Monthly Archives: January 2014

Willy Nilly Questions

George by

The definition for “willy nilly” when googled says “whether one likes it or not”.  I always think of the term as meaning ‘here or there’.  Also perceived as ‘take it or leave it’, ‘whether or not’.

So, here are some willy nilly questions.  There are so many puzzles out there, willy nilly – and not enough answers.  Don’t you think?  For instance:

  1. If George Washington had a Pinterest board would it look something like this? (see above)
  2. Why is it I look good in indigo blue but not purple?
  3. When will all the fast food drive-thrus realize that grlld chkn on their read-back menu board doesn’t mean hamburger with mustard?
  4. When is Hillary going to announce?
  5. Whatever happened to Viggo Mortensen?
  6. At the grocery store, what happens if you take 13 items to the 12 items or less cash register?
  7. If red is a symbol for love and/or power why are stoplights red?
  8. Whatever happened to Josh Hartnett?
  9. As an astronaut in space not sticking to any particular time zones when does one eat breakfast?
  10. Why doesn’t Victoria Beckham smile?
  11. If Henry Ford were alive today, would he drive an F150 or a Focus?
  12. If David Copperfield can make the Statue of Liberty disappear why can’t he make email spam disappear?
  13. How is it that when you show up at an event wearing the very same identical dress as someone else they always look better?
  14. Does someone eating popcorn in a forest make any noise or is it just very loud in a movie theater?
  15. Who decided that the old fashioned ringing telephone is a good ringtone for a cell phone?
  16. If Santa held a raucous party and invited all his friends would his Facebook page fill up with Elfy Selfie posts?
  17. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Rooney Mara married George Clooney?
  18. Why is a “Cinnabon” classic cinnamon roll 880 calories and one cup of chopped broccoli is 31?
  19. When will social media launch a website encouraging weight loss and dub it “Virtual Lunch” tagline: We text our menu, you don’t eat but think you do.”?
  20. Okay, there is now a luxury model car with heated/cooling cup holders.  When will there be a model with a mini vending machine included?  I really want my pizza warm and I want it now!

What haunting questions do you have?

The Bridge

Bridge

Governor Christie of New Jersey has gotten himself in a pretty big jam (no pun intended). He is denying that close staff members of his administration allowed and probably orchestrated a huge traffic jam over the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey to New York.  Regardless of the reasons, designing a traffic jam over a bridge of any kind, let alone a mile long mass of steel and roadway, is just wrong.

Media reported jam-ups lasting over three hours, schools and offices were disrupted with commuters unable to prevent delays, even one death was reported from the delay of an ambulance.   

The turmoil caused by this incident has become world news.  The story leads every segment break on the major media programs. But every day isn’t there instances of rash and consequential behavior like this?  How many other times has situations gotten completely out of hand but no one was there to report them?  It seems we congregate, we unite and then we go and do things to each other that can hurt, really hurt.  Or cause disruption, chaos, even loss of life.

It seems as if as human beings we are on some sort of trajectory we can’t avoid.  It’s as if we are looking at ourselves from a distance, seeing a meteor or shooting star.  But it’s us.  We don’t begin to recognize ourselves. Perhaps we refuse to or perhaps we are just moving so fast that we don’t know what space junk we have left in our trail.  The debris, smoke, traffic pile-ups, casualties both physical and soul-wrenching.

The preconceptions we are impassioned about, the theater we often live, all of it can get in the way of our humanity.  It’s easy.  We get caught up in competition, power, prestige, even blind passion, and boom, we’re off.  Not giving a thought to the consequences.

I’m like that.  And you’re like that.  Don’t kid yourself.  So pointing fingers at others in our wake doesn’t help.  Maybe instead we should all try to keep our feet on the ground for a second before blasting off, aiming to break the sound barrier.  Instead, be quiet, silent, listen.  Think!  We ARE human, that’s also a good thing.  We know how to play well with others or this world would have been one completely and utterly huge orb of chaos a long, long time ago.

Maybe instead of blocking bridges we should open more.  Connect instead of obstruct.  Step out extending a hand instead of pulling back and aiming.  We know how.  We can change that trajectory, path, road.  And we can build bridges instead of using them for selfish gain.

Sharon, Emma, and Me

 

I am fast approaching sixty years old.  It will be here before I know it.  My reading glass strength has to increase every time I turn around.  My skin’s elasticity is competing with the elastic around my favorite sweatpants (I know, only around the house) trying to hold it all together. And I’m not sure about what the weather will do except for the full acknowledgement from my elbow pain when it snows.

Just like most, I’m not happy with this slow progression of age. But I don’t see the sense in giving into the pits of despair either.  I cringe when I walk into a retail clothing store and all I can see in my department are stretch waistband slacks and embroidered flower blouses.  Who buys this stuff? Oh, I know I am no longer into minis and I wouldn’t dare wear a midriff bearing shirt, even at midnight during a power failure.  But i love fashion.  Give me something to warrant this love.

