Saturday, May 28, 2016

"When I am mad, I am mad."

The title of this post is one of my favorite lines from "Bringing Up Baby." I often say it to Jeff, used to say it to Spike, and just today said it to Lola. Jeff added "I told you Lola, when she is mad, she is mad."

Well, now I am mad. We're watching the Mets-Dodger game. Asshole umpire Adam Hamari threw out pitcher Noal Syndergaard because he threw a pitch behind Chase Utley. Syndegaard didn't hit Utley, Nor did the asshole umpire issue a warning. Manager Terry Collins backed up his pitcher and was also thrown out of the game.

Grrr. I don't believe in coddling stars or giving them passes because they're stars (I'm thinking of you Bryce Harper) but damn. Don't throw out a star starting pitcher without a warning.

When I am mad, I am mad.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Bartolo

It's been a memorable season for Bartolo Colon: he hit his first home run. Last night he rebounded from a tough outing and led the Mets to a 7-1 victory over the Nationals. What a nice way to lead into his 43rd birthday.

Here are 43 reasons to celebrate.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Month with Lola

A month ago today, we brought home a scared little girl. She immediately retreated under our drop leaf table and established her safe zone.

In her first week, she sought us out during a thunderstorm, Two days later, Lola came out to explore on her own. Each day she's spent a little more time out of the safe zone.

In the past week, Lola has made herself at home. She's spending more and more time out in the open, she sometimes sleeps with us, and she's playful every morning, She's also loving her visits to the dog park, and she's a little more open to meeting new people.

Lola is still a scared little girl, and we have a lot of work left to do.

Happy one month anniversary Lola. Here's to many more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Real Season

I've seen some comments that today is the real start of the season of the Mets: their first game against the Nationals.

I don't agree, but it makes for better press.

It's a good pitching match-up: Scherzer vs. Syndergaard. It's Daniel Murphy's return to Citi Field.

A lead-off home run from Granderson and a Conforto homer provided the Mets offense. Jeurys Familia saved it in the ninth: 13 of 13 saves.

With a 2-0 win, the Mets snapped a four game losing streak and pulled within a half game of the Nats.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Today I caught most of Libeled Lady on TCM. It's a great movie that I've seen several times and still love.

I'm not sure why Libeled Lady isn't mentioned when people talk about great screwball comedies. It's got a wonderful cast: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. The story is funny; the dialogue is fast and snappy.

I pick Bringing Up Baby as the best screwball comedy. Libeled Lady is a close second. I think The Awful Truth is overrated. (There, I said it.)

I'll happily watch Libeled Lady whenever I can.

Mets in Third


I know it's early to be looking at the standings, but damn.

The Mets have lost four games in a row, and were swept by the Rockies. Arguably, the Mets were hurt by two bad un-reviewable calls in the last two games.

Regardless, the Mets now trail the Philadelphia Phillies by a game, the Nationals by 1.5.

It was a rough weekend, but the Mets can turn it around. Tuesday the Nationals come to town for a three-game series.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

More from Taylor Farm

The weather's been cooperating, so we've continued to take Lola to Taylor Farm. She's been loving her visits, despite being afraid to get into the car.

Here are a few photos of her sniffing, exploring and having fun.


Friday, May 13, 2016

More Movie Musings

Last weekend we watched Jurassic World. We had seen the other three films. At the end of the first, Jurassic Park, the powers that be seemed to agree that a cloned dinosaur theme park was a bad idea. The next two films, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III, ultimately seem to support the conclusion of the first.

Then, all of a sudden, Jurassic World presents a resort, complete with retail outlets, baby dinosaur petting zoo and Sea World-like shows. I was interested enough to keep watching, jumped once or twice, but overall--the film was stupid.

The resort was a disaster in waiting, especially the new mystery dinosaur. I knew Claire and Owen would become a couple. I knew they and the kids were in no danger. The only suspense was when the "military guy" would be killed--at the beginning of mystery dino's rampage or near the end.

I wonder if most moviegoers focused on the themes of excess consumerism and the ethical aspects of raising wild animals in captivity. I do like Rhiannon's take on the theme of consumerism.

We recently watched Dracula Untold. I had never heard of this film, but found it on HBO On Demand. I'm a vampire fan, never particularly got into zombies or werewolves. I liked this origin story that focused on Vlad the prince, not Bram Stoker's character. Charles Dance, who may make any movie better, is the original vampire. Other Game of Thrones alumni include Art Parkinson and Paul Kaye.
We saw The Spiral Staircase last night. I don't know how many times I've seen it before, and don't remember the last. Jeff thought we had watched it together once, so sometime in the last 30 years. Oddly enough, I sometimes cite its last line to my students as a way to remember correct pronoun case.

I was pleased that the film held up. Even knowing the identity of the killer and the ending, it was suspenseful. This time around, I appreciated the atmospherics, set design and shot angles.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

At the Dog Park

For the past three days, we've taken Lola to Mathews Park. She enjoyed her visits. Today we took her to Taylor Farm, our regular dog park.

Lola loved it. She walked on trails through the woods, sniffed up a storm and met several dogs, including three beagles.

We wanted to familiarize her with the park before we go to a dog park Friday, and we wanted to take her when we didn't expect it to be too busy.

Lola had bit of an upset when a few dogs ran too close to her, and she got pushed out of the way. (The other dogs were running loose, but we had to keep Lola leashed.) Lola quickly recovered. She was reluctant to leave the park.

It makes us happy to see her happy. I can't wait for our next visit. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lola's First Outing

Today Jeff and I took Lola to Mathews Park.  It's about four blocks away, but we drove. Lola is afraid to walk on the street, and we want her to learn that we can drive her to fun places.

Lola was the happiest we've seen her in the two-and-a-half weeks with us. We wish we had taken her earlier, but it's rained almost every day since she came to live with us. Lola got some exercise, enjoyed many scents and left her own scent in several places. She even happily met two dogs and their human.

It was a great day. 

It was hard to get a shot of her happy face.

I tried to capture the image of her ears blowing in the wind.

The Real Deal

Yesterday in San Diego Matt Harvey seemed to find himself getting back to winning ways with six innings of work, including 10 strike-outs and even a double.

The win combined with the Cubs sweep of the Nationals put the Mets in first place by a half-game.

Familia got the statistical save for his work in the ninth, but it was really Antonio Bastardo who saved the New York Mets. Coming into the game in the eighth with the bases loaded and no outs, Bastardo retired the three batters he faced.

A collective sigh of relief and on with the game.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Today did not go as planned.

I had invited my mother for brunch. Actually I gave her the option of coming here (although I'd drive her back and forth) or going out to a restaurant (despite my misgivings about going to restaurants on holidays.) She chose to come here and meet Lola.

I did a lot of cleaning especially in the last two days. I really should invite people over more often because it inspires/forces me to clean. It also gives me an excuse to play this song. (Note: I don't get why the video images include a woman in rollers brandishing a frying pan.)

Today's brunch menu was scrambled eggs, bacon, banana bread and a fruit soup. We got vanilla and chocolate ice cream for dessert--mom's favorite.

When the phone rang at 8:50, I knew it was her and that she'd cancel. It was and she did. She didn't feel up to going out. So Jeff and I ate the eggs, bacon and some of the banana bread.  We'll have the fruit soup with dinner. Jeff's in charge of dinner because we celebrate pet mother's and father's day. So today's my day.

Two years ago, we went to a Bark in the Park Mother's Day at Citi Field, and I got this mug. It's not the best photo--it reads World's Best Dog Mom. That was Spike's only visit to Citi; he had been to Shea Stadium two or three times. I remember how excited I was the first time when I realized we got to walk around the warning track. We have a great picture of Spike from that first day.

Jeff and I talked about taking Lola to a Bark in the Park. She's nowhere close to being ready for something like that. As I write this, she's back under the drop-leaf table. She's making lots of progress, but it's slow. (I'll write another post about that soon.)

We think Lola may be a mother, but we don't have much information about her. She's from Kentucky. She was called a stray, but she might have been dropped off at a pound there. She knows how to walk on a leash, so someone somewhere taught her.

We're going to make new happy memories for her on Mother's Day and everyday. 

Congratulations Bartolo!

Last night Bartolo Colon hit his first home run in his 19-year career. Bartolo became the oldest player in MLB history to hit his first career homer.

We had just turned on the game and missed Cespedes' first inning homer. We were glad to see the return of first inning scoring for the Mets. We were thrilled to see Bartolo's moment. He's been great for the Mets; I'm so glad they re-signed him this year.

This post explains it better than I can.

As always, let's go Mets!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Miscellaneous Movie Musings

Last night I went to a movie premiere--no red carpet nor bright lights here. The film was a documentary, Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA. I'm interested because of my work as a WPA mural docent. I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed the film and learned new things, but it felt a little disjointed. I also got the feeling that the author/narrator/director loved the sound of his own voice--he was a bit too pompous and pretentious.

We watched The Man from UNCLE last weekend. I watched out of nostalgia. I loved the TV show. My cousin Cindy and I played our version of "UNCLE." I was Honey West and she played Jill Ireland. That's the actress's name; she played several roles on UNCLE. The film did nothing for me; most film versions of TV shows don't.

I found some notes--aborted posts--about films we watched a month or so ago.  I was psyched to see Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings again. I had originally seen it the theater back in 1978. I liked it, but it wasn't as good as I remembered. Many scenes contained a jarring mix of animation and colored film of live actors. It took me out of the story.

We also watched Days of Heaven--directed by Terence Malick--one Sunday night. Jeff was not impressed. I've seen this film a few times. I loved the cinematography and Linda Manz' narration.

That got me thinking about narration I liked and disliked in films.

Liked: Linda Manz in Days of Heaven
Sissy Spacek in Badlands (another Malick film)
William Holden in Sunset Boulevard
Woody Allen in Annie Hall
Kevin Spacey in Usual Suspects
Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption
Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Disliked: Jean Shepard in A Christmas Story 

I'm not sure why I disliked narration in A Christmas Story. I wonder how I would have reacted if the narration were in the young character's voice. Something in the narration bugged me.

I thought Woody Allen's Manhattan also had narration, but I think it was just Woody narrating the first few lines of his novel.

I found this article on voice-overs helped me with my list.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Small Victories

It's been a quiet few days. I haven't been feeling well, haven't been working much, and the weather's been chilly, dreary and rainy.

Lola is still spending most of her time under the table, but as I wrote on Friday she is coming out into the open. She likes her bed which is next to ours. She spent most of last night and today on it. Last night she explored the kitchen.

She's much better about going outside. We don't have to carry her; she walks on her own.

The best news is that Lola wagged her tail this morning when we greeted her.

Unfortunately, we had to take her to the vet's this afternoon. She was frightened enough getting back in the car. Then there were the shots. She's back under the table. But Lola will come around.