220. Grace Potter, Jessica Chastain, Mary Shelley, Titus Welliver, Robert Frost, And The Monthly Survey!



There is but one solution to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others. (Mary Shelley)


1. Let’s Talk Philadelphia Salutes Poetry Month (April)
Mary Shelley
And Robert Frost Are Two Keepers!
Don’t Miss The Movie Mary Shelley With Elle Fanning!


What person keeps her husband’s heart in a shroud and carries the heart in her purse for thirty years? Further, on her death from a brain tumor, she gives the heart to her son who then has the heart for thirty more years before it is buried with him.
You can’t make this stuff up!

Mary Shelley
, wife of poet Percy Shelley, Mother of Science Fiction for her novel Frankenstein (1818), and writer of The Last Man (1826), a story of how a plague destroys the human race, is the heart keeper.


After losing three of her four children in childbirth and to diseases, then her husband in a boating accident, Mary Shelley goes on to make her husband famous by posthumously publishing his poems in Posthumous Poems (1824) and Poetical Works (1839).

The books History of a Six Weeks’ Tour (1817), Valperga (1823), The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1830), Lodore (1835), and Falkner (1837) add to her legacy. Rather then highlight these works and an amazing life story, we borrowed her poem Spring from the twice weekly publication Brain Pickings (another great sign-up) to start our April poetry salute.


Winter passed away;
And spring, led by the months, awakened life in all nature.

The forest was dressed in green;
The young calves frisked on the new-sprung grass;
The wind-winged shadows of light clouds sped over the green cornfields;
The hermit cuckoo repeated his monotonous all-hail to the season;
The nightingale, bird of love and minion of the evening star, filled the woods with song;
While Venus lingered in the warm sunset, and the young green of the trees lay in gentle relief along the clear horizon.


2. Let’s Talk Philadelphia Two Poetry Questions!
What Poet Would You Select To Highlight During Poetry Month!
What Two Poems Of Your Choice Would You Share? (A Great Family Activity)


Robert Frost’s 88 year history is a revealing research project.

A. The Britannica Encyclopedia (www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Frost) seems to be the on line leader in reviewing Frost’s career, works, and awards. A brief peek at this site will take you into Frost’s writing and, then, links to the lives of writing award winners like Frost in 8 different categories. Remember to sign up for Britannica’s daily newsletter when on their site.

B. Frost’s (1874-1963) first forty years depicts his struggle as a father, New England farmer, and a writing failure with just two poems in minor publications. He married his high school sweetheart (Elinor White) and had six children with her with two dying in early life.


C. In 1912, at age 40, and with no perceptible writing outlets in the United States wanting to publish his works, he picked up his family, a tome of his poems, and sailed to England. He was told by other writers that England would be much more receptive to his type of writing and his rural themes. His immediate success their and three year stint publishing in England lead to word of his works traveling back across the Atlantic to America. When he returned to the United States in 1915, his new acceptance and writing skyrocketed.


D. Four Pulitzer Prizes For Poetry and the first poet to ever present at a presidential inauguration (John F. Kennedy, 1961) are nice caps to his early struggles and to his writing history.

E. Most reviewers of Frost’s works would feature his The Road Not Taken and Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening. We chose Fire and Ice and Nothing Gold Can Stay to give readers another glimpse into his poetry. What two poems of Frost’s other than these four would have been your choices to add to your story of Robert Frost if you were writing for this column?

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.


But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.


Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


3. Let’s Talk Philadelphia’s Monthly Survey!
Time Well Spent Or Something Or Other!
How Has Your Stay At Home Time Changed?!


In this time of stay at home that is being practiced throughout the world, we sent home an email survey to office workers, family, and friends. We asked them to rank the percentage of increase of television watching, book reading, listening to music, audio book listening, exercising, and game playing (not on a computer) at home. They were to be ranked 1-5 with 5 being the most change. We were not interested in hours participants did these things, just the estimated percentage of increase. We knew the hours watching television (not our interest in the survey) would lead by miles. Everyone wanted to put sleep in the survey, but we were looking for active activities.


We totaled the survey and found that these were the percentage of increase rankings:
game playing (a large number started playing games which they had not done before)
music listening
television watching
book reading (five people said their reading would be more if libraries weren’t closed)
audio book listening.

Sixty percent of those surveyed put sex at the top of the list thinking they would be the only joker to do so.
What would your pick six or seven list look like? Can you think of another survey for an at home period of time (phone, eating, writing not texting, cleaning, house or apartment repairs or new work, meditating)?


4. Let’s Talk Philadelphia Researches The Last Is First Binge Watch!
Bosch Season Six Might Be A Good Choice For Your Start, Too!
Harry Bosch Is A Los Angeles Detective That Will Pique Your Interests!


An office staffer shared, a while ago, that he watches the most recent year or last year of a binge watch series rather than the first year. He said the characters are better formed, the story line is crisper and more varied, and the quality of the show or movie tells you if you want to go to year one to see how the journey started. At first, this seems silly because you don’t see how characters develop and change nor do you see how story lines develop and change. Then, it started making sense to some staffers. Some is the optimum word here.


