2016 Movie Reviews: X-Men

10. X-Men

Watched May 22, 2016

The first fifteen minutes play just as well today as they did in 2000. It's not until Paquin joins Logan in the truck and they're sideswiped by that terrible Sabertooth that the seams show at all. The first chapter is just note perfect for an X-Men movie.

What doesn't hold up, are the things that didn't play so well when it first came out. Storm, almost entirely is a miss. Especially the wig and accent.

The action is mostly pretty bad. Relying on a ton of bad wire-fu and sloppy CGI. Magneto is amazing until his plan is revealed and then he seems like a cooky old man.

The tease of Wolverine's next adventure is good, and the general team dynamics work even in this first outing. Anytime McKellen and Stewart share screentime it's magical. The modern superhero films owe this one a lot, but I'm also very glad we have outgrown this period.

Buy X-Men in HD on iTunes now with special features included!

2016 Movie Reviews: Deadpool

8.Deadpool

Watched 5/12/16

What can you say about a movie that is so perfectly itself? The behind the scenes saga that finally brought us this movie is worthy of a film

in its own right. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this role, the fact that he finally got to do so in a true to the source adaptation is one of those times Hollywood really gets it right in spite of itself.

I'm not a huge fan of the character, never following the books regularly and only reading a handful completely. And I imagined that would be true of the film too. I support and celebrate anything that breaks the conventions and plays with the tropes we've come to expect in these films. Deadpool does all of that and more.

Probably don't show this one to Grandma or your kids (and depending upon her sense of humor, maybe your wife) and if any of that or the things you've heard so far have you worried, then I'd suggest letting this one pass you by. But if you love comics or comic book movies, and a little toilet humor never bothered you, then get yourself a copy of Deadpool and a sack full of chimichongas.

Buy Deadpool in HD on iTunes now with Special features included!

2016 Movie Reviews: The Godfather Epic

9.The Godfather Epic

Watched May 21st, 2016

When Michael tells his father "I'll take care of everything. I'm with you now" while Vito is helpless and unconscious in his hospital bed has always been the moment I thought Michael made the decision. But in this rewatch, I realize I'm wrong. Michael knows what he's going to do (even to murder and evading the law) when he spends the evening with Kay before and tells her to go back to her parents.

He's seen Sonny's operation and leadership up close. And he suspects already that he'll have to take on his father's role eventually. Watching with this understanding makes the whole rest of the movie a little more tragic, especially the end of Part 2, with Michael alone in the fall.

Michael understands that Sonny will never last as Don. So now, or later, he'll be called upon to save the family and his father's legacy. And he chooses the hard path. The path that loses him Kay (although he thinks later there's room for her too). What a sad and strong choice! What a perfect and multi-faceted performance from Pacino! How amazing is it that we get to revisit this movie over and over again, and even in new ways like this Godfather epic from HBO. This version has existed in other forms and mediums before but I've never before seen it in its entirety. And perhaps no one (before now) has seen this precise mix of chronological scenes with deleted scenes.

For some reason this edit makes certain makes stick out. Watching Michael learn or Fredo's betrayal, for instance, hits particularly hard in this version.

It's really something. Not the way to see the movie for the first time by any means, but definitely something amazing for the true Godfather lover. Kudos to HBO for paying for it.

2016 Movie Reviews: Captain America - Civil War

7. Captain America: Civil War

Watched 5/6/2016

When Robert Downey Jr and John Favreau launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe 8 years ago, I thought I couldn't be any happier. RDJ was perfect, the movie was a cohesive story, while hinting at a larger world and an interesting history. For the first time, the comic books themselves were taken seriously. Not translated seriously, but just considered, as art themselves. Why not just do that with moving pictures?

Now, with 13 of these connected films in my memory banks, alongside three seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., two of Daredevil and one of Jessica Jones, the MCU is sprawling. It's also remained true to the promise that Iron Man first made 8 years ago. We won't always get it perfect, but we'll never fail because we didn't try to do it right.

As I've now watched the latest installment, I can confirm they're still doing it right. It may not be for you in particular, increasingly these movies require an ongoing commitment and at least the barest of refreshers before you head in to the next one to get the full enjoyment out of them. But for an astoundingly large number of people, it is just right apparently.

