Peaches Prattlings

Did you know it’s Groundhog Day? Hopefully when you wake up tomorrow, it will be Wednesday, February 3rd! Fingers crossed for all of us!

Let me back up! Today is Tuesday, February 2, 2021 and it’s Groundhog Day. This is the day that Punxsutawney Phil, the official groundhog in Punxsutawney, PA, comes out of his hole, the temporary home he has in Gobbler’s Knob, to tell us if Winter is here to stay, well, for at least 6 more weeks, and today…Groundhog Day 2021, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and we will have 6 more weeks of winter folks. Oh joy…

“We have passed the darkness of night but now see hope and morning’s bright light. But now when I turn to see there’s a perfect shadow cast of me. Six more weeks of winter there will be!” club vice president Tom Dunkel read from the chosen scroll.

This event, which is more of a festival and celebration now, has been going on annually since 1887! Can you believe it! Well, more to the point, can you believe that this is the same groundhog that has been making a prediction since the tradition started? Yup, that’s right folks, well, that’s what the “Inner Circle” or Phil’s “Inner Circle”, identifiable by their top hats and tuxedos, want us to believe, isn’t that fabulous!

Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are true or not, it’s still a fun tradition to keep up and behold. This year, in keeping with Covid-19 rules, the ceremony was held virtually, well, not by everyone! Phil was there, along with his inner circle, hey, someone had to verify if Phil saw his shadow and read the proclamation. And…except for the three intimately involved…the guy holding Phil, the guy reading the proclamation, and the guy with the microphone, everyone else had a mask on, no, not Phil, duh!

I’ll be honest, as a kid, I knew about the groundhog and Groundhog Day, the tradition of the groundhog coming out and predicting the 6 more weeks of winter, or not, but I didn’t know it was such a BIG deal until I saw the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, who plays a self-absorbed weatherman who ends up living the same day over and over and over again, well, until he gets it right.

The movie had a great cast, including Andie MacDowell, as his producer and eventual love interest, Chris Elliot is his goofball cameraman, Stephen Tobolowsky an old classmate of Billy Murray’s character and an insurance salesman with two of my favorite lines in the movie “BING!”, I know you have to watch it, and “Watch that first step…it’s a douzy”. Then, there’s Billy Murray’s brother, not movie brother, but actual brother, Brian Doyle Murray, a great character actor, Angela Paton, she’s one of those actors I don’t always remember her name, but I like seeing her. Rick Overton, who plays one of the guys in the car when Phil Connors, Billy Murray’s character drives off a cliff, Michael Shannon, who has a small role and I always forget that it’s him because had such a baby face in the movie, he was playing a teenager or just barely out of his teens and then, Harold Ramis who co-wrote, directed, and had a small role in the film.

The fun part is to watch Bill Murray’s character grow into an actual human being with all the experiences he has. He starts off, when he realizes that he’s stuck, is to do all the things we might think about doing, since he can’t get in trouble, or trouble that lasts past midnight, when the clock or day resets itself. Then he starts to take life a little more seriously, while still enjoying it. The day resets, but he doesn’t, so he has no choice but to grow. On the last day, well, the day that doesn’t reset itself is the day we get to see the new, maybe who he really was all along, just buried, Phil Connors. Who knows.

The hard part is to watch him try over and over to get out of this day and then you sit there wondering ‘just how long was Phil Connors stuck?‘ Harold Ramis said “It takes at least 10 years to get good at anything,” said Ramis, “and allotting for the down time and misguided years he spent, it had to be more like 30 or 40 years.” Just ouch!

Before I leave you…a bit of Groundhog Day movie trivia before I say farewell. The movie takes place in Punxsutawney, PA, but actually, it was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois! But JJ, how do you know that!? Well, first, if you look up the movie, you can find that out, but…I happened to be in Woodstock, Illinois for a project and the people at the office told me that the town square, about two blocks away, was where they filmed the movie! OMG! Of course, I had to take a stroll. How cool is that!

Well, here’s to 6 more weeks of winter and I’m hoping the radio doesn’t wake me up to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher. If it does, I’m going back to bed. What would you do?

What a day today was, it was treat, after treat, after treat! I admit it, I’m spoiled, and I’ll take it!

