Letting go of the Past

In the AA big book there is a very poignant passage about what our attitude should be about the past. It says that we do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. Wise words to live by, but fuck that ain’t me.

Last year in September I proposed to my girlfriend and she accepted. Yeah for me!!! The big day will be in October and I know without I doubt that I chose the right woman. I should be very happy. I should take solace knowing that I will never have to go through the process of dating again. I will never have to try and filter out the potential right one from the wrong ones. My life is good, I should be ecstatic, but instead I am filled with remorse about the past.

I have gone over this time and time again. Scrutinized my fiancé with a fine toothed comb and she always comes out a winner.  She always comes out as the right choice. However I keep having these lingering thoughts of remorse from my past. I think about past girlfriends, more accurately girls that got away. For some reason I am dwelling on this feeling that I missed out on experiences I was supposed to have years ago. I am obsessing on whether or not I made right choices considering certain ladies way back in the day. Why does it bother me that I missed out on things in the past when my present is good and my future will be awesome? Is it  because I hate to be wrong? Is that it? Do I hate knowing that I made a bad decision at the time, even if it was decades ago? Do I feel like I cheated myself out of valuable life experiences that others got to have. That I missed out, even if it means missing out mistakes? What the fuck is wrong with me? I regret not making more mistakes? Oh boy!!!

We will talk about the first one and we shall call her DEF Lepard. you know, the UK glam metal band from the 80’s. She used to wear a DEF Lepard shirt. I actually wrote a blog about her earlier the one with the whitney Houston song and the girl with the Def lepard T shirt. The thing with her is that I was scared. I think I knew that I really liked her. I knew she was kind and sweet and I could really get emotionally caught up with her if I were to take the next step and actually declare my affections for her and actually have physical contact with her. I knew how to keep my distance. I knew if I never kissed her then she couldn’t hurt me. Whatever other guys she would flirt with whatever other guys she would mess with I would not be mad or hurt because I had no right be we had never consummated the relationship so to speak. Ultimately I was afraid she would make me jealous. I was afraid I could not trust her. I was afraid I might love her. My lord!!! Fear is all over this. Anyhow, we talked for a long time, which was very common for young people to do back in the day. Nothing ever happened, just talk. Oh I hated that shit. Whenever I liked a girl the more and more we talked and nothing happened the more likely I was to find faults in her. The more likely I was going to find an excuse to not initiiate anything with her. The more likely I would just let things fade away from attrition from stagnation. I really knew how to kill a budding romance, just ignore the subject, never bring up feelings, never take action. It became very predictable that if I never mentioned anything, If I never professed an attraction neither would she and I would never have to face it, I would never have to deal with it, I could remain safely wrapped in my cocoon. It was safer to remain sexually frustrated than to be emotionally vulnerable. It was safer to be angry with myself then to be hurt by somebody else. If I fucked up then I had myself to blame. Then I knew it was all my doing. That I was in control and I loved the thought of being in control, even if the outcome was misery and frustration. Made complete fucking sense to me at the time. Anyhow, after dodging the issue for as long as I could she actually brought up the issue of us being together. Oh yes, this is after taking me out to dinner for my birthday and singing ” I will always love you” to me acapella, just her and me at the pizza place and I actually found a way to fucking dodge that situation as well. Once it happened I did what I always did, I said “that was nice” and then did not address the issue. When it was all over and we said good bye I didn’t even hug her, made no mention of what it meant or how I felt, the only way she was going to shit out of me was to actually ask me how I felt, point blank. I was fucking brutal to deal with. I was a clam, I would not open up. Anyhow, she finally asks me if I could see us together as boyfriend and girlfriend, I guess this was months after the pizza incident, and you know what?I copped a god damn resentment. Who the fuck is she to find out how I feel first? Why doesn’t she have the balls to tell me that she wants a relationship? Why is she playing it safe? She should tell me what she wants and then ask me what I want? I should not have to make the declaration first. I was so messed up. So what I did was I found a way to fuck it up. I said that I couldn’t see us as boyfriend and girlfriend but I could see us having sex. Well of course, she said that would not happen and that was that, issue done and over with. I remember before the incident one of my friends asked me how I felt about her? I said that I hadn’t told her yet and she should be the first to know. I was smart enough to figure my answer would get back to her. I didn’t want that. So later she calls me and asks me if I have anything to tell her, I played stupid, “no, not that I can think of, like what? “Anything.” she said. “No.” I said. And that was that for the time being because I knew she would not directly me ask me.  I was ruthless. If you couldn’t ask me then you didn’t deserve to know. I had control issues up the wazoo.

