Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year Ahead

Let's slide into 2019 like this wee one (Dakota on Christmas morning). Smile on our faces, twinkle in the eye, not a care in the world.

(It's a nice idea and a good thought. Just don't look at that stock portfolio or open those Christmas bills or read the news or......)

What the heck....let's slide down head first...I dare you!

Happy New Year, my friends. We shall share the adventure together.  Cheers!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday Filler

 Yes, I'm killing time during Christmas week.  I'm actually working quite hard. Omega is a test lab and folks who didn't get their testing done this year ship everything and need it done fast.  C'mon folks - it's called "planning".  Sigh. Nothing has changed in over ten years. Nothing ever will.

Meanwhile - for those seeking amusement....
 Ray was ready for his company luncheon.....not an ugly sweater winner, but still.....
such an elf!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Clean Up on Aisle Bedford

It's filler week  for Christmas season.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Tuesday with family, friends, and good cheer. I'm back to work - no rest for Omega Research.

Ray and I cleaned up our act on December 15th and went to his company Christmas party. It takes a lot for me to put on pantyhose and big girl shoes - no crazy heels, but "dressy".

Not too shabby.
We had a very nice time in Dallas and stayed overnight at the Renaissance Hotel.  Quite a treat.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Peace on Earth

 All is calm. 
All is bright

Our backyard is the place to be for Christmas lights and spirit.  (Thanks, Ray. He's been my elf this year)

Christmas  - I wish everyone  health, laughter, and good cheer.

Peace on Earth   (we have to keep hoping)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Friday Filler - McPhee

Read a blurb that struck me and I'll share in a Friday Filler

 John McPhee, an accomplished writer in his 80s just published his 30th book. Time Magazine did an interview article with him (issue December 17, 2018) that I found quite interesting and amusing. He's modest and not one for public relation pushes.

"A writer grows on the volume of what the writer writes. People standing around, over drinks, talking about writing, isn't writing. Writing is where you go off on your own, close the door, and fight it out with the blank screen or paper. That's the number 1 teacher."

When he teaches, he requires students to submit an outline on everything.  "Sooner or later, you have to have a sense of structure, or all you've got is a bowl of spaghetti."

Food for thought, all my writer friends.

Cheers and TGIF!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Movie Review Madness - Green Book

Green Book is inspired by the true story of Dr. Don Shirley, a virtuoso pianist.  In 1962, he lived above Carnegie Hall and was applauded in the Northeast and worldwide. He chooses with his record label to tour the south – a tough gig for a black man at that time.  Dr. Shirley (played by the classy consummate actor Mahershala Ali) hires a driver/bouncer to help him on his tour. Tony Lip (the absolutely incomparable Viggo Mortensen) comes highly recommended. He’s an Italian-American born and raised in the Bronx. He’s not classy, but he knows people and situations. However,  this tour proves to be an eye-opener and challenge…for both men.

This movie doesn’t preach, but oh it shows that black, white, educated, street smart, Italian, married, bi-sexual, artistic, tough – etc…are words. At the core, man is human and these two men from very opposite upbringings find a common ground and appreciation for each other. The dialogue is sharp, the directing is tight, and the acting  is Oscar worthy.  This was a really excellent movie. Both Ray and I laughed out loud at scenes. Ultimately, it just pulled together nicely for Christmas dinner.

I highly recommend Green Book and could easily see it again.  And I shall mention Linda Cardellini as Viggo’s wife. She’s always been a solid actress and this role, while in the background, is important as a grounding point for an  electric duo.  So many good scenes and moments.  Treat yourself at Christmas to a really nice cinema experience.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Let There Be Cake

My mother-in-law, Joyce Faries, turns 80 on December 21st this year.  Well, she's always stuck with the combo Christmas/Birthday celebration.  So this special year, we decided to throw her a party that's all about her - lunch on Saturday at Miguelitos (Tex-Mex food). 

Nacho  appetizers, enchilada combo plate, and then we cut into this cake. You could have a margarita if you wish.

Hopefully as I write this on Friday, thirty people show up tomorrow for the festivities. We've been sweating out various senior health issues - turning 80 ain't for sissies, as Bette Davis said.

