Monday, July 24, 2017

El Gato Cat Cottage


My friend Lynn and I, both cat lovers, visited Houston's first cat cafe last week.  Actually it isn't a cafe because they don't serve food or drinks, but it's a great place for cat fans to visit.  Located in a small yellow cottage at 506 Pecore Street in Houston's Heights area, it houses about 18 cats from the Humane Society, all of them up for adoption for only $25 at least until the end of this month; then it will be $50.  We found  two rooms where cats were snoozing in the sunshine or wandering around among the visitors.  One cat had climbed up to the ceiling high "bridge" and didn't seem interested in coming down.  Visitors can play with the cats--plenty of cat toys are available.  Cats that don't like to be picked up wear orange collars.  

After visiting with the cats, we stopped in the entryway to look at the cat-themed items for sale--t-shirts, bags, stuffed cats, color-coded litter that indicates if a cat is sick (really!) and even some cat-decorated shoes.  I bought a blue stuffed cat to go in my blue bedroom.  When I showed it to my cat Cassie, she was terrified and immediately backed away.  She's gotten braver now and will sniff at it but clearly doesn't approve of its presence in her territory.

Besides just visiting the cats, you can check the schedules for times to view cartoons with the kitties, do yoga with them or bring your knitting--I'm sure they love the yarn.

I'm not in the market for another cat right now.  Being a loving grandmother and a sucker for cats, I'm keeping my granddaughter's cat while she spends her freshman year living on campus at Texas State.  When the new cat has come for a visit, Cassie hides under the bed, but I'm sure they'll learn to get along eventually.

If you happen to be looking for a cat to adopt or if you just enjoy interacting with cats, you can reserve a spot to visit El Gato.  Call 832 966 3006 or google their website to reserve online.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Books of June

In June I had two attacks of bronchitis so I didn't have much to do except read in bed.  Here are my June books:
I suggested this for my book club after reading positive reviews about its story of the immigrant experience.  What a disappointment.  Amazon listed it as one of the best books of the year so far, but I found it boring.  A young couple from an unnamed Middle Eastern country escape their war-torn city through a magic door.  I didn't care for the characters because I never really got to know them other than superficially, and the door (and additional doors) made the story boring for me.
About Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe and their famous rivalry as well as anecdotes about other tennis stars of the Borg-McEnroe era.  Intreresting read if you like tennis, and I do.

Until Roger Federer came along, John McEnroe was my favorite tennis player, and I enjoyed his previous book, You Cannot Be Serious, but this one was a disappointment.  Not well written and not much substance.

On her sixteenth birthday, Teva "hatches" from the body of her fifteen-year-old self and assumes Fifteen's life.  Her house, locked away from the rest of the world, is filled with former versions of herself, younger and younger.  In a year, a new clone of herself will break out, but Teva vows not to let that happen.  Why all these clones?  Why won't her mother explain?  What happened to Teva's father?  Interesting premise.

This is a true storey aboiut Lonnie Sue Johnson whose memory was completely wiped away due to a severe attack of encephalitis.  We learn about her previous life as an artist, pilot, musecian and about how she copes with a life without a past and her case has contributed to medical science.

Very different from Emma Donahue's book Room, this is the light-hearted story of a non-traditional family coping with the addition to the family circle of their grandfather.

Yes, we've had actors as governors and as president but a comedian as a senator?  From Saturday Night Live?  Surprisingly, I learned a lot about how the Senate works and gained some respect for Senator Franken.  Interesting read, currently on the NY Times best seller list.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Antarctica


I've never been a fan of Anthony Bordain's Parts Unknown series.  The food he raves about sounds barely edible, so I rarely watch.  But when I saw trailers of his trip to Antarctica, I knew I would tune in.  I wondered what he would eat there because for sure there are no restaurants in Antarctica.  So what would it be--penguin sandwiches< seal steak?  I couldn't wait to find out.

He visited most of the bases there and I learned that fresh food was flown in.  Pretty good but nothing as exotic as Bordain's usual fare.  He visited the actual pole--exciting.

For years, visiting Antarctica was #1 on my bucket list.  The far away icy land appealed to me, and for years I suggested to my husband that we do an Antarctic cruise, and for years he would reply, "Next year."  Finally, in 2001 I insisted it was now or never.  So we scheduled a trip on the Marco Polo for January 2002.  I was super-elated.