Particularly now that Batman vs. Superman is finally a released film instead of the impending spectre on Hollywood it has been seemingly forever, the feat that Kevin Feige and crew have and continue to accomplish becomes even more impressive. Having great characters is no sure thing, ask Fox and the crew behind the Fantastic Four franchise. Having the right actor is no sure thing, Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine, but even he couldn't help his first solo movie. Even having a connected universe is no sure thing, ask Marvel's Most Wanted, now twice passed on as a Pilot for ABC. But Feige and the MCU have weathered angsty actors and demanding directors and less than sparkling writing. They've withstood the rumor mill and rotten tomatoes. And time after time, twice a year (and now sometimes more) they collect all our money and turn us all into 10 year olds playing hookie with a minor cold and blazing through a stack of cheap comics that mom bought us at the drugstore.

They've turned your mom and your girlfriend and your guidance counselor and his lawn guy all into comic book fans, not just capable of keeping up with continuity, but excited about discussing the potential of the next movie and the ramifications of the last one.

The ascendency of geek culture has been crowed by bloggers and journalists for a decade or more, but this to me is the true testament that what was geek is now fully "normal", the latest MCU film, Captain America: Civil War is both the culmination of storylines planted in 2008 in Iron Man and all between here and there, but also the evolution of the superhero movie into its next form. This is the Movie Superhero Renaissance. What the Russo brothers have done in this movie cannot fairly be considered a standard film. It is episodic storytelling in a fashion closer to television, but played out with the virtually unlimited palette and toolbox that the big screen economics allow for. Disney has here established the basic form that will determine its Hollywood fortunes for the next two decades or more, and has in the process created what every other studio will inevitably and doggedly try to replicate:

Captain America: Civil War is an exponential theatrical experience. If you enjoy it, you will enjoy every piece of ancillary connected material a little more because of it. Likewise, if you've liked any ancillary connected material, you'l like something in this movie, the more past MCU stuff you've seen and enjoyed before, the more you'll like this one. And it's not additive, it's exponential.

Preorder CA: Civil War now in HD on iTunes including special features!

***SPOILERS COMING******

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, you're okay?

 

 

Alright, here goes>>>>

 

When Steve is pleading with Tony in the Siberian bunker at the film's climax that Bucky was brainwashed, and that taking revenge on him won't bring back Tony's parents and RDJ's lip trembles and he says, "He killed my mom." and attacks, that is one of the most powerful moments I've ever seen on screen period. It only works, it only feels so heavy in the midst of what is a truly lighthearted film for the subject matter and source material, is because we don't want these two friends to fight. We know these men, we've lived with them for 8 years and through a dozen adventures. We know where they came from and why they believe what they believe. Marvel (and Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, and Sebastian Stan) have earned it. They've done the heavy lifting and that enables both moments of sheer joy like Spider-man's introduction and moments of real pain like this one in the bunker.

Cap is right, Bucky isn't responsible for what he did as the Winter Soldier, not directly. Tony would've forever regretted killing him, but I also understood and empathized with Tony's rage and violence. What would I do if given the chance to confront my parents killer directly? What would I do if a good friend had hidden the identity of that killer from me?

And it's not just thought exercises, as a fan and viewer, we care about the characters as if they were real. For us, these stories DO have stakes. And now, because of the brilliance of Marvel and Disney, there are more of "us" than ever before.

Four Years in the Studio Together: Always Listening's 2nd Anniversary

Four years ago this month, I talked my buddy Josh into walking into the studio and recording our first podcast. We called it Two Guys, One Podcast, and it was pretty ridiculous. We carried on for over two years and 100 episodes goofing off, hanging out and recording it all.

Somewhere along the way, we began discussing other podcasts that we had listened to before we started recording our show. By March of 2014, it was clear that those discussions would be a better show than the one we were doing every week.

We created Pod on Pod to help people find their next favorite podcast. We originally partnered with the guys at TeamProCreate.com and launched our first three episodes on May 4th, 2014.

Since then, we've reviewed more than 100 different podcasts, and have published 98 episodes (episode 99 is recording on Friday). We've let that original show podfade (it lives on YouTube) and switched partners from ProCreate to BlogTalkRadio.

It's been a tremendous two years, and I'd first and foremost like to thank each and every one of our listeners. You've been amazing co-conspirators as we set about listening to every podcast in the known universe, and weeding out the good ones. Your feedback, reviews, discussion (through email and our Facebook group) has all been amazing, and I hope it never ends.

Secondly, I'd like to thank my wife and kids. Kelly especially, puts things on hold, holds down the fort and does without herself so that I have time to pursue this passion. She and Josh's wife, Rachel, are our two unheard Cohosts, without whom it would be impossible for our show to exist or continue.

