Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Smell Turkey...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! My turkey is in the oven, the sweet potatoes are warming up to room temperature - waiting to be baked, I'm in the middle of making karithopita (Greek nut cake pastry) and the chocolate covered cherries are done.

Chocolate covered cherries mean the holidays have officially begun. They are a tradition started by Thia Maria. That woman was a pastry baker extraordinaire. Since she's been gone, I've not had one homemade chocolate covered cherry, and I've been kind of waiting around like a zombie for someone to make some.


Sometimes, I'm slow - but I did finally figure out that there was no reason for me to keep waiting for someone else to make chocolate covered cherries, or karithopita, or kourambiedes, or even...baklava. I keep thinking that I am still seventeen, when, in fact, I am s.e.v.e.r.a.l years past that number. It's time. I am stepping up!

Finally, after the feeding frenzy, the cleaning up and the tryptophan-induced nap - go see Australia. I'm sure it will garner a Best Picture nomination. It is kind of a blockbuster epic. Nicole Kidman plays a noble-woman who leaves her comfy little life in the Motherland to trek over to Australia to see what her husband is up to on their "little" cattle ranch.
Hugh Jackman plays the drover - he moves the cattle around. The movie is set during WWII. It was good, but be warned - it's two-and-a-half hours long.

MK out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kick Off to the Holiday Season

My friend Jules and I decided that we should spend a half-day at the Spa at Coldwater Creek and start off the holiday season all relaxed and looking our best. After our pamper session, we walked over to Patrizio's for a quick bite. It was a lovely day and a great way to get ready for the onslaught that we know as "The Holidays."

So....movies - seen in the theater:

The Duchess, with Keira Knightley is a very good film, based on a true historical figure, Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire. Ralph Fiennes plays the Duke. Georgaina is a clever young woman, who becomes the fashion and celebrity icon of her time. Much reminiscent of a certain other beautiful British figure (whose last name was Spencer before she married her cold, older man) of our time. It was well acted and beautiful to watch. Good movie.
Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway is about a girl (Kym) who gets out of rehab and comes home in the midst of preparations for her sister’s wedding. The family is on pins and needles, as Kym is an emotional tornado who can unleash her fury at the most inopportune moments. It was very good. Anne Hathaway did a mighty fine acting job.
The title of Zack and Miri Make a Porno should clue one in on the subject matter of this movie. That aside, I really wasn’t expecting it to be so graphic. (Yeah, I know…Pollyannaish of me, for sure.) Seth Roden and Elizabeth Banks star in this predictable story of two friends since high school who are living together to make ends meet. They get very behind in their bills and decide to make a pornographic film to raise money to pay the rent and utilities. If you can get past the raunch and predictability, it was pretty funny. The sad thing about it, it is rated R. It really should be NC-17, IMHO.
If Angelina Jolie doesn’t snag a nomination for her role in The Changeling, all is not right in the world. This movie is set in the late 1920’s and is based on a true story about the disappearance of a single mom’s son. The police bring her a boy whom they have identified to be her son, but in actuality, he is not. The movie was well acted across the board. It was excellent.

Until next time...

MK out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The New Vision

Now that the Birthday Season is way over, there's a period between it and the beginning of the holidays that should be calm and reflective...

The Birthday Season was kind of a bust. First of all, a certain hurricane (who shall remain nameless) happened along, and the first several days - despite getting to watch a couple of pretty good flicks as it was approaching - were spent on the edge of my seat, wondering what had happened to my friends and loved ones. I did get to see movies I wanted to see - sometimes stealing away after an early end to my workday. I spent some time with cherished friends. I ate at a restaurant where I had not been before. Halloween was spent watching a high school football game. Even The Kid was a little rueful that we did not celebrate Halloween this year, and we should all know by now how much I love that holiday. My STARS have not playing so well. My dear Texas Aggies...not playing well would be an understatement. All in all, it wasn't a terrible Birthday Season, but I always feel that I could have done more.

