Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sworn In

Justice Karmeier, Eva, and her husband, Tim
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Eva was sworn into the Illinois Bar on Wednesday by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier. She has practiced law in the state of Kentucky for a number of years, and now she'll be practicing in Illinois.
Congratulations, little sister!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Bill and I saw Oliver Stone's "W." tonight. It wasn't a Bush-bashing movie, as I thought it might be, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn't. But it was interesting.

"W" is a light-hearted drama about Bush's (played by Josh Brolin) rise to the presidency. The first scene is in the Oval Office, where the term "axis of evil" is coined. When one of his advisers comes up with the term, he says something like, I like that...he-he-he! (he sounded just like Bush!).

There are flashbacks throughout the film: Bush's college years, alcohol addiction, his romance with Laura (played by Elizabeth Banks), and his conversion. There are a few jabs taken at him, and because of his obvious deep-rooted insecurities, "W." almost made me empathize with him. Almost.

Bush, for the most part, is portrayed as a good man who should never have been president. James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn play Barbara and Senior George, and it's obvious they both believe Bush's brother, Jeb, is their smarter son. Bush resents it, of course, and continually tries to get his father's approval. (He called him "Poppy," which made me sad, for some reason.) Cromwell looks nothing like Senior George; he just plays the part as a disappointed, concerned father. And it works.

There's nothing about 9/11 or criticism of his politics. This film explores who Bush is and how he got to be where he is today. Stone paints him as a good man with shady associates influencing him. That's true, of course, but I felt too much was left out, that he was a little too easy on Bush.

Brolin is very believable as Bush; Banks okay as Laura. But the portrayals of the minor actors aren't believable. (For one thing, Rove looked like Truman Capote. And acted like him!)

Richard Dreyfuss is excellent as Vice-President Cheney. At times, I felt he was Cheney...sneaky, cold-hearted, smirking. And Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice was great; she had that walking-on-eggshells look, that unsure voice. And those snake-like eyes (although she worked too hard at times to make them look snaky!).

The soundtrack and cinematography were great. But the scene where Bush choked on a pretzel should have been left out. I felt it was in very bad taste (no pun intended!).

Overall, I would say this film is worth seeing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Real Divas Read

Another busy weekend! On Saturday night, Suzanne and I had dinner with friends, and then we saw Stomp at the Carson Center. (You talk about creating something out of nothing; those entertainers did amazing things with brooms, mops, garbage cans. And much stomping, of course!)
On Sunday morning, bright and early, Suzanne and I drove to Nashville. We dined at Noshville, one of our favorite eateries, and then we headed over to the Southern Festival of Books.
And what a festival it was...books and authors all over the place! There was every genre on display, from pickle-making to espionage. Highlights for us were readings and question-and-answer sessions with best-selling authors, Ann Patchett and Bobbie Ann Mason. Although I haven't read a book by Patchett, I plan to. She's a very motivating, funny speaker. And Bobbie Ann Mason? I've read every book she has written. She's around my age and born and raised on a farm near Mayfield, so I can really relate to her stories. Many are about working-class people in this area, someone you might see at Kentucky Oaks Mall or Wal-Mart. And she is a master at telling their stories. As you may recall, her 1985 book, In Country, was made into a movie, starring Bruce Willis.
We just missed Rick Bragg. He's an Alabama boy and one of Bill's favorite authors. I wanted him to autograph Prince of Frogtown for Bill, but he up and left the day before. Darn it! I highly recommend anything by this talented writer. My favorite is All Over But the Shoutin.' But all of his books are entertaining. His writing style is distinct, quirky, and very homespun, with dialogue so real his characters practically jump from the page and start talking to you!
Suzanne and I bought tee-shirts, of course. I have enough already, but I just couldn't resist this one. What else could a Reading Diva do? Suzanne's is rather unique, to say the least. But she's not one for the mundane, as anyone who knows her will tell you!
And now that I'm motivated, I'd better get back to my writing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Puppy Love

Dudley fell in love with her when he was a puppy. Each time she visited, he hopped onto her lap and insisted she pet him. He tried to kiss her.

I thought it was puppy love at first, but his love is growing deeper as time goes by. He barks with joy when she arrives; he grieves when she departs. And the minute she grabs her car keys, he whines: Don't go...please don't go!

Now that he's older, he somehow knows when it's her on the phone saying she's coming over. And when I hang up, he sprints to the front door, eagerly awaiting her arrival. If we walk her to her car when she leaves, he tries to hop in.

She visited yesterday, beautiful in her black-and-white outfit and red accessories. I wanted to take her picture, but she refused. She did, however, allow me to snap one of her pretty red high heels.

I knew Dudley was near; he never leaves her side when she visits. But imagine my surprise when I transferred this picture to my computer and found him at her feet, a look of pure love on his face. (Or is it lust? If you look closely, you'll see his tongue is hanging out a bit!)

There is also a deep sadness in his eyes. Suzanne had just picked up her car keys.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Festival, a Meeting, and a Little Chair-Dancing

Bill and I went to the Fountain Avenue ribbon-cutting and festival on Thursday night, which was a huge success. And why would it not be? Suzanne coordinated the event!
We had a great time. There's just something about a crisp fall evening, the scent of hot dogs wafting through the air, music playing, kids cavorting here and there. We toured a couple of the newly-renovated Fountain Avenue homes, and they were beautiful; everything "done up" first-class. There is no greater cause than bringing old neighborhoods back to their former grandeur, and our city leaders are doing just that. They, along with the developer and local financial institutions, are to be congratulated on this very worthwhile project.

Earlier in the day, Eva hosted the monthly meeting of the George-Wilson Literary Club. We enjoyed ourselves, as always, and Eva's lunch was outstanding, as always. (She's a fabulous cook!)

Come and get it, y'all!

After stuffing ourselves with heavenly almond bundt cake and soft chocolate chip cookies, we were getting a little lethargic. So...

Gina cranks up the music and gets us moving.

Go Pitty, go Pitty, go Pitty, GO!

Shake it, Eva, shake it!

Chair dancing at its best. You go, Mary Ellen!

Mother sits this one out. But there was a time when she danced the nights away to big bands on the Delta Queen!

And finally...time to get down to business and read our stories.

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Have a blessed Sunday, dear friends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Close to my Heart

A few months ago I informed readers my short story, Blue Waltz, had been accepted for publication in Wanderings Literary Magazine. It is now in print, and Editor Mike Wever tells me my contributor copy is in the mail. It is also posted on the Wanderings website.

Blue Waltz is a story close to my heart. It's a work of fiction, and most of the names have been changed, but it is based on fact. Although it happened many years ago, I can still put myself back in that time and place when I first realized anything can happen to anyone. Anywhere.
All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley