Posted tagged ‘movies’

“In movies, everyone is always surprised the door is unlocked.”

July 16, 2019

The air is still. The leaves just sort of hang off the branches. It will be hot and the humidity is returning.

Last night we had a wonderful movie night. The air was cooler than it had been. We feasted on cheese and crackers: Kerrygold Cheddar and mango ginger soft cheese on a variety of crackers. We had movie candy and a cake to celebrate opening night. The movie, Capricorn One, was excellent, so was the cake.

In Ghana, I went to the movies. There were two theaters in Accra. The sitting areas were outside. The entries and the refreshment counters were inside. One was close, walking distance, from the Peace Corps hostel. My favorite time was when it rained. We’d move our chairs under the overhang and stay dry. I remember watching Is Paris Burning and West Side Story.

During my live-in in Bawku, I saw a couple of movies. The local theater was owned by my host father. It was outside, right near the house where I lived. I remember a spaghetti western when reel 3 was showed before reel 2. I think I was the only one who noticed.

In Bolga, the Hotel d’ Bull was the entertainment center for the whole town. It had the cold room, one with air-conditioning, and drinks though I didn’t drink liquor because all they had was whiskey and gin. I did have coke with ice, a treat. The hotel showed movies, really bad movies, but I didn’t care. I loved sitting in the expensive seat, on the roof, and eating kabobs and drinking coke. They’d bring a bowl of water before I ate so I could wash my hands. That was common in Ghana as most people used their hands, not utensils, to scoop their food.

Watching a movie on the deck reminds me of those movie nights in Ghana. We often see a really bad science fiction movie. We don’t care. It is the fun of sitting outside in the dark munching candy and laughing with friends.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 5, 2018

I am reminded of the scene in War Games when it appeared as if ballistic missiles had destroyed bases in the US. Using the radio, the general asked the radio operator at one base if anyone was there: if anyone was left alive. There was silence then a voice, “We’re still here. We’re still here.” Well, I’m still here too. I have no idea if the powers that be have commuted my death sentence. I think so, but I could be off by a day or two.

My morning was a busy one. I was out early to finish two errands. I was thinking about  rewarding my efforts with coffee and a donut, a Boston cream donut, from Dunkin’, but I decided to go home, put the coffee on and get comfortable.

The weather is still ugly. The day is chilly and raw. We have clouds and wind gusts. Some people are still without electricity. Another nor’easter is coming this week but will be far less destructive as the moon is no longer full. We could get rain or even snow.

I used to love to play jacks. Every Christmas in my stocking and most Easters in my basket I’d get a new set of jacks. I’d sit on the floor and toss the ball then hurry to pick up the jacks, starting with onesies. For some reason all the numbers were like that. After onesies came twosies then threesies then on and on. The throw was always the key. Another small favorite toy was the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. At first I’d be totally frustrated. I’d hit the ball, and it would fly back and hit me in the face or some other part of my body. Sometimes I’d get so frustrated I’d even throw the paddle but then I’d always pick it up and try again and eventually I’d coordinate my eye and hand. My mother sent me one of those when I was in the Peace Corps. My friends and I would stand in the back of one of our houses and have contests. We got really good and paddled into the hundred’s. It was, until the elastic broke, one of our favorite diversions. We didn’t need much to keep us occupied.

In Ghana, the day started early and ended early. It was in the evening that my friends and I would get together. We always ate supper together. The table and chairs were brought outside during the dry season. When it got dark, we’d go inside. We played word games and listened to music. Once in a while they’d be a movie in town at the Hotel d’Bull. It was usually really old or Indian, but we didn’t care. It was a grand night on the town.

I never got bored in Ghana. What I didn’t have didn’t matter. Living there was more than enough.

“The world is quiet here.”

July 24, 2017

Today is rainy and cold. It is sweatshirt weather, closer to early spring than late summer.  My papers were soaked from the middle to the bottom. I have a large front parking space, but the carrier managed to throw them in the only puddle. The plastic cover was useless. Like in the old days, my fingertips had printer’s ink on them.

Gracie had a tough morning. She woke me when she was throwing up. Her head tilt was extreme which caused her dizziness. I grabbed her as she was having trouble walking and put her on the couch. In a few minutes, she had her small tilt back so we went out in the rain while she did her morning business. I got cold waiting.

I find the whole idea daunting, but I have to go out today. From experience I know rainy day roads will be the stuff of nightmares. There will be lines of bumper to bumper cars filled with tourists looking for something to do. They’ll gawk, and their heads will swirl from one side of the road to the other, a mimic of the Regan head moves in The Exorcist. Today will be shop for souvenirs day, maybe a Cape Cod t-shirt or more appropriately for the weather, a sweatshirt. How about some salt water taffy? It is most decidedly not a day to go the movies. That’s for sunny days, for beach days.

