Saturday, December 31, 2011
We get to meet Sherlock's primary nemesis, Professor Moriarty, in this one. He was only "hinted" at in the first film, and Jared Harris portrayed a sublimely nefarious villain. And we get to meet Sherlock's brother, Mycroft, as well...wonderfully played by Stephen Fry. Although, why we had to be subjected to a lengthy view of Mycroft's naked bottom is a mystery to me. Not that I'm opposed to the occasional gratuitous naked bottom, you understand...it's just that there are others I'd rather see.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Overall, I have to say that I really liked the movie. (I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.) Beautiful scenery, epic battle scenes, magnificent horses... makes me wonder how many different ones they used to portray Joey and Topthorn.
Had a late lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market afterward. All in all, a pretty good day.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I don't think so.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Kind of makes you long for the good old days, doesn't it? You know, when one's every humiliation wasn't captured and posted across the Internet for all the world to see.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
After 225 days away from their homes and loved ones, that was initially planned as a 7-week multi-national exercise at sea, the sailors aboard the HMS Ocean have released a Christmas DVD to celebrate their return to the United Kingdom. The DVD features the ship's crew singing the Mariah Carey holiday hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You," released by the Grammy Award winning singer on her 1994 album "Merry Christmas."
Carey was so thrilled by the video, which has been seen on Good Morning America, that she tweeted a message to the Royal Navy that said: “This is the best thing I've ever seen, you guys just made my day! Happy Happy Christmas!!! x0x0 to the troops.”
I just watched it and it really brightened my evening. Good job, you!!! And welcome home.
The video was posted on YouTube by twosix.tv in case you want to check for it there.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
So, I went to my new doctor this week. Those of you who know me well, know that I have an acute "aversion" to doctors, but to the doctor I did go nonetheless. Basically, after my little "episode" in early October, I realized I needed to find a doctor I could trust and establish a rapport. So, I did, and I believe I have found a good one. My initial reaction anyway is, I like her a lot.
Here is what I learned from the visit: I have lost a total of (at least) 35 pounds since July 3rd, but perhaps the most perplexing discovery is that I have lost 2 1/2 inches in HEIGHT. (Not since July 3rd, mind you...not sure how long this has been going on.) I used to be 5' 4 1/2" and now I'm 5' 2". Now, when one is already short and fat, the very LAST thing one wants to do is...get SHORTER. Just sayin'.
The doctor also ran a series of blood tests, that involved drawing SEVEN...I counted them...vials of blood. Test results came in yesterday. No pre-diabetes, no anemia, thyroid is okay. In fact, everything looks good except my cholesterol, which is a little high, but she is going to give me three months to see if I can lower it a bit through my diet. She also took a gander at all the tests that were run at Jewish Hospital that memorable day, and they were all okie-dokie-fine as well.
So, the long and the short of it is, after - literally - thousands of dollars of tests, no one knows what caused my "episode." But at least I have the "peace of mind" of knowing that, for a woman of my advanced years and stature - overall - I am considered to be pretty healthy...a medical anomaly which I am sure positively BAFFLES the medical professionals when they get a look at me.
Of course, all this being said, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow...
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
See what I mean? It's enough to make me rethink EVER shopping again at Target for the rest of my life.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I guess the groundhog that ran out in front of her, thereby, causing her to wreck, was of the same inclination. You know, get out and enjoy the day and wreak a little havoc before beginning hibernation.
This is Julie when she was about two years old. These are, perhaps, my favorite pictures of her growing up. I am so grateful she posted them on her Facebook page.
Now that Julie is all "grown up," she prefers to be called "Julia," and the following photos were taken three days after the accident, then a week or so later (respectively). My sister-in-law, Marge, has been taking care of her. She said, especially in the beginning, it was like taking care of a baby all over again because she had to do "everything" for Julie.
Bless her heart.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Now, what was I doing in the hospital, you may well ask. That little melodrama started to unfold in my office late Tuesday morning as I was sitting at my desk, working on a document for a meeting later in the week. I should warn you now that this is going to be a rather lengthy tale, so proceed at your own risk.
Anyway, I was working at my desk when, all of a sudden, and I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks, I felt extremely sleepy and found that I could not focus on the task at hand. I felt disoriented, not dizzy or anything like that, but I was enveloped with this overwhelming sense of need to sleep. I got up from my desk and walked around the office a bit, went to the restroom, got something cold to drink, hoping these activities might suffice to shake off this sudden bout of lethargy. It didn't.
Eventually, I decided to go out to my car...not to drive anywhere. I just wanted to sit back and close my eyes for a few minutes. No one saw me leave the office; everyone was either in a meeting or away from their desk as I passed by, so I couldn't tell anyone what was going on. So, I got in my car, reclined the seat a little, leaned back, and closed my eyes to relax for five or ten minutes...right?
