a movie for the aged and the ages

Take a grandchild to the movies and go and see Up.

It was supposed to thunderstorm this afternoon, so we figured we’d all go see a movie that we all might enjoy. And we did.

A Walter Mathau look-alike (voiced by Ed Asner) literally animated Carl Fredricksen is my new hero, and if you wear dentures, creak when you get out of bed, and wish for adventures you never had, you’ll love him too. He brings a refreshing understanding and appreciation of elderly people (with those continually growing noses and ears and those increasingly sagging jawlines and shoulders) who struggle not to be overwhelmed by a world that often seems to be leaving them behind.

In some ways, my almost-seven-year-old grandson saw a little different movie than I did, but that’s OK. I mean, when I laughed at Carl’s dentures flying out when he spit at the villain, it was for a reason much more personal than my grandson’s giggle.

But we both did see a movie about a feisty (and sometimes crotchety) old guy and a fumbling, eager kid who, together, grapple with many of their obstacles to making ordinary life an adventure. And they succeed.

“Up.” Definitely and “up” movie.

Sorry, Keith

I’m not officially back yet, but I couldn’t help posting this one.
I once blogged that if I were going to be marooned on a deserted island, the one guy I would want to have with me is Keith Olbermann.
Well, sorry Keith, but Brian Williams has outdone you.
I watch his NBC Nightly News show every day; I like his delivery.
For the second time I watched him on David Letterman’s Late Show. He wowed me the first time, and I was not alone
This time clinched it. Williams just doesn’t deliver the scripted news with clarity and style (and he has a great smile). He has proven that he has a comic delivery, timing, and intelligence that is far better than any comic I’ve seen on television.
He had everyone howling.

I wonder if there’s a Brian Williams Fan Club.

will the real author please stand up!

Sometimes you get a viral email that you wish were true.
Today I got one about someone who supposedly went on vacation and ran into John McCain. The email is falsely attributed thusly: “Mary Kay Gamel is a literature and classics professor at UC Santa Cruz.”
I emailed Mary Kay Garnel, and this is the response I got from her:

I have received thousands of emails and phone calls about the Turtle Island account.

I did NOT write that account, forward it under my name, or ask for it to be widely distributed.

I have never been to Turtle Island (which costs $2000/day), have never met Senator McCain, was a classics major, not an English Literature major, and never eat pancakes.

I regret the misinformation which is circulating, but it is not my doing, and I protest the misuse of my name.

How I think this happened: on 16 September I received this account 3rd-hand and forwarded it, with full email trail information and the name of the purported author (whom I don’t know), to several friends with whom I discuss politics. It was further forwarded, and at some point the trail was deleted and I was misidentified as the author. I suspect whoever did this thought that my name and contact information would make the story more credible.

Snopes.com is investigating the account; current status “undetermined.”

This is NOT an organized effort on the part of any political candidate.

I hope you will pass this information on to anyone interested in this story.

And finally, the story itself isn’t necessarily false. But we’ll never know unless the author herself comes forward.



It was just before John McCain’s last run at the presidential nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island in Fiji with John McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget (their adopted Bangladeshi child).
It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle Island has a small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately. He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of
William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. As an English Literature major myself, my first thought was “if he likes this so much, why hasn’t he memorized any of this yet?” I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer audience for his “readings” which then became a regular part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but people’s buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day after day.
Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chine women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just couldn’t meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose weight. McCain’s appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other side of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting with and touching her.
Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and his rude behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have some redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day, and his response was shocking: “Oh, that was Cindy’s idea – I didn’t have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can’t imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona . No, it wasn’t my idea at all.”
I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he said, “If I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson”. Given McCain’s personal experience with the horrors of war, I had expected a more balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII — but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that if it was up to him he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn’t seem to have mellowed out his perspective, but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.
My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was leaving Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain arrived and told Amy that she shouldn’t be having pancakes because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him to leave her
alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me, and said, “Don’t you know who I am.” I looked him in the face and said, “Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have ever met” and headed back to my cabin. I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain’s bullying.
Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination, but it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I did not act then. However, now that there is a very real possibility that McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story. I can’t imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If his attitudes toward women and his treatment
of his own family are even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.

If you got this email, please don’t forward it as attributed to Mary Kay Gamel.

Harper’s Wacky Tuesday on Thursday

I used to do one of these every week, feeling that it’s good to keep life on this planet in wacky perspective. So, here, are some news bits you might have missed (and/or that I think bear repeating).

