Sunday, February 27, 2022

End of February Sunday Movies

Football season is officially over & it's still cold outside so it's back to a favorite time--Sunday afternoon movies.  Over the years DVD's have come & gone from my collection as I've moved & downsized.  Some I've kept, some have stayed gone & in idiot fashion, some have been repurchased.  I had one of each today.

Enchanted Cottage

First was 'The Enchanted Cottage' with Robert Young & Dorothy McGuire from 1945. The story begins with Laura (DM) returning to her home town, single & sad & "ugly" according to the townspeople, getting a job as a maid at a cottage owned by the amazing Mildred Natwick.  A young engaged couple come to rent the cottage for their honeymooon but the wedding does not happen because Oliver (RY) goes to war.  Fast forward a year & Laura is still there & Oliver return alone after a war injury that disfigures his face. His fiance Beatrice has a reaction that convinces Oliver that their marriage won't ever work.  

Laura falls in love with Oliver on the first visit & he  falls for her gentle spirit & eventually marries her thinking no one else will have him. Mysterious Mildred knows the secrets of the cottage.  They are not revealed til the end but the secret is that the love in the cottage makes the occupants see way down deep in the person they love instead of just what they can see with their eyes.  But he eventually really falls for her as the cottage works it's magic.  They have a blind friend who helps them see the world with more than just their eyes.  And they live happily ever after.  *Sigh*

A couple of things...the quality of the movie print is not great even though the movie came from 'Warner Archives' so it may be the best there is.  And the blind friend has a nephew who helps him from place to place that he adorably calls "Taxi"😄.  And anyone who thinks Dorothy McGuire is ugly is an idiot who needs glasses. 

White Nights

My second movie has an ironic twist.  First, there was not a plan here....I got 'White Nights' in the mail last week & decided to watch today.  Right now, the Russian government has sent troops into the Ukrain to take over their country & they are defending themselves admirably.  Honestly, until the movie started the connection never crossed my mind. 

White Nights (1985) starts with dancer Nikolai Rodchenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov) as a Soviet dancer who defected to the United States.  On a flight over Europe, the plane is forced to land in Russia, where he has been judged a criminal.  The authorities quickly figure out who he is & attempt to coerce him into coming back to Russia to dance.  They keep him in hiding by telling the world he is gravely injured.  But his manager is a vocal Geraldine Page & sets out to free him.  He is placed with an American army deserter/theater tap dancer named Raymond (Gregory Hines) & his Soviet wife Daria (Isabella Rossalini).  They are eventually moved to Nikolai's former apartment in Moscow for more brainwashing.  They form a bond & eventually all decide to escape together.  They get help from Nikolai's former lover Galina (Helen Mirren) who he deserted when he defected.  Eventually, the American Consolate gets involved.  Nikolai & Daria get away but Raymond is unable to leave. It's unclear everything that happened to Raymond but I think he was sent to a work camp.  At the end, he is traded back to the west for another traitor defecting to Russia, all arranged by Nikolai.  

The movie has great dancing by both stars & has to strike all kinds of chords with Baryshnikov who also defected to the US.  In the movie he states that he's an American citizen but will always be Russian.  He left for his freedom in general & as an artist. 

Love the movie.  And love how Baryshnikov looks in a pair of jeans.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

What a week...

Globe Life Park


I was hoping to live a dream to go to spring training for the Texas Rangers in Arizona this year but the gazillionaire owners have decided to lock the gazillionaire players out over a contract dispute.  After the last 2 years of the plandemic & the shortened baseball seasons & limited fans you'd think they'd all want to play ball but it's seriously like they want us to all give up on them.  And they are about to get what they want.  It's going to be hard to get us back.  

Instead I decided to go to Arlington to the '2022 State Farm Showdown', basically some pre-season games in a sorta tournament format.  Tech played 3 games, against Michigan, Arizona & Auburn.  Red Raiders one one, lost 2 which is better than last years 0-3.  But they do well later in the year...pre-seasonsorta tournaments are not their thing.  But they did play in the new Globe Life Park, the indoor stadium they just built.  It's pretty & I like the 72 degrees year round but I liked the old stadium (right next door) better.  Not sure I can explain.  I liked the open stadium better & it's still in great shape but for some reason they decided they needed a new one.  For the aforementioned NO DANG BASEBALL.  And they are no cash & I'd taken cash to pay for my $8 hotdogs & cokes.  And only a quarter of the concessions were open so the choices sucked.  And to top it all off, I left my Visa at a concession stand & knew it immediately.  I went to guest services to report & turned it off so I had to use my debit card which I hate doing.  And I cancelled Visa.  I checked back on Sunday...but then got a call on Monday that they'd found but it was too late.  So that was a mess all it's own.   The good part was that I got to spend the afternoon at the game with my friend Linda & before that I got to eat lunch with Donna & Danny & Linda at Babes. 

