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Art Fair Haul

For the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve attended a local arts festival with my grandparents (I don’t have a single photos of us there, hello, lady, document some memories). I do remember to take photos of what I get (so important) after though.

I bought a clutch from a refurbished leather jacket. A handwoven towel (I would probably use as table runner) from the historical part. Various bath and body goodies. Sterling silver necklace and earrings (peridot, my birthstone). Three beautiful mugs. A poppy bowl.

What I’ve Watched Recently

I have fallen off watching Hallmark mostly because Mom stopped, thank goodness. I would come home from work with no motivation and will-power and just agree every time she asked. I hope this lasts.

For my third free streaming trial recently, I tried Netflix again. When I had Amazon Prime and Netflix ages ago (maybe at the same time for a short period, I’m not sure), I always thought Netflix had more choices, but I don’t think they do anymore, maybe because they are focusing on their own films and shows. Anyway, definitely not for me either, most of what I would watch was stuff I’d already seen, and I didn’t try to look up old movies (my list is intimidatingly long). I did luck out on Thor.

New Watches

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Rather like a dirtier Hallmark movie.

13 Going on 30. This was cute although I wish Mark Ruffalo’s (he was so adorkable) character was in it more and there were more romantic scenes.

Part of Doctor Srange. Cumberbatch drew me in, but then I got bored.

Part of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I wasn’t super inspired to finish and Netflix shut down or shut down on me on my last day. I do want to finish, but I doubt it will be a favorite. Ken, I mean Paul while handsome, isn’t Peter O’Toole or Gregory Peck, and I prefer Hepburn’s more innocent characters.

Thor Ragnarok. I hated the preview. While by this time, I wasn’t expecting to hate it, I didn’t think I’d like it. These low expectations probably made way for me really enjoying it. I rewatched it in the same week.

Re-Watches

Leap Year. I love this movie, but I need to stop watching it for awhile. I’ve watched it three times in the last two years.

I re-watched Sherlock and then rage quite before the fourth season (which I’ve never seen). I’m not besotted with Benedict Cumberbatch like I was when I first watched the first two seasons. I don’t think they are near as clever nor as subtle and understated (yes, I thought they were subtle and understated and refined and all that jazz; I was early twenties and so very un-subtle and awkward myself, I think I can be excused). However, they ARE clever (the first two seasons) in such a quotable way.

Before the third season, I had fun re-watching them and looking at them through cooler adult eyes. I can also understand more (the first two seasons clearly weren’t marketed toward U.S. audiences and although I’d seen many period dramas, I had trouble understanding modern British speech as I suppose they weren’t making an effort to be understood). I understanding why I fell so hard for Sherlock/Cumberbatch (in Doctor Strange, he could draw me, the old magic was still there, but it didn’t last; partially probably because his horrible American accent (not his job at it, just the accent he had)

The third season is as bad as a remember although not quite the shock to my senses it was when I first watched it. Because I’m thoroughly over the lure of the series, and I’m not sure I was quite then or I hadn’t re-watched the first two seasons to awake a bit more to the reality of the drama, meaning the contrast between the first two and the third is not as great, unfortunately, as I thought then. The first and last episode of the third series are truly dreadful in the mediocre, melodramatic, abysmal ludicrousness. I remember reading a blogger describe how in the fourth Pirates Jack is a caricature of himself (how much more so in the fifth then?!), well that describes Sherlock in this season. The second episode has a good bit of a mystery, but not enough.

Despicable Me 2. We did a family pool night Saturday and watched a movie/by in the pool. We were going to watch Captain America: Civil War, but because we were impatient we wanted to start a movie before it was truly dark enough to see the screen properly and choose the animated movie to see better. This was a really fun experience. Then my youngest sisters and Dad almost immediately watched Thor: Ragnarok, inside though.

