The One With the Red Cover

I don’t know if you belong to any book or movie groups on social media, but they’re an awesome way to connect with like-minded entertainment junkies where you can delve into plot holes, critique subplots involving second string characters, and debate ad nauseum the politics of certain actors, but let me tell you, it’s seriously not as boring as that run-on sentence just made it out to be.

Sometimes, you’re given homework. Again, membership is usually a little more interesting than my descriptors would lead you to believe.  Anyway, fellow members (you know who you are) will routinely offer up puzzles to the rest of the group. Like, what was that movie that had the title with a name of a flower in it… or that book, you know, the one that came out 30 years ago with a red cover and a character named John. The responses to these vague campaigns often run the gamut. Some, like me, take it as a challenge.

Of course, there are always those who respond, why don’t you Google it? I mean, they have a point. Google is right there. Google is your friend. But then again, isn’t that the point of these niche groups? To talk, discuss, and generally obsess over whatever it is the group is patterned after? It’s the perfect place to ask those types of questions, and quite frankly, I’m not sure why the “go ask Google” people are even in those groups if they don’t want to help a fellow bibliophile or cinephile in their pursuit of a dated book or an obscure film.

And what about the people who create these intriguing side quests and then apparently drop off the face of the Earth?

Yeah, does anybody remember a book about a girl named Jane, I read it, oh, about 25 years ago, had something to do with the sea, and something bad happens. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. Anybody know it?

Then you have fifty people throwing out answers, some of which are pretty damned decent guesses and either those folks have a vast mental library or else they’re fantastic researchers… but, we’ll never know the answer to this riddle, because the original poster never comes back to say, yeah, that was it! Or no, you’re all wrong, are you crazy, of course that wasn’t it!

I mean, at least come back and give the rest of us some closure for god’s sake. I think those people need a course in manners. Hey, I remember that book! By a lady named Miss Manners of all things. Maybe I should recommend it to them.

You know what, though? This lack of rejoinder happens in any online group that has people as members, the one constant being, well, people.

Seen in a backyard gardening group: What’s this plant growing in my garden … I never planted it, it just showed up one day, fully grown. Can I eat it? Will it kill my cat!? What’s the deal?  And someone responds, because they always do, with encyclopedic detail, pictures and all, to let the would-be gardener know not only the name of the plant, but a delicious recipe their grandmother had using that very plant. Others pile on with their own identification and recipes for teas, salves, and oils. But does concerned forager and cat owner ever respond? Nope. We’re just talking to ourselves at that point.

It’s the whole being behind a keyboard rather than face-to-face thing, I think. Even though the internet connects us, there’s still an inherent disconnect.

And we still don’t know what happened with her cat.

Essentially Annoyed

Turns out, I’m essential… who knew? As an essential worker, driving on the roads for the past few weeks during the shelter-in-place for our state was amazing. Of course now that they’re reopening the state, all hell is breaking loose. But there for a while, there was no traffic; just breeze right on into work and right on home. My gas tank was loving it, that’s for sure. Bonus: it made for a much less ‘road-ragey’ kind of experience.

But the few people that were on the roads with me were determined to undermine my “serenity now” resolve. Even though there was minimal, and I mean minimal, traffic out there, those I shared the road with weren’t exactly good at sharing. Tailgating, dangerously weaving around people to the point of being completely ridiculous, quite like the chase scene from every heist movie ever made. I guess they were taking advantage of the empty roads to live out their Vin Diesel inspired fantasies. The car ones, people. The car ones. I just don’t understand why people are in such a mad dash to get somewhere. And you know damn well they’re rushing off to get somewhere they don’t want to be in the first place. While not rage-fuel, it’s been annoying.

Speaking of being annoyed, sometimes it’s the little things that get me, you know what I mean? I’m one of those people who are very adamant about the express checkout at the grocery store. If you have 12 items or less, all is good. Hell, I can even forgive that 13th item people so often sneak in. I’ve been there myself. But sometimes, you get behind that person who has a month’s worth of grocery shopping in their cart and have the nerve to get into the express lane. In my head, I start counting and when I get up past 30, I start to see pink (yeah, yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be “I start to see red,” but really, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t truly a “sees red” kind of a situation, so I just “see pink”).  You know that the poor cashier, who really just wants to be done with the day (and honestly, who can blame them), won’t or can’t say anything and according to my kids (killjoys that they are), it’s not my place to speak up either, but you best believe I’m giving that lady the old stink eye the whole time.

