Friday, February 23, 2018

Article By A Friend And Former Teacher

In Memory of All Victims Of Gun Violence
Chuck Radda, a former Plainville, Connecticut teacher and one of my publishers in Connecticut wrote an excellent article that is a must read.

I will give the link below. Please feel free to share the link on your Facebook page or in other media.

Link to the Blog Post here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our First Snow Of The Season

We finally had some snow here in the dessert. Badly needed precipitation as we have been in drought mode for months. Unfortunately, I think much of the moisture will evaporate before being absorbed by the soil and vegetation as evidenced by our driveway completely being dry.

But that is a nice change from New England...we don't have to shovel...

Remembering the days when we spent HOURS with the snowblower and shovel...not missing that at all.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Day to Day in New Mexico

Life in New Mexico is pretty good...Lots of sunshine, outdoor activities, museums, cooking, eating, walking with dogs.

I've hiked Kasha Katuwe - Tent Rocks National Monument four times since November. It's 2 miles up and 2 miles back with a vertical rise of 630 feet to an altitude of approximately 6385 feet. Not bad for an old guy.

The last two times were this month when I went as an official volunteer to help my hubby, Ranger Leon, with trail maintenance. We put up roping to hopefully keep people from going off trail onto fragile tuff rock and causing erosion of the areas to the sides of the trail.

Off trail offenders seem to be increasing according to the rangers there. The damage to the unique and beautiful landscape is deplorable. Rangers are down to a bare bones staffing and cannot be out on the trails much of the time.


I am going to get myself in trouble here: As far as new Mexican/Mexican cuisine goes, I'm pretty much bored with it. It all seems like much the same things in different wraps. Or a few different things in the same wraps. Or posole, (grits) or carne adovada or rice and beans or everything smothered in red or green chili so that even different dishes taste alike. There doesn't seem to be any creative differences in dishes from one burrito factory to the next restaurant. Green chile cheeseburgers, green chile mac and cheese, chile ice cream, burritos smothered in red and green you get the picture? It mostly looks like they put everything into a food processor and dump it onto a tortilla. I think it was developed to disguise the taste of spoiled meat with hotness. Boy am I in for a lecture by Mexican food lovers...

Give me Italian any day. When I'm  not out hiking or doing yard work or surfing the net, I'm usually grocery shopping or cooking. My idols are Lidia Bastianich, Mary Ann Esposito, Clara, and, yes, Giada DeLaurentiis.

I cook lots of Italian dishes (see my blog Dinner's Ready) and variations thereof.

This morning I made bread dough for calzones and a loaf of Italian bread. We had calzones tonight. One stuffed with spinach, sausage and potato; the other with ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella.

The bread is for tomorrow, but I snuck a piece with butter just a while ago and I said it was better than chocolate cake!

One of these days I'll make a video of me making bread dough - the old fashioned way...

Walking with dogs:

Landscaping - still not done:

Museum - the Hippie Days:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Netflix Review - Queer Eye

The new Netflix "reboot" of Queer Eye is not necessarily always for the "straight guy" (in one episode the new Fab Five make over a gay guy whose been struggling with his own internalized homophobia) but it keeps to the original format which always went beyond fashion and grooming to compassion and understanding.

I was skeptical about the show, figuring it would be all superficial and too contemporary. But because the show does stick to the original premise, the episodes are far from shallow presentations of guys being a canvass for fashionistas and pop culture. The Fab Five are truly compassionate, feeling, non-judgmental human beings who not only zero in on their subjects psychology but, in the process, reveal their own vulnerabilities, challenges and life experience.

While each is an expert in some area - design, fashion, food, grooming, culture - I am amazed that they have such a gift for focusing on the interpersonal and psychological elements of their subjects lives - and facilitating what appear to be deeply personal transformations. And they do so with respect and sensitivity.

I do have some questions, however: Who pays for all the furniture, clothing, painting, grooming and products? (One shirt probably costs more than my yearly clothing expenditure at KMart) How much of the show is scripted? How do Leon and I get a makeover from the Fab Five?

Yes, there is plenty of frivolity and silliness in each episode (we've seen 3 so far), sometimes embarrassingly so, but if the shows don't bring a tear to your eye, you may be hopelessly hard-hearted.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Movie Review - "Call Me By Your Name"

Call Me By Your Name (I still find the premise of the title a bit contrived)
A story of same sex attraction and dynamics between Elio, a very intelligent 17 year old and Oliver, a nearly 30? year old doctoral student who comes to Italy for a summer internship with Elio's father and lives in their Italian villa. Elio is infatuated with Oliver and wonders if Oliver even likes him. They occasionally spar intellectually and eventually share some romantic moments until Oliver must return to  the States.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino; Screenplay by James Ivory; based on the book by André Aciman; starring Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg

I have reviewed the book by Andre Aciman here. (It was not a stellar review as I found the book full of ennui and very tedious despite the rave reviews of others.)