Since I couldn’t get a reservation to ski for the day, I made other plans. First… last night I pulled down the blackout curtain, hoping it would help me also in a little. Well, any guesses how that turned out? It’s all good, more time for me to do nothing! Ha Ha!

I thought about going to a yoga class or doing a virtual livestream class and then I thought about something PSM said, you’re skiing, you don’t have to do yoga, true, but I thought it might help, who knows. Then my body said, “um…yeah, you’re good, take it easy” and I listened, go figure! I laid in bed, turned on the tv and vegged out, it was fabulous! Then I got up and made myself an egg sandwich, moved to the couch and continued my relaxing journey! Not a bad way to start a Saturday.

I decided to be a little productive, checking emails, updating a friend’s resume, and making plans for the day, all while relaxing, that works for me! My friend texted that she loved that I had no plans and I have to say, it is refreshing to not have plans when you’re visiting somewhere. It all depends where you are and what you’re doing, right? I used to live in Colorado, there is a lot that I did, but there is also a lot I haven’t done and depending on what it is, I want to share it with PSM. This time, I’m only here to ski and see friends, and since I have the pass and I’m not that far from the mountains, take it easy.

I finally got motivated and headed out the door for my first treat of the day. I drove downtown to see LJ, she has a great apartment overlooking Denver and the view of the Flat Iron Mountains is fabulous! She shares the apartment with her boyfriend JS and their kitten, Steve. OM G, what a doll baby! Cutest little orange tabby with a lot of energy and a name tag that might be bigger than him!

We sat down and talked and talked, about everything and nothing, and just like all our conversations it went all over the place, par for the course, of course! All the while Steve took turns biting my toes and fingers, pouncing on me and other things, and settling in next to his mom’s side happy as can be.  Oh my am I getting my fix!

After a bit, we looked for a place to go and LJ is one of the friends I have who tries to go vegan with me, a lot of places we called had a wait and we decided on…Edgewater Public Market, I’m in! She’s been there a bunch and her yoga studio is there, same one PSM and I go to, which means…next time we travel to Denver, we can go to our yoga studio! She went off and got pizza and I got a vegan chicken Caesar salad from Meta Burger, another hit! I told her about my dinner from last night and she had to get a side of the vegan mac-n-cheese, she was not disappointed! And we talked some more, we can do this for hours, wait, we are!

Then…another treat! We both saved room and went over to Happy Cone for some vegan gelato for me and full on fabulous ice cream for her! We were both quite pleased. It’s a simple ice cream shop, ‘New Zealand style creamery handmaking ice cream, chocolates and happiness’ is the tag from their website. I believe Hap Cameron, the owner was the one who scooped our treats, I could be wrong, but it sounded like a New Zealand accent when he spoke…through his mask!

Then we sat and talked some more, go figure, then a strange smell wafted by and despite the masks, we could still smell it, it was probably someone’s food as a few people walked by, but it was time for us to get some fresh air, so we went to the outside heated tent and sat at a recently cleaned table and talked some more. I mean, when don’t we talk!? I’ve told you this before, one of my favorite things about my friends is that we can sit and talk about everything and nothing and it’s always as if no time has passed. Eventually, sadly, it was time to leave. I took LJ back home, we said our goodbyes and hugs and headed off in different directions. Looking forward to the next time!

I called AM and we worked on dinner plans, that was the plan after all, hang with friends! He called in an order at City O’ City, I think we’ve talked about it before, but I la la la love this place! I placed my order for ‘chikn’ n waffles. The chikin’ is fried cauliflower, not to worry, the waffles are actual waffles! It’s served with vegan creme fraiche, maple syrup, and carrot bacon. We also had seitan wings for an appetizer, y-u-m! There was a vegan pizza, and for dessert…a ho-ho cupcake and a whoopie pie. Let’s just say, if you come with me to Denver, I’ll take you to City O’ City. I’ll tell you how good it is…the first place LJ asked about getting lunch…City O’ City! Oh yeah!

