Category Archives: escapism

Comparison: 2 Survival Movies

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My family likes to discuss and analyze movies after we watch them.

There are two fine movies we watched where the theme was survival.

Both movies have been given critical acclaim and awards. They have

outstanding casts and performances. One is about man against the

sea while the other one is astronauts against the odds, up in Space.

My brothers, particularly, are science-oriented, while I am more into

character development and overall “impressions” or “feelings.” I liked

both of these movies, for different reasons. We agreed the following

movies are worth your time, if you have not already seen them:

 

1.  2013’s “All Is Lost,” with Robert Redford,  playing a man who has

decided to embark on an ocean adventure aboard a boat. It is directed

by J.C. Chandor, who also wrote the intensely fascinating screenplay.

This story is about a veteran and resourceful sailor lost at sea, in the

Indian Ocean, when the movie opens.

Having been a member of Mariner Scouts, co-ed sailing experiences

aboard sailboats on Lake Erie, I know I would not be fully prepared

for being stranded on a lake; let alone the barrage of challenges the

man is faced with in this film.

In most cases, the mariner (R. R.) is able to cope. For example, when

the boat fills up with water, he can use a hand operated pump to get

the water out of the boat. When he wishes to find his location, due

to loss of radio waves, he is forced to use a hand-held sexton. I was

amazed when I looked this navigational instrument up to find how

old this was. Before 1757, the sextant was built differently and was

called an ‘octant.’ Both devices use the angles of the sun’s position

to figure out location. It has to due with comparing two locations,

one can be ‘celestial’ and using the level of the water or the horizon,

as the other ‘fixed’ location. When the character is able to find a ‘busy

section of the ocean,’ which means it is a thoroughfare for water

vehicles, I am amazed.  But I believe this is possible due to his vast

knowledge about the sea. This is called ‘the shipping lanes’ in the

water of the ocean. He compares and measures them, using a map.

He is able to naviagate this way, which they show him carefully

calculating this procedure.

 

I don’t want to let you know any further details about this movie,

since you may sometime spend a few hours watching this great

actor, showing his ability to literally carry out many of the physical

tasks presented to him, as a strong, older man. Along with “carrying”

the whole movie on his shoulders, as an actor. My youngest brother

took it home from my Mom’s house, (where both brothers, Mom

and I had watched this) so that he could view this one more time.

This expresses something impressive to me. It means it was such a

powerful story, it captivated his interest enough to see it twice in one

weekend.  He will help ‘weigh in’ on the next movie’s review, too.

 

2.  2013’s “Gravity,” with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

playing two astronauts with different levels of experience, while

out on a space shuttle proceeding through what was supposed to

be a routine journey.

This movie was co-written by and directed by Alfonso Cuaron. It is

“billed” as a science fiction thriller, but many scenes seem very real

and believable. The astronauts who watched the private screening,

were pleased, overall, with the emotions and the beautiful filmography.

They may have seen some imperfections and mentioned them, along

with flaws in the details. They probably were thrilled to have been

asked along for the ride, since there were not many complaints among

them.

My brothers both had a few times asked to ‘stop the movie,’ to rewind

along with discuss something that seemed to be ‘far-fetched.’ They

really felt the scene where the debris was flying at the astronauts,

shuold have sent them to hide behind the sturdy Hubble spacecraft.

Also, one brother felt that Matt (George Clooney’s character) should

have not been using up his extra energy and jet packs by ‘playing’

and ‘tooling around the stratosphere.’ He is often characterized as

an easy going character, this is true once again in the action movie,

“Gravity.” He has the qualities of ‘laid back’ and confident astronaut

definitely ‘down pat.’ Matt is senior officer and experienced veteran

while Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan is on her first mission. She is

the medical engineer. There were ‘holes’ in her choices, not showing

a strong ability to think ‘outside the box,’ nor being aware of her

surroundings. (She passes some wires that are giving off sparks,

but doesn’t think about potential fire danger. I gave a sharp intake

of breath, with a strong premonition when she did this. It was very

apparent to me; so not sure why Ryan doesn’t notice them.)

There are a lot of loopholes in “Gravity’s” plot. Which if I mentioned

all of them then you may not be surprised when they occur. If you

are like I am, you prefer to hear a short synapsis and not be given too

many plot devices. I am sure that this would not be a good review if I

let you know too much ahead of time. Nor will I reveal the endings of

either movie I am talking about.

 

Summary of Mom’s and My Opinion on Both Movies:

The way Mom and I are, we were enthralled by the way Earth and

Space looked. The much played comment by Matt (George Clooney)

in movie trailers was (paraphrased), “Enjoy the view.” This would

be our strongest reason to suggest you see, “Gravity.” It is why people

leaving theaters would be so excited. There are many positives that

outweigh the negatives.

When Mom and I watch movies, it takes a major upset to get us

to give up on a movie. We would have probably let the problems

within the scientific and technical realm, ‘go.’