The other lady we shall call red. I flat out loved red. Red fucking owned me. My heart completely went to her. The problem was, my body didn’t. yet again control issues. I would not get physically involved with  her. Same issues, couldn’t trust her, she slept around on her boyfriends she was huge flirt. But I loved her because she made me feel valuable she made me feel wanted as a person, I knew I was important to her. But I also knew that being said, she was promiscuous and I can’t cure that.  I did everything I could to paint myself out to be a horrible boyfriend. As I friend I spoiled her I gave her all the attention she desired, I gave her love, I valued her, I spent money on her. Let her boss me around, let her have her own way, pretty much she was boss, but, I told her I didn’t spend money on girlfriends, I didn’t spoil my girlfriends, that if I date a woman I will have sex with her but I won’t spoil her financially.  I was so full of shit. But she bought it, I guess.  Not that I have a history of spoiling women but at that point in my life I would have given her anything she wanted, anything if we had gone to the next level and physically had a relationship. I would have been done. Knowing how vulnerable I would have been I never took it to that level. I kept a safe distance, although we were close. This way she could be promiscuous and I would not feel hurt because she had no obligations to me. She could do whatever the fuck she wanted and I could still love her. I could yet again be safe from a distance.

Maybe I just regret that I missed out on things. I regret, who I was? I look back on my old self and know how restrained I was. Maybe what I should be feeling is sad. Maybe I am supposed to feel sad for the young me. The young me that was self tormented. The young me that was so pained and so frustrated and so restricted. Maybe all this dwelling on the past is meant to lead me to mourn the younger me, I think I am supposed to allow myself to just be hurt. To not be angry, but to be hurt. To let go of the past, I must allow myself to mourn it, not be angry about it, not regret it, but to simply mourn it.

Things Confucius did not say

Boy am I on a roll today? Reprint from November as well.

So I got inspired by you guessed it reading an inspirational quote earlier today. I was inspired to think of things that are attributed to Confucius that I am pretty sure he did not say. Here is 1 he probably did say though, we’ll start here and then have some fun:

What he did say:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Now we’re going to have fun. I am pretty sure he did not say the following things attributed to him:

Confucius say: Fly which rests on toilet seat gets pissed off.

Man who pushes piano down mineshaft get tone of A flat miner.

Man who sit on tack get point! get point!

Sex is like the army, the closer you are to discharge, the better you feel.

and last but not least

A butler with no teeth is called an in-dentured servant.

Okay we can’t leave on a groaner of a joke here is something else he did say:

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

The one where I became an apprentice

This is a reprint from November 27th. Hope you enjoy it as I really enjoyed writing this.

So I’ve been meaning to tell more stories of my past as I think they bring some insight into who I am today. My past has shaped me greatly and I believe the biggest lesson I have learned from my past is that you grown when you get over it. When you move past the hardships and let go of the bitterness and frustration then the past becomes a valuable tool. A tool we use to grow and move forward with our lives.

But that being said I would like to share about the time I became an apprentice. Usually I like to be sly about my references but I am going to spell this one out for you as it may be a bit too obscure but when the show friends was airing not that it is an obscure show but all of the titles to the episodes start with the phrase “The one with…” Occasionally I like to do that on my posts but I’m not sure if anybody is getting the reference. Sometimes I do that kind of shit, like hiding an easter egg and hoping somebody finds it.