People not returning their grocery cart is something else entirely. I mean, honestly. The cart return is right there. I know I’ve ranted about this subject before, but still… I have zero remorse for cursing these “non-returners.” And I don’t mean throwing a few sentence enhancers out of my vast repertoire their way. No, I mean cursing, as in “may your errant cart roll backwards over your foot and then ding your car.”  It’s a matter of basic courtesy. You grab a cart, you use said cart, and then you return the cart so that others can use it. It’s stupid easy.

Oh, and quick question, I realize the pedestrian has the right of way. I mean, of course they do. However, is there any point at all when a car is actually moving that the pedestrian should just look at the situation and say, yeah, umm… I think I won’t walk out in front of that moving car all willy-nilly, or behind it, for that matter.

I mean, come on people. Get your shit together.

The Ghostest with the Mostest

I’m pretty sure it’s come up before, but I’m quite the horror movie fanatic. Well nothing too crazy like a having a life-size cutout of Freddie Krueger or Michael Myers (slasher extraordinaire, not the Spy Who Shagged Me) in my living room or a lifelike replica of Pamela Voorhees’ dismembered head on a candlelit coffee table (just let me pause for a moment to say that if anyone is selling one, please be sure to send me a message with a fair price.)

With that said, I am a pretty avid fan, nonetheless. Back in the day, anything and everything was fair game in my cinematic horror world. Films like Razorback (don’t judge me!) were in the same line-up as Ghost Story for my late-night viewing. I like to think that my viewing habits have gotten more consistently sophisticated over time, but I’m not so sure. Nowadays, movies like The Cabin in the Woods (2011) share space with classics such as The Haunting of Hill House (1963) in “my stuff” on streaming media sites.

If I had to pinpoint a genre (or sub-genre, if you like) to be a personal favorite, I would have to say I lean strongly towards haunted house and general ghost-y movies.

Once in a while, Hollywood scores pretty big with a well-done ghost story, but mostly it’s a special effects game. Don’t get me wrong, I love CGI-laden movies as much as anyone, but movies that build from a slow burn make for a more realistic scare in my opinion.

M.R. James is a favorite writer and while some of his stories have been utilized for movie making, there is so much more potential there that’s left untapped.

If I were to recommend a film that is inspired by one of his works, I’d say Number 13 (2006) is a pretty good story. If you’re a fan of the shining, it’s definitely worth a look.

In the age of zombies (World War Z or Night of the Living Dead), creature features (The Descent or A Quiet Place), and others, a good ghost story is hard to come by. There have been a few wonderful adaptations of ghost stories throughout cinema, but the most popular ghost story of the last decade or so would probably go to Paranormal Activity, and that’s such a modernized “fast-food” experience in my opinion.

So, why is there a lack of really good ghost stories?  Is it because Hollywood knows its audience usually has the attention span of a jar of mayonnaise?  Or is it that people just like to see pain and anguish on a physical level because they’re sadistic voyeurs? A friend of mine who is obsessed with horror, thinks that most of Hollywood’s decisions are targeted to two basic types of horror movie audiences.

You have the mainstream movies, like Winchester or The Visit (good movie by the way!), which are intended to appeal to the casual horror movie fan. For instance, “You know what Becky, I haven’t seen a horror movie in a few years, let’s go check out this eerie ghost flick at the theater.” Versus hardcore fans of horror, where it’s all about shock value, over the top gore, sex, violence, etc. For example: “Hey Sven, have you seen Tokyo Gore Police yet? I heard they used over 50 thousand gallons of fake blood making that film, we should go check it out.”

Where are the intelligent, slow building haunted house stories? I know that Hollywood sometimes has difficulty with original material – hence all the remakes, but in this case, there is source material galore. The fact that modern day audiences have likely never read gothic horror is not so much a slight on society as it is, quite simply, teeming with potential for screenwriters.

Pitfalls

I’m back! Did you miss me? Yeah, you missed me. I’ll go with that, anyway.

