Salon.com on “Justified” Love

Today, in preparation for some really hard, serious intellectual teaching work (as opposed to the physical exertion of gardening in extreme cold and walking downtown and back), self did her usual perusal of her various e-mail accounts.  In her gmail “In” box was a notice from Salon.com alerting her to the latest articles, and when self saw something called “Raylan Givens Justified My Love” she didn’t need to be told twice, her fingers moved quicker than lightning and

OMG, dear blog readers, is this not the most gorgeous picture of Timothy Olyphant wearing the white Stetson?

Last Tuesday (Can it really have been a mere five days ago?) self waited all agog for Episode 1 of the 4th season of “Justified.”  She had to kick The Man off the HDTV in the living room, for it would have been such a waste to watch Timothy Olyphant on the teensy, old TV in son’s bedroom.

Winona seems to have gone bye-bye, permanently, and self is glad because the actress who played her was too thin.  (Self realizes this sounds extremely superficial.  But she is firm in her opinion that Raylan needs a real dame!  One with killer curves!)

There is of course Walton Goggins aka Boyd Crowder flashing his killer grin (Self recognized him immediately in Django Unchained, where he plays a stupider version of his Justified self), and of course Our Man Raylan, who still looks so adorable in those low-slung jeans.  Self wonders who this season’s Epic Bad-Ass will be.  She thinks Neal McDonough, Baddie of Season 3, was pretty good, but could not top Season 2’s Evil Matriarch Mags Bennett, and her equivally malevolent brood.

Anyhoo, here are some pertinent quotes from the Salon.com article, which is by Lorraine Berry:

  • “While Olyphant is a fiendishly handsome guy, I don’t feel an erotic attraction to Givens . . . ”  (Oh, SHUT UP, Ms. Berry!)
  • “For us, our interest in Justified commands that we not only make sure that we are home to keep our appointment with the show’s original viewing time, but then also leads us to watch the show the next night, on DVR, where we can stop it every few moments to discuss the last snippet of dialogue or to start to unpack the central conflict that drives the series.”  Why not just do what self does on Tuesday nights?  She watches the 10 p.m. show, then the repeat at 11 p.m., and even the second repeat which begins at midnight, until finally she falls asleep, the voice of Timothy Olyphant permeating her dreams . . .  (Woman, you need to get a hold on yourself!)

The article then goes on to “unpack” the following relationships:

Raylan and his boss, Art Mullen:  About this, self will refer dear blog readers to Season 1, when Raylan lost his white Stetson, and it somehow came into the possession of his boss, and the actor who plays Art Mullen, Nick Searcy, (who is, in self’s opinion, long overdue for an Emmy nomination) said:  “How’d you lose your hat?  You weren’t raped, were you?” or something to that effect.  Self knows this isn’t a funny line in print.  But you’d have to hear Nick Searcy deliver that line, and see the look on Timothy Olyphant’s face, to get the full comic import.

Raylan and Mags Bennett :  This relationship achieved glorious apogee in Season 2.  There is a scene where Raylan puts his hand against Mags Bennett’s chest, and the gesture comes off as, not rude, but firm.  How’d Olyphant manage that?  Again, dear blog readers, you’d have to see the scene with your own two eyes.

Then the article goes on and on and on and on and on, dissecting what the writer refers to as the “Raylan swagger.”  She’s not sure why the word “swagger” is used to describe Olyphant’s affect.  The man is pure sex appeal, that’s all.  If Quentin Tarantino played Raylan Givens, there’d be no article on Salon.com.  Olyphant is the Brad Pitt of television!

Oh and by the way, his deputy, the sharpshooter whose name self forgets, is also pretty cute.  And where’s Erica Taziel?  Self loves whenever episodes focus on her character.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Justified” 4.1

Woot Hoot!  Self did catch the season opener of “Justified.”

The nice thing about F/X is that, if there is anything you didn’t hear too well the first time around, the episode repeats three times consecutively.  Thus, you may feast on Timothy Olyphant at 10 p.m., or at 11 p.m., or at midnight.  Or you can just watch Episode 1 three times.

