Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hatred and Division

You know, in the past year, I've noticed that people in general have become more vitriolic in their beliefs.  Especially as it pertains to politics and religion.  Our nation has just conquered one hurdle which was a major one that left me emotionally drained.  If you haven't guess it, I'm talking about the presidential election.

Never before have I witnessed such name-calling, spiteful comments (from both sides) and general hatred and division among our country over the election of president.  Every 4 years, I swear I won't get so invested in the election and debates thereof, and as usual, I break my word to myself every time.  The stakes are too high not to.  Now that the election is over, I was relieved to see that life does go on and people were able to collect themselves once more and carry on with the business of living.

Then, the tragedy in Connecticut happened.  This is not the first time our country has witnessed death and destruction of lives at the hand of a crazed gunman. In this year alone, there was the gunman who open-fired on a movie theater audience, the shooting of Trayvon Martin and now the massacre of 20 innocent children and 6 courageous adults at the hand of another gunman.

These murders weren't carried out with a Saturday Night special handgun.  Not even a hunting rifle.  These were done with military type assault weapons capable of shooting hundreds of bullets at a clip.  Why are citizens allowed to purchase these types of weapons?  It's insane.

The end of this year gives me pause.  It's as if our united engagement in hatred and division as a people is resulting in a spiraling, out of control, karmic catastrophe. I don't know about you, but I am saying a prayer for all those lives lost as well as their families in hopes that hatred and division will become love and unity.  

Maybe that sounds alot like a sappy "liberal", I say it sounds like hope.

More Musings Later-

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Bronx Tale

In the last couple of years, I've been watching more movies than I ever did before.  It's a combination of reasons such as watching movies at home is more economical than spending 8 bucks at a theater and this type of entertainment agrees with my health situation.

I've discovered some great Independent films and the like as well as sleeper movies that should have done better at the box office.  A few weekends ago, I was introduced to the film, "A Bronx Tale," which was Robert DeNiro's first crack at directing a film.   This film captured me from the very beginning, it felt like I lived in that neighborhood and experienced the sights, smells and sounds of daily living in that New York borough. It was familiar and genuine to someone who grew up in southeast Texas, a world away from the type of life this film depicts.

So why was it so familiar? Intriguing? I'll tell you why; Chazz Palminteri.  He is the writer of the one man play, the screenwriter for the film and leading actor for both written efforts.  The story details a young boy's life during the early 1960's in the Bronx.  He witnesses a murder in front of his home and becomes an unwilling witness at the scene of the crime.  The murder is committed by known mobsters that rule his neighborhood with an iron fist. As the cops ask the boy to identify the mobster as the killer, he lies to protect "the bad guys". A bond is created between the mobster and that young boy that last years into his adulthood. The movie offers no-nonsense advice regarding life, destiny, friendship, fear and respect.

The most intriguing aspect of this movie is that Chazz Palminteri portrays the mobster who becomes a father figure to the young boy.  In reality, Palminteri IS that young boy.  This is a true story and he recreates his tale for live audiences in a one man play.

His wordsmithing is something to behold.  I find myself wanting to watch the film over and over as it now rates as one of my all time favorite films.  Palminteri's fleeting childhood into early adulthood could have broken some men.  But, the gritty life lessons he learned were not lost and his flair for storytelling catapulted him into a rare breed of writer. His skills as a writer is something Palminteri will never be accused of wasting.

After all, "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent."

More Musings Later-

Monday, September 10, 2012

The art of "Agreeing to Disagree"

Make no mistake, election year is upon us and the two sides on either side of the aisle are battling it out.  The Conventions have come and gone and the debates are looming next month.

Those of you who read my blog know that I am a tree-hugging, granola eating liberal Democrat.  I've been one all of my life.  I think the only great president that was a Republican was Abraham Lincoln.  There ya go, liberal through and though and wouldn't have it any other way.

