16 May 2015

Saturday Speaks (and Links): No Sleep Edition

One week ago, right now, I was asleep. In the banner for this week's post (my first in a long while), you'll notice two passed out 30 year old men. I took that picture at 5:37 in the morning last Saturday, one week ago. I had not yet been to bed. You see, the guy on the right with the hood is getting married in two weeks. I'm his Best Man. To show what I can do, I orchestrated a pretty good bachelor party. I mean, we are getting old, but that doesn't stop us from going hard until the birds chirp, son!

That was already three days into my eight nights in a row without at least six hours of sleep. That hurts me, man. I need my rest. It started on Wednesday night, now a week and a half ago. My cat, Queen, a very sickly kitty, got sick, wouldn't eat or drink, and finally just started collapsing. We had to rush her to the vet at midnight. 

Then, I was at the East Tennessee Middle School Golf Association District 1 Tournament the next night until 10:00, up til midnight. Up the next morning at 6:00. Then, a bachelor party...screwed my whole sleep schedule up. Woke up on Mother's Day way too early but made my Mom dinner anyway. She loved it. Then, Atlanta with 80 7th graders and 8 teachers for the next three days. I finally got a real, full night's sleep in my own bed on Thursday. 

What about you peeps? You getting any sleep these days?

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 


For the first time ever, the Clinton Middle School 7th grade went to Atlanta on an end-of-the-year trip. I went. Three days, two nights with rambunctious middle schoolers. Sounds like hell. But, I'll tell you what, these kids surprise me every day. For the most part, nothing but polite, respectful young ladies and gentlemen. They fill my heart. 

King Center - A Series of Museums and Monuments in MLK, Jr.'s old neighborhood.

Bro selfie!

A National Parks pamphlet for the wife. She's a collector.

"What'll ya have?" I'll have the best effing onion rings on the face of the Earth.

Smiling Giant Panda at Zoo Atlanta.

A View from the Dugout at Turner Field.

North ATL Traffic. Never fails.

 My Hometown

"The Green Bridge" - A Clinton, TN landmark.

To make sure I went the entire week without teaching a class, I scheduled the end-of-the-year park trip for Friday. This is where we take every 7th grader to Lakefront Park, about a mile from the school, and get them good and worn out and sunburned to start the weekend. You're welcome, parents!

My wife and I have a Go Fund Me campaign going to raise money for a project to recognize our hometown's role in the early years of The Civil Rights Movement. Long story short: my high school was the first desegregated high school in the South, and nobody outside of my hometown knows about it. Our fundraiser is picking up major steam. Please visit the link, read the full story, and help me spread the word.


Writer/director Alex Garland's Ex Machina is one beautiful, fascinating piece of science fiction. I'm standing with those throwing out the hype. See this movie! Read my review!

Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers follows my Instagram. He liked my Ex Machina stub.

On Tuesday night, we took the 7th graders to the beautiful Atlantic Station in Atlanta to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not as good as Ex Machina. But the kids loved it, at least the boys did.

Louis Psihoyos' The Cove (2009) - Winner of Best Documentary Feature. 

Juan José Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina, 2009)
Winner of Best Foreign Language Film.

By now, most of my readers have most likely heard about Fisti's 4 Ways a Best Picture Blogger Roundtable of which I am a part. I'm still plugging away at the winners, mostly Foreign Language and Documentary. Some really great stuff as the years roll on. 

Movies YTD - I have seen 81 movies so far this year. 

True Detective News

The first trailer had my curiosity. Now, this one has my attention. Scary Vince Vaughn. Philosophical Colin Farrell. Tortured Taylor Kitsch. Brooding Rachel McAdams. I am so effing excited I can't stand it. 

The Weekend

Had dinner with my Mom last night. She offered. I accepted. The place was Sushi Spot, a never busy but outstanding hole-in-the-wall joint with the what I like to call "crack" dumplings (pictured center). The tempura and rolls are pretty good too. 

