Tag: Short Films (Page 1 of 2)

Seven Things I Love (3-14-2022)

  1. 1. This Bust of an Unidentified Black Slave by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux – Housed at The Met Museum, the bust is one of only two known versions carved in marble. It is a powerful representation of the brutality that people of color endured and how they responded with fortitude and strength.

“Created twenty years after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies (1848), the sculpture was debuted in Paris in 1869 under the title Négresse, a term that reinforces the fallacy of human difference based on skin color. The subject’s resisting pose, defiant expression, and accompanying inscription – ‘Pourquoi Naître Esclave!’ (Why Born Enslaved!) – convey an antislavery message. However, the bust also perpetuates a Western tradition of representation that long saw the Black figure as inseparable from the ropes and chains of enslavement.” 

From the Met Museum website

2. This Short Film Created by Apple (so admittedly it’s one long ad) – this short film is very well done. You will actually become invested in what happens to these four people, you’ll find yourself rooting for them. I also liked that they are basically addressing a “Great Resignation” issue. (Though in reality, haven’t difficult bosses who don’t appreciate their employees and overwork them; and employees who dream of going off and making it on their own, haven’t these things been around forever? What was the tipping point?)

[Found on Inc.com]

3. This Nautical Discovery – This is HUGE. I have been slightly (okay, not slightly) obsessed with the history of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition on the Endurance for decades. I think the main reason for my being drawn to their story is because rarely do you hear about such a disaster where every single person survives.

Here’s what happened. The Endurance became lodged in ice and began to sink. This took a long time and they were able to get a lot of things they needed off the ship. Eventually it was crushed and sank completely. The crew were stuck on the Antarctic ice for about 17 MONTHS.

The men finally were rescued after Shackleton and a group of five men made an arduous trek 750 miles in a small boat to a British-owned island called South Georgia.

The men documented their 17 months with photography, which is another reason why the story is so interesting. Here are some newly restored photos. And here are some photos from negatives discovered in the ice. And more photos here. You can just keep finding more and more.

[Found on BBC]

4. This Reunion – Filmed on the Polish-Ukrainian border, photographer David Melero Pena caught the reunion of a father with his young daughter.

According to the Newsweek article where I found the video, the translation of the post’s caption is:

“The reunion…destroyed me while editing photos and video. I just have no words.”

[Found on Newsweek]

5. This “Witch” – On Sunday Emma Watson was the presenter for “Outstanding British Film” at the BAFTAs.

Rebel Wilson introduced her and joked, “Here to present the next award is Emma Watson. She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.” (Who wouldn’t love that introduction?!?!)

When Emma Watson got to the podium she said, “I’m here for all of the witches by the way.”

Most people recognized that this was a slight snub at J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, the series that made Emma a superstar.

For those of you who haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding Rowling, she has made some anti-trans comments in the past and has been accused of having written an transphobic mystery novel,

[Found on Pink News and Mashable]

6. This State’s Legislation on College Tuition – OMG, NEW MEXICO rocks!

Legislation was signed into law on March 4, 2022 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham that will make college free for students who choose to go to public universities!

From the article:

On March 4, 2022, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act after it passed both state legislative houses. The law allots $75 million to a fund of scholarships. This will expand scholarship coverage from 10,000 to 35,000 students in the coming fall. An award of tuition and fees is coordinated in partnership with the public or tribal participating college. Almost any New Mexico resident qualifies, including continuing and part-time students. Students must maintain a minimum of six credit hours and a grade point average of at least 2.5 during their time in school.

[Found on My Modern Met]

7. This Letter – I love this SO MUCH. The letter is wonderful (the life of a public service employee!) and no one could read this aloud better than Keegan Michael Key.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (12-20-2021) : Christmas Edition

1.  This Music Video by Ingrid Michaelson (Featuring Zooey Deschanel) – I’ve always been obsessed with animated stop-motion films created with felt.

Here’s another short film I’ve watched about a half dozen times (it’s on Netflix). It’s called ‘Robin Robin’ and it’s a delightful holiday gem.

