We’re please to share our newsletter with the public. Click below for upcoming programming.
We’re stepping away from this pandemic-era program. Hopefully, we can see movies together very soon.
We’ll watch a movie or documentary (at our own convenience) chosen by the group and then discuss it on the
First Wednesday of each month at 5:00pm
You’re encouraged to bring your critiques and your favorite refreshments. Come with one or two suggestions of what to watch so we can vote on it.
August 4, 2021 – “Diane” – A 2018 movie with Mary Kay Place.She plays a woman trying to keep her world together while coming to terms with her past life choices.
June 2, 2021 – “Bagdad Cafe” – The 1987 film centers on two women who have recently separated from their husbands, and the blossoming friendship that ensues. It is a comedy-drama set in a remote truck stop and motel in the Mojave Desert.
May 5, 2021 – “Quartet” – Once-popular opera diva Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) creates a stir with her arrival at Beecham House, a home for retired performers. Most of the other Beecham residents are delighted, and try to convince Jean to join them in a performance of “Rigoletto.” Jean, however, knows that she is long past her prime and is reluctant to sully the memory of her once-lovely voice. Directed by Dustin Hoffman
– synopsis by Rotten Tomatoes
April 5, 2021 – “Poms” – It’s a comedy about an introvert who befriends an extrovert and they decide to start a cheerleading squad. Starring Diane Keaton and Jackie Weaver, plus lots of other great actors.
March 3, 2021 – “The Lady in the Van” – This film is our next choice. It tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s somewhat strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, a crabby, eccentric and unsanitary homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home “for three months”.
February 3, 2021 – “Noises Off” – The film follows the rehearsal and performance of a dreadful farce called Nothing On, a hit British show that is preparing for its American debut in Des Moines, Iowa, with a second-rate, Broadway-bound theatrical troupe.
January 6, 2021 – “The Good Liar” – Watch two masters of the acting craft joust in what should be an easy con. Helen Mirren was our inspiration, also starring Ian McKellon. (available on various video platforms)
December 2, 2020 – “Age of Adeline” – (available on various video platforms)
Meeting ID: 860 3155 0695
1-312-626-6799 US (Chicago)
How to Access the Wonderful World of Podcasts
If you were born after the advent of television or maybe you were very young when that technology took over the planet, you might have never depended on your ears for entertainment. Oddly enough, in this highly technological age, listening is back, and it’s all free.
People are too busy to sit down and watch a show or read a book. They need to be multitasking. Doing dishes while there’s a podcast in the background can help us stay up to date on the news. Listening to your favorite comedian while you make a bed or fold laundry turns it into something you look forward to, instead of something you dread.
Listening as a “second task” is enjoyed in many different ways. Some like to listen to sports experts while they do something else. Some people listen to politics and news. Others like a good crime drama or a how-to podcast. Everyone has a podcast these days. Oprah has a podcast. NPR has about a dozen podcasts. Even Rudi Guilani and Joe Biden have podcasts.
But how do you access this wonderful world of listening? It can seem like it’s another world, if you’ve never done it. Here is a guide to accessing podcasts.
How to Access Podcasts: Step-By-Step
- Choose your device. You can use a smartphone or a computer. All of these links work on both. If you use your smartphone, you will be more mobile. Identify if you have an Android or an Apple phone. On a computer, do you have a Mac or a PC?
- The simplest app option is right on your smartphone. You have a “Podcast” app, whether it’s Apple or Android. You can Search your phone for that app. On Android, you can also use Google Play Music. There are other apps that you can use on your computer or smartphone:
- Pocket Casts
- Podcast Addict
- Within that app there is a Search function. Look for a podcast that sounds interesting, and you’re off to the races. You can “Subscribe” or just listen to one episode. Unsubscribe anytime.
- One note of caution: if you find that the memory on your phone begins to fill up quickly, don’t be alarmed. Delete podcast episodes you know you won’t have time for or make sure to unsubscribe from any podcasts you no longer listen to. This will free up memory for other things.