Third and finally, I want to thank my long-suffering and hard-working partner, Josh. He's been a sounding board and a reality check, a negotiating bulldog and a politicking velvet hand. He's also got impeccable taste (except on those things that he disagrees with me about) and an unbelievably direct way of imparting those taste decisions. He is the Siskel to my Ebert, the Jay to my Bob, the Bert to my Ernie, and the day he decides he doesn't want to listen anymore, is the day this show dies.

But thankfully, that day ain't today. So, if you will, raise a glass to my compadre who is absent from the Internet in all but voice, and plug in your own personal favorite episode of Always Listening (or the classic, Pod on Pod) just for me and Josh.

Happy Anniversary, buddy! I'm Joel, he's Josh, and we are Always Listening.

How the Sharpton Six Listen to Music

Since roughly 2003, I've been building an iTunes library. From ripped CDs, friends collections, occasional purchases and the less than reputable ways you acquire these sorts of files, I've gotten a really sizable and varied collection. Just under 25,000 songs at last count.

But how do you listen to those these days? With six family members, multiple devices and very little downtime, any possible solution for my family needs to provide the following things:

1. Ubiquitous. - When we're throwing dance parties at home, we use the Apple TV in the living room. When Remy and I are exploring musical history, we use the iMac. When we're out and about, we're on iPads or iPhones. We need created  and curated playlists to be in all of those places and to update frequently and transparently.

2. Obvious. - My wife is very tech savvy and even our twins can make their way around iOS pretty well (for two year olds), but no one but me is interested or intrigued by the vagaries of technology, or the intricacies or UI design. Any app or service we use to listen to music has to be simple enough for the kids and Kelly approved as well.

3. Price Conscious. - Between traditional subscriptions that families have dealt with for decades (utilities and cable packages) and the new "necessaries" like Netflix, and occupational requirements like Buffer and Dropbox Pro, my recurring subscriptions are already pretty high. I'm not particularly interested in adding anymore to that list. I don't paying something for this problem to be solved, but I'm not excited about it.

Between Kelly and me, we've tried pretty much every service available for music: Pandora, Spotify, iTunes Match and Apple Music, even the old faithful YouTube streaming (though not their paid YouTube Red service).

While Kelly really liked Spotify, I've never loved their mobile apps, and I really don't like the ads, or care to pay the monthly subscription to remove them. Apple Music was nice enough during my 3 month trial, but it's confusing cross-breeding with my established library was a con, not a pro. I did maintain my iTunes Match subscription though. This is a lesser known (and older) music subscription from Apple that let's you take your iTunes library and "match" it against the iTunes Store itself. Then get access to those matched songs from anywhere in the cloud just like you had purchased the song though Apple directly. That service is $25/year and means that I don't have to plug anyone's iPad or iPhone into my computer again. Well worth it.

Pandora was delightful when it launched, the novelty of having new interesting music brought to you all the time was amazing. But, these days, if I'm going to let the music find ME, I'd rather do it with an interesting terrestrial radio station, whether traditionally or digitally. Kelly likes to dip into her decades old Pandora stations from time to time, but as a primary music solution, this one is done.

I seriously thought about a YouTube Red subscription, even though I'm not exactly in love with the terms for the creators. The idea of my children never being presented with an ad through all their ridiculous YouTube views alone would make this is a compelling case, add to it the audio only music streaming options and the basically guaranteed continued growth of this service's features, this is one I'll definitely watch with interest. But for now, we're passing on Red.

The surprising answer to our wish to listen to music from anywhere anytime ended up being right under our noses (and already paid for). Amazon Music has been included in your Amazon Prime subscription for several years and even began with an Amazon version of the iTunes Match idea. You can match songs against their Prime library, and then upload any non-matched songs to be available in the same way as the others. It's really quite something.

On top of that function, you've got featured music suggestions based on your own library (think Genius features in iTunes), "radio" channels based on an artist or genre (and curated by your own Thumbs up and Thumbs down), and really interesting offline music features that make extra songs and playlists available on your device automatically so you've got something interesting and unexpected available to listen to in the subway or just on your commute without using your cellular data.

All those features work on the web, on your iPhone/iPad/Fire tablet or Android device. And chances are, if you do any Amazon shopping, you're already paying for this service right now.

As a serious Apple user, who's loved iTunes for years and uses their devices exclusively (but was willing to move on to a better service in Google Photos), I cannot recommend Amazon Music enough. Check it out.

Netflix Noise: The importance of a simple sound

I hadn't noticed it myself, even as an avid viewer of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I even loved the new season of Arrested Development. But even I had overlooked the fact that Netflix had copied the most ingenious part of HBO's plan of cable world domination.

