Tag: Film (Page 1 of 2)

Seven Things I Love (7-20-2021)

  1. 1. This Reaction to a Young Fan’s Gift – If you’re not a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo already (or if you haven’t heard of him), you will be after watching this. THIS is the kind of athlete we want kids to have posters of on their bedroom walls and who they should hope to be like someday and try to emulate.

Here’s more… when asked by a reporter, who taught him about keeping his ego in check, this was Antetokounmpo’s answer:

“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego: ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’ When I focus on the future, it’s my pride: ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.

“I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation. That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level. I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that. But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of — how do you say it, perfect it, master it. And it’s been working so far. So I’m not going to stop.”

‘NBA Finals: Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo backs up viral ‘humility’ speech with unselfish Game 5 performance’ by Colin Ward-Henninger; July 18, 2021; CBSSports.com

You can watch the exchange below…

By the way, I love Giannis full name – it’s Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo. How gorgeous is that?!?!

[Found the second tweet via CBSSports.com – you should read the full story, the guy who wrote it is very good]

2. This Auction of Sylvia Plath’s Recipe Cards and Rolling Pin at Sotheby’s – Sadly, when someone’s life ends so tragically, one tends to make assumptions about what their life must have been like or how they lived. Myself, being someone who lives with depression (albeit moderate depression), I think that if a person is so depressed that they are driven to take their own life they must be miserable all the time. I don’t know why I think that. It’s certainly not that way for me. But then, I’m not suicidal.

When I get depressed all I want to do is build a cocoon around myself and not let anyone in. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to do much of anything. I just want to pass the time with things that will distract and take very little mental effort. For me that generally means watching mystery television series from the 80s, 90s or 2000s and doing puzzles.

But I know other people who have depression and their way of dealing with it is much different. Some like to throw themselves into their work. Some like to surround themselves with friends and family. Some like to clean their house or do gardening or repairs they’ve put off. No one deals with depression exactly the same way. Everyone is unique.

My point is, there is a lot more to Sylvia Plath’s life than her being depressed and having committed suicide but unfortunately, that is mostly what people learn about and remember. But it’s really lovely to see these recipe cards with Plath’s handwritten notes and the names/ nicknames included in the recipes titles, which for me always is indicative of affection and sentimentality.

[Found on MessyNessyChic]

3. This Movie (This Beautiful Fantastic), Which is Currently Available to Stream FOR FREE on YouTube – A friend of mine suggested this movie to me a while back and I was lucky enough to catch it while it was streaming (can’t remember where) but shortly after I watched it, it was removed. For months it hasn’t been available anywhere. Now it looks like in addition to being available on YouTube it’s available on Amazon Prime. But I’m never sure when I see something that says it’s available on Prime (for free) whether it’s because I have the Masterpiece & PBS memberships or if it just is generally free.

Either way, whether you try watching it at the link below or watch it via Prime, I highly recommend this movie. It stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, Charlotte Wells in Harlots and Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) as Bella, Andrew Scott (John Parry in His Dark Materials, The Priest in Fleabag, and Moriarty in Sherlock) as Vernon, and Tom Wilkinson (Author in Grand Budapest Hotel, Graham Dashwood in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Gerard in The Full Monty) as Alfie Stephenson.

The premise of the story is that Bella lives alone in a small house which she rents. She’s a unique person, a bit compulsive, who likes to keep to herself. Now I’ll tell you, she works in a library, but that is only one of several reasons why I love this film so much. Many reviews call it a modern fairytale and it truly is.

Bella has a small garden behind her house and part of the rental agreement was that she needed to tend to the garden but she has let it go. She meets her neighbor, who is an ornery SOB, and not long after that happens, a representative for the owner of the house comes by for an inspection an discovers she has not kept her side of the deal. He tells her he’s going to have to evict her but she persuades him to let her have a month to fix the garden up.

I don’t want to tell you anything more but the characters are wonderful, the film is visually beautiful, and it has a magical quality to it.

4. This HISTORIC News from Chile – I mean, it’s actually rather pathetic that the first time a constitution is being written by an equal number of men and women is in 2021 but, well, it’s still commendable. (And there are negative nellies out there.)

5. These New Emojis – Turns out it was “World Emoji Day” on Saturday. I am excited about the disco ball! Though does it seem like these are a little male-heavy to anyone else? It could just be my mental state right now. These are awaiting approving and will become available in September.

6. This Airship of the Future – The airline industry is responsible for about 5% of global warming and these ships will “operate with 75% fewer emissions than a conventional airplane.” It may take longer (but look at how comfortable it will be.) Yes please!

[Found on MyModernMet]

7. This Incredible Pencil Shop in Tehran – There are a lot of bazaars in Tehran. I don’t think that this is in the Grand Bazaar. The video below says it is in the “Traditional Market” which I believe is also called Tajrish Bazaar. One person describes it as being “located in a corner of the bazaar between the two mosques in Tehran.” I can hear the call to prayer.

And here’s a video (pre-pandemic). You don’t need to speak arabic to be impressed or to find the owner, Mr. Rafieh, completely darling. Anyone so passionate and knowledgeable, how can you not love them?

[Found on the Present & Correct blog]

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Seven Things I Love (5-3-2021)

  1. 1. This New Rollin’ Wild Video – The first new ‘Rollin’ wild’ film short in THREE years. And was it worth the wait? I think so…. I laughed my buttootie off! Have watched it about a dozen times so far, laugh just as hard every time.

