Monday, August 30, 2021

Movie Review Madness - Reminiscence

 Watched Reminiscence on HBO Max, not in a theater.  I paused it maybe three times to get a snack, take a break, check on Ray.  Home movie watching is silly - I am easily distracted.  If I had paid money and seen it in the theater I would have watched and enjoyed without getting up and wandering around.  And that's my plug for in-theater viewing. 

Anyway - I enjoyed this movie. It was clever enough and actually did keep my interest in the plot. 

It's Miami in the future and it's under water.  Daytime is too hot to do anything. Folks sleep, etc. Night is when folks come alive and the whole underbelly of life emerges.  Hugh Jackman (Nick) runs a business involving memories - you submerge in a water tank and a disc is played that relives your best moments in your memory.  That's what people are into now while their lives are moments of desperation. 

Hugh is also a detective along with Thandie Newton (great actress). They are trying  to solve a missing girl's case, a mobster involved situation, and Hugh's obsessed with Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). 

Lots of intrigue, mixed up crap, and I can't give more detail. Reminiscence was a good flick, thanks to Hugh and cast. It had me guessing and was interesting future concept.  Thumbs up with a B+. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Book Review - Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

 I wrote a month ago about a  virtual author talk with Cheryl Strayed. She is such a nice personality, writer, and person. I just finished her latest book collection Tiny Beautiful Things and it was an eye-opening look into the struggles of people. Her reflections and responses were thought-provoking. 

back cover blurb -   Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can't pay the bills.  And it can be great: you've had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar - the once anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed - is the person thousands turned to for advice. 

In these columns, Sugar answers with humor, insight, compassion, and honesty. She truly put a lot of thought into answering people's questions. She calls them Sweet Pea and you can feel a verbal hug attached.  Oh, she's tough with some folks - she just doesn't want them to continue a failure path. Or, in her words, you can feel her tears and heartbreak for some folks and their impossible tasks ahead. 

inside  cover quotes: 

We are here to build the house.    

Acceptance is a small quiet room

Be brave enough to break your own heart

The only way out of a hole is to climb out

Every last one of us can do better than give up

Common sense?  Sure.  But reassuring and interesting as a great read. Absolutely - I know I walked away from Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed a better person.   

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Book Review - Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

 Books set in WWII Germany tend to fascinate me. That whole time period and the challenges for folks are beyond my imagination.  This book, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, does an excellent job of going back and forth in time to study two women whose lives were greatly affected by the war. 

back blurb - For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer. Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the heartbreaking truth of her mother's life. 

The twists and turns in Those Who Save Us are profound.  Anna's strength and survival instincts are unearthly. She did anything and everything to keep her daughter safe and alive. And she kept her daughter's official paternity a secret - something that was tough to swallow but necessary in a crazy world gone mad. 

This was a solid read with strong characters and narrative. What can one endure to survive?

Monday, August 23, 2021

Movie Review Madness - RESPECT

 Aretha Franklin anointed Jennifer Hudson to play Ms. Franklin in her life movie. The late Aretha Franklin has to be singing in the rafters of heaven as she looks down on happy movie goers - delighted with the movie RESPECT. 

Jennifer Hudson can SING - blues, gospel, soul, pop. She hits the notes with all of the emotion needed for Respect,  Think, You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman), Amazing Grace, and more.  Jennifer Hudson can ACT. Her range covers the life force that is Aretha Franklin. 

The woman lived quite a life and the movie is very serious. Her forceful preacher father (Forest Whitaker) was a tough man to say no to. She was abused by a family friend, had kids at a very young age, married an abusive man (Marlon Wayans) who managed her. She dealt with the Civil Rights issues of the day and was active, singing in gatherings with Martin Luther King, Jr.  She wrote songs and re-arranged others to suit her talents. She always missed her mother (Audra McDonald) who left her and her siblings and did die young. 

RESPECT is a solid serious musical movie based on the life of the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin. I think it does her justice and gives a greater appreciation for her life work. It makes you Think...

Friday, August 20, 2021

Finally Friday

Another August Friday. I can promise you it is hot.  Kids are already back to school in this silly state. This is prime pool and beach time. It's lazy, sorta bored time of summer. I believe in education - but after Labor Day
And my new life shall begin in 2022 - I announced my retirement for end of this year. Gave them a ton of notice to figure out a plan and get someone new aboard the crazy train.  I am excited, scared, and ready to annoy the heck out of Ray (he's got his retirement routine down pat)
Friday frivolity

 Ray's fun afternoon at the new Globe Life Field with Rangers baseball. We enjoyed the 72 degree air conditioning. Whew - that is glorious in Texas. Great seats and a rare Rangers win. 

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Movie Review - Black Widow

 Marvel's latest in theaters - Black Widow is just flat out fun.  We needed this back story. It does make sense. It's filled with plenty of action, tons of humor, and hey - Scarlett Johansson is just flat out HOT. 

Throw in Florence Pugh as her sister - huge bonus. She's funny and a perfect match. Their comments are hysterical. 