 

2. This SNL Monologue by John Malkovich – truly a national treasure.

 

3. This Tour of Fortnum & Mason (and also Harrods) at Christmas – My friends know this, but F&M is my mothership and it’s been calling to me for the past couple of years. For myself personally, not being able to get to London and Ireland to visit my friends there and do all the things I love to do in the UK is in the top five most difficult things about the pandemic.

 

4. This Christmas Short (which is actually a Christmas Advert)

 

5.  This (Faux) Letter to Santa – gotta love a little historical humor.

[Found by my friend Jeanne (thanks Jeanne!)]

 

6. This Collection of Eggnog Cartons – Called the “Eggnog Project“, graphic designer Madeleine Eiche has curated a museum-worthy selection of eggnog cartons that exhibit the variety of designs in American eggnog packaging.

[Found on ‘Messy Nessy Chic’]

 

7. These Letters from J.R.R. Tolkien to His Children – Can you imagine receiving something so incredible? Not only were the stories wonderful (which is no surprise) but the drawings are magnificent!!!

 

 

 

Word of the Week

Quote of the Week

 

Have a Safe & Happy Christmas!

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.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (2-15-2021)

  1. 1. These Magnifying Monocles by LUKA – am I advertising that I’m getting old? Yep. Am I doing it in an incredibly cool and stylish way, damn straight. There are many more styles. They are a tad expensive but I can’t tell you the number of times I had to go find my magnifying glass before I got this. Now I always have one with me. And when I actually start leaving the house I bet it’ll come in even more handy.

2. This Short Film, Mobile – no words necessary really, just as cute and funny as can be.

3. This New Series on CNN ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’ – this show will make you want to hang out with Stanley Tucci, long for delicious Italian food, and kick your wanderlust into high gear. It’s a three-fer.

4. This Game from the Creator of The Oatmeal – it’s crazy addictive, mostly because the guy who created The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, is so damned funny so you’ll keep wanting to play just so you can see more of his hilarious cartoons in between the game play. What a riot!

5. This New Version of ‘Biko’ by Peter Gabriel – this one makes me even more emotional than the original.

In honor of Black History Month, we are proud to bring the message of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” back to the forefront, 40 years after its initial release. Inspired by the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody, this song’s relevance still holds true with the unfortunate police brutality that continues to take place in the USA, Nigeria and many places around the world. More than 25 musicians from seven countries join Gabriel for this global rendition to share a message of unity, peace, and hope, including Beninese vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma, and bass legend Meshell Ndegeocello.

6. This Enchanting Mexican Songstress singing Una Vida (here’s the English translation of the lyrics) – not only is her music beautiful but her videos are wonderfully artistic. Frida Kahlo would definitely have approved.

7. This Lawyer’s Technological Snafu – it makes me giggle every time I see it! (At this point everyone has seen this, unfortunately it’s a drawback of only sending out a blog post once a week.)


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (1-25-2021)

1. This Short Film – anyone who knows me will tell you I have two obsessions: the UK/Ireland and all things India. This manages to combine both, it’s a short film about an Indian guy who lives in the UK. I’m pretty sure it’s London but it’s possible it could be someplace like Manchester or Leeds. The man works as a tech guy. He’s finally asked out this blonde, English girl in his office who his workmates clearly think is out of his league. He’s taking her out to an Indian restaurant in the hopes that he can impress her. Let’s just say, it doesn’t go as planned.

This a so well done. Very clever, funny, and for me, there were even a few “I’ve been there” (sort of) moments.

2. This 3-D Artist – I’m envious and completely in awe of artists. They must be able to visualize what they are going to draw, in every detail, before they actually draw it. Watching this guy’s process, you can see how that must be case.

3. This Dancer – he is marvelous. You should visit his Instagram and watch other videos. Truly talented.

4. This Seven-Year-Old Balalaika Player – Doesn’t this just tug at your heart strings? And how does balalaika music not make you think of Dr. Zhivago? Absolutely amazing! And she’s adorable!!! I could watch Anastasia Tiurina play all day! (By the way, she’s 9 years-old now and has her own YouTube channel.)

5. This Video of a Hummingbird Feeding her Chicks – what is most astonishing is the man whose hand is showing has obviously spend a long time working to earn her trust and she even allows him to touch her! Pet hummingbirds? Impossible!

6. This Gorgeous Coat Worn by the New First Lady on Inaugural Night – I had serious coat envy on Inauguration day. This one may have been my favorite. (I’m an embroidery junky.)

[Side note: though I must say Emma Emhoff’s embellished Miu Miu coat was a thing of beauty and there is a black version which is much better for my coloring! Course how many of us can afford the $5000 price tag? Living vicariously.]

If you would like to see more photos you can go to the Gabriela Hearst’s Instagram. She designed the entire outfit worn by the First Lady on inauguration night. There are fifty embroidered flowers all representing the flowers of the fifty states. And embroidered on the lining of the coat is a Benjamin Franklin quote. (Thanks KK for this info!) I wish we could find a photo of that. I put the quote in the “Quote of the Day” below.

7. This New Music Video by Jon Batiste – woooooo!


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Have a FANTASTIC week!

Seven Things I Love (1-11-2021)

1. This Photographer, Kirsty Mitchell – she is possibly my favorite photographer and I was lucky enough to get to see an exhibit for her book “Wonderland” in 2017. And incredibly they allowed photographs! I purchased the book (a completely worthwhile investment) but I love that I have several gorgeous digital shots. Here are a couple of my favorites (a few are close-ups of sections of photos; I thought I should limit how many full photos I posted – to see more be sure to visit Kirsty’s website!

2. This Indian (Comic Book) Super Hero – excellent use of a popular character to get health messages to kids! You can download a .pdf of the comic book here.

3. This 3-Year-Old Who Dressed Up As All Her Role Models – when Scout Penelope‘s “Nonnie” was diagnosed with breast cancer her mom Ashley tried to think of a project that they could work on together that would keep both of them occupied. The result was a series of amazing photos, a few of which are below with many more at this link. Scout is three-years older now (have been looking through things I have filed away so I’m finding older articles and links); don’t be startled when you look at her Instagram.

Frida Kahlo and Scout
Princess Leia and Scout
Malala Yousafzai and Scout
Betty White and Scout
Nonnie and Scout

4. These Formal Memos between the Produces of the Original Star Trek Discussing Vulcan Proper Names – this is very clever and hilarious! These people clearly are having fun and have a good working relationship.

Vulcans T’Pring, played by Arlene Martel, and Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. T’Pring was “bonded” to Spock when they were children and they were supposed to marry. This all played out in the episode ‘Amok Time’ which ‘TV Guide’ ranked the 2nd best Original Star Trek episode ever.

Here’s the first letter:

FROM: Bob Justman

DATE: May 3, 1966

SUBJECT: STAR TREK PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Dear Gene:

I would like to suggest that all proper names for denizens of Mr. Spock’s “PLANET VULCAN” follow a set routine. To wit: all names begin with the letters “SP” and end with the letter “K.” All names to have a total of five letters in them—no more and no less.

Therefore: Mr. Spock aptly fits this pattern. Other names would be as follows:

Spook, Spuck, Spack, Speek, Spouk, Spaak, Spilk, Spiak, Spunk, Spank, Spink, Spenk, Sponk, Spilk, Spalk, Spelk, Spolk, Spulk, Spirk, Spark, Spork, Sperk, Spurk, Spawk, Spauk, Speuk, Spuik, Spouk, Splak, Splek, Splek, Splik, Spluk, Spakk, Spekk, Spikk, Spokk, Spukk, Spark, Spirk, Sperk, Spork, Spurk, Spxyx.

Hope that the suggestions are of immense help to you. I remain,

Your humble and obedient servant,

Robert H. Justman

5. These Classic Movies Done in the Style of Persian Miniature Paintings – these are amazing drawings done by Turkish illustration Murat Palta. You can see several more at this link, though most seem to be from rather bloody films. And then there are more here.

Here are two of my favorites:

Kill Bill

The Little Prince

6. This INCREDIBLE Colorized Collection of Short Historical Films – I’m a huge fan of Denis Shiryaev’s restoration work. I particularly love how he starts his videos explaining all the work he did to create the videos and the changes he made – fascinating! In this particular video he makes sure to clarify that his work is not completely historically accurate – he doesn’t know exactly what the original colors were, etc., so he needs to make educated guesses. Plus he sometimes will enhance things to make them look better, but again, sometimes it requires him to use his best guess. I think the final result is fantastic.

