John Wick: a movie review

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My husband and I went to see John Wick today. We are both big fans of Keanu Reeves and my husband has especially been waiting for this movie to come out since we had seen its previews a while ago.

We both loved it, it was the perfect movie for us today; a real badass action picture. I cried twice at the beginning, once when John Wick’s wife dies from her terminal illness and the second time when very bad men break into John Wick’s house to steal his car and they kill his puppy; the last beautiful gift that John Wick received from his wife.

Keanu Reeves was on fire in the movie; he was so believable as John Wick; an effective and highly efficient killer. John Wick was completely focused and controlled at every second and this was one of the few movies an assassin or contract killer did not waste movement, bullets or emotion. Keanu Reeves played John Wick as one stone cold killer bent on getting justice and retribution for his puppy, the last beautiful gift from his beloved wife. The movie made a point of explaining how even in the world of contract killing there are rules and especially there are consequences to pay for breaking those rules. Chaos reigns without rules and that means disruption of business if chaos is allowed to ferment. Money is the driving force and it must flow easily and freely which is why rules must be respected.

For those who like action, shoot them up movies, this will be a keeper. If you don’t enjoy them, than this movie will definitely not be your cup of tea.

A place that feels just like home

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My husband has over the years, accumulated so many points staying in so many hotels, that he has become a Platinum Ambassador of the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Several years ago we discovered the Intercontinental Hotel on Atlantic Avenue in Boston and the excellent staff has made us feel at home since we started staying with them.

This afternoon when we pulled in front of the hotel, the doorman came right over, took our luggage and put them onto the cart. We were personally greeted by Marc and Inilta who checked us into our room and being a Platinum Ambassador we were automatically upgraded to a suite. Inilta and Marc took the time to speak with us and we shared quite a few laughs. They both are so warm and friendly; we have come to know many of the staff on a first name basis which makes our stay feel even more like home. They even asked about Jack because the last time we were here with him, he made quite the impressions with his very good manners and quiet demeanor.

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What makes our hotel feel like our second home are the people who work here. They go over and beyond their job description to make us feel comfortable and welcome. Whenever I walk through the lobby or down the hall, I am greeted by hello or good morning or good afternoon and more often then not it is followed by a Mrs Nichols. I love our hotel and I always look forward to our stays here.

An Ode to Frankie’s Pizzeria

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Imagine my sadness when I discovered that may favorite pizzeria in all of New York, that I have known since 5 years old, was closed for good without any warning.

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I remember going to Frankie’s with my father when I was about 5 or 6 and a slice was a quarter. Their pizza has been the definition of consistency; same great crust, same great sauce and same great cheese.

I am still taken aback by the thought that I will never again bite into a slice of Frankie’s. I make my own pizza at home and I really love my pizza, but it is a very different pizza than Frankie’s and so there was always room in my heart for both.

An era is gone, a great era of pizza, Astoria is a little diminished with the loss of Frankie’s.

Daily prompt: Grand Slam

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The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

The first thought that came to mind when I read the prompt was a Mets game that an ex boyfriend took me to when I was 18 and our seats were way up high in the bleachers. It was a sunny afternoon and he was cheering, eating a hot dog and I was sitting there trying to make sense of what was going on way down below us out on the field; a pair of binoculars would have been nice. I don’t remember if the Mets won or lost, I do know that I fell asleep very quickly into the game and he kept waking me up every so often, I think that he gave up after a while and left me alone until the end. It was on the way home that he broke up with me; he blamed it on the lack of things that we had in common, but I think that it was me falling asleep during his beloved Mets game that put him over the edge, he was a HUGE baseball fan and I couldn’t fake it. I don’t really get sports, I don’t mind playing sports, but for the most part I don’t particularly enjoy watching sports. Poor guy, I’m sure that he found his perfect match and they have been watching the Mets ever since.

Daily prompt: Fourth Wall

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You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I would absolutely love to be sisters with Jane and Lizzy, what is one more female in the Bennett household after all? I know that mother Bennet would probably have an apoplectic fit, but I am sure that Mister Bennett would soothe her rattled nerves. I can easily see myself spending hours in bed with Jane and Lizzy talking late into the night about our hopes and dreams of the future as limited as they might be.

I could see us trying to put some common sense into the younger girls and even if I wound up as a governess or the wife of some poor but good man, I would stay close to my sisters Jane and Lizzy.

Don’t misunderstand I love my little sister and if it were she and I in the movie, we would be sharing a room, talking and giggling into the wee hours of the morning. She would be the equivalent of Jane, in that with her beauty, she would be the belle of the ball whereas I would be like Lizzy, my head in a book constantly, spending hours walking through the countryside and speaking my mind, often without thought, oops.

There are a lot of other movies that I love, but each and every time that I channel surf, the minute that I land on Pride and Prejudice, the surfing stops and I have to watch, no matter where I landed, it doesn’t matter. I love that movie.

Daily prompt: Finite creatures

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At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

(Thank you for suggesting this prompt, Swoosieque.)

