Friday, February 28, 2014


Teorema is a 1968 Pier Paolo Pasolini film. I'll need to see it again to get a better feel for it. I'd tend to agree with the folks who claim it's a condemnation of bourgeois lives, but what do I know. There's lots of off-screen sex. Everybody does really want that visitor. And he seems happy to oblige. And lives are changed.

Beware the subtitles. They are not much help.

Watching the film, you see each member of the household affected by the visitor in the same way, and yet the result is radically different. Each person changes as a result of their encounter; each person ends up entirely re-made -a new person, in no way the same as before- but also in no way akin to the others in the house.

Is the visitor a Christ figure?

It would definitely be worth watching again.

via youtube:

Moria tentatively classifies it as a fantasy. DVD Talk says, "Finding a film one does not understand can be a positive experience, but Teorema doesn't give us much reason to care. I certainly am not inspired to search for more meaning in the picture". Slant Magazine gives it 2 1/2 out of 4 stars, but I'm not sure why they rated it that high when some of their comments are, "any five minutes of any Buñuel film would make short work of Teorema," "It's all very grand and vague and shapeless ... but indulgent and fairly meaningless," and calls it "overrated and idiotic".

Roger Ebert says he doesn't know what to think about it but does venture this: "My guess is that "Teorema" is a watershed of some kind, a film out of its own time, a film nothing has prepared us for, but a film that in years to come will be seen as a turning point like early Godard" and adds this in his closing paragraph:
The sort of moviegoer who thinks all movies must make sense -obvious common sense, that is- should avoid "Teorema." Those who go anyway will be mystified, confused, perhaps indignant. But here is a film that needs additional thought.
Rotten Tomatoes has an 89% critics rating.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Barn Blind

Barn Blind is a 1980 novel by Jane Smiley. The main character is a woman so obsessed with her horses and the dreams surrounding their training that she sees nothing else -not her husband, or her children or their needs, or anything but her horses and her own agenda for achieving her own goals. I guess most of us have blind spots, but this woman is a picture of the harm and lasting pain that such blindness can cause.

from the back of the book:
The verdant pastures of a farm in Illinois have the placid charm of a landscape painting. But the horses that graze there have become the obsession of a woman who sees them as the fulfillment of every wish: to win, to be honored, to be the best. Her ambition is the galvanizing force in Jane Smiley's first novel, a force that will drive a wedge between her and her family, and bring them all to tragedy. Written with the grace and quiet beauty of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Thousand Acres, Barn Blind is a spellbinding story on the classic American themes of work, love, and duty, and the excesses we commit to achieve success.
Kirkus Reviews calls it "A devastating probe ... special -but deep-driving." The Paris Review says, "It’s like a horse book for grown-ups."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ride Clear of Diablo

Ride Clear of Diablo is a 1954 Audie Murphy Western. Also in this is recently deceased Russell Johnson (best known as The Professor in Gilligan's Island). Jack Elam and Denver Pyle are in this, too. This is standard fare: Murphy plays the son who comes back when he hears his father and brother were killed and their cattle stolen. Ah, revenge! The plot that keeps on giving.

via youtube:

The Examiner gives it 4 out of 5 stars, calls it "underrated" and says it "became a definitive Audie Murphy film that swiftly cemented his likable screen persona and jump-started the golden era of his career during the mid to late '50s."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eagle Nest Cam

Baby eagles! What more is there to say? There's a pair of non-releaseable bald eagles here in Tennessee who are raising a sweet pair of babies, and you can watch the live feed here at this site. Enjoy your cuppa while you watch this sweet family. The babies are learning to fly.

Join Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T(ea) Tuesday party. There's all kinds of fun happenin' out there!

I found the photo at the top of the post on several sites, but don't know who to credit it to.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Afraid to Look

Afraid to Look:

by John Paul Keith.

lyrics excerpt:
How many bucks do I have in the bank?
I'm afraid to look.
How much gas do I have in the tank?
I'm afraid to look.
Are my eyes still red, is my face still white?
I'm afraid to look.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fast and Furious 6

I got Fast and Furious 6 as a Christmas present from The Younger Son. I'm a big Vin Diesel fan, though I'll admit it took me a while to learn to appreciate that first film in this series. This one is great fun, and I continue to look forward to any of these that are released with Vin Diesel in the cast.


Empire Online gives it 3 out of 5 stars and calls it "a big screen no-brainer that’s objectively terrible but undeniably pleasurable". EW gives it a B+, calling it "a borderline ridiculous, over-the-top demolition derby that also happens to be a perfectly constructed low-IQ blast". Slant Magazine doesn't like it, giving it 1 star and saying, "To call the film stupid would be misleading, as it's built on technical intellect, from the stunts to the visual effects to the sound team. No, Fast & Furious 6 is far more smug than stupid, luxuriating in its cynicism and insubstantiality." DVD Talk calls it "popcorn film of the highest order". Roger Ebert's site has a mixed review, calling it "not a great action movie" but "solid entertainment". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of only 69%, but audience ratings are much better.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

10 Greatest Books Ever

Open Culture has a list from 2007 of a list compiled from lists submitted by 125 modern writers. The formation of this 2007 list is described this way:
“The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”
The list:
1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov (some of them, but I'm not sure I've read them all)
10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
I did great on this list! 8+ out of 10. I imagine most folks would find it hard to argue that the books on this list aren't important reading.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Hometown in Heart

A Hometown in Heart is a 1949 Korean film. describes it this way: " the film unfolds the everyday lives of three generations: the head monk, a young monk, and a little child monk against the backdrop of a quiet temple in the mountains." The young boy longs for maternal affection. I haven't seen much Korean film, but I'll look for more. This was beautiful!

via youtube:

Wonders in the Dark closes their review by saying, "Superbly photographed, it’s been too long neglected in the archives and should, in time, become recognised as one of the best humanist films from outside of Japan." Yes Asia (where you can order the DVD) says it is "one of the first and most important films made in Korea after its liberation from Japan".

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Concerning the Spiritual in Art leapt up from the shelf and into my hand before I knew what had happened. Actually, I think the name of author Wassily Kandinsky leapt up and caught my eye and my hand couldn't resist making the connection physical. I knew Kandinsky as an artist and hadn't realized he had written anything. You can read it online here.

from the back of the book:
A pioneering work in the movement to free art from its traditional bonds to material reality, this book is one of the most important documents in the history of modern art. Written by the famous nonobjective painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), it explains Kandinsky's own theory of painting and crystalizes the ideas that were influencing many other modern artists of the period. Along with his own ground-breaking paintings, this book had a tremendous impact on the development of modern art.

Kandinsky's ideas are presented in two parts. The first part, called "About General Aesthetic," issues a call for the spiritual revolution in painting that will let artists express their own inner lives in abstract, non-material terms. Just as musicians do not depend upon the material world for their music, so artists should not have to depend upon the material world for their art. In the second part, "About Painting," Kandinsky discusses the psychology of colors, the language of form and color, and the responsibilities of the artist. An introduction by the translator, Michael T. H. Sadler, offers additional explanation of Kandinsky's art and theories, while a new Preface by Richard Stratton discusses Kandinsky's career as a whole and the impact of the book. Making the book even more valuable are nine woodcuts by Kandinsky himself that appear at the chapter headings.

This English translation of Über das Geistige in der Kunst was a significant contribution to the understanding of nonobjectivism in art. It continues to be a stimulating and necessary reading experience for every artist, art student, and art patron concerned with the direction of twentieth-century painting.
There is a 2011 paper here that re-evaluates the work on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in which the author claims, "What I am arguing is that the spiritual crisis of the contemporary artist is greater than Kandinsky's. Kandinsky knew art was in spiritual crisis, whereas today's materialistic artist doesn't see any spiritual crisis. All that matters is materialistic success." The Guardian explains how Kandinsky's book is as relevant now as when it was written.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

True Grit (1969)

True Grit is a 1969 John Wayne Western. It also stars Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper and Strother Martin. This is a classic. It's received a reportedly respectful remake, but I haven't seen that one.


John Wayne and Red Skelton explore "true grit":

Deep Focus closes with this:
When compared to Wayne’s work with Ford, well, there’s no comparison at all. Ford’s Westerns were about the setting and the story, whereas Hathaway has no intent on making his movie about anything else than Wayne’s memorable role. If only he had given the performance in a better movie.
Roger Ebert gives it 4 out of 4 stars and calls it "one of the most delightful, joyous scary movies of all time" and "the Western you should see if you only see one Western every three years". It gets a 90% critics rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hoot Owl!

As The Younger Son was coming home the other night, walking along the sidewalk, he saw a Barred Owl. Then he heard it. Sweet! They are native here, but we've never seen one at our house. It was calling loudly. Also known as the Hoot Owl, they sound like this. Here's one hooting in a tree:

and another:

Their breeding season begins in February, so maybe we'll be seeing more of them. As I sit here with my cuppa (coffee, as usual in the mornings) looking out onto the courtyard, I find myself watching and listening, hoping that night wasn't an oddity. I'd love to have owls!

Please join the T(ea) Party over at the blog of Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

(photo of the owl via Wikipedia)

Monday, February 17, 2014

I've Been to Memphis

I've Been to Memphis:

by Lyle Lovett.

Lyrics excerpt:
The sun comes up
In a coffee cup
Waitress please I've had enough

Lord I can't believe what I see
How could you be alone
When you could sit right here beside me girl
And make yourself at home

I've been to Memphis
And Muscle Shoals
And I love a woman
What I don't know

When the sun goes down
In another town
Bartender please another round

Lord I can't believe what I see
How could you be alone
When you could sit right here beside me girl
And make yourself at home.


Sunday, February 16, 2014


Tabu is a 1931 silent F.W. Murnau film. He died at age 42 from injuries resulting from a car accident a week before this film opened. The film is a fictionalized documentary about life in the South Seas. It won an Oscar for best cinematography. There was much controversy over the fact that bare breasts are visible sometimes, and those parts of the movie have been cut out and replaced over the years to satisfy prudes and film fans in turn.

via youtube:

DVD Talk calls it "one of the last great silent films" and says, "it takes its place among the world's masterpieces". This film is listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 91%.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

22 Essential Books

Open Culture has a list of 22 essential books according to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser
The Life of Jesus, by Ernest Renan
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen
Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson
The Old Wives’ Tale, by Arnold Bennett
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiel Hammett
The Red and the Black, by Stendahl
The Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant, translated by Michael Monahan
An Outline of Abnormal Psychology, edited by Gardner Murphy
The Stories of Anton Chekhov, edited by Robert N. Linscott
The Best American Humorous Short Stories, edited by Alexander Jessup
Victory, by Joseph Conrad
The Revolt of the Angels, by Anatole France
The Plays of Oscar Wilde
Sanctuary, by William Faulkner
Within a Budding Grove, by Marcel Proust
The Guermantes Way, by Marcel Proust
Swann’s Way, by Marcel Proust
South Wind, by Norman Douglas
The Garden Party, by Katherine Mansfield
War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley: Complete Poetical Works

My guess is that this list is too dated to be useful as a resource of must-read books these days. It's interesting to see what a prominent literary figure of that day found "essential". I've read the 4 in bold print.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is a 2010 French fantasy film directed by Luc Besson (Léon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, Taxi, Wasabi, Revolver). This is fun, though there's not actually much to it. But what's there is fun. We gave it to The Younger Son for Christmas, and he and I enjoyed watching it. Luc Besson is a director whose films are worth seeing.

When watching films we are used to saying, "Bringing the dead back to life is never the answer." After watching this movie we'll have to start saying, "Bring the dead back to life is almost never the answer."


Empire Online gives it 4 out of 5 stars and concludes their review with this:
Verdict: A romp magnifique, with enough thrills, giggles and pretty pictures to reward adventure-lovers who wouldn’t normally entertain the idea of taking in a treat with subtitles. Don’t miss the mid-credits postscript.
This review at DVD Talk finds it boring. Another review at DVD Talk has several screen shots and a higher opinion of it, calling it "a colorful, inventive, and satisfying journey with a dinosaur, some mummy's, and some other neat peculiarities" -but they misspelled "mummies".... Time Out gives it 3 out of 5 stars and calls it "all style and very little substance." It has an 83% critics score at Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Matter is one of the Iain M. Banks Culture novels. As with the others I've read, I enjoyed this one. He was a brilliant author and is sorely missed. You can read an excerpt from this book here.

synopsis from the book:
In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one -maybe two- people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

But the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy.

Concealing her new identity -and her particular set of abilities- might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.
SF Signal gives it 4 out of 5 stars and concludes, "Is Matter the best Culture novel by Banks? No, that’s still Use of Weapons. However, Matter can sit comfortably alongside Consider Phlebas for second." The review at SF Site calls it "a highly satisfactory romp". SFF World says, "the book shows Banks’ clear skills as an SF writer and many of the trademarks much beloved by Banks’ fans." Strange Horizons closes with this: "Relax, take nothing too seriously, enjoy the nifty weapons, the skilful writing and the stupendous scenery. Matter is good value, though it may not be the master’s best work." io9 says, "you'll love every minute of it."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Flesh and the Spur

Flesh and the Spur is a 1957 Western with a revenge plot. It stars John Agar (known for his John Wayne westerns and his horror/science fiction roles), Marla English (in her last film) and Mike Connors (best known as Mannix in the TV series). It's a good enough western and worth watching for Agar alone. Seeing Connors here is a bonus. The woman screams entirely too much, but then I have little tolerance for screaming women in Westerns.

via youtube:

Rotten Tomatoes has no reviews and calls it "One of the least-known of the American-International "B" westerns of the 1950s".

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I learned about pansies from my first piano teacher. She grew them from seed and explained biennials to me. There was a beautiful row of pansies in front of her house every winter. They've never been my favorite flowers, but seeing them brings back fond memories. She was a real character! She taught both my sister and me; and while my sister was having her lesson, Mrs. Evans had me draw something with colored pencils. Usually, she had me copy something she had in her house. The work I remember best was a mill wheel and stream. I never had a great deal of talent with drawing, but I could manage to do scenes and objects so they were recognizable. I never got faces "right". I enjoyed it, but now there's always something else I'd rather do than draw: read, view a film, play with my plants...

The braided bamboo plant was a present from The Husband a while back. It's pretty like it is, but I would like it just as well not braided. I don't know where the braiding idea originated. This one is growing in water with a gravel support. It gets colder in our house at night than this plant prefers, so I hope it'll last through the winter. It's so nice to have houseplants! I like that spot of green during the winter-time.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth are hosting their weekly T Party. Stop by and visit.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Funny Face

The Daughter got Funny Face (1957) recently as a birthday present, and we watched it that day. We found the 58-year-old Fred Astaire's love-making to 28-year-old Audrey Hepburn a bit hard to buy. He looks older in this than his years, and she looks younger. This isn't the best effort for either of them. My favorite is Kay Thompson, better known as the author of the Eloise books.


Hepburn dancing:

Kay Thompson and Fred Astaire in "Clap Yo' Hands":

Tired Old Queen at the Movies has this review:

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 84%.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Memphis Snow

Snow!!! Last I heard the official measurement here in Memphis was 1/2". I'm not sure they show up in this photo, but there are little chipmunk foot prints in the snow. Below are the little sparrow prints. Those do show up.

50 Essential Mystery Novels

Flavorwire has a list of 50 Essential Mystery Novels That Everyone Should Read:
Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers
A Coffin for Dimitrios, Eric Ambler
Arthur & George, Julian Barnes
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James
The Complete Auguste Dupin Stories, Edgar Allan Poe
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
The Alienist, Caleb Carr
The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
When We Were Orphans, Kazuo Ishiguro (on my tbr stack)
A Rage in Harlem, Chester Himes
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
Dust and Shadow, Lyndsay Faye
The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John le Carré
Fadeout, Joseph Hansen
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
The Circular Staircase, Mary Roberts Rinehart
True Confessions, John Gregory Dunne
Beast in View, Margaret Millar
The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey
From Russia, With Love, Ian Fleming
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow
The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
Mystic River, Dennis Lehane
Sneaky People, Thomas Berger
In The Woods, Tana French (in my tbr stack)
A Dark-Adapted Eye, Barbara Vine
Anatomy of a Murder, Robert Traver
The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
Eye of the Needle, Ken Follett
I, The Jury, Mickey Spillane
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Blanche on the Lam, Barbara Neely
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, Peter Høeg
The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad
The Third Man, Graham Greene
The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy
The Snowman, Jo Nesbø
Laura, Vera Caspary
LaBrava, Elmore Leonard
The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
The Blue Hammer, Ross MacDonald

I've read 15 out of the 50. I'm not sure how I feel about this list. Some of these were made into movies long ago, and I've seen the movies. I'm not inclined to seek out the books they were based on at this point.

via Memphis Reads

Friday, February 07, 2014

Black Swan (2011)

Black Swan is a creepy 2010 film about a totally insane dancer who wins a dual role as the white & black swans in a production of Swan Lake. I didn't like this one, finding the creepy bits a bit overdone and the actual plot a bit thin. I'd need to see it again, leaving aside the ballet company plot altogether and focusing on the rising insanity. That's the real plot, I think. It's an interesting film, but I was expecting more psychological drama and got more of a horror/melodrama feel from it.


Moria calls it "no more than a 1970s psycho-thriller with artistic pretensions." DVD Talk describes it as "a taut, harrowing thriller that unfolds with palpable tension and nightmarish logic" and "an odd hybrid of backstage melodrama and psychological horror". Slant Magazine gives it 2 out of 4 stars and closes with this: "the overall effect is ostentatiously calculated, ill-fitting, and emotionally aloof, always for our benefit and almost never symptomatic of its protagonist's living nightmare." says it's better than we've heard and calls it "a magnificent blend of pop and art cinema, the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for from both Portman and Aronofsky, and a must-see film that people will argue about all winter." Roger Ebert gave it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and says,
“Black Swan” has a beauty. All of the themes of the music and life, all of the parallels of story and ballet, all of the confusion of reality and dream come together in a grand exhilaration of towering passion. There is really only one place this can take us, and it does. If I were you, I wouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out exactly what happens in practical terms.
It's listed in the latest edition of the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. It has a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 87%.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Dance of the Seagull

The Dance of the Seagull is the 15th book in the Inspector Montalbano series of mysteries by Andrea Camilleri. I've read and enjoyed the others and always look forward to the next one. It's much better to read them in at least some approximation of the order in which they were written, as the characters grow and their relationships change through time.

Here's a description from Wikipedia:
In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is an homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are remarkable. Both writers make great play of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences.

The books have been adapted for TV; but they haven't been shown here, and I don't have the DVDs (yet).

from the back of the book:
Before leaving for vacation with Livia, Montalbano witnesses a seagull doing an odd dance on the beach outside his home, when the bird suddenly drops dead. Stopping in at his office for a quick check before heading off, he notices that Fazio is nowhere to be found and soon learns that he was last seen on the docks, secretly working on a case. Montalbano sets out to find him and discovers that the seagull's dance of death may provide the key to understanding a macabre world of sadism, extortion, and murder.
Eurocrime closes a positive review with this:
this was a real treat. As I always do, I recommend starting from the beginning, THE SHAPE OF WATER, if you've not read any before, partly because this is a great series but also to follow Montalbano's ageing and how he rails against it and to understand the background to his internal arguments with 'Montalbano One' and 'Two' who are introduced a few books in.
Kirkus Reviews concludes: "Montalbano's 15th case features more hilarious bark and some satisfying bite." Crime Segments says, "If you read these novels only for plot, you're missing out on one of the best-developed group of characters ever created by a crime-fiction novelist."

A Common Reader says,
Andrea Camilleri is now 87 years old and he is a wonderful example of what can be achieved if you just carry on working into old age, for The Dance of the Seagull is a cut above any other crime novel I’ve read this year, showing a mind that is as agile as any younger writer.

I've also read these:
1. The Shape of Water
2. The Terra-Cotta Dog
3. The Snack Thief
4. Voice of the Violin
5. Excursion to Tindari
6. The Smell of Night
7. Rounding the Mark
8. The Patience of the Spider
9. The Paper Moon
10. August Heat
11. The Wings of the Sphinx
12. The Track of Sand
13. The Potter's Field
14. The Age of Doubt

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Joshua, the Black Rider

Joshua, the Black Rider is a 1976 Western film starring Fred Williamson as a black Union veteran who becomes a bounty hunter in order to revenge himself on the white men who killed his mother. It has a different take on the revenge western, but it's standard fare at root. The music is a piece of repetitive trash, and I found it irritating to the point of distraction. I managed to make it through the film -it's not bad at all except for the sound track- but that may be the worst film sound track I've ever sat through.

via youtube:

It's fairly thoroughly ignored. Rotten Tomatoes doesn't have either a critics or an audience score for this movie.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Spice Tea

When I was in high school I found a recipe for Spice Tea. It was quite popular back in the day, and recipes were frequently in magazines and newspaper articles during the Christmas holiday season. I didn't like the recipe I tried; it was just too sweet for me. I adjusted the recipe: I doubled the amount of instant tea, left out the sugar entirely, and changed the spices. This is the recipe I came up with:
Spice Tea
2 cups Tang
1/3 cup lemonade mix
1 cup instant tea
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Mother quit drinking it several years ago, saying it was just too sweet. I haven't made any since, but The Daughter decided it was time. I made some one day while she was here. We enjoyed a cup together, and I sent a jar of it home with her.

The cup came from Dollar Tree and is one of my winter-time cups. We don't get much snow around here, but sometimes a snowflake is fun to look at, on this cup if not flurrying in the sky.

The jar is a 1976 Bicentennial jar. I remember all the Bicentennial hoopla. You couldn't buy anything, it seemed, without a bicentennial connection. We had bicentennial Christmas tree decorations in 1975. It was a mad craze! My Mother was so excited about all the celebrations, and then Daddy died not long after the 1976 year began.

My memories are a mixture of happy and sad, as I guess is the case with most people.

Join Bluebeard and Elizabeth's T Party here.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Sunday, February 02, 2014

25 Big Novels That Are Worth Your Time

Flavorwire has a list of 25 Big Novels That Are Worth Your Time:
In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust (4215 pages)
Look at Me, Jennifer Egan (544 pages)
Conversation in the Cathedral, Mario Vargas Llosa (608 pages)
Middlemarch, George Eliot (880 pages)
A Book of Memories, Péter Nádas (720 pages)
J R, William Gaddis (752 pages)
Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes (992 pages)
The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein (926 pages)
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens (736 pages)
The Instructions, Adam Levin (1026 pages)
Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson (720 pages)
Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman (896 pages)
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth (1488 pages)
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (1472 pages)
Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, Marguerite Young (1198 pages)
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace (1104 pages) (on my tbr list)
Les Misérables, Victor Hugo (1488 pages)
A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul (576 pages)
2666, Roberto Bolaño (912 pages)
Ulysses, James Joyce (736 pages) (on my tbr shelf)
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (1296 pages)
Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak (704 pages)
The Ambassadors, Henry James (544 pages)
My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk (688 pages)
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville (704 pages)
I've read the 10 I've put in bold type. Another list of books to read. Just what I needed! /sarcasm But, actually, I probably will check and see if my local bookseller has any of these on the shelf, because, well, how can I not.

via Memphis Reads

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Korean Films

I've seen several Korean movies through the years and thought I'd make a post to keep up with them. I'll list them here as I watch more:


A Hometown in Heart (1949)


The Giant Claw (1957)


Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)


Oldboy (2003)
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
Voice (2005)
Muoi: Legend of a Portrait (2007)