We sometimes sit together, leaning against each other or holding

hands. The excitement and danger in both “All Is Lost” and “Gravity”

seemed quite realistic. We held on tight in several parts of the man

facing eminent death upon the sea and when the astronauts kept

drifting away from secure holds on their positions. Both movies tell

engrossing stories, gripping and holding your attention.

 

We felt when “Gravity” was finished, (Mom and I) one must suspend

your disbelief and enjoy the adventure of the movie.

When we concluded our discussion about “All Is Lost,” we felt this

could have represented a real person’s experiences. At the end, we

wished we could learn his name. It seemed totally believable, which

makes this movie almost like you could be able to read an autobiography

of this man.

 

 

 

Fantasies

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Not sure the Grimm brothers would wish to be considered descendants from an

“elite line of criminal profilers” known as simply, “Grimms.” The character, Nick

Burkhardt, is very popular in the television show with that name. It is a combination

of mystery, suspense, horror and fantasy. I have watched this from its premiere, with

bated breath waiting for the next episode to begin. Nick’s character partner is named,

Hank Griffins, who is part of knowing Nick’s ancient history. The story revolves with

ancestry references and a fictionalized heritage besides. Hank is a good and trust-worthy

partner. This history allows him to ‘see’ and ‘fight’ by engaging in battle with all sorts of

strange creatures. The fantasy television series first appeared three days before the

holiday, Halloween, in 2011.

The other side characters in “Grimm” include a woman, Fuchsbau Rosalee, who is

able to use pharmaceuticals, including herbs and natural ingredients needed to be

‘antidotes’ and ‘potions.’ She is the “Fox,” among the characters. The Wolf,” is also

once the ‘big, bad wolf,’ but has learned to control his transformations, unless he

is angered, his character’s name is Monroe.

A very popular episode with my fellow coworkers at my warehouse is one that engages

the character of the Filipino fairy tales, the terrifying, ‘aswang.’ Felda, Mary Jane and

their families gathered to watch this “Grimm’s” episode that aired on March 7, 2014.

It came up again in conversation, with the new Fall Season starting soon. Next Friday,

another “Grimm” show will be presented. The March scary Filipino fairy tale involved

a popular character played by a Clevelander, a Padua Franciscan High School graduate.

In the television series, his name is Sergeant Wu. As Sgt. Wu, his character was an integral

part of the way the case against the “aswang” was solved. In real life, Cleveland born Reggie

Lee, could have headed off to Harvard. His parents, who were from the Philippines, would

have been so ‘proud of him.’ He chose instead to dabble in the dramatic art of acting,

at the Cleveland, Ohio Greenbrier Theater and Cleveland Play House.

 

Make sure you check out “Grimm” for fulfilling your need for fantasy crime scenes!

 

There is a rather new “fractured fairy tale” written by a woman named Helen Oyeyemi,

who has written a re-telling of the traditional, “Snow White.” Her book titled,  “Boy,

Snow, Bird” is her newest book. This is a tale with the main character being a bi-racial

eight year old girl and her ‘badly behaving’ secret friend.  Ms. Oyeyemi’s history of

wondrous books includes her first book published called, “The Icarus Girl.”  This tale

wove African and Western cultures together in an international mythology.  Her second

one was called, The Opposite House.” Her third book, “White is for Witching,” sounded

intriguing, too.  While on the cover of her “Boy, Snow, Bird” book there includes “Mr. Fox”

as her most recently published before this one. If you wish to hear why the secret friend

of the 8 year is old is ‘wicked,’ you may check this out.  The playfulness of the book, is

shown in the mother being called mistakenly, “Boy.” While her daughter is called, “Bird.”

The rat-catcher, involved in the plot, adding comic relief. It is published by the Riverhead

Publishing Co. Its bright lime-green colored cover, captures your eyes like ‘eye-candy.’

It has a rose-covered vine winding around the title. . . like a sinister snake.

 

This is not a fantasy, but it is certainly inspiring to watch. Check out YouTube for a

community of Amish people constructing a barn. I always think of that fantastic

mystery, police story and cultural movie, “Witness,” when it comes to the artistic

‘barn-raising’ scene filmed in this Harrison Ford movie. The way it is constructed in

such a beautiful, poetic and fluid way is just goosebump raising for me. So far, there

have been over 2 million ‘hits’ of watching this Raising of an Amish Barn.

 

Here is a quotation that wraps up this post that is about the television series,

“Grimm,” some creatively constructed fairy tales by Helen Oyeyemi and

the Amish community spirited barn-raising:

 

Charles Dickens’ quotation:

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this:

that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a

thing created is loved before it exists.”

I Want That Job!

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I was looking at my grandchildren’s “Big Box” of Crayons. They are

certified ‘non-toxic.’ There are 96 colors of every shade imaginable

including with some ‘new,’ to me at least, names! The crayons are made

by Crayola Company, made in the U.S.A. and distributed in Australia

by Binney and Smith. The two locations for Crayola listed on the box

are Easton, Pennsylvania and Winfield, Kansas.

I also was placed at work,  in the aerosol paint room, otherwise known

affectionately as the ‘bomb shelter,’  for the past two weeks. We have

had longer hours, working with large orders, where I fill out 6 hampers,

toting about ten extra ones to replace once they are filled. I could not

believe the awesome names that car paint comes in now!

 

So, with my experience of painting with watercolors and acrylics,

having painted many murals and designs, along with my love of

designs and years of practice coloring inside the lines of coloring

books and outside the lines in my own exciting imaginary worlds,

I wish to apply for the position of:

 

EXECUTIVE COLOR MASTER AND NAMER OF NEW SHADES

OF CRAYONS, PAINTS OR CAR COLORS.

Salary is negotiable, location Central Ohio desirable.

Driving a beautifully designed 2015 car with some kind of company

logo, which will be richly and elaborately decorated in all sorts of

exciting colors will be part of my required expense budget.

Inquire through LinkedIn for Robin O. Cochran.

 

Anyone wishing to just enjoy colors through the words chosen

recently in the Big Box of Crayons by Crayola, here are some of

my favorites, grouped by category:

 

Yellows and Oranges:

Laser Lemon

Unmellow Yellow

Sunglow

Mac and Cheese

Neon Carrot

*********************

 

Reds and Purples:

Razzle Dazzle Rose

Hot Magenta

Wild Strawberry

Tickle Me Pink

Purple Pizzazz

Orchid

Thistle

Purple Mountain Majesty

 

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Blues:

Cornflower

Blizzard Blue

Periwinkle

 

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Greens:

Tropical Rainforest

Electric Lime

Screaming Green

Magic Mint

Pine Green

Jungle Green

 

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Now here are some of the Aerosol Paint colors for cars:

Metallic Colors:

Gunmetal

Light slate

Graphite

Aluminum

Light Drift Sand

 

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Whites:

Olympic

Performance

Wimbleton

Polar Arctic

Oxford

 

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Reds:

Inferno

Toreador

Victory

Garnet

Dark Cherry

 

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Greens:

Cayman Island

Green Metallic

Pine Green

Emerald Green

 

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Tans:

Tumbleweed

Khaki

 

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Black:

Brilliant Black Pearl

 

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Gray:

Dark Shadow

 

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Golds:

Champagne Pearl

Harvest Gold

Light Almond Pearl

Cashmere Beige

(I used to have a “Cinnamon Glaze” Neon!)

 

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This one reminds me of “Charlotte’s Web,” where Charlotte

wove special and magical messages into her spider webs to

inspire the farmyard animals and ultimately save her dear

friend, Wilbur the pig’s life. So he would not be sold for meat,

at the county fair.

 

“Radiant Silver” is one of the many silver colors that goes out

frequently, distributed to Ohio and Indiana stores. It must be

on a popular car!

 

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I love these ‘blues:’

So will you!

True Blue

Maui Blue

Bahama Blue

Metal Specks Ocean Blue

 

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Nature is a theme for both the crayons and car paints’ choices of

colors. This is part of who I am, I am a natural woman, you see!

Imagination and creativity are also part of my work ethic, which

I could definitely utilize by coming up with all kinds of new names

for the next generation of coloring children and car buyers!

 

The Daytona Yellow is another popular color. I would like any or

all of these on my personal company car!

 

Don’t you think I would qualify?

I will leave you with a quotation that is motivating me to find

just the right place to work:

“Good work and joyous play go hand in hand.

When play stops, old age begins.

Play keeps you from taking life too seriously.”

(Lord Byron)

 

What is your dream job? Please share!

Bureaucracy

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This will be an angry post, one where frustration sometimes is best

relieved by venting! It can be about the fact that it’s quite challenging

to get a hold of an actual human being on the phone! It can be your

own disappointment or disgust at the way businesses seem to give you

the ‘run around!’

I can only hope you will add to this, with your own examples of

“Bureaucracy!”

(There is a reason why there are so many people throw the word, “idiocy”

around! Also, I do know there may be some people who may mention the

dreaded word, “politicians, ” too.)

Tomorrow will be my smiles and chuckles post. . .

 

I would like to start the ball rolling with a look at a small example of how

business in my workplace, at the good ‘ole warehouse, is run.

Last Monday, while about 20 people were lining up to ‘clock in,’  at our

time clock there was an obstacle to walk around to get to the clock. It is a

small ‘vehicle’ or ‘cart’ that has an engine, which the ‘bosses’ scoot around

on.

It would ‘crack you up,’ to see them get on one of these, only to go about 30

paces, to get to another office or to use the rest room.

In each of these cases, no one else is allowed to ‘touch or move them.’

On last Tuesday, at the morning meeting, a fellow coworker mentioned that

whoever is parking their little mode of transportation in the way of the time

clock, was actually ‘breaking a safety rule.’

Then, my friend added, it is unsafe, due to the way people have to ‘clock in’

and then try to get out of the way of the next person in line. ‘There isn’t any

room to do this safely.’

Then, he mentioned that someone ‘almost tripped over it!’

Well, what do you know?!

That darn cart was once again parked in the location directly under

the bins order fillers’ time clock. I wish to note, at this time, I never get

in this long line, no patience for such nonsense. I enter the hallway by

the lockers, ‘clock in’ where there is usually only five people getting

their last sips of coffee, filling their water bottle, or something like this.

It is located by the break room.

No one blocks the break room!

Anyway, at the morning meeting on last Wednesday, one of our immediate

bosses, (one is for heavy bulk fillers and the other regular ‘bins’ order fillers)

made a proud announcement,

“We sent out a memo to whoever is leaving their cart by the time clocks.”

(In this case, he meant an ’email.’ There are no more memos, unless the

boss’ boss prints out an email and checks it for any facts that may not be

disclosed to us, (‘paeans.’) By the way, how many people would have put

an ‘o’ in that? Since everyone says ‘pee-ons’ I struggled with the spelling!

Out of practice!

On last Thursday, the cart was moved, presumably due to the ‘efficiency

and effectiveness’ of the email!

Another minor example of ‘Bureaucracy,’ came in a rather smelly way!

I went away to my Mom’s on June 27th and arrived home on July 6th.

I had a grand time, some challenges but overall, a nice escape from my

everyday life.

When I arrived home, I smelled an odor in the hallway, quickly sped up

to get into my apartment, presumable to be in my old, familiar, cinnamon

and other kinds of homey smells. (I love Yankee Candle Company’s scent

of “Home Sweet Home,” use it in my candles, warmers, and in my car, too.)

Oh my!

It was my apartment that truly stank! Yuck!

I quickly went to the nearly empty fridge, it held only pleasant condiments

and the baking soda box held any of the odors. No spoiled foods, check!

I then ran into the bathroom, and as I got there, I was splashing in the

hallway! The carpet was soaked and yes, it smelled horrific. Like a dead

animal, no none of those in evidence!

I called my apartment manager’s phone number, leaving a message.

I went out into the hall, stopped across the hall. The friendly woman, who

is still nameless, since my good friend, “Bo” and daughter “Amyah” moved

out, I have not attempted to know this one. I miss the grandmother friend

and her granddaughter, too. (I gave her a lot of my Dad’s porcelain light-

houses and other nice things, like a ‘throw’ blanket with the 12 Lake Erie

lighthouses on it.)

The neighbor opened her door, asked me had I been gone long? She had

noticed my absence and admitted to smelling my odor. She also told me

that her air conditioner pipe from the upstairs (floors 2 and 3) had somehow

gotten clogged. The overflow or pressure had leaked into her apartment,

hallway and into her bedroom, too. She said this happened on June 30th,

that the manager had provided a fan to dry it, would be cleaning her carpet

sometime around July 11 or 12th.

I was ‘freaking out!’ That meant he clearly knew others were having this

problem and had not bothered to knock and check around to see if there

were other instances of this. Just while I was talking to her, Pete called.

He lives on the second floor with his wife, Nancy. It is not like he is off

the premises, surely he would have smelled this, since they are supposed

to vacuum the halls and wax the chair rail in the hallway.

I approached this with caution, remembering my Mom’s favorite expression

for handling irksome circumstances:

“You can attract more positive responses with honey than with vinegar.”

(There are variations on this but this is how she would say it.)

I told Pete, that I had come home from vacation and found my apartment

very ripe smelling, think it has to do with the water heater leaking or the

air conditioner pipe. He said he would bring me a fan.

I called my oldest daughter, she came over. I was sure I would have a fit,

if someone would not be there to keep me from over-reacting!

I boiled tea for the two of us, I lit about ten candles around the apartment.

I put a little of my vanilla scented lotion inside my nostrils.

When Pete came down, he knocked and then opened the door. He did not

admit to me that there was any odor. (I miss my old landlord, Ron, he would

have sympathized and also, maybe offered to help find out the root of the

problem.)

Pete said, “I will have to call a maintenance man tomorrow. He is also good

with the electrical stuff. He can check your heater and air conditioner.”

Carrie was walking in, saw my look and asked me to come in the hallway

while Pete set up the fan to blow air into my wet carpet and then he opened

the doorway to the ‘electrical stuff.’

Carrie ‘admonished me:’  “Don’t use your teacher look or your teacher voice,

Mom! But you may ask him if there are any avenues to proceed to, if it were

an ’emergency,’ mention that mold is not healthy for you to sleep in.”

I re-entered my apartment, almost knocking him down. Pete was going to

leave! I had to take a short breath not to let my steam blow!

“What would you do if this happened to yours and Nancy’s apartment?

Would you think there may be a solution that could be chosen tonight?”

