I woke up early to watch CBS This Morning and their chef segment. John Seymour’s signature dishes included buffalo chicken, kale BLT, fried Brussels sprouts with molasses gastrique and shrimp and grits. I looked at the playlist for this weekend’s American Top 40 radio program. The Top 10 songs on July 10, 1971 were “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heart It Should Be,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “Want Ads,” “Mr. Big Stuff,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Don’t Pull Your Love,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Treat Her Like a Lady,” “Indian Reservation,” and “It’s Too Late.” I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre, where I caught the noon showing of “Minions.” I fell asleep in my seat for a few minutes before the previews started. I enjoyed how the minions spoke their own language that had some Spanish mixed in with it. I wondered if you could learn the language like how some Star Trek fans learn Klingon. The name Papagena seemed like it was a reference to Mozart. I thought the history of the minions was pretty funny, although the trailer gave away too many of the good bits. Most of the story takes place in 1968, which gives the chance for the filmmakers to insert some famous 1960s pop songs. I did like how the minions went into “Hair” and the Monkees theme. I had to wonder whether the kids in the audience caught the references. The minions go to Villain-Con in Orlando, and we were watching this movie on the same weekend as Comic-Con was going on in San Diego. That was meaningful to me, even if it wasn’t meaningful to anyone else in the theatre. Sandra Bullock was the villain Scarlet Overkill. I don’t know why you have Sandra Bullock to do a cartoon voice. She doesn’t strike me as the villain type. What I noticed with this animation was that the people had long noses. I didn’t think they would be able to kiss. The picture wasn’t perfect as far as pacing or action. I thought I detected some brief stretches of restlessness and even boring among the kids in the theatre. I didn’t think it was the best idea to have most of the minions holed up in a cave getting bored with their lives. It rubs off on the children watching the movie. Maybe I’ve become hard to please in my old age, but I didn’t laugh out loud too many times. I thought one of the funniest moments involved an electric guitar. The music on the soundtrack was impressive, with The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and The Doors’ “Break On Through.” There was a visual reference to The Beatles, along with three Beatles songs. This reminds me that I should inform everyone that there is one last song at the very end of the credits. You have to leave your 3D glasses on. Most of the people had already left the theatre and therefore missed this little bit of amusement. I actually don’t remember much of the first two Despicable Me movies, so I don’t know how to compare “Minions” with them. I suppose you need the evil genius as a contrast to the goofball minions. This movie is comparable to a Star Wars movie that focuses on R2D2 and 3-CPO. You’ve got to have greater dimension for the story to be fully satisfying. Maybe George Lucas realized this as he was stealing material from Akira Kurosawa. I found that I was glad that the movie was taking place in 1968, a world without cell phones, the Internet, selfies, or social media. Well, this movie was better than the last few summer movies I’d seen, even though it wasn’t fantastic. I think I’m starting to appreciate what “Inside Out” was trying to do. I would recommend “Minions” to any fans of the Despicable Me movies. It gives the audience what it wants, which may be a problem with it. The sun was bright when I left the theatre, and there was a food fair across the street. If I had more money in hand, I would have bought something. A woman on a yellow bicycle nodded at me as if she recognized me. I took the buses out to Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito. I discovered that their selection of Criterion Collection Blu-ray discs wasn’t very good, so this was something of a wasted trip. I did leaf through a magazine that claimed that “Breaking Bad” was the greatest television show of all time. I shopped for some food at the nearby Trader Joe’s so that I would have a decent late lunch. I looked through the record stores. I saw that I got some mail about my accounts. I watched a baseball game between the Pirates and the Cardinals. It was in extra innings and looked like it was never going to end. I saw that the A’s won their game against the Indians, with Eric O’Flaherty getting the win, and Tyler Clippard getting the save. I watched the Star Trek episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” I liked watching Frank Gorshin in this one, but I couldn’t understand how the aliens could have their faces divided into two colors exactly in half with a straight line. The movies on KQED were “Risky Business” and “Annie Hall.” I would like to see the station put together more interesting combinations of double features. I watched two episodes of Goober and the Ghost Chasers. The last episode with The Partridge Kids was the eleventh of sixteen episodes. I saw the inconsistencies in the animation, with characters having different lips from scene to scene. I watched Family Feud and groaned at some of the dumb answers the contestants gave. My own family would not be able to appear on that show because of my mother’s lack of comprehension. “The Enemy Below” and “Call Northside 777” were two of the other movies that were on television. Does Suze Orman really help people? Bill Hader was hosting Saturday Night Live, but that didn’t inspire me to watch it. I’ve enjoyed playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 these past two weeks. These summer days are passing by too quickly. I wasn’t eager to get back to teaching classes for the fall semester. Some of the people who died on July 12 include Alexander Hamilton (1804), Lon Chaney, Jr. (1973), Ted Mack (1976), Minnie Riperton (1979), Joshua Logan (1988), Benny Carter (2003), and Harvey Pekar (2010). Today is a birthday for Michelle Rodriguez (37), Cheryl Ladd (64), Christine McVie (72), and Bill Cosby (78).

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