7. This Ad Seeking a Wife from 1865 – I must say, my favorite lines are the last three: “I want to buy bread-and-butter, hoop-skirts, and waterfalls for some person of the female persuasion during life. That what’s the matter with me. But I don’t know how to do it.”

I had to look this up but I think by “waterfalls” he means “waterfall bustles”.


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Have a Great Week!

Seven Things I Love (1-4-2021)

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 Incredible Bridge – 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.

Here’s another article on how the newly developed pandemic words are helping people cope.

7. This Short Film ‘Opera Performed by Animals’ – it’s from a few years ago but it makes me as happy now as it did in 2019. And HEDGEHOGS!!!


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Have a MARVELOUS week!

Seven Things I Love (12-14-2020)

1. This H&M Christmas Short Film directed by Wes Anderson – I’m a fanatic when it comes to anything Wes Anderson so it’s rather shocking that I missed this advert from 2016. (Though it is also very possible that I have simply forgotten it. Damned menopausal brain. Though on a bright note, if I did forget it, I am getting to enjoy it all over again.) Either way, it’s wonderful!

Another amazing Christmas advert (I LOVE THEM) – be sure to have some tissue nearby.

2. This Animated Video Series, Rollin’ Wild – What if animals were round? (Or more accurately, what if animals were inflated like balloons?) Makes me laugh every single time I watch them. There are more videos at their channel. Sadly they only made a handful of Rollin’ Wild videos. I wish they’d start making them again, they’re delightful!

And here’s a Christmas video…

3. This Video on Accepting Compliments – so this chap is the husband of a friend of mine. Hearing him talk about his wife is especially wonderful for that reason. But because of the personal connection and his storytelling skills (and marvelous accent) the message really resonated with me. May be some of the best advice I’ve ever received. I probably should have learned this 40 years ago! (And why do we teach our children not to accept compliments????)

4. This Series of Holiday Photos with Stormtroopers – to see all of them you’ll need to click on the date (it says 5 years ago) right below where it says Mr. Llama. HILARIOUS!

5. This A-Frame Cabin for Rent on airbnb – One word – COZY. Click on any of the photos to go to the airbnb site to see interior shots. Next year I’m going to be traveling a LOT.

6. This Iconic London Hotel attached to a Train Station – The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel opened in 2011 and uses spaces that were once occupied by the Midland Grand Hotel (which officially closed in 1935) and the St. Pancras Chambers which were apartments used as railway offices.

I have stayed at the hotel several times, I LOVE it there. And I especially love it there during the holidays (I am DEFINITELY going to spend a week in London next November). Not only is it convenient to have one of the major train stations right outside the door (and the British Library across the street) but there is shopping in the train station too. I mean, in theory I could go here and not leave a the building except to walk across the street to go to the library. IN THEORY (there are too many other places I have to visit when I’m in London, like my friends most importantly, and Fortnum & Mason, which is my mothership, and the V&A Museum, and Broadway Books in Hackney and of course there may be a show playing that I cannot miss, and, and, and … well, the list is endless!

Well before the St. Pancras opened, even after Midland Grand had been closed to being used as offices, the Spice Girls filmed one of their most famous videos at this location.

There’s an interesting story behind the filming of the video.

One last thing, and I haven’t been able to able to verify this, but I was told a story about how, when the Midland Grand Hotel was first built back in the 1870s, the air was so thick with smog that architect Sir George Gilbert Scott decided to paint the vaulted ceiling above the grand staircase with a night sky since London residents weren’t actually able to see through the haze. Whether that is true or not, it does make sense. Here is more information on the grand staircase.

7. This Banksy – ending the year with a SNEEZE…


Word for the Day


Quote for the Day

Have a
WONDERFUL Week!

Seven Things I Love (12-7-2020)

How is it already DECEMBER????

1. This Tea Party – Truly amazing. I belong to the Facebook group called ‘The Gilded Age Society.’ The Edwardian Era has always been my favorite time period, even before ‘Downton Abbey’ was a thing. Recently a young person name Paul Ryan T. Co, who is also a member of the group, posted these photos. He recreated a most magnificent Edwardian Era tea. I wrote to him immediately and asked if I could share the photos and he said yes so here they are.

