Monday, August 14, 2017

Florence Foster Jenkins

Photo: the movie's poster, from its Wikipedia page

The movie with Meryl Streep, that Bozo the President said proved she was an over-rated actress, was a small, very good film about confidence and courage, the power of money and illusion. Hugh Grant is perfect as the self-illusioned money-grubber sort-of husband, but he may actually have loved her as well. He walks a fine line and pulls it off, as did the guy he's playing. 

Jenkins was oddly painful to listen to, yet you applaud her, as many concert-goers and radio listeners did. Her record was the biggest seller for its label, and she sold out Carnegie Hall faster than Sinatra. The fact that she was terrible played in her favor, as did total political inexperience for someone else we know. Yet Cole Porter attended. Toscanini was a personal friend. People were paid off and others fooled themselves, yet there is something to be said for the joy and pleasure she brought to so many, all of whom were perfectly aware of her ineptitude. Maybe she made many of them appreciate their own incompetence, and therefore made it okay to celebrate the mediocrity in all of us. I don't know. But it would've made a wonderful test case for a psychologist studying group dynamics, the herd and the masses, and perhaps a touch of group hysteria.

My favorite line comes right at the end: "People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing." Maybe so, but you have to respect that attitude. I didn't do it well, she says, but I did do it. Hell, that's most of my days.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Toxic People

Photo: from

                                        9 Traits of Toxic People:
1. They talk more than they listen. They are truly narcissistic and manage to make everything about themselves.
2. They are completely unwilling to learn from their mistakes. Frankly, they’ll never accept that they’re capable of making mistakes.
3. They exaggerate everything. Drama seems to incessantly follow them around.
4. They are compulsive and often unrepentant liars.
5. They force relationships. They value relationships for the outward superficiality and not for any real connection.
6. Everything is judged by the experience they’ve had. Their experience is the only one that seems to count.
7. They have to talk you down to keep their own self-esteem up.
8. They’re very controlling and domineering people.
9. They completely lack tack and diplomacy. They don’t care if they hurt other’s feelings.
How do I handle these people? I run away. I mean that literally. I ran into one at a yard sale recently, someone from my past. I didn't say a word. Just turned around quickly, jogged to my car and left. I must've looked like the village idiot, but this person was truly dangerous to my psyche.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Negative Space Kind of Day

In bed at 1:30 a.m. Up at 5:30 a.m. Had a cup of coffee and a great slice of raspberry cheesecake for breakfast. I'm lactose intolerant but I didn't care because that's the kind of morning it was. Watched two episodes of TNT's Will. Watched parts of movies I'd missed and deleted them from the DVR. Felt tired and bloated. Answered some emails. (I'm about 1,000 behind.) Felt groggy by noon. Decided to nap for half an hour at 12:30. Awoke at 4ish. Needed another cup of coffee, very rare for me. Started doing the day in force at 4:30 pm. Will eat dinner and watch ballgame or movies with my better half and go to bed. Tired because I've definitely overexerted myself today. And I am not ashamed.

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Now On Facebook, and July's Donations

Photo: Original address of Facebook's headquarters, in Menlo Park, CA, from its Wikipedia page.

Yes, I've joined the 21st Century, finally, after being a technology curmudgeon for so long. So look me up if you're so inclined. I'm in RI, so you can tell me apart from the thousands of other similar names on there.

[And did anyone notice Facebook's CA headquarters' address? Is Hacker Way the best address for it to have?]

Photo: Salvation Army's logo, from its Wikipedia page, here.

In other news, I made 5 trips to the local Savers and Salvation Army the last few weeks, and in that time donated:

18 DVDs

58 hardcover books

68 paperback books

1,336 baseball cards

As you can see above, I have a movie, paper and cardboard hoarding issue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bride Calls Off Wedding, Feeds Homeless at the Reception

Photo: Sarah Cummins, 25, who called off her wedding and fed the homeless at the $30K reception.

This story was just too good to pass up and not pass along. It's taken (as is the photo) from this article, which you can access by clicking here. The author of the article is Maureen C. Gilmer.

The nitty-gritty is that Cummins and her mother spent upwards of thirty grand to pay for the wedding and invitation. She worked overtime and long hours for years, she says, to pay for this. One wonders why the groom-to-be isn't said to have done the same thing, which is perhaps indicative of why the wedding was called off to begin with. Unfortunately, she's not saying. And kudos to Cummins for not airing out that dirty laundry once the press and the internet descended upon her, by the way. Many of us have been less than discrete about verbalizing the incidents that have greatly bothered us, and naming the names of those who did them to us. Mine's in the memoir, baby!

So she had a non-refundable contract with the Ritz Charles, which must be near Indianapolis, where this article was first published. Sounds...ritzy. All that food for 170 guests--and kudos to Cummins for sending out reverse RSVPs to those 170 people, and for even knowing 170 people to invite to her reception, I suppose. I'm not sure I even know 170 people. Well, okay, I do, but only about 5 of them would be invited to any reception of mine.

Apparently, this last-second wedding and reception cancellation has happened before. I know this because a) that has to be why this stuff is non-refundable to begin with, because last-second cancellations happen so often that it has to be paid for, period; and b) last year I was told a story about a woman of about this age, in my neck of the woods, who called off her wedding and reception. She and her mother paid over $40,000 for everything, including the reception spot in the Caribbean. But the guy turned out to be slime, which the teller of this story, and her parents, and the bride-to-be's friends, and possibly innocent passersby and concerned motorists--all told this woman that her husband was slime and she'd be better off not being married to him. This woman agreed with them about two weeks before the scheduled wedding and reception. Anyway, they went on the vacation anyway, and everyone who was supposed to go still went (except for the groom-to-be, who was apparently in a jail cell), and they all had a helluva time, as well they should, since the whole thing caused a lifetime of PTSD and stress, and cost over forty grand.

But I digress. What did Sarah Cummins do? Well, she called local homeless shelters and invited 170 homeless people to the ritzy Ritz Charles. They dined on...Well, I'll finally quote the article:

"On the menu are bourbon-glazed meatballs, goat cheese and roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichokes and Chardonnay cream sauce and, yes, wedding cake."

Sounds good to me! And the surroundings?

"The dinner will take place in the hotel's garden pavilion because Cummins said she always wanted an outdoor wedding but didn't want to risk the weather...She and her mother will arrive early Saturday to set up the centerpieces they designed themselves — gold Eiffel Tower vases with roses."

And afterwards? What about the honeymoon?

"When it's over, Cummins said she's leaving on her honeymoon Sunday to the Dominican Republic — alone — before returning for classes at Purdue."

What a great idea! I suspect Sarah Cummins will get many more marriage proposals after this. An attractive woman with that much money to spend on a reception who's smart enough and rich enough to go to Purdue? Where in Indianapolis did this happen?