Friday, March 30, 2018
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Steve Robinson writes Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries. The Lost Empress is his fourth in the series, but does stand alone. A foggy night in 1914, the Empress of Ireland sinks in the St.Lawrence River. It crossed the ocean from England. Cover blurb – When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stillwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that lead to her death.
As an expert tracker, Tayte unravels truths about a maritime tragedy, pre-WWI espionage, and Alice’s life. Plus he’s caught up in solving a present day murder too. In The Lost Empress, the author takes us back and forth in time in various chapters. We meet Alice, a strong-willed young woman, who is entangled in a kidnapping and ransom plot. Being the daughter of an admiral presents her with opportunities that cause her a lot of grief. Alice’s story part of this book is strong and well written. As the story builds toward her boarding the Empress, intrigue grows.
Meanwhile, the Jefferson Tayte part of the book has various interesting parts, but also aspects that bog down the action. I found him to be a tad preachy and ponderous at times. I found I zoomed through his chapters to get back to Alice. Ultimately, bits all tie together in a very satisfying ending. I won’t give anything else away. The Lost Empress is a quick breezy read. It was a book club selection but I’m not sure how much there is to discuss. If you are going on a cruise, look out for spies on the upper deck!
Monday, March 26, 2018
Simon Spier (a charming Nick Robinson) is seventeen and considers himself a “normal” teen who’s fortunate. He’s got great friends (Katherine Langford, Logan Miller, et al), wonderful parents (Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Gardner), a sister he enjoys, teachers he likes, and plans for the future. But. There’s always a but. He’s got a secret and it’s really starting to bother him more and more. He is gay and it’s getting harder to hide it. He’s known since junior high age. He dated girls but the spark wasn’t there. Now what?
Love, Simon is a sweet movie with a nice message about being true to yourself. This does not hammer the issue over your head. It’s not trying to convert anyone. The movie shows a really nice kid who just wants to live his life, not make a big deal out of it, but be able to move on and find true love. Throw stereotypes out the window – he dresses on the preppy side, but just like every other kid shopping at the Gap or wherever. He likes current music, movies, and his best friend is female. He doesn’t want to change the dynamic of his life. Posted on an anonymous “facebook” like school page, another young man nicknamed “Blue” basically says the same thing – “I’m gay, but it’s a secret and my life is like a ferris wheel full of ups and downs.” Simon starts emailing Blue and feels a connection.
Slowly, Simon deals with his secret, deals with a cyber bully issue, deals with hurt friends, tells his folks, and goes through a miserable period. So, will he find “Blue”? Will his friends accept him again? How are his dad and mom? Love, Simon is a bit Hollywood neat – ties up a lot of issues in less than two hours. But it’s a refreshing, funny, and well done movie. Good acting and a good message for anyone. Root for Simon. You do have to be true to yourself before you can move on in any aspect of life.
Friday, March 23, 2018
I found that hearing the Sondheim tunes in independent scenes, rather than in his complete shows, I really heard the words and had some different interpretations. Maybe a tad deeper. His music is "tough" in my opinion. You don't come out humming like a Rogers & Hammerstein musical. Sondheim is darker - explores a lot of the human psyche.
Good show, no seat has a bad view, worthy sound, and worth my twenty dollars!
Check out local talent in your area. These folks are working hard for your entertainment
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke - Vincent Van Gogh
Do you feel this as a writer/artist?
Thinking too much on a Wednesday
Do you feel this as a writer/artist?
Thinking too much on a Wednesday
Monday, March 19, 2018
So, I've been digging in the the archives - not a lot of history pictures, but this is fun for a Monday moment. What's funny is my dad has shrunk and lost hair, but his face has not changed. He truly looks sorta the same at 86 and still attempts dapper. Fashion pride - it does kill him to not wear fitted slacks and decent shoes these days.
Let's all start the week with some pride - accessorize in some way...or slap on some decent shoes!
Friday, March 16, 2018
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly is another winner in his long line of Harry Bosch novels. You just can’t go wrong with this author’s character, plot, and writing. He has just the right twists and turns to lead to a satisfying ending. Harry has his flaws, but he also cares so much about detective work. He’s retired, but still helping independently part-time. His intensity, thought process, and persistence are what make up a great detective. You want him on your side.