2. This Perfect Man – He really does exist! The White House decided to rebrand Doug Emhoff as “Douglas Emhoff. Apparently they believe the formality is more suited to his position and sounds more “grown-up.” I’m going to guess that all the adult men who go by the name Doug disagree with this assessment. As one late night comedian pointed out, Bernie goes by Bernie and not Bernard and no-one dares to not see him as grown-up and serious. Let’s just hope and pray that the White House doesn’t tell “Douglas” he has to cut back on the PDA! (The Vice President is SO lucky!)

[Thanks to Ann for this one.]

3. These Breathtaking Still Life Photographs – it’s hard to believe they aren’t paintings. If you click on the photos it will take you to each photographer’s website. Or click on the link below to see the original story where I first ran across these works of art.

[Found on ChristieRealEstate.com]

Italian Plums After G.G. 2015 by Paulette Tavormina of New York
Pronkstillife With Pheasant by Jeroen Luijt, who is inspired by the Dutch Old Masters found in his home town of Amsterdam
The hyper-natural yet accessible Reviviscere, part of the Azahar series by Julija Levkova

4. This Podcast about Florence Nightingale – It checks all my boxes: a woman fighting against the patriarchy, British history (particularly the Victorian era), nerds, how information is power – check, check, check and check.

Recently I’ve read about several people/historical events where I thought, why isn’t there a movie or best-selling book about this?!? Then I’d think, wait, maybe there is and I just don’t know about it. And I’d look up the person or event and find out that yes, there was a movie but it was filmed 40 to 50 years ago or it was a made-for-tv special or there was a book but it’s for children or by some author I’ve never heard of.

That’s what happened when I looked up Florence Nightingale. There actually are a ton of books but none that are by well-known historians (there are loads of kids books about her). There is an autobiography called Notes on Nursing.” I’m sure is interesting but doubt it’s all that readable (after all, she could do many these exceedingly well but writing wasn’t one of her talents.)

There was a tv movie with Jaclyn Smith playing Nightingale. I’m sure THAT was historically accurate. There’s a 1915 British Silent film about Florence. And there was a British film made in 2008 with not a single name in the cast I recognize (which never happens) and the one review it got on IMDB gave it one star and wrote, “One of the worst costume dramas I’ve seen in years! The acting was terrible. the script was terrible, the screenplay was dull and the characters seem like they had been plucked out of the 21st century and thrown back in time! Laura Fraser was useless, good looking, but useless. She plays the strong modern woman type which is totally out of context for the time, and all the male characters are weak.” (By the way, the review ends with “Americans will love it!” I’m not joking!)

I came across which is that Elizabeth Moss is supposedly working on a new film about Florence Nightingale. I hope this isn’t one of those projects that gets announced but never happens but the article I linked is from 2018 and I couldn’t find anything past late 2019. Well, we’ll see what happens. Maybe they’ll be a resurgence of Nightingale-mania!

[Thanks to my friend Kathy for sharing this with me!]

5. This Book about the Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee – This is a bit niche for a general blog, but I think the majority of my followers will appreciate it. Talk about a trip down memory lane! My only complaint is that it wasn’t physically bigger (it’s only 6″ x 9″) because I wish that the photos were larger and frankly I’d like to have seen more restaurants included. But it’s an Arcadia Publishing book and this is the standard size for the majority of their titles. But I suspect it’s the only way to get a book like this published anymore. Sigh. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it immensely.

6. This Reboot of Leverage with the Original Cast (minus one) – I know that people who didn’t watch Leverage won’t be as excited about this as I am (in fact, you probably won’t give a hoot) but I’m over the moon about this news. I was super bummed when they ended the show in 2012. They did tie everything up, but in the four years it aired it built up quite a following and I know we would have been happy for the show to continue for several more years.

But it’s back with the entire cast, except for Timothy Hutton. (I had no idea there had been accusations made against him too.) I’m a bit surprised, although thrilled and relieved, that Aldis Hodge is returning as Alec Hardison. I mean, he’s hit the big time with ‘One Night in Miami’ and he’s also been on ‘City on a Hill.’ The addition of Noah Wyle to the cast must also mean that a return of ‘The Librarians’ is not in our future. Oh well. You can’t have everything.

7. This Miniature Round Bookcase – If you love miniature things you’ll enjoy perusing the entire Instagram for the Daily Mini.

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Seven Things I Love (3-22-21)

  1. 1. This VACCINATED Menopausal Broad – pardon my hair, I forgot to fix it before the photo. You can’t see it but I’m both a little teary-eyed and overjoyed.

Not surprisingly, I’ve been reading everything I can on the vaccines and post-vaccine life and I found this excellent article in the Washington Post. WashPo has a paywall, so you may not be able to read it but here’s my favorite part, where the authors, Emily Heil and Tim Carman, talk about keeping a coronavirus budget. I think it’s a brilliant idea:

“There’s no such thing as zero risk, and nothing is 100 percent risky,” says Leana Wen, a visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and contributing columnist at The Washington Post. “It’s a spectrum.” She has long urged people to think about their risks as expenditures from a “coronavirus budget,” and says the budgets of those who have been vaccinated just went way up. “You still have to think about how to spend it, and if your priority is seeing grandchildren and going to church, then maybe you’re not going to restaurants all that often.”

With encouraging headlines, springlike temperatures and our collective covid fatigue at an all-time high, it might be tempting to throw caution — and another round of takeout — to the wind. But experts agree that now is not the time to lower your guard, but instead to maintain your vigilance so we can return to something like normal by the fall.

