Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Divorce: Who Will Get Jimmy Kimmel?

Still from Handsome Men's Club video
With many media websites calling the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner marriage a “fairytale” it is a bit shocking that the big news today is that the couple are to divorce. The only question remaining, is who will get Jimmy Kimmel? Garner and Affleck have been married for 10 years, they celebrated their anniversary on Monday, and on Tuesday released a statement that “after much consideration” they are ending one of the most talked about marriages in recent history.

The two met on the set of the 2003 film Daredevil, where they worked together and then married in June 2005. The Gone Girl star has had three children with the Men, Women & Children star; two girls and a boy, Violet, Seraphina and Samuel, and it could be said that they share another “dependent,” 47 year-old Jimmy Kimmel.

Although to be fair Kimmel probably belongs more to Affleck than Jennifer despite her playing along with the gag in the Handsome Men’s Club skit for Jimmy’s ABC show:

After the Handsome Men’s Club, Affleck and Jimmy got together to film a response to old pal Sarah Silverman’s gag video with Matt Damon, Ben’s BFF and brunt of Kimmel’s long running “out of time” schtick. The musical number “I’m F***ing Ben Affleck” response to “I’m F***ing Matt Damon” (with it’s star studded chorus and curious lack of Jennifer Garner) may hold a hint as to why the couple’s 10 year marriage has ended:

The video may also present some clue as to who will get Jimmy. It is pretty clear that the two men are very simpatico and more likely to “hook up” now that Jennifer is out of the picture. The first video though shows that Garner has a sense of humor, unfortunately however, her acumen at picking funny roles is fatally off, witness the Disney flop Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

On the more serious side of the very sad news that Garner and Ben will no longer be a couple, the two have asked for a little distance from the press in regards to their children’s privacy during their mutual decision to divorce.

Last year the Argo star and director reacted angrily to rumors that all was not well in his marriage and it can be understood that this was more for the children than for either Ben or Jennifer. The two are grownup people who entertain for a living and both have a delicious sense of humor, Jennifer surprisingly so, which most likely went a long way to keeping their union solid for the decade long marriage.

One thing is for certain, if things get ugly between Garner and Affleck in the coming months, her lawyer may be singing, “I’m f***ing Ben Affleck.” Jennifer can provide the choral backup. On the flip side, this could be a Kimmel prank…Couldn’t it?

Shaun of the Dead: England Revisited

Still from Shaun of the Dead

This 2004 very British Zombie film took the world by storm. Shaun of the Dead was even featured in Scream 4 as part of the film’s beginning – two characters were watching the movie on television while “ghost face” was busy murdering victim number three. Watching the movie on DVD and then listening to the commentary later with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, feels a little like England revisited.

Of course the first thing that anyone will notice while listening to the commentary by Pegg and Wright, is the cleverness of the script and all the ways the film ties into foreshadowing at the start of the movie by Ed. The other thing is how typically English the film and  the commentators are.

Watching the film back when it first came out on DVD, my daughter and I became instant life-long fans of Pegg, Wright, Nick Frost and the movie. It is so English in its depiction of just how your average Brit would react to a zombie apocalypse. So much so that you can smell the tea and scones whilst watching it.

Shaun with tea and Ed with a cornetto
The obligatory cup of tea…and a cornetto

This first offering in the “cornetto trilogy” set the tone for the remaining films. Each very English in nature and featuring the three men who have worked together since Spaced. Sadly of all the commentaries available on the DVD, the trio do not comment together.

But, for a real feel of England, listen to the the Pegg/Wright track and then the cast commentary. The former is quite amusing, “you love men,” however, with two stand up comedians in the mix, Irish comic Dylan Moran and Pegg the color provided by the actors is very, very funny and very, very British.

While both may confuse non-English fans with references that are as typically tea and scone-ish as Shaun of the Dead, for those who are more familiar with the vernacular and the humor, these commentaries are as enjoyable as the film.

