Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wednesday Whatever

So, newly back from a two  week trek in America, I am being lazy and using memes that strike me.  I have to say if you really read the news today, you would just go back to bed. It is soul  crushing. 

RIP Tina Turner.  Omg.  She passed a day after I was at the Rock Hall of Fame.  Holy Cow!
She was a force.  My parents took me to see her in Philly at the Dell - she was with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue - opening, I think, for the 5th Dimension.  Who was this whirling dervish of a woman?  She was in that shimmy skirt and moving, singing, sweating, and giving it her all.  Proud Mary!?? 
Proud Tina?!!!!   She escaped Ike and became her own self.  Wow!  That's all I can say.  What a woman. What a life. What a voice.  

Books, Mickey Mouse, women's bodies, guns, shootings, the list goes on  and on... ex Prez ye who shall not be named  but is bonkers

But - so much is good.  The general spirit of folks face to face is positive.  My time at  our local YMCA is glorious - water aerobics and  the ladies there - OMG - so fun, so  good, just  nice folks and  we are in bathing suits and no one looks great and no one cares.  That's senior life at 9:30  am  M-W-F

 and reading........books are truly a salvation.   Congrats  again to  Barbara Kingsolver for  Demon Copperhead. I reviewed it  and gushed. It is an  amazing book for the ages and so worthy of the Pulitzer Prize for literature.  It is a WOW read. 

Let me paraphrase Wanda Sykes from her latest Netflix special -  We can worry when drag queens kill children  with a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.....  Amen, sister, Amen

Cheers to a Wednesday.  Hope the week is going  well and we look forward to the weekend. And  I promise some travel tales...aren't you excited?  I am. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Finally Friday - Memorial Weekend

This is a filler post.

 Ray and I should be back from our trip - tired, laundry awaits, chores abound, and the yard probably needs a thresher.  

But Happy Friday for you working folks eager for a long weekend. This is an oldie picture - stuff I was reading many years ago, plus a nod to the Indy 500. Fast cars go round and round and the winner gets to drink milk. 

Summer heat will be kicking in. Time for that pool plunge
Remember our fallen soldiers and salute our servicemen and ladies near and far. 

And we'll see if the crape myrtle decides to bloom this year. After freezes last December and in Feb, our yards and plants really suffered.  I hope she returns to glory - this pic is from an excellent year. 

Have a safe and happy Memorial Weekend. Hope you enjoy some peace, family, grilling, and a pool plunge. 

Cheers and Solemn thoughts my friends. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wednesday Whatever

 Italy 2014

Majestic.   Amazing. 

I am on vacation. This is filler.  And that's  okay. 

Be  inspired,  my friends. Enjoy our May day. Write, dream, plan a trip.  Eat gelato. 


Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday Moments - surprise

Ray's dad
Ray's dad, bro in  law, sister Connie, and son Chris
James, Pat, Grandmother Ivy, Ray's mom and dad

Ray's dad
Ray and  sister  Connie

What the heck - we are  currently on a road trip.   But this post is a visit  to the past. 

Cheers as you start  a new week.   Revisit your  family - reach out and  say hello!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Something to Hide by Elizabeth George

 Holy cow, this is a long  ass book  at 687 pages. I reached a point of not caring.  Darn!

Something to Hide by Elizabeth George is good writing, a huge plot line, and a message about a horrible subject.  But OMG it's too freakin'  long  and absolutely belabors the plot. 

That's  a shame. I like this author. I've read many of her books that feature Detective Lynley and Detective Havers. But this one  goes on and on and on. 

I only paid one dollar at our local library sale. I  felt committed to finish this book and I did. But damn  this was hard work. 

and  that's my review.  Whew!   I am exhausted

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Wednesday - Are You There God, It's Me Margaret?


Wow, just wow

Are You  There God, It's Me Margaret? absolutely captured 1970 age 11 and 6th grade.  The awkwardness of being  the girl wearing  an  undershirt?  Yes!!! That was me.  The worry about attracting a boy.  Hell yes (and no it really didn't happen - I was such a dork. )

Judy Blume was genius. Her books (now often banned - shame, shame) truly hit all the  notes of being a girl, trying to figure it all out.  Wow. 

This movie stars Rachel McAdams as the mom. She's so good.  Kathy Bates is  the grandmother, Sylvia, who's way cool and awesome in connecting with her granddaughter.  Abby Ryder  Fortson  is a brilliant young actress who is perfect in this role. She's awkwardly cool. ' Nuff said. 

This is a sweet movie. I loved it. Go See It - take your girls, take  granddaughters, or just see it yourself like  I did.  And read the book. Support Judy Blume.  See her doc - Judy Blume Forever - don't ban books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Monday Moments - May Adventures

Ray and I have hit the road. Ultimately we'll get to PA to see my father and also attend a friend's daughter's wedding. 

 I'll be checking in on blogs, but will probably be behind on comments.  I hope everyone has a good week or two. As we wander the highways and byways, I'll be taking notes and pictures. 

So, can you hear Willie singing, "On the Road Again"?  Wish us luck!

