Tag: Television (Page 1 of 3)

Seven Things I Love (5-23-2022)

Before we get started – hey Wordle fans, have you tried Artle yet? I read about it this morning on Hyperallergic. It was launched by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I got the second piece of art today. Haven’t a clue what the first one was.

Also, I found a large stash of British coins in a Harrods coin purse I had (much more logical than in with my foreign coin collection because I plan on using these next time I go to the UK.) And there were enough for me to make the shield. COOL! I even had enough for two more shields less one coin each. I have a ridiculous amount of foreign coinage.

Anyway, back to the important stuff!

1. These Toast Plates – Those who know me will understand why I went a little gaga when I saw these and they also know I would never leave the store without having purchased them.

I found these beauties in the gift area of my local grocery store, but if you want them (and why wouldn’t you?!?) I found them online for significantly less than what I paid (about a third of the price.) I’m thinking I may need more than 4!
(Especially after I broke one of the glasses I bought in Prague today, glasses that I bought 27 years ago and can’t get any more. It me wish I had bought more than 4.)

Click on the picture below to go to the site.

2. This 13-Year-Old Singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables – If this doesn’t make your heart ache you had better check your pulse.

[Found on My Modern Met]

3. This Turn-of-the-(Twentieth)-Century French “Influencer” – Cléopâtre-Diane de Mérode was born in 1875 in Paris. Her mother enrolled her in ballet classes at eight years old. Turns out that Cleo was a prodigy, and she debuted with the Paris Ballet when she was only eleven years old.

By sixteen, Cleo had become a teenage trend setter, becoming known for her signature hairstyle (a chignon.) The hairstyle became so popular it caused problems with the Swedish telephone service…

“The Stockholm telephone authorities are finding fault now with the way in which (switchboard operators) do their hair. It appears that of late the Swedish lassies …have adopted the mode of coiffure first initiated by the French dancer Cleo de Merode, in which the hair is drawn over the ears. The subscribers have since found a falling off in the hearing powers of the operators, as the result of which complaints of inefficiency in the service have been made.” 

The American telephone journal, Volume 8, 1903

This photo was taken in 1903 and would have been sold as a collectible card/postcard. Didn’t the person who do the restoration/colorizing do an amazing job?

Cléo de Mérode has been referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.

If you want to read more about her, there is an excellent article here.

4. This Photo – I literally love everything about it. Literally.

5. This British Television Personality’s Laugh – this will make your day. I wish this show was on in the U.S.

[Seen on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver]

6. This Instagram Artist – You’ll absolutely go down the rabbit hole on this IG page. Ariel Adkins travels the world creating wearable art that matches or complements the places she is photographed.

[Found on Messy Messy Chic]

7. This History of Why We Decorate Our Nails – This was super interesting. It’s not just about the history of why we paint our nails, but also about the cultural significance of nail art. (Melissa K, you’ll want to watch, obs.)

[Found on CNN]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

One last thing, if you have HBO Max, I highly recommend this documentary. It’s two parts. Click on the image below to see the trailer.

Seven Things I Love (4-18-2022)

  1. 1. This Shower “Tool” – I’ve used a loofah/pouf for decades. Originally I used natural sponge loofahs but I stopped after reading they were breeding grounds for bacteria. I switched to nylon poufs, which are a little easier to keep clean, but always felt guilty about the environmental impact, especially because they are so big and they need to be replaced every few months since they stretch out so much.

When I read about LuvScrub exfoliating scrubs, which have been used in West Africa for decades, they sounded like a potential compromise.

And they are. They may not be made out of a natural material but they are made out significantly less nylon than poufs. And there are other reasons why they are better than both loofahs and poufs.

  • They make may skin feel wonderful. It’s much smoother and softer. I feel it does a better job exfoliating than my pouf. Not sure why, it’s kind of the same material, but it does.
  • I love that you can stretch it, like you would a towel, to scrub your back. I had been using a separate brush with a long handle, now I only have the one thing in my shower.
  • This thing is going to be awesome if I ever get to travel again (which may never happen now that that dumb-ass Florida judge got rid of the travel mask mandate. I hope to god that get appealed, and quickly.) It’s small and compact and will be so easy to pack and it dries quickly.

[Found on Refinery29]

2. These Knitting Projects – I’m still just a beginning knitter but a girl likes to dream…

Details on the projects:

  1. “Foolish Virgins” Mittens – created by Lacesockslupins (knitting), this person used this scarf as inspiration. FANTASTIC!
  2. Fantailed Goldfish Hot Water Bottle Cover – created by MimiCodd (knitting), Mimi wrote that it’s going to be a Christmas gift for someone, “probably” (that made me smile). I would totally keep it. When I was in India in 2019 we stayed in an inn that gave the guests hot water bottles. It was heaven. Americans should use them more.
  3. Horse Sculpture – created by Psyche-dog (crochet) and many, MANY others for the National Waterways Museum. “500 – 4” granny squares were made by the museum crochet group plus yards of curly braid for mane and tail. All stitched to topiary frame by me. Made to celebrate the value of horses in the history of England’s canals. The horse will be displayed at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK from the end of June 2017 for a few years, hopefully.” EPIC.
  4. Chair Cover – created by Ponnekeblom (crochet) for their daughter using loads of leftover yarn. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a reupholsterer?
  5. “Knit” Apple Pie – created by Knitsforlife (knitting), technically it’s the top crust. This person is one dedicated knitter.
  6. “A Very Warm Book” or A Knitted Book Cover – created by Craftivore (knitting). They had me at EX LIBRIS.
  7. Flashdance Chair Sock/Legwarmers – created by The KnittyStew. Gotta love people who have a sense of humor! I’m thinking these might have people sliding around but that might not be such a bad thing. At least they’ll protect the floors for a bit.

[Found on Ravelry]

3. This Basic Income Program for Artists in Ireland – 2000 artists will be chosen to receive €325 (about $355) per week with no restrictions. Ireland wants to make the idea of the “starving artist” a thing of the past (though I’m not sure how far $350/week will go). Still, it’s a start. They will be trying this out for three years.

There’s good reason to support the arts – it has a positive impact on society and communities that have strong arts programs thrive. And, though this isn’t necessarily good for the artists themselves, it has been discovered that as public art goes up so do property values.

Meanwhile, over in Dublin, a legal battle over street art is brewing.

Mural by Nick Harvey in Galway, Ireland – photo by Hardiman’s Galway

[Found on Hyperallergic]

4. These New York Libraries Giving Access Nationally to Fight Censorship

New York Public Library

Books for All – The New York Public Library is giving anyone who wants to sign up free access to a variety of commonly censored titles through their free reading app, SimpleE. You can download the app on your iOS or Android device and read the “unbanned books” through May 31st (must be 13 years of age.) There is no wait time!

Books UnBanned – Brooklyn Public Library is doing one better. They are offering cards to any young adult in the country, age 13 to 21, for an entire year. The service is meant to be used to supplement and fill the gaps of what YAs can’t get in their own communities. Additionally (and this is super cool) “Those 13 to 21, who access the free eCard from BPL, will be able to connect with their peers in Brooklyn, including members of BPL’s Intellectual Freedom Teen Council, to help one another with information and resources to fight censorship, book recommendations and the defense of freedom to read.”

If I were a teen right now I would totally be doing this. (BPL also has a collection of frequently censored titles with no wait times.)

To apply for the card, teens can send a note to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org, or via the Library’s s teen-run Instagram account, @bklynfuture. The $50 fee normally associated with out-of-state cards will be waived.

[Found on Time Out]

5. This Iris Apfel Ring – Sigh. Ms. Apfel teamed up with H&M and put out a fantastic collection that was also affordable. It became available in the U.S. last Thursday and SOLD OUT in hours – before I even had a chance to read the Refinery29 article. UNFAIR! There are many things I would have loved to have bought but this ring is the one thing I really, REALLY wanted.

Photo of some of the pieces from the collection including Iris Apfel wearing THE ring.

[Found on Refinery29]

6. This Bio-Series – Bio-series, I think that’s what this would be called – so many different names for the various types of television series nowadays.

This new show, on HBOMax, is about Julia Child as she works through the first year of her cooking show being on the air. Overall it’s fairly historically accurate but of course nobody knows exactly what people say or do in private, so the writers extrapolated some of it using biographies, articles, documents, letters, recordings, and even Wikipedia. And a few things they made up but it totally works.

It’s simply called Julia and that is a perfect title. I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s exactly what I think people need right now – upbeat, cheerful, funny, and hopeful. After all, we all know that she’s going to succeed.

If you don’t have HBOMax you may want to get it just for this, or at least get the 7-day trial and watch it (though if you do that, wait until May 5th since that is when the last episode will be airing.)

Also, if you have or get HBOMax I recommend watching Our Flag Means Death and Minx.

Sarah Lancashire as Julia Child

7. This Man, Who Won the Lottery and Used the Winnings to Start an Environmental Foundation – This is what I’ve said I always wanted to do if I ever won the lottery! If you don’t believe me I have multiple friends you can ask – there’s a group of us who all want to do the same thing.

A retiree in France won the second highest lottery in French history €200 million ($217 million) and used the money to start a foundation that concentrates on revitalizing forests, and preserving and regenerating biodiversity. He also has money set aside for supporting family caregivers, which is amazing. You can read more if you click on the image below.

[Found on MyModernMet]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

Seven Things I Love (4-4-2022)

  1. 1. This Artist – I read about the Sir John Soane Museum on Atlas Obscura and have wanted to go ever since. I mean, any museum choked full of memorabilia and curiosities is in my wheelhouse. But despite my desire and numerous trips to London, I have yet to managed to visit.

Before I even knew that one of Gretchen Scherer’s paintings was a room in the Soane Museum, I was drawn to her work. I would love to see them in person – according to the Hyperallergic article, even though she has meticulously recreated the room down to minute details, she added a few details to get across personal messages. Those need to be seen in larger versions of the image to be visible.

Still, they are lovely. The square piece in the slideshow below is called “Sir John Soane’s Museum, Library and Dining Room” and it is the largest piece in her exhibit at Monya Rowe Gallery.

[Found on Hyperallergic]

2. This Hero – The Soldier who told the Russian warship to “Go Fuck Yourself” and then was captured along with a dozen of his fellow Ukrainian Soldiers has been released and received a medal for his bravery.

3. This Tea – a friend of mine brought me some of this tea when she came over for lunch last week – WOW!!! I have been looking for a herbal tea that I can drink that wouldn’t require me to add a ton of sweetener. And since I’m not using artificial sweetener anymore that basically means honey or raw sugar or agave nectar.

This fits the bill, in fact you won’t need any sweetener at all. And when it says it’s naturally sweet it’s completely true. There is no fake sugar in here and yet it’s still rather sweet. Well, sweet and spicy.

I still love a good cuppa (black tea with milk and sugar) but it’s really nice to have a second option now.

[Found by my friend Edell – thanks E!]

4. This Drug Disposal Program – When I first ran across this (can’t remember when or where) I decided to request the free pouch just for the heck of it.

I used to not have to worry at all about drug disposal because the municipality where I worked had a drop box right in the village hall where you could drop off meds (both prescription and OTC.)

I think a lot of people don’t realize how bad it is to toss medications. It’s obviously really, REALLY bad to put them down the drain or in the toilet, but it’s also bad to put them in the garbage. Eventually the containers could break open or decompose and the medications could get into the groundwater – it’s really no different than putting them down the drain/toilet.

That is why proper disposal is so important. I got rid of most of my extra meds right before I retired but over the past three years I’ve managed to accumulate some expired pharmaceuticals. When I decided I finally had enough I ripped open the package I received from Deterra.

I had thought that the package was going to be a pouch where you could mail in your meds for disposal. Oh no. This was SO EASY. All you need to do is take all the medications out of the bottles, rip open the top of the pouch, drop them all in, fill the pouch about half full with water, water 30 seconds, close the pouch (shake it a little to get the water/stuff inside to mix up with all the pills) and then TOSS IT IN THE TRASH!

The stuff in the pouch makes the pills safe for the environment. You can read more about it and order a free pouch here.

5. This Seinfeld Clip – This is from 1995. Ukrainians have always been bad ass.

6. This Career – I want to be a personal librarian! I suppose to do this you have to live in a place where there are a lot of rich people.

Private Librarian, Christy Shannon Smirl

[Found on Los Angeles Daily News]

7. This Photo from the 1980s – Cyndi Lauper playing miniature golf with Pee Wee Herman. This says all that needs to be said about the ’80s and it’s why it’ll always be my favorite decade.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Art by Rick Frausto

Seven Things I Love (3-28-2022)

Before I get started, have you watched season two of Bridgerton (Netflix) yet? Are you watching season two of Sanditon (PBS)? Also, check out Minx if you have (HBOMax).

Okay, here we go…

  1. These Chicken Sweaters – They’re just too freaking cute for words.

I read this article about these adorable sweater-wearing chickens. Ann and Nicola Congdon, a mother and daughter team in CORNWALL rescue hens raised in captivity that are kept only indoors. Hens confined indoors sometimes don’t grow enough feathers to keep them warm in colder outdoor weather. Thus the tiny sweaters.

The photos of the brightly-colored knit creations on their clucking friends went viral and farmers from around the world started requesting to buy them. Instead of trying to make a profit, the Congdons donate the money to an AIDS orphanage in South Africa. Could these two be better role models?

And if you’d like to see some wonderful photographs of non-sweater-clad poultry, check these out.

[Found on Little Things]

2. This Graphic – I love this graphic because it’s very close to how I tell a story. I don’t think I go off on as many tangents. And there’s a reason I like to include a lot of details (and it has to do with my wanting to make stories both entertaining and informative. Still, I feel better knowing I’m not alone. Frankly, I’m tired of being told I’m too wordy.

3. This Promo – Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak. Mark your calendars – June 28th can’t come soon enough!!!

If you haven’t seen ‘Only Murders in the Building’ yet, you are missing something truly wonderful. It would be worth subscribing to Hulu just for this show. Subscribe for a month, watch it and then unsubscribe. You will not be disappointed.

[Found on Pure Wow]

4. These Synchronized “Swimmers” – this is GENIUS and the boys nail it.

This is still my favorite synchronized swimming scene though,

5. This Scottish Paper Artist – Located in Edinburgh, Charles Young creates marvelous miniature buildings and other miscellaneous items (such as fountains, vehicles and rides for a circus) to go in the small towns he manufactures.