Having my internet restored should be a good thing. And it is, it most definitely is. I mean, the internet is a pathway to the world around us in so many ways. Unfortunately, my need to be informed conflicts greatly with the newfound peace and quiet that came with the lack of WiFi, and as you might have guessed, jumping right back into the dumpster fire that is social media these days may have been the wrong thing to do.

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there have been a lot of, shall we say, questionable activities finding their way to social media feeds around the globe. Idiots desperately trying to amass a following by licking toilet seats or dragging their tongue across ice cream in the store, just to place it back in the freezer section for some unsuspecting patron to buy. Hell, there are people out there who aren’t even trying to be discreet about it and straight-up spitting, sneezing, or coughing on produce in the supermarket while shouting, “You’re all going to die!” or some such nonsense. This got me thinking about how our fellow humans just downright suck in my opinion. I apologize for the negativity, but I think I’ve mentioned it before… I hate people.

Let’s talk social media groups. I don’t understand people who feel the need to join groups they have no interest in for the sole purpose of just harassing the other members. For instance, your typical obnoxiously vocal misogynist joining a feminist group so he can harangue the female members. Or an alt-right conservative in a human rights group. Or an atheist in a Christian book club. Or a devoted meat eater seeking out a vegan group to espouse the virtues of his or her carnivorous diet. Or vice versa… a devoted vegan joining a group dedicated to hunting or BBQ recipes just to shame the people who partake in such things. I mean, I could go on and on. The thing is, most of these people are doing it just to amuse themselves as they read and reread their own ‘hilarious’ commentary, and bear witness to the anger and hurt left in their wake.  Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like they have more time on their hands than sense.

Facebook has to be among the worst for this type of behavior. At one time, Facebook was used as a way to pump up your image, to project a perfect life or a perfect marriage or a perfect home or perfect kids. And yeah, some people still use it for that. But now, it seems that along with many other aspects of our society, and social media as a whole, Facebook has become a pit of negativity, abuse, harassment, and conspiracy theories. People wear their stupidity like it’s a badge of honor.

With these so-called trolls, the sky’s the limit to what they can and will get into, and the very real damage they can cause. Even before our current state of pandemic, where too many seem to have more than enough time to engage in hate, we, as a society, were spiraling downwards. It just seems like we’ve slid completely down into the pit rather too quickly for my taste.

 

Unpaid Talent

I realized recently that I am truly good at so many things… and get paid for absolutely none of them.

For instance, I’m excellent at choosing the wrong line. Oh, some people may be skilled at this particular ability while visiting the grocery store to which I say: amateur!  Me, on the other hand, well, not to toot my own horn, but here lays remarkable talent, I tell you. I’m on top of my game in all sorts of venues — the grocery store, the gas station, the library check-out, the carnival ride, the train, the cab kiosk, even the McDonald’s. Yes, the McDonald’s.

Our McDonald’s has a new double lane drive-thru… and I kid you not, it makes no difference which lane I pull into, something, anything, will cause it to be delayed. The car in front of me may be purchasing 20 of everything off the menu, but not stating their demand in any sort of order whatsoever or with any sense of hurry. Hell, sometimes they have to phone home just to confirm they’ve got it right. “Hey, I’m here at the McDonald’s now. You want onions on that McDouble? No? You sure?  Oh no, no rush, it’s not like people are waiting in line or anything. Take your time. It’s an important decision.”

Or perhaps the person taking the order decided to take a break. They say “I’ll be right with you,” but then they never are; probably they’re distracted by indoor customers or the constant barrage of impossible multi-tasking that’s required in their position. Or maybe they’re new. Or there are technical problems with the computer system and they can’t get the order to come up just right. It makes no difference. The end result is the same. It’s no longer fast food.  I don’t blame the workers, their life is hard enough, and I don’t envy them their jobs. At. All.

It’s me. I’m the line delayer. That’s my job. And I’m good at my job.  Damn good.