T.V. Shows I’ve Watched Recently

I’ve watched way more television than normal in part because I had a free trial of Hulu. I’ve watched old favorites like Drake and Josh and Sonny with a Chance, plus Fixer Upper and Jeopardy, but I thought I’d feature the most notable items.

Boy Meets World . . . and this is why I don’t usually like television series. Can you get any more repetitive?!!! So, after making myself sick of Parks and Rec (whenever I watched that, two years ago?), I thought that I’d do better, so I planned to selectively binge, picking what I wanted from each season based on the Wikipedia summary. Yeah, that didn’t work for this show. The same types of events happened every season: Cory and Topanga break-up (and these break-ups followed the same one or two formulas), Shawn has drama (again, a few formulaic types), etc. Also, Shawn’s life mimicked Cory’s in a boring, pathetic, generic way. Come on, he’s got a totally different situation and personality, why does he have to do everything Cory does? Eric was my favorite character (actually favorite part of the show, really) later on; he was the only person who I wasn’t totally sick of (and he’s hilarious). I actually disliked Shawn by the end. Anyway, the writing/plot etc. of the show is really repetitive to the point of disbelief plus it’s not as funny (at least at the end) as I was expecting (which always seems to be the case, since I learn about a lot of television shows from highlights).

Full House. I decided to pare down my watching even further for this show by looking at some best episode lists, so basically I just watched few episodes per season (and none for the last, I think), and sometimes I didn’t even watch all of the episode. I quickly realized that this show isn’t all that interesting (and Joey is simply awful) although it has a ton of sweet moments (Uncle Jesse moments). I was essentially watching it for Jesse (John Stamos) who is all around gorgeous (especially after Stephanie cuts his horrible mullet off) and has such and attractive voice and attitude. A super attractive man with his cute ways with kids?!!! I mean, wow.

The Olympics. Well, we thought we had a handle on recording (we are not the most tech-savvy people), but we didn’t really. So I missed a lot of ice-skating (which is the main/only event I care about), and I just kind of wasn’t really feeling it. I did get some of the skating, but really, it isn’t as interesting when almost all of the American skaters are terrible (except for the Shibsibs).

Movies I’ve Watched Recently

Since I must have sickened myself on Hallmark, I haven’t watched many since Christmas (thankfully). The last year or two had an embarrassingly large percentage of these movies. I have too big a TBW list to waste time like that. On to the new-to-me movies of recent months:

Star Wars. On a whim Dad took Flowerchild and I to see this the day after our last family Christmas celebration. I’m still not a Star Wars fan-girl (I’m not sure I really am a fan-girl on much period, I usually get sick of things that I over-watch/over-read and hear too much about) although I left rather infatuated with Kylo Ren for a time (and no, it wasn’t solely on account of the shirtless scene; he was the only whole MAN in the film: complex, confident, intriguing). The Kylo-Rey parts were the only good parts to the movie. The rest was decidedly dull, manufactured, and absurd. Mom asked Dad and I if we liked it and when we said we thought it was “okay,” she asked why we went, and we decided we’d fallen for the Star Wars hype (Dad was a Star Wars nerd in his day, and I think he’s embarrassed about that, lol).

Penelope. This is quite funny. And baby James McAvoy is SO cute. However, part of the end freaks me out (kind of like when I look too closely at the Beauty and Beast story). Comparing perhaps ugly (unusual I think, unless a person makes themselves ugly, most people are plain, rather than ugly) people to animals with this inside/outside beauty plot, um, NO. A PIG okay!!!!!

I am Dragon. This blogger reviewed this movie and mentioned that it was on Amazon Prime (I also had a free Prime trial recently). Because I was having trouble finding much on Prime to watch and because I thought the movie sounded intriguing, I watched it. It started out scarier (I’m a baby) than I anticipated but then didn’t end up being as scary as the beginning led me to expect. The plot and feel is like an old folktale or fairytale which is really fascinating. All the elements are so foreign (it’s a Russian film) and it all works together to evoke that aforementioned feel (except for some jarringly modern music in one part, and I thought that some of the scenery looked tropical, which didn’t fit at all although it was beautiful), to a Westerner anyway. These elements include: the archaic, guttural sounding Russian language; the old, un-Western clothing, fabric, and music; the look of the landscape and colors; the look of the people, especially Arman. The film is hauntingly lovely and mysteriously foreign (also, Russia is just so . . . strange . . . and rather disturbing, even the very few less disturbing periods; I’m reading Brothers Karamazov as of this typing, btw).

