Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Whatever Wednesday

 This little blurb struck me.  Ray and I are already talking about taking some small drive trips next year when I retire. Our path will be detours - off the highway, into some little town with a makeshift museum (around here they all claim Billy the Kid got away), decent BBQ, and perhaps a hiking trail. 

This post offers some detours. 

        Every artist dips his brush in his soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures - Henry Ward Beecher

When you are out and about today, or stuck at work - think about this:

        I can live for two months on a good compliment - Mark Twain

What can you say to brighten someone's day (or month)?

Life is a journey, but don't worry, you'll find a parking spot at the end - Isaac Asimov


Life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party - Jimmy Buffett

Have a good rest of the week, and enjoy any detours.    Peace

Monday, September 27, 2021

Book Review - Lucky Bastard by Joe Buck

 If you've watched any football or World Series baseball, then you've probably seen sports broadcaster, Joe Buck. Some folks hate him. Me - I like him. In his memoir, Lucky Bastard, Joe acknowledges the naysayers, and with humility and humor, he tells his story. 

As the son of Jack Buck, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe learned a lot as he sat in on broadcasts as a kid, played with baseball players' kids, and absorbed sports. Yes, he had a slight advantage with connections, but still had to start at the bottom and pay his dues. 

cover blurb - He recounts a lot of pretty damn entertaining mistakes along the way. He shares the lessons he learned from his father, the errors he made, the personal mountain he climbed and conquered, all of which have truly made him a Lucky Bastard.

This memoir is rather light and breezy. I like the writing and Joe Buck lays a lot out - a confession of insecurities, struggles, and a need to live up to his Dad, whom he admired the most in life. 

p. 224 I think Kate (Hudson) understands fame better than anybody. She told me once, "Americans love a good success story. They're just not sure what to do with the success story that comes out of a success story."  In those two sentences, she summed up one of the essential conflicts in my life. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Finally Friday

This is my favorite piece at the Modern Museum of Fort Worth.  Ladder for Booker T. Washington by Martin Puryear.  It seems simple and yet every time I view it, I have deeper thoughts. 

 Can one reach the top or is that impossible? Are there difficulties along the way? 

I love the shadows in this pic from the ladder. Other paths one can choose. 

We are finally at a Friday. What's up for the weekend?  I hope you have plenty of choices and choose wisely. Climb safely whether you are at the bottom and need to get going, or near the top - don't lean too far and fall.   Do you see the light?  Or are wary of the shadows?

Be safe everyone. Stay healthy.  Cheers  to you all. We made it another week.  Whew!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Book Review - We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

 We Are All the Same in the Dark.  Julia Heaberlin knows how to write a mystery thriller. Your neck will hurt from the spins, twists, and turns. I was still sitting poolside as I read this book, and it was difficult to break from a chapter, take a dip in the pool, and then hurry back to continue. "Shall I keep sweating and reading, or swim?" Tough summer choices. 

Ten years ago Trumanell Branson disappeared. She haunts the small town. Wyatt, her brother, lives as a pariah. He was cleared and yet....

He finds a lost girl in a field of dandelions and the local young cop, Odette Tucker, believes the girl is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. But Odette shares a wound that won't close with the mute, one-eyed mystery girl.  (back blurb)

Lots of shocking truths to dig up, lots of violent history to uncover. 

p. 221  We are all the same in the dark.  My mother said that to me when she kissed me good night. She meant that in the dark, all that's left is our souls. She wasn't imagining me in a hole with a killer, living out my worst fear. Totally blind. Floating in space. One eye just like the other. 


Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Moments - Fort Worth Art Adventure

I enjoyed an art Sunday over Labor Day weekend. The Kimbell offered an exhibit from the John D. Rockefeller 3rd collection of Asian Art.   Seventy works entitled Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon. Fabulous work from India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. The history, the beauty, and the complexity of cultures embraced in the art was wondrous. I love this museum. 
Big contrast over at the Modern Museum of Fort Worth. Sean Scully - the Shape of Ideas proved colorful and interesting.  The stripes proved rather hypnotic. 

