined away alone,

An itch I couldn't scratch.

I met her a second time,

Much years had passed us by,

Older now in life,

But how I wished to try.

We'd went our separate ways,

Unhappy years between,

Choices that we'd made,

Emotions turned obscene.

She'd found her true love,

But watched it turn so sour,

Divorced and deeply pained,

More alone with each hour.

A passing chance in hand,

Had brought her back to me,

But the moment wasn't right,

Her hurts to deep to see.

The third time I'd hoped,

Would be the fateful charm.

Months had ticked right by,

Since that wicked harm.

We talked and we chatted,

Throughout those many days,

Though never once did we meet,

As I whiled the hours away.

'Till that chance did come,

As the time fell right by,

When the moment came in close,

And I gave it one last try.

I asked her to meet with me,

Just two friends alone together,

And hoped my burning dream,

Could repel the trials it weathered.

The next time we did met,

Was that very night.

I took her hand in mine,

Finally pushing away the fright.

We laughed and we smiled,

Though I skirted the reason,

The things I wanted to say,

As my heart did threaten treason.

But as our meal drew shut,

The moment came so real,

I uttered those words I held close,

And finally told her how I did feel.

I poured out my soul,

The years of bottled remiss,

She took my hands in hers,

And sealed it with our first kiss.

I saw her everyday,

Creating this momentous life,

A love that we did share,

That of man and wife.

She filled my every hour,

Making up for those missed years.

As every passing day,

Gave way to newer cheers.

This life we so shared,

Intertwined in deepest love,

Happiness was never far away,

Shown down from up above.

It was worth all the wait,

This passion that did transcend.

I thought no price to high to pay,

To grow a love with no end.

The last time I saw my wife,

A bitterer day I'd not know,

This gathering of dearest friends,

Shared memories they did bestow.

Reflections of a joyous past,

Though I felt these salty frets,

They told those happy stories,

I knew only the regrets.

We never did grow old,

Or had the time we thought,

The years had just slipped away,

Opportunities now so fraught.

I said my goodbyes,

A last and cold farewell,

The flowers on her grave,

Me alone in this cold hell.

End of Line.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 24:

Cody backed up down the trail as the brothers slowly shuffled towards him. His eyes danced over them, from the wickedly blackened points of their fingers and teeth, to the oozing pus filled bullet wounds. He tried to avoid the bloody path of entrails streaming from Buford, but the dusty earth soaked up the gore leaving a trail back to the campsite that continued to draw his eye. His fingers had automatically thumbed back the hammers on his twin Colts, and he kept the guns trained on each of the advancing horrors. He managed to look skyward once more, at the burnt out sun overhead, and briefly wondered what fresh hell he had walked into.

Cody's mind worked in a whirl, how the fuck do you kill what you already shot dead? He could probably outrun the things, but his money was still back at the camp and he'd have to go around them. Worse yet, Cody didn't like running from fights. His mind raced for an idea as the creatures came closer, each shuffled step bringing them that much nearer to him, when he lit upon an idea. Cody narrowed his gaze, taking aim, each finger dancing over the trigger as he squeezed them repeatedly.

He watched as each of the creatures kneecaps exploded in a shower of black ichor. The monsters fell to the ground, buckling under their own weight, their legs a shattered mess of bone, blood, and seething pus. Cody calmly ejected the spent shells from his pistols, loading in new rounds as he approached the creatures. The brothers were still alive, trying to pull themselves towards him as he approached. His hands were a blur, as he re-sheathed one of the pistols and brought the second up, hearing that welcoming click as he chambered the next round.

He approached Buford first, watching as the brother clawed at the earth, trying to pull himself closer to Cody. His strewn entrails were pooling in lumps on the ground as it dragged his stomach across the ground. Cody eased around towards its side, as it futility clawed, trying to change directions towards him. He took aim at the outstretched claw and fired again, ending the hand in a shower of blood and sinew. The shattered limb fell to the floor as Cody took aim again, lining the barrel of the gun with Buford's head. He stared into the snarling maw, teeth gnashing at him, and fired once again. Finally the creature fell silent, it's body going motionless with one final shudder.

