Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora

The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora is a collection of stories that intersect in suburbia. Her keen observations capture American life, and her writing is lively - tinged with humor and pathos.

cover blurb: Acampora's characters are neighbors, lovers, friends who, beneath their dreamy suburban surface, are nothing like they appear. These intricate tales reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close.

I liked the flow of these stories as various characters popped up in the thirteen tales. Her descriptions were spot on and I could appreciate the underlying tensions the author created in seemingly simple dialogue or actions.

p.27   The growl of John's truck dies as he cuts the ignition. He steps along the front walk, over the same seven cracks in the flagstone that grow wider each year. The boxwood still needs pruning. The porch steps list, and the railing bobs under his hand. His work boots are heavy and slow, but they bring him to the door before he is ready. He pauses there for a long moment, his key in the knob, suspended between the sidelights' dark margins.

I admired The Wonder Garden as a writer and a reader. Excellent rhythm and portrayal of ordinary life.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pope in Philly

I am in suburban Philly.  The Pope is in Philly proper, giving mass to the masses on the Ben Franklin Parkway. I shall be watching it on the news.

I don't agree with everything he preaches and proclaims, but I think he's a cool dude who does truly care about people. His sincerity shines through, and he has a kind smile.

I sure hope folks in Philly don't mess this up somehow. They have a reputation........alas.

So this Saturday and  Sunday, I send my blessing to the Pope on Philly fall days.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Filler - see ya later

 Some fall filler while I'm away
 Up to PA
 My Dad's had some ills
I'll make sure he's taking his pills

Yep - quick juggle with the siblings and it's my turn. We are figuring out this "senior needing help thing". After a trip to the ER and a brief day or so in the hospital, Dad's home, but not kicking up his heels.

Wish me luck. I think right now I'm faster than him.

Take care everybody

Monday, September 21, 2015

End of Pavement, But - another perspective

The Pavement Ends, But 
by Joanne Faries
look forward 
future gleamed bright
from the lighting crew
for life’s stage 
parents bathed us in a soft glow
loving voices bade sweet dreams
sunshine stroked swing sets and hopscotch 
tumbles on the path scraped knees 
veered left and right
climbed education staircase
under fluorescent glare 
cobbled a career
squinted behind windshield
concrete miles to jobs 
shortcuts taken
stuck in mud treks
speed bumps and passing lanes 
We meander more
explore the new
tentative steps 
peer into corners
seek light as the
pavement ends

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Oh Italy a Year Ago

It's been exactly a year since I went to Italy with Ann Summerville.  We had such an awesome time.
Beyond words.  Met such great folks on this Trafalger bus tour - The Aussie gals were fabulous - Chris, Di, Jacquie and Julie, plus Paul and Dianne. I never laughed so hard in my life.

Italy itself was amazing and the people were generous, full of life, and truly seemed happy.
The history, the scenery, the gelato............OMG

so, cheers to travel. Cheers to memories. Thanks for indulging me one more time on pictures
My happy face hovering above Florence sums it up,.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Pavement Ends - a poem

The Pavement Ends 
by Joanne Faries
and now what? 
abrupt plunge into an abyss? 
shaken, not stirred by an
ever narrower path
jawbone shattering rocky torment 
cruise on a lush grass carpet
caressing tire rubber
hushed lullaby ride 
halt, forever frozen
last gasp wheeze
backward glance

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Now What Wednesday?

Seriously?  I hadn't noticed............

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Soon on DVD: Avengers - Age of Ultron

Somehow I never posted this back in the spring. So, it's coming soon to DVD. For anyone who missed it, now's your chance.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is another gem in the Marvel collection. It’s a tad long, but you won’t fall asleep with the barrage of action and noise. It’s just another day for our heroes as they seek Loki’s scepter. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) fight bad guys, argue with each other, and keep the slick dialogue rolling. In entering a Hydra lair, they uncover a whole new power and it looks like a level of artificial intelligence. This is too good for Stark/Iron Man to pass up as he seeks “peace in our times”. Or not? 

