Sidebars Gone By

These are the compiled side-bars for the past few months.  
See what Ashleigh's been reading and digging and hearing and seeing. 

August 2, 2014

READING

  • Notorious - Allison Brennan's fantastic story could have used a better editor. Grammatical lapses and random story lines distracted from an otherwise great read
  • The Keeper - John Lescroart in the San Francisco courthouse - one of my favorite places to be.
  • After I'm Gone - Laura LIppman is an author I rediscover every few years. Great storytelling about real characters.
  • Murder at Blackheath - Anne Perry and Charlotte Pitt and the turn of the century reminding me why I am glad to be alive in 2014.
  • Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore - Walter Mosley on the adult film industry, love, and finding oneself. Nothing prurient, everything profound
  • Killer - Jonathan Kellerman writes the best thrillers. Ever

GARDENING

  • Cleaning out the early summer remains from the containers.
  • Arguing with the irrigation system and the monsoon
  • Removing builder-installed lantana to clean up the back garden
  • Enjoying the results of fertilization

TV

  • Longing for Raylan and The Americans and more Fargo....
  • Pilots... lots of summer pilots... for 15 minutes each
  • World Cup

MOVIES ETC.

  • Another Dawn - Erroll Flynn in 1937. Honor and love and war in a film I'd never seen before.
  • His Girl Friday - The fastest talking movie on record!
  • For the Defense - William Powell acting is something to behold.
  • The Mark of Zorro - Douglas Fairbanks' silent classic. He's a little over the top, but ravishing nonetheless
  • Ruthless People - Finding oneself through kidnapping.Except for the chain around Bette Midler's leg, a total laugh fest.
  • Heat - Laughed ourselves silly. Melissa MccCarthy and Sandra Bullock are quite the pair
  • The Music Man - "I always think there's a band, kid"
  • Rock Hudson/Doris Day Trilogy - The clothes, the expectations, The Automat are wonderful but pale in comparison to the stars' connection. Classics.

TUNES

  • Thinking of a Mix Tape of lullabies for FlapJilly

July 9,2014

Reading

  • Bleak House - Charles Dickens's masterwork, according to the professor. Combination soap opera, social commentary, and penny dreadful

GARDENING

  • Updating the containers for summer
  • Enjoying the gladiolus in the containers. Moving those in the ground to containers as the leaves shriveled in the higher temps.
  • Fretting over the lost zinnias - the bunnies finished them all off.
  • Admiring my roses

TV

  • Black Sails - We only watched one episode, but we're enthralled. A modern take on piracy
  • Fargo - I don't like the Coen Brothers oeuvre as a rule, but this is fascinating and wonderful and intricate.
  • Mad Men - I'm not rooting for anyone, and yet I am obsessed
  • NBA Playoffs.... the first round was better than the second  

MOVIES ETC.

  • The Young Lions- Brando mumbles and Montgomery Clift suffers. A perfect Memorial Day flick
  • Witness for the Prosecution - Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton and I'm in heaven
  • Crazy, Stupid Love - utterly charming

May 14, 2014

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Ark - the local newspaper from the Marin County, CA peninsula on which I lived. Thanks to another transplant, I catch up with events four months at a time through recycled issues.
  • Turn of the Screw - Weird, repressed, unnecessarily convoluted prose which took 3 weeks to finish 122 pages

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Watching out for snakes
  • Bemoaning the fact that the critters have eaten 1/3 of the zinnias I planted
  • Regulating the flow of water to the newly irrigated pots.
  • Repairing leaks in the irrigation system.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • PBS short subjects on Netflix - three minute wonders!
  • True Detective - The disappointing ending didn't totally ruin the wonderfulness that was this short series. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are perfect.
  • The Americans - The best season yet, I think. Just how wonderful IS America, anyway???
  • The original Law And Order... Lenny, Mike, Greavey.... old friends make me smile

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Merrily We Live - My Man Godfrey knock-off that drove us away after five excruciating minutes.
  • Bad News Bears - This was not as charming as I thought it would be.
  • Charade - it's always on and I'll always watch it.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Aretha Franklin on Pandora


April 14, 2014

What I'm Reading Now

  • The Road - Cormac McCarthy's dystopian journey is riveting and awful and I can't get the images out of my head. If you are ready for it, it's well worth the angst it engenders.
  • Running With Scissors/Magical Thinking/Dry - Augusten Burroughs makes the horror of his early life eminently readable.My new favorite author.
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G.Wells's tale of vivisection is historically interesting but otherwise avoidable.   

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Replanting Euphorbia Rigida (gopher plant) as a living fence near the road.
  • Ignoring the bougainvilla which never died back
  • Planting geraniums in containers - I've had enough failures with more exotic species
  • Adding new roses in containers
  • Repairing leaks in the irrigation system
  • Smiling at the gladiolus bulbs rising from the dirt   

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • NCAA March Madness - GO WILDCATS!!
  • Sherlock - A Netflix gem, set in modern times. Fascinating.
  • The Americans - Life changes when teens begin to take an interest
  • Justified - It just gets better and better

What I've Seen Lately

  • 42 - As Little Cuter said after an hour - Oh, dear, is this EVER going to end? A dull recitation of facts, with Harrison Ford being absurd as Branch Rickey.
  • Life of Pi - Stunning photography and a fine adaptation of an allegory that could be real.... which do you choose to believe?
  • Hunger Games - Beautiful, brilliant, well-acted, fabulous costumes.
  • Laura - I listened without watching as I crocheted... I'm back to loving it again! 

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Aretha Franklin on Pandora

 

March 20, 2014

What I'm Reading Now

  • Identical - Scott Turow tries, and so did I, but I couldn't make much headway in this legalistic nightmare.
  • Prince of Risk - Christopher Reich's tale of financial machinations kept me reading aloud to TBG. Not his best, but not too bad.
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs - Anna Quindlen's romance for boomers is, as always, perfect.
  • Last to Die - Tess Gerritsen's thrillers are just that - thrilling.
  • Christmas Hope - Anne Perry's holiday series always makes me smile
  • Blind Justice - Anne Perry's characters grow and change with each new novel. Oliver Rathbone's moral dilemma takes center stage.
  • Woman in White - Wilkie Collins' brilliant tale of love, mores and property. An enjoyable classic

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Emptying the containers. Trying to remember to water them. Finding more drought tolerant plants
  • Examining the irrigation for leaks
  • Watching the wildflowers pop up all over the yard

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Olympics - of course
  • Bachelor - keeping TBG company on the couch as I watch a really nice guy try to find a new wife. Ugh.
  • House of Cards - Kevin Spacey is back and so are we
  • Justified - If Joelle Carter (Ava) doesn't win an Emmy there is no justice.

What I've Seen Lately

  • Cool Runnings - Because it's the Winter Olympics, mon
  • Gilda - One song, sung twice, tears both times
  • Laura - This used to be one of my favorites. Now, I'm wondering why.   

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Sierra Hull
  • Ralph Stanley

 

February 18, 2014

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Signature of All Things : a novel / Elizabeth Gilbert. Beautiful. Touching. Historical. A must read.
  • The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon / Alexander McCall Smith Another perfect Botswana novel. Isn't the title delicious? So is the rest of the book.
  • Sycamore Row / John Grisham. A Grisham novel that did not disappoint, unlike most of his recent work
  • The October list / Jeffery Deaver What is it? Who has it? Reliably Deaver.
  • Dick Francis's refusal / Felix Francis. The son takes up where the father left off, and, once again, writes for both of them. How much risk is too much? Who gets to decide? This is more than a mystery.
  • W is for wasted / Sue Grafton. I can't believe there will only be X, Y and Z.... Kinsey is a friend for life!
  • The 9th girl / Tami Hoag. Easily read as a stand alone, Tami Hoag creates vivid characters and believable sequences of events... which makes it all the more horrifying.
  • Cross my heart / James Patterson.. He's not really killing off all the characters in the series, is he?!?!?
  • Dust / Patricia Cornwell. I'm beginning to tire of these characters, as they seem to tire of one another.
  • The fifth assassin / Brad Meltzer. Unreadable. I made it through one chapter. I never do that.
  • Loss of Innocence / Richard North Patterson. Similarly unreadable. A screed. Life is too short to spend it with poor reading material.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Fertilizing containers
  • Changed the hanging basket - vinca to rest until next spring, the geraniums taking their place and getting ready to bloom
  • Still worrying about frost damage to the succulents.
  • The wild flowers are starting to creep up through the ground cover.
  • The rose bush is blooming yet again.
  • Blooming petunias are making me smile

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Waiting for Raylan
  • Person of Interest - a peculiar study of trust, spying, and artificial intelligence. You'll never look at auto-correct the same way after you've met The Machine.
  • NCAA men's basketball - GO WILDCATS!!
  • NFL Playoffs

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Man of Steel - He's a beautiful young man. Lois Lane saves the day. Laurence Fishburne is wasted. Russell Crowe is over the top wonderful. Supie as you've never imagined him.
  • Out of the Past - Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Jane Greer as the quintessential femme fatale. A noir-must-see
  • The Negotiator - Kevin Spacey could read the phone book and I'd watch it
  • Bullitt - A first for me, all the way through. Too slow for my 30-something son, but a perfect '60's flick for his parents.
  • Taken - Liam Neeson acts out TBG's revenge fantasy
  • Taken 2 - and then they showed up for the sequel. Oh no, her vacation was cancelled. Oh, no, her sweater was cut. Yawn.
  • An Affair to Remember - I cry every time he realizes she's the woman who bought the picture as Big Cuter does his Tom Hanks impression from Sleepless in Seattle... poor Trini Lopez.....

