Friday Film Footnotes

I’m gearing up for the good movies coming out this holiday season!  Here’s a brief re-cap of movies I’ve seen since the last Friday Footnote –

In the Theatre:

Life of Pi 3D (matinee on New Car Day!) – I was hesitant to get excited about this because I loved the book and couldn’t figure how they would make it work.  But I knew I would see it and it was getting such great reviews that I went at the first available opportunity – and in 3D!  The movie didn’t disappoint.  Wow. It was true to the book, beautiful beyond words to see, and wonderfully told.  Just wow.  The 3D was not overly much and I actually forgot that I was wearing the glasses after a while.  Yay!  They didn’t ruin it!

From Netflix (on DVD):

Hysteria – 1880s London, “repressed women,” an inventor who works on “stimulation” using electricity… an interesting portrait of a time!

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – I’ll admit it: I didn’t really watch this one.  It didn’t capture my attention.  So it was on and I was in the room but I was doing other things.

Take This Waltz – Kind of a sad little story.  Sweet quirky couple; she falls in love with someone else.  Bummer.  At the end I think she wishes she hadn’t.

3o Minutes or Less –  Mindless viewing during preparatory relaxation for working overnight.  Not horrible.  Stupid criminals..

Hung – I’ve watched as many seasons as are available.  Getting a little old and out of control.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – I’ve seen this but it’s worth a re-watch.  Still in the envelope at home.

Damsels in Distress – Also still in the envelope… looking forward to seeing this one!

I haven’t watched anything on Netflix instant in a while.  On Thanksgiving Day we all huddled around the TV/computer at Mom and Dad’s and watched the Thanksgiving episode from Cheers.  That was a lot of fun.  I would like to watch all the Friends Thanksgiving epidsodes in a row… anyone have all the seasons?

Holiday movie traditions: 

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Years I make a point to watch some of my favorite movies with a holiday theme.  Not in any rank order, they include:

  • Love, Actually
  • The Holiday
  • Elf
  • The Family Stone
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

I also have some Christmas musical concerts – Harry Connick, Jr., Trans Siberian Orchestra and Tonic Sol-Fa – that get brought out and played during the season.

Have any that you think I should add to my list?

Movies to look forward to this fall/holiday season – an update:  

A more realistic view of work/social/holiday fun has me paring down my list of movies that I will see in the theatre during this holiday blast.  My prior list included Cloud Atlas, Chasing Mavericks, Hyde Park on Hudson, Playing for Keeps, and The Impossible.  Those movies will probably not be viewed by me in the theatre, although a girl can hope.  I’m very bummed to read that Playing For Keeps is showing up VERY rotten in the Rotten Tomatoes ratings.  Because, Gerard Butler! That may be a guilty pleasure I indulge in despite my better judgment.  I’ll keep you posted.

For sure I will make it my priority to see:

  • Anna Karenina – although it didn’t get a rave review from my “guys,” because it is theatrically staged rather than locationally shot.  Interesting choice.  I will also have to rent some of the other versions afterwards.  Sounds like a good winter project.
  • This is 40 – already making plans to see it in January.  Gonna plan some kind of “theme” to go with it – a 40th birthday party for us all?
  • Les Miserables – also have a date to see this picked out and a group to go see it with!  Excited to see this as well.
  • The Fitzgerald Family Christmas – it’s available On Demand so I’ll watch that – may become a tradition to add to my list above!
  • Silver Linings Playbook – sounds right up my alley!

How about you?  Any movies you can’t wait to see?

(Leaving Gerard Butler’s picture here, because… Gerard Butler.  Ahh.. )

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conf...



What’s Making Me Happy This Week 11/27/12

I’ve been trying to do one of these posts every other week, so here’s the third “in a row”!
Maybe I’ll get some format, but for now it remains random…

Things that were great about Thanksgiving week –

  • Getting a haircut!  Always feels great!

    Cheers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Choir – getting ready for some upcoming gigs!
  • FOUR days in a row without work!
  • Playing “Headbandz” with the kids – so many laughs!
  • Flying kites on Thanksgiving morning – amazing weather!
  • Watching the “Cheers” Thanksgiving episode – hilarious!
  • NOT shopping on Black Friday because I was working – still loving my great colleagues!
  • Working four short shifts (i.e. 8 hours v. 12 hours!) in these two weeks!
  • Getting my tree up effortlessly!



Things that I look forward to this week –

Cover of "Life of Pi"

  • Seeing “Life of Pi” on Thursday with a couple of book-lovin’ fools like me (although neither has read the book)!
  • Thursday off – and probably car shopping!
  • A short day of work on Friday and then a weekend off!
  • The Christmas Radio Show gigs in Winona and our annual concert with the Winona Brass Band on Sunday!
  • Organizing my Christmas list and starting to make purchases!
  • It will be December! Yay!  Because, why not?




Things that I will never tire of:

  • The movie “Once” – I just re-watched it tonight for the first time since I’ve seen the Broadway show twice, and it’s still just soooooooo good.  Such a nice story with great music and the lovely Glen.  Ah.