Here's to all you December kids who's birthday gets smushed with Christmas - you deserve a cake that's not red and green decorations.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Sometimes the person you admire most recognizes something unusual in you and draws it out, opening a door to a bigger, electrifying world. (cover blurb)

Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion is a decent read with interesting characters.  Greer is a college freshman who meets Faith Frank – an inspirational speaker involved in the women’s movement. Greer’s trying to find herself and seeks a purpose of some sort. With a job opportunity offered, questions of power arise, friendships change, and a childhood love story evolves. Doors open and close, ambition rules, and ego and loyalty come into question.

Life changes so much during college age and post college years. People guide and people follow. Some folks make a huge impact on one’s life. The Female Persuasion acknowledges the flame we all want to believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. (cover blurb)

At times Greer can be a tad whiny, but the book offers up a lot of good dialogue and insight into girls and women.  P. 373 You don’t always have to feel the compulsion to keep striving toward something for the sake of striving. There are no grades anymore, Greer. Sometimes I think you forget that. You just have to do what you want to do. Forget about how it looks. Think about what it is.
That line struck me. I still keep anticipating a grade and too often I’m not willing to commit to something that IS something.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday Whimsy

countdown to Christmas with some Wednesday whimsy.

 I hit the L.D. Bell High School craft fair last weekend. Some folks are so clever - plenty of Christmas-palooza wreaths, ornaments, snowmen, Santas, and reindeer. I wandered the halls, and then this little fellow called out to me. Hand sewn and so cute. He's normally hanging out in my kitchen now, but I decided a poolside pic was in order.

Hope you are taking breaks in December for some silly fun. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Parashot on a Monday

No Hidden Meaning (Just Snow)

Eastern Pennsylvania morphs from crimson and golds to stark
Bare branches scrape gray skies 
Wreaths in ribbon red adorn front doors
Rooms decked in evergreen crackle with lit fireplaces and children’s laughter
Plenty of merry, merry greetings and mistletoe kisses signal the season
Careful cookies and milk preparation, then footie-pajama kids tucked into bed
Awakened by the glistening reflective gleam, eye squinting, purest white Christmas

(a writer friend introduced our group to "parashots" - not a poem, not a paragraph, more of a short screenshot of a scene.  Many of the examples she gave were autobiographical.  I was thinking about  waking up as a kid (especially on Christmas morning) and KNOWING it snowed. Before you hopped out of bed, the light shining through curtains was blindingly the gleam of a million halos or something otherworldly)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Book Review - Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite authors. I voted Life After Life a winner a few years ago.  Now with Transcription she’s created a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. (cover blurb)

Back and forth between 1940 and 1950, we follow Juliet Armstrong – eighteen years old and recruited into espionage by a department of MI5. She’s typing transcriptions (secretly) in a house where folks with Nazi and fascist leanings come to report and plan for an overthrow. Her work is tedious and terrifying.  Flash forward to 1950 and Julia is a radio producer for the BBC. However, her time spent with MI5 is coming back to haunt her. She’s under threat, running into past “spies”, and questioning her past.

P.271  A small shift in the air. The faintest rustle – a bird settling in a nest. Breathing. A sigh. She could just make out the silhouette of someone sitting at the table.
Stealthily, Juliet retrieved the Mauser from her bag and advanced cautiously. It seemed impossible. And yet.
The person who had the greatest claim on her soul. A sudden terror made her heart spasm.

Twists and turns. Tight writing. Rich characters. Kate Atkinson draws you in, turns you around, and has you looking over your shoulder. Transcription is a jolly good read!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday Whimsy

Flashback pics for amusement.

  It's December. Are you starting to have Christmas countdown panic?

Just chill like my friend the flamingo

Monday, December 3, 2018

Book Review - Unsheltered

Barbara Kingsolver is a genius writer. Her latest Unsheltered covers two eras and her transitional story line is clean and sublime. Willa Knox and her husband can barely stay above water. He teaches a college course way below his level. She is a writer who can’t seem to get employment. Their house is crumbling. They are trying to keep his elderly father alive. Their son’s wife died and now they are raising a newborn grandson. It all sounds crazy, but that is life for so many these days. All under one roof – folks are just trying to survive, let alone think about retirement, savings, and a future. It’s strictly try to breathe – keep all balls in the air and survive…that’s the goal.