His design style tends to lean toward the first half of the 20th century with the exception of his recreation of a few historic landmarks. His work reminds me a lot of a Wes Anderson movie set. What do you think?

[Found on Present & Correct]

6. These Sisters – Meet 100-year-old Frances Kompus, 102-year-old Lucy Pochop and 104-year-old Julia Kopriva. These three sisters recently celebrated youngest sister Frances’s centennial birthday. It’s rare enough for a person to celebrate their 100th birthday (though it’s becoming a little less common) but it’s extremely rare for someone to be able to share the celebration with their elder siblings!

[Found on My Modern Met]

7. This Unofficial Guide Dog – Sterling, a Siberian Husky, was diagnosed with glaucoma nearly in 2018. His family tried to delay it by getting him special goggles to protect his eyes, but he’s pretty much lost all his eyesight.

Walker, an Alaskan Malamute was adopted by the family around the same time as Sterling (about a year apart) and the two dogs have become extremely close. So, as Sterling began needing more help, Walker started stepping in to help. Amazing!

[Also found on My Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (2-14-2022)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

1. This Streaming Service – For me this is the best streaming service for one simple reason, your monthly “fee” is actually a donation to your LOCAL PBS station!

Simply download the PBS app on your smart TV or device – even if you don’t make the donation there is a lot you can watch for free but if you would like access to everything, including the newest Masterpiece programs, you are going to want PBS Passport, especially if you’ve cut the cable cord.

You can find out more here (scroll down.)

Currently I’ve been watching the new Around the World in Eighty Days .
It’s FANTASTIC!!! There is one more episode coming next week.

IBRAHIM KOMA as Passepartout, DAVID TENNANT as Phileas Fogg,
and LEONIE BENESCH as Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue

2. This Seven-Year-Old Girl – Isobel is going to go far in this world.

In case you don’t follow British politics, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is in a bit of a sticky wicket. It was discovered that he had several social gatherings at No. 10 Downing Street during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns.

“Partygate,” as it has been dubbed, has led to calls for his resignation not only from members of other political parties but from members of his own Conservative Party. And now the POLICE are investigating it. Quite a different response to bad behavior/corruption from a politician than what happens in the U.S., where a sitting president can instigate an insurrection and nearly every member of his party will stand by him.

Well, Little Isobel wouldn’t have it so she sent the PM a withering note. After all, if she had to miss her birthday parties then he should have to do the same! As she says – “follow the rulse!”

Here’s the letter –

Family photo obtained from BBC news.

3. This Embroidered Brooch – I can’t even. This artist is located in Russia, which doesn’t surprise me. Whenever I find truly stunning pieces on Etsy they always seem to be from Russia or Romania or someplace in Eastern Europe – probably because they are still passing on the skills I imagine.

4. This Tweet by Adidas – I had to go post a few comments on this. I LOVED it so much. Seeing real boobs – if I could have seen things like this or ads with women that were not stick skinny when I was a teen I would probably be a hell of a lot thinner now (and I certainly wouldn’t be so ashamed of the way I look.)

5. These Samantha Bee Videos on Book Banning – Well said Samatha! I think what we are going to find is that as soon as mid-term elections are over both CRT and book banning are going to disappear {poof} and no longer be an issue, because right now Neo-conservatives are using these issues to get votes. Because they have no actual platforms or policies of their own that would make anyone want to vote for them, and they know that. The only way they can win is to demonize their opponents.

6. This Turkish Man Who Replanted a Forest – Hikmet Kaya started his career in forest management in 1979 in a town called Sinop. When he retired 19 years later, he and his team had brought in and planted 30 MILLION saplings! Over the past few decades he’s been able to see the results of their efforts. Incredible.

Unfortunately, as has been the case in so many places in the world, there has been a reduction in tree coverage in Turkey over the past twenty years or so – the major cause is deforestation. Hopefully the Turkish people can get that evil, autocratic president out so they have a chance at getting legislation passed that is best for the people of their country.

Hikmet Kaya shows a photo of what the landscape looked like over 40 years ago when he began working on the forestation project with the help of some colleagues and people from his village.

7. This Meme – Love every single one of them!

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Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (2-7-22)

1. This Map of Great British TV Shows – Created by Tim Ritz, fans of British television will love this map. It also has a cute backstory:

From Tim Ritz’s website:

One day my wife asked me to make a little sketch of the UK so she could envision where some of the cities depicted in our favorite shows are located. Then she said “You should do a really good version of this”, so that’s what I set out to do.

Then it got picked up by the Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Radio Times, The Evening Standard, and generally around the internet.

Click on the map below to go to a high-res (larger) version of the map that you can actually read.

2. This Art Therapy Practice, Zentangle – A friend of mine introduced me to this a few weeks ago and I’m a little obsessed. The purpose is primarily to both inspire creativity and allow for relaxation.

I’m not so sure I find it relaxing… yet.

