So I Tried Some…

Part Two of Recommendations

Again thanks so much for reading and responding! I had some pretty good recommendations on my blog and in person.  I have added links to Goodreads, IMDB and Youtube videos if any of the following media interests you.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley  (book)
More steampunk from the 1880s in this historical fiction. It has mystery, a mysterious pocket watch, and even more mysterious characters. The blurb seems oblique which likely means there are too many twists, turns and mysteries to summarize properly. My sister in law had just started reading it when we went on vacation together and I never got to hear how she liked it, but I am looking forward to trying it myself.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changes America by Eric Larson (book)
The blurb reads like fiction. 
Everything seemed to happen at these world fairs. One of my favorite fun facts about the 1893 World’s Fair is that is where Pabst Blue Ribbon beer won its blue ribbon. Although the title seems all inclusive let me share that the book mainly follows the architect for all the amazing buildings that spring from ground and another serial killer that must be drawn to the masses of easy prey. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. 

Max Headroom (TV series)
I came around after the swell and ebb of fascination with sassy, glitchy music VJs. This was another show that was recommended to me and I got to view it right after. I was coached beforehand that this series was created when there were computers, but there was no Internet. I do remember before my family had Internet. And then we exited that musty old cave. Anywho, the show is futuristic (specifically 20 minutes in the future) and the most important difference in this Blade Runner type world is that televisions have no off-switch and they are two way. The show focuses on wordplay and human emotion so despite the sometimes (VERY) silly sounding tech talk this show is still entertaining. Carter, Max and a team of misfits uncover some treachery in the way things are run in their world by broadcasting the facts.  

Mokoomba (band) and specifically the song Masangango
I gotta say, this is not my normal style of music, but I loved it! My friend really sold it when he recommended it to me by saying, 

Mokoomba is an exciting, Afro-fusion band from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Their sound has elements of Afro-pop, hard reggae, and rock. Vocalist Mathias Muzaza’s powerful singing is matched by the incredible musicality of the band. This particular song is a masterpiece. The melodic intro with haunting vocals and subtle blues licks on guitar soon lead to a happier rhythm, punctuated by the traditional African mbira thumb piano. The song builds from there, yielding the fierce and powerful vocals for which Muzaza is famous!…The listener may not know the meaning of the lyrics, but that fact will not diminish the power of song or the enjoyment of it.

Thanks for sharing, Thor! Catch more snark and tune recommendations from Thor on Twitter @RadioThor. The song has an awesome blues/reggae vibe that sits just right and I’m following Mokoomba on Spotify. I suggest you check out more of their music as well.

Naked in Death by JD Robb (book)
Futuristic lady detective who gets involved with one of her suspects. There are quite a few books in the In Death series penned by Nora Roberts under her pen name. I don’t believe I can get through 30+ books, but I will definitely look into the first few books soon.

 

Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (books)
I can’t tell you how many times I have been told to read this series. Young boy is charged with babysitting a magical pig. It’s a very famous fantasy series with adorable cartoon that doesn’t hold at all true to the books. Maybe I will give this another go. I haven’t ever really given this book a chance.

Pink Panther (movies)
I know I have seen bits and pieces from the Peter Sellers and the Steve Martin versions of these films. Of course, Sellers is the classic. I need to go through and watch the movies again. Good old physical comedy from the way back whens.

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Photo: movieweb.com

Over Christmas and New Year’s I got exposed to some new-to-me music, movies, games, and books. One game especially kinda pulled it all together. There’s a card
game named Slash in which you try to find the best mate for each character. All the character cards are from TV, movies, and books. This brought to my attention to how many cards I needed to discard since I was at a loss as to who or what the character was.

I would love to get recommendations for all types of media in the new year. It is so readily available but it’s like diving into the middle of the ocean. Where to begin?
It doesn’t have to be new media either. For example, I watched Die Hard just before Xmas for the first time. Alan Rickman makes a cool bad guy and I hope he’s enjoying some peace just now. Oh, and dear god, get that cop some shoes.

alan rickman

Photo: Buzzfeed

So, can you recommend some media to me?

