Friday, December 22, 2006

Poor Denver

The reason I try not to fly through certain cities in Winter. Pretty much being stuck in an airport for 3 days is one of my ideas of hell!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Like A Prayer (Bigod 20, not Madonna, thank you very much)

I don't know if I had mentioned that I was moving – not out of my fabulous apartment but at work. I wasn't happy about it, so I was ignoring the fact that it was going to happen as long as possible, but it happened last week. I spent last Monday through Wednesday packing up all my crap and the department crap in preparation for the Thursday move to a different building. And this building is not a walkable distance from my house which makes me very cranky. I took Thursday and Friday last week as vacation days because I had two left and, unlike at the University where I could save them, here "it's use 'em, or lose 'em." I don't donate to multinational corporations, so I used 'em. Monday was Jury Duty which went exceedingly well, as we were there only long enough to watch the ten minute video on how important it is to do our duty. Then the judge came in to tell us that the defense attorney's mother had died the night before, so obviously they couldn't hold the trial. So, I've done my civic duty for the next couple of years (I hope). And since I was out of there by 9:00 a.m. I got everything I needed to get done for Christmas and even ran basic errands. I even went to the mall but at 10:00 a.m. on Monday it wasn't even remotely busy. It was perfect. I went to three of my favorite (four) stores: The Body Shop, Yankee Candle and DSW (the 4th is MAC, but I didn't need a new lipstick). DSW totally rocked because I had a $20 off coupon/reward certificate and they had a pair of Chucks I had been wanting but hadn't bought. Chucks for $22 works for me.

Tuesday was my first official day of driving to work and it did not make me happy. Damn frost. The thing I hate most about driving to work is the scraping of frost (or clearing of snow) off the car. Today I was happy because it was raining, so no frost. Yippee!!! Yeah, I'm excited about rain. Of course, when it's December I'm always happy when it's raining because the alternative is unthinkable (white shit falling from the sky makes me even crankier than have to scrape frost off my car windows). The only good thing about driving to the new building is that (at least this week), I'm damn near the first person so I get a primo parking spot. And when I get my act together, I will bring my gym stuff and go straight to the gym (I remembered yesterday, but forgot today) since I'm nearly there now.

Saturday was the annual Cookie Day where I have to go the Older Sister's (OS) house and pretend that I care about making cookies. Okay, there was no pretense. They all know that I hate Cookie Day and that I only show up because if I didn't I'd get talked about. This year there was apparently a plea for money to help buy the baking goods, but nobody said a word to me about it. I think they knew if they did that the chances of me wasting my entire Saturday making cookies and then having to pay for the torture were slim to none, especially since when OS brings the cookies to various family holiday functions, she gets all the credit. "Oh, it was so nice of OS to bring the cookies." Whatever.

Sunday was brunch at Grandma's country club and was yummy as always. It's probably my favorite of the family holiday get togethers, as we all (or most) go back to Grandma's afterwards and hang out. I love my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins' babies, etc.) and it's so much more relaxing than dealing with just my immediate family which has a tendency to be a tad judgemental. Ah, my favorite time of year! NOT!

I am looking forward to having next week off and getting plenty of sleep. I have no great plans for my week off, other than dancing on Tuesday night and a party on Saturday night after Christmas with the Older Brother (OB) and the Terror Children. OOOOHHHHH!!! Dammit, I still have to put the Little Brother's (LB) Christmas present in the mail. He said I don't have to get him anything because I bought the Terror Children's gifts (two of them) and he went in on them with me and it was close to the limit of our gift exchange, but I have a little something for him to open. I will have to do that today after work and keep my fingers crossed that it gets there by Saturday. Probably no chance, eh?

If I don't write again soon, I hope everybody has a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (yeah, I know it started last Friday night), Joyous Kwanzaa, etc. And just in case I never get on line next week (always a possibility), Happy New Year!!!

