6/6 Daily Prompt: Four Stars
Write a review of your life — or the life of someone close to you — as if it were a movie or a book.

Finding myself Stuck in the Middle, I give this movie four stars – ★★★★ by Dink Winkerson

For all of the rattle-bang of the previews of this highly-anticipated second chapter in the I’m Stuck saga, the feature doesn’t quite measure up.  More drama than action, more comedy than tragedy, part 2 seems to have leveled off somewhat.

The first installment, I’m Stuck in the Past, though a wee bit slow and meandering at the outset (she had a pleasant, but boring, childhood), picked up speed in the middle (Stuck didn’t settle down until she was in her late 20’s) and toward the end, presented her as a sympathetic figure overall.  The understated, but dramatic, retelling of the family’s shocking loss left nary a dry eye, but by the end, her triumphant victory over tragedy turned tears into cheers and brought the audience to their feet.  The strong cast of characters (including Joe the Local Boy in a humorous turn as Mr. Stuck) made this a film worth watching again and again.  The chemistry between Stuck and her Mister is obvious and well-played.

Such excitement is not the case with I’m Stuck in the Middle, the second part of this story.  We rejoin Stuck (now with two titanium hips) later in her daily life, as she struggles to balance career and family.  Her hair is graying and the kids are growing up, leaving her wondering what’s next.  The ‘midlife crisis’ theme narrowly avoids cliche, saved by a job change and a few new faces, and thankfully, we are spared the melodramatic soliloquies so common in character studies.  Whew.

Nearing retirement, Stuck decides to act upon the urging of a friend to start a blog.  You see her caught between her dream and her doubts; she fears that she will fail, and her lack of confidence exhibits itself in procrastination and worry.  Blah, blah — that part is a bit long; it would have been better as a brief mention.  Happily, though, the film picks back up as she makes a name for herself, but it never quite achieves the same level of ‘ooh and aah’ as part 1.  Frankly, I don’t mind.

At this point, Stuck’s life is pretty well laid out, and, barring any strange or startling revelations, it promises to continue on the same trajectory.  All in all, a decent story; it’s not Gone With the Wind or Citizen Kane, but it is a tale that stays with you.  Kudos to the production team for bringing this slice of reality to the big screen — it helps us remember that reality can indeed be pleasantly dull.

Stay tuned for the final act in the trilogy, I’m Stuck in the Future, which is set to begin filming in September.

I’m Stuck in the Middle – rated R for language, prescription drug and alcohol use, and snark.


 photo credit: Princess Theater

Emily, Unleashed (and perhaps rolling in her grave)

Poems of Emily Dickinson - Easton Press Edtion

4/29 Daily Prompt: Unleash Your Inner Dickinson
National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at at end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.


Sullen though it and I may be,
The morning has arrived, and I must greet it.

The coffee tastes the same as yesterday,
breaking my fast and turning my feet toward the door,
Grateful to see the sun ascend the heavens once more.

Still, I long for days hence
when the morning will arrive gently, warmly,
And I may greet it with sleepy smile.


photo credit Jemimus

Million-Dollar Question: Why Do I Blog?

A blog and a handfull of quarters will get you a cup of coffee.

Daily Prompt: Million-Dollar Question  — Why do you blog? 

I’ve read a lot of bloggers’ answers to this question, and they range from ‘I can’t not write’ to educating the public on a certain topic, to therapy.  All in all, a wide range of good, valid reasons.

Since I’m fairly new to the blogosphere, I don’t know if I really have a direct, complete answer.  I think my answer is, “I’m still finding out.”  I started Stuck On Zero at the urging of a friend who thought I had a voice that needed to be heard.  I’m thankful for that encouragement.

Like most of the bloggers I’ve seen so far, I’ve been writing since I was young, and I have entertained thoughts of novels and poetry and short-story compilations.  I have dreamed of seeing my name on the spine of a book.  People tell me, and I believe, that I have a gift.  I want to share it with you.

But really, I don’t write for you.  I write for me.  I like the sound of my own voice — my own writing style.  I like choosing the perfect word or polishing a phrase for perfect nuance.  I’m peevish and moody and emotional, and I like doing this because it’s my words, my phrases, my emotions, my self.  Like it or not, in this case it is all about me.  I’ll never get rich, but I may make some friends.  And I’ll say what I think and write what I feel, and it will give me satisfaction.

 photo credit DonkeyHotey

My Alphabet of Songs: A

[ Classic Radio : Still Supports and PLAYS Radio Stars ] @ PROTOTYP : Hamburg Hafen City : Hamburg, Germany

Today’s Daily Prompt at The Daily Post:
The Satisfaction of a ListWho doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

So I decided to write about some of the songs on my iPod.

  1. ABC by The Jackson 5 – pure, innocent fun from the 70’s.  I always sing along.
  2. Amie by Pure Prairie League – I love this song and have been known to put it on repeat for extended periods.  Before we married, Mr. Stuck had a roommate who was a local musician.  I loved to harmonize with him.
  3. Aqualung by Jethro Tull – love the imagery in this song.
  4. Amos Moses by Jerry Reed – we had this album when I was a kid and I learned it word for word.
  5. Aubrey by Bread – I think David Gates is an underappreciated songwriter.
  6. Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – a classic.
  7. American Pie by Don McLean – this was overplayed when it was first on the radio, but now I really enjoy the whole dang thing.
  8. Annie’s Song by John Denver – I sang this for my sister’s wedding, and now I associate it with her.  This is for you, Missy.
  9. At Seventeen by Janis Ian – I first heard this as an insecure adolescent and it seemed to ring pretty true.
  10. A Beautiful Morning by The Rascals – I can’t sing this without smiling.  It makes me feel good.
    And a bonus:
  11. A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash – I don’t think he wrote the song, but he sure made it famous.  Do you have some “A” songs?

And, now that I’m linking, I have one to add:

12.  Africa by Toto – normally I would link the Toto version, but I happen to love the version by a capella group Perpetuum Jazzile of Slovenia.  I think you will, too.  Watch how they make it rain.

photo credit: UggBoy♥UggGirl