Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bulls Blues













The Bulls are who we hoped they weren't.  Hustle losing out to talent.  Just short of enough.  It's only two games in, but I don't think I have the heart to keep a close eye on the rest of the series.  So, thanks Bulls for a great regular season.  You kept me happy watching you on TV during some of the worst weather ever.  Okay, I'll say "it ain't over 'til it's over."  But that's just a whisper.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lawyers Then and Now



A few months ago, I endured the polar vortex by binge watching a TV series I had missed while watching the White Sox, Bulls, et al.  One of my favorites was "The Practice", a lawyer show from the late '90's.  The plot revolved around a criminal defense firm struggling to pay its bills because so many of its clients were the poor and middle class who needed dedicated legal help . . . which they got.  It was riviting.

Last week I came across another TV lawyer show: "Suits."  The lawyers in this one are busy serving their "one percent" clients when they aren't fighting Darwinian battles among themselves. The penthouse offices -- all glass and steel --  are as cold as the "take no prisoners" personalities and plots on display.  Watch it for the dialogue, the wit, the audacity.

But, feel with me a little sad about how --  in TV lawyer land --  the ideals of "The Practice" gave way to the conquering  "Suits."

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.