Cody took aim at the second brother then, as Beau had pulled himself to his knees. Beau didn't try to move toward him like Buford had, instead he let out a hissing screech, flinging bile and pus from his cracked jaw. Beau's claws opened and closed in anticipation as Cody walked closer, the screech lowering itself to an incessant hiss. Cody took aim again, the pistol just feet from Beau's snapping jaw, and fired. He watched the brother he had already killed once die again. He fired again, ensuring that there was little left of the brother's brain to merit whatever sorcery had re-animated it.

With the black sun overhead, Cody returned to the camp. The horses has fled in a panic, and after ten minutes he gave up on trying to find them. He stripped down his saddle, securing the goods he would need into his saddlebags, cramming in the meager essentials along with the stolen money. He looked at his rifle and left it, opting to take Buford's sawed-off shotgun. He added the spare bandoleer to his pack and headed down the trail towards Desperation. Now, more than ever, Cody wanted to get the fuck out of this country.

End of Line.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Hey all,

Today is the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. This was one of those indelible moments in history, one of those times where you always remember where you were or what you were doing when it happened. A watershed moment in infamy, as well as history, like the Kennedy assassination, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, or Pearl Harbor. It's a time in your life that will inevitably be carried with you, a reminder of loss, of fear, of tragedy, and ultimately of hope.

I know exactly where I was when the news first broke. Asleep. My old room mate bounded into my room and told me to wake up and said that America was under attack. There was so many things that we didn't know in those early days and hours. I remember groggily thinking that he was crazy but I shuffled out of bed and out towards the TV. I remember watching the news footage, at the time I had awoken, the first tower was the only one that had been hit. We watched with horror when the second one fell. The worry and panic and fear of the unknown knowing that another airliner had crashed into the Pentagon. I'll never forget the footage that I saw on TV that day, the smoke, the fires, the fear. Watching people leap from buildings to their deaths.

I had to go to work that day at noon. I know I dressed hurriedly to watch the news reports and drove to work listening to the news on the radio. Every station was covering it. I'm not sure we served a single customer that day or did any work at all really (though I'm sure we did) I just remember being rooted to the little TV feed we had in the store. It wasn't even a real TV, just a digital display that fed news bits to customers waiting in line. We turned on the radio and watched those news bits for information eagerly, wanting to know more about what had happened. I know my team at the store was scared and I remember saying a lot of things that at the time I didn't feel, telling them to stay positive and be hopeful and that everything was okay, when secretly I was afraid we were headed towards World War 3.

For me though, the one thing I remember most about 9/11 wasn't the acts of terrorism (though I'll never forget those) it was really the days and weeks after the attacks that stick with me. Never before had I felt such a sense of pride or patriotism so prevalent in this country. The whole nation had bonded together and it felt like there was nothing we couldn't do, no task to great. For the first time in my my life I understood the cost of freedom and the price of liberty. I imagine it's a lot like how people felt when Pearl Harbor was attacked. It was a singular act that united a nation.

Even in the trailing months and years as the fervor of patriotism gave way to the usually cynicism of politics, I never forgot those moments. In 2006 I got the chance to go to Shanksville, Pennsylvania a place important in the memories of 9/11 that never gets quite the same reverence that Ground Zero did. Shanksville is the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93, the 4th plane that was hijacked that day. The passengers aboard the plane had learned what had happened on their cell phones, about the towers and the suicide bombings, and they overpowered the hijackers and crashed the plane. For me this was always a moment that struck me during this time. This group of strangers came together to save people. While I am sure that they didn't envision crashing the plane as the inevitable outcome, they had to know what would happen when they attacked. It became to me a message of self sacrifice and of unequivocal hope to me.