    Glen Hansard
    Glen Hansard (Photo credit: Irish Philadelphia Photo Essays)

40 Things (29)

Garrison Keillor and cast members of A Prairie...
Keillor and cast in Lanesboro, MN Image via Wikipedia

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, day 29 –

29) A favourite book with animals in

When I was young (5th grade? 6th grade?) I loved “Where the Red Fern Grows,” but I haven’t read it since then, so  it’s hard to say it’s a favorite, because when I think of books with animals in it, my mind goes immediately to “Life of Pi.”  I listened to that book on audio first and simply fell in love with the story.  I loved the cadence of the reader, the description of the animals in the life boat, the floating island, and the horror of the story.  A few years later I read the book for book club (at my insistence) and I enjoyed the story just as much and loved talking about it with everyone (although most didn’t share my love for the book).

#29 on my list of 40 things was: Go to Michael Feldman or Garrison Keillor.  Michael Feldman and Garrison Keillor have weekly entertainment radio shows on public radio.  I have listened to Garrison Keillor since I was introduced to the show when I was about 12 by my aunt and uncle.  I don’t listen religiously, but whenever I am in the car or at home and remember, I will turn on The Prairie Home Companion,which is taped in St. Paul, MN or NYC.  Michael Feldman’s show, “Whad’ya Know?” was introduced to me much later – in the late 90s – and it is less musical and more interview/comedy based with local color.  It is taped in Madison, Wisconsin.

On May 31, 2007 Garrison Keillor came to a small artsy town about 20 miles from where I lived, so I got tickets and went with a bunch of friends.  He recorded the show on a baseball field outside and the weather was perfect, the guests were colorful and fun, and his show was fantastic.  It would be fun to see him at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul sometime and I hear he’s going to retire soon, so I’ll have to get on that.

Off to read!

Audiobook Week 2011!

It’s Audiobook Week, hosted by Devourer of Books ( and I couldn’t let the week go by without writing about my love of audiobooks!  (Although I’m SUPER-DUPER frustrated right now because for some reason WordPress is saving my document as BLANK!  Third time is the charm???  I’m learning and actually typing this into a word document so that I can save it and see if I can eventually publish it!  Yikes and Ugh!  Has this ever happened to anyone???)

As I say over and over again, I am currently listening to the Harry Potter series on audio and enjoying every minute of it (when I’m done I’ll have to figure out exactly how many minutes I spent listening!).  I cheated and didn’t listen to book 1, as I forgot what was book 1 and what was book 2 and so I started with book 2.  I’m currently on book 6 and really looking forward to book 7!  It has been some years, but I read all of the books before and some of them I remember more than others.  Listening has just brought them to a whole new level.  Jim Dale is an incredible narrator, providing voices for all the characters that are recognizable and not at all distracting.  What an incredible series.

I have been a commuter for 18 years, driving at least 30 miles one-way each day.  I have never minded commuting because I choose good stuff to listen to in my car.  I am totally unaware of top-40 music, but I am well-read!  I frequented the small-town library where I lived, and they had an extensive number of audiobooks so I read every book that I wanted to, and even some that I didn’t know I wanted to read.  I have listened to memoirs, thrillers, non-fiction, children and YA literature, and fiction.  When I bought my car in 2005 it only had a CD player, so I had a cassette player installed so that I could continue my habit!  Fortunately, books are now on CDs (and they were in 2005, too… just not as many!) and with the purchase of my iPod I also checked out digital audiobooks from the library system.  I live in a bigger city now and the library audiobook section is overwhelmingly large, so I often reserve a book I want to listen to rather than browse the many shelves.

Some of my favorite audiobooks include:

  • Diane Mott Davidson’s catering mysteries are always light and fun
  • Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who… books are also always light and fun
  • Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series were unexpectedly interesting to me
  • Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries were also fun and interesting – Kinsey Milhone
  • Audrey Niffenegger’s books were good listens, although The Time Traveler’s Wife was difficult to follow with the dates and ages changing at the beginning of each chapter
  • Life of Pi was a beautiful listen
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was fun to listen to because I felt like I was in the boy’s head
  • Same with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (although I missed the visuals that are in the print version, so I re-read that one)
  • Anything written and read by Bill Bryson is a good time – he’s witty with a dry humor
  • Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto was a beautiful book, beautifully read

The thing I love best about audiobooks is that it fulfills my wish to be immersed in a story at all times.  I can listen while cooking dinner, doing the dishes, mowing the lawn and vacuuming, exercising, and driving.  Someone complained to me recently that they dreaded the tedious drive down Broadway, but getting into the car is something I rarely dread.  Thankfully my commute never entails rush hour traffic, but I think with a good audiobook I could even abide stop-and-go traffic.

I remember things differently when I listen to them rather than read the print version.  When I listen to a book I remember fewer details – like names and dates – but I remember more about the visuals drawn by the author’s words and the feelings that are evoked by the story.  So listening to a book I’ve read or reading a book that I’ve listened to is never a bad thing.  Each provides a different experience.

What are your favorite audiobooks?  What’s the longest audiobook you’ve ever listened to?  Do you find you remember things differently by listening?

Well, off to read!