LA CROIX SPARKLING WATER

la croix case
la croix water
I read a reference to La Croix Sparkling Water in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago. The writer refered to La Croix as “the best water in the world.” I figured that was just marketing hyperbole. Then I saw a case of La Croix in BJ’s Warehouse for a pittance. I bought it and sampled the lemon, lime, and raspberry flavors. Delicious and refreshing! I’m not a big sparkling water fan, but La Croix has just the right blend of bubbles and flavor. Highly recommended!

KINKY BOOTS

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Kinky Boots comes to town, finally. This musical comedy is just what we need to lift our spirits after the Winter we’ve endured. The music by Cyndi Lauper is supposed to be fun. We’re seeing Kinky Boots at Sheas Performing Arts Center during today’s matinee performance. The show is sold out. Have you seen Kinky Boots? What did you think?

UPDATE: We enjoyed Kinky Boots. Plenty of high-energy singing and dancing! The sell-out crowded laughed a lot. GRADE: B+

RIVER OF ICE

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While many of you are enjoying balmy weather, Western New York saw snowflakes this week. Winter refuses to relax its icy grip on us! Here’s what the ice looks like in the Niagara River (just a mile from my house). I woke up to a 29 degree temperature this morning! We’ll have ice chunks floating around for at least another month. Enjoy your warmer weather. We won’t experience any warmth like yours for quite a while!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS #317: THE DAW SCIENCE FICTION READER Edited by Donald A. Wollheim

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Back in 1976, Donald Wollheim, who left ACE Books to start his own science fiction and fantasy publishing house, celebrated the 200th title his company published by collecting stories from some of the writers that made DAW Books a success. Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Gordon R. Dickson, Tanith Lee, Alan Burt Akers (aka, Kenneth Bulmer), Lin Carter, and Brian Stableford represent some of the most popular of the DAW Books stable of writers. Years later, DAW would publish a similar volume to celebrate 30 years of publishing. But this slim, unassuming volume captures the essence of the DAW reading experience. This is a book that’s worth finding and reading!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Andre Norton: FUR MAGIC
Gordon R. Dickson: WARRIOR
Tanith Lee: THE TRUCE
Alan Burt Akers: WIZARD OF SCORPIO
Lin Carter: THE MARTIAN EL DORADO OF PARKER WINTLEY
Marion Zimmer Bradley: THE DAY OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Brian M. Stableford: CAPTAIN EAGAN DIED ALONE

POETRY NOTEBOOK By Clive James

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clive james
April is Poetry Month so what better way to celebrate it that with a book that gets to the heart of the art. I’m a fan of cultural critic Clive James. I’ve read his essay collections over the years. This latest volume focuses on poetry. James writes about poets and the writing process. My favorite essay is “Five Favourite Poetry Books.” James’s five favorite poetry books are Yeats’ The Tower, Robert Frost’s Collected Poems, W. H. Auden’s Look, Stranger!, Richard Wilbur’s Poems: 1943-1956, and Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings. That gives you an idea about Clive James’s taste in poetry. I found these essays enlightening and inspiring. Who is your favorite poet? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction
Acknowledgements
NOTES ON POETRY
Listening to the Flavour
Five Favourite Poetry Books
The Arrow Has Not Two Points
Meeting McNeice
Little Low Heaven
On a Second Reading
Poetry Archive Tour
That Necessary Minimum
A Deeper Consideration
Product Placement in Modern Poetry
Technique’s Marginal Centrality
A Stretch of Verse
The Donaghy Negotiation
There You Come Home
Interior Music
PART II: OTHER ARTICLES ABOUT POETRY
John Updike’s Poetic Finality
Stephen Edgar Stays Perfect
Poetry Heaven, Political Hell
Les Murray’s Palatial New Shed
Talking to Posterity: Peter Porter, 1929-2010
Michael Longley Blends In
Spectator Diary
Building the Sound of Sense
PART III: FINALE TO A NOTEBOOK
Trumpets at Sunset

BROADCHURCH, SEASON TWO FINALE

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Season Two of Broadchurch is even more nerve-wracking than the First Season. David Tennant plays a police detective that looks more wasted than Keith Richards. I really like Olivia Coleman as Ellie Miller, Tennant’s partner. The murder of a young boy gets complicated as a trial of the suspected killer reviews more clues and secrets. At the same time, Tennant investigates the murder of two young girls. The acting is first-rate and suspenseful. I’ll be on the edge of my seat tonight.

INSURGENT

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This sequel to the 2014 surprise hit Divergent features more violence and plot twists. Shailene Woodley returns as Tris, a woman with divergent powers. Her boy friend Four, played by Theo James, helps Tris in her attempt to subvert the future dystopian city of Chicago run by Kate Winslet (Jeanine). There’s plenty of action. Poor Shailene Woodley takes a lot of punishment as Kate Winslet uses Tris’s divergent powers to tap a secret box that holds the fate of the world. I can’t wait until the final installment of this franchise shows up next year! GRADE: B+

THE LOVE AFFAIR COLLECTION BEOLAB 18 [Bang & Olufsen]

Bang and  Olufsen Love Affair Collection
Temptation. Every day I resist it. My latest temptations involve these cool Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 18 speakers. I love the rose-gold aluminum and walnut wood design. These wireless speakers can free-stand or be mounted on a wall. Each speaker houses two 160-watt amplifiers which spread the sound 180 degrees. These speakers only cost $9,100.00 a pair.

Maybe Art Scott will weigh in on this.

PATTI SMITH

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Diane read Patti Smith’s National Book Award winner, Just Kids. The story of life in New York City in the Sixties and Seventies fascinated Diane. Patti Smith interacts with Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur C. Clarke, and dozens of writers and artists. But, her deepest artistic relationship is with Robert Mapplethorpe. Together, Smith and Mapplethorpe master their talent and find success. Patti Smith has a hit with “Because the Night” and Mapplethorpe finds a patron who supports his artistic quest.

Patti Smith was part of the JUST BUFFALO Babel series of speakers. Over a 1000 fans showed up for Smith’s event. She read from Just Kds, had a Q&A and sang some songs with Lenny Kaye providing guitar backup (he’s been with Patti Smith from the beginning of her career). One thing we learned from the Q&A was that Patti is a huge fan of The Killing and her enthusiastic letters to the producer earned her a small part in one of the Netflix episodes (so I’ll have to watch those soon!). If Patti Smith shows up in your neighborhood, she’s worth seeing.

ORPHAN BLACK, THIRD SEASON PREMIERE

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I’m looking forward to tonight’s opening episode! ORPHAN BLACK revolves around a group of clones (all played wonderfully by Tatiana Maslany). The convoluted plots increased last season to the point of confusion. More secrets bring more clones. This is a series you have to watch from the beginning episode or you’ll be lost. Fortunately, AMAZON is offering Season One of Orphan Black for free. If you’re not addicted by the end of Season One, this isn’t the series for you.