Hanging Out in Matinee-land…

Do you find this to be true?

You experience a long drought — a dry spell, I tell ya — when there just aren’t any movies out there to see in Matinee-land.

I’m trying not to obsess over the lack of an accent mark over that first e. MW says either/or, but this just screams “knee” to me, not “nay”. Saturday, we went to the mati(knee).

Moving along.

All of a sudden — bam! — you’re seeing one movie right after another.

Yep. That’s what happened to us.

Yep. Yep. We leave our hearth and home and travel down the road to mingle with other bipedal uprights; slouching in chairs with feet up on rails, and consuming copious quantities of coke and popcorn — not me!

We go to The Show.

We risk the traffic, the weather, the potential for creepy crawlies to well… creep and crawl, the fug air, and our precious ears for the big screen experience.

I can’t speak for Mr. G, honey, but part of the big screen experience for me is audience reaction. I want to smell it, hear it, taste it, feel it.

When do they laugh? When do they gasp? When do they crawl under the seat like a girl? (Oops. That might be me.) When do they cry like babies?

I’m crying like a baby just watching the trailer for War Horse. I’m not sure I can take it on the big screen.

Recently in Matinee-land, we saw this ~

I wanted to sew all my worldly goods into the hem of my skirt after seeing this film. Monetary thrills and chills.

Then we saw this ~

Help me, Rhonda. I expect Oscar nominations for Michelle Williams and the Cinematographer, Ben Smithard. A truly talented ensemble cast.

And this~

Michell Pfeiffer, I heart you. That is all. I get right into these series vignette movies. Sarah Jessica Parker wins Best Clogs in a Vignette category. The girl can walk the shoe runway.

Yup, matinee ‘ho.

You? Any Matinee-land finds to report? Tell all.

For Writers ~ @ Terribleminds, Wendig’s, 25 Things Writers Should Know About Rejection. Wendig’s not a sugar coater. Gird your writing rejection loins. Click on over.

More For Writers ~ @ Girlfriends Book Club, Karin Gillespie’s All Work and No Play* Makes a Dull Writer. When Crazy Daisy meets Ms. Grind. Clickety, click.

For Christmas Tree Lovers Everywhere ~ @ Design Milk, Modern Christmas Tree, posted by Jaime. Yep. Click. Def.

For Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Lovers ~ @ HuffPost Kitchen Daily, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Recipe Combos. Six sandwiches to combine with six soups. Be still my Northern Girl heart. Click. On. Over.

TGIF, baby!

I’m undecided…

We had a date night on Friday and stepped out to see the remake of the 1984 Footloose — the version starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and John Lithgow. Oh, ho, ho, and I did see Sarah Jessica Parker in the roll of Rusty. Mercy.

The 2011 Footloose, starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid was darker, less musical, less fun. In this case, less is not more.

I’m undecided.

I enjoyed Kevin Bacon and Kenny Wormald equally in the role of Ren MacCormack, though it was played differently.

I’m undecided.

I preferred the 2011 Willard, played by Miles Teller to the Willard of 1984, portrayed by Chris Penn, but enjoyed the scene where Willard learns to dance more in the original.

I’m undecided.

Julianne Hough (as Ariel Moore) is beautiful and a talented dancer, but I just had a hard time putting her and high school senior in the same frame. I may be out of touch. Woefully.

I’m undecided.

Lithgow or Quaid?


If they had gone with the big musical finish that the original did, I think I could have left the theater satisfied. But they didn’t. They made it shorter. Choppier.

Even though they made it a darker, edgier, more [air quotes] contemporary [end air quotes] film, they needed that big, musical finish to make it Footloose.

I wanted to love this movie with my whole heart.

Maybe if they had called it Footloose, Back to the Future.

I’m undecided.

You should do it. Just once…

Note: No *spoilers* in this post.

Ever had a morning theater experience? You should do it. Just once.

I’m not talking the after midnight, Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-is-out-trolling-for-vamps morning. I’m talking the Hello!, birdies chirping, sun shining, paper-thumping-against-the-door morning.

If you read Friday’s post, you know that Mr. G honey was drafted (and I elected) to see a 9 o’clock showing of the latest Harry Potter. This was not a problem for him. He routinely rises and shines with the call of the rooster. We don’t have a rooster, but he hears the call anyway. Rooster-call gifted.