Meanwhile, Willa researches the home and hopes for a grant – maybe someone famous lived in this home. Turns out a neighbor, Mary Treat, was a scientist. Darn she did not live in this house. BUT, Thatcher Greenwood, a teacher who supported Darwin’s theories did. And he was key in an important trial. Maybe the family can get a grant exemption and help pay for repairs before the house falls down.

Kingsolver moves easily between both story lines – the past and the present and how they intersect. The characters are interesting. Her writing is lovely, and she makes one think about life…past and present. How do folks survive with multiple generations under one roof? Unsheltered is a searing commentary on life today by an author who knows her stuff and writes with authority. Kudos.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Review - The Fifth Risk

 Michael Lewis is a very respected author who truly does his research.  He wrote Moneyball about the mathematics of baseball  -now a recognized science and a Brad Pitt movie. In the Fifth Risk he explores a very scary proposition – What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

Seriously – we are screwed.  Folks think they don’t want government.  But do you realize how much is really done and with our taxpayer money? And by not filling key jobs, not just at cabinet level – there is a lot being lost.  NOAA – this agency follows weather and patterns. It affects if you are warned about hurricanes, tornadoes, and it saves lives.  USDA. Dept of Commerce. FDA.  Nutrition for our school kids. Health and safety. Feeding old and young. Food stamps – it’s not waste. It saves lives.

We are not talking bleeding heart waste. There are legit scientists, legit data computer gatherers, folks who truly can give data that saves lives. They study soil in the Midwest and monitor rainfall. They save millions of dollars for farmers who can plant at the right time, use fertilizer at the optimal time, and are operating at truly key planting times.

If you do not fill government posts, there is a whole lot that affects regular lives, that will cause a lot of future damage. If you fill posts with people who have no knowledge and experience – you are committing suicide. If you fill posts with folks who gave campaign money, who have business that make money off other folks suffering, you are a fool.
You get what you voted for and there is a lot of ignorance that has been supported.  Read Michael Lewis’s book The Fifth Risk and draw your own conclusions.  Wow. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Movie Review Madness - Widows

A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows – Veronica (powerful Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice(Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) -- have nothing in common except a debt left behind by their spouses' criminal activities. Hoping to forge a future on their own terms, Veronica joins forces with the other three women to pull off a heist that her husband (Liam Neeson) was planning.

That’s the blurb for Widows, but oh, there is so much more. Chicago politics (Colin Farell, Robert DuVall), double crossing, money and lots of it, guns, theft, and did I mention a lot of money?
I really enjoyed this film. Just go with the plot. There’s a lot of bad people looking to do harm and work deals, and survive.  The director, Steve McQueen, just let it rip. And when you think you have it figured out…think again. Twists, turns, and the greatness that is Viola Davis. She’s just so good. Just one look can say volumes.

I was happy with the outcome, not necessarily sad at the funerals, and oh yeah – ladies can work a heist plot (and get babysitters for the kids). Widows – no tears, no tissues required.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Movie Review Madness - Instant Family

Instant Family is just an all-around decent movie. It’s a good flick to see during holiday season because it has a nice message about family – in all its messy stages. So, Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) have a good life – their flipping home business is solid, their dog is happy to see them, and they enjoy date nights. What more could they need? Tick-tock – maybe kids? Maybe fostering a  kid to adopt?

They attend an open house, take the eight week class, and stumble into Lizzie (Isabela Moner) at an adoption fair. This wise fifteen year-old has lived the system. She’s bright and wary. AND, she has a brother, Juan, and little sister, Lita. All so endearing. Pete and Ellie say yes and take in upheaval. Kids are messy, needy, sensitive, worried – they’ve lived with so much doubt in their young lives. It’s tough to trust and believe they won’t be sent back.

Yes, those are underlying themes in this movie filled with laugh out loud moments. Based on the true story by the director, Instant Family, has anger, frustration, and doubt – from the adults and the kids. The real mom gets  out of jail and might get the kids back. That sparks some reactions from all sides. You root for the family to work, and for love itself to take  root. It’s a tough subject that’s handled well in a very entertaining fashion. Mark and Rose and solid actors who shine as a couple who cares, without being too saintly. The kids are great too. I enjoyed my two hours hanging with this crew.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


 I am grateful for Ray
 My Dad - he's currently at a rehab place after having some emergency surgery. OMG. He's making progress - needs his strength back in his legs so he can get back in his home.
 My sister - she turns 50 on Sunday and is our sunshine

David and Cherie are gems. David does SO, SO much for my Dad. 
I am also grateful for my friends and extended family. When I put the world in perspective, I am very fortunate.

so, Happy Thanksgiving to blog world.  I hope this season finds you in good health and hanging with friends and/or family.

