Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Political meme

I didn't write this. I saw it on FB and agreed with it

(This. Stay woke. This.)

If sharing please cut and paste and attribute to Jennifer, not moi.

H/t Jennifer Reitman

While everyone is out there b******* because a woman wrote a book, here’s what else has been going on in the past couple of days:

1) Motel 6 in Arizona is turning in hotel guests to ICE.
2) The CDC has been instructed to NOT speak to the press.  Wanna know about diseases, too bad.  Trump and his cabal say nope, you aren’t allowed to find out.
3) Using the White House Press Podium, the spokesperson for the President* suggested that a journalist should BE FIRED for sharing her opinion of said fake president on social media. That's not authoritarian or anything...
4) The stolen seat of SCOTUS struck down Texas move to protect the state from gerrymandering. So, good going 3rd party voters - not like elections have long term consequences or anything.
5) We’ve learned that Trump officials met with the UAE crown prince and UAE previously tried to set up a Russia-Trump back channel communication
6) the water left from Hurricane Harvey is a toxic sludge of sewage, fuel, pesticides and other delights.  And oh, yeah, see #2 - the CDC isn’t allowed to tell you what diseases you may get from this
7) That swamp that trump claims to have drained, Steve “I’ll foreclose on little old ladies”  Mnuchin asked for a government jet for his honeymoon.
😎 Parts of the florida keys have been completed destroyed by nature, thanks to climate change.
9) Session’s DOJ won’t let the Senate interview FBI officials.
10) We learned that when he was running for office, fake president concealed a huge deal for a tower in Moscow.
11) DOJ has declined prosecuting cops for the murder of Freddie Gray

And that was just inside our borders...
but hey, a lady wrote a book so.....

Monday, September 11, 2017

About surrender in a 12 step program

E-mail that I just sent to a sponsee


I too find that surrender is not an easy proposition.  I know it's necessary.  It makes perfect sense to me.  If I'm trusting God, I will be calmer.  If I'm calmer and open to God's will, I will be more flexible and make better decisions.  I will be open to  possibilities I hadn't considered. I'll find a better solution. A lot of the things I worry about are things that I'm completely powerless over. It's absolutely useless to worry about them.

Yet I still worry, fret, beat myself up, rush around stupidly, etc.  

We have a saying in program, "While I'm in the rooms, my disease is doing pushups in the parking lot."  Stinking thinking is always waiting to come back.  Always.

That's why we have to keep working program.  It's iterative. We do step work: pray, inventory, tell, pray, amends.  Then we repeat. We keep repeating. It's a loop -- like a computer program, if you're familiar with those.  Over time, solutions appear.  Over time character defects improve.  It's like waves wearing away at a cliff.  Gradually the cliff erodes.

Once upon a time there was a fellow named Buddha, who claimed to have overcome all stress.  He said that desire was the root of all suffering and detachment would set us free.  He claimed to be completely detached.

I am not Buddha.  I may never become Buddha.  I don't have to be Buddha to be abstinent. I just have to keep working it.

Also, I have to be willing to feel my feelings.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review of "A Doll's House Part II"

play review

A Doll’s House Part II

I went to see this play, because I got a free ticket.  I wouldn’t have otherwise even have noticed it, I don’t think.  I never saw the first play.  I had to quickly read a synopsis on wikipedia so that I would feel comfortable looking at a sequel.  The synopsis on wikipedia said something about it being the most performed play in 2006, but the sequel is by a different author from the original.

I saw afterwards that there are notices that the play is ending September 24.  I guess they weren’t getting enough ticket sales.  Maybe that’s why I got a free ticket.  Nevertheless, the theater seemed quite full. 

These theaters should be looking at the fact that it’s the week after Labor Day, so people aren’t traveling, and, moreover, some parts of the country are encountering overwhelming natural disasters right now that are impeding travel — and next week might be different — before making play closing decisions.

There were a number of interesting points about this play

No Intermission:

It's only 1.5 hours, so they don't do intermission.  There's an ominous warning in the program that if you leave to go to the bathroom you will not be allowed back in.  So be sure and go before the show starts.

Diversity:

1. There were 4 roles, of which 3 were for women.  This is great.  The vast majority of roles out there are for men, yet the vast majority of applicants for acting parts are women.  It’s wonderful to see a play with this ratio, which reflects the applicant pool.

2. There were 2 roles for older women.  This is also wonderful, as most roles for women are for younger women — and I’m an older woman into acting so I care about this.

