I'm a total Woody Allen fan, and even had a Woody sighting myself, when he was filming his latest flick, "Blue Jasmine," here in San Francisco.
I think the trailer looks great. I love seeing all the San Francisco/Marin County shots, including a scene on the Muni F Line (the 1947 Philadelphia trolley car); several locales in Belvedere, California, across the Golden Gate Bridge; the bar, Aub ZamZam, in the Haight; Market Street; Geary Street; the Sunset District–
And of course, Ocean Beach.
Hey, even the quaint Mount-Tam-hugging town, Larkspur, California got into the picture.
Seduction and intrigue are rampant on the campaign trail when a political campaign adviser discovers that Washington's power broker elite have embroiled his presidential candidate in a plot involving an act of terrorism on US soil…
Democratic political campaign consultant Ben Brinker can’t remember the last time he was excited by a candidate’s vision. He feels he’s lost his way, both emotionally and professionally. Worst yet, his show-me-the-money policy seems to have finally caught up with him. Two of his recent clients have been disgraced in one way or another: a senator is caught in lurid sex scandal, and a congressman is indicted in a kickback scandal. In no time at all the political pundits are calling Ben a "candidate cooler." Now Ben is desperate for any campaign gig he can get.
As luck would have it, Andrew Harris Mansfield, the charismatic junior senator from North Carolina and former Marine pilot, asks Ben if he wants to run his soon-to-be-announced campaign for president.
Little does Ben know what's in store for Andrew, or their country–
Nor does he realize that the key to saving both have been placed in his hands.
Of course, none of the women of Mad Men (January Jones' Betty, Christina Hendricks' Joan, and Elisabeth Moss' Peggy) are serial monogamists. They may have started out that way, but life and loss made them jaded, when it came to love.
The chords — and the percussion, too — of the song "Serial Monogamist," by Andree Belle, reminds me of the kind of music coming out of the 1960s, with that smoky vamp-and-dance jazz-salsa feel to it. Don't you agree?
I love that the personalities are big, voices are great, the songs have heart, and the writing has soul.
An example: in the latest episode (February 27, 2013) pop tart Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) throws a suprise birthday party for her lead guitarist, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Eston, and former lover of her rival, Rayna Jaymes, played by Connie Britton).
It's to be Nashville's party of the year.
It's also an emotional make-good: on a party her mother was to throw for Juliette's nineth birthday, but was too coked up to do so. Her mother's relapse into addiction at the party is a bittersweet reminder to Juliette that all of life's events is the equivialent to a game of Chutes and Ladders.
No matter who you are, or how far you've come, you can always slip back into failure.
True friends and caring family prop you up again.
The video above is of Connie Britton singing a song that is all about that.
Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all
of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual
spots are the ultimate parenting prize.
In a world of power and prestige, no one has more the club’s founder, Bettina
Connaught Cross. And as every mom in Pacific
Heights knows, you simply
cannot cross her.
to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers
allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club
for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection…from tots or their moms.
material, which is why this year the admissions process for the Pacific Heights
Moms & Tots Club is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members
against each other to prove their mettle.
But four of
the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have secrets that would
knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who
has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their
joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a
husband—just a sperm donor—and she has a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna
fears that her son may have special needs… just the excuse her sister-in-law,
Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.
hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or
will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?
Totlandia is a five-book series that follows our heroines starting in “The
Onesies,” their inaugural year in the club. Upcoming books—to be released in
four episodes each year—will follow subsequent years: the Twosies, Threesies,
Foursies, and Fivesies.
If the film is as good as the trailer,Baz Luhrmann, the director of the cinematic musical Moulin Rouge (talk about a fully encompassing cinematic experience, despite the tongue-in-cheek pop music mashup) may very well consider this his masterwork.
"You've got a book that won't be putdown – so go pick it up now!" — Cat's Thoughts
"As a housewife myself, this book was a fantastic escape that had me dreaming "if only" the whole way through. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, which makes for the perfect combination of mystery and humor…" –Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
This side of the pond may know Daniel Craig as 007, but our British cousins have had the good fortune of seeing him in a variety of great roles that show a softer/more vulnerable/much more ironic side of the actor.
I'd read some fairly great reviews of his 2004 movie Layer Cake, so I decided to check it out. It did not disappoint. Craig plays a bean-counting cocaine middleman who wants to retire from the dirty biz, but gets suckered into doing one last "favor" for the drug kingpin running him.
Lots of plot twists: not everyone is whom they portend to be. Great cinematography, too, and a superlative sound track. The bad guys are complex characters. If it reminds one of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, that's because the movies share the same producers.
'Flix it. You won't be disappointed. Daniel Craig is more than eye candy. He's just desserts, too.
THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK
Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips.
I was (as we say there) born and raised in Atlanta. I grew up in the Atlanta of the 1960s. Back then, the mayor, a progressive-minded man named William Hartsfield (and back then, "progressive" wasn't a dirty word) made our slogan, "The city too busy to hate."
