I Like ‘Em! (These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things)

One thing for certain about this little old world of ours is that it holds an overwhelming amount of content geared for human discovery and consumption. Travel destinations, food stuffs, movies, automobiles, political causes, you name it . . . there’s always something for us to get excited about and sink our teeth into, if we are so inclined. Which, no doubt, nearly every one of us is. Myself included.

This story, then, shall be a look at a few things that have rung my bell quite nicely as of late. In the upcoming paragraphs I’ll expend wordage upon this motley group: a television series (Ozark), cheddar cheese, and the song (Texas Sun) that has captivated me more than any other recording so far during pandemic-plagued 2020. And I’ll be glad to hear about what has been tickling your fancies recently. So, please don’t be shy about letting me know.

Let’s start with Ozark, the Netflix series whose third season was unleashed earlier this year. My wife and I watched all three seasons over the past few months, taking a two or three week breather between each arc. (The fourth and final season is on the drawing board, but who knows when filming will be able to begin.) We became hooked almost from the get-go, as have millions around the globe. Not so one of my cousins though. When I mentioned Ozark to her during a phone conversation not long ago, she said she’d seen a few minutes of the show but that’s about all. “I don’t want to watch all those sleazy people” was more or less how she summed up her feelings about Ozark.

Sleazy? Indeed! That word damn well fully applies to many of the show’s characters. It barely indicates, though, the depths of their polluted natures.

In Ozark we learn the tale of a married couple, Marty and Wendy Byrde (played, respectively, by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) that is ordered by a Mexican drug cartel to abandon their home in Chicago and relocate, with their two kids, to central Missouri’s Lake Of The Ozarks. LOTO, an enormous man-made lake and a popular vacation spot, is surrounded by rural territory populated with all sorts of unsavory individuals.

Why did the cartel so demand? Because Marty, a buttoned-down financial wizard who years before had agreed, foolishly, to become one of the cartel’s primary money launderers, through no fault of his own got on the cartel’s very wrong side. Via astonishingly quick thinking and quick talking, he avoided execution by convincing the cartel’s top brass that he could make and launder enormous monies for them in, of all places, the Lake Of The Ozarks. Turns out he was pretty right as rain, though establishing the mechanisms that enable that to happen send Marty and his family down hellish paths that in a million years they otherwise wouldn’t have imagined could emerge. And their ordeals gradually bring out the worst in Marty, and the scarily worst in Wendy.

I can see the show’s writers rubbing their hands gleefully as they came up with plot lines that continuously elevate the dangers and other mega-problems that Marty and Wendy must confront. What a series! Prominent cast members regularly meet their demise. Dirty-dealing and treachery reign supreme. Ozark isn’t for everybody, as my cousin demonstrates, but, if you’re not already a fan, it just might be for you.

Now on to cheese. I’ve been a cheese lover for many moons, and cheddar is one of my favorite types. But not the mild kind. I like cheddar that is bold, aggressive and memorable. Those are qualities, by the way, that yours truly sorely lacks.

But it never has been easy for picky me to find cheddars that I deem outstanding. Vermont, for instance, is famed for its cheddars, but I’ve yet to taste a Vermont cheddar that truly knocks my socks off. Thankfully, about four years ago I stumbled upon Old Croc cheddar, which is produced in Australia. The brand’s extra sharp version pleases me deeply. As does a very recent discovery of mine: Sartori’s aged and sharp cheddar. Heavy with elevated flavor, and salty, it is the first American-made cheddar to receive my seal of approval. Take a bow, state of Wisconsin! Pieces of Old Croc and/or Sartori have been my go-to lunch of late. They’re delicious as is, and even better when atop Triscuit crackers.

I wouldn’t dare eat those cheddars while listening to Texas Sun, however. That’s because the process of munching away would interfere with my ability to absorb this oh-so-fine song, which was released in February. A collaboration between vocalist Leon Bridges, who often makes soul music in the vein of Sam Cooke, and indie rock band Khruangbin, Texas Sun is a meditation on longing and lust. It is gently powered by a sweet and steady beat, and wafts upon the wings of dreamy guitar lines. I’ve heard this song many times on various radio stations, which indicates to me that it has found its way into the hearts of numerous music lovers and radio programmers. The best thing for me now to do is to get out of the way and allow you to listen. Here is Texas Sun:

134 thoughts on “I Like ‘Em! (These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things)

  1. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View September 18, 2020 / 8:06 am

    Sorry I’m late But I was Blog fishing and found this post I love it. I’m partial to a bold Swiss cheese myself but cheddar works to.
    I’ll have to stop by again and seek more of your wisdom