Well, half an hour or so later, I was awakened by someone knocking on my window. It was Casey and Angie...two of my co-workers. They had been looking for me. Actually, they thought I had left for lunch, but Casey saw my car outside and came to investigate by herself. She had evidently tapped on the window, but when that failed to rouse me, she went in search of reinforcements; i.e., Angie. Again, their initial attempts to waken me failed, until Angie really pounded on the window, and that did the trick. I remember jerking awake and opening the door and hearing Angie remark that I hadn't even cracked the window open for ventilation. Obviously, I had not been thinking clearly.
For the next two or three hours, I would rally a bit and then grow lethargic again. They tell me that I would be talking to them, then simply fall asleep in mid-sentence. But even in my "haze," I was able to answer questions correctly and locate things...like my insurance card...in my purse for them. I was adamant that I didn't want them to call 9-1-1, but by this time, Mary (another co-worker) had become involved. She later told me that she had been sitting in the chair across from my desk, and had asked me point blank what I wanted to do. My answer: I wanted to go home, climb into my bed and "hug" my pillow. (I'm truly surprised - and thankful- that I didn't say I wanted to hug "Bobby" because - in my mind - when I'm hugging that pillow, I'm hugging Bobby.) LOL
Anyway, about this time, Angie confiscated my cell phone and called my brothers to alert them to the situation, and the decision was pretty much taken out of my hands at that point. Brother Tom told them to call EMS and let them evaluate me to determine if I needed to go to the emergency room. Brother Harold and sis-in-law, Patty, had just arrived at the Isle of Palms near Charleston, SC to begin their month long vacation at the beach and were ready to come back if needed.
I don't remember ever actually "seeing" the EMS personnel who took care of me, but I do recall assuring them that I could walk out on my own steam. Angie tells me that they had me down the hall and out the door lickity-split, which is amazing considering how I limp a bit because of my left knee, but I was feeling no pain. I was not able to climb up into the ambulance, however, so they strapped me onto a gurney and lifted me in. Poor fellas. I know they were not looking forward to hoisting the big, fat girl into the vehicle, but they did it...God bless 'em.
I don't know how long it took them to make their assessment, but I do remember the young man asking me to which hospital I wanted to be taken, and I told them Jewish Hospital. (That is where I had my gall bladder removed in 2007 and they treated me well, so that is where I wished to be taken this time, too.) Evidently, all the office folks had gone back inside the building with the understanding that one of the EMTs was going to let them know if they were going to take me to the hospital, but the next thing they knew, the emergency dudes had closed the ambulance doors and started driving up the street, with Marsha (administrative assistant) running after them to find out where they were taking me.
The next thing I remember was waking up in the emergency room. Of course, the first thing they did was get me dressed in that most fashionable of garments: the hospital gown. Over the course of the next two or three hours, they drew some blood, took my blood pressure (frequently), had me pee in a cup, fitted me with a heart monitor, took an EKG, and then I got to have my very first ever Cat Scan.
By this time, Mary (from the office) and my niece, Cheri, had arrived to be with me. Luckily, Mary was able to fill them in on some of the details that eluded me since pretty much all I could tell them was that I had been sleepy and disoriented. Then my friend, Ralph, showed up. He had just finished with a meeting in Columbus when he got the call from Tom, telling him what was going on with me, so instead of heading southeast to Ironton, he drove down I-71 to Cincinnati to check on me.
Eventually, a doctor dropped by to tell me the results of my blood work...which was okay...and the CT Scan...also okay. There was no bleeding in my brain, etc., nothing that indicated I had suffered a stroke, which - I assume - was their primary concern. By this time, I was pretty much back to "normal," and was anxious to go home, but a nurse showed up about that time and, in this accusatory tone, said, "You didn't tell us you were slurring your speech." To which I replied, "I didn't tell them that because I had no memory of slurring my speech."
The long and the short of that conversation was, they decided I needed an MRI and needed to admit me to the hospital. Oh, goodie.
Now, I don't like people to make a fuss over me and I positively hate being the center of attention, so about this time, I start telling everyone they should go home; there is no need to hang around. Don't get me wrong, I was fully appreciative of everyone's concern and the fact they had given up their time to sit with me in the emergency room, which in and of itself can be a tediously arduous ordeal. Anyway, Mary and Cheri left, but Ralph said he was going to stay until I got situated in my room. Evidently, Cheri called her dad (my brother, Harold) and told him I was okay because I was telling everyone to go home. (Ralph later told my bother, Tom, the exact same thing when he called him with an update when he was leaving the hospital.) Like I said, I don't want people fussing over me, and I don't want to be a bother or a burden to anyone.
So, after the hospital staff got me settled in my room, and Ralph was sufficiently reassured that I was not going to expire anytime soon and I shooed him toward home, one of the more positive things that happened during my brief hospital sojourn occurred next. They weighed me.
