Friday, June 28, 2024

Finally Friday - Neil Diamond Revue Show

Oh Yeah - So Good, So Good. Sweet Caroline and More.   The Arlington Music Hall had a very fun music revue show - Neil Diamond tunes. 
Robert Neary's voice was a tad raspy and he said he was struggling.  But the man sounded like Neil Diamond and put on a great show.  He powered through.  The band was awesome - drummer, 2 guitars, trumpet, sax, and trombone. Wow.  Sweet Caroline, indeed
The gang - so fun, so fun.   We enjoyed  Cracklin' Rosie,  Sweet Caroline, Solitary Man...

Dang - so many hits.  Good times!


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

 Browse the aisles (chapters)  of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, and you'll enjoy meeting some unique characters.  Pottstown, PA - a skeleton is found in 1972 while workers dig a new foundation for a housing project.  

cover  blurb: Turns out secrets were kept for decades by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side, sharing  ambitions and sorrows. 

Go back to 1936 and meets Moshe and Chona (Jewish). She runs the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store and exudes kindness to all. Bigotry, hypocrisy, and deceit abound, but Chona is a light in the community.  A local black worker, Nate, bonds with her to keep a young  black deaf  boy, Dodo, safe. 

In reading this book in 2024, it seems like so much just hasn't changed. People are too quick to look at the differences and hate without reason. The author, James McBride, shows that it is love and community (heaven and earth) that ultimately sustain us. (Cover blurb)   The characters are rich and well developed, the story is interesting, and the writing  is sublime. Plus, some humor abounds:

p. 313  Go back to the old country?  "I like it here.  The politicians try to cut your throat with one hand while saluting  the flag with the other. Then they tax you. Saves 'em the trouble of calling you a  dirty Jew."


Monday, June 24, 2024

Monday Moments- Brian Cox memoir

 I spent the winter slowly watching the show Succession.  Excellent show. Horrible people.  And the anchor  was the father - Logan Roy  - played  by Brian Cox. He was pitch perfect.  I remember him from some movies and shows - he's followed the character actor path and enhances everything he is in. I would love to see him in the theater, and I have no doubt back in his Shakespeare days in London, he was a force on the stage. 

I read his memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, with his Scottish voice in my head. Excellent read, and some great stories and comments on  so many actors, directors,  and the  business. His  sense of humor comes through and he does not pull punches in regards to his own foibles.  

p. 215  in approaching work:  How the work is holding a mirror up to nature, about reflecting the truth, and that's what makes it interesting. It really is about reflecting  back to people how we are. 

He made me think about writing, acting,  and the arts.  I look forward to seeing what roles Brian Cox creates as a man in his seventies. It will be worth watching, for  sure!

Friday, June 21, 2024

Finally Freewheeling Friday Fun

Friday the 7th, Ray and I skipped our normal gym routine and headed out for adventure. The Goal -  A one hour drive to Weatherford, Texas and a jaunt around the lake to a trailhead featuring The Boardwalk
The 1.5 mile trail featured a plastic floating  walkway  over the marshy part of the lake. Very nifty perspective to be amongst the  lily pads, cattails, etc. 
Everything is very green and the lake is full.  No wet feet though since the trail just floats up as needed. 
We enjoyed  our walk before it got too hot.   Chatted with some  fishermen - no  real catches. A bit sweaty, but invigorated by fresh air and nature, we headed back  to our concrete jungle. 

Fun Friday. Hope you seek out some local  adventure - cool  things are in  your backyard.  (or an  hour away).  Enjoy.  

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Monday's Mystery Count is solved

 Thanks to Alex, Annalisa, and Hilary for playing  along.  This is a five gallon jug that was in my childhood home living room.  My brother finally emptied it to check the family fortune...

Drum roll............

$196.80    of pennies

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Motown Sound

left to right - Me,  Sharon, Becky, Charla, Nancy

 No, this is not group of show ladies. It happens to be some of my pickleball gang that I ran into at the Arlington Music Hall.  Turns out that Saturday, June 1, this was the hot place in town to be at 3 pm.  Who knew?

As  part of my getting back  into routine, and back into fun stuff, I treated myself at the last minute to a ticket. Never been to this venue, but heard it was nice (it is- very comfy seating). I like Motown music and hoped  the group  would be good (and they were). And when I sat down in row P, there were Marie and Greg, and also the above named friends.  A grand coincidence. 

The Sound of Motown group of four men turned  out to have  very good voices.  Our "Smokey" was perfect and could hit those high notes. The choreography was not quite as smooth as the Temptations  or Miracles  or Pips, but was worthy of the reasonable  ticket price. A fun two hour show - we tapped our  toes and hummed on the way out of the theater. 

Boogie on down to local  shows!

Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday Moment - Care to Guess How Much

 Happy Monday!

So this five gallon jug sat in the old childhood home living room.  Pennies were plopped into it for over thirty years. 

My brother just spent an afternoon unloading it into a counter. 

