Sunday, August 14, 2011

Odds and Ends

Thanks for all your help with the great shoe hunt.  I ended up ordering this pair from Macy's.  Because I had a 20% off coupon, and because I don't think I can walk without wobbling in 5 1/2 inch heels, even though Jessica Simpson obviously thinks this is something I should be able to do.

Nine West Ambitious pumps $69 at Macy's
Alas, they aren't as cute as the Jimmy Choo's, and they don't have the platform of the Jessica Simpson heels, but they're a cute patent leather pump, and they'll go with anything.  So I'm satisfied.

* * *
Yesterday I saw one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  It was absolutely heartbreaking, but also fascinating and intriguing and astonishing.  And I learned something about history that I didn't know before.  Also David agreed that it was really good.  It's called Sarah's Key and it stars Kristin Scott Thomas and it is SO worth the price of theater admission to see it.  It's about an American journalist who is living in Paris and she discovers the apartment she's about to move into is connected to a Jewish family who was deported during World War II.  She starts investigating their story.  The plot unfolds through flashbacks and present-day investigations.  I was filled with dread and hope the entire time.

Of course it made me think of the time we were in Paris a couple summers ago, when we tried to visit the memorial museum.  Unfortunately, it happened to be closed for renovations.  But we got to see part of it in the movie.  Such a shameful part of a beautiful city's history.  And so unbelievable that I'm only a couple of generations removed from those events.

Of course, as you can imagine, any story about what happened to a Jewish family during World War II is bound to be a heartbreaker, and this one is no exception.  But that's also precisely why it's worth seeing.  In fact, the film comments directly on why such sad stories need to be told, and need to be remembered.  Still, if you're emotionally fragile, there are parts that will be really difficult to watch (the historical facts make it all the more horrifying).  But I am still thinking about the movie twenty-four hours later, and I'm glad we went to see it.

* * *
Speaking of French stuff, if you want to rent a DVD (or watch a great film on Netflix instant queue), let me recommend the movie Tell No One.  I guess the genre would be suspense.  The story is a mystery--it's about a doctor whose wife was murdered eight years ago, and then he receives an e-mail with a link to a video that seems to show his wife alive and well.  Yes, it's in French, so it's subtitled and you have to pay closer attention than usual (sometimes I like to work on sewing projects or ironing while watching TV but this movie required my full attention since I had to read the dialogue).  I also fell in love with the soundtrack.  A couple of the songs are now on our iPods in our playlists of songs that make us think of Eliza.  So good.

* * *
And speaking of history, also there's a book recommendation I can make, while I'm bossing everyone on the internet around and telling them what movies to see:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer.

I feel like people talked a lot about this book a few years ago--it was the sort of thing that books clubs were reading, I think.  I came to it later than that, and I started reading this book having no idea what to expect.  To my surprise (and delight!) I discovered that it's historical fiction in epistolary form.  Meaning that it's set on the island of Guernsey (located in the English channel between England and France) during World War II, and the story is told through a series of letters.  To be honest, it takes a little bit to get into the story, so give yourself a few letters before you make up your mind about it.  Once you become familiar with the characters, you'll get totally absorbed in the story.  At least I did.

* * *
Yesterday we discovered Trader Joe's carries ready to bake brownie mix.  It's actually ready to bake.  As in, you don't have to add eggs or oil or anything.  It just comes in a baggie ready to be poured into a pan.  Could anything be more of a short cut?  I mean seriously.  Who buys that sort of thing?  How lazy can you be?

Let me tell you:  those brownies taste pretty good.   Especially with ice cream.


  1. I laughed aloud with that last part. I would also be that lazy..


  2. I wish we had a Trader Joe's near us because I totally would buy those brownies, we rarely have/use eggs! Although I'm doing Weight Watchers to finally lose my pregnancy weight from Olivia that never quite fell off, so the last thing I need is brownies!
    Love the shoes though I'd look like an idiot trying to walk in them!

  3. Hahaha, sounds yummy! I'm all for shortcuts when it comes to brownies. I wish we had a Trader Joes.

    I love novels and movies set in other times. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. HA HA!!! Thank you I needed that tonight!!

  5. I read "Sarah's Key" & "Guernsey Literary Society" last summer, & loved them both. I had heard there was a "Sarah's Key" movie coming; good to hear it was well done! I hear there is also a movie version of "Guernsey" in the works too. : )

    I have a blog post in the works about my most recent summer vacation reads, but I can tell you now that one of them was "The Help," which I thoroughly enjoyed, & dh & I went to see the movie yesterday afternoon. It was good too. : )

  6. omg Brooke, you are so hilarious. I literally laughed out loud at the last part. Thanks for that! I will watch your movie recommendation tonight on Netflix. The hubs is away working, so I can do a subtitled movie without the usual groooooans that would normally go with it.

    Another great movie to catch is "Away We Go" with John Krazinsky (sp?) and Maya Rudolph. It is on DVD or Movie Central now, and was so so good. I just loved it.

    Thanks again for the chortle.


  7. I like how the pumps are titled "ambitious"-- because God knows I'm need lots of ambition to be wearing heels for long periods of time. Or is it that when you wear them, you're more ambitious and sophisticated? ;)

    I hope you bought them through ebates or ShopatHome! I just received a check for $85 from ShopatHome from online purchases. Love them.

    The movie is definitely on the list. Sadly, I only found it at one local theater. Having spent so much time in Europe and been in places like the Anne Frank house, such things lure me in like fish bait. It's terribly tragic, but I am drawn to the love and act of survival in those stories and less the sadness of death.

    Um... should I tell you I stood in line literally debating the purchase of those brownies two days ago? I didn't buy them. Dammit. I freaking never have eggs in my house so brownies are almost never made. But if I'm being honest, E eats the brownies and I'd take the ice cream. We're compatible like that. ;)

  8. Today I made the TJ "reduced guilt" or something of the sort brownie mix. You just mix it with vanilla FF yogurt...only I used the Vanana. You should try it. Mmmmm...and you know I'm not a big chocolate fan...but I do like a brownie sometimes.