 

 

Actors Are People Too… No, Really

I find that the amount of irony in the world is ever growing. For instance, I once knew this lady who claimed to be an animal rights activist. Closer to one of the extremist types at that. Wouldn’t you know it, turned out she also had quite the addiction to alligators. Not the animal per se, but more or less their skin. Purses, handbags, belts, and even shoes. She had quite the collection. I’m talking at least 30 plus items. All authentic alligator skins. Imported from all over. Mind you, she didn’t sport the gator leather often, it was more or less for her private collection. I didn’t really know her well, maybe met her once or twice – she was the friend of a mutual friend and you know how that goes. Anyway, at some point in time, and admittedly I don’t recall when, she was called out on her hypocritical lifestyle.  Her response was simple. Alligators aren’t animals, they are reptiles. I kid you not. Yeah, I know. But the whole point of this little backstory was to paint a little picture of the irony I’m talking about. Which brings me right into the meat of this article. Classic Hollywood and the Illustrious Oscars.

As you know, I find many things funny. To add to that humor bank, I think it’s funny that people who love movies hate the Oscars. In fact, it might surprise you to know that many people who love movies also hate the actors that play in them. If you ask these folks why, they say that they prefer “their” actors to remain nothing more than performing monkeys instead of smashing through the 4th wall, so to speak, and appearing as real, functioning members of society. Oh, not in so many words, but that’s the gist.

Maybe there is some truth to the phrase, “Never meet your heroes.” But it leads me to wonder if sometimes celebrities say, “Never meet your biggest fans.”

With that said, I typically do not watch the Oscars myself, but not because I get my feelings hurt over some famous person with an opinion, it’s just that my attention span won’t let me. I know a few guys who love sports, but a lot of them say they can’t sit through a whole baseball game or whatever game because, like me, they have the attention span of a gnat. However, they still enjoy watching the highlights after, and in fact, enjoy it even more than watching a game… all of the good stuff in short bursts.  That’s me with the Oscars. I like to see the winners and losers, the antics that took place, who wore what, who showed up with who, you know, the highlights if you will.

There are oftentimes when I think the voters got it wrong (much like the 2016 election).  For instance, the fact that Taika Waititi received zilch for his amazing and unprecedented Valkyrie scene in Thor: Ragnarök – the process for which he CREATED because it had never been done before – was unforgivable. The fact that very few people of color ever win is atrocious. I mean, in general, the Oscars are obviously a massive ego stroke to the Hollywood crowd and nothing more, but what else is new.

Lately, actors have been using this platform as a way to advocate for social change and to give voice to specific causes. I say, good for them. I wish they’d use more of their money to promote change, but hey, at least they’re speaking out.

Some of the people in my classic Hollywood film group are very different than me. They don’t say “good for them.” They prefer Trump to someone normal, they prefer John Wayne (whom they all agree is a known racist, but hey, it was just the times in which he lived!) to Jimmy Stewart who never said a bad word about anyone and who, unlike John Wayne, willingly served our country (in case you were unaware, Wayne kept getting deferments to keep him in Hollywood).

As for an actor saying anything other than, thank you for this shiny award, oh boy… you’d think the world was coming to an end. These movie lovers claim that “real” actors, the ones with talent, that is, existed only in the classic Hollywood days, and these stars would never stoop so low as to voice an opinion about anything. Anything, I tell you!

Back in the day, actors were on contracts. The studios controlled their lives, down to who they married or dated so as to “keep face” or hide one’s true self.  It’s not surprising that most actors opted not to rock the boat. Still, you had Brando, who refused to go to the Oscars in 1973 to protest how Native Americans were being treated. The Native American woman he sent in his stead was booed. But when this is discussed in my classic Hollywood group, they rave about Brando’s choice… because Brando is Brando and they obsess over him cause, you know, he’s Brando.

Newman didn’t attend … well, just because. But hey, he’s Newman. No-one hates Newman.

After six acting nominations and two honorary Oscars, Newman finally got a win for “The Color of Money” in 1987. But he wasn’t there to accept it, telling the Associated Press, “It’s like chasing a beautiful woman for 80 years. Finally, she relents, and you say, ‘I’m terribly sorry. I’m tired.’”

And yes, these are more recent events, relatively speaking, but as I said, back in the day, actors were kept on a pretty tight leash. The movies were great, yeah, but the way the actors themselves were treated, meh.

Nowadays, actors have a voice, just like everyone else in the world. And they’re using that voice more readily than they have in the past. I applaud most of them when they use their platform of celebrity to give voice to a better a world.

You can read more here, if you’re so inclined.

The thing is, most of the actors using the podium are voicing opinions that enrage the conservative right, because these ideas are, well, good for the world at large and not just a select few. The people getting offended by the awards ceremony – and celebrity causes in general, believe that actors should just keep their trap shut and act, because they’re nothing more than entertainment fodder for the audience and have no real presence in the world.