To overlook the crash site and to see the memorial that people had erected themselves, messages written down to family members lost and little alters erected, it was a powerful experience. I never got to see Ground Zero in my one day in New York City, the weather was so bad it prevented us from doing any of the things I wanted to do. To be able to see this moment from such a pivotal event in my lifetime was awe inspiring and something that I will never forget. It's really the first time I understood truly what sacrifice meant. Of what freedom and hope and liberty really cost.

Today is the day where I remember what people have given up in the name of freedom. I salute those that serve, those who have served, and those who have sacrificed so that i may know true freedom. Thank you all.

End of Line.

Travel Blog: SDCC 2010: The Summary

Hey all,

I've been meaning for quite some time to write down my thoughts and ruminations from this years San Diego Comic Con since I epically failed doing an update from the actual event. I did not take an exorbitant amount of pictures this year, something I always MEAN to do but never in truth actually get around to. Still I have uploaded a few pics with captions down below for your viewing pleasure. I can easily say this, SDCC 2010 was one of the best comic con experiences I have ever had.

I've faithfully been attending Comic Con since 1992 and the key to making it a fresh and enjoyable experience each year is that you have to grow along with the show. Comic Con is such an undeniably different experience than it use to be, if your tastes and likes haven't evolved along with the show, then you are in danger of losing the core element that is Comic Con, an unabashed love of popular culture. Because that's what it is now. A pop culture con. Sure comics are still a huge part of that experience, but it's so much more. Comic Con is more now about the experience of whatever passion you have that falls under a much larger umbrella of popular arts, from films, TV, video games, actors, actresses, web features, Asian culture, manga, underground, urban art, and yes comics. It's really Nerd Prom.

This year was a markedly different experience for me. Every few years my interests change into what my driving force at Comic Con is. For a while it was solely comics, but over the years I have flirted with many other areas of interest, to manga, to films, to Star Wars, to my vinyl art phase of the past few years. This year though, was about meeting this online community of friends I have become a part of. A while back I joined a message board for an actress named Olivia Munn, co host of Attack of the Show. Over the past year as I've ventured deeper into social media and on the forum, many of these people have become friends to me.

This was the first year that a large number of them would be in attendance at Con. It was an opportunity to meet a group of people whom I had been chatting with for such a long time where we would all be in one spot at one time, a group of people gathered from all over the world. This was a unique opportunity to be sure, where we had members from New York, Texas, England, Australia, it was a chance for a disparate group of people to meet for the first time.

Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself though. It can't be said enough that my favorite thing of all about Comic Con is getting the chance to hang out with my best friend Jason for 5 days. We have both been attending Con since 1993 (I went one year before) and it is an ingrained part of our life, a tradition and custom that we both look forward to every year. This year was no different, despite his ardent claims of me "cheating" on him by hanging out with other members of the forum. = )

Wednesday is preview night at Con and it's usually my favorite night of the trip. Wednesday is usually the least crowded evening (except the waning hours of Sunday before close) and everything is fresh and new. It's impossible to see everything in teh slim 3 hour window you get that night, but it is plenty of time to make a few key visits and one of my favorite stops is artist Tara McPherson. Tara is an artist I've mentioned on the blog plenty of times before and she is always a wonderful person to talk with. I'm a huge fan of her artistic style and even her personal style. Her artwork is hugely influential in my writing, inspiring me personally. Also the fact that she remembers me every year is another bonus. I bought a great print that she designed this year that's hanging in my house and I plan on adding at least one more next year.

We made a few other pit stops and I got to chat briefly with a few of the forum members before we continued the rounds. Thursday was the big day for our meet up though. One of the forum moderators had talked to Olivia Munn and she had invited 16 of us to a special private meetup with her in one of the restaurants at her hotel. I can tell you that all day Thursday I was very anxious and excited to meet with her and I really don't remember much of the actual convention itself. I know that many of us meet the the G4TV booth to talk where I learned the details of the meetup. That night we all met Olivia at her hotel and she bought us all dessert. It was honestly fucking incredible.

