*** PLEASE NOTE ***





*** PLEASE NOTE *** I use no other social media, and my comment section here remains closed due to chronic harassment/repeat impersonations by a certain individual. Also, I rarely comment anywhere; when I do, only from this blog as "Chrysalis" or with my real name from email (see correct spelling my profile). If there is ever any question as to legitimacy, please contact myself or Mark via email or phone.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Lunar Eclipse Tonight: Blood Moon Rising ...

 

What a perfect day, today ...

So after my flower-tending, we spent the day with our horse (who is being treated for a jaw abscess), just hanging out with him on a blanket in the pasture, until the sun set and moon came up tonight, at around the same time :)

The full eclipse won't happen  until around 11:30 p.m. EST, but it's already beautiful! 



















Those Balcony-Garden Beginnings and Blooms, I Mentioned ...

 






The two Fuschia on the left are actually hanging baskets -  but I'm sitting them there to soak up the morning sun.  I'll then hang them from the shaded, covered part of my balcony for the afternoon/evening. 






This routine seems to be working well for them.  

In fact, you won't believe this,  but when I got them on Mother's Day -  just one week ago -  they each had about four blooms on them a piece. 

Look at them now, after just one week of this routine!







More blooms to grow, but hey - I might be getting the hang of this flower-care/gardening thing after all? 

(Totally knocking on wood, as I say that).


And they're so fragrant, in the afternoon and evening -  once I move them into the shade - wonderful! 


The balcony-rail planter, I just got yesterday, in which I planted "Tattoo-Raspberry" Vinca and white "Snow Princess"  Sweet Alyssum, which hopefully will eventually cascade/trail down in front of the in the planter, but I just planted them, so we'll see. 





Immediately after I planted them, of course, we had a pop up thunderstorm, which pummeled them and dumped four inches of rain in an hour and made the national weather news channels lol.  However, I think they survived - whew!

I wanted to see how they looked in the planter first, but now I'm off to make a second one, so that they eventually will go all along the balcony rail, in the full sun part of the balcony.

Thus, the other post I mentioned will have to wait. 

Happy Sunday!




Congratulations, Rita Braver! 50 Years a CBS Journalist

 




I have two posts inspired by CBS Sunday morning, but I may only get to one for now, because I'm really getting into my flowers this year, creating a balcony mini-garden  (as much as my budget will allow) :)

Actually, there could theoretically be three posts from this morning's show, because another story was on Lionel Richie receiving the Library of Congress's Gershwin prize, but many newsy outlets are featuring that - so these two posts that will result from this morning's show are on lesser known people (by Americans, perhaps), but perhaps just as remarkable. 

So as I've mentioned before, as a retired aspiring screenwriter (lol), though I'm a huge filmophile in all its forms, CBS Sunday Morning is actually my all-time favorite show, and for all the reasons why, you can read this post.

Originally hosted by Charles Kerault beginning in 1979, then Charles Osgood, and now Jane Pauley, though the hosts may have changed, the recipe never really has - just the nature and quality of the ingredients - and it's still fabulous. :)




Simply put, although a news show, it's primarily a human-interest/art/nature/music show, giving informal, intimate, candid interviews with the "it" people, the up-and-coming "it" people, people that should be "it" people, and people who have previously been "it" people who usually still should be - or not.

(Sometimes, like today's show, people that were once it people that aren't anymore for good reason, like Garrison Keillor, but that's rare.)

The interviewing style is less formal - and more importantly, allows whomever they've interview to tell  their story - it's not that they're not asking the same hard-hitting questions, they most certainly are - but more informally, and it's just that the questions they ask, which are the ones that most people want to know, are part of that person's full story. 

Sometimes you won't like whom they feature - like today's segment on Garrison Keillor, who is trying to make a comeback after being fired after "MeToo" accusations (interviewed by Anthony Mason).




But I'll tell you the benefit of featuring someone like that - you do get to make up your own mind about him after hearing his own words.

You hear his whole story, his whole career, not just that piece of it - and then they talk about his firing and the accusations, including the evidence, as well as his response to them.

Anthony lets him tell his story, his accomplishments, his perspectives  - but make no mistake, Anthony doesn't let him off the hook, either.  

He knows when to push and when to back off before you lose them - which is a skill that particularly cultivated apparently only in CBS Sunday Morning correspondents lol


I listened to what he had to say in its entirety, from his perspective - and quite honestly, I don't think it's going to help him like he may have thought it would - and yet, he had his say. 

I, for one, actually came away thinking worse of him than before - but at least you get to hear what he had to say, his defense.

IMO, he approached this issue much like he does his tales of Lake Woebegone in his former radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion" - as if the real world doesn't exist and instead, his ideal, his fantasy, is reality.


