Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Saturday was my friend Luzanne’s party where we began with pizza, salad and a vintage candy buffet with old time treats like Ice Cubes, Good & Plenty, candy cigarettes, Caramel Cremes, Slo-pokes, licorice, Razzles, Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Daddies, Dots, Swedish Fish, Necco wafers, and dozens more. Current goodies like M&Ms and Snickers were also included.

There was quite a collection of Christmas sweaters, headwear, and jewelry. One guest wore this suit (or something very close) which had electric colored lights blazing from under the material. The two hostesses wore blue dresses like those worn in White Christmas. They also had the blue gloves and fans.

After people had their fill of candy, we moved on to the Music Box Theater for their 35th Annual Christmas Sing-Along showing of White Christmas. Before the film started the Southport Carolers led the audience in song accompanied on the organ. Then Santa arrived and led us in more songs including one the organist wrote.

Then the movie starts but the singing doesn’t stop. The audience sang along with Crosby, Kaye, Clooney and Vera-Ellen. Also there were plenty of funny comments during the film including hissing at the nosey housekeeper. I’m glad we got jingle bells at the party because they came in handy throughout the evening.

Sunday I visited St. John Cassius church in Chicago. Built in 1893, it’s listed as one of the “11 Churches You should See in Chicago.”

It’s a magnificent building which would fit in in Europe. Lots of gold, art, and majesty. I went to the 11 am Latin mass. It was the first time I attended a mass in Latin done in the Pre-Vatican II method. The priest didn’t face the public, but the altar. This mass differed from what I’m used to. While I studied Latin in college, it’s rusty. They had a small choir of people who sang the responses so there was more response than a few mumbles from people who’d forgotten their Latin.

The rest of the week was mainly slaving away at the department store, which I have quit, and helping a friend with some work problems.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m excited that advent’s started. Yesterday I went mass at Northwestern University’s Catholic center where I heard an exceptional homily.

The job is not going well. I’m counting the days. Last Monday, I learned that a colleague was taken away in handcuffs. It’s all very hush hush. Obviously she was caught stealing in one way or another. So we’re extremely short on help. I’ve volunteered to work extra. I immediately regretted that since I don’t like this store much and the woman who asked didn’t even say “thank you.”

The library’s reading challenge has begun. I haven’t been reading novels as much as I’d like so I’ve resumed. I’m reading Zola’s L’Argent (in English).

We’ve started to decorate the house for Christmas. Like last year, we’re doing so gradually. I’ve come to like that better than getting everything out in early December. I think this way there’s more anticipation.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we had quite a bit of snow last night. Our newspaper is somewhere mixed in one of the little banks. I can’t recall ever having snow like this in November. Usually, we don’t even have the proverbial White Christmas.

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I started a new part time job at a department store. After I quit, I’ll give you the name. After college I worked at a very well-run store. My sister worked there, a family friend and her two daughters, some of my sisters’ friends, two other family friends. So it was a very congenial setting from day one. Training was thorough and scheduling was fair With this new job, the store has rather unreal expectations – especially for part timers. I’ll leave it at that for now. I am wondering why we only have 4 people in my department and three of us are relatively new. The manager’s only been there for 3 weeks. Of the four of us who began training last Monday, three of us decided by lunch time Monday that we’d keep our eyes open for other jobs. I do find the customers gracious, so that’s a plus.

We had a lovely, though smaller Thanksgiving. My parents went out to my sister’s in Utah. My other sister stayed out East. I went to my brother and sister-in-law’s where I was treated to a feast and got a generous doggy bag.

Though the website had some issues, I managed to upload and submit 3 scripts and TV show ideas to the Upfront event for Act One, the Christian Screenwriters and Producers. This event allows aspiring screenwriters or producers to present their ideas to companies that have reviewed summaries. It’s so hard to get noticed so I’m so appreciative of this writing program that looks after its alumni so well. Act One is now taking applications for the 2019 program.

I’ve gotten about half my Christmas shopping done! One problem is that for two of my nephew’s I ordered something from eBay and its earliest delivery date is Dec. 24th. It’s coming from England. I may wrap a photo of the item since they aren’t toddler’s and can wait.

I got another job offer and will begin working at the Winnetka/Northfield Public Library December 17th. Alas, it’s just part time, but it’s a foot in the door. I could have started today, but I didn’t want the department store to be in the lurch. What was I thinking? They’re paying less and are quite unappreciative and inflexible.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Orange

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While the story started out intriguing, Ichigo Takano’s Orange sure presents a lot of shilly shally-ing. This manga, or Japanese comic book, is about Naho, a high school student, who receives letters from her future self. The future Naho lives 10 years ahead of the present and somehow wants to advise the present Naho on how to prevent the cute new boy at school from committing suicide. Naho’s got a crush on the new boy, Kakeru, but she’s quite timid about that. Another boy, of course, has a crush on her and can see the chemistry between Naho and Kakeru.

