Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Muse


Who doesn’t love to be a muse for someone. I think I would fall over like a piece of cement if someone admitted that I was their muse. Wandering through the Shelves chose this interesting theme and it will be fun to see what everyone else will choose. I have another theme within a theme and here it goes...

1. FUNNY FACE-1957


A film starring the exquisite Audrey Hepburn as a young intellectual book store clerk whose store is uprooted by a fashion photo shoot run by famed photographer Dick Avery, played by Fred Astaire. In a photo, he sees the beauty of Hepburn and decides she needs to be his next fashion model. Hepburn agrees because she gets to go to Paris and meet the intellectuals of the day. Of course, there is dancing and singing with Kay Thompson stealing the show. Fred Astaire is based on famed photographer Richard Avedon and Audrey’s is based on Suzy Parker. Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beautiful and elegant ladies to ever grace the screen and when she models the Givenchy fashions especially the red dress when she walks down the steps in the Louvre.

2.  MY FAIR LADY-1964


This is a musical take on Pygmalion which is a great play by George Bernard Shaw and an excellent film from 1938 with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller which I prefer to this musical to be honest. This was a famous stage musical starring Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins and Julie Andrews as Eliza but because Julie Andrews was not known to movie audiences, the studio chose Audrey Hepburn. The story is about an arrogant cultured Higgins who is an expert in phonetics who makes a bet with his friend that he can take an ordinary cockney flower girl and pass her off as a duchess at a very elegant party where the King and Queen will attend. We see how he trains Eliza  for the big night and becomes more dependent and caring to her. Audrey was upset that her voice was dubbed by the great Marni Nixon, who dubbed many famous gals ,but the film still is a great take on the play. She may have been too “regal” as the cockney lass and I always wish to know how Julie Andrews would have been..which I know would have been great. By the way, Julie Andrews was nominated for her role in Mary Poppins that came out the same year...Julie won.

3.  PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES-1964


Yup, Audrey stars as a typist temp sent to William Holden’s apartment to type his book. The problem is that Holden has writer’s block and his agent, played by the great Noel Coward, is putting the pressure on. When Holden see Hepburn he becomes inspired with all these different plots that make fun of many film plot lines including a very campy Dracula theme. Tony Curtis is quite funny as...Tony Curtis who plays more than just a cameo. It’s not the best film, to be honest, but it is still fun to see.

Can you think of any films that fits the theme?

Hubert De Givenchey's Muse...Audrey Hepburn


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wandering Through The Shelves-Parenthood

Wandering Through The Shelves decided to choose Parenthood as the theme for this week. Pick 3 films that match the theme. Well here we go....

1. STELLA DALLAS-1937


This remake (one was done in 1925 which I would love to see) stars the great Barbara Stanwyck as a blousy, uneducated poor woman who wants to climb ahead through any means. Enter hapless John Boles as a wealthy young man saddened to learn his true love married someone else. Who is to pick up the pieces but good ole Stella. He marries (the idiot) Stella and she quickly gets knocked up and has a baby girl. Much to Stella's surprise she has motherly instincts and will do all she can to give her daughter the life she wanted. It's a 4 hanky movie with Barbara Stanwyck playing Stella to the hilt and deservedly, being nominated for an Oscar. It was remade with Bette Midler but this film is much better and it really made me cry..and that takes a lot for me to sob especially the train scene and the ending.

2. PENNY SERENADE-1941


I know I talked about this movie long time ago but I really love this hidden gem that stars Cary Grant as a fast talking huckster  and Irene Dunne as his cherished wife who miscarries after they go through an earthquake. She can no longer have children but decide to adopt and her husband, very reluctantly, agrees. The baby girl captures their heart and  they can't help but watch their baby sleep and shower her with all the love they can give. I love how their friend shows them how to make a diaper...quite funny and sweet. This film also made me cry with some unexpected turns and it is worth a look.

3. FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND-1951


This is one of the earliest genuine sequels to a great film, Father of the Bride, played by the same people-Spencer Tracy as the over-protective dad, Joan Bennett as his loving wife and Elizabeth Taylor as the bride and now a young mom to be.  I love the first movie better but this is another funny movie where their daughter (Taylor) is pregnant and going through all the hormonal changes the 1950's medical teams thought expectant moms go through. Her mom and the in-laws are happy to redecorate their childrens' home but dad Tracy is overly cautious and wondering about all the errors that might happen. I love the scene in the police station. A funny, and entertaining film made poignant by the fact that Elizabeth Taylor had just miscarried due to her bastard first husband (Conrad Hilton) beating her to a pulp.

I am on a 2 week vacation right now so I wrote these ahead of time. We are visiting my hubby's Aunt who lives right on the Richelieu River about an hour south of Montreal. It is really relaxing and beautiful.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Wandering Through The Shelves: TV Edition-Gangsters


It's TV Time again and we have to pick 3 TV shows that fit the theme for this week. Ughhh...OK I was able to choose 3 but they are the only 3 I thought I have ever seen since most of these are on Netflix or HBO or some other paying, streaming yadda yadda. Gosh, how I miss when it was just the regular channels. OK enough griping. head on over to Wandering Through the Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3....

1.WISEGUY-1987-1990


This is an excellent undercover cop show that circles all around the gangsters. Ken Wahl plays the title character of Vincent, an undercover OCB(Organized Crime Bureau), a division of the FBI, who has been in prison to lay the groundwork for his infiltration of the mob. Each week you are dealt with scenarios that kept you on the edge of your seat, not through car chases and slam bang, but through intelligent scripts. He has contact with only 2 other operatives, his senior in the FBI and a fellow Operative known as Lifeguard. There were story arcs with one involving a bad guy, played by Kevin Spacey (yes that idiot who destroyed his brilliant career), and another starring Jerry Lewis. This series would show how their lives were being undone by the occupation(s) they keep. When Ken Wahl left the series, it felt like it changed plus the network changed time-slots and I lost the pace but it is worth a look.

2. THE UNTOUCHABLES-1993-1994


I am not talking about the more famous TV version starring Robert Stack but this version which I might have been the only one who ever saw it but I liked it. It stars Tom Amandes as a young Elliott Ness who is disgusted by the crime and corruption and makes it his duty to bring down crime lord Al Capone, played by William Forsythe. It only lasted 2 seasons but I thought it was quite well acted especially Forsythe as Capone who brought some heart to the killing a-hole. You got to see their families and, in one memorable episode, how the 2 almost work together to bring down a child killer.

3. THE SOPRANOS-1999-2007


This will be popular today, I bet. My hubby wanted this for his birthday so I got him the complete series and we have been binge watching. It is an excellent show with Tony Soprano, a lover of ducks, horses and other animals, who  deals with panic attacks and decides to see a shrink. We meet his horrible mother and his Uncle plus all his goons. This is surprisingly funny in parts even when it is  the wrong time to laugh but you can't help it. Poor James Gandolfini  is in every episode and he drives this series as a hulking, menacing, narcissistic brute who loves his family and feels bad whenever he has to kill someone he cares for..yeah...mixed up. I know the ending even though we are not there yet but that is because it was everywhere on the news when the show ended. I bet you will hear my hubby roar when the ending happens. Freaky is how many times the characters reference Soprano will die by the time he is 50 and Gandolfini did die at 51 from a heart attack...just like the characters said he would. Very, very eerie.

Which 3 would you choose?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dealing With Difficult People-Part 3-Anger, Diapers and No more Newlywed Game

Finally, part 3 of my dealing with difficult people in the world of Credit Counselling and how one must always keep a level head, never judge but don't put up with any shenanigans (I love that word) and always keep some nice smelling air fresheners around.  After talking about smells and ills along with drunks, pervs and tears, I am at the final 3 of my top 10 so, let's get down to it...

1.  ANGRY..."YOU HAVENT SEEN ME WHEN I'M ANGRY"- Oh the people who come in with a huge chip on their shoulder and think it is perfectly fine to take it out on the unsuspecting Credit Counsellor. They will huff and puff (not H & R's Puff and Stuff), roll their eyes and do the stare. The stare is their way of trying to use intimidation to get what they want...hahaaaaaa. This never works on me and, in fact, I will call them on it and tell them they are in my office seeking my help. I recall a couple sitting in my office, who had a huge debt but owned a home with a lot of equity(value of home minus what is owing equals the equity or asset). Their situation was not going to change for the better, they could not do a bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal(pay only part of the debt) or do our payment program (Pay all of the debt). They could not remortgage so their only recourse was to sell the home. The wife was listening but her husband was sitting in the chair ready to go all Chuck Norris and when I mentioned they needed to sell the home explaining why, like a Steven Savant, er, Seagal, he flung out of his seat, thrust his arm across my desk and tried to grab for my throat. I, naturally,  flung back my chair, looked at him and told him to get out of my office. He left but his wife remained sobbing. She explained all the issues they had been dealing with the past 5 years and she knew the best option was to sell the home. He came back, apologizing for his rude behaviour and I told him he was lucky I did not call the police but continued to explain my reasons and why other options were not open. This was the worst I ever dealt with and, for some reason, I was not scared but pissed! I have also dealt with the many people who blame the government for their debt, their ex's, their parents, neighbours, Jimmy Hoffa....Ughh...it is never their fault. so what should one do?

A. Learn Judo and drop them like in a Jackie Chan movie?
B. Take out my hammer (you think I'm kidding that I don't have a hammer nearby) and let them see stars like Wily E. Coyote?
C. Turn into Miss. Prissy from Gone With the Wind and go on my hands and knees saying I don't know nuttin 'bout birthin' no babies.
D. Understand that anger is a defense to the stresses they are enduring, be understanding but be authoritative and tell them to leave if they make you uncomfortable or fearful.

Of course it's D and, I would add, never show fear because they need to respect you and the information you are presenting to them. They need to know intimidation will not work but you can still give excellent information, advice and options even if they are options they don't want to hear.

2. WAR OF THE ROSES AKA..MARITAL ISSUES- Oh, you know you are in trouble when you go out to meet your clients and they are sitting at opposite ends of the waiting room. They come in with air so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw! The body language is enough to tell you that they can't stand each other and would be willing to drop kick their partner across the ocean. You know you are in for something special when they give each other snide remarks with the remarks usually coming from the gal and the guy telling her to shut her yap. This makes for such an endearing session that my ears perk up knowing entertainment will be coming my way. I had one such couple who could not do much more than argue over every expense, asset, income and debt I asked about. It became so destructive that I literally placed my hand in between their faces telling them "Time Out". Yes, I did get some anger spit on my fingers which I made sure to use hand sanitizer right after. I told them that if they continue in this fashion that they must leave as the session was not productive. They settled down and I was able to give information to them before they left in a huff.  so what does one do?

A. Tell them they are hopeless morons and get out of my office?
B. Give them each a gun and have them walk 10 paces before turning around and fire?
C. Agree with one of the spouses, just to rile the other spouse up?
D. Listen to each, but, if they become argumentative with each other or you, state in a firm voice that there will be no arguments in the office and that they can leave. Inform them that you will not judge but provide the best financial care to their situation.

Well, you know the answer, which is D. If you ever have someone who becomes disruptive where you are fearful or the session may get out of hand, you have the right to cancel the session and explain they can come back when they are calmer. Whenever a person is angry at their spouse to the point where they have lost control, it will not help to discuss their finances because they are not listening. If they are angry but keep everything in check, remember that anger is an emotion that should not be judged but listened to, to understand their feelings. I had a couple, married for 37 years, where his wife had a major gambling addiction. They were heavily mortgaged plus she owed $137,000 in credit card and credit line debt. He entrusted his income to her and all the expenses and never asked about the finances. She was very guilt ridden and he was exceptionally good despite learning about all of this the night before they came into my office. I felt bad for both because she was a sweet person and he, too was a decent man. She had called the addiction help line and he was going to go for counselling. I gave them their options which amounted to bankruptcy and loss of their home. Why judge 2 people when the loss is so great? They need an understanding ear and voice and, to this day, I wonder what happened to them.

3. CHILDREN OF THE CORN

Many people bring their kids into our agency and into my office. Some kids are good but others...many, are possessed by the devil incarnate. They scream, touch everything, have temper tantrums, crawl everywhere and one particular snot-nosed brat pulled my computer cords unhooking my computer. If there was a big pot of boiling water somewhere, I would have eaten well that night....just kidding...well, maybe not:). I can deal with kids that bump their heads on my desk and cry because it hurts, I can deal with kids who start getting fidgety near the end of the session because their patience is wearing thin now. Hey, I can even deal with moms who whip out their boob to feed their baby but I can't abide the children of the corn. I swear I even saw some blond kid's eyes start to glow when he didn't get his way. What does one do?

A. Give the kids  my hammer and tell them to have fun?
B. Scream at the kids to shut the hell up!?
C. Tell the kids to go play in the traffic?
D. Watch the children to make sure they don't pull the computer cords but request the parents to mind their children.

You would be surprised how many parents just don't watch their children and look at you when you ask the parents to mind their kids. I had one parent tell me that this was a way for their children to explore their inner selves. I informed her that her child can do that outside my office since we were to talk about finances. Many parents can't afford a babysitter so they must bring their children with them. I have asked the parents to reschedule when their children became too unruly because  nothing positive could come from the counselling session. I find the best method is to not tell the child to sit and behave, this is the parent's job, so I ask the parents to take care of them. The parent usually does take action then. Remember, the parents are often just as frustrated so they normally understand if one must stop the session because the kids become too difficult. As for breastfeeding, I don't mind if the mom does this and most are discreet but I have had one that just let it all hang out. I tried my best not to look and continue talking about her finances. I also had one lady breastfeeding and the child was 5! He walked right over to her, lifted up her top and she let him..um...feed. I have to admit I lost my train of thought. See, I didn't even talk about dirty diapers...the small kids will tend to unload themselves while in my office but moms and dads usually apologize as they leave my stinky office.

So, finally, my top 10 list of difficult people. I hope this gives some insight into the world of counselling and dealing with a variety of human beings in the best possible way despite their difficult manners.



Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Period Drama


This is a big theme for this week and my head couldn’t figure out which way to go. This can be an endless theme and one can pick any era and pick any decade films have been made or even go by one film star. I decided to choose the latter and went with a film star whom I greatly admire not only for his acting ability but because he had to hide the fact that he was gay since he could have been jailed or even killed back in the day never mind ruining his career. It will be interesting what everyone will choose this week. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone has picked. Here are my 3...

1.  THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII-1933


Charles Laughton plays the title role of this nasty, narcissistic, hedonistic king who goes through many wives all while wishing for a male heir. Laughton brings this King to life and you despise him but you end up feeling bad for him mainly due to Laughton’s superb acting. It starts off with Ann Boleyn, in a brief but memorable role played by Merle Oberon, and it continues through all his marriages. The highlight is his brief marriage with Anne of Cleves played by his real life wife Elsa Lanchester. They were comedic gold in their scenes together which brought levity to this drama. On an off note, by this time, they were soul mates but not bed mates since she caught him on the couch with one of his male friends. She told him she loved him but to get rid of the couch. They remained together, strong in each other’s support of one another until Laughton’s death. The above scene became so famous that Laughton was often given chicken, sans utensils, when he went out for dinner:)

2. LES MISERABLES-1935


I have seen the musical and I do like it and am not so negative about Russell Crowe’s singing as many are( any hear Ryan Gosling sing...yikes!) but the film that is better is this version even though there are some big changes to the book. For example, they couldn’t show Fantine as a whore at this time due to the censorship laws, but it does not diminish the strength of this film. Frederic March plays Jean Valjean as the doomed man who goes to jail after stealing a loaf of bread for his daughter. After he is exonerated, Javert, played by Charles Laughton is hard on his tracks and will not give in to the fact that Valjean is a good man no matter what. This relentless cop will do anything to bring Valjean back to prison. This film is well acted and is a must see for the acting chops of March but, especially, Charles Laughton.

