Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Great Covid Sofa. TV and Movie reviews.

 For the first time last week I had Covid. I've avoided for four years, took every precaution yet still lived my life from 2020 to now.

I, even, in the pre-vaccination period (you remember: six feet apart, one-way supermarket aisles, anti-bacterial spraying the ATM but also everything else... yes those things) sprayed someone with hospital grade spray. Here's the story. A friend worked at an animal hospital and thinking we were in pre-apocalypse status gave me the hard-core product. At the market when someone repeatedly didn't get out of my space after several requests then warnings I took the spray bottle I had hung on the push bar of my shopping cart and sprayed that person. I wasn't proud but it was 2020. I stayed safe! This post is about TV/movie reviews and not my becoming unhinged, so here goes.

So what I've watched this week and some of my takeaways.

FARGO SEASON FIVE: I don't know about you but someone like Ole Munch shows up anywhere in the universe, he is evaluated and placed in long term psych hospitalization care. I don't care if he's immortal or not, there are some red flags. Just his babbling alone---why did people put up with it? NOT even one said, "What the fuck are you saying?" You think that would happen at least once.

HOUSE: I never watched it when it was on. How times have changed. Fargo's Sheriff Tillman's misogyny meant bad, awful, terrible guy. Dr. House's meant quirky good guy. Damn you, Woke Nation. Anyway, this is an obvious pre-streaming show, and the spoiler is, I can tell you every plot of every episode.

  1. Introduce character that drops nearly dead in first five minutes.

  2. House's staff have theories that are always wrong because....

  3. Dr. House has outrageous diagnostic and treatment number 1.

  4. House argues with Dr. Cuddy.

  5. Patient seizes every episode when treatment 1 doesn't work.

  6. Dr. House meets someone quirky and placed in show for humor in the Clinic.

  7. Dr. House has an epiphany for an new rare/outrageous treatment 2 after dealing with same quirky character placed in the episode.

  8. Treatment works, because if it didn't the patient will die.

  9. House's staff are fine with being wrong every episode because House is always right.

  10. Dr. Cuddy says something to House with tail between her legs.

  11. Nearly dead X 2 patient walks or rolls out of hospital accompanied by House and/or House's staff.

  12. Roll credits.

20/20: The perfect sick show. You can dose off at any point and go in and out of consciousness and they review the entire episode before and after every break. You don't miss anything. Also, good show for Memory Care Units for the same reason.

Silver Linings Playbook: Perfect sick movie since I've seen it three times before---figured I can dose in and out of this one too. Problem was I got involved and didn't sleep.

Better Call Saul, Season Six, and only Season Six: Great rewatch. Still a bit weak of Saul to just give up at the end? Did it prove he can change, because that's not his character. Also this is a better written show than the great Breaking Bad. There, I said it. 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: How is McMurphy locked up and Ole Munch out and about in the Midwest killing people? WT freaking F.

The Midnight Sky: I took a bad week to go off my anti-depressants and watch this one.  Good movie but is there any hope? This dystopian film is summed up by George Clooney's characters' quote. He was perhaps the last living human on earth, after "the event" telling those still up in a space ship who can't land on the failing, uninhabitable planet, "We didn't do a very good job of looking after the place while you were away." The thought, "Covid killing me isn't this bad," crossed my mind. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

It's 2024 and I still have opinions. Feel free to have your own about David Portnoy.

I ran into this review of a pizza place from the many rabbit holes I jump into via the internet. Let me open by saying I’m all for reviews, and also reviews which are negative---not everyone gets a trophy.

What I am not for is douchebags. Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy comes off as a douchebag in this clip especially since he was so psyched that it went viral. He is so excited that the clip was named “Best of 2023” by his own website. He is very proud of how this went down.

Let’s start with my own review of douchebags, and how to argue like one. Beginning with how Portnoy changes his pizza review from bad to horrible after the interaction with the shop owner, Charlie Redd. “Now, I can say this pizza is trash,” he says afterwards their exchange. That’s like a writer taking someone’s parking spot and that driver goes on Amazon and leaves a bad review. You don’t get to do that. Bad reviews are earned. So, that is a total douche move.