  • Movies–I like comedies, romances, thrillers, action films. Not keen on angst ridden, artsy films nor horror flicks. Although, classic horror is good.
  • Television–Similar to movies. I like crime shows and comedies. Such as NCIS, Castle, and Parks &  Recreation.
  • Anime or Cartoons–I love all things Studio Ghibli. I am not into mech.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Mostly fiction/fantasy/sci-fi and some biographical nonfiction.
  • Music–I really like singable and dance-able music and sometimes I need chill background music.
  • Podcasts–I like em short, informational (somewhat), and funny.
  • Games–Solitaire type games, two person/small crowd, cards, dice, paper–I’m easy.
  • Recipes–I love cooking! I am not the most experienced, but I love playing with recipes!

Here are a few things I’ve been taking in recently:

  • Movies–Watch Die Hard if you haven’t. If only to hear Alan Rickman say “Yippie Ki yay, mother fucker” one more time. (Spoiler: https://youtu.be/7tKr5XRPGmQ)
  • Television–iZombie has been getting recommended to heaps of folks by me. I want to get into Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series.
  • Anime or Cartoons–Last animated feature I watched was Animatrix (again)–some not so bad ones in there.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Reading Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.
  • Music–Uhm, I have been listening to same playlists for years…
  • Podcasts–Thrilling Adventure’s Sparks Nevada Marshall on Mars is great!
  • Games–I enjoyed King of Tokyo over the holidays among several others.
  • Recipes–I don’t know why but homemade chicken salad is so simple and worth every ounce of effort.

Please leave me some recommendations in the comments below. I would absolutely love all input! I can quickly do a search and read a quick blurb on the media you suggest, but I would much rather like to know why are you recommending this? I assume because it was good, but it is thinky, inspiring, funny, great for a party, perfect with a cup of tea?

 

Greek Valentine’s Date in Review

You may recall my blog about my Greek Valentine’s Day expectations. I shot a little high considering my super lazy attitude from last week. However, we still ate very well and had a lot of fun.
I tried to get pictures of everything, but had been running flat out since 6:30A and was a determined just to get supper done at a reasonable time.

hummuspeppersI made the mistake of laying around on the couch on my day off which left us with having to make the pita bread the evening of our date. We threw everything together in the bread machine to save time and while that was mixing and rising I got to work on the other parts of the meal. Kit had gotten the steak marinating early so we didn’t have to worry about that at least.

Pictured above is the garlic and lime hummus that I made. It looks like boatloads of hummus but we killed it after supper and some for lunch the next day. I cut up two big bell peppers for dipping. Notice the three tiny crackers….I forgot to buy crackers as an alternative dipper. Oh well!
After grinding up the chick peas and spices in the super teenie tiny food processor, Kit washed it and I prepped the next thing to blend up.

The tzatziki was easy to make, there were just several semi-tedious steps. I bought plain yogurt and set it up over a bowl in a sieve with a little bit of cheese cloth. It probably would have been find in the sieve alone, but I didn’t want to lose any deliciousness. After the yogurt was set to draining, I peeled, scraped out the watery seedy center of the cucumbers and cut them in pieces. I placed those pieces in a colander, salted them and left them alone to drain.

pita

Once the bread machine finished the pita dough we got them prepped for the oven. I doubt I will follow the bread machine recipe again. Out of the eight pita circles we baked we only got three that came out of the oven puffed up and perfect for making pocket sandwiches. We had plenty for supper and don’t you worry, we are eating our very flat pita bread with our meals. They act as lovely food shovels with scrambled eggs, just so you know.

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Sadly, I couldn’t find the dill weed in our cabinets and had to substitute thyme into the tzatziki, but I thought it was delish anyway. After I blended up the tzatziki and put it in the fridge to chill I set about to chopping veggies and Kit cooked the steak on the Foreman Grill. I found feta cheese on sale–yessss–, chopped up some more cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and opened up the bag salad I bought at the store.

sweet tater fries

We were hungry mungries at this point but since the hummus had distracted our appetites we decided to go ahead and make the sweet potato fries. They turned out quite yummy, but as always there will be changes to the recipe next time we try it. gyro closeLike I said, because I had been running wide open all day I decided against making the lemon brownies and the suddenly salad that night. Although I still can’t wait to try those recipes, we were super duper stuffed like ticks after we finished our steak gyros.

gyro2

 

Of course during our food coma we enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I hadn’t seen it in a while and had forgotten how much I loved the movie. There are some hysterical points in that romantic comedy. All in all, a successful evening.

