Monday, January 20, 2014

Sherlock Holmes

Rolling Stone 30 Jan. 2014
I have to think that the writer who wrote this is ... a guy. And I believe that "Logan Hill" is a man's name, yes?! More than pleasantly surprised, catching me completely off my guard, the BBC's Sherlock Holmes debuted its third season last night on PBS. And Benedict Cumberbatch brings many things to the role of Sherlock, but sexy ... oh, I don't think so.

The BBC version of Sherlock is techy, smart, witty, acerbic, and so on and so on. Cumberbatch plays him precociously arrogant and brilliant. As I watched the first episode last night, I thought to myelf: I'm going to have to watch this again because I don't think that I got it all. Every second is dizzying, especially when it's Sherlock in the center of the scene. One gets a sense of just what it would be like to have his brain. It would exhaust me.

And for this Sherlock, there was a moment when in season two that I thought he might have something sexual going on. The lady fair that he, in the end, saved seemed to steam things up rather. And all of this talk about the homoerotic relationship between he and Watson is, in my opinion, pishposh. I think that the writers exaggerate it as a dare to its viewers. But I think that it would be too easy to only think that the two men are attracted to each other. I don't think that is it. They need each other. They are a band of brothers of two. And like any men in battle, and women as well, form a unique bond that is very close, very intimate. Their lives depend on it.

Poor Cumberbatch, I may have thought him sexy  until I saw Johnny Miller's portrayal of Sherlock in the American version: Elementary. You want to talk about sexy? He's scorching. And I have to watch some of those episodes more than once, not because I've missed something, but because he's so smoldering hot. He, so much more than Cumberbatch, is ready to explode for keeping it all in. And I also like that I don't predict that he and Watson will ever couple up, which is unusual because isn't that what happens on every television show? And like the BBC duo, they are also becoming a band of brothers, and their lives also depend on it. I guess that is something sort of like love actually. More really.

Whatever it is, I'm just glad that I have both to enjoy. I never get enough of a mystery ... especially when the lead actor is British!

Written in the Stars

My horoscope for the day read: Take in a show of some kind -- music, art, performance or whatever floats your boat. Your great personal energy is perfect for absorbing culture, and it's past time to get started!

I love it! I wasn't going to mention it, but I have had a most opportune day of film and television. And having read my horoscope afterwards makes it even more ... full moonish.

First, I saw American Hustle. I am trying to do a better job of seeing Oscar nominated films this year, not just reading about them. Well let me tell you, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Christian Bale. Bad comb over, big tummy, and all was soooooo sexy. I'm not going to critique the movie ... you'll only see my gut reaction to it. I don't care for Bradley Cooper ... and I don't the same after seeing him perform. But the girls, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, were so awesome. I loved the fashion ... a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress and the Halston-esque 70's creations (were they real?). But that Bale ... yeah, I saw Batman before, and I don't remember any of his other movies, but as far as I'm concerned, this can be it. Cause he is it.

Then home to, oh! that's right ... I know someone who has HBO, so I was able to catch up on the first two episodes of the new season of Girls. AMAZING!

And then, of course, Downtown Abbey came on ... and what? The premiere of the new season of the BBC's Sherlock Holmes right after?! With a commercial for a new season of Doc Martin? Did I die and go to heaven?

No, but the Broncos beat the Patriots! 

Ah, it was written in the stars. Written in the stars. I may not have accomplished a damn thing today, but I go to bed a happy lady. A happy lady.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Rolling Stone 16 January 2014
"Why don't you wear the boots for one fucking shot?" the stylist snaps at last.
"I don't want to," he says simply.
"I do lots of thing I don't want to do!" she cries exasperated.
Bergling shrugs, "But I don't have to.
From the interview by Gavin Edwards.

No, I wouldn't imagine that this 24 year-old has to do anything that he would not want to do when he commands $200,000/night.

I don't know too much of Avicii's music except what is played on the radio. I love "Wake Me Up." For as often as it is cycled, I've never tired of it.

