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Father’s Day!

Loving thanks to the wonderful men who raised us, and to the ones who are raising the new generations now. And to the grandfathers and great grandfathers!

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Being Granny

I have just had such a wonderful visit from my oldest grandson and his mom! They went back to Brooklyn this morning, and I’m on my own once more–but with a tableful of Dinosaur and Star Wars images to remember him by. Images which I found and printed for him and which he painstakingly colored (the dinosaurs dark green, and the Star Wars orange, EXCEPT Yoda, who is a fetching lime green).

He is a big handsome boy, turning 5 soon, and brimming with both excitement and dread, which he shares abundantly with anyone who will listen–and many who will not, my cats for instance.
His mother has taught him that he may NOT get up in the morning before SEVEN-OH-OH, a rule he religiously adheres to. And it was only once he heard me making the noises indicating that breakfast was underway that he would politely knock on the kitchen door–and our day would begin.
When he was a tiny baby, his dad would bring him up to the main floor from the basement guest room, and they would play quietly until I came downstairs, but now that he is ALMOST FIVE he is able to come up by himself.

What a fine time we had together!

  • He told me many silly jokes, which I would share with you but have unfortunately forgotten.
  • He spent much time outside with a tiny rake, trying to kill the carpenter bees which afflict my house.
  • He would ask for a Little Company if he had to go downstairs, as it was too scary to go alone.
  • He stuffed all the magnetic beads into the Bigfoot Popper’s mouth (instead of the black balls which in any case had been lost) where they STUCK FAST. He then spent the morning picking them out with the tweezers I gave him: a VERY engrossing game.

He is a TREASURE, and I am so lucky to be his granny!

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Prince Philip

Rest in peace Prince Philip. You have been part of my world ever since I was born, married to the good queen. It is a sad thing to think of her weeping into her pillow.

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It appears that I am unfortunately now addicted to low brow entertainment: I have just watched Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Over the course of a few days, I might add–this movie is FOUR HOURS LONG. And just to make the heroic task of watching such a behemoth even more heroic, HBO Max refused to resume the show where I left it. Each night–cursing vehemently–I had to press the fast forward button until it finally reached the right place.
Why did I watch such a thing?
Because: HENRY CAVILL.

MY, he is a beautiful man.
Though we have to wait for almost 3 hours before we can lay eyes on that famous 8 pack–seeing as Superman is DEAD (having made the final sacrifice in order to SAVE THE WORLD in the previous movie) and has to be reanimated using Very Special Outer Space Device.
And once again, the movie makers forgot to turn on the lights. Sigh. They imagine that this brings an aspect of brooding danger and gathering storm.
IT DOESN’T.
It just looks like they forgot to turn the lights on. At one point Lois Lane wakes up–and she DOES turn on a light! But it seems to be a 10 watt bulb.
There are a couple good lines: Questioned as to his superpower, Batman simply replies: “I’m rich.” HAhaHA! And his butler is played by Jeremy Irons! So there’s that.
When Superman is resurrected, it turns out he has forgotten all about being a good guy and so he starts attacking everyone!–but then Lois shows up and the big guy melts. Love!
And one is able to bear the sheer horror of his being such a jerk because in all the excitement he forgot to put on his shirt–though thank goodness he managed to don some elegant black pants. Being resurrected: so demanding.

As I said, he is a beautiful fellow. Who has spent many tedious hours in the gym for our benefit.
.

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Lately I’ve noticed that in between the charming pictures of my friends’ grandchildren and pets, Facebook has been slipping me images of fabulously handsome men with truly extraordinary abdominal muscles, gazing out with intense looks of ANGUISH combined with DARK PASSION.

EH??
A bit of research revealed that they were book covers for a genre called Paranormal Romance. AHA! I knew I’d eventually pay the price for subscribing to Shudder–which I did in order to watch A Discovery of Witches, a story in which a VAMPIRE and a witch fall in love.
So, as a scientific experiment, I downloaded one of these little tales. It began well–passion, smouldering looks, etc. But then! UGH. Blood all over the place, not to mention horrid torture.
Friends, I clicked it shut and went straight back to light hearted regency romances. Thanks for NOTHING, Facebook!

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Ender’s Game

I recently watched (again) the movie made of Orson Scott Card’s excellent book, Ender’s Game. Much was lost in the process of cramming this book into a 2 hour movie, and the grim story is lightened, made easier to bear. But there were some good visions, some fine scenes. The boy who plays Ender does well, Ben Kingsley’s fabulous tattoos are grand–and Harrison Ford is amiable (much more so than Col. Graff in the book).

