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Movies that are iconic. Remake them for a new generation? Or stick with the originals?

I personally think this argument can go both ways.  The retelling of "Romeo & Juliet" has been done again and again. Everyone has their favorite.  I loved the last one, except I found it sad that Romeo was prettier than Juliet.  No diss on the actress Hailee Stanfield, but Douglas Booth is like an Italian statue.


There's no reason to remake "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" as we discussed here yesterday.  Or "Grease" -- too iconic and who could ever be a better Zuko than John Travolta?  A better Sandy than Olivia Newton John? That being said, I loved the live version.

John and Olivia

I get the paying homage bit.  People want to embrace beloved characters for themselves.  One of my favorite movies is "Sabrina" with Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Audrey Hepburn.


But I also love the updated version with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond.  I saw this today and it made me think about how harshly we judge an iconic movie -- combined with two iconic actors. "Julia Ormond, in the Hepburn role, is exquisitely regardable."


I thought she was really cute in it.  Let's get this straight.  There will never be another Audrey Hepburn.  Or Bogart.  But Harrison Ford is you know, Harrison Ford.  We'll take him.  But how do you find an actress who stands up to that?


Obviously, I never saw a reason to remake "Pride and Prejudice" after Colin's iconic Darcy.  But the truth is, I felt that way about David Rintoul in 1980 and it's why it took me so long to watch Colin's version.


So I'd like to never see "Bridget Jones's Diary" made again.  


And I'm open to a new version of "Sleepless in Seattle."  


What about you?  What do you never want to see remade?  And what's up for a reboot?

#BachelorinParadise -- Let's Talk about Amanda!

As a person who never took my friends' advice -- when they actually told me I was dating a douchebag (their words, not mine) I have to call Amanda out for her ignorance last night.  At the same time, I get it.  Josh is charming -- albeit the groaning would get to me.  What is up with that? But how does she avoid the 0-60 anger and the sociopathic look in his eyes.  I mean, that's just creepy.  This is the problem with going on "Bachelor in Paradise" to disprove something someone said about you.  (Andi, I guess said that he was verbally abusive, among other things in her book -- that probably no one read.)  So had Josh just ignored what Andi said, the country wouldn't be questioning his abuser status right now.



But Amanda is in love.  I'd feel sorrier for her if she hadn't left her kids twice to be on this stupid franchise.  I get that the twins aren't exactly reliable sources of information.  And Nick has his own issues with being the "Bachelor" villain.  But I do think Nick is right about Josh -- and I loved that he admitted Andi was truthful about what she said about him.  Though we don't know if Andi only praised Nick in her book.  It would be easy to admit to being a great guy.  Back to the twins.


They were just repeated gossip, but it doesn't mean that they weren't legitimately concerned.  I mean, Amanda has kids.  She can't afford to be that stupid.  So we know how much the Bachelor producers incite to get the reactions they want -- they probably told Josh, come on this show.  Redeem your doubt they sold Nick the same thing.

So, do you feel sorry for Amanda?  Or do you want to smack a little sense into her?  Or both? 

Willy Wonka -- Gene Wilder RIP

Willy Wonka was such a huge part of my childhood.  I loved, loved, loved the movie.  I spent my childhood years being called Veruca -- which my mom saw as some kind of punishment.  I took it as a compliment.  When I had my own daughter, I found her a Veruca Salt dress that I may have forced her to wear.


Gene Wilder was a comedic genius.  He made Willy Wonka and a magical place seem real.  I could never acknowledge anyone else (Johnny Depp) in the role.  To me, it was a movie that held up and didn't need to be remade. Gene was just perfect in that role.  

But what about "Young Frankenstein?" "Blazin' Saddles" --all the Mel Brooks' greats.  The movies he did with Richard Pryor...he just starred in an entire era of comedy.  Now he's with Gilda, but I was a huge fan.  We're going to have to have a showing of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" this weekend on my dad's home theater. 

"A Billion Reasons Why" on sale for $0.99 today!

If you haven't read "A Billion Reasons Why" yet, why not?  Today's a good day to get it.  It's only $0.99!  It's my ode to New Orleans and maybe a little bit of 1940's love thrown into the mix!



Katie McKenna leads a perfect life. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancé, Dexter. She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter. And then in walks Luc DeForges.

Narcissism and the church...

I ran across this comment today on an article, and I have to say, I've seen this COUNTLESS times.  

"There is nothing any worse than living with the narcissist' constant criticism/manipulation over them and their children, having lost all friendships and family relationships, to then battle the judicial system and then be told by church clergy that you need to stay in the marriage for better or for worse. YOU, as clergy have no clue what that person has gone through and your ill founded, ignorant comments only make this person and their children's' lives worse. As clergy please become better educated on the mental and physiological abuse a narcissist delivers to their family members before you 'as a man of God' tell them they need to stay in the relationship because it was for better or for worse."  
I'll just say here that God doesn't want a fake, abusive marriage over a soul.  He just doesn't, and I've seen souls broken in these kinds of marriages.

