A glimpse at the Harmony Project


I belong to a terrific group, The Harmony Project. We sing, share and serve. Here is a video showing us getting ready for a performance.

This group doesn’t just sit and complain about the way things are; they do things.

This season we’re  planting trees, building a playground, and painting murals. That’s just a few things we’re doing this month!

We are also giving a musical performance May 15 and May 16 at the Southern Theater. You can contact me, or call Capa for tickets.

If you know me, see if you can spot me. I’m in the second row wearing purple glasses and a purple shirt!

As you can see, many of us are from the baby boomer generation, but there are people of all ages, races, and different points of view!

It is very cool. I feel like the baby boomers in this group are still holding onto our ideals. This included, peace, love, happiness, and harmony!

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This woman at 109 knows the secrets of life


Even though this is 8 minutes long, it is worth watching. It will make you smile. Hint: she sees the glass as more than half full. It seems so simple, but I think we’ve lost that optimism.  In her day, she was an accomplished pianist.

She doesn’t live in the past. She embraces the here and now. That is also very cool. This was made last year. She is now 109 years old.

Tell me your reaction to this interview. What do you think is the secret to a long, happy life?

Baltimore Raven’s win Superbowl 47: Honest observations by a Baby Boomer Lady


Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

 

In the pre-game show Jennifer Hudson is singing with children from Sandy Hook Elementary.These are kids who lost their classmates because of violence. At least nobody is shooting semi-automatic weapons on the field. But would it really surprise anyone? Alicia Keys does her own slow version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” I liked it, but a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook were critical.

 

I occasionally watch Ohio State football games. These pro guys are like animals. They are faster, stronger, and bigger. It is faster to watch. Why do all take this game so seriously? I am not invested in this game because I don’t have many feelings about the teams. I’m interested in this game because both coaches are brothers. They look-alike too. Can you imagine the rivalry between them?

 

I feel conflicted about the Baltimore Ravens. I’m originally from Cleveland, and the old “Cleveland Browns” were sold by Art Model years ago to Baltimore. A lot of fans were really angry. At the point I’m writing this, it looks like the Ravens are going to win. After seeing them tackle each other, no wonder they all get concussions.

 

I’m liking the commercials. I usually just DVR favorite shows, and don’t watch commercials. Physical fighting between the teams. San Francisco quarterback intercepted. Raven got first down. You can almost hear them saying,” fight, fight, fight.” Ravens are smoking the 49’s. The whole thing is making me feel nervous, and I don’t care about the football game. Maybe violence makes me nervous.

 

I should’ve auditioned for the Taco Bell commercial about old people escaping from the nursing home. Bad taste!

 

Twenty- one to six at halftime. Ravens are smoking hot!

 

Half-time show

 

Why does Beyonce wear hardly any clothes. but, she has a terrific act. Is she supposed to look like a hooker? We’ve come a long way baby? At least she looks curvy. And all the girls with her are curvy too? And also looking like hookers! I feel the generation gap. I’m wondering if that was” Destiny’s Child” joining her.

 

Second Half

 

At the beginning of the second half the Baltimore Ravens make a touchdown right off the bat. It’s starting to get boring. Not boring now! Power goes off in the stadium. I’m thinking, something is going to happen that’s disastrous. So what do you think? Maybe they better do a prayer service. I’m sure the higher power, whoever or whatever it is, really cares about the outcome. The power goes back on one-half hour later Now San Francisco is only one score below in 2 minutes. I guess they needed a rest to get their act together. Is that fair?

 

Fumble by the Ravens, and recovered by the 49’s. Now the 49’s are smoking hot! Seventeen points in a four-minute 17 second stretch. Now the Baltimore Ravens are running a lot. Getting knocked down. Ouch! Pierce is leaving the field. That hurt! Now it’s getting excited. I am rooting for SF. They are cooler! And I like their uniforms better. As soon as I do, the Ravens gain momentum. Am I responsible for this?

