Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Baron of Arizona

The Baron Arizona is a 1950 Samuel Fuller western starring Vincent Price, a fictionalized account of a true story of a man who almost succeeded in laying claim to Arizona in the late 1800s. Fun!

via Youtube:

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 86%. TCM has some information.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

Ecce Homo:

by Bartolomeo Manfredi, c/1612, oil on canvas. This is on permanent display at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

from the description from the museum website:
Ecce Homo, meaning “Behold the Man,” depicts four half-length figures, a compositional structure Manfredi may have learned in Northern Italy from such artists as Mantegna and Bellini. Central to the image is the captive Christ, placed against the blood red of his cape (a symbol of his impending fate), a turbaned Pontius Pilate, and two flanking soldiers. The painted ledge, extending halfway from the left, is a reference to the slab on which the dead Christ will be laid out and which, after his death, will become a symbol of his sacrifice, the altar itself. This seemingly insignificant element forms a point of transition between the space of the viewer and that of the painting, thus making the beholder's involvement in the tragic scene all the more compelling.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Commenting Issues

4/2/2018 edit: Privacy Badger was the culprit.

Comments I leave on my own blog and on others are disappearing. 

In the meantime, if you have suggestions I'd welcome them.

Tulips at the Dixon

Tulips are not my favorite flower

but every year here I am

wandering through the Dixon Gardens display

of gorgeous tulips

and other spring flowers

The weather was lovely with sun and a high of 79 F. Glorious! There are chairs and tables throughout the gardens, and I stayed outside soaking it all in.

I'll go back to see the current art exhibitions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

13 Ghosts

13 Ghosts is a 1960 horror film directed by William Castle. A sweet family (husband, wife, son, daughter) inherit a haunted house. Margaret Hamilton is the black-dressed housekeeper who comes with the house. This is a fun little film, especially if you like a little spooky mood without any gore at all. says,
Had he not passed away of cardiac arrest back in 1977, I have no doubt Castle would have become one of today’s most popular guests of honour at film festivals and conventions everywhere. It’s a role I’m sure he would have enjoyed and would have played it to the hilt, to the immense pleasure of us all.
The New York Times calls it "a simple, old-fashioned haunted house yarn". 1000 Misspent Hours says, "The story overall is not nearly as smart as it thinks it is, which can be a little grating, but that’s also part of the movie’s charm. Probably the most entertaining thing about 13 Ghosts is the palpable sense of how much fun the cast and crew had making it". DVD Talk says, "This subtle WEIRDNESS in 13 Ghosts is hard to describe."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

High Point Pizza

High Point Pizza is a neighborhood pizza parlor that opened in the High Point area in Memphis in 2007. You can see their pizza menu here. The interior was comfortable:

but we ended up at a table outside. I had the small (10") Margherita and a coke. It was delicious.

This was our first trip there, but I'm sure we'll be back. Just look at this:

How can we not go back?

Please share a drink with us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March for Our Lives

Two days ago I participated in the Memphis march that was part of March for Our Lives. The main rally was in Washington, D.C., but there were sister marches all over the country. The one in Memphis began at Clayborn Temple and ended in a rally in the plaza in front of the Civil Rights Museum.

This is a screen shot with me in it taken from a video taken along the march:

I took a couple of photos in the plaza:

I know people are enthusiastic and hopeful, but when we watched six year old children die and did nothing I knew nothing would ever be done. But that won't stop me from supporting those working for change.

I took this photo on my way back to the river where I had parked:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Annunciation

The Annunciation (1520-1525):

by Andrea Previtali. This was a gift to the Brooks Museum of Art by the Kress Foundation. The Feast of the Annunciation is observed on March 25.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cherry Road

These cherry trees are all along the road between the Audubon Park golf course and the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

They don't last long, but while they're in bloom they are a joy to behold!

Friday, March 23, 2018

My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 comedy starring Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne (in his last film before his death in mid-1993), and Maury Chaykin (Nero Wolfe in that delightful A&E mystery series). The Husband likes funny movies with happy endings, and this is exactly that -light-hearted, filled with banter and fun characters. I'd have loved a sequel, but there never was one.


The New York Times calls it "easily the most inventive and enjoyable American film farce in a long time". The Hollywood Reporter has a positive review. Empire Online gives it 3 out of 5 stars and calls it "lightly likable".

Roger Ebert says, "It's the kind of movie home video was invented for: Not worth the trip to the theater, but slam it into the VCR and you get your rental's worth." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 85%.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Chasm City

Chasm City is a 2001 award-winning science fiction book by Alastair Reynolds. I found it fascinating, a real page-turner, with intriguing ideas and complex characters. It's focused on character and plot, but the science is there, the author being educated in physics and astronomy. This book is part of the Revelation Space series, but this one stands on its own.

from the back of the book:
Named one of the best novels of the year by both Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle, Alastair Reynolds's debut Revelation Space redefined the space opera. With Chasm City, he invites you to reenter the bizarre universe of his imagination as he redefines Hell...

The once-utopian Chasm City -a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet- has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted -from the people to the very city they inhabit- only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, t is the landscape of nightmares through which he searches for a low-life postmortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.
January Magazine says,
An intelligent, complicated and deliciously convoluted novel, Chasm City reminds the reader again and again that fiction isn't only about the destination. For a book to really work on all levels, the journey must be fascinating, as well.

