1. This History of Chestnut Trees – this actually is something to both love and hate. I hate the story behind why we’ve lost the vast majority of the American Chestnut trees in North America (not surprisingly it had to do with some wanker deciding to import a dozen Chinese Chestnut trees to the US from Japan. Because there will always be people who have to have bigger, better, new.) There’s further details on the blight here.
But what I love is history, and the history of the Chestnut tree is fascinating and extensive. These were enormous trees, strong, hearty, and they provided for everyone and everything that lived around them. Another thing I love is that there are people working to bring back the American Chestnut. One organization in particular, the American Chestnut Foundation, leads the show and they are getting close. According to this article from 2019, the final stage/cut should take place this year and then they should be able to start repopulating the Appalachian Forests with blight-resistant American Chestnut trees. Hope!
2. This Article on the Regency Design of Bridgerton – Have you watched Bridgerton yet? If not, get thee to the television and start streaming thy Netflix!
My favorite era in British history has always been the Edwardian era (and I mean design-wise) with the Tudor era in a close second. BUT I must say, this show made me start to wonder if I should rethink that.
3. This Incredible Photograph of the Chicago Skyline – it really does look like flames are shooting up!
4. This Video of Robots Dancing to “Do You Love Me?” – Boston Dynamics is one of the most advanced Robotics company in the world. They have a huge following on social media and for good reason – their robots are incredibly impressive. They created this video for their fans for a holiday treat. AMAZING! (full disclosure – I’m a robotics nerd.)
5. This IncredibleBridge – my friend Kathy sent me this photo. It’s the Golden Bridge in Vietnam. We were trying to decide whether we loved it or found it disturbing. Truthfully, it’s both but in the end we decided we loved it much more than we found it disturbing. I think it’s all a matter of your upbringing and how you look at it.
6. These Pandemic Words – Here’s an article that includes an interview with Ben Zimmer who is the chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. They discussed not only the winning words – COVID was the word of the year – but also some of the nominees. Here are a few that I liked:
gleethreshing (ph) the opposite of doomscrolling, reading some good news for a change.
oysgezoomt (ph), being Zoomed out. You’re fatigued by being overexposed to Zoom.
Very interesting too about the term BIPAC. Need to read more about that.
1. This (Uncensored) End-of-Year PSA – (ICYMI, it’s scientifically proven that people who swear are more honest and more intelligent. FUCK YAH we are!)
And now, we invite you to lift a finger for this cause, which we feel–and speak–quite strongly about. Text 🖕 to 1-877-EFF-THIS (1-877-333-8447)to donate $5 to the Mental Health Coalition*, share this video with everyone you know, and join our conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #EFF2020.
2. This New Year’s Card from LovePop – the card is so popular they’re already sold out, but you can sign up to be notified for when they get more in stock. Course now that I’ve included it in my “7 things” I suppose I won’t need to mail out as many as I had planned…”
4. This Google Year in Search Video – it’s gonna to make you weep, both in a good way and a bad way.
5. This Last Monologue of 2020 by Stephen Colbert – Colbert, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah kept me sane this year. In fact they kept me sane the past four years.
6. This Virtual New Year’s Eve Concert with Pink Martini – one of my favorite bands!!! You can purchase the New Year’s concert ticket here. A portion of each ticket supports Kentucky performing arts. Always good to support the arts!
7. This Liz Climo New Year’s Cartoon – She just gets me.
[Update on 12-29-2020: a few additions that I came across since I posted this…
Bonus – This New Netflix Special, Death to 2020 – I laughed my ASS off for most of the Tennyson Foss (Hugh Grant) segments. Grant has brilliant comedic timing. SO many good people in this!!!
Bonus – This Meme that My Brother Sent Me – can’t you just hear it?
Bonus – This Series of AP Photographs from 2020 which “Captured a World in Distress” – I can’t say I “love” these photographs but it’s a record of our history and they are incredible to see.
My New Year’s Resolutions:
Lose Weight – always on my list but this year I’m actually going to try.
Have a more positive outlook – I’m tired of being negative.
Take better care of my skin – been working on a blog post on this.
What do YOU plan to do next year? (Besides get a vaccine of course.)
I want to thank my friend Ann who was the person who shared a few of this week’s ‘Things I Love’ with me. Thanks Ann!
1. This Suffragettes’ Christmas Card – Savvy Twitter users who could read music noticed that the music at the bottom of the card was actually for ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem. One Twitterer pointed out the song was indeed used by the movement.