I like the quiet of today. I like the dark house. It seems to surround me, to hold me close. I remember being on vacation in Maine one summer when I was young. I remember a rainy day. I wanted quiet from the noise in the house so I took my book and went to the car where I stretched out on my stomach on the back seat. I read all day. The rain on the roof and the windows was soothing. I fell asleep in the car on a rainy day in Maine.

“I fear thee not, O untried morrow!”

January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

Today is far too warm for January, the mid-40’s. It is truly sweatshirt weather. I’d be disappointed if I were a kid who got a new sled for Christmas. This is new bike weather.

When I was in my 20’s, I wore dresses or skirts and blouses to work. After work, I lived in flannel and denim. My friends and I didn’t need an excuse to party. Cheap wine, some chips, and a bowl of onion dip were all we needed. We often went to Friday happy hours. I can’t remember a weekend when we didn’t get together. I was young.

I’m older now and I’m thinking life just happens so my plans for the new year are simple. My dance card is mostly empty. I’ll survive the winter with good humor even if it snows. We’ll do summer movies on the deck. I’ve bought a few already. I’m thinking a lot of grilling. I’ve been saving recipes. I have no travel plans except for my yearly visit to New Hampshire.

I watched 2017 arrive last night. I wanted to make sure 2016 was gone for good. It wasn’t my favorite year though I do have some wonderful memories. My trip to Ghana tops my list. Way back in 1971 when I left Ghana, I had hope I would return, but I could never have guessed how wonderful that first return would be, and that there would be multiple return trips. Bolga is my familiar Ghanaian home again. I shop in the market, eat all my favorite Ghanaian food, and spend time with my former students. Traveling with my friends Bill and Peg this September brought back old memories and made new ones. I figure I have been amazingly lucky to have had such friends. When I was young, I hoped my life would be filled with adventure. It has been and now I have a new year to fill with more.

“Christmas Eve, and the tree blazed with lights.”

December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve is the second most popular day of the year. It is the longest day, not by the calendar but for every kid who can hardly wait for Santa. I remember wanting to go to bed around 5 or 6 figuring the night would pass far more quickly if I were sleeping, but the actual bedtime never really mattered. It took forever to fall asleep.

Today is rainy and warm, in the high 40’s. The sky is gray, but it isn’t a gray day as today has sort of a light of its own, the glow of Christmas Eve. The trees and all the Christmas lights in the house are lit. They are so beautiful.

I have some baking to do, but I wanted to finish here first. The TV is on, and I have to admit it isn’t Hallmark. It is the Syfy channel and The Abominable Snowman, the something out there, hardly festive fare.

My parents used to have a party on Christmas Eve. My father was never a fan until everyone came, and the party got going. He always had a great time. The guests were mostly relatives, my aunts and uncles. There was always singing, eating and drinking. The dining room table, groaning from all the food, was pushed to the wall. The kitchen counter served as the bar. The benches at the table in the kitchen were always filled. The living room was mostly empty. People gravitated to the kitchen and just stayed there. That’s always where the singing started. I can still see my dad standing beside the counter singing with wondrous enthusiasm.

My mother and I always cleaned up, but it was a special time for the two of us. We’d chat while cleaning, finish up, pour Irish coffees and sit in the living room. We’d put on a Christmas movie. We’d open one special present. We stayed up late. I loved those Christmas Eves.

Tonight my friends and I will put together our gingerbread houses. We won’t talk. We won’t socialize. We’ll be so intent upon the decorations that the houses will hold our full attention. That always makes me chuckle. We have this great time even without conversation.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas, my friends!

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

October 9, 2016

I have traded the roosters for the morning songs of the birds. No more do I hear the calls to prayer. Nobody is sweeping my yard, and I can’t smell the wood charcoal burning. I am home.

The flights were uneventful. The 10 and a half hours from Ghana gave me time to watch 2 and 1/2 movies, 4 Big Bang Theories and 2 Bones. I also read and I think I napped for an hour. The food seemed endless then the flight attendant brought a basket of snacks. The hot towels were wonderful. The flight from New York to Boston was over in a minute, actually 38 minutes.

I waited at Logan for an hour. I saw my car go by a couple of times but couldn’t get Lee’s attention. Finally, he saw me when I was moving across the street hauling my luggage. The ride home was longer than the flight from New York.

