News for the Week Ending July 22, 2007

 Crime, Places, Politics, Society, The Courts  Comments Off on News for the Week Ending July 22, 2007
Jul 292007
 

The Cool Mom – From Findlaw
(AP) LONG BEACH, California-A mother charged with driving her 14-year-old son and six other juveniles to a skate park so they could attack another teenager pleaded not guilty to murder. Police said Eva Daley knew her son and the others planned to kill Jose Cano when she drove them to the park June 26. Cano, 13, died of stab wounds. Police said he had previously been involved in a dispute with the youths.

Man Flunks Bar-Blames Queers – From PlanetOut
A man said he failed the Massachusetts bar exam because he refused to answer a question about same-sex marriage, and claims in a federal lawsuit the test violated his rights and targeted his religious beliefs.  He said he refused to answer the question because he believed it legitimized same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, which is contrary to his moral beliefs.

His lawsuit against the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court also claims the state government is “purposely advancing secular humanism’s homosexual agenda.”

Some people have no life.

Fond Memories Of My Favorite Season

 General, Weather  Comments Off on Fond Memories Of My Favorite Season
Oct 092005
 

Autumn has officially arrived. As usual it’s a little hard to tell here in Tampa. However, we got a couple of overcast rainy days this past week. That made it a little cooler, and made me think of Fall.

I think autumn is my favorite time of year. Coming from the western part of North Carolina, and having gone to college at Appalachian State University in the northwest corner of the corner, I have seen some beautiful shows of fall colors. I have literally had my breath taken away while driving up the mountains to Boone and Blowing Rock returning to school, or looking off some of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As stunning as the colors are, I think its much of the other things about this time of year that appeal to me. My mom was the school system nurse for thirty plus years in my home town, and at one point in my life, I worked for a few years as a representative for a yearbook publishing company. So for many years, that “school schedule” was an important part of life. It is a time of settling in and getting back to routine.

My granddaddy was a cotton farmer, so the cotton would be coming in, and my mom and grandmother would be “putting up” corn, green beans, and vegetable soup. I remember a few early Saturday mornings going with Granddaddy to the cotton gin. I’d dig a hole in the cotton in the front corner of the trailer, and off we’d go with the big red Farmall tractor chugging along down the road. And that old cotton gin was an amazing place for me. I especially love the big vacuum tube that sucked the cotton out of the trailer.

Even now I feel like the business environment changes around this time of year. People sort of get serious again, and start paying more attention. Vacations are over, budget time starts, and you’re in the last quarter of the year.

The days start getting shorter and the mornings a bit cooler (even here in Florida sometimes). Back in my hometown you’d step out in the evenings and often catch the smell of burning leaves. People outside the city limits raked their leaves to the side of the road, and burned them. Football season goes into full swing. I was in the band, so each Friday night was a big deal during high school. And there’s nothing more beautiful than the big mountain covered with hardwoods rising above the end of the stadium at ASU draped in Fall colors.

Even when I was in college I was a resident assistant in a freshman dormitory, so not only was it a time for me to start back to school, it was the time to help thirty plus freshmen get off to a good start at college, and experience all the excitement of meeting new people.

So fall is a time that brings back lots of nice memories for me. Part is that agrarian attitude of brining in the crops and preparing for winter; part is that getting back to school with friends and routine; and a lot is the beauty that I know is so much a part of fall in North Carolina. I can see it in my mind, even here in Tampa.

Moonstruck

 Culture, Movies, Movies I Own  Comments Off on Moonstruck
Jul 212004
 

Moonstruck (1987)

A widowed Brooklyn book-keeper is torn between her fiancé and his brother.

Directed by
Norman Jewison

Genres
Comedy, Romance, Drama

Cast
Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney, Louis Guss, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Anita Gillette, Leonardo Cimino, Paula Trueman, Nada Despotovich, Joe Grifasi, Gina DeAngeles

DVD

This is probably my favorite movie of all time. Loretta Castorini, a Brooklyn bookkeeper in her late 30s whose husband died several years earlier in a bus accident, decides it’s time to get married again. So she accepts the proposal of a nice, middle-aged fellow named Johnny Cammareri. Loretta is convinced her first marriage was cursed because she and her husband had gotten married at City Hall; this time, she’s determined to do things right, even as she admits to her mother, Rose, that she’s not really in love with Johnny. (To which Rose replies: “Good. When you love them, they drive you crazy, ’cause they know they can.” Rose speaks from rueful experience; she suspects, with good reason, that her husband, Cosmo, is cheating on her.) Loretta is convinced that marrying Johnny is the safe and sure thing to do – until she meets his estranged younger brother Ronny, who tends the ovens in a neighborhood bakery. Loretta discovers that in startling contrast to the pleasant, mild-mannered Johnny, Ronny is moody and passionate; what follows are complications worthy of a comic opera.

‘Moonstruck’ is a love story. There is not one romance, there are at least three, but they all have to do with the same family. Loretta’s family. Loretta (Cher) is about to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). She doesn’t love him, but he is sweet and good man. When he leaves to visit his dying mother in Italy Loretta meets Johnny’s brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage). He and Johnny haven’t spoken each other in five years and Loretta wants to invite him to the wedding. Of course they fall instantly for each other.

How this story and love stories of Loretta’s parents and uncle and aunt develop is something you simply have to see for yourself. Every seen is a delight to watch, with Cher as the bright star in the middle of everything. She won and really deserved the Oscar that year. Cage is pretty good, and goofy as well, and Olympia Dukakis as Loretta’s mother and Vincent Gardenia as her father are terrific. This movie is funny, charming and therefore highly enjoyable.

Cher and Olympia Ducacus are outstanding in their parts. I don’t like Nicholas Cage, but even he was great in this movie.

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