Here’s how it went down.

I stayed up until 2 o’clock Friday morning, because I was writing don’t have the sense God gave a goose. I rocketed out of bed at 7:30, because we were leaving at 8:15, and I needed my decaffeine and maybe some flip-flops and underwears and everything else that adds up to a field trip ensemble.

I reminded myself that I wanted to do this morning theater experience, because I really wasn’t interested in the I can see up your wand Harry Potter seating that was a sure bet in the post meridiem. Mr. G honey doesn’t stand in lines. Does. Not. Do. It.

I choked down some yogurt and a banana, and we hit the road. The sun already felt like high noon, and I was wearing my retro 50s sunglasses and a floppy straw hat, long pants and UV50+ Tropicwear long-sleeved, vented shirt from L.L. Bean in eye-popping tangerine. Let me tell you. I needed it against the high UVs in the Echo-mobile and the high ACs in the theater.

The theater parking lot wasn’t as full as I expected. It’s a big 24 AMC. But there were cars. I asked the ticket wicket person if the theater was full for the first show. Nope. Only 90 tickets had been sold by the time we arrived.

Here is what I learned.

~ Morning tickets cost $6.00, instead of $10.50. Happy, happy. Dance, dance.

~ Yes. People eat popcorn at 9 o’clock in the morning. Big tubs of it. With butter. And super-sized drinks. And chocolate. And MexiCasa Nachos. And Tastee ice cream. Movie theater eating is a cultural thing, maybe even a cult thing. They call it “mindless” eating. I splurged and bought a bottle of Dasani for $4.25. Now, I fall into the no longer a cheap date category.

~ Yes. Lots of people were wearing Harry Potter tees in our intergenerational audience that had blossomed to about 125 by the time the trailers started, give or take 25. Some wear jammies, too. I should have thought of that, but we were doing lunch afterward. Our big Friday night date had morphed into our big Friday morning date.

~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 exceeded my expectations. It was awesome. I loved it.

The End.

The Day After, aka Here be Monday…

The day after a visit from the E-Bunny and the groaning board that is Easter dinner found me doing this:

Okay. I wasn’t actually doing that. That is not in my pictorial dictionary under treadmill or dinosaur or under Easter dinner aftermath. That is never gonna happen.

But I did spend a goodly amount of time tromping around the flower beds in my rubber boots — before The Rains came — tidying plants from the winter season, digging out some early pesky dandelions, and spying all manner of post winter growth. The blue tips of the Blue False Indigo are showing, as are the tips of several hostas, and the deep red tips of the peonies. Common violets are poking up everywhere — even where they shouldn’t be. Day lilies and chives are about six inches high, and the periwinkle has opened a bloom or three. Progress, baby.

For my money, that was better than a whirl-on-the-treadmill-that-is-never-gonna-happen any day.

Because here in my neck of Canadaland it is Easter Monday, Mr. G honey and I had a playdate.

Because The Rains were coming, we decided to go see Water for Elephants and eat theater popcorn.

Thinking more about that treadmill experience.

You should see it, too. It was seriously good. I’m going to read the book now.

Water for Elephants – Trailer

Here be Monday.


Riding along in his Lincoln Town Car…

Yes, this is me. This is me workin’. This is me writin’. This is me tossin’.

I’m working on a short story right now. Can you hear the the screaming across the intertoobs? I love the short story form, but there isn’t any margin for…..anything. Tight, tight, tight. That is what your writing must be.

I’ve been writing, stepping out. This morning, I stepped out with just a hoodie on. It’s going to be 46 here today with the sun shining. I have chives inching up out of the ground and crocuses that are straining to bloom. Not bad for Hump Day.

Back in February, February 3rd to be exact, Author Colleen Thompson over at Boxing the Octopus had a little win-a-free-book-and-movie-poster thing going on. Leave a comment and be one of five lucky winners. I left a comment not expecting to win, because I live in Canadaland. But I must have had my mojo working, because I turned out to be one of the five lucky winners.

A few weeks later, this was delivered to my door:

Yes. This yummy poster. Well, Hello Matthew McConaughey, honey. And that nice fat, trade paperback of THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. All courtesy of the movie studio — Lionsgate — and sent by Little, Brown and Company.

I’ve never read a Michael Connelly suspense novel before. I’m looking forward to it.

Mr. G, honey and I did some stepping out last week.

We stepped out to see…

It was a Thursday night in our little burg. Late afternoon, actually. We were playing hooky. Absent without leave. There were three of us in the theater. The Brit must have been playing hooky, too.

The movie was good. Real good. The tension, the pacing was exactly right. McConaughey was the best I’ve ever seen him in a role. Full props.

On the way out, I asked the Brit — that’s how I found out he was a Brit — if he enjoyed the film. Why, yes. Yes, he did. He’s read every single Michael Connelly book and assured me that I would have a thoroughly satisfying read.

Can’t wait.

So, thank you Colleen Thompson. Thank you Boxing the Octopus. Thank you Lionsgate. Thank you Little, Brown and Company. And thank you Michael Connelly and Matthew McConaughey for an evening of fine entertainment. Very fine.


Bring the voice…

Last week I went to see NINE, the movie musical. It was a visual feast, and the ensemble cast — Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Stacy Ferguson, Sophia Loren — were extraordinary. It’s the world of the famous 1960s Italian movie director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), and it’s spinning out of control — creatively, personally. And does it ever spin!


I’ll say it again. Visual feast. Go. See.

Watching NINE, listening to Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido, got me to thinking about what character — not what actor, but what character — I would most like to hear delivering my messages on the cell phone. You know, when that voice comes on and says, You have 3 new messages. To listen to your messages, press… That voice. What character would I most like to hear as that voice. Hello, Guido, baby! And if not Guido, then Roux in the movie, Chocolat. Oh, yeah.

What about you? What character would you most like to hear delivering your voice mail messages, or giving you directions on your GPS?

C’mere, Guido. C’mere, Roux. Come to Elen. And bring the voice.

Now, it’s your turn.

Hellooo, Monday.


Tales of the weekend…

Orange SocksMr. G, honey is down in the kitchen, as we speak, putting up a bar, so I can hang towel art. Yes. As we speak. What a guy. His reward will be on the dining room table at dinner time — meatloaf and mashed potatoes — a man meal. There’ll be some salad and green veggie matter of the antioxidant persuasion, too, but he won’t even see that. All his big man eyes are going to see is meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It’s a win win.

Speaking of a win win. We tripped out to the theater with another couple for date night Friday night and saw Australia. I heart Baz Luhrmann. He got my attention with Romeo + Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2001), and now Australia. All four of us came away thoroughly satisfied. I especially enjoyed the guy in the row behind us enjoying it. A strong, positive audience reaction to a film only it makes it better. Nicole Kidman is a big, versatile talent. Hugh Jackman — wasn’t he just named PEOPLE’S 2008 sexiest man alive? Enough said. The movie is grand in the old style of Giant (1956) with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean and sweeping in the style of Out of Africa (1985) with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. My reviewer stomped all over it. I knew I was going to love it. Go. See. Decide for yourself.

Mr. G, honey has his trusty stud finder out, getting serious with that kitchen wall. Why doesn’t somebody event something like that that I can sweep across my writing board and find plot, character, landscape? Now, that would be a writing tool I could get behind.


I started this post on Saturday, which has somehow morphed into Monday. There was a little glitch with that towel bar. Gonna require a trip to Lee Valley. I think somebody is getting a jump on his Christmas shopping. The meatloaf was bliss. Best recipe ever. Handed down from generation to generation, with salt content modified at this generation. Best. Ever.

Time to shuffle downstairs and let the mat master in. Gotta go.

Happy sleety, rainy, snowy, etc., etc.,………Monday.


This be untitled…

I’m on the road for the next couple of weeks, so blogging is going to be sporadic. I’ll do my best, but I suspect I’ll be dragging at the end of the day.

Speaking of on the road, I went to see Nights in Rodanthe over the weekend. The reviewer in one of my local papers and I never agree on movies. He rated it poorly. I don’t get him, and he obviously doesn’t get me. I ignored his sad review and went anyway. I adore Diane Lane. She is talented and has such a quiet beauty. Richard Gere is not only talented, but every time he puts on a pair of spectacles I get a little rush. The man can wear glasses. Movieland classified it as a romantic drama and got it right. I loved the setting, the texture, the drama, the romance. I admit that I would like to have seen more of Viola Davis. No spoilers here. Go. See. Go on. You know you want to. Mr. G, honey liked it a lot, and he gets his stone face going when you mention chick flick.

Per Keziah’s recommendation, last night I slipped Bonneville in the DVD player. Jessica Lange (Arvilla), Kathy Bates (Margene) and Joan Allen (Carol) travel from Idaho to California in a Bonneville that belonged to Arvilla’s late husband to deliver his ashes to his daughter in Santa Barbara. What a dynamite acting trio. Tom Skerritt was the icing on the cake for me. He has one of those really likeable faces. Laughs, tears and great scenery. What’s not to love? Go. Rent.

Yes. I love movies, almost as much as I love books.

Okay. I’m done now.


Yes, this is the right place…

If you’ve been here before, you’re noticing something different. If you’re new, welcome.

I’ve made a wee bit of a change. I loved my previous dark and sexy blog theme; but it’s been almost a year, and I like to shake things up. I’m totally smitten with my new banner, an image by Achim Prill called Glass Scenery, and my new look. Yum.

The Tech Baby move went pretty smooth. I love being on campus with students and parents on move-in weekend. You can feel the angst and smell freedom in the air. We’re empty-nesting for eight months again — shocking — which just feels weird. Fall brings a new rhythm, and this is just part of it. Gracie Allen Golden Pup and Goddess of Mope is going to sigh us all into a coma.

We stumbled into the theater on Friday night, exhausted, to see Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I was like a bug stuck on a windshield. I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t look away. You could go for the scenery alone, and I was highly entertained. I wanted to run away to Spain. Right then. Watch the trailer here. Mr. G, honey, don’t read this next part. I could look at Javier Bardem for a long time. A verra, verra long time.

I’ve got the shredder in my wreck-of-an-office today, and I’m making it smoke. It IS the Labor Day weekend after all. Tomorrow, I plan to get some pages written, but I may take it out to the patio. We’re having two days of consecutive sunshine. That may be a first here this summer.

I really need to find something tall and icy. A longneck would qualify, right?

Let’s play Twitter. What are you doing right now?



New month, new moon, and it’s Friday. Can’t do better than that. That just sounds like a fresh start with limitless possibilities. Anyone else feel this way about the beginning of a new month?

As it’s Friday, I’ll be making my weekly trek to our local farm market to buy whatever fresh produce is available. There’s that word — fresh — again.

It’s date night. Dinner and a movie. I’m in a Space Chimps kind of mood. Mr. G, honey is in a Wanted kind of mood. Now, there’s a great divide. See Elen laugh. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Here’s something else that’s fresh. Randall Munroe, you are one funny guy. I’m waiting for the t-shirt. Srsly. Courtesy of xkcd.


Go here and mouseover the webcomic for the caption. Really. I’d put it here, if I could.

Go Friday!


Educating Elen…

The last three days were jam-packed. This was despite torrential rains and tornado watches which, for the most part, I was totally oblivious to as I was being entertained by live theater, at the movies — dead theater? — or schmoozing and boozing — if you can call a glass and a half of Pinot Grigio boozing — with friends. Okay. That probably is boozing for me.

This weekend, I had my six-week hair trim. This morning I was able to put it in its first ponytail since forever. It looks like a little Chubby drink. A clubby, chubby.

We saw William Congreve’s The Way of the World. This was the live theater. Thoroughly enjoyable. I learned a new word — she-friend. I took a walk on the wild side and ate seared pink peppercorn crusted and ceviche of ahi tuna. The seared pink was delish, but ceviche is just another word for raw, and I’m still feeling a bit ick over that little blunder. Still, it trumps the sweetbreads I once ordered in a French restaurant. Um. That’s not what I thought it was.

And finally, a matinee of Mamma Mia on Sunday. I presume this was the dead? theater. Meryl Streep can do Anything. The audience was totally engaged. Laughing, shouting, clapping and — during the credits — applauding. It doesn’t get better than that. Even Mr. G, honey was l a u g h i n g, and he is one serious dude. Oh, and I learned that I dot, dot, dot. In fact, I like to dot, dot, dot…a lot. See Elen laughing.

Today, I’m writing the hawt love scene, so I leave you with this xkcd. I think I can do better.

Getting Out of Hand

Stay out of the wet.