Dec 30, 2009

Dose of fashion

Valentino: The Last Emperor was an interesting documentary all about the fashion designer. Particularly interesting for hose who like fashion. Which I do. The man sure as hell can make an evening gown. 5 stars.

Dec 29, 2009

Heathen soul

For the longest time, my lil heathen soul had resisted the bestselling novel The Red Tent. Why in the world would I want to read about biblical chicks and their monthlies? The answer it turns out is because its a really gripping story.

I really enjoyed reading about the women's culture and rituals. It didn't strike me at all as a Christian with a capital C book. Just an interesting and almost impossible to put down story. I give it an 8.

Dec 28, 2009

Monsters and gore

Thessaly is a graphic novel all about a reluctant witch hired out to deafeat monsters. The cover art definitely grabbed my attention, and I'm a big fan of Bill Willingham. It's an imaginitive story and a quick read. Lots of gore and monsters. I give it a 6.

Dec 27, 2009

If I believed in jesus


Resolution Time

I'm a big fan of resolutions. I make them all the time - not just December 31st. Still I'm not gonna miss an opportunity to make some now. And as my 101 listy is expiring in March, I'd best start finishing things on the list and compiling a new list.

Still the big ones for the new year are:
- Take better advantage of the farmers market and do some more preserving this growing season.
- Use my brand spanking new gym membership. (Cliche I know. I was planning on waiting til February to join - after the mad rush. However a new gym just opened near my work and their grand opening rates were insanely cheap and month to month so I had to take advantage).
- Focus on learning some new things (hello nearby rec center!) and flexing my creative muscle a whole bunch more.


Up in the Air was wonderful. Original and touching and darling. Everyone seemed perfectly cast and the soundtrack was great. We saw it in the theatre on Christmas night. It officially makes for one of my favorites of 2010. (Also I'm currently a bit obsessed with Sad Brad Smith's song Help Yourself at the moment). I'm giving this one a 9 out of 10.

Dec 25, 2009

And you think your family is difficult

Sometimes family gatherings can be stressful. (Okay, maybe all the time.) However, I like watching fictional families muck it up even worse. The Forsyte Saga is a wonderful miniseries to get sucked into. The acting and costumes are superb and I kind of loved how they would jump forward by years and years now and then. Very satisfactory watching.
I give it an 8. I will so be picking up the second part of this miniseries early on in 2010.

Dec 24, 2009

Always the women

Y: The Last Man sets up an interesting premise. In this graphic novel, all men (and male animals) are suddenly killed off inexplicably - except for Yorick and his monkey.
The story is interesting and has me curious enough to read further into the series. My one big complaint that is pretty typical of the genre is that while the dude is drawn pretty typical, most of the young woman are drawn looking like they painted on their shirts in order to show their super huge racks. (So that's gonna get me some weird searches.) It's annoying.
Anyway, I give this a 4 but its caught my interest enough to reserve book 2.

Dec 23, 2009

Mixed bag

Truck: A Love Story is a pretty mixed bag. Michael Perry writes so truthfully about small town country life that I absolutely loved it in parts. He also goes on (and on) about fixing his truck - something that made me flash back to my painful slog through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I also thought his one descent into complaining about politics was unnecessary and kinda petulant. Still the bits about the fire station and his brothers were really good. I give this one a 5.

Dec 22, 2009


We watched Avatar in 3D on Sunday night. Two things:

1. The movie is jaw-droppingly seriously gasp-inspiringly gorgeous. All those insane plants and creatures are amazing. The 3D stuff was pretty awesome too.

2. The story is one of the most predictable things I've seen in a long long while. Other than the visuals, there are absolutely no surprises to be had.

You've been warned. I give it a 5 - cause really all those floaty jellyfish things and the glowy plants rocked my world even if the story didn't.