When I was five years old, my mother took me onto her lap to explain to me that my great uncle Ton-ton Gene had passed away and we would never see him again. I remember crying in her arms and asking if we would be seeing my Tantine Georgette soon and if she was okay. They had moved back to France months before because my great uncle had been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and he wanted to spend his final days in France. I wasn’t told any of this when they left, all that I knew was that I missed them and this was the first time that I had anyone die and it was a lot to understand.

I remember that night very vividly , lying in bed looking out towards the window where the Triboro bridge was lit up and my baby sister was asleep in her crib. I remember trying to imagine death, my mother said that we would never see Ton-ton Gene ever again and he had gone up to heaven, I closed my eyes and saw blackness and tried to to envision the moment when it would be beyond darkness, it would be black, but without my voice in my head, my thoughts would end, my feelings would end, i would never ever open my eyes and be a part of the world. I know that at that moment, I wasn’t articulating these images and thoughts precisely in this way, but what I am writing was bundled up in a huge emotion of fear and dread. The thought that one day, death would happen not only to me, but to my Maman and Papa was overwhelming that night.

I am not sure if at that point I got out of my bed and ran into my parent’s room, I might have, but my memory doesn’t have that image stored in my head for that night. All I remember is scaring myself with those intense thoughts and feelings.

I still get stuck in that dark imagining of the moment when I no longer exist and it does make for some dark images and tough truths. I usually flip over to some beautiful story telling in my head of a cute villa somewhere in Le Canon in France and that always does the trick of dispelling those awful images.

A much better day

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A good friend of mine wrote me that she hoped that the sun would be shining in my mind today, especially since today happened to be Sunday. It so came to pass; today was a much better day. Yesterday I brought in my plants and my precious Rosemary plant is now in our bedroom where I can nurture it through the long winter; it does look very beautiful where I put it, I hope that it will be happy in its temporary home.

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The next best thing after that is cooking and this afternoon, I spent quality time with my oven and cooking utensils and I made chicken pot pie. The kitchen smelled wonderful for quite a few hours.

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There is something about peeling, dicing and sautéing vegetables and chicken that soothes the soul; the same thing with gardening and writing. The sun was definitely out today, both outside and in my mind.

Off days

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I don’t why, but today was a definite off day for me; I felt an oppressive blanket of depression no matter what I tried to do to dispel it. I kept busy, bringing in all of my plants inside, putting away the pool paraphernalia and then working on the aesthetics of my book, making sure that all of the fonts match and the type as well. Last night I even dreamt of kittens and being on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart being interviewed about my book. I hate these days when I have to fight with everything that I have in me to not be dragged down that dark tunnel. I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day and I wake up with my more normal optimistic outlook because I really don’t like feeling this, the blanket can get overwhelming. So here is to throwing off its heavy yoke during a long sleep and having a better day tomorrow.

Daily prompt: Avant Garde

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From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?

Politics: I was very intrigued by the whole process since my teens; history was my favorite subject and politics can’t be understood without historical context so I grabbed both with both hands and sank my teeth wholeheartedly into both areas of study. Is that avant garde? I don’t know, but I wasn’t shy about speaking my mind regarding my political convictions with adults at the table. I learned a lot during those discussions at the dinner table with my parents and their friends; I was amazingly blessed that my parents and their friends never made me feel out of place in these discussions or that my opinions weren’t important and valid. That was one of the best gifts that they could have ever given me, making me feel important and of value.

On a sadder note, lately the term thigh gap has been talked about in the news and for some it is a whole new concept. Women bent on getting a large enough gap between their thighs and overdoing it on exercise and diet. I am glad that it is getting attention in the news because it is part and parcel of the unhealthy obsession that many women face over their weight and honestly between fashion magazines and Hollywood, women receive the worst kinds of beauty related messages; hopefully with the conversations going on in the news, things will change for the better. Years ago, when I was in full blown anorexia, I decided that I needed my thigh gap to be as wide as possible, long before anyone was ever talking about it, it was my gauge as to how much more weight I needed to lose, honestly and sadly, I never could be skinny enough ever in my mind. I am now too tired to ever put myself through that again and I am so thankful for that. These days, I don’t have a thigh gap and I will never have one and I am resigned to that. It is fine.

I am pooped!

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Between working diligently on editing my essays and going into New York CIty with my mother today, I am pooped. I did have a very nice time walking around Columbus Circle with her and then walking up Broadway until we got to Citarella Food shop and getting some lemon sole and an array of fresh mushrooms; chanterelle, shitake and cremini mushrooms. Dinner is going to be very tasty tonight!

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New York is a very beautiful city, though a little crowded, we felt like sardines in the subway ride home. LOL The building that has the Petrossian restaurant on the first floor is by far one of my favorite buildings in New York, the facade with its intricate carvings all along, up and down, from left to right is truly a testament of superb craftsmanship. The building itself is the Alwyn Court building built in 1907 in the Francois the First style with 14 rooms and five bath apartments. Those apartments are no longer with us, they were subdivided during the Great Depression. Imagine the luxury of 14 rooms and 5 baths in the heart of New York all those years ago! Wow.

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