I was off work today and decided to go see a movie.  I had two thoughts in mind--one was that I hadn't seen a movie in a long time and the other was that seeing the movie would give me something to blog about today. 

I can't wait to see Hidden Figures, but today I selected Moonlight because it's been out a while and I thought it might be leaving theaters soon.  I didn't know much about the movie but had heard such good things about it.  Now I know why. 

Now that I've seen it, though, I realize there's really not much for me to write about.  It's difficult to describe what the movie is about, beyond saying, "It's a coming of age story," because it's so much more than that.  It tells the story of Chiron, in three parts of his life--as a young boy, as a teenager, and as a man.  Each part is played by a different actor, who were all great.  Each part shows different moments in time that influenced Chiron's life.  I didn't read any reviews of the movie until after I saw it, and I'm glad I didn't because I feel they give away too much of the story and I don't want to do that, so I'll stop here. 


A Bronx Tale - part 2

I wrote the other day about seeing A Bronx Tale on Broadway at Christmas time.  In the comments, my sister mentioned that the cast performed on the Today show, so I wanted to share that with you.  (I can't embed the video, so you'll have to visit the link.

A Bronx Tale performance on The Today Show.

I also wanted to mention:  can you imagine if Tommy Mottola was still married to Mariah Carey??


Thanks, Stevie!

This morning, for whatever reason, I woke up with Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today" running around in my head, so I decided to listen to his album, Songs in the Key of Life, on my way in to work. It's such a great album that reminds me of my childhood.

My commute takes me to Union Station in DC, and you can see that they're amping up for inauguration activities this week. Most of the rotunda is closed off and it looks like they're building a stage. Fake blossoming cherry trees surround the area, and there were three moss-covered obelisks that look like mini green Washington Monuments. Once you get outside, there are three huge U.S. flags hanging from the front of the building. It's really quite lovely, but I couldn't really enjoy it because of what it represents and what's happening at the end of the week. I found myself feeling negative and refused to take any photos of the decorations, because I don't want to commemorate this inauguration in any fashion.

Just as these negative thoughts were flowing through my mind, "Isn't She Lovely" started playing through my headphones. What a pick me up! It's such a peppy song and great to walk to. By the time I walked to my office, I was in a great mood! I love the audio of Stevie and his daughter Aisha at the end. It's so sweet.

I think today I'll just listen to Stevie and keep the good mood going. Thanks Stevie! Turned my day right around!


For the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King!

Today's post was easy to come up with.  Thirty-one years ago, the third Monday of January was declared a Federal Holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  That same year, this song and video came out, and I've been watching it every year ever since.

It first started with me recording the video from a local video show, "Friday Night Videos."  That video was on a VHS tape and I'd pull it out every year to watch.  Eventually, I transferred the video to DVD and watched it that way.  My sister and I lived together for 3 years, and we had the ritual of watching it each year.  Then YouTube came along and made it SO easy!  I love the song, I love the message, I'm glad Dr. King is honored each year.  His words are still as relevant today as they were when he spoke them. 


In Her Shoes

I've been listening to Jennifer Weiner's book, Hungry Heart on Audible.  After hearing her tell about how her book, In Her Shoes, came to be a movie with Toni Collette, Cameron Diaz, and Shirley MacLaine, I decided to watch the movie again this evening.  It'd been a long time since I'd seen it, and even longer since I read the book, so I only remembered bits and pieces.  Now I can say, it really is a good movie about the strong bond between sisters.  Although Rose and Maggie had a pretty tumultuous relationship, they're ultimately there for each other no matter what.  I can't help but think of my own sister--our relationship wasn't as fraught as Rose and Maggie's, but we did used to fight a lot when we were younger.  In college, we became friends, and now we're the best of friends.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  Watching the movie tonight made me reflect on that, and I'm so grateful that she's my sister.


A Bronx Tale

My family and I spent Christmas 2016 in New York City and had the opportunity to see A Bronx Tale on Broadway.  I'd seen the movie years ago, and loved it. It starred Robert DeNiro and Chazz Palminteri.  I didn't realize when I'd seen the movie that Chazz wrote it and that it was based on his real life until I read all that info in the Playbill.

A Bronx Tale originated as a one-man show that Chazz did off-Broadway, then the movie came along, and now it's a Broadway musical.  We really enjoyed the show, which is a coming of age story about a kid (Chazz) who struggles between the influences of his blue-collar father, a bus driver, and the richest man in the neighborhood, who's a mobster.  In the movie, Chazz played the mobster, and DeNiro played the father.  The musical was great and is being compared to a mix of The Jersey Boys and West Side Story.  I can see that, because there's a subplot where Chazz falls for a black girl--this was in the 60s and interracial dating wasn't really accepted by either side.