I was a child of the sixties. I remember segregation and integration, which happened while I was in elementary school. I also remember Dr. King's assassination, in Memphis. At my school in DeKalb County, as we watched the funeral on television, I remember our teacher's prediction: "You will always remember this day."
She was right, although we were too young to understand what it meant.
At one time, it had also been the home of the Klu Klux Klan. In fact, it once stood on what is now the grounds of one of the three elegant churches that grace Peachtree Street at the southern apex of Buckhead known as "Christ Curve." The biggest irony is that the church is a Catholic congregation: a religion that the KKK hated. That the priests decided to invited the Klan's Imperial Wizard to the dedication is proof positive that any piece of land can be sanctified.
First, does it vilify its Caucasian characters? And secondly, does it correctly represent the African-American dialects of the time? And finally, do the African-American experiences ring true?
My own opinion: I loved the book. And my personal take on the first is that Ms. Stockett has been true to the South we both grew up in (albeit a few years, and miles, apart).
Before integration, there was a difinitive separation of classes. Whereas some of it was based on "breeding." (Who was your daddy's daddy, and your mama's people?).
Certainly religion played into it. But mostly, it was based on color.
Integration was resented by most of the Caucasian population. No one who lived through it can deny that.
In many ways Hartfield's Atlanta was a bubble of positive race relations, but no one who lived there during those tulmultious times cannot deny that it had its fair share of racial violence. The 1958 bombing of the Jewish Temple on Peachtree Street in Atlanta's Brookwood neighborhood was one very sad example.
My parents had moved to Atlanta in the mid-fifties, from Manhattan, because of a transfer that my father had agreed to. My maiden name is Martinez, and both my parents had been born in Puerto Rico, albeit raised stateside. Like them–and unlike my older sister–I had thick, curly dark hair and an olive complexion, but also light eyes. I remember a little boy in my class asking me, "What are you?" The question stumped me. I didn't know how to answer! I mean, I was a girl, of course. Wasn't that obvious?
His next question shamed me, because I interpreted it as a slur: "Are you a nigger?"
That was a word we never used in my house. Ever. I had no right to feel ashamed.
I wonder if there was a time, even later in life, where he grew to regret his own use of it.
Had I grown up in the North, I'm sure I'd have heard another taunt: "Spic." But since we weren't the predominant minority in Atlanta, that word wasn't as well known back then. I guess we skirted by. Sure, our name was inevitably mispronounced ("Mart-TEEN-ez" became "Martin-EZZ"). That is a small price to pay for the privilege of being allowed to "pass."
To answer the second question: yes, the South has many dialects, for both the predominant races. When I lived there, I could tell if the person speaking to me was from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina or Texas by his or her "twang." Then again, I could also tell an Aussie from a Kiwi. I guess I have an ear for dialects. It got me into radio. (The need for sanity got me out of it.)
I moved from the South after marriage, to the San Francisco Bay Area. I married a Yankee: a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx, who had moved to Atlanta after college. As much as I loved Atlanta and had grown up around Southerners, I never got over the presumption that I might be too exotic for any man who drank rum and Cokes, had gone to UGA (University of Georgia, but pronounced "ugga," like the infamous mutt mascot for that grand institution school) and aspired to a partnership at King & Spalding.
So, yep, I can certainly relate to The Help's heroine, Skeeter. The world is a very big place. That's a good thing for those of us who must question the local customs, or who refuse to conform to society's current norm.
I take it as a good sign that some people who have seen the movie or have read the book are truly appalled at the class divisiveness portrayed in The Help, and the cluelessness of the cruelty demonstrated by some of its Caucasian characters.
They should be. That goes for all of us. Especially those of us who lived through it.
When my daughter was in the fourth grade and studying the Civil War, she chided me for my Southern roots. "Mom, how could you have lived in a place where Eva and I could not have been friends?" Eva, her BFF, is African-American.
After reminding her that I was born more than a century after the Civil War, I had to agree with her, and break the news to her that some people still judge others by their skin color.
I will always consider Atlanta my home. I am very proud of my hometown, as I am sure Ms. Stockett is of hers, Jackson, Mississippi. The reality is that neither of us can change its history. Our memories, our perceptions and our interpretations of the places we grew up — as well as those of others who also grew up in that time and those places – are ours own.If they don't reflect that of others, so be it. The South can be charming. It can also be provencial and cruel.
Dontcha just love it when a book trailer hits it out of the park?
I fell in love with this trailer from Chronicle Books, for Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop, by Meg Ray, who is also the shop's owner.
In voiceover, Meg talks about how she fell in love with pastries (you could say she saw the light….of sweetness) and how she approaches the recipes for the cakes and other sweets that have been a big hit in her shop.
This personable approach, along with a whimsical soundtrack and some warm cinematography, are an enticing way to introduce readers to a really sweet book.
I can talk non-stop about my book The Baby Planner. I so enjoyed writing about my heroine, Katie Johnson. We all excel in at least one way, but we also have our weak spots. Katie's leaves her vulnerable in the one area she thinks she will always be blessed: family.
Little does she know….
But hey, I don't want to give it way. Listen to what I have to say about it here,