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Showing posts from 2023

Dome Pondering - 2023 Year in Review

In 2023, your boy went through it, ya'll.  And I'm sure you did, too. Didn't we all?  2023 was quite the year. And for the world that we all share our experiences within, it certainly provided an aura that was heavy, and felt like the world around us was always on fire.  Nonetheless, we're at the finish line, and if writing these Year in Reviews for the past eighteen years has taught me anything, it's that the opportunity to enjoy the opportunity for reflection and give thanks is the most salient part of this review process.  And as always, that starts with you, the reader of this little site called Dome Pondering. Again, I can't contribute as much as I'd like, but when I do, I thank you for checking in, for the support, and even for the occasional feedback. It's always - always! - appreciated.  So let's get on with this thing. As is customary, let's hand out the usual end-of-the-year Pondy Awards and I'll put a bow on my 2023 with some per

The Pondering 10 - Most Fascinating Things of 2023

2023 is one of those years that simply felt like a slog.  You know what I mean? Ehhh... I'll get into that in the upcoming (and 18th annual) Dome Pondering Year in Review .  Nonetheless, as has become a weird tradition as well, let's get into what I thought to be the most fascinating things to me in 2023. Again, just my thoughts - for all of you supreme critics. (Most Fascinating Things: 2015 , 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , 2021 , & 2022 ) And by "fascinating", I mean exactly that - people, ideas, topics, or things that simply rattled the brain with supreme interest.  Nonetheless, let's do it. My 2023 Most Fascinating Things list... --- 10. George Santos - In no way am I endorsing Santos, or even want to give the guy a platform of any kind - in any way. But the entire concept of Santos, a man who lied his way to public office - and continues to be unable to tell the truth - is so indicative of our societal accountability and approach to politics. Some kn

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Bruised (2020)

What is it about?  A former mix-martial artist finds redemption and the courage to overcome her own demons when her son unexpectedly is placed in her life.  Who is in it? Halle Berry - Jackie Justice  Adam Canto - Desi  Sheila Atim - Buddhakan Danny Boyd Jr. - Manny Lyons Jr. Favorite Scene: [spoiler alert] After going to an underground fight, Jackie is lored into an impromptu brawl with one of the larger fighters that shows local promoters that she still has something left to offer.  Favorite Quote: "Look, this ain't my mess. This is your mess. For once in your life, girl, handle your business." Review: It's hard to do combat movies. Let's just say the obvious out loud, Rocky ruined the code, the genre, and the plot for everyone going forward. However, if there was a form that was updated for the times, from the perspective of a woman, and introduced some newer social topics to the fighting space, Bruised definitely earns some points.  The film is great. The stor

Quick Ponder: Dark Assignment

Lord, help me find the darkest, darkness, where my light  may shine,  or forced to burn brighter, for you.  Is that not the only way to truly shine?

Dome Pondering Movie Review: A Good Person (2023)

What is it about? A thriving young woman, Allie, who has so much going for her, has her entire life upended by surviving a major accident and must now battle the effects of it all along with others, who all find hope, refuge, and a way out leaning on one another.  Who is in it?  Florence Pugh - Allison Morgan Freeman - Daniel Celeste O'Connor - Celeste  Chinaze Uche - Nathan Favorite Scene:   After having lunch at Daniel's house, Ryan comes home, realizes who Allison is, and why she remembers her, and then they both wrestle with past and present feelings to make the most of the moment.  It ends with Daniel inviting Allison to stay for dinner.  Favorite Quote:  "Neither of us chose this fate, but perhaps we can find a way to love it." Review:   A Good Person is an absolute good great phenomenal movie.  It's a tremendous film that begins with the complete smashing of a perfect, likable character in Allison, and setting up not just a basic comeback, but the kind of

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/10/23

3 Up 1. Terror Plot Foiled - It sort of flew under the radar this week...but the thought of a 16-year-old boy plotting a terror attack is exemplary of where we are in this world right now. Ugh... Thank God for the authorities who foiled this plot.  2. Declan Lopez - She is a 6-year-old genius! That's all that needs to be said. Definitely give this one a read. Imagine having a genius in your if kids aren't sassy enough. This one is smarter than you, and it's proven. Such a cool story.  3. Shohei Ohtani - My guy just went out and got $700M. Unbelievable. Still doesn't seem real. Even better? He deferred so much of it to help the team out, and ultimately, ensured an awesome retirement plan. Applause all around for possibly the new face of baseball.  3 Down 1. Las Vegas Shootings - Another day in America, another discussion on mass shootings and gun policy. SMH.  2. Drug Shortages - If getting prescription drugs in this country wasn't difficult enough d

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Pain Hustlers (2023)

What is it about? Based on a true story, Liza dreams of a better life for herself and her daughter and turns an opportunity for a bankrupt pharmaceutical company into an ethical conundrum leading to a federal criminal conspiracy.  Who is in it? Emily Blunt - Liza Drake  Chris Evans - Pete Brenner  Catherine O'Hara - Jackie Favorite Scene:   [spoiler alert] After a character we never met other than through his kindness is known to have overdosed, Liza tries to reach out to the wife and is met with a cold acceptance.  Favorite Quote:  "And then you climb a couple tax brackets, and it's the same old grift, only for money, and it smells like gardenias and alpaca shit"  Review:  Pain Hustlers was one of Netflix's big pushes and I decided to watch it. Sure, the trailer alone is intriguing drawing immediate comps to Scarface or The Wolf of Wall Street , but more so in the sense that the pharma world was the draw.   The beginning of this film starts quick and the immedia

