Friday, September 28, 2018

Movie Review - The Wife

The Wife is a solid flick, maybe a tad predictable. BUT.  And this is a big BUT …watching Glenn Close is a master class in acting. She is compelling even when silent. Her eyes and face must be watched. Let Oscar races begin for fall.

Jonathan Pryce plays Joe, the author, awaiting a phone call from Sweden. Sure, enough he wins the Nobel Prize for Literature and who’s by his side? Joan (Glenn Close), the wife – ever supportive and caring through the years. So, the trek to Stockholm brings out family dynamics between Joe, his son, and Joan. Joe is vain, insecure, and has failing health. Joan is classy, smart, and stands in the corner watching the whole schmooze. We see flashbacks to when she met Joe at Smith College in 1958. She’s the talented student in literature. He’s the young, hot professor in a “bad” marriage. She marries, they have kids, he’s the talented author.

Oh, but there’s more to that story. We gain insight as Christian Slater (a reporter, biographer) asks probing questions about Joe and Joan. He has theories about the body of work and success of Joe. You can see where this is all headed, but it’s worth the 100 minute journey just to watch Glenn Close. Good lines, good pauses, blue eyes that can flash anger, signal disappointment, smile, and show fierce determination. The Wife, the wife – a woman to be reckoned with, not to be taken lightly.  Tight film and excellent performances. As an author/writer, I enjoyed the literature aspect of this movie.
Solid B for bravo acting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday Wows

 fave thing on the Cozumel cruise - the treat that greets us when we come to our room
 very clever towel art
 our room steward on the Carnival Valor was awesome
 a morning poolside with a lot of towel creatures
 a close up

Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Review - Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Weber

Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Weber is part one of his memoir.  Oh it’s a bit much. The man goes into far too much detail of his childhood, and he does blather a bit. BUT, this book is immensely skim worthy. He’s chatty in the humorous British way – he can be snarky and you, the reader, do feel like you are at tea or perhaps a bar and he’s regaling you with stories. So, it’s a fun book if you are interested in all things Weber and theater.

His behind the scenes look at the London stage and Broadway is fascinating. The amount of work involved in putting on a show is amazing. And certainly , his successes are not to be sneered at, nor does he shy away from the failures in his book. He dishes on various people and his collaborations with deep talent – Tim Rice, Robert Stigwood, Harold Prince, Cameron McIntosh, and Trevor Nunn. There are plenty of details on his first hit – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the fabulous Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, the groundbreaking Cats, and he ends this book with the history dazzling Phantom of the Opera.

He’s obviously a brilliantly talented man with interests in architecture and music. His witty anecdotes of numerous celebrities  - Sarah Brightman, Judi Dench, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Michael Crawford, Betty Buckley, and more will keep you turning pages. There’s a lot to be learned and shared in Unmasked.  If you like theater, this is a book for you. If you’ve seen Phantom more than once…this book is for you. If you are a T.S Elliott Cats fan….well, read for the Memory….like I said, you can skim and hum and chuckle along.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review - Calypso by David Sedaris

David Sedaris is one of my favorite writers and his latest book, Calypso, does not disappoint. He’s hilarious. His observations on people and life can be a tad rude, and yet spot on.  From the cover blurb – This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk, and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’ darkest and warmest book yet – it is comedy born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

His twist of phrase, his timing, and his family dynamics will keep you turning the pages. In each essay, you feel like he’s just hanging out telling stories. I’ve been to one of his author talks and that’s worth the price of admission in itself. He’s quirky and knows it and can laugh at himself.

He’s bought a beach house and family can gather. Oh, the stories there…and his thoughts too -
p.13  When visitors leave, I feel like an actor watching the audience file out of the theater, and it was no different with my sisters.  The show over, Hugh and I returned to lesser versions of ourselves.

p.67 I’m not sure how it is in small families, but in large ones relationships tend to shift over time. You might be best friends with one brother or sister, then two years later, it might be someone else. It doesn’t mean you’ve fallen out….just that you’ve merged into someone else’s lane. The beauty of it is that it’s always changing.

p.91  Memory aside, the negative just makes for a better story: the plane was delayed, an infection set in, outlaws arrived.  Happiness is harder to put into words.

Well I can state that David Sedaris makes me happy. His writing is just different in a good way. He’s funny and also can be poignant, then hit a snarky note that’s perfect.
Catch that Calypso beat.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wednesday Wows

 Ray's company Knight Electronics treated the company to a cruise from Galveston TX to Cozumel Mexico. Very generous.   Here we are on our beach day at a nice little private resort beach
 Ray had his margaritas. I'm a Corona gal.  Tasted good after a swim, snorkel, and accompanied by chips, queso, and fajitas. Yum!
 Later, sunset Saturday night
 Sunrise Monday morning
back at the beach - a little Day of the Dead friends saying Adios

Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Review - The Book of Polly

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall is a hoot.  This book has Southern flair, a dynamo heroine, and a unique family.   I chuckled out loud multiple times, and was also surprised at very simple twists and turns.  I think the cover blurb gives you the full flair and gist of the book:

Ten year-old Willow Haven is obsessed with the fear that her mother, Polly, will die. Polly – a take-no-prisoners Southerner who lives to drink margaritas and antagonize the neighbors in their small Texas town – was in her late fifties when Willow was born. Willow knows she’s here by accident, and she is desperate for clues about all that preceded her, especially Polly’s secret past.  The Book of Polly is a hilarious and bittersweet story about the grip of love in a truly quirky family – it’s a page turning battle royale…where the weapon of choice is love.

