Sunday, February 28, 2010

bedridden quiz night



shakespearean lass?
lady macbeth

austen character?
elizabeth bennett

literary character?
catherine barkley

political figure?
hillary rodham-clinton

historical figure?
catherine the great

greek goddess?

movie star?
katherine hepburn

so, i suppose the only question is, when does my life begin to look like theirs?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

top 100 movies of all time

In 2007 the American Film Institute released the 10th revision of the LIST of the top 100 films of all time. Of those 100, I've seen 58. Somewhat impressive, I suppose, considering that the earliest film is from 1916. However, I can't help but feel minorly negligent in regard to the other 42.

So, other than updating my Netflix queue, I thought I might write small reviews both on the films I've seen and the new additions, according to the time I have, the order in which they arrive and the lifespan of my interest in this project.

I will however, review the one's I've seen from the top down. I might rewatch a few of the films I've seen in order to refresh my memory and/or get a more mature perspective on the ones I've not visited for some time.

This especially pertains to the numero uno on everyone's list - Citizen Cane. I confess, the only impression I can conjure is of an avant gard black and white with Orson Welles roaring behind those hush puppy eyes. Nothing of its infamy lingers. So, I think it deserves another go.

Which means we skip right down to #2 - The Godfather.

The Essentials:

Based on a novel of the same name by Mario Puzo
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, & Robert Duvall

With some films, so much has been said of them, the challenge is to provide a unique impression. I suppose that will be the case with most of these illustrious masterpieces. I remember my mom telling me how beautiful Marlon Brando once was, which seemed a bit of a stretch. Well, until I saw On the Waterfront, a film we'll visit as it has also rated the list.

What strikes me most about this film is its elegance. The family, the perserverance, the murder and even the betrayal all carry a certain savoir faire, that made us all want to be mafiosos or at least their wives. It's probably the most quoted film.

"If you had come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day."

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

And, of course...

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Who doesn't want to be in the family? They take care of their own and anyone who comes between them, well they take care of them too. As for the performances, Brando is deliciously sure of himself with ice water in his veins. Pacino is naive, romantic and the stranger in a strange land that introduces us to this foreign mob world. Caan is the badass we've always known him to be, fierce and full of rage. Duvall is the level headed lawyer that looks the other way until it's time to father kids. A symphony of talent offering up the most convincing portrayal of what we all want a life in the "family" to be.

I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know about a movie you've probably seen as much as I have. I do know some trivia, however. For instance, I know that Marlon Brando accomplished his notorious jowelled slur by stuffing gauze in the pockets of his cheeks. I also know that James Caan was originally cast as Michael, until the newbie, Al Pacino came on the scene. But, what we all know is that crime never looked so good. In fact, how can you really call it crime?

After all, it's just a family business...

Sonny to Michael: Hey, whataya gonna do, nice college boy, eh? Didn't want to get mixed up in the Family business, huh? Now you wanna gun down a police captain. Why? Because he slapped ya in the face a little bit? Hah? What do you think this is the Army, where you shoot 'em a mile away? You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing. you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. C'mere... [Sonny kisses Michael's head]

a quiet announcement

As I'm not inclined to conjure up more competition, this is my very quiet announcement that my darling friend, poet and artist is hosting a giveaway for a delighhtful piece displaying a friendly chikadee.

So, do visit her site, do fall under the spell of her work as we all have, and do not hope to win - for that piece is mine!

Umber Dover

May the best Gomes win...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

more memory lane

Well, I know what you must be thinking, but no, it wasn't Halloween. We were actually dressed up for a 50's party for my Aunt Roxi, who was, of course, turning 50. You might ask why then am I all done up in 60's regalia. God only knows. perhaps I was simply looking for an excuse to wear those ridiculous earrings.

My brother, on the other hand, looks dashing as ever. What you can't see due to the tragically unfortunate erosion on the photo, is the pack of Pall-Mall's rolled up in his white t-shirt sleeve.

As to my mother - yes, she's gorgeous, yes she's sexy as hell, and yes, that outfit is crocheted! by my grandmother! what you can't see in this pic is that those aren't just any crocheted pants - those are crocheted hot-pants!


Kathy, a family friend

Here's a little blurb from my mom as she reminisces about a dear friend of hers that touched all of our lives. She's writing this for a memory book entry, which Kathy's husband is putting together of all her old friends. I thought you might like a little peak into my magnificent mother and some happy times in my childhood.


Kathy and I started out on a pretty bumpy road. I was one of her customers, she actually called me Dragon-Lady, with good reason, but, nevertheless, she was very persistent in trying to get my business. Which, needless to say, irritated the hell out of me. Finally one day I was in a pinch and needed her services quickly. I called her up and told her it was the bottom of the ninth inning, two outs, tie score and she was “up”. She came through for me with such professionalism and grace, she not only got my business, but won my heart as a friend.

We would spend many years together having our “ladies night out,” sharing the stories of the week, gossiping and a lot of laughing. We would drink wine and smoke. The problem was, we smoked different cigarettes, she menthol and me non-menthol, so if one of us ran out, we had to call it a night because we would not smoke each others. Yuck!

We spent some wonderful time with my children – watching Joshua (8) throw popcorn up in the air and catch it in his mouth. Dressing Jessica (10) up in fancy clothes and fur coats regaled in full make up. We took pictures that were amazing and could have been published. Unfortunately, her father was not as thrilled and destroyed them all. And you wonder why we are no longer married.

One weekend, my birthday weekend to be exact, in 1991 we went to a women’s church retreat and had a wonderful time of reflection and bonding. We would sit on the bluff, drink our wine, smoke our cigarettes and discuss the lessons of the day. We made a decision at that time to quit smoking.

That next Monday, we met at Fisherman’s Wharf, shared a split of champagne and smoked our last cigarette together. Then we decided to leave a lasting impression, we would each smoke one anothers cigarette so it would leave an awful memory. When we were finished, we broke our remaining cigarettes in half and threw them into the bay. We finished our champagne, gave each other a big huge and continued on to work. This is what true friendship is really about. We supported each other at every turn. Encouraged each other every chance we got. But alas, it was bigger than the both of us and didn’t last long. But the story is sweet.

Soon after that she left for Florida and I went to the airport with her. We had a glass of wine in the Red Carpet room and stayed fairly silent through most of the visit which was not like us at all. We both realized that it was the end of a closeness that neither one of us had ever known. You think that it will just continue even after you are separated, but we both knew it would change. I hugged her goodbye as she boarded the plane and cried the whole way home.

Kathy often spoke of how she so wanted to have children. I knew it would happen and I also knew she would be the best mother there ever was. She and Jeff have withstood the test of time and have raised two wonderful children, whom I know will make an impact on our society. I have enjoyed the annual Christmas photo which brings me up to date on how they are all doing.

God Bless you Kathy as you slowly move into “50” with such grace and fluidity that you can hardly tell you have arrived. Even though we don’t keep in touch as often as we both would like, always know that you are in my prayers and thoughts and when I am feeling a little low, my mind returns to our little restaurant in San Mateo where we spent so much time in laughter. You have made a lasting impression on my life, as you have many others, and I love you for that. You will always be my very BESTEST friend forever and a day.



(Kathy's nickname for my mom, Denise)