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Friday, May 19, 2023

Friday 5ive- May 19, 2023

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly-ish post featuring five things that caught my attention this week.

1) Mother's Day was Sunday, I hope you all had a lovely day. We had dinner at my son and daughter-in-law's, and my charming and talented daughter-in-law made us a delicious dinner that is a family favorite from way back- Mr. Food's Oregano Chicken. I put the recipe in a cookbook that I gave both our sons for Christmas one year and it makes me happy to know that they use it. I hope it makes them smile as much as I did when I wrote it. I also received some beautiful flowers with a very heartfelt card with meaningful sentiments that I will keep forever. All in all, a great way Mother's Day!

2) I am a big Bruce Springsteen fan and a Peloton rider so I was excited to take my favorite instructor Jenn Sherman's Bruce Springsteen series 45 minute ride. The playlist was fantastic- No Surrender, Thunder Road, Tenth Avenue Freezeout and  Hungry Heart were the highlights- and the energy and enthusiasm of the riders and Jenn made this ride a bookmarked one for me. I will be taking this one frequently. 

3) I enjoy listening to the Smartless podcast hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes. The three friends are hilarious and they have interesting guests. This week it was Paul Anka, who happens to be Jason Bateman's father-in-law. Anka was fascinating as he recalled his 60+ year career beginning when he had his first hit song at the age of 15- "Diana". He told stories about his days of hanging the 40 year-old Rat Packers- Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.- when he just a teenager. Anka also introduced the Beatles to their soon-to-be American managers in the early 1960s after he saw them perform in Europe when he lived in Italy. It was a great discussion and if you want to hear all about the early days of the Vegas mob, find this podcast and downoad it. 

4) I watched the Hulu documentary about Brooke Shields titled Pretty Baby. Brooke Shields has been part of the American consciousness since the 1970s and this documentary was so well done. The title comes from the controversial movie of the same name featuring a 12 year-old Brooke playing a young girl works as a prostitute in 1917 New Orleans. It goes through her entire career- the ups and downs, like her Calvin Klein ad (also controversial), the movies like Endless Love and Blue Lagoon and her TV show Suddenly Susan. Her personal life kept her in the news as well- attending college at Princeton, her relationship with Michael Jackson, her stormy marriage to tennis superstar Andre Agassi- for her entire life. It is her relationship with her single mother Terri that drives her life. Terri was the ultimate stage mother, driving Brooke's career. Terri was also an alcoholic, and Brooke is brutally honest about what that was like. She loved her mother, but they had a complicated relationship. Seeing how people, mostly men, used this woman from a very early age, is something to be reckoned with as a society. It's a thought-provoking and heartbreaking documentary and I found it powerful. 

5) I've been looking forward to reading J. Ryan Stradal's new book, Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club and I happily dug in this week. Stradal sets his books (Great Kitchens of the Midwest, The Lager Queen of Minnesota) in Minnesota, and that alone makes his books unique. This begins with Betty dragging her young daughter Florence from one unfortunate living situation to another. When they meet a kind man named Floyd in a coffee shop, he offers them a place to live and a job on the property where he owns a supper club in a small town. Betty takes to the club and Floyd right away. Young Florence befriends Archie, who lives in another small cabin on the property, and spends her evenings playing cards with Floyd and Archie. Floyd marries Betty, and as Florence grows up she works at the supper club and sees her dreams for her life slipping away. I found the concept of the supper clubs so interesting. The supper club is the hub of small towns and Saturday is the night when everyone goes there for dinner. The book spans four generations of women in Betty's family, and what they owe themselves and their family forms the basis for this wonderful book that I tried to savor as long as I could as I didn't want it to end. I highly recommend it. 

Have a  safe, happy week. Until next time.

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