However, there are Republicans that are just as conservative as I am liberal.  And, it always seems that I befriend these individuals!  I made a recent post on Facebook stating that I couldn't understand how anyone could be a Republican.  I wasn't being mean or nasty, I truly can't wrap my mind around it.  My friend Lisa,  reminded me through her response to my post that she doesn't like the direction the country is headed and that she is proud to be Republican.  As I read her comments, I smile and know that she is speaking from her heart.  Of course, others will post and make comments to demean the other whose beliefs are different from their own.  Politics can be downright mean spirited and hateful.

I think Lisa is amazing.  She listens to my liberal ideas and never demeans or belittles my intelligence or character.  She respects my ideas and opinions.  She just clearly has opposite views and speaks her truth as loudly and as often as I do.  I respect Lisa.  She is a great parent to her children, she is a hard worker and smart as a whip.

We're never going to agree on politics.  We're the prime example of mastering the art of "Agreeing to Disagree."  If Lisa and I can be friends and value each other's opinion; maybe there's hope for our political parties.

More Musings Later-

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Finding Hidden Gems in Netflix

Yes, I'm just discovering the wonderful world of Netflix. At first glance, I thought it would be a typical video online store offering the latest releases but I was wrong.  There are some of those along with countless lesser known films and documentaries that boggle the mind.

I watched one film that was spoken entirely in French with subtitles titled "Tomboy".  I thought this was one of the most beautiful films I had seen on gender identity.  It takes the viewer along for a ride to show what it's really like for someone to identify with the opposite gender.  It affects that person, their family and everyone around him or her.  I truly felt for this little girl, who was so comfortable as a boy yet struggled mightily as a girl.  The film was sweet and sad and in the end, hopeful.  Those of us who have walked a similar path, it will leave you thinking about the film for days afterward.  

The next film I watched was "Puncture", a drama about 2 lawyers in Houston that take on a corporation in the health care field due to risky drug manufacturing.  The catch?  One of these brilliant lawyers is a drug addict.  Between snorting lines of coke, drinking bourbon and the like, he's crafting a legal prosecution fit for the finest legal minds.  I was captivated from start to finish.  Here's the kicker:  the story is true.  Rent it you won't be sorry.

Sarah's Key was another gem that details the life of a Jewish, French family who are taken by soldiers in 1942.  The apartment they live in holds a secret that a current French family discover as they learn more about the past of Sarah.   The anguish and horrors of concentration camps is a familiar one although it is happening in France this time.  It was a haunting story especially because it was based on a true story.  It makes you want to trace your family's roots by the time the movie is over.

Thank you, Netflix.  I would have never discovered these jewels without you.

More Musings Later-

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Battle for Jackson MONEY

Unless you've been under a rock recently, you've no doubt heard about the Jackson family ruckus regarding Michael's children.  For those who need catching up, it appears that some of the Jackson children (Randy, Jermaine, Janet and Rebbie) are challenging the validity of Michael's will.  Randy's main argument is that the will was signed by Michael and that it states that he was in Los Angeles, California at the time of signing.  However, Michael was actually in New York according to sources.

Does it make any difference that the will was drafted in LA vs. NY?  According to lawyers this is a non-issue.  The judge has ruled that it is simply an oversight and that the will is legitimate.  Randy goes on to say that their argument regarding the will has nothing to do with money.  Oh really?  Then what is the issue?  Meanwhile, Katherine (Michael's mother) is missing for more than a week and is finally found to be with Rebbie's family in Arizona.  This might not be all that unusual except that Paris and Michael's other children had no idea where she was.  When they were told of her whereabouts, Paris wasn't allowed to phone Katherine.  Why?

Now, TJ Jackson is the temporary guardian over Michael's children.  He stated in court that Katherine didn't "sound like herself, she was slurring some words," etc.  Are her own children overpowering her so that they can take control of Michael's children?  It appears to an outsider that they are doing precisely that.  Why else would Janet, Jermaine and Randy ambush the children's limo at their home?  Were they preparing to swipe the children?  The only ones who know for sure are the Jacksons.

The ones that I feel sorry for in this whole charade are Michael's children.  No wonder he broke from the family when he did.  Now, his children are going to have to make that same break again if they want to have any peace in their own lives.

