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Brooklyn, NY
Everything I say is contextual: Writer; Film/TV/Theater addict; Film programmer; Opinionated native-San Franciscan turned New Yorker and now Brooklynite.
Recent Activity
This is "memorializing"? It was just two years ago that I learned a completely new-to-me use of the word “memorialize” when I heard James Comey (followed by news anchors, pundits, and especially legal analysts )describe having “memorialized” all his conversations with then-president, Donald Trump. As I say in my sidebar,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2021 at Out of Focus
Why have Roman numerals endured, maintaining a hallowed (if not necessarily useful) place in Western culture? Better: How many people read that sentence and either ignore it or answer, “No idea,” and don’t think twice about it; versus my predilection to flashback to a MCMXC’s Arsenio Hall-bit that infiltrated pop... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2021 at Out of Focus
I was born in San Francisco 50 years ago tomorrow, and for the last several months when anyone has asked me that most terrible of conversation starters—“How are you?”—I have replied with some variable of the following: “Hopefully, reaching the end of this 25-year midlife crisis.” As my few most-recent... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2021 at Out of Focus
Ideas, I’ve had a few.... A few million? I often listen to a podcast and hear a comment or story that triggers a response, one which I’d love to discuss and/or debate with the speaker, but doing so directly is not possible. Wouldn’t my little corner of the Internet be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2021 at Out of Focus
TREMORS: "We plan ahead, that way, we don't do anything right now." I am a “Planner.” A “Doer?” Sure. For years, decades even, I was a “Doer.” And even when I fell short of “Doing,” I drew from a war chest of great excuses, thereby allowing myself to retain that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2021 at Out of Focus
Self-Compassion: Graphic by Hugo Hinojosa for The Prospector ( Yesterday was Monday right? I could swear yesterday was Monday. On Monday, I mentioned launching a “daily check-in” in this space, and yet, I realized that I set no goals; I only offered examples of what I intended to write using... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2021 at Out of Focus
I have focus issues. I suppose the title of this blog indicates as much, but when I first used it (literally 30 years ago for my UCLA Daily Bruin column), I did not yet possess that awareness. I considered “Out of Focus” a simple, slightly self-deprecating title that would simultaneously... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2021 at Out of Focus
Photo credits: Top: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg/Getty Images Bottom: Samuel Corum, Getty Images North America/Getty Images It’s already been a week! OR... It’s only been a week‽ One week ago from the moment this post went live, only watching a clock would have let you know anything was different, and yet... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2021 at Out of Focus
A week ago Sunday, I participated in an online book club. I had never actually engaged with this group before, though they had been around for a decade, and I first “joined” via over seven years ago. Each month, I wanted to read the selection, but I never would,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2021 at Out of Focus
As I mentioned at the end of my New Year’s Day post, “I just need to keep showing up.” Though I have long hoped to make my writing my “work”—or a core element of it—at least in the near term, the work I want to write most likely offers little... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2021 at Out of Focus
A couple years ago in late November, I decided to start a #MovieDiary with my Instagram feed. My (not original) idea was to capture the first onscreen image as well as the title card, combine them into a single mini-collage, and add a “brief” reaction in the comment. I didn’t... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at Out of Focus
Photo by: Markus Winkler on Unsplash I realize saying “good riddance” to 2020 became cliche around midsummer of that turd of year, but right now, as I sit aiming to accomplish my first SMART goal 2021, I can’t help but hope a decade from now I can see last year... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2021 at Out of Focus
Four years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, my dad died. Considering how little time I’ve spent in this tiny speck the Interwebs, the fact that I've actually mentioned his passing once is notable. It was nearly 17 months ago, on what would have been his 76th... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2020 at Out of Focus
courtesy Nina Matthews Photography I’ve lost count, but math doesn’t lie. Over the past four weeks, I’ve drafted this post at least a dozen times. It doesn’t feel like four weeks, but I began on New Year’s Day. It doesn’t feel like my fingers have crawled over this keyboard for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Out of Focus
NaNoWriMo began four days ago. I am not writing a novel, but last week, I planned to utilize NaNoWriMo as motivation to create my own, let's call it, NoBloWriMo. Or AarBloWriMo? Hmmm ... maybe WriMoBloPo? Maybe I need to keep working on this. I digress. I'm not writing a novel.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at Out of Focus
Seventy-six years ago today, Stephen Mark Dobbs was born in San Francisco. I write “Stephen Mark Dobbs” because my dad was a fan of using full names. If he mailed something to me, he inevitably addressed the envelope to “Aaron Marc Dobbs.” (Let’s not discuss the weird middle name thing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Out of Focus
Hello. Anyone there? I’m back. Or, am I? Hard to know. I’d like to think so, even though I’m not sure what being back means; what I’m back to; what the results might be. Hell, I started this post two weeks ago. I spent a lot of time away from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at Out of Focus
Maybe the third time’s a charm. I mean for this post. I started it last night; restarted from scratch earlier this evening; and now as I get ready to close-out another birthday, I’ve started over once again. Why is it so hard? I can’t say. The “birthday post” was long... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Out of Focus
"Aaron," yelled my boss. This was not unusual. Her dark, wood-paneled, windowless office was about 20 feet down the hall from my little nook that looked out onto San Vicente Blvd. "Yes, Susan?" I called back. "Come here, please." Also, not unusual. But once I got there, pad in hand:... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2013 at Out of Focus
(Obviously, spoilers present. 'Nuff said.) The relationship between Walt and his son forms the primary foundation at the heart of "Breaking Bad." (Photo credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC) I suppose I'm not surprised that many felt less satisfied with the "Felina" – excuse me, the finale – of Breaking Bad than I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2013 at Out of Focus
I did something different this year before sitting down to write this post: I read the previous nine. Since I began this blog in Feb. 2004, I can only claim one constant: Without fail, on Sept. 21st of each year, I have written a post acknowledging, sometimes even celebrating my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2013 at Out of Focus
Each time I interview another cable network programming head, the conversation gets my brain abuzzin' on larger stories among the film and television landscape. As I planned for and spoke to David Nevins for the third interview in this series at Indiewire, I kept thinking about Showtime in relation to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Out of Focus
In the second of my interviews with cable network programming heads for Indiewire, I spoke with President and General Manager of Sundance Channel, Sarah Barnett. Sundance Channel made noise earlier this year with the premiere of Jane Campion's limited series Top of the Lake and the six-episode first season of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at Out of Focus
Perry SImon of BBC America What a great way to start a (Jewish) New Year: For some time now, I've been working on putting together a series of interviews with cable network programming heads for Indiewire. Today, they published the first of these: my chat with BBC America General Manager... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2013 at Out of Focus
My transformation from casual movie enthusiast to full-blown cinema addict occurred during the summer of 1989, between my 1st and 2nd years of college. Clichés exist because of their inherent truths, so it should come as no surprise that my entry into this obsessive world occurred while working at a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at Out of Focus