Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Movie Review Madness - The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls wrote The Glass Castle – excellent memoir about her unique childhood with two off the grid parents-artsy and smart, offering a different perspective of “living” to their kids. However, the kids just wanted to eat and were tired of always moving. And yet, despite everything, those were her parents and she did love them.  Now the movie brings her story to the big screen. The book was better. I think the author’s words just strike a deeper chord. But, the movie is well acted and does a decent job of portraying the contrasts in the Walls’ lives.

Brie Larson is the grown-up Jeannette, now a writer in New York, engaged to a financial fellow, living the dream. One day on a taxi ride home from a fancy dinner, she sees her parents poking through trash, and she chooses to ignore them. In flashbacks, we see Jeannette’s life as a girl with her siblings. Often hungry, not attending school, always rushing to pack up meager possessions to move on to another squatter home. Woody Harrelson is Rex Walls – a free thinker, always dreaming, always scribbling in a notebook, “designing” the dream home – a glass castle that’s energy efficient. We also see him drink away what little money the family has, while his kids eat butter mixed with sugar as desperation. He’s bigger than life, and yet harbors a darkness.  Naomi Watts plays  Rose Mary, the artistic mother who’s along for the ride. She encourages reading and arts. Jeannette soon realizes she has to look out for her siblings and that their goal is to help each other move on.

Present day Jeannette is conflicted and gets tired of her own lies about her parents. The awkward scenes that bring together her fiance’s family with her own are heartbreaking. So much comes to a head – the hurt, the resentment, the love. How she lived made her who she is – that’s the key to the story. The youngsters who play the kids are superb. You root for them, and it’s rather amazing that they did turn out okay. They stuck with each other – sibling power is strong. Brie, Woody, and Naomi are also vibrant on the screen. The Glass Castle is quite a story – and it’s real. That’s the flabbergasting part. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Moment - Action!

 Who knew?
There's a Toy and Action Figure Museum in Paul's Valley Oklahoma.  This is right off I35 on the way to Oklahoma City. On a lark, we stopped. Wow - We're glad we did

 This is just one wall of the Bat Cave.   Crazy!
 Heck yeah, there's Spider Man.
This is just one wall that features a myriad of figures. The museum has over 13,000 pieces in this collection.  We hung out for about 45 minutes. Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, GI Joe - in the Pacific and European battlefields. Barbies, and more. Oh so much more.

Explore America. Get off that freeway and visit a small town.  The Shed Restaurant was worth a stop too - chickenfried steak and also chicken tenders and gravy to die for.

Monday Moment Action!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Beehive - The 60s Musical

Beehive - The 60s Musical.  If you live anywhere close to Fort Worth, TX book your tickets now. This show is a must see. I've talked about the Jubilee Theater in downtown Fort Worth before. It's the little theater with big voices. I've never seen a bad show, and Beehive proved to be a blast.

It's a trippy look at all the great women who made 60s music so fun, energetic, thoughtful, and enjoyable. Your toes will tap, your hands will clap. From the Chiffons to the Shirelles, to Supremes, from Aretha to Cher to Tina. Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, and Lulu. And a final Janis Joplin song.  The young ladies in the show pulled out all the stops in vocals, choreography, humor, and grace.

Kyndal, Jenna, Ayanna, Devin, Nikka, and Mattie - they sang their hearts out.
A very special shout out to Kyndal Robertson for channeling her Tina Turner - that number was lights out fantastic.

Tease that hair, go back in your time machine, sit back, and enjoy Beehive - The 60s Musical.
The Jubilee pulls off another awesome live show.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Fun stuff that caught my eye in the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City - a happening place!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Dunkirk

Dunkirk is harrowing and memorable. Look for it on Oscar night. Director Christopher Nolan, after thorough research and a serious plan, took three approaches – Land, Sea, and Air. The film moves fluidly between these perspectives and you feel immersed in the war. There is minimal dialogue and no character backstory or superfluous nonsense. Instead we follow the main lad  (Fionn Whitehead) as he navigates Dunkirk, eager to survive. His shell-shocked look as he wanders the beach, ducking from air strikes, trying to get on an escape boat starts to bring on your anxiety.  The sheer numbers of British and French soldiers stuck on the beach was staggering. How were they going to evacuate? That’s the land issue.

On the sea, we follow Mark Rylance and his boys as they sail their private boat to Dunkirk to help. There was an armada of private ships and boats who crossed the choppy channel to come to the soldiers aid. Plenty of drama at sea. Rylance projects a quiet nobility and his sense of duty is reassuring and brave.