Now - though the pinnacle of a broadcast journalist's career in America would be to be asked to be a correspondent for CBS's "60 Minutes" for more "serious" journalism (while maintaining your ability to still work for your flagship network, even if competition" - and/or asked to the table for NBC's  "Meet the Press" - to be asked to be a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning is a not-so-distant third, but actually, it depends on your journalism style. 

If your skill is hard-hitting, gloves-off, remain objective interviews, then you'll be drawn to 60 minutes.  

If your skill is instead to try to connect with those you interview first, trying to understand them, asking the tough questions later, then CBS Sunday Morning, you'll be drawn to CBS Sunday Morning instead.

Then there are those rare, exceptional, flexible journalists who possess both skills and the ability to do both - enter Rita Braver :)





Although Jane Pauley was my "idol" during my brief dalliance with wanting to become a broadcast journalist - because of her unique combination of warmth-with-an-edge delivery -  I also grew up being influenced by  Rita Braver (and Leslie Stahl, Diane Sawyer, Cokie Roberts, and Andrea Mitchell).

I thought Rita Brever and Andrea Mitchell were the odd women out, but in the best possible way - because neither were the the stereotypical beauty queens forced to be weather girls first and do puff pieces first - they went straight for politics lol.

In Rita's case in particular, she wasn't blessed with the stereotypical sonorous journalist voice, and she had an unusual combination delivery - different from Pauley's combination, but equally interesting - which I would describe instead as "controlled passion."  

She was quick to smile and animated - but not in a perky, Katie Couric way - more serious, but not completely devoid of emotion either, not completely objective as journalists are educated trained and trained to be (Rita's education was initially in political science and law) - and yet she could surprise those those interviewed with sneaking in hard-hitting questions just when they thought they were safe, just like Katie Couric.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rita Braver's journalism at CBS.

'Atta girl, Rita - and thank you!





Saturday, May 14, 2022

Trevor Noah's Beloved Gran, "GoGo," Passes at 95 ...

 I posted about her when I wrote this post after reading Trevor's book, "Born a Crime"  and being touched by the multigenerational perspective on life in South Africa, during and after apartheid.

Trevor waxes poetic about his gran -  how much she had seen, how resilient she was, how remarkable, how precious - and how much she influenced Trevor's life, including the title of that book.. 

(There is a video of Trevor interviewing her in that previous post).  

After a hard and hard-working life, without pay under apartheid,  and several grandchildren and great-children, GoGo died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 95 - Trevor posted this tribute to her on Instagram.  




Rest now in peace, remarkable lady,  you've earned it -  you did well :)





Thursday, May 12, 2022

Just In Case You Doubted Racial Profiling and Racism Still Exist by Law Enforcement, Especially in The South ...

 

I give you the video of the Delaware State's Women Lacrosse Team's bus being stopped and searched by the Liberty County's Sheriff's office in Georgia.


>




Ironic the county is called "Liberty," considering there are so many ways they violated their constitutional rights, isn't it?

Delaware State University is an HBCU - Historically Black College or University - and thus everyone on the bus was a person of color and female.

They were traveling to a sports competition in Florida.

The Sheriff's office pulled over the bus, claiming they were illegally driving in the left lane. 

Upon getting on the bus, the Sheriff informs them that marijuana is illegal in the state of Georgia, and that if they have any drugs, tell them now, or they can't help them - even if they find any paraphernalia like scales.


Scales - are you serious with that?!? 

Oh, but he was.


They then proceeded to illegally search their bags without a warrant - even employing a drug-sniffing K9.

Of course they found nothing - nada, zero, zip.

Also, they issued no traffic ticket for the supposed infraction they were stopped for, "illegal driving in the left lane."


Clearly, the Sheriff's office in this county isn't very bright - if they're going to racially profile, at least issue a traffic ticket to make it look like you stopped them for something else?

However, it is Georgia - law enforcement there, and in the South in general, behaves as though they are above reproach and dares anyone to ask.


Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Stop and search without a warrant is illegal, isn't it?"

Well, The 4th amendment does provide some protection from search and seizure, but each state gets to decide  the rules on whether or not the search is deemed reasonable or not, probable cause.

This decision is left up to the states.  

(Also, we didn't have cars with the constitution was written, but cars are considered personal "effects" portion  in most states.) 




However, it's law enforcement's word versus yours every time.  

Typically, if they say they had probable cause, the court accepts they did - no questions asked. 

Now In Georgia, you can make it clear you do not consent and ask to see a warrant - but if they want to do it anyway, you'd better let them, and file a complaint later. 

And you're a person of color, it is a very bad idea to even gently not provide your consent to a search - things will not go well for you.

Plus, even if you're refusing due to suspicion of harassment or fear evidence being planted, any refusal will still make it look like you have something to hide. 






In this situation, there does not appear to be probable cause to search for drugs without a warrant - just a busload of a college sports team comprised of young women of color, whom the cops said they stopped for driving illegally in the left lane, but to whom they did not issue a ticket, and no drugs were found on the search.


