Trifecta #70

Poem: Trip to You Know Where

It's as if I was in the twilight zone,
somewhere between hell and hell,
not quite to the left but nowhere near 
the right,
and I wanted to be at the beginning
and the end at the same time,
in fact, I wanted a redo.

I had woken up with such promise,
only to slide down the slide,
someone else's creation, a big mess,
and here I was to clean it up,
with a smile on my face and 
trying to hide
the tooth I had chipped.

He followed me from far away,
or was it too close?,
near my head to hear better,
no, it couldn't have gone
that way,
the veins in my arms
would not be screaming still.

There must've been a different outcome,
one I'm forgetting for some reason,
another he might've whisked away,
tripping over my piles
left behind,
smelling the odors from both ends,
hearing nothing but me 
gasping for breath on the floor.

Netflix Documentary Recommendation: Bad Sport (2021-)

The background of past sporting incidents, accidents, and cover ups is all the rage right now on Netflix. This documentary about some of the scandals that rocked the athletic world is no different. Bad Sport is basically a look inside of what happened to the people involved and who was at fault by the end of the scandal. There are six episodes involving basketball, car racing, soccer, ice skating (not Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan), horseracing, and cricket. Each episode is pretty self-explanatory and speaks for itself. It’s nice to know the people who were cheated survived and those that well did the cheating had consequences. You can’t make this stuff up even if you tried but there seems to be one thing in common in all the episodes and that is greed whether it be money, medals, or prestige.

I give Bad Sport FOUR FINGERS at 90%.

TV Recommendation: The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

My mother always used to say: “The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana.”

-Rose Nyland-

The Golden Girls lasted for seven seasons. It first aired on September 14, 1985 and last aired on May 9, 1992. There were 26 episodes in all the seasons except 25 in season 1 and 3. All the major cast of Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty won an Emmy for their roles. White played Rose Nyland, Arthur played Dorothy Zbornak, McClanahan as Blanche, and Getty as Sophia. In addition to the four major cast members, Herb Edelman played Stanley Zbornak, Harold Gould played Miles Webber, and Sid Melton played Salvadore Petrillo. Golden Girls was created by Susan Harris. There were seasons and 180 episodes that ran between 22 to 24 minutes long per episode. Here is my favorite and runner up episodes in each season although all were great, but these were the most memorable. The Golden Girls will go down as one of the best comedic shows in history. Sadly, the only Golden Girl still living is Betty White at age 99 and will turn 100 on January 17, 2022. Bea Arthur died on April 25, 2009 at age 86 of lung cancer. Rue McClanahan died on June 3, 2010 at age 76 of a brain hemorrhage. Estelle Getty died on July 22, 2008 at age 84 of Lewy body dementia.

*******

Season One

Episode 13 titled “A Little Romance” that aired on December 14, 1985 is my favorite episode. It is when Rose invites Dr. Jonathan Newman over for dinner

Episode 18 titled “The Operation” that aired on February 8, 1986 is my runner up episode. It is when Dorothy misses out on performing a dance routine with Rose and Blanche because she needs foot surgery.

Season Two

Episode 25 titled “A Piece of Cake” that aired on May 9, 1987 is my favorite episode. It is when the women recall past birthday celebrations.

Episode 12 titled “The Sisters” that aired on January 3, 1987 is my runner up episode. It is when Angela, Sophia’s sister, continue their feud from decades ago.

Season Three

Episode 14 titled “Blanche’s Little Girl” that aired on January 9, 1988 is my favorite episode. It is when Blanche sees her daughter after a long estrangement.

Episode 21 titled “Larceny and Old Lace” that aired on February 27, 1988 is my runner up episode. It is when Sophia’s boyfriend may or may not a mobster and may or may not robbed a bank.

Season Four

Episode 8 titled “Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket?” that aired on December 3, 1988 is my favorite episode. It is when the women try to find Blanche’s leather jacket that has a winning lottery ticket.

Episode 2 titled “The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo” that aired on October 22, 1988 is my runner up episode. It is when Dorothy is worried Sophia’s only highlight in life is going to the grocery store to buy fruit.

Season Five

Episode 13 titled “Mary Has a Little Lamb” that aired on January 6, 1990 is my favorite episode. It is when the Blanche’s pen pal is released from prison and wants to be with her.

Episode 18 titled “An Illegitimate Concern” that aired on February 12, 1990 is my runner up episode. It is when Dorothy and Sophia enter a mother and daughter pageant at Shady Pines.

Season Six

Episode 4 titled “Snap Out of It” that aired on October 13, 1990 is my favorite episode. It is when Dorothy helps a man overcome his fear of leaving his apartment.