Did you Valentine’s Day live up to your plans and expectations?

 

January–Popcorn & Movie in Historic Theatre

I went over the crazy complication over our botched January date in my overview blog of the 12 Months of Preplanned dates that I gifted to Kit for Christmas. I finally got things worked out! The theatre gave me complimentary tickets to the popcorn & a movie feature that we chose and, to my surprise, gave me the gift card for my trouble. They had awesome response time to my problem when I called them.

pre-date

Sorry for the overly-cheesy upshot selfie here. It was the best I could manage. I really didn’t want to show up late. The two dollars was for our boxes of popcorn. We ended up spending about five bucks on concessions because we wanted candy and drinks too. I always feel better buying things from a not for profit arts group anyway.

darkenedtheatre

The theatre was super dark (as it should be), but I managed another cheese photos with bright orange tix and popcorn.
The movie was the 1930s Little Princess starring Shirley Temple. Eerie as it was, she passed away within a week after our date. When I was a kid I had watched the 1990s version which is a bit more fairy tale-ish. This was fun because the whole time I was comparing the two versions. Kit had seen a bunch of Shirley Temple movies as a kid.

Even though the movie itself wasn’t very romantic it turned out to be quite an enjoyable date. The theatre wasn’t overly packed, ate cheap concessions,  movie was a little grainy and the historic auditorium just added to the fun.
We don’t have many more day left in February to do our Blindfolded cookie baking date, but hopefully we can get it done before March!

~Kat

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part Two of Two

If you haven’t seen it, check out Part One of my Valentine’s Day Movie List.
As I mentioned in Part One, these are movies that I found on Netflix instant. Sure, you can peruse the Romantic movies section of streaming all by yourself, but I find lists on the Internet to be extremely helpful. Also, if you have to type one painful letter at a time to search for a movie on a Wii console or Roku, this list can be helpful. All photos belong to IMDB. Titles in bold are those that I’ve seen before.

  1. The Jerk Theory (2009)–Acting like a jerk wins girls, but can the sweet girl of his dreams change his tune?

  2. Carolina (2003)–I love me some Julia Stiles. This is a Rom-com jerktheoryabout a girl trying to escape her wacky family. Description makes it seem like a Boy-next-door romance.

  3. The Decoy Bride (2011)–Famous author and actress hope to get married on a remote island, but have to come up with a decoy bride to throw off the paparazzi. David Tennant. Nuff said.

  4. Charade (1963)–Woman finds herself running from bad guys who are looking for money her recently-murdered husband stole. Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this classic.

  5. Clueless (1995)–Ditzy high school girl loves playing charadematchmaker, but her latest matches don’t go as planned. This is the updated version of Emma that I mentioned in Part One. 
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo (1998)–This is the four part TV mini series. A wrongly imprisoned man escapes after 18 years, he seeks revenge and his lady love. More of a swashbuckler than romance. 
  7. Like Water for Chocolate (1992)–Star crossed lovers and food in Spanish. Subtitles and some raunchiness (warning). The book is just as fun! 
  8. Maid in Manhattan (2002)–Important political candidate accidentally falls for the hotel maid when he mistakes her for a wealthy lady. 
  9. Tonight You’re mine (2011)–Two rival musicians get tonightyoureminehandcuffed together at a festival where they must later perform. I am really looking forward to watching this one.
  10. McLintock! (1963)–Stubborn John Wayne comes to town to meet his daughter returning from college and is reunited with his hot headed estranged wife. 
  11. New York, I love you (2008)–A slew of actors with nothing better to do made a movie with several love stories entangled. 
  12. Safe Haven (2013)–Woman on the run shows up in a small town and falls for a widowed man with kids. They both have shit they need to get over. 
  13. Say Anything (1989)–The unexeceptional guy at school falls for the gorgeous head of the class. No one told him he was John Cusack.sayanything 
  14. Waiting for Forever (2010)–Street performer childhood friend stalks the girl of his dreams next door. He finally confesses his love to her. This will either be great or a wretched train wreck. Stars the gal who plays in the TV show Hart of Dixie.
  15. Serious Moonlight (2009)–Woman tapes her adulterous husband to the toilet. And then they both get tied up by burglers. Super weird, I haven’t finished this yet.

  16. The Host (2013)–Unseen evil is erasing people’s memories. A book to movie adaption by Stephanie Myer. 
  17. Shakespeare in Love (1998)–Young writer finds a beautiful shakeyinlovemuse high above his social status. TONS of awesome reference to Shakespeare plays we know and love, this is treat for Bill S. lovers. 
  18. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)–Gilbert has to care for his challenged brother and ill mother. He is bogged down until a free spirit moves into town. Apparently more moving than romantic, but supposed to be quite good.
  19. TiMER (2009)–Modern invention has taken the unsettling guesswork in finding your soulmate. Everyone has a countdown to their soulmate…but what if you love someone else? Pah-lease watch this movie!

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part One

I am always trying to find a good movie list for those only found on Netflix Instant. These are hard to find, so I am slowly making my own lists and I hope this helps other people who only have the Instant subscription.The Roku I have linked with my Netflix Instant account might be the best Valentine’s Day gift to ourselves that my husband and I have ever gotten. Searching for a genre is a little  difficult on the Roku and sometimes you just don’t feel like searching a specific title by clicking one letter at a time. Tedious.

Here is my list that as of January 2014 can be found on Netflix Instant. The titles in bold are those I have seen before. Those not in bold are movies I want to watch soonish and maybe you’ll enjoy them too.  It’s a little out of season, but I made a (shorter) list of Halloween-y movies found on Netflix Instant.
All pictures belong to IMDb unless otherwise stated.

Romantic-ish/Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix Instant–Part One:

  1. 13 Going on 30 (2004)--Girl wishes to be 30 with perfect BF/Job/life but when her dreams come true they fall short. Girly romance with boy next door theme. 13-30movieposter
  2. African Queen (1951)–A unlikely team, Bogart and Hepburn, strike out on an adventure to blow up an enemy boat.
  3. America’s Sweethearts (2001)–Movie publicist deals with very public celebrity split up. Love triangles galore, give the set up some time.
  4. Blue Hawaii (1961)–Elvis music and Hawaiian scenery. Elvis has just gotten out of the army and wants to enjoy island life again.
    bluehawaii
  5. I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009)–Woman avoids falling in love by sticking to dating rules, until love moves in next door to her florist shop.
  6. Dorfman in Love (2011)–Woman wants life outside of caring for her family. Looks like two new loves fall in her lap.
  7. Emma (1996)–She loves meddling and setting up marriages until her plans backfire. Period film version of Clueless.
  8. See girl Run (2012)–Young woman revisits her old relationships to seek guidance in her life.
    seegirlrun
  9. Footloose (1984)–Rebellious teen who loves to dance moves to a small town where dancing is banned. I prefer the 2011 movie simply for the updated music.
  10. About Adam (2000)–Guy seduces two sisters and possibly more characters. There are some poor reviews, but at least sniff test it.
  11. Get Over it (2001)–Love triangles every which way, allusions to Midsummer Night’s Dream. This might make me sound like a mom, but this is definitely a movie for older teens. Kinda surprised it was PG-13.
  12. Time Traveller (2010)–Girl tries to go back in time to find information to save her mother who went into a coma. She lands in the wrong year. (Foreign–Based on the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).
  13. Grease (1978)–Good girl Sandy falls for the bad boy at school. greaseMusic, Travolta, fashions, euphemisms, and teen drama.
  14. Not Suitable for Children (2012)–Man who finds out he will soon become infertile sets out to procreate. Obviously rated R.
  15. Pretty in Pink (1986)–Teen must decide between her dream boy or the boy next door.