Friday, May 12, 2023

Finally Friday - Happy Birthday Abby

 Abby turns 19.  Happy Birthday to eldest granddaughter.   

Hopes and dreams for her.  Still figuring  out life.  And  that's tough these days  for a Covid kid - she had a weird high school time. Plus moving to TX to live  with her dad.  Lots to deal with and I have  no clue  of that experience. 

I admit part of me initially judges from my very old school upbringing.  But it's such a different  world...we'll just see what happens.   Meanwhile, pretty, smart young lady with potential. 

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Old Dog Still Tricks

Ray, Nora, Reggie, Jimmy, and the current owner - John Knight.  A winning team!

Even after Ray retired, he was invited to the Bob Knight Memorial Bowling Tournament. This is a nice employee salute to the late original owner. Ray, Hubert, and Pat are retirees who still bowl. 

So, two Saturdays ago we went to Plano to greet some old friends, meet a few new ones, and let the games begin. Six teams bowled two full games. Ray had not bowled for three years. 

Well, look who dusted off that bowl and cranked out strikes!

Yep - Ray had a respectable two scores close to 200 each.  The other two retirees also left all the worker bees in the dust. 

Fun time. Plenty of laughs. No gutter balls. 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Monday Moments - Your Table is Ready

 What goes on behind the scenes of fancy restaurants? Your Table is Ready: Tales of a NYC Maitre D' by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina is an eye-opening rollicking reveal of the restaurant world. 

Raoul's in SoHo, River Cafe, Le Coucou - all fancy NYC restaurants where the glamorous, the rich, the royal, and the wanna be go to be seen. Michael Cecchi-Azzolina takes us on his journey as he worked his way up to the big bucks as a maitre d'. 

cover blurb - He breaks down how restaurants really run (and don't), and how the economics work for owners and overworked staff. It's a show, it's a brawl, it's a tough world dealing with an entitled public. 

This book covers a heyday of excess - drugs, alcohol, and money changing hands. Party all night long and start over the next day. The author does write about how things needed to change and still do need to change for wage earners. Your Table is Ready is a fascinating read and the author has a wry sense of humor. He lived to tell quite a tale. 

Friday, May 5, 2023

Finally Friday - West Side Story

 I do my part to support local businesses, museums, and any of the arts. Last Thursday, I enjoyed a local theater production of West Side Story at The Artisan in Hurst. 

Originally conceived by Jerome Robbins, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story is a challenge. I have to say the young cast was up to the task. The Artisan is a theater in the round with a small up close audience. We were treated to decent dancing and acting. As for the singing - Maria's voice soared. Anita's voice was rich. And this skinny young man who played Tony had a pure tone that cut to the heart. So kudos all around. 

It's a Romeo and Juliet theme story set in 1957 New York City. A tale of the "old" immigrants (Poland, Italy, etc) versus the "new" immigrants (Puerto Ricans). Rivalry, hate, and love. 

Classic songs - the Jets, Something's Coming, Maria, America, Tonight, Somewhere

I was glad I ventured out on a Thursday evening and filled my soul with the arts. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Whatever Wednesday Book Review - Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

 Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is a delightful read and Elizabeth Zott is a strong character. 1961 and Elizabeth is a chemist working with an all male team at Hastings Research. Only the brilliant Calvin Evans - lonely, Nobel Prize nominated oddball actually listens and falls for her and her mind. 

cover blurb - Like science, life is unpredictable. A few years later, Zott finds herself a single mother but also the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Her unusual approach to cooking (naming the chemicals, discussing the whys of reactions) proves revolutionary. Not everyone is happy. Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to  change the status quo. 

This is a rather original book with a woman who is a straight shooter, doesn't kowtow to anyone. Her view as a woman is why not? I laughed out loud at times, shook my head at some of the male characters, and I rooted for Elizabeth and her daughter Mad. Plus the incredibly smart dog is a worthy character too. 

Lessons in Chemistry  - read it and take the moments for yourself. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

Monday Movie Review - Somewhere in Queens

Ray Romano does well acting and directing Somewhere in Queens.  He's obviously on home ground in telling the story of a big Italian-American family. As Leo, he works for the family business,  Russo Construction. The father (Tony Lo Bianco) obviously favors younger brother (Sebastian Maniscalco) and Leo lumbers along with wife, Angela (Laurie Metcalf - always solid) and shy son Matthew aka Sticks (Jacob Ward). 

Shy anxious "Sticks" breaks out on the basketball court and as a senior he has small college potential. Leo wants success for him and pushes him for tryouts at Drexel. There is a secret - the kid has a girlfriend - his first. He's head over heels and the girl isn't that intense. A  break-up is going  to ruin  everything and Leo persuades her to hang in there. Obviously, that  isn't going to fly for long and there's plenty of family drama, hurt feelings, shouting, hand gestures, and pasta. Lots  of  family dinners and meatballs. 

Somewhere in Queens isn't terribly original, but  it's well done. And there actually is a bit of a surprise twist at the end. Good solid acting, some laughs, some moments that  tear the heart - it's family! I enjoyed a $5 matinee - just needed a super big screen morning.