Category Archives: friendly banter

Red Carpet Highlights and Quick Summaries of Oscars

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This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is mine. I embrace award

ceremonies and enjoy seeing what the rich and famous are wearing.

This has been something that goes way back to my childhood. I

would ‘negotiate’ before I even went to kindergarten, to stay up

late to watch something.

 

It would go like this, “Mom and Dad, I would like to watch “The

Sound of Music” or “May I stay up and watch, the Miss America

Pageant?”

 

Then, my Dad would say, “Name your ‘points.'”

 

This meant using adult negotiating skills and debate ‘points.’

 

I would promise to set the table, take a nap before dinner and I

would not be grumpy in the morning on the way to the babysitter’s.

I raised my three children in this manner, which really did not work

whenever I married. They thought parenting was a monarchy, I felt

it was a democracy, each person’s ideas and thoughts equally valid.

 

 

The Red Carpet before the Oscars, February 22, 2015:

 

I watched, “E!” for awhile and then switched to “Ryan Secrest and

His Crew on the Carpet.”

 

On “E!” Gilliana (sorry, not sure about the spelling but they called

her, “G” for short) had on a red lacy dress with her light strawberry

blonde hair looking very glamorous and off the 50’s “Society Pages.”

 

America Ferrrara had a gorgeous emerald green glittery sleeveless

dress. She looked beautiful.

 

Anna Kendricks’ caught my eye, along with many who have given

their reviews. She wore a peach dress that had a halter with a slit

in the bodice, revealing skin but no cleavage. It was tasteful and she

looked radiant in this color and her hair was swept up on her head.

 

Gina Rodriguez wore a royal blue dress that is from a designer,

which I apologize you may research the name but it is eco-friendly

material made of an environmentally safe material. I am not sure

if this means it will bio-degrade? ha ha!

 

The low cut, bejewled peach dress on Jennifer Lopez, with its full

skirt and floating, flowing train behind was so beautiful. She is just

exquisite, in her taste and ability to not age a bit. She looked like a

Princess in this flesh-colored dress.

 

“Common” the rapper who joined musical forces in writing and

performing the song from the movie, “Selma” named “Glory,”

was on the Red Carpet in a white shirt, white bow tie and black

tuxedo. It had soft black velvet details on the tux’s lapels. Their

collaboration was an excellent way to make their song relevant

for the times.

 

Reese Witherspoon wore a white dress with a black satin sash-like

stripe across her shoulders about four inches wide. It made her

look like she was from Audrey Hepburn’s period of fashion, a

real class act. There was a narrow one to two inch belt of this

black satin fabric at her waist line. Reese wore her hair down and

looked very stunning.

 

Dakota Johnson, who just performed in “50 Shades of Grey,” came

with her famous mother and also, knowing her last name, you may

have guessed this but she is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie

Griffith. She had a slicked back brunette pony tail and she wore a one

shoulder red dress with diamonds or crystals along the edge of this.

The red was a perfect compliment to her porcelain skin and dark hair.

 

 

Eddie Redmayne looked like a teenager, with his hair a little punked

or messed up. He is the actor I was rooting for from the movie, “The

Theory of Everything.” He played Stephen Hawking. Last night, he

looked handsome in a dark blue tuxedo with black details. The designer

was McQueen. His wife, Sophie, is expecting and looked radiant in her

white dress.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch (who played Alan Turing in the movie, “The

Imitation Game”) and Eddie were saying they would be having a big

British ‘bash’ or celebration after the Oscars, including wives, along

with Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley and Felicity Jones, who was Eddie’s

costar. Ben wore a white tuxedo and llooked debonair. Both the men

were saying they felt they had brought the rain to California. A joke

since it is ‘always raining in England.’

Benedict repeated what Eddie had said, “We will all hang together

later on.”

 

Felicity Jones wore a silver-almost pearl like eggshell colored dress.

I heard someone else call it eggshell. It had a bluish tone to it from

a distance and yet, in brighter light looked pink. She is an attractive

young woman and her dress was pretty, too.

 

Robert Duvall’s wife is younger than he, not sure how much but it

is noticeable. She wore a peach glittery dress with deep, low cut and

revealing cleavage displayed. He was up for his performance in the

film, “The Judge.”

 

Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill looked stunning. Faith’s short

hair style and dress was beautiful. Tim looked like he was ready for

the military with his very short hair cut. Later, as he sang the great

song, “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” from the Glen Campbell docu-

mentary, he wore his traditional cowboy hat. This tribute filmed

Glen’s family and friends who traveled around the country giving

a final concert and tribute to Glen, before he totally forgets who he

is. It was to give recognition and public awareness of Alzheimer’s

Disease, which he has had for awhile. The film documents how his

temper and frustration comes and goes, too.