Here’s the first one I tried (I’m doing kid’s level projects right now – as a person who was a children’s librarian for about 12 years I’ve found the best starting place is always kid’s level.)

And here’s my first attempt.

3. These New SeriesAfterparty & Murderville – If you are in a funk because ‘Only Murders in the Building’ is on hiatus then check out these two new shows.

Afterparty (AppleTV) is probably my favorite of the two. The show starts out with someone having been murdered and then each episode is a replay of the evening told from the point-of-view of the different guests at an after party that was held following a high school reunion. At first you think you really hate all the characters or that they are just weird as hell but after they have their episode, if you’re like me, you will find yourself rooting for all of them and hoping that none of them are the murderer.

(l. to r.) SAM RICHARDSON as Aniq, BEN SCHWARTZ as Yasper, TIFFANY HADDISH as Detective Dancer, TIYA SIRCAR as Jennifer #1, KELVIN YU as Ned, ILANA GLASER as Chelsea, ZOE CHAO as Zoe, and IKE BARINHOLTZ as Brett

Murderville (Netflix) – this series is unique. Here’s the premise – a grizzled detective named Terry Seattle (played by Will Arnett) lost his partner years ago. Since then he has gone through a string of new partners, the latest being celebrities, namely Conan O’Brian, Marshawn Lynch, Kumail Nanjiani, Sharon Stone, Ken Jeong, and Annie Murphy – all playing themselves. The new “partners” each have to solve a crime (they really don’t know who’s done it!) The celebrities also don’t have scripts.

It’s very funny. I’m amazed at how the suspects are able to keep straight faces. And Arnett does some fabulous ad-libbing. I hope they do more episodes. I binged all six in a few hours.

WILL ARNETT as Detective Terry Seattle and CONAN O’BRIEN as Conan O’Brien

4. This 8-WEEK OLD Baby Girl Telling Her Parents “I Love You” – And if you think this is a trick or they are really good actors, nope. Here’s an article in the Greenville News and Anderson Cooper covered it on CNN’s The Goods. AMAZING! I’ve watched it about a dozen times… so far.

5. These Results for a Contest Held by the Minnesota DOT – People can be SO CLEVER!!! I think we can all agree on which one is the best name.

The results are in and Minnesota has eight newly named snowplows.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the results of its second annual “Name a Snowplow” contest, which attracted hundreds of pun-tastic submissions.

Here are the winners, and the districts in which they’ll be operating:

Betty Whiteout – District 8 (SW Minnesota)

Ctrl Salt Delete – District 7 (SW Minnesota)

The Big Leplowski – District 4 (West-Central Minnesota)

Plowasaurus Rex – Metro District 

Scoop Dogg – District 3 (Central Minnesota)

Blizzard of Oz – District 2 (NW Minnesota)

No More Mr. Ice Guy – District 1 (NE Minnesota)

Edward Blizzardhands – District 6 (SE Minnesota)

6. These Unexpected Heroes in the Fight Against Censorship – I think my first introduction to Furries was on an episode of NCIS. And of course, as with everything that people don’t understand, it was made out to be silly and kinky.

Skipping to a different topic, have you heard about this batshit crazy mayor in Mississippi who decided (unilaterally I might add) that he was going to withhold the public library’s funds ($110,000) unless the director removed all the LGBTQ books???

One would think that sanity would prevail – that when the rest of the board found out they would say, no, we can’t do that. Or when the municipal attorney counseled them he/she would say – um, that is against the ordinances/statutes but sadly that is not what happened. In fact, after the board met the entire board not only backed up the batshit crazy mayor but the attorney said that it was kosher.

What’s a library director to do? Well, she said up a GoFundMe (or at least the library version of one.) And that’s where I get back to the Furries. One Furry saw what had happened and was outraged (for good reason) and shared the fund-raiser and it got shared and shared and shared until….

The library is almost to $99,000 on it’s Library Fundraising page!!! Consider making a donation. I did! (Click on the photo below for the full story.)

7. This Video Called ‘Epic Time with Alan Rickman’ – I haven’t thought about this in a while but a friend of mine (Hi Stasie) posted something on FB that made me think of it so I thought I’d put in in my blog this week. Damn, I miss Alan Rickman.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (1-24-2022)

1. This Recipe for Drop Scones – Sent by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1960, this piece of correspondence is part of the Letters of Note project: “nothing but history’s most famous letters.”

I love ‘Letters of Note,’ (LON) both for the history and the literary finesse. This one has an added treat – the addition of an audio clip (at the top of the page) with the absolutely wonderful Olivia Colman, in her role as QEII from ‘The Crown‘, narrating both the letter and the recipe.

You can subscribe to receive one Letter of Note per day in your inbox here. There are also several print books – two general collections and several themed collections. Those are available for purchase here but be aware, they ship from the U.K. and the postage is a bit high.

