Beignets = Not Overrated

Beignets are lovely.

That’s my stance, and I’m sticking to it.

I think the tendency for New Orleans residents is to reject “touristy” spots, and that’s fine to a point.  When your opinion becomes invalidated due to overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I don’t know that trying to cling to the notion of “touristy = bad” is going to do anyone a whole heck of a lot of good.

Though on second thought, if it keeps the crowds/lines a bit lighter, I’m for it. (More for me!)

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Top 10 Star Wars Trailers

A new Star Wars trailer is here!  A new Star Wars trailer is here!

Ahem, excuse my delirium.

Honestly, when “The Last Jedi” trailer dropped recently, I was perhaps more intrigued than flabbergasted.  As my better half stated, “There’s a lot to unpack there.”  And there always is, which makes the release of any new Star Wars trailer always a fun occasion.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here analyzing the thing … pretty much any nerd with the ability to pause and an encyclopedic knowledge of Wookiepedia is going to do a better job of that than me anyway.

No, I’m falling back into my comfort zone of rankings.

Here, without further buildup, are my picks for the 10 best trailers (including teasers) in the history of Star Wars.

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Don’t Do It … Unless …

In the wake of the recent round of firings at ESPN, I see plenty of hot takes.  Some are better than others (anything saying ESPN had this coming for its liberal agenda immediately goes into the “shit take” category), some are well meaning and some aren’t.  But it’s a public business, so invariably people want to sound off on it … regardless of how much understanding of the situation they personally have.

I can relate to the folks who’ve been laid off, the people who survived and have survivor’s guilt, the ones who received the extra special “gift” of demotion, and even the fortunate climbers who might somehow benefit from these moves.  I can relate because I “enjoyed” each of these experiences throughout a 15-year run in the sports communications business.

And this isn’t a woe is me tale, because for whatever it’s worth, I’m very much at peace with where I am right now (which is out of sports entirely).  I don’t blame any former employer or hold any grudges, because that would be stupid (and I really, really don’t believe in burning bridges … finding work is hard enough).  Moreover, I feel as though I’ve been more fortunate than most.

But I’ve seen one particular refrain in the aftermath of today’s carnage that I thought I could and should address, because maybe my own experiences in the business can help someone.

That sounds nice.  And it’s a convenient thing to say to someone if you want the conversation to last 140 characters or less.  But as with most things in life, the reality is much more nuanced than that.

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Some Thoughts on the Draft

Let us be clear: the NFL is very “ugh” right now.

But I still find it hard to hate the thing completely.  For one reason, I hear rumors that the New Orleans Saints are still very much a part of the league (even despite the absurd punishments handed down during “Bountygate”).  For another, the good flavor of the Falcons blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl is still fresh.*  And finally, the draft itself is always going to have some merit even for people who hate the NFL because it’s one last chance to see their favorite college players paraded in front of the camera before they’re officially professionals.  So, yay.

* This is one of the more improbable things I’ve seen in my sports-watching lifetime.  Like, the Falcons literally had to have everything go completely wrong for them to pull it off … and they did it!  And my enjoyment of it was fueled by a persistent Falcons hater laughing at them and dancing around my living room throughout the proceedings.  It was truly a memorable and enjoyable experience, even for someone disillusioned by the league and basically anything that it tries to do.

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A Star Wars re-ranking

Let’s re-rank the Star Wars films, because … ha, ha, ha! Like I need a reason!

Actually, I even have one: “Rogue One” is making its home video debut right now (I like calling it “home video” to recall the awesome-sauce that was VHS tapes), so now is as good a time as any. I last performed this exercise when there were six films.  Now there are eight.  And no, I’m not counting the Ewok movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, the Holiday Special, or even that shoddy-looking fan film you think is better than TFA and everyone else just sort of sadly nods at you in abject pity.

No, NOT EVEN THAT.

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Rogue One Enhances the Star Wars Saga Wonderfully

One of the best things about Star Wars is how it is an incredible gateway drug.  You think you’re sitting there, watching an innocuous fantasy film, and then they drop some nugget on you that gets your brain all worked up, and soon you have more questions than answers … and an insatiable desire to learn more.

“Rogue One” is the natural evolution of one of those threads, what the opening crawl in the first film was really all about.  That the film mostly answers one’s questions satisfactorily is basically just the cherry on top … the journey of discovery (and the inspiration of new questions) is the true joy.

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Getting “Truthy’ about Movies

My wife and I recently got back to talking about “The Big Short,” which I will reiterate as being one of my favorite movies … well … ever.  The context of the conversations has mostly been in regards to gift giving (not terribly relevant here) but also a little about how accurate/truthful the story seemed to be (definitely more relevant here).

So it was with great interest that I discovered this link today, a scoring of major Hollywood films that portray “true” stories … and how true to life the movies actually are.

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This is one good sandwich

Parkway has quickly become my go-to spot for po-boys in the city.  Oh, I wouldn’t limit myself to them at the expense of all others, but they make a mean sandwich.

I produced this video for NOLA Weekend on Parkway’s special Thanksgiving po-boy, only available Wednesdays in November. It is appointment eating, so make the effort if the idea intrigues you (I recommend mid-afternoon … after the huge lines, but before they run out).