Little Lost Boys... and the Adults Who Get Lost Pursuing Them ("TV Tuesday")

"TV Tuesday"... It’s our nature to be sympathetic to others—particularly when they’re going through something horrific. (We could have a big discussion about whether it’s really that altruistic of us, or if the truth is more that we’re just relieved it’s them and not us—which in turn frees us up to feel badly for them—but let’s just leave it as a basic human response for our purposes here.)
The first season of “The Missing” (which originally aired on BBC One and Starz, but is now available to stream on Amazon) gives an intelligent, thoughtful look at what happens when a child vanishes… what the terrifying experience is like for the parents, how the police proceed, how the media respond, and how everyone else in the vicinity is affected.
So, the basics: A couple from the UK, Tony and Emily Hughes, head off to France with their 5-year-old son Oliver for a holiday, in 2006. What seems like a fun little getaway for the threesome in a charming small town soon turns to disaster, thou…

This Snowman Should've Just Melted in the Sun... ("Movie Monday")

"Movie Monday"...
If you’re gonna butcher something, you might as well butcher the $h*t out of it,” must’ve been director Tomas Alfredson’s mantra during the making of “The Snowman”… because there is No. Other. Way. to explain how a project with this much potential—based on a Scandi-noir bestseller! with legit star power! Scorcese!—could’ve gone so tragically wrong.
Seriously, this adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s thriller goes wrong, right out of the gate. In the first scene, a boy calls another character “Jonas” (with a hard “j”, like saying the word “joy”). What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, nothing… if this film were set somewhere in America (which it isn’t), or if Jonas and the boy in question were Americans (which they aren’t). No, “The Snowman” takes place in Norway, with almost-entirely Norwegian characters (including these two), meaning “Jonas” would’ve rolled off the boy’s tongue with a “y” sound (as in the word “yo-yo”). An off-putting directorial choice, which—as it t…

Crossing Oceans of Time, Chasing Love and Destiny ("What I'm Reading Wednesday")

"What I'm Reading Wednesday"... You ever have one of those weeks (months, years, insert your own time span here) where it takes everything you’ve got, just to (sorta) keep up with all the things on your metaphorical plate? (Yeah, that was a completely rhetorical question. Unless you’re literally the luckiest person on planet Earth, you have.)
Anyway, that’s been me, recently… and my reading, unfortunately, always seems to be affected (negatively) by any turmoil in my life. So, at such times, it’s good to have a couple of things in the ole arsenal: first, a go-to group of the closest friends, who always have my back; and second, friends who recommend (or even gift!) books at just the right time. (Seriously, if you’re lacking either of the above, I can’t recommend highly enough your going in search of ‘em. PRICELESS!)
Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere was just the ticket for me to get back into reading after a few-weeks’ absence; it’s an easy read that takes you away fr…

If You Like Your Scandi-Noir as Dark as Burnt Coffee... ("TV Tuesday")

"TV Tuesday"...
As much as we (probably) hate to own up to it, most of us—to one degree or another—harbor a perverse desire to see Really Bad Things. 
For some, that craving gets fulfilled via rags (or now, their online successors) dealing in sensational “news”… with headlines like “Batboy Eats Own Mother!” and “Woman Undergoes 128 Surgeries to Look Like Barbie!”. For others, it’s binging on trash TV, from the Jerry Springers of the world to gems like “Toddlers in Tiaras”. And for a lot of people, the wish to see bad stuff might take the form of the simple (but incredibly-annoying-to-others) act of always slowing waaaaaaaay down to rubberneck at any accident (on either side of the freeway).
As for me, I’m much more fascinated with stories (whether true or figments of someone’s imagination) about how strange, warped, or downright evil that people can be. Why? Because, as scores of real stories attest, we never truly know what anyone else is thinking… plotting… or doing… from the…

Why Resolutions are Cop-Outs ("Fitness Friday")

"Fitness Friday"...
Since it's still the wee days of our brand-new year--and since fitness is a major part of my life--let's talk about something I hate with a passion: New Year's resolutions.

See, to me, the making of such promises is setting yourself up to fail... knowingly, and almost with a perverse kind of permission. (Just hear me out.) People vow to do this or stop that (most often concerning getting in shape, eating better, and the like), but then a hurdle comes up--getting the flu, or feeling pressured at work, or arguing with a significant other, or dealing with being in debt after the holidays, or whatever--and suddenly, that thing they swore to do better at goes by the wayside, because whatever little hiccup just gave them carte blanche to say, "Well, I failed again this year; guess that's that," and go back to old ways.

Which is why, this:


Finding the Beauty Where You Live ("Travel Thursday")

"Travel Thursday"...
Despite my best-laid plans, today's post is taking a sharp left turn from where it was originally scheduled to go.

You see, life happens (to us all, right?)... and today, unfortunately, has been one of those trial-by-fire kinda doozies.

Still, there is always beauty to be found--whether traveling great distances or a few miles away--so I'm bringing you a taste of my area, taken during the last week of December:

May nature always bring you joy and peace...

The Cracked Mirror of Social Media ("What I'm Reading Wednesday")

"What I'm Reading Wednesday"... Let’s talk about honesty for a minute. How truthful are you, in general… say, with your significant other, your closest friends, or maybe your immediate family? Chances are—provided they’re good relationships—you’re pretty darn forthcoming.

Now, take away that level of intimacy, and think about other people you see regularly—co-workers, relatives you don’t feel close to, casual acquaintances. They probably know a whole lot less about you, right?
Finally, let’s pull waaaay back, and look at how the rest of the world sees you. Not complete strangers—people you’ve never had any reason to meet and interact with aren’t going to have any opinions about you whatsoever. No, I mean your friends (or “friends”) and followers on social media. (Look, you’re here reading this online, which means you’re not a Luddite. So, unless you hate everyone or are in Witness Protection, let’s assume you’re at least a little bit active in some kind of social media, ok…