Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10 Signs It Is Time To Lose Weight and How To Do It

Hubby has lost almost 20 pounds in the last two months.

I find that inspiring, but I have known for awhile that I need to go on a diet.

How do I know?

Here are some signs that it's time to lose some pounds:

  • When you reach up into the cabinet over the stove, you burn your stomach on the pot simmering on the hot burner (This can happen. I have the scar to prove it).

  • Your bathroom scale has cobwebs on it.

  • You not only can't zip up your jeans, when you look down, you can't see your shoes.

  • People ask you when the baby is due, despite the fact it would take an act of god for that to happen

  • You get winded going out to the mailbox for the mail

  • You are pen pals with Lane Bryant

  • If someone parks too close to you, you can't get out of the car.  Heck, the other car doesn't even need to be that close.

  • Your earrings are the only things that fit

  • When you order two scoops of ice cream the pimply faced teenager asks, "Are you sure you want two?"

  • The dogs refuse to go for walks, because they don't want to be seen in public with you.

So what will I do to lose the weight?

Diet tips from the professionals seem to include:

Eat breakfast
There is actually a difference of opinion on this.  Some diet books say breakfast is a must and others say don't worry about it. This is a hard one for me.  Number one, I am not hungry in the morning (I am not a morning person - just the smell of breakfast being made makes me bilious), and number 2, I have always felt once I start eating the floodgates will open and I won't stop.  I know that's not really true, but old habits die hard.

Drink lots of water
Some diet experts say that when we feel hunger, we are actually thirsty.  But I'm telling you, when I am hungry for a bowl of ice cream or a hamburger, water just doesn't cut it.

Cut down on nighttime snacks
Well, here is my Achilles heel.  I can go all day without eating but at night?  There is nothing like a nice bowl of popcorn or a glass or wine (or two) while watching "The Bachelor."

Avoid eating out
Again, a toughy.  For someone like me who is working her way through Seattle's fine dining restaurants from A-Z, it's difficult to eat leftovers at home before heading to the theatre or music venue.

Be physically active
I try to walk 10,000 steps per day, but I also like to watch TV.  Maybe I should watch TV while running in place.

Keep a food diary
I would do this if I could remember to do it.

Follow a prescribed diet
I have probably read every diet book ever written. 

The Adkins diet, originally popularized in the early 1970's, and touting cutting out almost all carbs, seems to be popular again.  I think I first tried this when was 12!

Other popular diet books include:

The Dukan Diet

I have several friends who have lost weight on this one.  Princess Kate used it before she married Prince William. (Like she needed to lose any weight.  Sheesh).  It's a low carb, low fat diet that is very restrictive early on, then morphs into one where you have "celebration" days. 
Since I like celebrating so much, I would probably overdo the celebration days.

Paleo Diet

This one is in vogue now touting the idea that if you eat like the caveman (or woman), you will be a slim and sexy caveman (or woman).  You can't have anything that wasn't available in prehistoric times. 
Do you think they had Haagen Dazs?

Flat Belly Diet

Those days are behind me, if you know what I mean.

Crazy Sexy Diet

Now you're talkin'! 

Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen

This is what I strive for - to be a skinny bitch.  Some might contend that I have the bitch part worked out already.  But if not, eating vegan would definitely do it.

French Women Don't Get Fat

Bully for them!  Talk about skinny bitches!

Gluten Free Girl Every Day

Originally designed for people who can't tolerate wheat, gluten-free eating has become a fad.  I don't like fads.

Neris and India's Idiot Proof Diet

This one looks promising considering it's audience.

All in all, I think the real key is finding a diet that becomes a way of life. 

If you give up everything you really enjoy, you set yourself up for failure.

Hubby is adhering to a modified Atkins diet and cutting out the booze on week days, which seems to work for him (though I will say, it's been my experience that men can lose weight more easily than women).

I will try to eat something in the morning to get my metabolism going (or just stay in bed until it's lunch time), cut down on empty calories such as wine (I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to break that to the wine-guzzling poodle), get some exercise every day and watch my portions.

And try not to beat myself up too much. 

After all, I should be grateful for this old body that has gotten me this far, even if it's less than svelte. 

Want to give me some diet advice?
Share your tips, successes
 and favorite diet books.

See you Friday for the Week in Reviews.

Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.
Check your local library for the books mentioned.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Golden Globes, the Academy Award Nominations, and the Week in Reviews

[I review the movie "August, Osage County" and DVDs "Thanks for Sharing," "Renoir," "The Awakening" and "Adore."]

