Some Comedy films

Another old film post from 2013 that no current followers appear to have seen. (Except Eddy) Unusually for me, this one is about comedy films.

beetleypete

Some time ago, my friend Jim Medway (look him up, very talented cartoonist) asked if I was going to post some suggestions for comedy films that I would recommend. I had feared that someone would make that request, as Comedy is my least favourite genre, when it comes to films. It is not that I don’t find things funny, far from it; just not the sort of things that are commonly called ‘comedy’, by film-makers.

I could barely raise a chuckle at the big box-office successes starring the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Steve Martin. It is also highly unlikely that I will ever want to watch a teenage ‘rom-com’, or one of the cruder attempts at being funny, that seem so popular in the multiplexes these days. I will confess that some parts of ‘There’s something about Mary’ made me laugh, but not enough to get it…

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Some films about WWII

Reblogging another old film post from 2013. I don’t think any current followers have ever seen this one.

beetleypete

There have been a lot of films made about this long war, that took place in so many parts of the world. Many are so well known, that I have deliberately avoided including them here. So, no famous British black and white war films, no ‘Saving Private Ryan’, or ‘Bridge Over The River Kwai’. For those of you who enjoy war films, for whatever reason, I hope you find some new ones here, and that you are intrigued enough to seek them out.

Come and See. This is a Russian film from 1985. It is set during the German invasion of Belarus, and follows a young man, and a girl he meets, on their journey to join a band of partisans. It is not a film of great set piece battles, but does not shrink from depicting the horrors of the German atrocities carried out during this period. Over…

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Cheryl Oreglia: Too Much Time On Our Hands

I featured American blogger and writer Cheryl in a guest post late last year, and now I am very pleased to once again bring her to the attention of everyone in our great community.

Here is what she has to say about herself.

ABOUT ME
Living in the Gap is a lifestyle blog which appears randomly as I corral the time to write and reflect on the mundane. I do have a life outside of my head and it squeezes between me and my keyboard like a frightened child. What can you do? On the surface my life is common, I’m married with children, a high school teacher who lives for weekends at the lake, but just below the surface is a unique voice, one that I hope will resonate with you. Living in the Gap, customized, over the hill, gritty, complicated life. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Join me. Living in the Gap has over 100,000 views and is syndicated by The Good Men Project. Contact me at cheryloreglia@aol.com

Here is a link to her blog.
https://cheryloreglia.blog/

This recent post from her own blog gives a flavour of what you can expect to find.

TOO MUCH TIME ON OUR HANDS

Is there such a thing as too much time on your hands?

Yes, I believe so.

And there is also a thing about balancing how you spend your precious time.

Larry and I have been spending just about every waking hour together, and I’m discovering things about this man that I never knew, and believe me when I say you can’t unknow what you’ve come to know.

For example, I discovered Larry has a morbid fear of dishwashers (he can get a dish to the sink but no further), he’s taken to wearing a headband out to dinner (and people compliment him?), and oddly enough he can not resist a worthy challenge.

I found this old photo of Larry and me, I believe it was premarriage, but you can’t be sure. Clearly, we were in our early twenties, obviously tired of backgammon, and forced to discover new forms of entertainment.

The impetus for getting ourselves in such a pose had not been fully established but what I do know is Larry is looking down my shirt!

How rude.

We were staying with his parents at their Kono Tayee estate, I assume one of them snapped this photo, and it’s been sitting in a basket up at the lake ever since. I glance at it ever now and then, shake my head, and return it to the basket.

Recently I decided to make a copy of the image, thinking I’d frame it, and hang it up at our lake house. You know, for posterity and all, a reminder that we were young once, and remarkably agile.

I don’t know why, but the image always makes me smile, and sort of sigh as if nostalgic for the good old days.

So we’re sitting around the house, thumbing through the plethora of programs now available on Netflix, and I said something banal like, “I wonder if we could pull that off at our age?”

What was I thinking?

Larry says, “I’m certainly strong enough”

“Really honey? Are you insinuating there has been a shift in my anatomy? And besides, we don’t have a beanbag!” Not to mention I’m a total fail at balancing and have a minor fear of heights?

“A beanbag?”

“You know when you recreate an old image by wearing the same clothes, getting in the same position, with a similar background, except you’re decades older? It’s a thing.”

“Never heard of it.”

“I’m shocked, hey, do you still have that shirt?”

