Monday, November 28, 2011

Movie Monday - 11/28/2011

What a week last week!  Hope everyone had a nice time with family and friends and ate too much and stayed up to go to Black Friday on Thursday night and is now ready for Cyber Monday...

Wonder of wonders...I had asked The Husb several weeks ago to put together the tree on the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Well, he did. (I know...right?) It is a pre-lit tree (if you remember), and he and the oldest son put it together Sunday night the 20th.  I didn't want the lights to start coming on until after Thanksgiving, because I'm funny that way.  Interestingly, we took a ride with the grandkids Saturday night, and there are many houses with full blown Christmas decorations going.  Well, technically, it was after Thanksgiving, but still...

(I cannot figure out how to rotate this picture...I've done it before, but all my tricks aren't working...Sorry.)


Cinema Paradiso (The New Version) is an adorable movie set in Sicily before television.  It is in Italian with English subtitles...Apparently, when the movie first came out in 1988, the studio cut almost an hour from the film.  Years later, it was rereleased in its entirety.  I believe there was some controversy that the older version is the better one, but whatever the case, I saw the newer one, and I thought it was good.  Salvatore (Toto) is a young boy who lives with his mother and his younger sister.  He has adopted the projectionist of the local theater (Alfredo) as his father figure.  Toto's love for the movies leads him to become a successful director.  The movie begins years later when Salvatore learns of Alfredo's death and returns to the village to pay his respects and from there, the story is told in flashbacks.  Philippe Noiret and Jacques Perrin star in this engaging film.  I really liked it.

Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Metwally and Hiroyuki Sanada star in The City of Your Final Destination.  A graduate student flies to Uruguay to obtain permission to write a biography about a deceased author from the man's wife, mistress and brother. The three of them are living on the estate in a seemingly amicable existence until the arrival of the student, at which point tensions rise.  I thought the story was good and the actors did a great job.  I was entertained.

MK out.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Movie Monday - 11/21/2011

Here are two movies I've seen in the last week:

In Summer in Genoa, a recent widower takes his two daughters overseas to Italy for a change of scenery to get over their mother's death.  Colin Firth, Catherine Keener,  I would definitely see this film just for the scenery, because other than the beautiful shots of Italy, the movie was pretty lackluster.  The plot was slow and the acting wasn't anything to write home about...

The Princess of Montpensier, in French with English subtitles, is a historical drama set in France during the 1500s when the Catholics and the Huguenots are trying to tear the country apart.  Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet and Gaspard Ulliel star in this love triangle (really rectangle, of sorts) that is, again, a bit slow, but moslty in the beginning.  The acting was much better in this film and the attention to detail is apparent.  Marie de Mezieres loves her cousin, Henri de Guise, but has been promised to marry Phillippe de Montpensier.  I wonder what it feels like to be wanted by so many...

MK out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shanghai Girls

I read this book in August.  One of my LYSs, The Woolie Ewe, has a book club.  Even though I haven't been able to make any of the get togethers, I still try to read and keep up.  The book was written by Lisa See and is set in China in the 1930s. Pearl and May are sisters who are living the high life courtesy of their father’s thriving business. Tragedy soon strikes.  The girls are sold as brides for the sons of a wealthy Chinese American businessman in exchange for his bailing out their father’s gambling debts. At first, the sisters do everything they can to avoid going to America to live the life that fate has dealt them, but soon, when the Japanese start bombing Shanghai and they must leave to save their lives, they end up going to America after all. There, they find that the life they were promised is altogether different from the life they find.  I enjoyed reading this book.

MK out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 11/15/2011 - Keep moving...there's nothing to see...

Carole's topic this week is Ten Ways to Use Fresh CranberriesSince I do not really do a lot with cranberries, I've got nothing in that regard.  I buy the can of whole berry cranberry sauce for our holiday meals and call it a day.  (Sshhh...I know that's blasphemy in some places.)

I was out of town until last night and I didn't write a Movie Monday post.  There hasn't been a knitting post in a while...mostly because there hasn't been much in the way of productive knitting.  Maybe, I can distract you from my lack of quality blog posts...

Here's some random photos from October:

My flowers that about died from the drought and over 100-degree temperatures this summer are going crazy...that is, the ones that survived are going crazy.

