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Category Archives: personal musings

Oscars: How Important is Best Picture?

How meaningful is a Best Picture Oscar in the grand scheme of things? Well, obviously that’s going to depend on the point of view of each individual person considering the question. For the purposes of this article we’re going to assume that it’s a pretty big deal within the context of the awards themselves, but we’re going to have a look at the history of voting patterns in relation to other Oscars given out each year, its importance within the film business, and how these relate to long term relevance.

Let’s see how much I can find to say on this subject, shall we?
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The Florida Project: A Review and Discussion of its Disney Elements

Every year there are films that get past me on their trip through big screen release even though I’m aware they exist and identify them as something I’d like to see. This year Sean Baker’s The Florida Project was one such movie. Thankfully, this entrancing and heartbreaking slice of life focused on a six-year-old girl’s adventures in and around the low budget motel where she and her mother are living did grab an Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe and thus ended up a high priority once it became available for rental yesterday. Unlike some of the other films I’ve been main-lining over the past several weeks, The Florida Project is already taking up space in my brain for several reasons.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film yet, I’m going to begin this article with a spoiler-free review of The Florida Project and some information about it that shouldn’t interfere with your appreciation of it once you do sit down to take it in. Not that the movie contains any really unexpected twists, but I am sympathetic to some moviegoers who want to go into a viewing experience with only the information needed to understand its context and whether or not they want to see it. I’ll be providing that right up front, and then I’ll be going into a bit more detail after what I hope will be a prominent enough clue, and this will include an examination of the movie’s relationship with Walt Disney World and some elements of the film that might be considered spoilers to some.
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My Movie Debut

little-man-tate

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers.  I hope you get to spend it with loved ones.  We here at Le Blog have lots to be thankful for starting with readers like you.

This past Saturday, we celebrated Jodie Foster’s birthday.  I took the occasion as an opportunity/excuse to share my Jodie Foster story.  I have been telling it for about 25 years now, so I’m always a bit reluctant to trot it out again for fear that everyone has heard it already.  But a few readers hadn’t, so I went ahead and told it all again.  Then I figured, hey, why not just make a post out of it and share it with everybody.  So here you go.

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My Open Mic Madness

comedy-off-broadway

I like making people laugh.  I’m not especially good at it, but that doesn’t stop me from trying as regular readers know.  Although an introvert by nature, I have always looked for outlets where I could try to get a laugh.  These days, I entertain myself and hopefully a few readers here at Le Blog.  But back in my pre-internet days, I played to a somewhat smaller audience as an amateur stand-up comedian.

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Six Years and Ten Million Hits Later…

what the hell happened cover art

This month marks a couple of important milestones for Le Blog.  I started the site six years ago.  The first article posted May 17, 2010.  Ordinarily, I would let a six-year anniversary pass unremarked on.  But on top of that, the site reached 10 million hits this morning!  In celebration of that landmark, I thought I would look back at the first six years of Le Blog.

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2015 in review

 

2015 has been a difficult year.  Personally, my family and I have spent the bulk of the year trying to sell our house and move into a new school district.  We have faced a number of challenges in pursuit of that goal.  Thankfully, the finish line is in sight.  We close on our current house next week and should be closing on the new house some time in January.  Obviously, that leaves us in limbo for a week or two which is pretty much par for the course in this process.  Looking at the bright side, we will finally complete this long term goal within a span of a few weeks.

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Don’t Ask For a Refund

No Refunds

Back in my misspent youth, I worked as a movie theater manager for several years.  It was a lousy job, but perfect for a movie fan like myself with no real responsibilities.  When I started, I was working for a chain of rundown theaters in central Kentucky.  The company I worked for was looking to pull out of the area.  They had already sold all of their other holdings in the state.  But no one would take the central Kentucky theaters off their hands, so they were stuck with us.  What follows is the story of how I came to run my first movie theater.