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. I keep forgetting that I watched this . . . and I think the film deserves that. Whoever has written and directed these latter two of the PotC series has been severely lacking in the genius of the writer/directors of the first three films. The fourth I thought far too dark and not as interesting as the former three, and Jack is not himself, he isn’t in this one either. I anticipated this one being terribly frightening, but it was ludicrously not so. The bad guy was played and talked about as being terrifying, but he clearly wasn’t. And the British were knocked off like a joke. The girl seemed more of a main character and Will’s son (WILL’S son) nothing, and she was stereotyped, one-dimensional, and obnoxious. Actually, so many characters were trivial, as were the various plot threads, and yet the first three movies had multiple characters and plots lines and all of them were well-developed and none developed at the expense of others. A disappointing film.

This Beautiful Fantastic. I’d read about this on two blogs which got me interested. I found this movie on Hulu during my trial, so I watched it then. Both reviewers mentioned shipping Vernon and Bella (so I was prepared to do this as well especially since I didn’t care for the looks of the actor who played Billy), so I expected a love triangle. The movie didn’t have one (which is good, these are almost never done well); Bella and Vernon (who was almost old enough to be Bella’s father) didn’t flirt, had no chemistry, and no displayed no interest (expect I thought I saw a flicker of what I thought was hurt, possibly only because I was looking for it, on Vernon’s face after he learns of Billy, and this look could be interpreted many ways), and Vernon was fatherly, older brotherly in manner. I didn’t ship them, you can’t when there is nothing to ship. However, I didn’t care for the love story. The way the filmmakers handled it, I felt took away from the movie, from Bella’s journey. And it didn’t fit. The relationship between the main three characters, the setting, Bella, etc. were all complex and intertwined and quirky. The library life didn’t seem as “real” or as solid a part of Bella’s life. Billy didn’t fit in the inner circle, didn’t come into it; that would’ve needed a sequel to feel finished and right. He was not a full participant, so that either should have been developed in another movie or the filmmakers should have lengthened this movie to include it. That was my loquacious explanation of issue #1 with the love story. #2 is the absolutely absurd stock drama of seeing Billy with another woman. Come on, come up with something that that is 1) Fitting to Bella personally (the rest of the story is unique, Bella is different, why such a stock storyline that would be terrible for a movie with a more average character?), 2) More fitting to the timeline and situation (she barely knows him), and 3) More believable and believably forgivable (“I’m a triplet” Are you serious? Don’t be absurd, don’t come up with ludicrous, cheap, tricky twists). This is terrible, cheap plot manipulation. I just felt that this was so out of sync with the rest of the movie. I’m not even sure that romance fit at all with the time frame of the film. I loved the development, plot, resolution, and depth of the rest of the film and characters. I definitely think it is worth watching.

