Musings

Bingeing

Over the past couple of years I’ve gotten away from watching television. There seemed to be no time to keep up with all the shows people were talking about: Game of Thrones, This is Us, Big Little Lies. And Grey’s Anatomy is still on! The last shows I properly binged on were Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad, two shows so good but as different as could be.

Instead I was reading every chance I had and you can see the numbers of books read climb as my TV watching diminished right up to last year where I managed 83 book. Now I have all the time in the world and I’m finding it hard to focus on one book for very long. I had always loved movies so I started going again and have seen The Favourite (astonishing) and On the Basis of Sex (this calls into question what am I actually doing with my life) in the past week. And since I’m solo here in Florida, I turned on Amazon Prime and was delighted to see Lady Bird on there, a movie I had hoped to see in the theater. It is exactly the kind of quirky movie I love. The next night I watched Beautiful Boy, a heartbreaking movie about a drug addicted son that I wrote about here.

This brought me to yesterday. I am trying to go between the books The Alice Network and The Gifts of Imperfection but cannot stay focused. Instead I perused a few YouTube channels I follow but still nothing held my interest. I cleaned around the house and by 6:00 I found myself collapsed in my chair and started looking for something on Netflix. After the requisite 30 minutes of scrolling I settled on You.

I am now properly hooked after binge watching the first four episodes. I don’t know whether it is good fortune or bad but there are only 10 episodes right now so it won’t be a situation where I’m bingeing for days in a row. While You is no Breaking Bad, it is definitely keeping me entertained and surprised.

What are you watching?

MC

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Life

Beautiful boy

I watched the above titled movie yesterday and I have a feeling it will stay with me for quite some time. It deals with the extremely difficult topic of drug addiction and the relationship between a father (helpless parent) and son (addict). It really blew me away in it’s unflinching portrayal of the damage drugs and alcohol can play in the life of a family.

It hit a little too close to home, though, as we lost a nephew to drugs just two and a half years ago. I met my sister-in-law more than 20 years before when I started volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline. She was the director of the center and I felt an immediate connection with her as we bonded over losing our brothers to suicide several years prior. Suicide prevention, dealing with the aftermath and support to survivors is God’s work. She is amazing at it and just recently retired from doing it full time for many years. It is work that takes it’s toll and I found I could only do it for a few years before it started contributing negatively to my own mental health. It was through this relationship that I met my husband – she is married to his brother – and I got to see their three kids grow through the years.

Unfortunately drugs became part of one of their twin boys life and after a long struggle, they got the phone call no parent ever wants to hear. I’m sorry but your son died of an overdose. I know they did everything to prevent getting that call but addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet portrayed the father and son but I couldn’t help slot my family members into their parts. To say life isn’t fair seems like a hollow admonition. A beautiful boy was lost and his family is forever altered.

MC

Musings

Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again!

*spoiler inside*

Film Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Today is all about light and happy (it’s my Birthday!) so I thought I’d say a few words about that new Mamma Mia movie. I am a fan of ABBA from way back and feel like there is nothing better than a little ABBA Gold, their greatest hits album, to pull anyone out of a funk and I’ve been in a serious one lately. A couple of my friends saw the movie was out last week so we made plans to see it on Monday night. Guys, the theater was PACKED! I haven’t been to a theater so packed and on a Monday night in ages.

So a little backstory. Back in 2002, Jim and I visited London and the Cotswold area of England which had been a HUGE bucket list item of mine. When I met Jim the year before, I had been in the midst of planning and saving to take this trip on my own and he ended up surprising me with tickets for Christmas. Mamma Mia, the musical was a fairly new phenomenon and he got us tickets. It was icing on the cake. A cherry on the sundae. The play was amazing and fun and I ended up seeing it three or four more times over the next several years. One of those was a girls’ trip to New York and it’s with this group I saw the first and then the second movie.

While I saw the trailer, I did not read any reviews or other articles about the movie so as not to spoil it. The week before I watched the first movie on Netflix so I was primed to go. So I was completely taken aback when I learned Donna was dead. What?! No Merryl Streep in Here We Go Again?! But really, they made the best of it. They flashed back to Donna’s younger years from when she graduated from college and found her way to the island that would end up being her home for life and how she met the three men who were the questionable dad to her daughter Sophie. Lily James who played the young Donna has an amazing voice and screen presence. It was fun and cheesy and ok, it was a little sad.

The preview seemed to highlight Cher as an addition to the star-studded cast but she didn’t come in until nearly the end and I have to say she was a little weird. To be honest I’m not a huge fan and thought she upped the cheese factor significantly with her rendition of Fernando (played by Andy Garcia who was also weird in this movie).  There were definitely some drawbacks and it didn’t really measure up to the first because, most notably, Streep’s absence until the very end of the movie when she ghosts/sings a song to her grown daughter. It was a low note to end the movie on. The montage as the credits rolled was somewhat redeeming.

Overall, it was a fun movie and I will likely see it again when it comes out on DVD.

MC

 

 

books

Loving a book-to-movie adaptation (no spoilers)

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There are many book-made-into-movie scenarios and for book lovers, there is an overriding passion for books over movie. I couldn’t agree more. I have seen so many of my beloved books turned into movies only to have them disintegrate on the big screen. Gone Girl, My Sister’s Keeper, Girl on the Train, Mystic River to name a few. There have been many that were well done, too, and I enjoyed the movie apart from the book (The Help, Eat, Pray, Love – I wanted this movie to be a full length adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars). And there have been many, many more that I refused to see due to not messing up the picture that was already in my head.

Continue reading “Loving a book-to-movie adaptation (no spoilers)”

Life

Passing time at the library

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I used to be a magazine junkie. I was reminded of this when I stopped by my local library Friday afternoon to pick up some books I had on hold. Fresh off my nostalgic trip down memory lane of my childhood library and with time to spare, I decided to wander past the front desk and new fiction area to places I hadn’t visited in a few years.

First, I checked out the expanded DVD section which I always forget about. I love old movies and they are hard to find at Red Box and Netflix so I found a couple videos for myself and to share with Liam (I recently introduced him to Hitchcock via Rear Window). He likes mysteries and it’s not easy to find appropriate films for an eleven-year-old that aren’t rated R. We have seen Clue, The Movie more times than I can count. Next up, thanks to the library, is North by Northwest.

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Writing

Catching up

I wanted a coffee in the worst way this morning. Part of my healthier eating routine is to forgo coffee due to the cream and sugar I use but since I had a bowl of ice cream last night, I’m pretty sure I’m not doing so well with it. So I thought I’d just cheat a little and have that coffee but someone has my back because we are nearly out of cream and the expiration date on it is tomorrow. I bought this cream before I gave up coffee (around Christmas) so I’m not about to drink something that’s about to go off. Tea it is.

And so every time I sit down to write on my day off, I’m greeted by this face. You can imagine this presents a bit of a problem. He is puzzled why I’m not going to play with him all day instead of doing boring human things.

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All I had to do was give him a treat and he happily goes to the kitchen to gnaw away on it. If only life was so simple for all of us.

Continue reading “Catching up”