Anyhow, when I was growing up our family used to like to go to Pismo beach. You may know it from a very old bugs bunny cartoon but if not anyway it is a southern california beach town with a nice long pier and quite possibly the greatest cinnamon roll in the entire country. You take one bite of that thing with the gooey frosting and it can turn an atheist into a believer. They are that good. Lot’s of good memories there, great food, the beach long walks with the daschund,boogie boarding, video games even a barbecue place that John Madden use to frequent, so yeah it is very cool. Not to mention great burgers and fries at a roadside Dairy queen type place.

Okay let’s move on. The point it when I was 21 I was stumbling through life. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life so on a whim I took all of my money out of my savings account all $5340 and something like 53cents not quite sure about the change and decided I would move to pismo beach which was about a 5 hour drive from where I was living.  Anyhow not having a trade I started thinking about how to find my niche so I got this crazy idea that I would work at the bait shop on the pier.

Now low and behold they hired me and put me through this rigorous 6 month training program. I thought this would be easy shit but there was actually this long apprenticeship that you had to go through.

So first, I have to take like this 5 week course on all the different kinds of fish so I could be familiar with what people may catch in the ocean. Then after that I had to learn how to clean the little shack that sold the bait. I had to learn all the best bleaches, what was the best gloves to use, the best broom and so on. After that I had to learnhow to dissamble various fishing poles and know the varying strenghts of fishing lines so I could recommendations to the fisherpeople,men,women,children fuck it let’s be real it was 90% men about which pole they should rent from us, what kind of line to use and what kind of weights to use,

Suprisingly enough I was kind of enjoying the tediousness of the whole situation. I was very proud. I was a young man really learning his craft. Finally after 4 months of training they taught me about bait. Yes all this was working up to me being able to identify what would be the best bait to sell to our fisherpeople,fuck it, fishermen. If I knew my stuff I could upsell them the best bait to use to catch whatever particular fish they were hoping to catch that day. After two months of learning about all the different baits there are to learn about whether it be minnows,crawdads,cod,squid,nightcrawlers or green glow in the dark rubber worms I finally finished my program and earned my degree.

So after 6 months I can proudly say that I went from an apprentice baiter to a Master Baiter.




John Legend is Black Jesus not Kanye West

Hello everybody,

First off, another sober day so I am grateful for that. Went to a meeting today, started rocky as nobody was there to open the door but eventually we got our meeting. It is good to actively pursue my sobriety. I have been silent a lot lately at the meetings. A part of me wants to be outspoken at meetings but I have been very guarded with my words. I want to make sure I don’t come across as too negative or crabby. I think I am getting jealous of seeing others in the spotlight. When people clap for somebody having 8 days of sobriety or 4 months a part of me is like, you know I have 21 years clap for that. But I know I need to be humble and not seek out that kind of praise. I know better, I know not to be self seeking so I keep silent about things like that. But it’s okay to admit I have some internal dialogue going about a need for attention. It’s the actions that matter most. I will work this out.

On to lighter fare. A new live version of Jesus Christ Superstar came out on TV last night. As it turns out Kanye West is NOT the Black Jesus….John Legend is. He makes a damn good one too. that dude has serious range as a singer. I think people get too hung up on color when it comes to Jesus. I don’t really care if he is white black Asian samoan,latino or Indian. If Jesus is not the same color as me it doesn’t affect how I view myself. I don’t need Jesus to look like me. For Jesus Christ Superstar it doesn’t matter what he looks like, all that matters is can the guy sing, and John Legend certainly can.

Speaking of black entertainment news, check out Acrimony starring Taraji P Henson. She has been “my girl” for years now as I have been singing her praises way before she was Cookie on Empire. She has often collaborated with Tyler Perry before and this role is a great fit. You have to add her to the pantheon of elite “Bitches be crazy” genre right there with Glen Close in Fatal Attraction, Faye dunaway in Mommie Dearest and Bette Davis in what happened to baby jane? This is elite level stuff.