Spider Man: Homecoming. When I first heard that The Amazing Spider Man series was ending, I was disappointed because I enjoyed those movies, and I wasn’t happy with the new actor or his portrayal in Civil War. Eventually, I got over my pique, but I didn’t know what to expect/didn’t have expectations except that it was good because it had been so long since most bloggers mentioned it (and I don’t like reading reviews of movies I intend to watch until after watching them). Musicalmiss, Flowerchild, and I watched it one day in February. I LOVED it. Later that week Flowerchild, Babysister, and I watched it again. I want to own it, and I can’t wait for the next one to come out. Whispers, I think I might like it better than The Amazing Spider ManThis movie is SO well-written and well acted. So much cuteness and hilarity. I can like both this story line and The Amazing Spider Man; actually, I think that the Spider Man/Peter Parker story line is simply my favorite superhero story line. I loved that Peter always did the right thing despite all his temptation to cheaply try to win attention; I hope that never changes. Peter is so precious and adorkable, and his friend is hilarious, and I love the hints of M.J.’s interest (won’t they make an awesome couple?!). I didn’t like Peter with Liz, and I didn’t know the other girl WAS M.J. until the very end, and I couldn’t really tell that she liked him the first viewing, but I definitely saw it the second time around; I like that she isn’t puppy-dog pining for him, and that he isn’t being an insensitive jerk, he just doesn’t really know her plus he is such a baby, plus his little fan-boy crush on Liz. Oh, and that prom pick-up scene, what ACTING!!!! Oh, I could watch that movie again.

Link Love: Culture Clips

Strategies for using social media well.

This short film (I can only recommend this particular one; there is another I don’t recommend)

This and this. These are poetry videos (I can only recommend these I post here; there are others I don’t recommend). I really struggle with poetry, perhaps I should see if mixed media poetry forms will help me. These are the same people who did the above video and Kissing in the Rain (which, if you need a semi-sweet respite, is just the thing). I just love their work.

Perhaps we need to be more interesting (otherwise known as “having a life”).

And because I’m contrary, here and here are humorous takes on essential oils (though to be honest my main issue is . . . I don’t really like smells, like almost NONE).

Ten Lesser Known/Lesser Loved Couples from Movies

I’m writing this as part of Cordy’s A Lovely Blog Party.

1. Nick and Nora from The Thin Man mysteries (murder mysteries made in the 30’s and 40’s centered around a “retired” detective and his heiress wife and their escapades). Oh, my. Another blogger mentioned the films and the two protagonists and their chemistry, and I knew I had to see them . . . and now my sisters and I are hooked. Nick and Nora are so perfect; I love their constant banter that covers their deep caring, how he always tries to protect her in the goofiest ways, how she always tries to tag along on his mysteries, and I love their total trust and confidence in each other. #Relationshipgoals as one sister said.

2. Simon and Nicole in How to Steal a Million (a hysterical 1960’s movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole; I know the film is famous or it used to be, but I haven’t heard much about it from my blog groups). From their first half-joking, half-real kiss to his insistence on irritating her and his pretended aloofness to his clear jealousy of the art connoisseur oaf to her “aha” moment which leads to their broom closet romantic moment, I love every bit of this romantic, absurd, adventure. Their chemistry and comedic timing are perfect.

3. Guard and Mattie in Friendly Persuasion (a 50’s movie about Quaker life in Civil War era Indiana starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire as the parents). These two are but a part of the entire adorable story of this movie, but such a cute, funny part. Mattie is very young and absurdly sentimental and childish, and Guard is older, suave, and manly and yet he loves her so genuinely.

4. Ingrid and Zeke from That Darn Cat (a 1960’s mystery/comedy; it is a scream). So they are barely a couple, but they start off so hilariously badly while he is so much more amazing than her joke of a first boyfriend that it is amazing to see the small steps to the start of what you know will be a romance.

5. Derek and Odette from Swan Princess. I only occasionally hear or read people mentioning this movie, but it is one of my family’s favorite animated movies. Ok, grown-up Derek and Odette are a bit boring, but the build-up to their relationship is wonderful, and they have a such a beautiful love song. And the movies is worth watching for all the parts, although the comedy is the best.

6. Nancy and Nick in Nancy Drew. This movie is so cute, and Nancy and Nick’s relationship made up of their teenage shyness and insecurity with Corky’s absurdity thrown in is hilarious and adorable.

7. Ray and Livvy from The Magic of Ordinary Days (a Hallmark Hall of Fame WWII era historical fiction). This is so sweet, he is especially sweet and selfless; the story is about a temporary arranged marriage to save the woman’s character, but they end up falling in love (he falls in love first which adds some bittersweet moments). I haven’t seen this in too long.