 

Inside the two yard line, no goal. Field goal coming instead of a touchdown. They’ve got it! It’s still anyone’s game? This is the longest football game in history. (Not faster, as I originally thought when I started this post! )

 

Waiting for the end already 12 minutes and 22 seconds left! San Francisco! Touchdown! They tried a 2 point conversion, to tie the game. Failed! Baltimore Ravens get a field goal! Up by 5. San Francisco has the momentum at the two-minute warning! Time out. Lost a chance to get a touchdown. Ravens kept them away! Only 1 minute and 42 seconds left

 

 It’s finally over!! Baltimore Ravens 34-31

 

 

The Movie “Quartet” is a Winner: Dustin Hoffman’s Directorial Debut at 75 Grade: A


If you’re a baby boomer or above, you’re facing some realities. You aren’t going to look like your 25 no matter how much you try. You start noticing other changes too. You get tired faster.  Some people notice a little forgetfulness creeping in. Imagine how it’s going to be in your  70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Acceptance of very old age is beautifully portrayed in the movie, “Quartet.” It is Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut (at 75) and he does a sensitive job. He was wise enough to do his first production with the best actors. Try Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and  Pauline Collins,   Even though they’re elderly, they’re effective.  Just like the characters they portray in the movie.

The movie is about people living in a retirement home for musicians,  Beecham, residents are notable instrumentalists and opera singers. They don’t sit around and play Bingo; they play and sing music. Most of it classical and operatic There is plenty of music interspersed throughout the movie. There’s some authentic singing done by some of these masterful actors, singers and instrumentalists.

One of the conflicts comes into play when a former diva Jean Horton, portrayed by Maggie Smith, has to make contact with her ex husband Reginald portrayed by Tom  Courtenay. You know it was a serious breakup by their reaction to each other.

The retirement home needs to put on a show to raise money so they can stay in business. Smith’s character doesn’t want to tarnish her reputation since she can’t hit the high notes she used to. Part of the movie deals with Jeans reluctance to perform again.

Although the movie drags a little in the beginning, it picks up speed and by middle, you’ll be completely captivated.

*If you live in Columbus, Ohio, it’s playing at The Drexel Theater in Bexley.

Stay for the credits. They have some before and after pictures of the actors.

( I attended this movie with people I’ve been singing in a choir with for over 20 years. By the end of the movie, we were joking about scoping out a retirement home now.  I couldn’t think of people I’d rather live with when  I’m really old! )

English: Dustin Hoffman at the Cannes Film Fes...

English: Dustin Hoffman at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A Different Kind of Inauguration: Barack H. Obama 44th President of the United States


The . Original title: The original Star Spangl...

The . Original title: The original Star Spangled Banner “Museum” (from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.) This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings. cropt from LOC file before upload to Wikimedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I liked Obama’s inaugural speech. What did he talk about? Carrying on our “ founding fathers “ideas of everyone treated with equality. Everyone working together and getting along. What a novel concept. He talked about immigration and gay people being allowed to be who they are.

What I liked best about his speech is that he probably wrote it himself. Nothing like having an intelligent president. It’s nice to watch his family too. You know he really values women by the way he treats his wife and daughters.

Naturally, having James Taylor sing “America” entertained me no end. (And every baby boomer.) Kelly Clarkson singing “ My Country Tis of Thee.” was very inspirational. It was like I was hearing that second verse for the first time.  Beyonce was the best, singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

My absolute favorite was the Cuban- American poet, Richard Blanco. Here is his poem in case you missed it. Until I did his research I didn’t realize he was gay. Should that matter? Should we be talking about that? I don’t think so.

What do you think?

Click on the link, and you can view the poet reading his poem at the Inauguration.

http://youtu.be/1mDrk8AC4G4

TV’s Supernanny is cool: A Review. Ten of the best techniques I’ve gleaned from the show.


I am fascinated by the Supernanny.  She’s the English Nanny who helps rescue people being over-run by their kids.  What’s most fascinating about her is that she doesn’t have any kids, but she seems to have a good understanding of what makes kids tick. No matter how assertive she is with the children,  the kids seem to love her. She knows the difference between being stern and mean. (It is TV) It just proves that kids are looking for authority figures, not friends.

This lady has good ideas. I was watching a marathon of these shows yesterday. Why I should be interested after I’m all done with mothering bewilders me. Maybe I’m just glad I didn’t live with abusive kids.

These new parents have a lot on their plates. It takes two incomes to raise kids these days. It’s a lot of responsibility, work and time.  I think maybe we’ve lost sight of what’s important. I think our mothers, father, and grandparents had a better idea.

I’m not saying I was the perfect mother, far from it. Luckily, my kids came out all right, but I  could have used some of the techniques I see proposed on this TV show.

Ten Valuable Techniques (I’ve watched

Supernanny

Supernanny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Supernanny teach hapless parents.)