Thus, the Delaware Attorney General, Kathy Jennings,  has requested the US Department of Justice review the situation to determine whether their constitutional and civil rights had been violated.

Good - and methinks this one should go to the Supreme Court - we need a precedent.

However, with the current Supreme Court, who knows.

Conservative Justices should theoretically be stricter with their interpretation of the constitution, considering strict interpretation of the U.S. constitution is actually from where the term "conservative" was originally derived. 

But as we all know, American "conservatives" also like to "suspend" those constitutional rights for others - especially people of color :(





Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Piaget's Mountains - "What Does the Doll See?"

 

So the impetus for this post was initially that since my husband never had children with his previous wife, he asked me recently why "Peek-A-Boo" was so funny to babies, and for how long? 

I gave my answer as both a mother and a former social-work student lol ...


"Object permanence, and it's only funny to them from about 3 months to 8 months, give or take, depending on the child.  Peek-A-Boo is actually a very important lesson for babies.  Piaget's four stages of child development explains it best." 

"So during the first stage, the first part of the sensorimotor stage, before language acquisition, everything is learned through the five senses -  particularly tactile and taste (which is why everything goes in the mouth) - proving we are still animals, underneath it all lol." 

"Thus, they cannot yet grasp object permanence, that something is still there and still exists, even though they can't see it. If they can't see it, it doesn't exist, out of sight, out of mind.  So it's a happy surprise to them when they can't see you one minute, then suddenly, they can :)" 

"BUT - it can't be done too loudly or aggressively or it will trigger the startle reflex.  No scary sounds meant to scare like 'rawr.' Teaching coping skills with negative surprise or fear will come later, although the bigger teacher with that, for better or for worse, is how the parents cope with fear or negative surprise, unfortunately." 

"But for this stage, it's all about routine and reassurance - of both their safety and that just because they can't always immediately see their parents when they want to (bedtime, work, etc.), that doesn't mean they've been abandoned and alone, and they won't rush in if need be." 

"Over time, on the basis of that first-year secure foundation, they'll hopefully learn self-soothing self-comfort, for times when they can't see you.  But for now, it's just a happy "Boo!" surprise, like "Hey, even though you can't see me, right at that moment - Look, I'm still here!" :)


Then, of course, I went off on a tangent about Piaget's learning theory/theory of cognitive development, which I, at least, find super interesting lol. I think his eyes glazed over, at some point, but I did answer his question? lol

(Sometimes we both can be the sort of people who, if you ask us what time it is, we unfortunately tell you first how the watch is made before getting to the time lol.) 

I think his final comment afterwards was like, "Geez, if everyone knew how significant every little thing was to child development, they'd never have children for fear of effing them up for life lol."


Right?  It suuuucks lol.

AND - you can know all of this stuff in advance and still make mistakes, sometimes thinking you're doing what's best for them.

It's amazing, though, most people do better than you'd think they would do. 

I especially find the next phase, the operational phase, interesting -  because so many people get partially stuck there well into adulthood, both male and female lol.

Actually, we all can revert back to operational phase, now and then,  with certain "triggers," but some people are still stuck there chronically and this is their usual behavior and personality lol.


What is the operational phase? 

The second phase of cognitive development, which is from 18-24 months to 5-7 years, where they're discovering a sense of self and  just beginning to sort out other living things and objects as being separate entities from themselves.

So - if you place a child at this age - particularly the earlier years of this stage -  at a table, or on the floor, facing a doll who is opposite them, with a partial barrier, such as a landscape with mountain on one side, but still being able to see the doll on the other, with certain objects only the person on one side can fully see, and then ask them, "What does the doll see?"  




They will invariably tell you what THEY see - they can't yet tell you what the doll sees from  the perspective of the doll - because as of yet, the doll, other people, and animals are all still viewed as extensions of themselves.

NOT because they're evil -  children are egocentric - and it's normal lol. 

They have to be taught the perspective of others, develop the ability to see things from another's perspective and as separate entities - it's an extremely important part of human development regarding both a sense of self separate from others, as well as developing empathy for others.


This is also why when a child in the early operational phase might do something like pinch you,  you say "Ouch," and they laugh - because they can't understand why it doesn't hurt them -  they think it's a game.

Children of this age are just beginning to test the boundaries of where they stop and you begin (which unfortunately will exist in some form until late young adulthood lol).

In fact, children in the early operational stage will often pinch, scratch, slap, or even bite you, just to see what happens, in experiment - not because they're evil, but because they can't understand why it hurts you, but not them - and this is a very important lesson.


Now - when they do so, the goal is to try not to overreact, get angry, or punish them, like they're a terrible, evil child for  daring to hurt the king or queen.