And he is still so cool in that Stetson.  Really, his brand of nonchalant insouciance invests the character with so much charm.  Self even likes the odd way he walks.  All gangly.

Today she made herself walk a mile from her house to Pamplemousse (where she celebrated her achievement by ordering a raspberry cake and four rum and butter macarons).  Must be the reason why she fell asleep right after the 10 p.m. show.  In her dreams, for the first time, instead of imagining great dark, shadowy houses, she imagined a wee, very humble abode, with lots of closet space regardless, and windows facing a sidewalk, and also Timothy Olyphant.  Talking. Talking to her.  WHEEEE!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Of Significance Today, the 1st Friday of December (2012)

None of the things in the list below have anything to do with each other, but here goes:

  • Today was the 41st Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  On the radio this morning, she heard Pres. Roosevelt’s voice, tinny and full of static, addressing the American people.  Self, an incorrigible writer, grabbed a pen and pad and took notes.
  • Today self tried a Mixed Berry Pie from Gracie’s on Laurel Street in San Carlos.  She’s always had a fondness for Gracie’s, for this is a local fave.  Not to mention it has the same name as her Dear Departed Gracie, whose death in April 2011 broke self’s heart.  But — back to the Mixed Berry Pie.  That is, OMG, the BEST, absolutely the BEST Mixed Berry Pie self has ever tasted.  Absolutely bursting with berries, and just the right amount of tartness.  Perfect heated up, with a dollop of ice cream.
  • The Man was watching Predator 3.  The one with Adrien Brody.  He gets to bare his chest.  Thank God, he is very buff.  Self loves these Predator movies.  There’s no finesse about them at all.  This one even has a yakuza.  You know, that Last Stand Scene in the first Predator, when the Native American guy decides to stand and fight, and the Predator shreds him in something like two minutes?  The same thing happens here.  Guess who gets to be the sacrificial victim this time?  Come to think of it, Predator is sort of like Survivor, only of course one has aliens.  But the thinking is the same.  That is, they both encourage self to imagine herself in that place with those people, and she always ends up coming to the same conclusion:  She will be the first casualty.  The first one kicked off the island.  Indubitably.
  • In the commercial break, self learns that Justified Season 4 STARTS JANUARY 8!  OMG, there he is: Timothy Olyphant in the Stetson (only this time self isn’t sure if it’s still white).  OMG, OMG, OMG!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

After the Apocalypse: Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas’ “Sunday Morning” (Like THE HUNGER GAMES only with Filipino Characters)

  • Even after the Apocalypse, people still remember The Beatles (“Did I tell you, Nina, how the rumor spread in 1977 —  forty years ago this year! —  that someone was paying the Beatles six million dollars just for one night of singing together?”)
  • They can recite the Book of Job,  from memory (“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.  O remember that my life is wind . . .  What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? . . .  I will say unto God, Do not condemn me.  Hast thou eyes of flesh?  Or seeth thou as men seeth?  Are thy days as the days of man?  Are thy years as man’s days?”)
  • Among the last vestiges of civilization:  a ’51 Chevrolet pick-up truck (“The truck had already been on the mountain when the first resident, old Ben Boggley, now dead, built his hut on Ragged Mountain.  No one knew how it had gotten there, or to whom it had belonged.  But on the rusty tailgate which used to hang by one hinge, there, in crude letters over the pale flaking paint which used to be blue, were the names Cesar and Rosalie.)

Here’s a beautiful, descriptive passage:

On the final hill overlooking the slight hollow where the cabin stood, they stopped, and Pedro Aguinaldo set his child down so that they were both facing the northwest.

Large, wet blue stars quivered in the sky, and the sharp wind that blew from the northwest seemed to set the stars rocking.

“Look, Papa, they’re so many,” she said, pointing.