The ‘Letters of Note‘ audiobooks are available through Chirp, Google Play, Audible, and other audiobook streaming services. Letters of Note: Correspondance Deserving of a Wider Audience contains not only the Queen Elizabeth drop scone letter & recipe read by Olivia Colman, but letters read by Benedict Cumberbath, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Cummings, Gillian Anderson, and Mark Strong, among others.

Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones. From Letters of Note.

2. These Hats of HBO’s The Gilded Age – I watched the first episode, which premiered tonight (January 24th). I’m hooked. And not just because of the hats. I also loved the dressed and the jewelry and the furniture too. Seriously, the story is pretty good. I’m currently watching several series and none of them have me very excited. In fact, I even stopped watching one of them – and I really wanted to like it – but none of the characters were remotely likeable.

The Gilded Age is the newest series by Julian Fellowes. If you are unfamiliar with him, he also created Downton Abbey. There will be ten episodes and new episodes will air at 8 pm (CST) on Mondays.

(FYI, the young blond woman in the straw hat – second photo below – is Louisa Jacobson, Meryl Streep’s daughter.)

3. This “Starter” Apartment in Paris – Fairly well-appointed for a first apartment, don’t you think?

The 90-square-meter (968-square feet) flat is on the ground floor of a late-19th century, two-story building near the rue Oberkampf. It opens to a compact kitchen designed by Marianne Evennou, who preserved the existing stone walls and exposed beams—”the atmosphere is at once a house and a workshop,” she says—and responded with an urban-rustic approach.

4. This Artwork by Louis Wain – If you haven’t seen the movie ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain‘ on Prime Video yet, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a lovely movie (though it does have its share of tragedy) but it’s very historically accurate, which makes my heart go pitter patter.

As far as the accuracy of Wain’s life, from what I’ve read, it does seem they got that right as well. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Louis Wain, Claire Foy as Emily Richardson-Wain, Toby Jones (LOVE him) as Sir William Ingram, and its narrated by Olivia Colman.

Once you’ve seen the movie you’ll truly appreciate his art.

Two Jugs of Milk by Louis Wain

5. This Story with a Happy Ending – I remember when I was moving into my first house. At that time I had three kitty cats. Before the movers arrived I put all the cats in one room and shut the door. That way I could give instructions to the movers and then one by one move my beloved kitties into my car.

When the movers got to the apartment I told them the plan and said DON’T open this door until I have all my cats in the car. I put my first cat in the car. Then I put the second car in the car. I came upstairs to get my third baby (her name was Madeline) only to discover the door open to the “cat room” and of course no Madeline. Not surprisingly I freaked out. I looked all through the apartment then ran down the stairs and looked around the apartment building. People who lived in the neighborhood heard me calling her name so they started to help me look too.

Unfortunately, after about an hour the movers were finished and it was time for me to go to the house. Heartbroken I got in my car and drove to my new place. The movers unloaded all the furniture and boxes in about an hour (I had way less stuff back then.)

I went back to my old apartment and did another search and then went to the Wisconsin Humane Society to see if maybe they had found Madeline. It was a long shot but I was pretty desperate at that point. No luck.

Dejected I went to my new house, gathered up my other two cats (Indira and Beddi), plopped down on the sofa, and started to cry. That’s when I heard this very soft “meow.” I sat up. It was coming from the kitchen. Did I imagine that? I walked into the next room. No, there it was again. Where was it coming from? I listened. OMG, it’s coming from that stack of boxes! I started to tear open the big moving boxes and when I got about halfway down out popped MADELINE!

Apparently, when the movers had opened the door to the “cat room”, the little bugger got scared and hid in one of the open boxes. The movers just sealed the box up and carried it out to their truck. ARGH!

Still, that was most definitely one of the happiest days of my life.

Having told that story, I understand how this guy felt when they found his dog, even though it was weeks later.

[Found on The Modern Met]

6. This Absolutely Adorable Video of Mandy Patinkin & Kathryn Grody – These two should be the role models for every human being.

7. This Excerpt from a New Book on the Shackleton Expedition – For some reason I have always been interested in the Shackleton Expedition. Not really any other arctic expedition, just this one. There is something to be said about mans’ (or womans’) fortitude when facing a crisis. Or at least that used to be the case.

The book is Shackleton: The Biography by Ranulph Fienne’s, published January 2022 by Pegasus Books. It covers part of the expedition that generally is skipped over.

When explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew set out for Antarctica on the Endurance in 1914, they had no idea their journey would become one of history’s greatest epics of survival. After sea ice trapped the ship for nearly a year, ultimately crushing it, the men camped on unstable sea ice for months. The loss of the Endurance and a later, extraordinary ocean crossing to South Georgia Island by a small party led by Shackleton are well-known chapters in the saga. Less familiar is the story of what happened in between those two events, when Shackleton decided the crew would leave their position on the ice and venture in small open boats across the infamously rough Southern Ocean, to one of the region’s uninhabited islands.

