Don’t you just love it when you come back from the bathroom and find your food waiting for you? (Pulp Fiction)
Seems like the best movie I can think of when I have finally started writing again.
Even if you are not a Quinton Tarantino fan, go see this movie. If only for the sets, the props and the costumes you will love it. The movie is a visual masterpiece. Get lost in old Hollywood, and carry yourself away into Tarantino’s world like a good fairy tale. Take a sentimental walk down memory lane, when television played in black and white and movies were only seen in a theater; Spaghetti Westerns, of course.
Besides the obvious chemistry between the two actors, Brad Pitt who plays the stunt double Cliff Booth for his longtime friend and actor Rick Dalton, played by Leonard DiCaprio, are both magic. It would be almost impossible to decide whether their comedy or violence plays better on the screen.
It is a slow build to the anticipated Tarantino violence, but it is worth the wait. Spoiler alert: the scene with the flame thrower is so funny that it will put to rest the question, “who is the best superhero?”
Actually, it is the kind of movie that you talk about long after you have driven home from the theater. It is the kind of movie that has to be seen twice to pick up all the things missed the first time around.
The lead up to the Sharon Tate murder is gut-wrenching for those who know the story. Yet, you must remember, this is a violent/comedic story. It will leave you with the reminder that it is aptly named “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It is a story that turns facts into fiction and reminds you that “what if” is only in the movies.
It has been a while since I have written just for me. I have missed it.
It’s funny how things can change in an instant; sometimes for the bad, and sometimes for the good. This is one of those instances where change has been good, unexpected but good.
I should give you a little background. Clara, the beautiful cat in the picture, is one of three cats that currently live in my home. If you know anything about me, you will know that the number of animals in my home can change at a moments notice. Anyway, Clara is about 15 or 16 years old. She is a sweet girl, comes when called and can cuddle for extended periods of time. She loves humans, particularly my granddaughter, who carries her happily from room to room. Clara does not bite or use her claws on humans.
On the other hand, she has not cared much for other animals. She is a loner even though one dog and two other cats currently reside with her. Max, my Chihuahua and Cookie, another one of my cats have been gone for two years. So Clara has remained the queen. She is the one who sits on the highest points while the others remain lower. She is the one who can yell louder than a dog can bark and can swat at the other animals in an instant. She is faster than a mosquito when she wants to bite one of them, and then she retreats to her own little world. She has been fighting with Trixie for years. I have been unable to decide which one of them starts the ruckus but it always ends in me yelling at one or the other. Frankly, it has been chaos.
One day, not too long ago, I came home and found Clara and Trixie on the sofa. They were on opposite sides, but each was quiet and peaceful. I pretended to ignore the situation because I was afraid the peace would end up in a brawl. It didn’t. The peace lasted through the night.
The next night was similar, only Trixie and Clara were snuggled on the sofa when I got home. Later in the evening, when I was settled in to watch Netflix (one of my favorite things to do), Trixie moved next to me in her usual spot and Clara climbed onto my chest.
When I least expected, Clara moved off of me and close to Trixie. Trixie didn’t move, and Clara began cleaning Trixie’s ear. The whole episode lasted moments, but it changed our lives.
My son said it was a fluke. He said there was no way Clara was going to get along with Trixie and she certainly wasn’t going to stop fighting with the other cats. I knew better. Moms always seem to know.
So it has now been about two weeks since the first day they started getting along. Peace and quiet has become our norm. After all these years, I can honestly say that the peace is easy to get used to. I feel like I have a normal home now. And as I sit at the edge of the sofa typing this, Trixie, Clara, Cleo and Norton are all on the sofa behind me. It feels like Christmas, “And to all a good night.”
I have a Smart TV. It was a birthday gift when I turned fifty – several years ago. About two or three years ago I got an email from Amazon telling me not to renew my Amazon Prime because the software on my television could not support it. Some time over the last two years, I gave up cable television and my love affair with Netflix began in earnest. For anyone who reads this blog, you will already know that I have written about that several times.