However, the movie was a complete flop, and so no more movies of Card’s fine stories will be made any time soon. Which is a pity.
I understand that people have been taught to regard Card as a homophobe.
Dear friends, just read the books. He hates no one. He is a Mormon, and they are not enthusiastic about same sex marriage, to say the least. But even if he were a virulent antagonist in the battle–which he is not–there is no trace of that in his books. I just read Speaker for the Dead, which Card explains was the book for which Ender’s Game was intended to be simply the prequel. It is a book about loving your neighbor as yourself–a difficult task for any of us. But still, a worthy task.
My first husband hated Wagner because Hitler loved him. If I love or hate Wagner, it is because of his music, not his opinions or his fans.

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The news these days is so horrid–violence, stupidity!–that really one can only turn in despair to another world, the pretend world of handsome princes and their proud princesses.
I speak of course of Harlem in the 1950’s.
Sylvie’s Love is an Amazon production (and since when does Amazon have its own little movie intro, by the way?–which is of course a brilliant work of art, seeing as Amazon has ALL THE MONEY) and is a lovely little movie.
And I will add that you may count on me to never watch a movie because it checks the right boxes for the woke world. I watch a movie because it’s entertaining.

Tessa Thompson was adorable as the drunken Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, and is adorable here as the young woman who must FIND HERSELF. She is fun to watch, she gives herself to the camera. Her swain is Nnamdi Asomugha, an actor who started his career as an extremely successful Oakland Raider, but was just too handsome to stay there. And, what do you know, one of his mates in the jazz band (Nnamdi of course plays the saxophone) is none other than RegĂ©-Jean Page, who was the so devastating duke in Bridgerton. But now he’s a darling bad boy drummer from Chicago, with nothing of that aristocratic Brit accent he delighted us with as the Duke of Hastings.
Perhaps there are better shows, but there are also many WORSE.
For instance–POWER RANGERS! Which my grandson insisted we watch.

The world of a 4-year old is very different from the one we live in–filled with shining wonders and grim terrors that we know nothing of. I so enjoyed his visit, and am so grateful for him and his cousins!
But I must own that I have learned a great deal about the depths to which entertainment can sink, having watched Power Rangers.

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The Joint is JUMPING

This morning I nipped out BEFORE breakfast to Whole Foods–and the line was already 20 people long. So, the HELL with that, I thought, and went over to the Giant which was bustling but no line.
NOTE: Giant does NOT have the apples I prefer.

Then home to breakfast and a little work. And then later that day, over to the liquor store.
WELL well.
That place is doing a FINE business. I grabbed some bottles and got in line. It turns out that sometimes, you just have to wait in line.
But I must say, I’m proud of my neighbors: we put on the masks, we get in line, we are ready to party with the tiny group of people permitted us.
And we go to the stores despite the danger of death!
But let me just say that NEXT YEAR, we will party like CRAZY PEOPLES.

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Continuing on the virtuous Cultural Enrichment path (while patiently waiting for the 3rd episode of Mandalorian) I bade Marquee fetch me some lovely BALLET, and up came Dream, the Frederick Ashton version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is a VERY truncated treatment of the story, with no Theseus or Hippolyta, and no business with angry fathers. Mostly, it’s just Oberon and Titania and Puck, the 4 lovers —and a simply wonderful scene with the rude mechanicals–adorable acrobatic silliness. Bottom translated wears not only a splendid donkey head (with moving lips!) but also POINTE SHOES. Which, the dancer (Bennet Garside) remarked, gave him a deep appreciation for the ladies who dance long ballets in them. Painful, rather.

Oberon came down rather hard from a step, and I thought, who is this clown? But then he leapt back into the air with such grace, such strength–and suddenly I saw that it was gorgeous Steven McRae under all that makeup and glitter. His Titania did not charm, however–Akane Takada is a fine dancer but her face is too thin, her teeth too big. You’ll say, what a MEANIE you are, Hope, but there it is. I tried to love her but in vain.
But Puck! That shrewd and knavish sprite who cannot resist mischief, Oberon’s dear jester–“How now mad spirit!” Puck was danced by Valentino Zucchetti, who smiled deliriously as he bounded across the stage, leaping and spinning with astonishing athletic power and joy. And he has little HORNS!

Midsummer Night’s Dream has had a million different shapes and versions–I have seen it as theater, dance, opera–wonderful shows!
And now this one takes its place in the parade.

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Sean Connery

He was always lovable; so cool as James Bond, so grand as The Man who Would be King–which is surely one of the best movies ever made.

Remember that wonderful scene, he and Michael Caine are trapped by snow in a cave and preparing to die but laughing so hard over their stories that they cause an avalanche–that frees them. So silly, so wonderful.
May he rest in peace, the good man.

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