We bought ski masks, heavy gloves, silk underwear, thick socks.  I borrowed a pair of boots from a cousin.  We bought wrist bands with vibrators to ward off seasickness.  I read the travel book from cover to cover.  Finally we were on our way.

We met our group in Miami, all of us crowding into a conference room.  Most of the people seemed friendly and interesting.  Everyone but one lady expressed their excitement about the cruise.  She said, with a mixture of boredom and condescension , "This will be my seventh continent."  If we were supposed to be impressed, I wasn't.

We flew to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.  We strolled along the oceanfront and came upon a store selling every kind of fudge you can imagine.  I don't eat chocolate--it triggers migraine--but I could certainly enjoy the chocolate smell.

On our ship we did the usual lifeboat drill, unpacked, ate dinner and headed out to sea.  Each day there were lectures about history, sea birds, penguins, science--all very interesting.  The ship gave out thick orange parkas.  Mine was too big but we eventually got that straightened out.  On deck we watched albatross flying above us.  They are huge.

Our first landing, on Deception Island, was cancelled because of high winds but our second, not a landing but a Zodiac cruise, at Courverville, was great fun.  We watched the gentoo penguins--adorable but smelly.  We saw them stretching their necks, expanding their chests like bellows  and squealing when they were excited or maybe just showing off for the tourists, watched them slide into the water.  Icebergs were all around.  It felt like another world.

That night several British scientists from Port Lockery told about their primitive living conditions.  The next day at Paradise Bay we saw more penguins, glaciers, icebergs (some at least 100,000 years old)  We saw a Weddell seal sleeping on shore.  Later, back on board, we passed a large whale.
At Half Moon Bay we saw chinstrap penguins--sooo cute but also quite smelly.  That was our final landing, and soon the ship was heading north across the Drake Passage.  The trip south was pleasant but the return was miserable.  The ship rocked constantly and you felt as if something was pressing down on your head.  Once we rounded Cape Horn, the water was smooth again.  What a relief.

In Ushuaia we visited the park where we saw the end of the Pan American Highway.  Soon we were on our way back home.  That was one of the most memorable trips of my life.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Books of May

Written by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, a book about cancer, this book is about the history of our knowledge of genes, beginning with Mendel's pea plants and continuing through the successful mapping of the human genome.  It's very long, but it reads like an adventure story and is well worth the reader's time.

Not long after the publication of her successful book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg's husband died suddenly.  She said, with no more Option A, she was left with Option B, and her book takes us through her grieving process.  As  a long-time widow, I was interested in adding this to my collection of how-to-survive-widowhood books.  It was interesting but it didn't tell me much I didn't already know.  Okay for a new widow but not so much for someone like me, who's been around the block.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

quote for the week

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
                              Annie Dillard

Monday, May 29, 2017

Who Am I? Guest blogger, Paula Kelman


Paula Kelman is studying to be a yoga teacher with two amazing mentors, Richard Boustany and Sharon Kapp.

Paula is a graphic designer, mother to two amazing children, daughter Anat and son Avi, and grandmother to two precious granddaughters, Noa and Ella.  She lives in Houston, Texas, surrounded by art and wonderful memories and close enough to the grandkids to see them very often!  She no longer runs half marathons or does cross fit because yoga and meditating are better for you.

Her husband, Uri Kelman, passed away May 25, 2015.

Here is Paula's answer to Who Am I?

I am FEARLESS, because the worst thing that I could possibly accept into my life, the loss of my precious husband, has already happened, and I did not break or die.

I am FREE of sadness, only filled with gratitude and memory.

I am CREATING my new self and creating who that person is by releasing practices that no longer serve my higher health, spiritual development and physical preservation of the body.

I ENJOY companionship, including the intimate sexual kind, but I am not interested in sacrificing myself to have a man in my bed.  That may be the biggest part of letting go.

I am creating Moments and Memories and Love, not attachments and possessions.

I am part of the One whole, part of the universe but I can stand on my own.


My thanks to Paula for this inspiring piece.
                     Thelma

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Quotes for the Week: About Birthdays

Today is my xx birthday.  Enjoy these birthday quotes:




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lillie's Loan by Toby Myers

I'm delighted to have Toby Myers' guest blog this week.  I know you'll enjoy this poignant essay she wrote about her mother.  I loved it when I first heard it and asked if she'd share it here.