Unfortunately the blue pulsing mass of neurons seems to overtake Jarvis, and Ultron is born – a thriving brilliant robot bent on world domination. As voiced by James Spader, it oozes evil panache. The Avengers have to work and think as a group to stay ahead of Ultron’s grab for power. The effects are grand, the battles royale, and our team never looked better. Who’s going to win?  I won’t reveal the answer but I bet you have a good idea.

It’s the little moments that make the movie – the team sitting around trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Watch Thor’s face when Captain America gives it a nudge. They all have their egos and hidden secrets. Who knew about Hawkeye’s retreat? And what’s up for Hulk and Black Widow – some yearnings? Avengers: Age of Ultron is blockbuster Hollywood movie making at its best.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Alliance Air Show

 What better way to spend a gorgeous Saturday than to go to the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, sponsored by Bell Helicopter. We had not been to an air show in a few years, so this was a treat.
 Stunt parachutists and planes defied the laws of gravity and physics. How do planes do that??
 A P Mustang from WWII and the F22 Raptor flew in tandem. The Raptor was unbelievable. Wow - so impressive, Ray said, "I'm fine with my tax dollars spent on that machinery."
 An assortment of ground planes and displays rounded out the day
Quite a show under the wild blue yonder................

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th


I still don't understand
I don't think it's possible to understand

words fail

World Trade Center, Pentagon, Shanksville PA
I bow my head in tribute


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Off Kilter September

I don't seem to have my act together yet for September and fall. I'm just hanging around like these cows. I've read other blog posts and folks have bold plans. It's almost mid-September. Time is flying and I'm standing in the middle of the road.

Shall I charge ahead or amble off the path?

Poems, stories, or a book?

Stay tuned. The key is to avoid the cow patties.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hardscrabble Land

 Labor Day Monday and I'm not working. I shall reflect on those before me who fought for better factory conditions, against child labor, and a decent wage. I'm fortunate that I have a job indoors that pays very well, and I can set my own hours within reason.

Back to these pictures. Spent Friday afternoon and Saturday in San Saba at Aunt Pat's. Dry, crunchy land right now. Rather scary fire conditions. Watch where you walk - cactus and rocks are rough underfoot.
 You can clear a path of rocks and more seem to appear overnight.
It's just wicked. I am a city mouse. Enjoyed the visit and hearty breakfasts, but I scurried back to my backyard pool on Sunday and plunged into bliss.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend is upon us. I hope you all had a great summer. Here's a salute to those who braved air travel

Airline Counter Woes 

expectations and brochures
pour over maps
trace paths of imagination
inhale a memory
exhale a moment
fumble for luggage
one piece chose a different flight 

lines and lines and lines
to claim loss 

inner scream like the two year old who is

Enjoy your weekend and (in theory) the last vestige of summer

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Movie Review: American Ultra

American Ultra is not terribly original but it’s down and dirty fun. Jesse Eisenberg expands his repertoire as Mike, a total stoner dude running a convenience store. Kristen Stewart is Phoebe the stoner girlfriend. Their lives are predictable until one evening when Mike turns from dull guy into trained killer and two men are dead in the parking lot. How could this be? And how could the CIA be involved? 

Connie Britton plays the CIA agent who helped create Mike as a troubled youth into an ultra operative. But the program was not a success and was shut down. His memory was erased and he’s a twitchy sensitive guy. Unfortunately, memories are returning and that’s dangerous. Topher Grace’s job is to eliminate Mike and Phoebe. Britton disagrees with this strategy. So it’s a CIA race to a small town to surround and capture Mike. Without trying he’s a weapon wielding kung fu master, taking out opponents left and right without understanding what the heck is going on.  

Mike just wants to propose to Phoebe, the love of his life. Or is she? American Ultra is humorous and ridiculous, but is amusing. The cast classes up a low brow flick. This is a good movie to stream some night when you don’t feel like thinking too much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Anniversary Ray

 26 years ago we said "I do" in front of a Justice of the Peace. We've had a lot of adventures since then.
 Ray is my Looney Tune
 He's my laughter
He's my mountain.

Happy Anniversary, Ray. Thanks for sticking by my side. More crazy adventures ahead.