The church is actually helping an abuser to abuse in these cases.  Pastors assume that all men have their family's best interest at heart and they take men at face value. There are men in the church who are incapable of love.  In addition, the women haven't been loved in these marriages.  They've been criticized, controlled and beaten down.  So in a church therapy setting, they tend to look unstable. While the Narc sits there cool as a cucumber. So counselors wrongly assume the wife is the problem.  FYI, no ONE person is ever the problem in the marriage.  Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

I've seen Stanford-educated women go through this pain WITHIN THE CHURCH -- her ex went onto marry some young innocent and have a big family.  He also took half of the business she built and you know what?  She would have given him more just to get rid of him.  

I've seen three women left by men who later became gay.  You know what pastors told them?  THEY were the reasons their husbands didn't want to sleep with them.  Their nasty nagging.  Um, no misogynistic pastors.  That is not the reason. 

I've been in the Christian marketplace for a long time, so I've heard a lot of stories that would make your toes curl.  Writing my book, "Swimming to the Surface" which is a fictional account of one of my friend's stories, I've heard from lots of women who dealt with the same issues.  It breaks my heart.  I've also heard from people who tell me nasty things about not knowing what I'm talking about, but I ignore them.  I couldn't care less if they believe me or not.  

I wrote it for the women who need to hear that they're not crazy.  That they're doing enough.  FYI, speaking of being crazy, that's STILL not a reason to be unloved.  I once knew a man whose wife was in a mental institution.  He wouldn't divorce her and when someone asked him why, he said, "Have you met her?  How could anyone not love her?"

That's how a husband should talk about his wife.  Perhaps not all the time, but overall.  Abusers use their "image" at the church to inflict damage.  I mean, look at what's happening right now to the women who is suing Ailes at Fox News for sexual harrassment.  This is what Geraldo Rivera said about the woman: "vindictive screed designed to damage reputations.”

Really Geraldo?  Were you there 24/7?  You know he's such a good guy?  Abusers don't abuse in front of you.  They use their power when no one is around.  Why can't Geraldo let the courts decide if Ailes is guilty?  You don't think those words are abusing Andrea Tantaros all over again? The good ol' boys network sounds alive and well. The really sad thing is that it's alive in the church.

This is for the pastors who need to up their discernment game:

1 Timothy 3: 1-5

 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.



Anyone watching "Stranger Things" on @Netflix?

I love this show.  My daughter binge-watched it while I was gone for the weekend.  But it's fantastic.  It's got a little E.T., got a little "Freaks and Geeks" and just like those two, it's really well-written.  The characters are all credible -- even with the supernatural element.  Anyway, I highly recommend it.  The only thing is if you're going to watch, allow a little time for binging.

Added bonus:  It's set in the 80's!

And if you're skittish, maybe watch with a friend.


We are all equal. Some are just more equal than others...

While doing research on cruise ships, I came across this article.  I find this quote unbelievable in a time when elitists in Silicon Valley claim to be all about the people -- while they build walls around their mansions. Look at this quote in this article on private enclaves within cruise ships:

"With disparities in wealth greater than at any time since the Gilded Age, the gap is widening between the highly affluent — who find themselves behind the velvet ropes of today’s economy — and everyone else."

Basically, nothing has changed since 1912.  If the new Titanic goes down, the wealthy are getting saved first. Oh, they'll tell us we have the same value as them.  They'll wear their #BlackLivesMatter shirts and shout for us to drive a Prius, while they are scurried off in a helicopter from the ship's helipad.  


See this private pool?  Yeah, you won't.  Because you will be swimming with the unwashed masses at the ship's central pool.   I have no issue with people being wealthy.  It's their preaching I can't take.  I'm talking to YOU Leonardo DiCaprio -- who flew his friends 6,000 miles to listen to his UN speech on Global Warming.  Dude, have you heard of a Ted talk?  Skype? How about the magic of film?


Anyway, Leo wouldn't want the private section of the cruise ship.  Because he rents his own yacht instead.  That carbon footprint is adding up.  Want to compare, Leo?  

School Schedules & Bad Television...

I dropped my two boys at college on Sunday.  I have ONE child at home.  ONE!!  How did this happen?  Who said they could grow up?


Naturally, Sunday night, to numb the pain I was most excited to watch "Real Housewives of New Jersey" but I found myself so annoyed with Jacqueline I couldn't finish watching.  What does she care if Teresa admits why she went to jail?  FYI, I wouldn't admit it either.  I'd think, I did my time, I'm not giving the IRS one more reason to keep an eye on me.  But then, I think Teresa just signed crap without reading it.  Still, I wouldn't want Jac anywhere in my life.  When she called Teresa's brother to "prove her point."  I was done.  Yeah, you're right Jac.  So what?  Now you have no friends.  How does that feel?