In sports news, I find it amusing that on Good Friday Notre dame beat UConn in the Semifinals of the NCAA tournament and on Easter Sunday they won the title, how fitting. On the mens side Loyola University of Chicago made it to the Final Four but sister Jean was not enough and they bowed out to Michigan in the semifinals.

I really liked Ready Player one, the new Steven Spielberg role playing fantasy movie. There is a scene where they recreate the OVerlook hotel from the Shining that is absolutely Bad ass. This movie is chock full of retro references like Back to the Future and Atari and Twisted Sister. Spielberg loves his 80’s. Movie is a bit long but worth seeing for the Shining scenes alone. The giant robot is bad ass as well an the special effects are top notch.

I saw the 1961 move Kings which is a retelling of the life of Christ and his crucifixion. So yeah, although I didn’t go to church I got a lot of Jesus yesterday. The one beef I always have with Christ centered movies is the unimaginative dialogue. They have a tendency to only give Jesus dialogue that is directly found in the Bible. I think they need to broaden his dialogue a bit. When Jesus is having the last Supper this could be a very long scene with dialogue that is not found in the bible. You can stay true to the message of Jesus and still have a reverence for him without sticking to direct quotes. I am sure Jesus said lots of things that are not in the bible such as my feet are tired from all that walking, to Pass the salt, Peter, or glad you all made it is so goo to see you. I think dialogue for Bible movies is way too uptight and rigid. Have some imagination, will ya? This is why I love Jesus Christ Superstar because they actually have some imagination and put in their only thoughts and feeling about why may have been said. Did you see the scene where Mary Magdalen is singing about her Love for jesus? My Lord, that is powerful! It goes off script from the bible but I think its a very thouightful and acceptable interpretation of how mary just may have felt about Christ, it is edgy but I don’t think it’s blasphemous. Here are the lyrics to ” I don’t know how to love him”

I don’t know how to love him,

what to do, how to move him

I’ve been changed, yes, really changed

in these past few days when I’ve seen myself

I seem like someone else

I don’t know how to take this

I don’t see why he moves me

He’s a man, he’s just a man

And I’ve had so many men before

In very many ways he’s just one more

Should I bring him down? Should I scream and shout?

Should I speak of love? Let my feelings out?

I never thought I’d come to this

What’s it all about?

Yet, if he said he loved me, I’d be lost, I’d be frightened

I couldn’t cope, just couldn’t cope

I’d turn my head, I’d back away

I wouldn’t want to know

He scares me so, I want him so

I love him so


One of best love songs I have ever heard in my life, sung by Sara Bareilles, who is a Godsend in this role. Absolutely love this sung and I don’t think its blasphemous to suggest Mary Magdalene would have these feelings towards Jesus. It’s a thoughtful and touching imagination of how she may have felt and it doesn’t say anything which would contradict peoples beliefs about how Jesus may have conducted himself. It never implicates that Jesus did anything that would be deemed improper.



The importance of honesty

This is a reprint of my first post ever from back in September.

Welcome everybody to my first post. I am Danny W and I am an alcoholic. I have 21years of sobriety and opened this blog to share what I have learned in my 21 years of sobriety. I hope you learn something from my blogs but really sometimes I question what I really have to offer the alcoholic in need. By writing down my thoughts I hope to find out.

What do you tell someone who is struggling to stay sober? Is there a plaque on the wall I can point to and say there it is, there is your answer? When asking myself how do I help the alcoholic who is still struggling I  always come back to honesty.

In order to stay sober we have to always know we are powerless over alcohol. Not just in good times,not just at meetings but also when that truth is inconvenient and we want to convince ourselves that drinking is a reasonable solution.

The key is rigorous honesty. There are many types of honesty. For instance there is the type of honesty where what we say is true. There is the type of honesty where you payback your loans you pay for everything you take from the grocery store and you leave that unattended purse alone. Those are important but what I’m talking about is next level stuff what I like to call jedi level honesty.

