Friday, July 29, 2016

Art - The Brothers Le Nain

Antoine, Louis, and Mathieu - the Brothers Le Nain painted in Paris 1630s and 1640s. Fifty paintings presented at the Kimbell represent a full range of production - altarpieces, devotional paintings, portraits, and paintings of local peasant life.

The art is rich and stunning. The brothers seemed to work together seamlessly and art conservationists dig deep to compare, contrast, and attribute aspects of the works to each brother. One seemed to work better on copper, another got the details of hair and faces, another was detailed in clothing and background.

This is a fascinating exhibit and brings to life seventeenth century France.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review - Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little is an excellent debut mystery filled with interesting characters, twists and turns, and a fast pace. Janie Jenkins is fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, this “It Girl” was incarcerated for the murder of her high society mother. Released on a technicality, Jane is determined to figure out who really killed her mother. And is the killer looking for her?

Small town Dakota is the starting point. As Janie delves deeper into her mother’s former life, finds photographs, reads an old diary, she begins to admire her mother’s climb from oblivion to a new name to a life of money.  And the mother she herself dismissed,  turns out to have had quite a life. Dirt poor but resourceful, Tessa wasn’t meant to be held back. Janie, in her journey, learns to admire her intelligent mother.

From the cover blurb – As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile fa├žade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets – and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity  she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

Janie is not initially likeable, but her story is compelling and you will want to turn the pages. The author knows how to push our buttons and Janie’s in the search for the truth. Who is the killer? Dear Daughter will satisfy your thirst to know.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Movie Madness - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is just flat out silly, zany fun. Yes I saw the original and it was silly zany fun too. I am not going to compare. As far as I’m concerned this movie stands on its own.  Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon are a strong group of comedic women. Some nut case hotel janitor has designed equipment in the basement to unleash the haunts of New York. Paranormal measurements are through the roof, and McCarthy’s seeing the fruits of her labors. She and McKinnon have been working on a shoe string budget out of a no-name school studying polarities, vortexes, and other mumbo-jumbo that adds up to ghosts.  Wiig’s tried to climb the noble path of academia, but gets derailed by social media and her former partner. Now she’s drawn back in for the sake of science.

And Leslie Jones works for the MTA. She encountered the nutter AND a ghost creature in the subway. She’s a believer AND she has her uncle’s vehicle to use – is it a hearse? Oh you bet. Yes, the women arrive with equipment to capture ghosts. They stream a force field, etc. Yes, Wiig keeps getting slimed. And cameos abound from the original – keep your eyes peeled for Bill Murray, Annie Potts, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, a bust of the late Harold Ramis (comedy genius), and Sigourney Weaver. As I said, this movie is glorious summer fun. Zingy lines, good effects, the New York skyline. What’s not to like?

Kudos to Kate McKinnon – she absolutely cracked me up. As we know from her Hillary sketches on SNL, she can do wide-eyed crazy very well. In this movie, she steals scenes as you wait to see what she’s gonna do next. I actually went into this movie with so-so expectations. I planned on being amused, but frankly it had many laugh out loud moments. Ray cracked up too and we gave it a thumbs up for our five dollar each matinee investment.

Who you gonna call for two hours of cool theater fun? Ghostbusters…….I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Browse has Another Meaning

photo from Morguefile

From Sunday 7/17/16 Dallas Morning NewsGetting Their Greens by Claire Z. Cardona

This was an exceptionally interesting article. Here's my synopsis:

Dallas zookeepers are able to keep elephants happy with truckloads of greenery from city parks. In a key partnership, the keepers have access to branches and vegetation, called “browse”. Elephants and other zoo animals crave their fresh veggies. Basically every other Wednesday, keepers follow city workers around golf courses and gather the “browse”. This keeps a lot of stuff out of the landfill, and it’s cheap food for the zoo. All parties are happy.

The city is expanding the plan to almost 400 parks. Wow. Daily enrichment means healthier elephants. Apparently elm is a favorite. It’s also exercise for the elephants as they strip limbs. They are occupied and it keeps their teeth healthy too  Per the article, an adult female elephant weighs between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds and eats 200 to 300 pounds of food a day. Elephants eat hay, grains, fruits and vegetables. This volume of “browse” helps immensely. Seventy other species of animals enjoy different varieties too.

