Tales from the Critic: An Unfiltered Look at the Day-to-Day Life of Breakthrough Entertainment’s Joseph J. Airdo

Call it an exercise in futility, an attempt to make sense of a clearly crazy world or maybe a way to reach out to and bring at least a little comfort to even one person in the entire galaxy, I have decided to start up a (hopefully) daily feature to provide an unfiltered look at my day-to-day life as a film critic. Now, before you go getting the wrong idea about this, thinking that you are about to read a bunch of boring posts about me sitting around watching movies, please know that – much like my life itself – “cinematic stuff” will only make up a small percentage of what you will see here. After all, my life is about much more than just movies.

If you are not yet familiar with me, I am Joseph J. Airdo and I am a producer, on-air personality and film critic for Breakthrough Entertainment – a talk radio show that airs Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM in Phoenix. I have lived in Arizona my entire life, having graduated from Barry Goldwater High School and Arizona State University, and my best friend is my pet duck Frozen. And although I am smooth with the pickup lines (Can I call you Starbucks? Because I think about you a latte.), I am very happily spoken for by the most wonderful woman anyone could ever ask for – someone who is my sun, my moon, every star in my sky and every planet in my solar system.

Over the course of this… “experiment,” you will learn a little bit about what makes me tick as I share sometimes interesting (and sometimes not so much) stories about my everyday existence. Maybe it will merely entertain you or maybe it will even earn you some sort of insight; but one thing is for sure – you will feel a lot more connected to that goofy guy you hear on the radio every Saturday morning. Trust me – I am lot like you. I have my moments of pure joy but I also have my moments of extreme sadness. Some of my days are exciting while some of my days are tedious. And I am just trying to make the best of the time I have here on Earth with the people I love more than my education in mass media and communication could have ever properly prepared me to put into words.

So without any further introductory rambling, let’s embark on this journey with one another.

I started my day with a cup of coffee followed by my usual 30 minutes of jumping jacks weekday workout supplemented with 90 push-ups, 5 minutes of sit-ups and 150 12.5-lb.-weight reps per arm while watching an episode of “The Amazing Race” from several seasons ago. (I had fallen behind on the reality show but am grateful for that as it is the perfect daily workout companion.) I was pleased to learn that I had lost 5 lbs. since the previous Monday. Granted, that is too much weight to lose in one week alone but I partially attribute it to the fact that I had actually gained weight the week before, skewing my results. Well, that and the fact that I had an extremely stressful weekend that had rendered my appetite nonexistent.

I then sat down to send an e-mail blast out requesting a guest for Breakthrough Entertainment’s Easter Special. I had previously reached out to Papa’s Opera Cream Eggs and Jelly Belly Jelly Bean creator David Klein but neither responded so my sights are now set on an Easter Egg decorating expert.

After that, I drove to two local Starbucks to pick up their food donations for Calvary Chapel Food Ministry – a community service project about which I am passionate. I delivered the collection of pastries and breakfast sandwiches to the ministry’s organizer Karen and watched as she fed hay to her sheep and raw meat to her dogs (one gobbled up an entire London broil in one bite).

Afterward, I went to Chase Bank and Deer Valley Credit Union to do some banking and was pleased to find free coffee at Chase, an offering of which I never fail to take advantage…

It was about that time that I realized I had still not eaten breakfast. But at 11:30 a.m., that ship had basically sailed. Usually I would be starving but that aforementioned stressful weekend and missing someone essential to my heart still had me feeling unenthusiastic about eating. However, a good salad topped with a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes can cure just about anything…

I usually eat lunch while watching my favorite cooking-themed talk show “The Chew.” But the hosts are on spring break this week (which I should have guessed after Friday’s make-ahead Easter-themed episode) so I instead ate lunch while watching a video from my favorite blogger Tami Dunn. My delicious salad was accompanied by three mozzarella and spinach stuffed mushrooms which Karen had given to me when I dropped off the food donations earlier in the day. They were quite tasty but the mushroom flavor was a bit overpowering. I guess it is a good thing I like the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of fungus (boy do I know how to make something sound appetizing)…

I then took a few minutes to organize my eBay listings, separating out some of the items that will definitely sell and need to be shipped this week. I did this while watching “Days of Our Lives” – a soap opera I have watched with my mom ever since I could first form thoughts and memories – and talk show “Ellen.” I also checked in with my friend Danny via text during this time. He used to live in Phoenix before moving to across the country Roanoke. He is feeling down due to being passed over for a highly coveted job opportunity.

I then selected Easter-themed music for Breakthrough Entertainment’s Easter Special and, around this time, was overjoyed to receive a response to my query requesting an Easter Egg decorating expert from a publicist representing Chef Norman Love of Norman Love Confections. I immediately responded to her e-mail, officially offering Chef Love the segment and eagerly awaited her confirmation.

My day beginning to wind down, I completed some personal paperwork and enjoyed my DVR’d debut of the Ellen Degeneres produced reality show “First Dates.” One featured “blind dater’s” comment about the ideal partner being someone with whom you can not only laugh but also cry really resonated with me.

I then watched the previous two weeks’ episodes of “Bates Motel,” which gave new meaning to Roy Orbison’s “Crying” (a new entry for Breakthrough Entertainment’s next Songs Made Scary by Horror Movies show) and were filled with plenty of “wow,” “oh no” and “OMG” moments as Norman went full psycho. I also grieved for Rhianna’s Marion Crane character. Nobody should ever have to go through the pain of enduring an unfaithful significant other. I vow to remain devoted, loving and loyal to mine through eternity and beyond. Anyway, I enjoyed a slice of pineapple pie while watching…

So there you have it – my so called day-to-day life. I suppose you can take it or leave it. I, on the other hand, am stuck with it whether I like it or not.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and BreakRadioShow.com that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at joseph.airdo@gmail.com.

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