Sunday, November 30, 2008


Movie reviews should be left to the professionals. I do read them sometimes but what get's me to choke up eight bucks are the principals in the film or a recommendation from a trusted friend. Some I trust more than others. I do enjoy sitting in a large movie theater with other people watching the big screen. It's the communal story telling that brings me to the campfire.

For me to recommend a movie it doesn't have to be perfect, what is these days, but it needs to be entertaining. Australia, though way too long, did give me eight dollars worth of entertainment. If you can sit through this very long movie it does have some moments. It seems like a good old fashion western with good guys, and bad guys and Hugh Jackman.

It does touch on a horrible part of Australian history that, for the good of the child, removed Aboriginal children from their homes to "study" at a mission school. If you've seen Rabbit Proof Fence you'll know what their Stolen Generations went through. America was no better with removing our Native American children from the reservations to ship them off to boarding schools to learn the "American" ways. That meant death to their culture.

What I liked:
  • Hugh Jackman
  • the precious little Nullah
  • Hugh Jackman without a shirt
  • the cinematography
  • Hugh Jackman in a tux

What I didn't like:
  • Too much CGI for the broad cattle stampede (way too fake)
  • Too long
  • Not enough Hugh Jackman
  • Brian Brown's character was not developed, sadly. Hell, they had the time.
So if you are in need of seeing Hugh Jackman or maybe Nicole Kidman and you can sit for 165 minutes break loose with eight bucks and give it a try. I'd be interested in your review.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

File this under No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The day before Thanksgiving at the Getty last year was very busy. We could have used a few extra docents. I knew I'd be working from 1:30 - 5:30 so when the call for help came in I offered to come in at 10 and work all day. Rain dampened more than the streets resulting in a less than normal crowd. Not a problem, I gave two tours, saw an exhibit I'd been meaning to get to and had a nice lunch with friends; my glass is always half-full.

My generous friends covered my last half-hour so I could catch an earlier bus and I was at the northbound stop by 5:00. Great, it will take the bus 40 minutes to the Van Nuys Metrolink station and I'll get the train that gets into Simi by 7:00. That's when I normally get home on Wednesday evenings.

After I'd waited an hour for my bus--way too long--I noticed two of my buses go by on the freeway. Since the southbound bus goes to Westwood, turns around to become the northbound bus, I went back across the street to find out what was going on. The bus driver said the traffic was a nightmare because of an accident and I could ride with him until he turned around and came back. He'd then get on the freeway at Montana.

When I saw the traffic on Sunset I got off at Belagio and got back on the northbound bus only to inch along Sunset back to the Montana on-ramp. By this time I'd missed my last train home so I took the bus to Topanga Plaza rather than Van Nuys, much closer for my beloved to pick me up. I had an umbrella but it was too cold for my lightweight coat so by the time he came I was chilled to the bone. I finally got home at 9:30. I should have been home by 7:00.

Now the odd thing this morning, I couldn't find one word of the accident that caused all this mess. Silly me, I took the bus to avoid the traffic mess, ha!

With all of this, my glass is still half-full; though a bit water-logged. We had our family Thanksgiving last Saturday so I had no cooking to do today and could sleep in. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cats, go figure

I've never owned a cat so this is quite amazing to me. Dogs can be funny, too but cats seem to have some strange ideas and act on them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I love LA

For years my mom had a bridal shop in Thousand Oaks and most of her business was custom so that meant frequent trips to the Garment District in downtown Los Angeles. Since she didn't drive I would take her down during the week to buy fabric, sewing supplies, and whatever else she needed to send those brides, smiling, down the aisle. My daughter and sister were frequent flyers on these journeys and the prize for everyone one was a trip to Olivera Street for lunch.

Saturday the three of us, daughter lil bird, sister Doodles and I made the journey one more time. Lil bird heads down to that area quite often to either visit the flower market on Wall Street or Michael Levine's, a great fabric store. Walking in brought back so many memories it was hard not to see a portion of my life whiz by.

We also visited some bead stores so lil bird could find the goodies to build her aunt a necklace. She's gotten quite talented in making jewelry. The other mission was to find supplies for a crafty little project these two had been working on.

ML's is on Maple, as is a variey of small "jobbers" selling end lots of fabric, shoes, clothes, and just about anything else you'd want. By 10:oo am the street was packed with weekend shoppers with children in tow. Street vendors were cooking up their fare on makeshift stoves and though it smelled delicious we were saving our appetites for Phillipe's. Though that bowl of posole that passed us made us stop and inquire where it could be purchased.

The whole mood of the area was festive with music blaring from some stores and people chatting, in a variety of languages, and brightly colored merchandise pushed almost to the edge of the sidewalk. It was a feast for your senses.

