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Ripley and Terry: Stumbling upon another unexpected movie-making connection

February 13, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 13, 2015 Author’s note: I love finding connections between things, and I especially enjoy when my blog helps me stumble upon links. Here’s another instance of that. MEM The other week, I went to a used bookstore and traded in some books and DVDs for different books and DVDs. One of my new […]

Finding unexpected connections between comedic improvising and fiction writing

July 8, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 8, 2013 This summer, I signed up for Improv 101, a class in improvisational comedy offered by DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro, N.C. I had a lot of different reasons for doing so. Among them: I wanted to try something different; I wanted to do something funny; I wanted […]

William Gibson connects a small Georgia town to Russian-British kleptocrats in his intricate 2014 novel, ‘The Peripheral’

February 17, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 17, 2019 To read a William Gibson story is to embark upon a journey of discovery.  What kind of world — often at once amazing and dispiriting — has the U.S.-born writer created, and what convoluted scheme are the characters enmeshed in, voluntarily or otherwise? Moreover, what kind of […]

Dominant Irish fourth quarter sparks a 38-17 Notre Dame victory

October 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 5, 2018 The late American comedian is supposed to have once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” When Notre Dame hosted Stanford last Saturday evening in a primetime battle of top-10-ranked unbeaten teams, both teams had plenty of chances to grab a win. Unfortunately for the road […]

Aerial attack shines for Stanford in 31-10 season-opening victory over San Diego State

September 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 5, 2018 The Stanford football team gave off some mixed signals as it got its 2018 campaign under way Friday evening. After the Cardinal elected to receive the ball, junior quarterback K.J. Costello and friends trotted out to start their first official possession of the year at the home […]

Hobbled Love and inspired defense carry Cardinal to a 30-22 upset victory over Washington

November 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Nov. 15, 2017 Tailback Bryce Love ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns Friday evening to lead the Stanford football team to a 30-22 victory over Washington. The Cardinal moved to 7-3 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 while handing the 8-2 Huskies only their second loss, both in conference […]

Stanford pounds Ducks, 49-7

October 17, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 17, 2017 Bryce Love ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns in limited action and Keller Chryst threw for 181 yards and three scores as Stanford cruised to a 49-7 homecoming win over Oregon on Saturday evening. The Cardinal moved to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12 while […]

Determined Cardinal does just enough to prevail in a 23-20 road win over Utah

October 11, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 11, 2017 All-world runner Bryce Love found just enough space against a smothering Utah defense to secure a key 23-20 road win for the Stanford football team on Saturday evening in Salt Lake City. The Cardinal moved to 4-2 and 3-1 in the Pac-12 while handing Utah (4-1, 1-1) […]

Stanford falls to 1-2 after offense sputters against San Diego State

September 19, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 19, 2017 Author’s note: The day after this post was published, I adjusted some erroneous references to statistics about Stanford’s total offense. The team gained 254 yards, not 238. MEM A feeble offensive performance doomed the Stanford football team to a 20-17 loss at San Diego State on Saturday evening. The […]

Weekend (?) anecdotes: A deer sighting and my seat-swap roller-coaster ride

July 30, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 30, 2017 My days have been a bit of a blur lately, so I’m only 99 percent sure that the following anecdote took place on Saturday, July 29. I was walking a certain family dog around my Parental Unit’s neighborhood. We were heading toward a T-intersection of residential streets when […]

Fiascos and hilarity abound in ‘My Heart is an Idiot,’ Davy Rothbart’s collection of essays about life and love

March 22, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com March 22, 2017 Davy Rothbart, the Michigan-born writer and magazine editor, is like most people: Get some drink into him and he tends to develops the gift of gab. Also like most people, inebriation tends to lower Rothbart’s inhibitions and impair his judgments. What sets Rothbart apart is his knack for […]

Cardinal easily overwhelms Rice, 41-17, in post-Thanksgiving workout

November 28, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Nov. 28, 2016 The Stanford football team outran and outmuscled Rice on Saturday, outrushing the visiting Owls by more than 200 yards in a 41-17 victory to complete its 2016 regular season schedule. The 9-3 Cardinal used the same formula that had served it so well throughout the squad’s five-game winning streak: A lot […]

