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Jan. 18th, 2019

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Megan29!

Happy Birthday, megan29! I hope you're on the ski slopes or eating a fabulous dinner or doing something fun on this day!

Dec. 25th, 2018

Birthday beach

Merry Christmas!

This painting of Jose y Maria seeking shelter by Everett Paterson made me think.

Here is what the artist had to say:

This was our Christmas card for 2014, depicting Jesus’s parents in a modern setting. I was inspired by a number of evocative “imagine what it would have been like”-type sermons I heard earlier this year, and also (as usual) by the work of Will Eisner, who so often depicted, with religious reverence, noble individuals enduring the many minor discomforts and petty indignities of urban America.

The main goal of this illustration was to pack as many clever biblical references into the scene as possible. I won’t list every one (there are at least a dozen), but a few that I’m proudest of are: the verse from the prophet Ezekiel in the graffiti on the phone kiosk, the way the “Save More!” behind Mary’s head looks kinda like “Ave Maria!,” and the two ads for “Glad” and “Tide” on the newspaper (get it?).

A word on perspective: for this image, I chose very, very wide vanishing points. The result is what I occasionally call “middle-class white people perspective.” Rather than feeling immersed in the scene, the viewer is looking at it as if from across the street or from the warmth and safety of his or her passing car. I have a small hope that this Christmas image will come to mind when we see other “down and out” people huddling outside of gas stations, reminding us that our Savior’s parents (and indeed, Jesus himself) were at one time similarly troubled.

Dec. 19th, 2018

Birthday beach

Grandma Kate Update

Grandma Kate sent me this pictures back in October. Here is her news as of December, 2018.

Owen and Clara are thriving. The wedding of Second Granddaughter was amazing. Two of my grandsons held me up so I could walk out on to the sand, while a third carried my wheelchair. There was Persian dancing after the celebration and Owen turns out to be a quick study. Dear Ed has had a procedure which has left him rather worn out. I had a procedure which re-assured us that my colon cancer had not returned. Our doctors both recommend, "Drink more water, eat more fiber, and exercise every day". So life goes on.

You may certainly put the pictures on lj for anyone who remembers me to see. I miss the friends I made there.

Love, Grandma Kate

Please send her some love in the comments.

Here are Owen and Clara:

Dec. 13th, 2018

Birthday beach

Good Morning from the people you love who are gone . . .

Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) posted this meditation on Twitter this morning:

From the people you love
who are gone
But showed you such love and kindness
In their time with you
That you can still feel it
When you need it;
Take care today
And pass it on.
Someone needs your kindness today.

2:08 AM - 13 Dec 2018

Something to think about in this busy season of the year.

Dec. 9th, 2018

Birthday beach

Review: Netflix's Set It Up

Watched this last night. It was a really cute and fluffy - and had a lesson about unthinkingly buying into the workaholic lifestyle.

Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) meet cute when they divide up a late night takeout order for their demanding bosses, Kristen (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs). They work in the same building and decide to join forces to set up their unhappy bosses. They figure if their bosses are busy dating and being happy, they'll get more time off.

It's a cute premise. I enjoyed the New York City setting and the few twists at the end. Harper was a great character - a wannabe writer who never wrote because of how busy she was with her boss- but also because she was afraid to fail at it. Charlie just thought being rich was the point of work - not personal satisfaction. Besides falling in love, they also learned to re-think a few assumptions about life and work. Very appropriate for intelligent, ambitious people in their 20's.

Their bosses were also humbled (somewhat) but didn't do 180 character change. Their fates were appropriate and did not match the HEA of the main characters, so I was satisfied with that.

There was some crude humor/language, so it might not be appropriate for kids (although I doubt they would be the least interested).

Dec. 7th, 2018

Birthday beach

Review: Netflix's Dumplin'

I've gotten so used to putting up a review on Goodreads after I've read a book, that I feel like I need to do this after watching something. Eddie gave me a subscription to Netflix for my birthday and I've been enjoying it very much. Kimmy Schmidt is one of my favorites so far.

Today I watched Dumplin' - a movie adapted from a novel by the same name by Julie Murphy. Here's the trailer:

Jennifer Aniston was great as the pageant mom who doesn't quite know how to handle her daughter's grief and rebellion after her sister ( Aunt Lucy) dies. There is never any doubt that she loves her daughter - and that she loves pageant life - and she misses her sister, but those reassurances are not in the script. It's her actions and how she says a line or gazes at her daughter. She had me misting up a few times.

The lead character played by Danielle Macdonald has the difficult role of showing how she wants to stay true to herself and her Aunt Lucy's memory (Aunt Lucy was also big) by not changing her body for an artificial beauty standard. However, it gets complicated when she realizes that she hasn't achieved acceptance of her body when she runs away from a relationship with the "hot guy." There's an awful moment when she realizes her rebellion is going to backfire if she humiliates herself on stage by not practicing and not doing her best.

Enter the local drag queens who stage Dolly Parton nights at the local bar and were friends of Aunt Lucy. They help the other misfits who have taken on the pageant challenge.

I'm not sure if the movie really reconciled all of these factors - such as tackling the beauty standard, living up or down to your mother's wishes, having the courage to show your love,showing the ridiculousness and camaraderie of the beauty pageant culture, but it was fun and moving to watch.

Dolly Parton wrote five new songs for the soundtrack. I just loved this one:

Nov. 30th, 2018

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Sherylyn!

I hope you have a great day and an even better weekend doing just what you want to do! Happy Birthday, my friend. 

Nov. 25th, 2018

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday grandma_kate!

I want to wish grandma_kate a very happy birthday. She always remembers my birthday and I still owe her an email. She sent me two cute pictures of Owen and Clara and her grandson who is in medical school.

Kate, I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by your loved ones!

Nov. 20th, 2018

Birthday beach

How to Wrap Your Cat for Christmas

This just made me laugh and then I felt oddly relaxed after watching it. Just like the cat.

Is that a New Zealand or Aussie accent?

Nov. 11th, 2018

Birthday beach

Remembrance Day

It's been awhile since I last posted. We're all okay, Eddie included. I'll write another update soon, but I wanted to mark this day - 100 years since the Armistice. Living in Canada, I have to come to understand what an impact that war had on Europe and their colonies. Canada lost so many and has never forgotten.

Every year at 11:00 on November 11, there is a two minute moment of silence - no exceptions even the Tim Horton's drive thru. All the schools put on Remembrance programs. All the stores are closed. This isn't lip service. It's truly a Canadian "thing." This year they have asked all the churches to ring their bells 100 times at sunset (4:50 PM in my time zone). Apparently bells rang out all over Canada 100 years ago and they want to repeat that today.

It's cold and clear today after two days of wind and rain. The sound of the bells should carry.

I liked this quote from Kurt Vonnegut from Breakfast of Champions:

[...] all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

I hope our leaders are listening and remembering along with all of us.

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