 

Terence Howard, who awhile ago performed  in an Academy Award

nominated movie, “Crash,” and is presently working in the t.v. series,

“Empire,” looked great and discussed with Ryan Secrest his interest

in getting the recently ‘kicked off’ American Idol singer Rachel to

sing on “Empire.” He was saying his character, “Lucius wants to have

Rachel as part of his group of new singers. Lucius would like to be her

producer.” I enjoyed this exchange, since I not only enjoy American

Idol, I do often watch, “Empire.” Ryan said, “That won’t be a problem,

I will see what I can do. . .”

 

Zoe Saldana, who I will always picture her from the movie, “Avatar,”

but is a beautiful woman without any blue makeup on. (In the film

she wears a prosthetic that alters her nasal appearance and her face

is a lovely shade of blue.) She wore a pink rose-colored dress and had

her thick hair in a loose up-do, with curling tendrils around her pretty

face.

 

Rosamund Pike, the actress from “Gone Girl,” wore a red dress that

was appropriate for her venomous character. In reality, she probably

is the sweetest person, as she portrayed in “Pride and Prejudice,” the

older sister to the main character, Elizabeth. The dress was a fantastic

one, which had a long slit and she posed with her one leg forward,

revealing a lovely leg. Her hair was up in a tight bun. She looked

very attractive with her smile making her whole face light up.

 

Sienna Miller, (another Brit), was wearing all black and glittery gown

with a train. She looked like a beautiful porcelain Barbie doll. Her hair

was golden. She was a presenter.

 

Keira Knightley, from the movie, “Begin Again,” (the last of the Brits)

wore a cream colored dress with sprinkles of pastel flowers, violets and

pink Spring Beauties among them.

 

Julianne Moore, from “Still Alice,” was wearing an off the shoulders

white dress. She looked beautiful with her hair up. I really loved the

way she looked in green with her auburn hair worn down at the Golden

Globes. She is a fabulous actress, who can perform many different parts.

She demonstrated classical beauty in her all white attire.

 

Viola Davis wore a pink satin gown and announced the four people

who were given lifetime achievement awards, shown on another day.

The one I recognized was, Harry Belafonte. I wished they had shown

more of this program but the time element always runs long, so they

have to ‘pick and choose’ which parts to show the audience. Another

famous woman/actress who I believe was in a wheelchair during the

awards, was Maureen O’Hara. My Mom really adored this actress of

the past. She was ‘feisty’ and showed ‘character,’ I can just hear her

saying.

 

Kevin Hart, the black comedian, wore a handsome black shirt and

tie, white tuxedo with black lapels. He made me smile, as he said the

person he wished he could get a “Selfie” with was Meryl Streep. It

is always nice to hear famous people being humble and not expecting

to be the center of attention. He cracks me up, whatever films he is

in. I realize describing him as a man of color, may be inappropriate,

but it is hard to tell you who he is, since he is in so many different

movies. He is usually a ‘side kick’ character…

 

Anna Faris and her husband, Chris Pratt, are in movies, but more

known for her role in the television show, “Mom.” Chris is known

more as his character in the television show, “Community.” They

were making jokes that they had a sitter or family member watching

their toddler and were going to use the chance of tonight’s plans to

carry on and have some partying later on, too. Anna had a silver dress

that clung to her in ‘all the right places,’ she is stunning while fixed up

in formal wear. Chris looks like the ‘leading man’ role he is growing

into. The two grew up and have been together for years, coming from

the state of Washington. He wore a traditional black tuxedo with a

white shirt and bow tie.

 

THE MAIN EVENT: THE OSCARS

 

This is a set of random observations along with the awards that

were given out, with some reactions included.

 

“Everything is Awesome,” song from the “Lego Movie,” had the

silly guys from the t.v. cop situation comedy, “Brooklyn 99” in

the huge production accompanying this repetitive song. It was

upbeat and I have heard from my oldest daughter and my two

grandsons that it has a great message about accepting everyone

as they are. It was a fun and funny song in a positive performance.

 

“Whiplash” is about a cruel and demanding musical director.

This was the first award given out,

**Best Supporting Actor to J.K. Simmons.

 

“American Sniper” won,

**Best Sound Editing” award.

 

Adam Levine with Maroon 5 sang a wonderful song,

“Lost Stars.”

He and his wife looked beautiful but nothing sticks

out in their wardrobe to note.

This did not win the award for “Best Song.”

 

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” won two awards right off the bat:

**Best Costume Design

**Best Make-Up

 

(My opinion was, to tell you the truth, shocked. I felt that “Into

the Woods” and/or the three historically accurate films should

have been given a ‘bone.’ (“Unbroken,” “The Theory of Everything,”

and “The Imitation Game.” I have not seen, but have heard the

film, “Mr. Turner,” has lavish costumes and I need to see this since

my artist brother says he is a fantastic artist of his time.)