P.S. Oh, and to continue the computer POS story - yesterday it spent 2 hours and 35 minutes getting uploads of some sort. 2 hours and 35 minutes wasted because I could do NOTHING until it finished. Talk about productive use of my time.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It Doesn't Have To Be

Today started out very badly. I got to work a few minutes late, but that's no big deal since that just means I stay a few minutes longer – not that anybody would know if I didn't tell them because I'm the first person in my department to show up in the morning. The problem came while dealing with my POS computer. For some reason when it booted up, it didn't connect to all my networks which wouldn't have really been an issue first thing in the morning except that I got a phone call from one of the supervisors asking if I could print out something for him on the color printer that he needed for a 7:00 a.m. meeting. Yeah, it was on one of the networks to which my computer hadn't felt the need to connect, so I had to reboot, right? It took close to 15 minutes for the damn thing to shut down. And while it was doing that I got a phone call from another supervisor asking for her calendar since her laptop bit the dust (lost her hard drive) on Friday afternoon. I had to log onto a co-worker's computer to get that and then I tried to print up the presentation that the first supervisor needed, but co-worker didn't have the color printer downloaded into his computer. And then when I finally got my computer back up (a good 30 minutes after I started the entire process) and went to get my morning tea, I found out that the damned color printer was out of the black cartridge so it wasn't printing. It was probably out all last week, but everybody at work is too "busy" (read: lazy) to call the Help(less) Desk to get it taken care of (or walk 20 feet to get paper for the regular copier and throw in 3-hole paper, which we all know makes me crazy – yeah, that happened this morning too), so I had to do that, too. The shittiness of the computer system at work is mind-boggling. I think I'd get more done if I didn't have to wait 30 seconds just for an e-mail to open. And adding an attachment or even just cut-and-pasting into an e-mail takes at least a minute. So frustrating!!!!

I did a lot better at the Craft Show this weekend than I did the previous, although it was a two-dayer. Since the foot traffic on Saturday was sparse, we decided to keep everything set up and just announce the Craft Show at mass to guilt people into supporting the "artisans." We're Catholic, so it worked. Not only did I sell most of the scarves and rosaries (or gave them away), I got orders for four more scarves. I have two vacation days left to use before the end of the year (which is next week), so I'm taking this Thursday & Friday off to get as much knitting done as possible before church next Sunday. My friend Kimberly ordered two scarves (as well as buying one), Wayne ordered a scarf and Ms. Personality-less Announcer Person wants a black and red one. I'll probably get hers done first because I know Wayne and Kimberly will be patient, if I don't get to theirs right away.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Extravaganza was incredible! If they come to your town, do yourself a favor and go to the concert! They probably played an hour and a half (including encores) and although I'm always perfectly happy if they want to play longer, it was a good length for a concert. And how many men Brian Setzer's age do you know who can wear black leather pants and look darn good in them? I had forgotten my binoculars which really bummed me out.

There's a rule in my life that I only go to concerts for which I have to wait outside or walk long distances from the parking lot when it's freezing butt cold outside. It was FRIGID on Friday and I was very much over winter (although I was informed that I have at least three more months of it), but then by Saturday afternoon it was in the high 40s and is supposed to be that way all week long. As we say here, "Welcome to Michigan and our variable weather." Yesterday I drove to Grandma's with my car window partially open because the sun was so warm while on Friday night the car heater couldn't get hot fast enough. Stupid weather.

Saturday was the DSO and Respighi's Pines & Fountains of Rome along with Brahms Symphony #3. Pines of Rome is seriously cool and the DSO performed stellarly, as usual. I told my cousin who is going to Western Michigan University for trombone on Saturday night that I'm dragging him to see Brian Setzer next year when he comes to town and my cousin said, "You wouldn't have to drag me." I was all impressed because the five saxophonists in the BSO also played the flute and the clarinet, but my cousin informed me that that's kind of normal. Besides the five trombonists there were also four trumpeters and four trombonists. Indescribably cool. If you haven't heard their version of The Nutcracker Suite, I highly recommend. Normally, the Nutcracker would have me running for the radio to turn it off (the only music of Tchaikowsky's for which I'll do that), but Brian Setzer definitely changed that for me. They also did a totally kick ass rockin' version of Adeste Fidelis. I decided that I would love to hear him take on Grieg's Peer Gynt. I must write to him and suggest it. It's not a Christmas song, but I don't care as I'm sure he'd make it even more kick-ass than it is.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and aren't panicking yet!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

La Mer (Debussy)

I have absolutely nothing with which to bore you today (or this week for that matter). Oh wait, yes, I do.