The Amazon Prime series Bosch starring Titus Welliver and introducing newcomer Madison Lintz as his daughter, reviewed here when it premiered six years ago, would be a good test case for the last season theory. Bosch, a Los Angeles detective is a character created by author Michael Connelly and developed for television by Eric Overmyer. The television series features Harry Bosch as he appears in Connelly’s books The Concrete Blonde, City of Bones, and Echo Park.


Each episode in the ten part series has four different scenarios going on at the same time. This multi-focus gives supporting stars Mimi Rogers (the super slick defense lawyer for the worst criminals), Lance Riddick (the police chief now running for Mayor), Jamie Hector (Bosch’s partner chasing the killers in new and cold cases), Amy Aquino (Bosch’s boss looking for respect as a woman on a male dominated police force), and Madison Lintz (a school student and a potential lawyer looking for direction after her mother’s death) give a chance to let Bosch interact with a strong supporting cast and help the departments members fight demons in all directions.

We think Bosch 6, that just opened this week, is a good test for the last is first theory. Season 6 has four different new and old murders to solve, nuclear waste going missing with the FBI getting in the way, wives killing their husbands for giant sums of money, missing daughters, gangland rivalries, and the worst coffee and doughnuts a police station can offer. Season 7 will be the series’ last year and the season debuts in April of 2021.

5. An Actor Binge Is Let’s Talk Philadephia’s Next Television Trial!
Please Write Down The Three Female And Male Actors You Enjoy The Most!
Then Fellow Irene’s Directions Below! Good Luck!


Irene, an officer staffer who seems five times smarter from home than she is in the tight confines of an office, suggested and explained an actor binge. She said the AB binge is a basic part of her television regime. She outlined how it will take hours off  your searches for good shows and movies. You can type your favorite actor’s name in the search function of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Apple TV, or any other service and all the films with that person in it will appear (usually in alphabetical order). The other site she uses is Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB). On this site, every movie and show that actor has been in and their life history shows up in chronological order. If they are still alive, you can see their first venture into film or television, their most recent work, and any future projects. Irene’s last three binges were Idris Elba (Luther series is a good start), Jessica Chastain, and Corey Haim. We stole Jessica Chastain from Irene to start our new binge watch routine. Chastain’s newest projects from IMDB appear next. Ten more years of quality work and a myriad of awards are listed on the IMDB site.


Jessica Chastain has received over fifty movie awards. Even though everyone remembers her for Academy Award nominated roles in the Help (best supporting actress) and Zero Dark Thirty (best actress), she is by far more screen stealing, interesting, and enigmatic in Molly’s Game and Miss Sloane.


In Molly’s Game, Molly Bloom’s expertise is poker, not playing it, but organizing poker games for the richest, best, and many times the dumbest poker players looking for cash and the rush. We think, however, that poker may be illegal in your own suite at the fanciest hotel in your town. Did Molly know this? The trial will quickly ensue! She will need Idris Elba’s help!


Miss Sloane takes place in Washington D.C. where Jessica Chastain is a high priced and ruthless lobbyist who practices winning at all cost for the groups that hire her. Her company headed by Sam Waterson (George) and David Wilson Barnes (Daniel) want her to embrace the gun lobby and work to make mothers and women love the guns that have been killing their children and family members. She laughs at the million dollar business the gun lobby would bring her firm and decides to leave for the other side (Mark Strong, Rodolfo) taking members of her staff with her.


Here we meet a column favorite, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Esme), who hid in the school closet while 20 of her high school classmates were being gunned down. Esme becomes the face and voice of the anti-gun lobby while working with Jessica. The Senate bill that they want to pass makes gun checks mandatory, but does not take the right to bear arms away from anyone. Enter John Lithgow (Senator Sperling) secretly working for the gun lobby and with the help of Alison Pill (Jane) a past associate of Jessica’s they will do anything to bring her down…even a trumped up federal trial!


In the movie’s opening monologue, Chastain explains her role as a lobbyist. She emphasizes that she and her opponents use their best maneuvers until the opponent plays their winning trump card. She lays, then, in wait to play her best gambit over theirs. There are a number of great moves in this movie, but Jessica Chastain may be out of moves in the end!


6. When Was The Last Time Let’s Talk Philadelphia Was In Iceland?!
We Would Not Be Any Help In Their Murder Solving Department!


The Valhalla Murders were filmed in Reykjavik the capital of Iceland. Valhalla is a true story updated from 1940 to the present with added killing and slashing. Here is what you should know about Iceland before your foray into a number of the murder scenes in Reykjavik and surrounding areas. Its population is 365,000 which makes it the smallest populated country in Europe. Two million tourist visit Iceland each year despite it being one of the the most expensive countries to visit in Europe. Hotel stays are often $400 a day. Valhalla watchers will probably cause a nice uptick in tourists to the island.