She was completely down to earth, funny, and despite only really having 30 minutes to hang out with us, she spent much closer to an hour (maybe 45 min) talking, taking pictures, and joking with all of us. To be a part of that and to have her thank us for being fans was mind blowing and easily ones of my favorite comic con moments ever. Add in to the fact that this was also really the first time that many of us met for the first time in a group. It was pretty crazy. I think it was also a moment where I realized that anyone who would go to that kind of effort for her fans when she clearly didn't have to was someone who was very special. I appreciated it.

Friday was a day spent in signings, from an Olivia signing in the morning, to being able to chat with another artist that I love, David Mack, was a huge deal. David is the writer and artist of Kabuki and a beautiful painter. One of my favorite super heroes is Dazzler, this very 70's Disco themed hero that in all honesty is pretty cheesy (but then again that's a part of the appeal to me). David did a wonderful brush and ink sketch of her in my book that I really thought was amazing. Just watching his process and method was fantastic. The other truly epic thing that happened on Friday was meeting my friend Shawn. It's a well known fact my love for the 1992 Christian Slater film Kuffs is pretty unabashed. A running joke is my constant lording of the film over others incessantly. Shawn actually painted me a picture of Kuffs. It's gloriously epic. It's a three dimensional image of the films movie poster in black and white. Made from what I think is foam, he shaped each piece and painted it. It's one of the most awesome presents ever given to me. Friday night Jason, his girlfriend, Autumn, and a few other friends Matt and Lauren, all went out to eat at a great little English pub just outside the Gas lamp district.

Saturday was another big G4 day. They broadcast a 4 hour live show from the Convention and a bunch of us wanted to watch it. We managed to snag some prime standing room seats for the show. Many people crowd the booth, which itself is an elevated platform on the show floor, making it hard to be able to stand and watch the show as Fire Marshall's constantly clear the crowds for safety purposes. We got a prime seat though and manage to watch about 2 hours of the broadcast (and even made a few appearances in the background!) before being ushered along. From there we headed over to the joining hotel to watch the live Attack of the Show panel. It was another opportunity for so many of us to meet up again and chat. It was fun, funny and a great experience.

That night Olivia had a book signing of her autobiography. Olivia secured 16 VIP passes for those of us who had been at the dessert meet up and made time to thank us again and take pictures while she signed her book for us. It was kind of surreal being there and seeing other people look at us in all honesty, pretty jealously. She spent the first 15 minutes signing stuff for us and taking pictures again before she started on the rest of the line. This signing was at a Borders downtown and a lot of people had been there a long time waiting. After the book signing and much hugging, about 20 of us wandered down into the Gaslamp and ate a huge dinner at Rock Bottom. It was a great way to end the night and bond with these people, these friends.

Sunday was dedicated to a few things. One was entering a trivia contest at the G4 booth where I placed pretty well, walking away with several T shirts and a gift certificate to for $100. It was pretty cool. Finally my obsessive knowledge of Ninja Warrior and Harry Potter paid off in dividends! I also spent some time diving through some old comic bins looking for X-Men comics. My big comic kick lately has been writer Chris Claremont's X-Men run from the late 70's to the early 90's. I'm nearing in on completing his run and I managed to find a few key books that I needed. Along with that I helped Jason dive through the bins looking for classic horror comics and covers, he has really been drawn to the outrageous covers artists like Nestor Redondo and Joe Kubert did in the late 60's and 70's.

Add in these factors plus being able to hang out with my best friends, I truly loved comic con. I walked away with a couple of wonderful pieces of art, met two of my favorite people in the world, and had the chance to embrace an entirely new group of friends. Olivia's treatment of me at the dessert meet up was truly unique and one of the most memorable things I have ever done at con. Plus my friends being there. I am the type of person to who friendship means a lot to and the people I met at Comic Con were far nicer than I expected. And I got to hang out with my best friend Jason. A guy couldn't ask for a better trip. See you in 2011!

