The fourth summer of my summer reading volunteering.

This year’s t-shirt is my favorite so far.  It’s the first one I haven’t immediately donated to Goodwill upon completion of my service.  If you want to volunteer for Summer Reading contact the library volunteer program early next year.  Summer Reading volunteers help children keep track of where they are in the summer reading game.  They also distribute prizes and answer questions.  The two hour per week shifts are fun.  Volunteer today.
(Note that my summer reading volunteer service ended in August. I just forgot to take the picture of the shirt until the end of September.)

Three sentence movie reviews: In a World

Breezy and fun comedy that illuminates the darkened corners of the voice-over world.  It’s chock full of people you will recognize* and voices your are familiar with.**  I thought Lake Bell sold herself out by writing the Gina Davis speech, but other than that, this was a very fun movie.***

Cost:  Free from library
Where watched: at home, as a palette cleanser.

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*Apparently I recognize Alexandra Holden from Friday Night Lights playing someone named Suzy.
**Vinnie Van Lowe from Veronica Mars is in this.  And the bald friend of R in Warm Bodies.
***And a comedy with no defecation!

Three sentence movies reviews: Never Let Me Go

This is a compelling and well-acted movie with such a quietly disturbing premise I was forced to watch another movie afterward just to cleanse my palette.  I recommend it for anyone who enjoys the three lead actors and also would like to see the current Spider Man with an English accent.  When not being quietly disturbed by the plot, I wondered if Andrew Garfield was British.*

Cost: Free from the library
Where watched: at home.

*It turns out he was born in the USA to a British mother and an American father.  They moved back to England when he was three. So he’s both.

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Progress on apron.

Sure it took me taking a personal day of vacation to finally get back to work on my apron.  But I did it.  I scheduled in “sewing” from 8-Noon and sewed for that entire time.  There was some seam-ripping (or “unsewing” as I’ve rechristened it.) and also I seem to have purchased half-inch bias tape rather than the quarter-inch the pattern called for, but I’m rolling with it.
Here’s where I ended up.

10 movies that marked me.

I wrote this for Facebook.  But I figured why not also post it here.  And here it is.

