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West Side Story Night:

Hello, everybody!    I figured that I’d make today’s essay about my big night last Thursday, once again seeing my all time favorite movie.     I  wrote this same essay on, gave Aziza her medicine, cleaned her cage, changed her veggies and water, covered her cage, and went to bed.  It was all worth it, even though I got home well past midnight.  

Back to the subject at hand;  Here goes my essay on my big night last Thursday:

I left Somerville slightly before two o’clock on Thursday afternoon,  so that the afternoon/evening rush-hour out of Boston wouldn’t hold me up.   Swinging west onto the Mass. Turnpike, I drove until I was way out of the Route 128 area, into very pretty greenery and scenery.  As always happens here in New England, in late April, things are beginning to look really green and lush, especially when one arrives in the Berkshires, which are at the far western part of the Bay State, and open out like a beautiful panorama of mountainous green.  Great scenery to behold!  This is definitely the time of year to really appreciate it, although I would never, ever want to set up and establish roots out in that part of the state for at least two reasons:  It’s too far out on the frontier for my liking, and the winters out there can be extremely long…and brutal, if one gets the drift.   Given our New England winters (and weather, generally), which are often quite hit-or-miss, it’s too unpredictable for me to want to deal with.  

When I finally got off the Mass. Turnpike, at the next to last exit before one hits Albany, NY, however,  I noticed that, since it does tend to be considerably cooler out in the other end of the Bay State, that the trees didn’t seem half as green or lush.  Oh, well…maybe a little later.  Pretty soon, I think.  

Movies: Stories as I Would’ve Written Them, If They’d Been Mine:

Hey, folks:

This is something that’s a little bit different from the usual Thursday Open Thoughts, in that I’m going to write about

what kind of events and what kind of an ending I would’ve put into a movie, or even a story if I’d been the one who’d written the story or the script for it.  Some people would think that my story would be a boring, shallow movie or book, but what do they really know?  Nothing, as far as I’m concerned,  except that they sense that I have a different style of posting, communicating and conversing,  take that and run with it.  

To deviate momentarily from what I’m going to write for this week’s Thursday’s Open Thoughts, these make for some of the most, if not the most hateful people that have ever walked Planet Earth, imho.  Some of these people are mental health councilors and social workers, actors and actresses, or  just ordinary, everyday run of the mill individuals, both on and/or offline.  To be honest, and I’ve even told some of these people what I’ve thought, it wouldn’t bother me if they were to get “:theirs”, as some people put it.  Hopefully, maybe someday, they will.  Some people that I’ve known in real life who are like that have “gotten theirs”.  Whether they’ve shaped up as a result, in some cases, really remains to be seen, but the fact that they’ve led miserable lives since should be suffice.  

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, it’s fun to pontificate about the kind of story and/or ending that one would want in a movie, or even a book, but this week’s Thursday’s Open Thoughts will be about a specific movie.  Here goes:

Open Thoughts: HItchhiking, Picking up Hitchhikers, and the Risks:

This week, I’m writing about something totally different;  Hitchhiking and its risks.  Chances are that many people will see me as too moral, a  dominatrix, too rigid, too conservative, and not willing to open up to new adventures, or to trying new things.  Hitchhiking was quite popular in the 1960’s and the 1970’s, and, if I said that I never hitchhiked on occasion myself, as a much younger adult back in the early to mid-1970’s, I’d be lying, because I did.  I still recall at least a couple of things that my grandfather told me, regarding hitchhiking;  one good, one rather awful;  during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, my grandparents used to not only pick up hitchhikers, but to also take them to breakfast, for coffee, or whatever.  However, in the mid to late 1960’s, the situation started to get bad, so my grandparents discontinued that practice altogether.  

The other story my grandfather told me was a horror story;  A guy he knew picked up a hitchhiker, who sat in the back seat of his car.  No sooner had the driver looked in his rear-view mirror, then he noticed that the hitchhiker that he’d picked up had a sledge-hammer, and was about to hit him over the head with it.  The driver quickly put his hand on his head for protection, the driver’s hand taking the blow from the sledge-hammer,  and being permanently deformed.   Had it been me, I would’ve undoubtedly chosen to do the same thing;  opt for a broken hand over a broken head or worse.  

Sure, most people are perfectly normal and honest, but there’s really no telling;  particularly nowadays, who may pick you up while you’re hitchhiking, or who the hitchhiker you pick up may be, or what s/he may be up to.  My mom always used to argue that while hitchhikers did sometimes harm or try to harm the driver who’d picked them up, it was mostly people who were picked up who ended up in the most danger.  Having done some research on the matter, I tend to think that, especially nowadays, that the risks that both hitchhikers and drivers who pick up hitchhikers, are pretty equal, imho.  