1 .When disciplining the child, get down on their level. Have them think about what they did wrong, then have them apologize. (I actually did use this technique. It was in place in the medieval times. )
2. Put some authority in your voice, so they know you mean business.
3. Make them go in their corner or room for one minute per age.
4. If they get out of bed at night, just put them back in their beds. The first time, say something, but after that don’t talk, just put them back in bed.
5 .Don’t let them use bad language, kick, hit or abuse the parents. It should never be tolerated.
6. Keep a good routine going. Give them thing to do that they will like. (Don’t just expect toys or TV  to completely entertain them.)
7 .Make sure your house is safe and that they can’t get into trouble.
8. Give them responsibility.
9. Take time to play with them.
10 Take time to listen to them.

Clinging Child

The story that I found unbelievable was about a little boy who was clinging onto his mother. She couldn’t walk 10 feet without him putting up his arms and demanding that she pick him up. She never turned him down.  He also decided what time his  mom and he should go to bed.  When he got tired, he happily crawled in bed with Mom and Dad (already asleep).

Supernanny gave Mom several  techniques to un-cling little 2-year old.  Mom was unwittingly promoting these  clinging habits. Dad wasn’t helping because when  he came home from work, he had transition time which never ended. He sat on a chair all night and watched TV. As soon as he became engaged with his kids, things began to improve.

It all came out all right. (At least on the TV show.)  The clinging  child  finally went to sleep in his own bed, disengaged from his mom and stopped throwing tantrums every time she put him on the floor.

If the kids featured on Supernanny are messed up, it’s easy to see who is responsible. It usually goes back to Mom and Dad.

The parents don’t seem to have any insight in what they’re doing to create these little monsters. Some parents are afraid of their kids not liking them, some are too lazy to tend to their kid’s needs, and others just don’t know what to do.

It seems peculiar that they don’t teach these kinds of skills in school. I think it’s needed now, more than ever.

Your thoughts?

Les Miserable : Review A+ The movie lives up to expectations


Sometimes, it’s really worth your time, money and energy to attend the movies. If you want to see something you’ll really enjoy, go see Les Miserable.

Although nothing can trump seeing the live musical, this comes close. Unlike the play, you can see some unbelievable  scenery and powerful  camera shots.   The costumes are realistic, and the makeup makes everyone look pretty miserable (the pathetic crowd).  Since the movie is so up close, you get a better idea of the characters and their relationships to each other. You get to see the nuances of expression, and  feel the characters emotions.  I could lose myself in this movie, and I was unaware of the time it took to watch. (It is over 2 hours).

There’s been much made out of the fact that the director made the actors actually sing their parts instead of using recorded soundtracks. He also uses a lot of closeups. . You can actually see every mark on their faces, and some of their neglected looking teeth. I liked the fact that they were really singing when it was filmed.

Anne Hathaway plays Fantine  to perfection, and her singing doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t take her long to turn into a prostitute. It’s almost painful to watch her go through her misery. Although she isn’t on screen that long, her part leaves a lasting impression.

Hugh Jackman  makes a good  Jean Valjean, our hero and makes  a good transformation from a convict (stealing bread) to a moral person. He certainly looks pathetic in the beginning of the movie, and looks like a dashing hero for the rest of it.  His voice is fairly strong, and his acting is excellent.  If he doesn’t deserve an Oscar, I don’t know who does.

Russell Crowe has the least powerful voice in the production, but I think it’s adequate.( It seems hard to believe the director couldn’t find someone with a bigger voice to play the role.)  He plays the villain, Javert convincingly I had heard he was inadequate in the part, so I was pleasantly surprised. I managed to hate him during the movie.

I think Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the slimy innkeepers steal the show when they’re on screen. They both have a lot of charisma that comes through even though their characters are unsympathetic.  All the children in the production also do a terrific job, especially the little boy who plays a rebel.

My favorite female in this production was Samantha Brooks as Eponine. When she sings “On My own” in the rain, I loved it. She’s beautiful and has the voice we’ve come to expect when we see a live production of this show.

Amanda Seyfried as the adult Cosette was very believable. She looks the part and her voice is sweet.

If you’re looking for the biggest voices you’ve  ever heard in this production, you might be disappointed, but the group choral numbers are quite strong, and Eddie Redmay as Marius lives up to expectations.   If you’re looking for a moving story, fantastic scenery, a great reprieve, and something that will bring a tear to your eye, go see this movie.

I would give this production an A!