3. One of the roles was filled by an overweight actress with grey hair.  That’s amazing — and wonderful.  Normally men who are performing are allowed to be overweight with grey hair, but women aren’t, seemingly

4. The husband character, despite allegedly being Scandinavian, was played by a light skinned mixed race actor — also a wonderful example of diversity casting.

Set
         The whole thing took place in one room with 4 chairs.  Very stark.  Sometimes the names of characters were projected on the wall, when those characters were more prominent.  The starkness of the set was part of what led me to believe that this was going to be a serious even tragic play, but that was a wrong assumption

Costumes:
         Nora’s costume was as amazing as the set was stark — absolutely beautiful.  The other performers were wearing fairly plain clothes, typical of that period

Acting:

         This was the part that I found most interesting — the acting — as there was something odd about it.  You may wonder, then, why I leave this for almost last if it was the most interesting.  That is because I was trying to figure out what I would say as I’m still puzzled about it.  There was something jarring about the delivery — funny perhaps, but jarring. 
    I guess because of the retro costumes I expected a kind of retro acting, where the actors would have some kind of accent, maybe an old movie star accent or maybe a Scandinavian accent — but they didn’t.  They sounded very contemporary American. The actor playing Torvald did contrast interestingly with the other actors, because he had a slight African American lilt to his speaking. 
    There was a comic aspect to the delivery as well, which contrasted with the rather serious/severe clothing and the stark set.  I guess I don’t expect people in Victorian clothes to be funny, maybe.  It was startling to see women, presumably in corsets, to be so relaxed.  Maybe they didn’t really have corsets.  Maybe they were just very skinny.  Maybe that was it. 
    Also, I would have expected the maid character to be deferential to her former boss, but she wasn’t.  Nora seemed to expect some kind of deference from the maid, but didn’t get any.

Theme (spoilers)
    There wasn’t really an ending the way one thinks of an ending in a more traditional musical theater piece, where you come out with some message.  There’s just these people being in their space.  I hoped maybe the maid and Torvald might get together, but no.  There wasn’t any kind of resolution.
    All the way through I was wondering whether the play was glorifying Nora and her having abandoned her children to go off and have a more fun life for herself.  Ultimately, I think not.  I think that was just her character’s point of view.  Still, I spent a lot of the time thinking that no it’s not ok to abandon your children to indulge yourself, and no they’ll never get over it and no feminism doesn’t justify it at all.
    Also, the strange daughter who comes off as pleased at having been abandoned, I guess being sort of self-rationalizing, like her mother, which she fit in well to the atmosphere of the play, seemed inauthentic and unconvincing to me.
  
   
Conclusion   
    I can’t say I really enjoyed this play.  Still, I thought it was a good thing for me to see: an interesting example of the sort of thing I would never go see on my own, and therefore educational. Normally, my speed is more Marvel Comics movies. This might be too high brow for me. I feel like, while I followed the thing literally, it might have been over my head.

Trying to summarize: oddly jarring, yet sometimes funny; strangely familiar, yet alien.
   
P.S. to the actors who played Torvald and the Maid:  I really recommend that you visit this website: oa.org
   
   

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Meme about love and kindness

I got this from FB. I didn't write it myself.

While the world figures this all out, I'm going to continue being kind to all races, holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying please, thank you and you're welcome, saying good morning, or have a great day, and smiling at strangers, as often as I am provided the opportunity. Because I will not stand by and let children live in a world where unconditional love is invisible. Join me in showing love and respect. Find your own way to swing the pendulum in the direction of love. ❤️ Because today, sadly; hate appears to be winning. Positivity has to start somewhere and love overpowers hate.
Pass it on! Copy and past to your wall if you agree this. LOVE STARTS NOW! ......HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Movie Review: The Mummy

There could be spoilers in here.  You might use caution if you worry about that.

I’ve been a Tom Cruise fan for a while.  My second book was a sort of fan fiction, based on fantasies about him — though I changed the name to make clear that this novel was about my fantasies, not about him.  I did get a bit turned off, because he left Nicole Kidman just at the time when my ex announced he was going to leave me. This was too close for comfort. A lot of my anger at my ex got transferred to him.

Still, I do sometimes like to see his movies.

I liked this one.  It got poor reviews, but I still liked it.  I’m not even sure it showed at my local multiplex.  I looked around for it. I had to see it in NYC. 