P.S.  Self fell asleep while waiting for “Justified” to come on.  Woke with a start, saw it was already 10:45 p.m.  YIIIKES!  Hurriedly switched on the TV, saw Neil McDonough’s arm in Timothy Olyphant’s arms.  Obviously, something unspeakable had just transpired.  Oh, thank goodness self didn’t have to witness the blood spatter.   McDonough dies, but self loves that he does not over-dramatize.  Mostly, what he projects is shock (Self would react in exactly the same way if she ever saw her arm detached from her actual person and hanging on to some other person’s anatomy)  . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Congratulations to Timothy Olyphant! Successfully Launched the Longest Sentence Ever Uttered on Television

Self thinks she has heard the longest sentence ever uttered on TV, last night while watching “Justified.”

There were a couple of things that self thought were very encouraging about last night’s episode.

  • Ava was back —  in a big way.  Still not in sexy mode, though.  Guess the producers decided to leave all the “siren” stuff to Winona.  Ava gets locked up in a closet.  Self missed the scene where she (undoubtedly) caused major mayhem before being subjected to such an indignity. Her reaction upon her rescue is very under-played.  Why is it that as soon as she moved in with Boyd Crowder, her previous sultriness went flying out the window ?
  • The two skanky girls were back, having a riotous good time.
  • There was a mullet.  Belonging to a minor character.
  • And now to the longest sentence self has ever had the honor of listening to, on a television show.  Honors go to Timothy Olyphant, for displaying almost supernatural (i.e. Shakesperean) breath control. (If you don’t know what self is talking about, just go and watch Derek Jacobi in a Shakesperean role, there have got to be a few clips of him on YouTube. Or of Anthony Hopkins), while simultaneously maintaining a tone of warm geniality throughout the entire utterance.  After he had finished, self quite Read the rest of this entry »

“Justified” Season 3, Episode 7

What is happening to Ava?  She stands behind a bar, and her forehead is all wrinkly, and she is wearing a very old maid-ish type of sweater.

Wynona is not in this episode.

Erica Taziel is not in this episode.  Self keeps forgetting what her character’s name is.  She looks it up:  Rachel Brooks!

But we still have Timothy Olyphant! (And he’s been keeping his Stetson on.  Without making it seem like he’s trying too hard to be a cowboy.  And he has one really good scene of ass-whuppin’.  Only Raylan can deliver an ass-whuppin’ and make it look genial.  One of his targets is the Mean Man in the Wheelchair.  Since the Mean Man is pretty quick with a baseball bat, it serves him right when Raylan smashes his head into a desk)

And we still have bits of the sardonic wonderful-ness of Nick Searcy as Raylan’s boss, Art Mullen!

One of the best things about this episode is that we finally have some back-and-forth between Tim Gutterson and Raylan (Where is Erica Taziel?  She’s just — gone!).  These two have old-screen chemistry.  They’re as good as Tracy & Hepburn, Downey & Law.  It helps that they’re both hot.

Self loooves the tailored dark purple shirt Tim wears throughout this episode.  Let’s have some more of this shirt, next episode!

If self remembers correctly, in Season 1, Tim showed up to meet Raylan at some place where only US Army Veterans were allowed entrance.  And he was wearing a kind of lumberjack shirt, over a blinding white T-shirt.  Self cannot tell you how much a man’s appeal is enhanced by the wearing of a blinding white T-shirt.  One that tells the viewer, in no uncertain terms:  I know my laundry detergent! And I apply it quite liberally!

Exhibit A:  Keanu Reeves in “Speed” —  in a scene near the beginning.  Just before the bus blows up.  He’s drinking coffee when KABOOM!  He has to run out.  Only really manly men can deal with a crisis wearing a blinding white T-shirt.  Self realizes she’s never written so much about white T-shirts.  White T-shirt White T-shirt White T-shirt.  She can’t help it:  only American men can get away with performing heroics in white T-shirts.  (Where is self going with this?  Lord only knows)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Justified” Season 3, Episode 6

Self is still waiting for this season to catch fire.

On the other hand, Raylan looked really good in last night’s episode:  He was wearing a very dark blue long-sleeved T.  If we cannot see Raylan shirtless, the next best thing is seeing him in a tight, long-sleeved, dark T.

The series seems to be getting dark.  Reeeallly dark.  Though the Evil Malevolence of last year’s Mags Bennett is still un-matched.

