Tag Archives: movies

Saturday:) Still Sick, Still Celebrating, Saw the Movie “The Mule.”

13 Jan

“Either you shine in the dark or get lost in the light.”

― Soham Mondal


My cold, flu, virus, or whatever it is I have is still lingering. Last night the pounding headache wouldn’t go away. This morning, I still had a sore throat, cough, runny nose, but the headache was better after a few Tylenol. So this morning, I made a big pot of hot tea with lemon and honey, checked my email, then did what any terribly sick achey person would do on a cold drizzly day…

I bundled up and went for a brisk hour walk. And you know what? The fresh air and brisk movement actually made me feel better. I’m more miserable sitting around on the couch than I am when I’m busy and active.

Later, I met my friend Zelda for yet another birthday lunch at Olive Garden. We decided to go to a movie on this yucky dark day. It was a toss up between “The Mule,” or “Second Act.” We drove over to the theatre, still deciding, Clint Eastwood or Jennifer Lopez. We decided on Clint. I’m glad we did.

I was worried that it would be too sad, but it turned out to be insightful and sending a solid message. The message being, family is more important than work, popularity, money, and ambition. Also, that it’s never too late to try and make it up to your family.

Another good message. Look at old Clint Eastwood. He’s still working, still acting and directing, still not sitting still. Don’t sit still, whether you’re old or sick or feeling lazy, KEEP ON GOING.

Two Penny Tuesday and “Green Book” Trailer

12 Dec

“As luck would have IT, you would have IT, if you weren’t so busy looking for IT.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The sun was out this morning, and it was climbing way up into the low 30’s… a heat wave. My sister and I decided to bundle up and walk around the block instead of going to walk at the center. You can’t get real live vitamin D indoors. It only took about half a block for us to realize that the sun was at our backs, so we turned around and walked the other way so the sun could bathe our frosty faces. The sun felt great. Then, further on, we crossed in the middle of the street to avoid the tall shady trees that blocked the sun. A few steps later, on the sunny side of the street, there on the sidewalk were two…not one… but two lucky pennies. “As luck would have it.”

I was so excited. Most of you already know the story of the two lucky pennies we found by the mural Mom had painted and donated to the Elgin library. We had asked her for a sign when she got to heaven, and she sent it. When we went up to see the mural right after she passed away, two pennies lay on the bench beneath the painting.

Today, she sent another sign of two pennies. This one was just a thumbs up 👍 from heaven, reminding us that she’s still up there watching over us. We each put a penny in our pocket. Thanks Mom.

Later, we planned to have lunch, the grocery store, and go to a movie. We decided to see “Green Book.” The trailers looked interesting, and it was based on a true story. That’s always a plus. The reviews we fairly good.

I thought it was interesting, with a little humor and stereotyping here and there. But, it was pretty accurate in showing the blatant and tragic racism that went on during that time. I grew up in the 60’s and I can see how those things could happen. Unfortunately, they still do.

Without giving away the plot or spoiler alert, I think it was a good movie to see, to remind us of the terrible ways people treat one another, and perhaps give us a little hope for the future.


Rotten Tomatoes





95% liked this movie

Google users

Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who’s about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.

If you’re a movie goer, you’ll like it.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

29 Feb


Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 

Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 

― Alfred Lord Tennyson


Today’s Gospel was different at 9 o’clock Mass than the others, because we were celebrating the catechumens. It was the story of the Samaritan woman that Jesus asked to draw water from the well, and she didn’t feel worthy…

The story of the woman at the well teaches us that God loves us in spite of our bankrupt lives. God values us enough to actively seek us, to welcome us to intimacy, and to rejoice in our worship. As a result of Jesus’ conversation, only a person like the Samaritan woman, an outcast from her own people, could understand what this means. To be wanted, to be cared for when no one, not even herself, could see anything of value in her—this is grace indeed.



My take on it…even if we don’t feel worthy, or important, or we give up on our dreams, God doesn’t give up on us. There’s always hope. 

After Mass, I went for a nice long walk under dark puffy cloudy skies. The afternoon eventually cleared up. Then, I met my friend, Kelly, at the movies to see “The Lady In the Van.” Maggie Smith was excellent in the British  comedy/drama about an old homeless lady living in her van, befriended by a quirky playwright. 


It’s been a nice, quiet Sunday. 


