Dreams? Yeah, I've got a few. A November 2022 PTR

huggybuff

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Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Hi, DISBoards peeps, I'm Cherie from Northern CA and I'm here to chronicle my journey from here to there, single to married, and beyond! I previously hung around the running threads when I was doing a lot of runDisney races, perhaps a few of you may recall. If not, nice to meet you! My time with runDisney ran its course so to speak due to money and lack of motivation. But mostly money. ๐Ÿ’ธ Now I've become a semi-responsible adult concerned with saving for things like houses and weddings/receptions/honeymoons. And my ultimate Disney dream: DVC.

Here's the basic rundown: I'm single (never been married) with a wonderful boyfriend of almost 2 years named Gabe who teaches Special Ed high school kids. We've lived together for over a year and half now in a decent-sized apartment with three (don't tell the landlord) cats. It's only cramped when his two kids are over for the weekend or his parents come to visit from the Central Coast. His son is 14 and his daughter is 11. I get along very well with her, but his son is another story. He's very closed off around me and for the time being we've just decided not to push things. Things will either get better or worse very shortly once the divorce is finalized. Yes, he's still married. They have been finished for years as a couple but only in the last couple of months have they decided to start the paperwork. I've been very patient and trusting, but he's a great guy who's worth waiting for. After all, it's just a formality at this point. But that doesn't mean that I'm not excited as all get out to make things official!

Sometimes I feel so happy and lucky that I can barely contain myself. It's been a long, hard road to arrive at this place in my life and I'm not taking it for granted. I've suffered from major depression due to a chemical imbalance and severe anxiety issues for most of my life. Although medication was a huge step in the right direction about 15 years ago, it only made things more manageable. It couldn't make me happy. I could feel momentary enjoyment over certain things (like being at Disney) but I could never feel the deeper contentment that comes with true happiness. And I wasn't able to feel that until I finally confronted all of the issues and pain that held me back in life through intense therapy. I was a ride that needed a major refurbishment. Now I'm on a regular maintenance schedule. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So. After all of that being said, I feel like I'm starting my life all over again, but in a positive and meaningful way. First on our list is moving from our apartment and buying a house that's nearer to where the kids go to school. Next, a Hawaiian wedding. Then, a reception that the families can attend after we get back. And then the subject of this PTR: a honeymoon in WDW in November 2022! (Where I'll be pulling out all of the stops to make Gabe fall in love - or deep like - with WDW. But that's a topic for another day.)

Welcome to all who stop by to say Hello or prefer to lurk. Comments are very welcome!
 
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huggybuff

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
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We did a photo shoot a few months ago right before COVID really took over.

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We'd never done a session with a 'professional' photographer before.

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She took us to the UC Davis Arboretum for the shoot.

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I like the pink filter.

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Not sure why the filter changed the color of his sweater but nothing else.
 
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  • huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    I'm a huge film buff. Silent or talkie, in English or subtitled, Hollywood or independent, I'm here for it. Right now I'm trying to pare down the films that are on our DVR at Gabe's request - he's got soccer to record now that Premier League is back! Over 100 films I've recorded off of TCM are just waiting to be discovered. ๐Ÿ’–

    The day before yesterday I woke up early and had time for what turned out to be a jewel of a film, When Ladies Meet (1933). Myrna Loy is a writer in love with her married publisher (played greasily by Frank Morgan aka the Wizard from The Wizard of Oz) and is convinced he's going to leave his wife to begin a new life together. Due to the restrictions of the time it's made clear they never went to bed during their 'affair'. Robert Montgomery is in turn in love with Myrna Loy and concocts a scheme in order to introduce her to the publisher's wife, played by Ann Harding under a false name so that they can get to know each other without emotions entering into the equation. It's all very frothy until the husband/would be lover weasels into Myrna Loy's bedroom and discovers that his wife is there and has caught on to his current dalliance. Then it suddenly becomes a real tearjerker and you end up feeling for all sides involved. Except Frank Morgan of course. He's terrible. Naturally Myrna Loy ends up with Robert Montgomery and Ann Harding tells Frank Morgan she wants a divorce. Although the door is left open at the end for her to take him back. :rolleyes: 4 out of 5 hankies

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    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Happy Friday Junior to all! I envied Gabe a bit at the beginning of the COVID lock down because I like being at home so much and work of course gets to be a grind over the years. But he has been pretty miserable at home with much less interaction during the day than he was used to as a teacher. Zoom meetings can't replace that human element. At least now, after a few months he's getting to go out to the gym with his best friend and I've realized that I've been lucky to be essential all this time.

    I had time for another movie over the last two days. Normally I hate splitting movies into two parts because it ruins the narrative but in this case it was fine because it was an anthology. Five unrelated short stories by O. Henry from his 'New York' period taking place between 1900-1910, O. Henry's Full House (1952). Best to worst:
    • The Clarion Call - Richard Widmark shines as a murderous hoodlum who blackmails an old friend to stay out of jail for his latest crime. The twist at the end is a good one.
    • The Gift of the Magi - Everyone knows this story by now even if they don't recognize the name. It's O. Henry's most famous, a very sweet tale of what it means to be truly selfless.
    • The Last Leaf - Anne Baxter is lovesick and decides that she'll die when the last leaf on a patch of ivy outside of her window flies away in the winter storm. You can see the twist coming from a mile away but the performances are still strong.
    • The Cop and the Anthem - Charles Laughton is his regular amazing self and carries this story of a homeless man trying to get arrested so he can spend a cold winter in jail. It felt very relevant to the times we're currently living in. Marilyn Monroe has a bit part!
    • The Ransom of Red Chief - This was the only one I didn't care for at all. No big name stars were in it but even that didn't make much difference. Overall, it was just dull and unbelievable. A child is kidnapped by two confidence men and no one seems to care, not even his parents.
    3 out 5 jalopies because the production values on this one were pretty minimal. Everything was clearly shot on the backlot of MGM. It felt like a TV production of the time more than a film.

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    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Happy Friday!!! ๐Ÿฅณ The only thing better would be a payday Friday, but alas, earwax. However, I am finally getting to see my hair stylist for a cut and color tomorrow. ๐ŸŽ‰ They're covering their bases with regard to COVID. I have to sign a release, wear a mask the whole time, wash my hands immediately upon entered the salon and check in by text and wait in my car until I'm called. I don't mind of course. Whatever they have to do to make it safer for everyone. On Sunday Gabe wants to go out and get a few appetizers at a place that we've been to before, the University of Beer. I'm a little nervous but glad for the mask order that the Governor put out yesterday. Naturally everyone else in my office was up in arms about their rights being violated. I work in a very conservative environment and it's difficult being the only one around who leans to the left.

    I cleared another film off of the DVR last night. The Woman in the Window (1944) starred the great Edward G. Robinson but it fell a little flat for me. I was mentally comparing it to Scarlet Street (1945) the whole time, which I'd seen a couple of years ago. The two films both starred Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea and both were directed by Fritz Lang. I think Scarlet Street had more emotional heft to it, whereas The Woman in the Window was diluted due to the fact that I could see the twist ending coming a mile away and therefore everything that came before didn't matter a bit. Still, Raymond Massey was in it and he makes everything better. It was odd seeing him play a man on the right side of law when I'm so used to seeing him play evil so well in Arsenic and Old Lace (also 1944). 3 out of 5 bloody scissors

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  • huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    I've had a sluggish week so far. I stayed home from work on Monday and Tuesday due to a COVID closure at my office. Monday was alright since Gabe was there half of the day with me but yesterday wasn't fun at all since he left early in the morning to go visit his parents for a few days. I should have been able to keep myself busy but I just slept a lot. :sad2: We're not used to being apart at this point. Thinking more positively, I can't believe how far my life has come in a few years! It's been a total switcheroo. Going from living alone for about 18 years to having a constant companion for the last 2 has been such a blessing. But this week I'm so ronery... I had a gif here from Team America: World Police, but I removed it after thinking about it. I hope it didn't offend anyone. :duck:
     
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    huggybuff

    DIS Veteran
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    Dec 19, 2013
    Gabe will be home tomorrow! :dogdance: I really don't understand how military spouses stand it when their loved one is deployed. Mad respect and love for them.

    We actually watched a movie together before he left. Gabe doesn't usually pay attention to my movies but this one caught him! Papillon (1973), starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman is based on an autobiographical novel by a Frenchman, nicknamed Papillon (Butterfly) who is sentenced in the 1930's to do time on Devil's Island in French Guiana. He attempts multiple escapes involving Hoffman's character and spoiler alert, is obviously successful since he got away and wrote his book. How much of his book is true is apparently up for debate. The movie however featured strong performances, especially from Hoffman as a rich prisoner who befriends Papillon for protection and creates a bond of friendship that lasts during their entire imprisonment. The film is pretty grim and unrelenting which comes along with the concentration camp setting, but there are small rays of hope interspersed in this story of man's inhumanity to man. 4 out of 5 striped pajamas

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    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    I mentioned that Tuesday was a blah day. ๐Ÿ˜ฟ But I did get manage to get a movie in, although it didn't lighten my mood very much. Thankfully I've perked up since then. Not being at home all alone moping definitely helps!

    If You Could Only Cook (1935) stars Jean Arthur and Herbert Marshall as an out of work New Yorker and an auto magnate, respectively, who meet-cute on a park bench. She's scouring the (female!) want ads for a job and passes him the male page assuming he's just as down on his luck. Naturally he's immediately drawn to Jean Arthur, because who wouldn't be, and assumes the identity of a fellow unemployed pauper to curry her favor. Soon they're applying for jobs as a married couple (cook and butler) and the game is afoot. So halfway through this one I realized that I'd already seen it a few years ago. That's a strong indication of how unmemorable this film ends up being in the pantheon of screwball comedies. It's pleasant enough and everyone in the cast is game, but the script needed another pass and some more character development. As it is it only clocks in at 1 hour and 12 minutes. 3 out of 5 bulbs of garlic

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    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    One more for today! Last night I saw In a Lonely Place (1950), a very dark 'film noir'. I put that in quotes because although it had the look of a film noir (dark shadows/stark lighting) it didn't follow the normal story pattern of a noir. Humphrey Bogart did not play a cynical hero type who was falsely accused of murder, which would have made it closer to a true film noir. In this film he's a down on his luck, alcoholic, Los Angeles screenwriter who has a short temper but falls in love at first sight with his neighbor Gloria Grahame. Yes, there's the complication of being falsely accused of murder in Act I, but that's where the standard film noir comparison ends. This is much more of a drama where Bogart's character is slowly revealed as a classic domestic abuser to poor Gloria Grahame. I kept expecting the story to turn out differently because Grahame usually plays a femme fatale who leads men to their doom and Bogie is such a likeable actor that you want him to be redeemed. This couldn't have been more opposite. He masterfully descends from being a mere hothead into a sadistic control freak and you are rooting for Grahame to escape. This is known as one of Bogie's strongest performances and I definitely agree! 4 out of 5 Swedish massages

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  • huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    This morning I had about 45 minutes of coffee time before I had to get ready for work so I watched a Disney Fairytale Wedding episode. I'm on S1 and am loving it so far. I've cried during every episode. ๐Ÿ˜ญ This morning's was Ep 4 where the couple gets married in front of the Tree of Life at AK. Epcot and AK are close to tied for first in my park rankings so I was thrilled to see a wedding in that setting. I had only seen 2 episodes last week and Gabe was already teasing me about 'always' walking in on me watching a Disney wedding. I'm going to tell him to stop being a hater. ๐Ÿคฃ
     

    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Today my love returns!!! He driving back right now. :drive: Four more hours and I'll be back in his arms. ๐Ÿ’•

    On a more somber note I got a text from my aunt that my grandfather on my dad's side just had a stroke at his assisted living facility. She left to make the 2 hour drive there and she'll let me know how he's doing and his prognosis. Now why didn't my dad let me know first you may ask? Who knows. We are not estranged at all but we also don't have a very communicative relationship. There were years during my 20's where we'd see each other once a year. I couldn't stand to be around him because he triggered my anxiety so terribly. Since then I've worked out all of my issues and we are starting to build some semblance of a father/daughter bond. So I'm keeping good thoughts for my grandfather and am hoping for good news.

    This morning I managed to sneak in another Fairytale Wedding episode. It was the one with a surprise proposal in Aulani and a wedding on the DCL. I'm really impressed with the casting of the couples. They haven't featured one couple yet that seemed undeserving. Of course Disney attracts nice people so I shouldn't be so surprised. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I saw one movie last night before I hit the hay. They Live By Night (1948) was directed by Nicholas Ray who also happened to direct In a Lonely Place (1950). He'd go on to direct Rebel Without a Cause (1955) a few years later, arguably his best known work, starring icon James Dean. But They Live By Night was his first film and is loosely based on the lives of Bonnie and Clyde. Farley Granger is quite good as the center of the story as one of three escaped convicts who hides out at a gas station and meets a young woman named Keechie, played by Cathy O'Donnell. Granger I know well from his two Alfred Hitchcock films - I've been a Hitchcock freak since high school, but I can't ever recall seeing O'Donnell in anything. She was excellent and provided the heart of the film. How sad, just reading IMDb it says she died at my age (46) from a cerebral hemorrhage brought on by cancer. ๐Ÿ˜’ Eventually the two leads fall in love and run away together but they can't escape his two fellow escapees who need Granger as the get-away driver for their bank robberies. He is bullied into cooperating and things go from bad to worse. Overall it was very well done and the love story is believable thanks to the actors but a lot of the action takes place off camera so it comes off as very low budget by avoiding some of the action sequences. Maybe it was just a directorial choice by Ray and didn't have to do with budget, I don't know. I realize the claustrophobic feeling is supposed to mirror the feelings of the couple who may be captured at any moment, but to me the film could've done with more action while also keeping its focus on the lovers. 31/2 out of 5 ladies' watches

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    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Good morning all! ๐Ÿ˜ Two things from this weekend: when I walked in the door after getting home from work I saw a sweet bouquet of flowers and Gabe standing there waiting to hold me. *Swoon* We both realized that even though we already knew we were meant to be, that this time apart just solidified everything in our minds. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

    Secondly, we went to the gym together for the first time. He signed me up right before the COVID closure a few months ago. We were set to go one Saturday morning but they announced the closure that very day. Gyms give me a bit of anxiety. Mostly because it's an unknown environment and I have the feeling of being judged crop up. The first treadmill I got on was apparently a manual one and when I started to walk on it, it sped up SO fast. I had to jump off! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ So that one was out and I got on a regular old treadmill and did a mile walking at a faster pace and then half a mile walking at a cool down pace. Ya gotta start somewhere. Then I wandered to the place that really increased my anxiety, the free weight area. I found Gabe and he showed me a couple of shoulder moves with 5lb dumbbells. I was expecting him to train me for the last few minutes of our hour there but he didn't seem as focused on me as I was expecting. I don't mean that in a selfish way but I'm not familiar with using free weights at all and need more support and supervision at least at this point. Anxiety also makes me blank out a bit and lose focus so that's also in play. I asked him after we were done to make the changes that would help me next time and he agreed. Communication!
     

    huggybuff

    DIS Veteran
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    Dec 19, 2013
    Last night we made it back to the gym for the second day in a row, go us! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ I did 1.75 miles on the treadmill. I walked at a fast (for me) pace for about 1.5 miles and cooled down the rest of the way. Then I joined Gabe in the weight area with about 15 minutes to go in the hour we were allotted by the club. (They clear the building and sanitize all the machines and then let in a whole new group of people.) We did one machine where you pull the bar down from over your head for 3 sets and then used the free weights to do some type of bicep work. I'm woefully uneducated on the names of these things in case that was unclear. :laughing: It all went smoothly this time and Gabe supervised me a lot more. He made a plan before we left for which exercises we could do together and we timed it perfectly.

    So this morning I weighed myself. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I hadn't done that for at least a few months and although it was awful I was 4lbs under what I expected. I put a weight loss ticker in my signature and hopefully that will be some motivation or at least a reminder to regularly weigh myself. ๐Ÿ’ก
     

    huggybuff

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Unfortunately this weekend's headline was my grandfather taking a turn for the worse and passing away. He was in the military until he retired and was married to my grandmother until she passed away in December 2017. Those two things defined his life and together they raised 4 boys and a girl. We didn't have a strong relationship but I know that he cared about me. It's hard when you know a close family member holds beliefs that you can't support or has bad behaviors. I just try to remind myself that he did care about me and the most important thing I can do is be there for my aunt who is taking the loss extremely hard.
     

    huggybuff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2013
    Happy Friday! Movie Dump!

    Last week Wednesday we watched the Netflix release, Springsteen on Broadway (2018). I thought it was pretty great. It was a very stripped down set with Bruce telling stories from his life, mostly of growing up in Jersey. Very melancholy in tone and featuring songs that were definitely not radio rehashes of his hits. If you remember the vibe of "Streets of Philadelphia" just imagine him singing "Born in the USA" in that manner. 4 out of 5 harmonicas

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    The next night I picked something from the DVR which turned out to be Queen Christina (1933) starring the incomparable Greta Garbo. I have discovered her work, so to speak, in the last few years. I admire her more and more with everything I come across. This film was known as a pre-Code, meaning it was made and released before the Hays Code of 1934 where movie studios self-censored their work to keep them outwardly tame. (Hollywood was under threat from Congress who was on track to pass laws to regulate film content so they decided to censor themselves instead.) The Swedish queen's lesbianism was fairly overt in several scenes with her lady-in-waiting, including a passionate kiss, as well as the character's mannish way of dressing, walking and talking. All of this added very much to the character and film and it's hard to imagine a more sanitized version coming out as well. I was very surprised to read that Garbo didn't get an Oscar nom for this one. She was fabulous! 4 out of 5 innkeeper's daughters

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    Then a week ago Friday we watched The Human Factor (1979), the story of MI-6 rooting out a Russian double agent in the African section of the British intelligence agency. It was directed by Otto Preminger, based on a Graham Greene novel AND adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard so I was prepared for some great suspense. It was so dull. I realize the point of view of the story is to show how mundane the daily lives are of real MI-6 agents and the coldness with which those in power decide the fates of others, but it just didn't hold together for me as a film. Firstly, the leading actor was incredibly uncharismatic. I realize they were trying to further the narrative of how un-James Bond-like these real agents are, so I suppose the casting wasn't terrible but you also need the audience to want to follow the main lead for two hours. Also, Iman made her film debut in a large role and she wasn't very good. I imagine it wasn't easy being around classically trained English actors when all you've been doing is modeling for years. (No offense to models.) I read that Preminger kept running out of money to make the movie and had to sell one of his houses and some paintings. You could definitely feel how low budget the production was and I wonder if that impacted the story at all. 2 1/2 out of 5 rotary phones

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    OK, last one! On Sunday night I watched Lucky Night (1939), starring Myrna Loy and Robert Taylor and I do love me some Myrna Loy so I was somewhat excited to see this comedy. I always thought Robert Taylor was kind of a himbo but he was capable enough and of course Loy was great as usual. She is a rich girl who isn't happy and sets out to get a job to look for something real in her life. He's an out of work ne'er-do-well and they meet, first at an employment office and then again on a park bench to commiserate over their poor lot in life. He becomes convinced that she's his good luck charm over the course of a night of drinking and gambling and the next thing they know they're waking up married the next morning. The surprise is that they decide to stay together and make it work as a couple and he gets a j-o-b. Then it kind of devolves into this pablum where he decides that his life isn't exciting anymore and she wants security over fun. It ends up with her rich dad agreeing with Robert Taylor that his daughter should go along with his irresponsibility because that's LOVE! It actually annoyed me. 2 1/2 out of 5 new curtains

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    I also finished up the Disney Fairytale Wedding series so all I have left are the two specials. The last two nights have been filled with soccer since MLS is back as well as the English Premier League. I'm not the soccer fan in the house but I'm enduring it well so far.

    Next week Gabe will be gone again visiting his parents and working on projects around their house on the Central Coast. That means I'll go to my grandfather's funeral on Wednesday without him but it also affords me the opportunity to visit with a friend I haven't seen since the pandemic began. I need some Yvonne time!
     

    huggybuff

    DIS Veteran
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    Dec 19, 2013
    Last week had its highs and lows, for sure...

    • Friday before last we found out that the gyms were closing again here in CA. That really puts a crimp in the weight loss plans. I'll have to try to be more focused on the eating aspect of things until we're cleared to go back to the gym again. The gym that is literally across the street from us. Sigh.
    • Last Monday Gabe left again to visit his parents to work on some projects around their house. I dealt with it much better than last time mostly because he really needed to get away to get some clarity on the divorce situation. He'd been having a hard time with feelings of guilt and failure now that things are officially ending. I knew his parents would slap him out of it by reminding him of some facts pertaining to the ex that he tends to gloss over at times. :teacher:
    • My grandfather's funeral was last Wednesday morning. It was a very nice graveside service. About 10 family members came and I brought my grandmother from the other side of the family. My dad and my uncle relayed a few stories after the priest finished his portion. There was never a question that I'd go but I'm very glad that I attended. Though I was surprised at how few people wore masks. ๐Ÿ™„
    • Gabe returned home a day early and got home just after I had come back from the funeral. A couple of days with his parents and younger brother definitely changed his outlook on things in a big way. I was so relieved.
    • Saturday afternoon we went to the Tilted Mash brewery where there was outside seating available because there was a food truck on site. Apparently you can't just drink, you have to eat so the venue isn't a 'bar'. Gabe had been waiting to take me out in order to tell me some news. He wants to get married next August or Thanksgiving break 2021 at the latest! :bride: I'd been eyeing next summer as part of my master plan so that would work out perfectly. He also told me he's seriously ring shopping. It's almost bling time! ๐Ÿ’
     

    huggybuff

    DIS Veteran
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    Dec 19, 2013
    Movie dump!

    A couple of weeks ago Saturday night we watched Horror of Dracula (1958) starring Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. It was just known as Dracula elsewhere but there was concern that American audiences would confuse it with the 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi, hence the longer title. It was pretty low budget but it works on a lot of levels. The color allowed for the gore to really come to life for the first time and Christopher Lee makes an excellent Dracula. Apparently some of the gore was edited out for initial release but was recovered and reincorporated after an old print of the film was found a few years ago. 3 out of 5 vampire brides

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    Next up was a change of pace, Jumanji: The Next Level (2019). We watched this with Gabe's daughter, who's 11. I watched the first one about 9 months ago in order to prep for the new one when it was released in theaters, but we never went and saw it last year. I thought it was just as sweet as the first film, with solid performances and a funny script. As far as I can recall, all of the actors came back from the first one and they also added Awkwafina, Danny DeVito and Danny Glover to the mix. Oh, and if you happen to be a Game of Thrones fan, Rory McCann plays the villain. :dog:

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    Next up was another boundary pushing film from 1958, Murder by Contract. Another low budget gem, MbC follows the story of a man who gets into the hit man business, moves up through the ranks and takes a fateful job in Los Angeles. Martin Scorsese noted this film as a huge influence on his work although I can't vouch for this because I have seen shockingly little of his work. Something I need to remedy! At any rate, MbC is a quiet film that so focuses on the little things that you feel you're waiting and waiting for a really big payoff at the end. That doesn't quite pan out but it's a quirky and enjoyable ride nonetheless.

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    Lastly is a reteaming of William Powell and Myrna Loy, Double Wedding (1937). Most famously known for playing Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934) movie series, they also made quite a few other light comedies to cash in on their great chemistry. This one is lighter than a souffle, without much substance, but still tasty. William Powell is a bohemian painter and film director and Myrna Loy is a sour puss with a sister interested in becoming an actress. You can see how the two cross paths. There's no doubt how it's going to end up, so just enjoy the silliness on parade.

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    I also finished all of the Disney Fairytale Weddings shows and started watching an Apple TV+ show called Little America. It is such a moving show about the immigrant experience in America. OMG you guys. The tears. 512074
     





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