Friday, December 3, 2021

Finally Friday - Foo Fighter's Memoir and More

 Dave Grohl, The Storyteller - Tales of Life and Music is a joy to read. I've seen him on some interview shows and he's an entertaining, energetic man. I've always liked him in the Foo Fighters. I wasn't keen on Nirvana. In general, a lot of his music is not in my wheelhouse. BUT - the sheer enthusiasm he has in music and life makes for a wonderful memoir. 

This book reads like he is hanging out on your patio, drinking a beer (or two or many) and just chatting. It goes back and forth from childhood to present day, as he recounts his life in music. Drumming was in his bones - even when he was beating on a pillow. He memorized music and played along to beats in his head. Never great at school, a pivotal life choice was dropping out and joining the band Scream on tour. From there he never looked back, except when he was starving and tired and questioning himself. 

Dave Grohl oozes honesty in this tale of music and his life. He doesn't back down from questionable decisions or reflect on some stuff that could have gone differently. He is a family man now and his heart is on his sleeve when it comes to his mother (he's very close), his wife and girls. He basks in his luck and is in awe of some choices he made, some people he met, and the sheer drama that is life. 

Cool dude, that's all I can say. Great sense of humor. He's a Foo Fighter, a husband, and a man who loves life. I highly recommend his book, Dave Grohl, The Storyteller. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Book Review - The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

 The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan is the Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.  This is a work of non-fiction that has been solidly researched. But it's told like a story as Kiernan zeroes in and follows some key women who are representative of the thousands of women brought to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to work on a secret project. Chosen from small towns across America, they performed key tasks, kept quiet, and forged bonds with strangers as they lived in a created muddy city of 75,000 residents. Chemists, secretaries, factory workers - All were key in helping to end WWII

back blurb: Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it- women who are now in their eighties and nineties - The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women, their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. 

I had no idea what all went into the building of the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. This book is fascinating as it truly goes behind the scenes and gives snippets of the action. It also shows how women and men from all walks of life truly worked together for the sake of America. Loose lips could sink ships, as the saying  goes back then. Oak Ridge, TN was an amazing hub for history. Excellent, eye-opening book. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Moments - What's in Your Queue?

 So, after a long holiday weekend are you stuffed with turkey and a lot of streaming? 

What's in Your Queue?   Here's a small listing of items I've watched over the last month.  (Yes, I still take plenty of time to read - see my book reviews on this blog)

Red Notice  - fun romp starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. High level thieves working the con and each other. This cast had a lot of fun (you can tell) and they exchange snark and riffs, all while looking fabulous. I was very amused.

King Richard - excellent flick starring Will Smith as Richard Williams. The man had a plan for his two girls, Venus and Serena, to get them out of Compton and into the tennis stratosphere. Yes, we know the outcome. However this film shows the two as loving sisters with immense talent. It's a strong family with a lot of faith. Mr. Williams was no saint, but you do come away with a better appreciation of his story. Oscar buzz for Will Smith - he is worthy. 

Tick...tick...boom - I loved the musical Rent. Jonathan Larson was a creative genius who sadly died way too young. This movie starring Andrew Garfield tells the tale of a young man approaching 30 who loves life in NYC and yearns for a winning show. Good music, acting, and a rather bittersweet tale. 

Passing - Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga are superb as old high school friends who meet up again. Both are African American, but one is living/passing as a white woman married to a successful man. The other has stuck with her roots in Harlem, but as a light skinned woman can pass at times. Their lives in  1930s are complicated and both have to face the realities they created. 

The Harder They Fall - Regina King directed and stars in this kick-ass black western. Two different gangs are at war over towns. You've got the shoot outs, the saloons, the action at high noon. The scenery is gorgeous, the action is slick, and you've got a lot of horse riding. Not to mention Idris Elba - oh, he's bad (but so, so good at it).  Rather violent. Well done!

Shang Chi - Legend of the Ten Rings -  a Marvel movie that stands alone with an Asian cast. Simu Liu is really good as the reluctant hero who was trained and has a lot of ancient power handed down through his family. Now he must face his father and the past. Akwafina is very funny. Michelle Yeogh - always classy with a quiet power. This is sheer entertainment. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Happy Turkey Birthday and Weekend, Lori

Yesterday - Thanksgiving Day November 25th was my little sister's birthday.  She's our turkey. 

Here with our Nana Crowther

Lori - all happy in a new vest in front of her townhome
Chilling on the Brooklyn Bridge
Always a party with Dad
and back in 2011 in Ashville - hanging with Ray and our sister-in-law Cherie

Happy Birthday Lori!! Hope it was a good turkey day (with some chocolate cake too!). Enjoy your weekend and bask in the glow of another year. You are the best!!    Love - Big sis  J

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Movie Review Madness - Spencer

 Tired of Princess Diana yet?  Her character was last seen on The Crown and I thought it was well done. There's also Diana: The Musical on Broadway. Plus numerous documentaries, books, etc etc etc. 

Now in Spencer, Kristen Stewart plays Diana in crisis over a Christmas weekend at Sandringham House. She is on her old home turf - literally seeing the home where she grew up, now a boarded up wreck - from the Queen's estate. She's on the "outs" with everyone (family, servants, etc) observing her, tailing her, and questioning her every mood. Her bulemia is out of control. Her marriage is an obvious mistake as she and Charles barely speak and she can see the exact gift of  pearls she received on Camilla's neck at Sunday church service. 

This is not a straightforward re-telling of this weekend. It's almost a stream of consciousness from Stewart, and a bit of bonkers thrown in. The woman is alone. Her only joys are her sons and as kids do, they sense her distress. The acting is great as well as Diana's walk, mannerisms, and speech. Stewart still projects a bit less fragile demeanor than that of the Diana we see from interviews. However, it's a worthy performance in an odd film. I'm glad I saw it, but it's not for everyone. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Moments

Monday moment - This is a curvy road near my dad's that has an ancient little bridge next to an old mill.  It always feels like a step back in time. You can picture horse and carriage days around 1776. 

Feeling reflective as we begin Thanksgiving week. I'll be staying in TX with Ray, and shall probably go to his aunt's in south TX over next weekend. Meanwhile, I'll be wishing I was in PA too - hang with dad and siblings. 

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road.../ The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine - Walt Whitman

As you move through change things slightly, leave marks behind...And in return, life - travel - leaves marks on you -  Anthony Bourdain

Safe travels for those who head out this week on a journey to your family, your past...or onward to something new. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Finally Friday

I shall use a backdrop of assorted Thanksgiving theme pics to share some recent quotes I've found and liked.   All very random - as is my usual style
Is it politically point out that life is worth living because of a blackbird's song, or a yellow elm in October?   George Orwell. 

     Or I'll say a nifty tree dramatically lit against a November sky?

If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it    Ernest Hemingway

Oh, Ernest - have you never walked with someone under the bower of trees and shuffled through autumn leaves?    I guess not if you are drinking too much in the Florida Keys. 

I'll throw in an oldie Thanksgiving pic of Dad, me, and my sister Lori at a Thanksgiving in Delaware. After a lovely meal we went to a local beach in Lewes DE and enjoyed a brisk day 

 Finally - my $3 felt turkey find at Target.  It brings me joy on our kitchen table. born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too?"  C.S. Lewis

I am fortunate. As a talker and listener, you do find that common ground if you actually engage with people.  

Have a good Friday and weekend.