Listening to all the actors doing their impression of the great Bill Nighy is among the many highlights of the running chat during the film. Doing their “luvey” discussions (comically) about why “acting is so tiring” and “don’t talk to me about emoting,” and the chuckles just don’t stop.

If you find that sort of thing funny.

I myself do and admittedly the thing I miss most about my home of almost 32 years is the humor. Perhaps the thing that kept me coming back to work everyday at HMP & YOI Warren Hill (the prison that was my workplace for 10 years) was the ability of my coworkers and colleagues to make me laugh on a very regular basis.

Maybe it is living with the abysmal English weather that makes the average Brit so able to see the funny or sarcastic side of everything. Don’t get me wrong, the British sense of humor can be rough, even sadistic.

Shaun of the Dead: England Revisited Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 01.53.03


When the shuttle exploded killing all 7 astronauts on board, a popular short joke that made the rounds was, “What do astronauts like to drink? Seven-up.”

That is the least offensive of the jokes that were passed around at the local.

British humor is, for the most part, easily accepted across the pond here in the US.  Although some English gags are so topical that no one apart from a resident of that country can understand them. American humor, for some reason, does not always go over well in the UK.

For me, Shaun of the Dead  is like England revisited. The theme, story and characters in the film are a snapshot of the country and just how your average man or woman on the street would handle a zombie apocalypse.  As the commentators are quick to point out, the film is, at its core, about “getting your life sorted” amidst a zombie invasion.


That in England the average denizen would carry on regardless despite the apocalypse around them. Regardless of plot and sub-plots the film is hysterically funny.  After having a good laugh at the movie, take the time to listen to the commentaries.

There are a total of four, the last two featuring, the brilliant Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton who play Shaun’s stepfather Philip and Shaun’s mum,  and the very  last commentary is done by the zombies in the film.  Bill sets the tone of number three with wondering what other countries think of the word “bollocks.” Even if you do not normally watch the special features, make this DVD the exception. You will be glad you did.

The wildly talented Bill Nighy
Nighy as Philip…”He’s NOT my dad!”

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose…

Picture of author in desert not singing the bird songI used to sing this song to my daughter when she was little. Although my version was a little more comically oriented than even the original of this comedy song. I made ripping noises for the “hose” bit, an elephant trumpeting noise for the “caress you with it’s toes” part, and a sneeze always accompanied the “up your nose” lyric. As a little one, she found this hysterically funny and as a frustrated actor, I could be counted upon to perform this little tune at the drop of a hat.

You may well ask just why I’ve brought this up at a time when I’m recounting my most recent experiences in the desert of the great American West? It is simple really, this has to do with the polite version of what runs through my head as cars speed past an old geezer who would kill for a lift, with anyone (hell even Jack the Ripper) just to get off his aching feet.

Once I arrived here, sans car, did rush around to get a second hand bike. Typically, there were no bikes on sale anywhere and only by chance did one appear. A Chinese made yellow thing with dodgy gears and a seat designed to make gang rape from a gang of Hell’s Angels seem like a walk in the park by comparison. (I still haven’t gotten used to the seat and my search for a gel cover or the equivalent has been hindered by location and funds, meanwhile…OUCH)

In one week, I fell twice in the desert. Once because of not paying attention to where I was going and the other time because I was unused to the terrain. (Not to say I’m paranoid, but after the second, very painful incident, to a casual observer I must appear to be looking very intently for change on the desert floor. Of course in the middle of the desert these observers would most like be animals who think I’m some odd looking creature hunting for food?)

To be fair to myself, I was banged up pretty badly. Left knee swollen and bruises all the way down my left leg, left wrist bruised and hand swollen with very limited movement and a nasty knock to the cheekbone and forehead. My old body repaired itself “on the move” while still walking or riding around 12 to 14 miles each day.

Author self portrait
Self portrait of wounds sustained by punching the desert floor with my face.

