The challenge song today is “Up Where We Belong,” which was featured in one of my favorite movies An Officer and a Gentleman. Richard Gere played the lead role and Debra Winger rocked as his love interest. That was the first time I saw Debra, and I instantly adored her. She’s been in many enjoyable movies (though I didn’t really care for her last one, The Lovers).
Probably my favorite after AOAAG is Black Widow. In this 1987 film, Debra plays an FBI agent, Alexandra, who becomes obsessed with the idea of a connection among a group of dead men. She doesn’t believe they perished from accidents but were, in fact, murdered by the same woman. Alexandra basically devotes her life to solving this puzzle and ends up romantically involved with a man she perceives is the next target.
Theresa Russell plays the wife of each of these wealthy men and is so great with her multiple disguises. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it!
“Strangers in the Night” was a No. 1 single from Frank Sinatra’s 1966 album of the same name. He won two Grammy Awards for this album, plus another Grammy for album of the year. The song itself has been certified platinum. The lyrics were written by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. It has been covered many times.
This song is about people falling in love at first sight. Whether or not you believe this happens in real life, it certainly has inspired many songs, poems, books, and movies. I thought it happened to me in 2016, but I was wrong. After I got to know the man better, he turned out to be a manipulative jerk. But the idea remains alive, tantalizing and romantic. It’s much more exciting to imagine falling for someone immediately like Jesse and Marie did in When Harry Met Sally than taking a decade to figure out someone is right for you, which is the story of the title characters.
Strangers in the night, exchanging glances, wondering in the night, what were the chances, we’d be sharing love before the night was through…
Many times, the initial attraction simply leads to another one night stand. There have been a zillion words written about this too. Yet, it can be difficult to completely give up hope that the next one will work out, just like in this song.
And ever since that night, we’ve been together, lovers at first sight, in love forever. It turned out so right, for strangers in the night…
I had to research this post by checking in WP admin because everything in my mind is one gigantic blur. This probably has more to do with my age and general spaciness than the plague though…
Anyway, Dr Tanya, here are 5 movies/shows I enjoyed this year. Mostly I am copypasta-ing from prior posts. 🤩
1. The Duchess. This British drama starring Kiera Knightly and Ralph Fiennes is directed by Saul Dibb. It’s based on the married life of a real person, Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire. Amanda Foreman wrote the biography upon which the movie is based. Michael O’Connor won the Academy Award for Best Costume ~ and the costumes are stunning. This is not a romance novel come to life, though it appears to begin as one. As time goes on, I keep hoping for happily ever after for the Duchess, but happiness seems to elude her at every turn. She has a wealthy and protected life, with every whim indulged, and we don’t dive into the problems of ordinary Englishmen in this film… one ought to be aware. But it is also true, and this is brought home to us a few times, that Georgiana’s life of luxury could be taken away at any point because her husband holds the key to everything. He gets to have a lover (as many as he pleases) when bored with marriage; she does not. Etc. There is criticism that the film is slow-moving, which I suppose it is, but I enjoyed it very much.
But if I want a story about a duke who is not only handsome and powerful but also a good lover/husband, I will have to read a Regency…
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Completely forgot that S10 had come on, yayyy! Oh, this is a treat. Larry is back in top neurotic, cranky form, and each episode is hilarious in and of itself, yet they’re all loosely connected too. What I love about Curb is they aren’t afraid to be absolutely outrageous to the extreme. You simply can’t predict the ridiculousness that will saturate the writing and dialogue. My favorite may have been Adolph the dog, but it’s really hard to choose. I highly recommend this to anyone with a sense of the absurd (and if you don’t mind liberal use of the F-word).
3. Life Itself. This movie killed me. I cried all the way through ~ I don’t mean a single elegant tear rolled down my cheek… no, I literally sobbed. Maybe I should have saved it for a less fragile time when my nerves weren’t so jangled up already. But too late! What’s weird is that some days, for hours and hours, I feel almost numb from this isolation. I just freaking persevere. Hey, it’s mid-April. We’re doing it. We’re getting through it. Maybe things, for most of us, will be all right. I don’t know. Yet, I started watching this film and… blammo!
It’s hard to begin talking about Life Itself without giving anything away. The whole thing is about plot twists. It’s a writer’s movie, which explains why critics hated it. They always scorn writers’ movies. They despised Alex & Emma, which was clever and charming. Life Itself is primarily about unreliable narration. How do you know what really happened? The story is as only as true as the memory of the storyteller. When Will is telling Abby’s story to Cait, we aren’t sure what to believe. Can we trust Will when we know he’s mentally ill? Even if he is relaying the story accurately, what about Abby? How do we know she told the truth to Will? I find these sorts of dilemmas fascinating.
