Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Girl on the Train

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Arugula
  • Jalapeños
  • Banana Peppers

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Movie:

The Girl on the Train

You’ve read the book, but have you seen the film?

My husband and I finally read it over the last few days. I had wanted to for awhile, and had the perfect chance while we were on a beach vacation earlier this month. He read it after me, and we both really liked it (and, comparing it to other suspense novels we’ve read, understood why it’s sold so well). Perhaps because I’m a writer (or, just because we like to talk about books), we talked about the characters, the plot twists, and the unreliable narrator, Rachel.

Though the movie has had mixed reviews, I wanted to see it as soon as possible after reading the book, so we could see it for ourselves and discuss the film adaptation. Since it’s been out for awhile, we had to go far from our neck of the woods for a showing at the right time (after our early dinner). I’m glad we did, but I agree with those who think the film wasn’t nearly as good as the book.

But I think it could have been.

It wasn’t just that they moved the story from England to Connecticut (or somewhere up north), and that the houses weren’t as I pictured them; they seemed too far from the train tracks, and too far apart. They also cut a lot of important scenes (and some key dialogue), and added some things that weren’t in the book, and weren’t needed.

Even so, if you see the movie, I strongly suggest you read the book first. Or – just read the book.

Oh, and I had a wedge salad, and (oops), one very small piece of pizza. But now I’m back “on track” on my diet, so to speak.

Reliably.

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Accountant

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Anchovies
  • Jalapeños
  • Shallots

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Me? Wedge salad.

Movie:

The Accountant

He liked this movie better than I did. I did enjoy several scenes, but as a whole it wasn’t exactly my thing. However, I did think it was pretty well cast, even if I found the story a little bit out there. He thought it was actually set up for (or could be set up for) a sequel.

As for the pizza toppings, I know anchovies don’t look that good, but I think they taste pretty good – better than jalapeños, anyway. He’s running through every combination (it seems) he can make with jalapeños as one of the toppings, since I dislike them and am not eating pizza for the foreseeable future.

And all those salads (and other healthier food choices, + daily exercise) is paying off: Today is exactly 6 months since I started focusing on losing weight. In those 6 months, I’ve lost exactly 45 pounds!

People have asked me how I’ve done it. I use the app “LoseIt” to keep track of calories, and of pounds. I’m not at my goal, but I’m more than halfway there. When I reach it, I think I’ll pick all 3 toppings and have 1 very tasty slice of pizza (and a side salad, of course). I plan to continue using the app then (and for life, too – why not?) so I can maintain, after such a long weight-loss journey.

That’ll be my sequel.

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Queen of Katwe

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Red Onion

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and a spinach salad for me.

Movie:

Queen of Katwe

He had heard of this film and wanted to see it, and I really enjoyed it. Based on a true story, it’s about a young girl in Africa who turns out to be a chess prodigy. I don’t play chess (and don’t want to learn how), but it was absolutely wonderful that this girl did. She was amazing, and during the chess competition scenes, it was tense, and she didn’t always win. I was mesmerized by her and her opponent’s eyes – watching their expressions and their reactions as they competed.

There was a lot more to love about this movie, too, including the rest of the cast, and it was well done. Sully was a feel-good film, and so was this one. It was just a tad bit too long, but overall I think it’s an A.

Our dinner was great, too, and it was a fun evening out. I’ll eat pizza again later on – but not with jalapeños on it!

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Sully

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Corn
  • Jalapeños
  • Garlic

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For me, spinach salad.

Movie:

Sully

Dinner was good, and the film was great. I had my doubts about whether to see it (since I’m mildly afraid of flying), but I’m glad I did. Tom Hanks was terrific, and the story unfolded very well.  If you see it, I think you’ll feel good about pilots, New Yorkers, and just about being an American. And don’t miss the credits at the very end – they almost make the movie!

My verdict: A+

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Jason Bourne

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Anchovies
  • Jalapeños
  • That’s it – he asked for Arugula but they forgot it. Oh, well.

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Wedge salad for me.

Movie:

Jason Bourne

I loved the first 3 Bourne films: The Bourne Identity, Ultimatum, and Supremacy. Did not like The Bourne Legacy. If you feel the same, you’ll like Jason Bourne. It’s what you would expect, and then some. All I will say is that, like Jack Bauer’s backup in 24, it’s not good to be Jason Bourne’s girlfriend/love interest: Things don’t really go well for you.

One other thing, speaking of love interests. I like both Julia Stiles and Alicia Vikander, but I did NOT like Alicia’s American (?) accent in this film. It just sounded weird. Let me know if you agree.

On the missing Arugula (see above), he didn’t mind too much. I confess I had a bite of this pizza (only because I couldn’t resist the anchovies), but luckily, the jalapenos kept me from eating much. Yay.

After that, things went very well.

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Secret Life of Pets

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Capers
  • Jalapeños
  • Green Olives

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I had the spinach salad.

Movie:

The Secret Life of Pets

This film was laugh-out-loud, very entertaining, sweet and lovable – kind of like Toy Story but with pets (and not just dogs). I really liked the cat (and I don’t really like real cats), and I loved all the dogs, especially the poodle. It was very funny and very cute. Next time, we’re going for an action/thriller (probably Jason Bourne), but I’m glad we saw Pets.