Last Friday I did another craft show, this time up in Royal Oak, instead of Birmingham, but I have determined that the problem with church craft shows is that all the people there are from the church (regardless of how many signs you post on street corners), so they're all more inclined to buy from their friends. I sold five or six scarves, though, so that was better than the first one. I sold a second one to my friend's mother (the only scarf I sold at the Birmingham show), one to my friend's Aunt (Aunt Agnes was 80 years old and great company, to say nothing of the help she gave breaking down tables after the show), and then four to various people. I was pretty happy with that showing, considering the first one.

But since I still had about 30 scarves left, I signed up Sunday for my own church's craft show which is this Saturday. I'm dreading it a little bit because last year they did a terrible job of advertising and nobody freaking showed up until around noon and the damn thing starts at 9:00. I think 9:00-4:00 is a bit much. At the very least 10:00-4:00!!! I am NOT getting there early to set up, I can guaran-damn-tee that! And I'm not just selling scarves on Saturday (good thing since I sold at least 8 yesterday at work), I'm also selling rosaries. I've been beading all week and my hands were killing me last night as I made my second one of the evening. I want to make at least another two tonight (if not three) since I won't have time tomorrow as I'm going to see The Brian Setzer Orchestra tomorrow night with Martha. We'll be dining oh so pleasantly beforehand at Union Street. We will be sharing an order of their French Fries which are just so yummy. I know, I know, they're French fries, how can they be bad? But you know how some are just better than others? I discovered them when I was there for Pamela's b-day back in April and even though I was stuffed, I had to order some after tasting Pamela's. Not that we needed three orders of the damned things, but oh so delicious. It's not as veggie friendly as my favorite restaurant, but Martha doesn't like my favorite restaurant. So sad.

Martha and I went to see BSO two years ago for their Christmas show and loved it, but with last year's budget cuts coming in January and neither of certain we'd have a job after that, we decided to behave ourselves. This year though? Hell with budget cuts and job cuts, we're going anyway. I think that's the way most of us are around here now. We've had this crap hanging over us for the past two years at least (Job cuts next month. Oh wait, those weren't enough, so we'll be making more cuts in four months.), so nobody is stressing too outwardly anymore. It's kind of a "What will be, will be." attitude around these parts, mostly. Even though I hate Christmas music except on Dec. 24 & 25th, I can handle Brian Setzer's brand. If you have never seen him and he's coming to your town this Christmas, do yourself a favor and go to the concert. It's a lot of fun.

Saturday, as previously mentioned, I'll be sitting in the school across from my church hoping that people buy my wares and quickly, so I can get the hell out of there. I have symphony tix for that night (I exchanged my normal Friday night tix for Saturday so I could go to the BSO). The DSO will be performing Respighi's Pines of Rome & Fountains of Rome. My aunt, uncle and cousin are going as it's my cousin's favorite piece of music (Pines, I think) and my uncle quite enjoys it as well. If any of you saw Fantasia 2000, the whale piece was done to Pines of Rome, I think, or Fountains. One of them anyway. Ah, I looked it up, it's was Pines.

Mom and I were supposed to go to a concert on Sunday but when I went to make reservations today it was sold out. Oops. I had no clue until Mom told me this past Sunday at church that we needed to do that. A friend of mine is playing and all his previous concerts that I've attended, I've just shown up and that was that. Mom told me on Sunday that we needed reservations and that when she went last year, she had just shown up, but they let her in anyway. Ah well, I think I might need a day at home this weekend anyway, so it'll be fine. I was telling one of my bosses about my rosary making and how it's killing my hands and she made noises like she was interested, so I asked her if she wanted me to bring in any that I don't sell tomorrow. Yes, she's interested in one for herself and one for her mother-in-law, so I mentioned that I have these pink pearls and her ears perked up, so Sunday I'll finally be making the pink pearls I bought two years ago into a rosary (which had been the plan all along, I just hadn't gotten that far). I'd make it tonight and bring it in tomorrow, except that I really need to make more to sell on Saturday, and it's not like my co-worker can't wait as it'll be a Christmas present.

How's everybody's Christmas shopping going? I have completed the nephews, but haven't even started the nieces yet. Mom's Christmas present is almost done. I just need to bind off. The problem here is that it's a picot bind off purlwise and I can't get it to make sense. I'm completely illiterate when it comes to making sense of knitting patterns. The Terror Children niece wants her poncho back fixed. I gave it to her a couple of years ago, but it wasn't fabulous and looked more like a cape than a poncho. She loved it anyway, but the SIL wouldn't let her wear it, for some reason. I’m sure it's in the Bible or something. So, I've been taking her old one apart and trying to figure out what kind of poncho I can make out of Bernat Boa (pink and purple, of course) that's easy and quick enough to get done in time for Christmas. Any ideas, any of you knitters out there? Beth? Grandma's b-day is Sunday and her present is done. And I think for Christmas I'm going to get her a Rosemary Tree/Plant. My friend Dan got one for his parents and they loved it. I think it's a great idea, since then I don't have to knit anything else this Christmas unless I really really really want to (or it's for me). ;-)

And even though most of weren't around for it, don't forget to pray for those poor souls killed at Pearl Harbor oh so many years ago.

Friday, December 01, 2006


It's December 1st and winter has arrived in Detroit. I live far enough south (on purpose) that I'm just getting rain which is interesting since the RealFeel temp this morning when I walked in was 17˚F (announced temp 35˚F), but not that far north it's freezing rain and areas west of Detroit are getting snow. Just two days ago I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Gotta love this state.

The beginning of a new month around my little corner of the Internet means you will now find out what I read and watched in November. I'm going to start with books since I watched a boatload of movies and I'm not in the mood right now to link that much.

All Souls' Day by Bill Morris – 325 pages. I had read Bill Morris' previous book called Motor City and really enjoyed it, so when I saw this on the Borders sale table a year or so ago I grabbed it. I have lots of books so I hadn't gotten around to it (like so many of my books, but I have to say this listing of books read is really helping me get through my books) yet. I found the reviews at the links to be very good. Anyway, I enjoyed this book and if you're the least bit interested in 1963 Southeast Asia and the beginning of the Vietnamese War, I'd definitely recommend this book. And trust me, it's not in the least bit dry or hard to read.

Long Time Gone by J.A. Jance – 417 pages. I had never read a J.A. Jance book before, but my aunt had brought a bunch of books with her to give away and it sounded interesting. It's your basic murder mystery/thriller book. No exploration of 1960s American military policy or anything like that, but an enjoyable book. The protagonist even caught the killer in the end. Oops, damn, sorry, gave away the ending.

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury – 404 pages. I loved this book!!! As soon as I finished it, I took it downstairs to Ursamajor as I knew this was a book she'd find very interesting. If you liked The DaVinci Code, I'd recommend this book. I'd say I even liked it better than it, although I still prefer The Eight by Katherine Neville for this genre. If you have not read The Eight, please do so. I still remember the first time I read that book. It had been in a bag of books lent to me by a friend (DJ Davo, if you read my dancing post from last week) and I picked it up and read the back thinking that I was going to hate this book, but I didn't feel like reading anything else, so I started it. And then I could not put it down. I couldn't wait to get home from work every day so that I could read and then as I got close to the end I found myself putting it down and finding things to do because I did NOT want it to end. I read it again a few years ago just to make sure I still liked it and I still did. I've lent this book out a million times and each time never gotten it back (really pissing me off, as I've lost two hardcovers that way), so I won't lend it anymore. Get it from the library! It's worth it and trust me, so was The Last Templar.

