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Friday, May 30, 2014

Kutless - Even If

I spent most of the week with my mom and it was great but I pretty much cried all the way home.  While I love spending time with my mom, when I leave, there is a hole, not just because I have to leave her again for a little while but also because I didn't get to spend time with my dad.  I miss having breakfast with him, miss him taking me to get crab legs at Bailey's, miss talking to him about work, miss going with him to take Pedro for a ride.  It's tough.  It is really, really hard.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrities with a Twin

There are some famous Celebrity Twins, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Tia and Tamara Mowry and Dylan & Cole Sprouse


But....did you know there are other celebrities that happen to be one-half of a set of twins, but you may not have known.

Scarlett Johansson and her twin brother Hunter

Giovanni Ribisi and his twin sister Marissa

Michael and his famous twin brother Ashton Kutcher

Keifer Sutherland with his twin sister Rachel

There are a few other out there too !  I can't believe I didn't know that Keifer had a twin sister!
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Movie Monday - Rainman

Here is another installment about one of my favorite movies - you know, the kind you can watch over and over and over and it is as if you are watching it for the first time.

As mentioned before, many of my favorite movies include Tom Cruise and this is one of them

The 1988  film - Rain Man


This movie (released December 16, 1998) has 2 of my favorite actors, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, so right of the bat you know it is going to be a good movie.  It is about a guy, Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise), who is a driven Los Angeles yuppie that has a business importing Lamborghinis to resell to buyers who have already made down payments on them.   He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor.

In the meantime, he receives word that his very wealthy estranged father has passed away and left him something.  This could be the break Charlie needs because he needs money.  He and his beautiful Italian girlfriend, Susanna (Valeria Golino) fly out to Cincinnati to settle the estate.  Once there, he discovers he father didn't leave him his $3 million dollar estate, instead he left him a 1949 Buick Roadmaster, that was the cause of their estrangement (they had a fight over Charlie driving the car when he was younger) - it was his father's ironic gift to Charlie.  Charlie finds out that the $3 million dollars went to a trustee at a mental institution.  He go Wallbrook institution and meets with the trustee, who is a friend of his dad's and a doctor - his BROTHER'S doctor.  This is a shock to Charlie because he had no idea he had a brother.  His brother is Raymond (Dustin Hoffman)

It turns out that Raymond has autism and is known as an idiot savant (in other words, he is brilliant in certain skills but can't function in a normal life).  For instance, he can tell you what 6,284 times 9,614 is in a matter of a minute but he thinks that a car cost about $1 and a candy bar cost about $1 - he doesn't know the difference.

Charlie decides to takes Raymond off the grounds and decides to hold him to get at least 1/2 of the $3 million dollars - almost kind of kidnaps him for ransom but he didn't do anything illegal by taking Raymond since it is his brother and Raymond is considered a "voluntary" patient.


Raymond is deathly afraid of planes and screams and pitches a fit so Susanna flies back to L.A. by herself and Raymond and Charlie set out driving in the Buick.

One morning they stop at a cafe and the waitress (played by Bonnie Hunt in what I think may have been her first movie role) drops a box of toothpicks.  Raymond takes one look at them and says there are 246 on the floor - she says the count is 300 but 4 are left in the box.  This is when Charlie begins to realize Raymond's unique skills.


As the movie progresses, Charlie gets more and more frustrated with Raymond's quirks and his need to watch The People's Court every-single-day.  However, one night, Charlie turns on the hot water to start a bath in an old hotel and Raymond freaks out !!  Then Charlie learns that the reason Raymond was sent away was because he burned Charlie in the bath tub when he was  baby and they sent him away to the institution because they thought he was a danger to Charlie, this is why Charlie never new he had a brother.  He also learns that Raymond use to sing "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles to him at night - Charlie says he remembers the Rain Man coming into his room and singing that.  Then he realizes "Rain Man = Raymond" and finally puts two and two together.