From: ‘As vaccinations increase, you may want to dine indoors again. Here’s what to consider.‘ by Emily Heil and Tim Carman; Washington Post, Mar. 19, 2021
  1. 2. This Photograph of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – I became obsessed with the Crystal Palace dinosaurs after reading the children’s book ‘The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins‘ by Barbara Kerley (illustrated by Brian Selznick). The book won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2002 . I was still a Children’s Librarian at that time. It has everything I loved – London, the Victorian Era, paleontology/innovation/science and the illustrations are fantastic. Here’s a video of a reading of the book that is charming.

I thought – it would have been amazing to be there then and see the dinosaurs in person. Honestly, I didn’t realize they still existed until a couple years ago. I learned many moons ago the Crystal Palace had burned down, twice I believe, so I assumed that nothing had survived. But the dinosaurs did and I got to see them in May of 2019! Here are a few of my photos… (the guy in the photo is my London pal Rob.)

2. This Story about the Golden Tickets in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate FactoryCharlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl was my all-time favorite book as a kid. I’m not sure if I’ve already told this story but one year, I think around when I was in second or third grade, I got a hold of a copy of the book. I read it and loved it so much that I re-read it over and over and over again. Around the twelve time my Mom started getting a little concerned that I was so obsessed with just one book so she bribed me with my first Nancy Drew book. That wasn’t such a bad thing, it led to a whole new world of my favorite teenage sleuth, but I always loved Charlie and his family and Mr. Willy Wonka.

I also loved the movie with Gene Wilder. To me he will always be the one and only Willy Wonka. I was actually excited when I first heard that Tim Burton was going to give the book a try and that Johnny Depp was slated to play Wonka, but I think I’ve spent to many years visualizing the candy maker as Gene Wilder.

I stumbled across this story while searching for something else and thought it was very interesting. For fans of the story, it’s not a major thing but curious nonetheless.

For some reason the book originally had it say on the golden ticket that the visit was to in February but in the first movie they changed it to October. Here is a brief post on Roald Dahl Fans.com where the person who runs the blog received an email with a question about this difference.

Here is what it says in the book:

“And now, here are your instructions: The day I have chosen for the visit is the first day in the month of February…”

“The first day of February!” cried Mrs. Bucket. “But that’s tomorrow! Today is the last day of January, I know it is!

The person who runs the Roald Dahl Fans blog has one theory that I think is most likely/logical and that is that the filming schedule was from August to November and so it simply didn’t look like February outdoors (and it would have been too expensive to make it look like February back then.) I think that this is the most likely explanation but one has to wonder if there might be some other reason like, is October 1st someone’s birthday or anniversary?

3. This Instagram Post by 99 year-old Betty White – how is it that I have only just thought to follow Betty White now???? So many shows like this that I would love to watch – thank goodness they aren’t available to stream because I don’t have enough time in the day! (If you haven’t watched the Betty White documentary on Netflix yet I highly recommend it. Ill be posting my ‘Menopausal Broad’s Guide to Netflix’ soon, hopefully within the next week.)

4. This Number from the 1957 Movie, Funny Face – Pink has always been my favorite color. I’d like to think it would have been even if I wasn’t born a girl, but in the 60s in Iowa there were only two options – girl or boy – and it wasn’t kosher for boys to like pink. Having said that, you just know that at least half of the guys in those white painter jumpsuits wish their suits were pink too. But they still look like they’re having fun! Aren’t the clothes fabulous?

5. This 360 Degree Van Gogh Painting – you may want to actually visit it on Facebook to so you can make it bigger.

6. This Website that Lets You Create Your Own Bayeux TapestryThe Bayeux Tapestry is made up of seventy-five scenes depicting events leading up to the Norman Conquest in 1066. It has a very distinct style and has been studied in depth (in fact they even know that there are 93 penises, not all belonging to men, included in the art piece.)

Here’s my first attempt…

And here is an artist named Andrew Swainson’s clever version of the Bayeux Tapestry in a tribute to Monty Python…

Andrew Swainson’s Pythonesque take on the Bayeux Tapestry
Photograph: Andrew Swainson/Monty Python

7. These “Personless Protests” in Myanmar – human ingenuity knows no bounds.

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Seven Things I Love (3-1-2021)

Happy Women’s History Month!

  1. 1. This Video on the Accents of All Fifty States – Myself, I know I don’t have an accent. Well, at least I didn’t think I did (except that one time I had a bunch of people stare at me when I ordered a pop instead of a soda but that was more dialect than accent.) But then a few years ago I went to this conference in California. The first day I was there, before I had been introduced to anyone else, before I had even checked in, I was waiting in the lounge with some of the other conference attendees while they slowly checked us in one by one. I was chatting away with several of the people, most of whom were from California.
  2. After about five minutes the woman across from me said, “It’s so to be with someone from Iowa again!” I looked at her and said, “Wait, how did you know I was born in Iowa?” And she replied, “You accent! It’s great hearing that Iowa accent again.” I couldn’t believe it. Not just because I thought I had some sort of universal (and semi-classy) accent but because I had been living in Wisconsin twice as long as I had been living in Iowa. Though I moved to Wisconsin when I was 18 so I guess the accent was already pretty much permanent. You know what they say, people don’t lose an accent unless they move by 16 years of age, at the latest.

2. This Dance Compilation – I’ve seen a lot of compilations like this but when Kevin Bacon, THE Kevin Bacon, posted it on his Facebook page and wrote, “What a compilation! This might be the best of all dance numbers. Feeling inspired to watch one of the greats tonight. Are you with me?” I thought – I need to watch. And he wasn’t kidding. It’s FABULOUS!!!