“That shirt – No”

“I definitely don’t have my shirt, which you are looking down by the way.”

“I’m focusing on keeping you airborne.”

“And smirking?”

He looks me up and down, “I think I could hold you?”

“Not reassuring.”

“Yeah, I could do it.”

“Well, I guess we’ll never know, will we?”

It’s the “will we” that got me into trouble. Before I know what’s happening he’s on the floor balancing a pillow with his feet.

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
–Bruce Lee

He says, “nothing to it.”

I don’t have the heart to tell him I weigh slightly more than a pillow, as he kicks the fluffy square into the air, narrowly missing my plant!

I muddled something under my breath about the status of our health insurance but Looney ignores me.

“Come on we have nothing to lose.”

“Only my dignity, and my ability to walk, and breath, other than that, we’re all good.”

“Can I just advise, if you feel like you’re falling, lean to the left.”

Famous last words…


“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

I’m Living in the Gap, practicing Acro Yoga, with Looney as my partner.

What are you all doing with your spare time?

Anecdotes:

“Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.” Richie Norton
“Live is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E. E. Cummings
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Unknown
Instructional video for you adventurous types, please drop your pics in the comments

Please take some time to check out the rest of Cheryl’s blog, say ‘Hello’, and welcome her to the community.

Awesome!

I am aware that language has to change. Even in my own lifetime I have seen many new words become common parlance. Then there are the words derived from advances in technology, like ‘Texting’, ‘Online’, and many more. Young people have invented abbreviations like ‘LOL’, and ‘LMAO’, and they have also started to become acceptable to many people, even outside of text messaging.

Some of those new words have come from America. A ‘Diner’ was once unknown here outside of old films, but it is no longer unusual to see a roadside eating establishment with that name. There are many similar examples, but you don’t need me to list all of them here.

There is one word that I wished had not changed though. It is a very old word, and one with a serious meaning. Here is a dictionary definition of that word.

awe
/ɔː/
noun
a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
“they gazed in awe at the small mountain of diamonds”

The most common way this is seen to be expressed now is in the use of the word, ‘Awesome’.

Notice the additon at the end of the definition, under INFORMAL.

awesome
/ˈɔːs(ə)m/

extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe.
“the awesome power of the atomic bomb”

INFORMAL
extremely good; excellent.
“the band is truly awesome!”

A word once used to descibe the power of imaginary gods, or witnessing the unbelievable sight of an atomic bomb exploding, is now in everyday use, especially in America. Used to describe everything from an ice cream or a nice new T-shirt, to a pop group. It also turns up in casual conversations, like this example.

“Hey, can you pick me up around four?”
“Yeah, no problem”.
“Awesome!”

We are going to need a new word.

Blogger’s Books: Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today I am featuring a non-fiction book from American writer, Maryanne.

Here is her own short bio.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author, award-winning journalist, and public speaker. Her latest book “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Here” can be found in Barnes & Noble bookstores.
She is the sole proprietor of her home-based business “Pear Tree Enterprises” (www.peartreeenterprises.com). She works as an editor, ghost writer, and public speaker.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta received a medal for “Best Speaker” at Toastmasters International. She was awarded Toastmasters Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding performance and valued contribution to Toastmasters District 83 Annual 2019 Conference.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta resides in New Jersey, with her husband, Dennis, and their beloved cats.

This is her book blurb for “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero”

What’s holding you back from being the extraordinary person you were created to be?
Inspirational author and speaker Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta walks you through ten steps you can start taking today to elevate your life to next-level joy, success, and contentment. A survivor of intense bullying, Maryanne shares her hard-won wisdom to empower you to embrace your uniqueness, connect with the people who deserve you, and cultivate the courage to create the life you’ve always wanted.
You’ll learn how to love, respect, and advocate for yourself so you can become your own superhero–no cape required!

Here is an Amazon link that you can use to find out more, and buy a copy if you wish to do so.

Maryanne is also running workshops based on her book, and you can find out more about those from this link.

I am also giving workshops based on the book. The link is here: https://courses.allfalfa.com/en/listings/975347-be-extraordinary-10-ways-to-become-your-own-hero
The Workshops are $40 per class, but if someone is struggling due to lay-offs because of covid, I will get them in FREE!

Please try to find time to welcome Maryanne to our great community.

