2011 in Movies

The Wehrenberg 100th Anniversary logo (2006).
Image via Wikipedia

The last post of the year, I promise.  Three in a day, really?  🙂

I am a bit of a movie fiend, as most people know.  So it was fun to sit down and look back on my moving viewing in 2011.  I’m a Netflix subscriber, even through their troubles.  I even upped my subscription, going to two DVDs at a time plus streaming!  I cancelled my cable (and don’t even miss it) so my streaming and DVD watching has drastically increased.  I stream a lot of TV shows – watching old episodes of Cheers and thirtysomething or finding British TV shows that I’ve never heard of, or even American shows I’ve never heard of (What About Brian? – heard of it?).

I also took advantage of the “theatre near me” and their Rush Hour Pricing – all shows between 4-6PM are $5 (or $5.50 now) and they have free popcorn on Wednesdays for Wehrenberg card holders (and of course I am!).  So I have gone to the theatre a lot on Wednesdays.

Going to the theatre hasn’t lost any of its appeal.  I remember a long time ago going to the first movie in a theatre in a long time and wondering why I didn’t do it more often!  I believe the movie was “City of Angels,” and it just is a magical experience to see a movie in the theatre.  I try to prioritize my theatre-going and keep up with what’s new and coming soon through podcasts and IMDB gazing.

In 2011 I watched more than 110 movies, probably more than 120.  30 were seen in the movie theatre and the rest from Netflix, streaming, or the library.  I watched 16 TV series either partially or in their entirety (mostly in their entirety).  During my Ferragosto vacation in August I watched 7 movies – 4 in Italian.  I find that without cable I often will turn on a streaming movie or rewatch a movie that I own while I am doing other things.  It feels more purposeful than having a random TV channel on!

Below is the movies I saw in the theatre in 2011.  I know there were some clunkers, but I always enjoy the theatre-going experience, whether it be alone, with kiddos, or with good friends and family, so I have nothing but positive feelings about all of the movies below.

Here’s to more movie magic in 2012!

The King’s Speech
Take Me Home Tonight!
Cedar Rapids
Something Borrowed
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
Company
Cars 2
Bad Teacher
Larry Crowne
Horrible Bosses
The Help
The Guard
Puss in Boots
Harry Potter
Crazy, Stupid Love
Smurfs
Sarah’s Key
Our Idiot Brother
The Lion King 3D
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Footloose
50/50
The Muppets
Hugo
New Year’s Eve
The Descendents
Young Adult
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
My Week with Marilyn

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Well, December was a very slow blogging month, to be sure.  And I’m not really sure what 2012 will bring, on the blogging front or in life!

2011 was an interesting year on many fronts and I’m looking forward to 2012 and the adventures and excitement that it will bring.

I hope that 2012 brings you happiness and love and all the books you can read!

The Last Book Blast from 2011

The Uncoupling

The Uncoupling

I liked this book enough, but it wasn’t great. I’ve read another Meg Wolitzer book and have another on my TBR shelf. She picks interesting topics. This one is about a high school production of a Greek comedy about a sex strike that women start to try to bring about the end of a war and the “spell” that it casts on the community that it is being performed in.
The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak (Goodreads Author)
Finally finished this – we discussed it at book club last Tuesday. What an amazing book. I underestimated its heft, both in the number of pages and in the content. I loved the writing style of Zusak and am hearing great things about his next book so it will be added to my TBR list!