Equally important is not to ignore it, like what they're doing doesn't hurt - not only because it could teach them to ignore pain, but because it teaches them that what they want to do, and their feelings, aren't more important than anyone else's.


Remember that they're displaying normal child development, finding out where they stop and you begin - so just a quick "Ouch"  should suffice - the first time.

If it happens again, or the "experiment" goes on too long, distraction works, along with a "No, let's not do that, let's be gentle with each other.  That's not a fun game for mommy, let's find another game to play together.  Look, we didn't finish building the blocks together. Let's see how high you can build them!" :)


Said with a smile - so that they know that you're not angry with them or withdrawing your love, but they've successfully found the boundary of where they stop and you begin -   and that although what they find fun is still central and most important to you, as their parents, we also need to make make sure that whatever they find fun doesn't negatively or harmfully impact others ;)


Unfortunately, you may also see this behavior with their siblings or even your pets - again, it's not usually the sign of an aggressive temperament or psychopathy, nor is it even usually jealousy - it's usually testing the same thing:  "Where do I stop and where does this entity around me every day begin?

Same reaction, when you find them pulling the cats tail or squeezing its ears too hard - "Nooo, no, gently - let's be gentle with cat-cat, let's be sweet to the cat-cat -  we don't want to hurt the sweet cat-cat, right?"


Now, note that Piaget gave a range of ages - and that is because some sensitive children develop these skills earlier and some later (and some never do).  The range is just a mean average, and if you do these tests yourself, you'll find Piaget was right :)




Also, as brilliant as Piaget was, it's interesting to note his theories didn't explain everything, like why babies get so excited to see other babies, if everything and everyone is an extension of themselves.  

My theory is this may have to do with conditioning, we point it out excitedly to them - and also that it's not that they recognize them as a separate entity, it's more like "Oh, there's another me." lol

Also, children love to see pets - again, I think this is also conditioning and positive experience, but it's a safe bet that they don't truly understand animals are separate entities yet.


It is also important to note that Piaget didn't address clinical depression, trauma reaction, or survival mode -  just normal child development.  

It's not that he didn't recognize those things existed, it's just he was trying to establish a "normal-range" baseline.

However, we know since, based on a plethora of other studies,  that when in trauma or survival mode, adults may at least temporarily not be able to see past their own perspective, but this is generally temporary, until far removed from the stimulus, with time. 

Also, clinical depression impairs one's ability to see past one's own negative perspective.


Then again, there are legitimately others who are chronically stuck in the operational phase for life - OR -  who willfully choose to be there and don't want to look at things from others' perspective, they want to be only concerned with what they see.


For example, imagine what would come out of Trump's mouth if you asked him:   "What does the doll see?" LOL

This also explains why so many people overly identify with Trump - Trump is them - they clearly have "operational phase" issues, being unable to separate out other people they deem as being "like them"  as actually being separate entities from themselves.


Regardless, the inability to see the doll's perspective - or another's perspective - past age 7 means:  


A) Something went wrong in their operational stage of child development that adversely affected their personality and is a chronic and likely permanent state.

B) They're aware of other's perspectives and needs, but nevertheless willfully choose not to see what the doll sees and thus focus on only their own needs as most important.

C) They're in trauma or survival mode

or 

D) Clinically depressed.


With the latter two, if you treat them with appropriate medication or get them away from the trauma stimulus or out of the situation that has induced their focus on their need for basic survival - and give them kind and appropriate support -  you'll see these behaviors disappear.  

If they don't, well, then Houston, we have a personality problem - i.e., people like Trump, considering the chronicity of Trump's egocentricity/narcissism and his over-privileged life, I'm going go with stuck in operational stage for life, ingrained in his personality (disorder), and likely won't change without hard work, intervention, and a stoppage in the supply of enablers ;)


Also, Piaget's experiments were done almost exclusively on white, Western European, children.


They have since been performed on children of all races with similar results - but sometimes with a twist. 


Enter the husband-and-wife psychologist team, Drs. Kenneth and Marmie Clark's "doll tests" in the 1940s, which ultimately was responsible for the Brown Vs. the Board of Education decision, which ultimately helped desegregate public schools.






They performed a twist on the "doll test" experiment on American children of color in the 1940s segregated South.

School-age children of color under age 7 were given a choice between white and black dolls.

Interestingly, though they recognized by verbal confirmation that the black dolls were "like them," they instead chose the white dolls to play with, giving negative reasons for not choosing the black doll. 





This was a departure from Piaget, in that although children of color recognized dolls like themselves, they instead chose dolls unlike themselves for play.  


Now -  what does this mean?

This suggests that the sense of self of children of color in America was skewed, a negative self-perception - they saw dolls of color as being like themselves and therefore viewed them negatively, and thus aspired to play/pretend as white,  already having been socialized to believe that white children are more deserving, things go better for white children - that "white is better."  :(

Super sad, right?


