October 13, 2021

It's still alive! Celebrate Frankenstein's 90th birthday with Cineversary

 In Cineversary podcast episode #40, host Erik Martin has a monster of an interview with Boris Karloff's daughter Sara Karloff and David Skal, a highly respected horror film historian and author of the book Fright Favorites. Together, they commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1931 Universal horror classic Frankenstein, examining why the film is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the movie in 2021, and more.

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.








Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at anchor.fm/cineversary and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com

October 11, 2021

How much is your home worth?

Planning to sell your house soon? Seeking to tap into your home’s equity? Looking to lower your property taxes? If so, you’re likely wondering: How much is my house worth?

It’s smart to keep tabs on your home’s valuation and value in the market – even if none of the above scenarios apply. Fortunately, there are several home value estimator tools and resources you can use to get at least a rough idea of what your home—or a property you’re eyeing—is currently worth. Just be prepared to find variation in your research. Home valuation experts, websites and other sources use different data and formulas in determining your property’s worth, with some being more accurate than others.

Want more tips on this topic? Read my newest piece for Bankrate, available here.

October 5, 2021

Get your home Halloween on

Hear that? It’s the soon-to-be-supplied sound of costumed candy-seekers parading up to your front door and ringing the bell. Yes, you’ll likely be well stocked with plenty of sweet treats. But is your overall property prepared for the festivities? Have you given any thought to creepy curb appeal? Is your front porch festooned with ghoulish d├ęcor and your yard properly populated with props and pumpkins?

Your trick-or-treating days may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your inner Chucky and bring some needed Halloween spirit to your abode. For tips on how to festively adorn your residence with spooky decor, read my article on this topic (which actually published two years ago) in The Dallas Morning News here.

September 28, 2021

7 mistakes to avoid before buying a home

Despite your best intentions and degree of financial literacy, it’s possible to make regrettable mistakes prior to purchasing a home. Some missteps are bigger than others, but all can cost you in the form of more expensive mortgage financing or – worst of all – a denied loan.

When you are preparing to claim a home and obtain a mortgage loan, it’s crucial to position yourself as a favorable borrower candidate who demonstrates creditworthiness and good financial common sense. Problem is, being human means we are prone to make mistakes, even at the worst possible time.

Take the time to understand and avoid common errors that can result in serious borrower remorse.
Read about the seven mistakes that can cost you when buying a house, my latest topic for The Mortgage Reports, available here.

September 20, 2021

Taking the scenic (and surreal) route across Mulholland Drive

For Cineversary podcast episode #39, host Erik Martin tackles a tantalizing but tricky cinematic text, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which celebrates a 20th anniversary this year. Joining Erik this month are two terrific guests: Dennis Lim, director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and author of the book David Lynch: The Man From Another Place; and Chris Rodley, a UK-based filmmaker and editor of the book Lynch on Lynch. Erik, Dennis, and Chris claim a front-row seat at Club Silencio as they attempt to make sense of the movie and examine why Mulholland Drive is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the movie in 2021, and more.

Dennis Lim
Chris Rodley
To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast. Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at anchor.fm/cineversary and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com.


September 13, 2021

Even a lingering pandemic can't kill Halloween


In 2020, Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn, Illinois, proved that a commercial haunted attraction could operate safely and successfully, despite the pandemic—and without compromising on scares. Fans rewarded that commitment to quality by coming out in droves and selling out most dates on the calendar, with no resulting cases of coronavirus reported.

This year, Midnight Terror plans to up the fright factor by going bigger and better than ever for its seventh consecutive season while also implementing COVID-19 safety precautions. It will nearly double the number of days on its schedule from last year, operating across a record 22 dates beginning Sept. 24 and ending Oct. 31. Additionally, Chicagoland’s favorite Halloween destination will add more actors, animatronic props, rooms, and special effects to its labyrinth layout, which boasts two connecting haunts under its roof, each with a different theme but both included with a paid ticket.

Read my latest story for Patch.com on this commercial haunted attraction by clicking here.