24 Feb 2017 1 Comment
I’ve got to get used to the new Weekly Photo Challenge starting on Wednesday. I caught it the first week, but not this. At any rate here are two rare birds that make a good match, I think.
1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.
2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.
Other Weekly Photo Challenge photos:
- Good Match: Daily Post
- Good Match: Dilletante Scribbler
- Good Match: Stenoodie
- Good Match: From Hiding to Blogging
- Good Match: David Oakes Images
- Good Match: Jinan Daily Photo
- Good Match: Balance
- Good Match: Stupidity Hole
- Good Match: Tangled Webs
- Good Match: Lucid Gypsy
- Good Match: Here and Abroad
- Good Match: Beijing Daily Photo
- Good Match: Danny’s Photos
- Good Match: Wandering Iris
- Good Match: Serendipity
- Good Match: No Fixed Plans
- Shadow: Playing with my 1st DSRL
- Shadow: Now at Home
- Shadow: Side of Random
- Shadow: Laura’s Photos
- Shadow: Gotta Take More Pix
- Shadow: Ungemaltes
- Shadow: Travel with Intent
- Shadow: Ohm Sweet Ohm
23 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
In this French film, we meet Antoine, the Dad in Training, who’s a mess as an adult. He’s a music producer and has little regular work. In the opening scene he’s begging for funding for the latest singer he’s found. It doesn’t look like that recording will get off the ground. At home, he contributes little financially and nil as far as child care of his two delightful daughters.
His wife Alice reaches a breaking point. The couple separate legally and Alice sends the two girls to Antoine for him to take care of for two weeks. She goes incommunicado so Antoine must manage juggling both his music career and figuring out how to be a father, how to get a 6 year old to take her medicine, how to console a nine year old daughter, who thinks she’s responsible for her parent’s separation and how to feed two kids when money’s tight. His sister often helps out and offers a realistic, sometimes critical but always true view of Antoine’s life.
As the story progresses, after various gaffes hooking up and with online dating, and Antoine does grow up as a father. Alice is impressed, but will they get back together?
All the performances rang true. I liked Antoine’s sister’s role as she offered real advice without pulling any punches. The ending was real and certainly not what a Hollywood film would have done. A definite thumbs up.
21 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
To Jane: The Keen Stars Were Twinkling
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising along them
The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
As the moon’s soft splendour
O’ er the faint cold starlight of Heaven
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
21 Feb 2017 3 Comments
I’m half way through the first week of the new semester. I’ve got new students. Some new English names: Nectarine, Molin (she made it up herself and it has no meaning), Cookie (a boy who likes cookies), Stark *a boy), Jagger I the student never heard of Mick Jagger), Moco (?), Nikey (a misspelling of the shoe company), Ankh *suggested by an Australian friend of a female student), Tab(??) and Garcia (not inspired by Jerry) I’ve had a lot of Cherries and a couple Apples and an Olive as English names, but never “Nectarine.”
What’s very weird is I’m the only English teacher here. The other four are still waiting for their visas. One should arrive this weekend and the others sometime after. I can imagine their frustration with the uncertainty. There’s very little information during this process that started months ago and probably takes longer than any other country.
We’re having weird weather. This past weekend was in the high 60s and today we have snow.
We’ve got one new IT professor and she seems quite nice. She’s got a lot of food restrictions and hasn’t wanted to eat out, which is a shame since food is so central to the culture.
My schedule’s okay, but Thursday I finish at 10 and I don’t teach again till Friday from 2pm to 4pm. I did need Friday morning off to attend my online class, and am grateful for that, but teaching Friday afternoon every week . . . ? First World problem, I know, but how I’d like to move that to Thursday.
The books have all arrived in time and all my students have theirs. For another teacher, who’s teaching IT classes, they’ve boycotted the book because they feel it’s too expensive. I’ve been in classes where the book was expensive, but I just wouldn’t dream of not getting it.
I had planned a few projects for sophomores, but it turns out I’ll just have two sections of freshmen. C’est la vie. I miss my old students, but these new ones will be lovely too.
20 Feb 2017 1 Comment
What was all the fuss about La La Land? Since it got so many awards and nominations, I was quite excited to see it. After doing so, while I grant you it was fresh to see an update of a golden age musical, I wasn’t wowed.