Also, a recent study was performed about child's play and dolls - and their conclusion was that playing with several different dolls is an important part of teaching empathy :)


So next time someone sees something differently from you, remember this experiment, and ask yourself, "What does the doll see?" 

LOL.


Of course, I'm saying this tongue-in-cheek, as these are live, sentient human beings we're talking about, rather than inanimate dolls, but the analogy will remind you of your empathy and to listen to others' perspectives :)


You may be surprised how other people see things outside of yourself, you might learn sumpthin lol.

Or conversely, you may learn that it's them who are incapable or unwilling to see things from others' perspective and therein lies the problem lol.

Either way, always a good question to ask yourself :) 

And hey, I'm also a Erikson fan, as these two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive of each other, and actually, they're adjunctive.




Unlike many childhood-based psychologists, Erikson proposed stages past childhood development into lifelong human development, up until you die - purporting that one can overcome any stage, at any point in life, once they complete the stage challenge successfully, citing successful examples - and not necessarily Damascene-like conversions lol.

Thus, I believe anyone can change, anyone can develop empathy, no one is beyond redemption.  

It usually takes something dramatic for that to happen, enablers to stop enabling, and hard work, but yes -  though very rare, it IS possible :)





For example - John Newton - who, after being a hardened, merciless captain of slave ships for many years, repented and became a cleric and an  active abolitionist  - and thus penned the hymn "Amazing Grace." - which is about God's grace for even a "wretch" like himself, a former slave-ship captain-turned-cleric-and-abolitionist.


No worries, I'm still a realist - boundaries and distance until such time as real change is proven, but prayer and hope for them, always - because despite the rarity, none of us is beyond redemption :)

And that kind of change can start by asking yourself this simple question "What does 'the doll' see?"  ;)







Monday, May 9, 2022

SNL's Cold Open Takes on Justice Alito's Praise of Medieval British Abortion Law

 

As mentioned, if you're anti-abortion/pro-life because you truly want to preserve the sanctity of life, or you fear more state government-institution racial abuse in the form of forced mass abortions, i.e. those that legitimately happened to Native Americans from 1973 to 1976 - then I get you.


HOWEVER -  if you're anti-abortion because you have a need to control what women do and how they behave, if a man - or what other women do/how they behave, if a woman - and that they should be punished for their "sin," without mercy or consideration for their individual circumstances  - then I don't get you at all - and perhaps consider worrying more about your own sin and soul?


Unfortunately, Justice Alito put himself in the latter box, when he quoted a 17th century English Jurist (Judge)  named Sir Matthew Hale on abortion law - THIS LINK takes you directly to the PDF of the Alito's full draft - note Page 18 in particular.





First of all - this is America in 2022 - not 17th century England.

You know, England ... the country we left mostly to escape religious persecution (only to turn right around and persecute, imprison, and witch-hunt/execute ourselves over faith pre-constitution), and the the country we later fought a war with for our independence?

Not to mention, in the 17th century, child-bearing/marriage age was like ... 12.

And if your crops failed, you could blame a woman, accuse her of being a witch without proof, and have her stoned, crushed by stone, hung, or burned.

In fact, and secondly, Sir Matthew Hale executed two women for witchcraft - PLUS - wrote a thesis on there being no such thing as marital rape as women were the property of their husbands.

???

Oh, hell, yeah -  let's base our 21st century American legal  abortion decisions on a misogynistic, Cromwellian-era British witch-burner!  

Yeah, no - I don't think so. 
I think we can do better.

Yeah, so ... you're going need to find a better argument/precedent set than that, Samuel "Cotton Mather" Alito 
 -  sorry.

Regardless, SNL  dug back even further -with guest host Benedict Cumberbatch -  to apparently 1235 England, upon which Sir Matthew Hale apparently based HIS decisions?  LOL!!!



 





Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day Thoughts: The Kentucky Diaper Sales Tax

 

Following along the thoughts of my earlier post, this week, about the possible overturn of Roe Vs. Wade -  where I'd said if this happens, then we need to start thinking about better ways we can both financially and emotionally support mothers, which includes things like providing affordable child care, flex-time in workplaces, allowing for extra sick days for working mothers with sick children.

Additionally, we also need to think about the "little" things that make a big budget-impact difference - things like changing tax laws for things like diapers, which are taxed at a greater rate than groceries, in some states, as if luxuries.

(For the record, the same states also taxes necessary feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons at the same rate.)


This includes my state of Kentucky - 1 of 14 states that taxes diapers at  a 7% sales  tax - resulting in spending at least $100 a month on diapers in 2021, and promises to be even more, this year,  considering current rate of inflation.




There aren't enough coupons, cash-back apps, or points cards in the world to offset that cost.


