Tag Archives: friendship

Total eclipse of the sun

My favorite subject in college had nothing to do with my communications major.

I took Astronomy 101 and 102 to avoid the chemistry sequence that my BS degree required. I will always be grateful to the University of Kentucky for this ‘broadening of my horizons,’ because it introduced me to Professor Thomas Troland.

Dr. Troland was one of the best teachers I have ever had. His sense of humor made his classes zip by, and made me a true fan of astronomy, a subject I had little knowledge of prior to college.

If you are interested in the upcoming total eclipse of the sun, I encourage you to give a look-see to this UK news story featuring Dr. Troland, who I am proud to say is a good friend to this day.

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Just one

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Clover and over

Are you feeling the luck o’ the Irish today?

Honestly, my day didn’t start that way. So I went in search of it on the great Google machine!

Here are my Five Favorite Shamrock-Inspired Creations, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

shamrock buddy

A Shamrock Buddy — for luck and friendship

shamrock mustache

Shamrock ‘Stache — for avoiding the folks whose friendship you do not seek

shamrock pretzel bites

Shamrock Pretzel Bites — Irish food kinda blows, so try this American delicacy

shamrock beads

Shamrock Beads — ’cause sometimes ya gotta make your own luck from odds ‘n’ ends around the house

shamrock ring

Shamrock Ring — when friendship takes an unexpected turn (and pipe cleaners say it best)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wasted on the young

After my friend Kathy saw the Broadway play This Is Our Youth a few weeks ago, she quipped on Facebook:

Well, this isn’t my youth.

After seeing the show myself yesterday, I agree and disagree.

The pre-show literature had warned of some drug use in the show, which centers on 24 hours in the lives of three privileged kids on New York’s Upper West Side in the early 80’s. What it should have said is it’s about drug use. And drug dealing. And stealing for drugs. And selling your possessions for drugs.

Not my youth at all.

But the friendships and budding (and then dying) romance between the characters is very familiar and well-acted by the cast, which includes Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and newcomer Tavi Gevinson.

They may have been fumbling around onstage in a fake stoner haze, but I’m not sure I was anymore self-assured as a clear-headed teenager back in the 80s.

That was my youth.

When Wallace Met Chandry

It’s no accident that the movie poster for What If places good friends Wallace and Chandry at a diner.

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The film is clearly trying to be the When Harry Met Sally for this generation…and does a decent job.

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are quirky and appealing, their friendship believable,  their banter quick and smart.

She has a boyfriend (who made me laugh), and Daniel has emotional baggage — plus best friend Adam Driver of Girls who has huge energy…and is huge standing next to Daniel (which is pretty funny right there).

This is a rom-com, so there are misunderstandings, yearning, romantic postcards (in this day and age), implusive international flights, fist fights, and at least two weddings — babies, too.

What if that stuff still worked in films?

You know — it kinda does.

What is a friend?

Dear Betsy Thomas:

I have been a fan of your sitcom “My Boys”  since it debuted four years ago on TBS.  I loved the concept — a comedy centered around a female character and her gang of predominantly male friends.  I’ve always had a lot of guy friends, so it rang true to me.

PJ, the female sportswriter at the middle of it all, has girlfriends, too — Stephanie is the one we most often see on the show  — but her male poker buds are the constants in her life.  Back in my Hallmark days, we called this a ‘chosen family’…and that’s exactly what they are.

I knew the show was on iffy ground this season just from reading the celebrity rags.  Jordana Spiro (PJ) has been tapped to star in a mid-season replacement sitcom on NBC, and the oh-so-funny Jim Gaffigan, who plays PJ’s brother Andy, has been written out of the show. (Whose idea was that?)  I’m not even sure “My Boys” has a deal with TBS beyond this year.

BUT STILL…

Did you have to turn this season into a big ol’ session of couples therapy?  For that matter, did you have to turn ’em into couples?

When the show began, all their banter was trivia at its best — poker, dating, petty work annoyances, and random silliness.  It was funny.   This year, they’ve been mired down in discussions about the future, financial planning and doing good for our fellow man.

Even the actors look bored.

Plus, this group of ‘good friends’ started inbreeding at the end of last season!  Now PJ and Bobby and Stephanie and Kenny have coupled up.  They didn’t look that comfortable with the arrangement, either.  And in the season finale on Sunday night, Mike, the lonest wolf of the bunch, suddenly married a woman he has dated a month because “we’re old.”

Who are these people?

If this is indeed the last season of the show, do you really want to leave this group of friends like this? Everyone oddly coupled up and settled…in this unsettled way?

Was that ever what “My Boys” was about?

I don’t think so.  In fact, I think you lost your way.  And they deserved a whole lot better.

Friends o’ mine

A friend on Twitter — who am I kidding; she’s a sitcom writer that I follow — tweeted one night that she couldn’t sleep.  Instead, she was writing down the names of movie characters that she wished were real so that they could be her friends.

(That’s the kind of thing TV writers do.  It no doubt spawns great ideas for story lines the next day.)

So, I started thinking — what characters from fiction do I wish were real?  And immediately, my favorite book of all time popped into my head:

A Prayer for Owen Meany

I have never loved a book more.  I have read and re-read it and discovered something new each time.  It’s the book I would choose — if forced to choose just one — and Owen is the reason why.

Owen is real to me.  I can hear his damaged voice.  I can see his small, misshapen body.  I can feel his isolation from his frightened family and the immense guilt he carries every day after the freakish accident that kills his best friend’s mother.

I first read A Prayer for Owen Meany at a time when I desperately needed to believe that things in life happen for a reason.  Owen helped me not only to believe, but to accept the very hardest things — things I wasn’t sure at the time that I could survive.

I may not need Owen as much today, but I still want him around.  He’s one of my best friends.

Okay, back to Twitter.  Need to see what my pseudo-friend is yapping about today.