3. This Nature Photographer, Tim Flach – this guy is a genius.

4. This Interview of Jason Mantzoukas by Seth Meyers – Been watching a lot of the talk shows – Seth Meyers (probably the most religiously), Colbert, Trevor, Drew Barrymore, the two Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and James Corbin (the last three not as regularly as the rest). During the pandemic I’ve seen scads of interviews and I must say I don’t think I’ve seen one as entertaining as this.

5. This Canadian Artist, Tom Thomson – I recently discovered this artist because of a show called the ‘Murdoch Mysteries‘ (which I obsessed with) and now I’m looking for everything I can, not just about his art but about his life too. It turns out there was quite a bit of mystery surrounding his death and that just makes this all the more alluring.

IN THE NORTHLAND, WINTER (1915-1916) by Tom Thomson

6. These InStyle Virtual Elevator “Entrances” for the Golden Globe Awards – you can see more of them here but my favorite was Nicola Coughlan’s (and not only because she was wearing a fairy princess dress):

7. This Photographer, Kristina Makeeva – her work is truly magical. (Trying to only choose a few to highlight was incredibly difficult, you’ll want to look at more of her photos here, trust me!)


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Have a LOVELY Week!

Seven Things I Love (2-22-2021)

  1. 1. This “Personal Library” – housed in his home, WOW! I wonder what his house looks (looked) like. Right after college I landed a job at a wonderful bookshop called Webster’s. It was originally like something out of a movie. (I say originally because it kept expanding and became less and less charming.)
  2. Anyway, one of our regular customers was a professor. And he so looked the part – bearded and tweedy, patches on the elbows of his suit coats. He came in pretty much every week for most of the time I was there. I heard a story that because he had so many books he had to have the floors reinforced in his house to support his the weight of them all. When I saw this photo I immediately thought of him. I imagine his library could have looked like this.

2. This Bible, Known as ‘The Wicked Bible’ – In 1631 the English printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas printed 1000 copies of a bible with two errors. Unfortunately a word was omitted in Exodus 20:14 and instead of it saying “Thou shalt not commit adultery” it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

There was also a second error in Deuteronomy 5. In a sentence that should have read ‘Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness’ the word ‘greatness’ had been replaced with ‘great-asse.’ Of course implying that the Lord God has a great arse did not go over well with the King, nor the promotion of adultery.

Charles I fined the printers £300, which is equivalent to over $50,000 today. He ordered all copies be burned and he also took away their printing license. At the time they were the only printers licensed to print bibles, which was, of course, a lucrative business. Somehow 11 copies managed to survive and they have gone to auction and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars.

A theory has bounced around that possibly a competitor to Barker & Lucas set them up and had those errors inserted as sabotage so that they would lose their printing license. Course we’ll never know if that is true but the second mistake ‘great-asse’ seems a bit more than something that could have been accidental.

3. This Article by Writer and Therapist-in-Training Shrestha Singh – this essay resonated with me for a variety of reasons – the Wisconsin connection, the India connection (that’s a long story,) but mostly it was the part about having family members (and/or friends) who were supporting people who were bigoted.

For Ms. Singh it was having in-laws who were huge Trump supporters despite the fact that he’s overtly racist, especially when she is East Indian. It’s mind boggling to me how anyone who has family members who are (or worse who IS) Mexican, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (especially Chinese) or basically anyone from any foreign country or any person of color can still be a Trump supporter based on what he has said and done regarding immigrants. But there are plenty.

I have a family member who is a staunch Trump supporter who has grandchildren who are half-Chinese and whom he adores. Despite the fact that there is a clear correlation been a surge in anti-asian hate-crimes across the country and Trump’s use of discriminatory language like the term “China Virus,” his support has not waned.

The most frustrating thing about Trump supporters and their racism problem is that when you point it out to them, when you call them out on it, they will deny it is racism.

4. This Website that Lets You Draw Your Own Iceberg – A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks KK!) Megan Thompson-Munson is a Glaciologist and climate scientist and a PhD student. She has been bothered of late by the portrayal of icebergs, especially in stock photography. As pointed out in her tweets, the way they are pictured is impossible according to physics. So she created this fun site called Iceberger where you can draw whatever shaped iceberg you want to see how it would float in the ocean.

Here was my first attempt and I thought, hey, I got it to stand up – it looks like it does in the stock photos! BUT it turns out that some of the icebergs need a bit of time to turn on their side.

So I tried again and let it sit for a while and sure enough….

I tried over and over and over again and had the same thing happen, no matter what I did it ended up on its side. It’s a really cool site!

5. This Family in Kent Who Do Pandemic Version of Songs – The Marsh Family went viral about nine months ago with their version of “One Day More” from Les Miserable. They are REALLY talented!

A few other parodies I loved: Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘:

‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen:

And ‘Under Pressure’ by David Bowie is amazing!

6. These Photographs that Norman Rockwell Used as Inspiration for His Paintings – I’m sure all of you have at least seen a Norman Rockwell painting, even if you didn’t know who the artist was. Rockwell is most known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. His career with the Post spanned for decades, from 1916 to 1963 and when he retired he had drawn a total of 321 cover paintings. (Click on the photo/painting below to see more original photos and their companion Rockwell paintings.)

One of my favorite works Rockwell did is a series of art called the Four Freedoms. It was painted during World War II and inspired by a speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt on universal rights. The series included four paintings titled Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear.

The paintings ended up appearing in the Saturday Evening Post and each one was accompanied by an essay. I have linked each title above to the original essay. You will absolutely want to read the Freedom of Speech essay, trust me!

7. This New Movie – Cruella is Coming!


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The Menopausal Broad’s Guide to the Best Holiday Movies You Can Stream in 2020

These are in no particular order of preference. How many have you seen?