Once again, you cannot just federally outlaw abortion without a plan in place to support these women and children, financially and emotionally - and if your desire is truly to protect the unborn and the sanctity of life, rather than punish women for "sin" or not living their lives the way you think they should, then you'll be more than happy to do so :)


I know that most of these same people would like these women to instead get married and stay married - most of whom are themselves several-times married - so let's snap out of it, stop living in la la land, and face reality, shall we? :) 


Speaking of reality, I'd like to wish a Happy Mother's Day - to both traditional and nontraditional mothers, biological or not, biologically female or not, married or not, gay or straight, Christian or not,  :)

This also includes also mothers of fur babies,  and just generally nurturing and encouraging people, who are, with or without biological children, nevertheless still mothers, in my view  :)


Happy Mother's Day!










Saturday, May 7, 2022

Stream It or Skip It, This Rainy Weekend?

 

So I noticed "The Pentaverate," just dropped on Netflix ...





...  which for those who don't know, is based on a quick joke made by Charlie's conspiracy-loving dad in Mike Myers' first movie, "So I Married an Axe Murderer," in 1993 ...






... from this exact scene ... 




 ... which I happened to think was Mike Myers best movie, but it was overshadowed by the Wayne's World and Austin Powers series - also funny, but nothing made me laugh like this movie, especially the above scene.


In fact, I referenced this movie when I was on FB, just after Trump was elected, and said that Trumpers all behaved like Charlie's parents, who called the tabloid that is The Weekly World News, "The Paper" - instead of the actual newspaper -  thus and believed every nutty  conspiracy word the tabloid printed lol.


In fact, the entire movie is about the tabloid misunderstanding a situation, which nevertheless gets into Charlie's head and affects his current relationship, but in the end, results in solving a crime and setting the record straight (and no, the murderer is not his new wife). 


Thus, "The Pentaverate," according to Charlie's Dad, is a secret Illuminati-like  controls newspapers, and the world, and is pushing them a New Order  - and its five members are the Queen, the Vatican, the Rothschilds, The Gettys, and Colonel Sanders lol.


The current Netflix show marks the return of Mike Myers after a long hiatus, picking up on this joke, only the pentaverate is another misunderstanding - just five nice guys just trying to make the world a better place, but because it's a "secret society," imaginations run wild, and what they don't know, they make up.

Thus, Canada's right-wing conspiracy lovers aren't having it - and it all comes to a head at Canada's conspiracy convention, called "CanConCon" lol. 


So I've only had time to watch the first 20 minutes, and although I did laugh out loud a couple of times - often at Mike Myers in character or subtle things in the background - like a poster at CanConCon that says "Birds Aren't Real" (and that they're actually drone monitoring devices) lol - can I just say that one of the reasons we stopped watching both Mike Myers and Adam Sandler is they  both started getting overly crass and crude with their jokes, resorting repeatedly to bathroom and sex-pun humor?  

A couple sprinkled here and there are funny - and then there's overkill.

C'mon, guys, you're more talented and witty than resorting to that too much, we've seen it - and we see sparks of it again, now and then - let's see it again?

I'll still watch it, for an occasional laugh and to see Mike Myers play 8 different characters again - very well - but seriously, enough with the poop jokes and sex puns on repeat, all right? lol


I'm not going to say "Skip It" entirely, but it's not the original ...  so we'll save the rest for later :) 


In fact, last night was especially stormy, so we stayed in, and  since YouTubeTV has HBO Max free for the weekend, we decided to watch that instead, including the the first episode of "The Staircase" (starring two of my favorite actors in the world, Colin Firth and Toni Collette).




(In fact, I think Toni Collette is likely the current best actress in the world, always choosing complex, quirky, weird roles which typically display her wide acting-range skills.)

This is a retelling of the twisted tale of how events unfolded in the baffling and bizarre case of the death of the wife of American author, Michael Peterson).  

I've only watched Episode 1, because that's all that's dropped so far - but I'm in - I say "Stream It" as a much better recommendation for this rainy weekend :)



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

If You're Going to Overturn Roe Vs. Wade ...


... as the press is reporting a leaked legislation draft from the SCOTUS, which purportedly overturns Roe Vs. Wade and leaves the abortion legislation in states' hands  ... 



Then please personally support these mothers and children - financially, emotionally, and helping to provide affordable child care so they can work, and allow flex time and extra sick days for their children.

Don't just write a check to a far away charity or church to some nameless recipients, or expect the government to provide  - support them personally  - as well as vote to support child care legislation and labor protections such as flex time, child sick days, etc.

Also, please hold the fathers accountable - both behaviorally and financially. 


Because regardless of their situation and circumstances, the very last things that these mothers will need are your judgment, your assumptions, your scarlet lettering or stoning,  and your shaming for "sin."

What these women will need most from you now is  - mercy.


And if you can't find the mercy within yourself for women trying to raise these children  -  and you feel nothing but disdain and desire to punish these women for their choices or situation - then you need to rethink your true motivation for supporting the overturn of Roe Vs. Wade.