Lillie's Loan
Having lived through the depression, many, including my mother Lillie viewed buying anything but a house on credit as a diabolical scheme contrived to put the borrower on a squirrel cage of never-ending indenture. She had to choose the early matriculating high school diploma reserved for those going right to work rather than pursuing further education.  She got the message loud and clear that education was the ticket out of the ghetto albeit reserved for males.  She and her sister, vaccinated with that needle, left school to contribute to their brother's medical school expenses.  Lillie worked hard all of her life.  She was a working mother when, rather than admired and supported, was looked down on because of the aspersions a working wife cast on main breadwinner competency.  She became an incomparable saleswoman.  She worked with my father in his men's clothing store though most of her pre-marital work had been in women's clothes.  An oft repeated legend about her was when a customer took a liking to a too-small-for-him suit in the store, Lillie told him she was not going to sell him that suit unless he made a solemn promise to lose weight.  He put the suit in layaway.  When he finished paying for it, he had lost enough weight to wear it; both fit and looked well.  He related the story whenever he wore his all-time favorite suit.

When my father died suddenly, Lillie was in her 50's and living in Amarillo with no family anywhere near.  Both my sister and I were in Houston.  At our urging, she moved to be closer to us.  Very quickly she landed a job at The Barclay Apartments at Kirby and Bellefontaine as one of their building managers.  She was then very near my Old Braeswood home.  With the job came a free apartment.  Abruptly, some years later, the owners decided no longer to have "mature" women managers, but couples were the way to go.  The rationale was that the man of the couple could help with light maintenance and it would still be only one apartment needed.  The unpaired women managers were let go.  For Lillie this was both hard and humiliating.  Never before had she been let go from a job.  For the first time in her life, she took government money in the form of unemployment.  She had to check in with the Texas Employment Commission regularly to verify her job seeking activities.  On one particular morning, fully dressed for an interview with Foley's in Sharpstown, she stopped by her friend Rose's apartment.  She told Rose she would be back very soon so to put the coffee on in about an hour.  No one, thought Lillie, is going to hire someone over sixty.  She could not have been more wrong.  When the interviewers at Foley's met with her, learned of her experience, and saw how she conducted herself, they were so impressed that she was hired on the spot and did not leave the store but went immediately to work.  Lillie had to call Rose to cancel the coffee and their visit.  She worked from then on in the couture women's clothing department called the Signature Shop.  Her best and most well-known customer was Miss Ima Hogg, who would allow no one but my mother to help her.

Lillie worried about having enough money to live on in retirement.  After my father's death, she received his modest, even for those days, life insurance policy benefit.  Her goal was to live abstemiously, except for getting her hair and nails done, to see if she could grow $30,000 to $100,000,  She figured she could sustain herself with that amount.  By 1984 when she turned 75, she was close.  Interest rates were then, right before the Savings and Loan debacle, inordinately high at 12% per annum which meant on $100,000 the earnings from a jumbo CD would be $1000 a month.  With $1000 a month, her Social Security benefits, and her long practice of frugality, Lillie would be able to retire and be comfortable.

On a typical evening in June, Bob and I were home watching television.  The phone rang and it was my mother Lillie.  I answered.  Inevitably, the conversation turned to how close Lillie was to her goal.  She was now only $2500 shy.  I came up with the idea of her borrowing the $2500 from the savings and loan and then applying it to the $97,500 she had and purchasing the jumbo CD.  Pleased and encouraged by the idea, Lillie would attempt it on her day off.  The evening of her day off, she called.  I could tell by her voice things had not gone well.  Crushed and dejected, she related the savings and loan rejected the plan.  Her disappointment was palpable.  My heart broke for her.  I hurriedly excused myself telling her I needed to go and would call her back in a few minutes.  I did not have that kind of money available.  However Bob always kept surplus cash in his account.  I looked at him and then asked if he had $2500 in his account that I needed immediately, and could I have it for several months.  Dear, wonderful, supportive Bob, without even a questions as to what it was for, he told me he did and I could.  He wrote a check then and there.  I called my mom back and told her I would loan her the money.  Had I told her it was Bob's money, she would not have taken it.  "I am coming right over with the check," I said.  On the way to her place, I deposited his check in the night depository to my account.  When I got to her house, I wrote her a check.  That was around the end of April 1984.  She agreed to repay the loan with the $1000 interest she would get in June and again in July and the last $500 when she got the interest for August.  August was the first month that she would have any of the interest for herself and the debt would be repaid.  Lillie paid the last of the $2500 off early in August.  Her having achieved her goal was a celebratory time.  No longer was she so agitated about retirement and the future.  Bob and I both took great comfort in having helped her realize something that meant so much to her; moreover, it had been pretty easy from our end.

