Recent Viewing: Films
Published on July 2, 2013 by Sara Foss

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) ***1/2

Soul Kitchen (2009) ***

Rashomon (1950) ***1/2

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) ***

Before Midnight (2013) ****

Me and Orson Welles (2008) ***

Lola (1961) ***1/2

Fish Tank (2009) ***1/2

The House on Sorority Row (1983) ***

Much Ado About Nothing (2013) ***1/2


Watching "Much Ado About Nothing"
Published on July 2, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review Joss Whedon's adaptation of the Shakespeare play "Much Ado About Nothing."

Here's an excerpt:

"The new adaptation of the William Shakespeare romantic-comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing' has the feel of a low-budget film made by a group of friends, which is both a good and bad thing.

Shot in about two weeks at director Joss Whedon’s California home while he was taking a short break from making 'The Avengers,' the cast is filled with TV veterans who will be familiar to fans of Whedon’s cult TV shows, such as 'Dollhouse' and 'Firefly.' On one hand, the small-scale, contemporary setting — this 'Much Ado About Nothing' takes place in the here and now — is liberating, smartly updating one of the Bard’s best-loved plays and showing how many of his themes still reverberate. On the other hand, I found myself wishing Whedon had taken even more liberties with the play than he does, and opened it up just a bit more: Despite the modern dress and glossy black-and-white palette, this is a very faithful adaptation, and the social mores of Elizabethan England don’t always translate to the year 2013.

But they mostly do, so it’s easy to overlook the parts of the play that now seem somewhat problematic."

Click here to read the whole thing.

Food Bags From Feed Bags
Published on July 1, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, my colleague Margaret Hartley writes about her latest craft project in her weekly column Greenpoint.

Here's an excerpt:

"My neighbor has been making garden art, stacking old glass light fixtures, glued together, onto broom handles and planting them in the garden to reflect and refract the light.

'It’s pretty dorky, but I’m having fun,' she said. 'I mean, I wouldn’t put it in my house, but in the garden it looks pretty nice.'

We were taking our weekly Insanely Long Walk — seven miles around the lake — and our conversation had turned to various reuse projects we’ve been working on.

My friend likes redoing old furniture — end tables or small chests — by painting them bright colors. She’s been doing mosaics too, on the tops of the tables and on old flower pots, using various broken plates and crockery. She makes fun of her finished projects, but they really are beautiful.

And we both like finding new uses for old stuff."

Click here to read the whole thing.

Lessons in Parenting
From Crib To Bed
Published on July 1, 2013 by guest author: J LeBlanc

After becoming pregnant with my second child, I began to wonder if I should move my son to a toddler bed and use his crib for the new baby. “Do it when he’s ready,” advised most of the people I asked. But how to know? The concept of a “big boy bed” didn’t mean anything to him and he was not yet at an age to be aware of where his peers slept, or to care.       

In any case, I knew I wasn’t ready. He’d only graduated to his own room at eighteen months, when I’d first become pregnant — I didn’t want to push him too fast and I wanted (especially in the midst of first trimester fatigue) to get some decent sleep myself. However, soon after this transition, my husband informed me he’d seen our son put his foot on the top of the crib rail. I panicked. Cooler weather was setting in, so I decided to put him in a sleep sack, which we had never used before. This would serve the dual purpose of discouraging him from climbing out and keeping him from kicking the blankets off now that we would no longer be inches away to replace them.       

The sleep sack worked. It allowed me to put off dealing with the transition to a toddler bed for several months, getting me through pregnancy and the newborn period with my second child. He could have climbed out of his crib during this time if he had wanted to; he was certainly tall and agile enough and he demonstrated for us that he could get the sleep sack off quite easily. I think he chose not to because the crib felt safe to him — the rails imposed a limit that he wasn’t mature enough to set for himself and helped him relax into sleep. Not always right away — he would often sing or talk to himself or play with his stuffed animals before drifting off. Often, he didn’t even want to get out of the crib at the end of a nap, preferring to engage in more of this play and hand me one of his animals saying, “I want Mama to have this one,” and waiting expectantly for me to begin a conversation with the animal he was holding. If I tried to take him out before he was ready, he would throw himself down flat in protest, making it virtually impossible for me to lift him out.   


The Rock 'n Roll Time Machine
Published on July 1, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about my great new invention, the Rock 'n Roll Time Machine.

Here's an excerpt:

"A couple of weeks ago the New England Sports Fan Friend and I came up with a terrific invention: The Rock ‘n Roll Time Machine.

This time machine has one purpose: It permits the user to travel back in time to attend the rock concert of their choice. So if you’re like me, and you wish you could have seen some of the greatest bands in rock and roll history when they were actually in their prime, the Rock ‘n Roll Time Machine can make your dreams come true. Of course, the New England Sports Fan Friend and I discussed which band we’d most like to travel back in time to see.

For the most part, we were in agreement: The band we’d most like to see is Led Zeppelin. Now, Led Zeppelin is not my favorite band, although every time I listen to them or hear them on the radio I’m impressed by how great they sound. They never sound dated to me, and if I didn’t know anything about them and had never heard them before I’d probably think they were some terrific new artist, taking the world by storm. Anyway, research suggests that Led Zeppelin’s 1972 North American Tour would be a great tour to catch; the band played songs from the as-yet-to-be released album “Houses of the Holy,” as well as now-classic songs such as 'Stairway to Heaven,' 'Black Dog' and 'Rock and Roll.'"

Click here to read the whole thing.

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