Categories
Quotes

When you combine your own intuition with a sensitivity to other people’s feelings and moods, you may be close to the origins of valuable human attributes such as generosity, altruism, compassion, sympathy, and empathy. – Fred Rogers

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Quotes

I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else. – Fred Rogers

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Quotes

What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes question what lots of things, of course, but the main one, I think karma is whether we link our wishes to our act of work. It may take months or years, but it’s far more likely to happen when we care so much that we will work as hard as we can to make it happen. And when we are working towards the realization of our wishes, some of our greatest strengths come from the encouragement of people who care about us. – Fred Rogers

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Quotes

Listening is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two lives. Listening, as far as I’m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying “I love you” is being a receptive listener. – Fred Rogers

Categories
Films

Films – 2019

I didn’t see any this year that I would call a great – or even very good. Below is a list of the ones I did see (that I remember), roughly in the order of “goodness”.

  • Marriage Story. I didn’t expect to like this one. Noah Bauckman, I suspected, specialized in upper-middle-class navel-gazing. And I suppose this movie has some of that, but I thought it was overall a very intelligent look at marriage/divorce.
  • Rocketman. Elton John bio-picture. The only movie this year that I felt showed some decent imagination.
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Fred Rodgers bio. Tom Hanks made a good Mr. Rodgers. Not sure how it was not nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Richard Jewel. Clint Eastwood picture about the bombing at the 1996 Olympic games. Paul Hauser deserved a nomination as well. The movie was highly criticized for its right-wing politics – unfair – and for its portrayal of the journalist from the Atlanta Constitution as a whore, which was very fair criticism. Entertaining movie though.
  • Ford vs. Ferrari. The story of the rivalry between the two companies to win the race at Le Mans. The real story is much more interesting than the movie, which was a bit stupid. But entertaining.
  • Dolimite is My Name. Biopic of Rudy Ray Moore. Entertaining, Eddie Murphy is always good.
  • Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler is fine in this Sardie brothers film. The story is preposterous, and not all that engaging. Overrated. But good effort.
  • Irishman. Scorsese’s mob movie. Eh.

Categories
Books

Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin

Written by the daughter of Kenny Shopsin, the founder of the famously quirky restaurant which carries his surname.

Written in a quirky style, with funky typography. Primarily short antidotes about her family and the restaurant. It starts off kind of slow but becomes a lot of fun about halfway through.

The title refers to her father’s philosophy. Nothing really matters, but dedicating oneself to something actually makes it matter. (I may be wildly mispresenting his thoughts.)

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Books

The Ascent by Volker Ullrich

An analysis of the rise of Hilter. Many parallels to the rise of Trumpism, albeit on a much larger scale.

Really something of a boring book. Probably important for future historians, but too much detail for the average reader.

Categories
Poetry

Success

by Emily Dickinson

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Books

He Won’t Get Far on Foot – John Callahan

An autobiography of John Callahan, who was a well-known cartoonist. His work is pretty edgy, some would call insensitive (I wouldn’t).

He was a raging alcoholic from an early age. He describes in harrowing detail – and humor – his journey through the hell of alcoholism, which ended up with his being in terrible drunken car accident, which led to his struggle with being a quadriplegic, and eventually salvation through cartooning.

Highly entertaining book.

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Books

A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety – Jimmy Carter

Didn’t take notes on this one.

What a great, great man. His life is an inspiration.

Categories
Films

The House Is Black – Forough Farrokhzad

Forough Farrokhzad was an Iranian poet.

The movie is credited for paving the way for the Iranian New Wave. The subject is a leper colony in Iran. Tragic. Her poetry accompanies the video. Very effective.

documentary on her life:
https://www.imvbox.com/watch-persian-movie-iranian-movies/sarde-sabz

Categories
Films

Cold War – Paweł Pawlikowski

Very beautiful movie, liked it a great deal. Plot a clear ripoff of Casablanca (and probably many other films). Doesn’t matter. The camera work is very fine. The director keeps it moving just perfectly. The story, despite a lot of gaps, is compelling. Two thumbs up. Probably watch again someday.

Categories
Books

Book of Luke

Pretty much the same story as all the others.

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Books

Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime – Lou Cannon

To boil it down to one paragraph. Reagan’s “great” insight was that the presidency was just another performance, very similar to his movie roles. He focused on his and his staff’s presentation and frequently ignored the real job. Kind of brilliant, and also sad.

Categories
Books

George H. Bush – Tom Wicker

Bush’s father was a senator from Connecticut.  And executive at steel company. Ann Richards said he was born with a silver foot in his mouth 

Categories
Poetry

Peanut Butter – by Eileen Myles

by Eileen Myles

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Books

Jackpot! – Jim Fixx

Fun dairy style book from Jim Fixx, author of the bestseller “The Complete Book of Running”. Discusses how the book came about, the the life changing result – both the good and bad. Fun read.

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Books

Jimmy Carter – Peter Bourne

Bourne was a friend/colleague of Carter. I thought that might be a problem, but it seemed to give a reasonably balanced view of Carter. It was much more detailed than I needed. Bit slow.

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Books

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

On the one hand, lot of rambling drivel. On the other, lots and lots of wit; parts of it were really fun.

I also felt something of a kinship with him, which is odd, since I’m so normal, and he was well, not.

Many quotable quotes. I should have written them down as I went.

Categories
Books

Gerald Ford – Douglas Brinkley

Categories
Poetry

There will come soft rains

by Sara Teasdale

Categories
Poetry

Let it be forgotten

by Sara Teasdale

Categories
Poetry

Dusk at June

by Sara Teasdale

Categories
Poetry

The Old Flame

by Robert Lowell

Categories
Books

Munch – Steffen Kverneland

Very, very strange comic book-style biography of Edvard Munch. It used mostly books, diary entries, and Munch’s paintings to tell the story. Plus soem comic book style dialog between the author and his buddy discussing Munch.

I new most of the biographical material before, but a good review. A fun read, very original (at least to me) concept.