Friday, November 8, 2013

Retirement and the Library and the Week in Reviews

[I review movies "About Time," "The Look of Love," "Lovelace," "Nobody Walks," "Down by Law" and "The Red Riding Trilogy" as well as Linda Ronstadt's memoir and some local theatre.]

But first

Retirement and the Library

As you can see from the picture above, I was an early library user (I'm the one third from the left - looks like Dutch Boy haircuts were in vogue).  My mother took me to the library story times as a preschooler, and as I have said in a previous blog ("20 Books and Films that Shaped this Baby Boomer's Life"), when I was older, I went to the library regularly as I worked my way through the "Masterpieces of Literature."  It was also a great place to meet up with my friends.

Libraries are still about childrens' story times and books and a great place to meet your friends, but today they are so much more.

I am always amazed that people don't know much about what libraries offer these days.  They are not what libraries were 60 years ago and librarians don't look like that anymore either (most of them anyway).

I can't tell you how many times I will give someone my little "elevator speech" about the library while standing in line somewhere and the response is usually, "I didn't know libraries did that" or "I haven't been to the library in years, not since my kids were little."

When I tell people I am a librarian, I still get the "shushing" motion or the "You don't look like a librarian" comment, comments I have been hearing for 40 years. These comments just indicate to me that libraries have not done a very good job about getting the word out about what is available for adults and for free!

Since I was a librarian for 40 years, it makes sense that the library was on my mind constantly, and I realize that it isn't the first thing that pops into the minds of civilians but it should be.  I have always been convinced that if people really knew what libraries provided -- for free -- they would be breaking down the doors.  But for some reason, word hasn't gotten out.

But now it has!

I am going to provide a public service and share some information about the library that you might not be aware of and might spark your interest, especially if you are retired or thinking of retirement.


If you go to your library's website, you can manage your account, use premium databases, read magazines and newspapers and download e-books to your computer or mobile devices -- all for free.

By managing your account, I am talking about renewing items online, placing requests for titles you want to read and many libraries provide the option of "freezing" your requests so you don't lose your place in the queue if you are on vacation when it's your turn for the book.

When I say "premium databases," I am referring to providing access to content that is NOT free on the Internet.  There is this misconception that everything is on the Internet.  That is partly true. Much is on the Internet but much of it is NOT free. For example, if you are into genealogy, you might want to use or HeritageQuest, neither of which are free if you went to those websites directly.  However, your local library probably subscribes to those databases and you can access them for free through the library's website using your library card.  The content available in other databases that the library subscribes to runs the gamut from auto repair data, home repair information, job hunting help, financial information, computer instruction and more.

The same goes for magazines - the entire issues - which you can download to your computer or device (Zinio is one vendor), and Overdrive and 3M Cloud provide FREE downloadable print and talking books. 

Why buy them when you can download them for free from your library?

You don't even have to go to the library to ask a question 

You can chat live with a librarian right from the website and ask your questions about Social Security, finances and other areas of interest to retirees.

Books, Audio Books, CDs and DVDs

Yes, I know you know that libraries have books. 
But did you also know that you can get talking books to listen to in your car or at the gym, the latest music CDs and movies on DVD?  Especially if you are retired and on a fixed income, why pay Netflix when you can check out the latest DVDs for free?  My library allows me to check out 10 at a time.


Many libraries offer computer classes, citizenship classes and classes on a wide variety of topics of interest to adults:  finances, planning for retirement, gardening, resumes and more.  And it's all free.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are retired and feeling like you need something purposeful to do, volunteering at the library can be fulfilling.  You get to hang around really cool people (librarians are very cool) and serve your community at the same time.

And libraries are just wonderful community gathering places
If you make your way to the brick and mortar library, you will find free Wi-Fi, computers and printers, photocopy machines and other services. Many libraries have meeting spaces for your group or study areas where you can meet with your friends to work on a project or have a quiet place to study.

So next time you and your friends are wondering what to do,
why not say
"Meet me at the Library!"

Share your library memories and experiences!

Cooking Classes

I am enjoying taking cooking classes. 

I love to cook and do it often, but after taking a couple of classes, I have already learned some things I didn't know.

My second cooking class was "Simply Seafood."

I tend to overcook my fish and shellfish.  I guess I can't quite believe something can be done in just a matter of minutes.  In fact the teacher said that you don't actually cook fish so much as "threaten it with heat!"

Anyway, here are some tips you may or may not know.

