COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, & VICARIOUS TRAVELS

Good morning!  Let’s have another cup of coffee and chat.  Connect with other friends over at Bookishly Boisterous.

The sofa (above) is the one in my office, where I have been hanging out lately.  There is a nice TV in the room now…and my laptop, too, of course (below).

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  • While I have been nesting in my cozy spots, my second son Brett has been in Spain, Ibiza, and now Prague…where his daughter Aubrey will be attending a semester of college.  Here are some of my family members in Prague:

  • My vicarious travels are working for me…so far.  But even though I’m not headed to far off places any time soon, my third son has tempted me with these beach photos near where they live, in the northern part of the state.

  • What else is happening here?  I finished binge-watching Nurse Jackie, and wrote some thoughts about it over at Hump Day Serendipity:  Creating My “Happy Moments.”
  • Bloggiesta has begun….and I had already started ahead of time, as usual.  Check out what I’ve done here…
  • I also watched Season 7 of Offspring....
  • Now I’m ready for the Netflix movie based on Our Souls at Night, with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford….coming September 29!

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Now I’m ready to cozy up with books and movies…but first, I’m going to visit some blogs and chat.

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COFFEE CHAT: JURY DUTY, BIRTHDAYS, ETC.

Good morning!  Time to chat over coffee, and link to Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • I wasn’t going to write a post today, as, after a week of calling in at night, I have been directed to report in for Jury Duty this morning at 8:30.  This means changing up everything about my morning routines.  I hate the drive downtown, and finding the Jury Parking.  I haven’t done this since the 1980s!  Up until now, I’ve managed to be “on call” only.
  • But…I couldn’t sleep until my alarm went off, so I thought I should try writing down a few thoughts while I eat breakfast.
  • Last night I watched Part I of The Story of Diana.  Mostly it was a repeat of a lot of the other shows I’ve seen lately.
  • Because I was setting the alarm and planning to rise early, I didn’t get a chance to watch Younger and The Sinner.  They are waiting on the DVR.
  • I finished watching Season I of Ozark…and resumed watching The Ranch.
  • On the weekend, I watched a movie on Amazon Prime that I had seen at the theater…and enjoyed it because it starred Debra Winger.  It was The Lovers.
  • Reading two books:  Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, which is pretty good so far; and America’s Queen, by Sarah Bradford, which I will read in bits and pieces, as it has 444 pages…which isn’t that bad, except that the type is very tiny, making the pages long and sometimes tedious.  I found myself skipping over parts I’ve read in other books.
  • On Tuesday, I enjoyed a pre-birthday lunch with my daughter and her son Noah; we had a very adult-like lunch, with no barbs thrown or any sneaky mentions of the Elephant in the Room (Trump).  Probably because Noah was there.

  • On Sunday, her actual birthday, there will be a group brunch at a local restaurant, which I’ve never visited, but is close by:

  • She was born on Friday the 13th, in 1976, after 36 hours of labor…and finally, a C-Section!
  • I’m looking forward to seeing The Glass Castle this weekend!

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That’s it for today.  Come on by and share your own Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

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A SUNDAY COFFEE CHAT: PLANNING MY DAY….

Good morning, and welcome to a Sunday Coffee Chat.  My new header (above) came to me late last night, when I realized that I hadn’t changed it in a while.

Changing things up seems to be my default setting on my blogs…and in my life.

Conveying the theme of my site is what I hope to achieve, and doing so in a variety of ways makes me feel “fresh” and “new.”  This blog is all about reading, blogging, and writing…and my love of those activities.

As I grab another cup of coffee, I ponder the day ahead.  Yesterday was all about running errands and having a relaxing lunch.

 

 

Today I plan to read, watch some Netflix, and some of the movies on Amazon Prime Videos.  I also have some movies on my DVR.  Ordinary People is one I’ve been wanting to watch again, since Mary Tyler Moore gave an extraordinary performance in it.

 

Tonight my favorite thing will be watching Big Little Lies…and The Good Fight, streaming on CBS:  All Access, a recent acquisition.

 

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I am currently reading The Mother’s Promise, and I was drawn in by the alternating narrators immediately.  Each character’s perspective offers just enough to keep me turning those pages.  A single mom, a teenage daughter with severe social anxiety, and an illness that renders the mother unable to provide the buffer her daughter has always depended upon.

 

 

 

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So…that’s what I have planned.  What do you enjoy on a Sunday?

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A COFFEE CHAT: REMEMBERING AN ICON….

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As I sip my coffee this morning, I remember how much the iconic Mary Tyler Moore meant to us, those of us coming up in the 60s and 70s.  The Mary Tyler Moore show was a must-watch, and I even purchased DVDs of some of the seasons after the show ended.

 

 

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She showed us the challenges in the workplace, how to navigate dating life with humor, and how to enjoy the friendships of other women.

Last night, in two memorial shows, we were reminded of her body of work, and how her presence on the two most famous TV shows—The Dick VanDyke show and The Mary Tyler Moore show—was only a piece of who she was.

I’ve seen her in a few movies, the most notable being her portrayal of the cold mother in Ordinary People.  Remember that one?

 

 

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I am pretty sure I have this one in my collection, but if not, I am also sure that I can find it, perhaps on Amazon Prime.

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Was Mary Tyler Moore someone who informed your life growing up?  Did you watch either of her shows?

She will be missed.

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GRAB SOME COFFEE & LET’S CHAT….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedFor some reason, the coffee tastes especially good this morning.  And then I thought:  it’s time for Coffee Morning!

Last night was a late one, so that probably also explains the extra need for the caffeine boost today.  The Girl on the Train movie is now on Amazon Prime...and I watched it again.

This Is Us was on, too, and I was compelled to view it afterwards from the DVR…so, late night.

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I’m reading Always, by Sarah Jio, a nice palate cleanser in between thrillers.  Set in Seattle, we get to follow the character along in a dual time line that switches between the 1990s and the present.  My copy is from NetGalley, to be released on 2/7/17.

 

 

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Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister…

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Today I’m supposed to have another spa day…just a massage.  I’m enjoying those, as my muscles seem to tighten so regularly that the pain is an ever-present companion.  Could my hours on the computer…and/or reading explain some of this?  I should be using the exercise bike, below, instead of letting Minnie take over…She does look cute there, however.

 

 

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A while ago, I was thinking about moving…remember that?  After considerable thought, I have decided to happily stay put for now, as the thought of packing, getting rid of a lot of stuff (since the places I looked at were smaller), and/or changing up the routines that are so comfortable to me….knocked that idea right out of my head.

Plus…my neighborhood favorite places right around the corner are part of my comfort zone.  The theater, the restaurants, the bookstore….okay, now I’m definitely sold on staying.

Last night, I visited one of those familiar restaurants and used one of the gift cards I got from my grandchildren at Christmas.  Yard House, close to the theater….is not one of my usual places, but I enjoyed this dinner of fish and chips, with malt vinegar.

 

 

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I ended up sending that blended drink back…for one on the rocks.  Which is what I’d asked for, but I took the photo before realizing they had brought the wrong one…LOL.

My usual places are so familiar that they already know what I want when I walk in.  Does that mean I’m predictable?

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So…what now?  Another TV show I’m loving is back from hiatus:  Too Close to Home, with one of my favorite actresses from two soaps…she was killed off on both of them!  Rude, right?  But I think the second “death” was to accommodate her new show.  Kelly Sullivan plays a character living in a tiny town in Alabama.  Her sister has been working for the President…and having an affair with him.  Until she is discovered and evicted from her job and her apartment by the President’s wife.  She slinks off to Happy, Alabama, an inappropriate name for a place filled with meth heads, trailer parks, and angry characters.

 

 

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Can I say I am addicted?

Another new show on the horizon, available only on CBS All Access (which I had to sign up for, of course!):  The Good Fight carries forward some of the characters from the now defunct The Good Wife.  The show premiere is February 19.

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Am I done?  Yes, my coffee is gone and I need to get back to reading…so, next time!

What are your comfort zones?  What books/shows fill your days and nights?