  16. Ondine  (2009)–Irish fisherman discovers a beautiful water nymph (selke) caught in his net. (Colin Farrell)ondine

  17. She’s All That (1999)–Jock takes a bet he can take the ugliest girl at school and turn her into the prom queen.
    Transformation romance. 

  18. Daddy Long Legs (1955)–Fred Astaire plays a wealthy man who sponsors an orphan to go to college. They accidentally fall in love.
  19. One for the Money (2012)–Unemployed divorcee takes on a job as a bounty hunter and searches for an old flame. Based on the Stephanie Plum books.
  20. Outsourced (2006)–American goes to India to train people in his job that recently got outsourced.
  21. Some Like it Hot (1959)–Two musicians running from the mob join a band of all female musicians. Very beautiful females–strictlyballroomhilarious.
  22. Strictly Ballroom (1992)–Classically trained dancer wants to dance his own style and risks his reputation on a new partner. Ugly duckling transformation, dancing and music.
  23. Somewhere in Time (1980)–Playwright hypnotizes himself so he can meet the woman in an old portrait in his hotel. Weepy of course. 

12 Months of Pre-Planned Dates

I have been dying to share this!! Just dying! 12 months of pre-planned and pre-paid dates was my main Christmas gift to Kit in 2013. Our first date kinda flopped because there was some idiotic things I couldn’t control. However, we are back on schedule.

12datesimagepinI found this idea of 12 Pre-Planned Dates on Pinterest. There are tons of them all over the internet. The blogger I linked had some great tips but the blog was a touch sparse when it came to actual ideas. I believe that was on purpose. The original blogger didn’t want you to do an exact copy because she wanted her readers to get creative and make it their very own. I am will toats share all of mine, never fear. I do stand behind her in saying: Make this your own! Don’t just copy the dates, sit down and put some serious thought into things that the two of you would like to do together.

For example, some couples may hate to cook together, but that is a great togetherness time that my husband and I have. I also wanted to keep these 12 dates on a very serious low budget. I think all together I spent less than $50. Those are some legit dates if you ask me.

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What is this all about?

Come up with 12 date ideas. Write 12 letters, grab and label 12 envelopes and make sure to include anything needed to complete the date. Especially items like, printed off directions, brochures of destination, recipe cards, gift cards, or other specific things (like food coloring to go with a cookie recipe).

About a week before the new month open the envelope and pick a day to have your pre-planned date! So you would open the February date envelope sometime during the last week of January.

January

My plan for January was to get a $5 gift card for this local theatre that mostly does live performances. They promised to have several $2 movies they would show during January and the schedule of shows would be available–to include in my envelope–by mid December. Sadly, the show schedule didn’t come out until January and the shows are all scheduled for February.
To make matters worse the gift card to the theatre got lost in the mail somewhere. It might be in my PO box…silly mail. We hope to hold three dates in February, the Jan-date, Feb-date and something special for Valentine’s Date. March will feel uneventful after our crazy February ends.

February

I want each month to have its own blog post after we have the date, but since Kit has opened the February envelope I can summarize it here. 20140126_090222February’s envelope includes: A bandana, a small tub of Wilton’s rose pink coloring, a recipe for super pink chocolate chip cookies, and a letter with instructions. The instructions essentially say that our challenge is to make chocolate chip cookies will taking turns being blindfolded.
I suppose if you wanted to analyze what this does for the relationship it can be noted that this is a trust building exercise. The blindfolded person must depend on the unimpaired partner to help make measurements.
My mom has asked about 15 times already….So yes, if you’re wondering it will probably be a naked cooking date. We’re adults and we can be naked. Hahaha, it also may be more amusing this way.
One of the best parts, in addition to nudity, is that we will have awesome super bright pink cookies to nosh when we finish the date. Milk and cookies is what’s up!

March

This one is a surprise! You’ll have to wait a month!! But I promise to continually add to this list so you know what we’re up to throughout the year.

Happy Dating!

~Kat~