He starts understanding Raymond a little more but he is still desparate for money.  He discovers Raymond can count cards so they go back to Las Vegas, which they had already driven through the night before, and Raymond gives him signals (bet 1 for bad 2 for good) and Charlie cleans up at the blackjack tables - gets enough money to cover his debts with the car deals.  The owners of the Casino ultimately tell them to leave - they know they are counting cards but don't know how they are doing it but the movie implies the are up to something illegal - which they are not.  Counting cards is legal, believe it or not.  It is just that most people can't do it - especially with 6 decks like in the movie.


When they get to L.A., he has decided that he wants custody of Raymond - yes, he'd like the money but it is more than that now.  He wants Raymond but the trustee and Raymond's doctor knows it is best for Raymond to be at Wallbrook so they get a mediator to decide.  In the end, Charlie comes to see that it is best for Raymond too, so he lets him (and the money) go.  They have a touching moment before Raymond leaves and Raymond tells Charlie that he is his main-man.  C-H-A-R-L-I-E main man.


He puts Raymond on a train (since he won't fly) along with Raymond's doctor and tells him that he will see him in 2 weeks, which lets us know that he continues to have a relationship with his brother, but he does what is best for him.

Awards
  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor -  Dustin Hoffman
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing - Original Screenplay
  • Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture (People's Choice Awards)
Nominations
  • Best Set Decoration
  • Best Cinematography (which it should have won!)
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Original Music Score (also should have won)
Reasons I love this movie 
  • Two of my favorite actors
  • Road Trip movie
  • Great filming locations
  • Great and Interesting Music (love, love the music in this movie)
  • Brotherly bonding
  • Hard-heart guy softens up and learns to love
Just writing this blog post makes me want to see the movie again and I just watched it 2 weeks ago!
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Interesting Interaction with a Homeless Man

Yesterday was my friend David's birthday and a big group of us were meeting at Alfredo's for dinner.

On the way there, I was stopped at a red light and like a lot of stop lights in Atlanta, there was a homeless man standing there with a sign.  I didn't really read the sign and I never give money to the people standing there.  Instead, I chose to give money to charities and homeless shelters and places where they can get the resources they need.  In addition, I know there are so many scammers out there and I am not what you call gullible.

But something was urging me...give money to this man.  I only had $4 in cash in my purse so I listened to the little voice urging me and rolled my window down.  He walked over, he was thin and had long grey hair neatly pulled into a ponytail - he was very clean, clean shaven and while his clothes were worn, they looked clean.  He was bright and cheery - came over and said "Hi, my name is Dave" (also the name of the friend I was meeting for dinner) - "Thanks for stopping, the patriots are usually nice and stop" - I handed him the money and said "Hi, I'm Debbie" and he shook my hand.

He said "I see you are a patriot because you have a Florida's Sheriff's tag on the front of your car, was that your dad's?  It kind of took me by surprise because it WAS my dad's tag and I was driving my dad's car (which I have now).  I said "Yes, it's my dad's".  Now I am no spring chicken - why didn't he ask "Do you work for them? Have you worked for them? Is that your husband's or is that your son's/daughter's?" He didn't even say "IS that your dad's?" - he said "WAS that your dad's?"

So we chatted about how hot it had gotten the past couple of days but how nice it was outside and how the government doesn't treat our vets properly.  He made a joke about how that is because they are all bureaucrats that can't get their act together and we both laughed it off.  He said "Maybe the VA will get it together so the next time you drive by here, you won't see me" (Indicating to me that he was a vet, which I had already assumed).

Then he said "Was your dad military?"  I said "Yes".  He said "What branch? Army?"  Again, this is taking me by surprise because again the answer was "Yes".  He said "Me too!! We are a lot better than those Jarheads" - haha.  He was just keeping the conversation light.

He then said "Has your dad passed?"  I said "Yes, about 2 years ago" and he said "Oh, I'm sorry, my mom passed away 2 years ago - that's tough, I know" Then he said "Well the light is about to change - take care, have a good evening and God Bless You." and I said "God Bless You too!" and the light changed and I drove along to Alfredos.

I kept thinking about him though - he was so nice - not the usual homeless type I run into all the time (and I do almost daily) - He was so well spoken, friendly, didn't act like he was on something or had been on something, seemed like he cared about his appearance and didn't hassle me for more money or give me a sob story or anything like that" - he just seemed like the average Joe you'd meet at the coffee shop.

It was so surprising to me that he
  • Asked if the tag WAS my dad's
  • Asked if my dad was in the Army
  • Asked if my dad passed
All while I was driving my dad's car.  It was almost like he knew all this.

I was telling my friend, Susan, this story today and she said "Maybe he is an angel and he knows all about your dad, you know they say angels walk among us".  I thought...who knows....maybe he was an angel.  He sure did touch my day.  Who would have know that giving a stranger $ 4 would be such a blessing for me?

Last night after I got home from my wonderful evening with friends, a Bible verse popped into my head.

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'
                   ~Matthew 25:40 (New Living Translation)

Maybe he was an angel and maybe by helping him, I was helping the Lord.  It was a beautiful experience and I thank the Lord for putting Dave in my path.  I will pray for him and pray that he gets the help he needs and deserves.

So if you ever feel that urging to do something - listen to it - maybe it is the Holy Spirit guiding you, who knows what God may want to show you?

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Movie Monday - To Sir, With Love

As you know, I love, love, love the movies - I think I am in the wrong business and should have been in the movie industry in some form or fashion.  I always thought I would be a good Continuity Editor/Director, since I am very good at spotting errors in movies.  I often drive my movie-going partner(s) crazy pointing out such things but they really can stick out for me!

But...I digress.

I have decided to post about some of my favorite movies.  The ones I have seen over and over and over again and can sit down and watch it today as if I have never watched it before.

Many of these movies include Tom Cruise :)

But today's feature is on my all-time favorite movie.  This is the first "grown up" movie I remember seeing.  I was quite young and watched it at my Grandma and Grandpa Mims house during Spring Break if I recall correctly.

It is a 1967 movie that deals with racial & social issues in an inner-city East-End London school.  Mark Thackeray (played by the handsome Sidney Poitier) is a black, unemployed, single engineer who takes the job as a teacher since it is the only job he can find at the time.  He teaches a senior class of students who don't come from the best homes and tend to be the troubled kids.  They give him a rough time and he has a difficult time teaching them until he realizes they need to learn LIFE lessons more than they need to learn BOOK lessons - he tosses the books, teaches them how to cook, groom, look for jobs, take care of themselves, have respect for themselves and helps them become proper ladies and gents.

Mr. Thackeray insisted the students called him Mr

Here is a trailer for the movie:


And here is the movie poster:

Notice...there is not a "RATING" - but I love how it says "Not Suitable for Children"  The MPAA rating system didn't start until November 1968, which was almost a year and a half after "To Sir, With Love" was released (June 14, 1967).  If you were to rank it today, it would probably be rated PG-13.


There are so many reasons why I love this movie.  Besides being the first "grown up" movie I remember seeing, I loved the music !!  Oh my goodness - that great music from the late 1960s (I have the soundtrack by the way - on LP).  I love the clothing, I love the accents, I love the scenery, I love the characters and I love the story.  This is about as perfect as a movie can be - has all the elements that adore !!

There are several students but I immediately had a HUGE crush on Bert Denham (Christian Roberts).  I didn't realize until after my 10th viewing or so that his first name was Bert - since they always refer to him as "Denham".  He was the bad boy of the group and stirred up most of the trouble.  I use to always say if I ever had a son, I would name him Denham and I would have too!


While she was female, I can't say I had a "crush" on her but I wanted to be like Pamela (Judy Geeson) - she was so glamorous to me.  Her character had a bit of a crush on Sir.  I loved her pink lipstick (which you can't see in this B & W photo) but trust me, it is there.  Don't you love her crochet dress too??


See ??


Another major character was Pegg (sometimes referred to as "Babs").  She is very important because she is played by Lulu, and she sings the title song.  I liked her red hair and sassy modern cut - it set her apart (it looks kind of brown in this photo though).