 

Someone announced that 47 years ago, the Academy Awards were

postponed in honor and respect for the assasination of Martin Luther

King, Jr. It happened only four days before the program/awards

ceremony was scheduled. This set the tone for the song, “Glory,”

that had John Legend singing in a soulful and lovely tone, while

playing the piano. Then, Common came out and added his powerful

and staccato rapped words. I felt the idea of juxtapositioning Jim

Crow laws (preventing blacks from voting) with the bald eagle

in the lyrics was powerful. Every time I hear this song, it has been

on three awards ceremonies, I always find something ‘new’ to focus

in on.

 

“Glory” from the movie, “Selma” won,

** Best Song.

 

“Whiplash” won an award for,

**Best Picture (or Film) Editing.

 

Patricia Arquette gave a fantastic and inspiring speech as she

accepted the award for,

**Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Boyhood.”

 

(She spoke up about the need for Clean Water, she mentioned

a specific company that her family supports and also, exclaimed

about “Women who have stood up for so many other peoples’

rights, need to finally, once and for all, be given equal pay for

equal work.”)

 

I liked, Rita Ora’s song, “Grateful,” which was lovely and simple.

This song did not win any awards.

 

**I wrote a post about “Big Hero 6” and declaring it deserving to

win Best Animated Children’s Film and it did!

I had taken Skyler and Micah to see this when it first came out.

There is a special school in the movie, where young people or

teenagers can attend to work on future inventions. The big, white

puffy robot with the film’s name captures your heart. It is empathetic

and caring, there is a time when it has to have this amazing quality

‘turned off’ to help fight in a situation. In the end, everyone realizes

the gift and magic of a ‘feeling robot.’

 

Two who weren’t nominated in this Academy Awards Ceremony,

Jennifer Anniston who was nominated for a SAG and Golden

Globe for her work in “Cake.” And David Oyelolo who performed

the character of Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma” who had been

given nominations in the other awards shows, they got up to give

out an award together. Neil Patrick Harris pointed out more than

once about the controversy of ‘lack of color’ in the Oscars this year,

as well as saying something funny about the two ‘rejects’ giving out

awards. (Not using the word, ‘rejects,’ though but the meaning was

given, anyway.)

 

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” took another  two awards,

**Best Production and Set Design

**Best Cinematography

(Now, adding put to four awards.)

 

Lady Gaga was, for me, one of the major exciting highlights of the

whole entire evening. You may wish to google or find her on Youtube,

singing the songs from the 50th Anniversary of “Sound of Music.”

If you have not been watching her or listening to her singing in an

enchanting voice, accompanying Tony Bennett on their collaboration

album, you will be amazed. Simply amazed.

 

When Julie Andrews came out and thanked her enthusiastically and

with such praise, you know that Lady Gaga will never forget this night.

 

Meryl Streep was weeping, had a hard time keeping her voice from

faltering as she introduced the people in all aspects of entertainment

who had died in 2014. Here are the names I recognized and decided

to list for you to sample and you will be surprised at the few who may

have slipped by last year. Also, a few who were not recognized or

honored, too.

Mickey Rooney

Bob Hoskins

James Garner

Elizabeth Pena

Maya Angelou

Anita Ekberg

Edward Hermann

Mike Nichols

Ruby Dee

Louis Jourdan

Sam Goldwyn

Richard Attenborough

Robin Williams

Rod Taylor

Lauren Bacall, plus many more directors, animators, film editing and

makeup, costumes, along with movie reviewers from all around the world.

 

When the names were finished being listed and their painted in watercolor

faces displayed, Jennifer Hudson sang a beautiful song for those who have

gone on. It was, “I Cannot Let It Go, my forever love. . .”

 

“Selma” got only the Best Song Award.

“The Imitation Game” only got one award.

 

“The Theory of Everything” actor who portrayed Stephen Hawking,

Eddie Redmayne won,

**Best Actor

 

“Still Alice,” actress, Julianne Moore who portrayed a woman with

Alzheimer’s Disease won,

**Best Actress

 

“Birdman” won:

**Best Director

**Best Screenplay

**Best Picture of the Year

 

Funniest moments were Neil Patrick Harris pointing out the seat

keepers, while the ones were up accepting awards, going to use

the bathroom or at the bar, along with ones who were giving out

awards. Octavia Spencer was asked to ‘keep her eyes’ on a clear

box which had N. P. H’s predictions in it.  He also came out in

his ‘tidy whities’ to show solidarity for the “Birdman” cast,

who apparently one of them feels it is ‘lucky’ to wear them,

mentioned on another awards show or interview.  The most

funny moment that was to ‘fix’ the mistake John Travolta

made by mispronouncing Idina Menzel’s name on the awards

ceremony last year. She read John’s name in the most goofy

way, he came out and they hugged and were smiling at the joke.

I did not feel it was funny, but I hope he doesn’t get in trouble

for this comment, but Sean Penn mentioned something about

the Mexicans who directed, “Birdman” may need to get their

“Green Cards.” (Awkward moment, I felt.)

 

Did you see any of the awards, replayed or in actual real

performance and appearance time?

What was your favorite part or parts?

If you don’t watch, which film were you hoping to win,

did it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom Through the Ages

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Sometimes philosophy can be found on posters, bumper stickers,

t-shirts and other forms of public media. I found these precious

and funny bits of wisdom tucked into a circulated email. If you have

already received this set of “Great Truths” before, please don’t give

up on my writing original material very soon. . .

 

“Great Truths Little Children Have Learned:

1. No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.

2. When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.

3. If you sister or brother hits you, don’t hit your sibling back. They

always catch the second person. (“She did it first” doesn’t work in

school either.)

4. Never ask your 3 year old brother to hold a tomato or a wriggly

kitten.

5. You cannot trust dogs to watch your food. Even if they are guard

dogs.

6. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.

7. Never hold a Dust Buster and a pet or a bowl of cereal at the same

time.

8. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Cutting brussel

sprouts into tiny bits doesn’t make it appear invisible either.

9. Don’t wear patterned underwear (polka dots) under white shorts or

slacks.

10. The best place to be when you are sad is Mommy, Daddy, Grandma

or Grandpa’s lap.”

 

“Great Truths Adults Have Learned:

1. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.

2. Wrinkles don’t hurt.

3. Families are like fudge. . . mostly sweet but a little nutty.

4. Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

5. Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.

6. Middle age is when you choose cereal for its fiber content

rather than the sweet flavor, coupon or toy inside.”

(Did you notice the list is getting smaller, as we age?)

 

“Great Truths About Growing Old:

1. Growing up is mandatory; growing old is optional.

2. Forget the health food. We need all the preservatives we can get.

3. When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you

are already down here.

4. You are getting old, when you get the same sensation from a

rocking chair or a porch swing that you once got on a merry go

round or a roller coaster.

 

Hope you also enjoy the following word plays and don’t mind

if they are a little “Pun- ny.”

 

1. “The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he or she can

tell when he is really in trouble.”

 

2. “Birds of a feather flock together. . .

and then use your car as target practice.”

 

3. “The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight,

because by then your body and your fat have gotten

to be really good friend.”

 

4. “The easiest way to find something lost around the

house, is to purchase its replacement.”

 

5. “He who hesitates is probably right.”

 

6. For those over 40 years old, did you ever notice the

Roman Numerals for forty are:  “XL?”

 

7. Did you ever notice when you put the two words

“THE” and “IRS” together they spell, “THEIRS?”

 

8. Going along with this thought:

“A penny saved is a Government oversight.”

 

Now, to close with two “Maxine” comic strip comments:

9. “I can rise and shine,

but not at the same time.”

 

10. “Ever feel like you’ve had too much coffee?

Me neither.”

 

Happy Valentine’s Day funnies from “Maxine”

illustrated and written by John Wagner:

 

~**~ “The only thing better than a guy (or gal)

with chocolate is just the chocolate.” ~**~

 

~**~ “A box of chocolates is calling me. . .

which is more than my last boyfriend did.” ~**

Sweaters and Thanksgiving Thoughts

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When I opened my drawer full of sweaters to search for the ones with

Autumn colors, I ended up having to empty the whole drawer onto my

bed. I could not seem to find the one with its patchwork appearance.

Although, as a preschool teacher I had several turkey pins, along with

some orange, brown and tan sweaters, there was always this special one

I wore and called it my Thanksgiving sweater.

 

While I looked at my wide collection of fall and cold weather offerings,

I was smiling since some of them were getting pretty ‘raggedy,’ while

others were less in style. I started thinking about sweaters and their

characteristics.

This

is

when

I had

an epiphany:

Sweaters are like our family members.

While you are thinking about the upcoming celebratory feast, you may

have some positive thoughts and you  may have some misgivings,  too.

I hope you will see some of the anthropomorphic references in this poem,

of sorts and I also hope it amuses you.

Wishing you a wonderful gathering of family and friends. I hope it is an

extra special time, with pleasant memories of past holidays spoken of

and cherished, too. Those who have gone on and had their unique places

in your family festivities, hope you will have some of the elderly guests

share some more of their own personal memories of the loved ones.

I also admire the idea of going around the table and all sharing their

reasons for being thankful. This family tradition is often part of our own

ritual. I have been lately asking the little ones, “What was your favorite

part of this year, so far?” I like to try and remember them, to put in their

personal albums, which include their photographs and memorabilia we

have collected along our ways. (Tickets for movies, zoo or museums, as

well as menus and maps. I have a few of their drawings included, too.)