Olivia Munn Fan Group at her Book signing.

It's Kenneth Braghn, director of Thor.

One guys sweet Darkseid costume. I really wish I had snapped more costume pics this year.

Olivia at the dessert meeting, signing an autograph. I liked the very intimate nature of the pic. And of the event.

Ms. Munn and me at the dessert meet up.

End of Line.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Poetry: Echo of Feeling

Hey all,

Once again I have delved into poetry. I actually wrote this the day after I wrote my last poem, The Tempest. In the little forward I wrote to the poem I wrote a line describing poetry as an echo of feeling, heck I even mentioned it in a previous forward to the poem before that! The echo of feeling acts as a reminder of how the author felt in that moment or writing. That line stuck with me all night and I wanted to see if I could fashion a poem out of it. Only a very few times in writing poetry have I ever really decided on the title of the poem before I start writing, usually just in special theme poems, like when I have used this blogs title or in some of the numbered anniversary ones. Mostly I like to pull the title of the poem out of the writing, by finding a word or phrase that really captures the theme of the poem. Here I worked in a reverse order, but it was still a fun exercise. I enjoyed the process that came from trying to work one particular phrase into the poem without trying (to hard at any rate) to force it. As always, feedback is welcome.

Thanks for reading again guys and I hope to be able to continue to plug away at my goal of 30 posts in 30 days. Honestly, it's a little daunting.

Echo of Feeling

Strained my ears,

To hear the beat,

The sounds of love,

Ring incomplete.

I prick my skin,

A drop of blood,

Yet feel no pain,

Just a numbing flood.

I suck the wound,

This coppery taste,

As silent tears,

Trickle to waste.

My eyes do dim,

In darkest haze,

The streets of love,

Are a miring maze.

No map is there,

This road unled,

I stumbled down,

A path grown dead.

Companions left,

Who once lit the trail,

My hurts just churn,

No hope avail.

Now at the end,

I feel so lost,

Emotions once lush,

Have paid the cost.

There are no words,

To say goodbye,

My failures mount,

Nothing to try.

As all that's left,

Are a soul still reeling,

My broken heart,

But an echo of feeling.

End of Line.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 23

Father Santiago and Father Ruiz thundered down the stairs towards the screams. Enrico didn't even bother to try to hide the gun anymore, though in his left hand he drew the rosary beads on his waist up towards his lips. He uttered a prayer of forgiveness under his breath and kissed the beads and he descended the landing and looked in on the main room of the church. Brother Romero was trying to push more pews against the door with the help of young Pedro. Maria seemed to have gone into some kind of shock and was uttering the Lord's Prayer over and over in the corner. Enrico watched as Father Ruiz moved to help the others ply more barricades against the door. He watched them and then glanced at the gun in his hand, and felt himself thumb back the hammer for the first time in twenty years.

He took a long steadying breath and marched towards the barricaded doors. His brown robes sweeping behind him, he jumped on the first set of stacked pews and maneuvered as close to the door as he could manage. He could smell the fetid creatures even here, the smell of rot, of decay, of death. Their blackened pointed claws tore at the thin wooden frame of the church doors, the creatures not seeming to care that the splintered wood was ripping their sallow flesh. Enrico signed the Cross over his chest, and offered one last prayer before lowering the gun at the doorway.

"God.....please forgive me."