 

(Inside my head I was yelling,

“So I won’t have to sleep knowing that there is water with possible mold

or e-coli, lying inch thick in my hallway!!”)

Pete asked me twice in quick succession, had I run my air conditioner

while I was on vacation?

Each time, I answered, “No.”

I am not sure if that would have somehow made it ‘my fault’ that the air

conditioner’s condensation had run into my apartment, but he seemed to be

focused on this point. Now, later, I wonder if I had it so that it would run

while I was gone, would that have somehow alleviated their responsibility?

 

An emergency plumber came that night.

 

I am thankful that he said to Pete, “This place smells disgusting! It would

be hard to sleep with this in the hallway!”

He said to me, “Maybe you could spend the night at your friend’s apartment,”

looking at my 34 year old daughter. (God bless his heart!)”

He also explained how there is a perpendicular pipe, that had filled with

mold, where the condensation from others’ air conditioners siphons down

into this. Normally, going into a drain. I was glad he explained that the

whole thing was ‘not your tenant’s fault’ to Pete.

In this case, as I talked to my coworker the next day who also happens to

live in my apartment building, he feels that Pete should have offered to

pay something towards a motel room. Another coworker says, he would

have insisted on getting the carpet cleaned and suctioning off the water,

too.

I have a good thing to tell you! My carpet did get cleaned on July 1oth,

so I only had to live with the stench for Sunday through Thursday nights.

Another good bureaucratic occurrence is to be announced.

I got a refund from the Cable company!

What? You heard me right!

I called them to tell them I did not get my Time Warner Cable Channel

Guide for the months of June or July! I wondered if I needed to go to

the Post Office and ask for a trace on it? The first woman that I talked to,

used a businesslike tone, saying that they were no longer publishing this

lovely television guide, that was quite a bargain for less than $3. It had

the look of a magazine, with at least ten pages of colored paper, then the

rest of it, in black and white newsprint. I would pore over that, circle and

use two different colors of highlighters, too!

When I did not get a significant explanation nor confirmation of the bill

being changed, since I had sent both June and July payments by this time,

I asked for a manager!

I used a plaintive tone, almost whiny, but was almost beside myself, really

upset about this. I wanted to know if there had been written notice of its

discontinuation? I wished to have an explanation why this happened? I

wondered was I the only person who felt it was well worth paying for this

monthly guide?

The manager was like a psychiatrist, she had a bell-like tone to her voice,

very sympathetic, kind and saying, “Oh, that is too bad!” and then, “Oh,

I can understand how important this was to you!”

I actually got a $30 refund, she felt this was well worth using her power

to use “discretionary funds.”

She was looking at my years of being an “Outstanding customer,” and

telling me she did not want to lose me, that I was “Valuable” to Time

Warner Cable!

I may have to call HER next time something else goes wrong, somehow

she imparts some warmth and love to the whole ‘bureaucracy’ and gives

me hope after all!

Let me know you worst case scenarios with bureaucracy and I will kindly

impart my “Oh, that is too bad’s” to each and every one of you! I have a

good feeling that this post may help you ‘vent’, ‘rant’, and you will feel

much better!!

Fellow bloggers ‘therapy’ begins when I hang my ‘shingle up!’

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Portrait of Garrison Keillor

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It is so hard to imagine life without Lake Wobegone or all the

assundry characters that Garrison Keillor created with his wild

and interesting imagination. He was born in August, 1942, in

Anoka, Minnesota. His dream was to be a ‘poet and a genius.’

Garrison Keillor is best known for his radio show and many

books written.

In Garrison’s plainly written words in the book, “The Keillor

Reader,” (2014, Viking Books, part of Penguin Group) you find

yourself looking up to him. You feel that he has wisdom to

impart. I think that Garrison could be considered a ‘feel good’

author! Listening to his stories can make you wish for the

‘good old days,’ where life was simpler.

While he describes the townspeople of Lake Wobegon,

“I invented a town where the women are strong, the men are

good-looking and the children are all above-average.”

In July, 2014, “A Prairie Home Companion” will celebrate its Forty

Years’ Anniversary!

This iconic Minnesota Public Radio Show caught my attention a long

time ago, when I heard it playing on our local public broadcasting

channel.

His program has been syndicated and listened to by people, around

the world!

Have you ever sat, with possibly your eyes closed, as I happen to

choose to do, and listened to Garrison Keillor?

I like to picture the various places in his town, with their clever

names like “Bertha’s Kitty Boutique,” “The Chatterbox Café,”

“The Sidetrack Tap (the local tavern), “Skoglund’s Five & Dime,”

and “Bunsen Motors.”

Garrison’s fine voice, with its unusual dialect, distinguished

in his readings to us. His words kept my interest, about the

people in the town that once had only been a figment of his

imagination. They must have been rolling around, among his other

young, diverse thoughts, just waiting to escape and come to life!

When Garrison applied for the early morning shift, he had been

one of only a handful willing to get up daily at 4 a.m.