Spread the word to any animal habitats, and coordinate resources. Make an elephant happy!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Art - Norman Lewis

Norman Lewis said, "I don't believe there is such a thing as black art. There are artists who are black making art."

Procession is a current exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum of Art in Fort Worth. I was pleased to learn about Norman Lewis and to enjoy his work. The colors, the view of life through his art - all impressive.

Seachange 1975 struck me.  In 1968, Mr. Lewis wrote, "just seeing the sea, color of water, of blues and grays and murky and muddy water in various ports. I was discovering a whole new life."

Discover Norman Lewis and appreciate a man's work. An artist who was black who made art.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Art - Frank Stella

More art on my Saturday a few weeks ago. The Modern Museum of Fort Worth featured Frank Stella - A Retrospective. Wow - The man is prolific and still creating. Over 120 works featured painting, reliefs, maquettes, sculptures, and drawings. Some of the pieces are massive.  The colors pop and seem to move on the wall.

The huge sculptures were my favorites. They flowed and seemed to reach out and draw you in. The man experimented with geometry and space. Here's a quote from Mr. Stella:

Virtual space has no ground. That's the beauty of it. It's about destroying ground so you can explore all the dimensions and viewpoints.

Frank Stella is an artist with no boundaries.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Serenity in Pastels

thanks again to my sister for this fabulous photo from NC - sunset at a bay

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Travel Via Books

Here’s a virtual getaway with literary sleuths. You don’t have to stand in airport lines or lose luggage. Just lose your mind in these books and try to figure out whodunit. Suggestions are from Entertainment Weekly

Canadian Arctic -  White Heat by M.J.McGrath. Meet Kiglatuk, an Inuit hunter and guide and visit the ice between Greenland and the North Pole

Chile – The Neruda Case by Roberto Ampuero.  Drink wine and spout poetry while solving a mystery

Brazil – Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage.  Forget the Olympics. Check out the gritty affairs in the back alleys ( warning -graphic violence)

Iceland – Jar City by Erlendur Sveinsson.  Wander around Reykjavik

Spain – Death Rites by Alicia Gimenez Bartlett. Strong quirky cops in Barcelona. Run with the bulls or fight crime

Botswana – The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Vivid sense of place and Precious Ramotswe leads the way

Sweden – The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg. Seaside town and murder afoot

United Kingdom – The Blackhouse by Peter May. There’s more to England than just Sherlock Holmes.  Follow Fin Macleod in the Outer Hebrides. Bodies swept up on the beach and more

Australia -  Bad Debts by Peter Temple. Trouble down under for Jack Irish.

Escape and enjoy

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Let's Kill Time

hot summer day
let's not talk
just revel in the heat
absorb the sounds
children splashing in a pool
chug of a lawnmower
clink of ice in a glass

gulp lemonade
wipe the brow


Friday, July 15, 2016 by Anthony Hernandez

 I enjoyed a Saturday wandering the various art museums in the Fort Worth Cultural District.  The Amon Carter has a huge photography collection and also features special exhibits
 Anthony Hernandez took some bleak photos from the 2008 housing collapse. California  had huge swaths of land set for development - they turned into a vast wasteland.
His photos are disturbing and bleak. They ask questions about the environment, about the economy, and about art. Is their hope for the future, or is the Discarded exhibit a statement without an answer.......

This exhibit is sad and provokes an emotion.......and sometimes art ain't pretty.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Thanks to my sister's pics - let's just hang at the beach

I'm living vicariously.  This could be the solution to any and all problems in the world - just go to the beach. Watch the waves. Wiggle your toes in the sand.  Tough to be sad or worried or stressed.

I did find an I just have to get to a beach

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

No Answers

A brief comment on Dallas. I live between Dallas and Fort Worth.
I am ashamed to say that Thursday night, I turned on the news and then took off my glasses and went to sleep. My brain dismissed the enormity of the situation.

I've still been rather numb. I have not read all the articles or even watched much news. I have not shed a tear. I feel weary.

The news conference and statements by Mayor Mike Rawlings and Chief David Brown have been tremendous.

Are there any answers at all? Can "IT" be fixed?  And what is "IT"?

