Monday, October 30, 2023

Monday Moments - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween
Hope it's a spooktacular good  time
Don't get caught in a web of evil

 Keep your eyes in your head and your wits about you


Friday, October 27, 2023

Finally Friday - Off to See Dad

I'm probably a bit late for  fall color, but  I'm off  for  three weeks to see my Dad, siblings, friends, and eat a cheesesteak sandwich.  Flying up - hope all American Airline worker bees are working. 
Here's dad from last November.  No doubt we'll be sitting a lot at the kitchen table. He's slowing down, but still chows down.  Or  we can play rummy. 

 Dad back in 2016.  He's slowed a lot since then. But we'll have good laughs, talk about old times, and watch his Good Morning America at volume 80.  If you hear anything - that's the TV. 

So, bear with me on posts - I'm pre-writing and scheduling. But I might not be commenting back as much.  I'll be visiting, walking around the block, and fetching dad a glass of water. 

Hope you enjoy your weekend. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Shake it Off

 Haters don't hate, please. 

Yes, I contributed to Taylor Swift's  bank account and  enjoyed The Eras  Tour  movie. I saved thousands by not actually going  to her concert - ha!

It was a quiet  Sunday afternoon. There was a group of young  ladies dancing on the other side of the theater, but they did not disturb me. I was able to see and hear the movie version of the concert and it was quite an impressive production. Good dancing, costumes, light show,  staging, etc. 

I like pop music and Taylor Swift writes very catchy tunes. She is tall and presents well with a pleasant voice. ( I do think Pink, who I have  seen in concert, is much better).  Anyway, it was harmless fun and I admire  Taylor the business woman.  She is a good role model  for  female power (getting back her copyrights), running her show, standing her ground, and respecting her audience. Our local radio - KISS- FM 106.1 in Dallas - has always said she goes  out of her way for her fans, and I've not read or heard of any dirty secrets.  

I hope she can continue her success and evolve. She's 33 - a grown woman.  Keep Shaking Off the Haters and enjoy Good Karma, Taylor.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

October Monday - Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge by Helen Ellis

 I laughed from start to finish reading this new hilarious collection of essays from Helen Ellis. Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge is boisterous, bawdy, and unabashedly romantic. In these surprising, sexy, and frank essays, she paints a portrait of true romance for our times. (cover blurb)

Here are some of the chapter titles - My Husband Snores and Yours Will Too,  An Email  to Our Cat Sitter, What's in the  Box?, The Best Part of a Wedding is the Worst Part of the Wedding, We Are Not That Couple, May I Hold Your Grudge for You, and more. 

p. 110 In How to Collect Art, she  describes categories - "Folk art" means poor people did it. "Emerging" means the artist is just out of grad school. "Contemporary" means a piece of the artist's work is in a Midwest museum and costs ten figures. "Modern" means the artist has major shows and  will cost a half million. "Fine art"  - forget about it. The artist is long  dead and commemorated with coffee mugs.   She goes on to describe her and her husband's approach to collecting. It's laugh out loud funny. 

p. 149  I still live by the Southern Lady Code. If you don't have something nice to say, say something not so nice in a nice way. For example: Your Instagram is beautifully curated is Southern Lady Code for "Your real life must be a hotter mess than spaghetti and meatballs in a clothes dryer. " 

She just nails  life  and marriage in these essays. Trust me. You'll crack up. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Finally Friday - Zero Days by Ruth Ware

cover blurb info:  "Jack" Cross and her husband, Gabe, are the best security penetration specialists in the business. Jack does the physical, Gabe tackles digital. Quite the team.  But a job goes wrong and Jack comes home  to find her husband dead. The police suspect - her. 

She is on the run, out of options and has to decide who to trust. How much is at stake? How deep does this go?

Whew - Zero  Days is a page turner and tough  to figure out along with Jack what's going to happen. Ruth Ware is a superb writer who can ratchet up  the adrenaline.  I got this from the library and ripped through it. Thumbs up. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Wednesday Whatever - Beach Calm

 I nabbed this photo from a friend who was in South Padre Island, TX. 

Nothing like a beach, a gulf, and a sky

It's Wednesday.   Just breathe

Monday, October 16, 2023

Monday Moments - Texas Women Artists

Marking Space/ Holding Time - works by Texas Women Artists - was a lovely little exhibit in the Irving  Arts Center. I try to get over to these galleries because the curator does a fabulous job.  It only takes about thirty to forty minutes to see and enjoy the  works. 

This picture is "Out of Order" by Ellen Frances Tuchman.  It's mixed media on watercolor paper - acrylic, colored pencil, vintage matchbooks, hand painted paper quills, beads, buttons, cabochons, and thread.  Quite fascinating

"Guardians" by Sherry Owens is crepe myrtle, bailing wire, dye, and wax.   Wow!
"Garden 1 and Garden 2" by Mihee Nahm is oil on linen.  So calm and lovely

 "Between the Worlds" by Dawn Waters Baker just glows.  It's oil on gold leaf and canvas

These were just a few of the works that  caught my eye. The talent is tremendous. Such variety and creativity. 

