Sunday, January 30, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stan Freberg's United States of America : a Tribute!

Stan Freberg was/is a genius who in the 50's and 60's and 70's brought a visionary, creative, satirical sensibility to radio, TV and print ads  (like "Who puts 8 great tomatoes in that little bitty can?") and "novelty" records like "St.George and the Dragonet" and wrote the best unproduced Broadway musical ever: "Stan Freberg's United States of America" a satire of the founding of America. Back in the 60's the LP of this musical was released and became a huge favorite of anyone who ever heard it. It was brilliant, and way ahead of its time. It  had an amazing cast besides Mr. Freberg and included Paul Frees, Jesse White and June Foray. The songs were catchy and witty and lines from it have been adapted in homage by groups like Firesign Theater (What's that? French horns). Evil Broadway impresario David Merrick wanted to produce it for the stage but instead tied up the rights for years!!! We're lucky we have the album and a few years back a second volume was released. Also good, but Volume l is one of my all time favorites. If you haven't heard this album before, here are some things I found on Youtube to give you a taste of what you are in for when you buy the CD or download the mp3. One of them was an animated version of the Sale of Manhatten by revolutionary graphic designer Saul Bass, famous for iconic movie posters like "Vertigo". I never saw this before:

Then, someone filmed the record player playing the beginning of the LP, with the wonderfully clever and catchy "It's a Round, Round World"

I never get tired of hearing that. Be sure to check out the whole thing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Movies That Speak to You

And I don't mean like hearing voices or  like when the actors on the screen turn and say "What do YOU think, Stephanie" like they do in Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451"!
Everyone has their favorite movies, the ones they can watch over and over. I've talked about "Sliding Doors", "Duets" , "Love Actually", "Ginger and Cinnamon" and "Southbounders" which are 5 of my all time favorites. Below, is one more of my favorites complete with trailer through the ever miraculous miracle of YOUtube embedding!
This is a movie I first saw in the theater then bought a copy and even got a copy for the library. "I'm Not Scared" is an Italian movie exquisitely filmed and with a fabulous score and a terrific cast led by Giueseppe Cristiano as Michele, a good hearted 9 year old boy who lives an ordinary life with his little sister and attractive parents in the countryside. Until one day...something happens to change his perceptions of everyone and everything around him. I'm not giving anything away. The trailer may give away a bit too much. You want to see this film and be surprised. And, maybe, jump out of  your seat.

Check it out, sometime, via netflix or wherever you see movies.
I'll post some more of my favorites when I have more time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter in NH

New Hampshire and New England in general are not places you'd want to live if you don't have an end of the world, survivor instinct (or, shudder, are a winter sports enthusiast!!!). That means we get snow. LOTS of it. WAAAY toooooo much for my liking. Everything comes to a halt. Until you can dig out. While I was tucked up inside, today, waiting to shovel out of the latest storm... I drew up a little peek into what we have to deal with over here, for those of you lying under a palm tree somewhere.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best Book Review Ever!

Sometimes a book comes along that will become a best seller. "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand is probably one of them. I put in for it for the library and it's sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read as I write this. But a great book review can help make that happen. At Thanksgiving, the new issue of NY Magazine had come and I was reading through it and started reading this incredible book review by Sam Anderson. It was so smart and funny that I read it out loud and everyone wanted not just to read the book...but a copy of the book review! Follow the link to the book review that caused numerous friends and relatives to buy it for other friends and relatives.

Nowhere to Run

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Don't Be Hating "Country Strong" Snarky Critics!

What is it about critics that they have to be mean about a movie that not only has Gwyneth, but has her singing!

And has a knock-out star performance by Garret Hedlund, who Nico and I both said "Who is this guy??? Where did he come from???" See:

He is riveting and sexy and has a perfect country singing voice! It also has Leighton Meester who is cute as can be as an All About Eve country star wannabe. This movie not only has singing, it has drama, romance and as we said before Garrett Hedlund.  So, if you want to see a good old fashioned movie movie... catch "Country Strong" on the big screen. Skip the reviews!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A "Gilmore Girls" For All Seasons

Nico and I have watched every single episode of the Gilmore Girls (multiple times if you count its being on DVD), even through her being at college we'd discuss after each episode. We relate. We get the references. They are like OUR references. It could be about us if John would wear a baseball cap backwards and a plaid shirt and Jeremiah worked in a convenience store (things we doubt they'd do). Now, I just got home from visiting Nico and while I was there her friend Liz invited us to watch our favorite "Gilmore Girls" episodes on her incredible projection screen. You have not experienced the fabulousess that is the "Gilmore Girls" until you have seen in on a giant screen. So, if you love this show like we do, it is reeeeallly hard to narrow down your favorite episodes. We did "Pippi Virgin", "Raincoats and Recipes"  and of course "Lorelai? Lorelai?" the karaoke Lorelai sings I will Always Love You episode. Of course there are many, many more favorites, but we'd probably still be there watching them and missing work and air flights etc... so, here through the miracle of Youtube embedding are some Gilmore Girls highlights:
First, a Youtube tribute that was made using the GG theme by Carole King:

 Luke and Lorelai, what could be more romantic than this (excluding screaming naked Kirk):

I just had to include the "Pippi Virgin" clip:

And here's the Karaoke clip, get ready to go boohoo:

And a couple of Nico and I from  "The Piro/Nolan Girls" seasons 1-26:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pen Variations (plus one pencil)

In my Bad Pen Day post, quite a few of my friends had recommendations as to what I might use if I had to replace the Artpen. I took some time to experiment with some of the pens I had on hand. The following ladies will model a variety of pen lines and one will even show off her yellow pencil couture. Here they are. Not sure if you can tell the differences once they've been scanned, but feel free to vote on your favorite!


Monday, January 3, 2011


Today is my birthday, and while I do think you should all have a day off with bonus pay in celebration... the Government may have different views on that , not to mention your boss, so in fact I will be working at the library today, myself. I may wear a tiara. That's still up in the air.
Below are some cartoons on aging. I think most of you women will relate. Then, I'll end with one of my favorite birthday cartoons.
And finally: