Movie Madness: The Greatest Showman

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

Title: The Greatest Showman
Director: Michael Gracey
Release Year: 2017
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Country: USA
Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I do not feel like doing a in-depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the  large list. I might not always answer the questions though.

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again?  I loved it. Yes, would watch again.
2. How did it make you feel? happy. Loved all the songs, especially “This is Me”
3. Did you learn anything from this movie?  It inspired me to look up PT Barnum to find out the real story about him.
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)?
5. ? – Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

plot summary:

Celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

—Twentieth Century Fox

Movie Madness: The Big Short

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

Title: The Big Short
Director: Adam McKay
Release Year: 2015
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Country: USA
Genre: Biography, Drama

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I do not feel like doing a in-depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the  large list. I might not always answer the questions though.

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again?  Once was enough.
2. How did it make you feel? shocked, I guess
3. Did you learn anything from this movie? At the time that this occurred (2006-ish) I heard on the new about housing issues, but it didn’t interest me. Watching this movie, was shocked and fascinated how people can read the numbers and see the trend and what was coming. And of course there would be opportunists.
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)?
5. ? – Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

plot summary:

Based on the book by Michael Lewis (writer of Moneyball, Liar’s Poker and Flash Boys, among others), the true story of a handful of investors who bet against the US mortgage market in 2006-7. Through their own research they discovered that the US mortgage backed securities market was a bubble about to burst, and they invested accordingly. What they didn’t initially know was how structurally flawed the MBS system was, the level of corruption in the market…and the impact on the average person when the bubble burst.

—grants (IMBD)

Movie Madness: The Jungle Book (2016)

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

Title: The Jungle Book
Director: Jon Favreau
Release Year: 2016
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Country: USA
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I do not feel like doing a in-depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the  large list. I might not always answer the questions though.

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again?  Yes.
2. How did it make you feel? Happy
3. Did you learn anything from this movie? Not really
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)?
5. ? – Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

plot summary:

The Jungle Book is a live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he’s no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern-mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley) and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

Movie Madness: Independence Day

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I do not feel like doing a in-depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the  large list.

 

Title: Independence Day
Director: Roland Emmerich
Release Year: 1996
Country: USA
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction

plot summary:

From the cold and pitch-black depths of the boundless space, a silent and insidious menace enters the solar system; grazes the Moon, and violates the Earth’s atmosphere: an innumerable spaceship flotilla governed by a hostile and technologically advanced alien life form. As the extraterrestrial adversary’s indestructible flying saucers wreak havoc on our planet from end to end killing millions, the end of the human race is near–and what is even more certain–we, the powerless and unprepared earthlings, are utterly defenceless. Once, we dreamed of making contact with otherworldly celestial entities. Now that the all-powerful invaders claim our world, the President of the United States and a handful of good men mad enough to stand up for all mankind must make a heroic last stand against the enemy, on a decisive Fourth of July. Will we survive to see another glorious Independence Day?

—Nick Riganas (IMBD website)

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again? I love this movie! I made a tradition of watching it every 4th of July weekend for the fun of it. And now I’ve added the sequel too.
2. How did it make you feel? Happy
3. Did you learn anything from this movie? Not really
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)? Unique take on the aliens from space and how we’d respond scenario.
5. ?

Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

June Check In / July Plans

“July 1st (the 182nd Day of the Year) marks Second Second Half of the Year Day – a chance to step back, evaluate your year so far with your goals and objectives (never mind the new year’s resolutions which likely didn’t last until February…) and to take action to get back on track if necessary.

It’s a great opportunity to do some hard thinking over your finances, your diet, your career and other aspects of your life that you might want to improve. Make the second half of the year count!”

Those comments were found on the site Days of the Year about July 1st. They fit perfectly with my thoughts as I look back at yet another month of still doing the same old routines and nothing new. Work, home to read or watch tv, grocery shopping and once in a while taking a drive for different errands. Oh yeah, and being online reading blogs, watching videos, Facebook & the other media sites. So, I’m taking today to heart and really re-evaluating what I want to accomplish this year, even with all that has changed in our regular way of life. I might work on the lists below or decide to do different stuff, but either way, I WILL get out of this rut I got into this first half of the year. Time to embrace the new and work on living life to the fullest.