Domiknitrix: Whip Your Knitting Into Shape by Jennifer Stafford – 256 pages. My dear dear friend Sal in SF sent me this book from And I suck so badly at writing e-mails these days that I haven't even written to him yet to thank him for it yet. There are some very cool patterns in this book which I'll probably never attempt because I have no confidence in my knitting. And when I read a book and don't understand half of what is said? Oh, not a good sign. I knew all the words, but they were put together in such a way that made my head hurt. Oh, but the patterns!!! I want The City Coat so badly. I might have to get serious about this knitting thing. That book is definitely going with me to Knitting Club tomorrow night.

And last, but not least:

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – 277 pages. Yup, a classic, I read a classic. I had never had to read it in high school or college, so this had escaped me for years. I typed a paper years ago for BST, but that was as close as I have ever come to it, until this month. If someone could explain to me why this book is considered to be a classic or a must read, please please please please let me know. I didn't get it. I called BST on my walk home on Tuesday to ask him about it. It's his favorite book. He said when he first read it in high school, he could totally relate to Holden Caulfield. Yeah, I didn't relate very well to Holden. It’s not a hard read by any stretch of the imagination. I finished it in a few days basically walking home from work (12 minutes) and to Kroger (30 minutes?) and then on the elliptical at the gym (an hour one day and maybe 20 minutes yesterday), so it's readable. I just didn't understand it. BST said that he thinks it might be a guy book as most women he knows hated it. I didn't hate it, I just didn't get it. If you're read it, let me know your thoughts on it.

My favorite book for the month was The Last Templar. Read it!

I watched way too many movies this month, but here goes:

11/1 - Sleeping With The Enemy (K) – 20% - Yikes, I guess the critics hated this movie. I remember this movie came out around the same time as the Silence of the Lambs and thinking that I found this movie scarier than latter because I think it's more likely you'll come across a controlling asshole than a psycho serial killer in your lifetime. I like this movie, but will confess that it's mostly because I think Kevin Anderson is so cute!!! Patrick Bergen creeps me the hell out in this movie (not that I've necessarily seen him in anything else).

11/3 - Mona Lisa Smile (N) - No rating – I had wanted to see this movie when it was in the theatres but I get to the movies so rarely that it didn't happen. Wow, Kirsten Dunst did a great job in this movie. I wanted to slap the shit out of her. I liked this movie and thought everybody in the ensemble cast did a great job. It's not just a Julia Roberts movie.

11/4 - The Dreamers (N) – no rating – Yeah, I didn't get this movie at all. It took place in Paris in the late 60s, but that was periphery to the weirdness, I thought. I do not recommend this movie.

11/6 - Laura (K) – 100% - My friend Suzy (whom I need to write) gave me this movie on video six years ago when I had my neck surgery and was going to be stuck at home for 3 weeks. I loved it so much that when I found it for $6 (or so, somewhere) on DVD, I picked it up. Great movie!!! Although it's in black & white, this is a movie that translates well to modern audiences – at least I think so, but I love old movies, so am I really the one to say? Watch it!

11/6 - Indiscreet (K) – 100% - Another old movie, but oh so fabulous! How can you go wrong with Ingrid Bergman & Cary Grant. *sigh*

11/7 - Labyrinth (N) – 55% - When this movie came out I got to movies even less often than I do now, so I missed it, but haven't always wanted to see it (what can I say? I love David Bowie and think he's just sexy). I wouldn't call this a must see movie, but I enjoyed it and if I saw it was on TV, I'd stop and watch it again. I don't think I'd buy it, but you never know what I'll do when I find cheap DVDs especially when it's David Bowie looking pretty glam.

11/11 - Umbrellas of Cherbourg (N) – 100% - Oh dear God, I thought I was going to die while watching this movie. I’m sure it was a good movie, but they sang the entire fucking movie. And I don't mean they broke out into the occasional song like a musical, say "The Sound of Music," I mean every single fucking word of this movie was sung. It's not a long movie (less than 90 minutes) but it felt like it went on BLOODY FOREVER. When this film was restored ten years ago, it was shown at the Detroit Film Theatre, but I had something going on that weekend, so I missed it, and ever since then it's been on my list of movies to see. I had no clue all dialogue was sung. When I mentioned it the next day when I got together with BST and Jason for movie watching, Jason confessed that he'd never been able to watch the entire movie because of the singing. I felt much better.