Ask yourself honestly ...

 "Is this truly about the sanctity of life - OR - is this about continuing to punish women for sin and my need to instruct women how to behave like I think they should?"


I can only pray your answer is the former rather than the latter ...


_____________________________


PS


I don't know what we're going to do about risk of mother's life due to health condition or severely malformed fetuses -  which happens more often than you think - I guess they're expected to travel to a state that allows them?

I also don't know what we're going to do about unsafe back-alley abortions for women who can't. 












  




Monday, May 2, 2022

Wynonna Judd (and Ashley Judd) Accept the CMA HOF Induction Plaque for "The Judds" Just One Day after Mother Naomi's Death ...

 

... which we are presuming was from suicide, considering the statement released by Wynonna and Ashley said the cause of death was "mental illness" - super sad :(

The presenter is legendary Bluegrass musician, Ricky Skaggs - also a Kentuckian - giving the introduction tribute - Wynonna and Ashley enter at about 10 minutes.




Sometimes despite all the love in the world, despite always putting on a smile in public, depression can privately leave you not to feel it - all you can feel is shame and pain and can't see past it.  

Sometimes people just get tired of the chronic pain and just want it to end, I guess.  However, I wish she had just hung on just one more day for this :(


In fact, anyone struggling with depression or suicidal feelings, no matter how strong they are, no matter how trapped in it you think you are - just hang on for just one more day - one day at a time.  So much can change in single a day.  

If you can't do it for yourself, then find just one thing to hang on one more day for, big or small - one person, one pet, one plant - heck, even one show or story you want to see the end of, before you end yours  - just one thing for one more day, okay? 


Regardless, what a strange mix of feelings, Wynonna must be feeling - imagine that you're scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in recognition for your lifetime achievement - but one half of the duo that got you there - who happens to be your mother - dies the day before :(

I don't even know how she did it - especially with such composure - but Wynonna managed to do it  - teary-eyed, but without breaking completely, even making a little joke. 

(Ashley did a bit, but Wynonna is used to handling live performance despite whatever is going on in your personal life.)

That is testament to what these women have endured in life and how much strength they actually have, how much they have always had, to be able to do that, day after day, night after night, right?

Though not a huge country music fan, I have always like the Judds and identified with them - maybe because my family was from Kentucky, endured similar trials, and also because Ashley was at UK at the exact same time as me :)


Not that I ever met her - my only personal connection to Ashley during my time at UK was that she and I were both chosen to be in a fraternity-sponsored calendar called "The Women of UK"  - which was never released because the fraternity sponsoring it ran out of enough money to mass-publish it lol.

*BUT* - the calendar was NOT what you think - we were fully clothes and no body shots - and most importantly, you had to have a brain - because the women chosen also had to have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 GPA (but most of us had a 3.5 or above).

The fraternity's  idea was to create a calendar that would provide an alternative for women from the draw of the popular "Women of (Insert College Here)" series being featured in Playboy, at the time, to encourage women aspire for better  overall self-value  -  so this one would feature fully clothed, attractive women who also had a brain :)

Among those chosen that year was Ashley Judd, Miss Kentucky that year, Melania Glasscock -  and me, the nobody, believe it or not - but I did have a cumulative GPA of 3.77? :)

I didn't have a whole lot of confidence, at the time, so my boyfriend, encouraged me to send my pictures and my transcripts with grades in, so I did - mostly because  I wanted to reward this behavior from fraternities lol. 


Carry on, ladies, like you always do  - God bless you :)


"Love Can Build a Bridge" - The Judds 



I'd gladly walk across the desert with no shoes upon my feet
To share with you the last bite of bread I had to eat
I would swim out to save you in your sea of broken dreams
When all your hopes are sinking, let me show you what love means

Love can build a bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a bridge
Don't you think it's time?
Don't you think it's time?

I would whisper love so loudly, every heart could understand
That love and only love can join the tribes of man
I would give my hearts' desire so that you might see
The first step is to realize that it all begins with you and me


Love can build a bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a bridge
Don't you think it's time?
Don't you think it's time?

When we stand together, it's our finest hour
We can do anything (anything)
Anything (anything)

Keep believin' in the power
Love can build a bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a bridge
Don't you think it's time?
Don't you think it's time?
Yeah, yes I do

Ooh, love can build a bridge
Whoa, love and only love
Between your heart and mine
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a bridge
Love and only love
Don't you think it's time?
Ooh, don't you think it's time?
Don't you think it's time?
Love and only love
Love and only love

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Got Our Second Booster ...

 

Since efficacy is around 4 months, we wanted to be protected all summer while vacationing and out and about, so we got them today - piece of cake! 




Friday, April 29, 2022

Ozark Finale ...

 (Updated)





... the final episodes dropped on Netflix today!