I just spent a couple of weeks with nieces and nephews who love EDM. And I like it too, what they play of it on the radio. But I don't really get what the DJ does. What does Aviicii, or my favorites - Daft Punk, do? They collaborate, I know that. Do they write the songs? How much mixing is done? For the songs that are on the radio, they play similarly to a pop song ... how is it different? Oh, they are naive questions, I'm sure. But I want to know more about the magic of EDM. Now, when I was in the car with my nephew, and he plugged his IPod into the system to play his favorite Daft Punk songs, I got it. Most of what he likes is only the electronic music. His little sister complained, "Hey, play a song with some words!" But he's a tech-head, and I imagine that he understands the language of a purely electronic sound. And I enjoyed it ... for a while, but then I was of the same mind as my niece.

Hey, I'm going to go for the ride. I imagine that I'll be back at one of the EDM festivals when the young ones hit town this summer, and I won't mind. But I will tell you what I really appreciate about this guy, and the others: Daft Punk. They are about their music, and not ... all that comes with it. Avicii wears sneakers. Why would he wear anything else? If you want to take picture of him, take it. But don't expect for him to be what he's not. And Daft Punk? They are disguised. They put their clothes on, and let the work speak for them. You don't have to know who they are ... that's not the point. I think that is what I really get into.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Surf Lesson Rincon, Puerto Rico
Still stranded in Puerto Rico due to the Arctic Vortex for a few more days, I tagged along for my nieces and nephews' second surf lesson. Here my nephew is doing an awesome job riding a wave.

The man on the right applauding? Not his instructor. The instructor is wearing the hat on the other side of the wave looking on at the scene. On the beach, we didn't know what was going on out there. The man rode the wave from across the horizon toward my nephew, and he looked like he was going to run right into him.  He turned his board just as he approached, and we saw a hand movement. What? Is he flipping off the novice? It was hard to tell; even though, my brother-in-law was photographing the scene, he couldn't tell either.

When my nephew got out of the water later, we asked him what had transpired. He said: oh that surfer dude was clapping and told me, 'Way to go, kid.' Why wouldn't he? He was doing what he loved, and he was glad to see a little dude getting up on a board to ride a wave.

Later, my brother-in-law was talking and he said, 'you know, it must be that I have so much anger inside of me that I would first go to the notion that this guy was flipping off my kid.' And there is truth to what he said. So often, at work or socially or in families, I imagine, we go to the worse case scenario, instead of considering that maybe, just maybe, someone is applauding our efforts, our ideas, our feelings, our human condition.

I did not surf. But I learned a lot going to those two surf lessons. The guys who instructed the kids were from the States (two from Michigan, one from Boston), and they had such a joie de vivre about them. They were, as my niece would say, 'chill.' They loved what they did for a living as surfer dudes in Puerto Rico during the winter months. They were professional. They took care of even the littlest surfer, my 9-year old niece. And they appreciated the business. Their approach was open, stripped down, and easy. I need to be that 'chill' in how I live, particularly when it comes to work. I can't sweat it. I can't be bothered by what always seems to nag at me and take up too much hard drive.

I need to just ride the wave. And know that most are happy for me doing so.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Bound

Playa Combate, Puerto Rico

Snow bound in Puerto Rico? Yes, I am. My sister and her family live in Puerto Rico and after Christmas, I traveled home with them to celebrate the New Year. And then the snow and cold hit most of the mainland, stranding me here. I was to fly out yesterday, but will enjoy one more week of the sun as the airports can't recover from all of the weather moving through.

