Music of 2016

To wrap up the year, I put together a podcast episode featuring some the music that grabbed me in 2016. Enjoy.

100 Word Book Review – 11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King

This book intrigued me when it first came out but the resent series based on the book inspired me to get a copy and ready it.  I really loved this book.  I love the mixing of time travel with historical facts and the amount of research King did is truly staggering.  It is full of suspense and action and has, to my thinking, one of the greatest love stories King’s ever written.  You can’t go back.  You can’t change the past.  It’s better to just keep moving forward.  Such good lessons.  I highly recommend reading this one if you can.

I went a little quote happy with this one so there’s a ton of quotes.  It was just a darn good book.

A broken piece of moon hung in the sky. Away from its glow, the stars had never seemed so bright or close.

Humans were built to look back; that’s why we have that swivel joint in our necks.

Did people even approach him as he went about the job of pouring grain alcohol onto the coals of rage at the back of his brain?

“Like the moon and the stars, cuz. Like the moon and the stars.”

I remember watching the full moon rise silently over the trees on one of those evenings, and how it beat a silver avenue across the water while the reflection of my canoe hung below me like a drowned twin. A loon cried somewhere, and was answered by a pal or a mate. Soon others joined the conversation. I shipped my paddle and just sat there three hundred yards out from shore, watching the moon and listening to the loons converse. I remember thinking if there was a heaven somewhere and it wasn’t like this, then I didn’t want to go.

Coincidences happen, but I’ve come to believe they are actually quite rare. Something is at work, okay? Somewhere in the universe (or behind it), a great machine is ticking and turning its fabulous gears.

But it was more than a smile; his face was transformed with the happiness that’s reserved for those who are finally allowed to reach all the way up.

She filled a large amount of space in a very nice way, and my eye hadn’t been the only one following the pleasant sway of her progress in the print dress, but really, that was it.

She punched my arm playfully—a big-sister kind of punch.

You know how, when you’re out at night and you see the edge of a cloud light up a bright gold, you know the moon is going to come out in a second or two? That was the feeling I had right then, standing among the gently swaying crepe streamers in the Denholm gymnasium.

I came up. She came with me. She went out, then came back into my arms. We danced under the lights. Dancing is life.

It was kissing, but it was more than kissing. It was like eating when you’ve been hungry or drinking when you’ve been thirsty.

Smalltown folks are rarely mean folks.

Home is watching the moon rise over the open, sleeping land and having someone you can call to the window, so you can look together.

I tried to-to tell myself all that doesn’t matter, that l-l-love conquers all, except it doesn’t. It doesn’t conquer lies.”

Thank you for showing me how good things can be. Please don’t say goodbye.

What convinced me was the thought of Sadie. I loved her and she loved me—at least she had—and I’d thrown that away to come here to this shitty street.

As I reached for the phone, it rang. I picked it up and said—with complete certainty: “Hello, Sadie. Hello, honey.”

Besides, she’s probably fine. You’re the one with the problem. More than just one, actually, and it was a long time before I fell asleep.

“But!” De Mohrenschildt raised a lecturely finger.

Mostly what I thought about was Sadie. And Sadie. And Sadie.

My car radio, now working again, broadcast nothing but a heaping dish of doom as I chased my headlights down Highway 77.

That’s how things look from the future. To people in the valley (the dark valley) of the present, they look different.

“You can be anything, do anything, just say you’ll stay. And that you still love me.” “Sadie . . . I never stopped.”

Sadie could be vulnerable, and Sadie could be clumsy, but Sadie could also be very, very brave. How I loved her.

For the first time I thought he seemed furtive and nervous, actually looking around at his exterior surroundings instead of at the spooky furniture deep in his head.

I might find reasons to keep on waiting. The best one was beside me in this bed: long, lovely, and smoothly naked. Maybe she was just another trap laid

‘If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples.’

“Also, I’m angry. I know life is hard, I think everyone knows that in their hearts, but why does it have to be cruel, as well? Why does it have to bite?”

For me the comedy highlight was that goddamned dancing horse.

She had put her hair up and secured it with a glittery clip.

I kept seeing her in the glow of the footlights. The red dress. The graceful curve of her neck.