(read about my “Starting With a Dozen Each” here)

General Things to Do:

  1. note to self: Go back through photos and find memories to post
  2. 30 day exercise challenge
  3. do a wine cork craft project
  4. spring clean some (store items for a garage sale later)
  5. master the art of letter writing – write some letters
  6. listen to Mozart’s Requiem without interruption
  7. learn the names of ten constellations
  8. plan a picnic for one
  9. make the perfect souffle
  10. take up knitting
  11. listen to all of Frank Sinatra’s recordings
  12. Wear pajamas all day long

Music: current music challenge: “1001 Songs to Hear Before You Die”.
Trying to post on Mondays and listen to 20 songs each week.

Breweries, Cocktails, & Wineries: See posts over at “My Drinktopia”
Didn’t go to any in June. I should take a look at the cocktail list and be my own bartender to try some of those.

Movies: current movie challenge: “1001 Movies to Watch Before you Die”
New plan, I’m not going to list 12 at a time here anymore. You’ll see a list of the movies I had watched in June.

Books: current book challenge: “1001 Books to Read Before you Die”

Currently reading  = All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

I’m always open to suggestions for any of these categories.

May Check In / June Plans

It’s June already? Halfway through the year?

Not sure what happened. I wrote out my May plans and was all ready to start getting “new” things done and posted. And that was my last post? Guess it was all about going work and home, going to the grocery store as little as possible, take out a few times. Read more of the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan. I did watch a few movies from the 1001 list. Pretty boring.

Things are opening with restrictions, and then we also have chaos happening. Let’s see if I can do more than just a recap/plan post for the month of June. Stay Safe everyone!

(read about my “Starting With a Dozen Each” here)

General Things to Do:

  1. note to self: Go back through photos and find memories to post
  2. 30 day exercise challenge
  3. do a wine cork craft project
  4. spring clean some (store items for a garage sale later)
  5. master the art of letter writing – write some letters
  6. listen to Mozart’s Requiem without interruption
  7. learn the names of ten constellations
  8. plan a picnic for one
  9. make the perfect souffle
  10. take up knitting
  11. listen to all of Frank Sinatra’s recordings
  12. Wear pajamas all day long

Music: current music challenge: “1001 Songs to Hear Before You Die”.
Trying to post on Mondays and listen to 20 songs each week.

Breweries, Cocktails, & Wineries: See posts over at “My Drinktopia”
Didn’t go to any in May. I should take a look at the cocktail list and be my own bartender to try some of those.

Movies: current movie challenge: “1001 Movies to Watch Before you Die”
New plan, I’m not going to list 12 at a time here anymore. You’ll see a list of the movies I had watched in May.

  1. The Big Short
  2. The Greatest Showman
  3. The Jungle Book (2016)

Books: current book challenge: “1001 Books to Read Before you Die”

Currently reading through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (this series is probably on a list of top fantasies to read) I’ve read 5 of 14 books. I got really invested in the characters that I blew through the first 3 books pretty fast. I think I might start alternating one of these books with a classic one, because I would still like to read 12 of those for the year.

  • The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (book 5 of the Wheel of Time series)
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

I’m always open to suggestions for any of these categories.

April Check In / May Plans

I did not get to doing anything this last month. A lot of it is because of the stay at home order we’re having to do right now. Part of it, I think, is that I got a little depressed and didn’t want to do anything. I take that back, I started reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Always heard that it was a great fantasy series. And I agree, it is great. So that has been taking up most of my evenings after work and weekends.

It jumped from nice spring temperatures to almost beginning of summer weather (90’s) and that takes some getting used to. We took off the covering of our patio table and chairs, hopefully will enjoy some backyard evenings.