In fact it was called “The Women’s Marseillaise‘ and it was the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU.) With words written by Florence Macaulay, the song was sung by suffragettes both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. I don’t think women today can truly grasp how much we owe to the Suffragettes of the early twentieth century.
2. This Netflix Series, ‘The Holiday Movies That Made Us’ – a holiday version of the popular ‘The Movies That Made Us,’ the series covers two films: ‘Elf‘ and “Nightmare Before Christmas.’ (Personally, I enjoyed the ‘Elf‘ one better, even though “Nightmare Before Christmas‘ is one of my Mom’s favorite movies of all-time.)
3. This Excerpt from a Letter from Virginia Woolf to Violet Dickinson. – This excerpt of the letter is from the site ‘Letters of Note (LoN).’ I’m rather obsessed with ‘LoN.’ ‘LoN’ started as a book (I have a personalized copy) and eventually turned into this incredible online museum, all the brainchild of one person named Shaun Usher. Now there are multiple volumes with more on the way. I suggest signing up for the newsletter so you get a handful of letters delivered straight to your inbox daily.
So you know, Violet Dickinson was an old family friend of Virginia Woolf. Here is some information about her from Ellen Moers NYT review of “The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Volume I: 1888-1912“:
“Violet Dickinson gave far more than affection. She nursed Virginia at her Welwyn home through her suicidal depression in the summer of 1904, and then introduced her to the women’s editor of The Guardian and to Nellie Cecil. The Guardian assigned Virginia books to review and published her first writing; with Nellie Cecil (a professional critic, as will as daughter and wife of peers – her nephew is Lord David Cecil) she collaborated on a literary column for The Cornhill. From then until her marriage, Virginia Woolf was a hard-working literary journalist; she adored it.”
It is Christmas evening, and we are all soporific from the effects of a Christmas tea eaten on top of a Christmas turkey. Sophie never lets us off on Christmas day at all, and when this letter is finished, I shall have to go down and attack the turkeys legs which were left intact. Thoby had such a large helping that another plate had to receive the overflow, and he ate impartially from both. They spent the afternoon in making Rum Punch, which is made half of rum half of brandy, with sugar and lemon and hot water thrown in: the house smells like a public house in consequence, and we shall have a very merry evening. Isn’t this better than your high and dry aristocrats? We all talk at once, and make such brilliant jokes as never were seen.
Virginia Woolf | Letter to Violet Dickinson, Christmas Day 1904
4. ThisScatelogical Celebration in Catalonia – I actually wish this was a thing here. These are called “caganers” and they are meant to bring luck. They need to be placed in a Nativity and the idea is that the defecating (caganer supposedly loosely translates to “the defecator”) figure is fertilizing the soil and therefore will bring good crops – basically it’s a symbol of fertility and good fortune. This explains why there are more figures of beloved people/things taking a poop than of ones that are disliked.
5. This Map Showing the Favorite Christmas Treat for Each State – if you’d like to see a larger version you can click on this link. Not sure if you agree with the map. I grew up in Iowa and we never had oreo balls. But we were right on the border of Wisconsin & Illinois so we weren’t really typical Iowa. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for the majority of my life (about 37 years,) and I don’t particularly recall seeing a lot of Andes Peppermints around during the holidays.
6. This Special Reading by Neil Gaiman of ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and it’s not just because he’s an amazing writer but it’s also because he’s a HUGE advocate for public libraries. There are many Gaiman quotes to choose from about public libraries but his most “famous” in the library world is this one:
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” ~ Neil Gaiman
7. This Collection of Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials that includes the “Vintage” Commercials –
Another vintage show with original commercials…
[Bonus] 8. These Vintage Ceramic Christmas Trees – one of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating and the reason I love it so much is because it takes me back to my childhood. Every year, right after Thanksgiving, when I start to open up the boxes that store all my Christmas decorations I find myself mostly thinking about my Mom. Which is the best part.
I inherited a lot of her Christmas decorations and as I look at them, every one of them makes me think of her and the Christmases we spent together. The memories have become hazy but the feelings haven’t.
We actually never had one of these trees when I was a kid, not that I remember (as I said, hazy) but there is still something very familiar about this tree and I now own one. They are absolutely delightful. There’s a wonderful history of the trees written up here. And here is an article from Taste of Home with advice on how to find a ceramic tree if you are interested in having one for yourself.
