Friday Free Associating


Some seemingly random thoughts on a Friday morning:

1. I’m not feeling all that well this morning. Not sure what’s going on, but I feel a bit off. I’m going to turn it all around with positive thoughts.

2. Don’s show opened last night. Here he is as Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion:


Photo by Henry DiRocco/The Old Globe Theatre

He’s perfect for this role. The audiences love him. If you’re in the San Diego area, go see him! Here’s a link to the write-up in Playbill and to the Old Globe’s website. Robert Sean Leonard is playing Henry Higgins.

3. I’ve watched both Argo and Silver Linings Playbook and really liked them both. Argo is incredible – I was on the edge of my seat. Ben Affleck’s direction is excellent and the acting is wonderful. Silver Linings Playbook is delightful: quirky, funny and heart-warming. I was thinking about it this morning when I woke up – that’s always a good sign. I’m not usually a big Bradley Cooper fan, but he is absolutely terrific in this movie. Yesterday, Les Miserables arrived in the mail! I have to say, this is sort of fun – a definite perk of my husband’s long membership in the Screen Actors Guild.

4. My dissatisfaction with Barnes & Noble continues. I dropped in there the other day to look for a copy of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a hugely popular, bestselling mystery/thriller. Not one copy anywhere in the store. When I say this is a bestseller, I mean it is currently a bestseller. Not in the past, now. I must have circled that store 5 times thinking I might have missed the display. Oh, let me correct that. I circled the small section of the store that is devoted to actual books. Nope. Nothing. She has written other books. I looked for them. Nothing.

I found it at Target.

What can I say?

5. My good friend, James Latus, is a well-known Stage Manager both on and off Broadway. I’ve been fortunate to work with him on two different occasions. Besides being the nicest guy in the world, he is an incredible baker (and cook) who regularly lavishes his cast and crew with scrumptious treats. He’s just started a new blog, The Backstage Baker, and there are already some great recipes there. Stop by and visit!

Okay. That’s all for now. I’ll be back at 8:00 EST for A Favorite Thing.

Happy Friday.


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  1. Suzan says

    I know that this is a horrible thing for a librarian to say, but this is why I really like my Kindle. I have yet to find anything that Amazon does not have. Sometimes the students will see me with the kindle and will ask me about it. I tell them that there are many forms books can take now days. The important thing is that they read. Another reason I use amazon is that we do not have a bookstore in our town. GRRRRRRRR that makes me crazy!
    Ladybug Cottage

    • Claudia says

      It’s a bit of a trap, isn’t it? Amazon has everything but the reason independent bookstores are not surviving is because of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I expect Amazon is also the reason that stores like B & N are adding so much other non-book inventory to their stock. They obviously think it’s the only way they can survive. Amazon’s very convenience is the death knell for many bookstores. I’d rather have the bookstores.

  2. says

    Congratulations to your husband! Just by looking at his picture I know he’s perfect in the roll–that facial expression! I know you’re excited and wish you could be in the audience. Thanks for the movie reviews also. I watch the Oscars every year even though I don’t see movies anymore until they are on DVD. I was happy for Ben Afleck.

    • Claudia says

      I never see movies until they are on DVD, either. So having these ahead of their actual release is a treat!

  3. says

    Don is just adorable!! I will go read the reviews for sure. I know you miss him but what a great opportunity! I am so jealous that you get to see all the nominated films! I can’t afford movie tickets much but think I will try to see Argo and Les Mis. Wishing you a lovely day….we have sunshine here and it’s perked me up a lot.
    hugs, Linda

  4. says

    I love Pygmalion ~ I remember first seeing it with my parents at Melodyland. I bet Don is fabulous. Three great movies in a row. It seems it’s feast or famine with films. Enjoy!

      • says

        I just realized this is a musical and that Don is singing in this picture. Duh! You have to frame this one for the gallery.

        • Claudia says

          No, Susy, it isn’t a musical. He’s just talking. It’s Pygmalion by Shaw. My Fair Lady was base on this play but this is the play – no music.

