Thursday, January 19, 2023

2023 Book Page

1.  Where the Crawdads Sing         Delia Owens 

2.  Rewind                                Catherine Ryan Howard

3. The Liar's Girl                      Catherine Ryan Howard  

4. Chinaberry Sidewalks          Rodney Crowell

5. No Plan B                               Lee & Andrew Child

6. Someone To Watch Over Me    Ace Atkins

7. Bye Bye Baby                           Ace Atkins

8. The Ranger                                Ace Atkins

9. The Ex                                        Alafair Burke

10. Testament                                John Grisham

11. The Housekeepers                    Alex Hay

12. The Road To Dalton                Shannon Bowring

13. The Librarianist                        Patrick deWitt


Saturday, January 14, 2023

Elvis' Daughter

Lisa Marie & Daddy about 1971

 I did a post on September 4, 2022  on the movie about Elvis & talked a lot about him then.  But things have come up again because this week his only child, Lisa Marie died at age 54 of a heart attack, which killed Elvis at 42 & his mom at 46.  A sad situation.

Lisa seemed to live a complicated life.  She not only lived in the shadow of her dad, arguably the most famous singer of all time.  She was 4 when her parents divorced, 9 when when Elvis died. I can't even imagine. And she quit school during her junior year of high school.  She had a drug problem for a few years.  She had a low level music career of her own. She was married 4x, including Michael Jackson & Nicholas Cage, both with issues of their own. She joined the Hollywood cult called Scientology.  She had 4 children, 2 of which are teenage girls.  She lost one son to suicide a couple of years ago.  I think for all of her very priviledged life & boatloads of money by looking at her, it never appeared she was a happy woman. It seems to me that maybe she had so much heartache that maybe it couldn't go on.  

Friend & I were talking about if despair & depression was hereditry.  Because Elvis' twin brother had died at birth & then he was drafted, his mom was worried about losing her son & became an alcoholic. And Elvis' issues were well known...depression & drugs led to his early death.  And again, I never saw Lisa Marie as a happy person (though certainly no expert here) & can only imagine there were some depression issues. And her son apparently, sadly, had issues too.  Just something to ponder.

I Carried Around A Book Today


I've been a reader most of my life.  Granted, I didn't learn til first grade but after that a book has been a constant.  Growing up in my small hometown, there was always a library & we got to go there but my biggest source of books was the little rounder at the grocery store.  There was no organization. I don't think the store placed an order with titles...probably just for 2 boxes of books or something.  They weren't best sellers...just some original pulp fiction & I loved them.  I didn't have money but mom bought me probably 2 a month.  And then of course was the school library where I went through periods of new stuff & classics & the racy stuff in the restricted section.  Read them all.  I had high hopes for the Tech library but it was just mostly research stuff.  What a disappointment.  So I bought books from Walden Books & some other long gone bookstore at the mall.  

Now I don't buy books very often.  Mostly I go to the library to get a book I can hold in my hand or I use my Ipad to Ebook.  Books are expensive!!  I did buy one a few months ago because I was in Barnes & Noble getting a birthday present & it was on display at the counter.  And I loved it...I liked the feel of it in my hands & watching my progress with my bookmark & even the smell of it.  But I went back to the library.

My co-worker Katie gave me a book called 'Where The Crawdads Sing' for Christmas & I've loved reading a few bits at a time & toting it around to read where I can.  I had it in my purse today as I waited for my friend Deb to get to lunch. It's become my teddy bear.  Of course I can do same with my Ipad but right now, this book is what I need. 

I've actually read about 1/3 of the book & it's pretty good & I may review it later.  It will at least make my 2023 book list when I finish.  For now, I'll just carry it around.  And maybe go to the library tomorrow afternoon & sit in a comfortable chair & read it.  It's all part of a book addiction.

Added Jan 19,2023:

I finished the book today & I take back my "pretty good" from before.   It really wasn't.  

'Where the Crawdads Sing' is the story of Kya, a girl in the North Carolina swamps whose parents abandoned her as a child & basically she raised herself.  She's uneducated & amazingly ends up writing books about the marsh & the flowers & animals.  She's unlikable & selfish & untrusting.  She has 2 men falling in love with her for some reason.  And they can't take her out in public.  One of them has a great observation  after he abandoned her too:  I can have Kya or I can have everythig else.  (College,family,life).  

The 2nd man she falls in love with is a sweet talking former high school quarterback who makes her all kinds of promises he doesn't keep.  And he ends up dead.  And Kya is tried & acquitted for his murder & we find out on last page, she did it.

The book has too much background, James Michner travelogue crap.  Too many descriptions of fish & bugs & mushrooms.  Could have knocked 150 pages off book.  And by 100 pages til the end I stopped reading & went to ending because I'd had enough.

This was a big old book club book & I baffled as to why.   One review on Amazon said something like he hoped the author had made enough money on this book so she'never feel like she had to write anything again.  It was painful.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

A Movie Today

I don't like Hollywood very much right now.  Their morals are in the toilet.  They produce crap after crap & want our money.  They have no imagination.  How many Marvel movies (never seen,never will) can they make?

Prior to 2017, the content wasn't a lot better, but I did go to the movies about once a week.  But then Hollywood people felt the need to shove their political views down our throats & the Donald Trump hate was rampant.  I don't like Trump but I hate being told how to think even worse.  And they are so smug about it, like they are flying some big morality flag.  I decided but they didn't need my money.

 There is a not great movie called 'The Magestic' which started out good with Jim Carrey (major asshole & crazy as a bedbug) & Martin Landau 😍 who I adore.  It starts with Jim Carrey coming into a small town & he looks just like Martin Landau's son, who was killed in the war.  Dad was never the same after he lost his son & imposter gave him life again.  Dad owned an old time glamour movie theater & he & imposter decide to restore it.  He sas a great line about people coming to theater again, "Why would people stay home & watch a box when they could come here?".   The rest of the movie sucks after that.  But I still love that line.  I used to feel that way but after politics & covid & theaters being closed it's more of a hassle than it's worth.  Plus, I have a bunch of streaming channels & can basically see anything I want, except the really new stuff. But, for some reason, I decided to go out of my house & to the theater.

So, it has changed.  They have an ATM thing to dispense tickets but I had cash so I tried the box office but had to get ticket at concession stand.  I got a reserved seat.  So I ordered water (no soft drink 2023,that's me) & a small popcorn.  He handed me the water & an empty bag.  There is a big old machine that spits popcorn in the bag at the push of a button.  A little girl explained it to me.  Then in the theater, there were only 4 rows & there were only 2 of us.  I did not sit in my reserved seat.  But the seats are lounge chairs, feet up & all & a tray table, like I'm on an airplane.   The experience was nice.

The movie was good   It's called 'The Whale', about a reclusive, obese online teacher who knows he's dying & wants to reconnect with his nasty, big mouthed teenage daughter, for some unknown reason.  I could see someone just pushing her down the stairs & leaving her for dead. But he felt guilty & wanted to get to know her before he died.

Charlie also had a sweet caregiver who was his best friend & we met a missionary who was pointless & got a glimpse of a pizza delivery man who was there to gape at Charlie & his weight, a zoom class he was teaching (class never saw Charlie) who got a final glimpse so they could look shocked & laugh.  Also, we got a glimpse of Charlie's ex-wife who was a drunk & still bitter that Charlie left her for another man & the mother of the she-devil child. All contributed to the story but Charlie was the main story

Charlie's partner Alan had committed suicide after dealing with the missionary's church. And Alan was the caregiver's sister.  He life had deterioriated after Alan's death.  He didn't leave his home.  He ate to cover his pain.  Brendan Fraser is an actor who had been blackballed from Hollywood after reporting a sexual assault & he did a phenomenal job.  You could feel every pain Charlie did. And I cried my eyes out more than once. The ending was indescribable. By that, we don't really know what happened because writers in Hollywood aren't talented enough to write an ending.  I do recommend the movie for Brendan Fraser's performance.  The rest?  Meh.

And I'm not an anti gay person.  I don't care who anyone sleeps with.  But in the world these days, there are no straight people left in the world. So of course Charlie is gay & left his marriage for another man.  It's getting old. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023



This isn't going to be a typical post from me about food.  As we all know, I have a love/hate relationship but that's not what today is about.

My mom was a great cook.  She learned from her mom who sadly died when mom was 15.  Then she cooked for dad & brothers & then married my dad at 17 & cooked forever.  She wasn't much of a recipe person.  I have a cookbook she had that was kinda beat up & had a couple of recipes she cut from the newspaper but mostly she cooked by instinct instead of a cookbook.

I don't have those cooking instincts.  When I started to learn to cook mom would tell me what to do & I tried writing them down but mostly I depend on cookbooks. Even with mom instructions & cookbooks, I'm not a great cook.  

I have horrible eating habits & my meals are basically unhealthy.  But I would rather have that junk at home than eat out.  And I've reached the point in my life where nothing really tastes good.  Except Schlotskys, which is nowhere near where I live & I only eat once a year.  If I do eat out, I eat at Taco Villa which is around the corner & the same consistant food they've had for 40+ years.  They are my comfort food. 

There is a "save" site called Pinterest where you can find a website & save it to a private board to find later,  Mostly what I have on my Pinterest board are recipes.  I try them usually only once before I abandon them.  But I keep trying.

Today I made a single serving mac & cheese.  Pinterest is not just recipes but it takes you to the original site where it came from. That usually means a food blogger who doesn't just give the recipe but the entire history of macaroni & cheese & every grandmother who ever made it. Basically a recipe I can read in 30 seconds takes longer 3 minutes, mostly trying to find the recipe.

It was pretty mediocre. I don't need to cook it again.