Preface to “Remembering a Little-Known Chapter in the Famed Endurance Expedition to Antarctica” by Ranulph Fiennes

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (9-13-2021)

HELLLLOOOOOOOO! I’ve missed you all!

Sorry to have been absent for awhile but there was good reason. I migrated the website to a new host – YAY! Unfortunately it took WAY longer than expected. The data finally finished transferring last Monday, so now I should be able to do a lot more with the site. It’ll just be a matter of figuring out how to do it.

I’m starting an online course this week so expect some big changes in the near future (fingers crossed – I have a vision of what I want in my head, let’s see if I can actually pull it off!)

I’ve been saving things to post and have a lot to choose from so let’s get to it!

  1. 1. This New Show on Hulu called ‘Only Murders in the Building – I’m OBSESSED with this new series! And I’m not the only one, it’s getting rave reviews.
Only Murders In The Building — “Who Is Tim Kono?” – Episode 102 — The group begins researching the victim. Meanwhile, Mabel’s secretive past starts to be unraveled. L to R, Mabel (SELENA GOMEZ), Charles (STEVE MARTIN), and Oliver (MARTIN SHORT). (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

Steve Martin came up with the idea for ‘Only Murders…’ and co-wrote it with John Hoffman. He stars alongside Martin Short and Selena Gomez. Anyone who is a fan of Steve Martin & Marty Short know they work very well together. The addition of Selena Gomez though seems way out in left field. But it works, so well. She’s an excellent straight person to the zaniness of two of comedies great legends.

Mabel Mora played by SELENA GOMEZ

Here’s the premise – it’s about three people who live in an old but still rather posh apartment building in NYC. They are all pretty much alone, each having issues in their personal relationships. Martin & Short’s characters, being in their 70s, are also dealing with their feeling of obsolescence and/or fading stardom.

Oliver Putnam played by MARTIN SHORT

There is one thing that connects the three of them – their love of murder mystery podcasts. And one night, as they discover their common interest, they find out that a person in their building has died by suicide. But the trio isn’t satisfied with how the police have closed the case so the they decide to start their own podcast (named “Only Murders in the Building” because they are only going to solve murders that occur in their building) and they vow to solve the mystery.

To pair up with the show there is, obviously, a PODCAST to listen to.

The episodes drop once a week, on Tuesdays, on Hulu. They’ve already done four episodes and there will be a total of ten episodes in the season.

Charles-Haden Savage played by STEVE MARTIN

(Although a second season hasn’t been officially announced, there is a good chance there will be one. The writers/actors involved seem to be onboard to continue and the viewership has been great. Although streaming services don’t release actual numbers (why is that?), Hulu did say that ‘Only Murders…’ was the most-watched comedy premiere in its history. That comes with a one big caveat though. Either way, people are excited about it and watching. If you aren’t watching yet do it now – we want to get a SECOND SEASON!

  1. 2. This Tweet of a video of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in slo-mo.
    Are they both married to other people that they adore, yes. Did they put this on for the cameras to promote their new movie, yes. Is it swoonworthy, HELL YES.

3. These Gowns from the Met Gala, 2021 – this year’s theme is “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Of course there was no Gala in 2020 but the themes for the last five balls were:

2019 – Camp: Notes on Fashion (and by camp they meant to camp it up, be campy)
2018 – Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (my favorite theme so far)
2017 – Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between
2016 – Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
2015 – Through the Looking Glass

I personally find this year’s theme a little boring compared to the previous ones but nevertheless, the clothes did not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites:

Natalia Bryant (Kobe’s daughter) wearing an exhibit dress by Conner Ives chosen by Anna Wintour. I think it’s beautiful – the color, the sparkle, and the fact that it de-emphasizes a woman’s figure to me is a wonderful statement on body image and body positivity. Gorgeous!

Billie Eilish – I personally love this dress because it’s (a) Oscar de la Renta, (b) pink, (c) a classic design and (d) totally out of character for Eilish! Plus, the girl actually has gorgeous boobs! Who knew!

Alexandria Ocacia-Cortez with the designer of her dress, Aurora James. Message is loud and clear AOC! (It says “Tax the Rich.”)

Jennifer Hudson, wearing AZ Factory – the woman is a goddess.

Rep. Carolyn Mahoney (NY-D) – I’m a sucker for positive political statements if you haven’t figured that out.

4. Russian Caviar Sofas – I’m not sure who thought of making these or why but honestly, I absolutely ADORE them!

[Found on MessyNessyChic]

5. This Tweet of a Video of Steve from Blue’s Clues! – Menopausal Broads are a little too old to have grown up actually watching Blue’s Clues, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t get to experience it. Either we had our own kids who enjoyed the show, or our siblings had kids who were fans, or maybe some of us were even children’s librarians, who worked with kids, for well over a decade, during the time Steve was on the show, and who always made sure that Blue’s Clues books and videos were always on the shelves.