But first

It's Awards Season at the movies, and for movie lovers, that's our play-offs leading to our Super Bowl, the Academy Awards.

The Golden Globes were last Sunday and there were a few surprises.

The first surprise was how unfunny Tina Fey and Amy Poeller were compared to last year, other than the joke about George Clooney when describing "Gravity:"

"It's the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age."

Jennifer Lawrence stole "American Hustle," but I was surprised she beat Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"). 

Love Jennifer Lawrence, hated her dress. 

But, Lupita Nyong'o had the best dress.

Another upset was Matthew McConaughey beating out Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor in a Drama. I thought Ejiofor was a shoo-in for that.  Now I am wondering what the Academy will do. If he doesn't win, I won't have to learn how to pronounce or spell Chiwetel Ejiofor.

So glad Elizabeth Moss won for the mini-series "Top of the Lake."  She is probably better known for "Mad Men," but here she stars as a complicated New Zealand cop trying to find a missing girl. Her accent is so good I thought she was from New Zealand, but she was born in Los Angeles. I am watching it now on Netflix (streaming).  When it aired on television it was a critical success, but I don't think anyone saw it.  If you liked "Twin Peaks" or "The Killing,"  you will like this.

Highly recommended.

And then there's Jacqueline Bisset. 

Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.  One, I don't feel she didn't deserve that Golden Globe.  Though I loved "Dancing on the Edge,"

her part just wasn't that difficult an acting job.  Hubby said she won because she still looks so good. 

And two, her acceptance speech. What the hell?  Methinks she had been a tippling.

She stood on stage for a full 23 seconds before she said a word and then this is some of what she said:

I mean, does this make sense to you?

"I want to thank the people who've given me joy and there have been many. I say it like my mother ... she used to say 'Go to Hell and don't come back.
I believe, if you want to look good, you have to forgive everybody. You have to forgive everybody. It's the best beauty treatment. Forgiveness for yourself and for the others. I love my friends. I love my family."

Couldn't believe Woody Allen had written and directed 74 films in 48 years.  That is incredible that he not only directed that many, but WROTE that many.  His getting the Cecil B. DeMille award was well-deserved.  Some of my all-time favorite movies are Woody Allen films.

And I have to say, I not only called "12 Years a Slave" as Best Picture and Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") for Best Director, I did it BEFORE the nominations. 

And can I just say, why in hell don't people who are nominated and could win, prepare a speech?  There was so much bumbling around with the speeches I thought I was at amateur night at Toastmasters.

As for the Academy Award nominations (which were announced yesterday), few surprises, and I called almost all of them, except I can't believe Tom Hanks did not get nominated for "Captain Phillips," nor did the director, Paul Greengrass. "Captain Phillips" got screwed.  It was a great film.  As I said in my earlier blog "Oscar Predictions," what Tom Hanks did in the last few minutes of that film was acting at its finest. 

And why wasn't Emma Thompson nominated for "Saving Mr. Banks (which I reviewed in last Friday's blog)?"

However, I am glad to see Leonardo DiCaprio getting some props.  I think he is one of Hollywood's most underrated actors.

I had forgotten that up to 10 films can be nominated, so I only called five, but had I remembered, I would have called all of the films with the possible exception of "The Wolf of Wall Street."  But where was "Saving Mr. Banks," "Fruitvale Station," and "Inside Llewyn Davis?"

What did you think of the Golden Globes? 
Did they get it right?

Which Actors or Films were snubbed for Academy Awards?

***In Theatres Now***

A funeral brings a dysfunctional family back to Oklahoma.

The movie poster says it all.

Based on Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize winning play (2008), this film brings together an incredible cast:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis (good to see her back again), and more for two hours of dark comedy.  Letts also wrote the screenplay, and he deftly brought the visual aspect to what is basically a family getting together around a table to air their dirty laundry. 

As Tolstoy wrote in "Anna Karenina,"
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  And boy is this family unhappy.

I saw the Broadway touring company of the play a few years ago.  It starred Estelle Parsons as the irascible, drug-addicted mother.  She was in her 80's and running up and down the stairs of the set and she was fabulous.   But Meryl Streep is just magnificent in this film.  Glad to see she is nominated for an Oscar.

Rosy the Reviewer says...See this for the acting, especially Streep's performance. 
As Hubby said, "She is a National Treasure."

