At the Movies

Right Now - January 2015

January?  I gotta tell ya . . .  you're just not one of my favorite months.  In fact, I won't even miss you when you're gone.

You're long.  You're a slog.  You're cold and dark and dreary.

But here we are . . . at the end.


What's happening for me . . . Right Now?

WATCHING . . . Movies!  Tom and I are on a tear to catch all the Oscar noms before the Academy Awards on February 22.  We've only got a couple left to see . . . this weekend:  Whiplash.

READING . . . Just finished Station Eleven (highly recommend that one) and An Unnecessary Woman (meh).  Now I'm reading Sleeping with Pancho Villa (delightful) and finally dipping into Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, beginning with Oryx and Crake.  (Because apparently I'm craving a dystopian diet these days. . .)


KNITTING . . . I've gone off the Deep End with this stash-buster while I continue to ponder sweater options.  (I thought I'd decided on one, but then THIS. . .)

LISTENING TO . . . The most excellent new album from The Decemberists.


DREADING . . . My yoga instructor is heading to Mexico for 5 weeks beginning next week . . . and I don't like the sub . . . 

DRINKING . . . Lovely reds.

PLANNING . . . Which garden conferences I should attend this spring.  (There are several that look interesting.  Maybe I'll just go to ALL the garden conferences.)

HUMMING . . . (I have no idea where these things come from. . . ) (But there it is.)


WONDERING . . . Why The Theory of Everything hasn't come to a theater near me yet?  So strange . . . 

ITCHING TO . . . Garden.  But I'm trying not to let myself Go There quite yet.  (But the catalogs. . . )

ORGANIZING . . . All The Things!  I've even gotten Tom inspired.  We are KonMari-ing everywhere (in our own way).

DELIGHTED BY . . . My new laptop.  (How silly I was ... to almost paralyze myself while trying to decide between "pro" and "air.") (So glad I went with "air.")

INSPIRED BY . . . Some clever and creative art pieces I've been seeing lately.

How about YOU?  What's happening for you . . . RIGHT NOW?

Once is Not Enough


I like to watch movies ... but usually one viewing is plenty for me!  


There are some, though, that really click with me -- and I can watch those movies over and over again.  Once is not enough . . . 


We don't have very many movies in our home DVD collection -- but we do have several of my very favorites . . .   Movies I can watch again and again . . . and never tire of:

  1. Bull Durham 
  2. High Fidelity
  3. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  4. Amelie
  5. Love Actually
  6. Waking Ned Devine
  7. Best in Show
  8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  9. Pulp Fiction
  10. O Brother, Where Art Thou

How about YOU?  Which movies can you watch over and over?


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At the Movies


I don't usually tune in to any of the "awards" shows on television, but I watch the Academy Awards (or The Oscars, as they seem to be called now) faithfully each year.  Truth be told, I love the red carpet!  (Although I do like the movies, too.)

So, Sunday night found me hunkered down in front of the tv with a spreadsheet I was working on, my knitting, and a glass of wine for . . . The Oscars.

Carole, who is a huge fan of the The Oscars, asks us this week . . . What we Thought of The Oscars this year.

Hands down, my favorite moment was this:



My list of 10:

  1. See above.
  2. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her dress was divine.
  3. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her speech was joyous and heartfelt and wonderful.
  4. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her brother.
  5. Bette Middler's red carpet dress.*  That's the one I'd want to wear!
  6. Kate Hudson.  Looked like a movie star!
  7. Jared Leto.  And his mom.  And that he won.
  8. Brad Pitt.  I'm so glad he shaved.
  9. Pink.  Altough I have no idea why she was singing Over the Rainbow, I thought it was awesome!
  10. Ellen Degeneres.  The whole "selfie," pizza-ordering schtick just really worked for me.  (And, for maybe the first time ever, the movie stars in the audience seemed to be having fun.)  (Except maybe Liza Minelli.)

How about you?  What did you like about The Oscars?


Join the fun!  Read more Ten on Tuesday posts over at Carole's.

* Here's Bette's dress:


A Word Epiphany

A few weeks ago, Tom and I were at the movies and we saw this trailer*:


At first, I didn't catch on that this movie was actually one of my "favorite-books-of-all-time" -- Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin.  Now, that could've been because the movie doesn't actually follow the book.  But.  More likely, it's because my brain dumps books almost as fast as I can read them**!

I read Winter's Tale back in 1983, when it was first published.  I loved it!  Today, I remember loving it much more than I actaully remember the story.   (In fact, truth be told, all I really recall about the book itself is this: "New York City" and "magical horse.")  


But.  What I DO remember about Winter's Tale is this . . . 

Back in 1983, I recommended the book to everyone I knew!  (Tom even read it.)

I remember not being able to put it down.

I remember being transported by the story.

I remember being deeply disappointed when it was over.


As a result. . .

I still own the book, over 30 years later.  Hardcover.  Which means, I've moved it across the country and lovingly placed in on my bookshelves in six different apartments and homes from Colorado to Texas and, finally, here in Michigan.

I've read several other books by Mark Helprin.

When I flip through the pages of the book today -- pages containing words I don't remember -- I still get a warm feeling about the story.

My epiphany:  Words have magical powers.  Even when you can't remember what they are!


* So, Lady Sybil tragically died on Downton Abbey last season so she could make a movie with Colin Farrell.  Not so sad after all!

** I read about 50-60 books every year, and I have since . . . well, forever.  If you use an average of 55 books each year, I've read over 1,700 books since reading Winter's Tale in 1983.  No wonder I don't remember all the words. . .


Special Happy Birthday wishes go out today . . .

To Brian!  (Please explain to your Mom how you can be 22???)

Goobie boy

To my brother-in-law, Kurt!

And to my dear pal (and partner-in-hat-disasters), Patty!


Dock of the Bay . . . OR . . . The Story of the Traveling Socks

As a tourist in San Francisco, there are certain things you hear over and over and over. 

Cable cars travel at 9 1/2 miles per hour - up and down hills.

The importance of Van Ness Avenue.

The location of the "Mrs. Doubtfire house."

Where O.J. Simpson went to high school.

The exact location of Steve McQueen's Bullit car chase.

And this song . . .


It's no surprise, then, that I've associated this pair of socks . . .


with the Dock of the Bay!


And while they didn't start out to be traveling socks . . .


they turned out that way!  (After all, I cast on for them to knit on the plane on my way to Salt Lake City - way back in September - when I visited Margene.  And I cast off on the plane on my way home from San Francisco.  These socks have seen a lot of miles . . . and no one has even worn them yet!)

Enjoy some other views . . . from the Dock of the Bay.






(All photos shot from Fisherman's Wharf.)

(Ravelry details here.)


Just a Little . . . Psycho!


I'm not a fan of today's "scary movies."  Even at Halloween.  Just don't like 'em.  I do, though, like Alfred Hitchcock movies!  (I can remember, as a girl, being scared out of my wits by The Birds.  Just terrified!)

Today, Carole has us thinking about our favorite Alfred Hitchcock films.  Before I get started on my list, enjoy this quickie-version of The Birds . . . in 1 minute, 40 seconds.


My Ten Favorite Alfred Hitchcock Films:

  1. Rear Window
  2. Vertigo
  3. The Birds
  4. Psycho
  5. North by Northwest
  6. Dial M for Murder
  7. To Catch a Thief
  8. Notorious
  9. Spellbound
  10. Rebecca

And how about YOU?  What's your favorite Alfred Hitchcock film?


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Altogether . . . An Altogether . . . A Most Remarkable. . .Place!

Do you remember this movie?


Another of my childhood favorites, for sure.  I've been enchanted with thoughts of Copenhagen since I was a little girl . . . as introduced to me by Danny Kaye.

The final port of our Scandinavian cruise . . . was Copenhagen

We landed in the evening.  Just in time. . . for a quick canal trip!


(I've decided that the best way to see a city. . . is from the water!)


The sun was already setting as we headed out in our little tour boat, but it takes a very long time for the sun to set at this time of year in Denmark, so we were able to enjoy a delightful introduction to the city.


There are so many unique structures in the Copenhagen skyline.  The spiral steeple of the Var Fresler Kirke, for example -- with spiral stairs climbing up the outside of the steeple.


And the dome of the beautiful Amalienborg Palace. . .


Or the modern and absolutely lovely Copenhagen Opera House.


We toured past the International Sand Sculpture Festival. . .


which was Most Awesome . . . but so hard to photograph from a moving boat!


It was peaceful and welcoming . . .


to be in among the boats along the canals of Copenhagen.


And, especially, when we spied the swans!


Which, of course, got me singing . . . there once was an Ugly Duckling. . .

What a lovely introduction. . .


to an altogether. . . an altogether. . . most remarkable city!



Did you know that Copenhagen is one of the world's most environmentally friendly cities?


We saw evidence of this everywhere!


Don't forget . . . leave a comment for a chance to win a prize!  Details here.

A Family Affair


This week for Ten on Tuesday, Carole has us . . . in stitches!  (But not knits and purls.)  This week, we're talking comedy. 

Laughter is best shared, I think, so I shared this topic with my family.  I asked each of them to share their favorite comedy movie.

Here's our list . . . a Family Composite . . . of the Ten Best Comedy Movies. . .


  1. We'll start off with a classic from me . . . Young Frankenstein.
  2. From Tom, we get Will Ferrell and company in . . . Old School.
  3. Erin moves to action-comedy with . . . Kung Fu Hustle.
  4. Erin's boyfriend, Keith, adds a little tongue-in-cheek, dark comedy with . . . Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
  5. More Will Ferrell and slapstick comedy from Brian, with . . . Step Brothers.
  6. My sister, Di, goes classic with . . . Monty Python and the Holy Grail,
  7. While my brother-in-law, Kurt turns seasonal with . . . A Christmas Story.
  8. My niece, Jes, brings some buddy-comedy with . . . Dumb and Dumber.
  9. My Dad really does go "old school" with. . . Smokey and the Bandit,
  10. And my Mom favors rom-coms like . . . Love, Actually.

And there you have it!  Humor . . . it's a Family Value!

What's YOUR favorite comedy?


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Hurray for Hollywood!


I watched the Oscars last Sunday night (the Red Carpet show, too!).  Usually, when I watch the Academy Awards, I fade in and out and get a bit bored.  But this year (thanks to my current state of mind, I'm pretty sure) I gave it my full attention.  I didn't even knit.  (Yeah.  Definitely my current state of mind.)  Tom watched with me.  (And that pretty much never happens.)

What was it about this year that captured our attention?  This week's Ten on Tuesday topic helps me figure that out . . . Here are Ten Thoughts on This Year's Oscars:


  1. It was more fun because we were rooting for our favorites (Hugo and The Artist)!  We had actually seen several of the nominated movies this year, so we cared a little more about the outcomes.
  2. I always love to see what everyone is wearing, and this year didn't disappoint!  (Tom, however, noted that there wasn't as much cleavage as in some years.)  Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia were fun commentators during the Red Carpet show.  I always like to hear their perspective on fashion.
  3. Tom and I both liked seeing Octavia Spencer's reaction to winning the Best Supporting Actress award.  She was overwhelmed and thrilled -- and it seemed so genuine and "real."  (Although, as Tom pointed out, they are all . . . ACTORS. . . and it is HOLLYWOOD. . .)
  4. And how fun was Meryl Streep's acceptance speech?  I laughed and laughed when she said. . . "whatever!"  You go, Meryl!
  5. We both thought the pace of the show was much better than in past years.  Speeches were (for the most part) shorter and more to the point.  There were still some draggy points, but overall, it was better.
  6. There were plenty of close-ups of George Clooney.  I never tire of seeing George.  (His girlfriend had a GREAT dress, don't you think?)
  7. I liked the Cirque du Soleil performance.  I thought it was fun and amusing.  (Tom was in the bathroom.)
  8. Much as I like Robert Downey, Jr. . . . I think his little "skit" for the documentary award presentations was totally useless.  Same with Emma Stone's star-struck bit.  Tedious.  (But her dress was GORGEOUS.)
  9. I liked, however, the Christopher Guest (and company) "spot."
  10. And, of course, both Tom and I loved seeing the adorable dog from The Artist up on the stage.  We loved the dog in the movie . . . loved seeing him sitting in his own seat at the Oscars. . . and then joining everyone up on stage.  What a star!

And, really.  That's what the Oscars are all about . . . seeing stars!

(Oh, and I guess this is Number 11.  Did anyone else think Angelina Jolie looked like she might perish from hunger?  Right there on the stage?  I think she had to stick her leg out like that for balance.  So she wouldn't collapse.)


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