Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #117

Well, it looks like I'm late again this week. Somehow I just can't remember that these come around every Friday. You'd think the name would be a huge hint, wouldn't you? And except for one or two, I have no idea where any of this week's quotes came from, so I'll just have to make up my own responses. Oh, well, here goes another Friday Fill-Ins:

1. "In a hole in the ground there lived a very lonely Minuteman missile."

2. "I done gone to collidge and majored in English, but that ain't no matter."

3. "After dark the rain began to fall again, and Joy began to get very depressed again."

4. "Look! there's Johnny Depp emerging from the hold of the Spanish galleon."

5. "There was a hand in the darkness, and it was getting wet from all that rain falling in #3 up above."

6. "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, _____." OK, these are getting a little too spooky now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow today my plans include included buying a pair of black pants (which I managed to get done – yay!) and writing a few book reviews (which I didn't) and Sunday, I want to start catching up on all those book reviews I need to write, and also get some reading done!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blue Monday: A Witch Which is Blue

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.

OK, I'm obviously reaching for it here. I just really don't have all that much blue around the place. I seem to be much more of a green and beige sort of person. But I do have some blue dishes (saving those for a future post) and a few other blue items around the kitchen.

This is my mother's kitchen witch. I'm not sure what her purpose was, but she has a broom for her underpinning, and she looks like she's been through a lot of trauma – parts of her even look like they've been singed. After my mother died, most of her kitchen do-dads got dumpstered or donated. But for some reason, I've held onto this one. Not sure why. At the moment, Miss Witch is hanging on the back of a door, along with a variety of other cleaning implements. If I brought her out into the open, you think there's a chance she'd come to life and sweep up all that dust on my kitchen floor?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #116

Well, here I go with another Friday Fill-Ins on Saturday. Somehow, I've been at least a day behind all week long. I'm old but I'm slow. Anyway, here we go:

1. Why do we have to grow up?

2. Emailing and blogging are now habits. (Do you remember the first time you said "What's a blog?")

3. I have hundreds of books I want to read, but I can only read them one at a time. Bummer.

4. I had never heard the phrase "LOL" until a few years ago and it took me quite a while to realize it didn't mean "lots of luck."

5. Tonight I'll be staying up much too late, the way I always do on Saturday nights.

6. How was I to know the gun was loaded. (Isn't that from an old country-western song?)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to [well, that's all in the past now, so let's move on], tomorrow my plans include [OK – my plans included taking some books back to the library, which I did, and having lunch out somewhere, which we also did; my plans for the rest of the day include reading a little, and taking a nap], and Sunday, I want to try to get the errands run early so I can get some reading done!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blue Monday: Blue Warning!

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.

Well, I was thinking I really didn't have anything blue to share this week. But in going back over some of the photos we've taken on vacation during the past few years, I happened upon this shot of a gift shop window in Rehoboth Beach DE. It's one of my hubby's favorites because he says it perfectly reflects the working conditions in the agency he works for. Now how depressing is that?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #115

Running late again this week. These Fridays roll around faster than I can keep up with them. Time for another Friday Fill-Ins, and here we go:

1. When I look to the left, I see a huge pile of books, papers and other junk. That's pretty much what I see when I look to the right, too. Or up or down or…. Well, you get the idea.

2. The living room is the room that has the best view in my home. It too has piles of books, papers and other junk, but there's also a large sliding glass door out to the balcony with a very pretty view of a small hunk of Northern Virginia. Here's a nice shot M. took from the balcony the other night, with the full moon and Old Town Alexandria in the distance.

3. Let it work. What I secretly pray every time I turn on my computer.

4. Nothing can be done dirt cheap anymore!

5. Voting is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share. And then keeping a close eye on those bozos after we elect 'em.

6. If you have any ideas about how to answer this one, feel free to post them in a comment. Obviously, I need the help.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to staying in and staying warm (suddenly, it's winter again!), tomorrow my plans include going to the book sale at our local library branch, having lunch out somewhere, and then hitting Trader Joe's to stock up on their dark chocolate and frozen pizzas and Sunday, I want to play with all the books I will have brought home (I hope!) and get some reading done!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Fairgrounds, Montgomery County MD

Photo taken 7 March 2009
For more Wordless Wednesday offerings, please visit the website here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday's Movie: The Horror and the Heist

Over at A Novel Menagerie, Sher is hosting Monday's Movie, in which she invites everyone to "write about any movies, television or big screen, that you’ve seen over the past week."

This is my first time participating, and as I only have a couple of movies to mention (we don't go out to movies much anymore, and I'm trying to keep myself focused on reading instead of staring at the TV screen), I'm going to combine them in one post.

Korea, 2003
Written and Directed by Ki-hyeong Park
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language

Synopsis from
"Korean filmmaker Ki-Hyung Park (Whispering Corridors) serves up an unsettling tale of muted dread about a childless couple's attempts to forge a family. Despite her mother's disapproval, Mi-sook (Hye-jin Shim) and her husband (Jin-geun Kim) adopt Jin-seong (Oh-bin Mun), a quiet, artistic six-year-old boy. Soon Jin-seong evinces an obsessive attraction to a dying acacia tree in the backyard, which he associates with his birth mother. Yet even more unsettling events are in store when Mi-sook unexpectedly becomes pregnant."

My Thoughts:
Strange and definitely "unsettling" film with two adorably spooky kids who looked a little too much like the wraiths in The Grudge for my taste. Pretty good psychological suspense drama with a supernatural touch. One of those films that make the viewer work a little to figure things out. Kept me guessing about what was actually going on, and it delivered surprises right up to the end. Gorgeous cinematography and nice spare settings; even though the film was in color, it almost comes across as black-and-white so that the violent splashes of red in the final scenes are all the more shocking. If you're contemplating adoption, you'll probably want to stay away from this one.

This film kept me watching all the way through, even with its unpleasant subject matter and some pretty graphic violence (including, it should be noted, one rape scene), so I'd give it two bags of popcorn, out of five.

The Thomas Crown Affair
USA, 1999
Directed by John McTiernan
Screenplay by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality and language

My Thoughts:
Part of my ongoing attempt to watch some of the movies I missed during the 1990s. This is a remake of director Norman Jewison's 1968 classic starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in the lead roles. The original Thomas Crown was one of the greatest "heist" films of all time, and arguably Steve McQueen's best on-screen work. Playing against type as the urbane, well-educated and fabulously wealthy Crown, McQueen brought the role to life in a performance that's a thrill to watch, even forty years later. Brosnan, although he's a fine actor and an appealing screen presence, never really sizzles here. And where Dunaway was beautiful, brainy, alluring and classy, Russo is abrasive, unkempt and just downright trashy at times. As my husband said, if you haven't seen the original version, this newer film would be a perfectly acceptable entertainment. But if you haven't seen the original, you're missing a great movie experience.

I'm not quite sure why directors want to try to tinker with film classics; it seems a shame to waste all that money and talent. I wasn't as charmed by this one as the hubby was. I thought the best things in it were Faye Dunaway (doing a cameo as Crown's rather unorthodox psychiatrist) and the reuse of the original's signature song "Windmills of Your Mind." So I'd give it a single bag of popcorn, out of a possible five.

Cross-posted on Joy's Blog.

Blue Monday: New Doll

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.

Over the weekend, we paid a visit to the Eastern National Doll Show, held four times a year in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This was the first time in several years that we've attended, although we used to be regulars. The show isn't what it once was, or at least this particular show seemed much diminished from the ones I remember. I'm not sure if that's a function of the general economic crisis or just a slump in the doll collecting fervor of years past. I heard several dealers talking about the fact that it's getting harder to find really good dolls to sell. So maybe it's just that all the fabulous dolls are already in collections. Demi and Whoopi have probably cornered the market on all those Brus and Jumeaus. But then, those would certainly be out of my price range anyway!

I did buy a new doll at the show, even though I'm not really "collecting" anymore – I'm actually trying to downsize the collection I have already. But this Francie doll (Barbie's younger "Mod" cousin) was a very good buy, so I really couldn't pass her up. She needs a cleaning and a trip to the hair salon, but fortunately her outfit (called "Tuckered Out") comes with a set of tiny hair rollers and a brush and comb.

Otherwise she's in really good shape for a forty-year-old chick, don't you think?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #114

Friday again already. This year is really whizzing right by, isn't it? So here goes another Friday Fill-Ins.

1. _____ was my last random act of kindness. Hmmmm. Well, I can't really think of any acts of kindness I've preformed lately, random or otherwise. Maybe giving up any plans to sing in public? Believe me, that was kind. But it happened long ago.

2. Another place to stash books – that's what I'm always looking for.

3. I've been very lucky in matters of the heart.

4. Coffee, tea or Dr. Pepper. You can tell I'm from Texas, can't you?

5. Frequently, one's youthful plans and reality take separate paths. Wow, Grasshopper, does that sound like an ancient proverb or what?

6. Our bathroom scale reminds me that there is a price to pay for devouring all that spaghetti at dinner last night.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ordering Chinese food and watching one of our Netflix DVDs (I think "The Thomas Crown Affair" is up for tonight), tomorrow my plans include possibly attending the big Eastern National Doll Show for the first time in several years and Sunday, I want to try to adjust to the time change (Daylight Savings Time starts – yay!) and still get some reading done!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blue Monday: Breakfast Blues

Well, the snow is making it an actual Blue Monday around here this morning – or blue and white, anyway. The perfect weather for a nice big bowl of hot oatmeal with some fresh berries on top.

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.