The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Movie About Aging and India


Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera Ho...

Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera House in London. Français : Judi Dench photographiée lors de la soirée des British Academy Film Awards dans le Royal Opera House à Londres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think old age is an excuse to sit around and vegetate, maybe you ought to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

If you are older, you will recognize some of the outstanding English actors in this production. It’s all about a group of seven retirees who don’t want to stop living because they are older.

They trek over to India to stay in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Like them, the hotel has seen better days. It is run by a dreamy young optimistic Indian man who is trying to forge his own identity. He has trouble standing up to his mother; she doesn’t want him to marry his beautiful young girlfriend, or run a hotel.

The retirees soon learn that the young Indian man,  computer enhanced the hotel in his advertising, and  it’s not what he promised. However, the guests learn to like it and they improve along with the hotel.

The theme of this movie is that life doesn’t stop for you just because your get old; unless you just give up, and wait to die. We all know people who are perfectly willing to use old age as an excuse for not accomplishing anything.

The acting in this movie is terrific. Evelyn Greensleeves (Judy Dench) finds out her husband was not good at finances and she is flat broke. Luckily, she gets herself to The Exotic Marigold Hotel, and starts her new life. She also finds a job in a phone center. (I won’t tell you how or why). One man reclaims a lost love,  a few conclude their looks can’t get them what they are used to getting.  A couple has to come to terms with their marriage.

The characters are still interested in their lives, and they still are adventuresome. Some have lived with poor choices they made when they were young.There are stories about loss and love. Other noteworthy actors include: Maggie Smith and Hugh Dickson. It is refreshing to see these people practice their craft so skillfully.

If you’ve ever been curious about life in India, this offers you glimpses of how different and colorful life is there. People who have visited there, or are curious, might enjoy that aspect of the movie.

The only criticism I have of this movie is it was too long. I started wondering if it was ever going to end.  When the ending came, it was satisfying.  Maybe a wee bit of fantasy there, but it is a movie!

I would recommend this movie if you’re older. I don’t think younger people would appreciate it as much—nothing explodes and there isn’t much blood and guts.  The story about the young Indian and his beautiful girlfriend isn’t enough to hold a young person’s interest.

I was happy that the actors were about 10 or more years older than me! It made me feel momentarily young. I’m no spring chicken myself!

I give this movie a B+

Agree or disagree with my review?

How do you feel about getting older. Are you aging gracefully, or is it difficult for you?


A change of pace for my blog. This is a reblog.

A Detailed House

So many, many exquisite bathrooms, so little time! Here is the continuation of the exploration of black and white bathrooms.

This first picture, although I’ve commented below as well, shows a treatment that I will be addressing in a DIY segment down the road, as I am going to do this to one of our bedrooms that has sloped walls. Sloped walls obviously aren’t conducive to crown molding, but I can still add some architectural elements to the room, and this is similar to what I have selected:

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Remembering those Special Times Can Bring You Joy


Happy Family

Happy Family (Photo credit: goto10)

I decided to make a list of the moments in life I treasure.  You know, the happy times in your life. Even in the most miserable of lives, there has to be moments to treasure. I like to think about these moments every once in a while. It brings me a little bit of joy!

One of those moments includes being alone with my parents when I was about 6. I remember holding their hands, and being lifted in the air. My husband and I later did it with our  own children. And I saw a little girl at Cedar Falls being given the same treatment the other day.

Not one of those moments had anything to do with getting something materialistic.

It all had to do with family and love— Giving love, or being loved.  Or helping someone else.

Why do we think things will make us happy? If they do, it’s only for a  few minutes.  Get a new car, it might make you feel good for a week or two. By the time the new car smells wears off Then, the newness wears off, and that’s the end of it.

Of course we need to get our basic needs me, food, shelter, and clothing.

A lot of it has to do with helping other people, or making them happy.

Just something to think about….

You have any special moments you’d like to share?

Book Review: Ted Williams A Golden Voice


A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks’
c A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks  These rocks ruin lives.

If you want an eyewitness account of life on the streets, read A Golden Voice by Ted Williams.

Williams was a successful radio DJ in Columbus on several reputable  stations for about 10 years.  He knew he had a “golden voice” when he was a youngster, and he worked at perfecting his voice, and thinking of ways to be on the radio.