Now, usually, I avoid scales like the plague, but there was no getting out of it this time, so I begrudgingly stepped onto that horrid mechanism of measurement that has haunted me throughout my entire life. As far as I can remember, the last time I allowed myself to be weighed was when I had gall bladder surgery in February 2007. I know what I weighed then, and I am completely certain that I had tacked on quite a few pounds over the past four years. So, when I stepped onto the scale and it registered my current weight, I am pretty sure the aide was a little taken aback by my elated response; I smiled and told her, "I know that is bad, but it is so much better than the last time I was weighed." According to the scales, since I started the low-carb diet on July 3rd, I have lost "at least" twenty-five pounds. (I know what you're thinking, and, yes, I told the nurses who cared for me and the two doctors who saw me during my "incarceration" that I had been on a low-carb diet for three months - in the event the diet could have contributed to my "condition," - and nary a word was said about discontinuing my dieting regimen.)
My apologies; I realize this is turning into a veritable "tome," but a lot of stuff happened in a relatively short amount of time, and I want to get it "recorded" somewhere in case I ever need to refer back to it for some reason.
Next on the agenda that evening was the dreaded MRI. I have always said I would never be able to endure that test; i.e., being shoved inside a tube, completely at the mercy of a technician in another room for freedom should I panic. But I was determined to give it the old college try. So, a very nice orderly (do they still call them orderlies) wheeled me down to the MRI room. The technician, Robin, asked me what kind of music I liked, and I requested Josh Groban because he has the most soothing/relaxing voice...even if I don't understand what he is singing most of the time. Yes, if anyone could help get me through this forthcoming ordeal, it was most assuredly Josh.
I gave the machine a long, pensive look as I mentally prepared myself for the inevitable. The technician helped me get situated on the table/bed, put the headsets on, and gave me the "panic" button to push in the event I - you know - panicked. At this point, I was thinking I was going to be okay, and then the technician did something totally unexpected. She pulled a cage-like mask that they call a "halo," but what I irreverently dubbed a Hannibal Lecter mask, across my face and fastened it down. Once I heard that "click," that was all she wrote, and I "freaked-out" and told Robin I was not going to be able to do it.
So, back to my room they did take me, and the next morning - after the nurse had administered a shot of something to help me "relax," - we tried it again. This time, I was able to make it through the MRI...Hannibal Lecter mask and all. After I completed the MRI, they took me off for two more tests; i.e., an echocardiogram and a carotid artery ultrasound. After that, a nice, young orderly wheeled me back to my room and left me there to wait...and wait...and wait some more.
Sometime that afternoon, my nurse - Taryn - came in to check on me, and she happened to casually mention that they were going to start me on a cholesterol medication that night. Now, I have a younger friend who had a stroke recently and part of the regimen they started him on afterwards was a cholesterol medication. So, with that knowledge and from the nurse's comments, I "inferred" a couple of things. One, they planned to keep me another night, which seemed absurd to me because I felt GREAT! And, two, I must have had a mini-stroke...hence the new meds.
The problem was...no one had bothered to stop by my room and tell me anything. By this time, I was starting to grow a bit..."cranky." Harold called about this time to check on me, and I told him I was not giving them another drop of blood, or taking another pill, or submitting to another test until someone told me something. Later, when I said something to the nurse about going home, she asked me why I thought I was going to be released that day, and I told her because I was feeling fine and I had not seen a doctor yet that day to tell me otherwise. I mean, I was ready to check myself out...almost, but I did want to know the test results, so I continued to sit and simmer and...wait. Imagine that...having to wait for a doctor.
Around 4:00p.m., the doctor showed up...with the following news: the MRI was negative except for some inflammation around my sinus cavities - try living in Cincinnati and not have problems with your sinuses - (there was no indication of a stroke), the carotid artery test was negative (everything was clear there), they did not have the results back on the echocardiogram yet, but evidently the EKG was okay and I had been hooked up to a heart monitor for the duration, so the doctor left it that he would call me if a problem showed up on the echo. (So far, so good - no follow-up calls.) And, most importantly, I was free to go home.
I was back at work bright and early on Thursday morning, feeling fit as a fiddle.
Bottom line...after running thousands of dollars worth of tests...they were not able to determine what caused my little "episode" at work. Their best "guess" was that perhaps I have sleep apnea, and they suggested I might want to participate in a sleep study at some point in the near future. Yeah, right. I don't like strangers looking at me when I'm awake. Do you really
Sunday, September 11, 2011
For the past week or more, a host of TV channels have been running myriad reminders of that awful, awful day...to the point that I have grown an almost unnatural aversion to any mention of today's anniversary. That is not to say that I have turned a cold heart toward remembrances of the events of that day; it's rather more like sensory overload. I don't need visual reminders of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, or watch those towering structures tumble to the ground like so much kindling, or see people jump/fall to their deaths...I see those images whenever I close my eyes and think upon that day.
But there is another poignant image that comes to my mind whenever I remember September 11, 2001, one that I did not mention in my post of three years ago, but one that I have never forgotten...nor am I likely to. During the days immediately following the attacks, like most people, I found myself glued to the television, watching... devouring...every tidbit of "breaking" news surrounding the events of that day. As one of the news shows was signing off for the evening; either NBC or ABC, they played the following video of Americans Outside Buckingham Palace...
This video was uploaded to YouTube by Mikehooperz, and he posted the following narrative: "The day after 9/11. Stranded Americans congregate outside Buckingham Palace in London, England. They can't go home because a no-fly order is in operation. The Queen orders the Guards to play the Star Spangled Banner as a sign of the UK's sympathy for the USA. Even Prince Andrew can be seen stood to attention. An astonishing departure from tradition, Brits are also moved to tears when this clip is televised."
Well, make no mistake, Brits were not the only ones who were moved to tears by this clip. I recall quite clearly my reaction when I first watched this profoundly moving and touching gesture, and again yesterday when I tracked down this video to include with this post...uncontrollable weeping and sobbing. I don't know, I suppose it was in some small way comforting to know that a country "steeped in tradition" and known for keeping a "stiff upper lip" could break with convention for a few moments in deference to their "chums" across the pond, who were suffering the effects of a hellish maelstrom that would forever change them...and the world.
Good job, you!!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I apologize ahead of time for the lack of new material utilized in the greeting card below; I have not screen capped many (if any) photos from Season 10. Mainly because my screen capping software has developed an aversion to capturing shots from downloaded video material, and partly because the passion has waned a bit. Not my "passion" for Bobby, I assure you...just the tedium of the overall capping process itself.
I likewise need to apologize for the fact that many of the photos are not "technically" of Detective Goren, but I like them, so I used them. And I do believe I need to give "credit" t0 Ruby for the next to last photo in the album; she saw VDO in Utah earlier this spring/summer, and this was posted -- pretty much -- everywhere. If Ruby happens to see this and wishes me to remove it, I shall gladly do so. Meanwhile, enjoy my small tribute to Bobby. I wonder what case he and Eames are solving now.
|This free slideshow design made with Smilebox|
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Anyway, the only reason I decided to try dieting "one last time" is because of my knees...I've simply got to get some weight off of my knees. Then there are other potential health issues that are no doubt "looming" in the background, waiting to attack. The way I see it, I'm about one bacon-cheeseburger away from a heart attack or stroke, or one giant chocolate chip cookie away from testing positive for Diabetes; it runs in my family. But the main reason is my knees. I read somewhere that every pound a person loses translates into four pounds of pressure/stress off of the joints. I could get on board with that. Besides, it's just me...I'm all I've got here in Cincinnati, and I have to be able to take care of myself, and that is getting harder to do the older I get.
Anyway, I've been on this diet for five weeks now. I did not weigh myself before I started because...well, I don't own scales; I find them depressing. If I had scales, I would be weighing myself everyday...if not two or three times a day...and then be disappointed when I didn't drop a bunch of pounds overnight. (Not realistic, I know, but like I said, I've done this diet-thing once or twice now.) Then I would get discouraged, and it would be right back to the bacon cheeseburger and giant chocolate chip cookie. I decided to let my clothes be my gauge, or - better yet - when someone noticed I had dropped a few pounds and made a comment about it, then I would know.
I suppose I should mention that I told no one that I was starting a diet. I guess after years of trying and losing and gaining, and trying and losing and gaining some more influenced my decision. Of course, a couple of people have found out...mainly because they noticed I'm not pigging out on the leftover Danish and donuts in the break room, or that I'm ordering differently when we go out to lunch together. Like I said, if someone happens to notice I've dropped a few pounds and mentions it...that will be my reward.
So, here we are...five weeks later. I know I've lost weight; I can "feel" it. My clothes fit loser, parts of me don't "jiggle" quite as much as they did before. My knees still hurt, but I have noticed a slight improvement, and I am walking "better." But no one has said a word...no one has noticed...until today.
This afternoon, due to a minor mishap in the shower yesterday morning; i.e., I bent over to pick up the wash cloth I had dropped and threw out my lower back...AGAIN...for the upteenth time in the past 35 years, I had to schedule a trip to the chiropractor. Now, my chiropractor also happens to be my landlord who I have rented from since moving to Cincinnati 14 years ago. I had not seen her since May, so I figured this would be the "test" to see if I really am losing weight, or if it is merely wishful thinking on my part.
So, I am lying prostrate on one of the adjustment tables and Joyce lifts my sweater and adjusts the waistband on my jeans to "get at" the afflicted area. We're chitchatting amicably about this and that when all of a sudden, she says, "Have you lost weight? Because you sure look like you have." I tell ya, I could have kissed her, I was so overjoyed.
And the best part is, she commented on my weight loss "after" getting a good look at my big ol' butt, which - evidently - isn't quite as big as it used to be.
I can stop obsessing about that "first" comment and get back to focusing on losing more weight. Now, if I could only figure out a way to make the "food dreams" go away; I have one almost every night. And I have an uneasy feeling that all the food I "eat" in the midst of those ravenous dreams has an evil way of winding up as extra pounds on my thighs.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Here is how it came about.
A week ago Saturday, I was returning from a trip to a local farmer's market when my downstairs neighbor, Julius, met me as I was falteringly making my way up the front steps. (I have crotchety knees and a cranky lower back, making it a "struggle" for me to walk in the "normal" way...and it shows.) Anyway, Julius offered to carry my parcel up to my apartment for me, commenting that he knows how "unfortunate" I am.
Now, Julius is from Hungary originally, so his English - while quite good -- still leaves a bit to be desired. In fact, when he speaks, his "accent" reminds me of Wolfgang Puck. So, to my way of thinking, perhaps...unfortunate...was not the precise word for which he was searching, but that is the word he latched onto and thus I am labeled...unfortunate.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Another fact I suppose I should share, since it does factor into the dream, is that I have been on the Atkins Diet for three weeks now. Three weeks without a slice of bread, a bite of potato, pasta, or rice, and not so much as a "taste" of sugar; i.e., no cookies, cake, ice cream, or pie. Actually, it hasn't been that bad. I have had no serious cravings, do not feel deprived, and do believe I have lost a few pounds. The thing is, I have to plan my meals and do some "actual" cooking. Oh, well. Life is full of trade offs.
Back to the dream. I was sitting at my desk in my former office when the she-devil bitch walks in and plumps down a plate containing a "huge" slice of cake. (I cannot be sure, but I believe it was Italian Cream Cake...one of my favorites.) So, here in a single dream I am faced with two of the "scourges" of my life...my former boss and FOOD!
Hmm? For once, a no-brainer; I don't need Freud to interpret this one.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Ethan is the great-grandson of my oldest brother, or would have been had Leland not passed away in 1998. This is the post I did about that. (I just re-read it and got all teary-eyed emotional.) How he would have "LOVED" to be around to see this child born.
As for me...well, I'm happy enough, I suppose. The fact that Ethan is my great, "great" nephew does somehow cast a pall on the occasion, however. I tell ya, this growing old thing is for the birds.
So, welcome, Baby Ethan. Give 'em hell...before they give it to you!!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The problem is, my eyes -- like the rest of me -- are old and tired and worn out, and they don't "read" so well anymore, so I thought, "what the heck." I'm an electronic gizmo junkie anyway, and most of my friends were surprised I didn't have one already. So, I bit the bullet, bought the Kindle, and I'm so glad I did.
I read...maybe...two books in all of 2010, and I've already read six books since the first of May, including "Treasure Island," a novel I had never read...never really had an interest in reading, sad to say. But I have discovered that a great many of the classics; i.e., Dickens, Austen, Dumas, Bronte, etc., are available for download at no cost, so my Kindle is "fully" stocked with a rather eclectic reading list...and all at my fingertips. I'm loving it!
Now, back to the reason that prompted this post. I just started reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett; I became interested in it when I saw the trailer for the movie last week. In case you are not familiar with the book, it is about a young white woman in early 1960s Mississippi who becomes interested in the circumstances of several black ladies' maids, and she relates their stories of mistreatment and abuse and heartbreak endured while working in the homes of their white employers. The movie looks interesting, and I recognized Viola Davis (remember her from "Badge?") so off to Amazon.com I did go, and "bippity boppity boo" I downloaded it to my Kindle. It's like magic.
After all that roundaboutation -- sorry -- here is the quote from Aibileen, played by Viola Davis, that caught my eye and made me laugh. Aibileen is in the kitchen of her employer, Miss Leefolt, on her hands and knees cleaning the oven, trying to avoid a conversation with said Miss Leefolt. In fact, in her zeal to elude her proprietress, she relates through narration that, "Pretty soon my head's so far in that oven I look like I'm trying to gas myself." Aibileen remains on her hands and knees and continues to describe what it's like cleaning that oven, and eventually says, "Got to be the worst place in the world, inside an oven. You in here, you either cleaning or you getting cooked."
I am only a few pages into the book, but I know without a doubt that it will be a quick, enjoyable, and interesting read. And, while I likewise know that this story will be about so very much more than black maids cleaning ovens and washing dishes and picking up after “white folks,” I find myself inclined to agree with Aibileen; there are few things I detest more than cleaning a greasy, grimy, dirty oven.
Found the photo from "The Help" on Google...they're everywhere.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Eventually, she was indicted for the murder of Harold Gentry...the man I mentioned in my earlier post...the one I had met. She remained in jail for quite a while as I recall, but eventually her lawyer was able to get her out on bail, and she was -- evidently -- living with one of her daughters in Louisiana, awaiting a trial date, when she passed away earlier this week. If anyone is interested, this is one of the news articles I received in a Google Alert announcing her demise.
In my original post, I commented on the fact that I had a LOCI episode unfolding in my very own family, and I hoped that Bobby would be the one to find her out and wrangle the truth from her. Well, in true Dick Wolf "ripped from the headlines" fashion, the story was told, but on the SVU franchise, not LOCI. Oh, well...it's not the first time I've been disappointed in my life and certainly was not the last.
Most L & O "ripped" storylines started out with the basic premise of the true-life story, but then morphed into something else entirely along the way. (At least, that is how I remember them.) Anyway, the episode that showcased Cousin Betty's shady past was called "Ballerina" and starred Carol Burnett in a rare dramatic role. In this instance, the show began with an unrelated story, and turned into the "Black Widow." It is the only episode of SVU I have ever purchased...for obvious reasons...and the last one I ever watched.
So, this post concludes the sad but true tale of my Cousin Betty, the suspected "Black Widow." Dead at the ripe old age of 79, accused of committing numerous, horrendous crimes and ruining countless lives of the loved ones left behind. Did she do it? I guess we'll never know for sure; the truth died with her. One thing is for certain...she had some "splaining to do" when she reached the "other side."
Here is one final look at the old girl's mug shot.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
by Lynn Shepherd
Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective Robert Goren in Law & Order: Criminal Intent
-OR- was Detective Robert Goren a thief-taker in a previous life?
"I’ve been a fan of good TV crime drama for decades – whether the classic, English Inspector Morse, the brutally realistic Law & Order franchise, or the sassy-scientific CSI stable. What I didn’t realize until very recently, is that, whether I knew it or not, I was actually doing some extremely effective research for my much more recent career as a writer of murder mysteries. This probably won’t strike you as that odd—not, at least—until I tell you that my first book was set in 1811, at a time when England didn’t even have a basic police force, never mind specialist detectives or a murder squad. All my victim’s family could turn to was a hired ‘thief taker’—a professional bounty hunter who would undertake to track down the killer for a hefty fee. So what use could my encyclopaedic knowledge of Grissom, Benson, Briscoe; et. al., possibly be in those circumstances?
It wasn’t until I was a good way into my book – suspects nicely lined up, meaty motives assigned, corpse duly delivered – when I realized that my thief-taker’s investigation was starting to look eerily familiar. So here, with the benefit of hindsight, are three key things I learned from the TV cops…
‘When did you last see this woman?’: The power of the picture
Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective Robert Goren with a Suspect
England didn’t get a police force until 1829, but after 1748, London did have a semi-professional detective team. Known as the ‘Bow Street Runners’, and working out of the magistrates’ court on that same road, many of them were ex-thief-takers themselves, and gradually developed a number of detection techniques that sound surprisingly familiar. Like tracking criminals by their vehicle registration plates, or setting up ID parades.
One thing they couldn’t use, of course, were crime scene photos or mug-shots, like the ones you see the likes of Goren and Eames showing to their prime suspect, because there was no way of capturing images like that at the time. Or was there? In fact, Charles Maddox, my master thief-taker, goes to as much trouble as Robert Goren ever did to engineer the circumstances in which one of his principal suspects comes face to face with a likeness of his supposed victim. The conversation starts affably enough over a fire and a glass of good wine, and for a while it seems more like a conversation than a cross-examination. And if that’s sounding familiar, so it should, for just as in Criminal Intent, this nineteenth century suspect is all too easily lulled into a false sense of security, and it’s only then that he’s suddenly confronted with a portrait of the dead woman—a portrait he never even knew existed: “it was the very state of mind that Maddox had hoped to induce, and too fair an opportunity for a man of his stamp to decline...”
Cat and mouse: Playing the interrogation game
John Thaw as Inspector Morse with Kevin Whately as Sergeant Lewis
It’s Morse, based upon the novels of Colin Dexter, who comes to the fore for me here. I don’t go in for the ‘good cop, bad cop’ style of two-hander so beloved of most modern police procedurals, but I’ve obviously been influenced by the intellectual cut and thrust played out in a typical Morse interrogation. Maddox interviews everyone from the lady of the mansion to the under-servants, and just like Morse, he adapts his style to every tiny social nuance, and ruthlessly exploits weakness under cover of courtesy. And like Morse, Maddox relies as much on intelligence and intuition as he does on the physical evidence: as Morse himself might have said, “logic and observation, Miss Bertram, logic and observation. They are, you might say, the tools of my trade.”
Up close and personal: The postmortem
Tom Ward as Dr. Harry Cunningham, Emilia Fox as Dr. Nikki Alexander, and William Gaminara as Professor Leo Dalton in Silent Witness
After the killing, the victim’s brutalized body is brought back to the house, and Mary Crawford, the central female character, takes on herself the gruesome task of laying out the corpse for burial. Having seen dozens of episodes of CSI and its UK equivalent Silent Witness, I found the scene unfolding before my eyes in almost exactly that format, as Mary carefully removes the clothing from the body, notes the color and texture of the skin, and sees the exact nature of the injuries inflicted. So vivid are these images, in fact, that she’s later able to give Maddox the precise detail he needs to reconstruct the exact nature of the attack – the number of wounds, the type of weapon, and the fact that while the body was found lying on its back, there must – crucially - have been another, earlier blow that brought her down forwards onto her knees.
Mary plays the scientist here, to Maddox’s investigator, but as the plot unfolds they collaborate on a much more equal footing, and it’s only by working together that the crime is finally solved. So much so, in fact, that you might almost say they become – however briefly - the Benson and Stabler of the English Regency…"
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Well, except for the very "obvious" mistake of preferring Benson and Stabler to Goren and Eames, I thought the article was pretty much "up to snuff." What say you?
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Now, I'm off to do a bit of research on the new movie he mentioned. I doubt if I will see it; I don't much care for his "evil" roles, but I want to be "informed" before I decide completely.
Of course, I have no idea how long this link will stay "active" either, so I have downloaded the vid to my computer for safe keeping, too. For just as in law enforcement, when it pertains to VDO, a girl always needs back-up.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Yes, a woman multiplies and enlarges that which is given to her. So, it only stands to reason that, if you give her any "crap," you should be prepared to receive a ton of s-h-i-t."
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Actually, I found this to be both humorous and a pretty neat marketing idea. I'm sure others will disagree, and that's okay. I believe my colleague agreed, albeit he did find the choice of meeting places a bit "odd."
For me, I think pre-planning one's funeral is the way to go. I'm getting ready to do it. I have very "specific" things I want and "don't" want when I go "toes-up" and the only way to ensure my wishes are followed is to put it in writing. I've told my brothers...no fuss, no muss. Just put me in the ground beside Mom & Dad and go on with your lives.
I don't want a funeral. The thought of people parading by...looking at me...gives me the willies. I have told my family and friends if they do that to me, I will come back and haunt them...each and every one. And I will, too.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
And after watching these, I am left with a glimmer of hope that Goren & Eames are truly back. I saw a glimpse of the "old" Bobby, and that made me smile. (Thank you Spoiler TV.)
Friday, April 22, 2011
Dick Wolf Hopes For Criminal Intent Reprieve, Says D'Onofrio & Erbe Have Never Been Better
Dick Wolf must be feeling a bit of deja vu this spring. Just as a year ago he was lobbying for NBC to pick up the original Law & Order for a 21st season (allowing it to set a record as TV’s longest-running drama series), the L&Overlord is now hoping that Criminal Intent‘s imminent 10th season won’t be — as announced by USA Network — its last.
Weighing in Criminal Intent‘s favor, of course, is the much anticipated return of two original series leads, Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe (as Detectives Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames) — not that Wolf ever wanted them long gone in the first place.
“It was never a decision to have them disappear into the wilderness,” Wolf says of the duo’s single-season extraction, during which Jeff Goldblum rode solo as Detective Zach Nichols. Looking forward, Wolf says, “I don’t think Vincent and Katie have been any better ever in the series. [Criminal Intent] is back to the power of the first two seasons.”
Criminal Intent Lines Up Guest Stars for Final Season
Of course, there is the none-too-small matter of getting Goren back onto the Major Cases Squad, fired as he was for insubordination at the start of Season 9. That segue is orchestrated by a new captain, Joseph Hannah (played by Jay O. Sanders), whom Goren knows from the police academy.
There’s also a bit of head-shrinking involved in Goren’s comeback. As Wolf explains, “In getting him back in the good graces of the police department, part of the agreement was for him to go back into psychological counseling.” As such, there will be one scene per episode where Goren meets with a therapist played by Julia Ormond (CSI: NY).
Those scenes, Wolf says, “will answer some questions that have been hanging since the first season, and over the course of [Season 10's] eight episodes you’re going to see something about the redemptive power of psychotherapy. This is an attempt to move [Goren] back to the psychologically complete detective that he was in the first season of the show.”
Whether this run of episodes kicking off Sunday, May 1, at 8/7c, is a “swan song” or “victory lap,” Wolf says, “This has been a great experience…. There is a real power in seeing this show come back at full-octane, with stories that are really interesting.”
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Actor Vincent D'Onofrio is seen outside the set of his television show "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, NY. (Jennifer S. Altman, For The Times / April 24, 2011)
By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
April 24, 2011
After a year and a half absence, Vincent D'Onofrio, 51, returns to "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" as the brilliant but troubled detective Robert Goren for the show's 10th season, which debuts May 1 on the USA Network.
I like your character, Det. Goren, but he seems to get a mixed reaction. I think some people don't get him.
It's always been like that. I think that's OK. It's not for everybody, especially the way I play him is not to everybody's taste. People, I think, unless they allow themselves to take the leap of faith, they don't like the intelligence, the ridiculous amount of knowledge he has. It doesn't make it easy in a 40-minute show to solve a crime [persuasively] in the first place, but then to have a guy who's as clever as Goren solve it, it kind of makes it even harder to get away with. It's a battle for people to like that show, I think. On the other hand, the people who do take the leap love it. I say that not out of arrogance. Believe me, every time I go to the corner to get milk for the kids, I hear it.
Goren is seeing a shrink this season, right?
Maybe. We haven't shot any of that yet. But the word is that yeah, Goren is seeing a shrink.
Why did you leave the series and why are you back?
I needed to stretch a bit and spend time with my kids and family and my wife. I wrote with a couple of friends of mine and directed a film that's going to be distributed next winter. It's called "Don't Go in the Woods," a pretty crazy movie; it's a slasher musical. I wanted to do things like that, and during the last year and a half, I developed three films. That one was made. We're going to make an announcement about the second one that me and my friends wrote that we're producing.
Tell me about the slasher musical.
Me and two friends — Joe Vinciguerra and Sam Bisbee, who's a musician — I had this idea about a bunch of kids who go into the woods, and they all sing and they all die. It's modeled after a B slasher film, but it's a musical with beautiful music. I cast it off the streets of New York with all unknown actors. The movie cost $100,000, and we shot it in 12 days.
How did you happen to come back?
[Series creator] Dick [Wolf] called me. Dick has been a great supporter of mine since the show began. When I was getting tired, he helped me out then. I don't know why he does it, because he's an amazing businessman, and usually amazing businessmen don't care about what their actors are thinking. But in my case with Dick, it's exactly the opposite. And he has always tried to accommodate me in whatever way he could without of course being ridiculous. I don't want to say anything about the show with Jeff [Goldblum], because I thought I was leaving the show for good and Jeff was going to be the perfect person to play that part. Why the show didn't work out, I have no idea.
How was making the show so intense in 2004 that you ended up being hospitalized for nervous exhaustion, and why won't that be the case now?
It's very simple. We're not doing that amount of shows ever.
How many were you doing then?
Twenty-three. It wasn't just me, by the way. It was Kate [costar Kathryn Erbe] too. Both of us had kids, and we were working 10 months out of the year with maybe a couple of days off here and a couple of days off there. And at one point, I think it was on the second or third season, it was a brutal, brutal time. And I will never ever, no matter what kind of money they offer me, ever do that again.
That's why it's eight episodes?
Yeah, we're doing eight. And my wife told me that USA is really pushing the "last eight" thing, the final-season thing, which I think is really interesting. I know the television business pretty well now. I've been in it for 10 years, and I've never heard of a company saying something is over until it's really over. I always thought that people were in television for the money, companies. And why would they kill something if they could figure out how to make money off it? I think that from an actor's point of view, because I'm certainly not making an official announcement because I have no control over these things, I would say it's probably not done. I would say that "Criminal Intent" will be back in some form after these eight at some point.
From your mouth.... Speaking of God, the first episode of the new season deals with misdoings in the Catholic Church. You were an altar boy, weren't you? How did it feel to work on that episode?
I always found it a bit nerve-racking when we did things that the church was involved in. It's the same when you do things about bad cops. As you know, in this day and age, everybody loves to hear nasty stories about people; tales being told out of school are the most popular thing in the universe right now, on the Internet, on television. And they always have, about the church and they always have about law enforcement officers. I just think you have to be really careful when you tread those waters because on both accounts there's a lot of good that's been done. There are a lot of priests in this country that are more like social workers than guys who have to answer to the pope, and they don't get credit. And the same with cops.
Friday, April 8, 2011
And did you hear VDO say that he has a "feeling" that they will do more episodes of LOCI? Granted, he said it is not an "official" statement, but still...
website for these photos; if they were on the USA Network LOCI website, I certainly couldn't find them.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Law & Order: CI on USA Network -- back 5/1 at... by USANetwork
Ah, the boys upstairs still think he's crazy. But that's what makes Bobby...well...Bobby, and so completely watchable.
And, for the record, I didn't mind this photo so much. I like the "hint" of a smile around the eyes and borderline "self-satisfied" expression that wants to SHOUT, "I'm back, baby!! I knew you couldn't get along without me!"