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Tips on Blogging: Using Reddit to Promote Your Site

Reddit

Every once in a while, I am approached by a relatively new blogger who is looking for tips on starting a site or increasing traffic to their existing blog.  The most important things will always be content and consistency.  If you don’t have content worth reading, no one’s going to visit your site.  And if you never post, your readers will find other blogs to read.  Those are the basics for any blog.

But once you get past the writing, what else can you do?  Most bloggers have a presence on social media.  Like everyone else, Le Blog has a FB Page and a Twitter account.  Those are considered essential and they are relatively easy to set up and maintain.  My blog posts automatically go out to both.  But for most of us, there’s too much noise on FB and Twitter.  Very few people actually take the time to click on the link and read the article.

Reddit, on the other hand, is very different.  When used properly, Reddit can drive a lot of traffic to your site.  But here’s the thing.  Reddit can be very hostile.  The reward of new readers and traffic comes at a relatively high risk.  Reddit can be a very scary place and you don’t want to go in there unprepared.  I know because I have been experimenting with Reddit on and off for the last few years and I learned a lot of lessons the hard way.

The purpose of this article is just to share a few of the things that I have learned.  The best part is that we bloggers can really help each other out.

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Hello October!

Hello October

October is one of my favorite months.  I love the moderate fall weather.  And the whole month leads up to Halloween which is just a fun holiday.  I like Christmas, of course, but Christmas is a lot of work.  Halloween is easy.  And there are horror movies on all month long.  I’m not necessarily a big horror guy, but during the month of October, it’s nice to know I can probably find a scary movie to watch if the mood strikes me.

If you’re a regular here at Le Blog, you may have noticed a few changes over the last month.  I have been playing with some new ideas and doing some reading up on some things and it all just kind of came together for me as the summer was ending.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up here at Le Blog.

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Girls Can Be Their Own Superheroes

MarvelWomen

We’ve been talking about movie heroines here at the Le Blog for the last couple of weeks.  As the father of two little girls, it’s a subject that is always on my mind.  I am constantly frustrated by the role models my children are presented with.  This isn’t limited to any one medium.  It’s across the board.  Recently I saw a TED Talks presentation that really hit close to home.  It dealt specifically with the lack of female superhero toys.  And it’s pretty eye-opening.

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Closing Out 2014

Super New Year

That’s it.  Another year has come and gone.  2014 was a great year for Le Blog.  About this time last year, I did a little bit of projecting.  I figured based on the way site traffic had increased over past years, that the site would likely cross the “5 million hit” mark this year.  I even considered that maybe, just maybe, we could hit 6 million.  But then I put that figure out of my head.  It was too big of a goal and I didn’t want to be disappointed at year end if we fell short.  5 million was plenty ambitious.

When the site crossed the 5 million hits earlier this year, I revisited the 6 million hit goal.  Was it within reach?  It would require a bang-up final quarter.  I didn’t think we’d quite make it.  But it turns out that the site has enjoyed a very healthy holiday traffic flow (thank you all) and this morning we crossed the 6 million hit threshold!

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 1,000,000 people visit the Seattle Space Needle every year. This blog was viewed about 3,800,000 times in 2014. If it were the Space Needle, it would take about 4 years for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Personal Musings: 10 Years Later…

Recently, I shared a personal story about the day my youngest brother died.  Today marks the 10 years anniversary since my brother passed.  It’s hard to believe a decade has gone by so quickly.  Our lives have changed so much in the last ten years.  Our family has grown.  Life has moved on as it always does.

Ten years ago, life stopped for a little while.  I knew consciously that life would go on.  But in the moment it was hard to imagine how.  Obviously our lives would be different.  We had lost a member of our family.  Surely we would feel that loss for the rest of our lives.  Even though I knew that the pain would lessen in time, it was hard to really believe it.

But the events of that terrible day was not the end of the story.  I thought today would be a good day to reflect on what happened next.

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