Two pharmacists were murdered in a robbery. Sifting through clues leads Bosch into “the dangerous world of prescription drug abuse.” Undercover work proves eye opening and dangerous for Harry.
Meanwhile, an old case haunts him – “a killer on death row claims Harry framed him”.
Cover blurb – the Two cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way, Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.
Two Kinds of Truth is fast paced and true to form. Once again a very satisfying read from Michael Connelly.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
I had mixed emotions going into A Wrinkle in Time. I’d read the book by Madeleine L’Engle and really liked it (read as a girl and recently with an adult perspective – it is a classic for a reason). I had also read so-so reviews, but the previews, to me, looked promising. Drum roll results – I give it a B-/ C+. I believe Ava DuVernay, the director, had grandiose plans and she did okay. But there are a lot of buts – like at times the movie felt slow. I was ready to tesseract (space/time travel) into some new scenes. I’m not going to discuss story line – read the book to experience a lot of grand ideas about science, and girls, and confidence, and empowerment.
I will say that Storm Reid, our heroine Meg, is quite good. I look forward to seeing her in more projects. She seemed “real”. As for the fairy godmothers of sorts – Reese Witherspoon was annoying, Mindy Kaling did not have much to do, and Oprah played Oprah. Her Mrs. Which is supposed to make pronouncements and help Meg see her strengths, etc. I was very conscious that it was Oprah on the screen doing her Oprah thing well, and when was Dr. Phil going to show up? That’s a problem. The younger brilliant brother, Charles Wallace (Derie McCabe) was too winsome and precocious. I kept thinking of the kid who plays Young Sheldon on television and I felt he would have been better in the role. See, I had time to think about this random stuff while watching the movie.
But then some of the stuff would work, and I was certainly rooting for Meg to find her Dad (Chris Pine), to get confidence in herself, to realize that everyone has issues (even the mean girls in school), and to get out of her rut. I was happy with the final results and a lot of the special effects were cool. For my matinee dollars, I was entertained. However, I think this is a movie many will be happy to snooze through on Netflix on a Saturday night. Your own microwave popcorn is cheaper than the theater. So, I’ve saved you some dollars. Use them to buy the book and read it!! That’s the Wrinkle in Time to explore.
Monday, March 12, 2018
These pics were probably late 1970s, early 80s
Tuesday is my aunt's birthday - 92. She's sharp and clever as ever. Had to move out of her home, but still darn independent at the senior living facility.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Janice!
Friday, March 9, 2018
For Valentine's I adopted a penguin in Ray's name. Isn't he cute? The Fort Worth Zoo has a nifty program - for a very reasonable fee, you adopt a penguin. In return, you get a stuffed penguin doll, a certificate, and a really nice picture. See below
Meanwhile, adoption is the way to go to support your local zoo. Check it out and be a part of your community. Zoos work hard to help wild life, do research, and save animals on this planet.
Happy Friday and weekend......I swear I'll type those book reviews!
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Monday, March 5, 2018
But first, back up to Friday - glorious day. Worked hard and we all got early dismissal - "just because it's too pretty out there". I came home and our new diving board had been installed. The pool project is complete. New stone coping, new plaster, new board. Now we need some warmer weather. It was darn pretty out, but I'm not a polar bear swimmer. Instead I raked gobs of leaves - our live oak is shedding its winter coat and green is popping out all over.
So, guess I'm good for another twenty years (rather lazy, not big on tons of changes here)
Clear blue water under the diving board, blue exotic sea on the wall........I"m not feeling blue. I'm spring energized. Happy start to the week.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Here's one of my long gone Nana and Pop-Pop, my maternal grandparents - Elmer and Clarissa Shutters. Originally poor farmers from Indiana. I believe my grandmother did graduate from high school. He might have made it through eighth grade. Just solid, down home folks who worked hard, moved to PA, made a living, raised four kids - Lee, Jane, Juanita (my mom), and Richard - and were awesome grandparents.
My memory is him holding my hand as I skipped down the sidewalk. He ambled along and wore suspenders. She wore a house dress with an apron. And there was always candy in a bowl, that grubby little fingers could choose (even between meals!)
I hope you have some hazy good memories of grandparents.
TGIF and enjoy your weekend.