And I Quote–Again

Fourth in a Very Infrequent Series:

I’ve packed my bags, I’ve watered the plants, and I’ve asked a friend to check my mail. Henry has made his way to his country estate (aka, my friend, Trisha’s house which boasts a BIG BACKYARD), where he’s sure to have a nice respite from Oliver and his tail-chasing antics.

As for Oliver, he will be attended to by his guardian (aka, my son’s girlfriend).

So, you know what this means. Yep, my son and I are headed out for a spell.

After all, it’s not everyday my youngest graduates from college. And, since she was able to score some tickets to the graduation ceremony—which, if you ask me, were about as hard to get as tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert (not that I’m in the market to see Bieber, mind you)—I figured the least we can do is show up.

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So, while I’m away, I thought I’d leave you with some pithy quotes to mull over (along with some cute shots of Oliver and Henry!).  And yes. There will be a test when I return! 😉

From the World of TV:

“Growing old is not a leper colony where an unfortunate few are sent to die. It is a precious gift given only to some lucky human beings.” — Dick Van Dyke, in his autobiography.

“It’s good to have an open mind, but not so much that your brains fall out.”

–The second wife, Nicolette, to the first wife, Barbara, in the finale of the HBO series, Big Love.

From Scandal–the enthralling series that lives up to its namehere’s a snippet of dialogue about whether to move the injured President Fitzpatrick Grant to Camp David.

First Lady Melly Grant:  Moving him to Camp David will make him look weak.

Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene:  He’s unconscious. He is weak.

“Mary is who you wish you were, Rhoda is who you probably are and Phyllis is who you’re afraid you’ll become.” -Valerie Harper, reflecting on beloved characters from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.IMG_1646

From Seinfeld, Part 2 of “The Trip,” in which Kramer relocates to LA, to pursue a career in acting.

Kramer: Things are going pretty well for me here. I met a girl.

Jerry:  Kramer, she was murdered!

Kramer: Yeah, but I wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship. I was on TV.

George:  As a suspect in a serial killing.

Kramer: Okay, yeah. You guys have to put a negative spin on everything.

From the World of Blogging (Because sometimes bloggers say the darndest things.)

IMG_1602“Regardless of what brings you to a blank page, remember to write from your heart and with passion. Write with integrity. Write honestly. Write with reckless abandonment. Write without expectation. Write with conviction, and sincerity. Write originally. Write what you know and then some. Write with spice. Write with love. Write from your heart. Write with discipline. Write for one reader. Write without filters. Write to a lost lover. Write with all of your senses. Write as if you were dying. Write as if you are making love for the first time. Write as if you are staring down the barrel of a gun. Write without doubt. Write without an editor on your shoulder. Write as if there is a camera on your shoulder. Write without compromise. Write what you feel.” – Brenda Moguez, Passionate Pursuits.

“We could have Pop-Tarts and cupcakes every day. We’d eat so many that our little babies would have sprinkles for dimples and icing for hair.” –  Thoughts Appear

“It is bad enough losing your voice but don’t get stuck wearing an anger muzzle.” From Paws to Talk

“I can have a father from the mafia, but not live myself, dismembered in some bipolar underworld.  I can be a sane, whole, and liberated lesbian.” – Kathryn,  Reinventing the Event Horizon

“Fly, fly on my butterfly.

My prayer is that

The spider’s web

Never intersects your flight.

Fly, fly on my butterfly.

I wish you sweet daffodils and golden buttercups

For endless days of flight.”

–Carl D’Agostino, I Know I Made You Smile

“He was so startled and overwhelmed by the feeling, my eyes filled with tears too.  And from that moment on, a powerful new identity took over my sweet, funny, loving husband.  He was now Daddy.”Lisa W. Rosenberg’s tribute to her husband on Father’s Day

And One More, which will give you food for thought:

“What kind of peace do we seek, enforced in the world by American weapons of war? Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. And, if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future and we are all mortal.“  — President John F. Kennedy

So, how about you? Heard anything in the blogosphere or on TV that bears repeating?

September: Fifty/Fifty Challenge

I read an entire book!

So, take that, Fifty/Fifty Challenge!