By air, we see Tom Hardy and another fellow in their Spitfires as they dodge the German air assault, circle, weave, and shoot. Plenty of scary moments in the air.

Back on land, a group of guys commandeer a ship that’s grounded on the beach but the tide’s coming in. Once afloat, they are feeling safer until shots ring out, they start taking on water, and the fear and scrambling will have you gasping for breath yourself. Harry Styles ( One Direction singer) shows his acting chops in this film and does a fine job. Kenneth Branaugh is the Navy commander trying to coordinate boats and ships. He projects the weary responsibility of some who’s in charge, but concerned that Dunkirk is out of control.

Nolan keeps Dunkirk tight and tidies up the story line into a taut mesmerizing film. This was quite a turn in the war for the Allies. Excellent film, tough film, and not for the faint of heart. War is hell, and I’m sure movie hell depiction is only half of it. Salute those who served – innocent young lads fighting for their country and to survive.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Take Wing

Who Knew ?

Something new for my friend Trish and me - live women's basketball.  Yes, the WNBA has a local team - the Dallas Wings - and they play at the UTA College Park Center. What fun!

Music pounded. The crowd cheered. And the energy level was fantastic. Time flew by as these ladies ran up and down the court. They had a record night of sixteen 3-point conversions. Very impressive.
I'm not usually out on a Friday night. The game started at 7 and I was home by 10 pm. Works for me.

Lots of moms there with daughters. The mascot was fun - she danced all over the place.

Wings won and two players stood out - Skylar Diggins-Smith and Glory Johnson.  Nice work ladies.

Go Wings!!!  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book Review - Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is a well written interesting story about a young girl and her uncle. June is shy, distant, and still trying to learn about life at age fourteen. It’s 1987 and the word AIDS is not common. Her uncle, famous painter Finn Weiss, is her favorite person in the world and he dies. But he leaves behind a “friend”, Toby, who’s a big secret. June’s mother is angry at Finn, Toby, etc about his death.  So June keeps her connection with Toby a secret. She learns more about her uncle’s life, about trust, and love.

This story is quite bittersweet. It’s a family drama that’s missing a key player – the late Finn Weiss. It’s only through his death that we learn more. It’s only through June’s love of her uncle and willingness to connect with his love, Toby, that the picture becomes complete.

p. 101  June:  I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that  there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.

p. 233  June: If I could time travel, could I be selfless enough to stop Finn from getting AIDS? Even if it meant I would never have him as my friend? I didn’t know. I had no idea how greedy my heart really was.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is poignant and heartrending at times. It was different and I found it quite compelling. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Book Review - The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is so chillingly apt for our 2017 lives. Crap. I have chills.  It was written in 1986 and I have to say Atwood is freaking brilliant, prescient, and oh so wise. It has had a resurgence thanks to a production on Hulu (which I have not seen. It stars Elizabeth Moss  - an excellent actress).  Anyway – this book is very worthy of a read. It was our book club pick and I can’t wait to discuss it with my friends.

From the back blurb:  Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may only leave the Commander’s home once a day to walk to the food market. Women are no longer allowed to read. Women no longer have access to money. She has to pray that the Commander impregnates her. She is valued only because her ovaries are viable. She can remember the years before, when she lived and made love to her husband, played and protected her daughter, had  a job, money, and access to knowledge. All that is gone now…

Read and find out what happens. Review the life she remembers, how she exists now, and what is possible…if anything.

Atwood has created a world that is horrific and possible. Her vision is amazing and her writing is genius. I read this and shall turn around and re-read it. Wow. It blew my mind.  Quite profound.
I dog-eared this whole book.

p. 64  I’ve learned to do without a lot of things. If you have a lot, you get too attached to this material world and you forget about spiritual values. You must cultivate poverty of spirit.

p.94 What’s going on…has nothing to do with passion or love or romance…it has nothing to do with sexual desire

p.135  Maybe it’s about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it

p.193  The moment of betrayal is the worse, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you’ve been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil.

The Handmaid’s Tale is absolutely  one of the best books I’ve ever read.  Get it. Read it. Think. And re-read it.  And re-read it. Discuss.  Dang!!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Happy Birthday Ray

Happy Birthday Ray!! Today's the day, my husband, lover, best friend, buddy, and all around great guy turns 61. Yikes!   So fun, so energetic, so opposite of me. Always up for anything, always laughing at my crazy crap. We just can hang or go travel and find adventure. He's up for anything I concoct, and believe me I'm always stirring up something.

Happy Birthday Ray

Love you loads!!!!