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Dave Brubeck - RIP
  • JES's 2013 Mix

December 29, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Little Green - Walter Mosley writes about race better than anyone alive today. This is a great story, beautifully written, with stop-you-in-your-tracks paragraphs.
  • Gone - James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge's detective+father of 10 Michael Bennet is a character who sticks with me long after the story is over.
  • When the Emperor Was Divine - Julie Otsuka's story of the Japanese internment was Cornell's freshman reading assignment.
  • The Magic Line - Elizabeth Gunn 's Tucson detective stories always have "just a little bit more" than meets the eye
  • Just One Evil Act - (Elizabeth George) This didn't need to be nearly 800 pages long. The personal pages were, as always, perfect. The mystery could've used some editing.
  • Loss of Innocence - Richard North Patterson (on the bookshelf)
  • Bones of the Lost - Kathy Reichs (on the bookshelf)
  • Accused - Lisa Scottoline (on the bookshelf)

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • One last rose left
  • Ran the irrigation system and then it rained
  • Those petunias still won't bloom

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • NFL, NCAA, ... he's in sports heaven and I'm doing crosswords on the couch
  • Foyle's War - just gets better and better. Can't believe we have only 2 episodes left
  • WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY
  • Desert Deuce at Catalina State Park
  • Enough Said - James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as real grown-ups in the real world. He's a VERY sweet man.
  • WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW
  • Sierra Hull on Pandora




  • November 5, 2013

  • What I'm Reading Now

  • In Sunlight and In Shadow - Mark Helprin uses the language better than anyone writing in English today. Each sentence is a marvel. The book, unfortunately, has 700+ pages of these marvels... it's not a quick read.
  • The Niebelungenlied - Revenge will get you no place, fast
  • Don't Go - Lisa Scottoline's stand alone story of PTSD and family love spoke honestly to me.
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry's 6th grade class book reminds you to look for the differences and to share the pain

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Adding snapdragons to the petunias, which refuse to bloom
  • Fertilizing the containers
  • Admiring the 3rd and final blooming of the roses
  • Cutting back the Euphorbia Rigida; letting them grow and self-seed let the termites nibble them to death

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • NFL, NCAA, MLB.... he's in sports heaven and I'm doing crosswords on the couch
  • Foyle's War - just gets better and better.
  • Biggest Loser - it's back, saving lives and inspiring change.
  • NCIS & Person of Interest - the only network scripted dramas I can stand.

What I've Seen Lately

  • Sound of Music - a local production, with Beautiful Annie as the grumpy nun.
  • Beauty and the Beast - A kids' production. They had fun.
  • A Pain in the Aunt - Comedy Playhouse's gentle comedy. The effort was evident tho the story was weak.
  • H.M.S.Pinafore - Arizona Opera Company staged one of my favorites.
  • Desert Blue Grass Association's annual festival - the best music in a perfect venue.

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Mavis Staples channel on Pandora - loving that gospel and R&B
  • Gilbert and Sullivan

OCtober 20, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Interestings - Meg Wollitzer wows me once again. I'm having fun imagining who the characters are "in real life."
  • The Prophet - Michael Koryta was a new author for me, but his IU pedigree didn't disappoint. This is deep, well-crafted, and I'll be reading more.
  • Beast - Faye Kellerman's characters age with grace and introspection. The story is secondary, for me.
  • Zoo - Patterson and Ledwidge's dystopian fantasy was odd but perfect for a Saturday with errands and lots of waiting. Do you really trust your pet?
  • A Sunless Sea - Anne Perry tends toward the pedantic, but her picture of Victorian England and the rise of the Metropolitan Police Force in London continues to entertain me

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Watching the ground squirrels and the ants and the javelina make a mockery of Ernie's neatly raked ground covering stone mulch.
  • Filling the containers with double petunias
  • Manually turning the irrigation on and off

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Foyle's War - history and character and bravery in the UK at the start of WWII
  • MI-5 - The BBC's answer to NCIS. Is it the accents that make this seem more powerful than American tv?
  • One more episode of the Best TV Ever - Breaking Bad, you will be missed.

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • My Fair Lady - Every bit is perfect
  • Charade - it's on basic cable all the time. I know it by heart and I still watch it, over and over again

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Bonnie Raitt in the car... I can sing along and no one can hear me
  • Old time R & B
  • Flatt and Scruggs

August 31, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Kill Room - Lincoln Rhyme takes off right where he left off in Jeffery Deaver's newest installment. It's good to reconnect with old friends.
  • Death Angel - Linda Fairstein tells a great story, with lots of NY history. The back story seems contrived, but i'm still waiting to see how it turns out.
  • 12th of Never - James Patterson and Maxine Paetro make me smile. Fast, deep, dense, wonderful
  • The Ophelia Cut - John Lescroart takes the intertwined series genre to new and frightening lengths.
  • Kinsey and Me - Sue Grafton's autobiographical stories are as heart-stoppingly beautiful as are the regular old detective schtick.
  • The Quants - WSJ Financial reporter Scott Patterson makes the financial crisis frighteningly understandable. If I could follow it, anyone can.
  • The List - J.A. Konrath's thriller is ultimately a fine story with no place to go.
  • Blood Land; Money Land - R.S. Guthrie's Wyoming sheriff is the most surprising new hero in my pantheon

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Deep watering the established trees and cacti since the monsoon rains have been pitiful this year.
  • Propping up the columnar cactus in the courtyard container.
  • Recognizing that portulaca is very happy with some afternoon shade.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Breaking Bad - I have never seen television like this before.

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Angels in the Outfield -Danny Glover was fine, but Paul Douglas's 1951 portrayal of the kindly but irascible baseball manager sets the standard.
  • The Bourne Legacy - late night snooze-a-thon with the family on Cozy Rosie. The family was the best part.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Using my new Samsung portable speaker and Pandora in the kitchen. Thank you, #BlogHer13. The Mavis Staples channel has never sounded so good.

July 11, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW


  • Six Years - Harlan Coben's stand alone story of loss, love and brutal murder kept me on the edge of my seat.
  • Fool Me Twice - Jesse Stone via Robert B Parker's heir, Michael Brandman. Spare, quick, flashes of brilliance - I loved it.
  • Potboiler - Jesse Kellerman's blend of humor and mystery and pop culture references left me cold.
  • Trains and Lovers - Alexander McCall Smith is deft and funny and, as always,he cares about his characters. A short and glorious.
  • Private - One of them... London or Berlin... James Patterson at his wiliest.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Replacing the moldy zinnias with fresh ones. The irrigation MUST NOT touch the leaves. I've learned my lesson.
  • Clearing out the record-tying-heat-wave-destroyed containers.
  • Tending the hibiscus in containers

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • The Big Bang Theory - delightfully silly and often profound. I want Sheldon's wardrobe!
  • West Wing from the beginning on streaming Netflix

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • The Lady Eve - Barbara Stanwyck runs rings around Henry Fonda while Preston Sturges pokes fun at the very very wealthy. A perfect movie.
  • Algiers - Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer sizzle off the screen. What does your prison look like?
  • The Music Man - The perfect antidote to a sobering evening
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - A pixilated delight every time!
  • The Public Eye - Joe Pesci's papparazzi is Everyman incarnate. A terrific surprise.
  • Mud - Love through the eyes of a 14 year old boy. "It's a hell of a thing... a boat in a tree." Matthew McConaughey was born to play the title role.
  • Team America: World Police - The best 4th of July Sing-a-Long ever!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

May 31, 2013


WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Black Box - Michael Connelly's intertwined characters are aging. This can be read as a stand alone story - and a very good one - but it's even better if you know who they were beforehand.
  • Bad Blood - Dana Stabenow's 20th installment of Kate Shugak's life and times is a modern day riff on Romeo and Juliet. You'll be peeved at the ending, but it will make you come back for more. Wonderful storytelling, as always.
  • Catherine the Great - Robert K. Massie's day by day account of the life of a minor German princess who changed the face of Russia is a strange mix. It is meticulously researched and the facts are presented in a straightforward manner, but I would have liked some analysis along the way. I found myself saying "WHY?" out loud.
  • The Suspect - Robert Crais gives the Marine canine as much character as he gives the human to whom he's assigned. PTSD has never been described as well as in this book. I must be one of the few people on the planet who can nod when reading "I was shot three times... and survived."

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Deciding that gladiolus grow well in my containers; planning to plant more of them for next summer's color.
  • Deadheading the rose bushes to the first set of 5 leaves as the blossoms fall
  • Watering the newly planted containers - vinca, zinnias, portulaca, sunflowers - twice a day
  • Increasing the number of days I run the irrigation system as the temperatures climb to triple digits.
  • Cutting back the wildflowers that bloomed last month.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Bachelorette...now that TBG tells me that I am aloud to scream at the screen and cringe as it becomes creepy. I'll probably ignore it until they go to beautiful places and I can pretend it's a travelogue, but the opening episode was noteworthy for the snarky tweets running below the live action.
  • Mad Men is back and though the writers seem to be at a loss as to where the story is going, Don's descent into nothingness is still fascinating to watch.
  • NCIS reruns in G'ma's hospital room
  • Bits and pieces of the NBA playoffs. I much prefer college basketball

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Zero Dark Thirty - a much better movie than
  • Argo, a made-for-tv-movie-type-movie

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Using my smart phone and Pandora to bring tunes to the kitchen. Anyone have a suggestion for a small speaker to improve the sound quality? Leave me a comment on any post

February 20, 2013


WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Good Daughter - Diana Layne can't decide if she's writing a bodice ripper or a thriller or a detective story. I put it down for schoolwork; I'm probably not going back. Good thing it was a Kindle Book Bub freebie.
  • The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo's plot is intricate, even if he does take the easy way out at the end. Multiple personalities? Really?
  • Pericles' Funeral Oration via Thucydides. Great speech writing is an art, that's for sure.
  • Euripides' Medea - Now there's one angry woman!


WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Was going to get tomatoes at Rillito Nursery on Thursday... but the snow prevented our upgrade of the raised bed.
  • Watching the snow and cold temps wreak havoc on my succulents
  • Waiting - impatiently - for the wildflowers to bloom



WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Perry Mason - Paul Drake's sport coats are reason enough to tune in.
  • The Americans - Fascinating, provocative, startling drama with some fine acting and writing. Yes, they are living next door....
  • Justified - Raylan's right, he hasn't shot anyone in a long time.
  • NCAA Men's Basketball - so many teams, so much to cheer for.

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Hello, Dolly! - Barbara Streisand's meddling Jewish mother is priceless.
  • Die Another Day - The silly 2nd half is unworthy of the much more interesting start.
  • Skyfall - Big Cuter said it best: "It's a good action film but not really a Bond film."

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • The kitchen music system is broken and I am bereft.


February 5, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Ryhs' tale of Rochester's wife... The Forgetting Tree couldn't leave this book alone. I'm reading it to see what the fuss is all about
  • The Forgetting Tree - Tatiana Solis is too young to write such a dismal tale
  • Expert, Privileged, Silent and Hostile Witness - Rebecca Forster, another freebie on the Kindle, writes this Witness series as if she's lived the life. I finished one and began another right away... and I wish there were more.
  • I Have a Secret - Cheryl Bradshaw writes with a light touch and the pages fly by. A BookBub freebie, and worth every penny
  • Aeschylus's Orestia - A good story is a good story, no matter how many centuries old

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Waiting - impatiently - for the wildflowers to bloom
  • Encouraging the snapdragons to bloom - fertilizer rules!
  • Making my pruning list for Ernie

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Suits - How long can the secret hold?
  • Tried Necessary Roughness and White Collar and have given up entirely. One and done for these series, it seems.
  • College Basketball - with Indiana and Arizona deeply in the mix, and the Hoya's with a chance to redeem themselves, this March Madness should be awesome

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • While You Were Sleeping - Hadn't watched it all the way through since the first time I saw it. There are no loose ends in this perfect love story, which represents Chicago as we knew it in the 1990's.
  • Robin Hood - Men in green tights wielding swords; what could be better?
  • The Parent Trap - I'll watch it over and over again. Ah, Lindsay... what have you gone and done to that adorable 11 year old living inside your drug addled self?
  • The Adjustment Bureau

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • The kitchen music system is broken and I am bereft.

February 4, 2013

WHAT I'M READING NOW
  • T Jefferson Parker - Where Serpents Lie was a new author for me. A bit gruesome, but good enough to send me back for more
  • Liam and Svensdotter have completed my Dana Stabenow collection. Kate's still my favorite, though

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Watching the spring wildflowers come back - they are not weeds!
  • Removing the frozen stalks in the containers. Night after night of freezing temps stopped them dead in their tracks.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Justified - Raylan is back! Loving the preacher and the darker side of Ava and Boyd's lives
  • Biggest Loser - Setting a good example, one family at a time
  • Talking heads talking about the Har-Bowl

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • King Solomon's Mines - A travelogue through Africam without much of a plot
  • This is Spinal Tap - An hour and a half of silliness
  • American President - fittingly, on Inauguration Day
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's - with Amster and Elizibeth, furthering their education on classic films

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Bonnie Raitt and Madeline Peyroux and Sarah Vaughn - ladies with bluesy voices

  • January 22, 21013


WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Wondering about moving some saguaros from the wash behind the house to the front yard
  • Bemoaning my achy leg as I look at the Texas Ranger in need of pruning
  • Deciding to prune those hardier-than-I-thought-they'd-be zinnias.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Strike Back - Cinemax's British action/comic book/spy series
  • College Basketball
  • Football... so much football....

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Barbara Stanwyck on TCM
  • Princess Bride - on a continuous loop tonight - Christmas "as you wish"
  • It's a Wonderful Life - how would we know it's December without this classic Christmas film?

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Bela Fleck's Christmas Album - Tuvan Throat singers ROCK!


December 4, 2012

WHAT I'M READING NOW


WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Wondering about moving some saguaros from the wash behind the house to the front yard
  • Bemoaning my achy leg as I look at the Texas Ranger in need of pruning
  • Deciding to prune those hardier-than-I-thought-they'd-be zinnias.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Colbert and Stewart - I love time shifting with On Demand
  • College Basketball
  • Football... so much football....

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • It's a Wonderful Life - how would we know it's December without this classic Christmas film?
  • Sullivan's Travels - I should like this more than I do
  • Gone With The Wind - reminding me of FAMBB and our trip to the Big Apple to see it in a big theater

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Pod-casts of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and This American Life on my new phone.
  • Madeline Peyroux and Sarah Vaughn on Pandora. TBG turned off the sound on the football game and listened along with me for a while

October 31, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • A Wanted Man - A new Jack Reacher book from Lee Child! I just have to keep the image of Tom Cruise out of my head.....
  • Sister - Rosamond Lupton's love letter from a big sister to her dead younger sibling is a mystery interspersed wtih musings on loss and love. I had tears running down my face
  • The Trust - Norb Vonnegut's financial thriller. A new genre for me; a fun story from him
  • An Available Man - Hilma Wolitzer may be my new favorite "new to me" author. Gentle, funny, true
  • Creole Belle - James Lee Burke writes another great one
  • Angle of Repose - This is a good one to pick up and put down. The characters stay with me. Great Kindle read

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Waiting for the Texas Ranger to stop blooming so I can trim it back and reshape it into something more palatable to TBG's eye
  • Replanting the containers for Fall

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Attack Ads.... stop lying in my living room, please
  • GO GIANTS! Thanks for ending it in 4; that's about as much baseball as I can handle
  • Football... so much football....

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Prisoner of Zenda - Stewart Granger and Jean Kerr and forbidden love. One of my favorites
  • All the President's Men - Still a great story, even though you know how it turns out

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Opera on Sirius - Thanks, Jean Jennings, for reminding me of Daddooooo and Sunday's in the car on the way to G'mas house with WQXR on the radio
  • Old And In The Way station on Pandora - Grisman, Garcia, Clemens and more

Sept - Oct 2012 (the wedding got in the way of updates)

What I'm Reading Now

  • A Conspiracy of Friends - Yes, I'm reading a dog book.. b/c I'll read anything Alexander McCall Smith writes.
  • Misterioso - Arne Dahl's Sweden reads like Lisbeth Salandar could be right around the corner. It's the first of a series; I'm ready for the next one!
  • Daring Greatly
  • Angle of Repose - I'm liking the Kindle more and more... and this story is fantastic

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Adjusting the irrigation for cooler night time temps
  • Contemplating a Fall makeover for the pots

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Go On - Matthew Perry's comedy is sweet-not-smarmy and sometimes riotously fall off the couch funny
  • Alphas - Gary rocks!
  • Football... so much football....
  • John Stewart and Stephen Colbert... because I'm so upset about the general tone that all I can do is laugh.

What I've Seen Lately


What I'm Listening to Now

  • Bonnie Raitt
  • My friends' stories from the wedding

August 26,2012

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • XO - Jeffery Deaver's intertwining characters appear on vacation.... doesn't anyone in literature get a day off?
  • Angle of Repose - A gift from Bunionella on my Kindle. Loving the story but I wish it were a book to hold instead of pixels to scroll.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Amazed at the overgrown bushes; desert plants make immediate use of the monsoons
  • Debating putting in a fall veggie garden. Will it be fun or a chore?
  • Cutting back the tomato which has given up the ghost but which may reappear when it cools off.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Necessary Roughness
  • Suits - Absurd workplace attire matched only by the ridiculous situations, and yet, I watch it.
  • Political Animals - I can't believe they're not sued for libel, but I'm stuck to it, obsessively.
  • The Newsroom - Still loving it!

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth - James Mason, Pat Boone and Gertrude the Duck. One of TBG's favorites..... and I love him, anyway....
  • Unknown - with good reason.... a lift from Bourne Identity that even Liam Neesom couldn't salvage.
  • My Cousin Vinnie - I know every line ... and I laugh at every line
  • Lloyd's of London - Even Tyrone Power couldn't hold my interest.... only lasted through 55 minutes before I fell asleep.
  • WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW
  • Love songs..... it's in the air
  • Chelsea Dyer I've known her since she was 14.....my how she's grown

August 18, 2012

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Angle of Repose - A gift from Bunionella on my Kindle. I'm saving it for my trip to NYC next week.
  • Triple Crossing - Sebastian Rotella's first novel is rocky getting going but paints a picture of the Tijuana to Tucson border that is horrifyingly graphic and real.
  • Dorchester Terrace - Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt and Charlotte are going upscale. Want to know how WWI really started.????

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Enjoying my newly planted containers.
  • Monitoring and changing the irrigation schedule as the monsoon waters without charge.
  • Added Euphorbia rigida to TBG's living fence out there at the edge.
  • Enjoying the tiny tomatoes and the spicy jalapeno from the veggie plot.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Olympics... all day... all the time...
  • Penn State coverage .... Aurora coverage.... attack ads.....
  • The Newsroom - Still loving it!