       This is what they do in restaurant kitchens.  You do all of your prepping  
       first: chopping, measuring, etc. so everything is ready before you start
       putting things together.  Good advice, especially if you have found yourself
       in the middle of putting a dish together and discovered you lacked a
       particular ingredient. I am going to make myself do this from now on. 
       Plus I like to say "mise en place."

  • You can peel a piece of raw ginger with a spoon.  It's actually better than using a peeler as you don't pull off as much flesh this way.

  • Use a zester for all of your grating needs when you need it grated very finely.

  • No matter what Rachael Ray says, don't use olive oil for anything you will heat higher than medium.  It changes its flavor at high temperatures.  Use canola or nut oils instead.

  • Heat your pan first without the oil, then add the oil.  If you add the oil and then heat the pan, it takes forever.  Then when you add the food, it gets cool again.

  • When frying or searing fish or meat, don't crowd the pieces in the pan.  When the fish or meat is crowded together, it actually stews it.

  • When searing fish, it will release from the pan when it has a nice sear.
I feel myself becoming a better cook already!  Now I am going to say mise en place again. Mise en place.
Have some cooking tips?

About Time (2013)


When Tim turns 21, his father tells him that the men in his family can time travel.  Tim uses this new power to find love and much more.
Richard Curtis, who wrote and directed "Love Actually (2003) "  and "Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)," has produced another affecting and life affirming film.  A little bit "Groundhog Day (1993)," a little bit "Somewhere in Time (1980)," this film has everything I love:  English Countryside, London, recognizable British actors (Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Lindsay Duncan), British humor, pathos and a love story.  (The baby is even named Posy and Posy, you know who you are).
Though Domhhall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter series) seems an unlikely leading man, he reminded me of a young Hugh Grant and he was delightful.  Rachel McAdams was also delightful as Tim's love interest.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Utterly charming.  A must see, but fathers and sons should especially see this together.

Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
Note:  Funny how my weekly DVD watching seems to run in themes. 
Last week it was blood and gore and this week seems to be sex and porn!

The Look of Love (2013)

Biopic on the life of Paul Raymond, often called the Hugh Hefner of Britain and once Britain's richest man.
Lots and lots of nudity and sex in this one, but that aside, I love biopics and this one captures the "Swinging London" of the 1970's and the sad ends that often besets the children of the very rich. Moral:  Money can't buy you happiness.
Rosy the Reviewer says...A good biopic, but only recommended if you are not offended by lots and lots of nudity and sex.
Lovelace (2013)
A cautionary tale about growing up in a strict religious household and meeting the wrong guy.
If you haven't heard of "Deep Throat (the porn movie, not the Watergate code name), you are either under the age of 20 or over the age of 90.  "Deep Throat" brought porn to the mainstream, as it was one of the early ones where there was actually a plot and some humor. 
Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried star, but it's fun to see all of the cameos by big stars (You might not recognize some of them):  Sharon Stone without makeup as her mother, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Juno Temple (she's everywhere these days), Chris Noth, Eric Roberts (who starred in a similar story of domestic abuse, "Star 80, the tragic biopic about Playmate Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her abusive husband.)
If you watch this film for prurient reasons, you will be disappointed.  There is some nudity, but this movie is based on Linda's book "Ordeal," which describes the abuse Lovelace took at the hands of her husband and is more about domestic violence than porn and how women are used by men. 
"Deep Throat" made millions.  Linda Lovelace made $2500.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like biopics, this is a good one.  If you like porn, you might be disappointed.
Nobody Walks (2012)
A young woman comes to LA to get some help with her film and wrecks havoc on a marriage... of course the husband cheats.  Yawn.
I kept checking to see how many more minutes until this was over.  You wonder sometimes why some films get made.
Rosy the Reviewer says...everyone in this film is so annoying and inappropriate.  You can skip this one.

Down by Law (1986)