Up until now, I have not written about my problems with Netflix. I began getting error messages that the episode I wanted to watch was unavailable – try again or try another episode. If you know anything about my television habits, you will know that watching episodes out of order would destroy my sense of Netflix purpose. solution was to unplug my router, turn off the television, plug it back in, turn on the television and try again. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
Just about that time my son told me that YouTube was going to stop working on our television because our software was too old. That is when I figured out why I was having so much trouble with Netflix. So I was faced with a dilemma. Should I buy a new television when mine was in excellent working condition or break down and pay for cable again?
Luckily, there was a third choice: Roku, a little piece of magic. At first I was concerned about changing my television routine (the older I get the harder I find change), but I decided to give it a try. Netflix was back! You can imagine how incredibly happy I was. Back to binge watching until 2:00 am, waking at 5:30 to get ready for work, almost back to normal.
Then it happened.
My niece gave my son her Hulu password. “Try it,” he said. “You ‘ll like it.” My sister said the same thing. And then my niece chimed in. “Give it a try, you can watch General Hospital again.”
Well, frankly, the whole General Hospital thing is a completely different story for a different night. Suffice to say that I read Soap Opera Digest ever since the Soap Opera Channel was taken off of cable. I can’t make that change and go back to watching. Then I would have to watch Days of Our Lives and Young and Restless. Are there really enough hours in the day?
Back to the point, I agreed to give HULU a chance. I didn’t bother looking at the movies available because these days I only watch series TV. After a cursory scroll across the available shows and I came across The Good Wife. And thus, my exclusive love affair with Netflix is no more. In fact, over the past week or so, I have not even turned on Netflix.
I am currently on Season 6, and Alicia is considering the run for State Attorney. I really had no idea how she was going to move on from Will’s death, but this whole Cary Agos has gone to jail and is now out on bail and Diane joining the firm has left no doubt the writing team is on the top of their game.
I feel like I am meeting new people and getting to keep my old friends. Cary Agos is played by Matt Czuchry, Logan from Gilmore Girls. I promise not to gush about that show, but really, this character is the perfect follow up to Logan. Cary is Logan all grown up, successful and just as endearing as one would expect.
Frankly, just when I thought the show couldn’t get better, who now works for the firm? Taye Diggs! Can we say Private Practice? I cried and cried at the final episode of Private Practice. And here he is again, on my TV screen and in my heart. Right now he is on screen and his character is so well written I can forgive Sam for not bringing Naomi and Addison with him. Once can hope, though.
As I have learned from Netflix there are some amazing ensemble casts on television. I am so very glad they are available to me. The writing is superb, the acting is superb, I am hooked.
Unfortunately, that means the most recent season of House of Cards will have to wait. I don’t even know if the next season of Scandal is available but that is ok for now. The Good Wife has so many guest stars from my recent Netflix days that I am ok with my new obsession, HULU.
Don’t panic! We’re all okay but I am feeling quite shocked because apparently we had an explosion in our taverna where the dogs sleep!
Of course April and Blue were playing it cool, because neither of them had anything to do with it. In fact they were both as shocked as I was. They were quick to explain how one of their beds spontaneously combust.
I’m just glad that I wasn’t bothered in the night by the “explosion” and that everyone is safe, but it’s a shame that one of the two beautiful beds that Shirley gave us has had to be retired. (The other one has been moved to an area where the dogs are only allowed whilst under supervision!)
Camp Algierswas a former embarkation facilityalong the MississippiRiver that was used as a Naziinternment camp during World War II. The internees included men, women, and children who had been detained by FBI agents in Latin America and brought back to the United States. Most of the internees were actually Jewish refugees who had fled Europe from the Nazis.
In 1941, the Roosevelt administration asked FBI agents to find any Nazis hiding in Latin America. The secretive program, called the Enemy Alien Control Program, was run by the State Department, and in many ways illegal. It was against the law at that timefor the United States to seize individuals outside of the country. The State Department was able to get around this by refusing to issue entry visas for the Latin Americandeportees. When they arrived to the Port of New Orleans without papers, they were denied visas. They were arrested on…
I played the clarinet from third grade all the way through college. In high school, I was in the marching band. I marched in parades and on the football field and played at pep rallies and football games in the heat, the rain and the snow. I wore a cool uniform, an even cooler hat, and had a lot of fun. I never learned much about football though. I didn’t understand the intricacies. I was a hockey girl, still am.