Life Itself is about stories layered within stories and on top of stories ~ it is a tragic yet beautiful layer cake of stories. It’s full of despair, yet love shines through too. You think you can’t bear any more and then… it’s good again. I loved this movie so much I wanted to stay up forever and write my own stories. That’s how I feel when I watch or read something that resonates with me on a deep emotional level.
Mmm, I love layers…
4. Of course I watched Chicago again this year! It’s one of my all-time faves. I adore Catherine Zeta Jones in anything, and this whole movie is just so freaking excellent. Who knew Richard Gere could sing? Right? What’s interesting is I can’t stand Renee Zellweger in anything else. Nothing. She’s so annoying. But this I love. And Queen Latifah knocks it out of the park. Stellar casting! 🤩
5. Mamma Mia (1 and 2… cheating lol). Love these two musicals! So much fun. The fact that they made two movies out of ABBA songs is amazing. They should do this with other bands I like, such as Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. Anyway, the first one is about 20 year old Sophie trying to figure out which one of 3 men is her bio-dad. She feels the need to do this before she gets married. Her mom Donna (Meryl Streep!) is not a fan of the plan, especially when Sophie invites all three possibilities to Donna’s hotel right before the wedding. Hijinks ensue!
The second movie is Donna’s backstory of how she, an English girl, ended up owning a hotel on this obscure little Greek island. Young Donna is played by Lily James who is so great. We meet everyone else’s younger selves too and it’s all totally hilarious. If you like pure silliness, I highly recommend both.
And that’s a wrap!
PS: I also enjoyed Vivarium, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (have seen it multiple times), Dear Viola, Last Christmas, That Thing You Do, etc.
Melanie has given us some brain-crunchy end-of-year questions today. Can’t wait to see 2020 slinking out the door with its tail between its legs. BUH-BYE!
1. Pick three words to describe this past year. (please keep them PG. Thanks). ~ scary, sad, lonely.
2. What were the best books you read this year? Or the best movie you saw? ~ I read several good books this year. When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal was probably my favorite. I also enjoyed the weird movie Vivarium on Amazon Prime.
3. Because there was lots of time for looking inward, what is one big personal lesson you learned this past year? ~ to not be so judgmental. Everyone is imperfect, including me. I thought I would accomplish so much during all this down time, but it turns out I’m not that disciplined and chronic pain depletes my energy. I have given myself the gift of not being so hard on myself. It’s okay if I don’t exercise or write as much as I planned to, or at all. It’s okay just to get through the day sometimes, even if I’ve wasted most of it playing games on my phone.
4. Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds? ~ Neither. People are as they always have been. Everyone says they will cherish their family time more after this is over and blah blah blah, but as soon as we’re all vaxed, people will behave the same as they did before. In fact, they still are, if you consider how horrible people are treating each other online over politics, mask-wearing, and every other thing.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Optional of course):
What is a New Year’s Wish You’d Like To Share With the World? I wish people would quit being such assholes to each other and reacting with rage when others have different ideas and desires. Why do you care if gays get married or some dude decides he’s a woman or a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy? Leave them alone and live your own life!
What a weird year. I can’t complain too much because my work hasn’t suffered, plus most importantly no one in my immediate family/friends circle has caught the thing. And though I miss my daughters a lot, I did get to see them (and my SILs and grands). My last visit with the grands in Los Angeles left a lot to be desired ~ brief, masked, outdoors. But still, I did get to see them, which is more than some can say. I feel for you peeps! I hope you are managing to find some joy in the season despite all the restrictions. 🎄
Tomorrow, which is today, since I’m writing this on Christmas Eve and will schedule it for the morning, my roomie and I will cook/bake some yummies and also do a painting. If mine turns out well, I’ll post it. If it sucks, we’ll forget I ever mentioned it. Gonna be hard to beat my rainbow tree! I’m really looking forward to all that and just having a chill day. Normally, I’d be seeing a movie (or three) in the theater this time of year, but instead I’ll search for something on Prime or whatever. Yesterday I watched Dear Viola, a romcom, and it was pretty cute and not too clichéd. If you like romcoms, I recommend it.