You need a stroll?  Go find a local art center or gallery to enrich your heart. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Finally Friday - A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

 You can always count on David Baldacci for a good story. He  does not disappoint in  A Gambling Man. Aloysius Archer is a WWII vet fresh out of prison and ready for a new start as a private investigator.  He hops a bus to California with a contact there to get him started. A stop in Reno proves to be pivotal. He leaves a dead body behind (self defense), earns some money, gets a classy 1939 Delahaye convertible, and meets Liberty Callahan, an aspiring actress, who joins him on the trip west.  A lot happens in a short period of time. 

cover blurb - Once in Bay Town, CA, he apprentices with Willie Dash and is immediately in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy, well connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. 

Brothels, gambling  dens, drug operations. The promised land could be Archer's final resting place if he  doesn't connect the  clues. Strong characters and page turning  action. Take a gamble, hop into the convertible, and enjoy the ride/ read! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - I Am Debra Lee

 Cover blurb - I Am Debra Lee is a riveting memoir by the former CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET), about the glamorous and ugly moments of being a high powered Black woman executive in the entertainment industry. 

Debra Lee is impressive, formidable, and quite human. Her behind the scenes stories are intense - a young girl raised in the segregated South, to law school, to being a general counsel for BET, to COO, and finally CEO.  Often the only woman in the room, she had to move past her quiet persona and exert power while  juggling a family.  

She writes - I don't just love Black culture - the magic in our hair, the swagger in our steps, the particular way we can say 'alright now' to fit our changing moods - Black culture saved me.

I like her style, grace, intelligence, awareness, and an appreciation for entertainment history, for black history, for current history and her mistakes and her corrections.  She had to work extra hard and to push back in a very male oriented business. 

She is inspirational and this memoir is worth reading. It explores a world that I don't know, but could appreciate.  I am Debra Lee - damn straight, you are!

Monday, October 9, 2023

Monday Momentous Birthdays

 Well, yesterday October 8th, I (on the left) turned 65.  My cousin, Mark (r) turns 65 on Thursday October 12th.  This picture from September 1959 has our great grandmother - was she propping us up or were we helping her? I have no idea how old she was - folks back in the day always looked a bit "Grapes of Wrath" whether they were thirty or ninety. 

Now we are seniors on Medicare. I'm playing pickleball, doing water aerobics, and acting like I'm thirty - only recovery time takes longer. Mark hikes, bikes, and is an all around sport guy out in Oregon. 

The older I get, the faster I was -  Charles Barkley, basketball player

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am - Bernard Baruch, financier

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair - Douglas MacArthur, General, WWII

Still kicking with Ray and I do love birthday cake so it's worth celebrating getting older. Still have my hair, still have my teeth (albeit with help). Mentally - still young, that awkward girl who reads books. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

Finally Friday - PA Book Club Zoom

 cover blurb - She possessed a stunning  beauty.  She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

 She fled the Third Reich, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret even more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her. 

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict explores an amazing life - a fictionalized version of Hedy Lamarr's life. She was a young Jewish woman who married Fritz Mandl, an armaments manufacturer. She hosted Nazis in their castles. She fled, became a famous Hollywood actress, all while designing a frequency hopping invention, a precursor to spread spectrum technology. 

I had hoped for more from this book. The writing and story line almost had a soap opera tone, in my opinion. A lot of chapters established her beauty and life with Fritz - a very controlling man. Then once in  Hollywood, the writing offered a lot of hand wringing and guilty dread for her life. I would have liked more on the science breakthrough that was so brilliant. Indeed, she was born at the wrong time to be taken seriously. 

It's quite a tale and quite a life. There was just a missing element in the writing for me. Tonight my PA book club friends discuss the book on Zoom. I'll be curious to  hear their thoughts. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Oliver!

 Saturday September 16th, my friend, Candice, and I enjoyed a matinee at the Artisan Theater Center. Oliver!  A golden oldie musical featuring our favorite Dicken's urchin, Oliver Twist. 

 "Please, sir. May I have some more?"

I really do need to  get back to re-reading  Charles Dickens. What  a tale. Poor Oliver, an orphan, sold, run away, joins Fagin's gang of thieves, arrested, "saved", taken again, and reunited with the remaining family he had. 

Great songs - Food, Glorious Food, Oliver, Where is Love, You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, As Long as He Needs Me, and more. 

Memorable characters - Oliver, Artful Dodger, Mr. Bumble, Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sikes (boo hiss), Mr. Brownlow, plus all of the urchins and street folks. 

The Artisan cast gave a rousing  performance. Solid vocals, acting, and production set. We had a fine time. Support local theater! 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunday Sundries

My mind will wander plenty when I go to PA end of the month.  There's a lot of relaxing with my dad.  If I'm smart, I will take the time to bring a notebook and perhaps jot down my random thoughts, maybe a scrap of poetry, or a hint of a short story.  We'll see

 Yep - I've been dusting and then pick up something to read, sit down, abandon dusting, and get absorbed in a book.  What the heck - the dust will still be there. 

Hope you say the heck with cleaning and plop down with something good to read on a Sunday or any day. Enjoy