His wry, ascerbic wit and sometimes darker version of the world

were not acceptable to those who were on their way to work, ones

who may have needed a second cup of java to get them going.

So, out of this understanding of his audience, Garrison became

“Old Scout,” the narrator and observer of a small town.

I liked the movie, “A Prairie Home Companion,” (2006) which believe

it or not, included Lindsay Lohan, amongst a wonderful, comedic

ensemble group! The list of actors and actresses alone, made it

worth watching this “B+” movie! I cannot help listing the ones

who were part of Robert Altman’s cast of dreams. (By the way,

this was Altman’s last film that he directed. His list of many

accomplishments is incredible! He died later in November, 2006.)

Here’s the list of “Who’s Who” in the movie: Lily Tomlin, Meryl

Streep, Woody Harrelson, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly, Kevin

Kline, Garrison (himself) Keillor, Tommy Lee Jones and Robin

Williams with his wife, Linda. There is an interesting “angel”

character, played by Virginia Madsen. At the end, when the play

is closed down and the theater no longer exists, there is a

special scene… (I won’t “spoil” this, if you choose to rent

this from your local library.) I just want to say, the scene

in a diner, was rather “fortuitous.”

I love Garrison Keillor’s book, I recommend it and it would

be considered a memoir, with some facts about his life and

the phases he went through, growing old while being the one

who told the world about the town that had once lived in his

mind.

I like to make lists so here are some of the things I learned

from his autobiography, including some quotations from his 2014

book.

“Life Lessons I learned While Reading Garrison Keillor’s Most

Recent Book”~

1. Incorporate a sense of humor in your day!

Garrison mentions the contrast of his own morning persona

compared to what was acceptable to his listeners.

“Irony and a dark world-view are not useful in radio early

in the morning…”

2. Be cheerful and it will help others to be happy.

Garrison explains why he created his character,

“Old Scout, who rallied listeners to rise and shine and face the

day with a smile.”

He goes on, “It was a good persona and in time I came to believe

it myself.”

3. Be nice in your town to friends and neighbors.

The town he invented has pleasantries, helpful and kind people.

Garrison’s people are respectful, despite their quirky natures.

4. Work hard, ‘make up for lack of talent.’ and forge ahead.

Garrison tells his readers,

“Soon I was forty, which is too old to die young, so I forgot about

immortality and headed down the long dirt road of longevity.”

5. Parents are important. Remember to thank them!

Garrison realizes,

“It dawned on me that the cheerful radio host I invented was derived

from my parents’ example.”

6. It is good to enjoy what you have and realize things could be

worse.

Garrison describes his parents,

“They were children of the Great Depression, John and Grace. They

knew how to savor their life and not complain.”

7. Don’t complain about how your children lead their lives.

Garrison reveals,

“They (his parents) never complained about me though I know they

hoped I’d go into a more distinguished line of work.”

8. Find what you like to do and continue doing it!

Garrison likes his life and his stories with comedy relief.

“I like it, (his choice of profession) though. Comedy does

give good value. There are so many discouraging facts around

for example, half of all people are below average, and jokes

relieve some of the misery.”

9. Sometimes making up parables can be amusing.

Garrison’s humor shows in this example:

“The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong nor

riches to men of understanding, but time and chance happeneth

to them all.”

10. As you grow older, you truly believe ‘age is wisdom.’

Garrison says this example is the ‘essence of comedy’ in

25 words or less:

“You’re fast, you trip and fall down: you’re strong and you

poke your sword in your left foot; you’re smart and you go

broke.”

At age 72 this year, Garrison Keillor has reached an age that

his words ring with truth and wisdom, leading us on in our

creativity and encouraging us to keep trying to find our way.

When he came up with the town’s name of Lake Wobegon, I wonder

if he was thinking that it was “woe-be-gone.” Telling us to

leave our burdens and turmoils behind us.

These are the lessons I received from reading his book, “The

Keillor Reader.”

I felt so blessed to have had a chance to ‘visit’ for awhile

and ‘listen’ one more time to Garrison Keillor.

“Neverland”

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In light of the tragic kidnapping of hundreds of young schoolgirls

recently, taken from their schools, you may wish to escape from our

current reality. Once you hear that the evil men, who are part of the

Nigerian “Taliban,’ are threatening to sell those girls and possibly

force them into ‘prostitution’ or to become child ‘wives’…

We all may wish to return to “Neverland!”

I was channel surfing between the semi-finals on “The Voice,” and

the fun, musical show, “Glee,” when I spotted Tim Conway and a few

other elderly, fine actors. “Glee” has been located in New York City,

since the members have graduated from high school and are pursuing

their theater dreams.

I noticed Tim Conway amidst a scene of nursing home residents, a

special retirement home for past performers. The young, thin man

in “Glee’s” cast, who has an excellent voice, was needed since

the person who had been cast as “Peter Pan” in the nursing home’s

theater production had, unfortunately, just passed away. In a rather

bizarre setting, too. The character who was playing “Peter Pan” was

in his ‘flying gear,’ having died while suspended in his harness.

