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Give My Regards To Broadway November 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Writing & Writers.
20 comments

A few weeks before high school graduation, our English teacher, Ms. Thomas, took us to New York City on May 21st to see The Belle of Amherst, a one-woman play by William Luce:

Based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson from 1830 to 1886, and set in her Amherst, Massachusetts home, the 1976 play makes use of her work, diaries, and letters to recollect her encounters with the significant people in her life – family, close friends, and acquaintances. It balances the agony of her seclusion with the brief bright moments when she was able to experience some joy.

After one preview, the original Broadway production, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly and starring Julie Harris, opened on April 28, 1976 at the Longacre Theatre, where it ran for 116 performances. The Wall Street Journal reviewer wrote “With her technical ability and her emotional range, Miss Harris can convey profound inner turmoil at the same time that she displays irrepressible gaiety of spirit.” (Wikipedia)

I don’t remember much about the play, but here it is in its entirety . . . the original performance from 1976 with Julie Harris as lead:

What I do remember is eating dinner at Mama Leone’s before the show.

I remember sitting at the table awed at the size of the servings.  As wide as it was tall, the lasagna was enough to satisfy 4 diners . . . especially if, like me, they’d been happily inhaling slices of crusty Italian bread accompanied by fresh mozzarella and cured olives as an antipasto.

Mangia!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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FREE Ice Cream, Glimpse The Eclipse, Movies August 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Humor, Nature.
25 comments

These 3 stories might interest you:

#1  Uber is giving away FREE Ice Cream on Fridays

#2 How the Solar Eclipse will appear in your Zip Code

#3  Hollywood misses seeing us at the Movies

Maybe if movie theaters gave away FREE ice cream with each ticket they’d get a bigger crowd!

Aah . . . that’s better!

You’re Such A Liar! July 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Humor, People.
22 comments

Turns out that scientists (with actual credentials) have discovered that we’re all liars.

It’s part of being human:

Researchers speculate that lying as a behavior arose not long after the emergence of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely conferred an advantage in the competition for resources and mates, akin to the evolution of deceptive strategies in the animal kingdom, such as camouflage. “Lying is so easy compared to other ways of gaining power,” notes Sissela Bok, an ethicist at Harvard University who’s one of the most prominent thinkers on the subject. “It’s much easier to lie in order to get somebody’s money or wealth than to hit them over the head or rob a bank.”

Most people lie every day.

More than once.

We lie to protect our imaginary and fragile reputations (think Trump), to protect the feelings of others, to convince our kids that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy exist, to get jobs, to win games, to influence people, to get our kids to eat their vegetables, etc.

Sometimes we even lie to ourselves.

To read more:

Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways (Honesty may be the best policy, but scheming and dishonesty are part of what makes us human).

For an amusing look at what life was like BEFORE the invention of lying, check out The Invention of Lying:

Aah . . . that’s better!

5 Quick Picks June 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure.
15 comments

If you are in the market for books, movies, or games, here are 5 Quick Picks:

After enjoying the movie, A Man Called Ove, I requested the book . . . terrific!  It’s charming and thought-provoking and hilarious and heartbreaking.

The “cat annoyance” plays its part to purr-fection:

  • “The cat gives him a judgmental stare, as if it’s sitting on the decision-making side of the desk at a job interview.”
  • “The cat looks at Ove as if this has been a round of negotiation and it’s considering a proposal.”
  • “The cat is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.  It sports a disgruntled expression, as if Ove owes it money.  Ove stares back at it with a suspicion normally reserved for a cat that has rung his doorbell with a Bible in its paws, like a Jehovah’s Witness.”

* * *

Two movies we enjoyed in recent weeks:

(1) Miss Sloane ~ a terrific political thriller with lots of twists and turns; (2) Hidden Figures ~ based on the true story of mathematicians at NASA in the 60’s.

Both feature intelligent women in lead roles.  Yay!

* * *

A neighbor suggested I check out the television series,This Is Us.  

After watching the first 6 episodes, I’m hooked!

The show features a great cast of characters, well written dialogue (amusing & real), and interesting interplay between “now” and “then.”

* * *

While in Colorado, we played a new-to-us game ~> Blokus.  Great fun!  Per Amazon:

Blokus received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity! This thinking game also delivers friendly competition to keep the mind sharp and the excitement going!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you have any quick picks to share?

Escaping Reality With Six Wives February 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, People, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

Snoopy5We tend to enjoy movies and TV shows based on true stories better than wholly fabricated fiction especially fiction of the far-fetched variety that strains credulity.

Of course, exceptions abound ~ e.g., Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, Shrek, etc..

Exceptions aside, we’ve seen two “new releases” on DVD this month, based on real life events, that I highly recommend:

Denial ~ a libel case in London brought by a Holocaust denier.  Great cast, script, costumes, and plot.

Sully ~ a crash landing on the Hudson River in January . . . with only minor casualties.  Tom Hanks rocks his role as the pilot.

Both involve courtroom scenes.  Coincidence, or not?

In like vein, we are currently watching two series on PBS.  While neither is as riveting as Downton Abbey, they are a delight in their own Merry Wives of Windsor way:

Victoria ~ the series starts with Victoria stepping into the role of Queen while still a teenager.

Secrets of the Six Wives ~ here’s the trailer:

Both PBS series are historical dramas which take place in the past.  You know, B.T. ~> before Trump became President.

Escapism, or not?

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Frightful Weather ~> Movie Night! December 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

Interested in Historic Preservation?

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has compiled a list of 15 movies with preservation of historic places as a central theme.

Some of the movies that made the cut will surprise you.