Get Santa (Netflix) – charming Christmas movie with a Paddington-esque quality (they were both released in 2014) where things go quite afoul for Santa. But with a little help from his friends he manages to make his deliveries on time. With Jim Broadbent as Santa Claus.


A Child’s Christmas in Wales (YouTube) – Starring Denholm Elliott and Mathonwy Reeves. This link is to the full film.

Godmothered (Disney+) – Starring Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, and Jane Curtain.

The Holiday Movies That Made Us (Netflix)

Last Holiday (Peacock TV Premium) – Starring Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Alicia Witt, Giancarlo Esposito, Gerard Depardieu, and Susan Kellermann.

Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (HBO Max) – Starring (the voices of) Jim Parsons, Mark Hamill, Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Leno, Fred Armisen, and Ed Asner reprising his role as Santa.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney+ and Netflix) – Starring Mackenzie Foy as Clara with Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Omid Djalili, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley, and Misty Copeland.

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (Disney+) – Billy Dee does Lando’s voice!

It’s a Wonderful Life (Prime Video) – Starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore.

The Happiest Season (Hulu, begins streaming on November 24th) – Starring Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, and Ana Gasteyer.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix) – Starring Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Anika Noni Rose, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, and Ricky Martin. (Lisa Davina Phillip, who plays Ms. Johnson, is hilarious!)

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix) – Starring Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, and Treat Williams.

Noelle (Disney+) – Starring Anna Kendrick, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Hader, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

Holidate (Netflix) – Starring Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Kristin Chenoweth, and Frances Fisher.

Miracle on 34th Street (Disney+) – Starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood.

The Princess Switch (Netflix) – Starring a double dose of Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, and Nick Sagar. There is a sequel (also on Netflix) that began streaming on November 19th called The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again.

Last Christmas (HBO Max) – Starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, and Michelle Yeoh.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Hulu) – starring Dan Stevens.

The Holiday Calendar (Netflix) – Starring Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, Ethan Peck, and Ron Cephas Jones.

The Santa Clause (Disney+) – Starring Tim Allen, David Krumholtz, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, and Eric Lloyd. (There are two sequels, also on Disney+, with the same original cast: Santa Clause 2 adds Elizabeth Mitchell as the future Mrs. Claus and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause adds Martin Short as Jack Frost and Alan Arkin and Ann-Margaret as the new Mrs. Claus’s parents who don’t have a clue who their son-in-law is.)

The Bishop’s Wife (Prime Video) – Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, and Monty Woolley. (There was a remake with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston called ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ and it was just okay. I mean, I’m a HUGE Cary Grant fan so it’d be difficult for anyone to top him in my book.)

A Bad Mom’s Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines. (You can watch this without having seen the original ‘Bad Moms’ but it’s better if you have. Unfortunately the original isn’t streaming for free.)

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney+) – Starring Chris Sarandon (Jack Skellington’s speaking voice) and Catherine O’Hara (Sally and Shock’s voice)

White Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.

A Christmas Movie Christmas (Prime Video and Hulu) – Starring Lana McKissack, Kimberly Daugherty, and Brant Daugherty (Kimberly’s real-life husband.) (FYI, little Cleary Herzlinger, who plays London, steals every scene she’s in.)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Disney+) – Starring (the voices of) Jim Carrey (who not only does Scrooge at all ages but all three Ghosts as well), Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Bob Hoskins, Lesley Manville, and Molly Quinn.

A Christmas Prince (Netflix) – Starring Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige, and Sarah Douglas. There are two, count ’em TWO sequels (also on Netflix): A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding and A Christmas Prince 3: The Royal Baby.

Santa Claus: The Movie (Peacock) – Starring David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Dudley Moore (if someone else had been cast in Moore’s role this movie would have been so much better) and John Lithgow.

Holiday in the Wild (Netflix) – Starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe (I didn’t think I’d like this as much as I did but between the African scenery and the elephants, well, the baby elephants totally put it over the top)

Klaus (Netflix) – Starring (the voices of) Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Norm MacDonald, and Joan Cusack.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Apple TV+ and PBS)
To complement its release on Apple TV+ this holiday season, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air on PBS and PBS KIDS on December 13, 2020 at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT (check local listings). And it will also stream in HD on Apple TV+ from December 11 through December 13 for free.

The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse.

Home Alone (Disney+) – Starring Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, and of course our beloved John Candy. (There is also two sequels (both available on Disney+) but only Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is worth it. Tim Curry, Dana Ivey and Rob Schneider are fantastic in HA2 as staff at the Plaza Hotel. Sadly, the Orange Monster owned the real Plaza Hotel at the time the film was made and makes a brief cameo, so be forewarned.)

Dash & Lily (Netflix) – Starring Austin Abrams and Midori Francis note: this is an eight-episode series based on the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan but it definitely is Christmas-centric. And if you love bookstores, particularly the Strand in NYC, you’re gonna wanna watch this.

And of course….

Die Hard (HBO Max) – Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, and Alan Rickman.

Course a lot of the best Christmas movies aren’t available on a streaming service for free:

Elf – Ed Asner is definitely one of the best Santas ever and Bob Newhart as an elf is pure genius. (Also, how many of you knew that Ralphie from ‘A Christmas Story’ was in this movie???? That’s him standing next to Buddy in the photo below. He played Ming Ming.)

Will Ferrell (left) as Buddy the Elf with Peter Billingsley as Ming Ming.

Happy Christmas – not free anywhere but it only costs $4.99 to buy from AppleTV or Prime, which is a dollar more than it costs to rent. I still don’t understand why anyone would rent a movie that only costs a buck more to buy. I love a realistic, dysfunctional, midwestern Christmas, don’t you? (Plus, Melanie Lynskey, damn I love her.)