Now, I know there are plenty of you out there who can read a whole new book every week and, frankly, I’m jealous. I’m sure, that for you, reading 50 books in one year is quite doable–as easy as making a run to Starbucks for a grande, no-foam, non-fat latte.

But, for me, 50 books in 12 months is Mt. Kilimanjaro–daunting, impossible and out of my reach.

So, imagine my delight when I was able to finish one more book in the month of September! Which brings my book quota to 14 so far this year!  With three months left to 2012, I’m so close to reaching my challenge goal. Right?

Hardly.

Well, I could start getting all despondent over it and sulk, but, here’s the way I see it:

There’s always next year!

So, what book did I read?

An autobiography titled, My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business, a Memoir by Dick Van Dyke.

And, sure, the book was under 300 pages, but hey, at least it wasn’t one of those unauthorized autobiographies, if you know what I mean. At least, Dick Van Dyke approved what he wrote, which makes everything, in this “tell-all,” true!

Though, it wasn’t one of those juicy kind of tell-all’s at all. If you ask me, for a Hollywood star, Van Dyke led an ordinary life. Which, actually, is pretty refreshing.

Dick Van Dyke is one of my favorite comedic actors, hailing back to his days on the Dick Van Dyke Show, which was hilarious. Carl Reiner was the writing genius, who created the series, but Dick Van Dyke carried it, making it the perfect show for families to gather around the old television console and watch.

Remember the episode where Dick Van Dyke, as Rob, is remembering the story of how his son, Richie, was born, and the guy with the sandwich cart enters the office and somehow ends up spilling coffee on Rob’s pants? And, while Rob’s pants are sent to the cleaners, and he’s left in his boxers, Rob gets a call from Laura, his wife, to let him know she’s gone into labor? Which leaves Rob with no choice but to borrow Buddy’s trousers, that are way too short and wide for Rob. Throw in the police, a fender bender, a nosy neighbor, and a phone that ends up falling into Rob’s pants, and you’ve got the ingredients for one of the funniest and freshest sitcoms in TV history. Oh, Rob!

In his memoir, Van Dyke writes joyously about his lucky life. About his childhood, and how his parents would leave him alone in his crib when he was two, and go out on the town, and, how, when he was six, he’d babysit his younger brother, Jerry, while his parents went to the movies. He’s also candid about his personal struggle to give up drinking, his smoking habit, and his painful divorce.

The book also affirms what I always new: that Van Dyke is a nice guy who deliberately sought out to make the kind of films that families could see together. He’s a deeply spiritual man, too, who once considered becoming a minister, but then got the acting bug. He didn’t think himself a singer, but he loved to dance and do pratfalls. He loved making the film, Mary Poppins, but he didn’t like having to learn to talk with a British accent, as it proved very difficult for him. He married his high school sweetheart and together they had four children.

He is a man of compassion, speaking on behalf of civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr., and later, when he was on his church’s board, suggesting that his all-white congregation reach out to the nearby African-American church in order to forge a relationship. But, when the other church members rejected his idea, he left the church for good.

He loved his career and shares snippets of memories of working with Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner, Julie Andrews, Paul Lynde and Chita Rivera. He didn’t want to retire, but when it was suggested, during production of his last series, Diagnosis Murder, that the show needed to move at a faster clip in order to appeal to a younger audience, Van Dyke did not go “gently into the sunset.” Instead, he said this:

“Growing old is not a leper colony where an unfortunate few are sent to die. It is a precious gift given only to some lucky human beings.”

My Life in and Out of Show Business is a must-read for anyone who has fond memories of Dick Van Dyke.

In the Fifty/Fifty movie challenge, I’m doing so much better, having been able to watch a few films while my daughter was home for summer break. Among them:

Bye Bye Birdie, a 1963 musical starring Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh.

A double-feature of Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason (Yay! Colin Firth!)

Grey Gardens, an HBO movie starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Based on a true story, Drew won an Emmy for her portray.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, fun chick-flick with Kate Hudson.

The Company Men, good but depressing movie, starring Ben Affleck, filmed during the height of the economic downturn.

So, what books did you read? What films did you catch up on last month?