Sunday, March 31
Tuesday, March 26
And if you want to see a thriller that really thrills, go see Halle Berry in The Call. Hell, even if it doesn't thrill you, it's worth it just to see Halle Berry. She may just be the most beautiful woman in the world. She plays a 911 operator with the LAPD, but loses her nerve after she loses a girl to a killer who takes her from her bedroom while she's speaking to Jordan Turner (Berry), the killer saying to the operator when she pleads with him not to kill this little girl, "It's already done." Six months later, after Berry has given up her job on the phone and taken up teaching new 911 recruits, another girl is taken and calls 911 from the trunk of the car she's in. The girl, Casey Wilson (Abigail Breslin) is a young blonde with a hauntingly familiar face that finally came to me after we left the theatre--little Miss Sunshine from that movie nearly a decade ago. It's never made very clear what motivated the bad guy in his taking young blonde women, but he's one spooky dude. And at the end of the movie, the phrase "It's already done" takes on a whole new meaning. Go see it. You'll know what I mean.
Sunday, March 24
Friday, March 22
And speaking of fun, that’s what marked Jack, the Giant Slayer. Not much of a movie except it was a lot of fun, especially in the encounters of Jack and others with the grubbiest set of giants one could imagine. This was a movie I’ll forget in a few weeks, but I enjoyed it as I saw it. Since we chose the non-3D version, I can only imagine what it was like in 3D—toppling bean stalks crashing into the audience, flaming arrows coming at us, giants throwing tiny human bodies at us. Such fun. And the giant cook plucking a huge booger from his nose and then eating it. Such fun. At least, all the booger-eating children in the audience thought it was hilarious.
Tuesday, March 19
Monday, March 18
My golf is getting better (but then I don’t see how it could have gotten any worse). Today I came within one stroke of shooting my age. I got my first age-shoot at 70. Then, when I got to be 74, I thought I’d be doing it every third or fourth time out. Whoa! Was I ever wrong. I managed it about a dozen times after the first time, but then the health problems set in and I couldn’t get even close. See, the Catch-22 in golf is that as you get older and older, it should get easier and easier to shoot one’s age, but instead the scores keep getting higher and higher. I enjoyed watching Stacy Lewis win the LPGA tournament last weekend in Phoenix. What an extraordinary story hers is, eleven years in a back brace, multiple surgeries on her spine, lots of pins and rods holding her together. It was a courageous win and one she justly deserved. I did feel sorry for poor Ai Miyazato, though. One bad swing with her pitching wedge and she came undone on the sixteenth hole. And next weekend, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, we get to see if this Tiger is for real or is just a pussy cat. I’m hoping he’s for real. I’m betting he is.
Wednesday, March 13
Another step into the future that’s happening even as I speak—the effect that DVR’s now have on television and will have in the future. How will television be funded if commercial revenues dry up because viewers are now “saving” shows on their DVR’s and fast-forwarding through all the commercial garbage Will all channels become like PBS, pleading for donations? Or will we see an end to the many many channels like History, Lifetime, Bravo, Discovery, and Hallmark that can’t continue without commercial revenue?
This morning I was greeted on the front page of the Arizona Republic with a picture of our governor Jan Brewer, telling us of her plan for expanding Medicaid in Arizona. She seems to be seen on the tube or in the news more often than she should be. The woman tries to look like she’s an attractive forty-year-old when she really would have been perfectly cast as the wicked witch in this latest Oz. Her face has been lifted so often she now has nipple cheeks and a belly button in the middle of her chin. I guess you could say I’m not a fan of Jan Brewer.
Tuesday, March 12
Sunday, March 10
A new pope will be elected soon, maybe as soon as next Tuesday. And the cardinals will use the old smoke signal to let us know yes or no—white for yes, black for no. That sounds just silly in this high-tech age. Why not just let the world know via television?
North Korea, like a feisty Pekinese, is growling about a nuclear attack on the U.S. What silliness. They’re a small nation just north of their sister nation South Korea. Can’t they see how much better life is to the south of them? Life in North Korea is, at best, difficult for most of its citizens. Life in South Korea is, most certainly, very good and prosperous for most of its citizens. Has Kim Jung Un, North Korea’s young leader, lost his mind? Has he convinced his citizenry that they’re starving because the hated U.S. is responsible for their sorry state? Does he really think his imperial army could compete with U.S. forces in an all-out war? Does he think we’re all as weird and crazy and stupid as Dennis Rodman?