Cast members including Anna Kendrick (center) and Lena Dunham (left), seen here with filmmaker Joe Swanberg’s son Jude (right), improvised many of the film’s scenes.

The Holiday – Oh to live in Rosehill Cottage. Sigh. (For photos of the interior, click here.)

The exterior shots of Rosehill Cottage in ‘The Holiday’ were filmed at Honeysuckle Cottage in Holmbury St Mary.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – “Hurry up Clark, I’m freezing my baguettes off.”

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, Johnny Galecki, Beverly D’Angelo, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis, 1989

Love, Actually – I mean really though, this movie is worth an investment. Surely you watch it every year?

Hugh Grant (as The Prime Minister), Billy Campbell (as Natalie’s octopus brother) and Martine McCutcheon (as Natalie)

Polar Express – I really liked this movie but similar to the Disney Christmas Carol it takes some adjusting to get used to seeing the animations where the voices are completely familiar (Tom Hanks) but the face looks a little off. You’ll see what I mean.

Scrooged – a classic.

Frank Cross (Bill Murray) sees the light after being visited by three ghosts.

A Christmas Story – so quotable.

Ralphie right before being devastated by having Santa tell him, “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.”

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – god I miss John Candy. But at least we still have his movies!

Christmas in Connecticut – I adore Barbara Stanwyck. And if you like the combination of Frank Capra and Barbara Stanwyck you should try Meet John Doe. Technically it’s not a Christmas movie but it has a climatic ending on Christmas Eve so I always think of it as a holiday film. It’s one of my favorites.

Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan in ‘Christmas in Connecticut’.

Arthur Christmas – from the Wallace & Gromit people!

Miracle on 34th Street – this is the 1994 version. I don’t think it’s fair to try to compare a black & white film to a color remake. The tone and mood and atmosphere of a b&w film is going to always be different, simply because of the lack of color – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just, it’s like trying to compare oranges and limes, they are both citrus but they are not completely interchangeable. I hope that this makes sense (I’m doing my rambling thing now). The bottom line is, I love both versions.

Richard Attenborough is an excellent Santa Claus and Mara Wilson was a marvelous child actor (remember her from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda?)

Joyeux Noel – you may not have heard of this French film but most likely you have heard the story of the truce that took place for one night on Christmas eve during World War I. This is the story of that event. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

The Oscar-nominated French film “Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)” is based on a real incident during the early days of World War I.

The Ref – if you can handle watching a movie with Kevin Spacey (sadly so many things are ruined for me now, but he does get terrorized for a while so that helps,) Dennis Leary is freaking brilliant. So are Judy Davis and Christine Baranski. (And if you happen to click on the photo below it’ll link you to a great review but ignore where it says it’s currently streaming on Netflix. The review is from 2016 and the movie has been pulled since then.)

Wishing everyone a very Safe, Healthy and


Seven Things I Love 8-17-2020

1. The Technicolor Fashion Show Scene from the original version of the movie ‘The Women’ (1939) – I suspect more people are familiar with the 2008 film version of ‘The Women’ starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The casts of both films are entirely women, you never once see a man, though there are constant references to them or a man will call on the phone.

The video below isn’t the entire scene unfortunately, it’s just the beginning – the full fashion show lasts about six minutes and includes the styles of designer Adrian. The film is in black & white but briefly switches to technicolor for this one scene. Apparently they filmed the fashion show in both black and white and technicolor. It was only shown on television and on DVDs in black & white but Turner Classic Movies restored the technicolor fashion show and how marvelous that they did!

2. Curbside Larry (Thanks KK!) Most places have someone like this. A person who does such obnoxious commercials that they become endearing. In Milwaukee we had a pitchman named “Crazy TV Lenny” who now owns an e-bike business called “Crazy Lenny’s.” I think it’s BRILLIANT how they used it to promote library services!

3. This Hallmark Movie – ‘Wedding Every Weekend,’ the latest Hallmark movie, has finally included an LGBTQ couple. YIPPEE!!! And it was NOT done subtlety either. This is now my favorite Hallmark movie (well, non-holiday Hallmark movie, I still really LOVE Christmas Getaway.)

Congratulations to new brides Vicky (Carmel Amit) and Amanda (Makayla Moore)

4. Thomas Fitzpatrick: The greatest “Hold my beer and watch this” ever – Picture it, Sicily, 1956… wait, that’s wrong, not Sicily, it was New York City. Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick makes a bet that he could land a plane outside the bar that he was drinking in, a couple hours later he does exactly that, in a stolen plane no less. Years later when someone refuses to believe him he even does it again! (Found on MessyNessyChic)

5. Rebecca – it won’t premiere on Netflix until October 21st but I am so excited about this upcoming movie I can barely see straight. The novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier has been one of my favorite books since high school. I also love the old black & white movie with Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier (1940.) It was my first introduction to the actor George Sanders. Most people only know his voice – he was Shere Khan the Tiger in the 1967 Jungle Book. His voice is beyond sexy, he really does sort of growl. His role in Jungle Book was just too perfect.

Getting on to the new Rebecca – good lord, Armie Hammer is playing Maxim de Winter. SWOON! And Lily James plays the unnamed woman who narrates and becomes the second Mrs. de Winter. Kristin Scott Thomas is Mrs. Danvers, Keeley Hawes (The Bodyguard and Durrells in Corfu) is Beatrice Lacy and Sam Riley (Maleficent and Radioactive) is Jack Favell. It’s all my favorite people in one film!!! Pinch me!

