Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BOTB: Sitting This One Out

Battle of the Band friends, sometimes the schedule demands that you sit one out. With my comfy chair (above), I'm going to do that. But YOU don't have to be denied! My peeps have always been way better at battles that I have been. Go see them...now...come on, go...they're waiting...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mock Squid Soup: Moonstruck

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are the proud hosts of Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society, with meetings on the second Friday of each month.  Last week, society members posted three clues as to their chosen film for the month.  Today is the big reveal!  

These were my clues:

1. There's a marriage proposal...but she has to refuse...
2. An amputee blames the guy who proposed for his woes.
3. Lunar influences on humans fuel some of the events.

Did you guess it? If you were Nancy Mock, the Armchair Squid, Mike, or Alex J. Cavanaugh and guess Moonstruck, then YES, you did guess it!

Released in December of 1987, this romantic comedy really struck a chord with me (and Hubzam). It's a favorite of ours and so quotable (a requirement of all the movies on my favorites list).  It Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis and MY favorite: Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. More about him later.

Cosmo (Vincent Gardenia), Loretta's father, isn't too keen on Johnny and doesn't want to pay for the wedding. 

Widowed accountant, Loretta Castorini (Cher), is an Italian-American living in her parents' Brooklyn Heights home and contemplating marriage to her boyfriend, Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). Johnny is rushing off to Sicily to the side of his dying mother. Johnny is a bit of a mama's boy.

Before he leaves, Johnny asks Loretta to invite his estranged brother, Ronny, to the wedding. Superstitious and fearful of any bad luck pre-wedding, Loretta agrees. Her first husband had been hit by a bus and surely that was because of something they did wrong, right?? RIGHT?

Ronny (Nicholas Cage) is quite a weird, mysterious character. A baker by trade, he blames his brother, Johnny, for distracting him and causing his hand to be mangled in a bread slicer. Loretta wants desparately to fix this relationship and get Ronny to come to the wedding. In his upstairs apartment, she cooks a meal for him - and the sparks fly between them. 

The full moon is inspiring romance all over town. Cosmo's brother, Raymond (Louis Guss) and his wife, Rita (Bovasso), meet Loretta's parents for dinner and Raymond tells the tale of Cosmo's great love for his wife, Rose (Olympia Dukakis) and how the great moon represented his love for her. In Raymond's mind, the moon has a little sumthin'-sumthin' to do with all this romance.

One thing leads to another, yada yada yada...the next morning, Loretta realizes she has made a huge mistake. Ronny, however, is not convinced and agrees to leave her alone if she goes to the opera with him. Loretta gussies herself up with a new hairdo and dress and meets Ronny at the opera where they run into (egads!) her father and his mistress, Mona.

Meanwhile, Rose is eating alone at the neighborhood restaurant when she sees a local college professor get dumped by his much-too-young-student-date (methinks that is not a word...but it needs to be one). She invites him to her table to talk about the ups and downs of men pursuing women. As Rose says, she thinks they do it "because they fear death." The professor walks her home and makes a lame move on her, too, but she stands her ground because she knows herself.

[Side note: Any husband of mine who would consider chasing women should fear death, though perhaps not the way she means. Back to our story...]

Cosmo's father (played by Feodor Chaliapin, Jr.) sees Rose with the professor and gets the wrong idea.

Back at Ronny's place, the plan to leave Loretta alone if she goes to the opera fails miserably and once again...yada yada yada...next morning...

The whole gang ends up at the breakfast table back at Cosmo's - including Ronny. Everyone has something on their mind: Loretta and Ronny sorting out their yada yada, Raymond and Rita looking for a deposit lovestruck Loretta never made, adulterous Cosmo facing his daughter, suspicious grandpa giving Rose the evil eye, and last but not least - Johnny is back from Sicily. 

It's one of my favorite scenes of all the movies I've ever watched; especially grandpa's reaction to all the hubbub.

If you haven't seen Moonstruck - get with it, peeps! I love this film and I've talked myself into watching it again. 

The next meeting of the Film Society is March 11 when we will pick a movie from one of our film-mates long list of reviews and give it a shot ourselves. New insight? Interesting commentary? How could it be anything but fun? Join us!

Now, check out my fine film peeps, too, and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

BOTB Results: "Shades of Gray"

"Here we come...walking down the street..."  (Monkees' theme song, for the uninformed or youthful)

Davy, Mickey, Mike and Peter - congrats! The Monkees beat Sons of Champlin easily but I have to say that Sons of Champlin were worthy opponents in this battle. I liked both versions, however, I'm always leaning heavily towards the Monkees. Ah...memories...

To celebrate their victory, the guys will sing us out once more with a more upbeat tune:

A big, heartfelt thanks to all the lovely blog buddies who provided concern and advice for my "lost love" submission to The Lost & Found Valentine's Edition Blog Hop.  I was truly touched; thank you so much.

Last, but not least, visit the other folks who participate in the Battle of the Band and see their results! How did you do? Did you pick the winner? There's only one way to find out:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mock Squid Soup: Three Clues!

Well, I'm a day late, but I'm here!

