Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review - Run by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett's writing is so smooth and her characters are interesting.  I picked up Run (copyright 2007) at our local Half-priced book store. I was surprised to learn that I had missed reading one of her books.

A former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle, raised his boys Tip and Teddy alone but with dreams of success. He's encouraged them to pursue politics, but the now graduate school students have no thirst for such power.

One lives for fish - specializing in those studies. The other drifts more in philosophy. They attend a lecture with their father on a very snowy evening and get into an argument. Inadvertently, an accident occurs that involves a stranger and her daughter, and all of their lives become entangled.

Race, class, and family are all themes in Run.  Are we running away or running toward each other?
Ann Patchett weaves quite a story and keeps the reader on pace to the conclusion.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Review - Inadvertent by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Inadvertent - Why I Write by Karl Ove Knausgaard is from a lecture he gave in 2017. It's been translated from the Norwegian, and gives fascinating insight into a unique artist. I've read two of his books so far -  Autumn and Winter and his writing is deep, edgy, and very personal.

It's one thing to know something, another to write about it

p. 51  in my heart of hearts I knew that I was neither a writer nor an artist, I knew I didn't have what it takes. That I kept on trying anyway at times filled me with burning shame and despair, because it was so obviously a lie I told myself to maintain my sense of self. 

p.60  on reading - all I wanted was to be in that other world, on the other side

p.81  This was writing. To lose sight of yourself, and yet to use yourself, or that part of yourself that was beyond the control of your ego.

This short book is large in the sense of heart and wisdom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Underwater Wednesday

Over 3 inches last night, more rain headed this way all day. Splish-splash and pretend you're a duck.

Heard on the radio that a parking garage at Love Field Airport had a level submerged in water. Uh-oh for folks arriving back from a flight.

U = Underwater

That's how I'll feel today at work. UPS brought a lot of boxes yesterday that we unpacked. Today I begin sorting reports and typing results for tests.

Ugh if anything fails (including me)

Good luck with underwater Wednesday. Don't forget the umbrella.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Weekend and Peace

To me, Easter is a time of reflection, peace, and a welcoming of spring

Relax and enjoy your weekend - time outdoors, time with family, and yes - time with that chocolate Easter bunny.  Chomp those ears!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wildflower Wednesday

Last weekend - Ray and I headed to his aunt's in San Saba. On Friday, we had a jaunt to Fredericksburg.  Wildflowers galore - bluebonnets out the wazoo.  Thank you Lady Bird Johnson for your Texas beautification plan - the highways and byways were out of this world.

Monday, April 15, 2019

M = Morisot, Berthe

She was known throughout her life as a "woman artist". Nonetheless, Berthe Morisot ran with the big boys in the world of impressionism, garnered respect, and broke glass ceilings before such a term was used.

This exhibition of her work at the Dallas Museum of Art is very thorough and stunning in its presentation. The seventy two paintings are hung in themes - leisure and plenty, mothers with children, seascapes, and life in general. Her skill  is masterful. As a matter of fact,  her husband Eugene Manet (brother of  artist Eduoard Manet) gave up his artistic career to manage hers.

The colors, brushstrokes, and vision are apparent. I've been to the museum twice and appreciated these paintings. They are lovely.

Alas she died from pneumonia at the age of 54, but her work lives on and is getting greater appreciation by museums with retrospectives of her career.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Movie Review Madness - The Aftermath

The Aftermath is rather perfunctory in its portrayal of a loyal dutiful wife (Keira Knightley), an upright British colonel (Jason Clarke), and a German architect (Alexander Skarsgard). The colonel and his wife take over the architect’s huge home in post WWII Hamburg. The architect and his daughter along with a maid and cook are allowed to stay on and serve.   This is the aftermath of war. There is also sadness. We slowly find out that the couple’s young son died in the war from a house bombing. The architect’s wife died from a bombing. Bitterness reigns in a very tense household.

But there’s also a lustful undercurrent. Even as she resents the Germans, she also plays with fire in her unhappiness. Face it, Skarsgard is hot. Clarke is gone – off to work. Temptation reigns supreme.
Keira Knightley can act with her eyes. She’s soulful. She’s empathetic, sympathetic, and smoldering all in one glance. Oh, there’s trouble in a very cold forbidding atmosphere. Lust bubbles slowly.

All of the acting is good, and Knightley could do period pieces in her sleep, but she doesn’t. She keeps us interested in her character and adds layers as the movie moves along.  The Aftermath could have tightened things up a bit. I admit I checked my watch. Also, my friend I saw this with said there was way more to the story based on the book. The editors definitely slashed and made it a “love” story of sorts.

I liked the movie, BUT must give reservations. It’s slow. It’s got issues. It’s okay to wait and maybe catch it on a slow night when nothing else is on.  That’s just how some films go. But Knightley is a gem and I shall support her income.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

J is for Joanne

this is a self indulgent post.  I turned off comments. They are not necessary.

I also did not include Ray in my salute.  He's my better half. He outshines, out runs, out does me in every way - let's take him for granted in this post.