11/12 - Stroszek (N) – 100% - I watched quite a few 100% movies this morning (so far). This movie had been on my Must See List for years as it was the movie that Ian Curtis watched the night he killed himself. I watched this with BST and Jason as they're both Joy Division fans (although not to the extent I am, because I'm crazy). Anyway, we all sat there and thought, "WTF?" when it was over. This movie did double duty because it's in my 1001 Movies You Must Watch Before You Die book and this is what my book had to say about it:

"In 1974, German director Werner Herzog made The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (88%), based on the 19th century case of a man suddenly thrust into the world after years living in a cell. In the lead he cast Bruno S., a street musician and real-life social outsider who - with his strange tics and oddly histrionic speech rhythms - proved an inspired choice for the part. If Kaspar Hauser felt like an indirect portrait of Bruno S., that is even more true of Stroszek, in which he plays a street musician and drinker newly released from prison. Finding German life unmanageably brutal, he teams up with a prostitute (Eva Mattes) and a borderline-crazy father figure (Clemens Scheitz). Together they set out for a new life in America, but end up in a barren, banal nowhere. Inevitably ending up alone and at bay, Bruno finally stages an elaborate gesture of despair. The film's final sequence - involving a ski lift, a pick-up truck, and a colony of performing animals in a roadside attraction - is one of the most savage and unforgiving endings on film.

Herzog's 1970s films are often lyrical, steeped in mystical German romanticism: Stroszek is a stark exception. This is a brutally lucid view of the dream of freedom; America is entirely stripped of mystique, presented as a spiritual wasteland and a trap for the unwary. And the final image of the chicken, dancing maniacally to a cacophony of harmonica and hillbilly whopping, is as unbearably cruel an image of the human condition - obsessive and out of control - as any filmmaker has asked an audience to watch.

What makes the picture truly phenomenal, however, is the way that Bruno S. commands the screen, with indomitable charm and verve Despite the role of perennial holy fool, he embodies one of the distinctively strange intelligences of modern cinema. Because of its naturalistic approach and minor-key subject matter, Stroszek is less celebrated than Herzog's great visionary follies of the 70s - but it is among his best films and is certainly one of the most unpitying dramas ever made about Europe's dreams of America."

The three of us were befuddled by the movie, particularly the ending and by BST's movie book which called the movie a "hysterical comedy" as none of us found it funny and we totally understood how it could induce a person already close to the edge to commit suicide.

11/12 - Major League (K) – 89% - I actually watched most of this on the 12th and then finished watching it on the 13th, as if that matters, but I like to be precise. I love this movie. Absolutely love it. I've never seen any of the sequels, so I can't comment on them, but this movie? Priceless! Even if you don't like baseball, this is a great movie.

11/13 - The Sound of Music (K) – 88% - I think it's kind of sad that Major League got a better rating than The Sound of Music. As much as I love it, I don't think it's better than this. Somebody who hates musicals probably reviewed it. I have seen this movie more times than I can count and I just love it. I bought the DVD ages ago, but never watched it, but decided it was time to break it out. The best part of this movie is knowing that it is my friend Julius' favorite movie. You have to know Julius to understand that, but suffice it to say that he doesn’t *look* like somebody whose favorite movie is The Sound of Music. He looks like Frank Zappa and is about 6'4" with dark hair and huge feet in combat boots. It just cracks me up.

11/14 - Mary Poppins (K) – 100% - I was going through my Musical Period this month. It's Mary Poppins, what can I say? I love it, but I'm going to admit that this is the first time in memory that I can remember watching it and not crying at the ending. Am I becoming hard-hearted??

