Monday, August 9, 2021

2021 Movies

1 movie in 2021
2020 - 5 movies (Pandemic!)
2019 - 26 movies
2018 - 51 movies
2017 - 49 movies
2016 - 62 movies
2015 - 37 movies
2014 - 46 movies
2013 - 48 movies
2012 - 37 movies
2011 - 54 movies

*6*  Awesome
5  Loved it
4  Liked it
3  It was okay
2  Not great
1  Nope

Stillwater (8/8/2021) Matt Damon was wonderful (5)

WOW movies of 2021 

REALLY GOOD movies of 2021 (4.5 & 5)  
Stillwater (8/8/2021) Matt Damon was wonderful (5)

GOOD/FUN movies of 2021 (3 - 3.5 - 4)


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Movie - Stillwater

R (2:19)
Wide release 7/30/2021
Viewed 8/8/2021 at Regal Harrisburg
IMBd: 6.9/10
RT Critic: 74   Audience:  72
Critic's Consensus:  Stillwater isn't perfect, but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes -- and strong performances from its leads -- give this timely drama a steadily building power. 
Cag:   5/Loved it 
Directed by Tom McCarthy
setting:  mostly Marseilles, France

Actors: Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin

My comments:  First movie-in-a-theater in a year and a half!! Super exciting!  And this was a good choice. Very interesting piece of storytelling.  Equally the story of a father doing anything to keep his daughter happy and a character study of the part that Matt Damon plays. It's about the characters and their relationships, what drives them, what makes them do the things they've done in their lives.  Can we be predisposed to be a fuck up?  I think that's the actual theme of the movie, which I really liked a lot.  Matt Damon was really wonderful (side note:  it looked like he put on a few pounds for this part).  What I saw of the setting, Marseilles, was nothing like what I have e er pictured Marseilles to be like.  I loved the way he learned to speak French and I loved the relationship between him and the nine-year-old girl, Maya.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Unemployed roughneck Bill Baker (Academy Award® winner Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseilles to visit his estranged daughter Allison (Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin). Imprisoned for a murder she claims she did not commit. Allison seizes on a new tip that could exonerate her and presses Bill to engage her legal team But Bill eager to prove his worth and regain his daughters trust, takes matters into his own hands. He is quickly stymied by language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system until he meets French actress Virginie (Camille Cottin), mother to eight-year-old Maya (Lilou Siauvaud). Together, these unlikely allies embark on a journey of discovery, truth, love and liberation.

Friday, August 6, 2021

84. Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone

listened on Audible
narrated by Lidia Dornet and Chris Brinkley
Unabridged audio (5:42)
around 200 pgs?  Audible only
Adult RomCom
Finished  8/6/2021
Goodreads rating: 4.12 - 2126 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: Contemporary Brooklyn & Queens) NY

My comments: I listened to the audible of this book, and I can't imagine reading it.  This was sooo good!  Wonderfully narrated.  Since the basis of the protagonist's relationship in the story is by voice messaging, listening to the voice messages, read by the two wonderful narrators was superb.  A great romance that skips a lot of the usual tropes and has a mind of its own.  I loved it.  A lot.  Totally clean and feel good.  One of my top five all-time romances.  Yep, I'm going to do it, maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but I've got to give this one a five!  A gentle, many, artistic male and a feisty, not-scared-of-much female, yippee!  PS. - they didn't need to add the unnecessary epilogue...

Goodreads synopsis:  Stay up all night with this funny, surprising romantic comedy from Audie Award-nominee Cara Bastone — scripted exclusively for audio!

        It’s officially booty o’clock, I’m alone again in my kitchen choking down a slice of terrible chocolate cake…and I’m pretty sure I just got drunk texted by the man I have a ginormous crush on.

        I’ve been daydreaming about Eliot Hoffman’s dimples for two months, and even though I’m sure this was a mistake on his end, it doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity on mine. It’s the middle of the night, and I just wanna talk to him. So I text him back.

        And then somehow we keep talking…ALL NIGHT. We’re both insomniacs, so talking all night soon turns into talking EVERY night.

        And talking about nothing soon turns into talking about something.

        And here we go from in-depth analysis of reality TV to my relationship with my family to his amazing artwork. There’s no topic we don’t cover…

        Except for who I really am. It’s the only question of his I won’t answer.

        As my crush turns into an avalanche of Eliot, I think of him all the time now. But if he knew who I was, the entire house of cards we’ve built this relationship on would come toppling down. I want him to be mine, but we might never be more than just a sweet dream….