I came across some Blogs & Instagram accounts about a new thing to do each day challenge. Reading through them, has inspired me to get out of my funk and start trying to work on my own new things to do. Hopefully I’ll be posting more in May. (read about my “Starting With a Dozen Each” here)

General Things to Do:

  1. note to self: Go back through photos and find memories to post
  2. 30 day challenge of yoga & working on the core of the body (also go for walks)
  3. do a wine cork craft project
  4. spring clean some (store items for a garage sale later)
  5. master the art of letter writing – write some letters
  6. listen to Mozart’s Requiem without interruption
  7. learn the names of ten constellations
  8. plan a picnic for one
  9. make the perfect souffle
  10. take up knitting
  11. listen to all of Frank Sinatra’s recordings
  12. Wear pajamas all day long

Music: current music challenge: “1001 Songs to Hear Before You Die”.
Trying to post on Mondays and listen to 20 songs each week.

Breweries, Cocktails, & Wineries: See posts over at “My Drinktopia”
Didn’t go to any in April. I should take a look at the cocktail list and be my own bartender to try some of those.

Movies: current movie challenge: “1001 Movies to Watch Before you Die”
I started out going through the list alphabetically and picking one movie for each letter of the alphabet. Then I thought I should probably start from the most recent movie and work my way backwards. Changed my mind again and have decided to find the ones I have watched already and re-watch or just take notes about them first and then start working my way backwards on the list. With that new plan, I’m not going to list 12 at a time here. But I might start doing a recap of the ones I post about for the month.

April posts:

  1. Pan’s Labyrinth
  2. Lady Bird

Books: current book challenge: “1001 Books to Read Before you Die”

Currently reading through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (this series is probably on a list of top fantasies to read) I’ve read 4 of 14 books. I got really invested in the characters that I blew through the first 3 books pretty fast. I think I might start alternating one of these books with a classic one, because I would still like to read 12 of those for the year.

  • The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan (book 4 of the Wheel of Time series)
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

 

I’m always open to suggestions for any of these categories.

Movie Madness: Lady Bird

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I do not feel like doing a in-depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the large list.

Title: Lady Bird
Director: Greta Gerwig
Release Year: 2017
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy, Drama

plot summary:
Sacramento, California, 2002. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is in her final year of high school. She longs to leave Sacramento and go to college on the East Coast. However, her protective, obsessive mother, pessimistic at her chances, is determined to keep her in California, and ideally nearby to home. Lady Bird’s final year of school will be one of discovery, new experiences and finding herself.
—grants

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again? This was a re-watch (first saw it in the theater). I’d recommend people watch it at least once.
2. How did it make you feel? Sad & Happy
3. Did you learn anything from this movie? I thought about my own relationship with my mom, and realized how, sometimes I don’t get along with my mom and don’t want to hear her trying to help. Then later know she’s there for me, and frustrated just as much sometimes with trying to figure out a relationship with me.
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)? Overall liked it as an independent, coming of age story.
5. ?

Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

Movie Madness: Pan’s Labyrinth

Ongoing challenge: Watch all the 1001(+) Movies you Must Before You Die. Read about it, and find the full list here.

There are plenty of reviewers out there, and I don’t really feel like doing a in depth report. My plan is to find a short plot summary to share about the movie and give myself a short Q&A to complete crossing off the movie from the large list.
Title: Pan’s Labyrinth
El laberinto del fauno (original title)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Release Year: 2006
Country: Spain
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, War

plot summary:
In 1944, in the post-Civil War in Spain, rebels still fight in the mountains against the Falangist troops. The young and imaginative Ofelia travels with her pregnant and sick mother Carmen Vidal to the country to meet and live with her stepfather, the sadistic and cruel Captain Vidal, in an old mill. During the night, Ofelia meets a fairy and together they go to a pit in the center of a maze where they meet a faun that tells that she is a princess from a kingdom in the underground. He also tells that her father is waiting for her, but she needs to accomplish three gruesome, tough and dangerous assignments first. Meanwhile, she becomes friend of the servant Mercedes, who is the sister of one of the rebels and actually is giving support to the group. In a dark, harsh and violent world, Ofelia lives her magical world trying to survive her tasks and sees her father and king again.
—Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Questions & Answers type of review:
1. Would you watch this again? Once was enough
2. How did it make you feel? Sad
3. Did you learn anything from this movie? Not really
4. What aspects worked well, and which didn’t (think about writing, direction, cinematography, acting, editing and soundtrack)? It was well done and interesting. To me, it’s more artistic then an enjoyable to watch. I didn’t care much for the storyline.
5. ?