Later on Sunday night, I went to my Aunt's house to spend a couple of days.  On Monday, we went to Buc'cees.  


And on Tuesday we had brunch with Linda & my cousin Sharon & then I had a killer massage, in more ways than one.  I'd requested deep tissue & I'll rethink that next time.  I was sore!!   

I was planning on coming home on Wednesday but woke up to ice that lasted til yesterday morning.  I love my Aunt & cousins but I was ready to come home.  Their fancy house was cold & we were all boxed together for too long.  

And the drive is maybe driving to Arizona is unrealistic.  I hate I-20 & usually don't go that way but I was going to Arlington so it was closest.  Road construction--or rumors of--was everywhere.  I never saw any workers or barrels or cones but 60 mph speed limits & backed up cars & trucks were horrible.  And coming back my GPS took me a strange way that involved more trucks til I got to Wichita Falls.  And then the back roads home were normal.  I hate the drive anyway we go.  I've definitely made my last drive alone.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

No Grocery February


My mom was born in 1928 so she lived through some of the depression as a child & through WWII as a teen & as a young bride to a real life cowboy there was always just enough food to go around.  My mom liked to eat...not a lot really but she loved variety.  We'd go to Furr's Cafeteria & she'd get bowls of a lot of things but truly she just wanted a bite or 2 of everything.  And she liked not having to cook & to sit at a table where people would bring her food she didn't have to cook.  Also, there was a lot of time where the grocery store was a long way away so in later years when money was easier, she always a lot of groceries on hand.  I, on the other hand, live within 2 miles of at least 3 grocery stores but I too always have a lot of groceries on hand.  I always joke that I could serve a Thanksgiving dinner on 4 hours notice.  We're not having turkey & dressing but I could feed a crowd with an eclectic meal.  And now, we are facing "supply chain issues" & inflation so we're seeing some empty shelves.  But with that being said, I still have too much food in my freezer & pantry.  Refrigerator is mostly empty right now.

So I'm at day 16 of "no grocery February".  I have not been to the grocery this month at all although I did buy a 1/2 gallon of milk at Target the other day when I went to get a prescription.  Addressing supply chain & inflation, Target usually has the cheapest milk, $2.29 for 1/2 gallon.  This one was $3.29 & I had to ask the sweet stocker to see if they had any.  They had the Fairlife brand which is lactose free, low sugar, yuppie milk for $4.99.  Ridiculous. And I'm cheating...I've eaten out more this month than normal, something I need to watch.   And I'm heading to the metroplex this weekend so I'll eat out more but I'm packing car snacks & a 2 litre Diet Coke so I don't have to buy anything on the road.  After the road trip Egg McMuffin of course.  Clearing out the kitchen is one goal but they other half is the challenge of saving money.  And I love a challenge!!  It's truly a game now.   

For the record, I know that I am extremely blessed to not have "food insecurity" as way too many have & part of me feels real guilty about that.  I'm a person who has almost  always fought having too much to eat.  And I'm even better at that issue right now than I've ever been.  

It's a journey.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

American Prince--A Tony Curtis Biography

 Geez, where to start.

A couple of weeks ago I watched an old movie made in 1958 called 'The Defiant Ones'.  The stars were Tony Curtis & Sidney Portier.  Sidney had just passed away & I'd heard of the movie but had never seen it.  "Joker" (Curtis) & "Cullen" were convicts in the south (Alabama I think) who escape an overturned prison bus chained together with handcuffs.  Joker is a bigot who treats Cullen like trash but figures out fast that they are in this thing together.  On their journey, they find out they had more in common than either imagined.  They form an at first reluctant tolerance that turns into a true friendship.  I won't way much more because I'd hate to spoil the movie. Both actors did a great job & the movie was very good.

