Eagles are breathtaking. They soar and scout out what’s ahead. They should be revered, respected and remain left alone. They should be the hunter instead of the hunted. But then all animals should be left alone not trophies for sycophants. Humans need nature to survive. Animals need each other to live. I’ll never understand the sport of hunting. It’s barbaric to me. You want power. Buy yourself a race car.
In sailing terms it’s the calmest part of the water when there is no stress. It generally lasts about 20-30 minutes. My sleeping patterns resemble a slack tide. I fall asleep either fairly quickly with uninterrupted slumber for a few hours or I flounder in insomniac despair until my brain has pity on my body and shuts down for awhile.
During the time I am awake I need to be doing something so inevitably I start reading stuff online. Sometimes admittedly it’s gossipy stuff like People Magazine which fortunately I’ve veered away from the past few years. Other times it’s blogs that I play catch up or really enjoy the posts and reread for inspiration and intellectual stimulation wishing I wrote like that!
Then the storm comes and I want to scream “No Trump 24 “ because there are voices whispering about it. New York indict him finally! As a country we cannot live through another four years of this buffoon acting without accountability alienating the world. It can’t happen but it might. Biden has been ok not great but a steady Eddie except for Afghanistan. Americans want roads to travel on but aren’t willing to pay for them. Americans want affordable healthcare but vote in idiots who want to take that away. We end up policing the world when we cannot even control our own police. I just don’t get it. I need some chocolate right about now.
During my visit in Texas at Christmas my expectations and revelations intersected ominously as I became relieved with my dad’s health and alarmed at my sister’s disdain for me.
The months leading up to my visit were hectic. I realized just how much I worry over everything sitting on an airplane in full face mask mode surrounded by sedate compliant fellow passengers. I honestly expected to see a gaunt grey haired gimping guy from the FaceTime image at Thanksgiving. But he was razor sharp listening to ABBA music and watching You Tube videos that my brother had installed on his television. What I hadn’t expected and gobsmacked me was my sister’s demand that I move back to Texas and take care of my dad stated right in front of my dad. My gut reaction when I’m confronted is to wall up. I do stand my ground especially when my character is attacked but generally I despise confrontation. It’s messy, mean, maniacal, morose and militant. My sister tactically wanted to guilt and shame me for not helping out more with our dad. She kept saying “ It’s your turn now” to care for him. Now my sister is an excellent care giver. She is very organized with my dads meds, comes over right away when he needs her and has been an emotional support for him when my mum passed away because my sister was on the ground in 2020 whilst my brother and I live in Virginia. I highly respect my sister but her attack with verbal ammunition approach does not work with me anymore. I cannot stand when people shame others or belittle others intelligence. My sister is guilty of the first offense. I already feel bad that I wasn’t there for my mums illness but I have my reasons for not jumping ship to move to Texas.
The whole presence of my sister left me walking on broken glass. I barely spoke to her Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. I kept thinking I’d be continually bullied by her if I lived here. I know she’s overwhelmed with her job and taking care of our dad. I felt the week I spent in Texas with him wasn’t nearly enough. But there are many other factors that I couldn’t stay longer but hope to visit again before next Christmas. The effect on my dad was heart breaking as he felt guilty that her disdain for me was because of him. It wasn’t dad it’s been lingering for a long time waiting for a St Helen’s moment to arise.
This review is based on my opinions after watching Netflix series Stay Close. I will focus on my thoughts about the production of the series to avoid spoilers.
Netflix aired the eight part series Stay Close on December 31. I intentionally but first unintentionally spaced out the eight episodes which run about 45 minutes a piece. I thought last years dip into serial mystery’s writer Harlan Coben ‘s Netflix produced The Stranger had promise but floundered in my opinion from convoluted plot lines and careless editing and directing. This year’s entree just flounders with ataxia, awkwardness, disarray, confusion, clutter and carelessness.
The bright spots for me were: the elongated bridge that all the main characters continuously drive and cross literally and metaphorically between their past and their present. The jubilant chemistry between Det Broome ( James Nesbitt) and his ex wife and partner Erin Cartwright ( Jo Joyner). Cush Jumbo as Megan/Cassie trying to find emotions and meaning in the rubbish script written for her. And Fester( Youseff Kouker) Ray Levine( Richard Armitage) ‘s best friend and the only one who understood the muddled plot.
Now I admit I only watched this series because Richard Armitage was in it. Ray in the book is a down on his luck paparazzi photographer for hire who used to be a war photojournalist. He would not be driving or able to afford a Mercedes which he drives in the series. The Armitage said he used war photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington ( 1970-2011) as a source/basis for playing Ray. I find this hard to believe because from watching the Sebastian Junger documentary Which Way Is The Front Line From Here Tim was highly respected and risked his life to cover not only civil war but the suffering of those in the epicenter. He wanted to shine the light on the effects war have on people especially children. He wasn’t a narcissist. Ray is the antithesis of Tim. Ray is supposed to be an experienced photographer who has seen suffering in war firsthand yet that is never explained in the series. If The Armitage had really done his homework he would have put himself in Tim’s shoes metaphorically and showed empathy. It looked to me like Ray barely knew how to use a camera. His phone looked like it had a crack in it. It just seemed unbelievable and unreal and for me made Ray boring and lazy. The tats were too much. Ray looked like he needed a Red Bull in every scene. While Adam Price in The Stranger showed some level of emotion (Ep 5) Ray looks like he’s comatose most of the time. If he nailed the accent then that’s about all he nailed.
