Wednesday, December 04, 2013
At this time of the year many people are overcome with loneliness some choosing to end their life. I live in a community of old people and it isn't easy for them at this time of the year. Some don't have family while others are estranged from them and a lot just live too far away. (Just an aside: a great holiday gift would be to reach out to someone who is alone--invite them for a meal--take them to a movie--spend part of your day talking to them.) The one thing everyone can learn is that living alone does not mean being lonely!
It took me 50 years, 4 exes, innumerable mini-affairs to realize that I prefer, enjoy, need to live alone.
I make/am a great friend, adviser, listener but as a life partner a dud. It could be I am too selfish, unwilling to compromise when it comes to ME, unable to sustain a physical relationship with one person or a million other reasons. And it's NOT that I haven't found the right person--I did in 1981 but it couldn't/didn't last.
Why do I like living alone and don't feel lonely? Let me tackle the latter first.
I have very close friends. If I want to go out to a movie or play, attend an event, spend time at the beach, share a joyful time, cry on someones shoulder or just talk they are available. If I want to have a physical encounter I have a group of people to call upon.
Now as to not being/feeling lonely: I have many interests such as reading and writing that take up a lot of my time and there are only 2 things I don't/won't do alone--have sex and eat out in a fine restaurant.
Advantages of living alone:
1) I can come home and not have to worry about how the person I live with is feeling, what kind of mood they are in.
2) If I don't want the TV on it stays off.
3) I can watch what programs I want nor do I have to buy another TV to solve 'arguments'.
4) I have the whole bed to myself.
5) I do what I want when I want
6) I can eat, read or do anything else I want in bed without having to worry about annoying/disturbing someone.
7) I can eat what I want when I want.
8) I can get up or go to sleep when I want.
9) I can smoke, fart, pick my nose, scratch my butt (Oh, I know YOU don't do any of these things) use my fingers to eat (Oops! Maybe I should have listed this separately after the other things mentioned :o)) without any comments or put downs or silly laughs
10) I don't have to hide anything, including what i watch or put on the Internet.
11) Not having a person talk when I am watching and/or doing something when I prefer quiet.
12) I like to vacation, take trips alone, and stop/see where/what I want for as long as I want.
13) I can be sloppy or neat, clean after myself, or not, without 'nagging'.
14) I can be responsible for myself only and not for someone else.
15) I can have the a/c on or off--depending how I feel.
16) I can say and/or think "I" as much as I want.
17) I won't/don't do anything I don't want to do.
18) I can eat the whole cake, box of chocolates or cookies, bag of potato chips, etc. myself. (I told you I was selfish!)
19) If I run out of something it's my fault.
20) I don't have to lie--not even a 'white' lie.
And the list can go on.
The only advantage I can see to having a live in partner is that when you get old and/or sick someone can take care of you.
Besides all I have seen or read about partners are the problems they had or are having.
Plus I don't have to go through the heartache of a breakup :o)
Monday, December 02, 2013
Millions of fans have kept the animated TV show “South Park” a hit for over 17 years and now they are going to see “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway that has been selling out for 2 years and breaking all kinds of theatre records. What do these two shows have in common? Trey Parker and Matt Stone have written the books for both shows, and have been joined by Robert Lopez, who wrote the lyrics and music for “Avenue Q” with all three being credited with the book, lyrics and music for this show.
The story is a simple one of two young Mormon missionaries who are sent on their two year mission to convert people to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon Church. Elder Cunningham (Christopher John O’Neill) is a compulsive liar who has never read the Book, and interprets the writings, and religion, in his own way, while Elder Price (Mark Evans) just knows he is bound for incredible feats for the church and has no doubt that his prayers will be answered to be sent to Orlando, Florida, for his mission. Elders Price and Cunningham find themselves being sent to northern Uganda where they are greeted by having their luggage stolen.
