J. R. R. Tolkien's impression of the literary character Bilbo Baggins, as seen in Tolkien's illustration of Bag End.  Drawn by Tolkien for inclusion in illustrated editions of his 1937 novel The Hobbit.

J. R. R. Tolkien's impression of the literary character Bilbo Baggins, as seen in Tolkien's illustration of Bag End.
Drawn by Tolkien for inclusion in illustrated editions of his 1937 novel The Hobbit.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
“And he lived happily after till the end of his days.”
The ending of Bilbo Baggin’s book: “There and Back Again, A Hobbit’s Tale,” Bilbo being a supporting actor in the Lord of the Rings series; he, the chronicler of the era.

How many of us will live ‘happily ever after’ as we enter old age,

Having become the human being that we hoped for ourselves; or
Without financial problems; or
Having healthy relationships with the people we know and love,
Being in reasonably good health, and
Having achieved a basic understanding of life as reflected in our daily activities?

How many of us will live ‘happily ever after’ as we enter old age
Spiritually centered, at peace?

Old age.
Life.
It ain’t that pretty at all.




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Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Great use of leftover Roast Turkey.

Great use of leftover Roast Turkey.

My 328th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.

Time is 12.01am.
On Wednesday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 23* with a feels-like temperature of 9*.

Dinner is Turkey Soup.

But again the cheerleading. Once we accept that that many unpleasant days are lining up to annoy us and that we will still have an occasional need to dress for wintry weather, we can enjoy the march to milder weather. Slow but inexorable. It’s coming.  Response: Oh, sure!    Tick Tock. In clock language: Enjoy today.


But again the cheerleading.
Once we accept that that many unpleasant days are lining up to annoy us and that we will still have an occasional need to dress for wintry weather, we can enjoy the march to milder weather.
Slow but inexorable.
It’s coming.

Response: Oh, sure!

Tick Tock.
In clock language: Enjoy today.

_______________________Tick Tock : Marking Calendars and Deep Weather

After 328 posts we’re at the 6.56% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.

Today our winter-spring shoulder calendar features the kind of weather that drives New Englanders nuts.
As the calendar turns a page into March we anticipate the onset of nicer days.
Having just come out of the heaviest snowfall of the season, we now face three days of dastardly cold weather.
Yippee!
Not really.

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Question of the Day
Who was Penny Marshall?

Because white ones get dirty too fast.

Because white ones get dirty too fast.

______________________
Elephant jokes to tell at a bar:
Why do elephants wear black tennis shoes? 




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Photo Gallery
Random shots of winter in the Boston Public Garden, late February, 2019

 

Penny Marshall publicity photo for Laverne & Shirley, dated January 13, 1976

Penny Marshall publicity photo for Laverne & Shirley, dated January 13, 1976

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Answer to the Question of the Day
Who was Penny Marshall?

Carole Penny Marshall (October 15, 1943 – December 17, 2018)[1] was an American actress, director and producer.
She came to notice in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983), receiving three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her portrayal.

Movie Poster

Movie Poster

Marshall made her directorial debut with Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) before directing Big (1988), which became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the U.S. box office.

Her subsequent directing credits included Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, A League of Their Own (1992), Renaissance Man (1994), The Preacher's Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001).
She also produced Cinderella Man (2005) and Bewitched (2005), and directed episodes of the TV series According to Jim and United States of Tara.

She grew up at 3235 Grand Concourse, the Bronx, in a building which was also the childhood home of Neil Simon, Paddy Chayefsky, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren.
She began her career as a tap dancer at age three, and later taught tap at her mother's dance school.

Movie poster for Big

Movie poster for Big

She graduated from Walton High School, a public girls' high school in New York and then went to University of New Mexico for 21⁄2 years where she studied math and psychology.
While at UNM, Marshall became pregnant with daughter, Tracy Reiner (née Tracy Henry), and soon after married the father, Michael Henry, in 1963.
The couple divorced three years later in 1966.
During this period, Marshall worked various jobs to support herself, including working as a choreographer for the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association. In 1967, she moved to Los Angeles to join her older brother Garry, a writer whose credits at the time included TV's The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966).
In 1970, Garry Marshall became the executive producer of the television series The Odd Couple. The following year, Marshall was added to the permanent cast to play a secretary, Myrna, and held the role for four years.
In Marshall's final appearance on The Odd Couple, her character married her boyfriend, Sheldn ("they left the "o" off the birth certificate", she explains), played by Rob Reiner, her real-life husband. The episode included Marshall's real-life siblings, Garry and Ronny, as Myrna's brother and sister.