Thursday, August 5, 2021

"Yellow Glove" (and other stuff) by Naomi Shihab Nye from her 2020 collection Everything Comes Next

What can a yellow glove mean in a world of cars and 

I was small, like everyone.  Life was a string of precautions:  Don't
kiss the squirrel before you bury him, suck candy, pop balloons,
drop watermelons, watch TV.  When the new gloves appeared one
Christmas, I heard it trailing me.  Don't lose the yellow gloves.

I was small, there was too much to remember.  One day, waving at a
stream -- the ice had cracked, winter chipping down, soon we would
sail boats and roll into ditches -- I let a glove go.  Into the stream,
sucked under the street.  Since when did streets have mouths?  I
walked home on a desperate road.  Gloves cost money.  We didn't
have much.  I would tell no one.  I would wear the yellow glove that
was left and keep the other hand in a pocket.  I knew my mother's 
eyes had tears they had not cried yet.  I didn't want to be the one to
make them flow.  It was the prayer I spoke secretly, folding socks,
lining up donkeys in windowsills, to be good, a promise made to the
roaches who scouted my closet at night, if you don't get in my bed, I
will be good.  And they listened.  I had a lot to fulfill.

The months rolled down like towels out of a machine.  I sang 
and drew and fattened the cat.  Don't scream, don't lie, don't
cheat, don't fight  -- you could hear it anywhere.  A pebble could
show you how to be smooth, tell the truth.  A field could show
 how to sleep without walls.  A stream could remember how
to drift and change -- next June I was stirring the stream like 
a soup, telling my brother dinner would be ready if he'd only
hurry up with the bread, when I saw it.   The yellow glove draped
on a twig.  A muddy survivor.  A quiet flag.

Where had it been in the three gone months?  I could wash 
it, fold it in my winter drawer with its sister, no one in that
world would ever know.  There were miracles on Harvey Street.
 Children walked home in yellow light.  Trees were reborn and
gloves traveled far, but returned.  A thousand miles later, what
can a yellow glove mean in a world of bankbooks and stereos?

Part of the difference between floating and going down.

        Found in Everything Comes Next, Collected and New Poems, 2020

  • There's another "essay", four pages long, later in the book entitled, "Museum."  I love it!  I think it's too long to type here, though.  So glad I own the book, but I know I'd read it more if it were on my blog...Maybe I'll type it in another day.
  • "The Traveling Onion" (found elsewhere on this blog and one of my favorite poems) is included in this collection.  YAY!
The following two poems come from the middle/second section of the book entitled, "THE HOLY LAND THAT ISN'T"

Before You Can

My Jewish friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn't know that person.

My Arab friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn't know that person.
They might press you to drink 45 small cups
of coffee or tea, but that would be all.

My Jewish friends have never taken my house,
my land, herded me into a cell, tortured me,
cut down my tree, never once.
My Arab friends have never built a bomb.

We respect each other as equals.
We look somewhat alike.
We laugh similarly.
We have never said the other should not exist.

So where is the problem exactly?
Let's be specific.  Who and where and what
is the problem exactly?  You have to know
before you can fix it.

Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit

Once they started invading us, taking our houses
and trees, drawing lines, pushing us into tiny places.
It wasn't a bargain or deal or even a real war.
To this day they pretend it was.
Bu it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.
You don't think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can't go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.
Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for year.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.
Life magazine said,
"It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses."
Surprising?  Where else would we be?
Up on the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else's need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in?  No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently.  But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Picture Book - 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental

Illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
Endpapers:  N/A - HUGE BOOK
2006 Harry N. Abrams, translated from French
44 huge, thick pages
Illustrations in Black, white, blue, and orange
Goodreads rating:   4.11 - 914 ratings
My rating:  5!

1st line/s:  "On New Year's Day, at nine o'clock in the morning, a delivery man rang our doorbell."

My comments:  Loved this book.  But, it's HUGE.  Not sure how I'm going to read it aloud! One penguin arrives each and every day for 365 straight days.  Lots of arithmetic and a few vocabulary words for younger readers (anonymous, three-digit-number, ecologist), one page where you hunt among the penguins for the only one with blue feet, and even a great poem:
    Penguins, penguins everywhere,
    Black and white and in my hair,
    Two or three would be quite nice,
    But hundreds more, let's think twice!
    Bathroom, bedroom, closet, kitchen --
    I've had enough, it's time to ditch 'em!
Goodreads:  From the amazing success of the documentary March of the Penguins to the popular penguins in Madagascar to this fall’s upcoming penguin-themed movie Happy Feet, penguins are everywhere! That’s especially true for the family in 365 Penguins, who find a penguin mysteriously delivered to their door every day for a year. At first they’re cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up—along with the family’s problems. Feeding, cleaning, and housing the penguins becomes a monumental task. They’re noisy and smelly, and they always hog the bathroom! And who on earth is sending these kwaking critters? In a large format, and with lots of opportunity for counting, 365 Penguins is sure to become a perennial wintertime favorite.

August Goodreads Postcard & Question of the Month

Question: With the variety of eReaders, and the ability to read books on your phone, capturing quotes from your reading is easier than ever! That's what our writing topic is for our postcards this month...

How often do you mark quotes in the books you read? How do you handle this in dead-tree books -- do you underline? post-it notes? something else? Do you do anything with your quotes after you've finished the book? Ever go back to read old quotes? Do you have an all time favorite quote? How many quotes do you have from your current read?

My answer:
I don't very often take note of  quotes that I like because lately most of my reading has been done with audio books.  I do have a bit of a weird habit, though.  I have two favorite words that I keep track of every time I come upon one of them.  I notate the sentence and book title.  What are the words?  CACOPHONY and PARCHED.  I'm getting quite fond of FLUMMOXED, too, and am considering adding it to my repertoire.

Penguin Lesson Plan

My favorite animal:  PENGUINS
        (Have kids think about what their favorite animal might be.  Have them write it down on a slip of paper and drop into a bowl.  Tell them I'll draw a slip from the bowl and next month I'll spend a day talking about the favorite animal that I drew.)

Teaching a week about PENGUINS in the library.

1 -  I'll read a penguin poem.

2 - I'll share my penguin postcard and stuffed animal collections.  I'll show them a bucket of fiction and nonfiction books, and we'll talk about the differences.

3 -  I'll read aloud a nonfiction book about penguins.  Kids will retell facts/interesting stuff they remember from the reading.

4 - Read aloud a fiction book.  
               (When talking about fiction, make sure to discuss ANTHROPOMORPHISM, especially with older grades.)

Here's a great FREE blog that includes lesson ideas, games, and lots of videos:

Kids Academy:  Penguins for Kids (4:22)
SciShoKids!:  Meet 3 Peculiar Penguins
All Things Animal:  Animals for Kids:  Penguins (6:39)

Word search puzzle:  Antarctic, bird, southern, hemisphere, swim, waddle, don't fly, eat fish, South Pole, Emperor, Rockhopper, Gentoo, King, Macaroni, African,, Little

What do you call a group of penguins?
    a RAFT of penguins when they're in the water
    a WADDLE of penguins if they're on land

SPS books:

E ABR Pelonius Penguin
E BRE  A Wish for Wings That Work
E JEF Lost and Found
E JEF Up and Down
E LES Tacky the Penguin
E LES Three Cheers for Tacky
E MIN If You Were a Penguin (Pre-K, super simple) facts at end, 2009 PA One Book, Every Young Child
E ODO Pinkie Leaves Home
E PAC (Baskets) The Christmas Penguin
E WOO The Little Penguin

FE MSB #8 PB Penguin Puzzle (Magic Schoolbus)
FE OSB MTH #40 Eve of the Emperor

F ATW Mr. Popper's Penguins
F STR PB Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?

E 080 FDP #3 Penguins
E 590.1 AHS #8 PB Penguin in the Snow
E 598 ALS PB Penguins
E 598 POT HHS Penguin Moves Out of the Antarctic
E 598 WWW Why Why Why Can't Penguins Fly
E 793.KAF Surf's Up

E 598.1 NGS #25 Penguins & Polar Bears
E 598.47 Penguins - 100 Things

598.37 JAC March of the Penguins
598.4 ALL Penguin in the Snow (a 2nd copy?)
599.2 HAN Penguins

Other books that sound good:
I Can Read: Little Penguin's New Friend - 2019, Laura Driscoll
Perfectly Polite Penguins - 2019, Georgiana Deutsch
Penguin's Big Adventure - 2015 Yoon series
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - 2018, Tamura
Spike, The Penguin with Rainbow Hair - 2021, Cullen & Ellis (paper) 
365 Penguins - Fromental & Jolivet ( apparently funny & lots of math) ordered
A Penguin Story - Portis
Penguin in Peril  - Helen Hancocks
The Emperor's Egg - Martin Jenkins
Flight School 0 Lita Judge
Penguins - Gail Gibbons  ordered
Penguin Problems - Jory John & Lane Smith - apparently has incorrect information (GoodReads reviews) that can be tackled in class!