Rebecca: (L to R) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Cr. KERRY BROWN/NETFLIX

6. Suffragettes – tomorrow (August 18th) will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. That’s right, it was only 100 years ago that women were given the right to vote in our country. New Zealand was actually the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. They did that in 1893, although there were actually some women on the Isle of Man (geographically part of the British Isles but not part of the UK) who were able to vote from 1881. New Zealand women were allowed to vote though they could not run for office.

There are two important dates to celebrate in 2020 – June 4th was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment and August 18th is the 100th anniversary of its ratification and being added to the Constitution.

Want a fun activity for you and/or any kids you may know? Here’s Flat Susan B. (a twist on Flat Stanley), color her in and share her with friends, or use her as a bookmark, or take her along wherever you go and have her show up in photos that you post on Instagram! Flat Susan B is AWESOME! (And remember, coloring is therapeutic.) If you click on the image below you’ll go to the printable version.)

Woman’s suffrage protest on Capitol Hill in 1917.
PHOTO: UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

And remember, even though women won the right to vote in 1920, there is still a lot of problems with inequality in this country, which became very obvious with this summer’s BLM protests.

Sadly, the American’s Suffragette’s appear to won their battle at the expense of their black sisters. And the Equal Rights Amendment, though approved by both the House and the Senate in the early seventies never was able to get ratified by enough state legislatures before the deadline SEVEN years later. The deadline was extended for four years but still, the required of number of states was not met so Congress considers it dead. Several groups have tried to get Congress to remove the deadline but nothing has happened. Can you believe though that we, as a country, couldn’t get enough states to ratify the ERA in the first place???? Let’s see what happens in November, shall we?

P.S. if you haven’t seen the film Suffragettes yet, now’s the time!

7. The National Park Service’s ‘Recreate Responsibly’ Campaign Posters – the NPS began the campaign in April and it is genius. Humor really is the best way to get people’s attention, get things to go viral, and to get people to actually read things! The most recent poster, ‘Wildlife Petting Chart,’ is obviously in response to the recent bison incident (hint, don’t approach a baby bison when its mama is looking on.)


Five Things I Love (4/27/2020)

  1. 1. Stanley Tucci making a Negroni – if you haven’t seen this video yet, you have to watch it. It’s true, I could watch Stanley Tucci reading a phone book (there’s a handful of actors that I can say this about and he’s one of them,) but this is entrancing.

2. The Film Short made while isolating by one of my favorite history buff/film makers. I love her sense of humor.

3. Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary – how many can you figure out? I managed to get 15 out of 15 (yes I’m bragging, but full disclosure I was a Children’s Librarian for 12 years before becoming a library director so I have a bit of an advantage.) I’ll put the answers at the bottom of the post.

4. Gabe Kaplan beating the pants off of Robert Conrad in a race from the Battle of the Network Stars. Raise your hand if you remember this show! I do, I do!!!

https://twitter.com/super70ssports/status/1222315769981218819?lang=en

5. This video of Mr. Rogers & Julia Child cooking together. I would have given anything to meet Mr. Rogers but I can say I got to meet Julia Child back when I worked at Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee during her ‘The Way to Cook’ book tour. She’s as fabulous as you would hope she’d be and so wonderfully tall. As a tall person myself I was overjoyed about that.

6. This article on ‘5 Reasons to Bake Pretzels with Walter the Baker‘ – yesterday was National Pretzel Day and when I think of pretzels I can’t help but think of the book Walter the Baker. For those of you who haven’t read the book, here is a lovely video story time. Walter the Baker is one of my favorite Eric Carle books. It may be because it’s about pretzels. It may be because it has a Duke & Duchess in the story, (good or bad I’m partial to stories that include royalty.) It may be because I love all Carle’s books.

Anyway, being in isolation, pretzels are the perfect thing to make at home, assuming you have flour – I hear it can be difficult to find in some areas. How yummy!

7. Last but definitely not least, these Coloring Sheets inspired by WES ANDERSONS & HAYAO MIYAZAKI films. O……M…..G, I’m in heaven!!!

And the answers to the Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary are:

  1. Green Eggs & Ham
  2. Charlotte’s Web
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  4. Good Night Moon
  5. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  6. Cat in the Hat
  7. Rainbow Fish
  8. Stone Soup
  9. Three Little Pigs
  10. Alice in Wonderland
  11. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
  12. If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
  13. Goldilocks & the Three Bears
  14. The Giving Tree
  15. Where the Wild Things Are

How’d ya do?

Five Things I Love (4-7-2020)

Whoops, I missed a week. But I had some other things I had to blog about. I’m sure that it’s not the end of the world. I’ll have a doubly long list this week.

1. SomeGoodNews – John Krasinski (“The Office,” “A Quiet Place,” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”) has begun a YouTube channel/”network” dedicated to reporting ONLY good news. It’s absolutely wonderful. This is the first show. You’re going to want to subscribe! (And wait until you see who shows up for episode two!!!)

2. Have you seen this Monty Python COVID-19 gif yet?

2. Sir Patrick – those who know me know I have had a lifelong love affair with Patrick Stewart. There are so many things to love about this man. His voice. His intelligence. His generous spirit. His sense of humor. I could go on and on. If you already aren’t aware of this, Sir Patrick has been reading a sonnet a day on his twitter feed and I tell you, there is nothing more calming. You need to check it out.

3. Fragrant Isle Lavender and Chamomile Dusting Powder – I’ve been obsessed with this stuff for a while. I realize dusting powder is an old fashioned term. The thing is, people really shouldn’t be using talcum powder anymore. I only buy dusting/baby powder that is made from corn starch. This fits that bill AND as an added bonus it reminds me of my Gramps, who used to smell of lavender dusting powder, pipe tobacco, and in the winter, wool.