We had a flyover before one of the World Series games in The Ballpark at Arlington.

The Kid celebrated his 21st Birthday.

Happy Anniversary!  I ate crab claws...yum!

And we had cheesecake.

Getting ready for Halloween at Chez Merry Karma is always fun.

We went to Naples (Florida) for a long weekend over Halloween.  The first night, we ate at Chops in the downtown area.  Our waitress (The Mad Hatter) and one of her cohorts posed for a picture...

Thing 1 and Thing 2 were running around like crazy people...I got Thing 1 to stand still long enough for me to snap her picture.

Apparently, Halloween is big in Naples...and I kind of like that. 

MK out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cutting for Stone

I read Cutting for Stone in July.  The book was recommended in one of my physician assistant journals, of all places.  It is the story of a pair of twin brothers who were conceived by the mission hospital’s surgeon and the Indian nun who serves as his first assistant.  Because their father flees and their mother dies in childbirth, the boys are raised by the other two doctors in the clinic.  The novel is set in the Ethiopian village of Addis Adaba.  While growing up, the brothers are quite close, but then an event tears them apart.  Later in life, they meet again.  The novel was written by Abraham Verghese – an Ethiopian born physician, now living in the United States. Interestingly, the surname of the twins in the novel is Stone, but the title is taken from the line in Hippocratic Oath that states: ‘I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest.’  I really liked this book.  It was a good read.

MK out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 11/8/2011 - Aa..aa..CHOO!

I woke up with a monster headache today, and I just happen to have a doctor's appointment - but it's just for a follow-up for another problem.  Will I go?  You betcha...

It's a coincidence though, that Carole's topic today is Ten Things You Do to Care for Yourself When You Have a Cold.

When I wake up feeling puny:
1. I stay in bed thinking if I stayed there a little longer, I’d feel better and be able to go on with my day.
2. The Husb wakes me up right before he heads off to work asking if I am going to stay there all day or can he make the bed.
3. I get up, get cleaned up and decide I really don’t feel good.
4. I wonder, out loud, if we have any chicken noodle soup, Sprite, crackers and orange juice in the house.
5. I wait for The Husb to look.  He doesn’t.
6. I go look to see if we have any chicken noodle soup, Sprite, crackers and orange juice in the house.  We have some combination but not all of the things on the list.
7. The Husb says that he will bring the missing things home after work.
8. I gather my pillow, a blanket, the tissue box and DVDs and head to the den.
9. I forget to bring the phones (my cell and the landline) to the couch until one of them rings.  Then I retrieve them and put both on the coffee table.
10. I settle in for a day of laying around, napping on and off and almost feeling decadent, if it weren’t for that nasty cold...or in today's scenario...that monster headache, after I get home from the doctor's office.

MK out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Movie Monday - 11/7/2011

...and we're back!

In Queen to Play, Sandrine Bonnaire plays Helene, a housekeeper, who takes up the game of chess after watching two hotel guests play a romantic game.  Her mentor is one of her employers, Dr. Kroger (played by Kevin Kline).  He is a widower, but we don’t find out too much more about him, including what he is doing in Corsica.  The movie is in French with English subtitles.  The acting is superb, the scenery is beautiful and the story is good.  I liked it.

Forks Over Knives is a documentary whose premise is that one should eat a vegetarian diet based on whole foods in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle that prevents chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.  It features the works of T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn.  I found much of the information good and interesting, but I am of the school that extremes are not always the right path to take. I think one can benefit from eating more fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes and curbing the intake of animal products, but I like my red meat too much to totally go without.  It was a thought-provoking film and certainly one worth seeing.

Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright is based on a true story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team.  In the 2002 season, general manager Billy Beane (Pitt), with the help of nerdy statistician Peter Brand (Hill), put together a low-cost baseball team that had everything it needed to win the World Series.  It was very entertaining, especially if you like baseball.  I liked it.

In Around a Small Mountain, Jane Birkin plays a woman who returns to the circus that her family owned after years away.  Sergio Castellitto plays Vittorio, a man that she meets when he stops to help her by the side of the road when her vehicle stalls.  Ghosts of the past resurface. The two characters become close.  He helps her put things into perspective.  The film is in French with English subtitles.  It was subtle, as many French movies are, but good.

MK out.