I love everything about the movie but my two favorite scenes are the museum scene and the funeral scene.  In the museum scene, Sir takes the kids on a field trip and because of their improved discipline.

During the museum scene, the title song plays, while the students discover art.




The funeral scene is very special...Seales is the only black student and his mother dies.  The students take up a collection to get flowers but Sir overhears them say they will have the flowers "sent around" - he asks why they don't take the flowers themselves and Pegg states it isn't proper, what with him being colored and all.  Sir is disappointed.

But later, when Sir shows up - there all the kids are, dressed up and with the flowers.  Makes me choke up every time.



Near the end of the movie, the students have a dance, with lots of "groovy" music and they even manage to get Sir to dance.  They give him a gift, sing a song for him and he really gets choked up and can't even thank them entirely so he leaves the party and goes back to the classroom.


He has received an acceptance letter for an engineering job and has decided to take it until....students he will have next year come in and he sees the are just like his other students were at the beginning of the year.  What will he do ?

I have seen this movie so many times, I have lost count.  If you have never seen it, WATCH IT !!! Yes, it is dated but that is part of its charm.


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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Australian Slang



For the past few months, I have been watching McLoud's Daughters on Netflix.  I don't have a lot of free viewing time but I watch it mostly on the weekends when I am working and such.  It is a great show - a drama that aired in Australia from 2001 - 2008.  It is about a ranch, Drover's Run and their neighbors that own the ranch Kilarney.  This series was when TV series were REAL TV series.  There were 8 seasons and each season had about 32 one-hour episodes so that is approx 250 hours of shows (which is why you can see that I have been watching for months).   At any rate.....

While watching the show, I have picked up some Australian terms and slang.

"Brumby" - a wild horse.
"I have been working hard all day training that brumby so I can sell it."

"Chook" - a chicken
"Look over there, a chook got out of its pen and is chasing that brumby"

"Cuppa" - a cup of hot tea
"I finally captured that chook and put it in the pen, let's sit down and chat over a cuppa"

"No Worries" - don't worry about it.  It wasn't a problem
"Thank you for the cuppa, it was just what I needed"
"No worries" 

"Petrol" - gasoline; fuel
"I'm running late because the ute was almost out of petrol"

"Reckon" - this word is used a lot in the southern United States too but much more in Australia.  It is generally asked as a question.
"I think we need to bring the horses in, looks like rain."
"Reckon?"  (meaning - hum...do you think so?)

It can also be used as a replacement for "think" (which is how we mostly use it in Georgia).
"I reckon I will bring the horses in before it rains"
"I reckon I will help you"

"Snap" - a sausage - like a hot dog.
"Does anyone want another snap before the barbie is over?"  (Barbie of course is a barbeque)

"Stuff / Stuffed" - to mess something up.
"I forgot to bring the horses in before it started raining. I really stuffed up"
"I dropped the plate of snaps, I didn't mean to stuff up the party"

"Ute" - type of truck or utility vehicle
"Help, I need to get the horses in and my ute is stuck in the mud!"
"I'll help you but I need to fill up my ute with petrol before I can tow you out"

I am sure there are others that I am forgetting but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.

Reckon I forgot any?

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 14 Movies

These are movies that were new (to me) that I saw in April 2014

The Heat - with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy - I heard this movie had a lot of horrible language so I avoided it for a long time, even though I really like both the leads.  I finally watched it - the language was pretty bad...but the movie was pretty good, none-the-less.

Heaven is for Real - I was so excited when I heard they were turning this book into a movie - they really did a great job adapting this true story to the big screen - I truly believe this child went to Heaven.  Great book and great movie.

700 Sundays - not a movie, per se, but it was a one-man Broadway show that aired on HBO (which was also a book), starring and all about Billy Crystal - it was so good!  He has such an interesting family - I never knew a lot of that about his family - now I know why he loves Jazz and the Yankees so much.  A must see, especially if you are a fan of his.



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