Friday Favorites 4

This Milk-Bone marketing fail:

IMG_1591I discovered this beaut in Target today.

For the Fido who is watching his waistline.  Bring him home the low-cal treat he really craves.

And if the caloric statement isn’t enough to make you pause and raise your eyebrows into your hairline (it was for me), the grammatical error surely is.  Because unless that happy Beagle’s name is Mini and she is the owner or creator of the portion controlled Milk-Bones, there should be no possessive involved.

This meme:

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I cannot explain why Nigel Thornberry’s head placed on any body never ceases to be hilarious.  It is simply so.

This daily dose of literary magic:

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Every single day of the year, The Writer’s Almanac website posts a poem and a series of “this day in history” stories (mostly related to writers).  I’ve been an email subscriber for a few years now, and so my daily literary comfort arrives in my inbox at precisely 12:45 a.m.  If you choose, you can listen to the recording (on the W.A. website or via iTunes podcast) instead of reading the page yourself.

Garrison Keillor, lord of radio, narrates.

This book:

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I’ve read a great deal of literature concerning Nicholas and Alexandra and their family.  I’ve been fascinated with them since a young age, and have consciously tried to learn everything I can about their story.  That being said, it took me longer than it should have to get around to reading Massie’s take, especially since his biography is one of the most frequently cited.

I’ve included Nicholas and Alexandra in my favorites because it is such an exhaustive account of N&A’s childhoods, their reign, the Russian Revolution, their abdication, and their deaths.  Massie has a talent for writing about immensely complex events and people using plain, approachable style.  I like that in a biographer.

There were some things I didn’t like so much, however.  Firstly, Massie’s determination to dramatically point out every bit of irony, coincidence, and “if only.”  Secondly, the lack of attention given to the grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, and Maria.  I realize that since they weren’t able to inherit the throne, they were considered less important than their brother, but that’s exactly what has always made the grand duchesses fascinating to me: four beautiful, intelligent, über sheltered young women, murdered for no reason other than that they were the daughters of the former emperor and empress of Russia.  It’s the worst part of the tragedy.

This movie:

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I had not read the book.  I was unprepared for Anna Karenina’s sudden and violent end.  I shrieked aloud and immediately felt that the English major gods were ashamed of me for not having known what was coming.

Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) is one of my favorite directors, but I was happy to see him take greater risks with this film than I’ve seen him take before.  At the end of the film you will feel (A.O. Scott (NY Times review) says it best):

“Dazzled, touched and a bit tired. But, really, you should feel as if you had been hit by a train.”

How to Avoid 114 Minutes of Ghost Rider

I am not a YouTube lurker.  I don’t often browse Tumblr, Cracked, Instagram, Twitter  or Pinterest.  When I’m not reading blogs online, what I’m doing is watching movie trailers.  Either at trailers.apple.com or at IMDB.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this fixation before.  I’m passionate about movies–or films as a true aficionado would call them–but I often suspect that I’m even more passionate about movie trailers.  Previews.

They’re entire stories shrunk down into two-minute reels.  They often feature a fantastic song or two.  They show you the best of the movie they’re selling.  The most exciting, most beautiful, most romantic parts of the thing.  And in that way they spare you the mystery that comes with watching movies; you never have to wonder if it will actually be good or not.  You never have to regret wasting your money or your time.  You will never again have to suffer through ONE-HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN MINUTES OF GHOST RIDER (which remains to this day the worst movie I’ve ever seen in theatres.  I would have walked out had it not been a date).  You can simply watch the trailer, absorb the high points, and continue on with your day, free of anguish.

Here are a few of my current favorite trailers, for your enjoyment.  I may see the full movies later, I may not.  And that’s okay.

1. Romeo & Juliet

2. Prince Avalanche

3. Austenland

4. The Lifeguard

5. Her

6. Saving Mr. Banks

7. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Holly Movies

After the successfully classy wine and cheese party of last night, after four hours of study in the library, and after my second Cloud Cult concert (they also came to UMM my freshman year), I have picked my way back up to my room, dodging forgotten suit jackets and half-melted candles.

My map fell down again today, but rather than wresting with the sticky tack, I’ve left it on the floor, facedown.

I’m expecting a Skype call in a few minutes, and then, as it will likely be too late to do anything else, I think I’ll settle down with a Holly Movie.

They’re gracelessly named, but basically, Holly Movies are historic dramas that are usually artsy, and usually disliked by the rest of the world.  The New World is one such movie.  The two people I naively forced to watch it with me are no longer my friends.  I don’t know what happened there.

Anyway, happy Saturday night.  One day, perhaps, I will again have a television available to me, and will again be able to watch SNL.