He jammed the old pistol into one of the gaps in the door and fired. He felt the gun buck in his hand once and old instincts took over as he thumbed back the hammer again. He kept firing until the gun sounded an empty click, pulling the trigger again and again. Enrico jerked the gun back and reached in the pockets of his robes for more rounds, when the creatures rammed against the door again. He lost his balance and fell backwards, his arms flailing wide. His left arm dragged against one of the splintered door fragments, slicing deeply into his arm and spraying blood against the battered door frame. Enrico let out a hissing wince and he struck hard against the stone floor of the church. He felt the pistol go scattering to his side and felt the blood trickling down his left arm. Brother Romero helped him into a sitting position, his mouth agape. He started to speak to Enrico, who pushed him aside and pulled himself towards the gun.

Suddenly, the creatures seem to surge in unison, a fervor gripping the beasts, as the door broke apart in splinters. The monsters tore at the pews and other barricaded material in a frenzy, as Father Enrico rolled over, filling his hand with the gun. He jerkily pulled himself up, hand slipping into his robes pockets for a few rounds of bullets, and backed away from the monsters. He glanced at the tear along his arm, it was deep and long and might require stitching, but he gritted his teeth and forced his fingers to move quicker, ejecting the empty rounds from the gun and loading in a fresh set. Enrico began backing away as the murderous beasts bucked at the barricade. It would only be moments now. Finally, the gun reloaded, Enrico snaked one arm around Brother Romero and drew him farther back into the small parish. He shouted at Pedro to get back as well.

"Everyone, quickly, find something to arm yourself with!"

"But... but what about our vows? We took an oath to never harm another living thing!"

Enrico cast a glance at Brother Romero, watching the fear, and deeper yet, belief, in the young man's eyes. He cast another glance at the monsters that were bursting through the doors. One creature in particular, wearing faded overalls and workboots, his long white beard tinged red with blood and entrails. His face was distorted and misshapen, black teeth glistening with gore and sharpened claws tearing at the pew with abandon. Even through the mutation he saw the man that had been his most devout parishioner, Rodrigo Santa Vera. Father Enrico briefly closed his eyes and sighed.

"Brother, today, there is no God."

Then he took aim.

End of Line.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Movie Time: Rewind: Woman of the Year

Hey all,

Every month (okay, okay I missed some time but I'm working on it!) I like to turn on the Wayback Machine and do a movie review of a film made before the year I was born, 1976. The last few columns have been about some of the great female actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age, and I thought for this column I should turn the spotlight on the actress many people would have considered the Queen of the Silver Screen of the Era, Katherine Hepburn. The film I picked to highlight was the first film she made with her most famous leading man, Spencer Tracy, called Woman of the Year.

Hepburn was a Hollywood maverick in the 1930's, an established box office draw in the early parts of the 1930's had already netted her two Oscar nods (she would net 12 total nominations with 4 wins over her career!), with one victory in 1933 for the film Morning Glory. She came from a wealthy and aristocratic family and often imbued her roles with the same sense of culture and breeding. Despite her upbringing though, she was very progressive in her personal beliefs and was very active physically. She was often a trendsetter for female empowerment,expressing her own opinions even when it wasn't a popular one and had a very prickly relationship with her fans and with the media, who could find her arrogant and off putting. This attitude eventually led to her problems in the latter part of the decade as the negative press led to a series of theatrical flops and the label of "box office poison." After severing with her former studio, RKO, Hepburn signed with MGM. She relaunched her career with the hot film Philadelphia Story with co-stars Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, landing herself another Oscar nod in the process. Signing with MGM also eventually led her to her partnership with Tracy, both professionally and personally.

Spencer Tracy was also a huge hit in the 1930's under contract with MGM. He had won back to back Oscars in 1937 and 1938 for Captains Courageous and Boys Town. Whereas Hepburn excelled in her own style, Tracy was known for his diversify and range. From prickly grumps to tormented souls, to love struck fools, Tracy excelled in any theatrical medium. Both he and Hepburn had long wanted to make a film together and when the chance arrived to make Woman of the Year, the chemistry between the two was so palpable, they started a secret off screen romance that lasted for over 2 decades until Tracy's death in 1967. This film also launched one of the most lauded acting duo's of all time, Hepburn and Tracy. The pair would go on to star in 9 films all together, the first of which was this months Rewind pick.