Rachel Weisz and David Harbour as the parents are really good.  They are "family" again.  OMG - truly, this is a great storyline. 

Ray and I both enjoyed this action packed adventure and it was awesome on the big screen. 

Thumbs up for popcorn entertainment on a hot summer day.  

Monday, August 16, 2021

Book Review - Things We Do For Love by Kristen Hannah

 This book is a bit of an oldie in the Kristen Hannah collection. But The Things We Do For Love is quite heartwarming and golden.  Her characters have deep souls and there are a lot of issues that are discussed and handled well. 

Angie's divorced and heartbroken in regards to conceiving a child. She returns to the Pacific Northwest and takes over her family's restaurant. She's on the business side of things, clashes with her mother and sisters, and there's plenty of drama as she pulls them into a "current" world.  

Lauren, seventeen years old and smart/talented, is abandoned by her mother,  and becomes a mother after one "hot" night. Angie's actions have far reaching repercussions for all worlds. 

cover  blurb - Together, these two women - one who longs for a child, and the other who longs for a mother's love - will be tested in ways that neither could have imagined. 

 Hannah pulls this book together and I was very satisfied with the outcome. It's not neat or pretty, but neither is life.  Super good read .

Friday, August 13, 2021

Movie Review - Roadrunner

 Anthony Bourdain was a force in life. He was a hot shot chef in New York City who rose from being a dishwasher. He wrote a very behind the scenes look at fancy restaurant life,. and launched a whole new career. 

BUT - he was actually a very shy reserved man - very likeable on camera, very curious about the world, and maybe ready for a whole new life. 

Then again - his television launch, his concern for so many issues might have been his downfall. 

Roadrunner is a documentary that follows the man, the myth, and tries to explain his death by suicide.

This is an excellent film. I watched all of the Anthony Bourdain series and really liked the man's approach to food, people, and life.  When his death was announced, it was a shock. 




There are no firm answers, but this documentary shows many cracks in a man who looks like he's on top of the world.  He should have had it all and been content. 

But there's a dark underbelly.   Bring a tissue.  It's a really good film.  But it's sad and touching. 

and why?..... 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Book review - The Landing by Emma Donohue

 The Landing by Emma Donoghue was charming and an enjoyable read.  It's old fashioned but in today's world.  Sile, is Irish with an Indian mother. She lives in Dublin, runs the fast track, and is a forty year old flight attendant - very worldly.  Jude is twenty five, lives in Ireland, Ontario, Canada, and runs a one room museum. 

cover blurb - On Jude's first plane trip, their two worlds collide in Heathrow. In the course of the next year, their lives - full of men, women, commitments, and complications - will be drawn into a new shaky orbit. 

This book is a love story.  On paper, Jude and Sile do NOT match. In real life interactions, it's love. Sile is high maintenance. Jude is simple. 

But, The Landing is about making the improbable probable.  Love conquers all. It's tough and worthy of the read. I enjoyed the characters and the author's journey with them. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Monday Moment - Rosebud

 My Rosebud moment (i.e. Citizen Kane)

Yes, I drove to PA to see my Dad and celebrate his 90th.   It was also handy to drive to bring back "stuff". 

My brother accused me of stealing stuff  - ha, ha - he was teasing.  I asked him and my sister and they said yes to my sled.  I was two years old when Santa brought it. 

Yes - it's a freakin' antique at this juncture, as am I. 

But darn cool.................

The sucker is not corroded after all of these years in my dad's garage.  If we have snow in Texas, this sled will slide fast. 

And that's your Monday moment!  It's history. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Friday - Fun in PA

Here's Dad at 90 on his birthday - this is in the den
Dad and his girls (Lori, Me)  - dining at the William Penn Inn (est. 1714)
More dining at the William Penn Inn - Dad worked with these folks and they still gather for lunch. We heard many tales over a lovely meal.  Dad had the crab quiche - quite yummy. 
More celebration for Dad in his kitchen another day. That's my brother David - he baked the lemon cake. 
And the old homestead - I grew up in this house.  It's the land that time forgot inside. But dad's happy and knows where everything is located. 

I had two weeks in PA, and now I'm back in TX.   Very bittersweet visit - my feet are in TX and part of  my heart is still in PA. 

Cheers all.  And it's damn freakin' hot in TX - holy cow.  The pool is 90!!!  


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Wednesday Will We.....

 "America is great because we preserve our democratic institutions at all costs. Until January 6th, we were proof positive for the world that a nation conceived in liberty could long endure. But now, January 6th threatens our most sacred legacy. The question for every one of us who serves in Congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed, for every American is this: Will we adhere to the rule of law? Will we respect the rulings of our courts? Will we preserve the peaceful transition of power? Or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away the miracle of America? Do we hate our political adversaries more than we love our country and revere our Constitution?"

In my opinion - well said Liz Cheney on the opening of the January 6th hearings. 

Much to ponder for any and all who live in America and root for America

Monday, August 2, 2021

Monday Meltdown


    in Texas

        at work


That's it. That's my poem.  My primal scream. 

We'll be talking soon.