She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
You say you want a revolution?
Baby You can Drive My Car
Let It Be
Twist and Shout
and so much more.
The Fort Worth Symphony nailed it this past Sunday. It's not just four lads with guitars and a drum set. The Beatles truly had some amazing orchestral songs and the symphony was on full display. Along with a band and excellent vocalists, they kept us singing along with over thirty songs from the Beatles brilliance. And as a bonus, stunning video and animation. Pictures from the Abbey Road archives gave us a flashback to those young lads from Liverpool who changed our world.
Truly - a Revolution experience. Shout out to Linda, Tom, and Julie - we had a fun lunch and then some culture. A rave review afternoon.
You don't have to reach for the stars, to be among them
Today, a good friend I've known since high school, Terri Leonard Cook, is being put to rest. She passed away Saturday morning after a long kidney battle. She is pictured top right when the PA gals got together in 2004.
Terri was incredibly brave through two kidney transplants, tons of dialysis, and plenty of other health struggles in between. Through it all, she enjoyed her family, grandkids, and friends. Thoughtful, kind, artistic, funny - Terri loved Elton John music, Harry Potter, and books.
She will be missed and remembered. I'm fortunate I knew her as a friend.
Wednesday wisdom - don't take your health for granted. Be a good friend. And listen to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road....
Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatcha gonna do....
They're back - older, wiser, and one wants to retire. Mike (Will Smith) is still a bachelor, working old school, driving fast, and not wanting things to change. Marcus (Martin Lawrence) is ready to retire, he's got a new grandson, and is tired. He's made it fairly safely through his twenty five years - he's done.
But, there's some revenge kills happening and Mike's on the list. The young crew, AMMO, a special police division, are researching cartel action, trying to piece it together. Mike and Marcus have that banter we love and they are in for this last ride together. Hope it's not to die together.
Bad Boys for Life is a mix of crazy blow 'em up, serious friendship, cop history, old school techniques versus new age technology - all against the backdrop of Miami - blue water, fast cars, bikinis, and glitz.
Ray and I enjoyed this piece of fluff. Plenty of funny lines about old age (we're talking 50s here, but in cop life that's a long time). Smith and Lawrence have great comic timing and you can tell they had fun making this film. Bad Boys for Life - hug it out. Then change that grand baby's diaper.
I was extremely excited when I bought this book. I loved the Little House series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I was interested in reading about her life. Well, be careful what you wish for. Caroline Fraser has gone above and beyond in her research and detailed writing of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life. Prairie Fires is a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of non-fiction. It is beyond detailed and frankly, for me, it got tediously boring. I think the reference notes have reference notes. This is my problem. I do not fault the author - she absolutely achieved her mission. She covered grandparents, parents, droughts, grasshopper, deaths, and more in extreme detail. Her epic tale of Wilder's life truly encompasses an amazing story of survival. It spans Indian Wars to Dust Bowl.
I guess I wanted Laura-lite. I wanted to zoom to her writing career. Truly her life of struggle, rootlessness, and poverty made Laura Ingalls Wilder the writer and achiever she was late in life. She recast her hardscrabble life into a childhood series on homesteading. I skimmed a lot in the book and it was interesting, but also a bit of a slog.
Congrats to the author for her Pulitzer and for her hard work. She truly revealed a complex Wilder life in Prairie Fires. I admit - I just wanted to roast marshmallows for a few hours.
Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer hit me with a very positive vibe. I am someone who's kept longtime friends (junior high, high school, and college. I even have a friend from grade school days). I value friends and I work at keeping friends. This book's research and reporting demonstrates the power I have - a solid foundation of friendship.
Back cover blurb - A beautiful portrait of how modern female friendship has evolved to be a positive force that is making women stronger than ever - You will find something in this book that will make you want to text your own person and tell her how much she means to you.