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Some early and forgettable Barbara Stanwyck films
  • The last scenes of While You Were Sleeping and Secretariat - because they cheered us up.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Mark Knopfler on Pandora
  • POTUS on XM-Radio - especially the live broadcasts of speeches. No editorializing, just the plain facts.

July 9, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • Emma - Jane Austen's busy body is Elizibeth's summer reading project for me. We're each about half way through.
  • The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection - Alexander McCall Smith is profound and sensible and funny.
  • Some Assembly Required - Anne Lamott's touching tale of her 19 year old son's entree into parenthood is as soft and smooth as all her work.
  • Laura Lippman - her Tess Monaghan series is Baltimore based and wonderful. The stand alone novels - two girls in trouble and the consequences years later - are similar in tone but different enough to keep me occupied through this whole month.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Harvesting the jalapeno and waiting for the water melon to be large enough to pick.
  • Wondering why my iris never bloom.
  • Trimming and pruning to prepare for the wedding.... a mere 70 some days away.
  • Saddened by the death of my potted plants.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Suits - An absurd premise but still I turn it on.
  • The Mentalist - Patrick Jane is a despicable main character, yet I love him.
  • The Newsroom - Aaron Sorkin's talky and wonderful newest oeuvre
  • Bachelorette - Down to the final four.... who will she choose?

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Ides of March - Ryan Gosling is chewed up and spit out in this political soap opera.
  • An Ideal Husband - Claudette Colbert in this 1947 opus. Cecil Beaton's costumes are just awful... what's with the poofy shoulders?
  • Goldfinger - The very best Bond, IMHO
  • From Russia With Love - I thought I knew it by heart.... I didn't 

What I'm Listening to Now

  • POTUS on XM-Radio - especially the live broadcasts of speeches. No editorializing, just the plain facts.
  • Bonnie Raitt - my vocal hero

June 19, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • Break Down - Sara Paretsky writes real literature in a real town. There's something delicious on every page.
  • The Hunger Games TrilogyI read them all in 2 days -- 1/3 of the NYTimes Best Seller List in one lengthy sitting. I'm still thinking about them. This is young adult lit with enough kick for grown ups, too.
  • Feast Day of Fools - James Lee Burke's aging sheriff tackles the big issues head on. If you want to explore Good and Evil, this is the book for you
  • Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D. James is not Jane Austen and she shouldn't try to become her.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Wondering if my containers will survive the summer heat... and what to do if they don't
  • Harvesting a tomato every day. The little red ones are a perfect snack as I'm bbq'ing
  • Watching my roses bloom

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Bachelorette - OK, I admit it. I'm hooked.
  • NBA - I'm a closet Thunder fan, it seems
  • Mad Men - speaking to men and women this season.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Avengers - in 3D with my boys. Loud, fast, lots of explosions and not much exposition. A true comic book on the screen.

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Bonnie Raitt - my vocal hero

May 22, 2012

What I 'm Reading Now

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy I read them all in 2 days -- 1/3 of the NYTimes Best Seller List in one lengthy sitting. I'm still thinking about them. This is young adult lit with enough kick for grown ups, too.
  • Feast Day of Fools - James Lee Burke's aging sheriff tackles the big issues head on. If you want to explore Good and Evil, this is the book for you
  • Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D. James is not Jane Austen and she shouldn't try to become her.
  • Break Down - Sara Paretsky writes real fiction in a real city.  Every page is a gem.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Wondering if my containers will survive the summer heat... and what to do if they don't
  • Harvesting a tomato every day. The little red ones are a perfect snack as I'm bbq'ing
  • Watching my roses bloom

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Bachelorette - OK, I admit it. I'm hooked.
  • NBA - I'm a closet Thunder fan, it seems
  • Mad Men - speaking to men and women this season.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Avengers - in 3D with my boys. Loud, fast, lots of explosions and not much exposition. A true comic book on the screen.

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Bonnie Raitt - my vocal hero

May 10, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • City of Whispers - Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone is my favorite female detective. This story fills in the gaps in her background quite nicely.
  • Unbroken - Laura Hillebrand takes you right there with her characters. I'm feeling stronger with every page

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Watched Ernie's guys rake the stone ground cover. It's like having someone make your bed for you - it looks great and took no effort on my part.
  • Watched Juan install the additions to the little cactus garden. The trichocerus, the golden barrels, the torch.
  • Planted my veggie garden
  • Soaking in the admiration as friends and strangers admire my colorful front yard.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Tried VEEP and won't be back. Dropping the F word does not mean a script is well written.
  • Hockey playoffs - I'll watch the overtime period of anything
  • NBA - I'm a closet Thunder fan, it seems
  • Mad Men - speaking to men and women this season

What I've Seen Lately

  • Is there a movie worth leaving my house to watch? I certainly can't find one

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Bonnie Raitt - my vocal hero

April 26, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • Unbroken - Laura Hillebrand takes you right there with her characters. I'm feeling stronger with every page.
  • Butcher's Hill - The 3rd Laura Lippman mystery starting Tess Monaghan. Baltimore never looked this good.
  • The Bitter-Sweet Season - Jane Gross's tale of her mother's decline. The book I would have written....
  • Still trying to finish Vanity Fair's article on John Corzine

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Planted my veggie garden
  • Soaking in the admiration as friends and strangers admire my colorful front yard.
  • Adding two Mexican fan palms to the back yard.
  • Watching Juan install a living fence at the edge of the property. Euphorbia rigida (Gopher Plant) should spread and bloom and separate us from the street.
What I'm Watching Right Now

  • The Mentalist - he's an arrogant, insensitive, sadist and I love him.

  • Justified - just one more episode.... sigh....
  • Mad Men


What I've Seen Lately

  • The Masters - can't say that I watched it, but I saw the highlights as TBG called me.
What I'm Listening to Now

  • Big Band/Swing

 

April 9, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • Taken - (Robert Crais) My favorite characters, sparely written and fabulously constructed. Crais takes noir to new heights.
  • Vanity Fair's article on John Corzine
  • Devil's Teardrop - A Jeffery Deaver stand-alone novel that's every bit as wonderful as his Lincoln Rhyme series
  • Private Games - James Patterson has finally failed me. Predictable and unbelievable.... this co-author should be dumped

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now
  • Hoping that my iris bloom this year - the leaves are larger and greener than they've been for the last 5 seasons
  • Refurbishing the containers
  • Admiring the wildflowers popping up in the yard
  • Spraying Round-Up on the weeds... not the flowers.

What I'm Watching Right Now
  • In Plain Sight - if only to listen to TBG complain about Mary's attitude
  • Mad Men
  • NCAA Basketball.. even tho I don't have a dog in the fight anymore

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Rocky Mountains from the air
  • My daughter's smiling face
  • The Statue of Liberty at twilight

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Big Band/Swing

March 4, 2012

What I'm Reading Now

  • Gun Games - Faye Kellerman's few days in the life of her newest character were, as usual, charming, violent, and redemptive. Her bad guys are bad guys through and through, even if they have a tender moment or two.
  • The Drop - Michael Connolly's overlapping characters are endlessly entertaining. I'm really glad that Harry's not retiring any time soon.
  • Down the Darkest Road - Tami Hoag had me crying, sweating, gasping and reeling. This is as close as you'll get to the overwhelming feelings I've been living with for the last 13 months.
  • Gideon's Corpse - Preston & Child's thriller IS thrilling, if somewhat unbelievable. Gideon Crew is an interesting character and one to be watched.
  • Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell is losing my interest. I'm not caring that much about Kay and Lucy and Marino, and the plot wasn't too thrilling either.
  • The Jew in the Lotus - My "in the car"book. I'm going deeper and deeper into the similarities and differnces in a diasporic life-style.
What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Hiring someone to do the heavy labor and irrigation chores. Weddings require more work than I can do right now...or probably ever.
  • Refurbishing the cactus planter.
  • Adding some petunias to the front planters.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Gave up on White Collar, Royal Pains, and Law'n.
  • The Daily Show is at the top of our hit list right now. As politics get weirder, John Stewart gets funnier.
  • Jeremy Lin leading the Knicks to victory after victory.
  • Justified - Raylan's back and all's right with the world

What I've Seen Lately

  • Snippets of Big Bang Theory - Little Cuter had me giggling along side her. I'm not putting it on the regular rotation, but it's good for an occasional laugh or two before bedtime.
  • Philadelphia Story - C K Dexter Haaaaaaa-ven

What I'm Listening to Now

  • SIRIUS radio's POTUS for politics and OUTLAW for country.
  • Must replace that kitchen music system

FEBRUARY 16, 2012

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides writes real literature in a popular style. He's deep, he's funny, he's inside his characters' heads.
  • Private- #1 Suspect - Patterson and Paetro tell a great story with well chosen words. A nice quick read
  • The Hunter - John Lescroart writes another winner.
  • The Jew in the Lotus - Rodger Kamenetz is a poet and a Jew and a fantastic reporter. His journey to the Dalai Lama with Jews of all stripes is forcing me to reassess my outlook on religion. Can I be a secret Kabbalist?

