Best of Bloganuary 2023

In January, I took part in a WordPress challenge called Bloganuary. Every day for 31 days, I received a writing prompt to inspire me to write a post for that day, which I did. During those 31 days, I sang a song for you, wrote a poem, shared childhood memories, offered advice and aspirations, and much more. Below are what I consider to be the best of Bloganuary in no particular order. Thank you to those who read my posts and engaged with them. I appreciate it. I hope you enjoy this greatest hits retrospective of this fun writing challenge.

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What would you title your autobiography?

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Today’s Bloganuary prompt is “What would you title the chapters of your autobiography?” I don’t like that question because I think it’s too difficult to answer accurately, and I don’t think the answer is compelling. Instead, I’ve modified it to: What would you title your autobiography? That’s a far better question, easier to answer, and makes for a more readable post. Below is my answer to this question, and don’t forget to let me know yours.

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What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why?

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Photo by Quốc Bảo on Pexels.com

What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why? For me, it’s “Hell Yeah” by Neil Diamond. Watch the video below of me singing “Hell Yeah” a capella, let me know your thoughts on it, and share with me what song or poem speaks to you and why.

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Neil Diamond 2015 Philadelphia Concert: Melody Road Tour (Full Video)

On March 15, 2015, I saw my first and last Neil Diamond concert when he made a stop in Philadelphia on his Melody Road Tour. It was my last Neil Diamond show because he retired just a few years later after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I recently came across the following full HD recording of that concert. It’s a great memory for me, and I hope you enjoy it too. Below is the full video and the setlist for the concert, as well as a video I recorded showing off the tour program I picked up at the concert. Neil Diamond may be done touring, but the music lives on.

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Review: Neil Diamond Live in Philadelphia

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Last night was my first time seeing Neil Diamond live, and he didn’t disappoint. For two hours he played a non-stop setlist of his top hits (“Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Cherry Cherry,” etc.)  and three terrific songs from his new album: Melody Road. The highlights of the night, for me, included his renditions of “Play Me” and “America,” which I have videos of below. I also loved seeing him perform the absolutely beautiful “Nothing But a Heartache” from Melody Road. If you get a chance to see Neil Diamond live, do so. He puts on a great show.

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What I’m Listening To: Only to Rise by Sweet & Lynch

Sweet & LynchThis year I enjoyed some amazing new music from artists including Barry Manilow, Billy Idol, Neil Diamond, and Dionne Warwick, among others. But 2015 is shaping up to be even better based on what I’m listening to right now, which is Only to Rise by Sweet & Lynch.

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Movie Review – Anchorman 2

Anchorman 2Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel to the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, opened this weekend following what I consider to be one of the most creative advertising campaigns ever for a feature film. The question is, does this sequel live up to the hype? Read on my curious friend.

Unlike the first film, which was set in the 1970s, Anchorman 2 takes place in the 1980s – my favorite decade! Despite the questionable fashion choices in this decade of decadence, the music, movies and TV shows were awesome. Speaking of which, Anchorman 2 has a killer soundtrack. You’ll find everything from John Waite’s “Change” to Neil Diamond’s “Shilo” to “Every 1’s a Winner” by Hot Chocolate. And the obligatory Kenny Loggins’ track is on here too – the terrific “This Is It” featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald. It’s a feast for the ears that compliments the movie’s visuals perfectly.

While the classic one-liners from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are a tough act to follow, Anchorman 2 does its best to deliver the goods. As a fan of the first film and Will Ferrell, I’m glad to report that the majority of this movie delivers the goods. However, it does drag on longer than it should and it felt as though the plot lacked focus toward the end.

The bottom line is this – if you didn’t see the first movie or don’t like Will Ferrell’s brand of humor, don’t bother seeing Anchorman 2. On the other hand, if you love the first film and can’t get enough of Will Ferrell, give this one a shot. It’s not as good as the first, but it features excellent music, solid performances across the board, countless cameos by Hollywood A-listers, and, most importantly, gut-wrenchingly funny moments.