Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

10 Favourite Musicals

What fun! Musicals are a bit of a family tradition. Often times we would watch all together – Aunts, Unlces, cousins, grandparents. So musicals hold a special place in my heart – for all their cheesy too-happy situations and co-ordinated song & dance breakouts.

1. Showboat

Kinda morbid for a little girl but this is my favourite, hands down, since I was a preschooler. Life upon the wicked stage + the water = magic. I wanted to be Katherine Grayson when I grew up. And marry a rakish gambler who would slowly realize I was worth more than his freewheeling life as a broke drunk surrounded by fallen women.

Aim high little girl. Aim high.

2. Music Man

Love, love, love this! There is something so bright and cheerful about this one. Yee gods, it must be the 76 trombones. Hmmm…I grew up adoring librarians, and am one (of a sort) now so…perhaps these musicals were more of an influence than I realized.

also – another charlatan is reformed by the love of a good woman, begrudgingly reformed…theme is emerging…

3. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Ha! Howard Keel is back and he’s looking for a lady – not any will do: Heavenly eyes, but oh that size! He helps his brothers when they steal the women they love and keep them ’til the spring thaw’. Of course by then they love their kidnappers (pretty advanced psychology) and are pleased to all pretend they’ve had a baby out of wedlock so they can be married.

Life lessons are happening all over the place.

4. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Of all the musicals I’ll list, and they were all watched over and over, this one does make me cringe when I see it today. The heavy handed acting — well, shouting really. But some of those songs are mighty catchy — fave: He’s My Friend…

Even as a kid the money in the stove hurt, physically hurt me — my stomach is tightening just thinking about that scene.

5. Gigi

Oh I thought Leslie Caron was so gorgeous — I didn’t see this til I was 10 or so and my goodness did she impress me. Maurice Chevalier – what a voice.

6. My Fair Lady

Oh! Everyone was so shocked when she said ‘bloomin’ arse. I’m not talking about the upper crust Brits – I’m talking about my family!!!

7. Singin’ In the Rain

So funny. I could watch this any, any time. One of my favourite childhood memories is of accompanying my beloved Grandfather to the bank on a rainy, Vancouver afternoon, and singing the title song together. Tomorrow it will be 22 years since he passed away and I still miss him everyday. What a gentleman.

8. Meet Me in St. Louis/Easter Parade

I really don’t recall either of these in their entirety but they, plus the preceding 7, evoke the warmth and security of my grandparents living room, in pj’s surrounded by family, watching and singing and laughing together. Just sharing.

9. The Sound of Music

Oh boy. I distinctly recall being able to stay up 2 hrs!! passed my bedtime to watch this on tv on a Sunday night – and I had school the next day! I have seen this too many times to count. Including live, with an old, old german couple seated behind us who were singing along but, said aloud in a tone of complete shock at Rolf’s moment of confrontation: Und he’z a Nazi!!!

If I only could watch one musical over and over – I think this would have to be it.

10. The King and I

Oh how I wanted to travel the world and fall in love with the gruff but kind gentleman/barbarian. These shows really weren’t the best example setters! But they sure were a great way to pass an evening.

11 & 12 – yes  2 extra. As a teen I became obsessed with the Phantom. In my college years I saw and loved Les Miserables.

Oh no – 13 (the irony of this ill intentioned number pairing with:) Jesus Christ Superstar!

‘who in the hell do you think you are’ – that’s what i thought the lyrics were! This has to be one of the sing-alongable-est musicals going. I didn’t see it til I was in my 30’s. My mother still disapproves.

Oh. 14. I was blown away by Donny Osmonds’ Joseph – great great talent.

k – i’ll really stop now…

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Just in time for Oscar season!

10 Favourite Best Picture Winners


1. Amadeus — how I love this movie!!



2. Out of Africa – makes me cry like a baby. The music alone can do that!

3. Gone With the Wind – totally remember renting a video player in the silver case and spending an entire evening as a family watching this — 2 videos! An intermission people!

4. The Sound of Music — here comes the parade of musicals. Our family was into these in a big way…Eidelweiss broke my heart. 😦

5. My Fair Lady — aayyyohhh guv-nah. I do believe this was the very first film I saw with…gasp:Swearing!

6. Gigi — 2nd only to Show Boat, this was my favourite musical as a child. I haven’t watched it as an adult – I have a feeling it won’t hold up well. I thought Leslie Caron was the most beautiful girl/woman I had ever seen. I loved her bangs.

7. The Godfather Part 2 — love the music, love the young De Niro and Pacino meerroww!

8. Rebecca — so moody and mysterious.

9. The Last Emperor — don’t remember a lot of this movie (well, except for that wetnurse for the full grown child!) but distinctly recall being stunned by the beauty of the filming.

10. LotR — though I think that the 1st movie should have won.

and just one more….

11. Schindler’s List — I’m still not recovered.

And while we’re on the topic…Someone tell me how Life is Beautiful is not a Best Picture??

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Popcorn & PJ’s Night!

This seemed like one of the easier list items to complete!

Originally the idea I had was for adults to do this – then I thought I should do this with my little cousins and then I thought – hey, why not host the evening for them to enjoy with their friends?

Just leave me here!Everyone came in their pj’s – so comfy! We started with some arts and crafts downstairs — making name placards for bedroom doors was the idea but it became much more about the process than the end product – which was perfect.

After the crafty time, the kids went upstairs to watch the Bee Movie and we stayed downstairs, drinking tea, eating Lindor chocolate and talking. It was awesome.

I had made each child these cutesie Popcorn Cups that were a hit.Pj's and Popcorn the 1st    Comfy?

 It was so much fun! I decided to host another night (and there are one or two more in the works) because I have so many friends with children.

vfds 005 The difference between the two groups was hilarious. With the 1st group I ran out of popcorn, apple juice, milk and cookies. There was a solid half hour of sweeping to do after they left and two days later I was finding things under the couch and behind plants. No problem! That’s what life with kids is like.

dogsWith the second group I didn’t even serve the popcorn, goldfish or raisins. I think one child had a drink – of water! When they called down to ask about making a fort upstairs I said: Of course.

When I joined them upstairs for the last half hour I was almost speechless. There was no mess. NO mess whatsoever. They had built the ‘fort’ by laying a blanket over the coffee table. That was it. That was Cousinsthe fort – no couch cushions on the floor, no furniture moved. But they had a blast sitting under the coffee table in their fort.

They made fridge magnets. They watched Cinderella and danced about, pretended to be dogs and babies and then they all got bundled up and went back home.

I was left with a glass of wine and a super clean house by 8 pm. And I was already in my PJ’s!

Truly a rewarding experience completing this item on my list!

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10 Things I’m Looking forward to in 2010

1. Meeting my new cousin (mid-June)
2. Final season of LOST
3. Ravelympics — though I think it might be more of a commitment than I get
4. Being debt-free
5. Completing: The List
6. Baby chicks!
7. Alice in Wonderland
8. Traveling — not sure where yet
9. Blogging and blog reading
10. Can’t Stop the Serenity fundraiser

What about you?

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Whoo! This one was hard. I am such a movie lover – how to narrow it down? Well, here goes:

10 Favorite Movie Moments

1. Amadeus: My all time favourite movie – that I have bought at least 4 times and yet don’t possess a copy of…something is very wrong with that…

In Grade 6 we watched this movie and it literally changed my life. Discovering Mozart’s music was a tremendous gift.

The opening scene of Salieri’s suicide attempt where he is being rushed to hospital through the snow while Mozart’s Symphony No.25 in G Minor is playing interspersed with the ballroom dancing and light music (I don’t know what that music is – do any of you?) gives me goosebumps everytime. In fact just thinking of it is giving me goosebumps!

Most haunting are the closing credits with Tom Hulce’s laugh superimposed over Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor. I’m tearing up writing this! 😦
This movie was pure genius.

2. Out of Africa: Second favourite movie. I loved this so much. I remember watching it on video — back when you had to rent the machines! and crying my eyes out. I wasn’t even a tween yet! Everything is so beautifully filmed and Robert Redford is his best “I love you – but you can’t hold on to me” character. (or is it?) What can I even say about Meryl Streep?

My favourite scene is when they are flying over the water/landscape and that gorgeous music is playing and Karen reaches up her hand and Denis takes it. (sadly I felt that the conclusion of BSG would have been better without that ripoff/homage – but I digress)

3. Hamlet – the 1990 version starring the great Melvin Gibsonsorry, I just can’t ever see him the same way again. Not without hearing “sugartits”. What a buffoon.

I loved his scene in the library with Polonius and the “words” discussion. Despite my love of Kenneth Branagh’s work, this is my favourite version of Hamlet.

The best scene/s to me are Helena Bonham Carter’s once Ophelia is mad. So heartbreaking.