Take care everyone

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Movie Review Madness

Intense, haunting, and rather chilling – Beautiful Boy is based on a true story from both the father (David Sheff) and the son (Nic Sheff).  It’s a seemingly idyllic home and family outside of San Francisco. Nic (played by the excellent Timothee Chalamet) is eighteen. In flashback scenes we see this sweet boy. Now he’s surly at times, unpredictable, and absolutely breaking his dad’s heart. David (played well by Steve Carell) is concerned and caring and frustrated. He can see that Nic is high. Nic’s killing time and spacing out. This young man, so sensitive and artistic and smart, is hurting himself with drugs.

This story, sadly, is being played out all across America. This is an upper middle class family that looks, on the outside, to be close to perfect. You’ve got the dad and stepmom (Maura Tierney – wonderful) with Nic and two younger siblings who adore their big brother. Again  - flashback scenes show Nic caring about his siblings and stepmom, and dad. It’s all a good support system. And long distance, his mom (Amy Adams) has a role. But drugs – first pot, then so much more, and finally crystal meth and heroin – tear everyone apart.  We see David take Nic to rehab. We hear Nic’s promises – turning over that new leaf, and then relapsing. The drugs are relentless, and Nic keeps seeking them as a solution to some hole, some need he can’t explain.

Beautiful Boy can tear you apart. You really care for and root  for the whole family. I thought this was a really well done movie with great acting. Chalamet plays sensitive and sympathetic so well – he’s tall and skinny and artsy looking with his shock of brown curly locks and big dark expressive eyes. You want to believe him when he’s lying. I feel so sorry for families who can’t save their beautiful boys or girls.

(RIP - Michael - my cousin's boy.   i.e. the movie strikes close to home)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Balenciaga in Black

Haute couture - fashion that is art.  A friend and I enjoyed a new exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth - Balenciaga in Black.   Stunning gowns and dresses, women's suits and coats - all designed by Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972).

Made by hand in his ateliers, his work is all in black. But the luxurious fabrics and materials offered textures and shades of black that are rich in depth, and remarkable for the detail.

This is a stunning assembled collection of work, and the Kimbell is one of the few museums privileged to show it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Woe is Wednesday

Went to the Fort Worth Zoo a week or so ago.  I snapped this picture of the orangutan - so reflective.
His hand to his forehead...I picture him thinking of all he must do the next week, or pondering some hi-jinks his kids have gotten into, or for today just thinking, "Wednesday is Hump Day"

Hope your week has been decent

Monday, November 12, 2018

Movie Review Madness - Bohemian Rhapsody

The first time I heard the song Killer Queen on the radio, I perked up my ears. This was a new and different sound and the lead singer’s voice soared effortlessly.  1970 – Freddie Mercury (lead singer), Brian May (guitar), Roger Taylor (drums), and John Deacon (bass guitar) formed Queen. The rest is another chapter in rock history. The film Bohemian Rhapsody brings the Queen story to life, and actor Rami Malek embodies the heart and soul of Freddie Mercury. He’s uncanny (and should be up for an Oscar).

I’ve read other reviews that say this film follows the usual rock story – struggling musicians, the big success, the excesses, the inevitable clashes, the egos, and the break-up/ final triumphs. Well, yeah – I’m very fine with that. Mercury was an outsider, in London with immigrant parents. He was always seeking his father’s approval, but knew he was different – meant to be a performer. And when he opened his mouth (his very unusual overbite mouth) – the voice of an angel emerged. Forming Queen – a group of misfits – the band explored and went beyond the norm. Their album, Night at the Opera, was groundbreaking. Bohemian Rhapsody, the song, was six minutes. What radio would play that? What are they singing? Is it gibberish? And operatic?