Episode 21 titled “Witness” that aired on March 9, 1991 is my runner up episode. It is when Rose needs to choose between Karl, the man she is dating, and Miles, the man she was dating.

Season Seven

Episode 24 titled “Home Again, Rose: Part 2” that aired on May 2, 1992 is my favorite episode. It is when Kirsten, Rose’s daughter, doesn’t care for Blanche, Dorothy, or Sophia.

Episode 19 titled “Journey to the Center of the Attention” that aired on February 22, 1992 is my runner up episode. It is when Dorothy becomes more popular than Blanche at one of the bars she visits.

I rate The Golden Girls FOUR FINGERS and ONE THUMB at 95%.

Movie Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

You can’t outrun who you really are.

-Wenwu-

There are not major spoilers in this review!

I Heard There Are Rings Involved

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a movie based off the Marvel comic superhero (created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin). The movie was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, and Andrew Lanham. It stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, and Tony Leung. It is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action, and language. This action, adventure, fantasy movie has a running time two hours and 12 minutes. This movie is about Xu Shang-Chi, a man trying to rid himself of his past, but all the while is being pulled back into his family’s legacy, good and bad.

A Perfect Combination of Realism and Fantasy

If you know anything about martial arts, it’s probably best to pick a cast that not only looks of Asian descent but is of Asian descent when dealing with characters rooted in Asia. This movie did not make the same mistake as a movie I watched about the Yakuza where they made a non-Japanese character the leader of the Yakuza to replace the old leader. It completely wrecked the whole movie. Luckily, the character of Shang-Chi is portrayed with identifiable and relatable human characteristics. He didn’t feel like a caricature in the movie. Because he is a superhero, Shang-Chi also has superhuman powers. The story begins with Shang-Chi’s father, Xu Wenwu, who comes into possession of ten rings that gives him power in the form of immortality. When his father becomes obsessed at finding the secret village called Ta Lo, Shang-Chi relocates to San Francisco to live a normal life as a valet. He now goes by the name of Shaun and with his best friend, Katy, she realizes his true strength after riding a bus together. With this information, it forces Shang-Chi to confront his past including his father’s ambitions and his mother’s intentions. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has a little bit of everything: flying dragons, eyeless hunduns, flying arrows, killer trees, comic relief, dragon scale weapons, great fighting sequences, humor, soul consuming ugly creatures, and more.

Watch the Trailer

My Final Take on Shang-Chi

Out of all the Marvel movies I’ve seen, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is in the top five because of it didn’t extend beyond this close-knit family. While I liked the Avengers movies, I prefer movies that put their focus in a few locations and concentration on the relationships of family. This is why I really liked Black Panther and Thor. I suppose because Simi Lui as Xu Shang-Chi doesn’t wear a cape or mask, it allowed me to see the battles he was going through when he was not “in character.” Despite it being a superhero movie, there’s definitely commentary about Asian culture relating to expectations. One of the biggest obstacles of portraying Asian characters whether real of imagined is riding the fine line of creativity and realism without venturing into the territory of blatant myths and stereotypes. It’s on par with having any character be human, full of good and bad decision making, and most of all complex. This is what Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings accomplished. The women rivaled the men in physical strength and mental acuity. The only downfall of this movie happened in the credits, but it makes me wonder what will be next.

I rate Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings FOUR FINGERS and ONE THUMB at 100%.

Poem: The Perfect Sandwich

Give me two slices of wheat bread, and not the kind that appears as wheat.
I know what companies do to trick people as if they're eating wheat.
You know that terrible wheat bread full of gluten and sugar. 
I want the wheat bread that's whole and has grains, many many grains.
The kind that's hopefully made by reformed people.
And don't be putting on mayonnaise, fat-free or full of fat.
I don't like either one. 
I like my sandwiches dry like the desert.
It forces me to drink a tall glass of water with it.
No soda or pop as they call it in the Midwest because my gut 
can't take anymore bloating from all the bad eating I've done.
I've got a figure to keep.
It's laughable, I know, but my mirror is full of delusion.
Slap on all the vegetables and spices.
No salt because too much isn't good for anyone.
No salami, no turkey, no bacon, no meat should touch my bread.
I shouldn't even be eating that cheese I like so much.
My insides can't digest it like it did back in the day.
Now it wakes me up at night out of a deep sleep and prevents me 
from getting back to that comfortable feeling.
I put too much thought in this sandwich, give it too many demands.
It's only a sandwich. 
It will keep my belly full for a while and hunger soon again.
I really shouldn't be eating this.
The wheat bread isn't that special, and I eat it anyway.