Incidentally, Jac and her husband are involved in a Bankruptcy case as well, and she acts like her bankruptcy is not criminal -- so it's better.  Um, tell that to the people who lost money on you.  Not to mention, there is an embezzlement charge in their case  My point is, who would want a person like that as a friend?  If Teresa's charges bother you, move along.  

So I was hoping to redeem my bad TV night with "Bachelor in Paradise" last night, but I was so tired, I couldn't even make it through Ashley's second or third cry.  The fact that she thinks she and Jared stand a chance makes me want to cry.  Girl, he doesn't want you.  Move on!  

That being said, I really don't like Caila.  I never did.  Not even on the first season she was on -- and I have no idea why.  She just rubs me the wrong way.


It's probably because she can't make a decision to save her life, and I can be like that, too.  She just doesn't seem like she'd be very much fun to be around.  Do all men think they need to marry their mothers or something?  I guess i don't see the high points of Caila.  I do see the high points of the twins.  I love their commentary -- someone needs to give them a job.

So even though I only have one child at home, I have to have her to school at 7:15.  What the heck is that about?  Don't they get that I'm a writer?  It's too blasted early and it's messing with both my writing schedule and my bad television watching.  Speaking of not watching television, if you haven't read, "A Man Called Ove" please do.  It's really different and I loved it.


Back to work...


Ratings are down on #BachelorinParadise After Paradise. Bummer. Because it's better this season...

The top brass at ABC decided that the "Bachelor in Paradise Aftershow" needed some new blood.  For those of you not familiar with the concept of the aftershow, it's basically a sports roundup for those of us willing to admit we watch this garbage.  Waving hand wildly.  After a long day, I don't want to think about PLOT.  Plot is what I do all day as a novelist. 

Anyway, they decided they'd had enough of Chris Harrison.  Haven't we all? 


Ratings are down, but I'm inclined to believe it's the chemistry between the two hosts and not Chris Harrison's absence.  I Love Michelle Collins. I think she's hysterical and brings a fan's zeal to the show.  I find Sean Lowe boring and not bringing all that much to the conversation.  He acts too knowingly on the panel.  I appreciate his take, but I don't think he should be hosting.  They need someone like Andy Cohen in the midst.  Someone who isn't above it all.  

Have you seen After Paradise?  Willing to admit it?  I actually didn't watch all of the actual episode and watched the Aftershow instead.

This week, I loved seeing Ashley I's dad. It explained so much. He was a doctor and just loved his baby girl like nobody's business and knew exactly who she was -- a tad emotional.  I loved hearing him discuss his daughter and how proud he was of her.  After we saw weird Canadian Daniel try to soil her innocence and our ears, on the same show.  Canada, between him and Bieber, you got some 'splaining to do!


Fake Outrage! AKA Shame on @EllenDegeneres for noticing Usain Bolt was fast...

Where has our sense of humor gone?  Why is everything racist?  You know, the media and "outraged Twitter trolls" seem to assume that everyone NOT of color or a different background, are racist.  Why don't we just go with that?  Oh wait, we already have.  Ellen should have noticed that Usain Bolt was not caucasian.  Her bad.  Why does everyone want to make Usain a victim?  He's no victim.  He's the fastest freaking dude in the WORLD.  Not in his little backyard group of friends, THE WORLD!!!  My guess is, that Usain Bolt had little time to notice an American comedian's attempt at humor.  Okay, you didn't find it funny.  But Ellen is a lesbian, who came out at a really difficult time and faced a LOT of backlash.  So I'm just going to assume that her motive was not racist.  Why do we assume people's motive is always racist?  You know, people are jerks in all different colors.  I happen to think Ellen is not a jerk.  She seems like a very kind soul.  Why would she want to say something cruel?  

Twitter is just mean and ridiculous at times.  Here was her meme.

She's on the fastest man in the world's back to run errands.  Get it?  She could get it DONE.  But because he's black, she's racist.  Okay, Y'ALL are the ones who made it racist by noticing he was black.  She is just talking about him being FAST.  The trolls are the one who made it about his race (and not the kind he won.)

The world is just turning into such a cruel place.  We need humor more than ever, but this PC garbage is killing us.  Teachers in one state were told not to call students "boys and girls" because it would be insensitive to transgenders.  Um, so how do they teach biology now?  There is sensitive and there's stupid.  I'm an INFP, I'm more sensitive than most and I'm just getting tired of this garbage.  We think we're being more accepting, but really we're becoming more divisive.  Jerks come in all colors, but the worst kind are those who hide behind a keyboard with their fake Twitter name and throw accusations.  

Get. A. Job.