The fact that it was wearing on me registered with low grade cold symptoms, shivering then sweating. Aching all over, not just on the wounded parts, and feeling “to the bone” tired; so much so that I’ve taken three days off from walking anywhere apart from in the RV.

But, I digress, this written “rant” has to do with walking and riding along the road. For the most part, since my arrival, people have been friendly. There is some idiot, not what I refer to him in my mind, I assure you, who I stumble across intermittently when biking.

Coming up behind me, he lays on his horn and then seems to be making some sort of rude gesture as he passes. I can’t really see, the hand signal is really wasted on an old fellow who’s seen, heard and particapted in most rude behaviour, words and gestures in the world – hello, Prison Officer, nor am I bothered.

The other behaviour includes his aping my open-mouth gasping for air as I go up hills. This is done as he passes the other way. Such infantile behaviour must wildly amuse this chap as he never ceases to do it. As for me, I’m just glad that I can entertain someone with so little effort.

My first couple of weeks here, I got lots of offers for lifts, both to and from town. Some I took, others I politely declined, either because I was nearly home or the amount of dogs in the vehicle made it too messy to consider. The point here is that when I first got here, my trips took a long time and were not quite so taxing on the system. As the days passed and the journey became everyday, this changed.

Since part of my reason for being here is to start writing for another site, Viral Global News while beginning to tear myself away from to The fact that the RV doesn’t have Internet, apart from this odd sort of 2G/3G hotspot rubbish I’m tapping into now, means that walking or riding to town for WiFi is a necessity. And before someone starts in on “why don’t you get Internet at the RV,” remember funds are a serious issue as my last site of employment still owes me money and the Queen’s ill-health pension is TINY.

*On a sidenote, if you’ve not done so already, head over to the above mentioned website. There you’ll find a few of my entertainment pieces and a group of nice folks who are not intent upon living off their writing team.*

As time has moved on, the 12 – 14 mile round trip to town and back has gotten harder. The very fact that I’ve had to slink around the RV for three days and sleep a lot, means that as well as hard, it’s been exhausting. It has also been a lesson in human nature, mine and the drivers who pass me by.

Stock picture of ambulance

Blisters, aching joints, bruises and walking slower and slower because of the aforementioned ailments, makes the traveler unreasonable in his (in other words my) expectations of the vehicles passing by. I should point out that after a very scary experience in Arkansas in 1980 and then later a very unnerving one in England, I never stop for hitchhikers unless I know them, personally. At least two folks who stopped to pick me up when I first got here were neighbors who know my parents.

Rather unsurprisingly, after an incident (which I will not go into here) in the neighborhood, these rides have stopped. Such is life and no harsh feelings for the change of sentiment. This left, like Blanche from “Streetcar Named Desire,” a reliance upon the kindness of strangers and, to be fair, a few stopped.

An old chap (as in much older than I), a miner, or prospector, and an older female locksmith. That has been it. I decided that the backpack I’ve been using to cart my suddenly very heavy MacBook Pro to and from town may have the drivers thinking I am a desert rat. The attitude toward these nomadic denizens in the area is not a generous one.

I changed my attire and traded my backpack for the Next “manbag” and put on a pair of cowboy boots instead of my swat boots. The result was blisters on both my heels and no ride. The next day the swats were back, as was the backpack, and I rode the blisters to town and back. Then came my enforced three day break.

I will use this medium to apologise now to all the cars and their drivers who passed me by, except for the bozo who takes the piss when I ride my bike. My thoughts about you, your family and your ancestors were unfair and colored by pain and frustration. To give myself credit, I always smiled, waved, and/or waved back at the cars as they passed, while thinking the blackest and darkest of thoughts, and acting like this lack of human kindness did not bother me.

“May the Bird of Paradise Fly up Your Nose” may not be what I was thinking but I am pretty sure I was thinking some variation of this sentiment. On the other side of the coin, and then I will shut up about this topic, I also did not run into any nuts or homicidal maniacs either, although I did keep my pepper spray handy when given a ride or an offer of one from a stranger. I’ll end on this positive note, as one dear friend, and my daughter, noted; if I survive this grueling daily trek, I’ll be in the best shape of my life.