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)

Thanks for Sharing (2012)

Three men struggling with sex addiction.

This could be the poster child for AA, it's so earnest.  Not a huge Mark Ruffalo fan.  His acting puts me to sleep.

Rosy the Reviewer says...A formulaic film, but nonetheless entertaining.

Renoir (2012)

Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir -- son of the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste -- returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. Both father and son are enchanted by the artist's muse, Andree.
This film depicts the elder Renoir at the end of his life and son Jean, before he became the famous filmmaker.
Rosy the Reviewer says...See it for the cinematography and the gorgeous French countryside.  As beautiful as Renoir's paintings. (subtitles)

It's 1921 and ghost-hunter Florence Cathcart travels to a boy's boarding school to debunk ghost sightings there.

Rebecca Hall is a wonderful British actress who is underrated.  She has been in a ton of things, but has yet to break out as a big star ("The Town," "Parade's End"...).  She is rumored to star in the next "Pirate's of the Caribbean."  Perhaps that will bring her stardom.  She deserves it.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "The Sixth Sense," you will like this except this one is scarier.

Adore (2013)

Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star as best friends who fall in love with each other's young sons. 
Sounds kinky, but this is a really good film.  Filmed in Australia, Watts gets back to her Aussie roots while Wright does a good job with her Aussie accent.
Rosy the Reviewer says...gorgeous New South Wales scenery, gorgeous young men, gorgeous acting.  Adored it!

***Book of the Week***

Stitches: A handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne LaMotte (2013)
Lamott strives to make sense of this crazy world of ours and how we put ourselves back together after devastation and loss.  Her solution?  You do it one stitch at a time.
To find meaning, Lamott says it is enough to search for it. 
"The search is the meaning, the search for beauty, love, kindness and restoration in this difficult, wired and often alien modern world."  That's helpful to hear as I search for that meaning in my retirement and the rest of my life.
Rosy the Reviewer says...When crap happens, you need books like this.  It is comforting.  Similar to Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."
That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday!
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.
Check your local library for DVDs and book mentioned.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014: The Year of the Baby Boomer and the Films, Books and Music We Loved

2014 is the year that the youngest of the Baby Boomer Generation (those of us born between 1946 and 1964) turns 50. 

      Baby Boomer Then                                               Baby Boomer Now

We are the so-called spoiled generation, because our parents wanted us to do better and have better than they did and had. 

We are also the "Sex, drugs and rock and roll" generation. 

As P.J. O'Rourke says in his article "How the Boomers (ruined) SAVED Everything,"

"The boomers can be scolded for promiscuous sex, profligate use of illegal intoxicants, and other behavior that didn't turn out to be healthy.  But somebody had to do the research." 

Since we have been running things, a case can be made that we have screwed things up for the next generation.  My son thinks so, anyway. But we have also given the world the PC, smart phones, the artificial heart, the Internet, DNA fingerprinting, Viagra and free shipping.

So other than being born between 1946 and 1964, what identifies us as Baby Boomers?

Some of us Baby Boomers

  • Had a Pet Rock (I named mine Pooky)
  • Had parents who talked endlessly about the depression and those starving children overseas who would supposedly gladly eat the food we didn't want to finish
  • Were raised on Dr. Spock (DOCTOR Spock, not MISTER Spock)
  • Watched Howdy Doody and "American Bandstand" on TV
  • Didn't trust anyone over 30 (now we don't trust anyone over 90)
  • Lived and breathed the Beatles, the British Invasion and all things rock & roll
  • Got divorced (we pushed the divorce rate up to 50% - and I hepped)
  • Ironed our hair (upside: long straight hair; downside: steam burns on your face)
  • Got Tattoos
  • Made out at drive-in movies
  • Ate 15 cent hamburgers at McDonalds
  • Joined consciousness raising groups
  • Smoked lumpy joints with stems sticking out and seeds exploding in our faces (this one is Hubby's contribution)
  • Thought we would live forever
  • Tried to look like Cher (well, I did, anyway)

We were also greatly influenced by books, movies and albums (albums, remember those?)

