“Who Could Take A Nothing Day & Suddenly Make It All Seem Worthwhile…..”

I am heartsick today.  As I shared on Facebook earlier today, Mary Tyler Moore was my first female TV idol. I still want to be her when I grow up. I adored her & her spunk, even though I hate spunk just like Mr. Grant did. The world has a little less love all around today with her passing.

Mary Tyler Moore -- SLUG: old mary PHOTO DATE: NA SCAN DATE: 1/31/00 CREDIT: Viacom

Mary Tyler Moore’s spunky counterpart, Mary Richards (original source known)

Whether she was acting on stage (“Whose Life Is It, Anyway”,  “Noises Off”), opposite Elvis Presley (“Change of Habit”) , Donald Sutherland (“Ordinary People”), Ted Danson (“Just Between Friends”) or the incredible casts of two ground-breaking shows (“The Dick Van Dyke Show” & “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), Moore shined with her superior acting skills & her impeccable comedic timing.  Despite being the star and producer of her own show, she never let her ego dictate her decisions.  She was smart enough & secure enough in her own talents to surround herself with the best actors, writers and directors in the industry.

And her show’s theme song?  I love music, and a lot of TV shows had (and have) great theme songs.  Hers was one of the first ones that I adored and sang along with.  It also celebrated the character and the star of the show perfectly.

mtm-2

Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards-and that lovely, happy smile (original source unknown).

I first started watching her show when it followed the NBC incarnation of “Late Night With David Letterman”.  Her, Lou, Mur, Rhoda, Ted, Phyllis, Sue Ann & Georgette kept me company overnight (you can read more about that here).  She was the best friend every woman wanted to have.

Moore changed the landscape of TV for women everywhere as she was all the things to all women:  Fashion icon, comedienne, actress, friend, co-worker, confidant and more (no pun intended).  Behind the scenes she was co-owner of one of the biggest and most profitable production companies of all time, MTM Enterprises.  It not only produced her show but other ground breaking ones as well like “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “Phyllis”, “WKRP In Cincinnati” (swoon), “Lou Grant”, “The White Shadow”, “Hill Street Blues” (swoon x 2), “St Elsewhere” (swoon x 3) and many others.

 

mtm-show-2         mary-tyler-moore-cast-photo-1

The cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 (left) and circa 1975 (r)

(original sources unknown).

She was also an animal activist, one of the first celebrities to publicly seek treatment for an addiction (she went to the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism), wrote books, brought so much awareness (and raised countless funds) for Type 1 Diabetes due to her own struggle with the disease along with her many other charitable endeavors.

Moore saw her share of heartaches (the deaths of her only son and her brother), but through whatever trial she was facing her smile, fighting spirit and love for life never waned.

mtm3 Country Living Magazine posted this on Instagram today (original source unknown). 

How will we make it on our own???   😦   Sigh

Tossing that beret in the air is how I will always remember her.  I hope she throws it to Ted when she sees him.

Rest in peace, sweet Mary.  Thank you for giving women everywhere a new road to call our own.

 

mtm-beret

That famous beret toss from the beginning of her iconic show (original source unknown).

Advertisements

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Monday!!!

Today we celebrate the life of a man who worked for peace.  Last Friday, there was a funeral for a man who followed in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. by becoming a beacon of hope and inspiration for people all over the world.  However, his story began on my old stomping grounds of Long Island.

enemyintofriend

Courtesy of Joyful Baptist (original source unknown).  

He followed his father and grandfather before him into the line of duty as a member of the NYPD.  In 1986, while he was still a rookie officer, the 29 year old newlywed was working overtime to help prepare for the birth of his first child when he was shot three times by a 15 year old boy in Central Park.  The injuries from that shooting left the officer paralyzed from the neck down.  That might have been the end of the story for most of us, but for Detective First Grade Steven McDonald, it was the start of something extraordinary.

Less than a year later he offered forgiveness to his shooter and spent the next 30 years spreading the message to children and adults that Dr. King taught-that hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.  McDonald died at the age of 59 on January 10, 2017 and his funeral was held last Friday in St Patrick’s Cathedral.  I listened to it at work and then watched the service when I got home that night.  All I can write here is that it was one of the most beautiful celebrations of life I have ever witnessed.

mcdonald

The McDonald family:  NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, his wife Patricia Ann & their son, Sgt. Conor McDonald (courtesy WPIX-11 News)

With all the violence we hear about day in and day out, all the hate and ugliness of the Presidential Election and the continued backlash expected on Inauguration Day later this week for those who still refuse to accept the outcome, I think we need to be reminded that there are still people in this world who want love to win-regardless of their political affiliation.  If you are one of them, watch or listen to the service yourself here.   If religion is not your thing, you can just listen to the eulogies starting at 1:31 of the video.  The last one by McDonald’s son should not be missed.

