It isn’t any secret to realize that the good ol’ cell phone is getting smarter by the moment. The device that’s been around in its current configuration for twenty years of so, didn’t start taking off in normal usage until the turn of the 21st century, thanks to devices and its service plans become more accessible and more affordable. These phones, first the size of a hard wired cordless phone receiver became smaller to a size hat resembled a candy bar. Before long, the “flip” variety–those that covered the mini screen and keyboard to prevent accidental dialing and button pressing, later became the norm replacing the candy bar sized communication device.
     As the 2000s progressed, so did phones, providing such features as text messaging, built-in games (used to pass the time away while being stuck at the airport), and becoming mini music/sound players, cashing in on the rage of Apple’s iPod devices. Then came built in camera devices that allowed the user to take a digital picture that was only suitable for that sporadic moment. (The quality of the digital pics were substandard than what a traditional stand alone camera could muster out!) By around 2006 or so, phones did more than just sending calls and receiving them. They played as media centers that can fit in one’s pocket or purse. Everyone was happy with these things that can do plenty, and there was noting more needed into a little phone that showed some intelligence.
     Leave it to the folks at Apple, inventor of the iPod that changed the way that music was sold, exchanged, and received, and pulled a rabbit out of their hat with their iPhone, the phone that did everything that other phones can do and them some! Before long, everybody who were high wired, as well as those that wanted to be the first kids on their blocks to grab these handy dandy devices, did that in spades! Of course, it was assumed by many, from “professionals” to “wannabe professionals”, or “professionals for the moment”, that they, these self proclaimed leaders of higher tech, would be the near only ones to use these devices while everyone else would be left into the dust.
     Zooming a few years later to today, the smart phone is now the biggest thing to take place in terms of normal domestic electronic devices since television. If one observes a group of people that congregate at a public place (let’s say at a coffee joint) most, if not all, of those phones toted by this group carry smart phones loaded with applications a.k.a. “apps” that allow the user to do everything from calculating their diet plans to finding the best place to hang out during happy hour. These devices are literarily mini computers in their pockets that can do everything the phones of “old” (c.2007) could do and then some. And yes, they still can send and receive voice calls, too!
      Samsung, the South Korean manufacture of electronics and the world’s biggest maker of smart phones, shipped 115 million phones in the first quarter of 2013, claiming 27.5% share of the global market .Nokia came in second with a report of 61.9 million devices, or 14.8% share. Apple, third globally but second domestically, shipped 37.4 million iPhones
( 8.9%). LG and ZTE rounded out the top five, with shy of 4% of global market share. With the exception of Apple, all of these companies still make “do nothing” phones. However, in order to get a new one, one would have to go out of their way to find them!
     There are many owners of these smart phones that appear to have a rather difficult time getting by each day without their devices. Not counting the ability to contact others through voice calls, these people tend to do nearly anything with these phones. One can find them  hovering over their gadgets, pressing the screen to activate something or another while getting on through their lives. These folks tend to be younger (age 35 and under) perhaps more educated, and of course, wanting the ability to have little things done right there right now!
     With millions (yep–millions) of ‘apps” out there, these handy programs can do almost everything one wants to do that has to be done. Being realistic, this writer is using the term “almost” since there are a few functions that have not been perfected for a smart phone, such as an app that will wash dirty dishes, or have the ability to transport somebody from one physical place to another. However, just wait a few months (or wait a few weeks, days, or even hours), and before long, there will be an app for that!
     And what’s going on to those cell phone users that don’t use a smart phone? Although there really isn’t any hard evidence or facts to back this theory up, many standard phone users seem to be much older in age, ones that can’t afford to purchase one (or pay for the services), as well as the few folks that don’t use a smart phone by personal choice. In today’s lifestyle, high tech has taken a grasp upon normal functions, and carrying a phone that does too many things that the user could stand or want is more than enough. Call this method of getting onward “living simple”, the post modern edition of living a little house on the prairie type lifestyle, where less is more! The living may not necessarily be easy (or laid back), but it would be less confusing at it could get.