Some Podcasts We Love
This list will take you to a website, and the website will take you to the Podcast app on your phone to listen to the podcast. Warning: if you prefer not to hear the occasional expletive, make sure you check closely for “Explicit Content” ratings in the Podcast app before you listen.
- NPR has all of your favorites for you whenever you want. Did you miss the first 10 minutes of Terry Gross? No more planning your weekend around Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. In fact, This American Life has won Peabody and Polk Awards. These are the winning episodes.
- Politics and news are big topics for podcasts. Some are from NPR and all of them feature great personalities that you will grow to love.
- Mysteries are also popular options. One of the most popular podcasts ever is called S-Town about a small town Alabama eccentric who thinks someone in his town got away with murder, and then someone ends up dead. It’s amazing that it was even recorded. Other mysteries include:
- Serial – High schooler, Hae Min Lee, has been murdered and her boyfriend, Adnan Syed, is the prime suspect. Did he do it? This is a series of 12 episodes, but there are three seasons, each dealing with a different crime.
- My Favorite Murder – This “true crime comedy podcast” features the best murders ever committed, with great commentary from two women who are rockstars in the podcast world, with sold out tours all over the world. The beautiful thing about podcasts like this is that they are always adding new content. You can go back to the beginning and listen to a trove of great, timeless content, whenever you have time.
- History podcasts are enriching. Public radio produces great content, but they come from every corner of the internet.
- Making Oprah is from right here in Chicago by WBEZ’s former star, Jenn White. She followed that up with Making Obama and Making Beyonce. These are amazing gems. (The webpage says “Making Beyonce” at the top, but all three podcasts are on this page.)
- Malcolm Gladwell is a well-known author of great books like Outliers, Blink and The Tipping Point. His podcast, Revisionist History, goes “back and reinterprets something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.”
- Comedy podcasts can introduce some badly needed endorphins to your body. Podcasts are such a trove for great humor, from big stars to little-known prodigies.
- Sports are normally fun to follow on podcasts. Get the breakdown of NFL, MLB, NBA games. Figure out who to draft for your fantasy teams. Find out how to play Fantasy Sports. It’s also fun to hear about the game you just saw from a new perspective or with a comedic twist. A favorite website for sports (and pop culture fans) is TheRinger.com.
- And of course, we cannot forget the podcast that inspired this blog post, 10% Happier by reporter Dan Harris.
If you have questions about podcasts, please reach out email@example.com
Here’s a grandson talking about a time when his Baube, grandmother to you, knew exactly the perfect thing to say in a tough situation. It’s a story that will be passed down about this gutsy grandma for generations.
Thanks to Words Aloud for reminding us how clever the older generation is.
Make Room @ the Table and Developing Pods for the Winter
We’re taking the fight to loneliness this winter by developing strategies to fight back. There’s no reason to languish alone in a world where we’re all so connected electronically and when there are so many other people who want to connect with you.
Make Room @ The Table is a Chicago-based Affinity Group focused on
developing strategies to alleviate isolation and loneliness among older people. Come share your tactics and learn from others how to make the holiday season more meaningful when you can’t be with loved ones. Check out the list they made for thriving during the upcoming holidays and beyond, even though the holidays may not look the same.
Also, for those who want to make a change and feel safe doing it, find out about Pods. Pods (also referred to as ‘bubbles’) are partnerships between people during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read more here.) Come learn how you can actually spend time with other living, breathing humans, if you play your cards right; it can change your life.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 4:00pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Call in number in Chicago:
Meeting ID: 861 9417 8495
A recent article in the New York Times posed this question: “When will it be safe to sing together again?” The short answer is no one knows for sure, but it will likely be months before those of us who enjoy group singing can safely gather in person. Experts agree that neither masks nor shields can protect our fellow choristers from the aerosols we emit—some of them visible, most not. So we need to accept that choral singing may be the last artistic activity to come back from corona. While we wait, stages and sanctuaries around the globe, from the Metropolitan Opera to Temple Square, from school auditoriums to senior centers, are empty.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that many choirs are devising creative ways to fill the void. Many, including several in our area, are using a model—the virtual choir–first launched in 2009 by Eric Whitacre, a world-renowned choral conductor and composer. As described at http://ericwhitacre.com/ “The Virtual Choir is a global phenomenon, creating a user-generated choir that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music in a new way through the use of technology.”