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Wondering about the planters.... leaning towards succulents and cacti and forgetting about colorful flowering plants
  • Admiring the winter loveliness
  • Planning for a "statement plant" in the front yard

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • College Basketball - Hoya Saxa! Go Hoosiers!
  • Justified - Raylan's back and all's right with the world

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Contraband - Marky Mark is eminently watchable but this was a better tv show than a movie.
  • Moneyball - A wonderful book, a boring movie.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • 2nd Annual Concert for Civility - Ben Folds is too loud for my old ears, but Calexico and Silver Thread Trio and Luz de Luna warmed my heart
  • My FM radio station changed its format. My kitchen is silent - I must replace the music maker soon


DECEMBER 30, 2011
What I'm Reading Now

  • The Jew in the Lotus - Rodger Kamenetz is a poet and a Jew and a fantastic reporter. His journey to the Dalai Lama with Jews of all stripes is forcing me to reassess my outlook on religion. Can I be a secret Kabbalist?
What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Wondering about the planters.... leaning towards succulents and cacti and forgetting about colorful flowering plants
  • Admiring the winter loveliness
  • Planning for a "statement plant" in the front yard

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Colbert Report - I am ready for the Stephen Colbert Super Pac South Carolina Republican Primary..... are you?
  • The Daily Show - I wonder why I never mentioned this before. Even the reruns make me laugh.
  • Rome - Big Cuter brought the discs home and we are entranced. GREAT television and a lovely sequel to my Fall of the Roman Republic class

What I've Seen Lately

  • All the movies I love:
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • In-Laws (Alan Arkin original version)
  • Maltese Falcon
  • Casablanca
  • El Dorado
  • Rio Lobo
  • My Man Godfrey

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Broken CD palyer in the kitchen leaves me reliant on the radio. My station changed its format. Sigh.....


December 12, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

  • Cicero, Plutarch, Catullus, Suetonius..... the fall of the Roman Republic reads like today's news, with just a little more violence and bloodshed.
  • The Odyssey - Every teacher points to something new. There's a reason it's been read for centuries.
  • Dr. Faustus - Christopher Marlowe is no easier to read than Shakespeare. I need to see it staged.
  • V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton's SoCal private eye loves her 88 year old land-lord and a disreputable restaurant down the corner. She gets into more trouble than she ought, but she doesn't whine about it. There are only 4 more letters of the alphabet.... I'm sad in anticipation.
  • Kill Alex Cross -James Patterson's newest page turner. Books this readable are few and far between. Laugh if you want, but he's one of my favorite authors and this book is just like the rest of them - well written, fast paced, interesting and filled with love.
  • Faithful Place Review is now live on BlogHer #BHBC - Tana French is my new favorite author.
What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Readjusting the irrigation system - same duration, greater interval
  • Updating the containers with their fall/winter plants - Black Petunias and some succulents
  • Yearning to bend more easily.... sigh.....

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • NCIS - I forgot how much I like Mark Harmon.... and there are 8 years of this program and we've seen none of them. Since we can recite every Law'n episode from memory, this is a good thing. We need a "go to" when all else fails.
  • A Gifted Man - He's hot and a good actor and yes that is Meryl Streep's daughter. An absurd premise but an interesting show
  • Biggest Loser - the only show on tv that saves lives. I love it.
  • Football... Tebow Time!!

What I've Seen Lately

  • Gaelic Storm - More fiddlin' and foot tappin' and so much energy. The small crowd at The Rialto were moved down to the front rows... there was a lot of smiling and singing and dancing going on all night long.
  • Desert Bluegrass Festival - Live performers, locals and New Jersey-ites and banjos.. oh, those banjos.
  • She Done Him Wrong - Cary Grant and Mae West and some of the funniest lines in moviedom

What I'm Listening to Now

  • JES's mix and Mary's mix and Craig's mix..... hanging with my friends as I ease into the holidaze
  • Kickin' Grass CD from the Bluegrass Festival
  • Gaelic Storm channel on Pandora

November 17,2011

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Carte Blanche - the new James Bond Novel written by Jeffery Deaver. Neither disappoints. Read this NOW!
  • The Reversal- Michael Connelly's interwoven characters bounce from novel to novel, series to series, and they are always A GREAT READ
  • The Lunch Wars - How to fix your kids' cafeterias.... another battle to be fought
  • Faithful Place Review is now live on BlogHer #BHBC - Tana French is my new favorite author.
  • WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW
  • Updating the containers with their fall/winter plants
  • Supervising the installation of trees and shrubs on Wednesday. Pre-Wedding Decorating has begun!
  • Yearning to bend more easily.... sigh.....
  • WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW
  • The Good Wife is coming back and I can't wait. Real adult drama
  • I'm recommending Alphas.... Gary may be my favorite character on tv... "You have to work on your listening skills, Bill."
  • Football... once again.... football.... sigh....

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • My Man Godfrey- I love it when TCM shows this - I laugh, I cry, I nod my head. One of my Top 10. "Don't worry Godfrey, it'll be over in a minute..."
  • Possessed - 1931's Joan Crawford and Clark Gable tale of social mores.
  • The Help - Nearly as wonderful as the book.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Annoyed with Spotify, I'm moving to try I <3 Radio.
  • Meanwhile, Pandora still amuses


September 20, 2011




WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • In Harm's Way - Ridley Bolt is combining two of his series and I'm liking the blend.
  • Gideon's Sword - Preston & Child's story had my eyes racing over the pages. I finished the story in 1 day and can't wait for the next one.
  • The First Patient - Michael Palmer's story is so memorable I knew I'd read it before by the end of the first chapter. I enjoyed it then, tho I am not rereading it now.
  • Djibouti - Not my favorite Elmore Leonard. The story twists around on itself and is more confusing than it needs to be. Alas
  • Faithful Place Review is now live on BlogHer #BHBC - Tana French is my new favorite author.









WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Going to contact my favorite nurseryand have Beth advise me on trees and other installations. We have a wedding to plan, after all.
  • Yearning to bend more easily.... sigh.....



WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • I'm recommending Alphas.... Gary may be my favorite character on tv... "You have to work on your listening skills, Bill."
  • Football... once again.... football.... sigh....



WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • My Man Godfrey- I love it when TCM shows this - I laugh, I cry, I nod my head. One of my Top 10. "Don't worry Godfrey, it'll be over in a minute..."
  • Possessed - 1931's Joan Crawford and Clark Gable tale of social mores.
  • The Help - Nearly as wonderful as the book.




WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Annoyed with Spotify, I'm moving to try I <3 Radio.
  • Meanwhile, Pandora still amuses.

  • September 4,2011
  • Faithful Place Review is now live on BlogHer #BHBC
  • The Kid, Sapphire's sequel to what became the movie Precious, is a difficult, painful, well-written cold slap in the face of a novel. It ain't pretty, but it's real.

  • Dracula - Bram Stoker wrote a screenplay, complete with notes for set decoration, make-up, lighting and camera angles. It is easily the most frightening book I've ever read. I'm gasping out loud.
  • The Beach Trees, not my favorite summer read, is reviewed here at BlogHer's Book Club
  • The Dog Who Came in from the Cold - Alexander McCall Smith's series where the action is less important than the relationships and I can hardly wait to see how MI-6 fits into all of this.
  • Adam and Eve - I forgot how much I enjoy Sena Jeter Naslund. She crafts gorgeous sentences and her stories exist on so many levels and layers. I'm still not sure what the first paragraphs mean......
  • The Jew in the Lotus - a gift awaiting me on my shelf

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Yearning to bend more easily.... sigh.....
  • Considering what to plant on the inside of the pony wall in the courtyard.
  • Thinking about how many trees to add to the front yard.
  • Mourning the death of my backyard containers. Note to self - Do not place pots directly under downspouts during the monsoon.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Football... once again.... football.... sigh....
  • Alphas - sci fi with a social conscience. X-Men for TV, I guess.
  • Necessary Roughness - want to see what Long Island women are capable of? Tune in and find out. I was providing the dialogue as she went along. My new favorite show.
  • Suits - Smart dialogue, 2 engaging main characters, and a totally believable story line.
  • Covert Affairs, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains - old favorites

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • The Lincoln Lawyer - Nearly as good as the book. "You ain't nobody til somebody's shot you....."
  • Secretariat - Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Margo Martindale (Mags Bennett from Justified) are as marvelous an ensemble as I've seen in a long long long time.
  • About A Boy - He may say he wasn't interested, but TBG spent 90 minutes guffawing right along side of me, even if he claims not to like a single character.
  • Prisoner of Zenda - both versions, one after the other, and Stewart Granger rules!
  • The Lincoln Lawyer - Nearly as good as the book. "You ain't nobody til somebody's shot you....."

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Car Talk with Elizabeth in The Schnozz on a weekend morning.... just like old times.
  • Loreena McKennitt - Thank you, Professor Soren

August 9,2011

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Getting to Happy left me cold. Click and see why.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Horror Movie - Dr. David Soren, the author, will be teaching a seminar on Art and the Cinema. I can hardly wait!
  • The Beach Trees - another BlogHer book review to come later this month
  • Getting to Happy - Review coming on the 7th
  • Silent Mercy - I like Linda Fairstein's characters, which is a good thing because this book didn't grab me for much beyond following the on-going backstory of the series.
  • Oooops..... I'm in Love with A Discovery of Witches, which is a big admission for me because I am not usually at romance/vampire/damsel in distress fan.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Wondering why I didn't plant the vinca earlier in the season and then remembering that I'd been kind of busy this winter and spring.
  • Maintaining the supplemental irrigation for the veggie garden and the basket

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Necessary Roughness - want to see what Long Island women are capable of? Tune in and find out. I was providing the dialogue as she went along. My new favorite show.
  • Suits - Smart dialogue, 2 engaging main characters, and a totally believable story line.
  • Covert Affairs, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains - old favorites

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Brother Orchid - Bogey has a supporting role as E. G. Robinson's gangster is saved by the love of some kind and generous men.
  • King Kong - If you've never seen it you are in for a treat. It's beautiful and takes itself very seriously and yes, Fay Wray does more than scream.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • I'm looking for suggestions.... comments, anyone?