It is at this point that the work of Parker, Lopez and Stone kicks in. They started off with a sweet, funny song “Hello” that introduces the Mormon boys and incorporate the story of the founding of the religion, the latter being repeated a few times. The writers begin with the African natives, using their potty mouth humor to aim jokes, and satire, at AIDS, Gays, the rape of children, mutilation of female genital, to just name a few subjects they tackle from a juvenile point of view. What other writers could use the expression “Maggots in my crotch” at least a half a dozen times and get a laugh each time? The audience knows what to expect from these writers and would be let down if Mormon Elders didn’t come out tap dancing in bright pink sequined vests. For those not familiar with Parker,Stone and Lopez there are signs all over, including on the theatre ticket, “Parental Advisory: Explicit Language” and there certainly is a lot of that.
The main story is of the relationship between Price and Cunningham and their trying to convert the villagers to Mormonism along with a love story between Cunningham and a villager, Nabulungi (Samantha Marie Ware) with the former eventually baptising the latter and how it affects the whole village.
The writers take jabs at Broadway shows from “The Lion King” to “The King and I” while the choreographer, and co-director with Trey Parker, Casey Nicholaw hasn’t met a Broadway dance step that he doesn’t love and incorporates into the show. With the exception of the proscenium scenery the sets look ragged and the costumes are nothing special.
Mark Evans as Elder Price is appealing and does an excellent job singing “I Believe” and “Orlando” while Christopher John O’Neill does all the Broadway schtick that the writers and directors hand him. They both deliver singing “Two By Two”, “I Am Here For You” and joining ensemble players in “Turn It Off” and “Man Up”. Samantha Marie Ware, as an love interest for one of the boys, has a very good voice but is, at times, hard to understand. The leads, supporting cast, and the 9 piece orchestra under the direction of Justin Mendoza, received a standing ovation.
Running time: Each act is an hour and there is a 20 minute intermission.
Coming next to the BPAC is the new version of “The Wizard of Oz” with additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber January 7-19.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
I am still being good--don't want to disappoint Santa when he gets here but I am already wiped out and have a full schedule ahead!!
We went to see "The Book of Mormon"--my review will be up tomorrow or you can go to www.broadwayshowbiz.com and see it now--at the Broward Performing Arts Center but first stopping at the Dubliner for fish 'n chips. We have "We Will Rock You" coming up at the Arsht Center in Miami and that will be followed by "Elf". Now the hunt is on where to eat those show nights as I am not that familiar with Miami--Miami Beach yes, but not Miami.
Talking about food we have eaten at Italio, The Isles Casino buffet, Boston Market, Cafe Vico, as mentioned before The Dubliner, and the Green Spot Kitchen.You have to admit we keep an open mind regarding food and restaurants!
It being the 'season' to get Oscar worthy, hopefully, movies out we have a full schedule with that having seen "Dallas Buyers Club" with a great performances by Matthew McConaughley and Jared Leto along with "Philomena" which will probably get Judi Dench a nomination. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" was okay but more of a waiting game for the next episode. It really kicked off with "12 Years A Slave" which should garner a few nominations, if not wins, by the actors and director while "Gravity" is still pulling them in. I'm looking forward to seeing "Black Nativity", mainly because MY Jennifer Hudson is in it, and I wouldn't miss MY Julia Roberts in "August Osage County". Also there is "American Hustle" and "Nebraska" on my list. Talking about my list I will have to go over all the movies I've reviewed this year and make my Best movie, actor, actress list. Too many times the early movies are forgotten!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
(OKAY SO I WENT OFF MY DIET--IT WAS THANKSGIUKKAH--A GOOD EXCUSE AS ANY LOL)
It isn't fair to judge a buffet restaurant on Thanksgiving Day but so be it here I am doing just that!