While she was on The Odd Couple, Marshall played small roles in TV movies such as Evil Roy Slade (1972), starring Mickey Rooney (and produced by brother Garry); The Crooked Hearts (1972) starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., in which she played a waitress; The Couple Takes a Wife, starring Bill Bixby; and Wacky Zoo of Morgan City (1972).

Cast photo, 1976.  Standing, L–R:  Carole Ita White ,  Phil Foster ,  Eddie Mekka ,  Betty Garrett . Middle row, standing:  Penny Marshall ,  Cindy Williams .  Seated:  Michael McKean ,  David Lander .

Cast photo, 1976.
Standing, L–R: Carole Ita White, Phil Foster, Eddie Mekka, Betty Garrett. Middle row, standing: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams.
Seated: Michael McKean, David Lander.

From 1972 to 1973, she appeared as a regular on The Bob Newhart Show.
In 1974, James L. Brooks and Allan Burns cast Marshall as Janice Dreyfuss, sister-in-law to Paul Dreyfuss (played by actor Paul Sand) in the series Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers.
It aired on CBS-TV Saturday nights beginning September 14, 1974.
Despite good reviews and decent ratings, it was canceled mid-season.

Brooks and Burns, along with studio head Grant Tinker, were so impressed with Marshall's comedic talent that the following season, they hired Marshall and actress Mary Kay Place to play Mary Richards' new neighbors (Paula and Sally Jo) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Poster

Poster

Garry Marshall, creator and then part-time writer for Happy Days, cast Marshall and Cindy Williams to guest on an episode of the show.
The installment, titled "A Date with Fonzie", aired on November 11, 1975 and introduced the characters Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney (played by Marshall and Williams, respectively).

In that episode, Laverne and Shirley were a pair of wisecracking brewery workers who were dates for Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Richie (Ron Howard).
The pair were such a hit with the studio audience that Garry Marshall decided to co-create and star them in a successful spinoff, Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983).
The characters of Laverne and Shirley appeared in five more episodes of Happy Days.
In 1982 at the beginning of Laverne & Shirley's eighth season, Williams left the show due to her pregnancy. Marshall continued with the show, but it was canceled after the season's final episode aired in May 1983.

Marshall lent her voice to Ms. Botz, a.k.a. Ms. Botzcowski, the "babysitter bandit," on the first produced episode of The Simpsons, making her the first official guest star to appear on the show, and played a cameo role as herself on the HBO series Entourage.
She also made a cameo appearance alongside her brother Garry in the Disney Halloween-themed movie Hocus Pocus as husband and wife.
She was reunited with her Laverne & Shirley co-star, Cindy Williams, on a November 2013 episode of Sam & Cat.

First Guest

First Guest

At the encouragement of her brother, Marshall became interested in directing.
While starring on Laverne and Shirley, she made her debut as a director and directed four episodes of that show as well as other TV assignments.
In 1979, she directed several episodes of the short-lived sitcom Working Stiffs, starring Michael Keaton and James Belushi.
She soon moved on to theatrical films, her first film being Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) starring Whoopi Goldberg.
She got this gig when the original director dropped out.
She also gave her daughter Tracy and her brother Garry roles in the film.

Marshall directed several successful feature films from the mid-1980s onwards, including Big (1988) starring Tom Hanks (the first film directed by a woman to gross over US$100 million), Awakenings (1990) starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, A League of Their Own (1992) with Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell, and The Preacher's Wife (1996) starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.
In 1991, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award
In 2013, Women in Film and Video presented her with the Women of Vision Award.

I keep a checklist of my life goals in here. Today, with my espresso, I will make some marks.

I keep a checklist of my life goals in here.
Today, with my espresso, I will make some marks.

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Good Morning on this Wednesday, the Sixth of March.

Today we talked about major issues we face as human beings throughout our lives.
We talked about a cold wave.
We posted photos from a winter’s day in Boston Public Garden and presented another elephant joke. They just keep on coming.
And finally we talked about Penny Marshall.
And now? Now gotta go.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Your Love