I found a gem on Youtube

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I found this video on HuffingtonPost and I had to share it with our son and then I knew that I had to share it with my friends. Christopher Walken is one of my favorite actors; his range as an actor is absolutely incredible. I knew that he started as a song and dance man, but I hadn’t realized that he had danced as much in so many films. He also grew up in Astoria Queens like me and for some strange reason that makes me feel some kind of connection to him. His father was a a baker and during a n interview on the Jon Stewart, he mentioned that Saturday mornings were common for he and the young boys of his neighborhood to take dance classes: tap, ballet and Jazz. He also mentioned that most of those boys grew up into police officers and firefighters, I forget why he said it, but I know that it made me and Job Stewart laugh at the time.

He doesn’t do many interviews, but when he does them, he is so adorable. His body of work is so prolific, it makes me a little sad that he is getting up there in years, one of these days we will lose another great talent. Thank goodness we have him immortalized on film.

My husband knows me so well

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My husband surprised me with a French movie “Le Grand Restaurant” starring Louis de Funes, one of the greatest comedic film actors in French cinema. He played it on our computer in the library just to hear me laugh out loud for over an hour.

What I find to be so wonderful about this is that it shows me how my laughter is so important to my husband. It is one of the most touching things about my husband, his focus on my happiness and well being.

That is what happens in marriage, your happiness is tied up in your partner’s happiness and it produces a loop. Theoretically, it should feed itself, so that each time you make a decision to do for your partner, making them happy and they are acting in the same way for your happiness, you are both made happy at the same time. Theoretically. Marriage is hard and it takes daily work however the rewards are greater than the effort required to keep it healthy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: a movie review

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Yes I know, a little late to the party. My husband, our son and I went to see it together, really just for our son because my husband wasn’t all that excited to see it, primarily because of the memories he had from the made for t.v movie series featuring Charleston Heston. I vaguely remember watching the made for t.v movie series, I remember Charleston Heston yelling and crying at the buried Statue of Liberty “something, something”, I am not sure if he said “Damn you” or if that came at somewhere else in the movie. I remember Roddy McDowell’s character, I liked him, he was a nice ape and there was a pretty girl who couldn’t speak, I think that most humans couldn’t speak for some reason, and besides seeing apes on horseback, that is all that I remember.

I thought that the movie was excellent as did our son. My husband definitely liked it much more than what he remembered from the t.v series. The special effects were outstanding, our son said more than once. I have to say that seeing the apes as an army with the front line on horseback was awe inspiring; the wave of sheer power and strength that emanates from the potential sheer physicality of the apes is incredible. In the real world an ape is pound for pound at least three times stronger than a human so in the movie when they are also equipped with speech and in certain individual cases revenge, it was fearsome.

Cesar of course we remember from the first movie, and he still embodies the beautiful beginnings that he knew with James Franco; his experience and knowledge of love and happiness informs his world view. Diametrically opposed to his experience is his second in command’s experience which unfortunately dominates the second half of the movie. Koba was one of the first that Cesar liberated from the laboratory and Koba’s experience with the human world was only filled with torture and pain, therefore his world view is radically different from Cesar and therein lies the drama.

I was quickly reminded of an interview that I saw with Jane Goodall in which she speaks of her experiences living amongst the apes and when she had her heartbroken for the first time. It happened when she realized that in effect that they really aren’t that different from us, they can be cruel, mean, ferocious and bullies. She had elevated the apes onto a pedestal and really we are very much like them both in the good and the bad. We mustn’t judge in general and in toto; each individual deserves their own merit and circumspection.

It was definitely one heck of a ride and I loved every different aspect of the journey.

Jack has excellent posture

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I can write about Jack forever. He gives us so much joy. His begging never gets old, it is so cute! I am proud of my husband that he has recently started to say no to our Jack, but that doesn’t stop Jack from trying. When he sits up on his backside, it so effortless that he can spend minutes upon minutes comfortably waiting for a morsel or even a speck of food. As the title suggests he does have the best posture, I should have a posture as ramrod straight as his, the little dickens.

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I fooled around with the filters available on my iPad and due to the low lighting in the living room last night, the pictures look old and grainy; but you can still see how straight his back is and how solid his perch is on his little backside. What a ham!

Our daughter left for University :(

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My husband and I dropped our daughter off at the airport very early this morning so that she can resume her studies at school, she is a junior this year. We are both sad, happy for our daughter, but sad for ourselves. We love having our children at home, we know that they need to leave the nest, but we like having them nearby, they are both very funny and engaging.

I know that our daughter is going to have a great semester and is getting closer to getting a firm grasp of what she wants to do with her life as she gets older. She is a very responsible young lady as is our son. Whatever path they choose for themselves, I am sure that they will give it their all and they will be successful. My husband and I will be on the sidelines, in the background, wherever they want us to be, cheering them on and supporting them however they need us to and loving them unconditionally in the process.

I still miss her.