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

by Dominique Browning (Goodreads Author)
I honestly skimmed this book. I read the beginning but didn’t connect at all with the author so then I just skimmed through before returning it to the library. It may be helpful to some, but I didn’t find any great insight in there. 🙂

I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, with Nora Ephron narrating her own writings. Until the end. Yikes. Then I was just depressed, thinking about getting older and the “d” word that eventually happens to family and friends. Not that it’s a surprise, but it just was a depressing chapter to end on.
The Paris Wife
View a preview of this book onlineThe Paris Wife
by Paula McLain (Goodreads Author)
I really liked this book about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife – The Paris Wife.  The author captured Hadley’s voice so brilliantly and you can really feel their love for each other.  I want to know more about this era and the “characters” that inhabited Paris during this time.  I cannot wait to meet the author at the Rochester Public Library next Sunday!
Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

by Leo TolstoyRichard Pevear (Translator)Larissa Volokhonsky(Translator)
I’m thankful for the readalong that was organized by Wallace, as I don’t think I would have tackled or finished this book without the deadlines and the discussion along the way! Everyone added such intelligence and insight to the book and it made it more interesting and enjoyable! 

I knew very little of the book so I encountered many spoilers along the way. It is what it is but I wonder if I would have enjoyed more without the spoilers? 

I look forward to watching some movie versions of this classic!
Well I’ve been a bad blogger in December.  It’s been a good year and a good month of reading, so I’ll simply recap the rest of the books that I haven’t blogged about, using goodreads reviews.
Check out my new page above listing all the books I read in 2011!  It’s fun to see them all in list format.  Fun for me, anyway!   They’re also attached at the end of this post.  Happy 2012!
1 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy (12/30/11)
2 The Paris Wife Paula McLain (12/27/11)
3 I Feel Bad About my Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman** Nora Ephraon (12/13/11)
4 Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness Dominique Browning (12/12/11)
5 The Book Thief* Markus Zusak (12/11/11)
6 The Uncoupling Meg Wolitzer (12/6/11)
7 What a Woman Must Do Faith Sullivan (11/16/11)
8 Bossypants** Tina Fey (11/12/11)
9 Gift from the Sea Anne Morrow Lindbergh (11/10/11)
10 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life Donald Miller (11/10/11)
11 The Wisdom of My Grandmothers Adriana Trigiani (11/2011)
12 Vaclav and Lena: A Novel ** Haley Tanner (11/2011)
13 A Vintage Affair: A Novel Isabel Wolff (10/22/11)
14 Then Came You Jennifer Weiner (10/17/11)
15 My Life in France** Julia Child (10/13/11)
16 Loving Frank * Nancy Horan (10/11/11)
17 Ella Minnow Pea Mark Dunn (10/4/11)
18 Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2) Candace Bushnell (9/29/11)
19 Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People ** Amy Sedaris (9/28/11)
20 Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes Elizabeth Bard (9/22/11)
21 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake ** Aimee Bender (9/20/11)
22 Attachments Rainbow Rowell (9/7/11)
23 The Lover’s Dictionary David Levithan (9/7/11)
24 Rich Again Anna Maxted (9/3/11)
25 The Invention of Hugo Cabret ** Brian Selznick (8/29/11)
26 The Piano Teacher Janice Y.K. Lee (8/28/11)
27 Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family #4) ** Marian Keyes (8/24/11)
28 The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin (8/17/11)
29 Wedding Season Katie Fforde (8/16/11)
30 Wild Designs Katie Fforde (8/14/11)
31 The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko Ogawa (8/7/11)
32 The Art of French Kissing Kristin Harmel (8/4/11)
33 Love Letters Katie Fforde (7/31/11)
34 The Girl Who Fell From the Sky Heidi W. Durrow (7/30/11)
35 House Rules Jodi Picoult (7/27/11)
36 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Lisa See (7/23/11)
37 A Visit from the Good Squad ** Jennifer Egan (7/19/11)
38 The Girl in the Garden Kamala Nair (7/16/11)
39 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) ** J.K. Rowling (7/12/11)
40 Olive Kitteridge * Elizbeth Strout (7/9/11)
41 Second Thyme Around Katie Fforde (7/2011)
42 Highland Fling Katie Fforde (6/28/11)
43 Stately Pursuits Katie Fforde (6/23/11)
44 Minding Frankie Maeve Binchy (6/16/11)
45 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6) ** J.K. Rowling 6/16/2011
46 The Carrie Diaries(#1) Candace Bushnell (6/11/11)
47 Sweet Revenge (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #14) ** Diane Mott Davidson (6/9/11)
48 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford (5/31/11)
49 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoneix (#5) ** J.K. Rowling (5/25/11)
50 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4) ** J.K. Rowling (5/4/11)
51 Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand ** Helen Simonson (5/2/11)
52 The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel Richard Morais (4/19/11)
53 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (#3) ** J.K. Rowling (4/13/11)
54 Saving CeeCee Honeycutt * Beth Hoffman (4/9/11)
55 Heart and Soul Maeve Binchy (4/2/11)
56 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) ** J.K. Rowling (4/2011)
57 Jane Eyre ** Charlotte Bronte (3/24/11)
58 Mockingbird Kathryn Erskine (3/24/11)
59 Juliet, Naked Nick Hornby (3/20/11)
60 Plain Truth * Jodi Picoult (3/9/11)
61 Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story ** Sue Monk Kidd (3/4/11)
62 One Day David Nicholls (2/27/11)
63 Brava, Valentine: A Novel ** Adriana Trigiani (2/22/11)
64 Faking It (Dempsey’s #2) Jennifer Crusie (2/15/11)
65 Every Last One ** Anna Quindlen (2/9/11)
66 The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel Danielle Ganek (2/6/11)
67 The Position Meg Wolitzer (2/2/11)
68 The Magicians ** Lev Grossman (1/29/11)
69 The Virgin of Small Plains Nancy Pickard (1/16/11)
70 Her Fearful Symmetry ** Audrey Niffenegger (1/13/11)
71 Sarah’s Key Tatiana de Rosnay (1/8/11)

