Movie review: Daddio

two people in a taxi

The movie Daddio is about two people driving around and talking. More specifically, a young woman (Dakota Johnson) arrives at the airport and gets into the back seat of a yellow taxi. The cab driver (Sean Penn) heads towards Manhattan, and they talk. That’s pretty much it.

The cabbie, Clark, or whoever he wanted to be, is a fairly astute judge of people. As he generates conversation with his last fare of the night, she’s willing to put away her cell phone for a few moments in response. They discuss the nature of romantic relationships, sometimes as a competition.

The critics like it, 77% positive, and the audience response is 86% thumbs up. wrote: “The pair’s conversation only grows in unexpected specificity and fiery intensity from there… While I never fully bought that the two characters would engage as intimately as they do, their conversation still kept me glued to my seat…” While I agree with the latter half, I found strangers in a taxi talking entirely credible. When I used to take the train to Charlotte, NC, and elsewhere regularly, I was initially shocked at what total strangers would share with me.

The cabbie’s motives

Fetters also notes: “Is Clark attracted to her? Does he look at the woman as a daughter? Is he bored and just happy to have someone in his cab willing to chat with him? As for her, does she need this conversation right now? Does Clark spark something inside her that makes her willing to open up to a complete stranger about so many ins and outs happening in her life at the moment?”

But Rex Reed’s negative assessment is NOT wrong. “Every woman I’ve ever known would start looking for an escape from a cabbie who turns as embarrassingly intimate as this one does.” 

This is Christy Hall’s directorial debut and also her first script for the cinema. Dakota Johnson was an executive producer.

In some ways, I wondered how this would play out as a two-person play. It would require something to display what she is surreptitiously texting.  

I think it is a good but not great film. My wife and I saw it on a Tuesday night at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. 

July rambling: A history of “wokeness”

Oh really? No, O’Malley!

A history of “wokeness”: Stay woke: How a Black activist watchword got co-opted in the culture war.
The American Elevator Explains Why Housing Costs Have Skyrocketed

U.K. Elections: Labour Claims Historic Landslide Victory

The penultimate week of SCOTUS decisions for 2023-24 session, and 
The Supreme Court Destroyed The Government While You Weren’t Looking

James Inhofe, the senator (R-OK) who vociferously denied climate change, dies at 89. He led the Environment Committee.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO): ‘I’m Advocating Christian Nationalism,’ which I abhor

Texas abortion ban linked to 13% increase in infant and newborn deaths. “This might foreshadow what is happening in other states,” said Johns Hopkins public health researcher Alison Gemmill. “Texas is basically a year ahead.”

Students Target Teachers in Group TikTok Attack, Shaking Their School.  Seventh and eighth graders in Malvern, Pa., impersonating their teachers, posted disparaging, lewd, racist, and homophobic videos in the first known mass attack of its kind in the U.S.

How to keep AI from killing us all (Berkeley News) and How to spot AI-generated text (MIT Technology Review)

Which Blockbuster Movies Pass the Climate Test?

A Visual History of the Harlem Renaissance

For the first time in six months. Chuck’s shoes match.

Now I Know: The Longest Marriage Proposal? and How Four Dollars Can Unlock American History and The People Who Stuck Out Their Necks for Giraffes and The Stupid Future-y Shoes That People Actually Love
Ruth Westheimer, Expert on Everything About Sex, Dies at 96

James B. Sikking, Actor on Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser, dies at 90. I watched both shows regularly.

Shelley Duvall, Robert Altman Protege and Tormented Wife in ‘The Shining,’ Dies at 75

Richard Simmons, Celebrity Fitness Guru, Dies at 76

Shannen Doherty, “Beverly Hills, 90210” star, dies at 53

Producer Jon Landau, James Cameron’s Right-Hand Man for ‘Titanic’ and the ‘Avatar’ Films, Dies at 63

This Time I’ll Be Sweeter – Angela Bofill, who died at age 70

Joe Bonsall, Mainstay of Country Music’s Oak Ridge Boys for 50 Years, Dies at 76. Here are a pair of songs.

Fantasia symphonica by Franz von Suppe

Time and Tide -Basia

Touch The Hem Of His Garment – Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers

Independently Owned – Alex Newell; Shucked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Sunshine Of Your Love – Peter Sprague featuring Leonard Patton

Coverville 1494: The Kinks Cover Story V

Maybe – Alison Krauss & Union Station

Pineapple Poll by Gilbert and Sullivan

You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory – Ronnie Spector with Joey Ramone

Burial Ground – The Decemberists

Role Model –  Fatboy Slim

Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland

The Reflex – Duran Duran

D-O-D-G-E-R-S (Oh really? No, O’Malley!)-Danny Kaye, a “hit-by-hit account of an exciting game which took place during the Los Angeles Dodgers 1962 pennant chase, or did it?” Here are the lyrics. The first player from the archrival San Francisco Giants mentioned was Orlando Cepeda., the Hall of Famer who passed away at 86

99 – Barbara Feldon

The Real Reason Why Music Is Getting Worse, according to Rick Beato. There’s at least one response video to this on YouTube

My wife’s best anniversary present

Working hard for the money

Our 25th wedding anniversary was two months ago, this very day. Here’s my wife’s best anniversary present to me.

I asked her when she wanted to go out to dinner at Yono’s that week. We hadn’t gone out to that elegant four-star restaurant in about 15 years, probably on or around our 10th wedding anniversary. We knew it was time to try it again.

So I asked my wife when she wanted to go out. Wednesday, which was our actual anniversary? No, she couldn’t because she had a work meeting. Tuesday? No, she had another meeting.  Thursday, not only did I have choir rehearsal, but she also had yet another meeting.