I picked up the food and headed to AM’s house, it was AM and his daughter…AM! Ha Ha, his wife NM was at their house in the mountains, I was bummed not to get to see her, we kept missing each other this weekend. It was a great time! We talked school, a teeny bit politics, books, movies, podcasts, it was quite the dinner conversation!

When the younger AM went to bed, AM and I retreated to the den, popped in Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan‘s first movie together, Joe Versus the Volcano then spent the next 1.45 hours talking movies, discussing almost every movie on the wall, laughing, disagreeing, agreeing, howling, taking moments to actually watch some of the best parts of the movie. I think I’m going to have to dedicate an entire post to this movie, it is probably one of my all-time favorite, same for AM. What a great night, it really was, I’m still laughing!

What a day for me! Treat, after treat, after treat, after treat. I am spoiled and I’m ok with that! What’s next?!

I kid you not, today was a killer travel day!

So… 4:15am alarm, oh joy! I had already packed last night, laid out my clothes, so it was just a matter of getting up, showered, dressed and to the airport. Easy peasy. Seriously, that was the easy part!

I couldn’t get to curbside check in, so it was gas, drop off the rental car, get on the shuttle, lug everything into the airport, then drop the bags. That was fun, waiting on the line, watching them take someone else. Why have two lines if you’re not going to look at this one. And this one was simpler, just bag drop. One nice thing about the wait, the TSA pre-check line was a lot shorter when I got there!

Ok, this one is on me…I mis-read the sign for the gate, which is odd because I am in this terminal all the time…I must have been on auto-pilot because I went down the escalator, down the walkway, up the escalator…A4 was back where I was when I came through security, ugh! There went my dream of getting breakfast before my flight to Salt Lake City!

I settled in, watched three movies and worked, I am just that good! I worked when I was able to get connection. Let’s see, movies, which will be reviewed later…The Man Who Invented Christmas, about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, with Ryan Reynolds and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Loving Vincent. I also watched the 2 episodes that made up Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie, what a mind and last was Sleeping with the Enemy until we landed in Honolulu.
We landed with just enough time to get to my next flight in SLC, Salt Lake CIty, for those of you not in the know…had I known what was about to transpire, I would have stopped to get breakfast!
I got to the gate, they hadn’t started loading the plane yet, but how long would I have? They kept saying we’re about ready…Then they only boarded rows 1-9 because they were cleaning the plane, huh? I was in row 10, can I sneak in?! Then it was people who need assistance and people traveling with small children, ok. Then it was Diamond and Platinum and first class. Wait, isn’t 1-9 first class?
Then it was time for the rest of us, that had only taken about 30 minutes, felt like an hour or more. But wait, there’s more! We are delayed due to the snow, then we need to gas and de-ice. Seriously? Then it was another 20 minutes, then we were number 8 for takeoff… Then it was two hours later and we were off. Here it was about 2pm, I haven’t eaten since I woke up at 4:15am and I’m not going to eat until we land? Which we did about 4:30pm. Ok, I snacked, but those airline snacks don’t fill you up!
The woman next to me was very nice, from Salt Lake City, she has a house on the North Shore, so we chatted for part of the flight and felt for the babies crying in the back, poor things.
We finally land and then the baggage carousels changed, but eventually I got my stuff. I grabbed a taxi, made it home, finally! Then as quickly as I could, put the food in the fridge that was in my bags, changed into my bathing suit and headed to the beach for the last hour before sunset! It was fabulous!
Then I decided, food and a movie! In the theater! So, Raman Ya it was and Black Panther. I got lucky, it seems that every theater on the mainland was sold out! Great flick! I’ll tell you about that later too. That was movie number six! Then home to write to you and zzzz! I gotta get up and work in a few hours!
Ah, the life of a road warrior!

{November 14, 2017}   Murder on the Orient Express


Was that enough? No, not nearly! Dad and I went to see Murder on the Orient Express on Saturday afternoon. It had everything we like in a movie, mystery, intrigue, murder, comedy, suspense and a great story line.

Both of us happen to love Agatha Christie stories and this is one of her better ones. We both remember watching the 1974 version with Lauren Bacall and Albert Finney in the role of Hercule Poirot. I remember seeing it, but I didn’t remember the outcome, this brought it all back.