So, now that's all behind us, and I am looking forward to the Holiday Season with a little trepidation. I am trying to finish several knitting projects, a couple of which are going to be gifted. I have a couple of others in mind that I would like to make for gifts, but I really don't want to start another project with so many languishing at the moment. There are plans to make...Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Then, there's Christmas.

The Husb and I would like to purchase a new tree. We set out to do so this weekend, but were unsuccessful. I can see it now...We will put up the same, tired tree - and it will stand gloriously naked - without lights until the middle of December...same old song and dance. Maybe, I need to change my vision, and things might go a little differently. Hmm...

I realize I haven't put up any movie reviews lately. I've watched about 4 movies in theaters in the last couple of weeks or so, but more on those later. Here are some videos that I've watched recently:

Amy Adams and Frances McDormand star in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Miss Pettigrew (McDormand) needs a job, and fast. She takes one as a social secretary for Delysia Lafosse (Adams), an up and coming American singer. Her duties includes tasks such as keeping date number one from knowing about date numbers two or three, and visa-versa times two. It was cute.
Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Sedaris star in Snow Angels, a movie about dysfunctional families. A geeky teenager flirts with his one-time babysitter (Beckinsale), who is trying start a new life away from her estranged husband. It was alright.
Puccini for Beginners is about a lesbian, Allegra, who can’t seem to make a commitment to her long-time lover. She ends up sleeping with this guy, as well as his ex-girlfriend. I couldn’t relate to this movie on any level. Maybe, it deserves another look, but I have too many other movies I’d like to see first.
The Lookout was a bit of a suspenseful film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a high-school hockey star (named Chris Pratt) who suffers a terrible accident, leaving him with short term memory loss. Isla Fisher (who I think resembles Amy Adams) and Jeff Daniels also star in this movie. Chris is the night janitor of the town’s bank, and he is suckered into being the lookout for a robbery the local thugs are planning. It was pretty good.
There are many good actors in Zodiac…Mark Ruffalo (I heart Mark Ruffalo), Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey, Jr., Anthony Edwards and Dermot Mulroney, just to name a few. This movie is based on the true story of the Zodiac murders of the San Fransisco Bay Area that remain unsolved. It was good.
Leatherheads is a cute movie with Rene Zellweger and George Clooney about the beginnings of pro football, set in the 1920s. It was cute.
An American Crime is a difficult movie to watch, and it is based on a true story. Ellen Page (from Juno) plays a teenager who is left behind with her younger sister in the care of a woman while her parents run off with the circus...Literally. The woman, Catherine Keener, turns out to be i.n.s.a.n.e. Child abuse does not even cover it.
If you liked the series Get Smart, you will like the movie. Steve Carell plays the not-so-smart Maxwell Smart, and Ann Hathaway plays Agent 99. It was cute.
God Grew Tired of Us is a documentary about the Lost Boys of Sudan. Almost 18 years ago, when civil war in the Sudan began a murderous rampage of southern Sudanese males, tens of thousands of them left their homes and walked thousands of miles into Kenya. Most of them are living in UN refugee camps now. Many of them were young teens when they left. They took care of the toddlers they took with them. Thousands died on the journey. This film follows four of the ones chosen to be brought to the US and helped to start a better life. It was interesting to watch some of the things they encountered that were so foreign to their culture. Good, good movie.

Off to change my vision...

MK out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You May Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Activities

The elections are over, thankfully; so, we don't have to watch anymore mudslinging campaign ads, or listen to anymore poll statistics for a few years. (Yay.) The downside is that Tina Fey won't be entertaining us with her Sarah Palin impersonations. The other downside is that we will once again be privy to all kinds of things about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears that we didn't want or need to know.

Here's a few pictures to help you acclimate back into the real world and to turn your attention to things that are really knitting.

My STARS socks are finished, and I've already worn them to a game.

My October socks in the Opal Rainforest Tiger colorway. I am working on the heel flap now.

Seriously? Yep, they are finished!

September socks and they haven't budged from this point. I love working with Koigu - my first time. And, they are toe up.

My poor June socks are stalled.

MK out.