The HBO "fuzz" has been written about ad nauseum and its effects are absolutely real. I'm a product myself. My grandparents always had HBO when I was growing up as my Papaw was a fight fan. I loved the fuzz and all the things that followed whether it was Fraggle Rock or forbidden late night movies after the grandparents went to sleep. Regardless, I've always been sold on HBO. Buying boxes and boxes of DVD's in the years that I didn't subscribe to the channel directly.

And, in the years since, yes, I've fallen in love with Netflix and their new original series and massive movie collection. But surely they're not quite equals yet?

Maybe not for us, but that all brings us to the Netflix noise and it's genius in their long term plan. My kids watch all the Netflix children's series, as well as lots of great movies from our childhood on the service. And now, before every one of those originals (like the brand new Danger Mouse series which is really amazing for kids or grownups), the kids see the Netflix logo and get a loud and satisfying "dum dum". The Netflix noise. I love it. And, I'm sure, 20 years from now, my sons and daughters will have the same affinity for that noise as I do no for the HBO fuzz. Luckily, they both live happily alongside each other on my Apple TV.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP9RIO-rhZE&w=854&h=480]

2016 Movie Reviews: Weird Science

5. Weird Science

Watched 4/27/16

First of all, if you're an Apple device user, especially iPad and Apple TV, you really should check out the iTunes movie store once a week or so. They're run great specials with common themes or actors, etc and discount the movies deeply from time to time. For instance, about a month ago, I found Weird Science in HD for $4.99 for one weekend in iTunes.

Weird Science exists, for me, in an emotional place that has little to do with the quality of the movie itself. There are a handful of films that I was first exposed to on HBO at my grandparents house on weekends when I'd sleep over and stay up late after they'd gone to bed. These movies were mostly over my head at the time, but they were funny, they were subversive in some way and in many cases, they were full of sex appeal.

It's no coincidence, I think that two of those movies featured Kelly Le Brock. In Weird Science, she dominated and educated two pimply teenagers, but in The Woman in Red she upended a grown Gene Wilder's life just as easily, and without the 80's computer magic.

Weird Science is notable these days for the incredibly young Robert Downey Jr playing the smirking sleazy antagonist. For me, this whole film is worth the price of admission (or the price of the iTunes purchase) just for the scene when Lisa takes the boys to the club and Gary tells his story of sadness through the lens of a cheap bottle of booze. "I was crazy insane for the woman!"

The film doesn't exactly hold up overall, but for the nostalgia and the sheer wonder that is Ms. Le Brock, this one deserves a spot on all our digital shelves.

Buy it now in HD on iTunes!

Walking Dead Season 6

(Spoiler Alert)

While the season as a whole was one of the strongest in the entire run, three separate times the writers and producers chose to take a cheap out and tease a major death without actually paying off.

One of these, I could've stood. Two even, I would have understood. But three insults the intelligence and the patience of the audience.

It's not about blood lust. I don't want any of these characters to die. It's about honest storytelling. The Walking Dead has earned its perch atop the pop culture mountain specifically because they've made the crazy hard calls that most television series just won't. The same sorts of shocking moments that made the comic such a hit to begin with.

Think about the characters that we've lost (and the shocking ways we've lost some of them) in the seasons that came before this one. And of course we lost people this season. There were real shocking moments (maybe none so much as Denise's death by arrow) but we also had Glenn "torn apart" under the dumpster only to find a few weeks later that it wasn't him that had lost his guts, but the convenient other body that fell on top of him, nevermind what it looked like.

We also got the cheap blood spatter on the camera last week implying that Darryl was dead at the hands of Dwight. But we all expected that to be a tease for this week, as you couldn't rightly kill the Bowman last week AND have his head on the line under Lucille THIS week. Ugh.

Glenn's dodge I was okay with. Mostly because I really thought it was a faint to make people think he'd be safe from Lucille and then pay off the moment that so disturbingly graced the comics. I was upset about the way they played out the Darryl thing last week, but I could forgive it. This is the big season finale, the reveal of Negan, they wanted all eyes on the this one.

So, going into tonight we were square, the producers and I. I was fully prepared to get all tense and upset, and then to mourn the loss of one of imaginary friends at the hands of Negan and his barbed bat. But then...

