Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Brunch 2014

Christmas Brunch 2014
Kyle,Jan, Maura, Lorraine, Robbie, Cathy, Deb, John
Several years ago I started having Christmas Brunch at my house for my little orphan friends but stopped after my dad moved in as he was uncomfortable with too many strangers in the house because of his hearing.  Today, I had the first one since I lost him.

John did waffles & pancakes, Robbie did the eggs, I did the bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy and I think it was outstanding.  No one left hungry!!

After everyone left I sat down on the couch and then about an hour later!!  I guess I was tired!!

Hello Country Bumpkin

Last night we got to sit in the Chancellor’s box for the basketball game!  I’ve been in a box before but it was just to sit…I’d never gotten the full treatment before.  We had staff members greeting us, offering us cocktails and sodas and there was brisket, chicken & sausage and chips and queso.  We met the Chancellor and Mrs Chancellor and they were very welcoming.  They have courtside seats so only came up at half time to meet and greet but I enjoyed meeting them.  John and I were with strangers (and non-basketball fans, apparently) but we both enjoyed our time.  Robbie & Kyle sat in our seats and our seats are so close that I could have pelted them with popcorn, but I didn’t.  I did have to laugh at them eating popcorn they had to pay for!!  And the biggest bonus was the parking pass…no parking in Levelland for us this game!!

While it was fun to see how the other 10% lives, our seats are better and even though we have to pay for our own snacks, we can be loud and rowdy in our seats where it was a little hard in the box considering we were apparently the only fans there.   But I was impressed, nonetheless and I’d do it again anytime.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Failure

I am a holiday failure. 

I pin the right stuff and like the right stuff and I admire the beautiful pictures from Southern Living and I drool over the recipes from Paula Deen but the truth is, I don’t ever do any of it.

None of this stuff is what I grew up with for holidays.  Mom would do chicken and dressing or ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas and a simple fruit salad…apples,oranges,bananas,pecans,cool whip…and we all loved that salad.  Even my nephew thinks Thanksgiving needs that.  And she’d make pies.  And we all looked forward to it. 

I always think people all dressed up, eating off china and drinking wine look good, but it’s not for me. 

I’m invited places and I really do appreciate the invitations and as much as I like the family, they aren’t mine. Even when Steve used to invite me, I never felt welcome.  Because, basically, even they are all still strangers.  I have actually become my Uncle Raymond, my daddy’s bachelor older brother who was the last present under the tree, a few socks.  I have chosen not to be Uncle Raymond the last few years because I feel how he must have all the years.  Steve and I have agreed not to do holidays.

I hope there are thousands of good memories made.  I have mine.  And this year, and future years,

I choose to hold onto those and miss my family.  It sounds sad but it really isn’t.  I look forward to time off more than anything.

Maybe, someday, I will find something that changes my mind.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sometimes it's hard to remember this...

Blood Sweat & Tears

I added the picture of the ticket last month but had not told any one why.  Blood, Sweat & Tears was the free 98 Kool concert this year.  After about a week of torrential rains, the fairgrounds were basically a mud hole.  And Tech had a rare Thursday night ball game so lucky for us, there were not a ton of people there.  As a side note, this concert is always on a Saturday night and there is alway a Tech game and I remember thinking woohoo...Thursday night conflict.  Except the game was on Thursday....

As usual, this is a band that was a potential fogey band, touring since 1967.  There were no members now who were probably even born in 1967 but they knew all the songs and maybe the real band still gets residuals in the home.  Bo Bice from American Idol sings lead now and he's got a great voice for BS&T songs.  A good time was had by all.

Bo Bice & Blood Sweat & Tears

With my crazy friend Lorraine

The Judge

Best picture of Downey/Duvall but this scene not in movie

I had really high hopes for ‘The Judge’ after seeing the previews.  I had not yet ready any reviews because I always wait to read them until after I have seen the movie so I can see if we agree.  This time, we don’t.

I thought this was a great movie.  I happen to find smart men sexy and I happen to like movies about relationships and families, along with a little mystery.  You know, a movie with a storyline that I have not already seen twice this week.

Robert Downey Jr plays Hank Palmer, a cocky Chicago defense lawyer who goes to his home town in Indiana for his mother’s funeral and ends up having to defend his estranged father, the Judge, against a charge that he ran over and killed a man he’d sentenced to jail 20 years earlier.  Robert Duvall plays the Judge.  Winning & powerful couple of actors and they played well off each other.  As the evidence mounts, more and more secrets come out about this family dynamic and there are some heartbreaking moments.  Great stuff.

There are some creepy, unnecessary moments…RDJ makes out with a girl in a bar and later we find there is a possibility that she may be his daughter.  Ick.  (Spoiler: She is not his daughter).  She could have been referenced instead of seen. There is an unnecessary fight between Hank and his wife that could have been explained away instead.  Dax Shepard is his usual annoying self as an attorney/antique salesman.  He could have been eliminated too.  And the movie was a little too long.

Some really good stuff from others too:  Billy Bob Thornton is the prosecutor, Ken Howard is the presiding judge and the little girl that plays Hank’s daughter, Emma Tremblay, is adorable and I think kids in movies are usually annoying.  Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong play Hank’s brothers.  Vera Farmiga is Hank’s ever horny old girlfriend (and mom of icky make-out girl).   

I recommend it and if I had stars or something, I’d give it 3 out of 5…would have been a 4  at an hour and a half but it lost one star for 2 hours, 21 minutes.   It lost an editing star.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Mating Season

This is one of my favorite movies.  At one time I noticed I had it recorded twice on my DVR.

Made in 1951, it stars Thelma Ritter as Ellen,  a hamburger stand owner from New Jersey who decides she has had enough and heads to the midwest to live with her son Val, a very handsome John Lund.  What she doesn't know is that she arrives on his wedding day (he could not reach her on the road).  But she feels she would be out of place at a society wedding so she does not attend.  She wants a new suit and new hat to impress her new daughter-in-law, beautiful Gene Tierney.  When she finally goes to the apartment to meet Maggie, Ellen is mistaken for the cook they hired for a party.  Thinking that Maggie would be be embarassed,  Ellen goes along with the charade.  It's only at the end of the evening that Val sees his mom and she promises not to leave town until all is cleared up.  But the next day, Ellen decides to continue as the cook so she can live with them but not be the "mother-in-law" because they are in their mating season, their honeymoon period.    Maggie comes to love Ellen  When she finds out the truth, she thinks Val is ashamed of his mom and although he loves Ellen very much, he does seem to think she would make a better impression if she was a little more polished.  Maggie leaves Val, thinking he is responsible for Ellen playing cook.  The end is happy (it's 1951) so Val introduces his mom to his boss (good) and his snooty potential new employer (bad) and tells them that he and mom are a package deal.  Maggie overhears and takes Val back.

Thelma Ritter is wonderful, one of my favorite actresses.  Gene Tierney is gorgeous.  And who would not want a man looking at her the way way John Lund looks at Gene?   I love their relationship and the relationship between Val and his mom.    Miriam Hopkins plays Gene's flitty, overbearing mother.  Larry Keating is adorable as Val's boss.

It's a fun, charming movie.  And obviously I record it every time it comes on!