From The 17th Century Roof Space

Well, I got through sorting out all of the major furniture. Everything makes some “sense” now in the new house. All that remains are boxes here and there – and there are still quite a few.

But the weekend is approaching, and it is starting to look like our home. Having again had enough of unpacking late yesterday (and while the Mrs. was once more away in Lisbon on business for two nights), I decided to pull out the DVD of all DVDs: Casablanca. (I know, I’m a devil when home alone!)

Photo of a scene in Casablanca on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Photo of a scene in Casablanca on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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“Retro-Fittings”: Not Creativity In My Book

We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:

Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.
Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.

Mr. Takei’s disapproval obviously disappointed Mr. Gilbey and quite a few others:

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“In My Life”

We’re off later to see what will be our latest house starting on Friday. Another moving week ahead.

As I told my dad the other day on FaceTime, “It’s in Hertfordshire, which is pronounced Hartfordsheer.”

“Is that near Midsomer?” he joked.

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“Absolutely, Tom Cruise would be perfect!”

Tom Cruise playing the “Jack Reacher” character infuriated many devoted readers of the book series. I know about this mostly based on what I’ve read about the controversy. Also my wife loves those novels, and she explained why he wouldn’t have been her “first choice” for “Reacher” when she’d read initially that it was to be Mr. Cruise in the role.

The biggest (no pun intended) complaint regularly seen is that the relatively diminutive real-life Mr. Cruise in no way resembles “Reacher.” The character is apparently nearly 7 ft tall and consists of pure muscle. Some on “social media” were quick to point that out:

Screen capture of Facebook.
Screen capture of Facebook.

Yet in fairness to any filmmaker, casting a “superman” is always a challenge. When a fictional character is outlandish, trying to locate a human actor who largely resembles him/her on the pages, let alone one who can also ACT well enough, is naturally not easy. Making that task even tougher is when it’s also supposed to be the STAR of the potential film, for it’s then suddenly necessary also to try to find one from among a very small pool of actor possibilities who will hopefully also FILL cinemas.

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Sounds Of The Times

What writers do odd-habits-wise. All have their foibles. For example, I’ve read one who noted that while writing she keeps pictures of her characters pinned to the wall in front of her.

I usually listen to music. Writing the Atlantic Lives novels, I [re]played lots of 1980s-90s music. Hearing the likes of Roxette once more helped me move my mind back to that era.

Screen capture of my IPad music.
Screen capture of my IPad music.

I’m leaving Dad’s today and returning for a few days to my “hermit-life” in the Catskills. Before I came down here (to Pennsylvania) I’d been rewatching John Adams, the 2008 HBO miniseries about one of America’s founding fathers. The other day I was particularly caught by the music used in the balloon ascent over Paris scene, and found myself thinking, “That’s gorgeous.”

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Love: From A Man’s Perspective

Hello from northeastern Pennsylvania! I had a good flight over to the U.S., to Newark, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan). It was – thankfully – a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which I find a much more comfortable plane than the older 777.

View from inside of Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport. [Photo by me, 2016.]
View from inside of Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport. [Photo by me, 2016.]

The one disappointment aboard were the movies weren’t a great choice. Knowing the visit to my dad’s might be a bit depressing, I thought I needed a laugh. I ended up going with a retread from YEARS ago. (So far so good, though. Dad’s been in a great mood.)

Yes, mid-Atlantic I actually watched the original Bridget Jones’s Diary, from 2001. If you’ve seen it, in spots it’s still hilarious. If you haven’t, and are reading this blog, you might enjoy it.

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Your “X” In The Box

“Remember,” my (now late) mother lectured me some years ago, “Billy Joel said it best.”

“Huh,” I recall replying, “I’m afraid to ask about what. Something about Italian restaurants?”

He being another “real” New Yorker – and particularly a Long Islander – and not much younger than herself, my mother loved Joel’s music. [Full disclosure, I like him, too.] She paused after I’d questioned her. Suddenly, she looked puzzled.

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Sinatra On 45

Some Sunday morning pop music fun. Friends of ours – the husband, specifically – outside of Bristol have a huge collection of old LPs and 45s dating back many decades. We arrived at their house yesterday evening to find Frank Sinatra greeting us on their record player:

Come Fly With Me on a record player. It's a 45 record. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Come Fly With Me on a record player. It’s a 45 record. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Spinning there is Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me single. Why that one? It was a humorous nod to my wife’s new consulting role at an airline.😉

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Starring Not That Louis

Caught up in writing and other life matters, I had somehow totally missed promos for this new BBC series. I learned of its existence only last night just after the opening episode was underway on BBC 2. So I didn’t see it:

Screen capture of the BBC web site.
Screen capture of the BBC web site.

I had just gotten back from Luton Airport with the Mrs when I happened to stumble on it mentioned on Twitter. Initially glimpsing only that it was called Versailles and centered around Louis…. briefly my heart sank. “Oh, no,” I thought, “my novel?”

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“Somebody throws a Brick against the Door of my Carriage”

Last night, the BBC’s “Grand Tours of Scotland” series focused on women travelers. It included a look at walking in the countryside and even took us to Gretna Green – where couples still “run off” to for marriage. It also briefly reviewed the time when women did not normally travel alone because they usually weren’t allowed to.

Screen capture of BBC iPlayer "Grand Tours of Scotland" page.
Screen capture of BBC iPlayer “Grand Tours of Scotland” page.

At one point, the presenter shared how 19th century women needed male chaperones, and in explaining that did so including a clear inference at how unnecessary and sexist that was, a “need” concocted by men purely to keep women in their place.

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