More You Know: Most Popular Countries and U.S. Cities Visited

Here are the top countries people visit from around the world in 2019 according to World Atlas. Those on the list isn’t that surprising as they are countries that rake in a lot of money in terms of tourism (obviously pre-covid). Then, I will move onto the most visited cities in the U.S. This shouldn’t be a surprise either.

10. United Kingdom had 36 million tourists in 2019. The most popular cities are London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Manchester. The most popular attractions include Big Ben, the Tower of London and Stonehenge.
9. Thailand had 38 million tourists in 2019. The most popular attractions include Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi and The Grand Palace of Bangkok. The big draw are the 1,430 islands that has many visitors each year. 
8. Germany had 39 million tourists in 2019. The most popular city is Berlin. The most popular attractions include castles, beer, and food. 
7. Mexico had 41 million tourists in 2019. The most popular cities are Cancun, Mexico City, and Playa del Carmen.  
6. Turkey had 46 million tourists in 2019. The most popular cities Ankara and Antalya. The most popular attractions include Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sofia Museum. 
5. Italy had 62 million tourists in 2019. The most popular cities are Rome, Naples and Florence. The most popular attractions include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon.
4. China had 63 million tourists in 2019. The big draw of China is its landscapes, history, and food. The most popular attractions include The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. 
3. United States had 80 million tourists in 2019. The most popular cities are New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles
2. Spain had 83 million tourists in 2019. The big draw of Spain is its warm weather and pristine beaches. The most popular attractions include La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Alhambra. 
1. France had 89 million tourists in 2019. The most popular city is Paris. The most popular attractions include the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Disneyland. 



10. Chicago had 1.4 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the Navy Pier, Millenium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 
9. Boston had 1.5 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include Fenway Stadium, the Museum of Fine Art, the Freedom Trail walk, the Boston Public Garden, and the Boston Tea Party museum. 
8. Washington D.C. had 1.9 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Washington Monument.
7. Honolulu had 2.7 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the beaches, islands, sea life, volcanoes, wildlife, and Pearl Harbor.
6. Las Vegas had 2.9 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the Las Vegas sign, shows, lights, and nightclubs.  
5. San Francisco had 3.3 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the Golden Gate Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and cable cars.
4. Orlando had 4.4 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Epcot, and the Kennedy Space Center.
3. Los Angeles had 4.6 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland, and art museums.
2. Miami had 5.2 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include Miami Beach, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Little Havana, the Everglades National Park, and the Miami Zoo.
1. New York City had 10.2 million visitors in 2019. The most popular attractions include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and Broadway.

Poem: Catch Up

Green slime in the glass, built up long and strong.
When will I ever catch up and the sinks not be full?

I have mindless other things to do.
Watch re-runs of shows while tripping over my things.

A small pile of clothes on the floor with dust.
Dirty things stuck together like popsicle sticks.

I miss those moments that once gave me joy.
Where did all the motion disappear?

Black mold can be toxic, don't care where it is.
One infestation can be gone with one act of purification.

No one is around to see the mess, twelve years in the making.
Next time everything will move faster.

Netflix Documentary Recommendation: Attack of the Hollywood Clichés (2021)

Not everyone likes Rob Lowe especially when he poked fun at Prince William’s receding hairline a while back. I don’t think he’s that great of an actor. I really don’t remember any outstanding roles he’s done. He’s really isn’t all that funny in terms of this documentary despite being the narrator. It’s like he’s trying too hard to be funny. He’s no Nicolas Cage. Note the sarcasm a little bit as Cage’s acting is over the top at times. Okay, a lot of the times. Although I did like Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn in The West Wing. I remember him from The Outsiders and St. Elmo’s Fire the most. Okay, maybe I need to give him another chance. Back to Hollywood clichés and if you’re a writer you recognize some of them as writing clichés too. They are self-explanatory and are in every type of genre. As much as viewers and critics get tired of them, they will NEVER go away. NEVER EVER. It’s like the Marvel movies in the last decade. They have grabbed hold of the movie industry and will never let go willingly. Those commenting run the gamut from actors, actresses, directors, and more. Whether you think the clichés are downright horrible and don’t stand the test of time, anyone should watch this documentary whether they are writers, movie watchers, or the average person. I mainly watched this something different to watch besides what I’m currently watching. There’s definitely something to be said about impact Hollywood has on the world and vice versa.

I rate Attack of the Hollywood Clichés GOOD at THREE FINGERS of 80%

Poem: Outstretched Arm

I hear the cries. 
I see the tears. 
I know the sounds.
I listen well.

When the sheets come down on the bed, the warmth escapes.

I cover my ears.
I close my eyes.
I smell the violence.
I taste the blood.

When the pillows are thrown from the bed, the shadow moves.

I want relief.
I wish for less.
I desire more.
I am here.

When the lights die out and the moon appears, the vampire appears.
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