Last night’s episode began with two very skanky-looking young women jumping out of a truck, lifting their shirts to expose their very new-looking colored bras to the grateful truck driver, then going into a clinic and asking for Oxy from a very baby-faced doctor.  He refuses and self thinks quite highly of him, for about three seconds.  Then, one of the young women locks the door and there is a very brief, slightly suggestive sex scene, and then a shooting.

In last night’s office scenes, the desk of Rachel Brooks (Erica Taziel), who was great in two previous episodes, was quite noticeably empty.  Perhaps she was on assignment out-of-town.  There was a wee glimpse of Jacob Pitts in the background, talking to someone.  Self’s hopes rose unreasonably at the sight of him.  There were about three seconds of him talking to Raylan, and saying something sardonic.  That was it.  Gaaa —  it’s already Episode 6, and Mr. Pitts has yet to figure prominently in any story arc.  What is wrong with this picture?

Ava’s face is getting harder.  She hardly smiles anymore.  Last night, she was wearing a bright orange sweater dress (Orange is definitely Ava’s color).

Wynona has left Raylan.  He tracks her down to her sister’s house and she appears looking sultry and seductive in a loose, very low-cut dress.  OK, this is yet another of those refreshing changes that make us think of a character in a new way.  For instance, because she is so often attired in pencil skirts, self thinks of Wynona as more uptight than the other lead female, Ava.  But in last night’s episode, she and Ava seemed to have switched roles:  that is, Wynona’s breasts were very much in evidence while Ava’s were firmly entrenched in that long-sleeved, orange sweater.

After the episode ended, self stayed on F/X because she knew the episode would immediately repeat.  This is one show that definitely rewards repeat viewing.  She caught so many nuances that had completely slipped by her, the first time.  And rather than the stand-alone episodes of Season 1, the writers seem to have decided in favor of “story arcs” (and self is really getting desperate for some action.  How about Jacob Pitts going back into sharpshooter mode?  Where oh where is Carla Gugino?)

One of the garden variety Bad Guys looks like the husband/wife abuser in the film adaptation of the Andre Dubus story, “Killings.” (The film was “In the Bedroom,” and represented something of a comeback for Marisa Tomei)

One of self’s favorite scenes in last night’s episode was the one where Ava enters a bar and is offered a job by that Garden Variety Bad Guy.  She reads him pretty quick but still exercises that sly charm.

Self’s favorite episodes so far this season have been the two where Erica Taziel’s character, Rachel Brooks, stepped up.  One of these episodes also gave quite a bit of screen time to Chief Art Mullen, and he was wonderful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Justified” Season 3, Episode 2

Someone ought to tell Denzel that story.

— Chief Deputy Art Mullen

This episode seems to be focused mainly on Chief Deputy Art Mullen.  Yay!  Nick Searcy is wonderful.  Self is thrilled, simply thrilled, when Chief Deputy Art Mullen tells a perpetrator :  “Get out, you son of a bitch!”  His accent is spot-on (Self has never been to the south, but she still declares Deputy Chief Mullen’s accent “authentic.”  Self, when will this ever end ???)

Adding further to the fabulous-ness of this episode is the presence of Carla Giugino (in a black suit with a red blouse).  And — oh my — she is tough!  Watch her take down a low-life in a pencil skirt and heels!

Self thinks this season of “Justified” is beginning so strong.  Episode 2 is on a whole other level of fine.

A character gets whacked pretty early on.  The incident occurs in broad daylight, in a very public place.  The sound of the report is loud (even though assassin muffles the sound of the gun by shooting through a pillow)

OK, where are all the other people in that Public Place?  If a man sprawls on the ground after being shot (but not killed), you’d think someone might notice.

Missing in Action in this episode:  Ava and Tim Gutterson

Though Ava does put in an appearance, close to the end.

Erica Taziel is present, playing tough for the first time.  That’s twice now that self has used “tough” to describe the women in this episode.  Which just goes to show:  all the women in the “Justified” universe are “tough.”  For instance, last season’s 14-year-old-with-the-heart-shaped face, who successfully deflected a pervert all by herself.  And last season’s Evil Incarnate, Mags Bennett.  And Ava.  Heck, even Winona is tough!  Most of the tough women are thin, and they can all get away with wearing the Mother of All Pencil Skirts.  (In fact, now that self reflects, has there ever been a woman on this show who is NOT tough?  Methinks not!)