La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who’re okay, but not favorites of mine. They seem to lack that star quality that Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers and the like all had. It’s the story of two young starry-eyed dreamers who go to L.A. to fulfill their dreams. He wants to open a jazz club and save jazz as a genre and she wants to be an actress.
I’ve lived in L.A. and went to pursue my writing dreams. It was an interesting period, more so than the movie and less clichéd. Here we see a sanitized version of two one dimensional characters struggling to “get in.” He’s an arrogant loner and she’s a single girl looking for love and acceptance. I wasn’t particularly interested in whether they stayed together or not. I was surprised that Gosling’s character was such a churl. He’s rude to her. She’s rude back and after awhile they’re in bed, when they both should have kept looking for a better partner (or in his case done some self-examination and improved his attitude and personality and then found someone).
The commercials made me expect Gosling’s character to be a kinder person. I was surprised by how self-absorbed he was. He certainly wasn’t someone it would be fun to spend time with.
The dancing and singing were fine, but neither performer is as skilled at the old greats or as those on Glee. I’d have casted people from Broadway, included a few catchier songs and created characters that were more engaging and unique. Giving both of them good friends would have allowed the story to show why we should care about these characters.
The lyrics of the one song that I remember elude me, but the melody does pop into my head now and again. MGM would have given me songs I want to hear again and again. Song’s that were memorable like “Oklahoma!,” “I Could have Danced All Night,” “In America,” or “Gotta Dance.”
The ending wasn’t as sad as I think the creators intended.
I really hope there aren’t any young people who see La La Land as their first musical and give up on the genre.
17 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
The Last Princess (2016) captivated me with its dramatic history. It’s a film about a Korean Princess named Deok Hye, who lived from 1912 to 1989. Her father was Emperor when Japan was invading most of Asia. The Japanese wanted to control him, but couldn’t so they poisoned him. A few years later when Deok Hye was 13 she was sent to Japan to be educated. Though she didn’t want to go, she did to protect her mother.
As she grew, she realized she would never be allowed to return to Korea. The Japanese feared that this young, determined woman would stir up rebellion. When she was young, her father had hoped she’d marry Jang-Han Kim comes to Japan hoping to find a way to save her. He’s an officer in the Japanese army, but works with a group of underground rebels, who’re plotting to get the princess and her uncle back to Korea and to attack the core leaders of the Japanese army.
Throughout the film, the main villain isn’t a Japanese officer, but rather a Korean turncoat, Han Taek-soo, who was behind the emperor’s poisoning and will stop at nothing to please the Japanese by manipulating and spying on the Korean royals.
It’s decades before Deok Hye has a real chance to return to her home country. Along the way she bravely faces hardship, sorrow and betrayal.
16 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
Like Paper Moon and Zazie dan le Métro, You’re Ugly Too pairs a young girl, who isn’t so innocent, with a criminal who’s not used to children, forcing them both to connect. An Irish film, You’re Ugly Too follows Stacy who’s 11 and whose mother has recently died. Her Uncle Will gets released from prison to care for Stacy, his niece. Stacey’s wary and cynical. Uncle Will tries to cure her of her cursing and spitting. He takes her to live in a caravan her mother owned where they meet Emilie, a neighbor who comes pounding on their door seeking protection from her husband’s abusive friends.
Will soon discovers that due to her trauma and grief, Stacey has narcolepsy. A doctor prescribes stimulants, which Will is soon downing on the sly. A bureaucratic issue prevents Stacey from going to the local school. Since she was a teacher in Belgium, Emilie offers to tutor Stacey. The girl sees this just as a ploy to get near her uncle and tries some matchmaking. Oddly enough Emilie’s husband doesn’t care whom his wife sleeps with as that gives him permission to do as he pleases. Yet in the end Emilie turns out to be less reliable than any of the characters.
Stacey, played by Lauren Kinsella, and Aiden Gillen’s Will are both emotional porcupines, but I was drawn to them because they were so real, so scarred. By the end of the film they aren’t hugging and healed, but you could see they did love each other and did belong with each other.
The cinematography is terrific as it takes a bland, stark landscape and makes it dramatic. The film’s haunting and different, definitely worth your time.
15 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
I qualify as a highly sensitive person and found this interesting. Do you know anyone who’s highly sensitive? Are you one? Has anyone told you you’re too sensitive or do you get nightmares if you see scary movies?
I read the book she mentions.
You might be highly sensitive.