WSU slices and dices foundering Stanford, 42-16

October 11, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 11, 2016 There were a number of encouraging omens for the Stanford football team entering Saturday night’s home contest against Washington State, despite the fact that the Cardinal was coming off of a crushing 44-6 road loss to the University of Washington. Item: Stanford was tied with Alabama, Boise State, […]

People always hate That Team — and in Pac-12 football, That Team is USC Trojans

September 23, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 23, 2016 Every sports league that’s attracted a passionate fan base and that’s had a stable set of teams for more than a few seasons has That Team. That Team is the team that everybody either loves or hates. That Team is the team that’s been the most successful, and […]

Series summary: The ‘Laughing Gas’ movies

July 15, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 15, 2016 I recently rewatched all the entries in my favorite schlocky horror-movie series, and I wanted to recap them for your enjoyment! • Laughing Gas (1959). Jim Laffmore (Lou Vernon) is the proprietor of Laughmore’s Comedy Club and Lounge, a venue that is wildly successful despite being located in […]

Recent Readings for July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 1, 2016 • “The Love Song of Robert Bentley, Alabama’s Horndog Governor.” GQ political correspondent Jason Zengerle dives into one of the recent scandals that has rocked the Alabama political world: The extramarital affair between Gov. Robert Bentley, a kindly dermatologist and grandfather whom some nicknamed “the accidental governor,” and a […]

An ex-jock gets tangled up in a scheme to abscond with ill-gotten cash in the crime thriller ‘Caught Stealing’

June 30, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 30, 2016 More than 16 years ago, novelist Colin Harrison published a gritty crime thriller called Afterburn. I read it not long after its release, and while a lot of the details have faded with time, I remember its brutality. One of the main characters is tortured by mobsters eager […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 3, tournament 5

June 12, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 12, 2016 National championship finals, Tuesday morning, June 7, 2016. When I got back to the motel early Tuesday after that night’s epic near-miss, I asked the front desk clerk for some paper, a pen and some tape. wrote a note to my roommates: “Please wake me up at […]

Comedian Aziz Ansari surveys the state of ‘Modern Romance’ with his first book

June 2, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 2, 2016 One of the things I did on my trip to Colorado last fall, besides watch a Stanford football victory with my Sibling, was watch a few episodes of Master of None with my Sibling and Sibling-in-Law. This sitcom, a Netflix exclusive, was released the day before the Stanford-Colorado game […]

On politicians and (possible) pyramid schemes

April 7, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com April 7, 2016 I referred on Tuesday to a post by Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan that asked “Do Any of the Republicans Running for President Actually Want to Win?” I happen to disagree with some of Ryan’s takes. For instance, I think that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) very badly wants to […]

Coffee shop, SHOUTY LADY: Recent locally sourced eavesdropping

February 3, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 3, 2016 As is only proper for a 21st-century college town, Durham has a number of fine coffee shops, and as I wrote recently, one of my favorites is Respite Cafe. But man, was I ever taken by surprise on a recent visit to Respite. Just the other day, when I […]

Among the stars, war: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ revives a classic space opera but isn’t as compelling as the originals

January 7, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 7, 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings together a mix of old and new characters from the mega-successful science-fiction movie series in order to launch a new sequence of cinematic space adventures. But you probably already know that. The plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set in motion by […]

Fantastic finishes for Hogan, Cajuste, Ukropina and co. send Irish hopes tumbling: Stanford beats Notre Dame, 38-36

December 2, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Dec. 2, 2015 After Conrad Ukropina’s 45-yard kick sailed through the uprights as time expired to give the Stanford football team a dramatic 38-36 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night, I tweeted about it. Then I raised my hands triumph and ran around the sports bar where I’d been watching […]

Man in decline: Anita Brookner’s ‘Strangers’ depicts an elderly, lonesome Londoner in his twilight years

November 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Nov. 26, 2015 When I looked at the indicia of the Anita Brookner novel Strangers, I was startled to see that the book had only been published in 2009. It seemed to me that I had had the slim brown volume lingering on one bookcase or another for forever, accompanying me to a variety of […]

Saturday morning: Some anecdotes

October 11, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 11, 2015 Early on Saturday morning, around 1:45, I was finishing up a blog post and was playing a game on my favorite Internet Scrabble app when I heard a series of short, staccato sounds: pop pop pop pop pop pop pop. I frowned to myself. Were those fireworks? It seemed unlikely; the sounds […]