Christmas collectibles have great sentimental value. Nowadays there isn’t a lot that gets passed down from generation to generation anymore. Mothers don’t give/leave their children china or silver or antiques. But that treasured tree topper or those favorite Christmas ornaments, well, that is something that any kid of any generation will appreciate.
[Bonus] 9. This Christmas Playlist – and don’t forget to check out the Menopausal Broad Playlist: Christmas Edition. I’ve added some new tunes and I’m sure that I’ll be adding even more music as the week goes on…
Word of the Day
Quote of the Day
(We’ve been at the threshold of hell most of this year but we’re close to being saved!)
1. This Discovery of the Fountain of Youth – Scientists in Israel claim they have been able to reverse the aging process simply using oxygen. GIMME SOME OF THAT!
2. These Cardamom Cookies from Unna Bakery in New York – I found these locally a while back but couldn’t remember where I bought them. Damned menopausal brain fog. I checked to see if I could order them online and yay, I could! LOVE these cookies. They are my favorite treat to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. A box contains five packets of two, all individually wrapped, so you don’t have to feel obligated to eat the whole package just to keep them from going stale (which is what I tell myself when I do that.) They are just the right amount of spice and sweet. In my opinion, the perfect cookie. The Swedes do so many things right and baking is on that list to be sure.
There are other flavors to choose from too. I ordered some Coconut Oat Cookies to try and they were different but equally good.
3. This Recipe for Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts – thanks to my brother Chuck for sending this to me. I’m a big fan of Camila Styles and I’m subscribed to her e-newsletter, but lately my inbox has been inundated so I’m missing a lot.
This girl (me) can’t get enough Brussels sprouts. Sadly, this girl also is on a blood thinner which means she has to pace herself. Well, you know what Julia Child says, “Everything in moderation.” (FYI, the full quote is, “Everything in moderation… including moderation.”) You can find the recipe by clicking on the photo or here.
4. This Book Review (and Interview) of Henry Winkler’s Newest Book by Master Crocheter Jonah Larson – they are all so damned adorable! Note Henry Winkler’s pillow behind him – love it! And Jonah Larson is a wunderkind! You can read more about him here and here.
5. This Cookware from GreenPan – I’ve bought all my GreenPan Cookware from Food52 but it’s available in many places including World Market, Kohl’s, and Amazon. One of my favorite pieces, which I use ALL the time, is the 12-Inch GreenPan Venice Pro Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan (pictured right). It’s no longer available at Food52 but they still have it at World Market. And there is a slightly smaller 11-Inch version called the Chatham Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan at Kohl’s for significantly less.
From the GreenPan website:
GreenPan is a Belgian brand with an international reputation. It’s the brainchild of two school friends: Jan Helskens and Wim De Veirman.
Upon discovering that traditional non-stick pans released toxins when overheated and used PFOA during the manufacture of the coating, they set out to create a new alternative.
After a long search, they found the perfect material for their range: a ceramic coating called Thermolon™.
With the biggest challenge out of the way, the duo put an expert team together and had a lot of pleasure in designing cookware that looked beautiful, performed brilliantly and made cooking even more of a joy.
10 years later their pans are loved around the world.
6. This Test Flight– I may not be a fan of Elon Musk (I think he ‘s batshit crazy) BUT I cannot deny he has vision and his company is achieving astonishing things. Besides, my nephew works at SpaceX so as long as he’s there I know that they they must be cool!
7. This Music Video (and tweet) – Daniel Stewart is Patrick Stewart’s son. The music video is awesome!
8. This Virtual Chess Game Against Beth Harmon (at four different ages!) – I ADORED ‘Queen’s Gambit’ (along with everyone else) and now I’m obsessed. Chess.com has developed this clever online experience tied in to the hit Netflix series. I finally got brave enough to try to play 8 year-old Beth. It was a draw because we ran out of moves. I thought my brain was going to explode though it was working so hard.
9. These Edible Christmas Ornaments for Outdoor Trees – I’m a Hallmark (and now Lifetime too) Christmas movie junkie. This year Hallmark has an incredible number of new movies. One of my favorites is called, Christmas with the Darlings. In addition to the usual christmas cookie making/baking scene that occurs in every Hallmark movie, in this one they made animal-friendly ornaments and I thought it was brilliant. I will definitely be doing this next year! There are two different links. The link on the photo below will take you to a recipe for the birdseed ornaments pictured. The link at the beginning in bold takes you to an article with a variety of ideas and links.
