Monday, April 2, 2018


So, time for an update on our Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve been busy!

We have now completed watching 2 seasons of Daredevil and one each of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, and tonight we watched the final chapters of The Defenders, where they all get together. It had some pluses: I was satisfied with the way MCU brought them all together, and enjoyed seeing the secondary characters getting together. I didn’t think the story line quite as lame as some others. I did, in fact, enjoy the series. Oops- guess I’d better back track to where I life off...

So, Season 1of Jessica Jones. Liked it a lot! I thought for a while that the actress wasn’t very good, but the longer I watched, the more obvious it became that the brittle portrayal was great. The storyline- written several years ago-was so on-point for today, it was amazing. And, of course, there was David Tennant. He was incredible. He didn’t snarl, he didn’t wave his fists, he didn’t do anything you would expect from a comic book based villain. He spoke softly most of the time. He was terrifying!!!! So, Jessica we will watch more of.

One of the characters we meet in Jessica Jones season 1 is Luke Cage. He gets his own series after JJ and it was interesting. I think some of the folks, both writers and actors, thought this was a remake of The Wire, and it did NOT come close to that classic. But, it was good. Alfred Woodard was stunning in a role unlike I’ve ever seen her in, but the revelation was Mahershala Ali. He was absolutely evil, and you felt sorry for him, sometimes even when you shouldn’t. 

From LC we moved on to Iron Fist. Some of the actors here were good; sadly, the Iron Fist was not. He was played as a petulant brat who really only had 2 lines: “it’s my fault”, and “I am the Immortal Iron Fist”. We watched all the episodes because it was the final lead-in to the Defenders series, but we were not enthralled. 

So, we are back to where I started- we liked the Defenders series. Spoiler alert!!!
Our characters are left thinking they have defeated the Hand, the evil world wide criminal organization. Well, a couple of the Hand leaders are definitely dead- like Highlander, you can only permanently kill a Hand immortal by chopping off their head- but, here’s the BIG SPOILER, if Daredevil survived the implosion of the skyscraper, then why not Madame Gao and Elektra? So, I’m guessing that the Hand will be back to fight another day. 

Kudos to Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra. She was fabulous! She also looked amazing- her wardrobe was mostly gorgeous. She also looks terrific for her age, and was not afraid of the many, MANY close ups they did on her face. 

So, we are mostly done with the television MCU for a while. We will watch The Punisher, because we were blown away by the actor Jon Bernthal during Daredevil Season 2. This is a character (is he hero or villain???) that really holds your attention, and he totally merited  gaining his own series. I think we are otherwise a little MCU wearied out, and will be waiting for some new series but not yet.

So, that’s my current take on the MCU. Does anyone I know also watch?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Getting into the MCU

My son, a comic book lover, reader, collector and expert, came by it honestly. When I was in grade school I discovered, courtesy of a friend with less restrictive parents, comic books. I loved Superman, and Archie and Veronica, and all the stuff that went with them. LOVED THEM!!!

The rising of Marvel Comics, like a phoenix in the post literate world where even comic books, or as they are now called, “graphic novels”, are literature and only geeks and nerds read them (which was always true, but now they are the only ones who can read at all) has become a phenomenon of this 21st century. Courtesy of movies and TV. Courtesy of some genius who decided to make every available super hero and villain all live in the same time, in the same storyline, in an incredible place that is called  the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

I saw the first Iron Man movie- known to those who follow the MCU as the first movie of phase 1- and really enjoyed it. It was exciting. It was funny. Robert Downey, Jr. was fabulous- better than he had been in many, many years. He’d found his niche- he WAS Tony Starke, the titular Iron Man. The movie went gangbusters at the box office. No one cared what the critics said- and the critics loved it. Raved about it. Huge numbers on Rotten Tomatoes. Four (4!!!) stars from Roger Ebert. And the MCU was off and running. 

That was 10 years ago. The MCU has released lots of movies. It has expanded into television, and gaming, and podcasts, and pretty much every form of entertainment media around. There are live action stories, and cartoons, and the comics still keep going, and Marvel got so big that finally, Disney bought them out. Yes, that same Disney that bought out Lucas Films. Now Star Wars and Marvel are under the same umbrella. WOW!

Marvel is (not) slowly bringing to screens near us superhero after superhero, all with accompanying villains, and friends, and backstories. If you only follow the MCU on film, you have the Avengers to enjoy, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, and coming soon, the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. And a whole bunch of other superheroes you only know about if you are a comic book geek, and have been for a very long time. 

So, back to my own personal family geek, for whom I am responsible, with some help from my darling husband, aka the geek’s father. I introduced the boy to Doctor Who at the age of 2; he was 3 for His first Star Wars movie, and about the same for Indiana Jones. He has a whole schtick he does on this topic-we considered it good parenting. No wimpy purple dinosaurs for our kids. 

He could read when he was 2- part of the reason why we offered him other outlets. I don’t remember when he started with comic books-does any parent?- but once he got started, he devoured them. Still does today, and that brings me the long way round to my topic- my personal journey into the details, the thousands and thousands of details, of the MCU.

Our son has been encouraging us to delve more deeply. I actually recently looked up a chart that tells you the order in which you should watch all the currently available films and TV shows in the MCU. See, Iron Man was movie #1of Phase 1, but if you want to watch the shows so that they occur in the chronological order WITHIN the MCU, well, that’s a bit different. What fascinated me when I saw this chart, is that there are already 43 movies and television shows listed as available. There are actually a few less, because this list breaks out the television shows into partial seasons that occur before, during or after the movies. But, let’s just call it 43. The movies and television shows not yet released, but already in the pipeline, bring that number to 53. Yikes!!! 

This is actually all my own fault. At some point last summer or fall, during a discussion of one of the MCU films, I made the mistake of saying something to the effect of “I’ve been falling behind in keeping my MCU characters and stories straight”. BAD mistake. But, with a good side effect. For Christmas, both his father and I received Movie Pass cards, so we could catch up. So, that part was not bad.

But, we’ve been binging the MCU available on Netflix for a while now and wow! We watched Season 2 of Daredevil - some good actors, interesting storyline but a violence quotient way above my level of tolerance. So I “watch” with an iPad or cross stitch in my lap and frequently in front of my eyes. But I do recommend it- I find the characters interesting, I want to know what happens to them. We have moved next to Jessica Jones- not as violent, more than enough sex, and the incomparable David Tennant, whose only failing is that his character, Killgrave aka the Purple Man, is not on screen nearly enough. Again, interesting storyline, interesting characters. So we will finish season one. Then on to Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Defenders, where these four (Daredevil, Jessica, Luke and IronFist)  get together for an adventure. And scattered throughout, if we actually follow the chart, will be various seasons of Agents of Shield, the Punisher, The Spider-Man and Thor latest movies, and finally, catching up to #41- the current movie sensation, Black Panther. With Avengers Infinity War arriving on April 27th. Ant Man and the Wasp July 6. Then we get almost a year to breathe before Captain Marvel arrives next March. I get tired and confused just thinking about it. 

So, if it starts to seem that my brain is turning to mush-it’s really not. It’s just there is sooooo much information to keep straight, so many dozens and dozens of characters, so many cross overs to remember, that all the stuff I used to keep in my brain- Physics, Anatomy, what day of the week it is-is getting crowded out and replaced with whether or not Groot and David Tennant will be meeting up in the near future. 

Isn’t it great to be retired???

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I am very sad.

I am very sad. We, finally, saw The Last Jedi tonight. I will not spill any spoilers. But...

Clearly the plan for this trilogy was to have Han center the first movie, Luke the second, and Leia the third. And, clearly, that now cannot happen. And that makes me sad. 

I love Star Wars. I love the movies and the universe they created. I love the link with my son that these movies have given us. I love the message of hope that they always give. I love Star Wars. 

I especially always loved Leia. Her’s was an action hero story and a love story. She was a leader.

I would have loved to have seen a Leia centered movie. I would have loved that hers was the final story of this part of Star Wars. I would have loved that she, ultimately, saved the galaxy. 

I was more saddened by Carrie Fisher’s death last year than I ever would have expected. It really hit me in a way that celebrity deaths never do. Before I saw this movie I was sad knowing that she wouldn’t be there to make the last movie. Tonight it has hit me, hard, again. 

Farewell, Princess, we miss you.

Friday, January 5, 2018

What I’m working on, crafty wise

So, I am totally frustrated and aggravated. Blogger/Google won’t let me put pictures into my posts. The Help site is equally totally useless- it doesn’t even offer my problem as a choice. So, I can’t, for now, share all my crafty projects other than verbally. 😡

I have been doing nothing but crochet, and a little loom knitting, since the spring. Crochet was my first textile craft- my Gran taught me the summer I was 10. That was a couple years after my first scrapbook, which I made at 8- so, this crafty thing is not new to me. I decided that I was going to do cross stitching and applique after the first of the year. Then, suddenly and shockingly, my old friend of many years, Martina Rosenberg, died.