So, let’s talk about writing. Unlike some, my WordPress experience this year has been relatively GRRRR-free (so far). A few glitches have occurred, but none of the constant annoyances other bloggers have mentioned. (I hope WP straightens that stuff out for you ASAP.) I’m happy with my blog, the app, and the writing community I’m part of here. As I said the other day, my posts have changed a little this year, in that I’m trying to avoid being repetitive (so I’m saying it again) and want to present higher-quality fiction and poetry. I plan to continue my two prompts: Tuesday Story and Thursday Inspo. Posts for both have been scheduled through the end of February because I am the Empress of Efficiency and Organization. I hope you will participate in one or both, and if you have been participating ~ thank you! 😍
I have zero plans to begin writing a new novel or poetry collection or to finish up any of my romance novels in progress. Bleh. So out of that mood lately. I do have another novel (actually a collection of longish short stories) that I may work on again at some point. The whole thing is interconnected and complex, so it takes a lot of focus. It is within the realm of possibility that I can gather up the scraps of my wandering attention long enough to concentrate on editing what I have and adding to the collection. We shall see.
As mentioned, I’ve been writing on Medium. It’s an interesting experience. There is a lot of cool stuff there ~ I recently read articles about ants and prime numbers and election integrity, along with a great Christmas short story and a whole bunch of awesome poetry. It’s all so inspiring! Tons of the articles are meta ~ writing about writing, how to make money writing, tips on increasing your page views and follower counts, yada. I’m not too excited about most of that, although a few have been helpful. Mostly, I want to read and write fiction and poetry, as always. I do offer the occasional humorous essay, or at least I believe I’m slightly funny anyway. 😛
Alrighty then. Hope everyone has a good or at least tolerable day.
A few weeks ago, I went on a jolly Christmas binge and watched several holiday romantic comedies. I even wrote about my reactions on Medium. One prevalent theme was the glorification of rustic simplicity. So often, our protagonist can’t find love until he or she leaves a city and heads for the countryside.
Usually the departure is an impetuousone ~ or a complete accident. The protagonist doesn’t even realize they’ve been rushed, overworked, rude, cynical, etc., until they find themselves forced to relax in some charming small town where everyone is kind and helpful and filled with generosity. The message is relentlessly hammered home that city life is bad and rural life is paradise.
This theme annoyed me. I say people are the same everywhere and you can find nice folks in cities as well as bullies in small towns. I should know: I went to high school in a crappy little suburb and had to deal with a lot of jerks. Not to discountthe idea that there are mean people in cities! But according to the holiday romcoms, not only are cities bereft of any holiday spirit, but also you can’t find love until you leave. 🙄
I guess those scriptwriters never heard of “Silver Bells.” 🎶💕
Because it’s there. No seriously, I participate in several venues that are about writing, as opposed to focusing on memes, photos, and vids. I have a need to express myself via the written word.
2. Keeping the following in mind – of 100% which % ‘s would you allocate to each of the forms of personal entertainment below and you taking part in them monthly? Reading ~ 30% Watching Films ~ 20% Listening to Music ~ only when driving Television Viewing ~ 0% Online Gaming ~ 10% Offline Gaming [Puzzles etc.] ~ 0% during plague and 15% normally, which cuts into writing and reading time Walking/Exercising/Outdoor Activity ~ 5% Cooking ~ 5%
WRITING! ~ 30%
3. Is society becoming stupider or just lazier?
Neither. People are how they’ve always been, but we have more free time to express ourselves and a wider audience to jabber at, so naturally we are more aware of all the “idiots” who disagree with our opinions.
We are naturally “lazy” like most animals because of biology ~ we try to conserve energy (aka fat) since we don’t know what’s in store tomorrow.
4. Is there such a thing as being too inked or having too many tattoos?
People should ink up as it pleases them. I’m not a fan however and I think people who get them on their face/neck are limiting their future opportunities.
5. Do you think some people deliberately try to be too hypersensitive to life or have people as a whole simply become overly sensitive naturally?
Neither. People are how they’ve always been. We simply have more free time to fuss over every trivial thing that comes up. Forex, it’s amusing how many people spent last weekend carrying on and on (and on) about the op-ed re DOCTOR Biden. No, I know ~ this is massively important. 🙄
6. What is the strangest outfit you have ever worn in public – deliberately as opposed to a prank, dare or a joke?
I dressed up as an elf for a holiday party once. 🎄
Thanks go out to Jim Adams for today’s scaly prompts. There are a surprising number of songs that have creepy creatures in them, and I chose one of my favorites from Jethro Tull.
