Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Maverick Speaker Series - Lou Diamond Phillips

The fall Maverick Speaker Series kicked off with La Bamba - Lou Diamond Phillips.  He's a thirty year actor, director, and producer, and a proud graduate of UTA '85.  From his splash as Ritchie Valens in 1987 La Bamba to his current role in Longmire, Diamond has worked hard to pursue his dream and commitment to acting.

The theme of his speech was commitment. You have to keep moving forward. Keep learning. Be committed to people and the world. He was enthusiastic and had a nice sense of humor.

It was a fun hour and he certainly gave praise to his alma mater. He donated any proceeds from the night to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts for UTA students involved.

Viva La Bamba!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Moment

My sister gave me this clown one Christmas, and I've had him perched on various shelves for over twenty years.  After seeing IT, there's a new little creepy factor.

That's my Monday moment.  What's yours?  Any red balloons floating by you?

We are back in the 90s here in the DFW area. I've still been swimming, though the water is a bit brisk thanks to 60s in the morning. Fall should be sweatshirt weather. I am ready!

Have a stellar week, everyone.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review - Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

From the cover blurb:  In Why Not Me?  Mindy Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person to lose weight without any behavior modification, or most importantly, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Mindy Kaling was  a writer first, then moved into acting also with guest appearances and then her own show. Her wry humor and observations can be laugh out loud funny. While she’s been successful in Hollywood, she still seems like she’s trying to navigate the territory on tiptoes. She still seems excited about the business and opportunities, the celebrity meetings, and the parties. Yet she also can give very snarky comments, and can laugh at the ridiculousness of the business.

She admits she truly loves her parents. She always wanted to be liked as a kid in school. She admits to real anxieties in social situations. Mindy Kaling comes across as down to earth and real. You’d want her on a road trip, eating snacks, and talking…always talking.  

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling is a breezy read. It’s a humorous collection of essays written by a clever, smart, achieving woman. ‘Nuff said. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Movie Review Madness - IT

Stephen King’s IT is a monster tome – it’s a fast read for a lot of pages. It was a mini-series a long time ago starring Tim Curry. Now a new movie is on the big screen and it is a worthy adaptation. Derry, Maine seems like a charming little town. It’s 1988 and Billy makes a paper boat for little brother Georgie to float in the rain. Alas, a storm drain proves Georgie’s undoing as Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgard) smiles and lures him closer…closer…and snatches him. Kids seem to be disappearing in this town. Billy and his band of Losers start investigating and arrive at a very scary solution.

Meanwhile, the bullying of the Losers, the implied home abuse of others, and more hint at the horrors of childhood for so many. Stephen King has always had underlying themes in his work – the daily horror of life versus an otherworldly element. Sewer systems, haunted home, the well, and basements. IT taps into plenty of creaking doors, not to mention the fears in the mind.  This movie is R due to language and subject matter. The pacing, filming, and effects are excellent. The kids are all superb, and IT is a good kickoff to the fall movie season.

Be wary if a red balloon drifts in your direction.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Majestic Monday Moment

Here's your Monday moment - Ray captured this shot of the lion over Labor Day Weekend. We visited the Fort Worth Zoo.  The lion was perched high, very attentive. The view - across the way was the zebras and she kept her eye on the baby zebra. In her brain, "when's lunch?"  Ah, nature.

On another Monday moment - 9/11 - today we remember. I shall never forget.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review - Anything is Possible

From the cover blurb: Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout explores the whole range of human emotions through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.
One story offers a contrast between two sisters. In another, a janitor befriends an isolated man in town, and in a recurring theme – Lucy Barton(from a previous book) is a celebrated author -her life and writing affected quite a few lives in town. Several stories show her siblings’ resentments, her classmates shame. This book of connected short stories reverberates with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation.

p. 90  Almost always it’s a surprise, the passing of permission to enter a place once seen as eternally closed. And this is how it was for a stunned Linda, who stood that day in that convenience store with the sun falling over packages of corn chips and heard those words of compassion- undeserved….

p.123 setting – a small town in Italy.  Angelina is visiting her mother who has moved there. “Mom,” Angelina said, “that woman is your age, and she’s smoking, and she has her pearls tossed over her neck, and she’s wearing high heels, and she’s pedaling her bike with a basket of stuff in the back.”

“Oh I know honey. It just amazed me when I came here. Then I figured it out – the women are just versions of people pulling up to Walmart in their cars. Only they’re on a bike.”

For some reason, that little blip really amused me. It’s observations like that in these stories that make Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout a quiet read – a glimpse into ordinary lives. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

When I was back East to visit my father, I was fortunate to have a weekend with good friends at Spring Lake, NJ.   Helen has a lovely shore home that's on a pond, and also not far from the beach. We enjoyed fabulous weather, fresh salt air, toes in the sand, and plenty of laughs.

plus the bonus of the eclipse

Good times.  Happy September now...will fall crispness arrive soon?