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Despite being bad at it, I should introduce myself and let you know a little about your newest staff reporter here at the Sentinel.

I’m Parker. I’m from Ohio, which obviously means two things: I like chili dogs prepared a very specific and tasty way and I think LeBron James is a real-life Jedi.

For years, I worked at a newspaper that was owned by the family of the guy who played the mean prison guard in “The Shawshank Redemption,” though I was too shy to introduce myself to him the one chance I got.

I got tired of driving around in snow five months out of the year and moved to Tulare seven years ago. I worked at the newspaper there in a variety of roles for a few years and enjoyed eating at downtown Visalia’s Quesadilla Gorilla as often as possible.

I’m now excited to be working in Hanford, as it has always seemed like a fun place, though I may be basing that estimation solely on the fact that the Hanford Fox shows a ton of great older movies and my excitement from having seen a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Civic Auditorium last Halloween.

I mentioned that I’m bad at talking about myself, because I (probably) am, but I’ve always felt that the best way to talk about yourself is to talk about the things you like. At least that’s what author Chuck Klosterman says – and I like him.

My favorite movie director is Brian De Palma, my favorite TV show is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I think Muhammad Ali is the greatest human that ever lived, I like the Rolling Stones more than the Beatles (which probably fills my Beatlemaniac dad with shame) and I have seen the monster-costume-clad metal band GWAR in concert more times than I can count.

Seeing as how 2017 just ended, and entertainment writers wait all year long to make year-in-review lists, I’ll fill you in on my favorite films and albums this year.

My favorite movies were “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” because Baby Groot is the cutest thing that’s ever happened. I loved “Lady Bird” because I, like the titular character, listened to a lot of Reel Big Fish as a teen and because I can relate to the film being a shaky not-quite-love letter to less-than-exciting hometowns and the Central Valley itself, as it was filmed in Sacramento, where it takes place. The Netflix documentary “Jim and Andy” rounds out my top three because it reflects on the time when a possibly insane Jim Carrey nearly literally became deceased comedian Andy Kaufman for the brilliant 1999 film, “Man on the Moon.”

As for music, I turned the radio off anytime I heard that terrible Ed Sheeran song about being in love with someone’s body. So obviously, I didn’t listen to the radio at all, leaving me fairly ignorant when it comes to mainstream music.

My favorite albums were mostly punk rock (as they are every year). Sacramento’s Kepi Ghoulie made my favorite album of the year, “Lost and Lovin’ It,” an infinitely optimistic country-influenced punk album. The Capitalist Kids’ “Brand Damage” alternates catchy songs about broken hearts with sardonic political protest anthems. Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ “Native Heart” is perfectly crafted south-of-the-border-flavored Americana that makes any road trip through the desert between here and Vegas 10 times better.  I also liked new albums by The Lillingtons, The Young Rochelles and Mount Eerie.

Anyway, so that’s me.

I look forward to digging into Hanford in the coming weeks and months and you’ll hear more from me in this weekly entertainment column about whatever new pop culture trend has either perplexed or infatuated me.  

If you have any news tips on local entertainment events, artists, locals whose lives themselves would make good movies or anything else, let me know by shooting me an email at Follow me on Twitter or Instagram at Parker_THS.

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