And something did.  Not really something but someone.  Someones actually.  The women we see almost constantly.  Those actresses that appear onscreen  The Emma Thompsons, Helen Mirrens, Judi Denches, Sharon Stone, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep. And Sally Field. They always (at least when I have seen them on camera) look put together, classic, and gorgeous.

I love movies, and Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, and all things HBO series-wise.  And I love The Golden Globes. I’m not really sure if it has anything to do with who get’s what award for this one.  I depend on the Oscars and the Directors Guild Awards (DAG) for that.  I just love the party atmosphere that goes with this particular awards show.  Everyone seems so much more relaxed and not so crazy nervous.  Even Harvey Weinstein cut up in this year’s show.  The jokes and the frivolity are great but I love the fashion the best.  The gowns, the jewelry, even the guys looked stunning in their tuxes and suits (for the most part).

That’s why I adore the aforementioned ladies.  I know they can afford much better couture than I can, but that doesn’t mean I can’t attempt to emulate their style.  All great creations trickle down to the masses.  Target is a great example of great fashion at an affordable price.  Sharon Stone created a sensation when she wore a buttoned down white shirt she borrowed form her husband’s closet and paired it with a Vera Wang skirt for the Oscars in 1998.

So, I salute you, mature, wise women of the red carpet.  And Emma (Thompson) you were the epitome of elegance, grace, and c’mon-let’s-have-a-good-time fun at the Globes last night.  Some say she had too much to drink, some say she was bored.  I don’t care.  She was wonderful.  To take a very expensive pair of shoes off, bring your drink onstage (how many of the other attendees would probably have liked to do the same thing?) and then toss said expensive shoes over your shoulder basically saying “F*** this!” Okay, hear this; that’s how I take my fashion nowadays ladies…I’m older.  I have insurance.  “F*** this! I’ll wear what I want to wear!

But at the same time I do have a certain style. And it’s not found in the “I’m Not Dead Yet But I Look It” department of any to-blame retail store.  But I will find it.  I always do.  Even if I have to raid my husband’s closet to get it. 

A Letter Regarding Downton Abbey

Dear Julian Fellowes,

I have watched Downton Abbey since its inception.  And for many reasons.  One being that I was a huge fan of yours since the days of Gosford Park.  As you are extremely aware, the movie was directed by Robert Altman, one of a handful of directors that are in the upper echelon of greatness.  It is documented that he also assisted in the writing.  But I imagine that you had the most influence in that respect.  After all, you won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for that particular film. To me, the movie was a lighthearted caper and I enjoyed it immensely.  Gosford Park provided the atmosphere that has won several million people over to Downton Abbey.  

Like Gosford Park, part of Downton’s charm has to do with the fact that it is a period piece.  The early 1900’s have become something of a yearning point for us.  With you as our eyes, that particular era beckons us back to grand mansions, luxury, and privileged society.  But as you know Mr. Fellowes, most were not privileged nor lucky enough to be born into that sort of thing as evidenced through the eyes of the wonderful assortment of characters involved in serving the Grantham family 24/7.  Also to be fair, let it be said that the privileged  addressed in the series are not always lucky. 

I easily fell in love with the fashion, the beautiful surroundings at Downton, and the people.  Carson being my favorite. Isobel Crawley not too far behind.  But I also love Mary, Sybil, and of course, Matthew.  Then there’s Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess. I googled the Dowager and her large supply of funny, wise, and thought provoking quotes on the show.  There are at least 100 sites dedicated to her sayings.  You should be proud.

I cried when William died.  I sobbed incoherently when Sybil died.  I fell on the floor kicking and screaming (not really but it was so sad) when Matthew died.  But I think my favorite scenes almost always involve Mr. Bates and Anna. Their chemistry lights up the screen.

So please Mr. Fellowes.  Do not jump the shark with Downton Abbey.  I am putting my trust in you.  Along with millions of other viewers.  We do understand that story-lines get harder and harder to come by.  However, we also know that with your creativity and knowledge of bygone days you give us interesting characters and ingenious plots with every episode.

But there can come a time when the story threads get convoluted. The original characters get stale so new ones are brought in.  But the new additions somehow look a little tarnished next to the fine silver that intrigued us originally. Relationships begin to resemble those on afternoon soap operas in which they marry and remarry each other and have children you never see again.

Gathering up the Grantham family and giving them new life each season has to be exhausting but at the same time exhilarating.  You literally have their lives in your hands. I see you are exploring many new roads that their motor carriages can travel. The opportunity for new themes is there what with all the changes England and the rest of the world go through after the first World War.  I have much faith in you Mr. Fellowes.  Apparently a gazillion other people do too.  So make us proud.  And, don’t go killing anyone else off.  At least this year.

An avid fan.

– So, what do you think fellow DA fans?  What would you like to happen on the series this year?  Who is your favorite character/  Are you as much a fan now as you were when you first started watching it?  Or are you a DA virgin? And if so, what made you decide to start watching?