The days of actors being on a leash are gone. This speaks to the good and the bad. Because the same social changes that allow actors to use the Oscar stage to speak out against human rights abuses and animal cruelty also allow James Woods to air conspiracy theories and vile tirades against women on Twitter. Of course, in the classic Hollywood film group I mentioned, the latter is applauded, and the former is reviled.

Finding Your Voice in the Silence

As you know, I normally don’t post anything political here. My blog brings happiness… at least I hope it does, lighthearted fun, and the occasional rant.  But watching the news the past few days has been heartbreaking, and I felt the need to say something. Let me back up for a minute though, as that first sentence is not quite right… I’m still not going to post anything political, because the anguish of unjust killings and the heartbreak of deep-seated racial injustice is a human rights issue, not a political one. I will not presume to speak on behalf of the black community, but I just wish to express my solidarity, for whatever that’s worth. Enough is enough. Hell, enough was more than enough 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago. We need to do better. We must do better. There are more eloquent writers than me tackling the issues of oppression and the marginalization of our fellow humans and sharing their words with the world right now – we need to listen. We need to change. We need to fight for change. When our fellow humans are hurting – and dying – from offenses against human rights, it falls on all of us to fight for change. When we see injustices so great that our silence implies support, we need to speak out. Find your voice and use it.

Spoiler Alert

When is a movie old enough that you can discuss it in-depth without it being considered “spoilers?” 5 years, 10 years, 75 years?

I belong to a classic Hollywood movie group and someone was discussing the film The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. It’s 75 years old.  A person commented that both leads die in the end and several – not one or two, but several – people got all upset and were chastising the person for spoiling the movie.  No spoilers!  But good grief, it’s a 75-year-old film!  What about Romeo and Juliet?  People know how that one turned out. Is it a spoiler to discuss it?

A friend of mine had a fight with her boyfriend because she “ruined” Titanic. Yeah, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio… by simply saying, “it’s sad when the ship sinks in the end.” Apparently, he didn’t know the ship sank at the end. And didn’t take the news well, either. In my opinion, for movies based on history, or true stories, can you really spoil them? I hate to tell you, but Bonnie and Clyde die at the end. That airplane filled with Uruguay’s Rugby team crashes in the Andes mountains, and they start eating each other to survive. I’m sorry, did I ruin the movie? Well, it was all over the news for weeks in 1993. Not to mention, it’s a piece of history.

Let’s say it wasn’t a movie of any historical significance, then how long do you wait? Whether we like it or not, I think for newer blockbuster movies, you have about a month after the movie premieres before it will be all over social media. And that goes for t.v. shows as well. For example, the AMC’s the Walking Dead. Fantastic show from what I hear. But if you happen to miss an episode, don’t even think about logging onto Facebook or Instagram the next morning. Hell, don’t even check the news. Some of the deaths of some of the major characters were listed right on the front of Yahoo News with clickbait titles like, “Walking Dead kills off another original cast member.” I’ve never watched the show but can tell you some major plot points just because it’s impossible to avoid. Game of Thrones was another one that was spoiler heavy, and yet another show I know a lot about simply from seeing unsolicited posts online.

But yeah, back on the topic of having a short window before movie spoilers run rampant. Are you into Marvel movies? Star Wars?  Hell, people were yelling out spoilers while in line to watch some of the latest movies. That’s going a bit far, if you ask me. What can I say? People are assholes. But if you still haven’t seen that popular Marvel movie that premiered a month or two ago, and you log onto social media, that’s sort of  asking for spoilers.

Personal conversations are different. People should keep endings and major plot twists to themselves when talking to someone who might not have seen a movie yet. Unless you’re the type of person who likes spoilers, I never spill the beans on newer movies because ruining someone else’s enjoyment is just a jerk thing to do. But there should be a time limit to these things. I mean, once you hit a certain age, if you haven’t seen at least a few of the classics, that’s on you, not me. Most of my banter is pulled from old movies and books and sometimes spoilers just slip out. I can’t help it if you don’t know the bad witch dies in The Wizard of Oz or that Clarence gets his wings.

