‘Very special people’

“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here — although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas. But you know what? I like you. Because you are special.”

~ President Donald Trump to two WWII veterans and Navajo code talkers Continue reading

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Zydeco music: How I learned to love it

Louisiana is maybe one of the few places where the accordion is taken seriously, not merely as some kitsch novelty in a hipster band.

There was a comic from a while ago:

“Welcome to heaven,” an angel says to newly arrived souls. “Here’s your harp.” The panel below, “Welcome to hell, here’s your accordion.”

I really like the accordion, actually. It’s such a bizarre instrument. But like it or not, it’s hard to take seriously, unless you’re a big fan of traditional European polkas. It looks and sounds so goofy.

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Learning Español and looking like an absolute psychotic while doing so

OK, so here’s the deal.

I haven’t been writing nearly enough on my website and I feel hella guilty about that. I won’t apologize because I pay way too much money for this domain and it’s just not worth the humiliation. Buuuuuut, I do intend to start writing a little more, because lol CONTENT #amirite.

Maybe this is a new leaf.

Speaking of new leaves, I stepped outside the other day and the weather was cool for Louisiana (yes I’m still living in the South). It was below 80 degrees at noon. When I came back home from a light day of work, I decided to do my usual 5-mile run around the Louisiana State University Lakes and found that I shaved more than five minutes off of my last 5-miler. (This is about learning new languages, just bear with me.)

Exciting things are in the air, for better or worse…

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A few of my favorite things: ‘The Return’ of MST3K is an improvement, but nothing like the original

I’m still only in Saigon,” likely won’t be a phrase that we hear in the not-too-distant future. At least not when Jonah and the bots are making “Harry Potter,” “Parks & Recreation” and Facebook references.

I was laying on a mattress in the living room of my my grandparents’ old home in the country when I was first introduced to the absolute best show on earth: Mystery Science Theater. 3,000. Continue reading

Odds and Ends: My photos that didn’t quite make Instagram in 2016

I tried to do more photography than ever in 2016, and for the most part I think I succeeded.

I made a resolution to take more photographs of people that year. To be bolder. More in your face. To tell better stories with my photos. To be more concrete and less abstract.

Looking back I made good on that resolution. Many of my photos in 2016 are filled with people. Continue reading

Leia: The only death that hurts

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Among the many celebrity deaths that overwhelmed us in 2016, Carrie Fisher’s passing is the only one that truly hurt me.

Muhammad Ali and David Bowie’s deaths, while sad, didn’t throw me off. People die. Some people die sooner than others. And when you spend your years indulging in copious amounts of cocaine (such as Bowie) or having your skull hammered by world-renown heavy weights (such as Ali), it’s a wonder some of these people lived as long as they did.

My only remaining grandparent died in 2016 as well. Marion Kokoska died at the age of 95 alongside family members in Augusta, Maine. I was upset, but I could keep the lump in my throat at bay. I knew it was coming. So did my family.

Death and taxes,” as the saying goes.

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11 great horror movies made in the last 11 years

Article originally appeared in The West Side Journal’s Oct. 27, 2016, edition. I enjoyed writing it, so I thought I’d share.

There is nothing better than a great selection of movies and a large bowl of popcorn to properly enjoy your Halloween, so I’ve decided to provide you with a list of my favorite horror movies to watch this year.

Growing up, my dad and I used to sit down and watch the old black and white films during Halloween. They were the monster movies, usually starring the werewolf, Dr. Frankenstein, Count Dracula and other ghouls, like Vincent Price and his mustache. As much as I have grown to like those movies, I think we often overlook a lot of the more recent horror movies (and sometimes for good reasons).

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