 Martina was a member of an “elite” group- a small bunch of crazy ladies who “met” every night in the early days of the Internet in a chat room called #Stitch. We were drawn together by cross stitch and many other types of textile art, and shared not only our stitching, but everything. Today, 20+ years later, we are all still special to one another. 

Martina took the plunge into becoming a Needlework designer. If I showed someone today the cute little penguins that started her career, they’d have a hard time believing that they were the product of the internationally known and loved designer “Chatelaine”. Martina grew into one of the most admired designers in the industry, producing charts that create absolute masterpieces of art in thread. You can see her work at

 So, I will be starting my first large Chatelaine. I’ve been collecting them for years,  ut never got around to actually stitching one. I am starting with her magnificent Hawaii Garden, which is a monster- 26 x 26 inches, with several hundred dollars worth of silks and beads. It will probably take me years, but I am starting now, in memory of Martina. Many of us from Martina’s Facebook Page are doing that, so we will all be sharing our progress.

I also joined a sub-group on one of my Facebook stitching groups, to commit to completing some old WIPs (stitch speak for works in progress). I can’t say here what I’ll be working on, but I am anxious to get these 2projects done. It will be nice to have encouragement and accountability. 

I do have one crochet project to complete before I put the yarn away. My niece is expecting her first child, who will also be the first child in my family for that generation. So, I’m working on a baby Afghan, a 10 point star using a really pretty Caron cake. 

When I finally solve this new picture issue, I’ll share pictures of what I’m working on. Until then, we’ll, you just have to use your imagination. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New year, new start, all that stuff.

So, I am participating in the mental games of New Year’s this year. It seems that a combination of things, like John’s long recovery, my health issues, and the currently out of control house because of the previous two items, has led me to set my goals for 2018 rather high.

I am going to do better, and hopefully *much* better with FlyLady, my house chart, my Bullet Journal, and my exercise regimen this year. I also need to continue to improve the way I eat, and what I eat. The holidays and my own weak will, have totally destroyed any sense of eating as I should.

I’ve also set a goal of writing here more regularly, like very regularly. So, I’m adding this blog to my habit tracker page in my bullet Journal.

Below is a picture (a bad one, admittedly) of my house chart, aka in FlyLady terms, a routine schedule for my Control Journal. I keep this on the fridge, in a plastic page protector, and use a dry erase marker to check off things as I do them. This was I always have in front of me what I’ve gotten done and what I still need to do. It’s a really big help for me.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful 2018!!!

Blogger/Google is making me crazy- I can NOT get the picture to load. Will try again later.

Friday, September 22, 2017

I don't want a best friend anymore

I've had "best" friends. I don't have them anymore, and I don't want one ever again.

When I was a young adult- say from 17 to 45- I had a really close friend. We talked every day. We were raising our kids, working our careers, and surviving our husbands. We shared everything. Then I got sick. Didn't work. Spent a couple years mostly in bed, in pain, exhausted. Fibromyalgia. It totally changed my life. Somewhere during about 5 really difficult years, so did that friendship. I didn't have a friend anymore. I don't know what I did, other than getting sick. I just know she has not spoken to me in years, even when I have tried. I still miss her.

In later years, I had a friend. She was high maintenance, but I stuck with her. I introduced her to new activities, new interests. We traveled together, always with me making the plans and arrangements. I helped her start a new business. I helped her start her life over when her husband died. I helped her move nearby as she had no family, and we were happy to be that for her. Once she moved here she quickly found a new man, a creep who made us all very uncomfortable. Then my aunt died. That week, for a combination of reasons, was the most painful and traumatic time of my life. My "friend" was too busy partying and drinking with her live-in boyfriend to have any time for me, or for the funeral. No cards, no flowers, no nothing. In the following weeks, she lied to me, repeatedly. So, I cut her off for a while. My husband, and mutual friends, kept encouraging me to try to work it out. So, I went to visit her, expecting a groveling apology. Instead, she attacked me- because I had, at some time in the past year, referred to her cat as "stupid". She followed that by calling my husband when she knew I was not home, and asking him to meet her, regularly, because she expected him to remain her friend, even if I was "being unreasonable". The final straw was the juvenile activity of sending my husband mail- with no return address and disguised handwriting on the envelopes. I resent like hell that she lives too close, and I cannot always avoid seeing her, and blame myself for that. I do NOT miss her at all. My fondest wish is that she would move away or disappear so that I would never have to see her again.