Thoughts from 4th 2023 Republican Primary Debate

I've lost all sorts of understanding and credibility for the 2023 Republican Primary debates. I think that's not only obvious from my previous posts but also from the stature of the debates ranging from large-scale networks to where it finished up in 2023 this week. The 4th debate finished with a rating of 2.5M people. A long cry from the 12.5 who watched the initial debate.   I fear people may have lost hope, or have their minds made up. Which, really is a shame for the sake of debates and gathering information from our candidates.  I remain still on the same platform as I did when the first one happened, and that is until Donald Trump takes the stage, it really lacks credibility as the candidates squabble for second place, and even then, besides Chris Christie who has made it very clear on his position, they are strategically positioning themselves to not alienate the Trump base until they absolutely need to.  It's all still so weird. And I don't blame Trump at all. T

Quick Ponder: True Smiles

Smiles become  understood  as the scars they come through are revealed. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/3/23

3 Up 1. Continued Cease Fire - Sure, this won't last long and likely won't mean much once this all picks back up. But for a few days - even if JUST for a few days - it's good to see an agreed to cease-fire to get hostages out and innocent lives evacuated. The whole thing - all of it - still sucks.  2. Sandra Day O'Connor - We lost the first female Supreme Court Justice this week in SDO. Her accomplishments are worth celebrating and learning about.  3. Mark Cuban - Cuban sold his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks this week, which was disappointing - Cuban always made for a very cool owner. Then I learned he made $2B+ off the sale after originally paying $285M for the team. Cuban retains basketball operation rights as well. Not bad.  3 Down 1. Christmas in Bethlehem - Christian Palestinians announced that Christmas ceremonies and celebrations in Bethlehem (and around Gaza) would be canceled due to the war (obviously). I don't know, that just felt so wrong, and so sad

The Pondering 10 - Must Watch Wrestling Talent II

It's been so long since I've hammered out a new (or NEWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!) Pondering 10 . Life can quickly happen. It moves so fast sometimes that I can't even have a moment to rank things anymore.  Yes, that was part joke, part truth. Whatevs.  Nonetheless, off the heels of one of the most fun years in pro wrestling that I can remember, I thought it was appropriate to UPDATE a previous Pondering 10 - Must Watch Wrestling Talent . This one I made in 2015, and yeah, it's really interesting to see who I was into back then. Some made it. Few changed. Others just disappeared.  Regardless, we're giving the topic a second volume. Let's go babeeeeeeeeeee!  Here is my UPDATED version of my current list of Must Watch Wrestling Talent.  This is MY list. For those who will disagree, you're more than welcome to make your own. :)  --- 10. Josh Alexander - My guy from Impact Wrestling (soon to be TNA again, yay!). Alexander continues to be THE most underrated talent in pro

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/26/23

3 Up 1. Hostages Released - It might not be an overwhelming consensus - as this topic is so polarizing that I doubt we come to such agreements. Regardless, having innocent individuals released is a plus in the situation. I wish we still didn't have innocent people dying, but that's a whole other topic.  1a. Cease Fire - Who knows how long this will last. But the fact there is an agreement in place while hostages are being released is a plus. Take it.  2. Thanksgiving - The older I get, the more this day has a deeper focus and a sense of gratitude. Please take a moment today to focus on that among all of the chaos of food, family, friends, and everything else.  3. CM Punk Return - How cool was that? CM Punk returns to the WWE at the Survivor Series. Never say never in that company.  3 Down 1. NBA Ethics Optics - From Miles Bridges to Josh Giddey, its been really difficult lately to trust the NBA's moral compass. I'm not throwing them under the bus as they've done the

WWE Survivor Series 2023 Review: "Whaddya Wanna Talk About?"

Well, following that premium live event, in the words of Cody Rhodes... "whaddya wanna talk about?"  The obvious is there, right? CM Punk, somehow, makes a bid for another moment-of-the-year candidate for wrestling fans with another "return" - his second over the last four years. This one, back to the WWE, in what felt like the most improbable of opportunities. But as we've learned, WWE truly is where you "never say never".  You can go in so many directions on this one. But without going too far down a road that hasn't developed or we have some headlights on, it's quite clear that WWE is absolutely crushing the wrestling business right now, and adding anything - or anyone - to that continued record success is the mission. They. Are. Not. Settled.  Second, the unveil I thought was great. Just absolute pro wrestling at its peak. As soon as the guitar riff to "Cult of Personality" hit and the familiar graphics hit the screens, my immedia

Quick Ponder: Gratitude

  My sense of gratitude explodes within my heart when I cease expressing it through the tangible, but rather through, time and moments.  Happy Thanksgiving, all. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/19/23

3 Up 1. Avoid Government Shutdown - Anytime we can do this, it's a good thing. Unfortunately, at a time when it feels Americans have less faith in the overall system working for them than ever before, especially with a Presidential election looming, shutdowns don't help that.  2. Sister Zaph   - I'm amazed at this story, especially Sister Zaph's approach to education in founding a school at 13 years of age with a philosophy of "Love". Definitely give this one a brief read.  3. Micro Acts Proven - Huh? Imagine that, small acts of kindness can bring joy. We need this reminder as the world feels like it's falling apart.  3 Down 1. World Tragedy - Just when everything in Gaza consumes your ethos, there is Ukraine. And the Congo. And Haiti. Then there are the recovering people of Hawaii. The earthquakes in Iceland. And Nepal. And sooo many other areas. It's hard to carry the burden.  2. School Climates - Every campus. Every high school. Every school board