The pizza: Yes, we are still on a salad-for-me and jalapeños-for-him on the pizza (taking lots of it home) while I’m boycotting pizza. I suggested the other two toppings (I was thinking, why not do all green?) and he liked the idea.

He said it was tasty. So was my dinner, which was pretty green, too.

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Ghostbusters

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Chicken
  • Jalapeños
  • Sliced Tomatoes

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Me? I had a wedge salad again.

Movie:

Ghostbusters

The film: A solid remake, funny, entertaining, well cast, and if you liked the original, you’ll probably like this one, too.

The pizza: He’s on a jalapeños kick (with my blessing) because I’m not eating pizza for the foreseeable future. My salad was great, though.

Movies we want to see very soon: The Secret Life of Pets, Jason Bourne (we’re binge watching the previous ones, all of which I LOVE), Captain Fantastic, Bad Moms (note: I almost titled my last novel, DADDY’S GIRL, as BAD CINDERELLA – and maybe I should have), and later on, Ben-Hur.

 

 

 

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Love and Friendship

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Ham
  • Jalapeños
  • Spinach *

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(I had a wedge salad with chicken.)

We my husband chose jalapeños since I’m not eating pizza right now (and for a while), and I don’t like them.

Movie:

Love and Friendship

All in all, I liked this film, but lots of characters are introduced early in the opening credits, and it was hard for me to keep track of them – almost overwhelming. It was distracting as I tried to follow the plot. However, I love Jane Austen, and if you do, too, I think you will like this movie.

One reason we chose to see it was that it was playing at the right time (7:15). Other films we want to see were playing either too early or too late at our theater of choice: Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets [me], and Star Trek Beyond [him – I just don’t like Star Trek.] Pets was playing at 7:00 so that was doable, but after Finding Dory last time, he requested we not watch an animated movie, and I agreed. Maybe next time, though. Or maybe Ghostbusters at a different cinema.

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

*He asked for Sliced Tomatoes, but he got Spinach instead, and said it was tasty.

 

Sharing support: reaction to my article in the AJC

I’ve been overwhelmed with all the support and kind wishes that Jack and I and our family have received since the publication of my “Personal Journey” article titled Fear and Gratitude in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) Sunday edition of July 10, 2016.

 

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Here are some quotes from the messages, letters, and comments:

“Thank you for sharing your story. My son is your son’s age and was a Terry student at UGA. I can’t imagine how hard this was but so glad things worked out well for him and your family.” 

“…Had me in tears…Congrats…Awesome…Very cool…”

“…so proud of your good writing as I sorrowed along with you, Jack, and the whole family.”

“Your story touched my heart…Kudos…Fabulous article…This is beautiful.”

“…your strength and talent go beyond the pages you write.”

“Excellent article…Amazing journey…Well done! Very moving! Thanks for sharing your experience.””

“…brought tears to my eyes and reassurance that goods thing can happen in this world…Inspiring!  That’s the one word that would describe Julia McDermott’s Personal Journeys’ story of her son, Jack’s, battle and victory over brain cancer.  We’re reminded that our lives can change in a moment and the only way to meet fear and tragedy is through positive action, courage, and faith.”

“…unbelievable…I marvel at your family’s courage and faith through it all!…Don’t we learn in the most unimaginable situations?”

From a friend in my French conversation class: “Quel article dans le journal ce dimanche passé!   Cette histoire est incroyable, une source d’inspiration! Tu es vraiment douée comme écrivaine et comme mère extraordinaire!
Et ton fils est un modèle de courage et de ténacité pour tout le monde.”

And:

From Dr. Allan Friedman of Duke, in an email to me: “You are a gifted writer.  This is a very nice article….Give him my best.”

From UGA President Jere W. Morehead, in a letter to Jack: “I read about your battle with cancer in…the AJC. I was deeply moved by your experience. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to confront such dire circumstances as a student. The strength that you demonstrated to overcome the illness and complete your education is truly inspirational. Your story sends a powerful message of hope and courage to so many, and the University of Georgia is proud to call you an alumnus.”

IF I’ve forgotten to include your message, or if you would like to send one, please post it in the Comments below!

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me, Jack 11-6

Pizza and a Movie: Finding Dory

This (last) weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Bacon
  • Extra Cheese
  • Green Olives

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Movie:

Finding Dory

I had a spinach salad and two slices of pizza (although I’d planned not to have any pizza). He chose all the toppings, and since I’m trying to eat less (or no) pizza now, I suggested he choose jalapeños next time. (That’ll ensure I stick to a salad alone.)

I loved Finding Nemo, and this film was quite good too: entertaining, visually dazzling, funny, sweet, and everything good that is Pixar. The only thing I didn’t absolutely love is that Dory kept saying that she suffers from short-term memory loss (which we knew from the first movie, but that came out a long time ago, so there you are). She’s adorable, though, and I loved the story.

When my husband was a little boy, the story goes, one evening, after playing outside, he kept asking his parents the same questions, and couldn’t remember their answers. They realized he was “suffering from short-term memory loss” and took him to a doctor, who said he had had a concussion. He recovered, started remembering things again, and never had another concussion, thank goodness. I never had an experience like that, so I don’t know what it’s like.

But he never forgot.

 

 

 

 

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