It was an old fashioned horror movie, with a mummy, zombies, plagues of vermin — and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde thrown in.  That last was a bit strange — what was he doing here? But — hey — why not.

The mummy is fun.  She manages to be beautiful and hideous at the same time.  She vomits mercury.  Vomiting is gross, but mercury is beautiful.  She has a lovely body and parades around mostly naked — but pieces of her face are missing.  And she has the power to reduce buildings to dust — very cool — and summon the vermin.

This isn’t a really scary horror movie.  It’s not like I was ever tempted to scream, for instance.  It’s more of a fun horror movie — like “Wow!  Look at all our cool special effects!”

I think we’re sort of jaded about special effects.  If we had seen this movie 20 years ago, we likely would have been more impressed.  We shouldn’t be jaded.  The special effects are still amazing.

So Tom often gets bad reviews.  Critics sometimes accuse him of not being able to act.  Now that I’m acting, I’ve been thinking about this.

Watching this movie, do I really believe that Tom Cruise is a scuzzy scavenger who steals antiquities in the Middle East and callously hurts women with one night stands? No.  I think he’s a gorgeous, rich guy who lives in luxury, beams a million dollar smile, and mostly keeps his nose pretty clean — but who likes to pretend he’s a scuzzy character. 

Do I think seriously that this guy can single handedly fight off a half a dozen zombies simultaneously while driving a vehicle? No. It’s obviously ridiculously fake.

Does it make sense that he suddenly risks his life for this one night stand lady who he snuck out on leaving her asleep?  Does it make sense that he’s suddenly in love with her?  No — though I think guys do fall in love with women who they feel they can successfully rescue.

Does it makes sense how long he swims vigorously under water without breathing?  Probably not.

But that’s the fun of it. I see his basic enthusiasm coming through.  He’s having fun.  He loves doing this.  He loves the character.  He loves the special effects.  He wants to do scenes with rats crawling all over him.  He wants to get caught naked and act embarrassed (tho we suspect he isn’t at all embarrassed) == and he still looks remarkably good naked, BTW.  He wants to get to fight zombies.  He wants to meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, even though it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to show up here.  He just wanted to cram it all in — an old fashioned horror movie with modern special effects.

There were fairly young boys in the theater.  They weren’t scared.  They were eating popcorn & having a good time, watching Tom do all this fun stuff.

Also, there were the mandatory running scenes.  I guess he’s not really running as fast as he looks as he’s running, because the beautiful actress running with him doesn’t seem to have that much trouble keeping up — but Tom runs with total commitment.  You think he’s running fast. There are YouTube videos devoted to him running https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Q2MgdMskQ He’s very graceful when he runs.  There’s smoothness to it.  You see feet off the ground a lot.

Let’s contrast this movie with “The Revenant.”  I was recommended to see that other movie by an acting professional — a guy who teaches acting.  He loved it … it was so well done from a professional point of view.  The acting was superb.  The cinematography was gorgeous.  Professionals loved that movie

I hated “The Revenant.”  You really believed that Leonardo DiCaprio was this dying nut, slogging through the freezing wilderness, seeking vengeance for his dead son.  You really believed that he was in pain, dying — that the wilderness was harsh, unforgiving.  You could feel it.  It was awful.  It was so long — so painful — so convincing.  Blecch.  Not fun.

I go to the movies to be entertained, not tortured.

Then there was this whole interchange with the critics.  Where Tom says he makes movies for fans not critics.  And critics say that's the wrong attitude. But I can see his point.  Critics like movies like "The Revenant."  That movie is art.  It appeals to the refined tastes of people who taste movies like fine wines.    The Mummy is a movie -- a movie where you go hang out and maybe eat popcorn -- not a movie for critics.

Anyway, so, yes.  Bring those pre-pubescent boys, not really young ones, not under 8, but ones who want to see a lot of chasing and punching — or maybe early teens.  This is likely right for them.

And just relax.  Don’t expect to actually feel like you’re going through this with a real person on screen.  It’s fun.  It’s a show. 

I liked it. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Reading signs

I see a pretty moth on the trail. It gives me quite a show, flapping its wings, allowing me to film it,  and even comes by my feet and again flaps its lovely wings for me. Should I be honored at this display? Or should I regard it as an ominous sign, because the predominant color of the moth is black? Or will I be accused of being racist for even asking this question?

video

Monday, June 19, 2017