George Carlin: ‘Dumb Americans’

I didn’t know about this man until my friend Antony sent me a link to this clip of a standup performance from 2016.

***Be warned, there is a LOT of swearing in this 10-minute film***

He attacks obesity, shopping habits, and the standard of education in America.

But he does make some very relevant points that still ring true, four years later.

And not just in America, but in Britain too.

Space Force!

The Space Force! It must be here, they have a badge!

In Saner Thought

A Serious Lack Of Imagination!

By now most will be aware that we have a new a separate military branch, the Space Force…..and just last week the new “logo” was released…..

Notice anything?

The Pentagon’s new US Space Force is not Star Trek’s Starfleet Command, but their logos bear a striking similarity, the AP reports. President Trump unveiled the Space Force logo Friday, writing on Twitter that he had consulted with military leaders and designers before presenting the blue-and-white symbol, which features an arrowhead shape centered on a planetary background and encircled by the words, “United States Space Force” and “Department of the Air Force.” The logo, which bears the date 2019 in Roman numerals, also is similar in design to that of Air Force Space Command, from which Space Force was created by legislation that Trump signed in last month. (See a comparison of the Space Force logo and…

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What makes me laugh

I’m quite a serious person. I think too much, (especially on Sundays) then write about what I think. I have strange dreams, then write about those too. I look back on my life. often living too long in the past, and I complain about the weather. A lot.

But I do have a humourous side, and things do make me laugh, often out loud. But I don’t laugh at people falling over. I certainly don’t laugh at Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Eddie Murphy. I rarely laugh at sitcoms on TV, particularly American ones, and when people tell me that so and so is ‘hilarious’, I generally look blank, and wonder what they are talking about. But there are people who make me laugh, and shows that I laugh at too.

Eddie Izzard

Father Ted

Peter Kay

Sarah Millican

Dad’s Army

Woody Allen (As a stand-up)

Just a snapshot of some things that cheer me up to watch. Non-British readers may need some help with the regional accents. If so, please request a translation in the comments. 🙂

Escaping ‘That Wedding’

I might be busy on this blog tomorrow. As well as that, Ollie will certainly be getting a longer than usual walk, I assure you. Unless you have been in a coma for a very long time, you cannot fail to be aware that there is to be a Royal Wedding in Windsor on Saturday. Prince Harry is to wed his American bride, with all the trappings of the traditional pomp and ceremony adored by the people of this land.

Not adored by me of course, as anyone who knows me will tell you. I am not a Royalist, and if you have ever glanced at my other blog, you will be aware that I have made that clear, in no uncertain terms.

The circus has well and truly come to town. Thousands of television network reporters from all over the globe have claimed their spots and vantage points. The usual gang of deluded Royal fans have established themselves alongside the railings on Windsor’s streets, with many being in place since last week. News coverage of the event started last week too, and has now reached constant fever pitch on the BBC here. They go over and over about the route, what the bride will wear, and who is invited, or not. Recent ‘Breaking News’ declared that The Duke of Edinburgh is well enough to attend, quickly glossing over the fact that the bride’s father will not be around to walk her down the aisle.

Drilling into the tiniest details, we hear that she may, or may not, wear a tiara, loaned to her by the Queen. The wedding cake is in the hands of an American cake-maker, flown in for the job. It is going to contain no less than 500 of the finest organic eggs, sourced from Suffolk. Flavour will be supplied by 10 bottles of Elderflower cordial from the Royal estate at Sandringham, and 200 lemons all the way from the Amalfi coast. Sweetness and softness will be covered, as 20 kilos of butter and the same of sugar will be added.

I am sure that this is heartening news for the women who will spend their time visiting local food banks, to get enough stuff to provide their children with a meal today.

Let’s not forget the young lady’s engagement ring. This features a huge central diamond, flanked by stones taken from the ring of the late Lady Diana, Harry’s mother. A ring of such quality would ordinarily cost anything up to £100,000, but as it includes stones from the ring of Lady Diana, it is described as ‘priceless’. So, a few million at least, I’m guessing.

Great consolation for the workers in Windsor, earning £320 a week, on a minimum-wage, no-hours contract, I’m sure.

Whatever I think, and this is just the tip of my thought iceberg, the world will be watching, (including my wife) with one notable exception. Me.

And before everyone gets too excited, have a think about what happened the last time a member of the Royal Family married an American Divorcee.
I feel sorry for the girl. Life as she knew it is over.