Three guys from disparate backgrounds find themselves in a Louisiana jail together and plot their escape. 
Roberto Benigni stars along with Tom Waits.  This is Benigni pre "Life is Beautiful." Have been a big Jim Jarmusch fan ever since he did Stranger than Paradise in 1984.  He does quirky films often in black and white.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Reminds me how beautiful black and white can be.  If you haven't already and fancy yourself a film expert, you need to add Jarmusch to your repertoire.
Red Riding Trilogy (2009)
Riding is the nickname for West Yorkshire in England and this series of three films, that first appeared on UK television, follows the disappearances and murders of young girls from 1974 through 1983 and the police corruption that covered them up. 
All three films are related and there are some recurring characters in all three.  In addition to some familiar British actors such as Jim Carter and Michelle Dockery (Mr. Carson and Mary in "Downton Abbey" respectively), this was some early work by Andrew Garfield before he hit it big in "The Social Network" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" and Rebecca Hall, before she got noticed in "The Town."
Sometimes I think I am too stupid for British crime films as they are usually so intricate with so many red herrings that I lose track of the plot.  But I am still hooked. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like your British crime films gritty and smart, these are for you.
***Check your local library for these DVDs.
***Otherwise, they are available through Netflix and Amazon.
Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt (2013)
Linda recounts the ups and downs of her life and eclectic musical career.
She doesn't give much in the way of personal details.  She mentions her two adopted children but does not address the issue of never marrying and only briefly mentions famous liaisons such as Jerry Brown.  But if you are interested in the LA music scene circa 1970's and 80's, it's fun to see how those performers all intermingled e.g. the Eagles were formed when Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon and Glen Frey came together to form Linda's touring band when she was first starting out.

It was sad to hear that Linda can no longer sing because of Parkinson's Disease.  What a cruel fate for a singer.  But she doesn't lament her situation. 
She is nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2014 and deserves this recognition as one of the most successful female singers of our generation. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...A straight-forward tale of the music scene of the 1970's and 80's that Baby Boomers will especially enjoy.


Anything Goes

This is the Tony-winning production (2011 Best Musical Revival) currently on tour.  You can enjoy the witty Cole Porter songs and lively dance numbers, though the book is sheer farce.

Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like Cole Porter and lively dance numbers, you will enjoy this.  See it if it comes to a town near you.  Click on the link for tour dates.

That's it for this week.

What did YOU do this week?

See you next Tuesday
for the
10 Signs You Are Getting Old!

Thanks for reading! 
If you enjoyed this post,
feel free to subscribe and/or share it with your friends.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Three Rules to Live By

In going through some of my parent's effects recently, I came across a transcript from an interview someone did with my Dad. 

He was in his 80's and dying of cancer.  I am not sure why he was interviewed, but he was well-known in his community since he lived there his whole life.

One thing that struck me was his "three rules for raising his two daughters and son."

Rule #1: Use things for what they were intended.

Rule #2: Don't talk to me unless you can see me.

Rule #3: Leave things where you find them.

I thought, "Wow, those were the three principles on which I was raised?"

I do remember those being some button pushers for my Dad.

My Dad was all about a harmonious household.

The more I thought about them, the more they made sense for creating a life of harmony for yourself.

Just think about them...

Use things for what they were intended.

Possible Scenario:  You are sitting on the couch watching TV and eating your dinner of a delicious bolognese.

Your plate is balanced on your knee and a large glass of red wine is in your other hand.  Your wine-guzzling poodle comes running up to you, jumps up on the couch to try to get a sip and the plate falls to the floor creating a large stain on your white carpet.  Likewise, the glass of wine tips, creating another large red stain to which the wine-guzzling poodle is already applying his tongue.  You have guests arriving for a party in an hour. You shoo away the dog and frantically try to sop up the stains to no avail. 

Later, at the party, several people remark on the lovely red stains on your lovely white carpet, embarrassing you and thus ruining the party for you. 

Later your spouse brings up the issue of the stains and a huge fight ensues about being considerate of feelings, resulting in neither of you speaking to each other for a week.

Moral:  If you had eaten your dinner at the dining room table - and not on the couch (that's why it's called a DINING room table because you are supposed to DINE there ), none of that would have happened.

Don't talk to me unless you can see me.

Possible Scenario:  You are sitting comfortably in the kitchen innocently working with your tarot cards where the handsome Knight of Cups has just entered your future...

Your spouse yells to you from upstairs and says something you can't understand. 

You yell back, "What?" 

He repeats what he said and you still can't understand him. 

Now here is the issue.  You either can keep yelling back and forth or you can stop what you are doing, get up and go upstairs to see what he wants. 

But then you think, "Why should I have to stop what I am doing to go see what he wants?  Why doesn't he come down here to speak to me?" 

So you see, now a little war of wills has been created. 

Who should have to make the effort?  The person who yelled first?  Or the person being yelled to? 

As you ponder this question, you start to feel very put upon and, in a fit of pique, stomp upstairs. 

Your husband is standing in the bathroom shaving.  You are mad now at being disturbed from your tarot cards and the Knight of Cups and having to walk all of the way upstairs. 

"What do you want?" 

"We need toilet paper up here." 

