All Things Christopher Plummer

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 Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hollywood trends have come and gone, only to come back again, and things have rapidly changed with social media.  Things are more accessible to create your own little movie, but of course, they will usually not be the blockbuster you think it will be.  This can be a blessing and a curse.  Let’s face it:  watching an amateur video on YouTube is not the same experience as watching a movie in the theater or on your television from a DVD or Blu-ray.  This technological modernization of the world, which includes Hollywood has also produced effective “cheaper” made movies with stories seemingly realistic.  The acting profession might not have the glamour and glitz it once did.  There continues to be crossover from other professions: music and fashion.  This isn’t to say it is easy to get into Hollywood because for the majority it is damn hard.  You must want it bad.  It takes an equal amount of work to stay relevant. The writers’ focus has long forgotten about most epic stories or ones that require an overabundance of thinking by the audience.  The audience has spoken.  It’s become all about comic book adaptations.  Think movies with more action than story, but enough of the latter to not be thought of as one trick cinema.

I tend to be drawn toward roles where actors/actresses are able to showcase their acting range.  I firmly believe that a great actor/actress has range.  S/he is able to absorb into a role, and if it is one that flies in the direction opposite from where s/he stands in reality, then all the more reason to stand up and clap for him/her.   My take on what makes a great actor/actress might differ from the mainstream, as I look to someone who is able to convincingly portray a good person as much as a bad person, and better yet if it is in the same movie.  This isn’t to say an actor/actress playing the same role over and over isn’t good, but to launch them into greatness takes work, and then to become one of the legends takes an even larger body of work, and an understanding few attain.  A great actor/actress is multilayered in techniques, able to gain access to that “needed thing” effortlessly, and quickly transition within scenes and between performances.  I have more to think about what makes a legend, in any profession, but would venture to say it’s a combination of longevity and relevance.

I was first introduced to Christopher Plummer from my grandma.  She watched The Sound the Music every year.  This was my first introduction to musicals.  While this was not his defining role, it surely made him a household name, and this musical is still one of my favorites.  I continued watching all kinds of movies as I left my teenage years and ventured into my twenties, thirties, and now forties.  I have become enamored, in a non-romantic way, with Plummer as I have with Humphrey Bogart and Sidney Poitier.  There is something when seeing an actor/actress who’s walked the streets of Tinseltown year after year, and is no longer considered a “new face.”  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre remains one of my favorites for Bogart and In the Heat of the Night for Poitier.   My favorite, so far for Plummer, is The Fall of the Roman Empire.

As I watched Plummer in his role as J. Paul Getty, it dawned on me how much I enjoy his performances.  I thought about him playing Kaiser Wilhelm II, Leo Tolstoy, Aristotle, and John Barrymore.  I thought about his ability to equally play a warmhearted soul and one that is wicked in nature.  He’s an actor continuing on his path of promise and deliverance.  It almost seems silly for me to even comment because he doesn’t need my accolades.  He has already proven himself, but lately I’ve wanted to see faces of “older” actors/actresses.  Hollywood likes newcomers, the next big thing, so this is my way of saying I want continued space for veteran actors/actresses.  If anyone is deserving of a Hollywood spot, one should be reserved for Christopher Plummer.

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Trifecta #6

Image of the Week

I think about what would happen if I didn’t have water to drink.  I wouldn’t last long without it even though a human can go without it for between three to five days.  Therefore, I’ve decided to post a picture of a necessity we need to live.

waterdroprings

Word of the Week

A word you might not know.  I sure didn’t.  It is part of the top 40% of words.  The more you know. 

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Video of the Week

This video is older and brought to my attention from a co-worker.  It is related to the Olympics as Suzy Chaffee was an alpine skier.  This is her Chapstick commercial.   It’s a nice nod to the 1970s, and of course, a little funny.

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Book Recommendation: The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism

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I haven’t read this type of book for a while.  Readers either liked it because of its informative nature about narcissism and the focus of both narcissist and those looking at them.  Others found it difficult to read because its subject matter includes psychological theories and concepts.  Despite it being a small, compact book, don’t expect to speedily read through it.  Sure, you can, but you’re going to miss important knowledge along the way.  Remember this is an essay dealing with subject matter that is hard to quantify, but often easy to objectify by the layperson.  