Word of the Day (is actually the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year for 2020)
If you click on the graphic below it will take you to an analysis of the use and significance of the word pandemic for the year.
Quote of the Day
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and stayed safe!
And I don’t want to rub it in so I’ll let Charlie say for me what I can’t say myself….
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
The Holiday – Oh to live in Rosehill Cottage. Sigh. (For photos of the interior, click here.)
Love, Actually – I mean really though, this movie is worth an investment. Surely you watch it every year?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.)
I started to put together my post for the week and there ended up being way too many things, and curiously a huge number of them were food-related. So I’ve decided to post two blogs this week. Don’t worry, I don’t expect this to become a regular thing. (And I also forgot to actually POST them. ARGH! It’s an insane time right now.)
2. This Instagram account, Accidentally Wes Anderson – which was brought to my attention by my friend Ann and was recently written about in the NY Times. There’s a gorgeous new book being released this month. It includes some of the account’s best photos (I’m definitely going to ask for it for Christmas). Publication date is October 20th. For someone who has mild OCD, is a travel junkie, loves nostalgia and beautiful things there is nothing better than Wes Anderson.
3. This Kayaker, Lori Nickel – I love the way she writes, it makes me feel like I was there with her. And, since right now I’m doing a lot of armchair traveling and sports and theatre and, well, everything, this sort of article is most appreciated. I also love her attitude and the final little snippet of wisdom at the end, “And be grateful, because any race and any fun outside with friends and family – any sense of community in 2020, while we all deal with this Covid19 pandemic – is a gift. Especially when you can walk away from it.”
4. This Woman doing a voiceover of a cooking show – she is the female Morgan Freeman for christ’s sakes. (Thanks Stasie.)
5. This movie on Netflix, Enola Holmes, which became the number one ranked movie on the streaming network in its first week. It is perfection – it’s funny, intelligent, diverting, cinemagraphic, action-packed, and has a soupcon of romance (which is all I need nowadays.) Plus the costumes are fabulous! And as a HUGE added bonus, Henry Cavill as Sherlock (rawrrr.)
6. This stylebook – the AP Stylebook has always been my favorite and now this cinches it. They took the time to identify the usage of the terms “riot” vs “unrest” and the potential motivations beneath unrest caused by protests vs riots caused by mobs. Incredible really. More history. When apolitical institutions that are decades old start making political stands, there is something wrong.
7. This color – Pantone has declared a new color called Period to help remove the stigma with menstruation. (seen on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
I’ve decided to include a new feature in my weekly post. One of the things that I LOVE is language so each week I’m going to include a fun new word, not necessarily English, that I’ve stumbled across.
Word of the Week
It’s a little on the nose but schadenfreude has always been one of my top ten favorite words. I also wanted to include the interesting fact that Merriam-Webster saw an increase of 30,500% in searches for the word on October 2nd. Language is extraordinary.
Have a FABULOUS week! Be safe, wear a mask, stay home if you can.
1. A friend of mine shared this Coronavirus version of Bohemian Rhapsody on my Facebook page. It’s fantastic! Right after I graduated from college I lived in the most wonderful apartment on the east side of town. 17th floor, overlooking Lake Michigan. I could only able to do this because I had an awesome roommate who made it possible (he footed more than his fair share of the rent.) Anyway, we had a LOT of parties in that place, I mean, how could we not? On special occasions the two of us would do an air guitar rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In fact, it became our thang. Those were the days…. The friend who shared this link with me was a witness, I mean he attended those parties…
Not only are the lyrics clever but this guy’s voice is incredible! I hope Brian May has seen this and I believe Freddie Mercury would have loved it.
2. French Girl Fleur de Rose Facial Polish – I actually can’t take credit for having discovered this stuff. I read some time ago this was one of Emma Watson’s favorite products. There are only a few movie stars that I respect enough to care what they think, and she is definitely on that list. This facial polish makes my skin feel like it’s 25 years old again. I wouldn’t be without it, even made sure to take it with me to India. I’ve been buying it for a few years. In fact, when I first starting buying from French Girl she only had an Etsy shop.
3. The Great Realisation – this is absolutely brilliant. Why hindsight is 2020…
5. Stream These – I watched a ton of new shows/movies this past weekend. So many excellent ones –
This Beautiful Fantastic (Amazon Prime) – a modern-day fairy tale and exactly what we all need right now. If you are a librarian it’s a must watch film, if you are a gardener, same thing.