The Scoop on’s Warehouse Labor Policies-Beyond Shocking…and Disgraceful!

Hey, folks:

The following link is to a scathing article on the extremely archaic, brutal and inhumane conditions under which the workers at’s warehouses are regularly subject to, as well as being forced to work at an unattainable and unsustainable pace,  often with disastrous results.   This link might be of interest.  Read it and weep, gnash your teeth, or knock your socks off!  I decided right then and there, although I’d heard something about’s ultra-abusive labor policies, to stop buying things from Amazon unless or until they change their labor policies.…

Monday Night’s Screening of West Side Story at the Coolidge Corner Theatre:

  Monday Night’s screening of the film West Side Story at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre,

and Other Things:

Monday night was another big night for me;  The screening of the film West Side Story, at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre, as the final part of this year’s Big Screen Classic Film series that this particular theatre shows every year.  I was all agog over West Side Story, as usual, and was almost done cleaning Aziza’s cage, when a friend of mine called me to tell me that West Side Story was playing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre that night, at seven o’clock.   Our conversation, although brief, went something like this:

The phone rang, and recognizing the name and phone number that came up on my caller ID, I immediately answered it.  Our conversation, although brief, went something like this:

Me:  Hello!

“Chloe”:  Miki, it’s “Chloe.  

Me:  How’re you doing, Chloe?

“Chloe”:  I’m fine.   How’re you?  You know that West Side Story is playing tonight at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, at seven o’clock.

Me:  I sure do, Chloe!   I bought my ticket for this event back in March, and I’m really happy and excited about it!  I’ve just got to finish cleaning out Aziza’s cage, and then I’m going to get ready to go.

“Chloe”:  I also told “Sandy” about it.  She also knew.  Have a great time tonight!

Me:  I know i will,  “Chloe”!  Thanks for thinking of me, and calling.

“Chloe”:  You’re welcome.  Bye-bye.

Me:  Bye.  

West Side Story Event: the Big 50th-year Anniversary National Re-release

(cross-posted from

Greetings to everybody here on Docudharma!

As you know, last night was the big event that I’d been looking forward to;  the big 50th-year Anniversary national re-release of my all-time favorite film, West Side Story!   The event was a Fathom Events affair, and the film had been restored and reprinted in HD (High Definition).  I had bought tickets for me and a friend of mine, online through Fandango, printed them at home through my computer, put both printed-out tickets for the event safely in an envelope, labeled the envelope for the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) West Side Story event, and then tacked it on my make-shirt bulletin board, which consists of a folding wooden door that was originally going to be used for another storage closet some years ago, which never materialized, and still gets used as a bulletin board to this day.  

Shortly after 5:00 in the evening, as pre-arranged, my friend and I met downstairs in the lobby of our building, and drove over to the Regal Fenway 13 and RPX stadium movie Theatre.   The evening rush-hour traffic on the way over there, as usual, was horrible, especially at the overpass near the building where my friend and I both live, and the general vicinity of the Boston University Bridge (which is still undergoing re-construction, but is almost finished, thank Heavens), as well as in the general vicinity of the movie theatre, but, since we’d left in plenty of time to make the 7:00 show, we had lots of time, and there was no need for me to get uptight and worry about not making it in time for the event, as we drove and inched our way along with the other cars in the traffic.  I generally try to avoid driving during the morning and evening rush-hours in our area, because it gets so nasty at those hours around our neck of the woods, but if I absolutely have to, I make sure to allow lots of time, in case of a major, major delay, such as an accident, etc.

I made it with my car and ourselves (our egos intact), and managed to find a meter on the street  where the old Star Market (now Shaws), where I used to go shopping years ago when I was in college and lived within walking distance of the market.  I had brought lots of quarters for the meters, because like Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, the meters are now in affect until 8:00 p. m.  A rather stupid policy, imho, because town and city officials are clearly out to make more money, but what can I say.  I just  put 2 hours worth of quarters in the meter and then we walked around a bit, before going to the theatre.  We’d left Brickbottom shortly after five, and then timed it when we got there;  it had taken us roughly three-quarters of an hour to get there, thanks for the bungled-up horror show that passes for the evening rush-hour in our area.  Whew!  We made it!  

The Town; A Stupid, Overrated, Crappy Movie:

Hey, folks!  

Since I’m in a rambling mood, here’s hoping that you can tolerate another review of a film that is more like a feature-length made-for-TV, junky soap opera.  Sure, there are good and bad movies in every era and in every decade, but this decade has certainly taken the cake regarding really lousy movies.  Movies that give the message that it’s okay to steal, terrorize, kill, maim and, in general, put the lives and very safety of innocent bank employees and customers at risk in order to steal their money from them.  This movie also provides the message that it’s okay to be an accomplice to and abet an armed felon and wanted fugitive, enable him to elude the law, and to help make total dupes out of law enforcement people whose job it is to bring long-time thieves, thugs and killers to justice and put them behind bars, if and when necessary, for a period of time.  

This movie I’m referring to is Ben Affleck’s most recent movie, The Town, which is based on Chuck Hogan’s novel, Prince of Thieves, which I read and found far better than the film, although, in either case, I still admit that the whole idea of some girl from a middle class background, who’s a bank manager and makes good decent money falling in love with some guy that she met at a laundromat just days after being robbed and kidnapped (after being blindfolded) at gunpoint), who turned out to be the leader of the band of masked men with automatic weapons who robbed her bank and kidnapped her, really doesn’t sit well with me.  Just saying.

Anyway, here’s my somewhat venomous review of The Town;

A Funny Web Post:

Here it is:

Women’s ass size study: There is a new study about women and how they feel about their asses, the results were pretty interesting. 30% of women think their ass is too fat, 10% of women think their ass is too skinny, the remaining 60% say they don’t care, they love him, he is a good man, and wouldn’t trade him for the world… If you’re laughing, re-post this somewhere and make someone else laugh

Here’s hoping that everybody will get afew laughs from it.  

My Commentary on “The Town”:

I’m pretty much a lonely voice in the wilderness here, as I feel differently about The Town than many, if not most people do. For starters, I read Chuck Hogan’s novel, Prince of Thieves, on which The Town was based, and I liked the book far better than the movie, which seemed like an extended made-for-TV and very cartoon-like film.

The Town had the potential for being a good, wholesome film, or even one of the all-time greats regarding movies, but fell woefully short of that potential for the following reasons:

A) The scenes in the North End and Fenway Park were grossly overblown, with too much exploding on the screen, and the most unrealistic-looking car chases and car crashes and shoot-outs. Nobody could realistically survive those car crashes and shoot-outs.

B) The fact that Ben Affleck and his assistant producer(s) wanted to cut the film down from four hours is totally understandable, but too much slip-shod, slap-happy editing was done, cutting too much out of the film and leaving too many unconnected dots, which, had they been connected, might’ve made this film more credible.

C) The Boston accents, particularly on the part of Ben Affleck, were extremely overdone.

D) The characters, overall, were paper-thin, and the chemistry between Affleck and Hall, was paltry, at best, and rather forced.

E) The scene where Doug and Jem break into a housing project apartment where a couple of punks who’d thrown bottles at Claire as she was walking through the housing project to work resided, beat up and permanently crippled both of them, was not in the book, and it was an unnecessary scene, to boot. Roughing the two punks up a little bit would’ve been understandable, maybe, but Doug and Jem went too far when they permanently crippled them both, and then ordered them to “get out of Charlestown.”

F) The ending of the movie, was rather saccharine..and phony, to boot. It would’ve been better if the ending had been different; Doug being caught and sent to prison, where he belonged, and Claire being criminally prosecuted, or put on some sort of probation herself for having abetted Doug and helped him get away.

I also might add that I’m somewhat bothered by the message that The Town seems to send; that it’s OK to rob banks and armored cars, terrorize and endanger the lives and safety of innocent bank employees and customers at gunpoint, to abet these kinds of actions and behaviors, and to make total dupes of law enforcement officials who are trying their best to do what they’ve been assigned to do; bring guys like Doug MacRay and his men to justice.

I also might add that the movie could’ve done with far less of the Doug/Claire romance, and further developed the characters and the bank heists. Too much emphasis was placed on the Doug/Claire romance, and not enough on the heists. I liked the beginning of the film and the first heist, but after that, it began to rapidly go downhill for me.

One is supposed to sympathize with and root for Doug because he managed to get away, and for Claire for having abetted Doug and helped him escape justice in this film, but I feel that I really cannot do so. Imo, Claire should’ve been more on her guard and not readily accepted a date from a perfect stranger, especially after being traumatized enough by the robbery and abduction to quit her job as a bank manager.

Claire was also wrong to continue to have contact with Doug and to abet him in his crimes even after learning the truth about him, and after the Feds learned of the Doug/Claire relationship through a recorded phone conversation between them, and for keeping the duffel bag full of stolen money that Doug left for her, instead of turning it into the police, at least anonymously. My opinion of The Town was formed after watching it several times-a couple of times in the theatres, and then afew more times, on DVD.

The idea of a professional armed robber who’s also a wanted fugitive falling in love with, and defending a poor, scared, vulnerable female bank manager that he and his men robbed at gunpoint and then took as a hostage, from thugs who threw bottles at her is highly, highly implausible to me. That would never, ever happen in real life. I know the film is fiction, but come on…there’s got to be some reality in there, which seemed to be totally lacking in this film.

Questions for Everybody:

Back when I first began posting here and on the other soapblox blogs, I posted a very long, pro-Gun Control essay, that got many different answers, some controversial, some agreeing with me, and others disagreeing with me, either calmly or not so calmly.  

Reading and hearing about the death of the little girl in the midwest at the hands of her grandmother, Casey,  and the fact that her grandmother got off scott-free was rather unnerving to hear about, even though I don’t live close, because it’s a gross miscarriage of justice, especially since another trial will not be granted.  

The article has also caused something else to come to my mind recently:  Does anybody remember Bernhardt Goetz, the  mid-1980’s “NYC Subway Vigilante”?  Although I never lived in New York, which was in the middle of a really intense crime wave at the time when the incident took place, there were different opinions about what Bernhardt Goetz did on that late December afternoon,  after boarding a subway train in Manhattan near where he lived, at the time.  Ronald Reagan had just been re-elected for his second term by an overwhelming landslide, and that, I think, coupled with NYC’s crime wave at the time, really helped bring things in New York, and elsewhere in the United States  to a boil.  

The (new) Broadway Stage Revival of West Side Story; My Take on it:

The Broadway stage revival of West Side Story that my sister in law, my niece and I saw this afternoon was enjoyable, but, being a devout fan of the film version of WSS who’s also seen several really good stage productions of West Side Story prior to seeing this one, there were some stuff that bothered me about this particular revival of West Side Story:

A)  The finger-snapping and the Jet gang whistles, which, imho, were a rather vital part of the story in the stage production and the film version, were taken out of this revival of WSS altogether.  It’s a shame, because it’s sort of messing with a classic.

B)  It’s all very well to have the Sharks speaking in Spanish, which is an interesting idea on the face of it, but this, too, is another example of messing with a classic, plus I admittedly felt kind of lost whenever the Spanish dialogue came on.

C)  Having seen a number of other stage productions of West Side Story, I also felt that, while the dancing was good, and some of the voices were good,  I have never seen a production of WSS that sort of screamed at you pretty much the whole time, and that was so overly emoted by the various characters.   Inotherwords, this particular production was somewhat bombastic for my tastes. Moreover,  Tony’s voice sounded very artificial, with very slow, wide vibratos that one could practically skip-rope through (if one gets the drift), plus it sounded really forced in many places.

D)  The basic musical score was retained, and it was interestingly, a somewhat more jazzed up flavor, but it did sound somewhat shrill and tinny in many places.

E)  In both the film version of West Side Story and the several other stage productions of WSS that I’ve seen prior to this particular production, several Jets and Sharks come together to carry Tony’s body off after he’s been shot, providing a hint of and possibility of reconciliation between both sides.  Unfortunately, this production of West Side Story lacked that scene, which was sort of a downer.  

Cellphone Use and Texting in Movie Theatres–Possible Consequences.

This week, I’m going to write about something completely different than what I’ve written about in previous Thursday Open Thoughts Threads here on firefly-dreaming, but it’s something that affects pretty much every moviegoer (myself included) who’d much rather view movies on a great big, wide screen, in a real movie theatre, with the lights down low, among other people, whether one knows them or not;  cellphone use and texting.  This is a practice that, whether or not the offender’s cellphone is on “silent” or vibration, is offensive and distracting to other nearby movie theatre goers, because the light on the cellphone, although it’s quite small, is also quite bright, and somewhat blinding and distracting.  

Although this problem is especially acute in the great big multiplex  cinemas that dot the highways and byways of the United States, it seems to be considerably less of a problem in the movie theatres that show better-quality movies.  This is not to say that people don’t ever text or use their cellphones in these particular movie theatres, but, from my own personal experience with texters/cellphone users in such theatres,  just politely and matter-of-factly asking the offending person to please stop is enough to produce results.  Yet, I’ve also read/heard of other, nastier results in the multiplex, antiseptic-looking cinemas that show junkier movies, where parents either drop their kids off when they can’t find a sitter, or want to get the kids our of their hair for awhile, or where people, including the offenders just simply don’t care.  One woman I read/heard about who attended a movie in one of these multiplex theatres and asked a person to stop texting and using their cellphone not only got a huge bucket of popcorn dumped on her head, but also woke up in a hospital emergency room!  Another person I read about was actually shot in a movie theatre for speaking up against an offending cellphone user/ texting individual.  As it turned out, however, both of the people involved in this particular altercation knew each other, and had an ongoing vendetta between them.

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