I was mentally whisked away to the days when musicals were played

on my parents’ stereo. I felt like I was listening to Mary Martin

singing, in her role as “Peter Pan.” I was so happy that I ‘stayed’

(and did not flip back to watch, “The Voice,”) with the “Glee” show,

in its Season Finale. When I discovered the scene where one elderly

woman, a reoccurring role as “Maggie” I wanted to see who the actress

was. Her name is June Squibb, and she was singing “Wendy’s” role. At

some time in her young life, she had actually portrayed, (shown in a

brief back and forth camera shot movement from the stage to the nursing

home’s bulletin board with real photos of the original theater roles)

the youngest of the “Darling” family. The showed June Squibb, as a cute

little girl with a bow in her page boy haircut.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) has visited Maggie, the elderly woman who lives in

this retirement home, a few times before this show. Maggie’s character is

of a past Broadway legend, who encourages Kurt, when he has been challenged

by being turned down for try-outs. Last night, he had been ‘shot down’ by

his friend, Rachel (played by Lea Michelle), not able to be included in a

simple fundraiser for a dog pound.

Each time the camera panned back and forth from the present older aged

adult in the cast or audience watching the home’s production, they would

go back to the bulletin board black and white photograph. I took a quick

glance at the older person and tried to imagine them in the roles while

children.

In my Roger and Ebert Movie Reviews Guidebook, they accidentally list

“Tom” Conway, instead of Tim Conway, as the man who voiced the part of the

“Narrator,” in the 1953 animated “classic” version of “Peter Pan.”

Do you know why? Because Tim Conway was born Thomas Daniel Conway!

He used his real, birth name in the cartoon version of “Peter Pan!”

An ‘Extra Bonus Fact’ about Tim Conway is that he was born in

Willoughby, Ohio on 12/15/1933. Go Ohio!

Tim Conway wears a crocodile costume in the “Glee” version of the

play and appears kind of senile, leaning forward with a rather goofy

expression on his face. This playful performance and his ‘take’ on

the older male character was quite endearing.

I remember in one of my theater trips in Cleveland, going to see, “Peter

Pan.” It was not with Mary Martin playing the role of Peter, but the

fine actress and singer, Sandy Duncan.

I will not go into the two different adult psychological directions

that have been taken from the sweet story of “Peter Pan.”

If you wish to know more about the “Wendy Syndrome” of the “Peter Pan

Syndrome” you may be interested in researching farther on those

subjects on your own.

I will let you in on a few more facts about “Peter Pan,” though. The

author, J.M. Barrie, did include the character of “Peter Pan,” in 1902

in a novel called, “The Little White Bird.” There is a lovely illustration

on Wikipedia from that book.

Later, it was published in 1904, as a play production known as “Peter Pan

or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

Now, let’s sing together, “I won’t grow up, I don’t want to go to school,

for growing up…”

Wish we could all escape to childhood…

Maybe not the dangers of “Captain Hook,” his band of pirates and the

crocodile who swallowed a clock, though.

Scams and Hoaxes

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This morning, Thursday 4/17/14, CBS News featured an interview of

someone who had preyed on innocent senior citizens. There are some

redeeming factors to the interview, though. This ‘con artist’ is

currently giving advice to those who are being ‘scammed,’ his victims.

The April AARP Magazine, that I have received and embraced, since

my fiftieth birthday, featured a more amusing take on the subject

matter, titled: “The Monkey Matisse and Other Great Hoaxes.” I

recommend reading the details of this, I am sure it is available

online, too. There were six stories that were quite amusing, with

the theme of fooling people, in the last fifty years.

The subject matter brought to mind one of my favorite movies of

all time, “Catch Me If You Can.” It is mainly due to 2 different

angles of the movie. One is that I enjoyed the period of time, (the

sities), the famous young man was able to ‘con’ his way into hospitals,

airlines and other professional fields. The character that Leonardo

Di Caprio plays is of that of a real life ‘con artist,’ Frank Abagnale,

Jr., who is currently a securities consultant. The character, who chases

him across American and catches him in Europe, is played by Tom Hanks.

Frank is ten years older than I, so his being able to portray a doctor

while in his twenties, along with a variety of roles, makes this movie

and story quite fascinating to me. I enjoyed the time he is an airline

pilot. During the period where I was growing up, many of my friends and

I thought it would be exciting to become an airline stewardess and ‘See

the world!’ In one famous scene, shown in “Catch Me If You Can’s”

advertising promotional campaign, Frank is walking down the hallway in

an international airport, with a few beautiful airline stewardesses on

his arms. (The current appropriate label would be ‘Flight Attendants.’)

He does fall in love with someone along the way, but while ‘running’ and

‘escaping’ from the law, he is not able to sustain an enduring relationship.