Please, let me know of any questions that would be good to add.

Drink a Coconut With a Straw

In the 2001 things to do book, there is a suggestion to “drink the milk from a coconut with a straw” I wrote about drinking from a fresh coconut in Hawaii (here). But there was no straw involved. I figured it was still okay since it was a new experience, and you don’t really need to involve straws anyway right?

Looking through photos to remember past fun experiences / adventures and came across the photos from my first trip to the Dominican Republic in 2013. I found a photo where we’re drinking from coconuts with straws. Hey that means I can be more specific in completely that suggested thing to do. But, I then realized, it’s not just coconut in there, but a very yummy alcoholic drink.  That was my favorite drink of choice for the trip, I kept going back for more. The cocktail is called Coco Loco and there are many variations but the general ingredients are:  rum, coconut cream, coconut water, lime juice, and ice cubes.

I wanted to share about this, because even though I wasn’t doing the exact suggestion, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a suggestion. Plus, I also wanted to share that even though I am doing this more then once, it was completely different experiences. Sometimes it’s worth looking back at what you’ve “crossed off” and see if you want to enjoy doing it again, only change it up.

Have you had any coconut related experiences?

March Check-In / April Plans

found on internet

March seemed to get very chaotic and everything went crazy with having to change ways of doing everything. I really kinda wish I had started saving all the meme’s and headlines from each day from the start of being told to stay at home and not venture out to group outings, and all the events that got canceled. So much for my getting out of my rut of doing more than just work and home plan. Several of my General things to do for March was getting out to places and events. And since April is going to be more of the same “stay at home” timeline, I’ll have to figure out some other things to do for the month. Maybe DIY projects? Yay for more sunshine in the day and warmer weather? And thank goodness for the internet / phone to stay connected (won’t have to be as isolated as those were in the black plague, right?) and TEN TIMES THANKS for our health professionals.

I managed to get 1 thing done in March. I crossed off eating a raw oyster (I’ve done it a few times, but the most recent experience was in February so I listed it to make sure to write a post. Might be that’s what I’ll end up doing for April, write about past experiences that I’ve been meaning to do.
(read about my “Starting With a Dozen Each” here)

General Things to Do:

  1. note to self: Go back through photos and find memories to post
  2. 30 day challenge of yoga & working on the core of the body (also go for walks)
  3. do a wine cork craft project
  4. spring clean some (store items for a garage sale later)
  5. master the art of letter writing – write some letters
  6. listen to Mozart’s Requiem without interruption
  7. learn the names of ten constellations
  8. plan a picnic for one
  9. make the perfect souffle
  10. take up knitting
  11. listen to all of Frank Sinatra’s recordings
  12. Wear pajamas all day long

Music: current music challenge: “1001 Songs to Hear Before You Die”.
Trying to post on Mondays and listen to 20 songs each week.

Breweries, Cocktails, & Wineries: See posts over at “My Drinktopia”
Didn’t go to any new ones in March

Movies: current movie challenge: “1001 Movies to Watch Before you Die”
(Picking ones I am finding on Netflix streaming. At least for right now)

  1. 13th
  2. Avengers: Infinity War
  3. Babel
  4. Dark Knight (I own this one)
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. I, Daniel Blake
  7. Kings Speech
  8. Life of Brian
  9. Moonlight
  10. Once Upon a Time in the West (C’era una Volta il West)
  11. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)
  12. Raging Bull

I might first look through the movies I own and watch those ones again to cross off here.

Books: current book challenge: “1001 Books to Read Before you Die”
These are the dozen I want to get through reading right now

  1. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (- currently reading)
  2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  3. Divine Comedy by Dante
  4. Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison or H.G. Wells
  7. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  8. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  9. Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke
  10. Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  11. Paradise Lost by John Milton
  12. Ulysses by James Joyce

I’m always open to suggestions for any of these categories.

My “Did That” Page

At the top (under the cover photo) are tabs for my different pages. One of them is where I am keeping track of all the experiences I have written about and check off the “bucketlist”. I recently sorted them into different categories that I think are good groups for each.  Just wanted to share about the update in a post.

This will be where I have the list of things I have done and wrote about. My inspiration is from the different bucket list books, blogs, and things I just go do that keep life an adventure. Big or small, it is good to get out and do something different each day.

Have you done of these experiences / adventures?

All about Love:
Have a truly amazing one-night stand

Artistic and Creative:
I CAN Be an Artist (paint & sip)
Take silly pictures in a photo booth
make paper snowflakes
make angels in the snow
Get a Tattoo (payment donation went to UC Davis Children’s Hospital)

Fashion Forward:
Wear A Wig
Wear flowers in your hair or lapels
Fake a Tan
Wear Two Different Shoes on purpose (and a second time by accident)
Wear a Lei

Food Places / Try Eating or Drinking It:
Check List for Diners, Drive-In, and Dives
DDD: Twisted Root Burger Co.
Drink the Milk from a Coconut with a Straw
Only the green M&M’s
Drink Champagne With a Crazy Straw
a Bowl of Corn Pops
Hot Tamale
One Raisinet at a Time
Have a V-8
Make Your Own Lunch
Alligator
DDD: Dad’s Kitchen
Crab Feeds
Impossible Burger
Drinking Adventures
Fluffernutter Sandwich
Raw Oyster

Generic Things:
Get yourself a vanity license plate
Invent an Identity
Give your best friend a nickname only you can use
Wear Your Seatbelt
Soak in a Hot Tub
I Sat Next to a Killer (not really)
Start a Barbie Collection
Get Donald Trump to Autograph This Book (the 2001 Things to Do…)

Gift Giving / Acts of Kindness / Volunteer:
Surprise Someone with Swedish Fish
Donate Blood
Be on a Bone Marrow Registry
Help Christmas Promise Fulfill Wishes
Grow Long Hair & Donate to Wigs For Kids
Throw a Surprise Party

Learning / Research:
Buy This Book! (2001 Things to Do…)
Become Familiar with Duende
Discover the Roots of Your First Name
Know the difference between ʻAʻā and Pāhoehoe
Learn at Least 3 Palindromes
Learn to Drive a Stick Shift
Learn the Names of the Seven Films in Which John Wayne Dies
Learn the first 5 Amendments

Might Require Travel:
Chase Rainbows
Kiss the Blarney Stone
Become Familiar with the Façade of Notre Dame de Paris
Go Wine Tasting in Sonoma County, California
How cool, an Ice Bar in Vegas
Enjoy the Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
See Stonehenge and Join the Druids
Throw a coin in the Fontana di Trevi in Rome
Ride in a Dune Buggy

Movie Madness:
Watch Spinal Tap

On the Bookshelf:
Read Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, and Burroughs (part 1 of 4)
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
1984 by George Orwell
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

On This Day (observing anniversaries):
Read or listen closely to “I Have a Dream”
Visit the Panama Canal
Visit the Location where JFK was shot (Texas)
Thank a Veteran
Remembering Pearl Harbor

See it Live:
Memorize the name of the play “the Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade”
Catch a Dueling Pianos show

Sporting, or Heart Stopping Adventures:
First Half Marathon
Hula-Hoop
5k Mud Run
Break the Tape at a Triathlon (Phase 1)
See How High You Can Swing
Ice-Skating (take 1)
Go Skiing
Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge
Wiped Out at Aqua Park

State of Mind:
Decide on a favorite color and a lucky number
Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions
Permit Yourself to Like a Piece of Art Without Knowing Why
See A Ghost
Make no apologies for loving ABBA and the Monkees
Who’s on First? (AKA – Express absurd opinions seriously and see who listens)

Music Monday 04

Ongoing challenge: listen to the 1001(+) Songs you Must Hear Before You Die, 20 songs each week. Read about it, and find the full list here. 