So when I decided to watch Friday Night Lights, I figured I would last two or three episodes and then search for the next great thing to watch. After four or five episodes I thought, well, I don’t really care about football, but I am starting to get attached to the characters. By season two, the characters were as real as any I had fallen for before.
By season Five, I had a new found respect for the game, but a sinking feeling that the show was about to end. So I checked with google. How many seasons for Friday Night Lights? Five.
So here I am again, where most binge watching TV show fans are. The show is about to end and I am losing another group of people who have somehow become real to me. I am going to miss one of the happiest married couples on series TV. I am going to miss, the kids, because there is so much left unsaid for some of them. I am even going to miss the games. So what’s next? Will there be another good show?
The answer to that is, yes. There is a lot of quality writing out there, a lot of quality acting, and a lot of good shows. So glad I gave up cable and only watch Netflix. Gives me a chance to really appreciate the talent out there.
“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” – Coach Taylor
I wonder if my sisters have watched this one yet. Knowing Lisa she is still watching Gray’s Anatomy, again.
And me? Well, who knew that football could make me cry?
After a heart attack, mitral valve damage, a second myocardial infarction and ICD implant, my mother was finally transferred from a smaller hospital in Clearwater, Florida to Tampa General Hospital. I remember waiting in the ICU waiting room for the helicopter to land and have my mom settled into a room where she would receive the advanced care she needed. Unfortunately, my mother’s condition deteriorated rapidly, something I could never have predicted. Her only chance of long term survival was a heart transplant.
It was August of 2000 when this happened. Dr. C from the transplant team came into the room to interview my mom. I have known him since 1989. I can’t remember if my sisters or my dad were in the room with me. Memories are like that, some parts of a story are vivid and some are not.
“Dolores, has anything stressful happened to you in the last year?” he asked.
“Yes, my mother died,” she said.
“Mom, what are you talking about? That happened a year ago,” I said, words that have haunted me every since, words that can never be taken back and words that were not only insensitive but incredibly naïve.
I can no longer remember the exact time line of what happened in the next twelve hours. My mother coded, and luckily my boss and best friend was the cardiologist in the room with her. She survived and we were all able to go into the room to see her before the surgeon on call was going to perform urgent mitral valve replacement. She wasn’t really awake, but the doctor was able to rouse her long enough to ask her if she recognized who was in the room with her.
“Yes, Fleischman,” she said. She often called him by our last name.
There were other things said before the code, but I only remember very few. She said she had to get home to take care of something, but we never found out what it was. She also said she didn’t want to die on my nieces birthday.
I said, “Mom, you aren’t going to die.”
I didn’t say, “I love you.” I didn’t tell her all the things I should have been telling her since I had become a parent and realized that my mother must have loved me as much as I loved my son. To be fair, we were not a very demonstrative family. We never kissed our parents good night or held hands.
She was wheeled into surgery and we were absolutely sure she would survive. Hours into the night we waited. My mother did survive the initial valve replacement, but as they were closing her, she began to bleed. They did another valve replacement, but my mother was not strong enough to survive. We never got to talk to her again.
Seventeen years have gone by. My child is grown and is a parent now. My nieces and nephews are grown. Angel never got to meet her and neither did my granddaughter.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Every time I am with my sisters a mommy story is told. Mostly we talk about her like we saw her yesterday. She visits me in my dreams and we can often feel her presence in my dad’s house.
Almost everything in my dad’s house is the way my mom left it. When I am there I am comforted by the fact that my dad knows we love him and he knows we loved her, even if we didn’t show it and often didn’t act like it.
I often think about how she lost her father when she was only 19. She married shortly after and raised a family without her dad. We didn’t talk about it much. After I lost her I realized she must have thought about him every day. She carried on with strength and dignity and so do I. Crying is left for the shower or long solo car rides. I bet that is what she did, too.
So tomorrow is Mother’s Day again. We don’t really celebrate because we don’t have our mom anymore. Even though I am a mother and grandmother, the holiday was never about me. It was about my mom.
She lost her mother a year ago, she said. Yes, mom, you were right and I am so sorry I didn’t know.