We all decided we need some sitdown food so got the car and headed towards Chinatown. I do know this area and headed for Main St forgetting there was a planned march swirling around the protest of Prop 8 passing making it illegal for same sex to marry in California. Try as we did we could not get close to Phillipe's and after an hour of gridlocked traffic we headed home.

Why do we have a law to keep California taxpayers from getting married in this state? Why are we letting a church, any church, tell us what laws to have? Our founding fathers made sure there was a separation of church and state, what happened to that?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keep bailing I think we're about to drown

Bail out the Big Three? Why? What have they done for the American consumer other than create gas guzzling cars no one needs. In 2002 we looked for an American made hybrid vehicle. We talked to Ford and Chevy and when do you suppose they would have one on the market and what were we told? Ah, we haven't got the bugs worked out, yet. Yet? Asian markets not only had the bugs worked out, they had them stomped into the ground. In 2003 we gave up and bought the Honda Hybrid.

We are now standing on the brink of a crisis in this country and the automakers are begging for their lives. Where were they when we wanted help with reducing our oil consumption or getting a handle on air pollution? I know where they were, those fat-cat bastards were spending their profits in huge salaries for their execs and not thinking about the future of this country. Their business model for making and selling cars isn't in step with the 21st century and keeping them afloat will only drag us down with them. Are we not still a free-market economy?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It is so true

There is really so much to say about last night but I do need to collect my thoughts. We invited sister and brother-outlaw over for dinner and to watch the returns. We also asked a friend to join us for dessert, her husband would be gone and I thought it would be fun to watch all the goings-on with other folks. Like minded folks such as us.

Now I'd planned this would not be settled until somewhere around midnight and I also was hesitant about the outcome. Boy was I wrong. The polls closed in California and immediately they announced Obama the winner. The mood was ebullient, cheerful and full of energy. When I called our daughter she was screaming, "Is it true?" Yes, lil bird, this is true, so very true.

When I talked of why I was voting for Obama it was never for the fact he was a black man. That never played into my decision. Just like I didn't vote for Hillary because she was a woman. I voted for the person that would give me the most change from what we have and deep in my heart I know it's him. When he spoke last night it gave me chills and made me feel prouder to be an American than I have in eight years. Made me feel like we can do anything. Economy in the toilet? Sure but we are moving on.

Does this mean the evil presidency of George Bush is over? Nope, not yet. Look what they have in store for us now. When will it end?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Finally, a change!

Election 2008: my Voting Parlor

Thinking of long lines at the voting parlor my darling companion and I voted at 8:00 am. Our parlor is at the neighborhood grammar school a short walk away and we would have walked if the weather would have been better. There was rain on and off last night and the skies look threatening so we drove.

As we were walking from the car a woman came up to me to give me a No on 8 fliers. I told her to save it as both of us were voting no already. We chatted a bit about the outcome or whether this very Republican town we live in would vote it down. I asked her about people's tempers on this hot-button topic and said she told me about one man this morning who said "I voted against you!" And she replied, "On this issue yes, but we voted on a lot of things this morning and I bet we agreed on some of those issues." Love that answer.

There was a line for the second half of the alphabet but husband and I just walked up to our section with no wait. I believe after work hours will be more hectic but that shouldn't deter anyone, hopefully. Being in California we feel things are decided before we even get out to vote but I take voting seriously and want my counted. You never know how close it will be.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Your vote counts!

The following is a quote from ABC news blog.

"Obama was not yet in the Senate when Congress voted to authorize the use of force in the fall of 2002. But he spoke out against it as a Senate candidate that year."

Obama came out against the war at the same time, and for the same reasons, I felt it was wrong. We needed strength in Afghanistan, that's where the terrorists were. The witch hunt to Iraq was Cheney, Wolfowitz and the other war criminals. Wolfowitz was the mastermind behind the first Gulf War and for some reason, couldn't wait to go back and finish Iraq off.

Before we went into Iraq someone told me the administration didn't care what or why just wanted to cause unrest in that part of the world. Could it have been that simple? I thought them crazy for that statement but now think they could not have been more right.

So if I only had one reason, I have many more but this one reason--the quote above--is enough for me to desire Obama to be our next president. I hope you will make your voting decision based on the facts; is priceless in a time of indecision.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Princess Pooh?

Cleverly disguised as Winnie the Pooh, our princess paid us a visit Halloween night. She was not real sure about all this and had just woke up from a nap, to boot.

She did eventually get happier but I'd love to know what was going through that little brain when we took her to the neighbors house complete with scary music and flashing lights. She never lost sight of mom and dad but really scrutinized all the decorations and people in costumes.

We loved Mommy and Daddy for bringing her by to show off her costume.

After they left we had a stream of little, and not so little, trick or treaters come to our door. One tyke, so adorable I had to comment on his costume, left the door yelling, "Hey, her liked my dinosaur and look what she gave me!" I'm always so pleased when the kids say thanks and most this year said, Happy Halloween.

Her had a good time, too.