Today, for this month's edition of Mock Squid Soup, all society members are invited to post three hints about their film choice for the month.  All are welcome to guess, of course. 

Try these three clues on for size and guess away!:

1. There's a marriage proposal...but she has to refuse...
2. An amputee blames the guy who proposed for his woes.
3. Lunar influences on humans fuel some of the events.

Come back next week on Friday, February 12, to see my post about one of my all time favorite movies!  Till then, check out my pals:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Blog Worlds Collide: BOTB, Question of the Month, The Lost & Found Valentine Blog Hop 2016

If you take a gander at all my blog peeps, you'll see they're involved in a wide variety of interests. Statistically speaking, it was bound to converge into one giant blog hop one day. Triple threat day is here as I participate in STMcC's Battle of the Bands, Michael D'Agostino's Question of the Month, and The Lost & Found Valentine's Edition Blog Hop (the hosts for this event are Guilie Castillo-Oriard, Elizabeth Seckman,Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, and Alex J Cavanaugh). 

Yikes! Dats a lot o' hopping but I think I can knock it out. It may not be visually appealing but you can't always get what you want...(say this with Mick Jagger lips, please).


The most important part of this blog hop would be the "love found" portion and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you've read my blog with even minimal regularity, you've heard me mention my Hubzam. He is now and will always be my love found, cherished, and kept close at hand.

No matter who I might have liked, had a crush on or dated, there is only one person in my life who always had my back: Hubzam. He's my best friend and confidant; he's honest and loyal. I didn't realize how much I craved loyalty till I actually had it; I can't ever go back. Even more importantly, he is my rock. People, if you don't have a rock, I truly despair for you. Put all that together with a liberal layer of commitment and viola: it's "found love."


There are fears I'm afraid to mention in the light of day. Perhaps, if I don't talk about it, it will go away. I've not shared this with anyone but my dear mother is getting frightenly forgetful. It's not just forgetting that troubles me, though. She's more gullible; an easy target for someone who who wants to take advantage of a senior adult.

Last week, she was sure she had won a mysterious sweepstakes and no amount of talking could convince her otherwise. She told me that the guy (and his, ahem-cough-cough, boss) called her so much on the phone that she unplugged the base. She told me that finally, she agreed to meet him at the bank...

HOLD YOUR HORSES; WHAT THE DILLY-YO?. "You did what? Mom, please don't meet anyone at the bank...this is a scam. You'll either get robbed in the parking lot or someone will break in to your house, " I just-about-yelled with daughterly earnestness. It was totally wasted on Mom.

In the same tone that assured me I looked great at prom or had the most beautiful, clever children who ever walked the planet, she asserted her convictions about her pending legitimate winnings and the even more ludicrous legitimacy of the individuals who desperately wanted to put mighty dollars in her hands. There was no convincing her otherwise.

Likewise, I've told her repeatedly that the automatic blood pressure cuff is not warning her of low blood pressure when it reads L O W. The battery is low and it needs changed. She's been amazed at my keen insight into this issue the last eight times she mentioned her "low" blood pressure.

Repetition has taken the place of our long, meandering phone calls that hit every free form opinion that was on our minds. Oh, how I miss that. We'd willingly wander from topic to topic; it was a guilty pleasure followed by embarrassed laughter about how long we'd stay on the phone. In place of those conversations, two or three comments are repackaged and repeated over and over.

At times, Mom will tell me she's worried about her memory. I had her get out a piece of paper and write down things I wanted her to mention to her doctor: review her medication, re-check her blood pressure, tell him about the increased forgetfulness. She reads it back to me but I know she'll misplace it and I can't drive eleven hours to each appointment, especially when my own son has had more than his share of doctor appointments and therapy these past five months due to an accident.

In nursing school, they stressed the fact that you should never support a delusion. That sounds right on the surface until you're trying to convince your mom that what she thinks is happening - isn't. Or when I'm trying to make the point that she's not processing information clearly in a given situation and there's a little voice in my head that is warning me not to damage my relationship along the way.

Do I stand firm or just go along?

Bit by bit, I'm losing something I love as aspects of Mom's personality fade away. Our colorful conversations have turned gray; the nurse in me is not hopeful that this will improve. And so, this is my "lost love" for this season of my life. Sure, I've had other lost loves; I just can't seem to recall them at this juncture because they pale in comparison. I only have one Mom.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: "Shades of Gray"

It's been a long post already, so let's just get to the battle. The Monkees made this tune famous but they weren't the first to record it. No...I did not know that till I tried to find battle participants. I've always loved the lyrics to this song. They fit with today's theme.


Well, I told you the Pre-fab Four weren't the first. The Sons of Champlin hold that distinction and it is sooo sixties; it's a worthy opponent.


Now for the fun part! Follow ALL these worthy blogmeisters and I'm gonna give it my best shot at visiting them all, too.

For The Lost & Found Valentine Edition Blog Hop 2016:

For Michael D'Agostino's Question of the Month:

Vote in the Battle of the Bands for The Monkees or The Sons of Champlin below. Last, but not least, visit the other folks who participate in the Battle of the Band: