To Shaquille O’Neal, The Big Everthing

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A Character Study of ‘Stranger Things’

Here’s a gripe about Stranger Things: where are the Larry Bird jerseys? This is Hawkins, after all, a fictional town set in Indiana, in 1983. Bird, who at this time had won Rookie of the Year and an NBA championship for the Boston Celtics, first became a basketball legend in his native French Lick, Indiana. He took his college, Indiana State, to the championship game in 1979. “Stranger Things” would have scored major points if one of the background characters — heck, even one of Steve Harrington’s bozo friends, adorned Bird’s famous 33 over an undershirt in a couple of scenes.

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A Character Study of ‘Me Before You’

“If it all goes wrong, and I’m a heart without a home, maybe you can talk me out …

of doing myself in.”

Chris Cornell, “Worried Moon”

(This is for the novel, and spoilers follow)

Louisa Clark, 27 years old, able-bodied but immature in the mind, decides this will be her mission while tending to Will Traynor: to keep him from dying. More bluntly, to talk him out of killing himself. Will, a once-successful and proud British man, is in a wheelchair; a C5-6 quadriplegic after a street accident one morning in 2007. Two years later, and he is dead set on finding peace in a place in Switzerland, where he can comfortably end his life.

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Enter the Jungle: Guns N’ Roses at Dodger Stadium

There is Axl Rose, running, always running. He never seems to stop. Whether it’s 1991 and he’s in biker shorts throwing tantrums and quitting halfway through gigs, or whether it’s 2016 and he’s in jeans ripped at the knees, the capricious vocalist sprints from side to side of the gigantic stage. It’s almost like he’s angry, like you said something bad about his girl and he’s about to kick your ass. Then, suddenly, like a track star who’s finished the race, he pulls up and his neck sticks out, peering into the throngs of people surrounding his stage. Maybe he’s searching for that guy talking smack. Or maybe he’s just looking for approval.

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All the Good Things

A touch, a gentle blow of the wind, and then a release of the flower. Donna stood back, admiring her white roses. And those lilies across her pristine lawn. She loved it all. Her backyard, her sanctuary. When the sun still hung over the mountains in the valley and splashed everything with light, with energy, it looked quite magnificent, quite comforting. Sometimes when she watered the lawn, she held the hose at an angle so a rainbow appeared. Other times she would sit on her bench with just a cigarette and her thoughts. And oh, those thoughts! There were too many in her head, but in her garden, that was something no one had to know.

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What Are Your Most Meaningful Albums?

It’s a curious question, to be honest. Most of us (at least those 25 and older) probably own more music in physical formats than we do movies or television. And even then, music is inherently more personal than any other medium. Whether it holds memories of times when your crush didn’t like you back, or when your family fell apart, or that one holiday season when everything came together, our favorite music — more specifically, albums — are always with us: Your favorite songs don’t just stay in your head: they bury themselves in your heart, for better or for worse.

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