I am not sure if I shared this yet, but I have not made New Year’s resolutions in years because they simply are not productive for me.  I work better by giving myself attainable monthly goals.  For January, one of my big ones is to finish decorating my bedroom.  I put some things in place quickly for the holiday season, but now it is time to complete it.  The entire apartment was freshly painted before I moved in, but this room & the dining room were painted yellow.  I had a yellow bedroom in my house for he entire time I lived there (please don’t judge-painting that room lead to a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome so I avoided painting it again for many years…..which ended up turning into forever).

During the 14 years I lived there, I developed a more neutral palette & an enormous love for the shabby chic look.  So Saturday I went to the hardware store to get some paint samples.  I want the room white and I have narrowed the color choices down to four shades.  I will decide by the weekend because that is when I plan to paint.  I will share the shade I pick when I show you the after picture.  For now, the before picture is below:

img_17061

Saturday night my book club met for a movie night based on one of last year’s great reads, “The Light Between Oceans”.  I was able to snap one picture as I was assembling my food contribution to the evening-a turkey meat taco bar-before my phone died.  But I also had cheese, avocados, & sour cream as toppings.  Each of us were required to bring a box of tissues for the inevitable bawling we were anticipating for the really sad scenes.  I did like the movie but since I knew what was coming it made it very hard to watch, but definitely worth seeing……with a ton of tissues, of course.

book     img_18391

After the movie the rest of the women said the last time they used so many tissues was when they watched Tuesday night’s episode of NBC’s new show, “This Is Us“.  I have seen the commercials praising the show & was a little curious, but since my heart is still hurting two years after the finale of that station’s last critically acclaimed drama “Parenthood“, I was not ready to invest my feelings in a new family.  But the girls were so insistent-and did not reveal any spoilers to me just like I will not do here-plus they told me one of my favorite TV guys from my teenage years-Gerald McRaney-(“Simon & Simon“, “Major Dad“) has a recurring role in it, I thought I would check it out.  All the episodes are on Hulu so I was able to start at the beginning.

I could describe the show with one of today’s popular acronyms, but I think the series is good enough to use the actual words…….

nbc-this-is-us-midseason-aboutimage-1920x1080-ko

Courtesy of NBC.

OOOOOHHHHH

MMMMMYYYYY

GGGGGOOOOODDDDD!!!!!

This Is Us - Season Pilot

Susan Kelechi Watson & Sterling K. Brown from “This Is Us” (courtesy of NBC).

Despite my emphasis, that does not even begin to explain the greatness of this show.

I am not even kidding.

I started watching the pilot at around 11 pm Saturday night.  Then I binge-watched the next 10 episodes.

For eight hours straight.

Then I re-watched my favorite episode-“Pilgrim Rick”-two more times.

(Side note:  The last four minutes of this episode bring a whole new meaning to the word “dysfunction”).

this-is-us-7

A scene from “This Is Us-Episode 8:  “Pilgrim Rick” (courtesy of NBC).

I was in serious need of an intervention.

That is how addicted I became almost instantly.  It was scary.

Then I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I started the series all over again.

Is there a 12 step program for binge watching addiction???

But first, where do I begin to explain how much I adore this show???

The writing?  Think verklempt times infinite.

The acting?  Superb.

mandy-moore-milo-ventimiglia-this-is-us-nbc1

Mandy Moore & Milo Ventimiglia as Rebecca and Jack Pearson in “This Is Us” (courtesy of NBC).  

I already loved Milo Ventimiglia from his role as know-it-all-chip-on-his-shoulder Jess in “The Gilmore Girls”.  But here he is just as perfectly cast as a good guy who turns into an absolute superman of a father and husband.  Unbelievably, the performance did not garner him a nomination at last week’s Golden Globe Awards but the Hollywood Foreign Press did recognize the show as a whole and two other actors from it-Mandy Moore & Chrissy Metz-who were each nominated in the best supporting actress in a drama category. Moore really shines here, too.  If you have seen any of her movies over the years (I had not) or her three episode arc in “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2010 (I had), then you knew she had some serious acting chops.  She uses them in this show beautifully.

mandymooremiloventimiglia74thannualgoldenjthpv_ps-x3l

Ventimiglia & Moore at the Golden Globe Awards (courtesy of Zimbio -original source unknown).