I've obviously seen Tony Curtis over the years.  I can't honestly say he ever made a big impression on me.  I remember seeing 'The Boston Strangler'  & being surprised how good he was.  And I remember him in 'Some Like it Hot' which I never saw as brilliant as others saw it.  Other than that, I'm hot sure I could name another movie, even though I just read a book that listed them all.  But after 'The Defiant Ones' I decided to check his book out of the library & read about his life.  And what a trip.

He was born Bernard Schwartz into poverty in 1925.  His parents were Hungarian Jew immigrants. His dad was a tailor, his mom a homemaker.   He was the oldest of 3 boys.  His mother was apparently violent & schitzophrenic although he mostly skimmed over that last part.  At age 13, (now) Tony's 9 year old brother Julius was killed in a car accident in NYC.   Tony grew up avoiding school & trying to scrape by for money to go to the movies.  He had no high school degree & later joined the Navy in WWII.  After he was discharged, he went to drama school on the GI Bill.  After some stage work, he met some people who offered him some small parts in the movies.  He ended up leaving NY & heading to California to be a "star". 

Along the way, if you believe what you read, he had sex with every other female in America. Apparently women would just see him on the street & think he was the most handsome thing on the planet & have sex with him.  All of the women in the movies wanted him, except Piper Laurie & Shelley Winters.  Ok, maybe there were a couple more but according to him, not many.  He had six wives but had no fault in the demise of any of his marriages, according to him.  He tomcatted around on every wife from day one but when a wife LOOKED somewhere else (maybe more) he was being "cuckolded".  He justified his cheating by saying it never meant anything & he was discreet.  And of course he was "madly in love".  Seriously, what a horndog.  And of course, it doesn't help that as he aged, he married children.  First wife Janet Leigh was 23 when they first married & he was 25.  Then after his divorce from her, he waas 37, 2nd bride was 18.  3 more wives were in 20s & oldest was 33.  So basically, no matter how old he got, when the wife hit about 30, to quote Gemma on 'Sons of Anarchy', his dick went on a cheerleader hunt.

According to him, his career should have been better because, he was, after all, the handsomest & best actor in Hollywood.  And at 60 he was lamenting agism in his business.  Of course, that happens at 40 for the women.  And in his mind the lack of adoration & movie parts & awards was because everyone in Hollywood was an Anti-Semenite.  While I don't doubt one bit that may have been part of it, I tend to believe it was more because he was a tool.  He claimed he was the ultimate professional who knew everything there was to know about movies & no one else knew anythinng.  I can only imagine he was probably more trouble than he was worth. 

To go with the 6 wives, he had 6 kids too that it appears he had a don't-I-know-you-from-somewhere relationships.   And when he died, he named the 5 surviving children by name & publically disowned them.  His last wife walked away with all the money. 

What an American prince.

I can honestly say, after this book, I have gone from apathy for Tony Curtis to a solid dislike. 

The book was enlightening for sure. And not in a good way. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

The Eyes of Tammy Faye


I don't see many movies anymore because I don't like funnelling money into hypocrital Hollywood. I used to go to the theater a couple of times a month.  The only movie I saw at the theater in 4 years was the last James Bond.  I don't really care too much about "stars"quiet politics but hate them shoving their views down our throats like they are special.   Basically, they are performing monkeys.  And I give them the respect that garners.  I wouln't kick them & would give them treats if they were good little monkeys.

One of the things the plandemic has done is forge partnerships between the movie studios & streaming services.  Some movies are on both platforms I'll watch a movie on streaming as long as it's free.   And if it's on HBO Max (free with my internet service) or Prime (from Amazon, I pay a yearly fee for streaming & free shipping) so I still consider it free.

So.  Today I watched a new movie called 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'.  It is a biopic telling the story of Tammy Faye & Jim Bakker, snake oil ministers who started bilking their "partners" out of money in the 1980s.  They had a satellite network & a daily TV show where there were lots of tears & promises of God's blessings for a little cash. And they got a lot of cash.  The couple ended up with big homes with gold faucets & furs & ministry compounds.  And while Jim had the magic snake tongue, Tammy Faye sang & did fake-for-the-cameras "compassionate" interviews, all covered in 5 pounds of eye makeup & eye lashes.  And the daily tears left her face looking like Heath Ledger's Joker in a Batman movie.  Guessing that's where the movie title came from.


Heath Ledger as the Joker

In the early 90s their life came crashing down. Their 30 year marriage began to crumble.  As Jim rose to prominence, he began to neglect Tammy Faye & have affairs with both women & men.  TF had at the least an emotional affair with a music producer & the movie implies more at least once.  And authorities started looking at their finances & everything went down. There were shady investments & payoffs to keep marital affairs secret.  They were in partnerships with older snake oil salesmen preachers Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell, among others. Apparently  the market for bilking people out of poor people had a limits.  And while promising the Bakkers help with their finiancial, moral & religious woes, the others turned on them & hung them out to dry.   

Jim Bakker then did what was possibly the only decent & honest thing he'd ever done & took the blame for everything.  He was sentenced to 8 years in jail for fraud, among other things.  He served 5.  Tammy Faye divorced his sleazy butt was contined singing & ministering til she died in 2007.   And Jimbo??  Got out of prison, started his ministering & bilking again & actually got another woman to marry him. He was sued just last year for some plandemic fraud thing.  Living proof that the shit floats. 

Around this time some other "ministers" were exposed for their true selves.  Jerry Fallwell & Jerry Jr had scandels.  Jimmy Swaggert, a Lousiana preacher also.  Pat Robertson appears to be fairly scandel free.  He even ran for president.

I am a Christian & have always been offended by TV preachers & the face they project on Christianity.  Judgemental, hypocritical & always with their hands out.  I remember our small town minister...visiting the hospitals, performing weddings & funerals & being there when needed.  The TV shysters give them all a bad name & that's not fair at all. 

The movie starred Jessica Chastain & Andrew Garfield, both actors that I'm not familiar with considering my Hollywood distaste.  JC was nominated for an Academy Award so the the chief Hollywood monkeys think she gave a great performance.  AG was not nominated but I found his portrayal of Jim Bakker appropriately smarmy.   I have not seen any other movies nominated for anything so I'm not sure of JC's chances to win. 

The Real Bakkers

Movie Bakkers 

My favorite Tammy Faye joke:

If you remove her make up, you'll find Jimmy Hoffa.  (He was a union leader who disappeared without a trace in 1975)

If you have to explain the joke it's probably lost it's effectiveness.  😐

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Tech-UT basketball & the return of Chris Beard

We kind of have to start at the beginning...

In 2016, Tubby Smith left the job as the Texas Tech men's basketball & the University hired former Chris Beard from a job he'd just accepted at UNLV 2 weeks earlier.  He'd been an assistant at Tech under Bob Knight.  He accepted immediately, saying he was "coming home to mama".  He was excited.  We were excited.  He brought an energy to the program we had not seen in awhile.  And he took Tubby's team & added some transfers & the team did well.  In fact, in 2019, our Red Raiders suprised the world and went to the final game in March Madness.  We should have won but Beard was outcoached & we lost by 8 in overtime.   It broke my heart.   But...Beard signed a new 5 year contract & our future looked bright. 

Covid seasons don't count.  The next 2 seasons were a wash for the entire world.

Fast forward to April of 2021 & the University of Texas, the Evil Empire took Beard to McDonald's in Plainview & poached him for a Big Mac & UT money & he left.  He took most of his staff & one player & badmouthed Tech to recruits & did all kinds of shady things before he left with the intention of burning our program to the ground.  Players looking at uncertainty entered the transfer portal.  Luckily for Tech,  Tech's AD looked at the perfect Head Coach candidate, the guy who did not "get on the plane" & follow Beard to Austin--Mark Adams.  Adams was the defensive coordinator for all the winning years & along with Sean Sutton & maybe another coach or 2, took over the team.  And Lubbock went crazy.  Adams was a Tech grad & the perfect man for the job.  And just as fast, most of the players jumped back out of the transfer portal & put their faith in Adams.  And it has paid off big time.  He has a great team that just keeps getting better & better & they are on a roll.

So, last night...UT came to town.  The first trip back to Lubbock for Beard.  The excitement was electric. The crowd was hostile but in a respectful way for a Tech crowd, traditionally kind of an asshole-y crowd.  And the team came through.  Great win.  And thank goodness because if they'd lost, the entire University would have looked foolish.  

Next time for UT is in Austin on February 19.  And Tech fans have bought most of the tickets.  We need another win to make this season great.  Don't get me's not enough....we want more but beating UT twice in one season with the last game in their house full of Tech fans would be at least some icing on the cake.  We want more though...sprinkles & sparklers too later in the season.  But last night was good.