8. Algie and Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest (and In Earnest which is an awesome, under–appreciated web series). I know the play is pretty famous, but I don’t think these two get enough attention. I love their bantering chemistry.

9. Mira and Arman from I am Dragon. I first heard about this film from this blog review. It is so unique, and the story is very much a fairytale that mixes a bit of the old traditional dark with a bit of the modern happiness.

10. Belle and Mr. Davinier from Belle (18th century historical film loosely based on the story behind a real painting of a biracial girl and her cousin). I love their relationship: the rocky beginning, the secrecy, the friendship, but oh the best part is when he is shouting, with tears in his eyes, “I love her!” to her adoptive father.

Many of these aren’t from proper romances. I do love romances, but I also love when stories that aren’t categorized as romances have romance in them.

Christmas and Winter Questionnaire Day One: Beginning Christmas

I borrowed questions and ideas from: here, here, and here. I divided my list into 6 days.

~Do you send Christmas cards?
Sometimes, the pretty ones that come in sets, not the ones with family photos. I like getting those from friends who we’ve not seen in awhile, but I like sending the elegant artistic ones.
~When does Christmas start?
Well, my family starts with Hallmark right after Halloween. This year I didn’t start watching until after Thanksgiving. I’d prefer it to start in December and then end on the 12th day of Christmas January 6th. I think we have plenty of autumn holidays and few of winter, so there is no need to rush into and then rush out of Christmas.

~Do you have an advent calendar?
I outgrew our family one. The three youngest still attached the stuffed decorations on the fabric tree. I kind of did a Christmas activity countdown this year, but its a mix of that and a fun list, so I haven’t followed it exactly. I’d like to find or make one I can make into a tradition.
~What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
All of them.
~What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
I’m not sure I’d really ever prefer to travel on a holiday, but perhaps after or before when people still have the decorations up. Some traditional village or city with lovely decorations maybe?
~What is your most memorable holiday moment?
Right now, I cannot really think of a moment. We had two memorable Christmases recently, once when my brother got engaged, three years ago, and then when he got married a few days before Christmas two years ago.
~What makes the holidays special for you?
Family, traditions, the sensory experience, Hallmark, gifts, I love the entire experience!!!!!
~How did you grow up thinking about Santa?
My dad is the Grinch, Scrooge, and the Christmas Corrector, and I don’t think Mom loved the Santa myth. We weren’t taught to believe in Santa, we just enjoyed the various Christmas stories. I never cared overmuch for Santa himself, I just loved all the stories about Christmas.
~Can you name all his reindeer?
Nope. Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blizen, Rudolph. Are there 13 with Rudolph or 11? I should look that up.
~Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

There is nothing wrong with “Happy Holidays,” except it is incredibly generic and boring. “Merry Christmas” is fun to say plus far more specific. And “merry” is quite expressive of Christmas specifically.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Questions for day one if you want to participate:
Beginning Christmas
~Do you send Christmas cards?
~When does Christmas start?
~Do you have an advent calendar?
~What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
~What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
~What is your most memorable holiday moment?
~What makes the holidays special for you?
~How did you grow up thinking about Santa?
~Can you name all his reindeer?

Link Love: Quotes

People, Pinterest is not the place to be deep, to give a history/social message. I go on there to pin pretty things. To laugh. There is a time and a place for everything, and I think Pinterest as a soap box is obnoxious and sloppy.

I’ve heard and read many misattributed (or not attributed) quotes, and so one day I decided to check a quote on my Pinterest quote board, yeah, the person didn’t say it or in those exact words. I feel like a fool and promptly deleted my board. If I’m not going to research fact-based Pinterest posts (quotes, historical Pins, etc.), then I shouldn’t pin them. I’ve since deleted my liked Goodreads quotes as well. I found this quote checking site indirectly through another person’s link.The original article spoke of finding the absolute original quote . . . and then left out the earliest similar version in their story . . . unlike this site. I think you can submit quotes you want to be researched too.