Redd wasn’t on his best behavior either. When you get a bad review you really should let it slide. Redd started out just fine in his defense, basically saying, “Enjoy the pizza, you shouldn’t judge it based on one bite, and I don’t appreciate what you do to small businesses.” Portnoy’s response is how he actually helps so many small businesses, as he is trashing this one. Now this is like a racist defending himself that he can’t be a racist because he has a lot of black friends. By the way Portnoy has had to defend himself from being accused of being a racist and misogynist, but that wasn’t my original point. That’s just a side note.

Honestly, I’m not picking sides, but I will admit I was jaded right from the start of the video when Portnoy in a rather privileged way directed to his camera man to get a shot of The Buffalo Exchange where he bought his 1985 Frat-boy Hawaiian shirt. It's not the first "I am better than you," moment in this video, but it set the tone.

All in all, the video shows Amerika at its most Karen-esque “finest”. The entire I can stand here and be an asshole because it’s public street…falls into the “I have my rights to do whatever the fuck I want,” rhetoric. Portnoy shows a real ugly side, as (seen on video) his fans fawn over him during and after (with edits obviously added.) I certainly understand how this works, while at the same time certainly don’t understand. I still don’t understand the Trump phenomena, and this is just a small shadow on that big highway, but it is reflective of society as a whole. When Redd brings up a particularly unflattering New York Times article about Portnoy, his response, “Oh, there you go. THERE YOU GO,” before attempting an insult on how Redd looks, (fat) is also telling. Having no accountability for behavior and becoming the victim because instead, is also right in line with ugly post-modern American behavior. Then the final defense from Portnoy…that he is rich. "Sold for a million, bought back for a dollar," is actually really good business. In fact, it is great great buisness. Good for him! Hurray! Here's where it's off topic: To use it as point in an argument is very douchey. “I have more money than you so STFU?” Is that the point here? My guess is the argumentative point is a more general, “I am better than you.” Of course, it is, especially when he states, “You’re posting me buddy,” when Redd films him, as Redd in his eyes is just a tiny little speck in the great big world of he and Barstool Sports.

In another article, since I'm down the hole, Barstool Sports tells all of us how to do dry January, and it involves not being dry at all! Yippee, you can drink AND give up alcohol at the same time. Man, I’ve wasted my time being sober and not drinking, when I could have been drinking this entire time.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Coming Soon (ish) on Audible, Spotify, and Apple Audio Books, Joe the Salamander. ORIGINAL AUDITION HERE

Coming Soon on Audible, Spotify, and Apple Audio Books

Joe the Salamander, currently in production

Produced and voiced by Shannon Clare McDermott​: 

Actor. Voiceover. Author. Singer. Autistic Self-Advocate

Below is the audition sample.

UPDATE: Released 2.13.2024

and also COMING  in 2024, Grand Slams: The Coming of Eggs Story, and The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Reading/podcast Appearances, 2024


Sun, January 21, 2024, 2 PM EST, Harvard, Ma.

New England Poetry Club Reading, Poetry at Fruitlands

Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hills Farm.
Harvard, Ma

reading with Mary Buchinger, and John L. Hogerson

hosted by David Miller

Thur, February 8, 2024, 7 PM EDT, Mansfield, Ma.

Pour Me a Poem Series

51 Park Street
Mansfield, Ma.

Featured Poet
Hosted by Sara Letourneau and Wayne-Daniel Berard


Sat, February 10, 2024, 4 PM EDT, Essex, Ma.



59 Main Street
Essex, Ma.

Hosted by Alexandra Kirby


Wed, February 28, 2024, 7:30 PM EDT, Lynn, Ma.

Speak Up at Walnut Street Cafe

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Walnut Street
Lynn, Ma.

Featured Poet
Hosted by "Call Dave" Somerset


Tue, March 21, 2023, 7 PM EST, on Zoom

Tewksbury Writers Night Out, Tewksbury Writers Club

Chat about writing with Dale Phillips
on Zoom, contact me for link


Thur, June 27, 2024, 7 PM EST, Southbridge, Ma.

reading at Poetorium Series

Starlite Bar and Gallery
39 Hamilton Street
Southbridge, Ma

Featured Poet


Wed, July 10, 2024, 8:30 PM EDT, Lynn, Ma.


Speak Up at Walnut Street Cafe

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Walnut Street,
Lynn, Ma

Hosted by "Call Dave" Somerset