  1. Jive Talkin’– Bee Gees (released 1975, album “Main Course”, Funk, Disco)
  2. Step into My Office, Baby – Belle & Sebastian (released 2003, album “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”, Chamber Pop)
  3. Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King (released 1960, album “Spanish Harlem”, Soul)
  4. Stand by Me – Ben E. King (released 1961, album “Don’t Play That Song!”, Rhythm and Blues)
  5. Needle of Death – Bert Jansch (1965, album “Bert Jansch”, Folk)
  6. St. Louis Blues – Bessie Smith (released 1925, Blues)
  7. Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl – Bessie Smith (released 1931, Blues)
  8. Today I Started Loving You Again – Bettye Swann (released 1973, Soul)
  9. Crazy in Love – Beyonce (released 2003, album “Dangerously in Love”, Hip Hop, Fun, R&B)
  10. Drunk In Love – Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z (released 2013, album “Beyonce”, R&B, Hip Hop, Trap)
  11. Kerosene – Big Black (released 1986, album “Atomizer”, Punk Rock)
  12. Piece of My Heart – Big Brother & The Holding Company (released 1968, album “Cheap Thrills”, Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Acid Rock)
  13. Shake, Rattle and Roll – Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings (released 1954, album “Rock & Roll”, Blues, R&B)
  14. Thirteen – Big Star (released 1972, album “#1 Record”, Folk, Pop)
  15. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets (released 1954, album “Rock Around the Clock”, Rock and Roll, Rockabilly)
  16. Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday (released 1939, Blues, Jazz)
  17. Gloomy Sunday – Billie Holiday (released 1941, Blues)
  18. God Bless The Child – Billie Holiday (released 1942, Jazz)
  19. Love for Sale – Billie Holiday (released 1954, album “Billie Holiday”, Jazz)
  20. A New England – Billy Bragg (released 1983, album “Life’s a Riot With Spy vs. Spy”)

Catch a Dueling Pianos show

I had read about this dueling piano act happening weekly at a bar downtown (Dive Bar). I don’t think this item is in the book, but I wanted to go catch the show and make it a bucket list item. I mean, how many places have this right?

Got there and there were two pianos on a stage facing each other. The guys took a while to set up, but that was okay. I sat on a couch enjoying a drink and chatting with friends. Once they started, it was kind of loud and could barely hear my friends. We didn’t realize they would be singing along with playing. And they weren’t too bad. They played fun songs and took requests. It didn’t really seem like they were “dueling” against each other. They did take turns playing, with the other backing them up a little.

dive bar dueling piano.01

It was pointed out to me later, that is kind of a duel, seeing which one does better with a song. What do you think? And have you enjoyed a similar experience?

Added bonus, this place has a fish tank above the bar where mermaids swim.

Try Eating It: Raw Oyster

I never thought I would voluntarily eat any seafood raw. As I have been “growing up” I have decided to give something a try, at least once.

Pretty sure, the first time I gave raw oysters a try was about 2003, my family went to Santa Barbara, California for a weekend trip.  I think it was my sister that got me to eat an oyster shooter (it was in a cocktail sauce). Went right down and I thought, not too bad. Since then, I have had more oyster shooters, bbq’d ones, and even plain and straight from the shell.

But, in order to check this experience off, for at least one of the times, I need to have a photo and write about it. (my rule)

In February 2020, I went with my mom to San Francisco, California for the day. She had an appointment in the city and wanted someone with her. For dinner, we treated ourselves by going to the Hog Island Restaurant. She had been before, but this was my first time. It’s located in the San Francisco Ferry Building. Really cool, gourmet foods place. Everything looked and smelled yummy.

I decided to get the oyster mix and a geoduck ceviche (I am glad I didn’t know what a geoduck clam looked like before trying, I probably would not have wanted the dish, even though it was yummy). My mom got clam chowder and a grilled cheese sandwich (which I had some). I made my mom try an oyster but she didn’t care much for it. Each oyster was from a different place. I could only tell a slight difference. Guess I need to eat more to refine my palate.

The oysters:

  • Hog Island Sweetwater (Tomales Bay, CA)
  • Chelesa Olympia (Eld Inlet, WA)
  • Dully’s (Pickering Passage, WA)
  • Glacier Point (Kachemak Bay, AK)
  • Wellfleet (Cape Cod, MA)
  • Crowes Pasture (Cape Cod, MA)

 

Have you had raw oysters? Are you able to tell a difference on where the oyster came from? Have you had or made any dishes with Geoduck clams?