Posts Tagged ‘Leonardo di Caprio’

Letter From New York 01 24 16 Thoughts while missing Snowmaggedon

January 24, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas  Columbia County  JFK Airport  The Red Dot  Transform Films  “Newtown”  Nick Stuart  The Donald  Iowa Caucuses  The Revenant Leonardo di Caprio  Star Wars  Jeff Bezos  Blue Origins

The coastline of the United States has been brutalized by Winter Storm Jonas.  I fled on Friday so that I could be at home when he/it hit.  However, strangely enough, not a flake of snow has fallen in Columbia County.  It has been cold with a bruising wind but nothing like the snow in the city.

JFK had 30 inches of snow on the runway with thousands of canceled flights.  My friend Larry was stranded in the city on the way to spend her birthday with his wife in Mexico.  My friend Jerry was on one of the last flights out before they shut the airport down.

And here we are, in great shape.  It was my intention to go to the city tomorrow afternoon and I think I won’t, giving New York a few more days to clean itself up before I head in.

Down in Washington, DC my nephew Kevin is part of a group of volunteers who are shoveling the walks of the elderly and shut-ins.  So like Kevin, which is one of the reasons I am so proud of him.

In one of the most tragic of storm related deaths, a good Samaritan pulled over to help a motorist who had slid off the road only to have the motorist shoot him to death.

Up early today, I prepped for class this week, went to church.

It is my habit these days to light candles at church for a variety of things — a friend in the UK who is fighting a brain tumor, another friend whose daughter is suffering from traumatic brain disorder, for myself, for the world in which live.  Today there was only one match and so I managed to light only one candle for all those things.

I started lighting candles as thanks and hope when I was in my early teens after an incident in which I nearly drowned.

Following church, I was off to the Dot where I sat doing lesson plans until I either had to order or not.  After Eggs Benedict on potato latkes, I headed home to do some more work.

One of the things I did was to log on to Twitter and follow #Transformfilmsinc.

Transform Films is premiering a film at Sundance this year, “Newtown.”  It follows the ravaging of lives that has occurred since the mass shooting there a little over three years ago.  Nick Stuart, my best friend, is Executive Producer.

As I type, they are screening.

As I grow older, I am aware how lucky I am and have been.  I have had Death nip at my heels a couple of times and am still here to tell the tale.  The loss of my friend Paul has been sobering and a reminder of my own mortality. 

It is the course of life.  None of us get out of here alive.

While I am here, I will continue to observe and to comment as best I can, savoring the ability to shape words to some meaning.

In the fireplace, a small fire is burning.  The dishwasher is running.  The flood lights illuminate the creek.  I have missed Snowmaggedon.

To my political amazement, Trump has gained 15 points in the last two weeks in Iowa.  The Donald is a juggernaut to be sure.

In film, everyone I know is talking up Leonardo di Caprio’s “The Revenant.”  So much so I feel I must see it sooner than later.  I am late to seeing “Star Wars.” I will, eventually but my passion for The Force has cooled.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, also has another company, Blue Origins.  It successfully sent up a rocket and had it return to land upright, successfully, twice now.  Pretty impressive, I think.  One more step to realizing the reach out to space.

One of the things that has saddened me in my life was that having once reached the moon, we seemed to stop striving.  Now it is Internet billionaires who are revitalizing the race to space.  Good for them.

Letter From New York 01 14 16 Oscars, reunions and bombs…

January 14, 2016

The sun has set and I’m freshly home from a haircut which means I’m a little itchy around the neck.  A fire burns in the stove and jazz plays in the background.  Lights illuminate the creek and I have made myself a martini to sip while writing.  I spent three hours today volunteering for Habitat for Humanity of Columbia County, helping clean up their database.

The stock market didn’t swoon again today, which is good news for almost everyone I know.  It was up 1.41% after falling 2+% yesterday.  I was at the gym yesterday on the treadmill, watching CNN.  They were tracking the market by the minute, which was too depressing to watch while on the treadmill.  So I watched an ancient Kay Francis film on TCM.

It was great to escape into a world where you knew it would all come out right in the end.

Which is what we don’t know about the life we’re living now.  It could go in any direction and we have no way of knowing what that direction might be.

And that, my friends, is why I treasure evenings like this at the cottage.  For a moment, the world seems on hold, even as I am assimilating events from the day.

In Jakarta, IS claims responsibility for multiple explosions in the capital.  At least seven are dead and there is concern that Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim State, which has a secular government, is going to be under fresh attack after several years of calm.

In brighter news, at least three people can claim a piece of the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot though others may surface. 

And today the Oscar nominees were announced.  “Revenant” with Leonardo di Caprio leads the pack with twelve nominations.  Also up there is “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Not long ago an industry insider wondered why they were even mounting a campaign.  Today provided the reason why.

Alan Rickman passed away today.  He played Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films. I saw him live in a relatively obscure Ibsen play, “John Gabriel Borkman” at BAM five years ago and he was electrifying.  His characters were mostly cold and sinister, very different from the man portrayed in the memorials today.

As I type there is another Republican debate beginning.  Politics is becoming reality TV in more ways than just having The Donald dancing on the scene.  Whose idea was it to have all these debates so far in advance of the election?  I want it over already!  Really!  What did my students used to say?  Gag me with a spoon?

There are two iconic television series I have never seen a complete episode of, much to the amazement of my friends.  One of them is “Seinfeld” and the other is “Friends.”  There will be a sort of reunion of the “Friends” cast in the February tribute to James Burrows who created the program.  Matthew Perry may or may not be there as he will be in London for rehearsals of a play.

My martini is finished.  The fire is playful.  The jazz is beautiful.  I am going to sign off and watch the newest episode of “Sherlock” and then head off to bed.  Have to be up early in the morning for phone calls and meetings.

It’s been a lovely day.  Hope yours was too.