Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Heritage Tavern


Heritage Tavern is located in a strip mall on one of the busiest streets in Memphis. Somehow we hadn't even realized it was there until I found it on a list of recommendations of best hamburgers. It's a fun place to sit:


We had the burger and can't say enough good about it.


It was cooked perfectly, and the waitress couldn't have been nicer. They have a Friday night chicken special that we need to go to. You can see their menu here, and there's plenty there to come back for.

Please join the Tea Tuesday gathering over at Bluebeard and Elizabeth's blog. Share a drink with us.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Exercises for Hand, Wrist, and Forearm Strength

I'm determined not to waste away. Don't laugh, it feels like a real possibility as I sit here getting older. I'm doing what I can to keep myself strong enough to maintain my independence as I age. In this post I'm focusing on exercises I do that strengthen hands, wrists and forearms.

This is a 5-minute video by a couple of physical therapists who have a Youtube channel I subscribe to:



This is a 7-minute video by an orthopedic surgeon:



Doctor Jo has a finger strengthening exercise that uses a rubber band:



I also have hand weights (1, 3, 5, and 8 pd weights), a set of those little squeeze-y balls, and a hand grip I use.


I do exercises aimed at strengthening my hands, wrists, and forearms 3 times a week.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Death of a Nationalist


Death of a Nationalist is the award-winning 2003 debut novel of Rebecca Pawel and first in the 4-book Sergeant Carlos Tejada Investigation series. I enjoyed this one. The characters were well-drawn and the plot was intriguing. The setting -immediate post-Spanish civil war fascist Madrid- is not interesting enough to me for me to seek out the rest of the series, but I'm glad I read this one.

from the back of the book:
Madrid in the wake of the Spanish Civil War is a city of bomb craters, desecrated churches, black markets, and violent tensions between fascist-supported Nationalists and Communist-supported Republicans. In the middle of this tumult, Sergeant Carlos Tejada Alonso y Leon of the Guardia Civil, a young and dedicated recruit, must investigate the murder of his best friend, Francico "Paco" Lopez Perez. Paco was a Nationalist hero of the siege of Toledo, and naturally, a Red is suspected. But in violently unstable postwar Madrid, little is what it seems.
Kirkus Reviews calls it "An intriguing juxtaposition of the political and the personal." Publishers Weekly closes with this: "Forecast: As genre entertainment this will be a hard sell, but it should get some serious literary attention for its 25-year-old author". Reviewing the Evidence has a positive review.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe


The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe (2014) by Alexander McCall Smith is the 15th book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I love these books, even though they quickly became much less about the mystery and much more about the characters' lives and relationships. These really must be read in series order, as the characters develop and their relationships change in meaningful ways almost with the passing of every book.

from the back of the book:
Precious Ramotswe's gentle touch and deep insight have helped her recover many lost things over the years -but never before has she been asked to help a woman find herself. When a kindhearted brother and sister take in a nameless woman with no memory of her own history or how she came to Botswana, it falls to Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi to discover the woman's identity. Meanwhile. motherhood seems to be no obstacle to Mma Makutsi's professional success, as she deftly balances her duties at the agency with her new role as owner of the Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, a restaurant for Gaborone's most fashionable diners. And Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is contemplating big changes at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors which will alter life at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as well.

With sympathy and indefatigable good humor, Mma Ramotswe and her friends see one another through these major changes and discover along the way what true friendship really means.
This series was adapted for TV. Although it sadly only lasted a single season, it's well worth seeking out. It's a wonderful adaptation, and as much as I love the books I also love the TV show. Sometimes you can find edited/shortened versions on Youtube, but we bought the DVDs and never regretted it. Perfectly cast and perfectly presented.

I've read these others from this series:

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue Shoes and Happiness
The Good Husband from Zebra Drive
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
The Double Comfort Safari Club
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Friday, September 23, 2016

Movies for Fall

I've been looking for lists of movies for getting in the autumnal mood, not Hallowe'en, but the fall season. It's nice to have some mood-making for the season that's not all about spooky films.

Town and Country has a list of 11:
Dead Poets Society, 1989
When Harry Met Sally, 1989
Rudy, 1993
Good Will Hunting, 1997
Rushmore, 1998
Election, 1999
Autumn in New York, 2000
You've Got Mail, 1998
Love Story, 1970
St. Elmo's Fire, 1985
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, 1987
I've seen the 2 in bold print. I would be interested in seeing a few of these if somebody stuck them in the DVD player, but I'm not motivated enough to seek them out (except for Rushmore and When Harry Met Sally, which I already have).

The Imdb has a list of 69. These are their top 10:
1. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
2. Autumn Sonata (1978)
3. Autumn (2004)
4. Autumn in New York (2000)
5.The Straight Story (1999)
6. The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978 Mini-Series)
7. City Girl (1930)
8. Earth (1930)
9. Days of Heaven (1978)
10. Tess (1979)
I've seen the 2 in bold print. There are several of these that interest me, and if I were to pick one list to work from it'd be this one.

British Film Institute lists 10:
The Stranger (1946)
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
An Autumn Afternoon (1962)
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Halloween (1978)
An Autumn Tale (1998)
Rushmore (1998)
Far from Heaven (2002)
Helen (2008)

The Huffington Post has a list of 9:
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, 1962
An Autumn Afternoon, 1962
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962
Autumn Sonata, 1978
Days of Heaven, 1978
Halloween, 1978
Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986
Rushmore, 1998
The Others, 2001

Paste Magazine lists 15:
1. Halloween, 1978
2. The Last Waltz, 1978
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
4. When Harry Met Sally, 1989
5. Good Will Hunting, 1997
6. Planes, Trains and Automobiles, 1987
7. Rushmore, 1998
8. You’ve Got Mail, 1998
9. Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986
10. Scream, 1996
11. Rudy, 1993
12. Harold and Maude, 1971
13. Election, 1999
14. Dead Poets Society, 1989
15. Garden State, 2004
I notice that Hannah and Her Sisters appears on some lists, and I've never seen it. I quit watching that director when he began a sexual relationship with a girl who seemed to me to be, for all intents and purposes, his step-daughter.

Harper's Bazaar has a list of 12:
1) Love Story, 1970
2) St. Elmo's Fire, 1985
3) Dead Poets Society, 1989
4) When Harry Met Sally..., 1989
6) Good Will Hunting, 1997
8) You've Got Mail, 1998
9) Stepmom, 1998
10) October Sky, 1999
11) Autumn in New York, 2000
12) Far From Heaven, 2002
Apartment Therapy's list (not including the ones that have not been released yet:
Juno, 2007
Penelope, 2006
Bring It On, 2000
All of the Harry Potter movies, 2001-2011
Rushmore, 1998
Good Will Hunting, 1997
Bend It Like Beckham, 2002
When Harry Met Sally, 1989
Harold & Maude, 1971
Anne of Green Gables, 1985 miniseries
Bride & Prejudice, 2004
Pride & Prejudice, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I remember date and time: September 22, Sunday, 25 after 9

The Day You Went Away:



by M2M

Lyric excerpt:
chorus:

Well hey
So much I need to say
Been lonely since the day
The day you went away
So sad but true
For me there's only you
Been crying since the day
The day you went away

verse 2:

I remember date and time
September twenty second
Sunday twenty five after nine
In the doorway with your case
No longer shouting at each other
There were tears on our faces

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Score


The Score (1964) is the 5th book in the Parker series by Richard Stark (pen name of Donald Westlake). I like these for the clean, spare style and that they are different from other books I read in focusing on a main character who is a sociopathic career thief. Each book covers one of the jobs he takes. The plots don't have any frills and are devoted to the job and the characters directly involved. This book is notable for having the first appearance of Alan Grofield, who goes on to become a regular character and even has some novels of his own.

from the back of the book:
It was an impossible crime: knock off an entire North Dakota town called Copper Canyon -clean out the plant payroll, both banks, and all the stores in one night. Parker called it "science fiction," but with the right men (a score of them), he could ficure it all out to the last detail. It could work. If the men behaved like pros, cool and smart; if they didn't get impatient, start chaing skirts, or decide to take the opportunity to settle secret old scores... they just might pull it off.
You can read an excerpt here at Amazon.

I've also read these:

1. The Hunter (1962)
4. The Mourner (1963)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hog and Hominy


I had heard about this place when it opened. It's located in a house on a street where several restaurants have opened up fairly recently. It's not far from us, but we had just never made it over there.


We finally went to Hog and Hominy because I had read good reviews of their hamburgers, but they refused to sell us hamburgers. Well, that's not quite right. What they did was refuse to make any changes whatsoever to the burger on their menu. Their online lunch menu describes the sandwich: "JOHN T BURGER | pickled lettuce, american cheese, onion, mustard, fries $12" but makes no mention that it can't be changed. The menu in the restaurant doesn't mention that either. I was a bit shocked when I ordered mine without mustard and was told the chef wouldn't make it any way besides how it's listed on the menu because it's an award-winning burger. We had the pizza instead:


But we won't be back. That's just a bit too much precious for a hamburger, and the pizza's good but not so good that I'm willing to put up with the precious.

Please share a drink with us over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's weekly T Tuesday link-up, and we'll let you choose whatever drink you like and have it anyway that suits you.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Complete Persepolis


The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a memoir (told in graphic novel form) of a girl growing up in revolutionary Iran. This made quite the splash when it was released, but I'm just now getting around to reading it. You can read it online here. It was adapted for film in 2007, but I haven't seen that. I'm not particularly impressed by it, either by the girl herself or the writing. I see where it might connect better with an adolescent or young adult.

from the book cover:
Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrap's best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming-of-age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom -Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.
The book was originally published in separate sections, and reviews I find are often just of the one part. The work got good reviews, but there's been some controversy over whether or not parts of it were appropriate for children. The Guardian concludes:"Overall, I would give this book a 10 out of 10. I would recommend this to girls and boys who are 12 and older; this book deals with very mature subject matter, and does depict scenes of violence at times. There is also a fair amount of cursing, especially by some adults."

The are numerous video reviews available online.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

King Kong (2005)

King Kong is the 2005 Peter Jackson remake of the 1933 classic. It's fun to watch, but slow. One might even call it bloated. Every scene is good, but every scene is several minutes too long. I think this movie might've been more enjoyable for me if it had been 2 hours long instead of 3 hours and 8 minutes. I seem to be alone in that view, though, as most reviews are filled with glowing praise.

trailer:



Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 84% but an audience rating of just 50%.