Monday, June 30, 2014

Books read in June 2014

I'm not going to count how many books I read this month.  It was a lot.  It had to do with the fact I front- loaded the picture books for July Librarian Book Group, while reading the picture books for the June meeting in June.  Oh, and also getting completely obsessed with E. Lockheart/Emily Jenkins.  Also, there were a lot of middle readers on the Librarian Book Group list and I found them underwhelming, so I kept putting them down and picking up other things.  Anyway, highlights in each category:

Elizabeth Queen of the Seas
Here Comes the Easter Cat

Middle Readers
I didn't love any of them.  I didn't really at all like two of them.

Ruby Oliver Quartet that begins with The Boyfriend List
The Disreputable History of Frankie Laudeau-Banks

Mister Posterior and the Genius Child
(yes folks, I just recommended nine books and six of them were by the same author.  Who also wrote a recommended book last month (We Were Liars).  She's a damn fine writer.

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas
Read for Librarian Book Group
I love when books tell me a quirky detail about something I never would have known existed.  This is the tale of a very special member of the Christ Church, New Zealand community.  Incredibly darling illustrations and a great story.  Highly recommended.

Jenny Offill
Read for Librarian Book Group
Hilarious picture book about a girl who picks an unusual pet.  People without access to children should just request this from the library so they can experience five minutes of funny.  Or purchase it, if you would like funny to live in your house.

The Noisy Paint Box
Barb Rosenstock
Read for Librarian Book Group
Picture book of Kandinsky's life which also discusses his Synesthesia.  Nice story of following your own path.

Read for Librarian Book Group
Picture book of Josephine Baker's life.  I found the text informative and the illustrations sub par.  I would also have liked to see a picture of Josephine Baker in the book itself.

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey
Read for Librarian Book Group
Young reader nonfiction about butterfly wrangling.  Interesting.

Jason Chin
Read for Librarian Book Group
Picture book explaining the concept of gravity.  Very bright and vibrant.

Here Comes the Easter Cat
Read for Librarian Book Group
Adults with no children in your life!  Grab this and read it, just for the five minutes of funny.  Great illustrations and fun for any person familiar with cats.

The Cosmobiography of Sun-Ra
Read for Librarian Book Group
Pleasantly weird.

Number One Sam
Read for Librarian Book Group
I was underwhelmed by this, but I think it would be great for early readers and I'm all for the message.

Letter Lunch
Read for Librarian Book Group
This concept was so bizarre to me that I put this away to read again later, thinking I had missed something.  But no.  Children go searching for letters, in the landscape, in the store, so they can...Eat them?  I still don't really get it, but the illustrations were very pretty.

Skila Brown
Read for Librarian Book Group
Story of a boy in 1980s Guatemala caught in the crossfire of politics.  Told entirely through poetry.  I wasn't overly enamored of the poetry, but the story eventually grabbed me.

The Riverman
Aaron Starmer
Read for Librarian Book Group
This had a great opening chapter and then went downhill from there.  I had problems with the plot, with the alternate world, with the characters. Probably good for middle school readers who like semi-creepy science fiction.  There's a boy main character.

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave
John Boyne
Read for Librarian Book Group
WWI fiction!  I'm a fan!  Solid kid-navigating-adult-situations kind of book with interesting (although completely normal) characters.  Good for middle school and up.

Note.  This title is awesome and I would rather it had been used on a contemporary YA novel.  Just sayin'

The Night Gardener
Jonathan Auxier
Read for Librarian Book Group
I really despised this book because the characters spoke in a completely modern way.  Just because Auxier throws in a "dinna" now and then doesn't make them sound back in the day of the Irish potato famine.  It also was a slog.  However, I'm not sure young readers would be so picky.  So give it to anyone who likes a strong sister/brother narrative, creepy happenings and mysterious figures.

Also, I hope the publishing world works through this foil book cover thing rather quickly.  Much like Tease I had to be careful how I positioned this while reading because it reflected light back into my eyes in an uncomfortable way.

And We Stay
Jenny Hubbard
Emily, having suffered tragedy at her high school, is now attending a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, home of that other Emily, the dead poet.  Our Emily finds her way through the realities of her existence by writing poems and learning about dead poet Emily.  Having lived in Amherst, I didn't get a huge sense of place from this novel and I sometimes found the Emily/Emily name thing to be confusing, although this was a satisfying read. Points for including my favorite Dickinson poem, which begins, "This quiet dust..".  Also, I feel as though the title could have been not so forgettable.

