Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Plan B!

Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Plan B!

They say the sun ages you. Which is why I’ve decided from here on out to avoid natural sunlight at all costs.

Blinds closed? Check. Curtains drawn? Check. Gobs of sun block slathered on every pore of my body? Check! Hats, scarves and long gloves that extend to my shoulders all in place to cover my face, arms and every last bit of exposed skin? Double check!

Which means from now on I can only go out at night. But if I must go out during the day, say to work or to walk Henry and Oliver Continue reading

An Open Letter to California

An Open Letter to California

Dear California,

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but you rock. Not in an earthquake kind of way, but in a good way.

After all, I’m so grateful you didn’t cave to peer pressure and send to Southern California that ridiculously, bitter cold weather that the rest of the country has succumbed to lately. What is it they call it? Oh yeah, Polar Vortex, which I assume is supposed to scare the bejezus out of you, like calling LA freeway closures, “Carmageddon.” Even Florida got in on the arctic act and that’s a state that tends to go rogue in every election. Continue reading

A Gaggle of Books & Films

Must read. Must watch movies. As many know, I’m in the Fifty Fifty challenge, which is why I must do both!

MOVIES: Now, as far as movies go, I’ve only seen three this month (last month I saw eight): The Descendants, which still has me wondering, why would anyone cheat on George Clooney? Inside Daisy Clover, starring a stellar cast that includes Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Christopher Plummer, and a plucky Ruth Gordon. But this 1965 film is such a sad movie about Hollywood in its early days–when actors were under contracts and had to uphold a moral code set by the big studios–that touches upon themes of addiction, mental illness and homosexuality.

Whitney Houston as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard.

The third film I’ve seen this month is The Bodyguard. When I learned of Whitney Houston’s passing on February 11th, I felt compelled to watch this film once more. I hadn’t seen it in years, but I remember loving this film and especially, the music. For, Whitney’s music in this film helped me through my divorce. It was inspiring to me then, and this time around, I found it all the more poignant. And though The Bodyguard has a happy ending, knowing what we know now, makes it bittersweet, as in the end, no one could save Whitney from herself. Except, maybe, if Kevin Costner, who gave an incredibly moving eulogy at her funeral on Saturday, had still been her bodyguard.  If Whitney’s music touched you in any way, please be sure to check out my Huffington Post story on how her music made a difference in my life.

BOOKS:

In January I read three books. So far, in February, I’ve read two. The verdict is still out whether I’m going to make the 50-mark, but, thankfully, I still have about eight months to go.  Here are the two books that I’ve read so far:

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – This is a Flavia de Luce mystery, and it’s like reading a sophisticated Nancy Drew mystery, set in the quaint English countryside in the middle of the last century. Flavia is so nifty and knowing. She’s 12 years old and probably the smartest person in her village, cleverer than even the chief of police.

Mothers, Daughters, and Other Mysteries by Heather McPhaul – Fellow blogger and stunt woman extraordinaire, also known in some circles as Aging Gal, is a total hoot. She tells it like it is and makes the mundane seem hilarious. I discovered Heather when she was Freshly Pressed in March, 2011. Her post, about planning to one day retire to prison, where all her expenses will be covered–by taxpayers–and health care is free, still remains one of my favorites. It had me laughing so hard, I cried.

Her novel, Mothers, Daughters, and Other Mysteries, is about a young woman, Leeann Conklin who, at a crossroads in her life, decides to start her own detective agency in NYC. Leeann has issues with her mom, Ava Gerard, a diva-type who pops in for a surprise visit when she’s in town for the Daytime Emmy Awards. Of course, this all happens just when Leeann gets her first detective gig. Ava joins in the mayhem that ensues, coming up with a few crafty disguises to help solve the crime.

I like supporting my fellow bloggers when I can, and I hope you will, too, by reading Heather’s book. It’s a fun, easy read!

And speaking of books, I’m excited that, later this week, I’m going to meet best-selling author Jennifer Niven, whose book, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, will be featured at a special event hosted by Adventures By the Book. Now, I just adore Adventures By the Book events, because they’re not just your run-of-the-mill author book signings–they’re an experience! And, for this one, where the theme is all about flying, we’re going to be taking a tour of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Now, Velva Jean Learns to Fly happens to be a sequel to Velva Jean Learns to Drive, and I’m thinking I ought to read these books in order. Wouldn’t you agree?

So, dear readers, what movies have you seen lately? What books are you reading? Inquiring minds just have to know!