Lazy Summer Movie Fun: Overboard at 30

Today, on my first duty day of the 2017-2018 academic year, I need to reflect on the blissful three months of vacation that have come and gone. It was a pretty chill summer. I spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing and enjoying the hell out of it. After several summers of hectic activity…

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Send in the Virtuous Clowns: Marie Antoinette Barbie Eats Cake

In an astoundingly “unwoke” segment on Weekend Update: Summer Edition, comedian Tina Fey appeared with a sheet cake and urged her fellow always-on-the-moral-high-road progressive warriors to engage in stress eating instead of confronting neo-nazis and white supremacists. It’s what we’ve come to expect from late-night television’s “funny” people who, despite all their virtue signaling and…

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Follow the Red Dirt Road: Some Thoughts on Being a Southern Writer

My friend, colleague, and fellow native Alabamian, Gary Walker, wrote an excellent USR essay a couple of weeks ago reflecting on being a writer who just happens to be from the South. Despite others’ expectations that he write about red dirt, hunting, fishing, football, the land, and the people, Gary confessed that he doesn’t really…

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The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 1

Previous Weight Loss (November 28-July 5): 25.2 pounds Weight Loss July 5-August 7, 2017: 4.8 pounds Total Weight Loss (November 28-August 7, 2017): 30 pounds End-of-Year Weight Loss Goal: 50 pounds Remaining to 2017 Goal: 20 pounds As promised, here is my monthly fitness check-in. In July, I had my best month of weight loss in…

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Hotel Breakfast Buffet Nightmares: The Compilation

Last week at the kick-ass US Represented staff party, my colleagues and I had an interesting conversation about travel. Eric, our esteemed editor-in-chief, told us he’s planning a trip to Greece next summer and wanted to know whether he should rent a car and strike out on his own or hang with a tour group….

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Movie Review: Dunkirk

I was extremely disappointed when Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1999. Granted, SiL was clever and quirky, mimicking Shakepeare’s own rom-coms. It’s also the sort of hip film Hollywood likes to reward with its highest cinematic honor. Despite winning Best Picture, however, Shakespeare in Love…

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The Geezer Brigade

My mother does this weird thing with coffee: She doesn’t drink it. Oh, she still expects the nursing home staff to bring her a cup every morning. She just lets it sit there, untouched. Then after 45 minutes, she picks up her plastic mug (a sippy cup for elderly people, just without the lid and…

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Pool Songs

[Featured image courtesy of the Blountsville Pool, Blountsville, Alabama] Forty years ago, in the summer of 1977, I was preoccupied with two important matters. The first was wondering who could possibly replace Farrah Fawcett, my absolutely favorite actress on my absolutely favorite television program, Charlie’s Angels, after she decided to quit the show. During those long…

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The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge

If the face above couldn’t launch a thousand fitness infomercials, I don’t know what could. I’ll confess at first I was uncertain about having my photo appear here for a week,  but then I figured what the hell. Since this is an article about diet and exercise, I’ll just feature my “you have a pretty…

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Redneck Chic and the Return of Gretchen Wilson

I think I am only slightly exaggerating when I say that being a redneck is sort of fashionable right now. Ever since the white working class proved decisive in the 2016 presidential election, both major parties are re-evaluating their relationship with an “embarrassing” voting bloc they believed they could ignore with impunity.  However, over a…

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