On August 30th, she made dinner, did up the kitchen, and lay down for a rest.  I tried calling her about six in the evening and did not get an answer.  I did not give it too much thought, thinking that it was day off and she probably visiting with one of the neighbors.  Bob and I went to Target to pick up something. There we saw Hakeem Olajuwon. Still no answer.  I called my sister and she too mentioned that she had not heard from nor been able to reach our mother.  We decided to meet at her apartment to see that everything was all right.  While waiting for my sister, Susan, to arrive, I went to my mother's car and felt the hood to see if it was warm.  Maybe she had just come back from being out and now was in the bathroom not able to hear or answer my ring.  The hood was cold.  When Susan got there, we went in to our mom's spotless condo and found that she lay down after dinner and died.  Ever the ideal employee, Lillie conveniently died on her day off.  She looked very peaceful in her bed, above which hung our pictures and our college diplomas that meant so much to her. Susan and I sought and found consolation knowing that our mother died having achieved her important goal and died debt free.  Yet we were sad, knowing how hard she worked and had not gotten to enjoy retirement the way we had hoped she would.  But as we have all hear, it is not the destination but the journey, and maybe the journey was enough.  At least, we like to think so.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Quote for the Week: On Change

None of us knows what the next change is going to be,
What unexpected opportunity is just around the corner,
Waiting to change all the tenor of our lives.
         Kathleen Thompson Norris

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Book of April

I can't believe I'm only reviewing one book for April.  Actually, I've been reading three, but two are so long, it's mid-May and I'm not finished with them.
As current as today's headlines, this is the story of a young African-American girl who is driving home from a party with a friend when they are stopped by the police.  When the young man gets out of the car, the officer shoots him.  What happens afterward is the theme of this book. A great read for young adults and grown-ups, too.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Quote for the Week

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Success!

I'm always delighted when I hear about former students' success, and here is a success story I'm pleased to share.

I first met L. as an infant when her Mom brought her along to her older brother's speech sessions.  I believe L achieved her early developmental milestones in my office waiting room.

Several years later it was evident she was struggling with early academic skills and I worked with her for a while.  She repeated a grade, which was an excellent decision by her parents and her performance improved.  In late elementary school I worked with her again.  Our agreement was that I not come to her classroom to pick her up but that she come by herself.  She never forgot; she was a very responsible youngster.  We worked on grammar, vocabulary, writing and other academic skills.  She didn't enjoy the work but she always applied herself and did her best.  I remember one essay she wrote about her parents meeting one another in camp.

I followed her progress as she advanced through the grades.  She won an award at her high school for her perseverance and diligent work.  She attended college, graduated, eventually got a Master's degree...and I was thrilled to hear that she has now been accepted into three Ph. D. programs.  She'll be going to Berkeley in the fall.  I am so impressed with the effort she has put in to achieve this success and I wish her the best in her future studies.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Quote for the Week

Invariant Constants

"For thousands of years, sailors have used the stars to help establish their position upon the earth.  We need a similar series of inner reference points to help guide us through the waves of change which are appearing on the ocean of our times.  There is a name for such stars which arises out of a scientific way of depicting the world:  invariant constants.

Invariant constants are those qualities, processes and hidden organizing fields of life which endure throughout all changes.  They are known as truth.  The discovery of these invariant constants is the life task of any human being.  And in the mystery of the universe, it appears that each one of us is afforded the opportunity to arrive at such constancy through out own particular journey. Stray too far from the truth, and the chaos of change will tear you apart.  Place your trust in it and you will find guidance though the seas may grow rough around you."  
                            David LaChapelle

This was a handout at a meeting of Women in Transition.  It told me that each of us has a different invariant constant.  You may find it through faith or through self-reflection or meditation but each of us has the chance to find our own particular truth.
  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Just Elliot

Just Elliot written by Sue Baer and illustrated by  Pamela Barcita is a book that should be read in every elementary school classroom.  It will open children's eyes and teachers' as well into the world of a child with an autism spectrum disorder.  As a speech pathologist I've worked with many youngsters with this diagnosis and I don't think I've ever read one from a six-year-old's perspective.  Follow Elliot from his first day of school to the day he and his classmates accept him for who he is.
My friend's grandson, now a college student, was the inspiration for this heartwarming and superbly illustrated story.  And note:  The forward is by Temple Grandin, known world over as a spokesperson for those on the spectrum as she is herself. Five stars!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quote for the Week