December Things

I’ve had this page up a few times in the month of November but have remained quiet!  Partly because my reading has slowed, due to the Thanksgiving holiday and other things.  And partly because I didn’t want to post for the sake of posting!  Finally, I have something to say. 🙂

new tree, glittery baubles

I love firsts – first of the month, first of the year, first time doing anything.  So a few days ago (the first of December) I started a list in my head (I also love lists) of things to get done in December.  Fun things.  I was going to do it like an Advent calendar, one thing assigned to each day, but decided to just make a list and see how many I can knock off.

  1. Bake bake bake!
  2. Try new recipes (Whiskey caramels? Yes please!)
  3. Bake with kiddos
  4. Drive around and look at Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa
  5. Have a hot cocoa and cookie party
  6. Read the Christmas story in the Bible
  7. Hear the Christmas story being read
  8. Read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
  9. Watch “Elf”
  10. Watch “The Holiday”
  11. Watch “Love Actually” (again)
  12.  Buy some mistletoe
  13. Get a New Year’s Eve plan (before New Year’s Eve rolls around)
  14. Plan get-togethers with friends during Christmas break
  15. Sing as many carols as possible – find (or create!) singalongs
  16. Make more lefse
  17. Listen to LOTS of Christmas music!
  18. Play LOTS of Christmas music at the piano
  19. Find a tree topper – an angel or star
  20. …. I’m going to continue to add to this list as I think of more things.

Maybe you can help!  Any holiday traditions that you have that are “must-do”s?

Off to read!

Table Trivia Night

Physical features of Ireland.

I am not Irish.  Not one bit.  But I have always been drawn to Irish things – books, music, movies, and authors.  Last Labor Day weekend I talked my brother and sis-in-law into going to the Irish Fest downtown Rochester and we had a great time!  We ate some Irish stew and drank some Irish whiskey and danced during an Irish caili!

When I saw the Irish Style Table Trivia Night advertised this week, I knew that I wanted to go.  I talked Kristine into going with me and then we decided we would just go and watch for a while and leave after about an hour.  Well, that didn’t fly with the people in charge and we were cajoled into paying our $10 to start a table of four.  They put us with two random guys (Dan and Don) and the fun commenced.