 

“Sweaters and Family”

November 24, 2014

 

Sweaters come in all colors,

They come in all sizes, too.

Sweaters can be quite worn

and scruffy looking,

While some may be in

brand new condition.

 

There are the loud ones,

and there are low key

kinds of sweaters.

 

Each has their place,

both

old

and

new.

 

There are those scratchy ones,

who seem to always irritate you.

There are those sweet, dear ones,

who can ‘do no wrong.’

They never grow old

nor out of style.

 

Some are so big and stretched

while others are such pint-sized.

There are the lumpy ones which have

lots of pills,

there are the smooth, soft ones, too.

 

There are the old, familiar ones

and the surprising ones who

unexpectedly turn up.

Those especially nice ones

appear out of nowhere

to discover and include

around the holidays.

 

When rummaging around in your

sweater drawers or storage tubs,

keep in mind how much you love

them all. . .

 

You certainly would not wish to

ignore them

or discard.

Even those

who are

unraveling

a bit.

They are an integral

part of colder

seasons

and

you

may

as well save them

for next year, too.

 

by Robin O. Cochran

 

Do you have a favorite story about sweaters?

If you wish, I would enjoy reading about some of your family

traditions. . .

 

 

An Extraordinary Award: “Premio Dardos”

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I first would like to say it has been awhile since I received an award so this caught

me totally by surprise. Rashmi, who is a fellow blogger who writes “Soul N Spirit,”

gave me an international award, called “Premio Dardos!”  It stands for the darts that

are sent to others called,  “prize darts.” This is particularly exciting since I enjoy

Spanish words, having studied Spanish for 6 years and lived almost 22 years with

a Spanish teacher (yep, that’s my Mom!)

Cultural, literary, personal, ethical and other very important values are enhanced

through our international community of blogging. Her blog will show you the process

to carefully award 15 others with nominations. Rashmi writes with her heart,

passionate about life. I enjoy her photos of her travels, what she sees along the way

and her poetic way of expressing herself. You will enjoy her positive attitude, too:

 

http://soulnspiritblog.com

 

She has included some of my ‘friends’ who I have held onto for dear life, in my years

of blogging. Beth and Andy are among a list of 13 other fine bloggers you may look

into on Soul n Spirit: seeking for happiness within the psalms of life. I don’t know if

I will be able to follow the rules completely, may end up with only ten new blogs that

I will feature in a list below…

Wishing all my friends and fellow bloggers happiness in your search for meaning in life.

I have chosen ‘new’ people to be given this auspicious award of Premio Dardos.

I remember those who passed me award nominations while I was struggling to find my

way as a blogger. Starting with some adventures to tell about dating, some love stories

which were of my family and friends. Then, somehow I became the messenger of news

and information, which always involves some relationships to people. In this case, it

means a lot to pass on the “Premio Dardos: Prize Darts” to those who I have never

awarded before.

Here are 10 of the newest blogs which mean a lot to me:

1. On this blog, you will find some honest thoughts, photography and a

continuing ‘saga’ of personal content.

http://kelzbelzphotography.wordpress.com

 

2. A fascinating person recently started ‘liking’ my posts, I looked her up and

found a pretty woman with a really nice smile.  You may find Brenda at her

email  address (pastlifetourist@gmail.com) or on Skype (brenda.babinski)

She is a writer and speaker, with extraordinary talents of seeking and healing

others.

 

3. This dark-haired woman is attractive and often has ravens in her photos.

You may find this woman whose poetry is written in Dutch at:

The funny thing is she has her title for her blog in Spanish, “The Crazy

Woman” is how her blog title could be translated.

http://lalocabruja.wordpress.com

 

4. Pauline is a “Contented Crafter” and is a recent commenter on my blog,

http://paulinekingblog.wordpress.com

 

5. Dan Antion may have been ‘around’ awhile on my blog and I on his. But

I don’t think I ever nominated him for an award.  So here goes to a man who

self declares himself as a writer of “random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and

dreams.”

http://nofacilities.com

 

6. “Down Many Roads,” Mark Cortland has traveled and is a nice man who

I respect due to some of his recent posts. Check him out at:

http://cortlandwriter.wordpress.com

 

7. Yolanda’s like I am, an ‘open book,’ but she is a young mother with her

toddler stories making me wince with pain and laugh out loud at:

http://ygmcadam.wordpress.com

 

8. Barbara is someone I can relate to, admire her talent for writing and

enjoy reading her posts. I just recently stumbled upon her, or she did me…

not sure who started this mutual admiration bond, but here is her blog:

http://silverinthe barn.wordpress.com

 

9. This man shows gentle faith, while struggling with a recent accident

which caused some serious health challenges at:

http://yeseventhiswillpas.wordpress.com

 

10. Ian is amusing and adventurous, which can be exhibited at his place

of writing:

http://aussieemu.wordpress.com

 

Please feel free to add some suggested readings in this post, especially if you know I

am not already acquainted with them. I like to think we all are a community of good

friends, where we could all get together and have a wonderful time discussing our

interests, especially how much fun we enjoy writing! Once I include a list of my

favorites and we all were going on a picnic! Another time I felt all the colors of

flowers in my bouquet were represented by all the colors, flavors, dimensions of

my fellow bloggers.

Here’s to all of you, sending you Premio Dardos, hoping this will motivate and

inspire you to throw some darts back out into the world!

 

 

What a Riot, Maxine!

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When I quote some ‘words of wisdom,’ as dictated by the wild and carefree Maxine,

I seem to have more viewers and more fun comments than almost any other posts.

If you have ever seen the drawings and read ‘her’ witty sarcasm by the artist and

writer named, John Wagner, you will be able to ‘picture in your head,’ how Maxine

looks. Sometimes she has a hat with a flower sticking out of it, other times a ‘beret.’

I like her dark sunglasses and her extra curly white hair, with red earrings peeking

out, on her earlobes. I like her dog with his pointy ears and his silly cross-eyed looks,

sometimes his eyes are just ‘askance’ or expressing skepticism of his owner, Maxine.

Sometimes she looks cranky, other times ‘cross,’ but no matter what her appearance,

I will nod my head, sometimes snigger a little,  knowing she understand growing older.

 

Interesting, isn’t it? That its a man who writes these and draws Maxine with such a

unique character and personality,  in such simple strokes. I cannot help myself, I think

of some of my Mom’s apartment neighbors, table mates and her friend, Pooky.

I must admit, my Mom is NOT a cranky woman. . . but she does wear red lipstick, a

hat upon her (thinly haired) head and a smile on her face. There are at least 12 choices

of hats in her coat closet; maybe more! She has Easter hats, a red, white and blue hat,

fall hats, felt hats and ones that look like she is heading out to garden. She has a mirror

by the door, to look at herself, determing which one is the ‘perfect’ match for the day.

 

Are you ready for some fun!

Do I hear you cheering for Maxine?

Here she comes, both ‘barrels’ loaded and ready to give it her ‘best shots!’

 

1. Morning

“The only thing preventing me from smashing my alarm every morning is

the fact that it is my cell phone!”

 

2. Aging

“I finally figured out what I want to be when I get older. . .

YOUNGER!!”

 

3. “Bad Girls”

“There’s a certain age where you can no longer use the term:

‘Good Girl gone Bad.’

“It’s more like,

‘Her old ass should know better!’

 

4. Stress…

“My Doctor told me to start killing people.

Well, not in those exact words. . .

He said I had to reduce the stress in my life. . .

Same thing really!”

 

5. Cooking fantasies…

“I read recipes the same way I read Science Fiction.

I get to the end and I think, ‘Well, that’s not going to

happen!'”

 

6. A better place…

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone just

would take a ‘chill pill.’

It would get even better, if some of them choked on it!”

 

7. This is so true…

“My day starts backwards.

I wake up tired,

and go to bed, wide awake!!”

 

8. Musings…

“Why isn’t the number 11, pronounced, ‘onety-one?'”

 

9. More musings…

“If 4 out of 5 people ‘suffer’ from diarrhea, does that mean

that one out of five enjoys it?”

 

10. Recreation

“I’m thinking of going roller skating (insert your favorite

dangerous sport… skateboarding, skydiving…)

I could use a couple weeks in a hospital to rest and recuperate.”

 

Of course, you may use your own form of recreation but I usually

choose wine or desserts to help me feel better.

What helps ‘float your boat?’

 

 

Have a fun-filled weekend!

 

 

A Quest for Forgiveness

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I watched the movie, “Philomena,” at home with all the lights turned out. I

usually like to watch movies with someone. I had reserved this at the library,

for my good friend, Jenny, and I to watch. Her aunt died, unfortunately, and

they were going to be away. Although I mention her death, it is something

that Jenny and her family have chosen to view as ‘for the best,’ due to her

declining health and age. Just so you know.

 

I was by myself absorbing a piece of history, a time where there were some

“edges” to the kindness, found in religion. Judgment went hand in hand with

the predicament that Philomena got into. There was a sad part of this movie,

which will not ‘ruin’ it for you, that must be talked about.

 

Since no one was there, to discuss and ponder with, after the movie ended.

You will be my person I go to, who may contemplate what bothered me about

the movie. I wonder why some people who take on positions, like a particular

nun in Philomena’s life, have to be so cruel?