An Edwardian Tea created by Paul Ryan T. Co

Here are some of the details included in Paul’s description:

The menu includes fresh fruits, dried fruit with nuts, chicken truffle quiche, scones with clotted cream and jam, and the pièce de résistance is a Lady Baltimore cake, which is a white cake filled with nuts and figs and then frosted with a fluffy marshmallow meringue icing. THAT sounds divine!

Paul used the original 1906 recipe which was copied in several newspapers, including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Daily Gazette and BulletinThe Columbus Journal, and The Washington Times.

There is a fascinating history of the cake on this site.

I myself might try a more modern recipe and am thinking of giving Martha’s version a try.

Additionally, the service is traditional to the period. It’s made up of an American sterling tea set by Gorham from the 1880s, a set of monogrammed sterling cutlery by Watson from 1902, a silver cake server by Whiting (from their King Edward pattern introduced in 1900 to commemorate Edward’s accession to the throne, which makes it rare), a Ridgeway dessert service, a Minton cake pedestal, a double-handled, molded Prussian cake plate, and a trio of Coalport tea cups (all produced from the late 1800s to early 1900s.) This guy needs to be hired by a production company, STAT! He’s a true artist.

Tell me you wouldn’t pay beaucoup bucks to attend a tea at this place!

2. This Governmental Body – The Irish Parliament discussed the “Santa Claus Issue” and formally announced that Santa is exempt from their national quarantine, that he will indeed still be visiting homes in Ireland, but social distancing should still be practiced and people should remain 2 meters away from him. Gotta LOVE THIS!

3. This Xfinity Short Film – It’s not really an advertisement. I saw a brief clip of this on television and it was so intriguing I wanted to watch the entire thing. Steve Carrell is a fine Santa Claus!

4. This Video on Mourning a Relationship You Never Had – I love Anna Akana so much and I really wish that she could time travel back to the early 80s and tell me exactly what she says in the video. Course I’m not sure if I would have been smart enough back then to listen to her.

5. This IG of Chris Evans Playing the Piano! – just when you think he can’t get any more adorable/perfect/wonderful….

and then watch Jimmy Fallon’s response to Chris’s piano playing viral video, it’s HILARIOUS.

6. These Recipes and Tips for Roasting Chestnuts – unless you live in a pretty large city (with lots of pedestrian traffic) you probably don’t run across many places selling roasted chestnuts during the Christmas season (despite what Hallmark movies makes Christmas look like). Myself, I’d actually never had them until well into my 50s.

I don’t have a gas stove so I have two options – one is two use my gas grill and the other is to roast them in the oven. I prefer them on the grill because they’re on an open flame but when it’s too cold (doesn’t happen much anymore with climate change) or when I’m visiting family and it’s too much of a hassle, the oven method works just fine. Especially when I use them in recipes, with, oh, for example, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.

In fact, last Christmas I tried to make the above recipe at my sister-in-law/brother’s house. In the notes it says, “If you prefer to roast fresh chestnuts instead of using vacuum-packed ones, cut a slit in the shell of each chestnut with a serrated knife.” I’m going to tell you something – a freaking serrated knife will not slit the shell of a chestnut. I mean, it will, but it’s like trying to saw wood with a butter knife.

Recently I ran across this nifty gadget and now I know that next year I will be completely prepared! It will score the chestnut so that it doesn’t explode while roasting (after all, that’s the primary reason why you’re cutting it.) Once you roast it, it should be easy to peel.

Bring it on Christmas 2021! I’m ready for you…

Chestnut Nutcracker

7. This Search Result When You Google Alex Trebek – SO sweet!

Before I get to the Word and Quote of the Week I strongly recommend that you watch these two movies before the end of the month. They are very different films but there’s one major similarity – you will figure it out quickly.

What I couldn’t help but think while watching both of them is how much better the world would be if people weren’t so judgmental and how so much bad behavior – masculine toxicity, repressed emotions, abusive tendencies, the list is endless – are passed on from generation to generation.

The first movie is Uncle Frank – amazing cast.

The second is The Happiest Season and it’s on Hulu (Dan Levy not surprisingly steals every scene he’s in.)


Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Never Forget…

Seven Things I Love (11-2-2020)

Well, tomorrow is it. It’s V-Day. If you haven’t already voted I hope you are planning on doing so. And if you aren’t planning on voting blue across the board, I strongly recommend you watch the John Oliver videos below first before going to the polls.

And because this week is such an historic and unusual and momentous and important week I’m going to have more than seven things – some things will fire people up but hopefully some will help relieve some stress and maybe even elicit a laugh or two.

1. This Photo of AUTUMN in all its Splendiferousness – my friend Kathy took this shot and it takes my breath away every time I look at it. Full disclosure, fall is my favorite time of year, so pretty much everything makes me happy about this seasonal change. This was taken in Sussex, Wisconsin. It’s actually at the cemetery. I wouldn’t mind spending eternity there. BUT my dad already bought my plot in Dubuque, IA. and there is nothing but a few pine trees around. I should really look into that.

2. This new John Mulaney Musical on SNL – this is the fourth musical by Mulaney. It follows Diner Lobster, Bodega Bathroom, and Airport Sushi. All four sketches (or is the last one a skit?) star Chris Redd and Pete Davidson as buddies who go to common everyday places like diners, the airport, or a souvenir shop but in each one Pete Davidson always makes a completely unwise choice such as wanting to order the lobster off a diner menu, wanting to the use the bathroom at a bodega, or wanting to buy the sushi at the airport. This leads the cashier (always played by John Mulaney) to break into song and it goes into full-Broadway after that. Completely brilliant and if they did one of these every week it would never get old. But I suppose having to wait several months just makes them all the more special – you know, like waiting for Christmas.

3. This Political Appointment in New Zealand – Jacinda Ardern has done it again, not only making history but doing what is right and fair for the people of her country! Congratulations to Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta!

4. This Bookshop in China, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge – click on the photo or the links to see more photos. I didn’t want to post them all here. You need to see them all. It’s like a cathedral mixed with Space Odyssey.

5. This Film Short called Selfish by Po Chien Chen – from October 15th to the 29th Milwaukee Film held its Festival and this year it was virtual! That meant I was able to see way more movies than usual because it’s a heck of a lot easier to watch movies from home than it is to go to the theater. It also meant it was completely worth it to buy a pass this time, which I did. I managed to watch 13 films but technically it was probably closer to 50 because four of the “films” I watched were collections of short films. This is one of them and it was one of my favorites. It was in the Kids Shorts: Size Large collection (meaning for older kids) and it’s about how plastic is destroying the planet.

6. This Tweet from Lynda Carter, our original Wonder Woman – a friend of mine told me that standing like Wonder Woman can boost your confidence (try it, it works for me though there are naysayers.) Today and tomorrow I think we should all channel our inner Diana Prince and do a little spinning and a lot of power posing.

7. This Female Comedian’s video on Triangulation – I discovered Anna Akana by watching Julie Nolke (one of my all-time favorite female comedians – she’s hilarious.) Anna is a bit difficult to label. I wouldn’t call her a comedian per se. It’s almost like she’s a self-help comedian? A therapist comedian? Not every video, mind you, she does music videos like Swim (she’s seriously good!) But the majority of her videos have some sort of lesson on how to live a better life, told in a completely hilarious and zany way. I LOVE HER!

8. This Video of Obama – no words necessary.

9. This Example of American Ingenuity – My friend Molly took her twins trick-or-treating this weekend in Chicago and posted a bunch of photos of their day of fun. They were all so much fun to look at, it was like I went trick-or-treating with them! This photo caught my eye in particular – one of the silver linings of this pandemic (and I actually have started a blog post about pandemic silver linings, after this election there may be a flurry of posts depending upon how things shake out) is how creative and ingenious people have become to accommodate and THIS is SUPER genius level (in my head I keep hearing this in Wile E. Coyote’s voice but I do sincerely mean this is clever!)

10. These John Oliver Videos – yesterday Oliver did two main stories because this week is SO important. And he got to vote for the first time as a U.S. citizen – how cool is that?? By the way, if you didn’t watch Last Week Tonight last night, you are going to want to watch these two videos because they will show you how VITALLY important this election is. When people have been saying to you, this is the most important election of my lifetime, and they are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s – they are NOT exaggerating.


Word of the Day

This seemed like an appropriate choice for today…


Have a GREAT Week!

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