     In spite of all this, people are still awaiting for the next big thing in terms of phone devices. Apple itself won’t confirm nor deny reports that the company might introduce an iPhone built into a wrist watch, but something like that isn’t too far off. After all, since all phones can display a day, date, and time reading, having a watch worn around a wrist has fallen out of vogue. Perhaps Apple can revive that fashion statement. Then again, there is (or will be) an app for that!!
     Clare Boothe Luce’s THE WOMEN,  a comical drama of well to do females of the specious living as part of Manhattan’s upper curst society, performs at Theater West in Los Angeles.
     The setting in The Big Apple USA. The time is 1936. While the nation is struggling through what was known as “The Great Depression”, exists a small yet closed circle of folks who make up of a minuet percentage that have within their reached social and economic privilege. These are “The Women”. And among these women are Mary Haines (Maria Kress) a socialite that learns through her manicurist that her spouse is having a bit of a fling with another woman named Crystal (Caitlin Gallogy) a lowly shop girl. Once this news hits the sociality pages of the local dailies, Mary decides to file for divorce. However, New York state divorce laws dictates that such a legal act won’t be easy to fulfill, so she arranges to travel to the “biggest little city” Reno, Nevada, taking advantage of arranging a “quickie” divorce. But the other woman within Mary’s high hat circle are in for the gossip. But what will happen to Mary now that she is severing ties with her husband–the breadwinner no doubt!! Will she still hold the reigns of the lifestyle that such Manhattan society woman have within their grasp? Will her teenaged daughter Little Mary understand what’s going on? Is Crystal having a bit of a fling herself? There’s plenty of drama, juicy gossip, and the back stabbing that is just another part of life in the big city where power, money, and fame rules all!
      This play, first performed a little over 75 years before, is a piece that speaks not only for the time its set (the 1930’s) but also spears for the current era (the 2010’s), where prerogative society holds its own scandals that is passed to the knowing public. The Theatre West production features a vast ensemble cast that consists of Mary’s little world of acquaintances and other debutantes that are catty, cunning, shallow, and are the original bitches of the theater world! In this show. Maria Kress as Mary fits her role to a “T” She is part of the modern world that lives within her own. The other players that stand among Mary’s shadow are (listed in alphabetical order) Jeanine Anderson, Heather Alyse Becker, Leona Britton, Jacque Lynn Colton, Mary Garripoli, Melanie Kwiatkowski, Rebecca Lane, Anne Leyden, Paula K. Long, Barbara Mallory, Emily Mount, Caitlin O’Neil, Sarah Purdam, Dianne Travis, Sandra Tucker, and Ayn Olivia Vaughan. They make up this ensemble of “women folk” that play the real woman of the era! Arden Teresa Lewis directs this presentation that is the pioneer example of “girl power”, even if the girls are a bit over the age of innocence!
      For those that long for the glory days of yesteryear where men were men and women were women, THE WOMEN will only service half of that request. Although the males within their lives do play a part, the men folk are only talked about but never seen! In fact, this show retains an all female cast. And spearing in the category of what goes around comes around, the time is right to see this play as it could have taken place in contemporary times! Sure, the society ladies in Manhattan are alive and kicking around (now dubbed as “The One Percent”), and they still do gossip, play catty, and will retain being the back stabbing bitches as a generation before! Interestingly enough, New York state is the only state of the 50 (as of 2011) that has their complicated divorce laws remaining on the books! (No “no-fault divorce” here!) Perhaps divorce might remain tough for Manhattanites, but gossip in this day and age is now just a tweet away all decked out in Jungle Red!!

     THE WOMEN, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent) until June 16th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For reservations and further information, call (323) 851-7997, or online at
     Performing at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica is DELICIOUS REALITY, an ensemble showcase of eight players, consisting of Oakland Bautista, Gloria Baraquid, Kimiko Broder, Yayoi, Hara, Cayetano Juarez, Christina Sanchez, Ova Saoperg, and Amy Shu, that perform in skits, monologues, scenes, and stage theater exercises that deal in restaurants, food, and other notions that make “eating out” a joy, burden, and a ritual of domestic urban life.
