Saturday, March 26, 2022

Sorrow & Bliss Book Review



I found the book 'Sorrow & Bliss' by Meg Mason after reading a post on an Instagram account called 'LoneStarWords'.  The writer lives in the DFW area (thus the Lone Star) & she reviews books & has followers who review books. As a reader, I sometimes find myself in a rut, reading the same authors.  This book was well reviewed & the library had it so her we are. 

'Sorrow & Bliss' is about Martha, the daughter of a one hit wonder father-poet & a drunken mother-sculptor.  She has a sister Ingrid, married to Hamish & eventual mother of 4.  Martha is basically aimless...goes through a series of menial jobs, doing some writing.  She has a fairly funny view of her life & the life of her family.  But as an early age, she begins to show signs of a mental illness. We see her through 2 marriages & even if she's funny, she's mostly self absorbed & cruel to everyone around her.  Her mom & her 2nd husband Patrick take the brunt of her illness.  After Patrick has finally had enough & leaves her she is diagnosed & receives meds that make things better.  But she's still bitter against him for being weak & not figuring out what is wrong with her & thinks HE should apologize.  It takes her mom & sister telling her she's too much work & annolying before she ends up getting her stuff together.  For some reason that I will never understand, she is even seeing poor domestic abuse survivor Patrick again.  The ending is rushed (although the story is too long) & she gets amazingly cured pretty quickly.  I mean, 20 years of suffering, then one trip to a psychiatrist who diagnoses her with "___ "(qouting the book) & provides her a pill that fix everything.  Easy Peasy. But while Martha may feel clear inside, she is still a horrible person & I guess family feels obligated to care about her.  I'm not sure why anyone cares about her, especially Patrick. In his case, I'm thinking Stockholm syndrome or PTSD. The fact that he would take her back pisses me off & they are both fictional characters.  I'd be hard pressed to find a fictional character I cared less about while reading about them.

An odd thing about the book is that the mental illness is never named.  In fact, at the end it says: 

"The medical symptons described in the novel are not consistant with a genuine medical illness. The portrayal of treatment, medication & doctor's advice is wholly fictional."

What a crock. 

Lots of people & reviews talk about the book discussing mental illnesses & mental health, which is  a big old deal these days.  But then to make something up? And then "fix" it so quickly with ONE trip to miracle doctor?  From reading the Amazon reviews, some people think this is real. 

I finished it because I don't like not finishing a book but I'll avoid the author in the future.  

And don't believe everything you read. 


Monday, March 14, 2022

My Three Sons

 

Robbie,Bub,Steve,Chip,Mike

'My Three Sons' was a TV show that started in 1960.   The show starred Fred MacMurray, a long time movie actor, as Steve Douglas, a widower with 3 sons.  The oldest, Mike, may have been 16, Robbie about 14 & Chip about 7.  Also in this house was Steve's father in law & the boys' grandfather, Bub, who took care of the house.  The premise of the show is a house full of men surviving life.  

It was one of my favorite 60's shows.  I did not start watching in 1960 because I waas 3.  But it was on in reruns forever & it lasted 12 years so I did see some of the originals.  And I can say it should have stopped after season 5.  Steve, Robbie & Chip went on but Mike got married & left & was never even mentioned again.  And Bub, played by William Frawley, got sick & was replaced by William Demarest.  I've heard of him over the years & guess he was a big old star but Uncle Charley was a horrible character.  Or maybe I just loved Bub so much.  They also added Ernie who they adopted & over the years wives for Robbie, Chip & Steve.  And the most annoying character ever, Steve's step daughter Dodie.  She was like 6 when they got married and she wore short little dress that you put on toddlers with lacy butts hanging out.  Yuck.

Story has it that Fred MacMurray wanted to work less & took on the show but he only filmed occasionally.  Steve was out of town alot.  And he filmed his lines out of sequence & they were edited in.  Even now, looking at the show, I can't tell that.  Steve was a great dad, expected a lot of his sons & was always there for them. He raised gentlemen who were kind & smart.  

The stories on William Frawley were legendery.  He was  a heavy drinker who they said had to film before lunch while he was still sober.  And allegedly grumpy.  He came from 'I Love Lucy' & had a drinking problem then.  And he & Vivian Vance, who played Ethel to his Fred, hated each other.  Word was he didn't like working with women.  So he was good here--no women regularly. But all of the boys on the show loved him to death & he them.  Sadly, at the end of season 5, he was too ill to continue & passed away.  Then we got stuck with Uncle Charlie.

Son Mike got to graduate from high school & college before he met & married Sally.  He was played by Tim Considine.  I loved that he was so smart & kind.  Losing Mike & Bub should have ended the show.  This post is here because Tim died this week & I was thinking about Mike & the show.  I always had a huge crush...on Mike, not necessarily Tim who I knew noting about.  Robbie was a girl crazy athlete who eventually married Katie.  And cutie Chip was a natural, funny & real.  Then after Mike left we got Ernie to make the sons 3 again.  

My Three Sons is probably my favorite show from the 60's...for the first 5 seasons.  




Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Hacks



 As previously discussed, I have a ton of streaming channels.  So I've been trying to watch more & I've found some good things.  