Daily prompt; 10,000 spoons

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..When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic:.

I don’t feel like listening to the prompt, I felt compelled to answer the prompt just for the title, 10,000 spoons. I have a thing for spoons, I have a cereal spoon, an oatmeal spoon and an ice cream spoon. Now to me this is perfectly normal, why wouldn’t I have a specific spoon for each different food item? However my husband and my son both made the point that I do have a lot of rules when it comes to food. We were in front of the ice cream cake display and I said that I only like the ice cream cakes that have the chocolate layer on top, not on the bottom so that means a Friendly’s cake and not a Carvel cake. My family knows me so well.

I guess for me the next line in the Alannis Morissette classic would be 10,000 spoons and no milk, 10,000 spoons and no ice cream, 10,000 spoons and no cereal and 10,000 and no oatmeal. That would stink.

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I’m an Amazon, not an Egyptian

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If you are thinking what a crazy title for a post, I’ll fill you in to the context of the phrase. My husband has been a very busy man since yesterday. I’ll get to his culinary achievement later, but now to explain the Amazon and the Egyptian. Our fence has been needing a few repairs for some time and this morning was the day that it was going to be done. We went out back together and as usual I tried to help, but I am not a very good helper. My husband says that the reason is that I don’t follow direction because I always want to lead. As we were moving the sections of fence, I was inadvertently fighting the board instead of letting it be while my husband was getting the old screws out. He said that I needed to learn the physics of leverage and I definitely wasn’t Egyptian in my ways of lifting and moving heavy objects. A second later, my husband exclaimed that of course I wasn’t Egyptian or using the geometry of angles, why would I when I was acting like the Amazonian that I am at heart.
I was laughing at everything that he was saying because I didn’t care as long as the fence was getting fixed and Jack couldn’t escape, that was what was most important. I could be an Amazon or an Egyptian, I’ll even be both as long as the job gets done.

Now last night, in honor of the remaining few days left until our daughter returns to school in Miami, my husband made an incredible baked 5 cheese macaroni and cheese just for our princess. It was excellent, he used cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, parmesan and asiago cheeses, he melted half of it in the b├ęchamel sauce and the other half sprinkled all the way through and on top before he added bread crumbs and pats of butter and then putting it into the oven. His macaroni and cheese was the best that I had ever tasted.

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The Giver: a movie review

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My husband, our son and I went to see The Giver after we had enjoyed lunch at Arby’s. We had not read the book or even heard of it, but something like that would never stop us from seeing a movie. The story seemed very interesting and that is all that we need, something to lead us away to another land for a few hours.

The idea for the movie/book/story is that at some point the community elders came together and decided that in order to have lasting peace, emotions needed to be taken out of the equation and the past was no longer needed; only one special person would be the carrier of the memories of mankind and there would always be a Giver of the memories and a Receiver of the memories in training; their function was to use the knowledge to give council but still keep the memories secret from the rest of the community.

The idea, given what is going on the world as I write this, can be sort of seductive, are we really mature enough to have all of the technology and sophisticated weaponry without blowing up the world all around us since we can’t keep our fear, prejudices and hatred in check?

The movie does show that without emotion, we get rid of the hate and prejudice, we get rid of inequality, starvation and poverty, but we also get rid of laughter, love, music and art. We may be safe and secure, but we are also colorless and unimaginative. Is life worth living if you can’t feel anything real, is being safe and bland all that we can allow ourselves or are we able to get better?

We enjoyed the movie and it does make you think.

Mid August blooms

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I can’t believe that we are already halfway through August! Time is not listening to me, I asked it to slow down for a bit and instead it seems to have sped up. Our daughter is leaving to go back to Miami on Monday, already, it feels too soon, sniff, sniff.

I worked on my collection of essays; so far I am at 450, and so I am almost done with the gathering, I then have to decide how to present them: either by category or chronologically, I don’t know yet, I have to think about it.

So I am a little tired and still a little sore from my bang up on Monday. I decided to go out back and take pictures of my blooms; they are waning a bit because they feel the days of summer winding down. It made me a little melancholic.

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Daily prompt: A Bookish Choice

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A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

That is a difficult choice. It is an appealing thought to be this sort of “cool” off the beaten path novelist enjoyed by the select few, but when one writes, isn’t it to be read by many?

I have two projects that are different in genre, one id a collection of political essays and the other is a novel set in the 1920’s Paris/New York and is a love story/adventure. I could see the collection of political essays to an obscure publication that could be studied for a few decades; whereas the novel might give pleasure to many different people of all backgrounds. Am I being greedy?

I just want to be finished with both of my books so that I can have this giant expectation of myself off my shoulders. At this point I don’t even mind if I don’t get published, I do want to get published, but I am not even really thinking of that at this point. I want to be able to type the last words and know that I have accomplished the projects that I had set for myself. My two books are all about me and my follow through, I want to be a finisher, not a quitter.

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