  5. says

    What a wonderful photograph, Claudia. I bet he’s having the most marvelous time with that role, which is a gem and a scene stealer. And I enjoyed reading the articles about the play and the company on those links, thank you so much for posting them. The last time I was in a Barnes and Noble I was distressed at how many THINGS there were for sale rather of books. I’m not sure why so many bookstores feel they need to have cafés, greeting cards, gift items and large flashy coffee table books rather than LITERATURE. It’s very sad and frustrating. Oh well… How lucky you are to be able to see those films so early! And thank you for that recipe link. Have a lovely weekend and stay warm.

  6. says

    Don must be fabulous. I am so happy for the two of you that he has this part.
    I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but today is better. I hope it will be for you, too.

  7. says

    You have to be so proud. He looks perfect for the part. Wish that you could see him. I wish I could too. You sure seem to filling up your time well. Fun to see the recent movies. I had a sore throat last night and thought I was getting sick. I took a bunch of Vit. c and feel okay now. I think we are all afraid to get this bug. Stay well and warm. ((((((HUGS))))0

  8. Tana says

    I can just hear your Don singing “Get Me to the Church on Time”! In fact I seem to be humming it right now. Will break out in song any minute.
    You get plenty of sleep and drink fluids.

  9. lori says

    Hi Claudia,

    What fun to see Don on stage, if only in our imagination….he looks perfect for the part! Hope you’re feeling better soon. Nice that you have plenty of things to watch and read while you take it easy. I read “Gone Girl” and loved it!
    Take care and have a warm and cozy day :)

  10. Lori Cassaro says

    Don looks perfect in that costume, and you can tell by his face he is reveling in that role…:)!
    I wanted to ask if you have been watching the NBC show ‘SMASH’…?

    • Claudia says

      I tried getting into it, but I just couldn’t. Maybe because I know that world too well and the show sorts of exaggerates the whole thing, as it should – it’s for the purpose of entertainment, after all.

  11. says

    You must have been thrilled to see the picture of Don in his role and the reviews. What an exciting time for him! It’s been such a long time since I have been to a play, I’m hearing impaired and just don’t catch a thing being said. This is also why I like renting DVD’s and having Netflix, I can use closed caption.

    I mentioned in my last post that I found an old new/used bookstore in my neighborhood…actually, I re-found it, it’s just been a decade since I’ve been there. You can bring your used books in there for credit towards your purchases…what a win/win. I hear you on Barnes and Noble. I do enjoy my quiet time in bookstores like this…having a scone and coffee and flipping through my books, but it really is jam packed with a lot of excess distraction now. And reading one of your replies to a comment made me think back on a picture I saw of a shut down Border’s with a sign in the window that read, “No restrooms…use Amazons’! Isn’t that the ugly truth?

    Feel better , sweet lady.


    • Claudia says

      Oh, that sign is too perfect, Jane. That is indeed the ugly truth. I’m sorry about your hearing problem, Jane – can you use those sound enhancers that theaters hand out? Or are they too frustrating to use? Your bookstore sounds wonderful. I’m on the lookout for some sort of independent bookstore but the ones I know of are a long drive from my house.

  12. Patti says

    Sorry you are not feeling well Claudia. I have felt a little off myself this week. No obvious symtoms of anything…just off. Could be January slump or something. Feeling better now that the sun is out and almost the weekend. That’s exciting to see your hubby photographed appearing in a play! What a great perk to get to see those movies before the release of the DVD’s! Feel better! ~ Hugs, Patti

  13. says

    Hey Claudia, I’m just about to run out to do some grocery shopping, so I will come back to your blog later to look at your links. I love the picture of Don; he looks fantastic! I wish I would’ve known you were looking for a copy of Gone Girl. I bought it for my husband and he devoured it in 2 days. I was going to read it soon…and then I could’ve passed it on to you. Well, I will send positive thoughts your way…be blessed, my friend.

  14. says

    How weird I downloaded that book yesterday, I saw it at Barnes and Noble in the new fiction hardback section. I am off today myself, that migraine did me in.

  15. Donnamae says

    Great pic of Don…love that story. Hope you feel better! I’m making homemade chicken noodle soup this afternoon…so good. It’ll cure whatever is ailing you…want a bowl? 😉

  16. says

    Is it possible that B&N would have printed and bound it for you at the store? Many of the stores are going to that now with the cost per sq ft of a store footprint. They have a printer/binder machine. You just ask for what you are looking and they print and bind it on the spot.

    I love my Kindle since we live and travel in a 5th wheel and books take up a lot of space and add much weight. However, sometimes the tactile feeling of an actual page in my hands can’t be beat (especially in the winter for some reason)! :)

    Feel better!