The story line is simple, so to speak. It’s about a murder on a train, everyone is a suspect and the famed detective, Hercule Poirot is tasked with tracking down and identifying the killer. Everyone is a suspect, but of course! And everyone has a secret to hide, but the celebrated detective has his ways and leaves no stone un-turned and will root out what they are hiding and turn the culprit in.

Now, let’s talk about the cast! Oh boy, talk about star studded! We start with Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, who also directed and cleverly and with style and panache. He was great with character development and background and intrigue. He really brought you into the story, emotions ran high, low, sideways. Dad and I agreed, he wasn’t our favorite Poirot, but he was a formidable character. Traditionally, Poirot is short and round, neither of which is our star, but he had the moustache, quirks and amazing use of those grey cells that he is famous for.

Johnny Depp is the creepy mobster, you instantly don’t like him, but you’re not sure why, you know nothing about him right away, but you don’t like the look of him. Josh Gad is his week assistant, comes off with bravado, but you know he’s all show.

Daisy Ridley, played Mary the governess, who you might know better as Rey from the new Star Wars series, was a fiery red-head with the smarts and a temper to match. Leslie Odom Jr was the doctor on his way home, confident, always offering a helping hand and inserted a bit of tension in the air for some of the other characters as the only person of color on the train.

Penelope Cruz was the pious bible thumper with a past, Derek Jacobi is Johnny Depp’s man servant, I was about to say just as he should be for that time, but he wasn’t. He was a servant, but he stood up to and talked back to his employer on occasion, he had his reasons.

There is a countess, ill and tired all the time and her hot headed husband, ready to knock anyone’s block off just for looking at his wife the wrong way. Dame Judy Dench plays a princess and every bit the obnoxious snob we hope royalty is not like and her lady in waiting, Olivia Colman, falling over herself to do what her royal demands.

The cast is rounded out by Michele Pfeiffer, who played the older American flirt who chatters on, giving off the air that she is looking for husband or lover number…I think she may have lost count and Willem Dafoe is the German professor with an attitude.

No one is exactly who you are led to believe, as with all good mysteries and it does leave you wondering at every turn…what’s going to happen next? Was it her? Was it him? Was it them? What are they hiding? No, that couldn’t be it, really?

And then the big finish, the climax when all is revealed and for this story, what a true surprise ending should be. A surprise!

I don’t know if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, mysteries, period pieces, a good story line, but this has all of that and so much more. The costumes, the sets, the locations, the lighting, the music the moods. The steam train itself inspired me, it’s something I have always wanted to try, the rail across the country, in an old sleeper car, how magnificent would that be!?

Dad and I both loved it and I would say we both give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone. Enjoy!

Oh what a weekend I had with my dad! Let me tell you all about it!

Now, sit back and relax, because I just spent a fun filled weekend with my dad and I’m going to share it all with you! And I got there Thursday night, so this is a full weekend sharing!

I got in Thursday evening, earlier than I thought I was going to be there, so I was quite pleased. Except for the long commute from the airport to dad’s house, now that was not fun. I went from Long Island to Brooklyn to Manhattan to Brooklyn to Staten Island. Seriously?! Argh!

I finally made it! Hugs, kisses, hugs and kisses, catch up and food! We ordered sushi, it was all veggie, wahoo! And yummy! Nice that we could share and he was good with veggie and not fish. whew! We ate, caught up, talked, laughed, it was great.

Then the festivities started. We put on comfy clothes and started watching Ghostbusters, the one that came out last year, he hadn’t seen it yet, good thing I own it! He liked it! We laughed a lot, I had forgotten how much I actually liked it! We didn’t get through the whole thing, it was late, so we turned in, knowing we would watch the rest Friday.

Friday morning came too early, no alarm, but I was still up too early! I started working when I got up, broke eventually for breakfast, back to work, break for lunch, back to work. I kept going until about 4:30, then it was time to go out and run errands. Bed, Bath & Beyond and Best Buy. Treats for all! Then on the way home, Chinese food for dinner at a very popular joint! At home, we finished Ghostbusters, then started watching Versailles and he sucked me in!

Saturday, I actually slept past 8am! Relaxing, wahoo! I watched a new baking competition show, breakfast, relax, hang out, then…movie date! Murder on the Orient Express. LOVED IT! Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about it!

