11/28/12

Hump Day Classic Movie: His Girl Friday

It's pouring rain outside today and the weather experts say it will be raining all week. Time to break out the classics!

His Girl Friday is one of the quintessential romantic screwball comedies. It's famous for its frenetic, witty banter, and rightly so. I've probably watched this movie twenty times, and I catch something new every viewing. You'll need to crank up the volume to hear some of the dialogue.

Something I really love about this movie is how modern it is, even with the telephones and typewriters. It was made in 1940, adapted from a play, but the characters are so edgy. The two main characters are ex-spouses and in the newspaper business.  Hildy is going to be remarried, and Walter, confronted with the permanent loss of a wife he still cares for, sabotages her plans by using her love of the news business against her.

The dialogue is hilarious:

Hildy: "Walter, you're wonderful in a loathesome kind of way"

Walter: "There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here."
Hildy: "Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago. "

They remade this movie with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner, and Christopher Reeve as Switching Channels in 1988, and it was nowhere near as good.

If you're a Prime member, His Girl Friday is free to watch via streaming.

11/25/12

Our Black Friday Tradition

Our family pretty much ignores the Black Friday shopping madness. And the fact that it seems to have overtaken the Thanksgiving holiday makes us extra cranky.  So instead of going shopping, we make a day trip to visit a museum. It's lovely, because most people are out shopping, and we tend to have the places almost completely to ourselves.

Last year, we visited the National Automobile Museum. This year, we visited the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada Railroad Museum.



For a small museum, the firearms exhibit isn't too shabby. Here is a blunderbuss, something that seems to come up quite a bit in historical romance.


The engraving on some of the guns was pretty spectacular.


 I just thought these keys were cool.



The boys had fun at the railroad museum, especially when they got to run a hand car up the rails.  The Carson City museum has several gorgeous steam engines, including the silver screen favorite, the Inyo.





I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, and maybe even got some reading done!

11/21/12

TBR Challenge Review: A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl


Format: Mass Market
Pub Date: August 2010
Publisher: Zebra (Kensington)
Length: 329 pages
FTC: Purchased at RT11 book signing

This month's TBR Challenge theme was, "All About The Hype (a book that created such chatter that it was inescapable)." Normally, that comes in the form of squeeing fangirls, glowing reviews from every single person on Twitter, and the non-stop appearances on various review blogs. My choice is a bit different, as it was the negative attention that made this book omnipresent for a few weeks back in 2010.

There was a lot of hoopla surrounding A Little Bit Wild when it first came out. Those who loved it, and those who...didn't.   If you follow that link, you'll see accusations of the heroine possessing "raging horniness" and being "unapologetically lusty".  Which promptly called forth the backlash against the standard historical models and resulted in a huge internet kerfuffle.  I wanted to find out what the fuss was about and make up my own mind...but of course, was distracted by some newer, shinier book and this book was promptly relegated to my embarrassing TBR.

Victoria Dahl writes unconventional heroines who are, for the most part, not hung up on their sexuality. And that can cause some push back from readers who expect their historical heroines to be either a) virgins or b) widows. But anyone remotely familiar with Victoria Dahl knows that her heroines are naughty, so I went into this with eyes wide open.

11/14/12

Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Sauce

This is an oldie, but goodie. I really love the way the orange mellows the cranberry flavor. My family won't use any other recipe but this one. And forget about that canned stuff. This is super easy to make and tastes great on leftover T-day sandwiches, too. This one is from Pillsbury, although you can find variations just about everywhere. (Pardon last year's photo. I hope to have a more appealing one after this year's holiday!)




1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice or orange flavored liqueur

In nonreactive 4-qt saucepan, mix cranberries, sugar, orange peel, water and lemon juice. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until juices start to flow and sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat to medium; simmer 6 to 8 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop. Stir in liqueur. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until completely cooled.


Hump Day Movie: Batman (1989)

While listening to a new-ish song by Prince the other day, we were trying to explain to my eldest son how influential Prince was (and is) as a musician and songwriter. And talking about that eventually led to the whackadoodle soundtrack he made for the 1989 version of Batman. A movie, we discovered, we no longer owned since donating our VHS collection to charity...to which my darling child replied, " a VH--what?"

*Cue sadness and a feeling of being old*

Anyway, despite Heath Ledger's creepy performance as the Joker in the Dark Night, Jack Nicholson's performance is still a favorite with our family. It's been awhile since we've watched it (clearly) so I'm curious to see how it holds up after 23 years.

Yes, I did the math. It's really been that long. *more sadness*


11/8/12

Things are calming down

Now that soccer is over for the kids —5 days a week of soccer was killing me!—I hope to have more time for blogging, baking, and reading.  My yearly reading total is pretty pathetic. And my TBR Challenge participation has been pretty half-assed.

Time to kick it in gear.

I missed most of the autumn, and we're expecting a winter storm today.



The birds are getting crazy busy gathering what food they can.



What's the weather like where you are?

Gifts for the Baker