    • Claudia says

      A Kindle is great for someone like you who is on the road all the time! I don’t know about the printing and binding thing or if they even do it at our Barnes & Noble.

  17. says

    What a creative pair the two of you are! (and lucky Don for being in San Diego in January … sigh).

    I too watched Argo on he edge of my seat even though I knew how it would turn out. To me, that’s one of the reasons it’s such an amazing film. Have a wonderful weekend! xo

    • Claudia says

      I know! I knew what the ending was because it’s a true story but, nevertheless, I was tense and enthralled up until the end.

    • Claudia says

      I’m holding off until I finish my current book. But I can’t wait to be able to start it.

  18. says

    I’m sorry you’re feeling off, hoping you’ve been feeling better as the day has progressed. (I feel really tired and praying I’m not getting sick. My husband teaches fourth grade so it’s pretty hard to escape 30+ children in various stages of being ill. WAH!)

    Love the photo of Don, so much fun! How long is the run?

    “Homemade’s and crabby cakes”! Love that line! The hubby and I loved both Argo and Silver Linings. You big lucky, getting to see Les Mis at home. I sure wish they’d show the nominated films on cable like they did a million years ago here. We run around every year like crazy people, trying to see the animated and live action shorts, the documentaries, the foreign films and all the best picture nominees we’ve missed. I shouldn’t complain, at least they’re shown in Los Angeles.

    I loathe Barnes and Noble. Whenever there’s a book my husband or I want, it’s nowhere to be found there. ARGH! and their computer inventory will tell the clerk there are six of the book in the store but no one can find them. I can’t wait to hear what you thought of Gone Girl!

    I’ll look forward to checking your friends blog out, hope he has fun!

    Happy long holiday weekend to you! xo

    • Claudia says

      The run is until February 17th. He comes home on the 18th. I loved “Homemades and Crabby Cakes” too! Too wonderful!

  19. says

    So glad Don will be experiencing sure success with the play, Claudia. It will surely be worth the time apart, I hope. I certainly had the song “Getting to the Church on Time” in my head when I saw the picture. Gone Girl is a interesting/can’t put it down book. Glad you found it and hope you like it. I hear Reese Witherspoon has bought the movie rights. Can’t picture her as the girl, but perhaps she is turning to directing or simply producing it. You have just watched two of my favorite movies from the past year. There are some great interviews on Youtube with the actual hostages/CIA agent/Canadian Ambassador if you want to round out the Argo experience. Hmmmmm. I happen to really like Bradley Cooper….. what can I say? I do. I feel shallow that I like him, but what the heck? That movie was just a delight, sometimes sad, but positive as well. Hard to write positively about mental illness, but it worked. Hope you feel better for the weekend. Ann

    • Claudia says

      Oh, don’t get me wrong, Bradley Cooper is pretty dishy. I always felt that he was a bit too slick in his roles. Just my take. But I have been wowed by his work in this movie. I’m glad he has been given a chance to show what he can really do. He’s wonderful.

  20. says

    My nephew is a Stage Manager also… Jess Speaker.

    Hope you are feeling better…our house had Strep, Respiratory Infections, Ear infections…all at Christmas…we are just now feeling good!
    Stay well!!


    • Claudia says

      Stage Managers are some of my favorite people. I always get on well with them and I admire them. It takes patience, skill, and may I say it again, patience, to be a good stage manager.

  21. says

    I went and visited this and the links on lunch break at work but didn’t get a chance to comment afterwards….what fun to read about the play, see Don interviewed at the party etc. LOL he’s just adorable :) I think you should keep him :)

    • Claudia says

      Feeling a bit better today, Sissie. My sinuses are a pain in the butt, but the achy feeling and spaciness have left the building, thank goodness.

  22. says

    Claudia – I hope you are feeling better!

    Don looks perfect in his role as Eliza’s father – what a fun role! It would be such fun if the two of you could come up and work with Perseverance Theatre here in Douglas!

    I can’t wait to read the Backstage Baker’s blog!

    • Claudia says

      It WOULD be fun, wouldn’t it, Paula? Especially since we’ve never been to Alaska and I have a dear high school friend who has lived there for years! And you! I am feeling better today, Paula. Thank goodness!

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