IMO, one of the best TV shows ever done - maybe even THE best TV show ever done.

Can't wait to watch tonight!


_______________________________________


PS -  after watching episodes 8-10 (the first three in the second installment of episodes of the last season).

So one of the reasons I thought this show was one of the best in history was you were never 100% sure of where it was going to go, you couldn't always predict.

IMO - being a film buff and retired "aspiring" screenwriter since childhood, a show or film has to have certain key elements, i.e.,  great writing/slow burn of a story, with enough twists to keep it interesting, but they have to make sense - it's a balance between not being too predictable and not twisting so much that either it doesn't make sense or you don't even care anymore lol.

Also - no loopholes in the story or loose ends - those drive me crazy lol.  There's red herrings and there's loose ends - big difference.  It's okay to wait a while to tie up those loose ends, but they should all be tied up, or at least addressed, by the end, and if they aren't,  they don't make any sense, can ruin an otherwise good story, and frustrate me to no end/drive me personally batty lol. 

Also, great dialog, great character development/evolution of complex characters, great acting, great directing, great cinematography,  creating an atmosphere that almost becomes it's own character, ability to sustain suspension of disbelief without going OTT.  

Also great editing and great sound.  You wouldn't think these make a difference, but if you've ever watched a low-budget movie with terrible editing or sound, you know what I'm talking about. The scene is edited to the next scene too quickly, sometimes even mid-dialog, to the point it doesn't even make any sense. 

Editing should be a smooth transition, like fade-out to end it or a build-up to begin it - not just cutting somebody off nearly mid-sentence into the next scene or starting with a monster coming out of nowhere, without the set-up scene build.  When done poorly, you'll know, because it usually either makes you say "WTF?" or even laugh - either of which makes you step outside the story and think about the filmmaking process instead, which is a huge no-no, right? 

As for the results of poor sound, the dialog is muffled, hard to hear or  even delayed, particularly the sound effects are delayed - and  that can actually ruin an otherwise good movie.  Same effect - when it's bad sound, you'll know, because you find yourself laughing at it - taking you out of the story and your thoughts are more to the filmmaking itself.

Along with sound, inappropriate music/soundtrack.  Think 80s movies, when bad 80s music was run through a scene that didn't match the mood or actually just distracted you from what was going on rather than enhancing it?  

See?  This is why Oscars are for editing and sound - because bad editing or bad sound can actually ruin an otherwise great film, or sometimes even help make a mediocre one into a memorable one.


Most importantly, truly great directors/filmmakers will often give you visual "foreshadowing" hints of what's going to happen or "whodunnit," without smacking you in the face with it or making these super obvious for stupid or ADD people lol.  

Sometimes it's stuff that you later go, "Oh, that's why they showed that," but with the best directors, they're very subtle, very sly about it - you won't even notice too much, but you'll either think back and go "Oh, now that happening earlier makes more sense, I didn't even think of that, at the time." 

They may even actually show you a "memory montage" of the thoughts of a character who's just pieced things together, right? 

Now, with Squid Game - which I also think is a masterpiece (and so does Spielberg, so I'm in good company) - I figured it out, but not until several episodes in, and knowing that didn't completely ruin it for me, by that point - not because I'm a genius, but because I'm a lifelong film buff and can figure these foreshadowings out. 

With Ozark, I haven't usually been able to figure out where everything was going to go - until now:/

In fact, if I can figure out "whodunnit" or what's going to happen in the first 10 minutes of a film or show, though it still could be an otherwise good film, it kinda ruins it for me - and I think this is the first time I was able to do that :/

However, like I said, it can still be a good piece of work - it's just knowing "whodunnit" or what's going to happen makes it predictable.

For example, with Squid Game, I knew, but I didn't care - I still wanted more.  That's the exception to the rule, though.

*Slight Spoiler Alert*

So without giving away too much of a spoiler, this is the first time I'm 99% sure of "whodunnit" and what's going to happen -  meaning I'm 99% sure of who ordered the  (attempted) hit on  Navarro before the characters have - and that person is staring Marty right in the face.

Marty's too smart not to know and to be taken in by this person, it seems very obvious to me.

Of course, I could be wrong, but if so, that kind of ruins it for me ;/


Then again, like Squid Game, even if I'm right, that won't necessarily ruin it for me - Ozark can still keep me interested with something coming out of left field as far as the end result.  We shall see :)

______________________


PPS -  Yup, I was right - but still watching :)


Oh, and they're too smart to be making the stupid, impulsive mistakes  they're making, all over the place - they're losing control and they're cracking.

Episode 12 ... 


___________________

FINALE

Okay, so am I the only one disappointed?

Not going to give away any spoilers but - yeah.  Not only in how it ended but in quality :/

I will say that they're clearly leaving it open for later possibilities because there are still too many loose ends that needed tying up - and as I said above, loose ends drive me cuckoo! lol.