Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dunn Goes to Hollywood



I cringe every time Adam Dunn, the White Sox strike out king, comes to the plate.  Dunn, with the big contract and the puny performance record, is the one guy on the team  I really love to hate. So, I'm going to surprise myself today, cut him some slack, and actually admire him.

I learned that Dunn agreed to invest in the movie "The Dallas Buyers Club." I had heard that this story of a courageous early-on crusader for people afflicted with aids had kicked around Hollywood for years trying to find funding.  When it finally got made, with help from people like Dunn, it earned rave reviews and is up for an Academy Award.

So Adam Dunn is going to be in the Oscar audience Sunday night where he has no chance of striking out because the film is already a winner.

And yes, I'll start hating him again the first time he whiffs with men on base and walks back to the dugout bat in hand.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oscar Night



This year I'm going to be in Los Angeles for the Academy Awards broadcast.  If Bill is not at the theater in the audience, I'll get to watch it with him at home.  What fun!  I have not seen all of the films, deliberately passing up "Twelve Years a Slave" and not getting around to watching "Dallas Buyers Club."  One of the perks of having an Academy member in the house is that Bill has DVDs of all of the nominated films.

There's so much buzz right now about Woody Allen the man that Woody Allen the creative artist is getting lost.  Whatever you think of Woody, I don't think you'll dispute that bad men can make great art.  And, if you want to boycott his movies, essays and comments to the press, that's fine.  But, I believe the work of art, once accomplished, stands on its own.  If it's good, it's good.  Maybe notorious in the eyes of some, but still good. Woody has made some great films.
I hope the controversy won't hurt Cate Blanchette's chances of winning for best actress because she was marvelous.  But, if Judy Dench wins for whatever reason, I won't be disappointed.

My two favorite films were "Gravity" and "Her."  One is on a unversal scale and one a private scale, but both deal with man's encounter with technology.  Both films gave me lots to think about as the "crazy caroussel" spins faster and faster, just like Jacques Brel said it does.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone



Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Year of Mystery

One of my favorite stories this year is about the day I discovered a small cross in the middle of the front seat of my car.  It somehow arrived in my locked car while I was shopping at Whole Foods.  I was on my way to my heart doctor who told me during my appointment that I had recovered from my heart attack.
I loved telling this story and listening to my friends search for logical explanations.  I was up for believing anything, including the unexplainable.

The other night I was searching for my red gloves which were not where they were supposed to be.  So I was going through every pocket of every coat in my closet looking for them.  From one pocket I pulled out a small white box.  I did not recognize it at all.  When I opened the box there was a tiny gold Hindu figurine inside.  Forgive me for not remembering who gave me this gift.

So now I have the cross and the little buddha.  I figure I'm in good shape for 2014.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

From here to Nebraska



Oh, those many times I've sat on my couch and dreamed of winning the lottery.  I even have my favorite numbers picked out with their secret significance giving them special powers to prevail.  I'd accept my winnings graciously and give most of it away to people and causes that I yearn to support.  And yes, spreading some cash around at the end could certainly help to heal a lifetime of missed accomplishments   Of course, none of this has been enough to actually take me next door to buy a ticket.   Just dreamin'.

So, with the movie Nebraska, the idea of an oldster's odyssey to cash in his winnings was an appealing plot line.  And, much of this film tackles difficult themes so well.  It dances with balance on the thin line between finding humor in people being themselves and making fun of others.   For us city dwellers, it exposes the composition and culture born of those bare roads and fields that we call "fly over country."

There's a keen eye working here so I was ultimately disappointed that the ending gave way to unwarranted sentimentality.  Too bad.

As the credits rolled, I turned to my friend Margaret and said: "I feel so lucky to have been born into a family interested in knowledge, culture, and beauty." And that thought has stayed with me.

I'm a winner in the lotto of life.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

50th Anniversary

With the media remembering the Kennedy assassination, I am re-posting my memories of the weekend we will never forget.

One of the things we loved to do as a young family was go to the Starved Rock Lodge and state park near LaSalle, Illinois.  The lodge was one of the marvelous structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.  This is what we did as a country back then -- use the energy and intelligence of our unemployed to improve our public lands.

We loved to hike on the trails, many overlooking the Illinois River.  Even though there were stairs and bridges plus plenty of signs to help us get around, it was as close as this city dweller came to "wilderness."

Starved Rock is where we were on the weekend that Kennedy got shot, and Ruby shot Oswald.  Word came to us on that Friday morning, but we already had our reservations and decided to go, even though we were as traumatized as everyone else.

We stopped at Marshall Field's to buy some sturdy shoes.  I felt so guilty to be shopping.  Management must have felt the same way because they announced they were closing the store just as we were leaving.

It was a beautiful weekend as the weather was perfect.  The kids didn't know to be shocked, so we stuck with that.  I don't remember whether there was a TV on in the lodge, but if there was, we didn't give in to watching it.

All of my friends told me how they were glued to the TV the whole weekend.  Looking back, I'm glad we were away from it all hiking the trails.  Since then, we've had a lifetime to remember the death and ponder the consequences.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flexitarian

Recently, I had lunch with my friend Michele who is a "foodie" and is studying to become a "health coach."  As I added those two new words to my vocabulary, she mentioned another word which is now my favorite: flexitarian.  Michele explained that this describes people who eat from all food sources, but do so armed with information and care.

Wow.  I love this word!  And, I am going to keep it continually in mind.   Flexibility is such a desired stance in all circumstances.  And, if you think of Darwin, our existance depends on it.

I am a confirmed flexitarian.