The Half of it (Netflix) – the cast is exceptional, a teen rom-com with a LGBTQ and a multi-cultural twist. I already was a fan of Leah Lewis who plays the lead, Ellie Chu. Leah is George is the modern Nancy Drew series.
Never Have I Ever (Netflix) – this is the new Mindy Kaling series about a teenage Indo-American girl getting through high school and dealing with all the typical things that a modern, 21st century teenage American girls deals with, who also happens to have a mother who is a devoutly religious Hindu and very traditionally Indian and whose father has died prematurely from a heart attack.
Upload (Amazon Prime) – a lot of people/reviewers are comparing this show to ‘The Good Place’ and I can see how that could happen. It is, after all, about life after death. The big difference of course is that this is about an artificially created afterlife. I couldn’t stop watching, it’s not as funny as ‘The Good Place’ but I really liked the characters, particularly the main two people. You can see that like the people in ‘The Good Place’ these individuals are going to grow as the show goes along.
6. The Tart Adage from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – I’m a HUGE fan of Alice in Wonderland. I’ve been looking forward to seeing the V&A exhibition – Curious & Curiouser for nearly a year. Sadly I may not get to see it now. But in the mean time I found this video clip!!!
“According to a news release, The Carol Burnett Show will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.”
So this week, life happened, and I didn’t get this done on Monday as I had planned.
1. Perimenopausal Bingo by Beth Kanter (definitely can be used by menopausal and postmenopausal broads) from McSweeney’s:
2. Mockumentaries – plural of mockumentary [ mok-yuh–men-tuh-ree, ‐tree ] noun 1. a motion picture or television program that takes the form of a serious documentary in order to satirize its subject.
I’ve loved mockumentaries ever since I saw my first Christopher Guest mockumentary “Waiting for Guffman.” Guest is the king of the genre, having five under his belt (in order of preference):
Best in Show – the “truth” about competitive dog shows
Mascots – the competitive world of professional sports-team mascots
Waiting for Guffman – small town theater people with big aspirations
A Mighty Wind – behind the scenes of American folk music
For Your Consideration – what goes into getting those award nominations
One of the thing I love about Guest’s mockumentaries is that he has created essentially an old-school acting troupe and a lot of the same people star in most of his films.
There are mockumentaries by other directors:
Rob Reiner’s ‘This is Spinal Tap’ is probably the most famous. Christopher Guest starred in the film along with Harry Shearer and Michael McKean. McKean became one of Guest’s acting ‘troupe.’
Drop Dead Gorgeous is one of my all time favorites –
What we do in the Shadows (again everything Taika Waititi does is golden!)
Both Woody Allen (Zelig) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) have done mockumentaries. I’m not a fan of either of them so their movies won’t appear on my list but if you enjoy their work you may want to watch those as well.
3. Kitchen Ruler and Oven Rack Push-Puller. Where has this been all my (adult) life??? No more scorched arms. Wunderbar! Picked this up for less than $3 at Mod Gen: a Modern General Store (in Milwaukee.) I also see they are available for a wee bit more at Sur La Table. Or there is a silicon one (also a tad more) available at Amazon (it doesn’t have the ruler but would be able to be tossed in the dishwasher if you accidentally spilled something on it).
4. AJ and the Queen – got hooked on this last night and finished it in two days. There damn well better be a season two. RuPaul is, not surprisingly, FAB-U-LOUS.
5 Last, and most definitely not least, the amazing and brave and valiant efforts being made in Australia to save not only people but rare floral & fauna.
There are so many!
This 6-year old boy, who raised nearly $100K for the effort by selling clay koalas he made by hand
If you can handle it (get a box of kleenex) this will really show you how many people (and other animals too!) have gone to great lengths to save the koalas and kangaroos and other animals at risk in Australia. Incredible, heart-breaking, but also it will lift your spirits knowing that people are so selfless.
(Side note, apparently it’s gone viral that wombats are helping to save animals by inviting them into their burrows. As wonderful as this sounds, it is not true.) Not sure why people make shit like this up.
I was going to end up on a relatively happy note which is that the fire actually succeeded in getting the original members of the Wiggles to reunite for a fund-raising concert. That is AMAZING! Unfortunately though, Greg Page, collapsed toward the end of the concert and was rushed to the hospital. The most recent report is that he is receiving treatment. Let’s pray he is okay. The last thing Australia needs right now is to lose one of their National heroes.