A few more errands, Best Buy and Bed, Bath & Beyond again, we love those two places. Love my new slipper socks? Time for food, Mediterranean, it was nice to share the entire meal. Lentil soup, hummus, babaganoush, bean salad, shepard’s salad, couscous, doesn’t that sound fabulous!

Back home and more Versailles, it’s addictive, darn it! Dessert too! I brought my dad one of those cookie dough cups, he loved it, I knew he would. More Versailles, boy is it violent, the intrigue, the sex, the violence, the sneaking around, the sneaky behavior, the underhandedness, the you name it, it happened!

Sunday morning came and it was breakfast, pack and then next movie date! Thor: Ragnorak. LOVED it! We laughed and laughed and really enjoyed it! It was fun figuring out who the actors were, the previews, deciding if we’re going to see any of them!

Then it was a late lunch, finish packing and getting ready to head to the airport. Then…it was time to go, boo.

It was such a great weekend, I had so much fun with my dad, it was great spending time together, we laughed so much. I can’t wait for a repeat!

{November 2, 2017}   Bad Moms Christmas Girls Night!

What a delightful combination! Bad Moms and Girls Night!

Tonight, I had plans with co-workers. Originally it was going to be feet up, fireplace on, movies and delivery at my hotel. This turned into dinner and a movie! Almost the same!

DLP and I introduced our new team-mate, LS, to Vapiano’s, yum! And then went to one of the AMC movie theaters with the recliner seats. So…we went to a restaurant for dinner, then at the movie theater, see movie, reclined and kicked our feet up and someone delivered popcorn to our seats. Close enough!

We laughed, oh did we laugh! It was surprisingly good! Better than I expected. Let’s just say I had high hopes for Pitch Perfect 2 and was sorely disappointed, except for a few scenes. With this movie, there were some moments you thought, oh my word, but, to be honest, it kept true to the format, Amy, played by Mila Kunis is stressed out trying to be the perfect mom and give her kids the perfect Christmas. Kristin Bell plays Kiki, slightly neurotic, people pleaser, just wants everyone to be happy and get along. Kathryn Hahn is Carla, easy, literally, going, just wanting to get through the day.

They all love their kids more than anything, would do anything for them, just want them to be happy and enjoy Christmas. Then…their moms arrive! Uh oh!

Christine Baranski is Amy’s mom. A hard, controlling, condescending perfectionist, think Amy was a little stressed out?! Cheryl Hines is Kiki’s mom. Um, let’s just say a little clingy? Ok, A LOT clingy! Susan Sarandon is Carla’s mom and if you thought Carla was, well, let’s just say, foul mouthed and loose, want to guess where she gets it from!

Moms come in and drive their daughters crazy. Daughters try to have the Christmas they want and you know what happens when Amy, Kiki and Carla get together? No holds barred, throw down, drinking, smashing, grabbing, get wild girls. Do they let off steam? Yes they do! Do they wreak havoc? Yes they do. Do they have a good time? You bet your sweet bippie!

There’s love, fighting, frustration, foul language, stripping Santas, lashing out, acting out, making up, understanding, compromising, friendships, love and…a camel. Yup, I said a camel.

I give this movie two thumbs up. If you’re looking for an Oscar worthy movie, this ain’t it. If you’re looking for a movie to make you laugh, gasp, cringe, laugh and do it all over again, this is it!

Be a bad mom, today, Christmas and every day!

{October 15, 2017}   The Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Date night! I’m home, on a date with my honey on a Saturday night!

The, first, Kingsman we loved. I haven’t read the graphic novel, but I want to, but I loved the movie. I thought it was clever and funny, inventive, and just violent enough to be ewe, ouch and yeah! And the toys! You might call them weapons…

The only issue I had with the movie, no, the unbelievability of the entire plot? I totally got into the movie. Samuel L Jackson’s speech pattern, lisp, whatever you want to call it, awful.

It’s been a while, but The Kingsman are back. This time, an equally annoying villain. To be honest, she’s just not my favorite actress. Now, in her defence, she played a fabulous nut job!

