The Mets had a decent July (over .500) after a horrible May-June nosedive. So they are at least partially sellers -- Famalia for international slot money and prospects (to As with mixed reactions; talk teams weren't too interested) and iron man Cabrera for a promising prospect (Phils). Cespedes came back for a day and then left to get heel surgeries with talk of significant time missed in '19 while they prevaricated about the details. To be continued? Me? I think you trade Wheeler if a top prospect is provided. Meanwhile, NY Daily News fired a bunch of people, decimating the sports section. Kristie Ackert doing Yankee games now. ETA: Forgot to mention a signing of a decent OF off trash heap -- Austin Jackson -- DenDekker simply not hitting and multiple other outfielders hurt or hurting. No trade deadline action -- I'm quite annoyed they didn't trade Wheeler at the height of his value. They had a blowout & Reyes pitched last night [7/31] -- final score was 25-4.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Sometime around the last decade, NYPL had reserves and easy computer access of accounts etc., allowing more easy access. Used to call libraries to see if things are on the shelf! Anyway, Malcolm Nance's new book has a lot of good info on Russia's war on democracy and Trump's place in it, but only skimmed it -- the writing style was a bit too heavyhanded. Borgen ("The Castle"), a Danish t.v. series on the then fictional first woman PM is very good so far. Lost interest in the old movie The Dark Mirror; Summertime was good.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
This was originally released tied to the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. publication of the original and is an interesting discussion of the book and its place in our culture. I found it because the author of an account of a real life kidnapping of a teenage girl referenced in Lolita was recently on C-SPAN. Read the novel years back and recall it was good, one of a few classics that I enjoyed. I saw a bit of the first movie and think I saw the second; will re-watch it. Meanwhile, Runaway Romance was overall a nice trifle. Ending a tad abrupt. And Also: One reference in this book is Pretty Baby, the Brooke Shields movie that takes place in a brothel. I watched most of it and it is very good. Remarkable performance from a young Shields, including let's say much more nudity than in her teen island fantasy film. I later saw some of Baby Doll (good iconic shot of her in a baby crib) and it was good though think you got the general feel after an hour. Or, maybe I lose patience these days.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Why did evangelicals support Trump? John Fea, dissenting evangelical history professor argues: “the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and a nostalgic longing for a national past that may have never existed in the first place.” The alternative is hope, humility and history. A key doctrinal point: he argues Christians are to fear only God.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Adam & Eve products are so mainstream that I have seen advertising for them on television, but here I reference their erotic movie line found on demand and late nite cable (standard soft porn look but extended sex scenes with realistic sound instead of cheap porn music and overall decent production values). I appreciate the attempt to provide some serious effort while obviously providing the basic stuff (as usual, no penises or direct close evidence of penetration; know of at least one film here that had an alternate cut did show that while one porn actress spoke of it simply not happening).
This one has a café (with the usual sensual baking mixed in) and college setting. It works pretty well with the most notable thing a nice ending involving a poem being read with a montage of the characters being played. I think just plain "normal" plot with a bit less glossy filters (people look like magazine photos in the sex scenes) would be a nice idea. There was a good episode of an erotic analogy about a couple trying to conceive that was very good and sexy too. To each their own, but like my desire for at least a token story, just my tastes. BTW, I don't watch This Is Us, but Chrissy Metz was charming on Colbert.
Monday, July 16, 2018
The first scheduled summer order is a list of rehearings denied. A discussion on why they have only Catholics and Jews (Garland would have followed the trend). A fair cross-section would have a non-believer and a couple non-evangelical Protestants (so phrased to deal with the Protestant/Catholic mix already there). And fictional SCOTUS: The Good Fight.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
A Danielle Steel (read one other, years back, with a WWII plot) for the times. It starts with young Meredith's father going to be a lawyer in D.C. during WWII, be a lawyer at Nuremberg but still being very conservative, her grandfather getting on the Supreme Court (replacing Murphy or Rutledge), her going to Vassar and meeting a Holocaust survivor (whose life we also follow) and growing into a lefty lawyer (helped by a large inheritance!), including getting involved in some 1960s events. I got interested in the characters and liked the historical plot. It is written in a straightforward style but has some very serious material. Starts to get a bit boring in its episodic way later but nice final plot device. No sex scenes! ETA: This is a book that could have benefited from a brief message from the author regarding her research and so forth. Not sure of a reference to a "computer" in a small law office c. 1970. But, overall, the history seems accurate enough.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Early 1980s t.v. show that is this week's Decades Channel "binge" that has a great theme song and pretty good cast (and sorta a Meghan Markle look-a-like lawyer love interest). It's not quite The Most Wonderful Time of the Year good, but Christmas Connection with the same female lead is a charming Hallmark Channel movie as they replay Christmas movies.