HBO Max has a show called 'Hacks'.  It's a story of a Las Vegas comedy headliner named Deborah, whose boss at the casino wants to push her out for someone who will bring in a younger crowd. Deborah's agent sets her up with Ava, a generation z-er comedy writer being cancelled for a stupid tweet.  Deborah reluctantly agrees to work with Ava even though they don't see eye to eye on much. The story follows their relationship.

Deborah is a tough old broad (a title she's earned) who will do whatever she needs to to keep her show, including blackmailing her boss.  She is a LV staple with friends & enemies on every corner & she knows lots of secrets. 

Marcus is Deborah's business manager who keeps her busy with endorsements & grand openings. He's protective of Deborah for real but has his own agenda to get ahead & get rich. 

Deborah also has a daughter in recovery, DJ, who resents her mom & her childhood.  DJ goes as far as notifying the paparazzi about Deborah's whereabouts. 

Deborah is played by the brilliant Jean Smart.  First known (to me anyway) as the adorable Charlene on 'Designing Women'.  But from there, she is in a bunch of TV shows & movies & steals every one of them.  Smart, beautiful, likable & appearing approachable.  Deborah has those qualities too but also an edge honed by a husband who left her for her sister & working for years in a business that is predominatly male & having to put up with grab ass (in many ways) to get ahead.  Now she's approaching 2500 shows & being pushed out.  She's not going down without a fight.  This is a great role.

Ava's goal was to be a comedy writer & moves to Las Vegas to help Deborah punch up her act.  She thinks she belongs only in Los Angeles, supports her parents financially but does not appear to like them & doesn't seem to have any friends.  She's unlikable to me on every turn.  She will never have Deborah's talent.  And she lives in a drug enhanced, snowflake world where she has opinions on life & Deborah that she will never understand.  I don't like the character at all & I might not like the actress although it's hard to say because I don't think I've ever seen her before. 

The ending indicates the hope of a season 2.  No info yet.

Jean Smart won awards for this role. I wonder if a lot of voters could relate to her character more than they'd admit to.  

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Farmer's Market

Yummy Farmer's Market Donuts


It's only March so there are not a lot of fruits & veggies ripe to sell but a community outside of Lubbock still has their farmer's market every Saturday from 10-2.  Some days have been really cold but today is very nice, except for the gusty winds.  They have a "blessings table" where they have non perishable groceries for free if anyone needs anything.  I try to take a bag or 2 every time I go out.  Today I had 3 but I had a 6 pack of TP & a roll of paper towels.  And I bought a bacon & cheese scone & a dozen tiny donuts that the guy made right in front of us in a very cool donut machine.  His mom & dad were helping out.  It was very cool.  I'm glad that even in March they can still grow donuts. 

The booths are interesting.  2 people were selling crocheted animals.  Lots of baked goods, pickles,honey, candles, wine, lunch trucks. Later there will be fresh veggies & fruits.  They had some today but not much & stuff that is not in season.  I smell a trip to Sprouts. Just people trying to make a little extra cash.  Or maybe that's how it started but now they may just need cash to buy groceries.  And I love that they have outlets to sell.   Most things are overpriced...I'm not paying $15 for 12 cheese rolls even though I'm sure they taste great.   My donuts were $6 for a dozen & the guy made them right in front of me.  Not a true bargain but worth every bite. 


Thursday, March 3, 2022

Cutting the cord



I "cut the cord" on my TV years ago.  Cable TV is horribly expensive & what a waste.  They have 15 channels that anyone wants watch & 60 that no one cares about.  The Book Channel? The Catholic Channel? (No offense).  The Golf Channel??  Geez.  Basically, not for me.  So I bought a Tivo to record shows & tuned into my 40 or so local channels.   But then streaming started & oh, boy...do I have a lot of stuff.  

A couple of days ago I was discussing with a friend on Twitter about streaming services.  He'd gotten a deal for Paramount+ & we got to discussing what streaming services & after I'd typed my services I decided I might need to re-evaluate my choices because even though I don't really pay that much & have gotten deals I technically have a lot to watch & I don't watch much.  I'm mostly paid up for a year but will re-evaluate when it's time to renew.   

No excess is my goal....

Cherry Cordials

Cherry Cordials


Cherry Cordials

1 20oz jar of maraschino cherries
1 12 oz pkg dark chocolate candy melts
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup white karo
1/4 tsp almond extract

Drain cherries on paper towel  Melt candy melts in microwave for 1 minute.  Stir & microwave in 1/2 minute increments til it's hot enough to put in candy molds. I used a flexible mini muffin pan & put a little chocolate in each well.  I used a paint brush to paint up the sides. About half of the chocolate will be left.  Put in refrigerator til set.  

Mix powdered sugar, butter, karo & extract into a dough.  Take about a teaspoon of mixture & wrap around a cherry.  Put in set chocolate & cover with the rest of the melted chocolate & put back in refrigerator to set again. 

After set, pop out of pan & store in air tight container for 1 week til center liquifies.  

Makes 24 candies. 

I had to test drive one...center not liquified of course but the taste is good.  Excited to taste next week.  

The picture is my prettiest three.  The others look ok but have a little excess chocolate.  Finesse soon.