Jedi level honesty will save you and your relationships with people. I’ll give you an example. At my fellowship there was a member who constantly got on my nerves. He talked twice as long as everyone else and then he’d double dip and talk some more. When he secretaried meetings he’d cross talk about other peoples shares and editorialize after the readings. Then if that wasn’t enough after the meetings he would seemingly talk for 5minutes straight before giving anyone else time to respond. This guy really pissed me off.

My first response was one of anger. I would give this guy an attitude and criticize him. I felt like I could change him. Maybe if I yelled at him he would change. Soon after I realized he got yelled at all the time by lots of people. That wasn’t going to work. Then I thought that this is the type of guy who won’t change unless he takes an ass kicking. Then I realized that I am not violent and I don’t really wish that upon him. I got angrier and angrier because I was powerless over him. Then the lightbulb went on in my head.

In order for me to make peace with myself I had to take a deep look at myself and see what was wrong with me that I was so bothered by this man. I realized I was pained by a deep rooted sense of feeling unheard. This man reminded me of childhood issues where I felt like I was never given my time to speak,my time to take center stage. I realized changing myself is a lot easier than changing the world or anybody in it.

Now when I deal with this man my tone is changed. I am not filled with bitterness and I can be civil and I don’t allow the situation to fill me with bitterness. I am not angry because he won’t or can not change. I am now empowered because I am able to see that it is I who needs to change.


Zero F#$%s Given

Today I would like to talk about the art of not giving a fuck. I always found it baffling when people would loudly and emphatically pronounce “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT PEOPLE THINK.” If you don’t give a fuck then why are you exerting so much effort and raising your voice. When I walk past a penny on the ground I do so without incident. I don’t give it a second thought and I certainly don’t say aloud “I don’t give a fuck” because it impacts me so little that it doesn’t even warrant a mention. I don’t pick it up, I don’t tell people hey guess what I saw today, a penny on the ground and I didn’t pick it up, because I don’t give a fuck, no, because 0 fucks are given it never gets mentioned, that is truly, not giving a fuck. Today we talk about people not giving a fuck.

So how did this topic come up? Well, I was at an AA meeting yesterday and I noticed that the secretary was looking at her phone for a significant portion of the meeting. And yes, I do give a fuck, it bothered me and I realize this is something I have to get over, it will be easier to fix me than to fix all of the cell phone gazers who secretary meetings.

The thing that bothers me is that one of the virtues of an AA meeting is that it gives us a place to be heard. It is a place where we are all treated as equals and all get our time to share what is on  our minds. It is a crucial aspect of our recovery that we get a chance to be heard if we are feeling that need. When I see a person secretarying a meeting and they are on their phone it sends the message that they don’t give a fuck about what you have to say. We have people talking about losing their kids,getting DUI’s, going to prison,losing their jobs,getting depressed and ad infinitum and the secretary just doesn’t give a fuck. This is bothersome. But like I said, I will address the issue internally, and I will learn to accept this because as the cell phone becomes more deeply ingrained in our lives, I believe this is just the beginning of the trend of self-absorbrtion. I will have to get used to this or suffer in my resentment.

Have you ever noticed this weird trend in society where we seem to celebrate qualities such as not giving a fuck? Why is this trait celebrated? Is this a good quality to have? Is it really your goal in life to not give a fuck? We should be like whores and give lots of fucks, in my opinion. We should care what other people think. If everybody thinks you’re an asshole, you should give a fuck because it means you are one. And your life will suffer as a result. If somebody is pouring out their life story at an AA meeting and you are looking at your cell phone you should give a fuck because what this person has to say is very important, important to them and when you see that there are 7 billion people in the world and you are NOT the most important person in it, this is when you start to develop meaningful and life enriching relationships, when you take the time to listen to others and to show them that they have value, then you too will be valued for giving them the gift of being listened to, the gift of feeling important.