There were about ten tables of four and five rounds of trivia to be played. The first round of ten questions was movie trivia – I thought I’d stand a chance at doing pretty well at this!  But it was very difficult.  He would name a year and three character names and we would have to figure out who the actor was that played that character and what movie those three actors were in together.  For example (and probably remembered wrongly), 1993 movie starring Jason Bourne, Forrest Gump and someone else (who turned out to be Vin Diesel).  We got this one right after I wondered aloud/quietly if there was a war movie with them in it – and it was Saving Private Ryan.  Yay us!  We ended up getting 5 points for this first round – a disappointing start compared to everyone else (except the team that got 0!).

Round two was Arts & Literature and we did better at that round.  I knew immediately that Frank McCourt wrote “Angela’s Ashes,” otherwise we worked together to come up with those answers.  Round three was kind of a “gimme” – it was pictures and we had to identify either the movie or actor or famous person.  We got them all right.

Round four was the Cheese Round.  All questions relating to Ireland.  Very difficult!  But we ended up in a tie so we had to have a very very difficult tie-breaking round to see who would get all the cheeses!  (It is like 14 wheels of cheese and four pounds of Irish butter!)  We barely won that round, answering 4 correctly, when the other team answered 3!  Yay us!

Round Five was the “money” round, so we finally figured out that all the questions or answers had to do with money.  By this time we were getting pretty competitive because we were close to winning it all and when you’re close you want the whole thing, right?  If we had been in the middle we wouldn’t have been as intense.  We did great at this round and ended up winning 1st prize!

First prize was a bunch of things – a basket from Diamond Joe’s Casino, round trip tickets on Rochester Direct (to MSP), a fancy pen, and a weekend in Door County for two.  It was hard to split that up, for sure, so we ended up rolling the dice in the Diamond Joe’s basket and high number won the Door County stay – Kristine rolled a 4 and Dan rolled a 2!  Yay us!

What a fun night.

Oh, and Don is a psychiatrist at the Federal Medical Center and said they are looking for a social worker!  I gave him my card and hope he emails me, because I don’t see the job posted on the Federal jobs site!  But wouldn’t it be the luckiest night ever if a job came out of it???

I’m still on a little trivia high… wow!

Off to read!

What I’ve been Up to!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (left) and Amy Poehler...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been nearly a week since I last posted!  Wow.  I’ve looked at the “new post” page over the week and haven’t had too much to say.  I had an enjoyable four days and three nights babysitting in St. Paul and had some good quality reading time while there.  I finished a few books so I’ll catch you up on what I’ve read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to this on audio (a MUST if you’re going to read the book) and I even took time to look at the PDF and watch the SNL clip included on the last CD.  Tina Fey is a brilliant comedian that is fun to listen to and reminisce with.  I enjoyed her perspective on women in comedy, specifically women on SNL (and Second City).  She not only talks about the changes that she saw during her reign at both institutions, but also tells really funny stories about her life.  I drove around smiling the entire time I listened and even laughed out loud a few times.

A great listen!

I first read Faith Sullivan’s “Cape Ann” book ages ago and when I came across this one in the library I quickly picked it up.  It was a sweet and easy read about three women – Bess (18), her aunt Harriet (40 something) and great-aunt Kate (59).  They live together in a small Minnesotan community and the story takes place in 1952.  The story is told from all three women’s perspectives and conveys a lot of emotion in few pages.

A sweet story.

I’m still plugging through with the Anna Karenina readalong and last week even finished my pages on time and was the first one to post on the blog!  I’m not sure that will happen by morning, but you never know!  The segments we read each week average around 80 pages and are very do-able.  I found last week’s segment very thought-provoking and it has led to several conversations throughout the week.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up the book I had on hold

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

and then grabbed an audiobook The UncouplingThe Uncoupling.