4. LA Confidential – Oh I love this film. I saw it 3 times in the theatre if you can imagine! The 1st time I was having one of the worst days of my life and this film lifted me right out of my skin. Exactly what I needed.
 This still is my favourite scene. I knew it was going to happen but I had no clue why – this is one of the very few movies where I didn’t think while watching. A rarity for me.

The 2nd time I saw it the audience was small and an older lady shouted out “Holy Sh*t!!!” big breath in “Oh my God!!” when this scene happened. Soo funny. I wasn’t the only one fully absorbed!

5. Persuasion – my very favourite Austen movie or book. Mmmm Ciaran Hinds…Ahhh Captain Wentworth.
My favourite scene is when Capt. Wentworth sends Anne away with his sister in the buggy because he has noticed the walk has tired her. There is so much unsaid – the scene is fraught with emotion.

I also love Anne’s boldness in asking him to stay for the rest of the concert, towards the end of the movie. But…she does not look as well for a pic on the blog. 😉

6. Pulp Fiction – Loved the dialogue in this film. Don’t get me wrong – it’s so violent and ugh the language. I couldn’t watch it now I don’t think. But at the time I loved it – -though I did threaten to walk out if Bruce Willis did anything with that chainsaw!

The interactions/dialogue between Jules and Vincent Vega were my favourite thing about the movie – and the lines have stayed with me. Best exchange in the film: ——-
Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No man, I don’t eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain’t Jewish, I just don’t dig on swine, that’s all.
Vincent: Why not?
Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don’t eat filthy animals.
Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I’d never know ’cause I wouldn’t eat the filthy motherf*cker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That’s a filthy animal. I ain’t eat nothin’ that ain’t got sense enough to disregard its own feces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don’t eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn’t go so far as to call a dog filthy but they’re definitely dirty. But, a dog’s got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we’d have to be talkin’ about one charming motherf*ckin’ pig. I mean he’d have to be ten times more charmin’ than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I’m sayin’?

That and: “when I got finished, the towel didn’t look like no goddamn Maxi-Pad!”

7. Remains of the Day – gorgeous film. Again with the whole ‘left unsaid’ component.

The scene that stands out for me is when Mr.Stephens father is serving tea outdoors and there is a drop dangling from his nose. He’s spent his life in service, he’s clearly too old to continue but what is there for him? That scene crystallized the dilemma facing Miss Kenton and Mr Stephens – and all of the servants, it was the end of an era, an entire way of life (hopefully!) perfectly.
The pic is from one of the best parts of another movie that didn’t make this list! Who knows the reference?

8. Room With a View – another all time favourite film.
I think the best scene is when Lucy and her brother and George are playing tennis while their Mother and Aunt look on from tea. Sigh. What a lifestyle.

To think when I watched it I couldn’t stand Cecil and look at the brilliant career he’s had!

9. The Life Aquatic – I love all of Wes Andersen’s films. They slay me.

This I think might have some of the best lines.
Examples: When they burst in and find Jeff Goldblum playing cards with the kidnappers and he says “Steven, are you rescuing me?” and then says to the kidnappers “Fold.” and is shot.
When they arrive at Steve’s home and his wife greets him by saying ” Your cat’s dead.” and he replies, “What? Which one?”
When pirates board their ship and threaten one of the crew members and Zissou’s response is “Don’t point that gun at him, he’s an unpaid intern.”

But my favourite from this film is when Zissou falls down that winding staircase and looks up and says in a defeated tone “did you get that Vikram?” to the documentary film maker that’s been following them throughout. What a riot! Of course, anyone falling down is pretty damned funny if you ask me!

10. The Usual Suspects – best scene: when Verbal Kint walks out of the police station and slowly straightens up and as he does so the police officer/detective realizes that the story he was just told was made up from the things in his own office. Brilliant.
Hey – Kevin Spacey made it on this list twice….too bad he hasn’t made anything great lately. God he was scary in 7! Wait – so did Helena Bonham Carter. Hmmm…how about that.

What are your favourite movie moments?

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I’ve seen this at a few blogs I read and thought I would try it out…let’s see if I keep it up!

this week’s theme: 10 Things You Plan For

1) Waxing — your hair has to be a certain gorilla-length to make it worthwhile

2) Vacation — though even that I leave to the last minute

3) Blog posts — I’m going to try not to over think them – HA! that should be interesting…or not

4) Gifts — I love to buy or make them — it’s the joy of the giving.

5) Projects — sometimes. Most of the time I’m pretty impulsive.

6) Reading —  just a necessary part of each day!

7) Work! I do the scheduling of the children AND staff. This Fall was particularly complex. Let’s not even talk about it.