The Message of Silence

This is a re-print from 6 months ago but I thought it was a good time to repost it as I am currently dealing with this issue.

As a guy who has been going to meetings for years I often give a lot of thought to what exactly is my message. Granted, different days will have different messages. One day I might talk about honesty another about the first step and another about accountability. Usually I try to be pretty clear about the point I am trying to get across and I make sure to drive home the point pretty clearly that is if I’ve had enough coffee to string together several well thought sentences. But what if being silent is the point? You can’t be at a meeting and talk 5 minutes about the virtues of silence right? That sounds self defeating. It’s kind of like the old timer who says that the newcomer is the most important person in the room and then the whole hour all you hear is old-timers and they don’t allow time for the hesitant unsure newcomer to share.

So as odd it sounds I am now going to talk about the virtues of not talking. At a meeting you have 1 hour for everybody to chime in and either talk about the topic of the day or just share about whatever is on their mind. At the one I go to we have what I call the formalities. There are several things we read everyday as well the announcements that we make at each meeting. When it is all said and done I would say we have about 35 minutes for everybody to share. Time is of the essence. We consistently have two guys at the meeting who will likely take up about 15-20 minutes daily leaving everybody else with precious little time. Newcomers have a tendency to be very quiet and need to be encouraged to speak more. It is very easy for them to give deference to the old-timers and kind of shrink and let those guys take center stage. I believe they are the ones who need to speak the most.

The way I see it is this. If you’ve been coming to meetings for 20 years the way to show that the whole program is working for you is to show that your higher power has taken away this urgency to have to make everything so urgent that you must talk about it.  If your program is working for you then you’ve learned not to make everything about yourself and not to micromanage every little problem to the point that you have to spill your guts at every meeting or for that matter point the finger at yourself and draw attention to how great your life is. It all just seems so self-absorbed to me. It seems like the exact opposite of the message we are trying to send.

Here in lies my problem. I will often  go to a meeting with the intent of not saying a word. My intent is to show people that the program works. And the way I am showing them is by selflessly giving up my time to speak and thus leaving more time for others to speak. I wish to show them the example of going to a meeting and simply allowing yourself to not be caught up in yourself but to just give others the space to talk. The less we think of ourselves and the more we try to do for others the more likely we are to stay sober. If you are always caught up in your problems and you consistently make such a big deal of your own life that you become self-absorbed you will drink. This is at the core of relapse, always trying to focus on us and worrying about fixing our problems rather than just plain learning the art of acceptance. What I worry about is whether or not my message is lost on my fellowship.

Buttcrack Freedom

This is actually a reprint from early December. But I thought it was hilarious.

Okay I promise this one will start and stay humorous. Just some light hearted slightly off the wall humor. So here it goes.

So I was walking home today thinking about all of the great things I love about my country you know, the good ole us of a the land of the free and the home of the, aw man, butt itch.

Now this wasn’t a regular nice and easy butt itch. No,this was a good old fashion dig right in the butt crack taint scratcher. My lord!! What am I to do? I got 10 minutes left of walking home and I got a taint scratcher of an itch. Now, your standard butt itch you can reach around grab a butt cheek and scratch vigorously for i don’t know, 2 maybe 3 seconds but not this one. No, I wasn’t that lucky. This was a butt cracker. I may live in the land of the free and the home of the brave but I aint that free, or brave for that matter.

I tried to distract myself and take my mind off things as i walked home. Man, i wish i was on vacation. Because if you’re on vacation you just dont really care. If youre 1/2 a mile from home youre not taint scratching in front of the neighbors, oh hell no. But, but, if i were in Italy right now i would scratch that ass. Oh heck yeah i would, i could care less what anybody thinks, ill never see them again.

Well im happy to report that i distracted myself adequately. It was not a completely horrible walk home. I got home, said hi to the dog and scracthed that itch cause the dog dont care he dont judge, dogs lick their own nuts what do they care? finally all was better the itch was scratched. Freedom!!! More accurately buttcrack freedom.