Friday, July 13, 2018
The author has a new book out about the Kiowa Indians and their struggle to retain their religious traditions. But, this one was the one at the library now. Interesting subject (focused on New York prisons), but was a trudge at some point in its short page count (under 200 pages). Felt repetitive and perhaps better for a shorter monograph.
Abella Danger stars in Erotic Obsession, which has some charms, including a little bit of a twist ending that I liked. She has an interesting look. It is available on demand and has a notice before it starts that promotes the "natural sound" (how I would phrase it) aspect. Not talking high art, but appreciate effort not to look and sound cheap. Involves a kooky roommate. Good scenes, last is the best. The husband is a familiar face. And Also: Today's date. The remake of the movie was decent. "Final Friday" actually tried to have plot. The series was okay. Maybe the planned Child's Play series will work.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Borrowed a DVD of film with "It" girl Clara Bow with a documentary produced by Hugh Hefner (!) included. Fairly interesting doc and she's very good. It is actually pretty easy to watch the silent film (didn't seem forced or anything) though after about a half hour was a bit bored with the plot and skipped to the last reel. Amusing with her roommate quiet believable as a sick mother she filled in for and thus started the plot. Her love interest is a bit old for her.
In his last book, Bart Ehrman touched upon the dark side of Christianity; this book by someone who is a daughter of a monk and nun gives a fuller account. I found this strong criticism. A positive review here. It did have a flavor of a polemicist (she is a classicist) but the matter does warrant balancing so there is a place for it. Think it could have been crisper too; seemed a bit repetitive and rambling. Book best read with a disconcerting eye.
Monday, July 09, 2018
Me in 2006: "Meanwhile, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as circuit judge. Sigh." ETA: Don't have much to say about the pick other than it is really a red meat pick as compared to a more bland Federalist Society type (basically the back-up option, Hardiman). His pro-executive power writings (Clinton not being investigated edition) will be an easy target. His opposition to agency deference can be a time bomb waiting to go off. Basically, not a "stolen seat" in the Gorsuch way, but tainted, especially since Trump is under investigation. I guess to be on the safe side, no "Justice" for him either.
Sunday, July 08, 2018
Saturday, July 07, 2018
Saw this during my free Amazon Prime month. Love develops between a campaign staffer and the Republican candidate's new secret weapon: a singing minister's daughter. Overall, well done with good singing with a good amount of political satire mixed in. ETA: Here is a positive with an asterisk review; I did find the kisses weirdly ill at ease. How would I know, but the "obviously written, directed, and produced by a straight man" line seems a bit unfair. I think the other characters were decent relatively speaking. Makes sense for the daughter to be ill at ease given her upbringing. Did wonder why the two sane women were in the campaign. The positive reaction suggests some lesbians liked it too.
Friday, July 06, 2018
This very good (though maybe can be shorter) Ashley Judd film about dealing with horrible depression turns out to be directed by the same woman behind the charming (with a serious side) Mostly Martha. The DVD extras has good interviews with four cast members.
Wednesday, July 04, 2018
"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
Just a historical quote for the day, right? I wrote various entries about today over the years and I'll just cite the one about Danielle Allen's excellent book on the DOI. Happy 4th!posted some remarks and they included a reference to Emma Lazarus.
Tuesday, July 03, 2018
The big thing now is who will be nominated (next Monday has been flagged for whom will get the rose) to replace Kennedy (stepping off at the end of July). Though SCOTUSBlog doesn't even cite it on their calendar, SCOTUS did announce their three official summer order days. Nothing much usually really happens but just a footnote. Other spare orders possible. And Also: Rick Hasen flagged, wondering if it was on account of illness, that O'Connor didn't provide an official statement on Kennedy's retirement. But, Souter didn't either. He gave brief statements on Stevens' retirement and Scalia's death.
Monday, July 02, 2018
Sunday, July 01, 2018
The federal courts cover a lot of ground but Roe (Casey) is always a major concern. Here's a brief summary, including four states ready to ban abortion when they can. Meanwhile, on state grounds, Iowa struck down a three day waiting period. Excellent opinion, especially discussing the financial burdens and equal protection argument. What will SCOTUS do? I don't know, but figure directly facing up to a broad ban might take time, but a TRAP protection decision fairly expected. Next few years: waiting for the other shoe to drop.