July 3,2011


WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Sentry - Joe Pike is back and Robert Crais's scariest creation is at the top of his game. I could've used him on January 8th...
  • The Help - Kathryn Stockett's depiction of Southern gentility in the 1960's... from the point of view of The Help. Absolutely wonderful - easy and deep and real
  • The Charming Quirks of Others - Alexander McCall Smith's latest Isabel Dalhousie novel. The sweetness and the profundity sit quietly together, wafting through my brain and making me smile as I think
  • Oooops..... I'm in Love with A Discovery of Witches, which is a big admission for me because I am not usually at romance/vampire/damsel in distress fan.



WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Supplemental irrigation for the veggie garden and the basket - 3x per day for 10 mins vs 2x/day for the same length of time. Never change the duration, just alter the frequency.
  • Replaced the spent hanging basket with geraniums. Not my favorite flower, but they might withstand the heat.
  • Ernie's guys raked the stone mulch and planted Concert Pal's succulents.
  • Irrigating every 3 days now, and considering every other day. Monsoon is officially here, but where is the rain?




WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • No Sports - late June and early July are my fallow period. I allow my sports brain to rest in order to be fresh and ready for the fall.
  • All my summer favorites! Covert Affairs, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains



WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? - 4/5th of this movie are fabulous; the ending left us cold. Jayne Mansfield is quite something.... and then look at Mariska Hargitay and see her mom in her features.
  • Young Bess - TBG promised me it had a happy ending. He lied.
  • Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex - I put it on for G'ma and at the first glance of Errol Flynn she burst into a huge grin! Thank you, Michael Curtiz!
  • Prisoner of Zenda - two in a row, thanks to TMC. I think I like Stewart Granger better than Ronald Coleman in this one.



WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Not much music - too much company

JUNE 24, 2011


WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Love, Stargirl - Sequel to Stargirl and a little bit more mature. Spinelli's poetry and loving heart are well displayed.
  • The Big Short - Michael Lewis is wicked and smart and if I follow TBG's advice and don't get hung up on the arcana of high finance and skullduggery it's a fun read.
  • Boys shouldn't write chick lit. Read A Jane Austen Education and find out why.


WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Trimmed the overgrown palms in the backyard, turning them from bushes into trees. It's a classic example of the wrong plant in the wrong place
  • Propped up the hesperaloe parviflora stalks so that visitors can walk down the path unscathed
  • Upped the irrigation to every 4 days



WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • NOT WATCHING Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition - once was enough to convince me it is superficial and not life affirming.
  • Neil and Peter are back, and so is my favorite blind spy.
  • NBA Finals, because it's there



WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • June Bride - Robert Montgomery is a perfect foil for Bette Davis in a rare comedy. Lightweight and perfect - up until the very very end. Betty Friedan was SO right - everything conspired to put women out of the workforce and back in the kitchen after WW2
  • Too Big To Fail - HBO's special is perfectly cast and easy to follow. It's dramatic and it's true. And NO, they didn't lend it all out, did they?



WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • Pandora Radio - Madeline Peyroux still helps me write. Crystal Bowersox brings me interesting new tunes.

June 4, 2011


  • WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey - As brilliant as he is on race, Walter Mosely is equally fabulous on the old old. I've found a window into G'ma's world. This is a must read
  • Boys shouldn't write chick lit. Read A Jane Austen Education and find out why.
  • Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok) No whining, no excuses, just resilience and real life. I loved this book. Click through to the review on BlogHer
  • Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff is brilliant. There is not a boring sentence in the book. I'm not a biography or non-fiction fan, but this was wonderful.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Deadheading and supplementally watering and getting ready for the heat.
  • Delighting in the fact that a hanging basket can actually thrive in this environment. Twice daily irrigation seems to be the key.
  • Irrigating once a week, though considering twice a week as the temperatures climb high in the 90's and the wind does not let up. It's a lethal combination. (Still haven't decided.)

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW


WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Too Big To Fail - HBO's special is perfectly cast and easy to follow. It's dramatic and it's true. And NO, they didn't lend it all out, did they?

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • JES's third anniversary CD mix is still in the rotation. I take it out and then I miss it too much.
  • Pandora Radio - Madeline Peyroux brings me Frank Sinatra and Pink Martini and Ella Fitzgerald and I've written 4 posts in one sitting.


MAY 28, 2011

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Edge (Jeffery Deaver) I don't know if I liked it this much because the story was great or because I had the large print edition and it was a pleasure to read.
  • Secrets to the Grave - Tami Hoag picks up right where she left off and leaves you alone about a week later. The interlude is fascinating.
  • Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok) No whining, no excuses, just resilience and real life. I loved this book. Click through to the review on BlogHer
  • Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff is brilliant. There is not a boring sentence in the book. I'm not a biography or non-fiction fan, but this was wonderful.

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Tending my gorgeous pots - osteospermum, snapdragons and an amazing yellow something or other that cannot be killed.
  • Irrigating once a week, though considering twice a week as the temperatures climb high in the 90's and the wind does not let up. It's a lethal combination.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • Silly Summer Serials - starting withMary and Marshall Marshall
  • NBA playoff basketball tempts me for the last 2 minutes of each game and not much more. Though I will admit to being intrigued by the Oklahoma City Thunder's youth and enthusiasm.
  • The Good Wife - WHO does he think he is? I love Alicia's strength ... she inspires.

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Bits and Pieces of the Law'n Mothers' Day Marathon...... the good, the bad, and the truly awful.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • JES's third anniversary CD mix - outstanding!
  • Pandora Radio - Ke'b Mo and the Dead and Pink Martini stations are amusing me these days

MAY 10, 2011

WHAT I'M READING NOW

  • Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok) No whining, no excuses, just resilience and real life. I loved this book. Click through to the review on BlogHer
  • Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff is brilliant. There is not a boring sentence in the book. I'm not a biography or non-fiction fan, but this was wonderful.
  • Mystery (Jonathan Kellerman) Not my favorite, but an easy read while traveling
  • Worth Dying For (Lee Child) Jack Reacher is back - in and out of a town in 48 hours after having cleansed it of bad guys. Perfect!
  • Coming Back (Marcia Muller) Sharon McCone and I are healing quite nicely, thank you very much. Our supportive and nurturing and sometimes overbearing overprotective spouses are doing fine, too

WHAT I'M DOING IN THE GARDEN NOW

  • Tending my gorgeous pots - osteospermum, snapdragons and an amazing yellow something or other that cannot be killed.
  • Irrigating once a week, though considering twice a week as the temperatures climb high in the 90's and the wind does not let up. It's a lethal combination.

WHAT I'M WATCHING RIGHT NOW

  • NBA playoff basketball tempts me for the last 2 minutes of each game and not much more. Though I will admit to being intrigued by the Oklahoma City Thunder's youth and enthusiasm.
  • The Good Wife - WHO does he think he is? I love Alicia's strength ... she inspires.
  • Justified - One more episode... what will I do without him all summer long?

WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY

  • Double Indemnity - Fred MacMurray bleeds to death better than anyone else I know.
  • The original episodes of ZORRO that were Disney's contrbution to TBG's childhood

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO NOW

  • JES's third anniversary CD mix - outstanding!
  • Pandora Radio - Ke'b Mo and the Dead and Pink Martini stations are amusing me these days

May 2, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

  • Glass Rainbow - James Lee Burke is letting Clete Purcell slide downhill as Dave watches Alafair grow up and make decisions he just knows are bad ones.. Why Won't They Listen works for me every time
  • The Satruday Big Tent Wedding Party - Oh, Alexander McCall Smith, could Little Cuter and I possibly borrow Mma Motokwani to take charge of our wedding??? Please??? This was another wonderful afternoon in a very old fashioned modern place.
  • Deliverance From Evil - Frances Hill is a scholar trying to write a romance novel, or a romance novelist trying to go mainstream, or something. The Salem Witch Scare reads like a Law'n episode done as a telenovela : lots of heaving breasts and pining love.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Replace the pansies that died an unnatural death 24 hours after Not -Kathy and I planted them 10 days ago.
  • Ernie's coming tomorrow. He'll wield his magic cordless machine and remove mistletoe and odd branches and overgrown lantana. His guys will remove broom and check the irrigation system for leaks , repairing the ones they find.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • The Good Wife
  • Justified - Raylan is back and I do love him so. Were that he were real; there's someone I'd like him to meet.
  • College Basketball - Only Big Cuter has a dog in this fight any more. Yawn.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The original episodes of ZORRO that were Disney's contrbution to TBG's childhood

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Pandora Radio as I write dozens of thank you notes to OHS Classmates near and far. I have a 1969era channel streaming non-stop.

April 20, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

  • Glass Rainbow - James Lee Burke is letting Clete Purcell slide downhill as Dave watches Alafair grow up and make decisions he just knows are bad ones.. Why Won't They Listen works for me every time
  • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party - Oh, Alexander McCall Smith, could Little Cuter and I possibly borrow Mma Motokwani to take charge of our wedding??? Please??? This was another wonderful afternoon in a very old fashioned modern place.
  • Deliverance From Evil - Frances Hill is a scholar trying to write a romance novel, or a romance novelist trying to go mainstream, or something. The Salem Witch Scare reads like a Law'n episode done as a telenovela : lots of heaving breasts and pining love.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Replace the pansies that died an unnatural death 24 hours after Not -Kathy and I planted them 10 days ago.
  • Ernie's coming tomorrow. He'll wield his magic cordless machine and remove mistletoe and odd branches and overgrown lantana. His guys will remove broom and check the irrigation system for leaks , repairing the ones they find.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • The Good Wife
  • Justified - Raylan is back and I do love him so. Were that he were real; there's someone I'd like him to meet.
  • College Basketball - Only Big Cuter has a dog in this fight any more. Yawn.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The original episodes of ZORRO that were Disney's contrbution to TBG's childhood

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Pandora Radio as I write dozens of thank you notes to OHS Classmates near and far. I have a 1969era channel streaming non-stop.

April 1 

What I'm Reading Now

  • Pursuit of Happiness (Douglas Kennedy) An easy read. An interesting snapshot of post-WW2 America; we have made great progress, ladies! But a woman's story written by a man misses the nuance that I kept waiting for. Not a brain-buster, though, so perfect for me right now.
  • Collections of Billy Collins poetry - simple and deep, accessible and arcane. I'm in love
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Philip K Dick) Cornellians read this book before classes began in September. It's a little dark for me right now, but it doesn't weigh much and that feels good on my perforated self.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Feeling less guilty about ignoring my yard - the Master Gardeners cancelled the April Home Garden Tour b/c no one had a yard worth sharing. This cold winter took its toll, even on those who managed to cover the sensitive plants.
  • Waiting for Not-Kathy to come and shop and plant. The containers are so sad right now.
  • Planning my spring/summer containers. Some bulbs are sticking their leaves above the surface now, but they are rudely surprised by the freezing air

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Justified - Raylan is back and I do love him so. Were that he were real; there's someone I'd like him to meet.
  • Hot in Cleveland - Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves (of Fraser fame), and Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) in an improbable but hysterically funny 30 minute sit-com. It's snarky and lovely and feels very very real. Does your cable package include TVLand?
  • College Basketball - Time to start thinking about my brackets.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Kids Are All Right - TBG bailed after 15 minutes, but Bunionella and I reveled in this ultimate chick flick.
  • Public Enemies - Johnny Depp and Christian Bale and a host of believable minor characters. The gunfire is frightening to me still, but the performances.... oh my

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Keb Mo and Crosby Stills &amp; Nash and Calexico ... in preparation for the benefit concert for civility on March 10th at the Tucson Convention Center. Come On Down!
  • FAMBB's country cd's - one for every mood

 

March 5

What I'm Reading Now

  • Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli) A special gift from Chris, my New Jersey pen-pal, who referenced this book in the "get well" letter he sent me last month. Some teachers are really special; kudos to Mr. Hudak and Stockton Borough School's 5th and 6th graders for caring about a perforated Arizonan!
  • Collections of Billy Collins poetry - simple and deep, accessible and arcane. I'm in love
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Philip K Dick) Cornellians read this book before classes began in September. It's a little dark for me right now, but it doesn't weigh much and that feels good on my perforated self.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Practicing Patience - the mantra for desert gardeners in February.
  • Watching as the Omni Cares volunteers from the Omni/Tucson National Resort work their magic on my yard. It's amazing how wonderful people can be when you are in need
  • NOT pruning anything (ok, not instructing anyone to prune anything... it's hard to prune from a walker). There's another frost coming and I don't want to expose growing tissue to these frigid temps
  • Planning my spring/summer containers. Some bulbs are sticking their leaves above the surface now, but they are rudely surprised by the freezing air

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • College Basketball - Hoya Saxa! Go Wildcats! Two ranked teams to watch and love.
  • Nothing with gunfire or surgery.... my options are, therefore, quite limited :(

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin's dense dialogue can't make up for an over-long story about a nerd with no social skills and no sense of the consequences of his actions. Did the sun never shine in Boston? Why this is a contender for Best Movie is beyond me.
  • Zombieland - A delightful love story, buddy movie, gigglefest. The Cuters are very proud of me for giving it a chance. So, go ahead, impress your youngers.

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Suzi's Mix from Mary, yogi extraordinaire. Just the ticket to brighten my days
  • Meditation CD's from friends near and far.... usually too too too for me, but in my perforated state they are wonderful

 

January 31

  • Collections of Billy Collins poetry - simple and deep, accessible and arcane. I'm in love
  • 44 Scotland Street Alexander McCall Smith writes simple and sweet and astute sentences, each of which has the power to surprise. You know these people.
  • The 9th Judgment (James Patterson) I admit it, I am hooked. I think he writes a great quick read. His characters feel real and while he's not quite Elmore Leonard he gets the job done.
  • The new Greg Iles book is on my shelf, waiting for Big Cuter to leave. I know that once I pick it up, I'll be useless for anything but reading it for the next 8 or 10 hours

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Reset the irrigation system for the winter; the Weather Service tells me it's going to rain. I think it's swell that it waited til after the Cuters have left
  • Hope that Ernie recovers from his gall bladder surgery so that he can trim the trees which are bopping TBG on the head as he takes out the garbage.
  • Prune the frozen bougainvilla and trumpet bushes.
  • Refurbish containers now that the vinca has frozen to death
  • Rake the front yard that is not covered in rock mulch.
  • Cover the columnar cacti when the temperatures drop below freezing

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • TMC is showing fabulous movies all month long Magnificent Seven, The Thin Man, Rose Marie..... I'm in heaven
  • Chuck - I was 4 episodes behind. Then Big Cuter and I watched 2 of them while staying awake for the Geminids. I do so love OnDemand
  • More Foot-Bowl games than I'd like to
  • College Basketball

What I've Seen Lately

  • Zombieland - A delightful love story, buddy movie, gigglefest. The Cuters are very proud of me for giving it a chance. So, go ahead, impress your youngers.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo - A made for tv special with Richard Chamberlin, Tony Curtis, Donald Pleasance and Louis Jourdan in a less opulent and truer-to-the-book-than-most remake
  • It's a Wonderful Life - which is odd to watch without snow on the ground
  • Miracle on 34th Street - the Natalie Wood version, of course

What I'm Listening to Now

  • 5 cd's Amster burned for me; thus far Maroon Five is my favorite
  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Christmas Album because you just haven't lived until you've heard the Tuvan Throat Singers ' rendition of Jingle Bells

 

December 12

What I'm Reading Now

  • Lamb (Christopher Moore) Big Cuter brought it from SF for me and he enjoyed watching me laugh out loud as he watched football and I read about the missing 30 years of the life of Jesus... as told by his best friend, Biff.
  • The Song of Roland - What makes a hero? or Blow the Damn Horn, You Fool
  • The Black Cat (Martha Grimes) Richard Jury's latest case, with a dash of Carol Anne, the gorgeous and possessive upstairs neighbor.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Refurbish containers now that the vinca has frozen to death
  • Rake the front yard that is not covered in rock mulch.
  • Cover the columnar cacti when the temperatures drop below freezing
  • Bring in the adenium for the winter
  • Continue watering in the 3 new trees I planted in November.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • College Basketball
  • The Good Wife - TBG suggested it and we're both intrigued. It's nuanced. It has depth. And there's real hostility portrayed honestly.
  • Biggest Loser - the only tv show that saves lives. It's simple - calories in and calories out, people.
  • Boardwalk Empire - Still wonderful. I've never liked Steve Buscemi this much
  • Football and football and more football

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Mark of Zorro - Douglas Fairbanks might have looked dashing in 1920 but 90 years later he's little more than camp
  • Casablanca - Thank you, TCM, for starting the week off right.

What I'm Listening to Now

November 28th

What I'm Reading Now

  • 61 Hours (Lee Child) Jack Reacher is the tough guy most likely to understand a woman.... and that makes him wildly attractive and a heartbreaking drifter. Lee Child's writing is as cold and stark as the Dakota winter weekend he describes.
  • Body Work - (Sara Paretsky) V. I. Warshawski's adding a new set of characters - they get younger as she and Mr. Contreras get older and we're all feeling her pain.
  • Beowulf - Seamus Heany's translation is so gorgeous it makes me stop and take a moment. The Penguin verse translation pales in comparison

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Get Ernie's guys to come and dig holes for 3 new trees.
  • Continue to hand water the newly planted yucca and little leaf cordia.
  • Figuring out what to do now that the moorea lilies are gone. The yellow marigolds are just too small; perhaps I'll do some containers.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Biggest Loser - the only tv show that saves lives. It's simple - calories in and calories out, people.
  • The World Series starts Wednesday. Til then, it's SportsCenter for sports patter
  • Boardwalk Empire - Still wonderful. I've never liked Steve Buscemi this much
  • Chuck - silly but still fun. Linda Hamilton is brilliant casting as the mom. There's nothing really deep or profound going on here, but it is fun.
  • Football and football and more football

What I've Seen Lately

  • Public Enemies - Michael Mann and Christian Bale and Johnny Depp....gorgeous, gorgeous and gorgeous. Poor Dillinger, I just wanted to give him a hug.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Frederic March's tortured scientist is creepy and pathetic and I can't believe I'd never seen this before. PLUS...his name is pronounced Jay-kle by everyone in the movie. It was really jarring.
  • The Adventure - another TCM gem

What I'm Listening to Now

  • The Pulse on Sirius/XM
  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - because they're coming to town in Decembe