These are all re-run pics - me as a kid, me with my sister, me with my PA posse - representing junior high, high school, and college. These gals know me.

So - thanks for looking at this post.  J is for Joy, J is for Jabber, J is for Jam.  J = Joanne in all her crazy iterations, permutations, and laughter.  That's what I'd like you to take away - I love a good laugh.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

 History's Dark Fundamental Distance  2018   Jacob Hashimoto
 Some Lost Part of Delicate Fragrance  2011   Jacob Hashimoto
another work by Jacob Hashimoto

At the Crow Collection of Asian Art - a lovely museum in the Dallas Art District.

The delicate art created must have taken hours and hours of painstaking concentration.  I loved the sense of peace the pieces brought to the room.

I admire this artist's vision

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hamilton is the H beyond H

Before the show even won Tony awards, I bought the soundtrack to Hamilton, the Broadway musical sensation. I listened to the soundtrack and was wowed by the story, music, score, variety, and genius of Lin Manuel-Miranda.

I vowed that somehow I would see it when it came to Dallas.  Oh yeah - I won the lottery, literally. I was able to enter the ticket lottery and the day came and Ray was off work and could sign on and get us tickets.  Golden!!!

and then I waited and waited and finally April 4 arrived. We got to Fair Park Music Hall, sat in our seats, and the soundtrack came alive.  Amazing voices, sets, costumes, and production.  So clever, so superb - mix of hip-hop, rap, show tunes, current and past reference. Hamilton is the real deal!!

I loved it and the touring production was excellent.  Alexander Hamilton - young scrappy and hungry, just like his country.  Ready to give it his shot.  Rise up. And Eliza by his side......putting up with his crap.  The Founding Fathers - feuding for a new nation.   King George - ready to take us "back" and unbelieving that this rabble wants to leave and survive on their own.

The great experiment that is America has a lot to thank his obedient servant - A. Ham and his brilliant mind and writings like he was running out of time.

And Aaron Burr - the damn fool that shot him.  (Great singer - the actor was excellent)

If Hamilton comes to your it, get in a lottery, buy tickets, be amazed at musical magic.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Movie Review - Gloria Bell

G = Gloria Bell.    Julianne Moore is an excellent actress and I enjoyed her performance in this movie. But I cannot recommend Gloria Bell.  It was a bit plodding and boring. I liked her as an actress, but I did not care for the character. She was too needy, too much of a mess. Divorced, empty-nest, lots of issues. I found myself looking at my watch and that's sad for a movie that's only two hours.

I am saving you time and money and energy. I can appreciate Julianne Moore's talent. You can just take my word for it.   Deal?   Deal.

You are welcome.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

F = Flowers

F = Flowers.   This was cool at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Local florists designed arrangements as inspired by art work.  Other than the Turner, I did not take a photo of each pic.  But trust me, the works echoed the art.

Nifty perspective

Friday, April 5, 2019

Finally Friday

Finally Friday

No, I'm not giving up writing.  But at work, we are still using an ancient software program, and if there's a "change" on a spec, you have to use the typewriter to mark an asterix above the issue. I know this sounds ridiculous and weird and convoluted. It is.  We are trying to get out of 1980 and into the 21st century.

Meanwhile, this typewriter officially died. So the guys debated and decided to hang it from their chin up bar for awhile.  Just cuz.  They said I could beat it like a pinata.

Now if only the "spare" typewriter would die too.  Maybe that would increase the urgency for a new program.

Believe me - we are a very weird little company.  But hey, on Friday I can leave early - so I'm sticking around.

Have a great weekend.  This also counts as the Saturday "F".

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book Review - Little Bee by Chris Cleave

cover blurb - We don't want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless you need to know - this is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there...

Little Bee lives in Nigeria
Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke live in England with their son Charlie
Yvette is from Jamaica

Read Little Bee to find out how lives collide.

opening line - I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming

Little Bee, the girl, will warm your heart. Little Bee, the book, will tear your heart. Chris Cleave, the author, weaved quite a tale.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

B- Bench

Chill on the way cool BENCH

Yo - B

Monday, April 1, 2019

A - Anna Deveare Smith

Intense evening with Anna Deavere Smith last Tuesday evening. She was the final performer for the UTA Maverick Speaker series and gave quite a tour de force.  The woman is an actress, playwright, MacArthur Genius Fellow, and more. She's currently a professor at New York U Tisch School of Arts.

She's been traveling the country to record conversations. You name it, she's capturing it. She re-enacted two conversations that were rather intense.  One with opera singer Jessye Norman and one with Congressman John Lewis.  The subject of racism was the general theme and it was quite enlightening.  This is a subject that I obviously cannot even remotely pretend to understand. I've not experienced it or could come close to fathoming the depth that the subject goes. But what she acted on Tuesday night was bone chilling.

As usual , the speaker series makes one think.  Anna Deavere Smith was a class act all the way and she spoke about how she has to just appreciate herself, deal with the world, and seek positive solutions.

Another interesting event and one I shall ponder for awhile.

Cheers to all doing April's A to Z blog challenge.  I am not participating, but I'll chime in on certain letter days.  This is A!!!!