While the cats away…..


You may have noticed that there haven’t been any new posts this week. That’s because I am at a grant writing workshop in good ol’ NYC most of this week and despite my best efforts I didn’t get ahead in writing my blog posts before I left. So the radio silence is temporary, but unavoidable. I’m hoping to have the weekly pop culture roundup posted on Thursday, but that may be wishful thinking. I guess it all depends how productive I am on the train ride home and how much I have to get done before I return to the office.

Never fear…I’ve had some pop culture adventures on this trip that you’ll hear about as well as a bunch of other events that I’m backlogged on blogging about. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Until then, I have some grant proposals to review. I’m really living it up in the big city 🙂

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Farewell to the Captain Edition


Tomorrow night I’ll be making the pilgrimage to the Yankee Stadium for what is most likely Derek Jeter’s last home game of his career. Unless the Yankees suddenly go on some sort of crazy winning streak, the chances that they’ll make the playoffs are pretty slim. So tomorrow will be our chance to say goodbye to Jeter after nearly two decades in pinstripes.

People who don’t know anything about sports know how Derek Jeter is; the Yankee shortstop kind of transcended sports and his retirement marks the end of an era. It’s become really rare for a player to stay with one team for their entire baseball career and Jeter has made a name for himself not only for his plays on the field bur for his off-field conduct as well. Jeter was never my favorite player on the Yankees, but I’ve always respected him and loved having him on the team I passionately root for. I was skeptical that his retirement would break my heart as much as Mariano Rivera’s last year, but as we close in on that final game I find myself far more affected than I first predicted. When he runs off the field for the last time as an active player, there will be tears. And I won’t be the only one – not by a long shot.

But you know what has helped take my mind off this pending milestone – working on the pop culture roundup. As always, I’ve scoured the web to catch you up on some of the pop culture that you might have missed in the last seven days. Pop culture never retires. Thank God for that.

Just a reminder that my fundraising campaign for the Children’s Tumor Foundation is winding down, but there is still time to make a donation to support the blog and a great cause.

And now…on to the pop culture madeness……..

  • Jimmy Fallon had some surprise guests drop by The Tonight Show on his 40th birthday:


  • I know absolutely nothing about Dancing with the Stars, but I do enjoy Alfonso Ribiero “Getting Jiggy Wit It”


  • Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie has found its Guinevere. She joins Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, which means that there is a 100% chance I’m seeing this movie. #swoon
  • New music from Kendrick Lamar. Yay!


  • A bunch of celebrities have teamed up for a PSA about sexual assault:


  • Kanye is teaching a class at L.A. Trade Technical College. I wonder if he is on RateMyProfessor.com

Time for some trailers….

  • The red band trailer for The Interview has arrived:


  • Another ten second teaser for Better Call Saul:


  • The new season of South Park debuts tonight:


  • The American Horror Story: Freak Show teasers just keep rolling in:


  • Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Secret Service:


  • Amy Adams in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes:


  • A trailer for season 5 of The Walking Dead:


  • Peter Dinklage in Low Down:


  • Men, Women & Children international trailer:


  • This infographic tells you how long it takes to read popular books. You’ll need 60 hours to read the Harry Potter series.
  • Apparently the women from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants still hang out:


  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have releasednew songs from the Gone Girl soundtrack:


  • This sounds like it should be made up – a burglar broke into a Game of Thrones fan’s house and was stabbed with a spear.
  • When you don’t know the Final Jeopardy! question, going with a Cheers reference is a solid move:


  • Vin Diesel with a beard kind of freaks me out:

Photo from Vin Diesel’s Facebook page


Also unsettling – a vintage photo of AC/DC in swimsuits


As always, we end with the supercuts and mashups

  •  A ballet company has choreographed a performance to the Game of Thrones theme:


  • Ellen has a little fun with Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercial:


  • A rap battle for the ages – Snow White vs. Frozen’s Elsa:


  • Watch 236 episodes of Friends in 236 seconds:



  • More pop culture inspirational posters; this time it’s Andy Dwyer quotes:


  • A supercut of people saying “Shove it up your ass” in movies:


  • And finally, Boardwalk Empire opening credits recreated in Grand Theft Auto V:

Happy Birthday Boss

photo from http://wimz.com

photo from http://wimz.com

Today is Bruce Springsteen’s 65th birthday, which is hard to imagine if you’ve recently seen him live in concert. That man has the energy of rockers in their twenties and thirties and routinely puts on three-hour plus shows that leave audience members exhausted from all the dancing and happiness. 65 isn’t old, but I get tired just watching him and I’m only in my thirties. I don’t know what fountain of youth that he’s drinking from, but I wouldn’t mind a sip or two myself. I look young for my age, but that doesn’t mean that my body knows that and I’ve already begun to see a dramatic increase in aches and pains in the last few years.

If you’ve been a regular reader of the blog from the start, you know that I hold Bruce Springsteen in a special place in my heart. Not only do I love his music, but I genuinely like him as a person; though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Springsteen, he’s one of the few celebrities that I think I wouldn’t me disappointed by. With him I think what you see is what you get and by all accounts he’s a pretty great guy. I’m not surprised – people born in September are notoriously awesome individuals.

In honor of The Boss’ birthday, here are my top five Springsteen songs. I generally like anything that Springsteen does – with or without the E Street Band – but these songs are the ones that are guaranteed to make me smile.


  1. The Rising


This song was written after 9/11 and though it isn’t all that complicated, it’s simple and exactly the kind of song that I needed to hear to help me get through that dark time. It’s a song about a tragic day, but there is something so upbeat about the chorus that it just made me feel better. Listening to “The Rising,” I got the feeling that things were actually going to be OK; it reminded me of the resiliency of a city that I love the heroism of first responders. There’s a defiance that underlies the song – it’s an anthem of recovery.


  1. American Land

This is a song that I’ve come to love after seeing it performed live; when I first heard it on the Wrecking Ball album I liked it, but there was nothing in particular that stood out about it for me. Seeing it performed in person was a totally different experience and it has quietly become a song that I now really look forward to. I think the Irish influence really makes it stand out because it doesn’t really sound like any other Springsteen song.


  1. Badlands


As corny as this sounds, the lyrics of this song will always be important to me – whenever I hear the Boss sing “You spend your life waiting for a moment that just won’t come/Well don’t waste your life waiting” it’s a reminder that sometimes you have to move on from things that just weren’t meant to be and live your life. I have no idea why this particular song resonates so strongly with me, but it was the song that triggered something in me to snap out of a deep funk that I was in a few years ago. I am not one that is necessarily deeply affected by music, but something about “Badlands” touches me in a way that other songs just don’t.


  1. Glory Days


I first fell in love with Springsteen when I was pretty young and “Glory Days” was my favorite song for the longest time, despite the fact that at eight years old there was no way that I really understood what this song was really all about. At that point of my life, I hadn’t even experienced my glory days yet, but the hook and chorus were so catchy that it didn’t matter if the song wasn’t really applicable to me yet. As I’ve grown older, my affection for this song has only deepened as it has become more relatable. “Sometimes


  1. Rosalita


Springsteen doesn’t seem to play this song in concert very much anymore, which is too bad because it such a great song. I had been cautioned not to expect it before I started going to Springsteen concerts, so I had prepared myself to possible never hear this song performed live. So imagine my delight when at my second ever Springsteen show he and the E Street band decided to dust it off and give it a go. I am not at all understating when I say that when I heard the first few notes of this song I.Lost.My.Mind. Seriously – I’m pretty mild mannered in general, but when they started playing “Rosalita” I jumped up out of my seat and just started dancing with absolutely no care as to what everyone else in our section was doing. If I was the only person in the arena boogieing down, so be it. This behavior was so out of character for me that the person I was with just stared at me in bewilderment. It didn’t matter to me – this was my song. Sadly, I’ve never heard it live since. But I heard it once and that’s enough.

Now it’s your turn – What are your favorite Springsteen songs? Can you believe the boss is halfway to seventy?

Happy birthday Bruce! Here’s to many more years of rock and roll!