4. This video compilation – Wes Anderson’s Social Distancing (though I still prefer the term physical distancing)

5. Alireza Pakdel 

From ‘My Modern Met’:

As people around the globe stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals continue to work at the forefront to serve the community. Iranian artist Alireza Pakdel captures the surreal state of the world in his series of emotional illustrations featuring brave doctors and nurses fighting the virus in both realistic and imaginative scenarios.

Pakdel uses reoccurring imagery of giant green germs to convey the fear of an unseeable enemy, while also casting medical staff as the true heroes that they are, tirelessly keeping the threat at bay. Mask-wearing characters save people from the virus in a multitude of metaphorical scenes where COVID-19 presents itself as a visible enemy. For example, Pakdel portrays the disease as handcuffs that doctors must break apart, as well as a maze that medics must pass through, and even as an enormous bear trap that threatens a car driving towards it. This type of ever-changing enemy is emblematic of the incredible challenge it poses to doctors on the front lines.

‘Illustrations Highlight Bravery of Healthcare Professionals During Coronavirus Pandemic’
By Margherita Cole on April 7, 2020

6. Every Hotel Ever – this video is HILARIOUS – it truly is EVERY hotel you’ve ever stayed in.

7. Blueberry Baked Oatmeal – I’ve been trying to cook/bake more while at home and I’ve been doing a halfway decent job of it. One of my favorite things to make is this recipe: Cookie and Kate’s Blueberry Baked Oatmeal. You could use other berries instead of blueberries. There are so many great things about this dish – it works with frozen fruit, it allows for all sorts of variations, it’s healthy, it’s really filling. Most importantly though, it’s delicious! It’s definitely on my comfort food list. I only use 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter (instead of the full 3) because I don’t save aside half to drizzle over the bake when it’s finished. Instead, when I am ready to eat a piece, I warm it up then I warm up a wee bit of milk as well and pour that over the top. Yum!

The photo on the Cookie & Kate site is much nicer than mine but my Bake looks very much the same as theirs. I didn’t split up the blueberries quite evenly enough between the top and the bottom though. There is going to be a lot of deliciousness on the bottom!

8. I texted a friend to check on her the other day and ‘Salright popped into my head. For those of you who remember Señor Wences. Are you ‘salright? I’m ‘salright.

9.

Five Things I Love (3-23-20)

We all need to hear about as many positive things as we can right now. Having said that, I’ll be adding a few extra items on my “Five Things I Love” lists for the indefinite future…

1. This fabulous article about how Gen-Xers are so freaking awesome, which we already knew because pretty much every article about Gen-Xers talks about how strong we are, how we can handle more than other generations, how we never complain, well, basically all the same stuff that Korin Miller wrote about here

2. My sister-in-law’s floral masterpieces. My brother and sister-in-law are going to be opening up a floral shop supper club in Camas, WA. They were hoping to open up in the next few weeks but as you can imagine, things are tentatively on hold. In the meantime though, my SIL does what she usually does, and that is bring rays of sunshine to everyone around her.

Both my brother and sister-in-law have been trying to come up with ideas on how to make lemonade out of lemons. For example, they had a bunch of flower arrangements made up for event that was cancelled so instead they auctioned them off on their Facebook page and donated 100% of the proceeds to two separate charities.

Recently they procured a bunch of free flowers (one of the nearby flower markets was giving away their inventory – with all the cancellations of weddings and special events they have massive overstock and the flowers will just go to waste in their warehouses.) Anyway, my sister-in-law (with my brother as her assistant) created beautiful flower installation around Camas. Some of them were even bouquets that people could stop by and pick up. If you live near Seattle, ATV (after the virus) be sure to check out their place and follow them on Insta or Facebook. You can see many more of my SIL’s beautiful creations on their Insta and FB.

3. How to dial a telephone – this video is hilarious to watch now. For menopausal broads though it may also give you the warm & fuzzies…

4. Self-pampering – if you’re like me you may have a few (dozen) products that you bought, that are supposed to have miraculous effects, but haven’t had the time to use. Well, NOW we all have time! Besides trying out various sheet masks and serums and lotions and cleansers I have also started doing a guided meditation for 15 minutes every day. There are lots of guided meditation videos on YouTube. I recommend searching for guided meditation and the length of time (10, 15, 30 minutes). You may need to try out several before you find one that you like and that has a voice that you find soothing. I myself saved several into a playlist so that I gave vary it up a little.

5. Puzzles! The one I am currently working on is GORGEOUS, 1000 pieces, and the most challenging one I’ve ever tried to put together. Slow going but super satisfying!

6. (Bonus) This online course at Yale University which you can currently take FOR FREE – Dr. Laurie Santos is teaching people how to be happier with their lives! She recognized a need for the course when she saw that there was an increasing number of students being diagnosed with depression. I’ve already watched the videos and done the reading for the first week. It’s very manageable, maybe 30 to 60 minutes twice a week. The only real homework is practicing what you are learning! You can register here.

7, (Bonus) – this artist (Junior Fritz Jacquet) who created these wonderful squishy faces out of discarded toilet paper rolls. What with toilet paper being so precious right now you may, like me, hesitate momentarily to toss out those empty toilet paper rolls…

8. (Bonus) – Star War fans, if you haven’t watched this sped up time-lapse of the construction of the Death Star you must do so immediately. It’s only two minutes long!

9. (Bonus) – Last but definitely not least, this animated video explaining the Coronavirus Pandemic. Flatten the curve!

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