8 ) Fine viewing. I am cable-less and online-less at my Little House in the Woods. So I either have to finangle some burned discs or pirate my way into a viewing … which reminds me, LOST is only how many weeks away?

9) Eating. Yeah – I should plan that. Since tonight I am likely having an apple and maybe some Kentucky Bluegrass Fudge Pie with whipping cream So you know, fruit AND dairy. As soon as I get home I am running right out the door again. Poor pets. 😦

10) Sleep. I like planning a little nap during the day where I can — usually it happens on weekend afternoons — could be part of the reason there is a shortage of FO’s & project news here… Just sayin’ ;-D

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Whoa! Where does the time go??

I will finish reviewing Lost — this season was incredible? wasn’t it? The posts are in draft form, I’ve just been outrageously busy since like April!

Here is a glimpse of just some of the things occupying my time:

Been Awhile

Left to Right – Top to Bottom

1> I fostered 3 kittens for the local SPCA. Lots of fun, but a LOT of work. Naturally, I wound up keeping one – I’m pretty sure they know that will happen! I kept the fluffy black and white one on the end. Chaplin. One of my cousins adopted the black kitten, Poe (great name hey?). Right now I am kitten-sitting Poe while she is at ComiCon — the two boys are having a blast together.
The girl at the SPCA might need me to foster more kittens – they have 25 in the shelter! Madness!

2> I have 3 chickens! I’m hoping that at least 2 of them are hens — I would like eggs. They started out as the cutest little puffballs. This is Reepicheep in my arms.

3> Spending lots of times at the beach, the lakes, the river (freezing glacier run off!!) and the pool. This summer has been a scorcher so far.

4> I completed my RCM 1st year and received First Class Honours on my Exam! Such a relief — my 1st ever piano exam. I’m really looking forward to my 2nd year this Fall. I find it a great balance between calming and challenging myself. (if that makes any sense!)

5> Been on a few roadtrips – personally and work related. We have been going on near-daily field trips and this summer’s program is turning into a great success. 🙂

6> The chickens have grown! They are hardly recognizable as the little balls they arrived as. Last weekend I built them an enclosure. Myself! With a door that opens and closes — myself! I’m amazed. Their adorable coop was made my a family friend and they love it. Their enclosure is located outside my kitchen window — they seem to get a real kick out of peering in at me when I do the dishes/cook – which is what they are doing in this pic.

7> mmmm….Clafoutis! I adapted Alicia Paulson’s Blackberry version to use some of the abundant and delicious raspberries in my landlady’s garden. I had only made a WW’s version before and it was good. This however? This is heavenly. The tart of the raspberries contrasts nicely with the crystallized raw sugar the custard is poured over.

8> I started a small garden at my new place. This is it shortly after transplanting seedlings — it’s jungly these days. Even the green peppers are growing – due to the scorching summer weather I’ve mentioned earlier. The chickens love exploring the backyard and I’ve discovered that, likely because they arrived on the same day, the kittens watch but don’t interfere when the chickens are out and about (not that I leave them alone!) I hope they are helping to keep the garden tick free. Ugh. 
In addition to the clafoutis, I’ve also been experimenting with SouleMama’s Ruby June. I tried the rhubarb syrup but found it rather tasteless – so next I made a raspberry syrup. It made a divine drink! Very nice with sparkling soda and actually alright added to ice water.

9> Seen some great movies and some not so great movies. The latter was not-so-great because it was viewed with a very sensitive child whose first words to follow the intro: “I know one thing, I’m going to have nightmares tonight.” While sparing us from potetnially gory footage there were still a lot of ominously intoned “he won’t survive for long” & “if they don’t…they will surely die” . Sheesh.

10> Lots of BBQ’s already. This is a great year for it. Loving the quick and easy recipes that lend themselves to summer weather cooking. mmmmm…the company is the best ingredient though. ;-D

11> I finished the 365 Project…not that it’s up to date yet…but the photo’s have all been taken!

12> And what is summer without reading? Getting a surprising amount of reading done depsite all the other activities AND since I have started quilting! (pics coming soon)

What have you been up to?