Kakeru moved because his mother committed suicide so now he must live with his grandmother in the countryside. There’s never any mention of his father, which seemed odd. Kakeru feels responsible for his mother’s death. If he had only gone straight home after school that one day . . . The other characters have no special characteristics.

The story starts out intriguing, but Naho’s ever-present hesitation and questioning of the letters from the future make her extremely indecisive. Since the story goes for 384 pages, I expected some resolution. There wasn’t any. It ends with “to be continued.” So who knows whether Naho and her pals’ efforts changed Kakeru’s future. It doesn’t seem worth reading another 300+ pages, many of which will probably be repetitive to find out.

The art is pretty standard Japanese manga style. More creativity in the art would have helped, but I don’t think the publishing companies care.

Company

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.31.43 PMI had no idea when I went to Northwestern’s production of Company by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, that the story was famous. I actually thought that the musical would be about corporate America. I wasn’t adverse to different subject matter though.

The performers were remarkable, which is usually the case at Northwestern. They got the songs pitch perfect and every step of each dance was on the money.

However, the story itself seemed dated. I couldn’t put my finger on which decade the story was from, but I guessed the 80’s. (I was just off by a decade it was the 70s). Company is about Bobby, a man, who’s just turned 35 and he’s still single, while all his friends are married. These couples are devoted to Bobby and inviting him to their homes seems to be the peak of their social lives. I couldn’t get over how much they cared about Bobby and how much they worried that he was still single. At a certain point, I’d expect people to move on. It wasn’t like Bobby had cancer or a family tragedy that meant people should focus on him so much.

Bobby wasn’t an especially interesting person. He didn’t have an interesting job. In fact we didn’t know what work he did. He wasn’t hilariously funny, or especially generous or active. He had no special expertise. He was just a guy. He had three girls whom he dated, but he didn’t have a particular interest in one. He didn’t criticize these women, but he was lukewarm about them, just as he was lukewarm about every other facet of life.

The friends follow what I call the “Little Women” characterization model. Each person has their own talent, problem or outlook that defines them. One woman’s neurotically afraid of getting married to her live in boyfriend. That boyfriend is very patient. One woman controls her husband’s drinking and does judo. That husband has been caught driving drunk. We don’t know much of anything about these stereotypical characters. I suppose that’s the case with musicals and often opera, little or no character complexity or change, but great music.

I have a hard time with plays or books where the hero is indecisive start to finish, where he or she is wishy washy or noncommittal. I realize that’s a very modern attitude, but I don’t need to spend two hours putting my life on hold and watching someone who’s a wet noodle.

The ending was particularly disappointing. It’s hard to fathom how this play won seven Tony Awards, except that it came out in the 1970s and then it might have been innovative. Now, even with updates like cell phone use, it’s ho hum. Marriage, while on the decrease, is still a big part of life and debates on its merits are nothing new.

So I can’t recommend this show, which plays through Nov. 19th.

Poor Dwight and Morwenna

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Sunday’s Poldark episode began by showing the villagers poorer and starving. Yet, and this should come as no surprise, George had no mercy or compassion for them. He rounded up those he could and sentenced them to 15 years in prison.

Also, the program included the fastest, no fuss, birth I’ve ever seen on television. In one scene Demelza’s digging potatoes and a bit later she’s got her new daughter Clowance  in her hands.  I didn’t actually mind the abbreviated birth because the episode was packed with other events.

Dwight is stuck in a dank, dark, decrepit prison which rivaled the Les Misérables Paris sewers for hygiene. Yet despite the starvation and mental anguish of his imprisonment, heroic Dwight manages to perform surgery in his cell.

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Carpe diem, Morwenna

Morwenna and Drake, both reserved by nature, tentatively get closer. Yet as Morwenna’s charge Geoffrey speaks up to George and is found to have gone to Clowance’s baptism on the sly, George and Elizabeth feel it’s time for her to marry. Poor Morwenna. The Warleggan’s don’t bother to find anyone at all suitable. They settle for the first slimy widower to come along, a much older and very greasy Rev. Osborne Whitworth. Morwenna should run for the hills! But there’s no one who can rescue her. It’s out of the question socially that she could marry Dwight who lives in a dark, old building with a dirt floor with his brother. Even Demelza thinks Morwenna could never marry down.

George doesn’t brook opposition, no matter how wise or how true. Thus he’s exiling Aunt Agatha to the dungeon of the coldest, darkest part of the house. He makes sure that she gets no letters, including Ross’ invitation to Clowance’s christening.

As so many people are starving Caroline and Demelza team up to get them grain. Ross finds a way to trick George so that he’s fooled into thinking the villages stole when in fact they were given grain through donations. Ross’ trick backfires as it prompts George to get even by closing his mine, which was once a Poldark mine just out of spite. The result is 70 breadwinners will be out of work and their families may starve, but George has no compassion and he doesn’t care. Be careful George, look what the French did to their upper class.

The episode was brisk and moved a long with lots of emotion and action. The hour whipped by and I didn’t want the show to end. We’re left hanging to see what will become of Dwight, Morwenna and all the others in this splendid cast. I find I like Geoffrey Charles more and more.