And a manner of speaking I need to learn.

And quotable characters? How about Algernon Moncrieff. I love how his character is translated in the Web Series In Earnest (which did and does not get enough love, so go watch it!). Also, Ernest’s reactions.
Episode 4 The comments on marriage.
Episode 6 Algie’s running commentary. Yeah, the whole episode.
Episode 11 This whole episode, but especially the “three is company” conversation and “work hard at something pointless.”
Episode 39 At the end.

This quote link-up looks fun . . . just make sure you double-check everything you read and post.
I’m very bad at filling this in, but I’m trying to keep a quote journal, but I need to do more than book quotes, I need to fill in basically all the lines of How to Steal a Million.

Exploring Cultures: Peru

I had planned a culture study series which started with Peru. I wanted to pick a country and study it for two months. But I boxed myself in too much and didn’t find much variety in Peruvian resources (think the Incas and Manchu Picchu). So, I burned out quickly. I think that is okay though. This is new. I don’t have to like everything.

I made Peruvian based/inspired meal. I started the first two books. Since I find early (and very speculative) history boring, so I think it would have been better if I hadn’t been so dead-set on reading everything and skipped to the middle modern history in the reader and just skipped the second book. But instead I ditched both. Again. Live and learn. I can always go back.

I definitely recommend the Fire of Peru cookbook. It is just what I want in a cookbook. Photos (why do so many cookbooks think this is unnecessary?!!). A decent amount of recipes (so no decision fatigue and information overload), and EXPLANATIONS!!!. You get a nice introduction to Peruvian cuisine and basics before you get into the main recipes. The other cookbook has hardly any photos and a massive collection recipes and something I’d only recommend to those already well-acquainted and deeply in love with Peruvian cuisine.

My book list was. I started the first two but I didn’t feel like finishing them, maybe I will finish the history one and skim the reader someday.

The Peru Reader

The Conquest of the Incas

Death in the Andes

The Fire of Peru

Peru the Cookbook

The Global Etiquette Guide to Mexico and Latin America

Next up is Iran/Persia. I think I will give myself a longer time frame. I also found more (naturally with the longer definitive historical and literary record and the importance in world/western history and culture). I’m also more interested, which helps.

Autumn Music and Mood

I’m not that into music. I listen in the car to block out silence (and I almost NEVER here music on the radio that I like much less love), but I usually prefer silence otherwise. And I have a hard time finding music that I love. And sometimes I love some music sometimes and sometimes I don’t love it.

I pulled out a flute/harp duet c.d (very Irish/Celtic sounding) because I thought of it and wanted to make sure I hadn’t misplaced it. That got me to thinking how seasonally appropriate it was. And then I thought about autumn music. And what I think fits fall. Contemplative, sentimental, spooky, sorrowful, haunting. I love the season of fall but a lot of what fits the autumn mood is a bit too depressing for me.* This c.d. is a not always what I need even though it is so beautiful. And scary books? Yeah, I’ll do Agatha Christie . . . and fall Hallmark.

I’m more into pretty fall colors, the actual change of the season, bonfires, and yummy fall food involving pumpkin, molasses, and spices. But I still think I need a touch of the spooky for it to really fall. And I find it fun to dress up for Halloween (again, not scary, just dress-up).

Anyway. I tried to think up some other good music that fits my description.
“River Flows in You”
Enya
LOTR** soundtrack. Especially Rohan themes.
Celtic
Folk songs
The Hanging Tree

*I may have mentioned this before. I know a lot of people joke around about the U.S. term (and the Pinterest quotes are funny), but I have a Latin dictionary and also looked on Whitaker’s words, and “autumnus/i” means . . . wait for it . . . autumn. I even looked in my massive Webster’s dictionary for some hint as to a deeper etymology. Other than finding out the origin is possibly Etruscan, nothing. So its an old word for the season. Yeah. I love learning, but I despise pedantry and sophistry. Rant over.

