Mike Sirota's Blog – Swords, Specters, & Stuff
Welcome to My World
I started this blog in January 2012 for one simple reason: I love to write. I named it “Swords, Specters, & Stuff” because I especially love to write about writing, about books and movies in my favorite genres, about authors that mean a great deal to me. But there’s so much more than that, hence the all-inclusive “Stuff” in the title. It is “Stuff” that gives me carte blanche to write about anything, which is why you’ll see stories about special trips to Cooperstown, Sedona, and other places; about getting older; about baseball; about the otherworldly way in which I met my soul mate; about the loss of good friends, and so much more. Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment.
Day 11,587 of the Coronavirus Pandemic (give or take): feels like it anyway, right? We all want it to be over, but the reality is that the blasted thing will likely be around for a long time to come. We’ll just have to deal with it as best we can.
POWWOW HIGHWAY, produced by—among others—George Harrison (yes, that George Harrison!), explores the frustrations—and sometimes great joys—of being a Native American on an isolated reservation in the High Plains of America.
British actress Diana Rigg passed away last week at the age of 82 from cancer. She had a long and successful award-winning career in theater, film, and television. But her most iconic role—at least for us older folks—was that of Emma Peel, the kick-ass government agent who worked alongside the dapper John Steed (Patrick Macnee) in protecting the Crown from week to week in the 1960s TV series, THE AVENGERS.
Major League Baseball is paying tribute to the late Roberto Clemente, a great ballplayer and an even greater humanitarian. In a post about the late writer, W.P. Kinsella (author of “Field of Dreams”), I had included excerpts from one of his short stories, “Searching For January,” a tale of magical realism about Clemente. I am presenting it here once again.
The 2019 creature feature/disaster flick, CRAWL, is an anomaly. It did well at the box office, which is not that odd for the genre. But it also garnered its share of excellent reviews, compiling 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, and that doesn’t usually happen for creature features.
If you’re a movie buff, you would probably jump at the chance to see a film starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and Oscar nominees Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe, three outstanding actors. Well, they all performed in the 2015 drama, THE SEA OF TREES, and I’ll bet that most of you didn’t see it.
When my bride and I returned from an amazing trip to Iceland over a decade ago, we brought home the studious troll you see pictured here. Icelanders love their trolls (and elves, too) and are happy to point some of them out to visitors—the ones that have been turned to stone, of course.
With regard to the 2016 biographical drama, GENIUS, I could have added “Films About Editors” to my blog as a new series. But really, how many films have book editors, such as the legendary Maxwell Perkins, as the lead character? (Marvel presents, “Red Pencil Man”? Naaah…)
Day 9,254 of the Coronavirus Pandemic (give or take)—did the Mayans get it wrong, or did we misread their calendar? Was it 2020, not 2012, that would mark the end of the world as we know it?
Who knows, maybe there were a few extra full moons in 1981. Whatever the case, Hollywood appeared to wax lycanthropic with three wolf-themed films, including today’s subject, THE HOWLING.