Saturday: Sometimes Scary Isn’t So Scary After All

16 Aug

Goals that are not written down are just wishes.
Unknown Quotes Author

Everyone has their own little quirks, fears, and that bucket list of things they want to do. I’m afraid of water. Not just afraid, but scared to death. I did face my fears, and actually took to sessions of Terrified of Water at the YMCA over twenty years ago. Still terrified, but at least I tried. 

I have a bucket list of small things and big things I want to do, and I’m trying to check them off. 

Today, I checked off a little one. I’ve never gone to a movie by myself. Most people would think that was a crazy thing to be scared of, but I was. 

To me, going to a movie by myself confirmed the fact that I was alone. Movie going was always a special family activity.  Memories can be overwhelming. WE always went to the movies together. WE went when the kids were little. WE went when the kids were older.  We saw hundreds of movies together. WE went when the kids grew up and were gone. WE aren’t WE anymore. WE are not a family anymore. HE threw that all away for a HO. (More on that next week.)

So today, I went to see  “Ricki and the Flash.” I enjoyed it , and I thought Meryl Streep was great. I sat alone in the middle of the big dark theatre, and I was a little nervous at first. But, I did ok. I was surrounded by couples and friends on their Saturday movie night outing. I was alone, but I was ok. 

It took a long time to stop saying “WE.” Sometimes it still slips out, but “I” catch myself. I will be ok and I’ll go to the movies alone again sometime. After all, I checked it off my bucket list.

I still have a long list for my bucket. 


Toni’s Tuesday Movie Review Preview

30 Jun

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ― Albert Einstein


As an artist, I genuinely appreciate creativity and imagination. So, yesterday, when Joe, Lindsay, and I went to see the new Pixar movie, ” Inside Out,” I was thouroughly entertained. I can’t remember the last time I saw an animated movie. 

I loved the way the animated characters / emotions inside Riley ‘s head were located in her brain’s control room, and all her memories and feelings were stored there. 

It was funny, sad, creative and colorful. BUT, I must admit, it was a little too sophisticated for younger children. There were some seriously sad and scary parts mixed in with the funny ones. I asked Lindsay, who teaches 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, what age group would understand the concept. She thought probably no younger than 8 or 9 years old. I’m in my  60’s, and I probably didn’t get all the subtle nuisances.  


I liked it enough that I’d see it again when it comes to cable or DVD , mostly to see what went over my head the first time. 

I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5… but I’m pretty hard to please.  


Montage Monday: Have a Good One!

16 Sep

“Candy is natures way of making up for Mondays.” ~Unknown Author”
― Rebecca Gober
I like candy and I like Mondays. Hope you’re having a good day and have a great week.

Sometimes starting off the day with the tiniest of accomplishments makes for a good start to a Monday. Today, I cleaned up the mess in the bedroom, unpacked and emptied a few boxes, and put away a bunch of stuff. The bedroom is picture perfect. Granted, I shoved most the stuff into the closet, and that’s a mess, but the bedroom looks beautiful. Closets…another day. Maybe I can just keep shifting boxes and things into different rooms each day, take a picture, and have one nice room. That’s clever.

Later in the afternoon, I met my friend Zelda for lunch at Blue Goose Cantina.(No margaritas) Then, we went to see that new movie, THE DROP. It was pretty good. I usually don’t like that type of movie, but I enjoyed this one.

After I got home, I put on my gym shoes and went for a walk. I talked to my son Joe while I was walking. I got a little distracted and disoriented in this new subdivision, and found myself a little lost. I was just telling Joe, “I may have to GPS myself on the phone and find my house,” when I found a familiar street. Note to self…don’t walk and talk in a brand new place without paying attention. I could have ended up in Oklahoma!

So, it was a good day, a good Monday, and a good start to another week. Hope you have a good one! A WEEK IN A PEEK.



Sitting Around Sunday: Citizen Kane

17 Jun

Another lazy Sunday. While the remote control flipped back and forth from “Monk” to “Murder She Wrote” episodes, (Yes, another marathon with Jessica Fletcher solving murders all day) I stumbled upon a movie I hadn’t seen in years. “Citizen Kane” is an award winning 1941, American classic, starring and directed by the talented Orson Welles. I’d forgotten all the intricate flash backs and symbolism woven within the black-and-white scenes. But, I did remember “Rosebud.”