And in the case of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, the person who discussed it in a classic movie group should be forgiven for thinking that the group’s members would have seen – or at least heard of – this 75 year old flick.

 

 

Some Gave All

This year our Memorial Day celebrations are looking a little different here in the U.S. But then again, this “holiday” has never been about a weekend at the beach or sales at the mall… it’s not even about the fireworks and fanfare. Memorial Day is about giving thanks to our nation’s heroes as we honor those who have fallen in their service to our country. So I implore you to remember the dedicated men and women of our military who never made it home.  May their steadfast service to their country – and their fellow man – serve as inspiration to the rest of us.

“The way they all lived, in service to one another, should be our road map in the months ahead.” – Barack Obama (Memorial Day 2020)

“At its core, the nobility and the majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons: They loved their country so deeply, so profoundly, that they were willing to give their lives to keep it safe and free.” – Barack Obama (Memorial Day 2010)

 

Long Story Short

I think we’ve all been in the position where there’s something incredibly simple that we’ve needed from someone, but we loathe asking for it. Oh, not because you fear the person will reject your request, quite the opposite in fact… they are often eager to help. You just dread the long and drawn out interaction that you know is going to go with that simple ask.

For instance, you need that recipe from a co-worker… you know, the one for that dish everyone was raving over at lunch last month. You jotted it down but misplaced the napkin you sketched it on. In all probability, you forgot you had made the note in the first place, duly wiped your mouth, and threw the napkin away. So what do you do? Call up your pal, except she’s one of those people who will literally talk your ear off. It doesn’t matter though; you promised some friends that you would make the best tapenade that they ever had and damn it, that’s what you’re going to do. So, you begrudgingly make the call, knowing you’ll be on the phone for hours for a piece of information that would take a normal person no more than a few minutes to repeat.  And… you were right. Because before you know it, you’ve learned that 3 generations of men in her family have done their time in the military, but not Henry, oh no, not good-for-nothing Henry, and little Janie is getting straight A’s in school (thanks to the tutor that her hairdresser recommended), her husband got a promotion, which was long overdue, because allegedly he could perform the job better than his boss could have, in his sleep mind you! And finally, little Billy is all grown up, and off to college, so after an hour and a half of story time, and 20 minutes of sobbing into the phone, I’m now equipped with the knowledge to prepare that banging tapenade from the pot-luck lunch we had a few weeks ago. Next time I need a recipe, I think I’ll just google it.

My mother has a neighbor that will talk about nothing for three hours. She’ll get off the phone with this woman and I’ll ask, how’s Marion, what did you talk about for five hours? And my mother has no idea. Of course, she wasn’t the one doing the talking, so there’s that. We’ve all known someone like Marion. For instance, I didn’t even know there was lecture-length material out there on the history of bowling balls, but growing up, my friend had an Uncle Randy, and he could talk to you about bowling for a full day and not repeat himself. True story.

Another pet peeve of mine is people that take the long way around to tell a simple story. And I mean, the scenic route. Especially if I’m in a hurry or already trying to do something. Or when the story starts out sounding like it’s kind of important.

“Hey, don’t freak out, but I was in a car accident.”

“What? Are you ok!? What happened?!”

“I’m fine. But get this… so I was at the grocery store, right? They had this crazy sale on Milkbones and I was like, wow, that’s a really good deal…”

“That’s great, but the accident? What happened!? Are you okay??”

“I was getting to that, but you didn’t let me finish. Geez! So anyway, I got the Milk-Bones and I remembered that you said you had that thing for work coming up…”

Yeah, you get the idea, 40 minutes later you find out that the guy who rear-ended her used to be her husband’s old co-worker who got drunk at a work party once and ate a box of Milk-Bones.

I’m telling you, even kids notice.

“Mom, do we have to go to Aunt Karen’s?  All she does is talk about her Pomeranians.”

“I know sweetie, but it’s her birthday. Just pretend you never heard any of it before.”

“How am I supposed to do that when I could write a book on Pomeranians just on what I remember from last week’s visit?”

Don’t get me wrong, I can gossip and shoot the bull with the best of them, and I’m sure I’ve talked someone’s ear off a time or two. Especially when I’m riled up about something. I’m sure we all have. It’s just that some people seem to have the uncanny ability to do it often and do it well. Too well if you ask me.