More Musings Later-

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gene Simmons and his Family Jewels

Yes, I watch this show somewhat religiously.  There's just something entertaining about watching rock's batman front man at his sprawling home front with his wife, Shannon Tweed and kids.

Gene Simmons is a funny fellow, there's no doubt.  I find him very likable for the most part (excluding his penchant for womanizing.)  Shannon is new wife, but same partner for 30 some odd years reminds me of one of those "cool" moms where kids feel welcome to come over and spend time with the parents.  They are, I mean, one of rock's coolest couples.  

Through this show, the world was introduced to Nicholas Tweed-Simmons and Sofie Tweed-Simmons, kids of the batman front man.  Nicholas and Sofie inherited just enough of their dad's looks to be dark and brooding but mostly benefited from their Mom's pristine features.  I have to hand it to Gene and Shannon, they produced for the most part, some pretty great kids.  You never pick up the paper to see them in drunken brawls, drug raids, or out of control parties.  

The thing that does irk me about this show is that I'm too emotionally invested in it.  I mean, I was practically pacing the floors when Shannon was contemplating whether to part ways with Gene or marry him.  Somehow, I knew that the marriage was coming...I mean, c'mon...ratings, right?  So they married.  Now that the kids have left the nest, Shannon wants to have more kids.  Uh...huh?  She is 58 years old and well, let's face it.  She's getting up the time this kid graduates high school, she would be 76 years old.  Gene?  don't look for help rearing the kids there...he's along for the ride and makes it clear that it's his role.

What I don't understand is that Shannon is surprised when he says he doesn't want to have kids or adopt.  Well, DUH!  I love this show, but don't be stupid! The kid train has left.  Then, THEN, she asks "permission" from Nicholas and Sofie to have another kid.  Uh...why?  I can see getting their reaction, but Nicholas is having talks with Gene on how to tell his mom NO on a new kid.  It's not his place and Gene should grow a spine.  I mean really....

Sigh...see? I'm too invested.  It's just a show.  It's just a's just a show.  sigh.

More Musings Later-

Thursday, July 05, 2012

From "Middled Aged" to "Aging"

I finally did it.  I changed my header on this blog to reflect "aging" instead of middle aged. Why? because if I were middle-aged, that would mean there is a better than good chance of living until I'm 100.  I don't think that's gonna happen.

There's something sobering about getting older.  Not only do the aches and pains come with more frequency, but one tends to ponder life a bit more.  I read where one comic wistfully wished that we would age in reverse.  That is, we would start out old and gradually reach our youth.

How wonderful would that be?  You would have all the knowledge and experience of having lived and would have the good sense to enjoy life more when you can physically do the most...when you're young.  Just think, no more "I'll travel when I retire," mentality.  You would start out pinching pennies and sock away savings until you can travel the world in your 20's or 30's!

It's an intriguing idea to say the least.  I know alot of people swore they would see the world, bungy-jump, scale the tallest mountain and now they are too ill to do so.  One thing I will never regret is doing the traveling and vacationing abroad that I did when I was able to do it.

It's not the things you do that you regret so much.  It's the things you DIDN'T do.  Moral of the story? Be in the moment and live like there's no tomorrow.  I guarantee you won't regret it.

More Musings Later-

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Racism is Alive and Well, unfortunately.

As a 50 year old female, painfully aware of the racial tensions in America, I never thought I would see in my lifetime an African American President.  Never in a million years.  The deep south has always held onto it's stubborn racist beliefs with a vengeance.  I grew up seeing the KKK roam my town and saw cross burnings on the local news more times than I care to count.

While I'm still located in the buckle of the bible belt south, that's one of the reasons I migrated north of where I used to live.  Racism makes my skin crawl and it boggles my mind that African Americans are STILL fighting for equality.  Never mind other groups fighting for those same rights (GLBT, women, etc.)

