Whoah, We’re Halfway Where?!?!

At just after midnight, I flipped my calendar over to the side where the pages now turn in the other direction.  And then I threw up half of my dinner.

I suppose I should be a tad more grateful than I’m capable of being this morning for officially making it to the second half of 2024 intact.  Plenty of people weren’t so lucky, either with their current positions or their lives.  Somehow, I’ve been able to maintain what I had on January 1st clear through to July 1st.  For me, a once unfathomable weight loss and a part-time position that at least allows me enough to keep myself housed.  Assuming nothing unforeseen happens, of course.

But lately, I seem to be holding down food far less frequently than I typically do, and I’m still on a waiting list for a consultation with a specialist to actually figure out why.  My insurance isn’t the most preferred and let’s just say I’m not a priority scheduling for the truly qualified.  I’ve already tried several adjustments to diet based upon what seems to trigger my symptoms and, honestly, I’ve yet to pin down anything specific that may be causing my discomfort and suffering.

Unless, of course, it’s just my overall reaction to everything going on around me, which has resulted in still more inability for conclusivity or consistency than ever. And it only increases both my determination and frustration that I seem to be consistently denied the chance to actually do something about it.

Forget politics for the moment.  I’ve mused far too much about that lately and, frankly, I have neither the money nor the qualifications to do anything about it.  Nor am I motivated by any current candidate to even want to volunteer.  Those that are personally tolerable continue to follow flawed research and follow enablers’ blnd loyalties.  Those that are supported by intelligent people and valuable insight are largely insufferable and arguably dangerous.   The so-called “binary choice” has devolved into a Hobson’s choice.  Google it.

When I look at the track record of those who are currently working in media, I’m even more bemused by their remarkable inability to accurately predict what can succeed and their blindness to what to me seems to be obvious reasons why the results of what did resonate occurred.  Witness this biox office recap from THE ANKLER’s Sean McNulty this morning:

(I)f you need yet another example about why making ultimatum-like statements about the sealed fate of the box office and America’s moviegoing habits is a fool’s errand — look no further than May & June alone.

May? One movie opened over $50 Million.

June? A movie made at least $50 Million every weekend.

It’s a long summer, folks. Remember — at this time last year, we were all wondering just how huge MI:7 was gonna be, and saying, “Gee, I really hope Oppenheimer makes its money back 🤞. . . oh and that Barbie movie looks fun, no?”

For a change, someone from THE ANKLER-verse  is actually on point.  If McNulty had elected to dig a little deeper he might have noticed that the films that worked last month all were new installments of franchises that began in the 21st century, didn’t involve superheroes and offered tentacles to younger and diverse audiences that actually still desire to go to movie theatres.  A QUIET PLACE DAY ONE and INSIDE OUT 2 share those qualities.   But McNulty seemed to be on the right track.

At least he didn’t take the shockingly simplistic and misrepresentative approach that Matt Belloni of PUCK did, when he interviewed a handful of teenagers that he described as “kids on the Westside, including one whose dad is a big time executive” to attempt to answer the question of what moviegoers actually want to see.  Nothing like a self-selected, statistically unstable, demographically misrepresentative sample to serve as a barometer for predictability.  So much for getting me to subscribe.  Not that I have the spare $15 this month to do so anyhow.

What little enjoyment I seem to have access to lately comes from my love of sports, and even that is at best a coin flip for improving my outlook.  My favorites, the New York Mets, actually returned to relevance and playoff competitiveness with an excellent June that was defined by the surprising success a recent minor league call-up provided.  And I’m not just talking about his defense and timely hitting.  Jose Iglesias has an alter-ego, Candelita, and his just-released song have arguably become the soundtrack of summer, at least in New York.  He performed it after a thrilling win Friday night over an equally resurgent Houston Astros team, and it was nothing short of addicting. But since then, the Mets’ pitching staff imploded and lost the final two games of the series, falling under .500.  So much for momentum.

Even my fantasy baseball team didn’t lift me up.  Going into the final game of the week, I had a 34-point lead on my opponent in a crucial match to potentially determine playoff potential.  A Texas Rangers rookie, Wyatt Langford, hit for the cycle, the first of the 2024 major league season for any player.  In my league, that’s good for 37 points.  My team is now 7-7.

So yeah, it’s one of THOSE days in one of THOSE years.  It’s also the fourth anniversary of my last day in a corporate media position.  And the kind of remuneration that might have allowed me more options to treat all of my symptoms, both physical and emotional.

Hence, that dreaded link that I’ve avoided as much as possible lately is rearing up once more.  It’s that kind of a day.

The only thing that keeps me remotely positive about today is the knowledge that when the second half of the year ends, we could look back upon this halfway point as a far better time.

Indeed, we’re all livin’ on a prayer.

Until next time…


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