    Stay well and laugh

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 18, 2020 / 11:20 am

      Hi there. Thanks for fishing. I like bold Swiss cheeses too. One of the best I know of is the packaged/sliced 365 Swiss at Whole Foods markets. Enjoy the day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. veeds September 18, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    I tried watching Ozark with a Netflix friend. We got through the first several episodes being increasingly intrigued…and then our intrigue turned to feelings of being gamed and tricked. The plot lines began to make no sense–which would have been fine as narrative art if the writers bothered to pay off on anything at the end of the episode. But we increasingly sensed that the producers were simply holding things back for no good reason. It was like someone telling you a great story at a party and then saying “Oh, to find out what happened to the cat that I found drinking my best wine in the closet with a chipmunk you’ll have to come back in a few weeks.”

    Now a show like The Good Wife knew how to have continuing narrative arcs while resolving the particular episode’s dilemma(s) by the final credits.

    For another thing, the narrative time frame seemed bizarrely out of verisimilitude. As I recall, Marty had a hard deadline of a week (or maybe a month?) to pay back the multi-millions he owed the drug lord but then time goes on…and on…and all he can show for his efforts is a modestly paying gig in a restaurant/bar. (It’s been a while since we gave up on the show so I’m probably bolluxing up the details).

    I do love Jason Bateman and Laura Linney but the show just over-tested our goodwill and I feel freed of having another show that I don’t need to binge-watch. (And, by the way, when I mentioned Ozark between matches at a tennis outing, the unsolicited feelings of the others was amazingly similar: too much gimmickry, not enough payoff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 18, 2020 / 5:38 pm

      Hey there. Yeah, Ozark has faults. But the tensions in the story lines, and the great acting, kept me glued to the screen. Have you seen Unorthodox? It’s a good one. So is After Life.

      Like

  3. veeds September 18, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    No haven’t seen either. Maybe I’ll check them out tonight when I’m with my Netflix friend. We also started in on “Teenage Bounty Hunters” but gave it up after about 4 episodes: The concept is amazing — two Christian teenage girls in an evangelical high school suddenly find themselves working as bounty hunters for a bona fide licensed bounty hunter who is sort of cranky but fun. Problem was: the writers forgot to tie the two narrative arcs together. So we have an arc about how the two girls get by in school…and then there’s a separate arc about hunting down the bail jumpers. In the first couple episodes, the two themes were woven somewhat (rich evangelical girls are kind of misfits who use their influence and innocent-looking appearances to work in the gritty bail business.) But the writers just let the two story arcs fall apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. America On Coffee September 19, 2020 / 2:07 pm

    Hi Neil! Your shares are just as entertaining as any Ozark series. Looking at your cheese snack suggestions, I realized just how marketable you are. 🎬. Enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret September 20, 2020 / 2:21 am

    I live in Australia and have never heard of Old Croc cheese! I’m pretty sure they don’t sell it here which is a pity because it sounds nice.

    Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 20, 2020 / 7:08 am

      Hi, Margaret. What I’ve learned recently is that Old Croc apparently is aimed at the American market, and that apparently it isn’t sold in Australia. I don’t know why.

      Like

      • Margaret September 20, 2020 / 7:10 am

        We have regular cheese without all the Aussie icons and hype. It’s still tasty though!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cynthia Reyes September 23, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    I’ll have to look for that cheddar. As for Ozark: we started watching it when it first was released and became hooked. I’m rooting for Ruth. Despite her situation, she and Marty and Wendy’s son appear to be the only ones I like in this show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 23, 2020 / 4:22 pm

      It will be a kick to watch the upcoming/final season. I’m sure we will be amazed by what the writers come up with.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Silver Screenings September 26, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    I’ve never seen Ozark, but if Laura Linney and Jason Batemen are in it, then it probably has some terrific actors.

    Thanks for the intro to “Texas Sun”, a perfect song for a weekend day.

    As for cheddar, I like the strong, sharp cheddar too. In fact, just reading your description has made my mouth water… *trundles off to the fridge*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 26, 2020 / 3:31 pm

      Greetings, Ruth. Right, all the actors in Ozark do a real good job. The show is violent snd dirty. And well-acted!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. America On Coffee September 27, 2020 / 10:56 pm

    I am not familiar with the Ozarky episodes but it seems to be as highly rated and as interesting as the Rangers. Neil, I remember commenting and liking this post and I remember the cheese snacks..??🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 28, 2020 / 6:59 am

      Hi AOC. Even if you might have commented before, it’s always good to hear from you!

      Like

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