Friday, March 29, 2019

Book Review - The Point of it All

The Point of It All  (A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors) by Charles Krauthammer and edited by son Daniel is a collection of essays written by a legendary writer and thinker. Krauthammer passed in June 2018, but his words live on.  Cover blurb – Spanning the personal, the political, and the philosophical, it includes never-before-published speeches and a major new essay about the effect of today’s populist movements on the future of global democracy.

Charles Krauthammer writes about statecraft, foreign policy, and reflects on baseball, spaceflight, and medical ethics.  His writings are challenging in that he does make one think. However, his writings are also clear and insightful – not gobbledygook just to write “fancy”.  While I do not agree on all of his opinions, I appreciate his rationale and thought process. It comes from a great appreciation for history, knowledge, and experience in the political feature writing arena.

Cover blurb – The Point of It All is a timely demonstration of what it means to cut through the noise of petty politics with clarity, integrity, and intellectual fortitude.

In all of the noise and hubbub in the news and social media, Krauthammer brings reason and reassurance for the Constitution – the foundation of these United States of America. He frankly gives an argument for the checks and balances system working out even in these crazy times. The man left a legacy of coherent writings. He and his son worked together and the son finished the project. Daniel Krauthammer’s eulogy for his father is published in this book and it strikes a chord for the man – a writer, husband, father, and thinker.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Take Flight

A Sunday dawned lovely. We did a ton of chores on Saturday. It was time to have an adventure.
Ray chose the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison TX.  50,00 square feet of hangars were filled with aviation history. Sopwith Camel - yep. P-51 Mustang, Fokkers, Spitfires, and more.

I had Ray pose in front of a Bell helicopter since Kevin works for Bell. 

We enjoyed walking around the spaces and appreciating the zoom power.  Take a Sunday drive and enjoy a jaunt in your own backyard (i.e. within an hour away).

Monday, March 25, 2019

Book Review - In Pieces by Sally Field

You like her, you really like her.  But she didn’t always like herself.  Sally Field’s memoir In Pieces shows a woman with a troubled childhood, problematic relationships as an adult, and plenty of confusion and lack of confidence. It took her over seven years to write this memoir, to pull the puzzle pieces together, face some demons, and find peace. It’s well written and interesting.

The girl we met as Gidget, who became the Flying Nun, hated these roles. Her need to get validation was rejected over and over again. Not pretty enough, not fitting the Hollywood mold. It’s  a tough business. Her time with the Actor’s Studio proved enlightening. She could explore more, seek help, and make connections. Meanwhile, a rocky marriage and two young boys, kept her grounded in reality. She was the breadwinner. It was a lot of pressure when she wasn’t getting auditions or jobs. It seemed directors didn’t want to take a chance on the former Flying Nun, like she was a joke.

Finally – the breakthrough of Sybil.  The part brought much of her own issues to the surface. She gave her heart and soul  to the despair of a woman with multiple personalities. Working with Joanne Woodward gave her strength and she won an Emmy for her portrayal.  Meanwhile, she had filmed Smokey and the Bandit and was paired with Burt Reynolds. Her trajectory into the limelight soared. But Burt had his issues and this was another unhealthy relationship. Again, she segmented her life – trying to be a mother, be an actress, and be subordinate to a strong personality. Finally, she broke free.

Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln demonstrated the growing range of this tough little cookie. She enjoyed success as the matriarch in Brothers and Sisters. Now in her seventies, she’s happily married. Proud of her boys – now young men – she can reflect on the life her path took. She can forgive her mother – a powerful cord through the book. Her life In Pieces has pulled together and Sally Field is still exploring. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

World Poetry Day a Day Late

 Thursday was World Poetry today.  But what the heck, I'll make it Friday. Just a day late. Maybe I was too busy writing some poems

or gazing at the sky

or watching the return of 

the ducks

returned to hang poolside
as they flew overhead did they notice
weeds in our yard, leaves in the pool
wish we'd clean up more?
non-judgmental, they glide under
diving board overhang, content quacks
settle in sun, afternoon snooze
raise flag for cabana service
to no avail, one last dip
before takeoff, emerald head
glints in cloudless sky

by Joanne Faries

Happy Friday and Weekend and Poetry 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - Shadow play

Wednesday...whew...waiting for the weekend

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New Zealand

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern says, ""It's clear now that this can only be described as a terrorist attack. These are people I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and, in fact, have no place in the world."

 "My whole reason for getting into politics was because I had this strong duty to care for other people." 

Ray and I visited New Zealand - such a lovely country and people. 
The whole country looked like a set from Lord of the Rings - no CGI needed for that filming by Peter Jackson. It was beautiful. And now sadness. A ridiculous attack upon innocent people. 

This makes me very sad.  I just don't understand such hatred for no reason. 
At least no reason that I can comprehend. 


Big sigh!

No words. No poetry. 

Just NO.   There has to be a NO. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Freedom

It's Friday.   Stand out from the crowd today and be flexible

(Had some dental work yesterday and never did write my book review I was planning to post. So here's some, filler)

Happy St.Patrick's Day Weekend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday Wonder

 Enjoyed an exhibit at the Meadows Museum on the SMU campus in Dallas.  It's a lovely museum that emphasizes Spanish artists.  The current exhibit is Fortuny - Friends and Followers

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838 - 1874) was popular in the proto-Impressionist style. He had a large following and hung with other artists in Europe and the United States. This exhibit features his work as well pieces from William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, James Tissot, and more. The painting were excellent, and it's worth pondering what more Fortuny could have done if he hadn't died from malaria at age 36.