**I love the artistry of these movies, and I think the music is probably one of my favorite parts, but I have a hard time enjoying the story anymore. I’m really not into epics or really action movies (using that description quite broadly). And some parts in these movies are hysterical (where they aren’t supposed to be). I’m not the dramatic teenager anymore, and apparently, I’m the hardened skeptic who takes nothing seriously, lol.

What I Watched Recently

I don’t think I watched many new movies. I can only remember one new movie, a Hallmark, A Country Wedding which was super cute. We rewatched a lot of movies including North and South, That Darn Cat, and Parent Trap (I got all these for my birthday).

However, I have watched a lot of travel shows over the last couple months

Rick Steves Europe
This my least favorite. A bit more touristy/watered down history. Not enough culture or interesting details.

Little Europe (this featured five micro countries which can all fit into the sixth smallest, Luxembourg)
Israel (not Europe, clearly, but still under this show)

The Curious Traveler
I like the focus on architecture and historical details.

Kotor, Montenegro
Oslo, Norway
Bordeaux, France
Venice, Italy

Born to Explore
This is my favorite. He focuses on food, nature, handicrafts, culture, animals, etc. The Namibia show focused entirely on cheetah conservation. I think the shows on Turkey and Namibia may have been my favorites.

Turkey
India
Shetland Islands, Scotland
Namibia

Wild Alaska Live Special
Anyone else grow up with the Kratt brothers’ shows? Pretty sure I had a crush on Chris. When I was little I watched Kratt’s Creatures every so often. When my youngest sisters were little they watched Zoboomafoo. Us older siblings watched them too, but I apparently wasn’t as devoted; the little girls can remember so many episodes and details.

Well, they’ve aged considerably, but still apparently talk the same way as they did in their kids’ shows. A bit jarring. But these three 2+ hour long specials on Alaska were magnificent. They filmed these during the Alaskan salmon runs at a couple locations including Tongass Natural Forest and Katmai National Park. The show focused on how salmon is the keystone to the entire Alaskan ecosystem and feature all sorts of Alaskan wildlife: brown (called Grizzlies in the lower 48 and black bears, beavers, otters, orcas, humpback whales, bald eagles, gray wolves, an absolutely adorable porcupine, salmon (of course), and some of the ugliest animals I’ve ever seen, walruses. I had forgotten they existed, and I must have only ever seen photos and drawings of the supermodels of this animal. They appallingly ugly. Anyway, the whole show showcases the absolute gorgeousness of this area of our country. Glaciers, lakes, forests, fjords, etc. Well worth a watch or two. (I watched a considerable amount again with my sister who hadn’t seen it the first time).

Ireland’s Wild Coast Special
A two-hour show featuring man making his way around the Atlantic coast of Ireland in an old-style boat. A rather softer part of nature, compared to Alaska. Even the salmon look different because of the milder environment; they didn’t go throught the bizarrely dramatic changes the Alaskan salmon did. Birds (including the ludicrous, adorable puffins) comprised a huge proportion of the wildlife, but we also saw humpback whales again, a blue shark, a basking shark, red deer (they are huge, my sister thought they looked like cows; the mule deer out West were huge too, not like our over super abundant white-tailed deer), red squirrel (much prettier than our aggressive gray squirrel which has apparently invaded and harmed red squirrel populations in Ireland and the UK), and pine martin.

I was looking up the name of the last animal and discovered the last wolf was killed in Ireland in the 18th century. I guess that is rather more recent than I would have thought although I usually think of England in terms of that (and they became extinct there two centuries earlier; that is a big difference though). Wolves are “extinct” if you can call it that in my state and region which is JUST fine with me. They are one of the most dangerous predators to humans and their animals. By wolf, I mean gray wolf. I think the coyotes around here may have red wolf blended in them.