      In this address, the group speaks about working in restaurants, (as well as the food) that make up the part of public eatery. The pieces performed vary in style and content, such as a stage bit made up of monologues of restaurants rants as conducted a la symphony orchestra complete with baton welding conductor, a “parlor game”-type application that celebrate the notions of good times at restaurants, bad experiences with restaurants, and all points in between, and a musical interlude with kitchen gear used as musical instruments. Besides the basic theme of food and eating externally of a homestead, the flow as seen on stage is well structured. In fact, the players don costuming that is of chef gear, with aprons, white shirts and smocks that button off to the side, as well as the occasional of using kitchen utensils as props. (They just don’t make food, they make the experience!) Interestingly enough, there is no backdrop here. No one will see any ovens, countertops, or dishwashers on stage as the group uses their own theater skills to set the scenes. With dramaturg by Ova Saopeng, and stage direction by Corky Dominguez, this  one act showcase brings the notion that everybody loves to eat, and eating what one can’t create in one’s home setting can make it all happen.
      DELICIOUS REALITY is a present appetizer, main course, and simple dessert all rolled into one. This group works hard for making a tasty pallet. And don’t forget the tip as it makes all the difference!

     DELICIOUS REALITY, presented by Teada Productions, and performs at The Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd, off Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, until May 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM. For reservations and information, call (310) 998-8765, or online at
     STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (Paramount) features the crew of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise that takes on another bold journey. This time, it’s on planet Earth as the starfleet is being attacked by an enemy force. Now the good ship Enterprise, lead by Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his team mates consisting of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), Pavel Chekov (Anothy Elchin), Hikaru Sulu  ( John  Cho), Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg), Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), along with Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) a new member of the star fleet as an auxiliary science officer, discover that behind all this havoc taking place is one man responsible: John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) calling himself “Kahn”, who will be part of the struggles and conflict that the Enterprise company face for the next few sessions.
     This feature makes the 12th of a series of theatrical titles that make up what Paramount Pictures calls “The Franchise” of a could-have-been long forgotten TV series of the 1960’s, only to later play as a cash cow for the studio for the next few decades. Unlike the many spin offs and spin offs of spin offs of the Star Trek franchise (mostly seen on the smaller screen a.k.a. TV), this film contains the original characters that Gene Roddenberry created nearly fifty years before. Of course, the players that make up of Spock, Kirk, Bones, Sulu, etc. are a lot younger and more robust, so this is more of a “flashback” film–so to speak!. A lot of the flavor and appeal as seen through the crew of the Enterprise remain. This time, that charm and appeal are bathed in (or is it soaked?) in a load of special effects captured in the IMAX process and projected in 3-D!! J. J. Abrams, a director of summertime blockbuster and tentpole pictures, is back on helm to direct this movie that is indeed big, loud, and quite amusing both to fans and non fans alike. Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof’s screenplay dose justice to the most beloved team of the franchise that moves the story along in a thrill-a-few-minutes ride. (Not really in the tradition of roller coaster, but close enough!)
     Also featured in the cast of many that are not created via CGI are Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike, Peter Weller as the Starfleet Admiral, and Leonard Nimoy as “Spock”.
     As stated before, Trekkies will enjoy this film as well as the non-trekkies out in the world. However, in order to take full advantage of what’s to be seen, one must view this title in IMAX as well in 3-D-where available! Sure, one might pay a bit more for this kind of  experience, but it’s nearly summertime, and this is the time of year where features might be big and dumb, but they do entertain–the real reason why folks still trek (no pun intended) to the movies to catch a feature film in the first place!
     STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is rated “PG-13” for action violence and mild cussing. Opens on May 17th at the usual multiplexes nationwide.
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Oh, Benji, Benji! Tonight I was talking to my sister on the phone and found an incriminating piece of …well, of poop. It was old and petrified (so not fresh) and it had been covered up by a throw rug. He pooped and covered it up! The little stinker.
No matter what I want to post, whether it is a comment, a photo or simply a like, it is being blocked. What have I done to deserve this? #*&!!!!
I seem to be getting the hang of this. And right now I’m very glad I have it so I don’t have to repeat things too many times. I’m doing pretty well, most of the time. Others, not so hot. More good hours than bad, though, PTL.
My husband started a new job today. *Thankful.*
As of May 13th, Tiffi has 1,737 Facebook “friends” and counting!

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