Suffice it to say that there were changes in the location, minor changes in character and action and the elimination of Elio's obsessive self-reflection. All of which, in my opinion, improved, rather than detracted from the story.

I will not go into critiquing the actors and the screenplay and the filming and editing all of which were very good and/or well done.

But just from a subjective point of view, I enjoyed the movie so much more than the book. It seemed more realistic, more sensual, more romantic, and so much less cerebral, especially on Elio's part, than the book.

I was somewhat disappointed that the setting was in northern Italy and not along the seacoast near Naples. But the setting did work well and while in many respects very beautiful, it was not unrealistically idyllic. The setting and scenery did not upstage the story or characters.

One might find the switching between languages (English, Italian and some dialectical French with a bit of German) a bit distracting with the subtitles, but it works to convey the very natural European way of life and of interacting with others.

Both Elio and Oliver were so much more likeable in the film, whereas in the book I found Elio's incessant self-relection and rumination to be annoying, tedious and masturbatory. In the book I thought Oliver was distant, arrogant and mean toward Elio much of the time.

Here the main characters seem more real, more natural. Elio, while precocious, was not obnoxiously so. He was simpatico, and his confusion was so very adolescent. Oliver's and Elio's relationship develops more realistically and, for the gay audience I think, more satisfactorily. The actors are well cast and suited to their roles. I liked Elio's father, who was not a major character but had some great scenes.

Also, some interesting music throughout.

Bottom line: A nice movie to escape the craziness of the evening news and the real world, if you know what I mean. Recommended.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Refusing To Provide Medical Care Based On Religion Is Unacceptable

This is a very strong statement by a gay pediatrician against the new Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom in the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The government under the current administration, rather than protecting the rights of all to non-judgemental health care, is cow-towing to the fringe element of the religious right who blindly support him despite his very questionable ethics.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cory Booker passionate speech during Senate hearing

Dr. Matilda Krim,AIDS Activist and AMFAR Founder, Has Died

AIDS researcher and activist Dr. Matilda Krim dies at 91.

So many young people probably never heard of Dr. Matilda Krim, but her name was a gay household word back in the 80's, especially among those of us who were intimately involved in the AIDS arena and/or public health. She championed science over judgement, compassion over discrimination and activism over status quo.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Celebrating With Friends and Neighbors

I've been baking and cooking for weeks. Last Saturday we had 14 guys for a guys get together and today we had prepared for nine (too bad one wasn't feeling well enough to come).

 After the salad, lasagna, braciola, wine, pie and cookies we broke out the Irish Cream and Limoncello.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa's Elves - Dogs and Cats with Human Hands Making Toys - Freshpet

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

This made me chuckle...and heaven knows, we need a little humor these days.

Blessings From Our House To Yours

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Zen of Picking Rocks

With the daily news of natural and human perpetrated disasters, including almost hourly reports of assaults on democracy by our so-called president and his minions, I have been feeling quite overwhelmed. So I have turned to a more or less inward activity to ease my angst.

The cooler weather has allowed me the opportunity to work on my front yard landscaping some more. (I thought I had written a post about my front yard landscape back some months ago, but I can't find it, so perhaps it was on Facebook, now deleted.)

Well, long story short: when I started landscaping I discovered that underneath the river rocks and pecan shell mulch was landscape fabric. And underneath the fabric was a layer of river rock. And as river rock is not cheap, I decided to salvage all the river rock that was buried. And that involved removing (and saving) the mulch and picking out each stone by hand...tried using a screen, but I still had to separate the river rocks from the debris and other stones, so it was not a work saver.

Anyhow, removing mulch, fabric and picking rocks one square foot at a time has become my Zen meditation of sorts. Mindless activity or mindfulness, quiet and solitude, peaceful and relaxing, a useless activity in the scheme of the universe, a purposeless purpose with visible results.

I've been replacing old, torn landscape fabric with new, rearranging large rocks and making "islands" populated with plants. Notice Mom's Virgin Mary keeping watch from under the juniper. Very Zen-Catholic-Agnostic-Spiritual.


Related Posts with Thumbnails