I met the author's parents at a business Christmas dinner. Lovely people and you could tell how proud they are of their journalist daughter. The book idea piqued my interest and so I got it. They had reason to be proud. This is a very hands-on friendly book with plenty of examples from Schaefer's own life and friendship journey. She's in a competitive field, but learned she needed solid friendships to keep her grounded in this crazy world.
cover blurb - Text Me When You Get Home is a validation. A thoughtful heart-soaring deeply reported look at how women are taking a stand for their friendships and not letting go.
I'll give a shout out to my valued friends - Joan, Helen, Trish, Terri, Lisa, Mary Ellen, Debbie, Linda T, Linda H, Julie, Trish V. I am very lucky!
When we’re together
the energy and adoration are striking. But underneath that, there’s a subtler
sense that we’re intertwined, knit together. My friends inspire me to pull
myself together, to shake off whatever might be trying to rattle me that day,
or to own what I’ve done well. Just being around them is often all the propping
that I need.
This quote is from Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer page 179 and it applies to my long time friends back in PA. I've know some since junior high, others high school, and three from college days.
1917, a movie directed by Sam Mendes is
absolutely superb. It’s WWI and there appears to be a retreat by the German
forces in a no-man’s land in France. But no – it’s a trap, and two messengers
are sent to warn a British commander to not attack. Don’t put sixteen hundred men into
a sure death. The key – one of the messengers, Blake, has an older brother in a
Just think, no cell phones, no fancy radars and instant
communications. Telephone lines were cut. In one long camera move, we follow
our lance corporals through mud, trenches, rats. It’s immersive and horrifying.
Dean Charles Chapman is Blake. George MacKay is Schofield, his buddy. Together
they are pushed to extremes – straight ahead, past the dead horses, watch for
the craters. It’s foggy and mucky and tension filled. Time is of the essence
and Mendes keeps the pace moving along with our heroes.
Do the lads make it in time to save their troops? I
won’t tell. You have to see it on the big screen, be under siege yourself from
the elements and from fear. Abandoned places…and then shots ring out.
Mendes said, “I wanted something that had the quality of a dream at times, but
had real-life stakes.” He succeeds, and so do these actors. War is hell.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz fills the
genre of Agatha Christie, et al. This book is really clever with lots of
twists and turns and whoa moments. I really enjoyed this read and kept turning
pages. And then I went, “What?” and had to keep reading. Forget
Ray, forget house cleaning, cooking, etc. – I had to finish this
book. That says a lot.
Alan Conway is a bestselling crime writer. He’s been a pain
in the butt for his editor, but Susan is willing to deal with his antics. He’s
been a proven winner. As she reads his latest Atticus Pund mystery, she’s
confident of the normal bodies, suspects, and red herrings. But…there’s another
story embedded – one of ambition, greed, jealousy, and murder at Pye
Hall. Alas, pages are missing. What’s the ending? But wait, Alan
Conway is dead – suicide or murder?
Susan Ryland’s self-investigation into her lead author’s possible murder proves intriguing – it leads into family issues, neighbor issues, too
many close encounters, and dead ends. What to make of the book vs. real
life? I can’t write more. I don’t want to give away anything.
Cover blurb – Masterful, clever, and ruthlessly
suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage crime
Trust me. You need this book. You will read and question
every clue, every path, and you’ll come away amazed at the finale. This
is an excellent story.
Here's a new segment I hope to make a "thing" for 2020. Some Wednesday wisdom. A quote, a thought, something useful to make us think for the better. (Plus, I should have written a book review, but I got lazy - Ray made really good enchiladas and I'm sleepy. I can't think and write - must go watch TV. So much for my resolution to watch less. Ha!)
So - from Gloria Steinem - The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! 2019
When people say to me, "What shall I tell my daughter?" I always say: The most important thing is to listen. This is how she learns she has something to say.
I am fortunate - my parents truly always listened. They did not have solutions every time, or they just made good suggestions. But they gave appropriate guidance. This is valuable in this day and age when kids/girls are bombarded by almost too much information.
