One For The Road ( story ) … Stephen King

The title refers to the flask of brandy a man named Booth brings along as he, his friend Tookey and a stranger named Lumley venture out into a winter blizzard to rescue Lumley’s wife and daughter. They’re stranded in his car, stuck in the snow, “six miles south” of Tookey’s Bar.

This is a tale, straight-forward but for a funny flashback about a drunken pulp truck driver, that might’ve been even more engrossing than it is if it’s concept weren’t buried in vampiric folklore. The plot rolls along a path of realism until the end, where it starts to get silly.

my rating : 4 of 5

1977

review : Night Shift ( book ) ... Stephen King

video review : Maycee Barber versus Alexa Grasso at UFC 258

video review : Maycee Barber versus Alexa Grasso at UFC 258

This is the UFC 258 bout I anticipated the most and it doesn’t disappoint. I was rooting for Alexa Grasso but would’ve bet on Maycee Barber, partly because of her confidence. She said she’d become the youngest champ in The UFC, but apparently predicting The Future isn’t one of her skill sets.

She wins Round 3; Joe Rogan commends her for that comeback effort; and a 5-rounder might’ve went her way, but Alexa Grasso takes the first two. I like watching her (Grasso) fight; she’s so cute and reserved; and she seems to be getting better. Who would’ve thought she’d dominate on the ground?

my rating : 4 of 5

2021

audio review : Courage ( song ) … Lianne La Havas

Lianne is lonely, “terribly lonely”; bewitched with memories of a past romance. She still talks with that special someone occasionally, but “I lose my head every time we speak, so I sing instead all of these melodies.”

She describes her feelings of desolation with the metaphor of being high up on some sort of cliff, afraid to climb down, which is a weird comparison, but it’s a nice song, thanks mostly to her aforementioned vocal melodies.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

audio review : Lianne La Havas ( album ) ... Lianne La Havas

audio review : Mad Izm ( song ) … KRS-One + Channel Live

Izm is a New York/Jersey street term for marijuana, but, as far as Channel Live and KRS-One are concerned, smoking it seems to also be a metaphor for showcasing your rap skills. With that, The Blastmaster easily outsparks his pupils over a boom-bap beat he apparently produced himself. “Switch me; mix me; somebody get me,” he warns, “Don’t let me rip out my clothes like Bill Bixby.”

my rating : 4 of 5

1994

video review : Unidentified : Inside America’s UFO Investigation [ Season 2 ]

video review : Unidentified : Inside America's UFO Investigation [ Season 2 ]

This second season of Unidentified is a slight improvement over the first in that it seems to repeat itself a lot less. The Tic Tac UFO is revisited, but Lue Elizondo and Chris Mellon also cover several new (other) cases.

The best parts are when the eyewitnesses; the supposedly unanimous ones of which could be easily identified; tell their stories over visual recreations. The Airline Encounters and Triangle Mystery episodes are particularly fascinating.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

audio review : No Wonder I ( song ) … Lake

I probably would’ve went with a snappier title like Clouds or Petals, but perhaps that’s just me being nitpicky. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more placid song with drums in it. Here they act as a mental metronome as a nature girl takes in the day.

She’s “walking by cherry blossoms in the sky”, excited “to be living” but “tired of talking”, so she hums “like washing machines thru the window”. She’s not alone though. There seems to be hints of heterosexual romance, but the implications aren’t clear.

my rating : 4 of 5

2013

audio review : Love Me Not Love Me Now ( song ) … Ryce + Planet Girl

It sounds like the Girl is saying Love Me Now three times; one of which would make for a song title that’s a lot less awkward and more grammatically correct, thus better, than it actually is. Still the melody of that chorus, sang over a warm summer beat led by what sounds like an old ukelele, is dreamy and delightful. Ryce sounds good too, especially when he too starts to sing.

The song; a quintessential romantic Love song; could easily be a classic if it weren’t so unconventional. It’s not just the title. The structure; a 16-bar chorus followed by an 8-bar verse followed by an 8-bar bridge, then back to the chorus with no ad-libs or anything significant added to peak it out; makes it come across as more of a demo. That’s a shame given how damn groovy it is as is.

my rating : 4 of 5

2019

video review : Dominick Cruz versus Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207

video review : Dominick Cruz versus Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207

Dominick Cruz is the better trash talker; the lead-up to this fight was even more entertaining than the fight itself; but Cody Garbrandt gets the last laugh, sometimes literally as he mocks his opponent for nearly the entire bout, displaying some slick dance moves in the process. Rounds 3 and 4 are especially tough for the now former Bantamweight Champion, who’s knocked down and nearly out more than once.

my rating : 4 of 5

2016

Natural Jif Peanut Butter Spread : Creamy

Natural Jif Peanut Butter Spread : Creamy

The word Natural can be awfully deceiving on a food product, but this ingredients list is impressive in its simplicity. It’s just peanuts, sugar and palm oil with a hint of salt and molasses.

It’s the molasses that gives it a bit more sweetness than other brands. It’s the ratio of palm oil to peanuts that makes it a smooth and Creamy “spread”, which I prefer to regular peanut butter.

my rating : 4 of 5

audio review : Deep Down ( song ) … Paul McCartney

It’s what sounds like jazzy pipe organs; Paul McCartney was wise enough to keep them looped; along with funky drums, a Deep bassline and a lively horn section that make this song as groovy as it is.

If it isn’t party music, it’s music to prepare to party to as the old-timer announces a set of “wanna/gonna” plans that include picking a woman up and getting “a bite”, whether with or of her isn’t specified.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

audio review : McCartney 3 ( album ) ... Paul McCartney

audio review : Topaz ( song ) … The B-52s

Topaz’s one glaring imperfection is that, while the first chorus section lasts sixteen bars, the second one stops at eight. It’s an artistic decision that makes for an awkward progression. Swapping them would’ve been better. The cut is repeated for the third verse; it’s half as long as the others; but that one is much more forgivable.

The song, which has The B-52s soaring ecstatically thru the universe “faster than the speed of love”, is a gem otherwise. The girls; Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson; sound delightful as they harmonize nearly every vocal in their signature style. Fred Schneider, whose vocals are limited to chorus ad-libs, also adds a nice touch.

my rating : 4 of 5

1989

audio review : Cosmic Thing ( album ) ... The B-52s

audio review : Summertime ( song ) … Will Smith

It would be hard to go wrong over a sample of Kool And The Gang’s Summer Madness; a song that, in contrary to its title, could induce even the purest of grammarians to use “chill” as an adjective; in any case. Still The Fresh Prince deserves props for updating the scene from a general sense of summer to a hot day on the streets of urban America. “Girls out hunting and guys doing likewise,” he observes, “honking at the honey in front you with the light eyes.”

It’s “a groove that soothes and moves romance,” which for most of the college crowd is code for sex. Others are satisfied simply showing their fashion and beauty; “fresh from the barbershop, fly from the beauty salon”; playing basketball, eating barbeque or just partying and having fun. Will Smith and the gang; his background boys provide a fitting soundscape; cover it all, but it’s the girl singing; for her, it’s “time to sit back and unwind”; that keeps you hooked.

my rating : 4 of 5

1991