Narcissism has become a notion with characteristics of being a very bad thing, and while it has existed for a long time and before social media came onto the scene, the author posits those critical of the narcissist maybe as much to blame as the narcissist.  Kristin Dombek takes us into her view of the impacts of narcissism, and how it’s seepage into humanity throughout the generations has led to a sort of panic of today.  Everyone has something to say about it and everyone is on some level a narcissist.

Mental disorders have been written and removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).   One day it might declassify narcissism as a mental disorder, but for now it is here to stay.  Dombek includes past studies about narcissism, and how some psychological experts sought to fit it into neat pockets.  She discusses millennial born individuals and the stereotypes of their laziness and materialism.  There is also discussion about serial killers and how we put them onto an island by themselves.   We have become great at dividing people: us versus them.

It doesn’t matter so much where you stand on the narcissism spectrum, but that you realize everyone has a place on it.  We can overly embrace it under certain circumstances or totally ignore it when it’s undesirable.  We operate and conduct ourselves with others often based on our upbringing, but it never hurts to explore further by opening your eyes to other viewpoints.  If nothing else, this book offers insight into the struggle of viewing ourselves and others as objectively as possible.

Explore The Selfishness of Others on Amazon

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My Life in Journals

Missing a Few, but Here’s Most of Them

I went home home to take pictures of my other journals. I didn’t get them all because some were M.I.A. I ended up leaving my current journal behind. You win some and then lose some. I actually have a few more, but couldn’t call them actual journals.  When I hit a certain point in my life, I plan on burning all of them in a big bonfire, but time will tell.  The original dates were from 1990 to current times, but these listed below start in 1992 and progress onward.

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Quotes about California

I bought a little book about people from California quoting about California long before I moved here.  I browsed through the pages and chuckled at how many things were true when I went back to Minnesota.  I made some of them into quotes.  Whether you love or hate California, it won’t secede from the Union or split into two or more fractured parts (not anytime soon).  It’s here to stay so enjoy it near or from afar.

harryrubyquote

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alicebtoklasquote

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franklwquote

humphreybogartquote

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joandidionquote

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More Random Info

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Since the release of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993, crowds of up to 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania each year on February 2nd to see whether Punxsutawney Phil observes his shadow. 

Seemingly fluffy, airy clouds are actually quite heavy.  The water droplets forming a small cumulus cloud weigh more than a mid-size car.

During Andrew Jackson’s presidency in the 1830s, the United States’ White House lawn was home to a milk cow. 

In 1986, Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest-ever heavyweight boxing champion at the age of twenty years and five months.

Amount of money graphic designer Milton Glaser charged the New York state tourism board for designing the “I (heart) New York” logo in 1977 was zero dollars.

On February 16, 1968, the United States’ first 911 emergency phone system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama.  Today, hundreds of millions of 911 emergency calls are made in the United States each year.  The Federal Communications Commission estimates that more than 70 percent are wireless calls.

John F. Kennedy was 43 when he was elected the youngest president in U.S. history.

When in Japan, slurp your noodles.  It’s considered polite to do so. 

The first movie ever to be screened privately at the U.S. White House was The Birth of a Nation, which President Woodrow Wilson viewed in 1915.

To clean a sink drain, put 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then flush with hot water.

On February 28, 1983, more than 60% of U.S. TV-owning households watched the final episode of the TV series, M*A*S*H.  The series finale boasted a 77 percent share of the Nielsen ratings during its original airing. 

Source Material: Andrew McMeel Publishing

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Trifecta #5

Image of the Week

One of my own of a blue snowmobile in a coffee shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

snowmobile

Word of the Week

Another word at the bottom of the usage pool, but it reminds me of someone special.

davenport

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So Far the Olympic Medal Count is???

Here’s the Olympic medal count so far…

Let the best athletes win in 2018!!!