 

The man, Martin Sixsmith, who was a journalist and someone who liked to

write about ‘straight news,’ was assigned a ‘fluff piece,’ or so he thought. He

ended up becoming involved with a woman’s life, which ultimately changed

his life.

Martin Sixsmith wrote a book that was published in 2009 called, “The Lost

Child of Philomena Lee.” I will recommend this, before even reading it.

When life slows down in my ‘day job’ at the warehouse, (busy summers, less

so, in the winters) I will be getting this book out of the library to read.

My grandchildren will soon be back to school, so less busy times ahead in the

evenings for me. I will enjoy reading this fine story, despite my knowing its

ending. The details that are given within books, images and evocative incidents

resonate so much more when the words weave their tale.

The story of how Philomena gets pregnant is brief. It is a fleeting, emotional

choice; yet it shows her affection and interest in the young man. There are many

times in her life, she may have regretted this moment. Overall, it did not dampen

her outward spirits. Philomena is such a positive source of light and laughter.

She reminded me of the zany character of my Great Aunt Marie. Philomena has

‘gumption!’

She tells most of her stories to Martin with levity, without too many complaints.

She does hide her shame and her inward remorse, for what she did. She admits

to saying the rosary and going to confession many, many times, over the years.

It is when her son would have turned 50, that she mentions it finally to her own

daughter, she raised in wedlock. Her daughter is catering an event for Martin’s

fiftieth birthday, that is how the story begin. . .

 

She was a teenager, taken to stay at a home for expectant mothers. The nun’s

emphasis of their being “unwed mothers” is stressed in a negative fashion.

 

Parents trying to connect with their child they put up for adoption, adults who

were put up for adoption and anyone who enjoys a good, heart-wrenching story,

will all enjoy this movie. I am sure you will find meaning in the book, too. After

all, it inspired a wonderful and well-received movie.

 

Thousands of Irish-Catholic adopted children, raised to adulthood, are still

trying to find their ‘roots.’ They are wanting to find their heritage and their

families. The reasons for the secretive records are disclosed in the book and

the movie.

The ‘nunnery’ she was sent to live until her child was born, was named, Sacred

Heart. It held a serious (sanctimonious) attitude towards ‘sin.’

The expectant mothers were supposed to work, for their ‘room and board.’ They

had to do this 5-6 days a week. Philomena’s job was laundry, by hand, with lye

soap. Scrubbing their skin off their young hands, under rough and hot conditions.

 

One self-righteous nun, Philomena remembers, was cruel in her expectations

of these young women who were away from their families and homes. Sadly, the

head nun’s attitude was expressed, “Atonement is required for your sins.”

Not that these girls, didn’t go to Confession as often as possible!

 

The babies were only allowed to be seen once a day by their mothers, if their work

was done.

 

At one point, I was bawling, tears streaming and sobs ensuing. There was a place

on one of the simple cots they slept on, if Philomena stood on it, it brought back

the memory of her son being taken away in a car. His face is pressed to the window.

 

You know this, from the very beginning:

Philomena didn’t want to give up her baby boy.

 

The story from beginning to end, includes a lot of fun and silly parts. Martin’s

teasing Philomena and Philomena’s assessments of life, people and situations

all are so special, warm and happy. You will carry the part that Judi Dench

portrayed, this amazing woman, who did become a nurse and did try to lead a

righteous life, in your head for days. It has taken me since Friday, to put into

words, the way I came to love Philomena.

 

Judi Dench did not win an Academy Award, nor was Steven Coogan nominated,

but this movie is stellar.

 

Judi Dench did an outstanding job in her 2013 portrayal of this indomitable lady.

“Philomena” will steal a piece of your heart.

Holograms and “Ghosts”

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Malfunctions in different work areas can annoy me, slow me down

and also, sometimes create ‘havoc!’ In the zone I was filling my

orders at the warehouse today,there was a ‘ghost!’

I would go to push a button out (they have a light and a Pick #

on them) and the light would ‘flicker’ and go out! Huh?!

Before I actually pressed it! I felt like I was going a little

crazy, since it would then light the next ‘pick’ and just as my

arm went to grab the parts, trying to ‘beat’ it from going out,

the ‘ghost’ would push me forward to the next pick.

I stopped my Filipino friend, Felda, who was in the next zone,

asking her to come and verify what was going on. Unfortunately,

for my sanity’s sake, she was not able to see it happening from

her side of the conveyor belt.

I hurried to the office, telling our order filling ‘clerk,’

Danielle, about my ‘ghost’…

She replied, “That happens when Don is over there! Log off

and try to re-start your picks and I will call Jeff, our

‘systems guy.'” (Well, at least Danielle didn’t think I

was ‘loony tunes!’)

I logged off, scanned my two labels and found the same

frustrating thing going on. I logged off, wrote the time

down and started to sweep, pick up trash and ‘kill’ time.

You never want to be caught doing ‘nothing’ at our

warehouse! (We hand in ‘records’ of our time used, called

time sheets, so what I was then doing was using ‘Indirect

Time.’

Shortly, Jeff arrived and watched the ‘ghost’ firsthand.

He validated my crazy moments with a big dose of reality.

It would take him almost 40 minutes to figure out how to get

the system to stop this ‘ghost!’

By the way, this is how serious ‘Indirect Time’ is, my boss’

boss, Mike, came running down my zone after about 15 minutes,

catching me bending over and getting dusty, fallen parts and

putting them back where they belonged. He told me to,

“Make sure you write this down under the heading, “Cleaning,”

for ‘Indirect Time.'” Apparently, we have Big Brother on the

other end of our system, and big warning, flashing lights

must go off when Robin may be “Dilly-dallying!”

As I was sweeping, I thought about Angela An, on CBS Channel

10 this morning. She said that she thought the part of the

Billboard Music Awards Show, where Michael Jackson danced

with others, as a hologram, was “Creepy.” That is the word

this female broadcaster used.

I reflected how it makes me feel very warm, fuzzy, and happy

when I watch my Dad’s VHS tape of him following my two young

children and me, while holding my six month old youngest at

the Lancaster, Ohio Rising Park. I love the way he is walking

while holding the camera, so it jiggles. I also laugh at his

little comments to the camera, as he is gazing at my children

on what we used to call the “Rock and Roll.” It was like a

big metal barrel, sideways, where about six children, using

their weight could rock the barrel back and forth. It would

make me dizzy, just watching it! It would make me dizzy,

watching it on this tape. (It had been transformed or

transferred to a DVD, thanks to my good friend’s husband.)

Anyway, I thought of Michael Jackson’s family, they must have

felt their chests fill with pride while watching this Awards

Show! I imagine that it made them smile, thinking a bit of

him was ‘still here on Earth.’

I feel blessed and lucky to watch the only tape my Dad took

of the kids at a park. There is another short segment (filmed

at a different time) of my youngest daughter while her older

brother (age 3) and older sister (age 5) were playing on the

Vermilion Showse Park’s gym set. She is looking inside an old

lunch box which has Raggedy Ann and Andy on it, taking out

some little kitchen items in and out, that my Mom had put in

there. The half and quarter cups and the metal measuring spoons

clattered and made noise when the ‘baby’ would close the

lunch box shut and shake it up.

My Dad is using a lilting, ‘baby talk’ voice while trying to

get her to look up. He is trying his best to capture this

precious moment in Time. Watching this, listening to his voice,

gets me teary-eyed. I love the way he is saying her name,

repeating it until my youngest looks up at him and grins.

She is concentrating so hard, on the ‘task at hand!’

Hearing my Dad’s voice floating across time and space gives me

a combination of comfort and brings me sadness, too. I wish

he could have seen my youngest graduate from college. Been here

to see how the others are today. Grown and having families.

This is exactly how I feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram.

I feel wistful and happy, for his siblings, mother, father

and especially his children. That his music and his image is

captured in ‘videos’ (oh, I mean film!) and this Hologram shown

last night. I don’t imagine that is was at all “Creepy” to them!

The other famous people who have utilized Holograms, include

Natalie Cole singing with her deceased father, Nat King Cole,

to me, showed the transcendence of time. I think it is beautiful

to see father and daughter, transported to a place where they

can sing together.

I don’t consider that “Creepy,” either. I love the combination

of both their voices singing a duet, that without the taped

image of Nat King Cole and his fine voice, a daughter and her

father couldn’t have sung this special and sweet song:

“Unforgettable” is so lovely as a duet reproduced in 1992.

Just to remind you, Nat King Cole died in 1965. If they

had not been able to use technology, his daughter would

not have been singing, as an adult, with her father. I am

very amazed and marvel at this ability to combine both

their beautiful voices together. I enjoyed this when it

came out, then again today, listening to their harmonizing.

It would be like Elvis singing with his daughter, Lisa Marie.

I would embrace this duet, as I do Natalie’s and Nat’s.

Here is a list that my table of coworkers collaborated with me,

to make. It includes, images, faces and full body poses of

famous people who have been videotaped, filmed or otherwise

duplicated by using other amazing ‘tricks of the trade’ to

create commercials or print advertisements.

1. Marilyn Monroe, (for perfume or cologne)

2. Audrey Hepburn, (in magazines for jewelry, recently a lookalike

in a television advertisement.)

3. Elvis (and his lookalikes, too.)

4. “Singing in the Rain” trio, Gene, Debbie and Donald.

5. The Three Stooges.

6. Laurel and Hardy.

7. Superheroes for advertising. (Maybe this could be ‘Creepy?’)

Have you noticed any deceased famous people featured in commercials?

How do you feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram?