“Trouble with the curve “needs a lot of straightening out


Amy Adams at the 83rd Academy Awards

Amy Adams at the 83rd Academy Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe I’m just having a bad day, but I found “Trouble with the Curve” embarrassing.  Poor acting, and an implausible plot.

It’s about Eastwood, an aging baseball scout, who has a poor relationship with his daughter. She helps him on his baseball scouting job because John Goodman (his friend) pleads with her to help good old Dad. She walks away from a good law job where she is trying to become a partner  of a law firm to do this.  She has a lousy relationship with Eastwood in the first place, so why would she want to help him?

Eastwood goes to his wife’s grave to sing “You are my sunshine.” How hokey is that? The date on the headstone is 1945- 1984. That means that Eastwood, who is 83, would be married to a woman a lot younger than him. I don’t think so! ( Unless you are a rich movie star.)

First of all, why would an 83-year-old guy, Clint Eastwood,  be scouting baseball players for a major baseball team? Not only is Clint old, but the other actors who play scouts seem pretty old too. I guess this was to make Eastwood seem like a 50 something kind of guy. (The movie would’ve  been better with a 50 or 60 something actor playing the part.)

My other problem is the actress, Amy Adams, who plays his daughter.  I do think she should go to acting school. She used the same tone of voice through the movie, and it was annoying. She does have nice long hair which she flips around a lot.

I had trouble buying that she would be Clint’s daughter, but Eastwood did have his 30 something son playing a  minor part in the movie. (Clint is a movie star, after all.) In real life, Adams would’ve passed for his granddaughter.  Their relationship seems so distant that it’s hard to believe she would leave her important law job to help him.

Justin Timberlake plays her love interest.  He does take off all his clothes, except his underwear if you’re looking for a little thrill. There is practically no chemistry between Adams and Timberlake.

The story is one of those feel good movies with a happy ending. If you like baseball trivia, you might enjoy some of the patter going on between Timberlake and Adams. If you can suspend your belief system, you might be able to buy this movie.

I have to give Clint credit for acting although he’s too old for the part.  He’s about the only one besides John Goodman who seems to know how to act.

If you are  a baseball fan, like the actors, and enjoy a predictable story—this movie is for you.

Remembering my grandma and grandpa : Their Special Gift to me


 

I’ve been thinking about my grandparents lately.  We have just celebrated the first of the Jewish holidays and my grandparents centered their lives around the Jewish calendar.

My grandmother’s father was a lumber salesman somewhere in Poland.  All I know about him is that he gave her a pair of shiny blue opal earrings when she was a little girl. I remember seeing those earrings every time I saw my grandma. They are still in the family.

Unfortunately, when Grandma’s father was off selling lumber, her step-mother was abusing her, so she decided to go to America where her sister was already living. Like many Jewish immigrant women of the time, she was a seamstress.

Grandpa’s story was different. There was a famous pogrom in Kishinev, Bessarabia— a part of the Russian Empire — in 1905. Periodically, the locals would blame the Jews for something they didn’t do, and go on a murdering rampage. My grandpa hid in a hayloft so he wouldn’t get conscripted in the Tsar’s army. Fortunately, they didn’t find him. His father wasn’t so lucky. He hid too, but was killed by a pitchfork.

My grandfather knew it was time to go to Cleveland, Ohio, where relatives could take him in. He didn’t waste any time leaving Kishinev. Somehow he got to Belgium, and took the ship, called  “The Hamburg.” I still have a record of that boat trip.

My grandparents met through friends, and got married when they were still young.  They had five children in quick succession.

Although my grandparents immigrated in their teens, their English wasn’t always easy to understand. My mother often spoke to them in Yiddish, their native tongue. I always found their speech bewildering because I couldn’t really understand it. They both referred to our car as “the machine.”

My grandpa worked as a painter, and was a proud member of the Painter’s Union.      Grandma and Grandpa never owned their own home or car. They did the best they could raising their family.  They were proud that all their children became solid members of society.

We used to visit them every Sunday. Grandma used to always offer fruit carefully arranged on a plate. “Have an apple, orange or banana” she’d suggest.

I remember putting my arms around her soft ample waist, and giving her a kiss.