We didn't get a corpse. We got a death! But no body, no face, no reactions from the rest of the group. It's not Carl (because Negan threatened the rest that he'd tear out the kid's other eye) or Rick (Negan said they'd feed the eye to him), but other than that, it could be any of the group. In interviews, the cast has made it clear that they don't know who was on the receiving end of that bat. I imagine that the producers don't either. And that's a cop out to me. Yes. Any choice would've angered some fans. But they will eventually have to decide who they've killed. This way, instead of a summer of debate and slowly dying backlash, we'll have a summer of unrest in the fanbase and likely group testing the decision. Ugh.

It's not like I won't be back in the fall to find out who's died, but regardless, I'm angry, and left with a disappointed taste in my mouth.

Rick and Morty Season 1

Finished on February 25th, 2016

This is a show that I knew was on the air but thought it was something for kids. You get enough recommendations from friends and you decide it's time to finally take the dive.

The series is bizarre, no doubt. The basic premise is this: Rick, a drunken super-genius, is aided in his inter-dimensional quests by his hapless grandson, Morty.

The characters and their relationship are a pretty bare riff on Doc and Marty from Back to the Future. But they just use that as a jumping off point for an insane ride through pretty much every pop culture reference possible.

They do such a good job of slowly easing you into the insanity, waiting until the next to last episode to fully introduce the concept of the multiple Morty's and Rick's.

But what makes the show really worthwhile (especially in the context of my reviewing long form television alongside movies) is the ongoing study of the family dynamic. This show is really about relating with people. Forming and maintaining personal bonds, even though your own personal issues make that difficult or unpleasant. In that way, this is very much a sister project to Community.

I love the Dan Harmon impersonation that Justin Roiland provides as his Rick character. As a long time fan of Harmon's work (that finds Harmon himself often problematic and irritating) this is very rewarding. Morty's evolution over the first season is much better drawn than you might imagine for a show so full of poop jokes. But such is the dichotomy of R&M.

I hope there's a bit more serialized storytelling in season two, but the bits they do include so far are fine on their own.

4 stars.

Smash/Cut, or Joel Becomes a Media Mogul

It's good to be in the right place at the right time. I'm a guy who often finds himself at one, but not the other.

Through a friend though I discovered a brilliant new podcast named Smash/Cut, a radio drama podcast originating from Baton Rouge. And I scooped them right the heck up. They've got a promo for an upcoming drama in their feed right now as well as a brief teaser episode. Check them out, subscribe and get ready for something amazing from some wonderfully talented young artists living and working in Bayou Country.

Find them in iTunes here, check out Smashcutthepodcast.com or just click play below.

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=969957&episodeId=8313409

Always Recording: How We Podcast

This week on my Podcast review show, Always Listening, I responded to some listener feedback by discussing the gear, software and processes we use to create our podcast. If that sounds like your type of thing, check the audio out right here:

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=902681&episodeId=8311101

Here's a list with links of the software and gear I discuss in the show:

Adobe Audition CC

Shure SM7b

Heil PR40

Electrovoice RE20

Mackie 14 channel mixer 1402 vlz3

ART USB Dual Pre

Shawn Smith TheMobilePro.net

ATR 2100

Pyle Pro PDMIC58

Shure S 58

Marco Arment’s Microphone review

Ferrite Recording Studio - Wooji Juice Ltd

Audio Hijack

My Favorite Charity

Today is the beginning of our annual (35th Annual, in fact) Radiothon for the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. My station has been doing this since before there was a concerted effort across Country Music Radio, but we've gladly been a part of Country Cares since then.

To join us in helping the kids, doctors, nurses, families and friends of St. Jude, just click that Country Cares banner to make your donation securely online. Or, you can call 1(800)787-5288 to do it over the phone. Let me tell you just a few reasons why you should.

  • No patient or family is ever refused care at St. Jude because of their inability to pay. This, in spite of the fact that treatment for one patient routinely costs tens of thousands of dollars per month, and is often not covered even by the best insurance policies.
  • St. Jude's current operating cost is more than $2 Million per day, and rising.
  • These higher costs are in large part due to drug costs which have skyrocketed for the hospital over the last decade from $3-5 million/year to more than $50 million in 2014.
  • Survival rates for childhood cancers are falling constantly thanks to the treatments and research of St. Jude, which is shared freely and openly with hospitals AROUND the globe.

In 1962, childhood cancer survival rates were at 20% overall. This is the progress St. Jude has made in the last 50 years. Help us bridge that last 20% in the next 50.

Danny Thomas, St. Jude's founder, famously said,

No Child Should have to die in the dawn of life.

