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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.