A friend lent me this book. I recommend you look for it in your library or, what the heck, find it on Amazon. It’s got heart and humor – a fun summer read.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Soar with Superman at the Symphony

Went to the nicest show last Saturday. The Fort Worth Symphony presented an abbreviated version of their regular program at 11 am. As part of the Family series, it was the Superhero, Juniors. Kids could wear their costumes - lots of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. ( I wore my Underdog T-shirt. Yeah, I'm that old). The show was only 45 minutes - just right for ages 4 to teen. Ticket prices were $15.00.!

The place was packed. This was a bargain and so entertaining. The conductor gave great intros to the tunes. He had folks clap who were first time symphony goers  - there were a lot. It was an excellent way to let folks see and hear a symphony in a relaxed environment. And frankly, the place stayed quiet. You could hear some kid voices and questions, but in their "indoor" voices.

The themes soared - Captain America, Avengers, Wonder Woman, a step back to Lone Ranger, Batman, and I enjoyed the Incredibles music. And of course the finale was Hans Zimmer's creation Man of Steel....Superman.

Look in your own backyard - the arts are not unobtainable. And I had to smile - two little boys behind me kept asking their dad before the show began, "Is this only music?  Really...and we have to sit still? No videos?"   They did sit still and they did enjoy the "only music".

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Movie Review Madness - Searching

Searching is quite different in a good way. We first meet the Kim family via pictures, videos, their phone interaction. We see the good times and sadly the bad, as the mother gets reminders for doctor appointments, and then is in the hospital, and then she’s gone. From there the movie depicts life in texts with the dad played by John Cho and his daughter Margot, a high school student. Only child, pianist, gets decent grades. The interaction via facetime and texts seem “normal”.  That is until, Margot doesn’t respond. And then she’s not home. And very quickly Dad is worried. He phones the police, alerts are put out, and the detective (played by Debra Messing) suggests he dig deeper into  her phone and laptop. Find friends, get the scoop.

Keep in mind, this movie is playing out with us seeing computer/phone/facetime/facebook/ etc.responses. Sounds weird, but it works. And as he digs he questions if he even knows his daughter. I won’t give away any more, but of course there is banking, money flow. There’s a lot of questions for boys and girls alike – who knew Margot? There’s questions on data manipulation and friendships made on the internet – what’s real or not?

Searching has a ton of twists and turns and the suspense builds with each text, each new finding, each new avenue on the internet. John Cho is excellent as the very worried father. You want him to keep digging, don’t give up, and trust me you’ll be jumping to conclusions yourself. Who did it? Where is Margot?  I suggest you seek out a theater and find out.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Moments Part 2

 More from a Sunday stroll at the arboretum in August

 pure poetry in the Poetry Garden
 C'mon everybody, be free
Be a whirlwind today!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dedicated to Teachers

By now, everyone should be back to school, back in the trenches, back in fall work mode.
Vacation is over. Beach towels are washed and put in the cupboard.

Pencils sharpened, new school shoes still unscuffed, peanut butter sandwiches cut in quarters taste yummy.

Good luck to all the teachers out there. Despite the administration b.s., you hang in with lesson plans, tolerance, and humor. You care. And you try.  And you try to make the kids care.

Teaching is a tough profession.  I liked this picture above that I nabbed off Facebook.

I wish for a calm 2018-2019 school year for all.

Teach in/and Peace

The trouble with every one of us is that we don't think enough...knowledge is the result of thought - 
    Thomas J. Watson Sr. - Former CEO of IBM

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

I am excited to be a part of 

Where in the World Blogfest

thanks to an invite by Sherry Ellis 

Prompt: If you could go through the Earth and end up in another country, where would you go?

Australia (again)
 Lovely country, wonderful people, and so much variety. I need more time in Sydney, Melbourne, and I want to visit the west coast. G'day mate)

but that's just me. Let's see what happens with:

Page Count: 93 
Digital Price: 3.99 
Print Price: 7.95


BLURB: Squirt doesn’t believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi’an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can’t go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don’t know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant.

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

About the Author: Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Author Links:

Sounds like quite an adventure for kids to enjoy. Sherry's writing brightens a day.
Get your copy now!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy Anniversary Ray

Happy 29th Anniversary, Ray.   
Love of my life
We have so much fun with more to come

Enjoy your dove hunt weekend.
We can celebrate any day of the year, and we do!

September 1, 1989 - September 1, 2018
Dang, that's a long time