And the music?  Profound.

Episode three (“Kyle”) featured one of my all time favorite songs ever:  Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home“.  It also introduced me to a song from 1965 that is now haunting me.  It was written by a man who had such a sad life yet wrote something so mesmerizing and excruciatingly beautiful that it is almost  too hard to listen to.  In my opinion, that is art at its best.

Jackson C. Frank:  “Blues Run The Game“.

jackson-c-frank

Jackson C. Frank circa mid 1960’s (original source unknown)

Episode 9 (“The Trip”) introduced me to another old song-this time from 1974-that I never heard before.  The vocals do not start until 58 seconds in, so if you do not like the intro of the song, definitely fast forward to the singing because it is so worth it, I promise.

Richard and Linda Thompson:  “The Calvary Cross

Now that I gave  you the pros, it is only fair I give you the cons of the show:

  1.  Waiting an ENTIRE week for each new episode (there are six left for the season).  It will be torture.  I guess re-watching the previously aired ones will have to fill the void (if you do not subscribe to Hulu, you can watch a few episodes at NBC.com).
  2.  Gerald McRaney is not a series regular.  He is still so handsome and a hell of an actor.  He is one of TV’s best –  right  up there with Tom Selleck.
  3.  Despite the superb writing, the show already borrowed a pretty recent story line from another show.  One of the female characters  has a serious weight issue, so she attends a meeting for Over-Eaters Anonymous where she finds a boyfriend. That is exactly  how  the  characters  on “Mike & Molly” met.  While I think it is wonderful that  Hollywood is  now  embracing  overweight women (thank you, Melissa McCarthy), to suggest the only  place they can find love is in a support group is myopic, not to mention unrealistic.

If you like feel good dramas, “This Is Us” should not be missed.

So, how was your weekend???

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Happy 2017!!!

Happy New Year, Vixens!!!

I feel so invigorated at the beginning of the year!!!  That whole clean slate thing, a new story to write and  a second chance to make things happen all rolled into one changes the game for me every year.  Whether I am happy to see the old year go or anticipating something in the one to come, a new year is a fresh start-period.

2017

I spent the end of 2016 doing something I have not done for years-shopping the after Christmas sales.  I used to do it every year and loved every minute of it.  But then my practical frugal side took over and I convinced myself my money was better spent on necessities (what???) rather than adding to my already bulging Christmas storage boxes.  And the more I bought vintage Christmas items all year long, the less I needed anything come December…..except maybe more room to show off my finds.

This year I needed lights, had the day off and the money to spend so how could I not take advantage of all the signs from the universe telling me to shop, shop, SHOP!!!   🙂

Here are a few items I picked up at Jo-Ann’s at a whopping 75% off plus a coupon!!!:

img_18331

Cute, right???  I picked up the lights there, too.  But boxes of lights are not very photogenic.

Over at Target, I bought this adorable camper mug and the treat boxes at 50% off.  And how about the Peanuts tote bag?  I found two of them (the other is currently in use) in the Dollar Spot of the store.  Despite their Christmas design, I plan to use those totes all year round for groceries and trips to the local farmer’s market.

img_18271

Speaking of the Peanuts, look what I found when I stopped at CVS to pick up some incidentals:

img_17811

Forty-40!!!-Peanuts Christmas cards that were already a steal at $19.99.  But at half that price…..simply divine!!!

On New Year’s Day, while overdosing on the antics of Ralph & Norton during the annual “Honeymooners” marathon and waiting all day for my absolute favorite episode  (hint:  it contains this little exchange-Norton to Ralph:  “Do you mind if I smoke?”  Ralph to Norton:  “I don’t care if you burn!”  LOL!!!  It never gets old!!).  I set up my Google calendar for mostly the next three months-goals, budget, posts, book club dates, etc-while adding in the antiques shows, fairs and other events I plan to attend and new ones I might want to go to for 2017.  This way I have time to save up for any special things I might spot on my travels.

the-honeymooners

I am waiting for the Feast of the Epiphany (a/k/a Little Christmas) before I take my tree down, and as sad as I am to say goodbye to it and its glorious aroma, I am more than ready to see the pine needle rug below it to finally disappear.

And every night I fall asleep to the sound of the Boss himself reading his life story.  Yes, my Christmas gift to myself was the “Born To Run” audio book.  Sa-woon.

img_17131

So that is how I have been spending the first few days of this new year.  How about you?  Are you ready to take it by storm???

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!