When I got home, the animals were thrilled to see me. The cats head butted me and purred. Gracie  wagged every part of her body. I was exhausted but couldn’t get to sleep. I was up until 2 which was 6 am for me. I slept two hours but had naps on and off all day. One bag is emptied but two more sit on the floor. My house had to be put back to rights. The coffee is gone so I’m going out to grab a couple of Dunkin’ Donut coffees. Maybe I’ll get a donut.

Being in Ghana in the morning and at home in the night is still amazing to me. As glad as I am to be home, I am missing my friends and Ghana. The trip was just about perfect. The only glitch was that pesky stomach ailment from which we all suffered.

Every time I go back I realize how much I love Ghana. The Ghanaian people are warm and friendly. As soon as I greet them in their own languages, they beam. They smile. Ghana was familiar this time, as if I hadn’t left. Every morning I waited to hear the morning call to prayer and the roosters one after the other. The brown rooster was always close to my window. During the day he traveled with a few hens and a Guinea fowl but he was alone for his morning greeting. I was in the restaurant early in the morning for the wifi. Coffee and eggs weren’t until 7. The eggs were always fried, the toast cold. Once I tried to explain French toast. I ended up with an egg sandwich fried only on one side. There wasn’t any maple syrup anyway. Bill went out to the road hoping to find the donut lady selling along the roadside. It wasn’t a real donut but a fried, greasy ball which we love. There used to be many small girls selling them, but now the donuts are difficult to find.

(We are back from our coffee run. The roads were almost empty of cars. I was the only one at the drive-up window. It is raining.)

Even though it takes a long while. I love traveling between cities in Ghana. We go through small towns and villages. I see women carrying loads on their heads, and I’m always amazed . Sometimes it is market days and the streets are filled with people. The goats are everywhere; some are tied but most are loose. All are munching. On a stretch of road with no houses, I’d see a woman walking without an apparent from where and going to. I always figure there is a lone compound somewhere off the road. At any stop, we are swamped by sellers hawking their wares. You can buy gum, fruit, veggies and already cooked food like kenkey. We usually don’t buy but just keep moving. There are police stops. They are checking for all the vehicle stickers. At one stop they nailed our driver for not wearing shoes. He was wearing slippers. I saw the driver grab a log book and stick 10 cedis inside then go to the officer. When the driver came back, the book was empty of cash and we got permission to drive. In Ghana, that is not a bribe but a dash.

Our last day in Ghana was spent shopping. We had all those cedis to get rid of. I did so well I had to get a few more to pay for lunch. We first shopped at a wonderful jewelry store. It was small and only a couple of people were allowed in at the same time. The silver jewelry is weighed to determine the price. I bought Christmas gifts and earrings for me. We then walked across the street and has Lebanese food for lunch. So ended our culinary adventure and our trip to Ghana. We left early the next morning for home.

On this trip I learned how much I love spending time with and traveling with my friends. I learned Ghana is still a home for me. I remembered how much I love the Ghanaian people. I got to see elephants, baboons, warthogs and a variety of antelope. Kelewele is still my favorite Ghanaian food, and goat is tasty. I don’t know if I’ll go back as it takes so long to save the money, but I’d like to think Ghana is waiting for me to return.

“My life is better with every year of living it.”

August 19, 2016

This morning I was up and out early to have some lab work done. On the way, I had to stop to let a turkey hen lead her brood of five across the road to the other side. The five were walking all in a row and moved quickly to stay behind their mother. After the lab, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts as I hadn’t yet had my coffee. The ride through had fifteen cars in line so I parked out front and walked inside. I was second in line and got my coffee quickly. I also treated myself to a croissant lemon donut. It was my prize for remembering to get the lab work done.

Today is quite hot but dry. The doors and windows are still open. My neighborhood was noisy earlier. I could hear a radio blasting from the house next door, and I could hear voices from the rental. I shut the door, started to read the papers and fell asleep for about an hour, a weird time for me to be napping. I must have inspired the animals as all three are in the den here with me, and all three are asleep. Gracie is lightly snoring.

Only two weekends left until Labor Day weekend. The summer is speeding away. This has probably been my quietest summer in a long while. We didn’t see a movie on the deck though I am determined to have three, one on each remaining weekend. I have spent most of August behind closed doors and windows with the AC at full blast.

Tonight is another birthday celebration at my friends’ house down the street. They are the balloon friends. We’ll play a few games, drink a little and have dinner. I’ll open another present. Nothing is better than celebrating a birthday over and over.

“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.”

July 29, 2016

Rain! Finally we have rain, a gentle but persistent rain.