Technology is the key. And while, like many of us, I am reluctant – even scared – to try new uses for the devices I now depend on to stay in touch with the world, I found it surprisingly easy to join the virtual choir. All it takes is two devices, one that plays a “clicktrack” and one that records a video. I used my smartphone to listen to the clicktrack (through an earpiece), and my laptop to record a video of myself singing along.
The recording that I made in my living room was then blended with 176 other voices for the first performance of the Sounds Good/Good Memories virtual choir. You can enjoy our rendition of “The Storm is Passing Over” here:
And for a humorous take on this new way of making music, take a look at “The Birth of the Virtual Choir,” a production of the St. Giles Festival Choir in England: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUdoCgnj9qA
As older adults wait for the pandemic storm to pass over, we need to find ways to engage our brains and feed our souls. Singing does that for me. One of my favorite songs Pete Seeger’s version of the old hymn, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” The answer is, “I don’t have to!” Watch the Video
Forward Chicago wants to know how you are engaging your brain and feeding your soul as you shelter in place. Share your experiences and ideas with us via the “Contact Us” button on our website.
I know this is a difficult time for many of us; it may seem like it’s crazy to ask. The reason I’m reaching out is because Friendship Pet Food Pantry would like you to simply tag us in a post and send this along to anyone else who might do the same. We’re doing this in conjunction with National Dog Day, which was Wednesday, August 26. We also happily provide food and litter to close to 200 cats a month.
Vet Clinics and other businesses haven’t been able to run pet food drives, events where we volunteer in order to raise funds are cancelled. Yet the need grows. The number of pets we’re providing food for has grown over 20 percent since March.
A simple tag and sending this along to others or posting on Facebook and Instagram is all we’re asking. Donations are always welcome, as well.
– Dara Salk
Friendship Pet Food Pantry
on Facebook: Friendship Pet Food Pantry
Zoom isn’t hard to use, but sometimes screwing up the courage to click on links that can lead down a rabbit hole can be hard. Here’s a quick guide, courtesy of Rush Medical Center, that will help.
Recently on one of my almost daily walks with my husband in the neighborhood, we spotted a little surprise on the way back just as we reached our building. Perched on a low windowsill was a rainbow-colored crocheted frog, with a tiny note attached. The note read “I am not lost, just all alone…if I made you smile, please take me home!” I remembered seeing something online about small crocheted creatures being left for people to find, so I took it home. In fact, the note instructed me to go online and say thank you on the Facebook page of a group called “Random Acts of Crochet Kindness.”
On their page I learned that people all over the world are doing the same thing: creating small, cute crocheted items such as bees, butterflies, and flowers, and leaving them for others to find. Sometimes they are left in nature, such as hanging from trees on a scenic walk, or they are left in urban areas. The fact that this is a global phenomenon amazed me and made me thankful for the small acts people are doing to make a happier world. Indeed, the little frog makes me smile everyday!
Facebook Page of Random Acts of Crochet Kindness
By Janice Katz
In the era of YouTube celebrity, a lot of people have a lot to say about cutting hair, styling hair, coloring hair for people, dogs, Barbie dolls… And yet so many of us really have no clue. (For the record, not all of the YouTubers do either.) But the difference is that they’re willing to take that leap onto the world wide internets and fake it ‘til they make it. That’s something we’re all going to need to do as long as hair needs to be cut, and it’s a huge risk to go to your favorite salon or barber shop.