The Boyfriend List
E. Lockheart
Footnotes!  So genius!  Perfect for mapping the mind of a smart and funny teenage girl as well a sneaky way to explain to the reading audience who AC/DC and their ilk is, without stopping the narrative.  I adored this book from the hilarious main character, her loving and somewhat self-absorbed parents, plus the very real female friendships.  The back-and-forth jumping around in time chronology was sometimes hard to follow and I got confused about who the various boys were, but I think that made the experience that much more authentic.  This is YA gold!

The Boy Book
E. Lockheart
I read books 2-4 of the Ruby Oliver Quartet in a very short amount of time.  Thus, it all blends together, making three separate reviews impossible.  Instead, I will highlight what I love about this series in total

  • Ruby Oliver is a very fun character.  She's full of life, and has an iron will that keeps her going through all of her many troubles, some which she brings on herself, some which are dumped in her lap.
  • Footnotes!  They are the perfect way to capture Ruby's digressive mind.  E-reader alert!  You might get endnotes, not footnotes.  If you read the actual books you will have the joy of actual footnotes right there on the page. The endnotes are annoying to flip back and forth to.
  • Friendship.  Over the course of the four books, Ruby Oliver's friends wax and wane in a very realistic way.
  • Parents.  Her parents are hilarious, both overly interested in their only daughter and completely self-involved.
  • Funny sayings.  You too will not be able to think about "Reginald," "Pod-robots" and many other Ruby-isms without smirking.
  • Movie recommendations.  Ruby Oliver loves movies and many of her footnotes are lists of movies that fit a particular category.

The Treasure Map of Boys
E. Lockheart
I read books 2-4 of the Ruby Oliver Quartet in a very short amount of time.  Thus, it all blends together, making three separate reviews impossible.  Instead, I will highlight what I love about this series in total

  • Ruby Oliver is a very fun character.  She's full of life, and has an iron will that keeps her going through all of her many troubles, some which she brings on herself, some which are dumped in her lap.
  • Footnotes!  They are the perfect way to capture Ruby's digressive mind.  E-reader alert!  You might get endnotes, not footnotes.  If you read the actual books you will have the joy of actual footnotes right there on the page. The endnotes are annoying to flip back and forth to.
  • Friendship.  Over the course of the four books, Ruby Oliver's friends wax and wane in a very realistic way.
  • Parents.  Her parents are hilarious, both overly interested in their only daughter and completely self-involved.
  • Funny sayings.  You too will not be able to think about "Reginald," "Pod-robots" and many other Ruby-isms without smirking.
  • Movie recommendations.  Ruby Oliver loves movies and many of her footnotes are lists of movies that fit a particular category.
Real Live Boyfriends
E. Lockheart
I read books 2-4 of the Ruby Oliver Quartet in a very short amount of time.  Thus, it all blends together, making three separate reviews impossible.  Instead, I will highlight what I love about this series in total

  • Ruby Oliver is a very fun character.  She's full of life, and has an iron will that keeps her going through all of her many troubles, some which she brings on herself, some which are dumped in her lap.
  • Footnotes!  They are the perfect way to capture Ruby's digressive mind.  E-reader alert!  You might get endnotes, not footnotes.  If you read the actual books you will have the joy of actual footnotes right there on the page. The endnotes are annoying to flip back and forth to.
  • Friendship.  Over the course of the four books, Ruby Oliver's friends wax and wane in a very realistic way.
  • Parents.  Her parents are hilarious, both overly interested in their only daughter and completely self-involved.
  • Funny sayings.  You too will not be able to think about "Reginald," "Pod-robots" and many other Ruby-isms without smirking.
  • Movie recommendations.  Ruby Oliver loves movies and many of her footnotes are lists of movies that fit a particular category.

My Life Next Door
Huntley Fitzpatrick
Fairly normal teen romance with daughter of uptight trust fund state representative falling for second son of very large family next door.  A goodly amount of interesting wrinkles made this a fun read, though I never doubted what the ending would be.  I also couldn't help nothing that the author is the mother of a large family and couldn't help but wonder how many of the snide comments made to the mother of the large family in the book were comments she has experienced herself.

Addendum.  In posting this review I noticed a sequel is in the works and found myself much more excited than this review might indicate. And I think this book is sneaky that way.  It seems to be pretty standard, but in the end it's compelling.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Laudeau-Banks
E. Lockheart
I've put off writing this review because this book hit every one of my "perfect" buttons and the main reason I loved it, I can't even tell you because it will spoil the plot.  But here are the things I can tell you about.  I love Frankie:  Smart.  Beautiful by way of awkward, so she's aware of the difference.  Really spot-on writing, both from the adolescent perspective and layered adult commentary, which doesn't overwhelm the plot.  Various hijinks.  A lot of main character processing and observing.  Fun with words.  Made me want a sequel, while simultaneously hoping that Lockheart never writes a sequel because this book is so perfect as a stand-alone.  When I told the librarians I was obsessed with E. Lockheart's Ruby Oliver they all squealed that I must read this book.  And they were right.

Wm. Shakespeare
Bad dude.  Badder lady.  Looking forward to seeing the stage play.

Mister Posterior and the Genius Child
Emily Jenkins
Who's on an E. Lockheart/Emily Jenkins kick?  Me!  That's who!  Told from the perspective of Vanessa, a third grade girl at a private school called Cambridge Harmony, it was so chock full of solid detail and observations it immediately transported me from my summer vacation, right back into the school year that had just ended.  I felt like I was back at work again.  Yet I persisted.  This book was funny, in a "safe for public transportation" way meaning you will smirk, but the guffaws will be kept to a minimum.  I also loved the adults' reactions to Vanessa's actions and comments as they tell you much more about what the adults are wrapped up in.  This was a really solid novel.

Postcards from Virginia and Virgina

This one said 3/3 on the back.

This one said 2/3 on the back.
Where was 1/3?  Not in my mailbox today.  
Anyway, a certain regular commenter who currently lives in Virginia sent this to me from Minnesota, where she will soon move.  I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the two states, as well as the Thomas Jefferson quotes.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: Girls Season 1

Being someone who is fascinated with adolescence and the transition to adulthood, especially from a female perspective, I've been looking forward to this series for some time now.  It completely delivered with hilarious and also cringe worthy situations, great writing, fun wardrobe and a lot of a naked body of a type you don't see much in media.  I'm really looking forward to the second season.

Cost:  free from library
Where watched:  at home, with Matt who got pulled in halfway through and caught up on his own.

poster from:

He's a what? He's a what?

Mom treated me to a performance of my favorite musical to see live.  I'm writing this two weeks later and the songs are still stuck in my head.  It was a good production full of a cast of solid singers.  The costumes were fabulous also.  I loved every one of Marian the Librarian's outfits.

Postcards from Germany & the Netherlands

I returned from our Crater Lake Trip to find this postcard from Stephan in Germany.  He works as an art historian and is a specialist in religious architecture.  This is a wonderful example of a Bavarian Baroque church.  Next week, Stephen was going to the Spanish Pyrenees.  

 This is from Sandra in the Netherlands.  She tells me that tomorrow (6/13) is her birthday, that she lives with 4 (!) men, three sons and a husband, and also that she is a part-time teacher.  The quote she included was "Be yourself, no matter what they say" which is from Sting's song "Englishman in New York" which happens to be one of the first 45RPM records I purchased.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quoted on Filmspotting. About Channing Tatum, of course.

Filmspotting is a recent discovery, I stumbled across it last fall and really look forward to the weekly podcast, as well as dipping into the archives.  The hosts, Adam and Josh, spend a good 20+ minutes chewing over the movie they've chosen to review every week and there is always a top-5 list.  One of the other features is a reader poll.  Every other week they announce the results and read comments.  I'm excited to say I've been quoted twice before (both times talking about women and movies!) but the poll for this week was about Channing Tatum.  So you know I had stuff to say about that.  They even linked to my Channing Tatum Personal Film Festival blog post.

If you would like to listen, click on the above link and then move along to the 25:40 minute mark.

Thanks Filmspotting for making my to-see movie list long, giving me something to listen to when I clean the house and also making me famous!  You know, in that internet way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Author Reading: Brian Benson at Powell's

C. and I took in another reading at Powell's.  C. took a class from Brian Benson through The Attic Institute (which is where the two of us met, though in a different class) and so we were happy to go to his book reading of his first published book.

It was a well attended reading, we were happy to have seats.  Benson's sister owns a bike shop and coordinated a ride from her shop to the reading, so there were lots of bike-y people in attendance, which is fitting as the memoir is about Benson's ride from Wisconsin to Portland with his then-girlfriend.

Graduation card received and discarded.

Found outside the DMV

I'm thinking Edwin must have included some cash with this, which Abby grabbed, while tossing the card.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Postcard from the Capital of the Confederacy.

That would be Richmond, Virginia, for those of you unsure.  
This is from regular commenter Sara and she reports that Richmond has an amazing art museum and it's FREE!

Pretty cool, as is this sculpture by Barry Flanagan.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: The Hot Flashes

I found this to be a very nice movie in that I liked the premise (menopausal women play basketball against high school girls basketball team to raise money for a cause) and enjoyed the actresses, many of whom I don't see a lot of any more.  However, it was very predictable and most of the characters were fairly solid stereotypes ultimately making this a so-so endeavor.  Put it on your list for when you are home sick with the flu.

Cost:  free from library
Where watched:  at home.

poster from:
What the hell is up with this poster?  That doesn't even look like Brooke Shields.  Nor does it look like Brooke Shields looked in this very movie!  IMP Awards, where I grab all these posters from has a comment feature for every poster.  People don't really comment a lot, but they sure did about this one.  Here's my favorite:  Thank God that I saw this during the day, 'cause I don't want to remember this by night.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Postcards from Hungary and Russia

This is from Shawn, occasional commenter, regular reader and also husband of a certain regular commenter.  He went to Budapest for work, lucky dog.  And lucky me, because I got a postcard.  Perhaps I can entice him to comment by asking him if it was difficult to locate postcards.  When I was there we had to go to three different stores before I found some.  But a teenager was leading me around and I'm not sure if he knew what postcards were for.

This is from Kristine in Moscow who has naturally red hair and loves the night sky.   Although she tells me right now there is only four hours from sunset to sunrise, so there isn't a lot of night sky viewing.  

Great stamps!
There was also a quote printed on the back of the card which she Google translated for me as:
"And what we worry, crying and arguing about loved grieve before that could not stand.  Big eyed stars over the sea silk smooth surface rest by the night."

I really like the art on this card.

Baby blanket finished!

Nothing like the baby actually being born to motivate the knitting process.
This was made for Mya Rose, Matt's brand new niece.

I was nearly done with it in March, having knitted most of it while watching Downton Abby this season.  But then I didn't have any other shows to watch, so nearly done it stayed, until the birth spurred me onward.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: Twilight Zone the movie.

This was a complete 80s movie from the kind of odd muppet-like things, to the Nazi themed segment to the creepy kid stuff.  It did have Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson etc.) onscreen as well as many recognizable stars.  I was down with the Creedence sing along and the Nazi segment and the rest was kind of eh.

Cost:  free from library
Where watched: at home with Matt.

poster from:
I love when the posters have visble folds in them.

I'm all for rules and regulations, but can't this be done electronically?

In the past few months rules in the health care and mortgage industry have kicked in and now we get a monthly statement from HomeStreet Bank telling us about our mortgage which is auto deducted.  Plus, after every appointment at Kaiser (I go once weekly for UV therapy for psoriasis) I receive a mailing telling me how much UV therapy supposedly costs.

I have an entire electronic thing set up at Kaiser so I don't have to get these types of things, so why don't they come via that?  And HomeStreet, it would be great to opt in to something like that for the mortgage notification.

Introducing: The Ruby Oliver Film Festival

Those of you who are regular readers know that I love movies.  And you also know that I despair because so many movies are BOY movies and, while enjoyable to me, I long for more GIRL movies.  I plan to watch a goodly amount of movies this summer.  But what movies to watch?  A lot of films-to-watch lists are full of very vital and weighty flicks, mostly featuring men doing men things.  I'm not looking for that right now, I want fun. Interesting.  Movies women like.

Enter Ruby Oliver.  She's not a real person, but a character in a series of very funny YA novels by E. Lockheart.  They all seem to have the same name, but if you are looking for the first one, it's called The Boyfriend List. When the series begins, Ruby Oliver is a sophomore at a private school in Seattle and she has just lost her boyfriend, all of her friends, and is having panic attacks.  Ruby Oliver's tale of how she recovers from all that (and more) is told in a breezy style that includes perhaps my favorite thing in the book world:  footnotes.

Ruby Oliver also loves movies.  So in her amusing and digressive footnotes, she often makes lists of movies on one topic or another.  I have seen many of these movies, but not all of them.  A-ha!  A bolt of inspiration.  My next movie project will be to go through all her lists, spanning footnotes in four books, and watch the ones I haven't seen.

Here's my list, copied word-for-word from the novels.  Stay tuned for reviews.  And check out Ruby Oliver.  She's worth your time.

Titles in bold have not yet been watched.  When movies repeat, I chose to bold them again.

Note that most of these lists titles contain spoilers.

Book 1 
The Boyfriend List

Movies where the couples hate each other half the time:
10 Things I Hate About You
One Fine Day
When Harry Met Sally
You’ve Got Mail
Intolerable Cruelty
The African Queen
Addicted to Love
Bringing Up Baby
The Goodbye Girl
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
As Good as it Gets
French Kiss
Groundhog Day
A Life Less Ordinary


Movies where after breaking up, it turns out the man actually loves the woman madly and can’t exist without her:
Pretty Woman
An Officer and a Gentleman
Bridget Jones’s Diary
The Truth About Cats & Dogs
Reality Bites
Jerry Maguire
High Fidelity
Say Anything
Notting Hill
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Runaway Bride
(only the woman comes back to the man.)


Movies where the apparently hopeless dorky guy who’s been there all along eventually gets the girl:
The Wedding Singer
Dumb and Dumber
When Harry Met Sally
There’s Something About Mary
Beauty and the Beast
While You Were Sleeping
Revenge of the Nerds
Lots of Woody Allen movies


(bonus content from questions at the end of book one) 
E. Lockheart’s all-time top ten movie list:
Gregory’s Girl
Repo Man
Annie Hall
His Girl Friday
Bringing Up Baby
Moulin Rouge
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Singin’ in the Rain

Book 2 
The Boy Book

Pod-robot.  A person with no feelings or memory, but otherwise indistinguishable from a regular human.  Possibly an alien life-form; possibly a robot.  See:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Puppet Masters
The Terminator Movies
The Stepford Wives (either version)
Solaris (either version)
Village of the Damned.
(There are also lots of touchy-feely movies where the faux humans develop emotions, like
Bicentennial Man
I, Robot
A.I: Artificial Intelligence.)


Movies where a wild girl enchants and disrupts the life of an otherwise ordinary (but still attractive) man:
Along Came Polly
Something Wild
Pretty Woman
Addicted to Love
Bringing Up Baby
Chasing Amy
What’s Up, Doc?
The Seven Year Itch
Garden State
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Moulin Rouge
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
My Fair Lady
Funny Face
Annie Hall
Sleeper (okay, so Woody Allen is not attractive or ordinary, but still).
 Book 3 
The Treasure Map of Boys

Movies in which a makeover facilitates love:
Pretty Woman
Sabrina (both versions)
Working Girl
The Breakfast Club
My Fair Lady
She’s All That
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Now, Voyager
Strictly Ballroom
Miss Congeniality
The Princess Diaries
Never Been Kissed


Movie in which the woman dies and thereby helps the hero to realize his full manly potential in the world, only, of course, bad luck for her because she’s dead:
Moulin Rouge
City of Angles/Wings of Desire (same plot, different films)
Dangerous Liaisons
Sweeny Todd (well, he only thinks she’s dead and becomes a total psycho, but still)
A Walk to Remember
The Prestige
Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig one, not the Woody Allen one)
Harold and Maude
Love Story
Finding Neverland.


Movies in which the romantic heroine sports Birkenstocks:


Here’s a list we came up with, with help from the Internet. Movies that make prostitution seem like a glam job in which you might end up falling in love with a supercute and quality guy such as a young Christian Slater or Ewan McGregor:
Moulin Rouge
Pretty Woman
Trading Places
Milk Money
The Girl Next Door
Risky Business
Irma la Douce
From Here to Eternity
Memoirs of a Geisha
L.A. Confidential
Night Shift (1982)
True Romance


[Ruby and her friend Hutch have a documentary film festival]
We watched:
March of the Penguins
Super Size Me
American Movie
Mad Hot Ballroom
Grizzly Man
Hoop Dreams
Shut Up & Sing—and for Hutch
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.  Which is about a retro-metal band in group therapy, if you can believe it.

Book 4
Real Live Boyfriends

Movies where a quality guy loves a girl and sticks with her even though she’s one or another kind of insane—maybe alcoholic, maybe addict, maybe psychotic or depressed:
Mad Love
When a Man Loves A Woman
Bed of Roses
Benny & Joon
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
50 First Dates
Almost Famous
Center Stage
The Hours
My Sassy Girl
What Dreams May Come
Rachel Getting Married
Forrest Gump (if you consider him a quality guy)
Betty Blue
But in real life, I think ti’s more likely the guy gets sick of the girl’s insane behavior and goes off with a nice normal person to live happily ever after.  And who can blame him?


Movies where the safe responsible guy is revealed as a jerk—thus freeing the heroine to leave him for someone more exciting:
Desperately Seeking Susan
The Wedding Singer
The Holiday
Legally Blond
Sliding Doors
French Kiss
Bring It On
Working Girl
Sex, Lies & Videotape
George of the Jungle


Movies where a brooding, even sulky guy seems like a good idea for a quality boyfriend:
10 Things I Hate About You
Edward Scissorhands
Pump Up the Volume
Heathers (until the end)
The Breakfast Club
The Bourne Identity
Grosse Pointe Blank
Angel Eyes
Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Beauty and the Beast
Reality Bites
Donnie Darko
Wuthering Heights
Good Will Hunting
The Piano
Rebel Without a Cause 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kid thank you

So sweet.  This is from one of the K/1 classes.  My favorite is "she has her own style" which is a comment that another co-worker also got.  I laughed because the other co-worker has a very fun sense of style, while mine involves wearing the same thing every day of the week.  But to a K/1, I guess that counts as "own sense of style."

A walk to work.

I've decided to walk to work every Thursday morning in the summer.  Here's what I saw on my first walk:

Borage really takes over if you let it.

I loved this front step arrangement.
And then my camera died.  Note to self:  charge camera before walking to work.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ah, the illusion of control

It's summer!  And that means I have things to do at work.  So I've put things in order and have goals for all the weeks I've worked.  Nicole, from First Unitarian introduced me to this planning method. It's great for when you have specific tasks to do over a set amount of time, not all of which are date specific. My summer tasks mostly just need to get done, and some can't start before I finish others, so this system works fabulously for me.  Whatever doesn't get done in a given week gets moved down to the next week.  The trick is to keep July 21-25 from getting to full of too many un-done post-it notes.

Another way to do this is to use index cards instead of post-its.  Then you can save the index cards, make notes on the backs, and throw them in a folder to retrieve for the next summer.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another stunning generalization that takes my breath away.

"Jared Padgett's extended family knew him as a happy, chatty person who was quick to hug, full of love and had a goal in life, unlike many teenagers."

Um.  Most all of the teenagers I've encountered have goals.  I myself had goals for my life when I was a teenager.  Most of them weren't really realistic and didn't come to pass, but that doesn't meant I didn't have them.  How about giving the upcoming adults some credit?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: Night Moves

This is a lot more talk-y than the other Kelly Reichardt film I watched, but by Hollywood movie standards--and especially in comparison to the last movie I watched--it's nearly silent.  Which is okay, because that gives you a lot of time to think about what's happening on screen.  It builds tension like crazy, especially for how laid back it was, and the acting is fan-tabulous.*

Cost:  $5.00, possibly $6.00.
Where watched:  Hollywood Theater.  Which is right on the 75 bus line.  I need to go here more.

poster from:

*Mmmmm.  Peter Sarsgaard, why did you never become famous for your hunky good looks?  Probably better that you didn't, since your acting is so spot-on.  Also Jesse Eisenberg is his usual wonder and it's always nice to see Alia Shawkat.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Postcard from Belarus

Lyudmila sends me her greetings from Belarus which, according to her is, "an oasis in the heart of Europe.  Not by chance is it called 'blue-eyed.'"

I just looked on a map to see where Belarus is [postcrossing: improving my shoddy geographical sense one postcard at a time] and I have to quibble with that "heart of Europe" statement.  Of course, that's because I came of age where Europe ended at the border of the USSR which is, of course, no more.  So in that old mental map, Belarus is very much outside the heart of Europe. Then I looked up a map of Europe and got a EU one.  Even in that map, Belarus is on the very edge and not in Europe (because it's not an EU member state).  So perhaps that saying is asperational.  I know those former USSR republics mostly didn't want to be members of said Soviet Empire.

Anyway, Lyudmila is 41 and has a husband and two sons--teenagers.  She says, "I am happy with my family."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: 22 Jump Street

The chuckling continues in this continuation of the sequel to the remake of the 80s television franchise.*  Hill and Tatum provide similar-type laughs with Hill cracking me up when he realizes the unfortunate family connection of a romantic interest.  However, the actress Jillian Bell stole every scene she was in, and had me gasping with laughter at one point, making her the find of the movie.

Cost: $2.00 (due to gift card being exhausted, leaving me with a small balance**)
Where watched: Regal Lloyd 10.

poster from:

*The credits are very funny to and seem to indicate this is the end of the road for this particular incarnation of the franchise.
**However, I did pay something like $4.50 for a small popcorn which I managed to spill twice before I began eating it.  Aside from being a slob, looking at $2.00 worth of popcorn sitting on the theater floor is no fun.

Postcard from the Netherlands

This is from Unda who is 35 and lives in Maassiuis.  (I'm thinking if there's a Dutch version of Wheel of Fortune, it's always prudent to buy some vowels.)

She tells me that she enjoys gardening very much. Unda also included the quote "Begin de dag met een lach" which she translated as "Always start your day with a smile."

This is a very nice hand-drawn and colored art card.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My thought exactly.

"Good, no real food here anyway."
This is at Kaiser.  
I must confess, I've perused the options in this vending machine and rejected them, because it's all boring healthy food.  Who wants that from a vending machine?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This is not a member of the marching band!

Text under the picture says, "The Union High School Marching Band takes part in Saturday's Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade."

Huh.  I remember band as looking more like people in unisex uniforms carrying instruments and playing and stuff, but I guess things have changed since my day.

(There is half of a flute pictured, on the right side of the picture. Also, picture caption writer, you might tell us from whence the Union High School came.  Because I have no idea.)

Just because.

This was a commentary about a program in Portland called Girls on the Run, where girls in third through eighth grades learn life skills and run, completing a 5k at the end of the program. It's a great program and many girls at school have participated.

Predictably, came this editorial.  I'm not going to be diligent and actually look up statistics, but I'm willing to bet that participation in youth sports is not equal between genders.  And while sports are expected for boys, they still aren't universally accepted for girls, even forty years after Title IX.  

So that's why girls get more encouragement.  Lets even things out first.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: The Fault in Our Stars

Shailaine Woodley was perfectly cast (although missing the puffy steroided face, but hey!  At least Hollywood let her keep the cannula and have a bad haircut and too-loose clothing) in this very faithful adaptation of the beloved novel and I loved every moment she was on the screen.  I cannot say the same about her counterpart, Ansel Elgort, who was full of nervous ticks and goofy mannerisms and didn't even have the whole I'm-supposed-to-have-a-prosthetic-leg thing down.  It got to the point where every time he was on the screen I found myself wishing they would cut back to Shailaine and by the end of the movie I was very angry that Ansel Elgort was even present.*

*Which was a complete bummer because this movie had a lot going for it, otherwise.

Cost:  $10.00
Where watched:  Living Room Theaters with Matt, Kelly, Laurie and Burt.

poster from:

Gentrificaiton feedback.

Found this in the Buckman Neighborhood which has been gentrifying like crazy.

Friday, June 6, 2014

So many choices.

The small print says, "100+ drink choices."  I read it an immediately felt sorry for the Burger King employees who must connect customers with some choice among the 100+ drink choices.  As I remember from my time in customer service, the more choices for the customer, the more confused and slow the customer becomes.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Postcard from Taiwan

This is from Sophia who is 25 years old and likes reading and singing.  (Sounds like someone I know.)  She says, "I always get ideas and power from books.  It makes me hopeful in every moment!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Actually, Oregonian Editorial Board,

Pumping my own gas does not fall under the heading of "personal freedom" in my world. It falls in the category of odious task I'm happy to pay someone to do.  

Seriously! Don't mess with one of the best quirks about this state.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Postcard from California

Not only is this one of those shiny moving postcards, it's also from the Getty Villa.  It's from regular commentor Jan, who sent along a little note with it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eight of the nine Whitmore girls.

Top row:  Mary, Helen, Beatrice, Lucretia, Margaret
Bottom row:  Betty,* Joanne, Dorothy
Not pictured: Janet

*Who is, of course, actually Elizabeth, but I never heard anyone call her that.