This is what Erica Jong thinks are the ten essential Boomer Books:

"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
 "The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin            
"Catch-22"  by Joseph Heller                                  
"The Group" by Mary McCarthy
"Couples" by John Updike                                     
 "Portnoy's Complaint" by Philip Roth
"Whole Earth Catalog" by Stewart Brand              
"Sisterhood is Powerful" by Robin Morgan            
"The Female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer
"Fear of Flying" by Erica Jong

Not surprising that Erica is a bit heavy on sex and feminism here and includes her own book.  But "Fear of Flying" did greatly influence me.  However, I was more influenced by Kate Millet's "Sexual Politics" than the Robin Morgan or Germaine Greer books.

This is Oliver Stone's list of ten essential Boomer Movies:

"The Graduate"                                       "Easy Rider"
"A Clockwork Orange"                              "Jaws"
"The Godfather, I and II"                         "All the President's Men"
"Annie Hall"                                            "Apocalypse Now"
"Kramer vs. Kramer"                               "Reds"

Heavy on the masculine side, if you ask me, and he missed some big ones:  "A Hard Day's Night," "Woodstock" "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Dr. Zhivago."  Those left lasting impressions on me.

Music critic Nelson George weighs in on the ten essential boomer albums:

Bob Dylan, "Highway 61 Revisited"              Carole King, "Tapestry"
Marvin Gaye, "What's Going on?"                 Led Zeppelin, "Led Zeppelin IV"  
Rolling Stones, "Exile on Main St."               Stevie Wonder, "Innervisions"
Donna Summer, "Love to Love You Baby"    
"Saturday Night Fever" Soundtrack  
The Beatles, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Exodus"

Donna Summer?  What about Elvis?

So Baby Boomers. 
What do you think? 

Did they get it right?

Were these the ESSENTIAL books, films and music that shaped your Boomer years?

What are your favorite Baby Boomer memories that you will take with you to the nursing home?

See you Friday for a follow-up on the Golden Globes and the Academy Award nominations and my Week in Reviews.

Check your local library for the books, movies and music listed. 

Jong's, Stone's and George's lists from The AARP Magazine December 2013/January 2014.

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


Friday, January 10, 2014

The Best Food Shows on TV and the Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Saving Mr. Banks,"  "Last Love," "Tell No One," "Elysium," "Sightseers," and "I'm So Excited" and recommend a great cookbook].

But first

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably already surmised that I like food and my TV, so it's no wonder that I consider myself a bit of an expert on food programs, not to be confused with "cooking shows."  I don't particularly like watching people cook, but I love watching people running around cooking in competition or traveling the world and eating food in exotic locales.

So here are
Rosy the Reviewer's picks for
The Best Food Shows on TV.

Top Chef

Top Chef is the granddaddy of the cooking show competitions. 

Well established chefs from well- known restaurants all over the U.S. compete for money, but mostly culinary props as "Top Chef." This is a slick show with no heavy handedness, though there is unabashed promotion of the City in which the competition takes place (though when they were in Seattle they shafted us by heading to Alaska after only a couple of episodes)The show is currently in New Orleans. 

The host is Padma Lakshmi, ex-wife of novelist Salmon Rushdie, and I am not really sure what her foodie credentials are.  She is a skinny bitch (pardon my French), who doesn't look like she really likes food, and her main roles on the show are to tell the chef's when they have only five minutes left, taste the food, and basically look good in her tight frocks.  But it's fun to hear her tell the loser "Please pack your knives and go" at the end of each show. 

 "Top Chef Masters" continues the "journey" as past, popular contestants compete alongside other well-known chefs for that highest honor. 

I have to brag that I have eaten at Art Smith's (Southern Art), Richard Blais's (The Spence), Hugh Acheson's (Empire State South) and Kevin Gillespie's (Woodfire Grill) restaurants in Atlanta (thanks to my daughter who lived there for a few years) - all major players in the "Top Chef" franchise. 

And here I am with Richard Blais at his restaurant. 
Yes, I also groupie for famous chefs!
Next stop:  Aragona, here in Seattle.  Chef Carrie Mashaney was just booted off "Top Chef" last week after a stellar showing.

The Taste

Think "The Voice" for food. 

Contestants for The Taste prepare one perfect bite of their dish for each judge to try in a blind taste test.  As in "The Voice," the judges choose the best tastes from a blind taste test, the winners become part of their team and the judges mentor them for the rest of the show.   

Marcus Samuelsson joins the judging team this year (it's on now).  He was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by a Swedish couple and he grew up in Sweden. He won "Top Chef Masters" in 2010, and I have had the privilege of eating at one of his restaurants in Stockholm (American Table Brasserie and Bar).  I have fond memories of the cute bartender.  But I digress. Samuelsson now runs a famous restaurant in NYC.  You can read about his life in "Yes Chef: A Memoir."