That night in Sadie’s bed was the best of my life—not because it closed the door on John Clayton, but because it opened the door on us again.

Then I couldn’t wait to get back here and jump into bed with you. That wasn’t about love just now, Jake. That was about burning.” I said nothing. Sometimes there’s nothing to say.

Sadie looked at me questioningly in the twilight. “I just wanted to tell you something,” I said. “I wanted to tell you you’re the best damned thing that ever happened to me.” She laughed and hugged me. “Ditto, kind sir.” We kissed a long time, and might have kissed longer but for the dry clapping sound on our right. Mr. Kenopensky was applauding.

Ain’t the moon purty?” It was bigtime purty. We looked at it awhile without speaking, and I thought about the job I had to do.

It was long. I was tortured by what-ifs, should-have-beens, and thoughts of Sadie. Those were the worst. The missing her and wanting her went so deep it felt like physical sickness.

I sat up and embraced her without even thinking about it. She hugged me back, as hard as she could. Then I kissed her, tasting her reality—the mingled flavors of tobacco and Avon. The lipstick was fainter; in her nervousness, she had nibbled most of it away. I smelled her shampoo, her deodorant, and the oily funk of tension-sweat beneath it. Most of all I touched her: hip and breast and the scarred furrow of her cheek. She was there.

But I believe in love, you know; love is a uniquely portable magic.

I won’t call a cab; I intend to walk the whole way, under the stars. I guess I want to say goodbye. Hearts don’t really break. If only they could.

But the net is a double-edged sword. For every thing you find that’s of comfort—like discovering that the woman you loved survived her crazy ex-husband—there are two with the power to hurt.

To the loving eye, even smallpox scars are beautiful.

I can no longer travel in time, and I certainly can’t read minds, but I know what she’s thinking, just the same. I hear that name in my dreams.

She takes my hand like a woman in a dream. She is in a dream, and so am I. Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief . . . but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it? Yes, I think so. Because when the time is gone, you can never get it back.

52 Podcast Interviews #14 – the great Luke Ski

When people talk about the legends of comedy music they mention “Weird Al” Yankovic, Stan Freberg, Allan Sherman, Spike Jones and others.  In one hundred years, I firmly believe the great Luke Ski will be added to that list.

I met Luke, face to face, in 2000 at a “Weird Al” convention and when you meet Luke and see him perform, you can’t help but be impressed by his showmanship and his commitment to excellence.  It was a lot of fun getting to sit down and talk to him for this interview.

I talk to Luke about his influences as a kid and his career in the world of comedy music.  We also chat about his new job working at Cartoon Network.  We got to talking so long that not all of our conversation made it into the interview.  You can download extra audio from our chat on the free Saturday Morning Media app for iOS and Android.  You can download it here

Give this interview a listen.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.  Let me know what you think.  Also, be sure to subscribe to the show.  That’s the way to get the episodes the moments they are released.


If you’re not already subscribed to my podcast, The GrantCast, search it out on iTunes or Stitcher or use this RSS Feed in your podcaster of choice –

Subscribing to the show means you get new episodes the MOMENT they are released.

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52 Podcast Interviews #13 – Justin Hilden

I apologize for being so woefully behind in promoting these interviews on the blog.  I’m so focused on doing my show for the Orlando and Hollywood Fringe Festivals that that has totally consumed my life.  His is THE reason you need to subscribe to the podcast (see below) and not wait for me to update this site.  You’ll the the episodes the moment they are released!

This interview is with incredibly talented animator and illustrator Justin Hilden.  I met Justin while working at The Jim Henson Company and quickly learned that he is, not only, an amazing artist, he’s an incredibly nice guy to boot.  We also share a mutual love for the Disney Parks, so there’s that as well.

I was glad Justin agreed to sit down and talk with me for this interview and I think you’ll enjoy his path towards creativity.  Also, be sur to check out his animated short Oh, Possum! which we discuss in this episode.  It’s hilarious.

Enjoy!  And be sure to let me know what you thought!

If you’re not already subscribed to my podcast, The GrantCast, search it out on iTunes or Stitcher or use this RSS Feed in your podcaster of choice –

Subscribing to the show means you get new episodes the MOMENT they are released.

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