It pains me to say that moving north is not the answer.  Why? There are just as many racists living in the northeast as there are in the southwest.  The Donald Trumps of the world know that much.  I am amazed and angered that Trump continues to harass President Obama regarding his birth certificate.  Is it really the fact that he believes he is from another country other than the United States?  Of course not.  It is a carefully masked jab that a black man (or woman) does not deserve to be the President of the United States.  Consider it a "Well Bless Your Heart" dig from the north.  That phrase is usually uttered among southerners when they disapprove of a particular stance and don't want to state so emphatically.

The lack of respect and continued questions regarding President Obama's birth certificate make my blood boil.  He is our president and deserves the respect.  For God's sake, as stupid as George W. Bush is, I still maintain that point.  And, he got that respect while in office.

As far as I'm concerned, Donald Trump should shut up or be willing to wear the banner he is disguising by questioning our President's birth country.  Then again, all that comes to mind is, "Bless Your Heart," Donald Trump.
urban dictionary: 
1.Bless your heart

1. This is a term used by the people of the southern United States particularly near the Gulf of Mexico to express to someone that they are an idiot without saying such harsh words. 
More Musings Later-

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Will Madonna Ever Grow Up?

People tell me that Madonna is talented.  That she spawned a number of female acts created in her image (Christina Aguillera, Britney Spears, etc.) but I beg to differ. 

True, she has left an indelible mark on pop music but it wasn't by crafting her singing or dancing skills.  Madonna is a master at "pushing buttons".  Yes, I said it.  I think she has about as much musical talent as a singer or dancer as I do.  Meaning NONE.  

I DO think that this aging pop sensation has made a career of pushing the envelope until it nearly falls off the table.  Think about it; she has taken on the Catholic church in one of her videos, had videographers tape her lying on her mother's grave (for a private moment???).  Hey, those are her issues and if she wants to make a statement that is controversial regarding religion or her mother, be my guest.  This is America, after all.

However, while she was in Israel, I think she crossed the line.  As a video backdrop to her "musical" performance, she slams a right wing politician by showing a photo with a swastika on her forehead.  Don't get me wrong; I am a liberal Democrat and always will be.  But, aligning a right wing politician with the Nazi movement is downright dangerous.  

I am opposed to every idea a Conservative politician offers.  So let me make this clear, aligning a conservative with a Nazi is implying that the conservative is ready to follow a maniacal leader at any cost and if that includes savagely murdering and torturing innocent people in order to do it, so be it.  A young 20 something pop star not knowing her history could possibly be forgiven for such a reckless statement, but Madonna is over 50 years old.  Old enough to know better.

World War II wasn't that long ago.  Are we destined to repeat those events again?  Hopefully not, but that will depend on whether people like Madonna will ever grow up.  

More Musings Later-

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

If You Give Him a Movie, They Will Come

Well, after watching 14 seasons of "Dancing with the Stars", it never gets old.  It's one of the very few reality shows that I actually enjoy.  While I'm no dancer, it's no secret that I become enthralled each year as contestants learn to cha-cha and fox trot their way across the ballroom floor.  The show is actually pretty cheesy, but there is one element that saves it; Derek Hough.

Yep, some call him the Golden Boy, who can do no wrong.  Yes, the judges love him, Yes, he has a huge fan base of mostly women, Yes he's handsome but the fact of the matter is this:  Derek Hough has star quality and he is beyond talented.  He comes up with the most inventive and creative choreography each year and manages to make his partners look like life-long dancers.

His sister, Julianne Hough has managed to make that step from TV to screen almost effortlessly and I wonder why her brother hasn't done the same.  I sometimes wonder what Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers would think of Hough's prowess on the dance floor.

In any event, Hough and his partner, Maria Menounous was booted from the competition last night after coming in first on the judge's leaderboards.  Perhaps the show wanted to shake things up, but I fear if he stays on this show for too much longer, he won't reach his potential.  Come on, Hollywood; this guy is fantastic.  Give him a movie.  If you give him a movie; they will come.  Especially this old writer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

John Edwards

Yep, John Edwards is on trial to determine if he stole campaign funds to "accommodate" his mistress at the time who was pregnant out to there.

He leaves me to shake my head and wonder about men in general.  Not only did he lead the public astray (not too shocking for a politician, but still....), but this man cheated on his dying wife and lied all the while to his family about the affair and his re-entry into fatherhood.