And every day, the people behind St. Jude Children's Research Hospital work to make that a reality. Help us today, by making a donation. Become a Partner in Hope with a commitment of just $20/month. Save a life, BE St. Jude today.

2016 Movie Reviews: Fantastic Four (2015)

3. Fantastic Four (2015)

Watched 1/24/2016

How is it possible that they made a movie that both takes itself too seriously for the property, but also is sillier and more cheesy than the Ioan Gruffold-led versions of these Fox trotted out a decade ago?

This movie is every bit as bad as you’ve heard or imagined or said so yourself after sitting through it in theaters last summer. I’m sorry I didn’t believe you all, and I’m pretty sorry that I chose this movie to watch while rehabbing my back this morning. Is it possible this movie made me feel worse?

Maybe just rent this one on iTunes in HD.

2016 Movie Reviews: The Hateful Eight

2. The Hateful Eight

Watched 1/12/16

Louder and less weighty than Django Unchained, less coherent and satisfying than Inglorious Basterds, this is my least favorite Tarantino film in quite a while, and may end up being my least favorite overall.

That's still not a bad place to be and as with all his work there is a lot to love here. Unlike almost any other QT film, though, this one doesn't have any characters you'll love. Portrayals maybe, or roles. But not these characters. They are, as the title implies, hateful.

Worth it, because Quentin says he's only doing like 2 more, you have to savor them all as they can.

Buy it in HD on iTunes with Special features included now!

Wish I Was: A Song for Me and Kelly

I’ve loved The Avett Brothers since the first moment I discovered them. They connected with me like few artists have in my life. I thought the pinnacle of that was February Seven from the album The Carpenter. It reminds me of the way I feel about my children, and watching them grow up. It reminds me of meeting Kelly. I never thought they’d have another song that would affect me so completely. I was wrong.

Wish I Was is a new song they’re playing on tour and I’m sure it will be one of the highlights of their next album. As I was singing it tonight and watching this video for the 100th time, Kelly remarked that in all the times she’d heard me sing it she didn’t know it was the Avett Brothers.

So, for Kelly and everyone else that hasn’t fallen in love with it yet, here it is.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE4OREpIHhw&w=854&h=480]

But I want you to know that it may be the Avett Brothers who wrote and sing this song, but it’s FOR me and Kelly.

The whole thing pretty much feels like I wrote it, describing exactly conversations we've had before about the way I feel about my Beautiful. She thinks I'm silly, but it's cute when I get to the part about being her sweater. ;)

This is the part though that I end up repeating the most though. For all my failures, large and small, I just sing this now and she's reminded of my pretty words and that they're all for her now.

I’m not a song, I’m not a sweater.

I’m not a fire. I’m something better.

I’’m a man in love, writing you a letter.

Will you take it? Will you keep it?

Will you read it? Believe it?

I love you. I’m sorry.


Sweet Sick Days

Over the last month or so, I've had occasion to spend solo time with all four of my kiddos. Most of that time has been because they've been sick. Like today as I've got Eutaw while everyone else is at Church.

We've snuggled, and laughed and not taken our medicine, even when it was snuck into the yogurt! She played mommy to her baby doll for a while then slept beside daddy in the big bed for a while, then woke up and needed to be rocked in the living room for a while.

 

It stinks for your kids to be sick. Especially at night when they're coughing and wheezing and not sleeping peacefully. It's tough because of lost work time and medicine costs and all of that stuff.

 

But here's why it's awesome. You get focused love and attention on just one kid at a time. You get to physically and directly and observably serve them. They get to see you sacrificing for them. And you. You get to steal a little of that precious thing called time. The one you don't have remotely enough of. The one that's over too soon.

So, we're stealing time today. Coughing, wheezing, fussy time. In the rocker, or napping, or whatever else she wants. I almost can't wait until the next sick day.

Put your Eyes (and Ears) on Joel with my new Video Blog

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdDsWu3xTJw&w=854&h=480]

I'd love it if you subscribed to the channel and especially if you shared it with friends that are independent contractors, or thinking about going that direction, I'd love to hear their feedback on my journey.

It's always scary "going alone" but it's less scary when you know there's a crowd cheering you on (especially if some of that crowd has come this way before!).

Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year!

Going it Alone (But Not Really, ‘Cause You Guys are Here, Right?)

Today is the final day of my $5 voiceover bonanza! It was a big success (in my opinion) and I want to say thank you especially to everyone who placed an order. In all, I booked $300 new dollars in voice work in the month of December. It was one of the big reasons why I made the decision to go fully independent and become a Sole Proprietor in 2016.