Released in 1942, the films stars Hepburn as Tess Harding and Tracy as Sam Craig. Both are journalists at a New York newspaper, Hepburn is the daughter of a diplomat and immersed in international political affairs and has studied abroad. Tracy is a blue collar sportswriter who has worked his way up in the paper. The two begin to clash in their respective columns, specifically over baseball, but as Tracy educates Hepburn on the rules of baseball, a romance blossoms, which quickly leads to an engagement and marriage, despite their wildly different backgrounds. They quickly find a disagreement in the marriage though over having children. Tracy is ecstatic at the concept of having a biological child, and is crestfallen when he discovers that Hepburn isn't pregnant, but rather has adopted a young Greek orphan, who Tracy can't communicate with due to the language barrier..

On the night that Hepburn is to be awarded the prestigious Woman of the Year award, the couple has an argument. Hepburn wants Tracy to accompany her to the dinner and she insensitively insists that the bellboy can look in on the young orphan in their care. Tracy decides to stay with the boy, mortifying Hepburn who is afraid of what people will say when her husband doesn't attend the event with her. She leaves for the banquet, and Tracy decides to return the boy to the orphanage and walks out on the marriage.

The couple are estranged until Hepburn's father and her aunt (who had raised her) announce they are getting married after years of ignoring their feelings and making the same mistakes. The words at the ceremony ring true to Hepburn and she returns to Tracy's home in a last ditch effort to prove that she can be good wife, and a good journalist, at the same time.

On the surface Woman of the Year is very much a romantic comedy that has been told many times over. Star crossed lovers from different worlds meet and fall in love, have hardships, and reconcile. It's not so much the story that matters, but the chemistry. Hepburn and Tracy have a dynamic rapport between them, and the story of Woman of the Year has an echo even in their real life romance. Tracy was a devout Catholic and believed that divorce was not an option, despite being estranged from his wife. Though just like in the film, both Tracy and Hepburn came from completely different walks of life, Hepburn's blue-blooded aristocratic upbringing, Tracy very much the blue collar workman. Despite their different backgrounds though, Woman of the Year launched a 20 year romance that both a known relationship in Hollywood and teh media, yet never commented on by either actor due to Tracy's beliefs. Even at Tracy's funeral in 1967, Hepburn did not attend out of respect for his family. It was a strange and dynamic relationship, but the love each actor had for each other could be felt through the screen.

Woman of the Year is but one of nine pictures the duo made together. Some would argue that the pair made better films, like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, or Adam's Rib, but I'd argue that none was more important. Tracy brought Hepburn down to Earth, and Hepburn made Tracy bigger than life. The two fed off each other in such a way that each film that made was better because of the sum of the parts, they had the ability to elevate a script beyond the standard trappings of convention and find a deeper chemistry. Woman of the Year is a wonderful light romantic comedy powered by two incredible performances. It's the film that proved Hepburn was still a viable box office threat by giving her a third Oscar nod, and its a film that continued to build on Tracy's reputation as an actor who could hold his own in any circumstance, even against the formidable Katherine Hepburn.

Woman of the Year is fun, light, and deeply enjoyable. I encourage you to check it out sometime, either on TCM or via a rental. It's a classic romantic comedy by two actors just coming into the prime of their game. Hepburn is light and serious, straddling a line of aristocrat and fool, deeply in love, yet unsure of how to really be in love. Tracy is a mixture of exacerbated romantic and realist, also deeply in love, but unsure of how to stay married to such a strong willed woman. It's the very definition of compromise, and the very definition of romance. The film is very much a blend of light hearted fun and quality script writing and acting. It's a thoroughly enjoyable picture, check it out. Woman of the Year, with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, from MGM in 1942 and one of the studios biggest box office success. It indelibly holds up today and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

End of Line.