Tag Archives: John Hodgman

Faded tickets, magazines and Todd Barry!

The next movie on my list, or it really should be, is “Enemy” starring that doe-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal and his doppleganger or whatever.

I’ve had it on DVD from Netflix since Jan. 24, 2017, but alas it still sits atop my DVD player and probably will until the Guinness Book of World Records people show up at my door.

I honestly was going to watch it last night, but instead went down a rabbit hole of Conan O’Brien episodes (did you know he is still doing the string dance?) That prompted me to catch up on “Silicon Valley” after seeing Thomas Middleditch’s wonderfully awkward appearance.

After a day in the sun both from a long walk (I actually ran for part of it, woo!) and then lounging in my new favorite chair reading InStyle and listening to podcasts, it was the perfect evening.

I also started to think about a subject for my blog this morning and, with no material on “Enemy,” looked for inspiration by sifting through my old movie tickets.


I keep meaning to buy a scrapbook for them, especially now that some have faded beyond recognition. I saw one where all I could make out were the words “Hunt for” and I thought … did I see “The Hunt for Red October” at some point? No, it was a ticket from “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” last year. (One of the best movies of the year, by far.) Now I do have to watch “The Hunt for Red October” … but only if it is re-released in the theaters so I have the ticket to prove it.

Or maybe I can win the Guinness record as the only person who hasn’t seen it.

My ticket nostalgia continued this morning with a quick look through a box of old cards and whatnot from high school and I found the mother of all movie stubs from my senior year:


I also uncovered some mint condition magazines from the 1990’s:


Why do we save stuff like this? If anything it’s for the random moments you decide to look through old boxes and even better when you don’t know what you’ll find.

I didn’t know I kept some old magazines, especially not this one:


Oh how things have changed.

A little nostalgia from time to time can’t hurt, just remember it’s memories associated with the past that wouldn’t be the same today. My favorite nostalgia expert, John Hodgman, would tell you that.

That’s why I subscribe to his Lifestyle newsletter and then often don’t read it because I forget to check under the Promotions tab in Gmail.  (I just added him to my contacts –why didn’t I think of this earlier?– so maybe the messages will arrive in my primary inbox.) Anyway,  I did click over one tab  (tough stuff) while catching up on emails yesterday and read the newsletter, which included a recommendation for what is now my new favorite blog by musician and writer Carsie Blanton.  I purchased her album “So Ferocious,” which I’ve been listening to while working on this post, and also read her most recent blog with words of wisdom on pursuing your life goals.

It also references the (visually) aforementioned Brad Pitt after she watched “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with her husband during a cabin getaway. (They didn’t have many movies to pick from.)

The lyrics from her song, “Lovin’ is Easy” made me smile and I think my favorite tune on the album is “Hot Night.”

From “Lovin’ is Easy”:

“I’m in love with you but it’s alright/I fall in love nearly every night and it fills up my heart until I can’t keep it in/so I hope you don’t mind if I say it again.”

It’s time for other happiness news in that the Minneapolis movie in the parks schedule is hot off the presses and “Clueless” is showing on my birthday. The list includes many of the 1980’s and 1990’s classics that are a perfect excuse to get out at dusk during the heydays of summer. Now I can finally see “Space Jam” on the big screen.

And lastly, since I probably won’t write before then, I am headed off to Madison this weekend to see my favorite deadpan man Todd Barry at the Comedy Club on State.


I have his book ready to be signed and now just have to think of what to say to him. (I also need a purse big enough for it in case I chicken out, which is very likely.) Do I tell him I think it’s cute that he included his cat Sunflower in the acknowledgements or just that I really admire him?


Should I show him this selfie? There is a good chance I am going to embarrass myself, but it’s going to be great.




31 of 366: Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun The Sheep Movie First Look Still

I’m back to making my way through the Oscar nominees this year, which pushes me to try out animated films such as Shaun the Sheep Movie that I normally wouldn’t see.

The film is nominated for best animated feature and, unlike Inside Out, doesn’t translate as well across children and adult audiences, at least on the surface, but I still found it to be imaginative and entertaining overall.

There is no dialogue in the film, also unlike Inside Out, which for younger audiences leaves the meaning of the story and the message open to let their imaginations in as far as what the characters are saying and why.

Shaun is the main sheep of the bunch and becomes sick of the routine at the farm where they live and everything being the same day in and day out.

They come up with an idea to distract the farmer who runs the show for a few hours which, of course, does not go as planned and sends the group and the farmer’s dog on a mission to the big city to rescue him.

That premise seems very tailored to younger audiences’ brains, but the takeaway in the end to make room for trying new things and not following such a regiment every day could be words to live by for adults.

Shaun the Sheep Movie probably won’t top Inside Out at the Oscars, but it is deserving of the recognition and worth watching for imaginative thinkers young and old.

On another, somewhat related, note  John Hodman’s podcast today focused on an argument about a man who travels too much and leaves his friends and family behind in the process.

I didn’t watch Shaun the Sheep Movie before listening to the podcast, but I jotted down this quote from Hodgman and I think it’s fitting for the theme of the film:

“Travel … going out into the world is usually a way of going into yourself.”

John Hodgman

5 of 366: Roman Holiday


Roman Holiday is a fantasy where people hiding their true identities from each other say things like charmed as a greeting and drink champagne and cold coffee at sidewalk cafes in Rome.

The question is when Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) and Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) will have to reveal what they know, or suspect, about each other after a day on holiday (and falling in love) in the city.

Bradley is an American journalist in Rome assigned to interview the princess on her schedule, only to encounter her at night after she escapes from her palace in a sleeping-medicine induced stupor.

Despite her confused state, Ann really did want to escape her life of meet-and-greets and fancy gowns for a day to do things she’s always wanted without following orders.

At first, Bradley has a different motive for spending time with Ann — a news article that could take his career to the next level — but that is soon lost when he starts to fall for her.

Peck and Hepburn shine together on screen as they see the sights in Rome.

As happy as they seem, however, the sense that their relationship building in one day is too good to be true is not that far away.

Overall, the music and scenery in this film will take you away as well as the dialogue between Ann and Joe Bradley throughout their day together.

A couple of my favorite lines:

Joe: “You’re not what I’d call trouble.”

Ann: “Would you be so kind as to tell me where I am?

Joe: “Sorry honey, but I haven’t worn a nightgown in years.”

Ann: “I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”

Roman Holiday, the first film in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die I watched, put Hepburn on the Hollywood map and she earned an Academy Award for her performance.

Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted screenwriter using Ian McLellan Hunter as a cover, (and the subject of Trumbo in theaters now) was eventually recognized for his work with an Academy Award as well.

1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die contributor Joshua Klein writes that Peck and Hepburn (originally supposed to be Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant under director Frank Capra) made the film as strong as it remains today and Trumbo’s work on the story is just as influential.

Director William Wyler ensured the film was made in Rome for it to live up to its name and keep the fantasy going, if only for a moment in time.


4 out of 4 stars.

“Nerdism is an expression of enthusiasm for the thing that you love …I appreciate that definition, of course it is so broad to be meaningless. Whatever nerdism is, it is defined by enthusiasm and wanting to share that enthusiasm with other people.” – John Hodgman on the Nerdist podcast in December 2012.