SO lovely to see him again. All those warm & fuzzy feelings!

6. This Patch You Can Order on Etsy – TOO PERFECT! Unfortunately the shop owner is currently away, but you can ask to be notified by email when they open back up.

7. This Response by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the Governor of Texas’s LOATHSOME & OUTRAGEOUS claim that he was going to “eliminate rape” when he was asked about the new Texas abortion law not having an exemption for rape & incest – AOC is excellent at explaining things clearly and in a way everyone can understand. It’s why she is such a threat to Republican politicians and why they have done everything they can to demonize her to their base.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

(And to be clear, there are pros and cons to both.)

Seven Things I Love (5-31-2021)

  1. 1. This Design by Stephen Burrows – If you haven’t watched Halston yet on Netflix, DO! They rather thoroughly cover “The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show” which occurred on November 28, 1973. Publicly it was advertised as an event to fund raise to revamp the Versailles, which was in dire need of restoration, but it also was an opportunity for American designers to show that they could hold their own against the French.

Created by Eleanor Lambert and Versailles curator Gerald Van der Kemp, the show pitted French designers (Yves Saint LaurentPierre CardinEmanuel UngaroMarc Bohan, and Hubert de Givenchy) against American designers (Oscar de la RentaStephen BurrowsHalstonBill Blass, and Anne Klein, who brought along her assistant, Donna Karan).

Many of the designers who were involved in the ‘Battle of Versailles’ have either retired or passed away but Stephen Burrows is not only still around but he’s on Instagram!

2. This Parody of the famous Queen Song called ‘Menopause Rhapsody’ – I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t love the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,” even when it’s used for satirical purposes? This is kinda genius.

3. This Painting – ‘The Merchant’s Wife at Tea’ by Boris Kustodiev, painted in 1918, oil on canvas; at the State Russian Museum.

4. This Fascinating Short Film about the Last Matriarchy in Europe – Kihnu is a small island off Estonia’s western coast. There are men on the island but they work as fishermen and leave for long periods of time. So the women are left alone and have learned to do everything for themselves. It’s an incredible microcosm and it would be tragic if it was lost. In fact, the Kihnu culture is on Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity list. But the younger members have been leaving to go to larger cities, where they can make more money and have more options.

Of course this is happening everywhere in the world. It used to be that people grew up and tended to live in the community where they were born. I know if you look at my family, both my parents had three siblings and five of them live within a 50 mile radius. Then if you look at their kids, even just on my mother’s side of the 14 grandkids only TWO live within a 50 mile radius.

Still, I think there are young people who would like to live this lifestyle. All those millennials into cottagecore.

Still, trying to find them might be difficult and of course they all would want wifi. And the current residents of Kihnu may not welcome newcomers.

5. These Gorgeous, Biological Illustrations by Ernst Haeckel – “Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel was a German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including ecology, phylum, phylogeny, and Protista.” [Found on MessyNessyChic]

6. This Poem by Alison Luterman – thanks to my friend LeAnn for posting it.

7. This New Series on PeacockTV – To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have watched this (I can’t start a new series!) but then I saw the cast – Sara Bareilles (Jesus Christ Superstar and who doesn’t love her song ‘Brave‘?), Busy Philipps (been in a bazillion things and I just adore her), Paula Pell (most famous as an SNL writer but also recently did a hilarious Quibi series called the ‘Mapleworth Murders’), and Renée Elise Goldsberry (one of the original Schuyler sisters!) The premise of the show actually seems made for me (the only thing I would have changed is making them an 80s band instead of a 90s band – obviously.)

Girls5eva used to be a popular girls band back in the 90s when these women were only teenagers. The name plays on the number of band members. Unfortunately things happened and the band separates and loses touch.

One day Dawn (Bareilles) hears a popular rapper doing a cover of one of Girls5eva’s songs on the radio. It occurs to her she’s owed some royalty money so she checks in with her old agent. She finds out he’s been sitting on the royalty checks for almost three months and the checks will be void with a day so because she doesn’t want her former bandmates to lose out on the cash she decides to deliver them and reconnects. I don’t want to get into any more of the storyline but here’s my thoughts:

  1. I had no idea that Sara Bareilles was just a good actor (yes another one of those people who is multi-talented
  2. Sara Bareilles wrote the songs used in the show, so of course they are amazing
  3. I really wanted to like Renée Elise Goldsberry’s character (Wickie) better but I feel like they haven’t developed her character enough/told enough backstory – I pray they do a second season!
  4. Was kinda bummed that they had all the women except Paula Pell play themselves as teenagers because she’s the only one who isn’t “thin.” I think they should have gotten teenagers that looked like the three other girls too.
  5. I think anyone who considers themself a Menopausal Broad can use a “second chances” story.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


One last thing that I have to close with, a video from ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.’ He wasn’t on the air but he did gift us with one of his delightful web exclusive videos. As usual, John Oliver nails it.

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

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