Friday, April 24, 2015

7 Random Takes

1. New News

Want to hear me on the radio again?

I'll be discussing important things like the uncanny similarity between Lucius Malfoy and Thranduil the Elven King,

and whether or not my husband can pull off the blonde wig look again this Halloween

and where we can find him a giant moose to ride.

But seriously, I'm going to chat books and other things with Allison Gingras on A Seeking Heart on May 4th. Be sure to download the Real Life Radio App to your Android or Apple device so you can hear our folksy chat.

I imagine it's going to be like SNL Coffee Talk or the SNL NPR bits.

Or more likely she will be all suave and sophisticated and I will be like this:

2. Ever tried to comment on this blog and it didn't work out? Please try again today. I'm trying something new. I really really want to hear from you.

Mom, please give it another shot. :) Or just call me.

3. Old News

The 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli is tomorrow.

Don't know what Gallipoli is or how to pronounce it? Neither did I, but my high school freshman, Lucy, filled me in.

I'm not that savvy with my history dates. I just happen to follow @kensingtonroyal on Instagram and they are gearing up for a big memorial. Mostly I just follow because I like to see Princess Kate's clothing choices.

Looking for a good movie about the invasion at Gallipoli? So am I. The Mel Gibson one on Amazon Instant Video is not it unfortunately. The beginning is slow but okay, the end is tragic but okay. The middle has porn and prostitutes. Not okay.

Perhaps Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner, in theaters this weekend, will prove better.

True confession. Aside from the asassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, everything I know about WWI, I learned from Rilla of Ingleside, War Horse, and Richard Peck's A Year Down Yonder (and Gallipoli the movie and the boardgame Stratego).

It ain't much.

Hit me with all of your good First World War aka The Great War literature recommendations by loading up my brand new open to all readers combox. Danke!

4. Movie Rec

We all greatly enjoyed The Conspirator available on Amazon Prime or on Netflix.

It's all about the trial of Mary Surrat who was allegedly one of John Wilkes Booth's conspirators in the Lincoln assassination, and who also happened to be Catholic. (Lots of esses in the word "assassination.")

Several famous actors star in The Conspirator, including Rory Gilmore, Kevin Kline, Princess Buttercup, and Mr. Tumnus.

This movie is fine for the whole family as long as the whole family is fine with watching Lincoln and Booth get shot in the head(s?) and footage of the other murder attempts.

5. Book Rec

The Conspirator pairs well with the audio book we are still listening too. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson. (Yes, I know I mentioned this book here, but I hadn't actually listened to it yet.) The author draws upon every detail in the attempt on Secretary of State Seward's life and the plot to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson.

Did you know that Booth and his cohorts planned to murder three of the top political leaders of the nation in one night? Not just Lincoln? Well, I sure didn't.

6. Girl Talk

Susan is gearing up for her "season." Prom is coming up and her graduation gala is later in May. No caps and gowns at her all girls' academy. Graduates wear long white dresses with elbow length white gloves.

Her gala dress is actually a wedding dress from ModCloth. I bought it last summer, but they still have a few one in stock. I absolutely love it. I wish you could see the back because BUTTONS!

We got her prom dress from an online shop called Promgirl of all places.  We rejected other prom dress websites because of poor return policies. Promgirl has a great return policy and an enormous selection.

Too bad her #promposal isn't up on YouTube. Several senior boys (from the brother school) made an adorable and hilarious music video to Uptown Funk to invite their dates.

Remember that scene in the Sound of Music where the family is at the music concert singing So Long, Farewell and they do this?

They did that. Too cute.

7. Bizniz

May 6th is the May WWRW Link Up date, but I keep the party doors open all month. Have a book review post from April? It's not too late to join the April WWRW party!

Linking up with Kelly's Clean Hair at This Ain't the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes.


  1. I am very picky about depictions of WWI because it was the topic of my PhD so I get annoyed at inaccuracies.
    However, if you don't mind gratuitous sex scenes (you can skip them, they bring nothing to the plot), Ken Follett's first volume of the Century trilogy (Fall of Giants) probably gives the best account of the start of WWI I have read and is not too bad about the rest (but his description of the almost accidental way Europe fell into war is brilliant). One downside is that it makes you want to read the rest of the trilogy and the other two volumes are really bad. Full of cardboard characters sparking no interest whatever. Plus, there really is quite a bit of unnecessary sex.
    A great film otherwise is "Joyeux Noel" (Merry Christmas in the English-speaking version), and "A very long engagement" is also really good.

    1. Oh, Goody! WWI recs and comment success! Thank you!

  2. The biography Einstein by Walter Isaacson has some good insight into WWI and the philosophies and theories ruling the day. It's also really really good!

  3. Sergeant York with Gary Cooper is great. I follow Kensington royal too- same reason ;) will have to check that prom dress site and the Conspirator. Maybe Grammy will let you borrow Grandpa's moose 😂😂

  4. You are better than me. Everything I can remember learning about WWI was from Downton Abbey. ;)

  5. I remember reading and finding interesting "Suddenly We Didn't Want to Die" in history class many moons ago. It's on my list of books I keep meaning to re-read, can't glowingly recommend since I don't recall the book itself, but it's well rated on amazon and it's on my bookshelf.

    Not terribly helpful that.

  6. Not sure if my last comment got lost, but in case it did, "All Quiet on the Western Front" is a great WWI read. One of my favorite reads of all time.

  7. Testing the new comment thing. Testing.

  8. Oooh I'm excited to check out The Conspirator! Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. I really enjoyed The Conspirator, too. James MacAvoy (or is it McAvoy? Let's just stick with Mr. Tumnus) is in one of my favorite chick-flick-ish movies, Penelope. If you haven't seen it I do recommend it. More familiar faces in that one.

    I loooooove your daughter's dresses. So pretty! And how elegant that they wear white and gloves.

    Lastly, your blog makes me happy. :)

    1. Aw, thanks Bonnie! We love Penelope too. Jill loves to do a Penelope nose. I never made the connection to James McAvoy though!

  10. Your #1 QT made me LOL. I will check out the Conspirator. I just watched The Water Diviner. I had me sobbing at some points, can be a little gruesome for some and there were some moral gray areas but on the whole I enjoyed it. Did you watch it? What did you think?