4 Kids and Boats: the name of the boat was meant to be 4 Kids and a Boat 
(my friend Ken named it), but it didn't translate well.
A year or so ago, my brother-in-law bought a boat from a marine biologist from the local university in Puerto Rico. In the past, we just motored over to a little island about 10 minutes away from the shore, but as they have gotten familiar with the waters and the boat, they've been venturing out to other locations. On the first day, we headed to Playa Combate with a boat full of family (cousins). I was nervous ... I've not a lot of experience on boats. And we are in the Caribbean Sea ... not a rinky
dink little resort lake in Michigan. What no one told me was that on the way to Playa Combate, we would have to cross a large bay. And for some reason because of the way the water moves in and out of that bay, we would encounter waves. Oh Lord! My niece sat next to me, and I held on to her so tight that I thought that I would break her little self in half. I swung a life-preserver around my neck, and said a prayer to God and Jesus. Naturally, the kids were all squealing as the boat slammed into the sea, rose, and fell hard again spraying everyone with buckets of salt water. That torture lasted for about 15 or 20 minutes before we arrived to safe waters and the playa. It was idyllic, and my sister and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on the white sand while the kids all took turns speeding around on various water sporting toys.

When everyone loaded for the return, I had no idea what was in store for me. Apparently with the tide coming in, the waves would be even greater. It was smooth enough until my niece whispered, 'here it comes.' I think that I've blacked out some of that experience, the sea was so rough. At one point, Qui Que, my brother-in-law's brother, had steered the boat parallel to the waves, and the boat began to pitch toward it bathing us in even more salt water. I heard my brother-in-law yell, 'go right into the wave. Fast.' Of course, that was all said in Spanish, but I got the gist of it as I clung to the boat as best that I could. My sunglasses were coated with salt, so visibility was very low. For the most part, my eyes were closed tight. I thought it best just to feel it happen; rather, look ahead, anticipate, and worry whether we'd clear the next wave. On one wave, my youngest niece flew off of the front cushion, and I imagined her bouncing out of the boat altogether, which I wasn't at all convinced that I could prevent as I was having a hard time finding my equilibrium.

Obviously, I survived. On the other side, everyone breathed a collective sign of relief. My sister had some words for her husband: Didn't you check the boat advisories? Apparently, the waves were at a point where they would suggest that small boats stay close to land and in calmer water. I was surprised to find that I had any nerves left after that carnival ride, but I did. When I stepped on to the dock, I nearly kissed the ground, but instead went to look for a big glass of wine.

Surf Lessons
The next day, we headed to Rincón so that the cousins could all take a surf lesson together. Rincón is the surferman's paradise in Puerto Rico. The guys who were on hand to give the lessons all lived in PR for only 6 months of the year, and 2 of the 3 were from the Midwest. The beach is beautiful, and the kids were successful even though it was the first time surfing. There's not much to tell here, but it definitely was something to see.

I've been visiting Puerto Rico for over 18 years now, and I have gone through Rincón as it is near to where my sister lives, but I haven't spent any real time there. The beach was beautiful. The waves good for a first time surfing: 2 to 3 feet. Afterward, we went up the mountain to a new breakfast restaurant: The English Rose. It looked out over a lovely valley toward the sea. I haven't ever been to a 'breakfast' restaurant in PR before ... we split up over 4 tables as the place was small, and I had a grand view of the scenery from a shaded balcony. Many Americans appear to camp out on this part of the island for the winter months. The town square was circled with beer pubs and the like. Now, as the kids get older, I imagine that I will spend more time checking this 'new' area for me out.

My niece also is a natural.
Later, at the beach as the sun set, the moon rose and spilled its shine across the sea. My youngest niece grabbed my hand to sit on the balcony to enjoy the view, wrote this:
My nephew gets right up.

The Dark Windy Night
By:  Caroline Ibañez

Those cold breezy nights
where you can see nothing
but dark water
and moon making
a white path
along the horizon.
You can’t hear anything
but the crashing waves
along the shore.
While the moon
is slightly shining
among the palm trees
you hear a silent breeze
in the air
while I sit here
with my sister and my aunt Carol
who look at this view and its beauty.

Not a bad place to be snow bound. School is closed for a second day, so I will only miss 3 days now. Today is 3 Kings, and the family is over at my sister's house. We had rice and meat, and my sister made a wonderful Chicago-style piñón ( a plantain-like lasagne). Tomorrow, we will go back to the beach, and I may just get on that boat again.