11/16 - The Whales of August (N) – 71% - I was going to say I don't remember why I had this movie in my queue, but then I remembered it was because of Lillian Gish. I had added this to my queue shortly after my D.W. Griffiths film fest last month. It also starred Bette Davis who played a bitch while Lillian Gish played this sweet little old lady who was Bette's sister and took care of Bette because Bette was blind. It was a pleasant film, but nothing overwhelming. It also starred Vincent Price, but for me the reason to see this film is Lillian Gish. I just wanted to hug her, she was so cute.

11/16 - Scarlet Street (N) – 100% - I was in a film noir mood when I put this on my list and although the critics loved it, I didn't. Of course, it has nothing to do with the quality of the acting or directing or even the story. My issue is that Edward G. Robinson's character is played for a patsy and I just hate watching people do things that you know are going to backfire on them. I find that extremely painful to deal with. It's probably an excellent example of film noir and if you can get past my issues and you like old films, go for it.

11/16 - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (K) – no rating – It's Gene Wilder & Jack Albertson. It's classic. I love Gene Wilder and I love Willy Wonka. Nothing more needs to be said.

11/17 - The Odessa File (TCM) – 71% - I read the book by Frederick Forsythe around the time it came out, so it was a long time ago, but I liked it, so when I saw this was on TCM this month, I watched it. It's always satisfying seeing Nazis being brought to justice, so that was good. Sometimes I think it's hard to judge movies from the 70s these days because technology has changed so much. It looks a little dated, but it was the time period, so that didn't bother me. I can't say how well it followed the book as I read it so long ago, but I thought it was a good movie. If TCM plays it again, catch it.

11/18 - Sabotage (K) (Hitch) – 100% - I think I must have been having trouble getting movies from Netflix or I didn't feel like watching the ones I had because I spent this particular Saturday watching a bunch of my own movies. Anyway, it's Hitchcock. We know I love him. This movie is brilliant, but a little hard to watch at one point if you know what's going to happen. As usual, the lead female is blonde, and there's a love interest. Old Hitch was a romantic, but not in a cloying icky way. It's one of his British films, but oh so worth the time.

11/18 - The Lodger (K) (Hitch) – 89% - This is on the same DVD as Sabotage and is only 85 minutes long, so I figured What the heck? It's one of Hitch's silent era films, but you don't really realise that there's no sound (well, there's the background music, of course, but you know what I mean). It's amazing how sometimes you don't need to hear the dialogue to know what's going on. Love it.

11/18 - Saboteur (K) (Hitch) – 83% - I don't understand the 83% positive rating on this one. This is absolutely one of my favorite B&W Hitchcock movies. Yeah, I know I love them all, but this one is so cool, ending on the Statue of Liberty. And I love the Philip Martin character exhorting the mistaken saboteur to get back into practice on the triangle. It just cracks me up. Or as Holden Caulfield would say "It kills me."

11/18 - Rear Window (K) (Hitch) – 100% - Jimmy Stewart & Grace Kelly star. Grace Kelly is so beautiful while Jimmy Stewart is pretty much Jimmy Stewart. Classic Hitchcock. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it. Raymond Burr plays a great bad guy in this.

11/18 - My Fair Lady (K) – 96% - The elegance and grandeur of this film is brilliant. The costumes are to die for. Audrey Hepburn is just so incredibly gorgeous. Rex Harrison is perfect at Henry Higgins. It's a brilliant cast from top to bottom. The songs make me join in. I love this movie and always have. I do wish I could have been alive so that I could have seen Julie Andrews in the Broadway show so I could have a reference point, but ah well.

11/24 - Freaks (TCM) – 97% - This movie is in my 1001 Movies… book, so when I saw that TCM was going to be showing it late Saturday night (11/18), I set my VCR and went to bed. The description in my book had me a little leery about watching it saying it was so scary, etc. It wasn't, but it was a very interesting movie, especially for the time, I'd bet. The director (Tod Browning, I believe) used actual sideshow "freaks" in the movie and I have to say that it would probably wouldn't have worked at all, if he hadn't. There were parts of the movie that were very disturbing, but nothing that would keep me up at night.