Besides playing an over the top angry dad in Brain On Fire ( another Netflix film) this performance for me ranks as the second worst I’ve seen him or a dead heat with The Lodge where he was just plain creepy. I did want to like this production. I didn’t really like the book but books and film can vary. If readers here found aspects they liked or want to share please do. If you just want to discuss how the past affects one’s present great. The floor is yours.
I know Tim Hetherington deserves a post in its own and I will but I wish if The Armitage had shown just a smidgeon of what is shown in this documentary I’d have believed in Ray.
With the New Year comes more pledges to lose weight, to organize, to declutter, to read more books, to binge watch less ( I’ve lost that one already in Day 5) to spend less, to recycle more, to upcycle, to cycle, to cancel subscriptions I don’t use anymore, to utilize subscriptions I’ve been paying for but forgot about to limit my run on sentences.
Is it all just rhetoric? Promises we tell ourselves and our loved ones to empower us? To balm their worries? Last year I vowed to read more. Last year I said ok must start exercising more to lose excess weight to cook instead of nuke food. Am I just setting myself up for failure? Am I just going through the motions with no actual commitment? What’s wrong with me!
It’s a shallow admission but I do love a well dressed man. Not just designer clothes but prints and colors that match well together send me into palpitations. Too much black or too monochromic outfits on men seem bland to me. As predictable as I am on my crush Richard Armitage for example when he was styled by Ilaria Urbinati he looked put together. Yes he pays her probably half his salary to conjure up outfits for him but they are innovative and edgy.
To compliment his soigne flair I personally love The Armitage with beard ( sorry Jane). The two most rugged and to me sexiest characters were John Proctor of The Crucible and Raymond DeMerville of the film Pilgrimage. He looked beefed up, short laser cut hair and beard! He hasn’t really been on the red carpet in recent years because of Covid of course but if he were I hope he’d utilize Ilaria again probably double her price but he’s worth it!
To beard or not to beard that is the question men included here
My virtual date tonight I’m hoping is sitting at home watching movies with Bernie and thinking of me 😂. My actual dates are Sascha, Max and Eddie tonight who will crash by 8. I will try to make it to 10 and pray the fireworks are minimal and the pups don’t go ballistic.
New Years Eve has never been my cup of tea. Even when I was married we would go see a local theatre show and go for coffee and cake afterwards and be home right before the clock struck 12. I won’t get into resolutions because mine never last past a week. Health happiness and honesty and maybe a trip abroad next year to visit friends.
She knew resolutions gave her the blues
Writing them down didn’t warrant any clues
Fingers crossed the new year came in with less clang
And 2022 will be filled with lots of bang bang
Wishing everyone a safe and well New Year and all the best in 2022
My take is that reviews can be a help and a hindrance. For instance when booking a hotel I definitely read the reviews of hotel sites I am interested in ( ie Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor) The reviews tend to hone in on cleanliness, proximity to things to do, and transportation tips. Why did one hotel get four stars reviews whilst another only got two.
Movie reviews I’ve stopped reading for the most part and not because of potential spoilers 😜. Reviews tend to be subjective and there are so many variables that come into play in a movie reviewer’s reaction to a cinematic production that well I don’t put that much stock in them.
Music reviews used to be all the rage when I was growing up. What songs made the weekly Top 40 what songs were played on the radio dominated by what Rolling Stone magazine writers thought and what DJs played. Now I barely listen to the radio in its original form. I become my own DJ on Spotify and also listen to fellow bloggers who really know music. 😁
So there was a recent article reviewing Netflix new ten part series Stay Close set to come out this Friday Dec 31. Good, bad , somewhere in between what does it all really mean?
In college I took a Psychology 101 course my freshmen year. Green, living in my parents’ bubble I hadn’t been away from home except occasional sleepovers at neighbors house when I was 10. My professor asked us to write about our greatest asset. I wrote about reliability.
This week visiting my dad in Texas I thought a lot about that paper I wrote. At the time I focused on my classroom achievements more leadership qualities. Now it’s really about family and friends. There was a Carol Burnett Show episode my dad and I watched on Christmas night where Carols character Eunice is taking care of her mamma and her sister Ellen ( I didn’t know she had a sister) comes to town bearing birthday gifts and Eunice is jealous and lashes out at her husband Ed. Eunice is always there for her mamma always. It made me think which character am I now Eunice or Ellen?
What is your best asset?
As a personal note thank you to everyone for their kind and wise thoughts on my trip to my mother’s grave on Christmas Eve. Much much appreciated ❤️