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I’m Ready for February! Are you for the Olympics? And Does it Matter who Wins the Gold?

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As January ended its last days and we are now into February, the world comes together on a worldly stage to show everyone willing to watch athletic greatness of people who train year round.  There are no breaks for Olympic athletes who give their dedication to the various summer and winter sports.  They are the best not only because of their athletic talents, but because of their determination to push forward when most want to quit.  These are the people who will stop at nothing to get their dream of winning gold fulfilled.

We all got the reminder of the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident, which caught fire again with the movie, I, Tonya, and with the revival of Harding being interviewed recently.  While Kerrigan went on to win silver, Harding was one of the gifted athletes that could have been part of ice-skating history as one of the best figure skaters in the world.  Life is more challenging for some, thus her career ended on a failed triple jump where she crashed hard.  She has moved on with her life, now Tonya Price, who looks forward as much as possible.

The NBC Olympic Preview on Netflix only got me more excited for February 9th.  The Winter Olympics serves again as a nice diversion away from the political circus currently happening in the United States.   PyeongChang will hold 102 events in 7 sports with 15 disciplines, making it the first Winter Olympics to surpass 100 medal events. South Korea added four new disciplines guaranteed to lead to heartbreaking crashes, heightened excitement, and distance achieved thought unimaginable.  Figure skating, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating are my favorites, but the endurance and skill needed for biathlon and cross-country skiing is not lost on me.  I’m still trying to figure out the appeal of curling.

There will be some countries not participating this year, and most notable is Russia because of their doping scandal.  However, Russian athletes will be competing under the Olympic flag, but only after they met the standards by the IOC.  In addition, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Tajikistan, Virgin Islands, Nepal, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe will not be seen.   There’s also a handful of countries participating in 2018 that were not in 2014.  They include North Korea as well as Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and South Africa.  There will be 94 countries competing in total.

To answer the question above, it does matter who wins the Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  It matters to the athletes competing and their coaches and families.  It matters to those willing to pay to watch athletes compete.  It matters to those who metaphorically glue their eyeballs to television monitors.  One’s meaning in life shouldn’t be stuffed into a medal, but at that moment, it’s often the only thing that matters.  It doesn’t make an athlete lesser for not making to the podium, but damn, it’s good to see your respective country represent.  Let the best be the best and see who wins.

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Travel? Sure! Flu? Why Not!

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I had thought about wearing a mask on the plane when I traveled to see my parents.  Yes, I would be one of those people who is overly cautious.   Yes, I would look rather stupid.  No, I didn’t get sick of smelling my own breath because I never bought a mask.  It probably wouldn’t have helped as I’m positive I got sick after the plane ride.   This is beside the point, but it was one of the only things I held onto during my moments between being chilly and sweaty.  I even surfed the Internet thinking I could, maybe, pinpoint the time I got sick. 

I can only say with confidence this virus traveling inside my body was ugly.  I kept in the back of my mind to drink water as much as I could, and then when I started coughing, each time after I coughed.   The mucus, thick and stubborn, in my throat.  It was sore, but not as sore as it could’ve been.  I was out of commission for two days.  I only got up to use the bathroom, and even then I waited as long as possible.  My fever broke three times. 

I was able to hold off the really bad coughing fits until after I arrived back to Los Angeles, but I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything during the plane ride back.  I could only close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me.  I kept the cough drops within reach, my new best friends, and sucked on them one after another.  Getting the flu knocked a productive visit/vacation into half where all I did was sleep, mumbled and grumbled, went in and out of dreams, and got out of bed only when necessary. 

I left my parents’ house without getting everything I wanted done, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I was able to surprise my dad, went for a horseback ride with my mom, and finally met my parents’ dog.  These things are priceless long after I’ve forgotten all about getting sick.  Not quite yet, but hoping soon enough.

And yes, I’m hoping this serves as a reason for my not blogging recently.  In other words, the flu knocked me on my ass and then kept me down.  At the low point, I wondered if I was ever going to make it.  Luckily, I did.  

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