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A Movie Meme

Movie Meme – as seen at Tiennie’s:
1. One movie that made you laugh: One Upon A Time in Mexico
2. One movie that made you cry: Knocked Up – hey! what movie doesn’t make me cry? it’s the song at the end…everytime.
3. One movie that you loved as a child: Showboat
4. One movie you’ve seen more than once: Gangs of New York
5. One movie you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it: You’ve Got Mail? not really that embarassing… 
6. One movie you hated: Born Yesterday – my mother LOVES that show – shudddderrrr                                                                                                                                7. One movie that scared you: 28 Days Later any disaster film freaks me out!                                                                                                                                                                        8. One movie that bored you: Eyes Wide Shut 
9. One movie that made you happy: Juno                                                                                                                                                       10. One movie that made you miserable: Schindler’s List — miserable is not really the right word – it was more that I was in a state of despair for about 2 weeks — same thing happened with Life is Beautiful.
11. One movie that you weren’t brave enough to see: King Kong & Snowdogs — ummm…I can’t watch dogs or even a giant gorilla die, yeah it’s fake but..I can’t cope.
12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with: Captain Wentworth. sigh.                                                                                                                                          13. The last movie you saw: The Happening
14. The next movie you hope to see: X-Files!!!

Please play along — or leave your answers in the comments!

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So this weekend was quiet. It began with a dreadful bout of stomach flu and a LOT of sleeping/napping. Before the flu hit I went to the garden centre and added this lovely to my backyard — it helps screen out the neighbours (nice as they are, it can be awkward staring at each other while we eat) somewhat.


Daisy Tree

I am sure it has a proper name (the latin was something like Eurocopyborus) but I call it a Daisy Tree. The bees love it.

Quite a lot of progress was made on Ophelia..only to discover that sometime during the end of The Good Shepherd (I hope I was not the only person thoroughly in the dark throughout that movie! I had no clue what was going on or WHY?!) I had reversed the pattern half way through the 1st ball of yarn and nearly all of the 2nd ball. Temporary depression set in and I nearly frogged it and left it for something else – I also considered NOT ripping back but…better judgement prevailed and I ripped, knit 2 rows backward (to make sure I had the 4 row pattern in hand at the right row!) and last night during Eagle vs. Shark I nearly caught up to half of what I had ripped back. Argh!



I apologize for the blurry pic – I really need a new camera. This one will not photograph white at all – it leaves me with pics that look like there has been a visitation.

On Saturday we went to our local Farmer’s Market, where we got the most delicious strawberries ever! Yum. And we arrived there to find a celebration in progress.


I only just found out that it was a Sikh holiday: Essentially Sikh history, with respect to Sikhs as a distinct political body, can be said to have began with the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev in 1606. Sikh distinction was further enhanced by the establishment of the Sikh ‘Pure’ brotherhood or Khalsa (ਖਾਲਸਾ), by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.[33] This gives the Sikhs, as an organized political grouping, a history of around 400 years.


My Mother loved this young girl’s torquise Sari and asked to take a picture. They were a little embarassed, but willing (little did they know they’d be blogged!) We enjoyed the most delicious fresh samosas, dhal, barfi etc. Along with fresh fruits and drinks of all kinds from our generous Sikh community.

The rest of the weekend consisted of this:


interrupted by bouts of reading and feeding 30 more baby fish!

In other yard news: Look what bloomed!



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‘What is all that jibba jabba’ you ask? Why, it’s the National Knit a Sweater in a Month 2nd annual event. I’m a joiner – even though I am in another nation altogether.

I did cheat a little, in that I had cast on for this pullover 2 days before I discovered this challenge. Here is where I am tonight.


Left side of the front is complete up to the shoulder decrease. Let’s just say that, even with  3 extra inches of knitting before I split for the V, there is a vast difference between a deep V on this model and on a chesty number like myself. Vast people. It’s a good thing I was planning on wearing this with a tank top anyways.

I made major progress on this while watching Casino Royale with my Mom the other night. Whoo! I am late to the welcome party for Daniel Craig (I grew up on Roger Moore), but wow. Well cast. Definitely a manly choice for this new Bond. The stockinette really let me keep my eyes on the screen. Aside from the eye candy, I found this movie engrossing. It wasn’t relying on massive displays of fire power or tawdry ladies. The last Bond I had watched before this was parts of GoldenEye and that was pure drivel.

Speaking of movies…look at the result of tonight’s show.



I saw Rendition. Intense. Powerful. Shattering. Riveting. That welt is where I was biting my finger for the last 15-20 minutes because I just couldn’t take it anymore. STRESSFULL! One of the best movies I have seen in some time.*

When I got home my heart rate was still ludicrously high. Maybe I could take a lesson from this guy:


Can’t quite tell what you’re looking at? Here you go.


Seriously. We should be so lucky.

*I was trying to think of the last movie I found this moving and kept thinking: Babel. I read through Rendition’s site — same Producer.

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