Dec 21, 2009

Achingly sad

The Night Watch is the story of several people in London during WWII. The author tells their stories backwards - starting at the end and then slipping back a few years twice. It's an interesting way to tell a story. It makes failed love affairs that much sadder somehow. Even though you know how things end up at the end, the segments that go back in time add further depth to each situation and character.

Plus its got me determined to read more about ambulance drivers in England during the Blitz (any suggestions?). I give it a 6.

Dec 20, 2009


Watched this a while ago. David Lynch is one twisted mind and this is one twisted movie. I had to look up the synopsis online after watching this cause I was so confused. Mulholland Drive only gets a 4 from me.



All that holiday shopping also gives me the chance to come up with a whole list of wants. Possibly things I should gift myself after the holidays. Meet thing number 1:

Mary Kate McDevvitt's shop is full of awesomeness.

Dec 13, 2009


Dec 7, 2009

Well now

Mostly Martha is mostly forgettable. The tale of an uptight chef suddenly caring for her niece when her sister is killed. It's cute, but full of fluff and strangely lacking in fantastic food scenes. I must admit to some dissappointment. I give it a 4.

Dec 6, 2009

All those colors

This is so lovely. It's making me feel guilty about my unused loom in the basement.

Dec 5, 2009


So prettily done, but I'm not sure if I could dry my hands on romance. Hmmm....


Lorrie Moore has frankly mastered the turn of a word. She's clever. And this book will break your heart some. I give it a 7.

Nov 28, 2009

Not so pardonable

I am aware of my silliness. I keep swearing that I've read my last Maisie Dobbs and then I talk myself into giving her another shot. I love the setting of the series - in England between the wars. I don't love Maisie's character - very cold and calculating. I also don't love how the mysteries are solved by intuition, ghostly hints, and chance rather than real detective work.
This time, I wondered if listening to Pardonable Lies on tape might improve upon the experience. It didn't. It's time for me to give up on Miss Dobbs for good. I'm far too annoyed by how the crimes get solved and all the psychology babble.
Only a 2 out of 10 for me. Does anyone have any good books that take place in England between the wars though? There must be something out there that would hit the spot.

Nov 27, 2009

Not a good combination

Ugh. I picked up the miniseries Edward & Mrs. Simpson on a whim. I know they are considered a great love story and thought it would be a sweet series to watch. I didn't make it past the second episode because I couldn't stand the main characters. He was oblivious and immature. She was grasping and calculating. Not a couple I wanted to spend time with. Obviously only a 1 out of 10 in my opinion.

Nov 26, 2009


Maeve Binchy's books are all remarkably similiar - a cast of many characters dealing with life issues (usually of a romantic nature) that wraps up in a gentle way. Heart & Soul is pure fluff and a genuine comfort read. I enjoyed it but probably won't remember any of it in a week. I give it a 5.

Nov 22, 2009

Love the aliens!

Binky the Space Cat is marvelous! It made me giggle. It needs to be read by young and old alike. A definite 10 in the world of picture books.

Nov 21, 2009


Season 3 of Dexter was no disappointment. (Thanks for the loaner, Kristen!) It's a mad twisted show - just like I like it. And good strong roles for women (well except for Rita - meh) are always good to see. 7 of 10.


Huzzah! I finally marked off a biggie on my 101 listy. I read 50 nonfiction books, and while doing so learned that I love nonfiction just as much as fiction.
The 50th book was Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater. It's an adorable read. The author is a former food critic whose shares his attempts at opening up the world of food to his little girl. I was extra fascinated because I have an 8 month old niece who visited recently and it was cool to see her parents give her brand new tastes of things.
The writing is humorous and I loved how frequently he quotes his daughter. It really is a fun book and the perfect cap to my personal challenge. I give this a 7.

Nov 20, 2009

Cute and directional

I think these figures would be rather charming on my bathroom door, don't you?


Men Who Stare at Goats may not be the best movie ever but it has Clooney and Bridges and sparkley eyes! I love when Clooney is at his most ridiculous!

It made me giggle. For that, it gets a 6 of 10.

Nov 19, 2009


I have a bit of a tumblr addiction. I'm current;y subscribed to follow Lavender Lines and This is my heart. It is a good heart. Give me more please.

(Lisa - are you still doing tumblr? What's the link?)


Oooh - the colors in this are rather perfect. Love it!


The Diving Bell & The Butterfly has been on my to-watch list for forever. Thanks to this awful fricking flu I have loads of time on my hands so I finally took it in.
It's the true story of the editor of Elle who suffers a stroke causing him to be completely paralyzed. He can only communicate by blinking one eye. Sounds not-so-uplifting, aye?
And while it isn't a happy go lucky kind of film, it is hopeful and stunningly well filmed. I give it a 6.

Just might

Need this wall planter. So sweet and blue.

Nov 16, 2009


Found via Red Velvet Art.

Nov 15, 2009


Kabuku Rides (This Is It) by Larry Brown

Dustin MySpace Video

Heard this on the radio forever ago. It's such a haunting short story.


Originally uploaded by onemoredress
This look is amazing!

Nov 13, 2009

Well done

The Fog of War is a documentary and interview of Robert McNamara - asking him tough questions about his military decisions and narrowing in on Vietnam War. It's fascinating.

The whole film is so well put together and striking. It doesn't lay anything out in black and white. And the Phillip Glass score is amazing. This is an intense documentary. I give it an 8.

Nov 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by bebejack
I obviously need to start working on my embroidery skills. Love this!

Long way

One of those dvds I watched recently is The Order of Myths.

It's a documentary about Mobile, Alabama's segregated mardi gras festivals. It was filmed two years ago and is guaranteed to make your jaw drop. You think this sort of thing doesn't go on any longer until you see it for yourself. We have a long way to go yet.

I give it a 7.

Not gone away

Just busy with a total life fail. But I'm keeping busy with dvd watching, book reading, bargain shopping, learning to knit, and baking insane creations. Made this the other day - fantastic!

Oct 27, 2009

I forgot how much I love this one

ETA: No I'm not senile. Just not good at cutting and pasting. Fixed now.

Oct 26, 2009

Oct 16, 2009

Destiny is usually just around the corner.

The Shadow of the Wind follows a young boy as his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is instructed to select one book and become it's caretaker. Nice hook, right? The boy becomes obsessed with the book's author and decides to unravel the mystery surrounding his life. Commence epic story of love and loss and friendship and war, etc.

I liked this book but didn't love it like I had hoped to given that fantastoc start. The story is well told and the descriptions are well done. I just found the twists pretty guessable and some of the narrative devises were far too easy. The one part that I did adore is the character of Fermin whose a skinny man with a ghastly past. He's Lascivious and full of bravado and the best friend anyone could want. Reading about him was worth all of it.

All in all I give this book a 6.

Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it yourself.
- Fermin

Oct 15, 2009

Trick to being cheated is to learn how to cheat.

The Brothers Bloom is the story of two con artist brothers set up to make one last score before they part ways. The actors in this film are spot-on perfect. I love that Steven's cons are compared to a Russian novelist's plots. And Rachel Weisz & Rinko Kikuchi both steal every scene they are in. It's filmed in a very clever way and written even better. I love this movie.

My only complaint is that I never understood Diamond Dog very much. Maybe I missed something, but I was a bit mystified by that character.

All in all this film gets an 8.5 from me. Watch it!

Oct 14, 2009

Not quite

The Women of Nell Gwynne's has a great premise. It's a steampunk novel written about a brothel that also serves as a house of spies and operatives for Scotland Yard. The ladies are outfitted with fantastic steam punk technology to carry out their missions.
Sadly, the story leaves a lot to be desired. It's written so hurriedly and not that well thought out. I can only give it a 3.
I love the idea of steampunk novels though. Anyone have one to recommend?

