Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite TV Shows

The good folks at The Broke and the Bookish have a weekly meme post called Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is favorite movies or TV shows. So here are ten TV series I’ve seen every episode of. These may be the only ten shows I’ve seen the entire run of. I go through phases where I watch very little television, and it was tough to come up with ten of these.

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1. The X Files (1993-2002). Possibly my favorite television show ever, and notable for its long run. I watched it religiously back in the day, but it makes this list because my wife and I watched every episode in syndication the first few years we were married. My favorite episode is the one where we see that the Smoking Man had a hand in the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are awesome, of course. Mitch Pileggi is just as good, and this is the first show I remember seeing him in.

2. The Shield (2002-2008). This one is a close second for “best ever” in my mind. I can’t think of a better police drama. The cast is stellar, the writing is good, and the camera work was exceptional for a basic-cable original series at the time. The best part about it: it put Walton Goggins on the map. It’s one of those rare shows that manages to pull off an anti-climactic, unsatisfying ending but still gives the characters exactly what they deserve.

3. Copper (2012-). A BBC show about New York policemen in the Five Points during the decade after the Civil War. New York’s never looked so much like London on the screen. This is one of my favorite currently-running shows. I’ve never regretted following it for one minute, and I am eager to see how it ends.

4. Justified (2010 – ). Another gem, this one an Elmore Leonard story translated into 5 seasons of awesome television. Set in Harlan County, Kentucky, it’s all about the relationship between U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens and his childhood frenemy Boyd Crowder, a cunning and thoroughly ruthless professional criminal. Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins are phenomenal together. The acting and the dialogue are so good, it’s easy to forgive the uneven quality of the long story arcs from season to season. And it has a theme by Gangstagrass:

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Blogging Confessions

The good folks at The Broke and the Bookish have a weekly meme post called Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is blogging confessions, so I really must join in. Here are ten confessions from me.

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1. I need absolute silence to write. I can tolerate a low level of white noise such as an aquarium pump. Music, never. If there’s noise around and I must write, I tune it out and write more slowly.

2. Sometimes I blog about political things. I am always conflicted about that, right up to the moment I press the publish button. I have a strict rule (80/20 max) about the ratio of pop culture and social media content to political content here. I don’t want to be a political blogger. Usually, when I write about political stuff, it’s because I’m looking at something that I view as either too ugly to let pass or patently ridiculous.

3. I’m not really a social media wizard, despite the persona. I’m a speed-reader, I’m good at research, and I have a talent for figuring out what works and sticking with it until it doesn’t. I also have a talent for letting things go when they don’t work.

4. I’m always stressing out about not reading and commenting on other blogs more. The kind of social media network I want is one that runs on interaction and reciprocity. I often feel like I am not holding up my end.

5. I blogged at Blogspot, years ago, under a pseudonym. Later I had a WordPress blog for a few years that I’ve since deleted. During that first WordPress phase, I was experimenting with cross-network engagement, but the tools weren’t there to make it workable for a guy with a full-time job to manage.

6. Diana, my sister, credits me with the idea for these blogs. I suppose that’s fair enough. I never would have jumped back into blogging, though, if I hadn’t had contributors offering to pitch in and if Diana hadn’t pushed me along. When she called me last October and told me she’d started blogging, I kicked my own plans into high gear.

7. I wish we’d blogged for the first month, but not published anything. We’d likely still be a couple of weeks ahead and the last 8 months would have gone much more smoothly. I also wish I’d taken the number of photos I’ve taken this summer last summer before we started. An archive of original images is a real asset.

8. My goal from the beginning has been to get three blogs posting every day, keep them posting every day, and answer comments. Aside from a couple of hiccups, I’ve managed to do that with the help of contributors and by virtue of the fact that one of those blogs is Diana’s responsibility. I’m proud of this accomplishment.

9. I just love Twitter. If I suddenly found myself the sole content producer for all the blogs I contribute to, I’d keep one going, post every couple of days, Tweet like a madman on the days I wasn’t posting, and grow my Twitter following to 100k.

10. I am amazed at the awesomeness of the bloggers I’ve met since I started. Absolutely amazed. The conviviality and the conversations on the threads are my favorite part of blogging.

10 Memorable Fantasy Books and Series: Top Ten Tuesday

The great folks at The Broke and The Bookish have a feature they call Top Ten Tuesdays. I’ve wanted to join in for a couple of weeks, and since today’s theme is “Choose Your Own Topic,” I decided to whip something up. These are the ten fantasy books/series that I find most memorable.

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J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Hands-down my favorite fantasy book of all time.  It’s packed with beauty, tragedy, altruism, and hubris. It’s the book that made me want to write fantasy.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.  It’s a series of stories about Dream of the Endless, known to some cultures as Morpheus 😉 Dream has six siblings: Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium. Destiny’s as old as the universe, and the rest are only slightly younger. As you might imagine, their family dramas can be intense.

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire doesn’t need much of an introduction. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. I like the intrigue and the elements of realism he brings in, such as having a lot of maimed and disfigured characters. You’d totally expect that in a world that’s wracked by war and plague, but not all fantasy is this well-drawn.

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