There is a new Villain, who does a masterful job of cutting a beef carcass with a very very very and self means VERY sharp knife!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Justified” Season 3, Episode 1

“Boyd, I’ve been to Mexico, and I don’t think you’d like it.”

“How’s that?”

“There’re a lot of Mexicans.”

He’s back! Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is back!

You didn’t seriously think self would forget, did ya, dear blog readers? Why do you think self is typing this on her laptop (Operating System: Jurassic Period, which means she doesn’t see all the tags) while positioned on the couch facing HDTV?  The husband has beat a hasty retreat to the bedroom, The Ancient One is curled uncomplaining on her bed in the kitchen, and the dinner dishes are still in the sink.  Amazing how the pain in self’s right shoulder, that had been plaguing her all day, mysteriously vanished at the first sight of Timothy Olyphant wearing the white Stetson!

There are a few shows that bring self back week after week:  One was “Rome.”  Another was “Battlestar Galactica.”  But, alas, both those shows have long since ended.  Now, however, self has “Justified!”  Self could hardly wait for Season 3, which premiered tonight.

It seems there are several new malingerers this Season, chief among them being that guy with the tremendous blue eyes who was in “Minority Report,” Neal McDonough. He is not, however, the most magnetic Bad Guy. That honor goes to a man who looks, at first sight, fairly nondescript, even brain-damaged, like a scrawny Jim Caveziel (which is not to suggest that self — in any way — thinks that Jim Caveziel appears brain damaged, in fact he is gorgeous, but — now, where was she?)

Back to the matter at hand:

The scrawny JC is sitting on a couch in someone’s office, doing a great impersonation of the wallpaper. Over the course of this episode, however, he assumes tremendous definition. The best scene in this episode, in self’s humble opinion, belongs to a face-off between him and Raylan (This show is carving a niche as the go-to television show for face-off dialogue).

Wynn Duffy (guy with the pointy eyebrows from last season) is back, bringing his Spock-like gravitas (“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to watching women’s tennis.”)

Ava looks fresh and perky (Self feared for her at the end of last season, not because she was shot — self was sure she would survive the injury — but because she was starting to seem a wee bit bedraggled) But she has made a startling recovery and when she showed up (appropriately enough, driving a truck) it was like a breath of fresh air! She was wearing something orange, a short skirt, and brown boots. Great outfit, Ava!

Winona seems a little more earthy — self likes her marginally better. Especially in a scene where she is seated on a bed (Black seems to suit her, it makes her look not just thin, but thin and tragic), and has to look mutely at Raylan with big, helpless, melting eyes.

Jacob Pitts’ first appearance is not, at first, the Grand Entrance self was hoping for (as he is so cute). That is, she had to take a moment to get used to his new hairstyle (brushed straight up off his forehead?). But as he was allowed to have an extended conversation (and two scenes), as opposed to just a few throw-away lines here and there, his cute-ness emerged, finally. By his last spoken line, self was sure Pitts had carved out a secure niche for the rest of the season (at least, self sincerely hopes so).

And Nick Searcy, playing Raylan’s boss —  of course self loves Nick Searcy.  An episode of “Justified” can never have too much of Nick Searcy’s self-deprecating, sardonic delivery.

Self wishes she could deliver spoilers, but feels it would be best to restrain herself for now. All she’ll say is, she stuck around for the scenes from next week’s episode, and it seems (Holy Cow!) that Carla Gugino is putting in an appearance (Seriously, this is a very under-rated actress, and quite a scorcher: Self saw her at Chicago’s Goodman, in a spiced-up staging of “Desire Under the Elms,” which featured music by Bob Dylan, great big boulders, an elm of course, an unforgettable naked scene from Pablo Schreiber, and sex) There was a brief clip of Ms. Gugino wearing a bright red blouse, then a cut to Winona looking pissed. Holy way to shake up Winona 🙂

Self unfortunately has to miss Episode 3, as she will be traveling in the mountains of India north of Delhi (Mrinalini assures her it will be cold. The husband never tires of telling self how crazy it is to have picked this time of year to visit India, and moreover to have picked such a destination, mountain towns that no one has ever heard of — no one of our acquaintance except for the people living in India, that is). But she arrives just in time to catch Episode 4, and will faithfully post every week thereafter (until she leaves for her next trip).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Great “Alternative Emmys” Article on Salon.com!