I love the Academy Awards but F#$% the Red Carpet

So as you all may know I am very excited about watching the academy awards tonight. In about 35 minutes the actual show starts and right now they are showing everybody on the red carpet. The red carpet shows are such an incredibly disheartening show of shallow ness. I hate how every fucking woman that walks the red carpet we just absolutely have to comment on how she looks. Have we come nowhere in 90 years? Why do we still put so much emphasis on the looks of women? I think the message they send is  hey we are women admire our beauty, admire our sexiness, ask us shallow questions like who are we wearing but for fuck’s sake don’t grab our titties. We can emphasize our sexuality and our beauty and we want you to say we look beautiful because no way in hell we will look shabby but on the other hand it is not okay for producers or co-workers to sexually harass us. I know, I know, nobody deserves to be sexually harassed, and nobody is asking for it. But what I am saying is that I think the women should protest the Harvey Weinsteins of the world by showing up looking shitty. No make up, no fancy dresses no glamorous hairdos. In other words if a child acts up stop giving him candy,. If they really want to stir shit up take away our eye candy. Demand that when they are on the red carpet that nobody comments on their looks and asks them shallow shit like who they are wearing. I think all the actresses should demand that we talk about the quality of their work and not how good they look.  Well that the bulk of what I have to say but I was thinking if it is totally acceptable for us to comment on a womans looks and say she looks gorgeous should it not be okay to say she looks really fucking ugly how the hell does she get work? I would like to hear somebody say hey this actress is ugly as fuck and you know why she gets a lot of work? Because she’s good, not because she looks good not because she sucked a dick but because she deserves to be seen because of her talent. It will never be said but a guy can wish.

OSCAR Time thoughts

This Sunday is one of the most anticipated days of the year for me as always, it’s Oscar time. It is on my bucket list to one year attend the Oscars. We actually have a friend who is married to a Hollywood agent and have found a possible in roads to attend the Oscars one academy awards one year. You have to be put in a lottery though so it’s a shot in the dark, so maybe one year we will go.

Anyhow, I have given a lot of thoughts about the movie year recently. Some critics suggest that it was a weak year for movies last year. I disagree, I probably went to about 90 movies last year and thought the overall quality of movies was quite satisfying. I do think however that there were very few great movies, but a lot of good and almost great movies and very few absolute stinkers.

I have created a few categories of my own for your enjoyment. We will begin with Sleeper hits. Here is my off the top of my head list of some under the radar gems or underappreciated movies from last year. In no particular order they are

It comes at Night-Critically acclaimed yes, but it generated little buzz amongst movie goers. Starring the under appreciated Joel Edgerton of Warrior fame.

Life- another sci fi movie which in my opinion like It comes at night was just shy of great. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhall.

Patty Cakes$- A bunch of rag tag underdogs strive for success in the hip hop game. Had my absolute favorite scene of the year. Starring Danielle Macdonald in a star making role as the titular character.

and the award goes to Patty Cakes- Not the best movie of the year but certainly some great moments and a cast of characters you absolutely root for and love because of they are so far from mainstream and very diverse. a stereotypical cast this is not. Both wacky and heartfelt touching and humorous. A great underdog story.

Movies that lived up to the Hype

Guardians of the Galaxy 2-Never saw the first one and didn’t need to to enjoy this movie. A give it a B plus. Not quite great but almost.

Planet of the Apes- Great closure to an intriguing trilogy around Caesar. If it wasn’t for the annoying comic relief “Bad ape” character this would have been an Oscar contender in my book. I give it an A-.

3 Billboard outside of Ebbings,Mo- Billed as an Oscar contender and it lived up to the hype. In my opinion the best movie of the year.

The shape of Water- To be honest Sally Hawkins is what drew me in because of her performance in Maudie alongside Ethan Hawke earlier in the year.  Fantasy is not my forte which is why for me it was the 2nd best movie of the year.