I watch a lot of memorable movies but the movies I find most memorable (and thus one can say marked me) are often linked to an event or place or time period.  So here’s my top 10.  I’m putting them in the order I watched them chronologically (from little girl to this summer)
Singing in the Rain
Tied for first in my “favorite movie” list.  I saw it as a girl with my mother and loved the music and the dancing and Lena Lamont’s voice.  I’ve watched it again and again because there’s always something to hook into:  the story, the performances, the costumes, the songs.  I’ve seen a theatrical production and even watched it on the big screen (thanks Cinema 21!) and I never get tired of this film.  Though I confess I tend to fast forward through the endless Cyd Charisse dance scene.  It’s just as enjoyable at double speed and done that much sooner.
Angie Fuller asked me to accompany her to the theater.  Footloose was playing.  We were in fourth grade (and thus a tiny bit young for this film).  It had been raining at recess that day and my shoes were still sopping wet hours later.  This was the first film I saw without my parents.  When my mother asked me how I liked it, I said, “There was a lot of swearing.”  The dawn of VHS meant I watched this movie over and over and over again.  Long before I was a teenager, this movie taught me that trying to keep teenagers from doing what they wanted to do was pretty much a lost cause.  And that there is a time to dance.
Stand by Me
Number of times I’ve seen this film?  Twice.  Once when I was about 12 and once when I was in my 30s.  Amount I remembered of this film upon re-watching? Nearly 100%.  The first time I watched it was the perfect age to see this, just a year or two younger than the protagonists. I was also an 80s girl completely in love with the 50s, so the setting worked for me.  This movie marks the beginning of the end of the era of watching movies with my parents.  During most of my early teenage years it was too uncomfortable to try and process my own reactions and theirs while taking in a movie.  I also remember this movie fondly because of my mother’s aghast reaction to the mailbox baseball scene.  “That is a federal offence!” This movie also got me interested in Stephen King, who was (along with V.C. Andrews and the authors of bodice rippers) among the first grown-up authors I read.  The story of friendship and change is what ultimately sticks with me.  It’s a heartbreaking film and not just because River Phoenix would be dead seven years later.
My favorite girl movie of my teenage years and one I think many people overlook.  Four friends graduate from high school and plan one final weekend together before going off on their different paths.  The early 60s beach setting was awesome and the high-jinks that ensue are memorable. It’s highly quotable.  Pudge (yes there is a character named Pudge and yes, she’s of normal weight) says at one point “It isn’t a bone at all, it’s a muscle. This cousin of hers dated a Clemson Tiger who sprained his in a game, and she had to massage it every night when it got hard because he was in so much pain.” It also has a really fabulous soundtrack and a big dance number.  I’m just now realizing this movie may be the reason my friends and I went on a road trip after graduating from high school.  We met neither a “Chip” nor a “Buzz,” but we still had a good time.
Dazed and Confused
I must have seen this before I graduated high school in 1993, but it didn’t really hit home for me until I watched it again in 1994 or 1995.  By that time I’d gone off to a women’s college with hazing rituals that were eerily similar to the ones depicted in this film.  I love the high school bacchanalia aspect of this film.  The soundtrack has been played to death, but I loved it for a long time.
“We should go see Fargo,” said the guy who would become my college boyfriend.
“What’s that?”
“You’ll like it,” he assured me.
We hadn’t spent much time together, but he was right.  We went to the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton, Mass. and I laughed throughout this film.  It’s too violent and incredibly tragic, but I fell in love with Frances McDormand and her angel of a pregnant Marge Gunderson, unflappable in the face of so much senseless mayhem.
Chasing Amy
I’m guessing the films of Kevin Smith will most likely only last as period-specific examples of this and that.  I’m also guessing this film hasn’t aged well.  But there was a time when I loved it for exploring the idea (however awkwardly) that sexuality can morph and change.  It also explores male friendship in a way that I hadn’t seen much on film at that point. Holden and Banky’s breakup comes years before the bromance comedies of the last decade.  I watched this at the Academy of Music in Northampton too.  And let me tell you, watching Chasing Amy with a bunch of smart women from Smith College is a different experience than watching it in your standard multiplex.  There was hissing.  More than once.  From all areas of the theater.
Almost Famous
Also tied for first in my “favorite movie” list.  In September of 2000 I was poor.  After a few months of unemployment, I had finally found a job, but I was still catching up financially with the things I let slide.  So it was a few weeks before I could scrape together the cash to see this movie which I watched at the Lowes Harvard Square Cinema.  I remember being surprised at how funny it was—the previews had played up the drama—and I remember being so happy to be watching. For me it’s a perfect film.  I love this movie because it’s about the end of things and the beginning of things and every single performance is spot-on.  Philip Seymour Hoffman’s speech about being uncool remains a top 10 movie moment for me. 
What’s Your Number
A recent find (thanks Heather) and one I loved so much I watched it twice in one day.  What seems to be a silly rom-com plot (woman feels she’s slept with too many men and decides to look up all her past conquests to see if any are husband material) delves much deeper into the subject of how females are supposed to be in society.  There’s also great sister stuff and a slow-rolling romance with the hunky Chris Evans.  And Anna Faris’s comic timing is impeccable. 

Too soon to deserve to be on the list?  I can’t tell.  But as I said in my original review, there was a time before someone made a movie over 12 years with the same actors, and there is a time where that concept now exists, and I’m happy to have experienced the changeover.  I’ve been thinking about this movie since I saw it in August so that’s a good sign for longevity.  Cinema 21 was the perfect place to watch it, old theater, red seats, packed house. Great movie.

What movies have marked you?

Moneta work uniforms improved!

I still love the uniforms, but I am less enamored of keeping my bra straps from showing.  I resolved to make those things that keep them in place.  I don’t know if those things have an official name, but I guess I can call them bra strap holders.  I did a search and found a good tutorial that explained how to sew in the kind where you crochet the thread and attach a snap. Here’s the link.  However, I was having trouble getting the crochet-with-thread technique to work, and wanted these done, so I got out some ribbon I had and improvised.  The result was great.  They don’t really match, but you can’t see them from the outside anyway and they keep my bra nicely in place.

Long overdue postcard spiffing.

My postcards stack up next to my computer and the idea is that I change out the display on the wall every time I get enough postcards in the stack to make a new row.  That hasn’t really happened, I’ve just been stacking.
It’s been months since I’ve switched them out.  But it’s time.  A gust of wind made the currently displayed postcards askew.
Here’s the new result.  44 postcards displayed. 
They look great.


Matt and I were going out to dinner, but first we stopped by Kenton Cycle Repair to have them look over his bike before his big ride.  Here’s where the Kenton Bike Shop is located.
They had a lot of bikes for sale outside, so I took some pictures.  
I love these fenders.  They look really cool.
This is a nice little Raleigh.  With good fenders too.
I love this red road bike.
I wouldn’t mind owning this one.
I always appreciate a nice Trek.