It takes 2 to tango and I think his mistress is just as much to blame as Edwards for the affair.  However, I blame Edwards for succumbing to the temptations of cheating.  Not just cheating on his spouse, but his family as well.  Not to be crass, but if he was in such a hurry to have an affair, he couldn't at least wait until his wife passed away?  What must his children think of him? Apparently, his eldest daughter feels that standing by him is the right thing to do.

She's a better person than I, that's for sure.

More Musings Later-

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The last several days I've been thinking about teachers I've had in my lifetime. Some had a teaching degree, others didn't. But, the lessons they taught were just as important as if they had a sheepskin hanging on the wall.

I've had the privilege of having some very good teachers in my time and some not so good. For example, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Carpenter was among my favorites. She made learning fun and gave detailed attention to each student. I didn't feel strange or like an outcast when I was in her class and enjoyed feeling part of a fun learning experience. When you consider I'm 50 years old, that's going back quite a few years. So, thank you Mrs. Carpenter. You made your imprint upon this mind.
Ive also had some good teachers in junior high and high school as well. But, some of the best teachers I had were in college. I think because I didn't take them for granted as much as I did when in grade school. There was a young classical pianist at Lamar University back in the day who was an absolutely brilliant pianist and accompanist. I learned to be ready for anything from him. No matter what the snafu, be prepared to carry on and focus.
I learned from being in a rehearsal with Doc Severinson that practicing for the sake of practicing is boring. Be prepared and let the music flow and be felt. There is a wild like beauty in the music of the moment.
A conductor of a symphony orchestra taught me how to make an entrance. There is something about a person's entrance into a room that can turn heads for no other reason than that of the "it" factor. Learning how to turn "it" on was an amazing lesson.

There are also the teachers who have their doors literally cracked open after hours in hopes of luring someone inside that needed extra help with an assignment or piece of music. Why? because it is those moments that called them to teaching in the first place.

God bless teachers. Even the ones who forced me to learn the ugly lessons. It wasn't for naught.

More Musings Later-

Monday, March 19, 2012

OWN - Programming that I would LOVE to see

The sad news came a few days ago that Oprah axed the Rosie show from her OWN network.  I have to admit, I only watched a couple of the shows that featured the studio audience and was less than impressed with it.  But, then I watched the one on one interviews and found them to be MUCH more entertaining.  It's a shame really...Rosie can be a great gabber but somewhere along the way she's lost HER way.

Now, I'm not saying that Oprah has all the answers and that her channel doesn't have some programming that needs to be addressed...but, the programming that is in place is quality.  For example, I love Super Soul Sunday.  The laid back feel, the nature backdrop and lofty subjects is perfect for Sundays.

My next favorite series is "Master Class".  I would LOVE to see Shirley MacLaine do a series of these...My God woman, give her a show on your network.  "Out on a Limb" was only the beginning and it would be interesting to see her offerings that she has compiled over the years.

There is also one show series that I think everyone would like to see:  "Office Politics".  Whether you lay brick for a living, bag groceries or sit behind a computer screen all day; people have to learn about Office Politics in order to survive in our world.  There are all the same players:  the backstabbers, the do-gooders, the ambitious at any cost people, the bosses with blindness and those of us stuck in the middle.

When does it start?  On the playground and it continues until Social Security issues a retirement check.  That's alot of years to try and figure out this complicated maze of politics.

More Musings Later- 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Whole Lot to Write About

Well it appears that my blog has grown a few followers!  To those of you waiting for me to pontificate about something, thank you.

If you've read some previous blog entries, you understand that sometimes we all get knocked on our keysters during this game of life.  It has been an interesting game to be sure.  Nonetheless, I'll be here tippy-typing when I'm able on things that annoy, amuse, irritate, touch or provoke me in some way or another.

I'm just happy there are so many subjects to fit the bill described above.  I'll be in really.  In the meantime, have a little fun watching Sophia Grace and Rosie.  Go on...
More Musings Later-