Most visitors come to Iceland in the summer when for two weeks there is 24 hours of daylight. Volcanoes, geysers, lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, and breathtaking landscapes are, also, an attraction. Even though Iceland is just below the Arctic Circle, its winter temperatures in the south of the 40,000 square mile island average a surprisingly 32 degrees. The north of the island is a far different story in the winter. Sometimes the north is the king of below zero temperatures in Europe. Because of the surrounding ocean, the weather is entirely unpredictable at any time everywhere on the island.


The Valhalla Murders stars Nina Dogg Filipusdottir (Kata, an accomplished Icelandic detective overlooked for promotion) and Bjorn Thors (Arnar, a quirky Norwegian serial crime expert brought in to help on this serial murder case.). The Valhalla Murders was selected as the best of the overlooked shows on Netflix and has been renewed for another eight part series for season 2. A children’s home that has been closed for years seems to be the center of the murders. Bodies with slashed eyes are appearing all over the island. It is not as grisly as it sounds and definitely worth watching. Family and work clashes don’t seem to hinder the investigation in this series as much as other true crime stories. Let us know about Netflix’s first journey to Iceland and maybe your visit there, also.

7. Let’s Talk Philadelphia Opens With The Sounds Of Spring!
The Vocal Style…ings Of Grace Potter Should Be Added To Your Listening!
How Can A Music Fan Not Watch Live From Daryl’s House!


Before we introduce Grace Potter, it is important to introduce stuck at home music fans to the best music show on television and you tube, Live From Daryl’s House. The show features 82 in home concerts from Daryl Hall’s actual house and a local bar in Pawling, New York. Daryl Hall was for years the second member of the legendary, multiple award winning Daryl Hall and John Oates duo.


Daryl and his crew of six musicians and technicians play with new and established single performers, duets, and groups. The setting is informal but the collaborations and music discussions in the studio and at dinner following each performance are enlightening. Musical styles, performer histories, family, and food are just some of the topics discussed. 50 million people have watched these hour long shows featuring performers from all over the world. Our favorite shows highlighted the O’Jays, Smokey Robinson, Grace Sewell, Kenny Loggins, Daughtry, and Aaron Neville. Daryl and his musicians sang along with their songs while together they did different renditions of his. There are seventy six other performers with every style of music imaginable. They are all ready to perform for you and share their world of music. What a musical binge watch!


We met Grace Potter in 2011 on the 45th edition of the Live From Daryl’s House show. Her song Goodbye Kiss was playing in the office long before we saw her on television. Our office Grace kept on playing Grace Jones, Grace Slick, Grace Potter, and recently Grace Vanderwaal the America’s Got Talent winner from four years ago.


Here is the link to Grace’s Goodbye Kiss (www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJSn8i5rJ9M). Baby you will never work for me is a great lyric from Goodbye Kiss that everyone in the office used while pointing to an unsuspecting person  We think you will watch the whole Daryl’s House show featuring Grace after seeing this three minute clip. Low Road is our second favorite from the show.


I Shall Be Released (www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyLcyqrmF3o) from her most recent album is linked here, as well as, a 53 minute clip from here 2016 show in Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqbbm7P8Wxk). Grace’s songs are soothing, smooth, and great bed listening selections. However, the Denver Post said Potter screamed like Janis Joplin, worked the brazen sass of Joan Jett, strutted like Stevie Nicks on steroids and sang powerfully as that other members, the Nocturnals, gave great back-up support. Hey, if we could hear someone that was all that Denver, we would stop and listen…a lot!


8. Let’s Talk Philadelphia’s Call-Out For Column Submissions!
30,000 Readers On Five Continents Are A Great Audience For Your Ideas!
Two Paragraphs About Your Occupation/Avocation And Six Pictures!
Our Connections Are Surely Worth Thirty Minutes Of Your Time!


Our Let’s Talk Philadelphia column has emerged from classroom discussions at Philadelphia’s University Of The Arts in 1994, to a one page newsletter handed out on the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets, to a column now read by 30,000 plus readers across five continents.

Every LTP column encourages readers to contribute their photography, art, fashion, travel, education, sports, food, book, and local business news to this column at tjpalumbo@aol.com. Everything is FREE and the column is a great connector for a contributor’s two paragraphs and six pictures to tjpalumbo@aol.com. Connections count toward success! If you read past columns, you will see 20 different contributions and writing styles highlighting the above topics and more. How about the rarest fish in the world, Queen Elizabeth of England owning a Mac Donalds, or tree house hotels, or the musical style…ings at Daryl’s House? And you thought you have heard it all!



About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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1 Response to 220. Grace Potter, Jessica Chastain, Mary Shelley, Titus Welliver, Robert Frost, And The Monthly Survey!

  1. Alice Shifflett says:

    To my WWF bestie,
    I always look forward to reading what you have to say about everyone and everything.
    Another good job.
    As always,
    Alice Blue Eyes


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