3. REMBRANDT-1936


Charles Laughton plays the famous artist with such compassion and eloquence that his performance moved me to tears. It starts off  with Rembrandt at the height of his fame and richness. He was happily married and was admired until his beloved Saskia dies. He becomes depressed, ends up with a bitch who mistreats him before he begins changing the way he views the world and his painting. He loses everything but gains the hand of his second "wife" whom he adores (played by Elsa Lanchester). Another brilliant performance by this actor who can convey so much just from a glance. If you have never seen any of his films, I highly recommend seeing some

Which period drama would you choose?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sparkly Ornaments


Sizzex machine, ornament cut out pattern, exacto knife, glitter paper in blue, pale yellow cardstock, pale blue cardstock, dark purple cardstock with vellum paper with rose design on it. Border stickers, blue and purple ink pen, silver ribbon and light blue crystals.

Crafty Creations-Anything Goes
Happy Little Stampers-Anything Goes With Dies
Happy Little Stampers Christmas-Non Traditional Colours
Cute Card Thursday-CAS
CHNC-Non-Tradional Christmas Colours
Alphabet Challenge-Use flowers-I did! You can see it on the vellum

I bought this ornament cutting design quite a while ago and finally used it on beautiful, glitter paper which, no matter how many times I rung it through the sizzex machine, it would not cut all the fine areas. After almost crunching up the paper, I left my craft room in a huff and went back to this headache a week later. Using the exacto knife, I patiently cut through the designs to achieve the image you see above.....grrrr. I used a pale yellow for the interior because I thought it looked nice and layered all the pieces together including the lovely vellum with the flowers on it. I patiently (grrr) made 3 F^%$! bows for the top, added the stickers after colouring them in the blue and purple(stars) inks and glued on crystals.

I have been working on my friend's scrapbook and am way behind because of all the birthdays in May and buying flowers etc... I have to get this scrapbook done by August 21st!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday movie Picks-Undercover


I know there are a ton of films regarding undercover agents, spies etc... and, for some reason, I had a tough time but I came up with 3. I am thinking "The Departed" will be a big one this week, and it’s a good film, but I went  another way, of course, with one film I have talked about before but, I love it, so I am repeating this film yet again. It’s fun to check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3...

1. WHITE HEAT-1949


This gem is the film I have talked about before but it is brilliant and I love it, so here we go again. James Cagney plays one whack a doodle gangster who loves his mother in a unhealthy way. Mom enables her son and helps him lead his gang which includes Cagney’s no good wife, played by Virginia Mayo who was great as his snoring, two-timing slut. Enter the cops who decide to infiltrate the gang using Edmond O’Brien who becomes Cagney’s confidant when Cagney goes to prison to dodge something bigger. The menace that Cagney displays along with his vulnerability, in psycho kind of way, leads to some pretty epic scenes culminating in an explosive ending.

2. COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR-1962


I recall seeing a photo in my Life book of William Holden crying out through the bars. From that moment I had to see the film and I finally did a decade ago, and I loved it. It’s based on a true story of Eric Erickson, a U. S. born Swedish citizen, who has business oil dealings in Germany during World War 2. He is approached by The Allies to spy on some big Nazi bastards with the help of the German underground. His contact is the beautiful Marianne (Lilli Palmer) who works for the resistance, and they fall in love but, it is unfortunately, short lived. This is another gem that is hard to find unless you have the DVD like I do or you watch it on YouTube. It is well acted, tense and shows that not all Germans were Nazi lovers. It's a must see!

3. SPY-2015


For a complete change of pace, I chose this very funny movie starring Melissa McCarthy as a low level spy helper who is the eyes and ears for the top spy played by Jude Law. He is killed and the one they have to choose to go undercover is, yup, McCarthy who is given a horrible name and is only supposed to follow the mark. She does more and it goes from there. I find this movie hilarious from the basement where she works that is infested with mice and bats, to the scene stealing Jason Statham as a dim-witted spy. I also love Rose Byrne and her big hair as the evil nemesis. This is so funny and I can watch this over and over again.

Which 3 would you choose?