The toilet paper is stored all the way downstairs which would require you to go back downstairs, get the toilet paper and then return back up the stairs. 

A huge fight ensues regarding consideration for another person's time and energy resulting in neither of you speaking to each other for a week.

Moral:  If you want to speak to someone, make the effort to go to that person instead of yelling from room to room. 
Had you done that, none of that would have happened.

Leave things where you find them.

Possible Scenario:  You are running late for work. 

You are wearing a new sweater that you snuck into the house yesterday so your husband wouldn't see it.  There is a tag hanging from it and it's one of those plastic tags that you can't just rip off. You go to the drawer in the kitchen where the scissors are kept and they are not there! 

Forgetting Rule #2, you yell at your husband who is upstairs, "Where are the scissors?" 

He yells back the usual, "I don't know!" 

You counter with, "I know you had them last because I always put them back when I use them." 


You are then forced to walk upstairs to yell at him further, not to mention the time it takes to look for the scissors, thus making you late for work.  In frustration you rip off the tag which in turn rips the new sweater, making you furious. 

A huge fight ensues about consideration for other people, resulting in neither of you speaking to each other for a week. 

(As you huff out the front door, you see the scissors sitting on your desk.  Oops. That's right, you left them there the last time you cut a tag off a top you had bought and snuck into the house so your husband wouldn't see it).

Moral:  If you had put the scissors back in the drawer the last time you used them, they would have been where they were supposed to be
and none of that would have happened.

This last one also applies to keys, Scotch tape and cell phones.

So my Dad's childrearing rules made perfect sense for harmonious relationships and I have applied them to my life.

I am very good about putting things back where they belong after I use them and using things for what they are intended, especially after trying to pry open a tuna can with a pair of scissors and cutting open my hand with the jagged can top when the can slipped. I still have the scar.  I'm not so good about not shouting at hubby from upstairs.

If you are in a relationship and your significant other consistently picks his toenails with a kitchen knife, can never find his keys or yells at you from the basement, disharmony can certainly occur. 

It boils down to a consideration thing and, in my humble opinion, I feel a lack of consideration is the root of most problems in life and relationships.

As I continued to read further in the interview transcript, my Dad is quoted as saying that "he taught his children self esteem and hope for the future when he impressed upon them that they could become anything they wanted."

That was very true. 

He never made fun of my aspirations to become an actress and would even say things like, "You could start out as a script girl, if you needed to."  Not sure that script girls ever get discovered, but I appreciated his interest.

He was always very encouraging.  I wish he had used that on himself. 

He always wanted to be a cowboy.

What Rules do you live by?

See you Friday for the Week in Reviews,
what I learned at my cooking class and
 how the library can help your retirement.

Thanks for reading! 
If you enjoyed this post,
feel free to subscribe and/or share it with your friends.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Will Your Husband Cheat?

According to a recent article in the AARP Magazine, probably not, especially if he's been married for awhile.

But not for the reasons you might think. 

Not because he is necessarily so devoted or his moral code won't allow it.  It is more simple that that.

Men are lazy.

As author Joe Queenan describes it: "Men like to plop down on the couch and watch sports and drink beer.  Romance, by contrast, is labor-intensive; you have to shower, shave, slap on some deodorant, put on something other than sweatpants, buy flowers, go to the movies, read a book every once in a while, think of compliments, engage in conversation.  Cheating on your wife involves travel, dinner reservations, booking hotel rooms.  Once a man has been married a few decades, the energy he would need to expend on an extramarital affair could be a life-threatening shock to his nervous system."

He goes on to discuss how cheap married men are and that they don't want to have to deal with the consequences of getting caught.

But my favorite reason is that men have seen Fatal Attraction (bunny boiling, anyone?).

He concludes with "But in the final analysis, I suspect that some men don't cheat for the same reason that they don't water-ski:  They're not really good at it, there's no learning curve for this sort of thing, and the results could be disastrous."

He ends by saying...

"By the way, women already know all this."


What do you think? 
Are older married men less likely to cheat?

***In Theatres Now***
The Counselor (2013)

A lawyer (Michael Fassbender) gets himself involved in a huge drug deal and wishes he hadn't.
Cormac McCarthy writes the screenplay (his first) which probably explains some of the long-winded philosophical rants some of the characters get into about the consequences of one's decisions.  I mean, even the drug dealers are philosophers here. I was scared the entire time I watched this thing from Cameron Diaz' gold tooth to what happens to Brad Pitt. It was ominous from the first shot of septic tank trucks doing what they do. Ridley Scott directs and I am usually a fan but this film is rather a nasty piece of work. I can't tell you how many times I had my hands over my eyes. 
Moral:  Don't get involved with drug dealers.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you liked "Seven," you might like this. 
It's definitely not for the faint of heart.

Movies You Might Have Missed
(And some you will be glad you did)

Inescapable (2012)

A man who has left Damascus under suspicious circumstances must return to find his missing daughter.  

Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "Taken," you might like this but this one is much more "intellectual."  Actor Siddig is the one to watch.  His eyes tell it all.

Now You See Me (2013)

A group of magicians come together to pull off the perfect heist. 

Great cast, a story that could have gone somewhere but it all just fell apart.

Rosy the Reviewer says...This one started off well but was a hot mess at the end.  When I found out "who done it," I went, "ick."
Not Recommended.

Cheerful Weather for a Wedding (2012)

A disparate group of people come together for a wedding in the English countryside.

Felicity Jones is always a delight and I am a big fan of the many recognizable British actors that populate so many British films.  If you can't wait for Downton Abbey to start up again in January, you might find this British film a welcome addition to your viewing fare.  It even stars Elizabeth McGovern. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...But Downton Abbey it's not.

Ryan Gosling reunites with the Danish director of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn, in this very gritty, very violent, very gory, very kinky story about a British Thai fight club owner whose brother is murdered for killing a young prostitute

Gosling, who doesn't say a word for the first 30 minutes of this film and probably only says a few sentences in all, seeks revenge for his brother's death at the behest of his sadistic crime boss Mom, Kristin Scott Thomas.  

If the Danes are the happiest people on earth, they sure like gruesome movies. Lars Von Trier ("Dogville," "Melancholia") is another one. Not gruesome so much, but in love with the long, languorous shots where you go, "Huh?  What is going on?" Likewise, much as I love Britain, British gangsters are bad asses and movies about them are usually very violent and full of gore. I usually like films that take place in Asia or Africa or the Middle East, places I have never been, but this one is an acquired taste. All I can say is this was one weird ass movie, pardon my French.  Not sure what Ryan was thinking on this one.  Not many lines to learn?

Rosy the Reviewer says... This must be my week for gory movies (see The Counselor above). Lots of sword wielding and torture, of which I am not fond. Even if you are a big Ryan Gosling fan, beware.
See "Drive" instead.

Trafficked by Sophie Hayes (2013)

Young British girl makes the wrong friends and ends up trafficked.

If I hadn't seen the author of this book make the talk show rounds, I would have thought this was a novel.  I don't in any way mean to minimize the danger and problem of human trafficking, but this book is one of those memoirs that is so astounding in the number of "things that can go wrong" genre, that it defies reality and you go "What?"  And it doesn't really shed any new light on the problem of trafficking.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you are a big fan of stories of young girls being abused by their supposed boyfriends, OK, but otherwise, take a pass. 


A musical version of the movie.

I went to this prepared to laugh at a campy send-up especially when I saw the many guys in the lobby dressed up as Carrie. But instead, it was really good.  Alice Ripley, who I had seen in her Tony Award-winning turn in Next to Normal, was just amazing.  Though  the cast was very good, when she was on stage, it was especially riveting.  Her voice is so moving and unusual.  Unlike the movie, little blood and gore.  It's practically family fare.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I can't vouch for what it would be like without Alice Ripley, but if it comes to your town, give it a shot.


Gorgeous voice, sings poetry with a melancholic charisma. 

Didn't know much about him when I bought the tickets.  Knew about his dad Loudon Wainwright.  Rufus is a kind of a cross between Billy Joel and Elton John.

The song "Martha" was a highlight.  You can listen to it here.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Musical poetry.  If he appears near you, go.  He's a delight...and his sister, who opens for him, is very charming.


Styled to Rock (Bravo)

Designers vie for the opportunity to be part of Rihanna's design team.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Lacks the production values of "Project Runway," but if you like that show and fancy yourself a rock goddess, you might find this fun.

Dancing on the Edge (STARZ)

 stars as a 1930's jazz band leader in London who gets mixed up in some crazy stuff.

This is a far cry from his role in 12 Years a Slave (2013), which will probably earn him an Oscar Nomination. Johanna Vanderham, who currently is starring in "The Paradise" on PBS, is also one to watch. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...Stylish and intelligent TV fare.

That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday for 

My Dad's Three Rules of Child-Rearing -
a simple formula that will help you through adulthood and retirement!

Trust me!

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Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."