Gifts from my Grandparents

It liked it when Grandma reached into her black purse to get out a package of Dentyne gum.  I liked to watch her carefully unwrap a single piece from the red and white wrapper before placing it in my little outstretched hand.  I knew this was her way of telling me she loved me,

Grandpa was a proud man who stood up very straight. He was only about 5”3” tall, but his  children treated him like he was a towering figure. They carefully listened to whatever Grandpa had to say.  He loved to sing, and I can still hear his voice when I think about him.

He was more outgoing that my grandmother. He did an old Russian dance at one wedding —he crouched down in a sitting position  and kicked his legs—signaling a playful side I’d never seen before.  I remember my aunts and uncles excitedly gathering to watch “pa” dance with his older brother.

As a young man in Kishinev, my grandpa  learned how to draw special stencils for walls of churches and buildings. He worked for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) during the Great Depression. He painted in gold leaf inside the downtown theaters in Cleveland, painting vines and leaves freehand on the walls surrounding the stage.

I learned to expect a special drawing every time we’d visit. It always featured one character with a long flowery vine like body.  Every picture was a little different.  Even though I was young, I knew Grandpa was sharing his greatest talent with me.

I was around 16 when both my grandparents passed away. First my grandma, then six months later my grandpa. I was surprised to see my mother cry at my grandparents’ funerals. She rarely shed tears in front of me.

The Best Gift

Now, I wish I could go back in time, and tell my grandparents I loved them and  respected them.

Coming to the United States was the biggest gift my grandparents could’ve given me.  It took courage to start a brand new life.

Sometimes at family dinners, my grandfather would state his importance,  “if it wasn’t for me, none of you would be here now.” We’d all laugh, but the man knew what he was talking about.

I didn’t say it then, but I’m saying it now.

“Thank you Grandma and Grandpa,

English: WPA poster 1935 USA, color photo

English: WPA poster 1935 USA, color photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Impressions of The Long Island Medium: another show on TLC


The Long Island Medium

I don’t know about you, but I have tried to contact my dead relatives. I’ve even said aloud, “visit me in a dream, rattle my lamps, please.”  But nothing happens. I figure, maybe they’re not happy with me, or have nothing left to say, or maybe they’ve really vanished.

I’m wondering if I should go see the Long Island Medium. She’s coming to my home town  in a couple of weeks. She stars on a show on TLC. You know the great shows they have, Honey Boo Boo,  the old  Kate plus 8 plus what’s his name before they got divorced.  I’m surprised Octomom doesn’t have a featured show.

I love this show. First of all, the long Island medium, Theresa Caputo, amuses  me up on several levels . I like her teased dyed blonde hair. Her clothes are all right, but sometimes she looks slightly trashy.  But, what I like most is her snappy patter and common sense. She is also an adoring wife and mother although she seems slightly overbearing at times.

Sometimes her family—husband, son, and daughter— roll their eyes when she starts another reading. Her husband and son couldn’t even go sky diving without her reuniting the owner of the sky diving company with his deceased parents.

People’s eyes fill up with tears when she gives messages from their deceased loved ones. Sometimes they feel guilty about how their loved ones passed. They didn’t get to say goodbye or they were inconsiderate. Theresa  gives them closure. Wouldn’t we all like to say one last thing to our friends, and family?

Theresa knows secrets nobody else would possibly know. How would anyone know somebody was carrying a picture in their wallet of their old dead boyfriend? How could they know the words they spoke to their loved ones when nobody was around. Tina seems to know it all. Plus, she’s so matter-of-fact about it. She has no doubt that spirits are talking to her.

The show airs on TLC on Sunday night. Watch it. Even if it isn’t true, it’s entertaining. And who knows? Maybe one day we’ll all be spirits floating around together. It’s a nice thought. Better than vanishing into thin air.

I was caught looking my age: A humorous look (I might as well find the humor in it)


Time sure have changed since the year I was 20 3/4 and tried to get into a nightclub in Florida.  The guy letting people in the club, challenged my age. He thought I was way under 21. He might have been referring to my lack of cleavage. I was wearing what I thought was a sexy dress.

Not to mention the time, I got in at a ski slope place in Canada for under age 16. (I was 25). By that time, I was happy to be mistaken for a kid.

Now I am in my 60‘s. I remember thinking how ancient I thought my mother was at that age. Truth be told, she looked a lot better than I do now. (I have the photos to prove it.)  She was always a consistent size 12. And she smiled a lot. At least in her photos.

Okay, I don’t bother wearing makeup on my daily outings. I figure if my husband doesn’t wear makeup, why should I?  And I’m thinking, why hide underneath it? I did go out of the house today in a hurry. So, maybe my hair wasn’t at its best.  I didn’t even bother with a little lipstick.

I went to McDonald’s, and the lady behind the counter said, “How about a senior drink?”  I didn’t even ask. I didn’t even know they offered such things. (At McDonald’s).

After feeling like crap after eating junk food, I decided to go to a movie. I love to sit in dark movie theaters where (hopefully)  nobody knows me.  To me, this is the ultimate escape. It always helps if the movie is entertaining.

So, what do you think the guy behind the counter asked me before I paid for my movie ticket?  That’s right. He asked,  “Ma’am do you want a senior ticket?”

Two offers of a discount because of my true appearance within two hours.

By the way, the movie I saw was one of those modern movies that has an ambiguous ending. Maybe I’m too old to get it. I did still realize the star of the movie had amazing beautiful blue eyes.  I saw him in another movie. I’m sorry to say, I don’t know his name. (Signs of age)

So it was a completely frustrating day, and did not fulfill my need to briefly escape. I guess there’s no getting away from your authentic self. I do think that’s what the movie was about. But, I’m not sure.

A word to the wise: If you’re in a position of offering a senior a discount, wait until they ask for it. 

They might not save any money, but at least they’ll think they still look under 55. A good ego booster.

 In this society, even the older people, don’t like old age. I figured by this time, we’d have figured out a way to make it desirable. After all, there are a lot of us. Most of the time I don’t think about it. That is, until someone points it out to me.

Have you ever been insulted because of your age? Mistaken for too young or too old? Tell me about it.

Mitt Romney is my idea of an old Eddie Haskell


Remember Eddie Haskell? (surely you’ve seen him on reruns of “Leave It to Beaver,”

June supervises the boys and their friends, To...

June supervises the boys and their friends, Tooey and Eddie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He’d tell June Cleaver whatever he thought she wanted to hear.

What I can’t understand is why people don’t see through him. Aren’t they as smart as June Cleaver?

He says whatever he thinks people want to hear. Who knows what he really thinks? I don’t even think he knows.

Happy New Year! Top 10 things I get out of celebrating the Jewish new year. It’s 5773!


 

 

English: Symbols of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish N...

English: Symbols of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year: Shofar, apples, honey in glass honey dish, pomegranates, wine, silver kiddush cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the practical things I take out of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. During Rosh Hashanah Jewish people welcome the new year and start reflection. On Yom Kippur, we ask for forgiveness for things we’d done during the year that aren’t so great.

I do not take religion literally. I don’t like extremism in any religion. I have to respect my religion. It’s come back despite all odds for generations despite efforts to annihilate it.

I believe every religion has something good to offer people. The extremists in every religion  use it for their own purposes and agenda. I wasn’t raised in an orthodox household. I am a Reform Jew.

These are my top 10 things I get out of celebrating the Jewish holidays.

1. It reminds me that I get a new chance every year.
2. It gives me a chance to reflect on the ways I’ve handled myself  throughout the year. Have I done enough to help other people. When you help others, you perform a Mitzvah (good deed).
3. It teaches me that forgiving myself is important.
4 .It’s all about forgiving people who may have hurt you too. In other words, don’t hold a grudge. Now, that’s good advice.
5. I like to think about my ancestors chanting the same prayers. My great-grandfather was a Cantor in a Jewish  school in Germany. I know he had to teach some of the same prayers to young boys.
6.  It gives me sense of a long history. According to the Jewish calendar. It’s really 5773. I wonder if I’ve really been connected to Judaism for all that time. I often wonder how the connection started.
7. I’ve met some of my closest friends by singing Jewish music with them. So, Judaism has given me something special.
8. The new year offers apples and honey. A great combination.
9. It reminds me of people who were close to me that are no longer living.
10. It’s a good reason to get many of the family members together.

What do you get out of your religion? Do you think religion is outdated and no longer relevant to modern society?

 

Imagine by John Lennon


 

Nice dream, huh? I respect all religions. I wish everybody else would. Talk about overreaction. It’s not the first time either. More wars were fought over religion. Some things never change.