I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir Book Review

There are two ways to look at life. The first is a series of potholes that we stepped in and learned from. The second is to always be the optimist. My view is a combination of them both. Life is a combination of good experiences and bad experiences. What matters is how we deal with the outcomes of those events.

Harvey Fierstein‘s new autobiography/memoir, I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir was published in March. Born in 1952 to a Jewish family in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst, he knew from an early age that he was a born performer. He also knew that he was not like other boys.

His life and career is nothing short of a roller coaster. As an LGBTQ activist, Fierstein has paved the way for this generation of queer young people to be out and proud of who they are. As a writer and actor, he has become well known and respected for his body of work: Independence Day, Newsies, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hairspray, etc.

Fierstein’s story is one of acceptance, change, and dealing with both the highs and lows that come with living a colorful life on your own terms.

I loved this book. In his trademark voice, Fierstein is funny, sarcastic, open, heartbreaking, and real. This is a man who has been to Hades and back and still finds joy in the little things. He is more than an icon in this book. He is a human being who has inspired us, made us laugh, made us cry, and most of all proved that we can be ourselves and thrive.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir is available wherever books are sold.

Harvey Fierstein GIF by Hairspray Live! - Find & Share on GIPHY

Robin Book Review

Robin Williams was one of the most remarkable performers of our time. When he took his life in 2014, his passing created a hole in our culture that will never be filled.

Earlier this year, Dave Itzkoff published Robin, a biography of the late star.

Robin Williams was a walking contradiction. He was a performer who could make audiences laugh and cry at the same time. He played iconic characters in Mork & Mindy, Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire. But not even those remarkable performances could mask years of dealing with the triple demons of addiction, self-esteem and mental illness.

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed because when put Hollywood celebrities on a pedestal, we forget that they are still human beings who deal with the same issues that all human beings deal with.

I absolutely recommend it.

Throwback Thursday- Mrs. Doubtfire

I was going to write about another movie on this Throwback Thursday post, but in light of loosing Robin Williams earlier this week, I decided to write about another one of my favorite childhood movies of mine, Mrs. Doubtfire.

Daniel Hillard (the late and very beloved Robin Williams) loves his kids. His wife, Miranda (Sally Field) becomes fed up with her husband’s lack of discipline and believes him to be a poor role model for their children. She asks for a divorce. Miranda has primary custody while Daniel can only see his kids once a week. Discovering that Miranda is looking for a housekeeper, Daniel becomes Mrs. Iphegenia Doubtfire, an older Scottish woman who becomes both housekeeper and nanny to the Hillard children.

I adored this movie when I was younger and I still do. Williams is at his best in this movie. The big heart, the father who loves his kids and will do anything for them (including dressing in drag and pretending to be their Scottish nanny) and the man who recognizes his mistakes and learns from them.

This movie is 21 years old, but it still feels new and fresh to me. I recommend this movie.

RIP Robin, thanks for making this incredible movie that will always stay with me.

RIP Robin Williams

Dear Robin Williams

I am sad to hear that you are no longer of this world.

I’ve been watching you perform for as long as I can remember.

I remember watching Mork & Mindy reruns as a kid.

Your mile a minute impressions in Aladdin made me laugh.

Your performances in Mrs. Doubtfire and  Hook reminded me of a father’s unending love for his children.

Your performance in Good Will Hunting was searing and powerful.

And yet underneath all of that was a man we never knew and we may never know.

You were human and mortal like the rest of us. You had your own pain, your own scars.

You may be gone, but your legacy will live on forever.

My heart and prayers goes out to those who knew you best, especially your children.

RIP

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