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.
                             Peter Drucker

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fun for Seniors

For the past year I've lived in a high rise for independent seniors.  The place is full of interesting, active people, most retired but some, like me, un-retired.  There are many activities to enjoy, but because I still work, I miss some of those that occur during the morning or early afternoon, like the kitchen tour or a trip to the outskirts of Houston  see bluebonnets.  But there is still fun to be had.
On Saturday afternoons I play canasta.  I'd totally forgotten the game, not having played since junior high when my friend Lois and I would spend afternoons playing canasta and listening to country music (then known as hillbilly music.)  I was surprised to find out how much fun it is to play, even when you lose.

And then there's Saturday night bingo, a typical senior pastime.  Ours isn't a high stakes game; it's $1.25 a card.  But over the past year I've won about $50.  I'm saving up and maybe by the time I'm really really old, I can buy myself something wonderful.

Some Wednesday evenings I play Scrabble.  Once my friend and I ended up with the exact same scores...very unusual.  It's good practice for me because when my sister and I get together, we  play Scrabble for MONEY.  ($2 a game...we"re big spenders.)



One of our neighbors has a huge collection of DVD's and he show operas and concerts, and then on Friday  nights we have movies.  Exciting news!  They (whoever "they" are) have decided we can watch R rated movies.  Previously they were banned.  Perhaps we aren't old enough, perhaps such movies would elevate our blood pressure and "they" couldn't take the chance.  Anyway, we're delighted to have access to "those kinds" of hot, or even warm, films.


Something gossip-worthy is always happening.  For instance, the pool.  It opened ten months behind schedule and we had a few months to enjoy it.  Now there's a leak and it's closed until...whenever.

Last week a tree root caused a broken pipe and the dining room flooded.  Not to worry, because we have a nice cafe called The Bistro and the kitchen staff and the wait staff handled  the emergency beautifully and everyone kind of enjoyed eating in a different place for a couple of days.
Note:  The above picture is an exaggeration.  I couldn't find an appropriate picture of a large dining room with soaked carpet.


Once a month we have a Dining Forum and a Round Table.  Both are quite entertaining as they give residents an opportunity to ask questions of the staff and, most of all. to voice complaints about the food, the service, the G rated movies, the...whatever.


Last month most of the complaints were about  what became known as
Avocado-gate.  The high price of avocados has resulted in an additional $1.00 charge if you request avocados on your salad.  You can imagine the furor this caused because we pay a lot of money anyway to live here.  All the fuss was to no avail.  There will still be an extra charge for avocados.  Some people suggested we buy our own and bring them to dinner and even offer them for sale for 50 cents or we could plant avocado bushes in the garden.  No use..  (I am on a no-avocado diet for the foreseeable future.)
  
You can see it's all, or mostly, fun and games here.  I enjoy my new surroundings and I wouldn't want to go back to living in a house, not ever.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Quote for the Week


Mourners' Kaddish
(The Kaddish is the mourning prayer spoken  at the end of services by those who have lost a loved one.  The prayer is in Hebrew.  This poem is one person's feelings just before she says the prayer.)

New beginnings bring to mind
old and recent endings.
I owe much to the past
and to those who embodied it.
Parents and grandparents,
children and siblings,
teachers and shapers,
friends and loved ones--
all these, living and dead,
add their touch to the person I have become.
To the living, I turn in gratitude and love,
extending my arms in friendship,
offering them renewed love.
To the dead, I turn in memory, 
affirming their lives with the fullness of my own.
In the midst of doubt and hope,
at once alone and in community,
I seek the courage to bear
the fearsome burden of the Unknown
with dignity and grace.  
In honor of those who went before me,
I rise to affirm the eternal cycle of
birth and death with this Kaddish.

I don't know who the author of this beautiful poem is.  The poem was shared with my widows' group by our wonderful leader, Gayle Kamen Weinstein.  Not sure where she found it, but it touched all our hearts.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Day in the Friendly Skies

Last summer I flew to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a reading and book signing for Shifts, an anthology I had contributed to. Then I visited my Zirkelbach family in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.  I flew United.  Because my carry-on was filled with books and heavy even to wheel through the airport, I ordered a wheelchair.