September 25

What I'm Reading Now

  • La's Orchestra Saves the World (Alexander McCall Smith) Another wonderful little story with a big heart and a bigger moral. Smith may be the nicest man on the planet.
  • The Double Comfort Safari Club (Alexander McCall Smith) Every time I read one of these books I want to go to Botswana and have a cup of red bush tea on the veranda of the Presidential Hotel overlooking the craft market. Start at the beginning of the series.... they are short and lovely and you'l be glad that the characters are in your life
  • Rules of Vengeance (Christopher Reich) Bourne Identity Redux.....a fun, lightweight thriller with a very modern setting.
  • Ice Cold (Tess Gerritsen) Rizzoli and Isles as they were meant to be - on paper. Though I kept hearing Angie Harmon's voice jumping off the page, the story was exciting and the friendship is real.
  • Born to Run (Christopher McDougall) I'm a total convert - I'd run barefoot if I weren't so worried about cactus prickers. I'm running for the first time in decades. And, if you don't run, it's still a great story.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Considering the plants to buy now that the air and the ground have begun to cool off. The inventory of dead or dying plants is less horrible than it was last year. Can it be that I am learning??
  • Admiring the crepe myrtle blossoms and the hummingbirds who are dining on the berries.
  • Cut back the lantana for the winter It's weedy and woody and invading the walkways. It's time for it to go

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Bored to Death - 30 minutes of Woody Allen and Clark Kent masquerading as Philip Marlowe. Delightfully sweet and very smart. Did anyone else get The Velma Hotel in Season 1 Episode 1?
  • Boardwalk Empire - Martin Scorcese does tv. Awesome.
  • Chuck - silly but still fun. Linda Hamilton is brilliant casting as the mom. There's nothing really deep or profound going on here, but it is fun.
  • Survivor -- how far will Jimmy Johnson get? His perfect hair is already mussed up and I'm loving his openness to the adventure. The man is 67 years old and he's sleeping on the ground in the jungle.
  • Football and football and more football
  • The Big C - Laura Linney is funny and strong and bemused by the whole thing. Thoughtful writing and a fabulous supporting cast. I don't want her to die.
  • Mad Men - Don is returning from the dark side. I guess it was that or death.

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Wire - The Big Cuter suggested this series and urged us to stick with it through the first three episodes. It's a bit too dark for TBG, but I'm intrigued.
  • White Heat - Jimmy Cagney's on top of the world. And, he loves his mother.
  • Secretariat - Ooooo a sneak preview!! Review coming soon... it opens in theatres Oct. 8th

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - because they're coming to town in December

September 10

What I'm Reading Now

  • Arthur and George (Julian Barnes) A "ripped from the headlines" story of Arthur Conan Doyle's answer to the Dreyfus Affair. Gorgeous prose, marvelous story, fantastic characters.
  • Born to Run (Christopher McDougall) Some of the best sports writing I've read. The Tarahumara run and party and hide from outsiders in this cultural anthropological delightfully written true story of how the world tried to insert itself into their lives... and failed
  • The Kellermans - Faye and Jonathan and Jesse and Aliza - mysteries, recurring characters, teen lit, this family covers it all and I have 5 of their books on my shelf right now.
  • The Tonto Woman and other stories (Elmore Leonard) I've never taken any books from the Westerns section of the Dewey Decimal System but Leonard transcends genre. It's just good writing.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Rescuing the prickly pear which lost the battle vs the teenager's front bumper.
  • Considering the plants to buy in September when the air and ground cool off
  • Admiring the crepe myrtle blossoms
  • Cut back the lantana - it came right back for another bloom

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • The Big C - Laura Linney is funny and strong and bemused by the whole thing. Thoughtful writing and a fabulous supporting cast. I don't want her to die.
  • Memphis Beat - Jason Lee is a manly man with a good heart and a musical soul.
  • Mad Men - current episodes and season 1, thanks to SIR
  • Burn Notice ... for Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar... they're too skinny but I love them anyway
  • Royal Pains (rich folks behaving badly with a nice Jewish doctor to look out for them)

What I've Seen Lately

  • The Sting - Possibly the two handsomest leading men of my lifetime. Mmmmmmmmm........
  • Bringing Up Baby - Susan! Susan! David! David! George! Here, George!

What I'm Listening to Now

Channel 418 on Comcast - Adult Alternative..... sounds vaguely like a personal ad, but the tunes are just fine

August 22

What I'm Reading Now

  • Arthur and George (Julian Barnes) A "ripped from the headlines" story of Arthur Conan Doyle's answer to the Dreyfus Affair. Gorgeous prose, marvelous story, fantastic characters.
  • Born to Run (Christopher McDougall) Some of the best sports writing I've read. The Tarahumara run and party and hide from outsiders in this cultural anthropological delightfully written true story of how the world tried to insert itself into their lives... and failed
  • The Kellermans - Faye and Jonathan and Jesse and Aliza - mysteries, recurring characters, teen lit, this family covers it all and I have 5 of their books on my shelf right now.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Considering the plants to buy in September when the air and ground cool off
  • Admiring the crepe myrtle blossoms
  • Cut back the lantana - it came right back for another bloom

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Tiger Woods dissolve on the golf courses of the world. There's schadenfreude, for sure, but watching an icon crash and burn has a bizarre appeal to me -- so much so that I'm actually watching golf.
  • Burn Notice ... for Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar... they're too skinny but I love them anyway
  • Royal Pains (rich folks behaving badly with a nice Jewish doctor to look out for them)
  • Mad Men

What I've Seen Lately

  • Season 3 Episode 17 of Chuck.... now if Episode 18 would show up on Hulu or OnDemand I could watch it and then #19, which IS available, and then I'll be ready when the season starts. What's the problem???
  • Mad Money - I've never seen a Queen Latifah movie that I didn't love. A real woman's "buddy film" .. worth much more than the 2 stars Comcast gave it.
  • Clown Romeo and Juliet

August 8

What I'm Reading Now

  • The Hot Kid (Elmore Leonard) This main character is the same marshal in Justified (see"What I'm Watching") with a different name. Leonard is surprising and funny and his characters jump off the page. And he's prolific, so I won't run out of them for a long long time.
  • Every Last One (Anna Quindlen) Too sad for this weekend.
  • The Story Sisters (Alice Hoffman) Love, adolescence, parenting and secrets..... a deeply disturbing, beautifully written novel.
  • Beatrice and Virgil (Yann Martel) A Holocaust story.... or not. A writer's story.... or not. I finished it and I'm starting it again, this time more slowly and carefully. This is a brilliant book.
  • Road Dogs (Elmore Leonard) He's even better than Robert Parker at advancing the story through dialogue alone. Depth of character revealed in spare storytelling.... he is the best.

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Waiting for the monsoon rains... and waiting... and waiting....
  • Finalizing the upgrading of the irrigation -- the 1/4" line is too long and the water pressure is failing. WHERE is the main line? Inquiring gardeners are desperate to know.
  • Watering.... watering..... watering. There are still some areas where the irrigation isn't working, but it is too hot to deal with it right now. Sigh.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • Episodes 2 and 3 of Mad Men

What I've Seen Lately

  • Up (again) The little mailman still cracks me up.
  • Keeper of the Flame (1942) Hepburn and Tracey in an anti-fascist screed. Not their best, but still watchable
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - A much better Swedish film experience than Bergman or I Am Curious, Yellow, my other two experiences. Beautful, close to the book , it felt true.
  • Jewel Robbery -- William Powell and Kay Francis are witty and sexy and honestly seem to like each other.... and then there's the marijuana...

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Live in Sutdio C - 92.9's annual fundraising CD... just like KFOG in SF
  • Ke'b Mo - See Rolling Stone's review. The Little Cuter is very impressed with her mother's musical savvy.

 

July 4

What I'm Reading Now

  • The Story Sisters (Alice Hoffman) Love, adolescence, parenting and secrets..... a deeply disturbing, beautifully written novel.
  • Beatrice and Virgil (Yann Martel) A Holocaust story.... or not. A writer's story.... or not. I finished it and I'm starting it again, this time more slowly and carefully. This is a brilliant book.
  • Road Dogs (Elmore Leonard) He's even better than Robert Parker at advancing the story through dialogue alone. Depth of character revealed in spare storytelling.... he is the best.
  • Death is Now My Neighbor (Colin Dexter) I cannot recommend starting a series towards the end. I'm sure this will be a better book once I've read the previous novels. Off to the library I go!
  • Sputnik Sweetheart (Haruki Murakami) Deliciously told - a love story with mystery and magic. Absolutely beautiful

What I'm Doing in the Garden Now

  • Waiting for the monsoon rains... and waiting... and waiting....
  • Finalizing the upgrading of the irrigation -- the 1/4" line is too long and the water pressure is failing. WHERE is the main line? Inquiring gardeners are desperate to know.
  • Watering.... watering..... watering. There are still some areas where the irrigation isn't working, but it is too hot to deal with it right now. Sigh.

What I'm Watching Right Now

  • In Plain Sight and Royal Pains -- my summer guilty pleasure
  • World Cup and Tennis and the run-up to the Tour de France (for the scenery)

What I've Seen Lately

  • Up (again) The little mailman still cracks me up.
  • Keeper of the Flame (1942) Hepburn and Tracey in an anti-fascist screed. Not their best, but still watchable
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - A much better Swedish film experience than Bergman or I Am Curious, Yellow, my other two experiences. Beautful, close to the book , it felt true.
  • Jewel Robbery -- William Powell and Kay Francis are witty and sexy and honestly seem to like each other.... and then there's the marijuana...

What I'm Listening to Now

  • Live in Sutdio C - 92.9's annual fundraising CD... just like KFOG in SF
  • Ke'b Mo - See Rolling Stone's review. The Little Cuter is very impressed with her mother's musical savvy.

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