I have two scenes in a horror film. My head appears in a third scene.

During Fall Break, I filmed my scenes for the horror indie The First Night of Summer. My character is a cheesy dad who’s trying too hard to engage with his sullen teenager — played by my daughter. While coaching us on the set, director Mark Sciubba described the dynamic he was looking for, and asked whether our relationship was similar. We both said at the same time, “No, [I don’t/he…

A Matter of Honor (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 8)

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. Riker accepts a temporary assignment as first officer of a Klingon vessel. “A Matter of Honor” offers a thoughtful, enjoyable dramatization of differences between Federation and Klingon culture, and a good B-plot in which Wesley helps a visiting officer adapt to routine operations on the Enterprise. It’s a nice touch to have Riker using his fists, his culinary tastes, and his sense of humor to…

Unnatural Selection (ST:TNG Rewatch Season 2, Episode 7)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. Tension mounts between Captain Picard and Dr. Pulaski as the Enterprise encounters a rapid-aging disease. I rather liked how Picard, who just last week quoted part of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, is in his ready room reading a book when Troi reminds him he wanted to see her. When he closes the book, he uses his finger as a bookmark —…

1

The Schizoid Man (TNG Rewatch: Season 2, Episode 6)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. In his final hours, an arrogant, crotchety cybernetics genius takes a liking to Data. After the genius dies, Data starts acting arrogant and crotchety. Hmm. This early in the run of TNG, we’ve already seen the trope of a brilliant, older professional man supported and in some sense idolized by a female companion in Too Short a Season, We’ll Always…

You, Too, Can Have a Viral Tweet Like Mine: Demystifying Poetic Meter

Saving for the next time I teach “Intro to English Study.” It’s all well and good to sing “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” to the tune of “Hallelujah,” but why can’t you do it the other way around? For that matter, why does it work only when you limit yourself to the first two lines of the song? Why can’t you make the whole tune fit? Generally speaking, the answer…