The Movie Diary

Out with the old

By Dom Cioffi

Many years ago (just before the advent of the new millennium), I stood in the basement of my new home trying to envision a renovation project that would meet all my particular needs. At that point, the area was a dusty second thought. The previous owners had used it strictly for storage, with a small work space in the corner for handyman jobs.

I had other plans.

Night after night, I mapped out how I would organize the space. I needed a big area for my musical equipment. I also wanted a comfortable seating section for my big screen television that would butt up against a bar area where I could entertain friends. I, too, needed a workspace, but unlike the previous owner, my tools were going to be all digital.

At that point in my life, I was working full-time, but on the side I was running several small businesses: I had a small design studio where I created websites and various marketing pieces for local companies. I was also creating children’s books that were being sold throughout New England. And, of course, I was writing this column.

Because of all these activities, I decided I wanted to create a comfortable workspace where I could best attack these various projects. However, there were a few necessities that I had to consider.

First of all, I knew I wanted to have an unobstructed view to my television because I enjoy watching professional sporting events while working. I also wanted the space to be semi-private and not somewhere that encouraged visitors to poke around. But most importantly, I wanted an expansive desk that could harbor my various tools like my Mac computer, my color printer, a large digital drawing tablet, a high resolution scanner, and various other devices that aided me in my work.

This desk was going to have to be large with lots of options; something from the standard Staples showroom was obviously not going to do.

Many months after first conceiving of my renovated basement, the work was completed. It was everything I ever wanted and in many ways better than I had hoped. It quickly became a haven for family and friends to hang out in. I reveled in my music area where I could sing and play guitar, and the seating area near the TV was so comfortable that I spent many a night sleeping there.

But my favorite spot – the place where I would spend the next decade creating – was tucked in the corner. After weeks of researching, I had found a desk that met all my needs and that fit the space beautifully. It showed up in pieces and required me to put it together, but when it was finally assembled and in place, I knew it was the perfect station for my creativity.

The desk was “L” shaped and contained several levels where I could place my tools. Getting all the wiring in place was a job unto itself, but luckily the designers of this product took that hurdle into consideration. Access holes were located in all the right spots, which allowed me to fully connect my mechanical jungle.

Night after night I would cozy up in that corner and work. In fact, I never thought of any of my time there as work since I enjoyed so much of what I did. Being in that space was a joy, but the desk (it was actually more of a workstation) made it wholly functional.

And then the day came when we decided to move. It took me forever to disassemble and then reassemble the pieces at my new home. The desk held up well and found an equally good spot in our new home.

But times have changed; those side businesses no longer exist and I almost always write this column on a laptop while seated comfortably in my living room. I simply don’t need that giant workstation anymore. Not to mention, my son’s interest in playing in a rock band has taken precedence.

Next weekend I will regrettably tear apart my desk and bring it to the dump. And thus will end another chapter of life.

This week’s film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” also features a chapter in someone’s life, namely Han Solo, the roguish hero initially made famous by actor Harrison Ford. In this picture, we learn how a young pilot named Han met his future sidekick Chewbacca and how the two went on to wreak havoc throughout the galaxy.

“Solo” is a fun, upbeat, action adventure movie that had the advantage of being released over the recent three-day holiday weekend. And while it has received a lukewarm reception, it was a savvy enough film to satisfying longtime fans of the outer space franchise.

Check this one out if you’re committed to all things Star Wars. You’ll find plenty of interstellar nuggets to chew and be visually delighted with the ample special effects.

A hyper-driven “B” for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!