In Chasm City the journey is riveting.
Publishers Weekly opens by saying, "In this worthy follow-up to his well-received first novel, Revelation Space (2001), an especially intelligent far-future foray, British author Reynolds transmutes space opera into a noirish, baroque, picaresque mystery tale." SF Site calls it "a pretty impressive book".

SF Signal says,
By the satisfying end of Chasm City, the reader realizes that Reynolds is an immensely skillful writer. His storytelling is superb; without realizing it at first, you are on a journey filled with imaginative scientific wonders like space elevators (the scene of a very exciting action sequence early in the novel), alien creatures, super-extreme sports (like bungee-jumping into the incredibly dangerous chasm mist – for fun!), hunting games played for keeps, generation starships, nanotechnology, shape-shifting, immortality and more. All of this is expertly woven into a first-rate space opera that leaves you wanting more.
Infinity Plus describes it as "a cyperpunk-inflected thriller with a single (although complex) protagonist and a tone of hardboiled intrigue." Strange Horizons praises the storytelling and adds, "pure science fans will be pleased to know that the laws of physics are not broken here."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Armored is a 2009 heist film starring Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, and Laurence Fishburne as armored car drivers who decide to steal 42 million dollars and claim they were robbed. I found it predictable.


The Guardian calls it "disappointing". The Hollywood Reporter says "plot improbabilities begin to mount as high as an escalating body count, ending with a whimper of a disappointingly slack payoff." Variety calls it "A so-so heist-gone-awry thriller".

Empire Online concludes, "Whilst applauding the old school ambitions of this classic style of crime caper, there's not enough quality in plot, script or character to make it hold together." Roten Tomatoes has a critics score of 39%.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dino's Grill and Muddy's

Dino's Grill is a Memphis restaurant that has been around a long time, but we had never eaten there. I enjoy going places I've never been, and I'm wondering now why I'd waited so long. They have a comfortable environment:

and delicious food. Their menu is at their website. I had the toasted ravioli appetizer:

and eggplant parmesan and spaghetti:

You can see The Younger Son's cheeseburger and fries on the left of the photo above and The Daughter's club sandwich on the right. The Husband sat across from me and had spaghetti and meatballs. This was delicious! I'd love to go back.

We were stuffed, as you might imagine, but a bit later we were ready for dessert. We chose Muddy's for that.

I had coconut cream pie and a double espresso:

It was a gray day but pleasant, so we sat on the patio:

This was a delightful day with family and local Memphis food that just can't be beat.

Please join the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Baker's Wife

The Baker's Wife is a 1938 French film directed by Marcel Pagnol. It's a comedy about a baker whose young wife leaves him for a handsome man closer to her own age and who quits baking bread in his despair. The villagers work to get his wife back for him. This is a sweet piece, and I enjoyed the mix of humor in the heartwarming story.

via Youtube:

The New York Times review concludes, "It is this undercurrent of tragedy, this steadfast air of dignity that is at once the secret of his funniest scenes, the quality that prevents his film from toppling into farce and makes "The Baker's Wife" a true comedy and a delightful one."

It's included in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Colonial 42

Somebody's getting creative with the light poles on this street.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Highway 61 and Going Back to Memphis

Highway 61:

sung by Sunnyland Slim. He was born in Mississippi in 1906 and moved to Memphis in 1925. He moved to Chicago in 1942 and died there on this date in 1995 at the age of 88. Memphis is mentioned in the song above. Below is another Memphis connection:

Going Back to Memphis:

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is a 2017 award-winning fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Brown in the recent Paddington movies), Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones as the amphibian man, David Hewlett (best known as Dr. Rodney McKay in the several Stargate TV series), Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Recognizing actors from other works we've enjoyed is always fun. This is yet another one of those movies we meant to see in the theater. I'm not sure how it is we so rarely go out to see films, but there it is. We bought it the day it was released and watched it the next day. A wonderful film! There's sweetness and romance and deep friendships and cruelty and sacrifice and tragic loss... and I'd think it'd be a hard movie not to like. The director was inspired by the old monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, which has always been one of my favorites.


The New York Times calls it "altogether wonderful". The BBC calls it "an intelligent, tender, beautifully shot, meticulously crafted work of art" and "an affecting and affectionate film". The New Yorker has a positive review.

The Guardian gives it 5 out of 5 stars and concludes,
The genius of Del Toro’s creation is that we know exactly how much Elisa cares for her soulmate and how he makes silent sense of her fish-out-of-water feelings. Watching them dance around each other, I became aware of the shape of my own tears, swept along by the emotional waves of Del Toro’s sparkling drama, succumbing to its seductively melancholy song of the sea.
Empire Online gives it 5 out of 5 stars and says, "Watch it and it’s magical; fantastic in all senses." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 92%.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Memphis Botanic Gardens Daffodils

A recent trip to the Botanic Gardens showed that our unwillingness to go there in the cold, dreary rain made us miss the height of the daffodil season. There were still some pretty ones, though:

There were also tulips:

and flowering trees:

What a wonderful place to spend time!