Anything with Gordon Ramsay

Gordon is really a pussy cat.

I know he yells, but from Hell's Kitchen to Kitchen Nightmares to Masterchef, I am a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay's.  Yes, Hell's Kitchen has some ridiculous contestants and, yes, Gordon yells a lot, but I love watching Gordon do his stuff. However, if you are not a fan of people who tell it like it is, you probably won't like Gordon or Tony (see below).  But being direct is also my credo, so I get them and appreciate their talents despite their sometimes jarring sensibilities. 

Read Marco Pierre White's book "The Devil in the Kitchen" if you want to find out why Gordon yells so much.  It's the kitchen culture he grew up with But if you want to see him get all warm and fuzzy, watch "Kitchen Nightmares" where he not only helps people get their restaurants solvent again, he imparts personal advice too.  He's a sort of foodie psychologist.


If you like "Top Chef," you will like Master Chef.

Yet another show we stole from the Brits. As one of the judges, Gordon Ramsay is actually a teddy bear in this one.  Similar to "Top Chef," but with amateur cooks, the contestants are thrown difficult food challenges using strange ingredients and with little time to prepare them.

Anything with Tony Bourdain

If you like food and travel, you will love Tony.

Tony's book "Kitchen Confidential," where he skewered the restaurant industry, brought him to the public's attention, but his TV shows "A Cook's Tour," "No Reservations," "The Layover" and "Parts Unknown" have made him a big star (he is also a judge on "The Taste.")  His shows are not just food shows, but travelogues.  He travels the world and eats, yes, but he also shows the viewer an interesting, unusual and personal side to the countries he visits.  "The Layover" is particularly fun as he shows us what to do in a particular city when we have a 24-48 hour layover.

2015 Update:  Tony came to town and we were able to see him and do a Meet and Greet.  He's a really nice guy!

Food Network Star

Want your own show on the Food Network? 

Contestants are put through their paces to see who has the personality and cooking and TV skills to host their own show.  Winners do actually get their own show and become a Food Network Star, in varying degrees. Guy Fieri and Melissa d'Arabian have been past winners.  Not sure if there will be a 2014 series, but you can find past shows on YouTube. 
(2015 update.  Yes, there was a 2015 series).

Check Please NW/Come Dine With Me

"Check Please" is a TV show that airs in various U.S. cities. 

Three people choose their favorite restaurants and all three eat there and then get together on camera to discuss what they thought.  Yours truly appeared on the show in July of 2012 and if you care to see my star turn, take a look.  "How To Cook a Wolf" was my restaurant.

Currently, you can find this show in Phoenix, Miami, San Francisco and Kansas City, in addition to Seattle.

"Come Dine with Me" is similar, except in this case 4 or 5 people gather at each other's homes to eat a meal prepared by the host.  At the end of the evening, they rate the meal and at the end of the week, the host with the most points wins money.  What makes this show fun is the narrator who tosses out snarky comments throughout.  I started watching this program on UK TV (and you can find it on YouTube), but this year, Lifetime picked up the Canadian version for a few episodes.  Fingers crossed that a U.S. version gets made because it's a great show if you are a foodie.

What are your favorite Foodie shows? 

***In Theatres Now***

The supposed true story of how Walt Disney secured the rights to make a movie of "Mary Poppins," despite the reluctance and downright irascibility of the author, P.L. Travers.
This film embodied what you expect from a Disney film.  It's thoroughly entertaining.  Tom Hanks embodies Walt Disney (it's been a good year for Tom) and Emma Thompson will surely be nominated for an Academy Award for her portrait of Travers, though one could say her performance was a bit on the one note side. 
Though I  enjoyed the film very much, my one complaint would be the script.  Throughout the film, I wanted to know why P.L. Travers turned out to be so bitter. In my mind, I couldn't make the leap from her childhood to the bitter middle-aged woman she became.  Yes, she had a traumatic childhood and there were some allusions to other aspects of her life, but the events of her life from childhood to middle age were left unexplainedBut other than that, Mary Poppins is a beloved figure and movie and people sitting near me were singing along with the tunes and smiling, remembering Mary Poppins and her movie and, no doubt, their childhoods, and I think Hubby was blubbering a bit.
Rosy the Reviewer says...fans of Mary Poppins and Disney films will love this.  The acting is first rate. Recommended.

