Cinemadope: Into the Woods
Nov21

Cinemadope: Into the Woods

With Black Friday upon us this week, the maelstrom of the holiday shopping season has officially begun. Weekends will find increasingly desperate hordes descending on anything that looks like it might hold toys or electronics, toddlers will go into full meltdown mode on the mall mezzanine, and the relentless saccharine cheer of holiday music will begin to take over our brainwaves. As a great fan of holiday music, I actually don’t mind...

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Astrology: Taurus, look to Brian Eno for calm in high intensity storm
Nov21

Astrology: Taurus, look to Brian Eno for calm in high intensity storm

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Creative people are at greater risk,” said psychiatrist R. D. Laing, “Just as one who climbs a mountain is more at risk than one who walks along a village lane.” I bring this to your attention, Aries, because in the coming weeks you will have the potential to be abundantly creative, as well as extra imaginative, ingenious, and innovative. But I should also let you know that if you want to fulfill this...

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How to talk politics with your family on Thanksgiving: an Advocate chat
Nov21

How to talk politics with your family on Thanksgiving: an Advocate chat

The Valley Advocate is starting up a new feature: chats! Our inaugural chat will be about mixing family and politics during Thanksgiving. If you want to hear about some of our coping strategies, read on! The conversation has been lightly edited. dave.eisen (Dave Eisenstadter, web editor): Shall we begin? kristinpalpini (Kristin Palpini, editor): Yep petevancini (Peter Vancini, staff writer): Off we go kristinpalpini: What are we here...

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The Pumpkin Beer Taste Test (Round 2)
Nov14

The Pumpkin Beer Taste Test (Round 2)

When I think back to last fall, and the dozen taste tests I did of pumpkin-flavored beers, my tongue conjures flashbacks of bad and bewildering brews. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. Or maybe I’m an optimist, holding onto a hope that there are pumpkin beers out there that don’t taste like thin perfume, cloying candy, or bitter-tinged pumpkin guts. To be fair, last year’s search unearthed a few solid options. I enjoyed...

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Cinemadope: Underdogs, from the Sox to the Cubbies
Oct31

Cinemadope: Underdogs, from the Sox to the Cubbies

Shortly before I sat down to write this column, the unimaginable happened: the Chicago Cubs clinched a World Series berth for the first time in 71 years. If you don’t follow baseball, just know that it was a long drought — Lawrence of Arabia long, if you’re more of a film person (of course, they haven’t won it yet; that drought has lasted since 1908). Here in Massachusetts, where Sox fans know a little something about long waits, it...

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