Short Story and Movie Night

The invitation read something like this:

I want to do more reading, and I want to do more socializing. But Book Club is too haaard! I don’t have time to read a whooole book! Talking about books for two hours is boooring!

Let’s read a short story then watch a movie based on it instead!

Read the story ahead of time. Then come over and hang out with us. I’ll have something dinner-like available. Feel free to bring food/drink to share as well, if you like.

The emphasis was on the social aspect – the short story and movie give us a reason to get together and stuff to talk about.

This month’s story & movie was Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Image result for breakfast at tiffany's bookWhile I’d seen parts of the movie, I’d never read the story. In fact, I’ve never read any Truman Capote before this. I got the four-story collection from the library and read it all. While the writing it good, I can’t say I’m dying to read more of it. Maybe it’s a matter of cultural shifts and no-longer-relevant references. It was hard to get past the overt racism of several characters. I may try to read “In Cold Blood” just because.


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No one else in the group had watched the movie before, so we’re all watching it several decades after it was made. Again, lots of no-longer-relevant cultural references, lots of cultural shifts.

We were all properly horrified by Mickey Rooney’s character, found everyone else in the movie pretty much unsympathetic, pondered whether Marilyn Monroe (Truman Capote’s choice for the lead) would have been a better choice than Audrey Hepburn, wondered why Hannibal Smith was in this movie without the rest of the A-Team, were glad to have seen it for the overall cultural reference, loved pretty much all of Audrey Hepburn’s clothing, and we thought Cat was easily the best actor.  We had a great time talking about the differences between the story and the movie, and which movies and stories these reminded us of.  Also: what genre is this movie?  Definitely not a romance. Redemption? Drama? Screwball drama?

Dinner was chicken enchiladas (per “chicken and sauce” in the movie) and margaritas (just because).

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And of course, I’ve had this song stuck in my head for two weeks straight.

The next Short Story and Movie night is already scheduled!



Recent Reads

Some books I’ve recently read: The Kitchen Edition!

Image result for comfort in an instantComfort in an Instant, by Melissa Clark.  “75 comfort food recipes for your pressure cooker, multicooker, + instant pot”  There is some great advice on getting the most out of your pressure cooker/Instant Pot, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up with a pressure cooker in the house. If you’re determined to use your Instant Pot for as many things as possible, or you have a hard time coming up with ideas on your own for dinner, or you absolutely need recipes for cooking, this might be the book for you. If you’ve got any real fundamental idea about how most foods should be cooked in order to get the right flavors and textures from them, I’m not sure you’d want this book. I have yet to have anyone convince me that spaghetti and meatballs should be made in a Crockpot or an Instant Pot. The tomato sauce, perhaps. But the meatballs? The noodles? Seriously? Also, there’s nearly no reason to make oatmeal in a slow cooker, other than to free up a burner on your stove. Oh sure, it can cook overnight, hands-off. I’ve tried it. My Crockpot has hot spots – just like yours, I guarantee it. And unless you like watery oatmeal, it cooks up thick enough you’ll find out where your Crockpot’s hot spots are too. Just because you *can* make a dish in a Crockpot or Instant Pot doesn’t mean you *should*.

The One-Bottle Cocktail, by Maggie Hoffman. This one Image result for the one bottle cocktailwas a lot more interesting. Tons of cocktail recipes involving only one main alcohol – no Long Island Iced Teas in here. On the other hand, Hoffman shares recipes with some really interesting ingredient lists – fruits and herbs and bitters you may not have had before or even seen anywhere else. “One-Bottle” cocktails are not necessarily simple or boring – most of the drinks in this book have complex if not elaborate flavors. The photography is stunning too – the book is worth reading for the drink photos alone.

Happy Birthday, Oregon!

Today is the 160th anniversary of Oregon becoming a US state. Happy birthday, Oregon!

Read about the events leading up to the formation of Oregon’s statehood

Books for reading more about Oregon’s history and books of all genres by Oregon authors and a list of some of the fiction set in Oregon

Visit awesome bookstores throughout Oregon. Or even just all of the Powell’s City of Books locations

The Oregon Territorial Library was the first public library established in Oregon, in 1848 – eleven years before Oregon was granted US statehood

Some facts about Oregon’s librariesImage result for oregon state flag

Here are some fun facts about Oregon. Oh, by the way, it’s not illegal to use corn for fishing – it’s actually a popular bait for some fish. It is illegal, however, to “chum” with corn. Plus, ew, gross. Oregon is also the only US state to have different images on the front & back of the flag

Also, the Oregon Trail! And of course, Oregon Trail, the game

Every state’s got ’em – check out some of the crazy laws still on the books in Oregon.


Snowpocalypse 2019

We’re making our way through this Snowstorm-To-End-All-Snowstormssnowy LFL.jpg today.  Other parts of town haven’t gotten so much as a single flake, but out here in southeast PDX, it’s madness, MADNESS I TELL YOU. A whole 1.5″ of snow last night!  It of course hasn’t snowed since 8am or so, but it might!

And so goes the usual manic overhype of the weather this time of year. Still, you never know what’s going to happen with the weather until it actually happens. Please, do what you need to do to stay safe – icy roads are no joke. If you have the option, stay home and do home things. Feed the birds. Order some socks and mittens to be sent to your local shelters. Make stew or hot chocolate. Read a book – for yourself, out loud to your kid or your sweetie or your pet. Listen to an audiobook while relaxing or doing dishes.  Go outside on the porch or sidewalk and enjoy the winter day. Take a walk and see what’s at the Little Free Library near you.

bird tracks.jpgI braved the chill Arctic winds to put some books out in the Division92 LFL. On my way out, I noticed we’d had visitors last night or early this morning.

Birds for suremult coyote tracks.jpg

Also bunnies, I think. A couple of them. Looks like they were busy.mixed tracks.jpg

We are almost out of bird food, so we don’t have many visitors right now of any species. Hopefully the bird food will show up in the post today. Need to get on to making some hummingbird food too – those little guys will really need it!

Meanwhile, maybe I can make a dent in my To Be Read pile this weekend!