Care  to make a  guess?    No, I'm not  giving prizes.  You just get bragging rights if closest to the $, but not over.  Just like the game The Price  is Right. 

Good luck

Friday, June 14, 2024

Finally Friday - Father's Day Weekend

Happy Father's  Day Weekend to all the dad's out there.   Here's Ray's dad, L.D, with his great great grandson,  Levi
Here's Ray's younger son  Kevin with all his girls. Skylar, Wife Maria, Makyla, and Dakota
Here's my brother David with his  crew - Jeff,  Lisa, and  his  wife Cherie
Here's Ray with oldest son, Chris and with baby Levi

 And bittersweet weekend for me - Here's my late  father back  when  he turned ninety. I'm glad I was in town  for that.  There's  Lori, me, and David.   Still hard to believe dad's gone now. 

Keep  good memories and celebrate those dads that are living. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - end of story by A. J. Finn

 Well,  this is a tricky book that kept  me guessing up until  the end of story.  A.J. Finn is very clever. 

Sebastian Trapp, a mystery novelist, invites Nicky Hunter,  an expert in detective  fiction, to come tell his story.  This is a man who's wife and son died/vanished (?) many years  ago.   How, who,  what, and why?  

He's  dying while living  with his gorgeous second wife, Diana.  His daughter, Madeleine is a bit of a lost soul. There's  a wayward nephew, Freddie, and other strands of questionable  characters.

It's up to Nicky to weave together the strands.  

cover blurb - And when a corpse appears in the family's koi pond, both Nicky and Maddie are shocked  to find that the past isn't gone - it's just waiting.  And is it Cole,  Maddie's brother, who is texting  her?

p. 310  Sebastian says, "Where the mystery and the violence are mostly within you, and where the clues  are almost ineluctably lead you someplace you don't want to go."   "We're all in that story. Life is  a thriller. The ending  is fatal and the conclusion is final."

Whoa!!!  This is a very good mystery/thriller.  The pages turn quickly and in the end you'll  say, "Holy cow! Didn't see that coming."  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Monday Moments - Crawfish Boil

 One of our new pickleball buddies, Steve, is from New Orleans originally and he's loud and  proud about his roots. He played football for LSU way back in the day - 'nuff said. 

Ray and I were invited to his 35th annual Crawfish Boil on Memorial Weekend.  Wow - quite a fest.  Friends, family, neighbors. There was a steady stream of people.  It was a hot, steamy day - I felt like  I was on the bayou.  Mardi Gras type music played. There were chests  of  beads to adorn you. 

Big  pot was filled with boiling water, seasoning  packets, a full big seasoning  bottle  of cayenne  pepper,  etc.  Crawfish imported from Louisiana, potatoes, corn, andouille  sausage, full garlic cloves, onions all went into  the hot water and churned with a huge paddle.  Finally, it was ladled onto a huge table covered in paper and everyone  dug in. 

Ray gamely peeled and ate. I was not enamored by the star of the show. However,  the potato and  corn were yummy and HOT!  Whew, my mouth was on fire!

We enjoyed our time there from  1 to 4. As we left, another  pot  was boiling, and more folks streamed in.  Those  folks  know how to party! 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Finally Friday - Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back  with a new breezy novel, Sex and Vanity

back blurb: Lucie Churchill hates George Zao the minute she sets eyes on him at a wedding on Capri. She has always sublimated her Asian side. Years later, she's drawn to him again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiance, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and ultimately, herself, as she tries to deny George entry into  her world - and her heart. 

Kwan name drops furiously, and has his characters flying all over the world in private jets. They drip in diamonds, drink only the best champagne, are the elite of the elite, and are often miserably making a mess of  their lives.  His writing is easy breezy and glitzy.  The life is  over the top ridiculous, but fun to read about.   If you want brain  candy,  this is sugar into the veins. Silly fun and page turning  addictive. 

A  perfect summer, hang by the pool, book. Enjoy froth.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Whatever Wednesday


I've stolen this photo from my brother (thanks David) to use on a Whatever Wednesday post. 

He and Cherie were up  in Portland, OR and got to visit the  carved troll exhibits that are around the city. How cool and crazy is this?

Wacky and really amazing. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Monday Moments - The Fall Guy Movie

 What can't Ryan Gosling do?  He is perfect (again) for The Fall Guy, in theaters now. 

So, we see Colt Seavers (Gosling) on set as the best stuntman. He's flirting with his camera operator, Jody Moreno (delightful Emily Blunt). Ready for his big stunt take for leading man, Tom Ryder ( Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  Ready - set- oh no!

Eighteen months later,  Colt is ready to get back in the game. He's flown in for Jody's debut  action  film.  But where's Tom?  Colt is asked to find him by producer, Gail Meyer (funny Hannah Waddingham). Caught up in a whole conspiracy, trying  to win back Jody, and risking  life and limb on set and in real life, Colt has to use all of his skills to live and save the  day.  

It's a fun, wacky romp/thriller. Plenty of laughs and great chemistry with our leading players. Very fun flick  to see on the big screen.  Ray and I both came out laughing.