I refused to be lured into the stacks to find more books to add to my ever-growing TBR pile by my bed.  I have several books that I want to read, either my own or on loan from friends, and I have to make some headway in Anna Karenina, read my November O Magazine, and read “The Book Thief” for book club in a few weeks.  I was successful in leaving the library without books, but I did grab three DVDs!  Ah, the library lure.  Good stuff.

Well, off to read!

 

Sense of Adventure & Sense of Direction

Sense of Direction: Change of Pace

Once again, I lapsed on posting daily.  It’s been a fun three weeks posting with these five Senses, but I think I am going to pause and only post when I have grand things to say. 🙂  I will keep the Senses as topics but won’t be as rigid about the days I post or the topic I post on.  But one last time…

Sense of Adventure: Online Dating Sites

Those who know me well, know that I dabble in online dating sites every now and then.  I go in spurts and typically don’t tell people about the whole process, but I’ll inform a few close friends before I ever meet anyone in person (for safety’s sake).  I’m pretty private about it all on the whole, but willing to talk about it if asked. I can’t believe I am posting about it here (for the ten people who read my blog!)!  I think that people who have never had to rely on personal ads of any sort have little understanding of it, and it feels sort of awkward telling them about it.  It is a weird little world, online.  🙂

It's a wild, wild world...

It’s an interesting process, perusing the personals.  I follow gut instincts in whether or not to reach out to someone.  I don’t post pictures (I see too many people I either know or recognize, and as I said, I’m kinda private about it!) and I usually don’t tweak my ad once its written.  As I said above, I go in spurts.  I will not look at all for months at a time and then I’ll hit it hard for a while.  I’m not sure what the pattern is but having more time seems to lead to more perusing, that’s for sure.

The latest Rochester Magazine features Single in the City folks – seven or so young singles talking about themselves and the Rochester dating scene.  I can’t imagine being that public with my singledom,  I never have.  But I also know that I have people who are always thinking about me and looking for that guy who will make my eyes light up. Being single is something that I look upon as an adventure.  My life is filled with great people and adventures, but having a partner to go forward in life with is still something I’m looking for!

Have you ever been on this adventure?

Off to read!

 

Sense of Humor: Things that make me laugh

Comedy

Lots of things make me laugh, and I tend to seek out lightness, goodness, and comedy.  I made a list of all of the TV shows that I want to watch in a week (being cableless makes you purposeful!) and I think only one show is not a comedy – Parenthood – but it is a light and good show usually causing chuckles and tears each week.  Everything else I watch is smile-worthy.  The one show that I can’t watch online that I miss watching is BBCAmerica’s Graham Norton.  He’s a hoot, that’s all I can say!

My current obsession favorite is Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  I think his comedy is brilliant, he is a good interviewer and he has creative sketches.  If I watch his show while I’m exercising, a smile never leaves my face.  If I watch his show while doing almost anything, a smile never leaves my face.  He’s good stuff.

A funny website I found out about this week is drinkify – you type in the music you’re listening to and it gives you beverage recommendations.  I put in two bands and it gave me the same drink (pinot noir), so I’ll have to try a different genre of music and see if that changes!  Pretty funny little site, at any rate.

What makes you laugh?

Off to read!

Sense of Self: I am…

a procrastinator.

and a thinker.

Sometimes it may look like I’m getting little done, but my brain is quietly mulling things over, planning, putting ideas and words together. Problem-solving.

I am not as much of a procrastinator as I used to be, but it still happens occasionally.

It’s part of who I am!

Off to read!

Sense of Connection: Readalongs

WalkingAs you know, I’m participating in the Anna Karenina readalong, hosted by Wallace.  It’s fun to read at the same pace as a group of people and to have discussions along the way.  Especially with the size of this book!

The Walkie Talkie Book Club was founded on readalongs, really.  My friend, Beth, and I used to walk daily (almost) and then we started reading the same book and discussing it on our daily walks.  It just adds something to discuss something happening in the moment, rather than at book club every five weeks.

It’s a nice way to connect – with a good book and with good friends and with good readers.

Off to read!