This man, Frank Abagnale, also appeared on one of my family’s favorite

television shows, “To Tell the Truth.” I remember the episode, (1977), along

with the interesting famous personalities who were ‘regulars.’ Some who

portrayed the four ‘judges’ were smoking on set, in the original 60’s time

period!

I felt this show, which ran from 1956 until 2001, was a great example of

how everyone is easily fooled by the outward appearance of someone. The

famous line which was sincerely spoken was, “My name is ______.”

The ‘bad’ outcome of how we can make mistakes in identifying an honest

person from a thief, though, is that elderly and young people are more

likely to become their ‘preys’ or victims.

I remember wearing proudly my American Airlines’s set of wings,

pinned on my jacket. Another time, proudly wearing United Airlines

wings, indicating I was a “stewardess in training.” This was in

the era that transporting children was either ‘free’ or reasonable

cost. Did you ever have a piece of memorabilia that was from a

vacation or travel, that means a lot to you?

My brothers also liked such little emblems of their participating

in such ‘pretend play,’ as in the case of wearing Sheriff’s badges

while touring the Wild West section of Cedar Point Amusement Park,

in Sandusky, Ohio.

The current ‘scammers’ are able through technology and hacking

devices, to not only get lists of senior citizens, but also contact

information.

The real example of a woman, on the CBS Today show, sent off large

checks, unfortunately, to help her grandchild. The caller, con artist,

listed fabricated identification and indicated the call receiver’s

grandson was incarcerated and needed money for a lawyer. The name of

the grandson, his hometown and an address were given to her. Sadly,

she lost quite a large amount of money, believing she was aiding her

family member.

This picture painted in the scenario indicates how high some people

‘fly’ to help and reach others, and how low some people ‘sink’ to

take advantage of caring elderly people. The story of Frank Abagnale

and this new person featured in the interview, trade their knowledge

for freedom. Phone scams are prevalent and the new guy in the interview

gave two important suggestions for aiding the ones being taken advantage

of:

1. Ask the caller some detail or fact about the family member that will

identify the real person’s identity. Something that would not be in the

public knowledge of that person. Not a job or occupation, these are

often easily acquired. A pet’s name, a special hobby or interest are

examples of personal information not available to most ‘hackers.’

2. Ask if you may contact your lawyer or another family member to

verify the validity of the story. I think this should always be true,

whether a phone or at the door salesperson.

“What are your references?” and “Please give me some phone numbers.”

The woman who gave away thousands of dollars to help her grandson

will not recover her money. No one is going to bail her out of the

‘jam’ she got herself into, but she shared her story and the criminal

who has participated in these hoaxes, shared his helpful tips.

If you spot or have a family member who is scammed, or wish to prevent

one that you have had a phone call or visit from someone, call your

local police authorities and here is an AARP online site to contact:

http://aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork

Anyone over fifty may be interested not only in the serious articles,

that include health concerns, financial advice column and political

impacts on the older American citizens but in the great interviews of

famous people. I love the covers of such famous people who now have

reached my fifty-plus age bracket as Kevin Costner, Susan Saranden and

the four handsome men from that fun movie, “Last Vegas.”

Also, you will get with your $15 dollars an AARP card that you may get

attached to your Walgreens or other ‘rewards’ cards. This reduces your

prescriptions, travel and restaurant costs from 1o% to 40%. I am not

employed by AARP, but would love to write a humorous column on dating

after fifty and how relationships reveal our hearts, from generation

to generation. Person to person, we all have needs, we are social

(for the most part) beings who like to help each other out…

One last horrible fact, presented on the CBS report, is that new

technology has allowed savvy people to ‘hack’ into systems. It can

actually invade our ‘Caller ID’ area of our phones. So, the woman

who was called, answered her phone to the scammer, thinking that

this was actually her grandson’s phone number being used!

I am off today and on my way to the eye surgeon for my four month

check up. My Fall optical appointment, with an optician, indicated I

had ‘high eye pressure’ again. I went to see Arena Eye Surgeons’

Dr. Pappas, in December. Now, I hope he will give me another ‘pass’

on the eyes since it has been only two years since I had holes

drilled into both my eyes, below the pupils, with laser surgery to

‘cure’ or temporarily relieve something called, “Narrow Eye Glaucoma.”

Remember to go to your eye doctors and ask them to do more than the

‘puff test.’ He or she can perform a more accurate test to detect ‘eye

degenerative disease.’

It is a shame that I am happy to take a day off to see the doctor!

Anything to get ‘away from work!’

I really wished I could have scheduled my eye exam, with extensive

testing on Good Friday. As in the case of many doctors, they are not

available due to their own personal or staff vacation time. Dr. Pappas

has Friday surgical scheduling in his Columbus office.

I will be possibly writing one more post, before Easter, but just

in case I don’t:

Have a blessed Easter, if you celebrate this holy day.

If not, have a wonderful weekend, my dear friends!