We heard that Chazz was in the audience the night we saw it, but we didn't see him.  Talk about pressure for the actors!  They all did great though.

As an aside, after the show, we made our way over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  That was quite the scene, but it's always fun to see.  You just have to have patience.  I know we're long past Christmas, but here are a couple of pics:

Window at Saks Fifth Avenue - dreaming of The Nutcracker


Throw some perm on your attitude!

When I get a new album that I love, I listen to it over and over and over again, and generally, don't tire of it.  When I like every song, I try to pick out which one is my absolute favorite.  Then I listen to that over and over before moving on to other songs.  The latest album I'm doing all this with is Bruno Mars' 24K Magic.  I LOVE the whole damn album.  (I still call these things albums...even though I haven't touched an album in years.)

I loved the song "24K Magic" when it first came out.  Then when I downloaded the whole album, I decided that "Finesse" was my favorite song.  Now that it's been several weeks, I've decided that for the dance songs, my favorite is "Perm."  You can't go wrong with a lyric like:

Throw some perm on that attitude....
Girl, you gotta relax!  

There are certain parts of this song where I can picture the choreography and type of moves that would go with it.  I found this video that nails it.  Especially at 1:40 when they start pop locking like ReRun from What's Happening.  I just love it.

There's a part around 1:53 where I picture James Brown moving across the floor on one foot.  The video above doesn't capture that, but I see it so clearly in my head.  It looks like this:  https://youtu.be/ZF_rZrH4yBY?t=148.  (I couldn't embed the video and get it to start playing at the right point.)

Of the slower variety, "Too Good To Say Goodbye" tops my list.  This song is fun to lip sync to and I sometimes want to break out into a full lip sync performance as I'm walking to work from the Metro.  

Instead, I sing quietly inside my head.


Words to live by?

Today's email for the blog challenge suggested selecting a favorite quote and talking about it.  I decided to go ahead and do this one, because I need to get to bed (I'm SO tired!) and it shouldn't take me too long. 

I'm selecting the quote that's on the right side of this blog:
I wish there was a way to know you're in the 'good ole days' before you've actually left them.
 That quote was spoken by Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms) on The Office series finale.  I remember when he said it, thinking, that's SO true.  The best example I can think of is childhood.  When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get out of my town.  There's nothing to do here.  We were always SOOO bored.  But now I long for those days, when I could hang out with my friends at school, talk on the phone with them at night and in the summer, be with them from morning until dark.  We thought we were bored, but we really did have a lot of fun.  I'm so glad we weren't bogged down with technology like kids are today.  We were active, imaginative, and creative, in creating activities for ourselves.  Those *were* the good ole days, but when I was 15, I could only think, "It can only get better."  It's all about perspective.  And nostalgia, I suppose.


Bittersweet Bright Lights

I just finished watching the HBO documentary, Bitter Sweet,  about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.  It was interesting, sweet, funny, and of course bittersweet.  Knowing that they each died one day apart makes some of the scenes between them so poignant.  They definitely had a special relationship that shines through.

There's a scene at the end, where family and friends are gathered after Debbie was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild.  Carrie asks Debbie if she'd like to get another lifetime achievement award.  Debbie responds that she can't answer because she will have gone on.  Then she says, "You don't get a chance to have a moment like this very often.  Not like any moment...it's its own special moment."  It's a sweet moment with Debbie, Carrie and Carrie's brother Todd. 

There are a lot of laughs in the movie--Carrie was very funny.  Debbie too.  There's a scene where Carrie's working out with a personal trainer in preparation for Star Wars VII.  Carrie's on an elliptical and she muses:  
If you die when you're fat, are you a fat ghost? Or, do you go back to a flattering time?
Hmm.  Good question. 

If you can catch this on HBO, I do recommend it.  It was an interesting glimpse into their lives and relationship and I'm so sorry they're both gone.  Variety's review says it best:  "Watching “Bright Lights,” it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to presume that they’re still together, and always will be, holding up their mirrors of love."


Thank you, President Obama

I just finished watching President Obama's farewell speech.  I was doing fine until they showed Michelle and Malia, and then Malia wiped away some tears.  That's when my own tears started up.  I'm so glad to have been alive for this presidency, and so proud to have been there when it all began, on that 19-degree morning for his first inauguration.
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Thank you Mr. President.  I wish you and your family all the best.