CITIZEN KANE: After Kane’s death…
Female reporter: If you could’ve found out what Rosebud meant, I bet that would’ve explained everything.
Thompson: No, I don’t think so; no. Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn’t have explained anything… I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a… piece in a jigsaw puzzle… a missing piece.
Charles Foster Kane went from rags to riches, acquiring phenomenal wealth and power, but never finding true happiness. He ended up alone and miserable, with only the word “Rosebud” whispered in his final breath. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If all the money and power in the world can’t bring you happiness, then what can? Maybe, looking everywhere for happiness and love is the problem, because it’s already there inside of you. You have to be able to give love to find love.

I didn’t want to give away the “Rosebud” symbolism in case you hadn’t seen the movie. If you are one of the five people on the planet who hasn’t seen it yet, put it on your bucket list of classic movies to see. It’s an oldie but a goodie.



Friday: Friends, a Frosty Drink, and a Ford (Harrison that is)

18 May

Friday is my art day. I go over to Towne Creek around 2:30, but I was a little late, as I stopped at Michael’s Crafts. What can I say… there was a sale! I made cheese quesadillas for our snack and I did a demo of some hanging wisteria flowers with pastel chalk. No photo…I forgot. The hours really fly by when I’m painting, cooking, cleaning and answering a zillion art questions. (If I don’t know the correct answer, I just make stuff up. But, that’s OK. I told them up from that I do) So, that’s the friends part.


Friday nights are my favorite. I always have a cocktail and the end of the busy day. Sometimes it’s just a rum and Coke, but today was warm and muggy out and that called for my famous Black Russian. A couple scoops of chocolate ice cream, 1 shot of Kahlúa, and 2 shots of vodka. Voilá…a frosty drink.


While sitting in my Lazy Boy chair, (They really should market a Lazy Girl.) flipping through all the bazillion channels on the TV, I was left with a conundrum. What is that you ask? Well, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Presumed Innocent” were both on at the same time. I love Harrison Ford, so how do I choose between the two movies? Harrison’s hair is short and strangely weird in “Presumed Innocent,” and he plays an awful arrogant cad, but it’s an interesting story line. Then in “Raiders,” Dr. Jones is a ruggedly handsome archeologist who saves the Ark from the evil Nazis. What do I do? The answer…just flip back and forth and watch them both. Two Fords for the price of one. A little popcorn and my frosty drink, now that’s a fun Friday.



Sunday Cinema: I Watch Way Too Much TV

8 Apr

Sundays are my lazy day. I sit with my Sunday newspaper, a cup of hot tea, and the remote control, what more could I ask for? I become mesmerized and a trance-like state overtakes my subconscious, rendering me immobile for endless hours.

Today, I got hooked on Turner Classic Movie Channel. They always have great old classics and black and white movies. “The Young Philadelphians” from 1959, with Paul Newman and Barbara Rush was on. I’d never seen it. 136 minutes later… where did the day go?


“Mad Men” Season 6 premiere took up another 2 hour chunk of my evening. Did you see it? What did you think? I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe 6 years is a stretch.


Like everything else I write about, I consulted my good friend Mr. Google to research what has been written about watching too much TV. NOT a good idea. TMI once again. Studies say… Well, I can’t even scratch the surface of all the harmful effects of excessive television viewing.

I’m really paranoid now. I will be watching for the warning signs of depression, diabetes, violent outbursts, insomnia, obesity, cancer, heart attack, vision loss, and so much more. To counteract the debilitating erosion to the other parts of my body, I’m strengthening my brain by watching several recorded episodes of Jeopardy while writing this post. Hope it works. I’m beyond giving up watching endless hours of TV. Is there a support group for me?


Monday Memories: My Famous Relative

2 Apr


For the past five years, I have been researching my family tree. When we moved to Texas in ’04 from Chicago, I thought how ironic that we moved here, because my father was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1925. The family had lived in New Mexico, California, and Illinois. My grandparents were of Hispanic descent, and little to no documentation was kept in those days. But today’s technology has encouraged the recording and sharing of information, and so much data is now available through census, church and government records.

Just today, I discovered that our family lineage is directly related to the one and only JOHN WAYNE, the famous actor. Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His wives, each of Hispanic descent, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. Yes, John “The Duke” Wayne was my uncle.

(Wikipedia) Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer.[1] An Academy Award-winner, Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades,[2][3] and was named the all-time top money-making star.[4] An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height.

You should thoroughly research your family tree, because you may find that you are related to someone famous, too. And ALSO, be sure to read ALL of my posts from beginning to end, because today is April Fool’s Day, and I made all this nonsense up. John Wayne was not my uncle. The following photo is about as close as I am to being related to The Duke.


Sorry, Uncle John. But, remember, it is April 1st, after all.