4 February 2015

The Walking Dead: Claimed Crazy Cheese Bonding and Rick at Rest

The Walking Dead: Claimed Crazy Cheese Bonding and Rick at Rest

Episode 11 of season 4 of The Walking Dead: Claimed was a mixture of crazy cheese bonding and Rick at rest. This episode gave insights to three separate stories. Carl and Michonne started off lightheartedly and after an awkward moment, Michonne decides to go searching for provisions with Carl and she talks the still recuperating Rick into staying behind and resting up. In this episode, Michonne is shown to have a lighter side which continues to shows an even greater depth to this “kick-ass” character. While these two friends forage for supplies the audience learn more about the samurai sword expert.

Life After Almost Dying…


I wanted a nice “eye-catching” title for my post today. After battling with myself for all of two minutes, I decided not to use the Life after Death title I wanted. Because, although I was technically “dead” while they operation on me for hours, I wasn’t really dead.

At least, I don’t think so.

I mean,  I did not see a white light; get visited by old dear dead relatives; receive any messages from beyond and I did not have any earth shattering visions. I was a little disappointed.

But then, I felt the same three years ago when they pumped me full of radioactive gunk and ran tests on me. I sort of hoped that I’d get some sort of super power, like Spiderman or even Dr Doom. (I know he’s a bad guy, okay?)

I have mentioned that before I was checked out of the hospital early (the staff and the doctors/surgeons were amazed that I’d “recovered” in 4 days) the cardiologist gave me a “pep” talk.

Said talk consisted of me suddenly realising one day that I’d almost died and that I would react, most probably, badly to it.

Hasn’t happened.


But I have changed. No doubt about it. I’m different.

I could not have told you why either. Not until the other day at least.

I’ve finally been allowed to attend cardiology rehabilitation. I won’t go into the reasons why I’ve had to wait for over six months after the heart attack and two surgeries to attend. I’ve written about it all before. At my first “rehab” appointment I was given a questionnaire to fill in. Very much like the one I’d filled in on my first visit to my local GP after I got home from the hospital.

It asks lots of questions about how you feel.

Do you worry? Are you stressed? And so on.

One question towards the end  jumped off the page at me.,d.d2k&psig=AFQjCNHb5ni8pL-zIGKHpnKS5wOA_ognkA&ust=1367348112581422

Do you feel like you are in a hurry or like there is not enough time?


That is exactly how I feel.

I’ve been rushing around trying to do so many things; mainly because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll never get anything accomplished.

It  has dawned on me that I’ve spent the vast majority of my life not doing the things I was passionate about or even enjoyed doing.

My “too close for comfort” brush against the big guy with the scythe and hood made me realise it was time to stop futzing around. I then jumped back into the writing of my blog with almost manic energy (after  I’d started feeling like I really was alive after all) and then took stock.

At the end of that stock take, I’d made up my mind. Try everything that you’ve wanted to do for years; things that, damn it, you were good at. Writing and acting leapt to the front of the queue.

I am writing (a bit more sedately as I’m having to share my output) my blog, of course, but I’m also writing for Rogue Cinema. I’ve gotten my first freelance job, I’ve applied to The New Yorker Times, I’ve been accepted by What Culture and I’ll be acting for the first time in years around June/July this year. I am also, starting on May 16th, a host for Tomorrow Comes Media.

Some of my research.
Some of my research.

I am also up to chapter 7 of my book and I’m still sorting out ideas for more short stories for my collection.

I’m also researching, reading and discovering new authors and films. All these are just on the creative side of my life.

I’ve found that I can also take care of my house, garden, exercise, cook and try to get on top of my financial crisis.

Life is, at the moment, pretty damned sweet.

It is also busy.

So life after almost dying is good and, it has to be said, much better than the alternative.

Writing something!
Writing something!


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