The wheelchair attendant wheeled me up to the gate.  The tall,  balding man stationed there refused to take my boarding pass.  (He looked sort of like a prison guard.)  "Can you lift that suitcase up to the overhead bin?" he said.

"No," I answered--I'm so truthful, "but I can get someone to help me."

"No," he said, "our employees are not allowed to do that."

"No problem," I answered.  "I'll just get another passenger to help?"

"Then you'd be relying on the kindness of other customers." he said, not just looking like a prison guard but sounding like one as well.  "You'll have to check it."

"Sir," I argued.  "I have never ever lifted my bag by myself."
That was also the truth.  I just stand, staring up at the overhead bin and looking helpless, and if some kind customer doesn't offer to help, I just ask.  But maybe customers from Houston to Cedar Rapids aren't kind.  I hadn't thought of that.

"Check it," he ordered and grabbed it from the luggage rack behind the wheelchair.  I don't have his picture but this is how he looked.
When I got on the plane, I realized the baggie with my medication was in my suitcase so I told the flight attendant I needed it back.  "It's already on board," she said.

"But I need it."

She said she'd send someone back to see if they could get it.  I sat down and waited...and waited.  I went back to the front and asked for the status of my meds.  "I don't know."

"But the lady said she'd come back and tell me."

Exasperated, the attendant said, "I'll call her.  Go sit down."

I returned to my seat but stood up and glared at the attendant as I waited some more.  She glared back.  Finally, just before take-off, my medication bag arrived.

Lucky they hadn't thrown me off the plane and sent my suitcase off to wherever.  You have to be careful on United.

On the way home I chose not to get a wheelchair.  I walked onto the plane and the United flight attendant said, "May I help you put that bag in the overhead bin?" 

"Sure," I said.  "Thanks."  I guess she didn't know the United rules.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Quotes for the Week: Passover and Easter

Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.
                                     Morris Joseph

Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal and new life.
                       Janine di Giovanni

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kedi: The Cats of Istanbul

Whether you're a cat lover or just on the fence, be sure to see Kedi, a wonderful movie about the street cats of Istanbul.
You may not fall in love with them, but you'll respect these ingenious animals who interact with humans but prefer the freedom of the streets.
You'll see a mother cat beg for morsels at an outdoor cafe and then bring them home to her kittens.
You'll see a cat who earns his keep as a mouser (or rather a ratter).  You'll see two females squabbling over a male.  
And you'll experience the joy and comfort these animals bring to the humans around them.


Here's a summary from Rotten Tomatoes:
"Kedi is not a documentary about house cats or the strays you occasionally see in your back yard.  Kedi is a film about the hundreds of thousands of cats who have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people's lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the world of the wild and the tame can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it.  In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to ourselves.  "Cats--tabbies, calicos, angoras, Norwegian forest cats, ginger cats, grey cats, black cats, white cats, black and white cats--all kinds of cats roam the city, free, without a human master. Some fend for themselves, scavenging from dumpsters, living in abandoned buildings; others are cared for by communities of people, pampered with the best cat food and given shelter for the cold months.  Cats have been part of the city for thousands of years and so everyone who grows up in Istanbul or lives in Istanbul has a story about a cat. Stories that are memorable, sometimes scary, sometimes spiritual but always very personal.  Street cats are such a big part of the culture that when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Istanbul, part of the tour included a stop at the Hagia Sophia to visit its famous cat, Gil.  Cats are as integral to the identity of Istanbul as its monuments, the Bosporus, tea, raki and fish restaurants."

Rotten Tomatoes gives Kedi a 97% fresh rating.  Peter Keough of the Boston Globe says, "This film lasts only 80 minutes but I could have watched a version three times as long."

My rating:  100%

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Books of March

Since this has been on the best seller list for some time and since I love Greek mythology, I decided to add to my mythological knowledge by reading about Norse mythology.  Didn't like it.  Compared to the Greek gods, the Norse are second best--maybe third best.  You might enjoy the book, but I didn't.

Back to Greek mythology, this is the story of Theseus, one of the legendary Greek heroes, the guy who killed the Minotaur.  An enjoyable book.

Humorous...and sometimes nasty take on the recent election.  Hillary supporter?  Trump supporter?  Doesn't matter.  The author is an equal opportunity, bipartisan critic.
A family embroiled in the world of competitive gymnastics. . Right before national trial the boyfriend of one of the assistant coaches is killed in a hit and run accident...or was it an accident?


 

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