11/25 - The Bridges of Madison County (video sent by some jackass in NE) – 86% - So, I have this jackass friend in Nebraska who has been telling me for the past year (at least) that I need to see this movie. And for the past year and a half I've been digging my heels in and just refusing, mostly because I'm not a fan of Meryl Streep's but also because I had no interest in it. He found Seasons 1 & 2 of Stargate SG-1 in a pawn shop in his town and picked them up for me (oh so much cheaper than anywhere on-line) and after he watched them (to make sure they were in good working order – what a good guy he is), he mailed them to me and included a copy of The Bridges of Madison County. He tried to hide it in a Drug Free Kids video jacket, but I knew what it was. I'm not stupid. I might be stubborn, but I'm not stupid. ;-) I am now confessing that I actually liked The Bridges of Madison County. I didn't hate Meryl Streep in it (as I usually do) and since I like Clint Eastwood that wasn't a problem. So, I concede that I was wrong about this movie and it was worth watching.

11/25 - Field of Dreams (K) – 90% - This was my very first movie on DVD. I got it before I actually had a DVD player. I love this movie and will watch it every time it's on TV. I'm not even a Kevin Costner fan as I think he has slightly more acting ability than Andie McDowell (who has none), but I think he does pretty well in baseball movies. Another movie where I cry at the ending every single friggin' time.

11/25 - To Catch A Thief (K) (Hitch) – 100% - This time Hitch paired Grace Kelly with Cary Grant to great success. This is also the movie that brought about the end of Grace Kelly's movie career as it was during filming this in the South of France that she met Prince Ranier of Monaco. She did one more movie after this one (can't remember right now which one), but this movie was the reason for the demise. Another Hitch movie which I love and another movie with fabulous costumes to say nothing of the location shots. LOVE! See it!

11/25 - The Jungle Book (K – video) – 87% - I had been looking through my 1001 Movies book and saw that this was listed and since it had been quite a while since I had seen it, I decided to watch it. This is actually a relatively recent Disney movie for me – meaning that I saw it for the first time in the 90s and immediately loved it. The vultures crack me the heck up. I adore Sebastian Cabot playing Bagheera and Phil Harris as Baloo. And who doesn't love the song "Bare Necessities?"

11/25 - The Iron Giant (K) – 97% - I decided to stay with the cartoon theme here and since it had been a few months since I had indulged in The Iron Giant (last year apparently since I can't find it listed in my movies watched this year) I threw it in the DVD player. Have you seen this movie? So many people have not and I just love it. Hogarth Hughes is a little boy (9 years old maybe?) who finds this Iron Giant who crashed into Earth near his home in Maine in the 50s. He befriends it, of course, but needs to hide it from the crazy ass government guy who thinks it's evil, etc. Another movie which has me reaching for the tissue at the end.

11/25 - The Man Who Knew Too Much (K) (Hitch) – 90% - This time our blonde is Doris Day and she plays opposite Hitch's second favorite leading man, Jimmy Stewart. This is a remake from one of his B&W British films and he preferred it to the original. This movie brought us the song "Qué será, será." I don't love this one, but I do like it a whole lot.

And last, but not least, this past Sunday Ursamajor came over for a mini Audrey Hepburn filmfest.

11/26 - How To Steal A Million (K) – 100% - Audrey Hepburn is fabulous. Peter O'Toole is gorgeous. Hugh Griffiths is eccentric. It's all good. A great movie to add to anybody's Audrey Hepburn collection. And so much fun to watch.

11/26 - Roman Holiday (K) – No rating, but it should be 100% - Audrey Hepburn's first movie and she's just perfect as the escaped princess playing hooky for the day. Gregory Peck is so handsome and suave, and in the end, perfect. Another one that you must see, if you never have.

I haven't watched any movies this week, because I've been busy watching my SG-1 DVDs. I got into the second season yesterday. It's so nice to see them in order, as opposed all haphazard-like on Sci-Fi. If I hadn't asked for an MP3 player for Christmas, I'd have the next few seasons on my list. *sigh* I hate my obsessions!

Have a great weekend all!