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To check out the list: 15 Awesome Preservation-Themed Movies

Aah . . . that’s better!

Elementary, My Dear Watson! October 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, People.
31 comments

Who’s the first literary character that springs to mind when you think Aquatics Safety?

Homer-Mexican

Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde?
The Green Hornet?
Homer Simpson?
Tarzan?
Robinson Crusoe?

Hold that thought.

The other day we arrived at the beach for our walk and noticed a red and white striped pavilion-style tent on the beach, with a film crew bustling about.

We walked over to find out what they were filming and to ascertain whether they had all the necessary permits to film on the beach.

Not that I know which permits are necessary, but it never hurts to expand one’s base of knowledge.

Donald-DirectorThe director yelled, “CUT!”

Time for action.

I wandered over to ask what he was filming.

“Hi.  What are you filming?”

“A training video.”

My litigation background kicked in and stood me in good stead as I countered his rather terse response with a question designed to elicit additional scintillating details.

“What kind of training video?”

“Aquatics Safety.”

Deciding to expand my base of knowledge elsewhere, I scanned past the hustle and bustle of the film crew and noticed two actors sitting on the sidelines studying their lines.

Of course, at that distance, I couldn’t be certain they were looking over the script.  It could have been a Take Out Menu for lunch, but I suspected script.

Their distinctive dress was a dead giveaway.  In less time than it takes to flip off my flip flops, I deduced they’d been cast as the first literary duo that springs to mind whenever one considers the topic of Aquatics Safety . . .

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson!

What’s that?  You don’t see the glaringly obvious tie-in between Holmes, Watson, and Aquatics Safety?

Too bad.  I had hoped you could clue me in.

Anyway, BFF and I watched a take or two and then I got a chance to talk to Sherlock during a break in filming.

“Sherlock, you lucky dog!”

“Pardon?”

“I see you are garbed in a wool cloak, a woolen vest, wool trousers, and a deerstalker cap.”

“Quite right.”

“You will, of course, agree that that gabardine garb would be quite unbearable and, indeed, vastly uncomfortable, if the temperature here on the beach hovered in the mid- to upper-90’s . . . as it has for at least 98 of the past 100 days.”

“Agreed.”

“And I suspect you will also concur that, given the sudden recent shift in weather from the standard seasonal summer setting of “BLAZING HOT” to autumn’s vastly more reasonable”FUN IN THE SUN,” your gabardine get-up will NOT cause your get up and go to get up and go before the director’s done filming.”

“Quite so.”

“If you will permit me, I will go so far as to venture one further observation.  And that is this:  In light of the gorgeous cooling breeze blowing inland from the Gulf, you, despite your attire, will NOT perspire or expire from extreme heat exhaustion, no matter how many takes the director takes.”

“Indeed.”

“Ergo. Ipso. Facto.  E Pluribus Unum.  Quid Pro Quo.  Res Ipsa Loquitar.”

“Yes!  Yes!  Exactly right.  I see the reasoning of your logic and the logic of your reasoning.”

“I thought you might.”

“I am, indeed, one lucky dog.”

“Now, tell me old chap.  Just what do you and Watson have to do with Aquatics Safety?”

“Haven’t the foggiest.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Quiet Mind Is All You Need August 31, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
38 comments

InfinityIn Journey Into Healing: Awakening the Wisdom Within You, Deepak Chopra encourages us to seek that place inside ourselves that is at one with the infinite intelligence of the universe, the source of life.

There, in the silent space between thoughts, beyond sound and beyond breath, we tap into our inner wisdom and find our Self surrounded by unbounded peace, gratitude, love, and enchantment.

A few thoughts to ponder:

When the mind is peaceful, inner energies wake up and work miracles for us ~ without any conscious effort on our part. (77)

Hand-dipping-in-waterA shift in awareness is the first change. (95)

Quietly, in your own heart, say that you do not want to be afraid. (116)

Intentions automatically seek their fulfillment if left alone. (118)

Complete healing depends upon your ability to stop struggling. (121)

The higher self is that place where . . . [a] mere desire becomes the trigger for transformation. (123)

All transformations eventually lead back to the same source ~ our own pure awareness. (137)

A quiet mind is all you need. (79)

IMGP2583b

Aah . . . that’s better!

It’s Great To Be A Bag Lady! June 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor.
38 comments

The Friends of the Island Library hold a book sale every year to raise funds for speakers and other expenses.

At the end of the sale, any unsold books get donated to Goodwill.

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That is, they donate any books that don’t get snagged during the Bag Sale ~ when books are sold at the rock bottom price of $2 a bag!

That’s right . . . grab a bag, stuff it full of books, pay $2 and leave.

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I love being a Bag Lady at the book sale!  I fill a couple of bags with books and give them a quick look before donating the vast majority to Goodwill.

Everyone wins!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  ¿Cómo se dice? . . .

Piles of Poetic Jello February 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
48 comments

170px-alice_par_john_tenniel_30Wading through descriptive prose that sounds poetic but makes no sense is like trying to climb over a pile of jello.

It’s rarely worth the effort.

When poetic prose adds depth without detracting from the story line, a lilting flow is relaxing and peaceful.

In contrast, when writing causes readers to get mired down deciphering images that make no sense, it’s just nonsense.

And it’s distracting.

Mainspring_wind-up_keysBy way of example:

“I am hypnotized by keys, thick fistfuls of them, I can taste their acid galvanization, more precious than wisdom.”

~ White Oleander, Janet Finch

Blech!

When writing detracts from my enjoyment of a book, I ask myself whether I should forge ahead through the dreck . . . to see if the unseen destination is worth the trek.

The answer is almost always:  Nah!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Dress It Up (El Space)