Tag Archives: pop culture

That’s life

Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood has received enormous attention and near perfect reviews.


It should.

The fact that it was 12 years in the making is epic enough. That the same actors gathered together to recreate this family each year…so the passage of time Is made all the more authentic by every bad haircut, each pop culture reference.

But Boyhood’s true appeal lies in Linklater’s choice of subject matter: the simple, day-to-day ups and downs of a family doing their best to juggle school and jobs and divorce and remarriage and financial worries and love and loss.

Chances are, at certain points in this movie, you will recognize yourself or your family.

And it will make you smile.

Crossing the cultural divide

I have taught students many concepts in my years as a trainer, but today’s lesson was one of my favorites:

“Shut up!”

shut up and trainNot the traditional ‘shut your mouth’ usage of the phrase — but the ‘you’ve got to be kidding, tell me more’ meaning.  My class of primarily native German speakers were not aware of this slang term, and they left my course very excited to try it out on their colleagues.

I’m sure it will be a big hit.

I just wish I could remember where the usage originated.  On TV?  In a movie?  Does anyone out there remember?  If you do,

Shut up!  (keep talking)

Blood type

Now that the phrase ‘tiger’s blood’ has invaded pop-speak, you might secretly be wondering if you have it. Well, that all depends…

Are you a yin (dragon) or a yang (tiger)?

Yep.  The Chinese philosophy of feng shui — and the over 3,000 year old yin-yang theory — can help you answer a question posed oh-so-recently by the drug-addled brain of Charlie Sheen.

Yin-yang theory is the belief that everything in the universe is comprised of complementary elements.  The yin (dragon) represents more feminine traits, the yang (tiger) more masculine qualities.

And you only have to answer 10 simple questions to know which way your blood is boiling!

Take the test.  How’d ya do?

I am a bit of both, so if I do have any ‘tiger’s blood,’ I fear it’s been diluted by the dragon within.


King me

Is dressing like Elvis cool again?

I’m only asking because, during a 24-hour period, I saw three men of varying ages, all dressed a la King.  And I’m talking far outside the Vegas city limits — in Buffalo, New York, to be exact.

The first gentleman was my cabbie.  He had fuzzy dice hanging from his rearview mirror — he won them in Atlantic City — and wore long mutton chop sideburns.  He didn’t affect an Elvis drawl, but his intent was obvious.

The second slightly older Elvis was all voice and swagger.  He was dressed in western gear, kinda like Elvis as Jess Wade in “Charro!”  (That’s an older reference from back when Elvis made cheesy movies.  Consult imdb.com for further information.)

And the last Elvis sat across from me on the plane back to Manhattan.  He wore a purple leather jacket paired with a turquoise collared shirt.  He had the coif down cold, and I’ll bet he wasn’t a day over 25.

Long live the King!