It paid off when he got an opportunity to be on one of the big stations in Columbus, and shot to the top. (twice).

He threw it all away when he got hooked on crack.

He managed to get clean for short periods a couple of times, but whenever things got rough, he’d relapse.  Like many crack addicts, he spent time chasing that first high. In his case, he chased it for more than 20 years. Like others,  he never found it. What he found was poverty, depression, humiliation, homelessness and lots of jail time. He hurt some people along the way. Some have forgiven him, others are still working on it. At least his mother— at 90—finally can feel hopeful.

Williams was adopted by people who really wanted him. His mother, in particular, made sure he had a lot of opportunities in life. His relationship with his  late father was much rockier. It was no accident that his dad named him after the famous baseball player, Ted Williams. However, he never lived up to his famous name.

He was already an alcoholic when he joined the army.  He parted ways with the US army for working some scams and drinking too much. He got a dishonorable discharge.

He gets more than once chance to get away from crack, but every time he manages some sobriety, he ends up relapsing. His nickname was “relapse Ted.”  As most of us know by now, crack is very addictive.

He is co-dependent with a woman who prostitutes herself so they can smoke crack together. Her story is included. She tells it like it is.  It’s not a pretty picture.

After years of being homeless, and doing whatever he could think of to make money for crack, he finally starts begging an hour a day on the street corner where he was videotaped by a Columbus Dispatch reporter. He was whisked to California after the YouTube video went viral.

I saw him at person at Barnes and Noble in Columbus where he was promoting his book.   Some people were there because they were related to someone who is addicted to a drug, and were looking for hope. Some were there because they’ve lived his story. Others, were just curious.

He spent time talking to anyone who wanted to speak to him. He seemed sincere about wanting to help others.

He was doing a quite a bit of preaching in between talking about his book. His faith is a big part of his recovery.  When you do read the book, you get 90% story, and 10% talk about faith.

Dr. Phil did give him another chance at rehab when he decided he was serious. He financed another stint in rehab.  He’s been clean for 14 months

This should be required reading for social workers, or anyone working with drug addicts. It is honest.

I sincerely hope he makes it this time.

Even though this book is not for the squeamish or judgmental,  it is inspirational in its own way.

Any opinions about Mr. Williams?  I would be interested to find out what you think?

Rip Robin Gibb


So sad, that so many Gibbs have died. This is in tribute of the latest casualty, Robin Gibb. I remember when the BG’s became popular. I was about 12 or 13. I loved their music.

When Saturday Night Fever was popular, I just couldn’t get enough of the music. I’d just play it over and over.

It must be so sad for their mother. Losing 3 sons before her.

It just goes to show you, that fame can only do so much for you.

I hope you enjoy this video. I did.

Bill Mahr—Love him or hate him?


I put a blurb on Facebook saying I was going to usher at a Bill Mahr appearance in Columbus, Ohio.  I was putting it there to notify my daughter that the concert didn’t conflict with a birthday party she was throwing.

I couldn’t believe the reaction I got to that little comment. People either hate this guy or they love him. I find him very funny. He cracks me up. In these times, we all need a little humor.

Personally, I just loved his movie on religion, Religulous (2008) – IMDb. It made sense to me. But, I know it offended a lot of people. I guess it all depends on where you stand on religion. If you are a  very religious person, and don’t want to question your faith, don’t see this movie.

It just typifies what is going on in this country now. How is this constant quarreling ever going to end?

What mystifies me is how people can listen to the same speeches, be in the same circumstances and have such different reactions.

If you believe in freedom of speech it shouldn’t matter who says what. And I have to say I’m really intolerant to the Fox Station. I feel it’s nothing but an anti-Obama propaganda machine. I’ve felt that way since he’s taken office on the first day. They never gave him a chance.

Cover of "Religulous"

Cover of Religulous

I don’t remember a time when people differed so much in their political views.

I thought it would all end when Barack Obama got elected. But, now it’s worse than ever.

Do you think it will ever end?.

The only thing I can do is not watch TV, listen to the radio, or talk to people who don’t share my point of view.

This could prove to be very tricky in my situation. I do have friends and relatives that do not share my point of view. But, I love them just the same.

I, for one, do not believe in censorship. Everyone has the right to see, hear or watch whatever they want. Then, they can make up their own minds.

I guess it all makes life more interesting.

Post Script: I don’t get to go because my aunt is celebrating her 90th birthday, a much more important event.

Season 14 Dancing with the Stars: Final: A Winner Declared!


Donald Driver

Donald Driver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Season 14 cast opened up the show with a very exciting dance.  At first, I just thought it was only  the pros. It looked great. It was a chance for them to take a final bow. Very impressive!

Everyone agrees that the dancing in this season was the best ever.

Finalists were wearing pink and black costumes.

Brooke, the host, was wearing a gorgeous pink dress. It was connected with some kind of buckle thing.  I’ve noticed her boobs haven’t popped out of her dress since I mentioned it on my blog. You think she read it?

The judges wanted to see Donald Driver and Peta do their freestyle again. It was another session of him throwing her around like a football. It made me nervous. What if he dropped her? This girl is one tough cookie.

Here are some comments from the judges about the finalists:

“Donald is like a gladiator coming out to do battle.”
“Katherine has technique.”
William Levy has great charisma.”

Huge photos of William Levy, Katherine Jenkins, and Donald Driver were on the DWTS set.  There are spotlights all over the room.  There was palpable excitement.

What follows are some highlights of the show. Former cast members got a chance to show their stuff.

Review of the show
Sherrie Shepherd  looks like she lost a few pounds.
She dance to a ridiculous song I’ve never understood, “It’s Raining Men.”
I enjoyed Sherrie’s dance with 6 sexy male pros. They lifted her up, still no small feat.

We were then treated with highlights from the season. How soon we forget the other contestants.

Kelly Clarkson gets to sing! You know, Kelly, the first American Idol finalist.

Brooke went to check out the 24-hour dances they all had to put together the day before the final. She talked to William Levy and Cheryl who were wearing snazzy costumes. She asks provocative questions like, “Are you nervous?” .

Martina was wearing a very cute dress, and looked pretty feminine, She did a good job dancing.

Jack Wagner was wearing a black outfit, and he danced competently.  He looked feminine too. (Sorry Jack, for some reason I don’t like you. You must remind me of someone.)

 Gladys Knight—did a great job dancing wearing a very cool red outfit.

Melissa Gilbert—Good dance with Maks and his brother.  Roshon did a great dance wearing a nice blue outfit.

Williams Levy —Great last dance, the salsa, all the shaking in the right places. He is something.

As Carrie Ann said, “true star quality.” His little boy said, “ I love you daddy.”  Cheryl, his partner, said, “He was a true talent, and he challenged me.” Final Score: 89/90

Katherine Jenkins and Mark
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Katherine. Here last dance was a jive.
Adorable  50‘s orange outfits to “splish splash I was taking a bath on a Saturday night,” an old Bobby Darin song. (Some of you may be asking who? Look it up.)
Such a cute dance!

Carrie Ann: “You two set the bar so high.” She gave Mark credit.

Len: ” I tell you Katherine, you’re the complete package.”
“Thank you for making me so welcome in America.”  Donny Osmond told her, “If you win it, believe me, It’s worth it.” Final Score: 90/90

Donald Driver
Peta thought Donald was a great partner.
Cha cha cha
They were both wearing pink costumes. Peta looks good in her skimpy outfits.
Donald took his shirt off!  He  gave it to Carrie Ann. He is as good a dancer as anyone, and he obviously works out.
Len: “You’re the best footballer we’ve ever had.”
Bruno: “Always inspired.”
Carrie Ann: “You’re the one to beat!”

I think it will be Donald Driver. 89/90

His little kids, very adorable, said, “Daddy we love you.”
The beefy teammates told him not to drop the ball because he was almost at the end zone.

Before the announcement of the winner, Gladys Knight sang a tribute to the finalists, “The Way we Were.” She was wearing a beautiful sequined black dress.  She sings much better than she dances. They showed the finalists in a big montage on a huge screen while she was singing. .

3rd place: William and Cheryl. His little boy is crying, Aw!
2nd place:  Katherine Jenkins and Mark
Winner:  Donald Driver is the winner! Honestly, it was no surprise to me, and I wrote this as I watched it.

He was presented with the Mirror ball or is it Miraball?

Until the 15th season, goodbye Dancing with the Stars

Please comment on the results. What do you think?