Listen and give focused attention to what your daughter is saying. She will value your time and energy.
Bombshell, I think, is a must see movie. Based
on fact, it chronicles the downfall of Fox news titan Roger Ailes (played with
lecherous perfection by John Lithgow) after multiple accusations of sexual
harassment. Gretchen Carlson, former Fox and Friends co-host (Nicole
Kidman) got the ball rolling with a lawsuit and then felt shunned, twisting in
the wind, waiting for others to substantiate her claim. Headliner Megyn Kelly
(Charlize Theron) grapples with her experiences, her life, her power, and what
it could mean to come forward also. And finally, Margot Robbie is Kayla, a
composite character. She is a compilation of many women’s stories. She’s the
young foot soldier determined to make it big, to help shape America’s moral
fabric. As she climbs the ladder, she begins to question what it really
takes – must she relinquish dignity, truly climb on that casting couch.
Carlson basically was the forerunner of the Me-Too movement.
Her bravery got women talking (together and to the people who count, the ones
who can fire a man with such hubris to think that his word and power will not
be questioned). The Fox news building was abuzz with people taking sides, trash
talking, starting rumors, etc. Meanwhile, Megyn Kelly was walking a fine line.
Charlize Theron is uncanny in her portrayal of Kelly. She shows how victims
don’t always recognize the insidiousness of sexual harassment, and that an
unspoken culture of silence can help perpetuate it. (EW Jan 2020)
When Megyn Kelly made her decision to accuse Ailes, the Fox
owners – the Murdochs – recognized that this was huge, it was time for
Ailes to go. This was not a situation that could just be shoved into a corner.
Women were talking and demanding action and respect.
Bombshell handles the whole story in a very
classy manner. This isn’t strident. The movie shows the politics of power, the
actions of men and women, the culture of men and women in the workplace. The
actresses are excellent at portraying the delicate matter of negotiating the
workplace, of trying to be successful while keeping ones dignity. I was
impressed and you’ll be transfixed by Theron, worthy of Oscar buzz. Kudos all
Director Greta Gerwig brings Little Women to
life on the big screen with a blaze of ferocious purpose, urgent passion,
boisterous humor, and the nourishing essence of family life in good and bad
times. (WSJ 12/24/19). This classic is splendid and the performances
are so rich. Saoirse Ronan embodies Jo March with her soul. Emma Watson is Meg,
Florence Pugh is “bratty” but sympathetic Amy, and Eliza Scanlen is dear doomed
Beth. Each of these actresses are superb – so much life and sisterly love and
Timothee Chalamet is the neighbor lad Laurie who loves Jo,
but doesn’t realize how doomed is their relationship. Jo’s energy and
determination to be a writer causes her anger at being a female in this day and
age (1860s). “ I can’t get over my disappointment at being a girl.”
Laura Dern’s Marmee is perfect as she says, “I’m angry
nearly every day of my life.” But she leads by example in caring for her family
while Mr. March is at war. Mr. Lawrence (Chris Cooper) is solid as the rich
neighbor who is drawn to the female energy and glad to help in so many ways.
And Meryl Streep plays Aunt March – the crusty rich aunt who expects the girls
to fawn over her. Meryl is kept in check and Greta uses her wisely.
The movie moves back and forward in time. Once you get in
the flow, the structure works well. It gives a good picture of the March
sisters – young and putting on plays vs grown and navigating adulthood, Beth’s
illness (bring tissues), an artistic writing career. Jo March is the central
figure of Little Women - she is a wonder woman for the
time. Author Louisa May Alcott’s book is meaningful today and this movie is
richly well done. I loved it.
I wish good health and peace to my fellow bloggers.
Wisdom is understanding how eternal truth can be applied to life The growth and development of the soul is more important than power and glory - Henri Amiel
What a great treasure can be hidden in a small selected library. A company of the wisest and the most deserving people from all the civilized countries of the world, for thousands of years, can make the results of their studies and their wisdom available to us. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.