Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Snapshot

Lacuna by Andrew Ramiro Tirado
Lacuna by Andrew Ramiro Tirado, CSFAC 

Currently reading:

Noblesse Oblige by Cynthia Smith: An oldie I found on my mom's shelves.

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig: Only 3 more hours to go!


Welcome to Château Mouton Rothschild, the most famous winery in Bordeaux.


a royal night out movie
A Royal Night Out, starring Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, and Jack Reynor

Proposed alternate title: Royal Rumspringa

It's the eve of VE Day, and all of London is celebrating. All except Princesses "Lilibet" and Margaret, who are trapped inside Buckingham Palace until they escape (with their parents' permission, the rebels) and spend the night amongst the little people.

There are two things I learned from this movie: one, it's apparently illegal to show Queen Elizabeth kissing someone who's not Prince Philip, even if she's not married to him at the time. And two, the British have no appreciation for the irony of the Poor Little Rich Girl trope. Or at the very least, this movie doesn't. Other than that, it was enjoyable. It spends a little too much time establishing a motivation for the girls to leave the palace, and the whole thing with getting their parents' permission was lame. But once they got out in London, it turned into a fairly delightful romantic-ish comedy, with vignettes of various London neighborhoods during WWII to satisfy your inner historian.

the first monday in may
The First Monday in May, directed by Andrew Rossi

This documentary is about four things: "living legend" Anna Wintour; the intersection of industry and art in fashion; the glamor and celebrity of the Met Gala; and the work that goes into setting up both a major exhibition and a major event. One thing I definitely have to give the filmmakers props for is how they captured the sensuality of the clothing and fabric–even if you know nothing about fashion, it'll make you appreciate the level of artistry and craftsmanship in those gowns. Oh, and the exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass looked super-cool. If you're interested in either fashion or curatorial practices, this is an absolute must-watch.

These weeks in heidenkindom:

I'm back to being busy, writing-wise, which is good. I don't know why September is one of those months that always seems to be hectic when you're a writer, but if I didn't have a bunch of deadlines this month, I'd be worried.

I've also been busy Doing Things. Most of these things involve preparing for Japan and getting various problems with my car fixed–something I've been putting off for way too long–but I've also been doing fun things! Last week I went to an exhibit of Dalí illustrations of The Divine Comedy, something I've wanted to see ever since I wrote my "short" introduction to art and the Comedy.

We also went to a lecture on the national parks and conservation by John Fielder, who's a famous Colorado photographer. They had free food! Empanadas, yummmmm. Also, the photographs were pretty cool, although I think Fielder might be a little crazy. He spent 50 days camping in every corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. 50 days of camping with 100+ pounds of camera equipment, plus camping equipment, climbing 14,000-foot peaks. Let that sink in for a minute.

Finally, this past Saturday I went to the Mile High Author Event with my mom. It was packed! Daisy Prescott let me have a free donut with Fruit Loops on top that was really good. Then on the way back we got stuck in a nightmarish traffic jam that lasted an hour and a half, and came thisclose to being involved in a road rage pile-up. There was also a full moon last night. Coincidence?


Want to read more diverse books? Participating in the Diversathon? Check out Xicanti's post on diverse books you can download on Scribd and buy for cheap in ebook format.

Have a great week, everybody!

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday Snapshot for September

Won't you give Thor his summer back?

Currently reading:

A Lesson in Love and Murder by Rachel McMillan: The type of book you want to read in a gulp instead of in sips.

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva: Kinda struggling through this one, TBH.

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig: The only other Pink Carnation book my library has.

The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini: Soooo many good recipes. This book makes me crazy hungry.

Movies watched:

I Anna
I, Anna, starring Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne

Anna is a divorcé of a certain age; yet she's still putting herself out there, looking for love. In all the wrong places. When one of her take home guys winds up dead, the police can't help but take an interest in her, both professionally and personally.

This is a very Truffaut-style film, by which I mean it's Hitchcock interpreted through the lens of art more than entertainment. The beginning is really slow, but there's some truly fantastic cinematography, and Rampling's performance is perfect. She is SO GOOD in this movie. By the end, it had won me over. Recommended if you're in the mood for a slow-moving psychological thriller.

touch the wall
Touch the Wall, directed by Grant Barbeito and Christo Brock

A documentary on Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce getting onto the 2012 London Olympics US Swim Team. At the time, Missy had just turned 17, and Joyce was in her mid-20s. Even though I don't swim at all, I always like watching movies about how people who are excellent at what they do actually go about it, and this doc was much more engaging than I was expecting. The only thing that bothered me was that when it came to Joyce, sometimes I was reminded me of that scene in Dangerous Beauty where Veronica takes that younger woman to the seedy part of Venice to show here how the old courtesans live and is like, "This is where we wind up." But other than that it wasn't too sexist, and the filmmakers only showed Michael Phelps' face like six times.

hell or high water
Hell or High Water, starring Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster (where you know him from: he wore the awesome jacket in 3:10 to Yuma), and Gil Birmingham (where you know him from: played Charlie's BFF in the Twilight movies)

On the verge of losing their childhood ranch to Texas Midlands Bank, Toby and Tanner hatch a fool-proof plan to steal the money to pay off the ranch from the bank that's about to foreclose on it. Not only are they bank robbers, they appreciate irony! But will they avoid capture by an old-timer Texas Ranger and his trusty Indian sidekick?

This is one of those movies that has a lot of great elements, but needed more focus to pull them all together. I liked that it was a modern western, I loved the scenery, and I appreciated the portrait it painted of these small plains towns on the verge of going extinct, which was at once nostalgic and realistic. The story's far from realistic, however, and the motivations of the characters are a bit simplistic, especially when it comes to the various townspeople who are all like, "Down with banks! Up with robbery!" It also feels really slow when there's not a robbery going on. But if you enjoy heist movies it's worth watching. Pro-tip: be sure to drink every time someone says, "Old man."

This week[s] in heidenkindom:

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was getting all pumped about 100 degree temperatures, and now it's September and the last weekend of summer! Dislike. It's only downhill from here; pretty soon I'll have to start wearing socks. sadface

Anyway. Last Sunday my mom and I went to a tasting of Argentinian wines, which was kinda cool. On the reading front, I'm having trouble settling into a book, but I did start binge-watching Mr. Robot after reading this article about its connections to Hitchcock. It's trippy, fun, and disturbing at the same time. Definitely worth watching, especially if you're a tech geek.


On the lookout for some good, basic recipes, or maybe just a cookbook with lots of cursing and sardonic humor? You can find both in Recipes You Absolutely Can't Fuck Up, a cookbook written by "The best goddamned sister in the whole mother fucking world" for her brother, "Warren," and shared with the world via Google Docs. It's a short, fun read, but what do I like most? The recipes all sound really good!

Have an exceptional week, everyone!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.


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