I don't know and that makes me sad

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sing Along with Beautiful

So Far Away
It Might As Well Rain Until September
Some Kind of Wonderful
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
Up on the Roof
The Locomotion
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
One Fine Day
It's Too Late
You've got a Friend
Natural Woman

What a songbook and that's only a few from Carole King. Wow - if the touring production of this show comes to your town, go see it. We meet Carole at age 16 - in college (early admissions). She meets Gerry Goffin and the rest is music history. They write songs for the Drifters, Shirelles, Righteous Brothers and more. Their marriage has many ups and downs - will you still love me tomorrow.

then Carole on her own.......Tapestry......and history.

The musical Beautiful is a gem and you will leave with a song in your heart, soaring tunes and lyrics re-embedded in your brain.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Movie Review Madness - Finding Dory

Oh Pixar – you are wonderful. The magic of film truly lives with this company. An opening short film called Piper is magical – not many words. Just cute images of a baby sandpiper learning to dig up shells, learning about the power of the ocean, and truly finding his sea legs. Extraordinarily cute.  

Then our main event, Finding Dory, is beyond excellent. Superb animation – the film glows with color. Excellent story line – it picks up where Finding Nemo left off and has Dory finding her parents. But it also highlights learning challenges, memory, family, and friends. So many messages in a short film. However, it does not beat you over the head with stuff – the message is subtle but strong.  Enjoyable humor – nice warm chuckles with so many lines. Engaging characters – Dory, Marlin, Nemo, and Hank the octopus. Fabulous voice acting and well thought out rich characters.

Yes, I gush. This film is just entertaining and worthy of your money – see it on the big screen. Ellen DeGeneres is so sincere and rather poignant as Dory. With her short term memory loss she’s challenged. Yet the glow of her spirit shines and perseverance wins out. Her mother (Diane Keaton) and Dad (Eugene Levy) left her with good life lessons and slowly she works her way back to find them (spoiler alert – will there be a reunion??)

And Hank the octopus deserves his own film. Such a hoot. We know, from real life, how clever octopus are in escape, etc. Hank sets the example for intrepid escapes, schemes, and true friendship. He does not let Dory down.

I won’t give more away. Just go now and see Finding Dory– hear Albert Brooks (Marlin) fret for Dory, Nemo, and life. Root for Dory, the blue tang with a huge heart and big eyes to navigate the seas, the Marine Wild Life Institute (shout out to Sigourney Weaver), and find her roots – her path of seashells.  Glorious film making………this is why I love the movies!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review - Kill the Boy Band

From the cover blurb of Kill the Boy Band:  Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room at the hotel where they were staying.
We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him – his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.
We were not planning on what happened next.
We swear.

Goldy Moldavsky captures fandom, cynical teen girls, snarky texts, and the crazy world that is celebrity. This is a quick hilarious book about girls and power – whether used for good or evil or confusion. The power of the internet, tweets, and plain face to face glares. Who knew you could have a boy band created solely because the boys’ names were Rupert? And what length will girls go to meet their fave?  And how long does loyalty last – whether to a boy band idol or to teen friendship?

Kill the Boy Band is a rush to read with spot on dialogue and many twists and turns in just one day. Turn off your phone and turn the pages

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday

 Father/daughter bonding in today's world.
I made them stop looking at the phones and smile and talk to each other for a second. Worthy of a grin from both

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Torrid Tuesday

It was a very hot Saturday - July 2nd - and I zoomed over to Fort Worth for an art fix.  Let's just say this shall be art week.  Here are a few pics from outside of the Kimbell, Amon Carter, and the Modern in the Fort Worth Cultural District.  Feasts for the eyes as I moseyed between them.

I love these museums and shall bring you more this week. Meanwhile, let's sit in the shade of the crape myrtles and feast our eyes on artsy nature. No need to think too much.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sundae Social

 Let's treat ourselves on this July 4th weekend.    Chocolate, strawberry, and caramel topping?
Or just strawberry with lots of Reddi-Whip?

Yum!   Enjoy. Let's sit in the shade..........

Friday, July 1, 2016


 It's Friday and here's a pic of one of my favorite people in the world - my sister Lori. She's ten years younger than me, lives back east, and just had a weekend in NYC. Somehow she caught a quiet moment on the Brooklyn Bridge. Amazing to not get run over by bikes and pedestrians. Her smile says it all
She nabbed a pic of Times Square for me. What a place. What energy. You have to be there to believe it.

And that's some favorite things on a Friday as we lead up to the Fourth.

What's going on in your world this weekend? Doing any favorite things with favorite people?