And the Winner is-Planet of the Apes. A near Oscar caliber movie and a very satisfying conclusion to this series. It wins because it is very rare that a blockbuster reaches this level of excellence.  It was hyped for a huge audience not an indie loving audience like Shape of water or 3 billboards so this gets the win.

Over rated Movie of the year. This will have a loser and not a winner.

The nominees are

Lady Bird- Starring Soarise Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe- Movie critics loved this movie but I thought it was strictly mediocre. Not the Oscar caliber movie it is purported to be.

Wonder Woman- To be honest you are better of watching Professor Marsten and the Wonder women. People loved the idea of this movie. Next time don’t worry about getting a literal beauty queen worry about a strong actress in the lead.

Dunkirk- This is actually a good movie. And it had great elements- Like the score and the cinematography.  However the director missed with the story telling. There should have been less focus on the beach and more focus on the citizens who come to the rescue. Not Oscar caliber more like a 7 on a scale of a 1-10. An Oscar caliber movie should be a 10.

Call me by your name. Yet again a good movie. Very slowing movie however. Probably a 7 on a scale of 1-10. It ended great however. The last 15 minutes were oscar worthy but this movie was way to slow and was way too long.

And the Loser is Wonder woman- watched by way too many for a movie that was mediocre at best. The lead actress is not strong. Fight scenes dragged on way too long. It was not enjoyable. Way too long and I don’t find the actual portrayal of the character interesting. Wonder woman can be an interesting character. I thought she came across as sweet and altruistic in Justice league and she was a great addition to that movie but a full length movie devoted to her was not necessary, it was just a money grab playing off the novelty of having a woman in the lead. Women clamored to be represented so they flocked to the theater and men are just pervy weirdos who want to see a woman fight in a skirt.

Comedy of the year

Girls night out- Breakout movie for Tiffany Haddish. Well acted and very fun movie to watch.

Jumanji- The concept of having the adult actors paly characters that are exactly opposite of what they look like was very clever and perfectly executed by Jack Black especially.

The Big Sick- First great movie I saw last year and it should be nominated for movie of the year. Much deeper than your typical rom com. Hilarious and meaningful with a veteran cast of comic actors including Holly Hunter and Ray Romano in supporting roles.

Thor- It is an action hero movie but it is also very comedic. I never expected this to play as a comedy and it really worked. Honestly it may have been rather formulaic if played as a straight action superhero movie.

And the Winner is…

The Big Sick. While the rest of the movies ranged from good to very good this is the only movie in this category that I wo0uld give an actual A letter grade to. Much deeper and moving than the other movies. And I loved watching the actual stand up routines throughout the movie. This was based on an actual story which is why it is believable and moving. Very charming, very funny and who doesn’t relate to the angst of love and meeting your loves parents.

Actor of the Year-

Chris Pratt- Loved him in Passengers which was a hard movie to carry and scored well with Guardians of the Galaxy as well.

Woody Harrelson-Who chose two better movies to star in this year than Woody Harrelson. Touching in 3 billboards and a great baddy in Planet of the apes.

Sally Hawkins-Actually gave two Oscar worthy performances. One is Maudie and the other for Shape of Water. Also starred in Paddington 2.

Idris Elba- Call him Tapatio because he was in everything. Starred in the mountain between us and gave a nice performance there. Made the Dark tower a watchable movie. Was in Molly game and also Thor. Don’t forget 100 streets as well. Just a very talented versatile actor. Always a pleasure to watch.

And the Winner is…

Sally Hawkins- Absolutely adorable in Maudie and I immediately thought Oscar worthy when I watched it and then she does shape of water and makes this weird romance with a sci fi sea creature moving and watchable and actually seem forgivable although it is beastiality. A well deserved nomination for her and I wish she would have got two nomionations because her performance in Maudie needs to be watched. She just clicked well with eevrybody this year from Ethan hawkes to Octavia spencer to some weird fishy bastard and Richard Jenkins.