Oct 13, 2009

Ariane is a pretty name

Love in the Afternoon is all about a May December romance. (I must admit that the phrase "May December" is pretty awful now that I consider it.) Innocent Ariane attempts to appear much more experienced and mysterious than she is in order to capture the heart of lady killer Frank.
It's kind of cute. I loved the mad scenes with the gypsy musicians. I give this one a 6.

Oct 12, 2009


Is anyone else watching Parks & Recreation? Cause it's cracking me the hell up. Thursday is turning into the only night I turn the tv on.


The Black Moth may be my most disappointing Heyer read to date. It's all about a pair of brothers - one a gentleman and the other a highwayman. They both have romantic problems, and then there's the despicable brother-in-law making life pretty awful for all involved.

It sounds better than it reads. The characters are so boring, and the story goes on for far too long. I couldn't have cared less what happened to any of them. Only a 2 from me.

Oct 11, 2009

Cockeyed caravan

Snappy dialogue + a fun story = a good movie. Veronica Lake can say those zingers like no one else. I give Sullivan's Travels a 6.

Sep 29, 2009

Bad ass.

Sep 28, 2009


Sep 26, 2009


I can't remember why I picked up Veronika Decides to Die, but I'm glad I did. It's the story of a young woman who attempts to commit suicide. She awakes in a mental hospital and finds out that although she was unsuccessful. However, the damage done to her heart gives her only a week to live. Good premise, aye?

The writing and story were all right. What is truly remarkable about this short novel is the message it conveys. I'm not big on Messages with a capital M cause they are usually so obvious and heavy handed, but this is well conveyed. That makes this a little gem of a read. I give this a 7. (And apparently a movie version of this is coming out as well. That should be interesting.)

Sep 25, 2009

Having a Patty Griffin kinda day

Maybe you are too.

Robots and pirates

Castle in the Sky is a fun animated film from the ever-so-clever Miyazaki. The animation is so pretty and the story is a lot of fun. A coal miner boy finds a girl floating above the ground. They set off on an adventure to discover the secret of her protective pendant and find a floating castle.

I loved the robots and the pirates. They were the highlights of the film. The villains were a bit clunky though. Still, it's an enjoyable watch. I give it a 5.

Sep 24, 2009

The golden road

Damn, can L. M. Montgomery write a pretty description! She weaves a lovely children's tale as well. I really enjoyed The Golden Road - sequel to The Story Girl. It's a pretty collection of adventures from a group of childhood friends. I liked the sweetness of their stories and the hints of what their futures hold for them. The collection of stories gets a 6.5 from me. What doesn't get a high score is the cover designs. Take a look:

Pretty - but not the right time period for the story.

Bizarre modern-day-looking YA cover. This could be the cover to almost any story EXCEPT for this book. Dumb!

They really need to issue a new look for this book.

Sep 23, 2009

Hooded even

Oooh - I kinda love this coat.


Freshly started in on the graphic novel series about Jack (you know - the giant killer). It's a spin off of the Fables series and just as good. The first book, The Nearly Great Escape, is loads of fun. I give it a 6.

Not good at all

Adventureland = a big ball of suck. It follows a bunch of people working at a theme park. Despite my husband's initial thrill at seeing his beloved Kennywood on the screen, this movie is a big disappointment.

It isn't very funny at all. And the main character does a Michael Cera impression the whole time. It's like they wrote the film for Cera but couldn't get him. Also someone needs to explain why Kristin Stewart is paid to act. I'm not understanding the appeal. I could never hear what Ryan Reynolds was saying which was strange.

Really though, this film is a big snooze fest. Bleh. I give it a 2 - and that's just for Kennywood.

Sep 22, 2009


House of Mystery: Room and Boredom is an intriguing graphic novel series. Four people are stuck in a tavern where visitors pay their tabs in stories. The four main characters don't seem to know exactly how they came to live at this tavern - only that they can't leave. And the customer's stories are creepy.

I'm really liking this story line. I give it a 7.