The Reigning King of Lists (in Entertainment-Related Articles) is, in self’s humble opinion, Salon.com’s Matt Zoller Seitz.  She loves his slideshow, “Who Would Win at the Alternative Emmys?”

Self recommends going over to Salon.com, but for those extremely short of time, here’s an abbreviated version:

  • Best Monologue:  “Justified” Season 2, Episode 12:  “Reckoning” (Matt explains why —  self heartily agrees.  Not to mention the fact that this is an iconic role for Timothy Olyphant, who was stuck in mostly forgettable movies and is having a kind of hot streak in television)
  • Best Love Scene:  “The Good Wife” Season 2, Episode 23:  “Closing Arguments” (Watch the video —  self has never seen Julianna Margulies looking so hot)
  • Best Individual Episode, Unscripted Series:  “Deadliest Catch” Season 6, Episode 14:  “Redemption Day” (“The Season 6 finale in which Phil Harris, the captain of the Cornelia Marie, died in the hospital a few days after suffering a stroke . . .  it was a textbook example of how to wring maximum emotional power from a real-life tragedy without being crass or ghoulish.”)
  • Best Individual Episode, Comedy:  “Community” Season 2, Episode 19:  “Critical Film Studies” (Certifiably funny.  All hail, Danny Pudi)
  • Best Individual Episode, Drama:  “Mad Men” Season 4, Episode 7:  “The Suitcase” (” . . .  all things considered, the best all-around episode of any TV series to air during the 2010-2011 Emmy eligibility period.”)
  • Best Monster:  Snake-mouthed Anna on “V” (If you don’t want to get nightmares, dear blog readers, skip the visuals on this one.  Morena Baccarin, a real beauty, is the epitome of horrific)
  • Best Comedy Sequence:  “South Park” Season 15, Episode 3:  “Royal Pudding”  (Can you believe “South Park” is in its 15th season???  The writing keeps getting sharper.  All hail, Trey Parker and Matt Stone)
  • Best Death Scene:  “Game of Thrones” Season 1, Episode 9:  “Baelor” (The execution of Eddard “Ned” Stark, played by Sean Bean.  “Many major characters die each year on television; few passings have the impact of this one.”)
  • Best Action Sequence:  “Southland”  Season 3, Episode 10:  “Graduation Day”  (Seitz calls this series “brilliant and criminally underappreciated”)
  • Best Cameo:  Tom Noonan on “Louie”  Season 1, Episode 11:  “God”  (Noonan “appears in a childhood flashback as a priest brought in to talk to young Louie and his Catholic school classmates about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  But he doesn’t tackle the subject from a theological angle.  He concentrates exclusively on Christ’s physical suffering, taking the children through his torture and death step-by-step using young Louie as a stand-in.”)

At one time, self loved the MTV Movie Awards because they were refreshingly “alternative.”  Now they are just lame (A “Twilight”movie  wins best picture every year.  YAAAWN!).

She’s been looking for true alternative categories for ages.  Thank you, Matt Zoller Seitz, for filling the gap.

(A Salon.com reader recommends another category:  Best Villain.  Excellent suggestion!  The Salon.com reader suggests either Ruth Wilson from “Luther” or Walton Goggins from “Justified.”  Self doesn’t think Goggins is actually a Bad Guy.  His role isn’t, anyway.  No, the true villain on “Justified” Season 2 was undoubtedly Mags Bennett, played by Margo Martindale.  The way Martindale played her, she was all matronly motherliness.  But with a venomous heart.  Her death scene?  Priceless.  That’ll be a hard role to top for anyone who steps in as Villain on “Justified” Season 3)

Stay tuned.

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