My last friend, my latest friend to abandon me, had been my friend for life. Everything important in our lives was shared. From first grade until last month, I always considered her the closest friend I ever had, or ever would have. We saw less of her when she moved to the affluent suburbs while we remained in our row house in the city. We differed in how we saw our children- I saw them as moving on to lives of their own, and she saw hers as part of everyday life no matter that they married, had children, etc. I remember one time when I knew there was something fundamentally different. I invited her to an amazing event, something with her academic background she should have thrown herself at. Instead she chose to stay home and babysit a grandchild- the same grandchild she saw every week at Sunday dinner. Every invitation began to be turned down for family reasons. So, I took the hint and stopped inviting her. But we stayed in touch, and I loved her as much as ever. During the last year,she had taken to putting nasty, pompous, critical and self righteous posts on my Threads on Facebook- like many who live and work in their safe suburbs, she has no contact with or concept of inner city life in the 21st century, but maintains a severely left wing liberal attitude about how those of us who do live IN the city and who, like I did, work in the inner city should think. I am pragmatic, I am a realist. She decided she didn't like my politics, and while I have been adamant about NOT allowing politics to have any effect on my relationships, she is among those who has let them color her opinion of people, and color also the way she treats them. In May we decided to have a party in July for a group of friends who were all turning 65 this year. I, of course, invited her. I got back a curt, bordering on rude, response that she was unavailable that date. As it turned out, we were forced to cancel the party due to my mother's death. When my mother died, and for weeks afterward, I heard nothing from my friend. Her family sent condolences but nothing from her. I was crushed- to some extent I still am. No card, no Mass card, no letter, no phone call, no email, no text, nothing. When we rescheduled the party for late August, I decided to make another effort. (When will I learn that these extra efforts, one more try, only hurt me even more?) so, I sent her a note, different from everyone else's, giving her the benefit of the doubt. It said "due to my mother's death, the party has been rescheduled- hope you can come". I got no response. And, she did not come. A few days after the party, at a time when I was really very sick and very depressed, I sent her a note telling her how hurt and devastated I was at being ignored like this, that I couldn't believe she would ignore my mother's death, and that I didn't want to continue to expose myself to the pain. The answer I got back was just as curt, and bordering on rude, as the one from the month before, that she didn't know my mother died, and she would "respect my desire" to end our friendship.
Now, I know I am "deplorable" because I hate and despise the liberal lunatic left, but I never, ever let that interfere in any way with my friendships. However, the nastiness of the things she has posted on my threads in the last year leaves me with the conclusion that she is glad to be rid of someone as "deplorable" as me. So, I get hurt when she posts the nasty, I get hurt when she ignores a death in my family, then I get hurt again because I really wanted her to come to that party, and I finally get hurt, AGAIN, because I told her I was hurt. I will miss her most of all, when I have time to get past the pain.

So, at 65 I am still learning lessons. I have a few good friends here, women I share activities and interests with, whom I like enough to have dinner with regularly, go to shows with, take classes with, etc. I have friends nearby, friends since I was a kid, who are a treasure to me. But, I am DONE with best friends. I don't need them and I don't want them. In every previous case, clearly I valued them more than they valued me, and I invested more emotion and dedication to them than I received back.

It sucks to be still learning the hard lessons at my age.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to Reality

We had a lovely week at Disney World. We had dinner with Cel and Andy for her birthday, and spent an afternoon visiting various resorts and kind of dining-around-the-hotels. It was a lot of fun. Sunday we had dinner with Fred and Marianne and it was, as always with them, totally enjoyable and just good for my soul. 

We saw the new Pandora World. Liked it fine, but I wasn't impressed. I didn't get the "other worldly" feeling it was supposed to invoke. Maybe I'm just an old grouch? We did the Navi river cruise ride, and while it is visually beautiful, there is nothing to it- just riding, sedately, through pretty backgrounds. There was some pretty neat new versions of audio-animatronics but nothing to wow with. I'll re-evaluate when we get a chance to do the Flight ride. 

We did very much enjoy going on our favorite rides in each park. We always enjoy just being there. 

It rained, a lot, while we were there. We've never had that much rain at WDW before. So, we found a new activity that was rain proof- checking out some of the lounges in the hotels. Our first visit was to the Territory Lounge in the Wilderness Lodge. We had cheese fondue and it was wonderful. The Mizner's Lounge at the Grand Floridian is a small room behind the Orchestra, on the second floor, overlooking the lobby. We spent a delightful evening feasting on their cheese plate and creme brûlée all while listening to the orchestra do Glenn Miller sets mixed among the Disney Music. It was terrific!

Now we are home and back to "normal"- doctors visits, cleaning house, catching up on laundry. I have to hurry because in only 9 days we leave for first, Asheville, NC and The Biltmore, then Ocean Gate!! Life is very good!!!