All of these were influenced in the style of Fortuny who said, "I can paint for myself, to my taste, and whatever blessed thing I choose. "   1874

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday Marvel

Captain Marvel is marvelous. Brie Larson is marvelous. This is a very fun movie in the whole Marvel universe. It does great back story, pulls in lots of little things for the future, demonstrates some serious woman power, and pretty much kicks butt.  We shall see if Alex Cavanaugh agrees. We tend to give reviews around the same time and I know he was excited for this film.  It totally exceeded my expectations. I was not thrilled by previews, but I like Brie as an actress. She did not let me down.

I will not go into a whole plot line. You would need a power point presentation at this juncture to describe Marvel World.  Let's just say that we do see a CGI young version of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury back when he had two functioning eyes and we see why he ultimately needed a patch. Also Clark Gregg as Colson and how he and Fury worked together. There's a whole Agents of Shield connection.

Ben Mendelsohn is quite good as a Skrull - shape shifting character. Is he good or bad? I wasn't sure at first which way this would go. Also, Annette Bening as Dr. Lawson - WTF - what's the connection?  And the cat Goose? 

So many questions. Go see Captain Marvel for answers. You will not be disappointed as this movie kicks off our spring season. It's been a dry spell. Time for some entertainment on the Big Big screen.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday First

Clockwatcher Moments

chestnut haired woman arrived early, but not first
first was Armani power suit dark haired woman
vice president wanna be lived for meetings and donuts.

Always first
always chocolate iced, always chair left of the speaker
silver haired man noted room reserved for two hours

one hundred twenty minutes
seven thousand two hundred seconds
sonorous lecture, pie charts and power point

managers mingled, muted chatter, hushed laughter
surreptitious text, each moment ticked on armitron to rolex wristwear
legs crossed, uncrossed, crossed again

chair swivel, stifled sneeze, hand raised
asked and answered, frowns, grins, pens scratched notes
pertinent or not, doodles and grocery lists

blank stares while reliving a morning argument, choosing dinner menu,
dreaming of vacation, or composing a love letter
spirited debate, deflated ego

meeting adjourned

chestnut haired woman confers with silver haired man
strolled out door immersed in conversation
Armani power suit dark haired woman turned off lights

always last

by Joanne Faries

Not me - I'm first out the door in my sneakers.   Happy Friday everyone. 
Happy International Women's Day

Enjoy your weekend

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - Almost

this is called Rush Hour.   You can tell it's "old" - nobody is looking at a cell phone
just a cool sculpture at the Nasher in Dallas
Me - ready for Dallas Stars ice hockey.  I'm wearing Ray's retro shirt from Daryl me, it's old.  But he was a damn good skater/fighter/etc.  The Stars were a bit lackluster for the game we saw.

And finally - on Netflix - watch  Period. End of Sentence.  It is a 30 minute short documentary that won the Oscar.  Trust's very thought provoking.

And on National Geographic channel - watch Free Solo - the Oscar winning long documentary feature. Holy Cow.  I hope you have a big screen TV to appreciate El Capitan in Yosemite, and the fact that this young fellow climbed it WITHOUT a rope.  OMG

That's it for Wednesday - Ash Wednesday.  What are you giving up? 
Me - nothing........I'm no saint.  I'm giving up on this week and waiting for the weekend!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Featured Nasher Artist - Sterling Ruby

 The Pot is Hot (2018) by Sterling Ruby is larger than it looks in this picture. It was cool to see in person last Sunday when Ray and I explored the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

This young artist is considered cutting edge exploring ceramics and pouring urethane.  He had a lot of minimalist structures combining graffiti and text. I won't pretend to know what he was expressing.  I thought quite a few pieces were interesting and I really wanted to touch them. (That is a no-no in museum etiquette)
Some of the ripple effect, shiny bits, and drips just glistened.  When you discuss modern art, I believe it is mandatory to use the word juxtaposition.  And there you go.

Ray put up with this part of our adventure day. He was not thrilled with the pieces and found quite a few rather silly. I agree on some of the fabric pieces and the mobile, but I liked the poured pieces - the colors and textures.  One called the Time Machine amused me. 

It's good to check out new stuff and then play judge and jury. There's something for everyone.
It's ART.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Book Review - My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg

My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg is a collection of his essays (predominately featured in Southern Living Magazine) that are homespun, funny, poignant, and will strike a chord on all fronts.
He’s a native of  Alabama and his regional spin is often a salute to his mother. Of course he’s obsessed with football, bass fishing, mayonnaise, gospel music, and storytelling. He learned to tell stories by sitting on many a front porch.

This book is easy to dip in and out of, fresh as a summer breeze after a rain. I laughed out loud at times, and chuckled throughout reading it. His turn of phrase is a drawl in the best way.
Here are some of the essay titles – For a Vegetable- I’ll Have White Gravy,  Requiem for a Fish Sandwich, Traveling Food,  Your First Oyster, Bad Slaw, Happy As a Pig, The Fine Art of Piddling, and When Fireworks Go South.

From the introduction, as he was trying to be writer in Manhattan: There was no room or time to mosey, to dawdle. No one came here to piddle or loaf. Even the drunks, it seemed, had somewhere to be. But what I would have given, right then, for one more dinner on the ground, fried chicken sweating in Tupperware, deviled eggs under wax paper, and pineapple pudding under glass.

If nothing else, this book will make you hungry. His descriptions of meats frying – that sizzle of pure grease, desserts with whipped cream dolloped on top, and heck yeah, that extra slice of pie.
Go on a stroll with Rick Bragg – join him in My Southern Journey. Sit on a patio or front porch with a big glass of lemonade and while away the afternoon with this darn good book.