OK, I guess we could go on the weekend, although I hate going out when everybody else is likely doing the same. Then she said, “Well, you know what? We could go out on Wednesday because it’s our anniversary!” I thought this was extraordinary, given the busyness of her life. So she DIDN’T go to a work meeting, which was astonishing. 

We had a lovely time. There was great, attentive service and excellent food.  Our conversation with one of the service, newly in Albany, was quite interesting. 

“Retirement” job

My wife’s “retirement” job is obviously very time-consuming. The other thing that my wife did, presumably for herself, is that she took off eight weeks during the summer. It is so she can catch up on various tasks, including household chores, gardening, and whatnot.

We also have to do exciting things like talk to our TIAA-CREF agent because our old one got kicked upstairs and we need to meet the new one. They’re probably a nice person, but this is real My Eyes Glaze Over kind of stuff, though probably necessary. 

I will tell you the truth: her taking time off from work is also a vacation for me. When she was working I often got volunteered, or, to be fair, volunteered myself to help her with her tabling at various events or to set up for event such as the end-of-year volunteers’ dinner.  

Also, we’re going to go away a couple of times during the summer, which we can do because our lovely daughter is home taking care of the feline. That’s a good thing.

Happy birthday to my dear wife.


Sunday Stealing: Summer 2024

74F (23C)

Donna SummerSummer’s here, and the time is right for Sunday Stealing, summer 2024 edition. Of course, this is a Northern Hemisphere-centric quiz. Can those folks in Australia and Argentina remember the weather in January and February?

1. What is the hottest temperature you’ve seen this summer so far? 

To my knowledge, 95F (35C) on June 20. Some folks were actually excited about the possibility of hitting triple digits, but we fell short. The last time Albany, NY, reached 100 degrees F was September 3, 1953. 

2. What is your favorite summer beverage?

Arnold Palmer. The lemonade cuts the tartness of the iced tea, and the iced tea mellows the lemonade’s sweetness.  

3. Have you seen any fireflies/lightning bugs yet? Cicadas?

Fireflies, yes. The cicadas are in Ohio and southwest of us. 

4. What are the last three things you bought online?

A Mamas and Papas CD, a green case for my cellphone, and solar eclipse glasses. 

5. Where do locals go to cool off?

Pools, the malls, libraries, I assume.

6. Where did you buy your last postcard, and what was on the PC?

Not a clue. 

7. What’s your favorite summertime scent?

Other people’s barbecues. All of the enjoyment with none of the work or the calories.

8. What kind of a/c do you have – central, room, fans only, chillers, none and what temperature do you set it to?

First-floor air conditioning, c 74F (23C). Fans on the second floor. 


9. Do you have a summer vacation planned and if so, where are you really going??

Yes, and I ain’t telling you until it’s over. This has been my modus operandi since forever.

10. What are your favorite summer activities? 

Being indoors with air conditioning.

11.  What’s your favorite summertime food?

Deviled eggs, which I made for the church choir end-of-season party.

12. Did you ever go to summer school?

Actually, no.


13. What’s your favorite summertime memory?

Perhaps the 2011 trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Peterborough, ON. But I wrote about vacations here.

14. Do you like fireworks?

Public fireworks, yes. Private fireworks that go off in my neighborhood about a month before and after July 4, decidedly not. I think those drone fireworks are interesting as it doesn’t terrify pets or some people with PTSD.

15. How do you feel about the longer days of summer?

Actually, the days are now getting shorter. When I started seeing light outdoors before 6 a.m., I was less than thrilled. Summer is probably my least favorite season.

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

Hot Country Singles of 1964

Roger Miller

Billboard dropped the W designation, as in Western, from its charts in late 1962. So it was the Hot Country Singles of 1964. These topped the charts but did not cross over to lead the pop, RB, or nascent adult contemporary charts.

Once A Day – Connie Smith, eight weeks at #1. Her name is the only one I don’t recognize from the list.

I Guess I’m Crazy – Jim Reeves, seven weeks at #1

My Heart Skips A Beat – Buck Owens, seven weeks at #1. I never owned any of his music, but I knew he was on Capitol Records because the inner sleeves of my Beatles albums featured him, Nat Cole, Al Martino, and several others.

Understand Your Man – Johnny Cash,  six weeks at #1. I didn’t own this at the time, only in the late 1990s, when I was getting his American Recordings did I purchase the greatest hits of his Columbia recordings.

“Sugar is sweet and so is maple syrple”

Dang Me – Roger Miller, six weeks at #1. When I was a member of the Capitol Record Club, c. 1966, I failed to return the negative option card in time. I received his Golden Hits on Smash Records. It included the 1965 crossover hit King of the Road, but also a bunch of other songs I grew to love. I think it was the Roger thing. BTW, the first two videos I found were versions he rerecorded for stereo; it’s not as good.

I Don’t Care (Just As Long as You Love Me) – Buck Owens, six weeks at #1. Owens was considered one of the most successful artists of the Bakersfield sound, “defined by its influences of rock and roll and honky-tonk style country, and its heavy use of electric instrumentation and backbeat. It was also a reaction against the slickly produced, orchestra-laden Nashville sound, which was becoming popular in the late 1950s.”  

Saginaw, Michigan – Lefty Frizzell, four weeks at #1

Begging To You – Marty Robbins, three weeks at #1. I got a Robbins greatest hits CD from my late FIL’s CD collection.

Together Again – Buck Owens, two weeks at #1. The only time I regularly watched the country-laden variety show Hee Haw, which he co-hosted with Roy Clark from 1969 to 1986, was in the spring of 1975 when I was shivering in my grandmother’s old house and had only one channel, WNBF, Channel 12 on the VHF dial.

B.J. the D.J. – Stonewall Jackson, one week at #1

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