I really liked the colors in this piece

 The ebb and flow and the inserts added a neat dimension.  Modern art is not necessarily an instant like. And stripes - we all paint those in kindergarten. But on a huge scale, and reading words like "juxtaposition" - Sean Scully experimented and succeeded in some powerful pieces. 

I had fun and enjoyed a tasty quiche at the Kimbell cafe.  Explore your backyard folks - arts, museums, expand the mind.   (And everyone wore masks - thoughtful patrons!)

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday Book Club - Billy Summers by Stephen King (not horror, my friends)

 No horror.  Billy Summers is a bad guy (but he's really in his heart good with some morals) - he is a professional killer who will only kill someone he considers a truly bad person. 

He's the best. His time in the military - Iraq war vet sniper. He can vanish without a trace. 

What could go wrong when he's hired to kill a man who killed a bad guy? Everything. 

Billy Summers by Stephen King is excellent. We learn a lot about Billy when he's hired by Nick to kill Josh Allen. Oh, there's so much backstory and Billy figures he's getting double crossed when the final payment does not get wired. He digs deep and he's going to find the man behind the man behind the man. Who's the power broker who's not paying up on Billy's retirement party.

Plus there's a young woman who gets involved. Billy saves her, she saves him.  cover blurb - This book is about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption. I really enjoyed this book. Stephen King is excellent at character development and his writing is tight. You root for Billy and until the last page, you, the reader, are all in and then drained from emotion. Good stuff. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Movie Review Madness - Free Guy

 I had put off seeing Free Guy.  I thought the previews looked funny, but maybe a bit too silly. I figured we were seeing the best lines as teasers. 

Well, all I can say is go see this movie NOW.  Ray and I cracked up. It's clever, original, witty, silly in a good way, poignant, and ultimately does have an old fashioned love story at the core. Ryan Reynolds as Guy is so sweet, innocent, and just funny as hell.  Jodie Comer is sharp, interesting, funny, and sweet too. 

I'm not going to discuss the plot within the plot but it's well done as you move from corporate world to on-line gaming world. The writing works. 

Free Guy is a hoot. It's entertaining and so fresh. I could easily watch it again and, no doubt, pick up on more references and laugh all over again. That is high praise from me. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Monday Moment

 Margaret Atwood's writing was scary prescient. 

This meme is clever and cuts way too close.    

Nervous chuckle

Inner cry


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Twenty Years Later - 9/11

 Ray and I were in New York City in 2001.  We had a fabulous week full of theater, sports, museums, history, and food - so much food. We had walked around the World Trade Center area, waving at window washers, craning our necks to look up, up, up......  We flew back to Texas on 9/1. 

September 11, 2001 dawned with a lovely Tuesday morning. I was driving to work in Dallas when KISS FM (mostly pop talk and fun radio) announced a news bulletin - a plane, maybe, had flown into the World Trade Center tower.  Say what?

Got to work and a few others dragged a very small television out to turn on the news. We watched in horror as the morning unfolded. And when those towers crashed down, down, down, we were all shaken. 

No cell phones. On the regular work landline, I called Ray at his work. He said, "Wow, this is just crazy. We were just there." 

 And yes, I tried to explain to fellow workers, how big these buildings were, how many people could be affected. It was beyond fathom. 

It is still beyond words.  Twenty years later and I remember 9/11 2001 like yesterday. 

Now, a guy at my workplace is only 21 years old. He has no clue, no earthly idea of the enormity of that day.  The world changed. History turned a huge page and we have never been the same. 

Like many pivotal times, the stories are still being written, the salutes are done, and yet it's never enough. 

We must remember and learn and reflect. 


Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday Frivolous Read - China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

 China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan is a frothy ridiculous braindead book. Perfect patio poolside read for me. It is over the top snarky fun. The writing is good, the characters are rich in money and rich in ulterior motives, and the pacing is as fast as the jets these folks use from Singapore to Shanghai to Paris. Just zoom along with them and  don't ask questions. 