The basics were the same with some twists. There is an evil in the world that wants to wipe out the Kingsman and see their product take over the world or at least hold the world hostage for a price.

We start in England, following our favorite agent, Eggsy, doing well and we see where his training took him in the first movie. Then boom, explosions and his world, with the Kingsman is torn apart. He and Mark Strong, one of my favorite roles for him, end up traveling to America to enlist the help of The Statesman, the ‘yank’ version of The Kingsman. This time, instead of fine men’s tailor, this group is in Kentucky making fine whiskey, led by Jeff Bridges.

There was action, adventure, plot twists, violence, cool toys, ok weapons, bad guys, and gals, agents and a common enemy to rally against. While there were some great characters, there wasn’t a lot of character development. In the fittest movie it was a combination of bringing new recruits, watching one in particular, Eggsy, become the man and agent he is today. I get that this wasn’t about watching another new agent, but a little backstory on the other side would be good.

Big surprise in the middle that helped with the plot twists and action, and there was a lot of action, which I love and some of it was a bit ridiculous, but it worked for the movie.

Do the Kingsman and Statesmen save the world? You betcha. Do they do it in style? You betcha. Will there be another Kingsman movie? Part of me wants to say you betcha. Will I see it? You know it!

Fifth, sixth, maybe eighth time I’ve seen this movie, only gets better!

If you know me, you know I love movies and if I love a movie, I’ll watch it a few times, maybe more.

And if you know me, you know I love going to the movies and I love going with friends. And movies outside, bonus!

Tonight, the trifecta! A fabulous movie… in the park… with friends! How can you beat that!

After teaching, I went to my hotel, dropped my laptop bag, changed into jeans, headed out too pick up snacks, then…Millennium Park for movies in the park!

I met up with DLP and JM, my new movie in the park dates. We had all sorts of snacks, meats, cheeses, guac, hummus, chips, fruit and sweets for dessert. What more do you need?

We snacked, chatted, caught up and then roll film. DLP and I had seen the movie together, JM hadn’t. There were also a lot of folks around hadn’t, it was fun hearing their reactions.

DLP and I knew what was coming, but we still cheered, clapped and cried, just where we were supposed to!

If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s so inspiring, thought provoking, emotional, uplifting, and so much more.

What’s our next adventure?

{June 29, 2017}   A bonus night! 

Tuesday is DLP, Wednesday is WIS. That’s the way it is and the way it works. 

This week has been extra special! An extra day with WIS, with her friend, if you recall on Sunday and two extra days with DLP. My life is full!

Sunday dinner with DLP, Tuesday movies in the park with JM and tonight, Thursday, last minute movie!

We were both in the office late, my class ended and I was getting some additional work done and DLP messaged “movie?” Definitely! What were you thinking? First option was D3, as in Dispicible Me 3, but i said nay- nay! I’m going with my girls this weekend. I promised!

We decided on Pirates of the Caribbean and off we went. The movies are always cold, so as we passed the Disney store, we went in and I got a picnic blanket. Hey, a blanket is a blanket and it came in handy, not just in the movies, but when we were leaving it was raining, so under the blanket I went, toasty and dry! And now, we have a blanket for the next movie in the park! 

We both really enjoyed the movie, I thought it was better than the last one for sure! We laughed, cringed, laughed, laughed and laughed.  Yup, that’s about it!


{June 27, 2017}   Movies in the Park 

One of my favorite things about summer… Movies in the Park. 

I’m sure most cities have this, you go to a local park, sometimes a parking lot, maybe in a mall, and they have a giant screen they project movies on. 

People bring picnic or snacks, anywhere from a bag of popcorn,  sandwiches to some folks going all out, tables and chairs, wine, cheese, apperizers, full meals. It’s what you make of it. 

Tonight, DLP and I joined JM, another coworker, or I joined them, they have done this together before. 

The movie this week is Julie & Julia. This is based on two books and true stories. Paul Childs letters to his brother and Julie Powell’s auto biography, about how she decided to cook all of Julia Childs’ receipes, 524 in 365 days! It was quite the undertaking. 

I loved this movie the first time I saw it and nothing changed. It was fun hanging out and doing something a little different. 

Bon appetit!

et cetera