Category Archives: Movies

Footloose – Kevin Bacon vs Kenny Wormaid

No one could ever fill Kevin Bacon’s boots, but Kenny Wormaid gave it a royal, good try. The new Footloose is more athletic and possibly more energetic than the original 1984 flick, but again Kevin takes home the bacon. There is no way to remake an iconic film. Footloose is one of those.

The movie was entertaining, though. And cowboy hats off to Miles Teller (Willard). He added his own brand of humor. The scenes showing him trying to learn how to dance and then finally conquering the moves were so, so enjoyable.

Too bad they didn’t show more of the famous red boots. But the music was still phenomenal.

Harry Potter

80% of the time, Hollywood does a lousy job of translating a wonderful book to the screen, but Harry never disappointed. I read all the books. I’ve seen all the movies.

And The Deathly Hallows doesnt  miss a beat. Action galore. Magic sublime.

Over 1,000 people showed up at our theater for Friday’s midnight show – over half dressed as one of the characters. For a small town, that must be some kind of record. Balloons and crepe paper festooned the lobby. Everyone partied like there was no tomorrow. And maybe there isn’t.

It’s quite a letdown to know that there will be no future books or movies to look forward to. The fantasy world of Harry, Hermione and Ron has reached its expiration date. What a bummer, but what a fantastic ride!

Water For Elephants

If you’ve read Water for Elephants, you’ll probably be disappointed with the movie. Reese Witherspoon, a good actress,  just went through the motions. Robert Pattinson did a good job of smiling–a lot. The movie would have been unbearable except Christoph Waltz was cast as the cruel Ringmaster and husband to Witherspoon. He was the whole show.

If you’re hoping to experience the joy, the pathos, and the horrors of the book, save your money. Again, I’ll have to qualify that. When Waltz beats the elephant, it’s horrifying. That’s probably the only time moviegoers wake up out of their stupor.

Elizabeth Taylor – Movie Queen

Okay, now that I come to think about it, I guess I overlooked Elizabeth Taylor as one of my favorite women. I’ll have to extend my list to eleven and include her.  She has been a part of my life–well, all my life. At one time, hands down, she was the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.

Back in the 50’s, the nuns at school spoke about how sinful she was. She had so many marriages and love affairs. She was considered to be quite scandalous. Luckily, I didn’t allow their propaganda to sway me. There was always something about Elizabeth Taylor that was magical.

Thank goodness some of it is captured on film.

10 Women I Like — A Lot

As with my list of men, I won’t be listing any American presidents–oops, we haven’t had any female presidents–no American politicians, or religious leaders. This is a random list, no ranking intended.

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt – Human Rights were her passion. She fought for the youth of America, for the poor, for black Americans and for women at home and abroad. She was a suffragette. (Yeah, Eleanor!) Her accomplishments are too vast to enumerate.
  2. Audrey Hepburn – For me she will always be My Fair Lady, but her glowing achievement was working as UNICEF’s Ambassador. She traveled the world, gave countless interviews and appeared before Congress, working tirelessly to make children’s lives better.
  3. Gloria Steinem – Where would women be today without Gloria and Bella Abzug?
  4. Lena Horne – I think she was probably born 50 years too soon for Hollywood.  But in spite of some really Stormy Weather, she clung to her star status throughout her life. Her sultry voice caressed. Her music should be cherished.
  5. Margaret Thatcher – Britain’s first female Prime Minister. History will decide her successes and failures. All the same, I loved listening to her speak.
  6. Jackie Kennedy – She entered my life as the wife of a president and she enchanted me for the rest of her life.
  7. Ginger Rogers – For the many hours I spent at the movies and in front of the TV watching her dance effortlessly across the screen with Fred Astaire.
  8. Pauly Perrette – Plays Abby on NCIS. This seems like an unlikely choice, but what many don’t know about Pauley is she uses her celebrity to help children, animals and the homeless. She is active in so many foundations, it would make your head spin.
  9. Rosa Parks – Where does this type of courage come from?
  10. Sandra Day O’Conner – First female member of the Supreme Court. She was a ground-breaker from the minute she graduated from law school.

Ain’t women grand?

Julia Roberts – A Disappointment

What was Julia Roberts thinking when she wore a jersey dress to the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony?

Julia Roberts 2010 Globes

Photo from The Find

I don’t know about you, but I watch the award shows to see the fashions. Julia certainly disappointed this year. Maybe she thought she was a big enough star to forgo the trouble of dressing up.

Perhaps she didn’t get the memo that the Globes are all about glitz, glamour and stardom. If you’re a star–you come looking like a star. It’s part of  “the job.”

The viewer tunes in to see “who is wearing what,” at least that’s why I watch. The awards are nice, but they’re secondary. Globe night is all about gowns and jewelry and the mystique of Hollywood.

Julia failed miserably. So did Kristin Bell for that matter, but Julia should know better. Perhaps she just didn’t care.

Julia Roberts – The Find didn’t think much of the dress, either.

You have to hand it to Julia Roberts to showing up to the Globes in what is essentially a black jersey day dress (albeit an Yves Saint Laurent one). Then again, this is a woman who let her unshaven armpit hair dangle from a sleeveless top at a movie premiere several years back. The woman does not. Give. A. Fuck. That said, her hair looked great, her legs looked even better, and she seemed totally at ease. I’ll have what she’s having.

Diary of a Mad Fashionista found Julia’s outfit–well, read for yourself.

Julia Roberts was a stand-out for all the wrong reasons. She made many Worst Dressed lists by seeming as if she had just run out of the house without changing her clothes.

Sorry, Julia, you’ll have to step up your game.

10 Ideas (and more) When There’s No Money For Vacation

Over the past few months, I’ve pointed out a number of places to vacation. All in the U.S. All good for the pocketbook. All good to help boost the economy. But suppose you don’t even have enough money to hop on a plane, or a train, or to gas up the car? What then?

It could be time to get creative:

  1. Library – Visit your local library. There’s more than books there. Rent some DVDs and video games. Don’t particularly like to read, but you enjoy a good story? Try taking out an audio book. Many libraries offer free movie nights and concerts. There’s almost always activities for the kids. My library always has a 1,000 piece puzzle going so anyone can sit down for a while, unwind, and try your hand at putting in a few pieces. And nowadays, libraries have computers.
  2. Birdwatching – Don’t skip over this one (even if it sounds hokey). If you have kids to keep entertained, this is a great one. Buy a bird book. (An excellent one for beginners is the Peterson Field Guide.) Install a bird feeder in the backyard. No backyard? Take a hike at your local park. Begin a “Life List.” When you observe and recognize a bird, check it off your list. Before you know it, you’ll have a pretty lengthy list.
  3. Camera Safari – Both adults and kids love taking pictures. Get out there and photograph flowers, bugs, (birds, if they’ll sit long enough for you), other people enjoying nature. Compare all the photos and judge who got the best shot–adult or one of the kids? Post the good ones online.
  4. Adult Education Classes – Learn to Paint. Actually, learn to do just about anything. Ballroom dancing, Line dancing, Belly dancing – your city probably offers classes at your local high school or tech school. Do a little research.
  5. Fishing – Everybody knows somebody who likes to fish. Find your fishing mentor and spend a day on the water.
  6. Picnic – This one is obvious, but the fact is, I hate to picnic on a hot, summer day. My idea is a picnic indoors. It can even be an overnight picnic that includes: inviting one guest each, everyone choosing their own food & helping to prepare it, each guest brings their favorite DVD, and when everyone is dead tired, break out the sleeping bags.
  7. Hose ‘Em – Don’t have enough moolah to take the family to a water park. Put on your bathing suit and hook up the hose. Keeping in mind that most communities are trying to conserve water, this is an hour-long fun time that ends with some cool punch and a family board game in wet bathing suits out on the back porch. (Family time – none of us get enough of it these days.)
  8. Freebies – Keep your eyes and ears open for free events: Museum Free Days, Art Galleries, Community Fairs and Events, etc.
  9. A Bushel-full of Ideas from Pink Like The Color
  10. And Last but not Least from Home Baked Education

Wii Fun and an Update

We are having a good week.
We blew our summer budget on a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit which has been a really big hit with us both. Cameron is particularly into boxing, jogging and bowling as well as a Ben 10 game we bought with it. This is the first games console we’ve had in years and the first that we’ve really got the hang of. There is quite a bit of healthy competition in the house for getting first place in the games and activities! Much to my surprise Cameron switches off after about an hour of his own accord too – I thought I’d have to be dragging him away to get anything else done.

Things I Love


Years ago, and I’m talking back in the early 80’s, I made two lists. One was titled “Things I Love” and the other was “Things I Hate.” Why would I do that? I have no idea. Maybe just because I love to make lists. I’m a list-maker, okay?

Anyway, I came across these lists a few days ago and I read the “love list” to see if I had changed much over the years. Except for “E.T.” (I guess I had recently gone to the movies to see that), and my favorite name at that time, “Leeanne” (which I have gotten over) and “jukeboxes,” (where did all the jukeboxes go?), there weren’t too many differences.

Perhaps the “ziploc bag” had recently been introduced, because it made my list. And it appears I actually had time to do “crossword puzzles,” “jigsaw puzzles” and to play “Scrabble.” Just when I got to reminiscing about how much slower the pace was back then, I came across this entry “uninterrupted concentration.” I suppose that wouldn’t have made it to my list unless it was an issue.

Here are a few of the things I still love:

Birds singing in the morning
Hot dogs at the ballgame
Root beer barrels
The sound of a merry-go-round
Words with double letters (Don’t ask me why, but that still holds true. Love ’em.)
The smell of orange blossoms and jasmine
50’s and 60’s music
A good book
Watching and listening to ocean waves
A true friend

My list is much longer, but these are some of the highlights. Here’s something really funny. Last week I wrote a post about patience and perseverance. Guess what was on my list: “patience and understanding.” I wonder if I meant mine or everyone else’s?

Do you have ten things you can think of off the top of your head that you love? Let me know.

Reminisce–The 50’s

The other day, I described to a friend of mine (much younger than I) the one and only time I could remember an entire movie theater audience jumping out of their seats to dance in the aisles. It was a crazy, spontaneous phenomena. One minute everyone was in their seats, the next they were dancing wildly wherever they could find an open spot.

That was in 1955. The movie was Blackboard Jungle. The song that roused everyone from their seats was Rock Around The Clock performed by Bill Haley and the Comets.



Seems like I’m not the only one who remembers that day fondly.

From Old Forty Fives, a really great site for some heavy duty reminiscing:

When did Rock’n Roll start?

Some people think it started in 1953 with Ike Turner’s “My Rocket 88,” or Big Joe Turner with “Honey, Hush” in 1953, or “Shake, Rattle and Roll” 1954. Personally, I believe it started with the premiere of the movie Blackboard Jungle in theaters across the country, in 1955. This movie featured the song “Rock Around the Clock” by “Bill Haley and his Comets,” which helped to propell Rock and Roll as a musical genre. It was reported that teenagers jumped from their seats to dance to the song.

Dancing was big in the 50’s. So was fashion. Do you remember how girls used to wear little scarves around their necks? And, of all things, girls actually had portable collars. Want to see more 50’s Fashions?

Petticoats and crinolines–we lived it, while others are obsessed with our fashion sense.

“Those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end…”


If you’ve been following my blog, you know I swept in and out of Memphis, TN with two friends for a three day weekend last month. We packed in a lot of sightseeing and activities, but we didn’t have time to visit the King’s house–Elvis, that is.


I happened to mention that fact to one of my younger co-workers shortly after I returned. And she said to me, “You call that guy who died on his toilet from a drug overdose a king?”

Not exactly what I wanted to hear after a truly great weekend adventure. I tried to explain to her what it had been like seeing Elvis for the very first time on the Ed Sullivan Show.

What I found out was, it is impossible to define the “Phenomenon of Elvis” to young people who cannot comprehend a time when there were NO Super Stars.

Then came Elvis.

So, here was my dilemma. How could I possibly explain about the young Elvis that the world fell in love with? How could I tell her what a fresh faced boy he was back then, when all she is familiar with is the unfortunate last act of his life. In a way, it broke my heart, because I grew up with Elvis and I know that, although it appeared he had “everything”– money, fame, adulation– he also had a really rough ride. He was literally trapped in his compound at Graceland. He agonized and begged to be able to make movies that would allow him to act, but the studios insisted he star in movies that they believed his public craved, and maybe we did. His music was the only freedom he was afforded.

Of all the movies he starred in, he liked only one–Jailhouse Rock


To top that off, Elvis had no idea what it meant to be an internationally known Super Star. Why? Because he was the first. He was “it.” How does a kid who grew up in a small country town handle that? Who can instruct him? There were no footsteps to follow.

Superstar! We have plenty of them today, but none– repeat none–come even close to the King’s popularity. He was known throughout the world. Here is a statue of him in Jerusalem.


January 8th was Elvis Presley’s birthday. People all over the world remembered him especially on this day. Following is a comment posted on a blog that originates in Ireland

Elvis Presley was remembered here in Ireland as our national radio service RTE1 played his beautiful music on his birthday.

Did ever a vocalist’s voice reach right around the globe like Elvis’s did? and light up millions of peoples, lives like no other, before or since.

They loved him in Germany then and now

In the quaint little town of Bad Nauheim, it was “big love big heartache” every day when young ladies back in the 50s wrote their phone numbers with lipstick on the typical German garden fence outside the king’s villa. Aging German locals report that every night the wooden fence would be cleaned to make room for more love notes.

“He still preoccupies us, he’s well-known across the generations, and he brought about a sexual, musical and social revolution,” said the head of a German museum that hosted a recent Elvis exhibition.

Unlike any other performer before him, he spawned an industry.


Elvis Impersonators

He met Presidents and Heads of State. Crazed crowds of people clamored to see him at every airport.

And when he passed on to the stardom in the sky, many countries outside the U.S. built monuments for him like this one in Germany.


So, “To answer your original question, dear, Elvis remains The King, in spite of his final curtain. I doubt there will ever be another like him.”