We met Rachel Chu in Crazy Rich Asians. She's a professor, has a down to earth single mother, and is getting ready to marry Nick (an extraordinarily rich fellow with an amazing Singapore lineage.) But he loved Rachel enough to move to California with her and forego a lot of the family fortune (don't worry, he's still rich, and he does work). 

back blurb - Then a chance accident reveals an identity and Rachel is drawn into the dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world of penthouses, exotic cars, and where people aren't just crazy rich...they're China rich.

This book is a sheer hoot. Perfect to end the summer - sip some bubbly and enjoy. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Book Review - The Film Club by David Gilmour

 This little book I picked up for one dollar at our Bedford Library book sale. It proved to be quite interesting. It's a memoir of a year in a father/son's life. The fifteen year was flunking everything in school, bored, and lacking motivation. David Gilmour threw out an offer - drop out, not work, not pay rent, but his son had to watch three movies a week with his father. The boy accepted. Hence The Film Club. 

cover blurb - The films  (ex. True Romance, A Hard Day's Night, Rosemary's Baby, and more) got them talking - about girls, music, heartbreak, work, drugs, love, friendship - and opened doors to a teenager's interior life at a time when a parent is normally shut out. Ultimately, at the end of the year, the young man made a decision that surprised even his father. 

I found this book to be quite a revelation. Obviously, the young man was intelligent, caring, and did not have a slacker soul. Oh, he screwed up during the year, and the father/author is very honest in his writing about disappointments, worry, and a bit of "what the heck am I doing?" thrown into the mix. But, it also revealed a different version of education and poked into corners beyond the norm. 

The Film Club reminded me of movies I need to watch again, and some I need to discover. The book was worth way more than a dollar.  

Monday, September 6, 2021

Monday Scouting Report

Ray and I enjoyed last Friday night (Aug 27)  in Frisco TX - a booming suburb north of Dallas.  Football huddle sculpture in the middle of a shopping/food complex. 
Dallas Cowboys Walk of Honor.  Ray's in front of Troy Aikman's number
Saturday morning at the Ford Center. Folks were lined up to get into training camp. Everyone wore cowboy gear, kids were throwing footballs, it was a festival atmosphere. 
Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders kicked up their legs and shook their booties

 Don't hit the guy in the red shirt - our quarterback, Dak Prescott, is coming off a shoulder injury. He looked a tad rusty. (This is the scouting report).  But our number 21, Zeke Elliott, looked FAST!!! Hopefully, he can get the ball from Dak and run, run, run to score touchdowns. 

That's the fun of training camp. We enjoyed our time in Frisco, and found the one hour camp very interesting. 

Football season is here. Go Cowboys!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Finally Friday

If one could only catch that true color of nature! The very thought of it drives me mad.

Andrew Wyeth

Happy Friday.  Take a moment and just look around. Digest the colors and beauty. 

Happy Labor Day Weekend - my goal is laziness. 


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Yo Ray - Drives Me Mad - 32 Years

Happy Anniversary Ray.   32 years you have put up with ME.    And I can post this meme because you get the reference.   There's no way I could go digging for some young buck. It would be far too annoying to have to explain super good music, movies, and old TV shows from back when you only watched stuff weekly and then chatted at the water cooler. 
We have SO much fun and we love the State Fair of Texas.   Here we are on the huge Ferris Wheel. It costs a million dollars to ride but it's Tickets - that's like monopoly money. Once you buy tickets, who cares what the value adds up to in dollars. 
He's so cute and will put up with my history excursions.  An old fort, house, museum - heck yeah!!!
And I do sports well.  Cowboys could be stinky, but I'll wear the shirt and sorta cheer (Um, Iggles....maybe)     I can absolutely say Go Stars (ice hockey)   And I can annoy Ray with enough sport references. 

And now we enjoy Ted Lasso on Apple +  yeah for soccer. 

He's my honey bunch.   Happy Anniversary.  Here's to many more..........  Love ya

❤  Let's keep laughing.........!!!!