I shut off the air conditioning and opened the windows so I could hear the rain falling on the leaves. The day is extremely dark. I needed a light when I read the papers. The only light now is from my computer. The day is quiet. Rain does that, mutes most other sounds. According to the weather report, it will rain most of the day, and the Cape is under a flash flood warning.

It is only 72˚, the coolest day in a few weeks. I like having the doors and windows opened connecting me with outside. I was happy to turn off the air conditioner.

In the paper this morning I learned a new word for a grouping. The reporter wrote, “A flock of purple, white and red balloons was released.” Who knew many balloons were designated a flock?

I can’t imagine being on the road today. Tourists will be out and about trying to find something to while away the hours. Movie theaters and their parking lots will be filled so some cars will be parked outside the lots on grass and beside all the roads leading to the theaters. Souvenir shop owners love a rainy day.

During college summers I worked in Hyannis. It was crowded with people even on rainy days. Tourists didn’t seem to mind the weather. Cars crawled on Main Street in what looked like rush hour traffic. All on street parking spaces were taken. The store with the most customers sold penny candy, now a nickel or a dime. The Planter’s Peanut store also had a line of customers. I think they were drawn by the aroma. Every restaurant had lines. My favorite was the deli.

I’ll find enough around the house to keep me busy. I do need to make a dump run, but I’m not anxious to fight with the traffic. The dump is a few streets and three long lights away and one of them means waiting a few cycles before I get the green light.

A nap actually sounds good for today. I always think falling asleep to the sound of rain drops is the best nap of all.

“Quiet is here and all in me.

June 25, 2016

The weather is still perfect. The days are warm, even hot, and the nights chilly. Even upstairs, on the third floor, I need a light blanket at night. What a delight to feel chilly!

Yesterday was major errand day as I haven’t been out so I can keep an eye on Fern. Animal food was the priority then my food. I bought wonderful food: a cooked tenderloin, orzo salad, Caesar salad, barbecued shrimp, watermelon, kebobs, chicken salad, a Clark bar and honey wheat bread. I have a feast in my fridge.

Last night I was trying to find a movie to watch from On Demand. I told my remote to find science fiction movies. I went through all of them and read the information on the ones which interested me. Come to find out many of them had something in common. The destruction of the human race was a prime theme. Aliens seem hell bent on eliminating us. They want our planet or our water. Et was the last friendly alien.

Fern is doing better. This morning she woke me up by lying on my hip and purring in my ear. She waited around until I’d patted her several times. I have given her only one medication so far, three more to go. She caught on to the pill pockets so I have to be inventive. She can jump on my bed and on the couch where she is sleeping right beside Gracie.

My neighborhood is quiet except for the birds. It is as if only I exist here in my house. I haven’t even heard a car. It is a sense of aloneness. Out my window I can see the sun through the branches, the birds at the feeder and the leaves slightly blowing. The view is almost magical in its perfection.

I have the urge to cook. I keep saving recipes from magazines and newspapers. Usually I cook a dish for the first time and invite friends. I just hope for the best. I’m thinking I might do an international dinner. On the menu will be kelewele. I am so looking forward to Ghana when I can eat it every day.

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”

November 10, 2012

The day is pretty with sun and a blue sky. It’s also a bit chilly at 48˚.  A breeze is blowing. Not many leaves are left on the trees after the nor’easter. My lawn has disappeared again. I noticed tattered prayer flags from my backyard are hanging off one of the branches near the deck. They are the worse for wear.

Yesterday was dump day, movie day and get pet food day. Whew, it was a busy day. I’m still recovering.

My town where I grew up had a dump for things too big for the trucks. It was filled with piles of junk. I don’t ever remember my father going to the dump. We had curb-side trash pick-up, and my dad hauled out the barrels every week and hauled them back in when he got home from work. When we moved to the Cape, my dad had to go to the dump every week as there was no trash pick-up. He really liked his dump runs and tried to cajole one of us into going with him as if it were a treat, a stop for ice cream. The dump in those days was raucous from the sounds of the sea gulls flying all around the trash heaps. You could even see those heaps from the highway and the birds circling around them.

Dumps now are civilized with recycle and trash bins. No more seagulls. They have to look elsewhere for a tidbit. My father wouldn’t enjoy the dump at all. The excitement is gone.

The paper mentioned that movies are probably on their way out usurped by short attention spans and television. The films which make money usually have the shallowest depths. The article suggested that Gone with the Wind wouldn’t make it with today’s audiences: too long. I’d also add it has no “hilarious” drunken scenes, not a single vampire or slasher and no sex.

I am an anachronism, and I don’t care. Actually I’m rather proud of that!