“Bungle in the Jungle” was written by Ian Anderson and released on Jethro Tull’s 1974 album War Child. The song became a top 20 hit, reflecting the human condition via analogies with animals. I remember that Tina Fey did this too in her film Mean Girls, which I loved.
Bungle in the Jungle
Walking through forests of palm tree apartments Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents Down by the waterhole Drunk every Friday Eating their nuts Saving their raisins for Sunday Lions and tigers Who wait in the shadows They’re fast but they’re lazy, and sleep in green meadows Let’s bungle in the jungle Well, that’s all right by me I’m a tiger when I want love But I’m a snake if we disagree Just say a word and the boys will be right there With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder? Thunder and lightning couldn’t be bolder I’ll write on your tombstone, I thank you for dinner This game that we animals play is a winner Let’s bungle in the jungle Well, that’s all right by me I’m a tiger when I want love But I’m a snake if we disagree The rivers are full of crocodile nastiest And He who made kittens put snakes in the grass He’s a lover of life but a player of pawns Yes, the King on His sunset lies waiting for dawn To light up His Jungle as play is resumed The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune Let’s bungle in the jungle Well, that’s all right by me I’m a tiger when I want love But I’m a snake if we disagree
Rory’s done it again, peeps ~ given us 12 wacky questions, that is! Please note that my title reflects only how many “12 Bloggerz” I have participated in, not how many exist. 😜
1. When not specifically following ‘set’ directions everyone has a favourited direction they prefer to walk in – which is yours left or right and why do you think you always want to go that direction first?
Right. Because I’m right. Also, I’m right-handed. In Australia, I’d likely go left… and probably be bitten by some nasty venomous creature. 🐍
2. What’s the creepiest thing that has ever happened to you – irrelevant to your personal beliefs – just something that creeped you out – and yet you simply couldn’t explain it?
All this grey hair and cellulite lately… what is happening omg?!
3. Who are your top five actors/actresses and what is special about them to you?
Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock. They’re great, that’s why.
4. Which prompts do you participate in weekly with your blog – please list?
I host the Monday Peeve and Thursday Inspo. I almost always participate in Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday, Melanie’s Share Your World, Fandango’s Provocative Question, and Linda’s SOC Saturday. Other prompts I do as time and mood permit.
5. Have you taken the 16 Personalities Test and if so – what Personality Type are you and how accurate is it to you? Free Personality Test
I just took it, not realizing it was a Meyers-Brigg thing. Again, I confirmed I’m an INFJ. Supposedly, this is the rarest type ~ the Advocate. Some of the description fits me and some doesn’t. I am introverted and passionate and picky, but I have no interest in any of the “helping” careers. They have way too much contact with people.
6. Are you easily embarrassed – when was the last time for you?
Yes. Too embarrassed to say…
7. Has anything shocked you in the last 6 weeks to the point where you have gasped out aloud – if so what was it and if not, then when was the last time you were terribly shocked by something?
Yes, last week at my daughter’s. We thought we saw a giant bug on her wall, but it was just two spiders tangled up. 🕷🕷
8. If you have one what is your signature dish and if you don’t have one what would you love to be able to cook wonderfully well?
I like to make layered bean dip for parties.
9. Strangest or wildest place you ever had the most amazing sex in or on maybe, even around …….?
10. Why is it healthy to flirt with people you have no intention of doing the naughty with and how often do you flirt with people you know or even don’t know?
Because flirting can be creative and fun. I don’t do much of it these days though.
11. Can you list 9 things that you can ride in, on or with?
Sandmanjazz has shared a fun challenge! Want to join in? I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I’m still playing.
Last week at my daughter’s we watched Last Christmas, which I had wanted to see for a while. I adore Emilia Clarke (Daenerys in GOT) and also Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). It also had Michelle Yeoh as the shop owner, and she was hilarious. The movie started out in an interesting way, but then became boring in the middle. However! It turned into a mystery with a fab twist. OMG. I was not expecting that at all, and the ending made the whole movie wonderful. It’s now my favorite Christmas movie! 🎄
We also watched 12 Dates of Christmas, which was cute, but predictable. Think Groundhog Day with eggnog and cookies. I enjoyed Four Christmases some years ago ~ Reese Witherspoon is always a treat. I know I’ve seen other holiday movies, but my mind is a blank right now.