We watched a segment on the news about the effect of global warming on the South Polar ice cover. The global warming expert reported that if all the South Polar ice were to melt, the depth of all oceans would increase by about two football fields. Wow, that’s a lot of water. He failed to tell us what that would do to the world’s coastlines, but I can only imagine we’d all be crammed together onto a lot less land than we now have.
The panelists on the Chris Matthews Show were speculating about the 2016 presidential candidates, that it would be amusing to see another Clinton-Bush battle—Hillary and Jed, that is. I’m more than ready for Hillary, but do we really need to see another Bush?
Tuesday, March 5
The Crying Game is the story of the Irish terrorists who seize a black English soldier as a bargaining piece for one of their captured buddies. The soldier, Jody (Forest Whitaker in a very early role), who is supposed to be shot by one of his captors, is accidentally killed trying to escape, and Fergie, the terrorist who had befriended Jody, goes to England to try to make it up to him by seeing if the soldier’s girl friend, Dil, is getting along all right. What an off-the-wall love story. But what a good film. Dil turns out to be a man in drag, but only after the Irishman, who now goes by the name Jimmy, has fallen in love with her/him. It just goes to show that love can come in many forms. For all of us who assume that homosexuality is somehow deviant, this film may have prompted us to look at the relationships between men and women in a somewhat different light. Is Jimmy, now in love with a man who he first assumed was a woman (and a very attractive woman she/he was), a homosexual? Or is he just a person who fell in love with another person, regardless of physical genders? Very confusing, because the viewer is totally sympathetic to both characters; they’re easily the most likable people in the movie. Ten years after I first saw this movie, I rented it and saw it again. I noticed things about the film I hadn’t seen the first time. They opened with a rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman” and concluded with “Stand by Your Man” as Dil is seen visiting Jimmy in prison, where he still has about seven years to go on his sentence. She will wait for him and they will be together thereafter. Or maybe not. Also, I saw the irony of the bound Jody’s comments to Fergie when Jody had to urinate and Fergie had to open his pants for him and take out his “piece of meat” as Jody called it, and then reinsert it after Jody was finished. It’s all very complicated, but I’m so glad we’re now approaching a time when we can accept the complexities of love and marriage and sexual relationships.
Monday, March 4
A comment on the zero tolerance policies in some schools recently, relating to students who bring in guns or knoves. Okay, so there must be a policy forbidding students to bring in stuff that could be harmful or even lethal to other students. Right. But when schools also expel kids in kindergarten or first or second grades who point a thing made out of lego blocks and go "Kachoo! Kachoo!" or who have a bubble-blowing gun, or who, god forbid, point a finger at a classmate and go "Bang!" they've taken Zero back to about negative 100. There should be some rational adjustment behind zero tolerance. I remember when I grew up (yes, a long time ago) we had cap guns we could use to play Cops & Robbers, or in the summer we could have elaborate war games in the park with our rubber guns (homemade wooden guns and rifles with Mom's clothespin attached to hold a stretched piece of innertube) and hardly anyone thought we really meant any harm when we pointed an index finger at someone and went "Bang!" Beebee guns were a little more dangerous, but never lethal. And slingshots, although potentially dangerous, were never, in my memory, used to shoot at another human being. Come on, schools and school administrators, use your heads.
Friday, March 1
Pope Benedict is now officially out of office, having abdicated his “throne” because of ill health. I don’t know why this should have been such a big deal to so many Catholics. I don’t know why he should have been the first to step down in almost seven hundred years. Is any pope a leader or is he just a human symbol to those in the Catholic faith? If he is, indeed, a leader, then he or any other pope before him should have stepped down when age and failing health make it impossible for him to lead. If he’s just a symbol, then I guess he can continue his popedom until he dies, even if he’s lying in a coma in Vatican City. I guess, not being a Catholic, I just don’t understand all the popish pomp and circumstance of the Vatican nor of the Catholic service.
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