Three sentence movie reviews: Lost in Paris

I knew from the trailer this was going to be a movie I would love as it included striking colors, an engaging main character, and a moment that made me laugh out loud. The movie delivered, with a gentle humor that kept going throughout.* The physical comedy** was a treat, as was Fiona Gordon’s French accent that was so bad even I winced, and I look forward to other movies by Abel & Gordon.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*In the DVD extras, Abel & Gordon comment on how much of modern humor is sarcastic and mean, and that they work to avoid that in their comedy.
**The DVD extras also include a primer on the type of comedy Abel & Gordon do, which is called Burlesque. This is not what we in America think of Burlesque, but a comedy tradition with a long history in France.

I include the trailer so you can see if it’s a movie you would love:

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2017/paris_pieds_nus_ver2.html

Progress on the backyard project

In two hours, we got some good work done on our backyard. Here you can see Matt smoothing out dirt we’ve moved to bring the grade up. We put strings on our stakes and made things level. Also, this is the widest part of the yard we have to grade, so that means that the work from here on out will go even more quickly.

I couldn’t bear to kill off the asparagus that has performed so well for me for so many years. So my job was digging up the old crowns and putting them in the trench I dug to plant the new crowns.

The old crowns are huge, especially in comparison to the spindly new crowns.
Here you can see one of the new stalks poking its head above the ground.

Once again the rain part of the day started after we finished our work. Good job, weather.

Highlights from the Avenue of the Roses Parade

Friends Mark & Amanda live at the end of the Avenue of Roses Parade route and host a party. I love a good parade, especially a good small parade, so I went. Here are some highlights.

While 82nd Avenue does have problems with prostitution and I certainly support this group’s efforts, I kept imagining the questions posed along the parade route, “Mommy, why don’t real men buy sex?”

Who doesn’t love a good scary dragon?

I was intrigued by these characters, and unfortunately, missed capturing the group’s name.

Gotta love returned Peace Corps volunteers.

I also loved this cool holder for the saint carried by this Catholic church. It allowed for smooth carrying and left room for waving.

These puffy air-filled dinosaurs were delightful. I’d never seen puffy characters before.

Some cool parade goers make some noise and wave the flag.

It became apparent that the classic cars were turning right off of 82nd, and we were to the left, so we missed them, but we did get to see a lot of the parade. Thanks to Mark & Amanda for hosting.

Song of the month April 2018

“Bill Murry” Matt Nathanson

This is another from KINK Sunday Brunch. Which, now that we’ve started working in the yard on the backyard project, I don’t get to listen to.

This is the kind of song I really love.  Weird theme, the kind that makes me look up from my cooking and wonder what in the hell I’m listening to.  I think I made Google tell me. There’s a Portland reference.  The video is also wacky.

The chorus is a good one:  I won’t only love you when you’re winning/Other fools pretend to understand/Come on take my hand, we’ll go down swinging/Let me be your man, let me be your man.

YouTube and Wikipedia also inform me that this artist also covered James’s “Laid” for the American Pie movies.  He’s aged a little since that song was recorded.  And haven’t we all?

My second song was the song from the end of Outside In.  I liked it.  The Internet is not telling me who sang it.

Three sentence movie reviews: Witness for the Prosecution

First of all, this is one of those movies where the male main character is insufferable through most of the film,* however, it should not stop you from watching, because this movie is brilliant. The acting**/plot/setting/everything is great and you will do best if you follow the advice on the poster, written before they had the handy word, “spoiler”: “It’s climaxed by the 10 breath-stopping minutes you’ve ever lived! Don’t reveal the ending–please!

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*I will throw him a small bone in that medical practices in the 1950s infantilized the patient in a way I would have found insufferable.
**Una O’Connor as the housekeeper! Marlene Dietrich as the wife! Tyrone Power as the husband and murder suspect! Even Elsa Lanchester as the insufferable Nurse Plimsoll was great.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/1957/witness_for_the_prosecution.html

SKS Postcard: DC. Plus another from Florida

I’ve always liked this stamp, and also this postcard of this stamp. Sara reports that there is a lot going on as she creeps ever closer to the end of the semester. She also used a Mister Rogers stamp for postage, which isn’t even a postcard stamp!  They had just gotten them and she couldn’t resist. I loved it, so it was well spent.

Maureen sent me this great map postcard of the Orange State. She and her son went there “NOT during Spring Break” she says in an aside, to meet up with her Mom and her sister’s family. Not only was it sunny (it was not sunny here) but they also got to hold a baby alligator.

Once again, two postcards in one day. Where do they hang out together before making their way to my mailbox? Maybe I should post a reward for evidence?

Three sentence movie reviews: Avengers Infinity War

I wouldn’t have guessed that my reaction to the close of this movie was going to be an astonished, “What the hell?” as I was expecting this to be a bloated, overly long movie experience with too many stars and too much story. Instead, I watched a movie that deftly bounced between different players, places and campaigns, picking up stories seeded over the course of 10 years. Even the integration of the Guardians of the Galaxy–something I initially thought was going to be a schlocky spin-off tie in–was brilliant.

Cost: $6.00
Where watched: St. Johns Twin Cinema with Matt. (We were first in line for Friday’s show!)

Backyard Rehab Report: 4/22/18

We started by weeding the side yard.  No weeds are happening in the path we put in last fall, but a lot of weeds were happening between the path and the house, where things need to be planted.

Next we put up our stakes.  We have stakes about four feet apart and then rows about five feet apart.  This way, as we level we can slope the dirt 1/2″ every row. We learned that the sledgehammer is the fastest at getting those stakes in the ground.

We even had time to move some dirt from the mound to a shallow depression in the yard.  This meant moving the chunks of concrete into a yellow recycling bin. We will need to discard the concrete chunks. Perhaps by slowly adding them to the garbage.

Excavating the dirt mound also involved digging up the asparagus crowns that have grown in the raised bed since 2009 or so.  They were originally planted in Leo’s yard in 2008. It physically hurt to dig up one of those crowns and discard it.

Still, it’s good to get started on the mound going away.  I’m looking forward to having a nice backyard to hang out in.

Also!  The rhubarb has returned! Both plants.  The one on the right side of the yard, closer to the shorter fence, emerged about three weeks after the one on the left next to the taller fence.  Guess which side gets the most sun.

We try Thai Rolled Ice Cream

My first encounter with Thai Rolled Ice Cream was at the Minnesota State Fair. I did not stand in line to have some–the line was long–but I did get a good overview of the situation because they were stationed right below an escalator so I got a birds-eye view as I was headed down.

There’s a shop now in Portland, so I was excited to try this and avoid the line.  We failed at avoiding the line–it was a very sunny and warm spring day and the shop was full.  But we did get ample opportunity to watch our treat being made.

Liquid is ladled onto a very cold disk and things are added in.  I got the Oreo one, so mine had a crushed up Oreo. Then the mixture is spread into a square and carefully rolled into five rolls, which are placed in the cup.

You can then add three toppings, a sauce, and some whipped cream.

Matt opted to skip the whipped cream, and so you can see his banana and Nutella ice cream rolls much better.

While it was fun to watch the creation of this dessert, I didn’t love the flavor of the lactose-free “ice cream.”