Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Movie and Lunch Club: The Longest Ride



A beautiful, warm day. What more could I ask for our monthly Movie and Lunch Club date? Not much. It doesn’t happen often but the committee who picks the movies picked the one I wanted to see so I was a happy camper before the film even began. If you think you wouldn’t like a movie or book club that takes you outside your comfort zone, well, that’s the whole point of a club. We get into ruts, we don’t expand our horizons often enough so it’s good to let a club push our personal envelopes. Still, every once in a while it feels good when the club takes you back to the places that feel like home.

If you’re a reader you probably know that eleven of Nicholas Spark’s books have been adapted into films and I’ve seen The Notebook, The Lucky One, A Message in a Bottle and now the latest one, The Longest Ride. I’m not a huge fan of his---Spark’s plot devices tend to fall together a little too conveniently for my tastes and the stories are full of clichés---but when you’re in the mood for schmaltzy you always get your money’s worth with his books or movies. I am, however, a fan of feel good movies and The Longest Ride is one of those. Any movie that can make me shed a few happy tears is worth the ticket price.

The movie’s plot summary at IMDb reads like this: “….The Longest Ride centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City's art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, The Longest Ride explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.” 

Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, was in the leading male role and he did a great job. You could sure see his resemblance to his dad when they did profile shots. The female lead had such an expressive face, she was perfect casting. Alan Alda (playing Ira) was the only actor in the whole movie who I actually knew and if I was going to be picky, the only criticism of film I’d made is the casting of the younger version of Ira. He was supposed to look/be starry-eyed in love but it came off looking cartoonish and too cliché in my opinion. For what it's worth, none of the other fifteen in our group agreed with me. The movie is rated PG-13 so you know there wasn’t much nudity but I must say what there was, was so well filmed that I loved, loved, LOVED the love scene. It was super artistic and dream-like. The filming of one of the bull riding scenes was also very artistic. Pure beauty caught in slow motion, bull spit flying in the light included. 

All and all I’d recommend the movie to anyone who likes romantic dramas and/or Nicholas Spark’s book. Although PETA members will have to suspend their beliefs to enjoy it. (Actually, in some cities they are protesting outside of theaters and 20th Century Fox is calling them miss-informed.) Like many of us who were raised east of the Mississippi River I’m conflicted about the sport of bull riding but I accept it as an iconic part of western culture and I think it's here to stay. Of course, slavery was once an iconic part of southern culture so “iconic” alone doesn’t justify anything if it’s truly cruel to man or beast. 

After the movie we went to a restaurant I’d never been to before which is usually the case. They always pick new places, up-scale stuff and/or restaurants that have gotten good reviews. It’s fun because I’d never go to these places on my own. For lunch I tried the “Undead Elvis Burger” which was made with peanut butter, bananas, a fried egg, bacon, mayo and, of course, a fat patty of hamburger. I couldn’t believe I was paying $10 for a hamburger but I was in the mood to be adventurous. Near the end of our meal the chef came out of the kitchen and did the little chit-chat they do at tables, then he asked who had the Elvis burger and how did I like it. It was the first day they’d had it on the menu and I was the first person to try it. I gave it high marks and would order it again. It had an interesting flavor and I suspect the bananas were caramelized before layering them between the hamburger and the bacon. I also suspect the layering order is precisely worked out so that no one flavor profile over powers the others. The peanut butter was a paper thin layer on the top and bottom bun, maybe even a peanut butter sauce rather than straight out of the jar. 

Memories of Elvis and modern day cowboys in action all on the same day. I OD’s on testosterone that’s for sure. I’m still smiling. ©

13 comments:

  1. Amazing summary of " The Longest Ride. ". Nice job. Now what amazed me even more was that hamburger. WOW! “Undead Elvis Burger” with peanut butter, bananas, a fried egg, bacon, mayo and, of course, a fat patty of hamburger. My mouth is watering right now. Unbelievable. Now my problem would be, how many calories would that hamburger have? Oh what the heck. Have some french fries with it. Ha,ha,ha.
    Have a wonderful sunny Sunday Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. The calorie count crossed my mind, too, but sometimes you have to throw caution to the winds and try something new. And I did have fries with the hamburger and dare I say an "Elephant Ear Sundae" in a martini glass for desert. The "ear" was only one inch long but very good. Who ever writes their menu knows how to intrigue people enough to order.

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  2. I'm glad you had a fabulous day out. That's awesome after a long and cold winter.

    That burger sounds interesting. You're way braver than me. Way braver.

    Have a terrific day. :)

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    1. It's easy to be brave with a hamburger. If I hadn't like the first bite I figured I could disassemble it and eat the parts separately.

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  3. You DO get busy when that snow and ice is gone! I need to learn to pace myself. After my busy week I did NOTHING on Saturday ... and even took a nap! Good for you! I haven't been OUT to the movies in months. Maybe once a year.

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    1. Of all the things I do through the senior hall I like the Movie and Lunch Club the best. We have a built in topic for lunch conversation, the group is small enough for that, and we get to see movies I'd otherwise not go to alone. Ditto on eating out.

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  4. Bull riding is a tough life for the rider and the bull, but it's a way of life, and I don't think it will come to an end anytime soon.

    Your Elvis Burger sounds adventurous indeed. I'm not sure I would have tried it, but my hat's off to you for doing so.
    I would love to find a lunch and movie club. It sounds like fun, like most of your endeavors.

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    1. If I was a mother and my son wanted to ride bulls, I'd pitch a fit. It looks worse that playing football when it comes to getting injured.

      Maybe in your new neighborhood you could start a movie and lunch club. I don't think it would be hard to do. We meet at the theater and those who don't want to see the movie or have the time for it, will often just join us for lunch.

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    2. That's a good idea. Our new neighborhood is small, but maybe I can find a few people who would like to join in.

      I told my son that he could not bungi jump until I was no longer paying his bills.

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  5. Nicholas Sparks, rodeos, Clint Eastwood, carb, sugar, and calorie binges...NOT a few of the favorite things. But I agree -- out of the comfort zone is a good place to go sometimes and regardless of what you are up to, I love your perspective and your ability to write in a way that puts me in the seat next to you. Smiling...(as I finish my cinnamon roll -- a "just this once" vacation treat. LOL)

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    1. Back before he made his politics so public I used to like Eastwood, but now won't go out of my way to see any of his films. If his son is smart he'll keep his politics to himself.

      Enjoy your food "vacation". Everything is better with baked goods.

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  6. I'm still trying to work out how all that food gets in a hamburger bun and fits inside your mouth!
    It does sound interesting though!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I ended up cutting into four quarters and nibbled from the top down and the bottom up. It was interesting.

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