Deplorable… I skipped an entire month. However, this time I’ve been having a life. Novel concept, right?
Since the last time I wrote, I’ve visited the littles (and their parents), spent four days in Phoenix on business, flew home to Colorado for a weekend and to celebrate the peanut’s first birthday, camped at Chris and Joanne’s for a weekend, spent a weekend cooking (scratch made chicken noodle soup, chicken chimichangas, chicken tortilla soup, and almond-crusted chicken–all packed up for lunches and dinners to be consumed over the next two weeks), and worked no more than forty-five hours a week. I know! Right?! Forty-five hours a week? Actually, I’ve even pulled a 40-hour work week. More novel concepts…
Suffice it to say, I’m loving the new job. And the lack of a jangling telephone on my desk. I have a phone on my desk, but it rings only about one time a day. AWE-SOME!
In the midst of all of this, I have a sneaking suspicion my body has decided it’s no longer in peril and allowed to relax… after two years of extreme stress and sleep deprivation. I start yawning at 4:00 p.m. and am ready to go to sleep around 7:30 p.m. every night. I stretch it out a bit longer because I don’t relish waking at 2:00 a.m.–sans alarm clock. No bueno. But I have been sleeping like a champ!
In between the traveling and sleeping, I’ve been chipping away at my audacious movie list. There haven’t been any new additions, so here goes the list:
50 to 1 American Sniper
The Best of Me
- The Best of Men (not a redundancy with a typo, it’s a real movie)
Black or White
- The Book Thief
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Far from the Madding Crowd The Final Season The Flying Scotsman Foxcatcher Fury
- Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hundred-Foot Journey The Imitation Game
- Inside Out
- Into the Woods
- The Judge
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- The Mighty Macs
Million Dollar Arm
- The Monuments Men
- Spare Parts
- Taken 3
- The Theory of Everything
Trouble with the Curve
- We Bought a Zoo
- When in Rome
- When the Game Stands Tall
- The Wolverine
Woman in Gold
If not for the travel, I would’ve made it further through this list, but I’m okay with my current status. And the combination of films is interesting, to say the least.
I watched Far From the Madding Crowd just this evening. Based on a Thomas Hardy novel, it stars Carey Mulligan as the primary protagonist, Bathsheba Everdeen. Poor thing, her folks died before she could find out why they christened her with such a handle. Bathsheba, not Carey. The film is a period peace and I enjoyed it… aside from the whole marrying-the-wrong-guy thing. You know, she married a pinhead who has honed the skills of jackassery while being unknowingly in love with a noble, humble fellow. Oops. Ms. Mulligan was completely believable in the part, as were the various gentlemen cast in the film.
Taking a broad turn, I also saw Foxcatcher. That is one seriously eery and disturbing film. First, it’s based on the true story of gold medal freestyle wrestlers for the United States, Dave and Mark Schultz, and the murder of the elder brother, Dave, by billionaire John DuPont. What makes the film eerier is that my dad sold a VW bus to Mark, prior to Dave’s murder. I grew up around freestyle wrestlers. Olympic wrestlers. Dave and Mark were friends and teammates of a dear family friend. A friend who is a beloved member of my honorary family. I’ve heard about the Schultz brothers every so often for all of my life. I distinctly remember DuPont’s murder of Dave and his attempts to barricade himself in his mansion in January of 1996. Weirdly, I think of it whenever I happen to see Jeff Gordon’s car in a NASCAR race (no, I don’t make it a point to watch NASCAR, but Gordon used to have the prettiest car on the track… the DuPont car… yes, I called the car pretty… I went there). Watching DuPont psychologically devolve was disturbing.
I also saw John Wick. I know, I know… you’ve never heard of this film. Well, take Sam Mendes’ masterful Road to Perdition (it starred Tom Hanks, Paul Newman (he was robbed of an Oscar!), Jude Law, and Daniel Craig (he wasn’t very James Bond-y… he’s pretty despicable!)) and recast it with Keanu Reeves in 2014. Yeah… about that. Just watch Road to Perdition. The acting will be far superior and the story line a bit more plausible. A bit.
Million Dollar Arm is the next film in the based-on-a-true-story-Disney-sports movies. A sports agent, J.B. Bernstein, got the crazy idea to run a contest in India wherein cricket players were scouted for potential as Major League Baseball pitchers. It ended up successfully finding two gentlemen with skills. As expected, I enjoyed it. Invincible, Miracle, Remember the Titans, and The Rookie are better, though.
Trouble with the Curve is a film I’ve seen before and love. Saw it again. Still love it. It has a great story line involving the dysfunctional relationship between an aging baseball scout and his highly successful attorney daughter, played by Amy Adams. John Goodman and Justin Timberlake have additional rolls of import in the film. It’s very well acted, humorous, poignant, serious, and very baseball-y!
The most impressive film of the group is Woman in Gold. Starring Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Jonathan Pryce, Frances O’Conner, and Elizabeth McGovern, it is the true story of a Holocaust survivor who, with her husband, fled Germany with literally the clothes on her back. They ended up in Pasadena, California. Upon the death of her sister, Ms. Altmann decided to reclaim a group of Gustave Klimt paintings owned by her family prior to their illegal seizure by the Nazis. Ryan Reynolds plays attorney Randy Schoenberg, whose family also fled the Nazis and have known Maria’s family for four generations; he represented her throughout the process. The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I was the most impressive of the Klimt paintings, and a portrait of Ms. Altmann’s beloved aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. The painting is also referred to as the Woman in Gold, thus the movie’s title, and was one of the most famous of Klimt’s works even prior to the case. And a bit of trivia, Klimt was a dear family friend. The film was absolutely fantastic. Fan-tas-tic. Well acted, compelling, true. <sigh> I bawled like a baby at the end of the film. Like. A. Baby.
So there you have it… progress.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to sleep.