My Morning Jacket's setlist last night
Georgia Theater - Athens, GA 

Two tickets to tonight's show.
Tennessee Theater - Knoxville, TN

That's right, baby! It's Saturday today. And tonight, I'll be seeing my favorite band, the best live band in the world right now, right here in my home city. My best friend is coming in, my wife is back in town, my other best friend and his wife are coming with us, Mexican and drinks for dinner. Deus Meus! Gonna be a blast!


John Hitchcock at Hitchcock's World reviews Nightcrawler. 

Irene at Mysterious Bibliophile breaks down some goings on in her life. 

Wendell at Dell on Movies announces a new blogathon that I plan on joining.

Brian Tallerico at rogerebert.com gave Mad Max:Fury Road four stars.

Jenna and Allie at Flick Chicks review St. Vincent, one of my favorite movies of last year. 


  1. I haven't been to Atlanta in so long! I really want to go to the zoo. Great post! I love getting to know bloggers on a more personal level.

    1. ATL is a great city. It's only about 3.5 hours from where I live in TN. Excellent zoo there. One of the best I've been to. Thanks!

  2. What a week! Being a night owl, though I generally function on less than 6 hrs of sleep. Not healthy, mind you, but that's just how I roll. For now. Amazing thing to hear about your high school. Good luck with the campaign. Thanks for the link love!

    1. Oh, yeah. Dude, I have to get 7 or I feel it. I can do 6, but it's tough to make it through the day. It really is a cool thing we've got going here. Can't wait to see what comes of the work I'm doing with my students right now. No problem!

  3. I've never been to Atlanta before. In fact, I've never been outside of my home state of Michigan. Thankfully, I'm going to D.C. on a school trip in 3 weeks. So, I'm looking forward to that.

    1. Atlanta's a great town. It's crazy. I'm actually about to go on a trip to Detroit for a baseball game. Really excited about it. Have fun in D.C. It's a great place.

  4. Holy moly, it sounds like you've had a crazy week! Thanks for the link love :)
    - Allie

  5. UGH! I wanted so badly to go to Atlanta to visit Kevin Gillespie's restaurant (he's my culinary crush), Gunshow. Like...I love that man and want to taste his food so badly!!!


    But I'm serious.

    1. There is plenty of good food to be had in Atlanta. It seems there's a chef from there on "Top Chef" at least every other season. I've never been to Gillespie's place. We almost went once. It's pricey. We did go to Richard Blais' place in Atlanta, a burger joint called FLIP. Excellent!

    2. FUCK! Blais is, like, my second culinary crush! LOL, I'd go broke in Atlanta, because I'm not opposed to dropping a paycheck at a restaurant if it speaks to me.

    3. Blais is the shit! Such a subtle genius. Fucking Burnt Marshmallow + Nutella milkshake at that place, man! Also, a Krispy Kreme donut one. The burgers are ridiculous too.

  6. I am a chronic insomniac. I only vaguely remember sleep.

    1. I needs my beauty rest. I'm a pampered boy.

  7. I went to college in Atlanta (Emory) and right now you totally have me craving onion rings from The Varsity. Every once in a while I get cravings for the food down there - the biscuits from The Flying Biscuit, the noodles at Doc Chey's, the college-staple honey BBQ wings from WingNuts... The Varsity has not made an appearance in my cravings until now. We'd usually stop there after seeing a movie at Tara cinemas, which showed independent films and was close by. It's great that your kids were so well-behaved! My dance students have been IMPOSSIBLE the past few weeks.

    1. Nice. Atlanta is a fine town. I have a lot of family there, so I've been going several times a year pretty much my whole life. The Flying Biscuit is incredible! Never had Doc Chey's or Wingnuts. Those fucking onion rings at Varsity! Good Lord!

      It's the time of year man, especially with middle grades kids. "The sap's rising," as my colleagues and I say.