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I watch the bad ones so you don't have to)

Last Love (2013)

A grieving, widowed American philosophy professor living in Paris makes a connection with a wounded young French woman.
Michael Caine can do no wrong in my book, though why they made him an American, I don't know.  His accent is fine, but I like him better as a Brit.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "Amour (won Best Foreign Language film in 2012 and Emmanuelle Riva was nominated for Best Actress)," you will like this one. 
In fact, I loved this one. This one is less dark, utterly charming and captures the beauty of Paris and the French countryside.  Not to be missed. 

Tell No One (2006)

A French doctor is suspected of his wife's murder which happened eight years earlier.  He gets involved in trying to solve the case when he starts getting emails from his dead wife!
Hubby wanted to see this because he was reading a book about French parks and it said Parc Monseau, one of the parks in the book, figured prominently in this filmI was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my favorite French actors - Francois Cluzet - was in it.  I call him the French Dustin Hoffman, because they look so much alike. 
Am I not right?
You may have seen him in a more recent film, The Intouchables, where he played a paralyzed man, whose nurse tries to help him get the most out of life.
Rosy the Reviewer says...A fast paced mystery (you won't even notice the subtitles), photographed beautifully and well-acted.  If you are a Hitchcock fan, you will like how this unfolds. Highly recommended.

Elysium (2013)

It's 2154, the earth is a wreck and the wealthy have moved to a space station and left the poor to rot on earth. 

Matt tries to save the earth.

This is similar to "Upside Down" (2012), which I reviewed in an earlier blog and which I actually liked better.  Directed by Neill Blomkamp, who directed the excellent District 9, (which I highly recommend), this is bloody, fast-paced and has a great villain.  Speaking of bloody, Jodie Foster is bloody awful as the villainess Delacourt.  I couldn't figure out if she meant to play it campy or not.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like dystopian thrillers, you will enjoy this, but it's not in the same league as "District 9."

Sightseers (2012)

A dream caravan holiday turns into a killing spree.

Caravan is Brit speak for a trailer. Both of the stars are British stand-up comedians who perfected these characters in their routines and they are perfect for this. These characters are not nice people. This is a very dark, but humorous treatise on what it means to be a good English person from the viewpoint of a serial killer. Let's just say this guy has high standards and if you don't meet them, well...

The ending was reminiscent of "The War of the Roses." If you like dark, dark comedy and, if you like British humor, or should I say, humour, you will like this.  If not, proceed at your own peril.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Think gorgeous English countryside, quirckiness and lots of blood. If Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg collaborated, this would be it.

I'm So Excited (2013)
A flight from Madrid to Mexico City encounters some problems and everyone on board must face the danger in their own way, and let's just say, much kinkiness ensues.
Nobody's movies look like his.  The colors are so vibrant and the characters so flamboyant. I have been a fan since his first big hit "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988).  Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz make cameo appearances here because Almodavar made them stars in Spain before they hit it big in the U.S.  When I saw Banderas in "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (1990)," I went...drool... and predicted he would become a big star, despite the controversy surrounding the film (see it and see what you think). I consider myself a feminist, but couldn't understand what all the sturm und drung was around that film. So there was some bondage and some forced sex.  Stuff happens.  Penelope was his muse in "All About My Mother" and the rest is history. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...after seeing this movie flying in a plane will never be the same.  Or movies, for that matterNo one makes movies like Almodavar.  But they are kinky, so if you are easily offended, perhaps his movies aren't for you.

***Book of the Week***

The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes by Amy Thielen (2013)
This ain't the food I ate growing up in the Midwest.

I don't remember "Sweet and sour potluck meatballs."  I remember Swedish meatballs.

I don't remember "Braunschweiger Mousse," I remember just plain old braunschweiger.

I don't remember "Fancy meatloaf with bacon, mushrooms and pistachios," I just remember plain old meatloaf, though my mother did use ground beef, pork and veal. Pistachios in meat loaf?

I don't remember "Wild Boar Sloppy Joes," I just remember plain old sloppy joes.  Are there wild boars in the Midwest?

And the Seven Layer Salad wasn't a Russian Seven Layer Salad.

But, hey, we all have to grow up sometime.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I love reading cookbooks and this one is fun. Create some new memories.

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned. 
Also Netflix is currently streaming "Sightseers."

That's it for this week. 

See you for Tuesday for
"The Year of the Baby Boomer."
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.