I enjoyed the film, the music, and Freddie’s story. He found true love early, but then strayed –confused, caught up in excess, but inherently lonely. The band was his family. And he did contract AIDS, was aware that his life was going to be cut short. He rallied the band back together to play Wembley stadium in England for Live Aid. Talk about taking a final curtain call – this was a performance for the ages. We are the Champions, We Will Rock You, Somebody to Love, and on and on.  Bohemian Rhapsody will stir you, make you want to stomp your feet and clap, and frankly sing-a-long like Wayne and Garth in a car.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Review - Clock Dance

I love Anne Tyler’s writing and Clock Dance does not disappoint. This is not my favorite of hers – I did like A Spool of Blue Thread more, but even lesser works are better than most. Trust me, Tyler knows how to capture ordinary folks (often “older”)  – their thoughts, their lives, and she gives them dignity and understanding. Often tough to do in this day and age.

Cover blurb:  Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life.  1967 – schoolgirl coping with her mother’s disappearance. 1977 – college coed considering a marriage proposal. 1997 – young widow trying to piece her life back together. 2017 – yearning to be a grandmother.   Then one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. She flies cross-country to look after a young woman she’s never met, her nine year old daughter, and a dog. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory.

Interesting and quirky, Willa turns out to have some nerve and backbone. She’s willing to say no to her stiff second husband, and continue her journey of self-discovery.  Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is full of surprises. We’re all fighting the battle against Father Time. This book is a lot about how we choose to do it – are we in charge? Or is time itself?


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Wednesday Contemplation

I borrowed this from Robyn's 10/29/18 post.   Timely words to contemplate

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Election Eve - Vote

Tuesday , November 6, 2018 is another Election Day.  We are fortunate in America. The dates are set for elections - it's not random, it's not willy-nilly, it's not after one group dissolves, and others are formed. It's very regular and we get to choose.

Ray and I chose early voting.  We are a "divided" household and, no doubt, "canceled" out our votes. But we did it and we'll still be alive and talking on Wednesday morning.

Today is Monday. I hope you've done the same - early vote, or you'll be stopping at the polls on Tuesday between 7 am and 7 pm to give your vote, your opinion, and exercise your freedom.

Good luck, America!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Miracles

Wednesday 10/24/18, Dr. Michael Blair, in just ten minutes executed a miracle. He removed a severe cataract from my left eye and did laser stuff that removed my extreme astigmatism. I awoke and could see the clock on the wall without glasses.

That has not been possible since third grade, age eight. ( am not ancient either - just born with bad eye genes. My father has already apologized!)

Wednesday 10/31/18, Dr. Michael Blair, in just ten minutes executed another miracle. He did the exact same thing on my right eye.

I can see........distance........without glasses.  For those of you who have always been able to see, you have NO idea of the magnitude.  For those of you with glasses....holy cow. I can see the clock when I wake up in the morning. I can see the stupid ESPN crawler at the bottom of the TV screen again.

Science miracles do occur.

Do not take vision for granted. There is so much to see and read. It's fabulous. I am awestruck.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

 I saw the original Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  Michael Myers was scary then. I don't think I'll subject myself to him in 2018.
 My parents had me watch Psycho a long time ago. Classic Hitchcock. Creepy, scary, and knife slashing shower scene.
 Scream - amusing
The Spiral Staircase - another super oldie that my folks had me watch a long time ago. Our television was in our basement - the old paneled rec room.  Talk about scary back in the day.


Happy Halloween. No need to comment.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday Mania

Let's have a spook-tacular week

Friday, October 26, 2018

Book Review - Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a taut thriller with shades of Hitchcock and other black and white noir films. What’s up with Anna Fox? She’s a recluse, watches old movies,
chats with her husband and daughter (?), and spies on her neighbors. Does she witness a murder at the Russell home?

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger?  Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one- and nothing – is what it seems. (cover blurb)

This book kept me hooked and questioning Anna. Is she reliable despite drinking a heck of a lot of wine. Did she meet a Jane Russell? Or is the wife of Alistair Russell the real Jane Russell? Is Ethan the innocent confused son?  Lots of questions to answer with a very unreliable source.  What happened to Anna and her family? Oh, that is key to the Woman in the Window.  Will the police, the psychiatrist, the physical therapist, etc be able to piece together answers to this puzzle?

Slick writing, sophisticated suspense. I recommend this book and dare you to piece together the answers. It kept me hooked until the end and then you say “Whoa!”   Enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wednesday Wow - Rachmaninov

A friend, Trish, invited me to join her for a night of Rachmaninov and the Fort Worth Symphony.
I couldn't say no. I took an Uber into Fort Worth, basked in the glory of Bass Hall, and soaked in the beauty of classical pianists. I admit I know nothing about classical music. Many refrains of Rachmaninov are no doubt part of movie soundtracks - I could recognize refrains.

The three pianists sounded awesome to my untrained ears. Plenty of dramatic arm flourishes, rapid riffs up and down the keyboard, and the symphony sounded beautiful. I thought the conductor was thoughtful and encouraged the group.

I did read the review in the paper and OMG - I was SO wrong. Apparently the conductor had no clue, the symphony drowned out key elements, and the pianist I liked the most - Yeol Eum Son, was over dramatic and not worthy.

Big sigh.  Best to not know anything.  Just bask in the glory of sound, feel the music, and Uber home content.

Support your local symphony and musicians. Do not over think. Let the music wash over you.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Old Man and his Gun is a charming movie based on a true story. Forest Tucker liked to rob banks. He was good at it, too, until he got caught and then he was pretty good at escaping prison (including building his own boat and sailing out of San Quentin island). But that’s back story. 1981, We meet Forest (played by the excellent Robert Redford) as a dapper dressed, polite older gentleman robbing banks in Texas, Arkansas, and beyond. He appears elusive until John Hunt (Casey Affleck), a Dallas cop, digs deep to pursue the man. It’s a cat and mouse game, and really fun to watch.

Meanwhile, Forest meets Jewel (the sublime Sissy Spacek). He says he robs banks, but she doesn’t believe him. They meet at a diner when he’s in town, and ultimately spend time chatting and sitting on her lovely ranch front porch. Oh he spins quite a few stories, says only married once a long time ago with no kids. Says he’s a salesman. No matter what, he speaks with a twinkle in his eye and a thoughtful manner. Their screen time together is so pleasant.

So, in ninety minutes you get to meet the bank robber, his buddies (dubbed by the news as The Over the Hill Gang), his lady friend, and the cop. You get the build-up, the behind the scenes planning, the cop figuring out the puzzle, and you root for everyone concerned. Yes, the old man has a gun, but this is not a violent movie. So, sit back, enjoy the ride, watch a masterclass in acting, and enjoy the dialogue and the silence too.  The Old Man and his Gun is quite a true story- you just can’t make this stuff up.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Movie Review Madness - A Star is Born

What doesn’t Bradley Cooper do?  He acts, he flashes that sweet smile and those clear baby blue eyes, and he’s managed to come off as a real nice guy. Now he’s directed his first feature film AND he sings in it. In a 2018 remake of A Star is Born, Cooper is Jackson Mayne, an alcoholic musician with tinnitus, who’s not keeping it together. His brother, Bobby (Sam Elliott), does his best but Jackson is self-destructing. Then one night after a show, in search of a drink, he has his driver stop outside a place. It’s a drag bar, but the young lady featured to sing had been a former server. Everyone is enthralled with Ally’s performance, and Jackson falls hard.  Ally (a superb Lady Gaga) has tried to get in  the business, but she’s unconventional looking. She’s heard the critiques about her nose, etc,  and doesn’t need the verbal abuse.

Of course, in movie world – boy meets girl, boy gets girl up on stage, girl takes the crowd by storm, and conquers the music world very quickly. We watch Ally’s rise and root for her. Lady Gaga can belt a song and can really act too – she’s the real deal. Meanwhile, even though in love, jealousy rears its head. Jackson’s alcoholism is on a collision course with Ally’s success.  A Star is Born is solid. The story has good bones and this version works. The music is current and the singing is excellent. Cooper and Gaga have chemistry. My only usual complaint – it runs a tad long. I think Cooper could have edited or tightened it by fifteen, twenty minutes. Still, I’ll say Bradley Cooper can do it ALL – a director is born! Sing it loud.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday Wow - State Fair of Texas time

 Gorgeous Friday 10/5/18 at the great State Fair of Texas - 2018.  Ray and I began on the big Ferris wheel.  Whee!!!
 Auto show shiny
 Football rivalry - The Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma  Sooners coming up that Saturday
 Yes, we ate our Fletcher's corny dogs. That's tradition
Just took a picture of one of the stands featuring a new fried concoction.  I went back to last year's winner - Fat Smooth - a fried beignet. It did not disappoint.

11 am to 7 pm - over 10K steps, and maybe 10K calories.  That's the Wednesday Wow - Texas does it up BIG