We missed last year but have been here on Thanksgiving Day 3-4 times before and I don't know if it is the new system they are using, or what, but we got there at 3 PM and were given a slip for the 5:30 PM sitting!! Okay, I know they are a casino and want to get people gambling but a 2 and a half hour wait to eat--no way!! The problem is what else could we do--wherever we went it would take time to get there and then probably a wait. We would have gone to a movie but most shows started at 4 PM. Okay, end of rant.
There probably isn't a food you could think of that wasn't available, with most being tasty, from Peking duck to sushi to roast beef, a complete turkey dinner with all the trimming except they ran out of pumpkin pie! The food, on a scale of 1 (the worst) to 10 (the best) the roast beef, Caesar salad, BBQ ribs were definitely 10s while the cakes, pies, pastries were all on the 1 scale. The made to order Shrimp Scampi was lukewarm and the pasta cold. They use to serve regular ice cream and now it is only soft and no longer self serve.
I didn't try many of the items, like the crab legs because I find them a pain to eat, but it is a spread worthy of the name buffet. The problem, like in many buffets, is that a person eats many things taking a bite or two and throwing the rest out and whether food is suppose to be hot or cold it is mostly room temperature.
The service was excellent, as was the lady 'in charge of the line' who worked without a break and continuously had a smile no matter how many times she was asked the same questions!
The cost of the buffet, with tax, was $28.61, quite an increase of prices over a couple of years ago but that is to be expected. We left a 20% tip.
Next year, IF we go this route again, and IF they have the same system of sitting, we will plan on getting the sitting slip for a time that we can come back after seeing a movie.
They do put a hold on your charge card if you are paying that way--plus the automatic 20% tip they put on the credit card they add another 20% on hold.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Though famous on the English stage, TV and in English movies it wasn't until Judi Dench played M in the James Bond movies and received a supporting actress Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth that America fell in love with her and hasn't stopped loving her, with her role in "Philomenia" only solidifying that love.
We first meet the young Philomenia (Sophie Kennedy Clark) losing her virginity, never regretting it, only to become pregnant. Irish girls who bore children out of wedlock, embarrassing their parents, were generally sent away to Catholic church institutes where the nuns kept them in servitude until they paid off the 1,000 pounds until they paid off their 'debt'. The last time she sees her son Anthony is when, at the age of 3, he is being put in a car after being sold to an American couple.
Fifty-three years later we met the grown up Philomena (Judy Dench) who has been a nurse for thrity years, married, had a daughter and grandchildren but never forgot her Anthony nor did she ever lose her faith in the church. Writer Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), who is a lapsed Catholic to the point of now being an atheist, has recently lost his job. He is a man who likes to write about Russian history couldn't care about writing a 'human interest' story which he sneers at so you know he will be writing Philomena's story and will help her find her child.
There are many possible spoilers so to avoid them, and let you enjoy the twists and turns, let's just say Philomena and Martin are complete opposites and travel together to America to find her son. Along the way subjects far and wide are touched upon from the church, to politics, to homophobia, AIDS, the British class system, unforgiving nuns, romantic fiction novels, sex, Jane Russell and even Philomena wanting to watch "Big Mama's House" instead of going to see the Lincoln Memorial.
Written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, based on the true story written by Martin Sixsmith in the book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee", they, along with director Stephen Frears, avoids manpulating the audiende too much. They provide some good laughs while not staying away from the heavier topics.
Steve Coogan holds his own against Judi Dench but you eyes don't leave her when she is on screen. She inhabits Philomena to the point that we understand this woman's love, faith, loss, pain and, most of all, her wisdom, with her facial expressions. Sophie Kennedy Clark gets across Philomena's anguish, especially in the scene where she sees her son taken away while Mare Winningham as a grown up woman who was adopted with Anthony and Anna Maxwell, Ruth McCabe along with Peter Hermann and Michelle Fairley all offer good support in what are almost cameo appearances. Barbara Jefford as Sister Hildagarde stands out.
There are beautiful scenes of Ireland, and Washington D. C., but this movie belongs to Judi Dench deservedly!
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