Satellite images revealed that global-warming-induced melting had left the North Pole an island.
The jobless rate rose from 5.7 percent to a five-year high of 6.1percent, with more than 84,000 jobs lost in August.
Despite McCain’s opposition to earmarks, Palin,when mayor of the 6,700-resident town of Wasilla (known tostate troopers as Alaska’s “meth capital”), hired lobbyist Steven Silver to help win federal earmarks totaling $27 million. It also emerged that Palin, 44, received her first passport in 2006.
“Paris Match” published a glossy eight-page spread of Taliban fighters wearing the uniforms of the French soldiers they had killed.
Virginia Tech students were falsely told by the local registrar of elections that if they voted at college their parents would no longer be able to claim them as dependents on their tax returns, and that they could lose their scholarships and their health- and car-insurance coverage.
Tens of thousands of copies of a Swedish food magazine were recalled after an error in a recipe for apple cake sent four readers to hospitals with nutmeg poisoning.
A British teenager’s head swelled to the size of a soccer ball after she consumed a Baileys chili-tequila-absinthe-ouzo-vodka-cider-and-gin cocktail.
For the first time in a century, a month passed without a visible spot on the sun. An ice age, said scientists, may be forthcoming.
The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association warned Australian girls not to play the didgeridoo because it was “men’s business” and could lead to infertility.
The author of the book “100 Things to Do Before You Die,” having completed about 50 of the things on his list, fell, hit his head, and died.

To read additional bits and for links to authenticate any of the above go here.

going where?

(Monday is myrln’s day to blog here at Kalilily Time.)
One day soon, Spring will show up, and our attention will begin to turn to summertime travel…just getting us out of the grime and racket of the city or the cheese of suburbia. But sometimes, even just the shore or the mountains — customary destinations — seem not as inspiring as usual. We feel the need for something even more different. And there’s real possibility as an alternative. How about trips to weird? No, not weird events but weird in an unexpected way. How about we go to places with weird or hooting funny names. The country’s littered with them…honest.
For example, we could go to BIRD IN HAND, Pennsylvania. Or better yet, how about that state’s INTERCOURSE? (Yeah…honest.) Or maybe to Massachusetts for BRAINTREE (don’t you just wanna see that?) or TINKERTOWN (do they makes toys or pots and pans there?). Or maybe to New York for CAHOONZIE and CUDDEBACKVILLE…which are not far from each other. Or SHINHOPPLE. Or another two towns not far from each other: SURPRISE and CLIMAX. (They could do an exchange program with INTERCOURSE — see above). If you prefer the west coast, then try Oregon. They’ve got SWEET HOME, and BEND, and IRONSIDE (no, Raymond Burr doesn’t live there). They even have LOOKINGGLASS and LOOKING GLASS, one near TENILLE (not Toni) and the other near TOLLGATE on opposite sides of the state.
But the champion state for weird place-names is New Jersey. It’s as if they had a competition or something. Some are not weird names but unusual sounding, probably directly from original native American tribes or places — like MAHWAH and HOHOKUS. But the later settlers went to extremes. You can visit KITTATINNY LAKE, if you want. Or take trip over to FORT NONSENSE or MILLSTONE (which might weigh you down). Or maybe try HOPTCONG or NETCONG (neither of which has Viet Cong). If you get hungry, you can go to CHEESEQUAKE or BIVALVE or CINNAMONSON. Shopping? Try BARGAINTOWN. Wanna meet some new women? Spin over to NORMA or SHIRLEY or DOROTHY. But somebody in Jersey had the good sense to remember all that driving around often leads to serious bodily needs. So they’ve thoughtfully provided a LEEKTOWN…which could go with the food group, yeah, but….
You don’t need to stay at any of the towns listed…just drive on through. You can also find your own weird additions to the list. But take pictures of the roadsigns that announce where you’ve arrived. Otherwise, nobody back home’ll believe you when you tell them where you went.
Going my way?

sound familiar?

Got the following in an email. Hormones combined with stresses were always a disaster for me. I no longer have the hormones, but I sure do have the stress. And I do remember those old PMS and menopausal hormone horrors..
Q: How many women going through MENOPAUSE does it take to change a light bulb?
Woman’s Answer:
ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don’t even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out.
And, once they figured it out, they wouldn’t be able to find the #&%!* light bulbs despite the fact that they’ve been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT’S A WONDER WE HAVEN’T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM
I’m sorry. What was the question?