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THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR: FAVORITE PLACES

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Welcome to my Interior World…a world of reading, blogging, and writing.  As summer draws near, I can visualize myself reading outside.  I probably won’t be lying on the grass like the girl in the photo (above), but at least I will be sitting at my patio table with a cold drink and my book.

There will always be reading time indoors, too…and other interior activities include my Netflix binge-watching.

One of my favorite shows begins Season Two on Friday…and I’ve learned that Season Three is already filming.  Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, is a story about two women recently separated from their husbands after many years…because of a long-held secret finally revealed.

 

 

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I usually watch my Netflix shows and Amazon Videos in the living room, with the help of my Blu-Ray player.  But sometimes I like curling up in my bed to watch.   So I rearranged my bedroom a bit and hooked up an HDMI cable so I can connect the TV to my laptop, which I will place atop the small chest next to the TV.

 

May 3 - more bedroom changes

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The table that was previously next to the TV is now across the room….

 

 

May 3 - bedroom rearranged

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Tonight I’m reading one of my NetGalley downloads:  Don’t You Cry, and I can’t wait to sort through all the red herrings to discover the truth about the characters.

 

 

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What do your reading spots look like?  Do you enjoy reading outdoors during the summer, or do you still cozy up indoors?

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MY INTERIOR THOUGHTS: A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST

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When I sorted through some photo folders this morning, I found this one, (above), taken a while ago, as I read that book in 2010!  How is it possible for so much time to fly by, and the memories can only be affixed to a specific book read at that time? (I checked on Goodreads!  LOL).

The patio also looks very clean there, compared to how it looks today.  I don’t think I dare show you what it looks like today…it’s been windy, then rainy, and…well, here it is: 

 

messy patio in april 2016

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I have avoided going out there, primarily (I tell myself) because it has been raining so much, on and off, so it is futile.  And also…I am highly allergic to the outdoors.  LOL.

I started taking a new allergy medication that may work better…just like my new doctor is going to be better for me, too.  Some of you may recall my struggle over the meds. the previous doctor insisted on…well, another story, right? (My Day in the Life post).

Now for some more hidden treasures from my photo folder.  Here’s my oldest, Craig, with Heather, in 2001, just before he returned to Prague after a visit.   Heather and I spent a few days with him in Sacramento, where he’d been staying; this one was snapped in Old Town:

 

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And a few years later, here in Fresno:  Brett, my second oldest, with Heather, just before one of our reunion lunches.  (2009?).  I could tell when this was captured by the glimpse of Fiona at the end of the table…she was 12 there.  LOL.  The adults don’t change much.

 

Brett & Heather - a few years ago

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More photo memories.  Here is one of Noah, at around one (late 2003), with Heather and his great-grandmother, Mary:

 

3 generations again - Noah, Heather, Mary - 2003

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Wow, that tour of my life a while ago has been a whirlwind of memories.   Movies do that for me, too, especially the one I watched last night, full of music that takes me back.  It was Ricki and the Flash, with Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Kevin Kline…and Meryl’s daughter Mamie Gummer.

 

 

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That’s it for my walk down memory lane today…I’m reading A Fatal Grace, Book 2, by Louise Penny, but so far it hasn’t really grabbed me.

 

 

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What has your week brought you so far?  Memories, books, movies, thoughts?  I am sharing this at West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

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INTERIOR THOUGHTS: REMEMBERING NORA….

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I am a big fan of Nora Ephron.  Her writing, her movies, and her style.  Last night, as I watched the documentary Everything is Copy, I teared up, overcome by sadness, but then I smiled, and even laughed, as the story brought us moments of her life…memorable ones.

When the screen flashed with images and thoughts on her best-selling novel Heartburn (and the subsequent movie, which I also loved), I remembered that I had a hardcover copy of the book…but then I panicked.  Had it gone out with the donations bins?  Oh, no!

I found it…Yay!  And my book is in pristine condition…who knew?

 

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The novel, of course, is a fictionalized version of her second marriage to Carl Bernstein, of the famous Woodward & Bernstein journalistic team from the Washington Post, who exposed the Watergate fiasco, etc.

 

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What I loved most, in addition to the memories of her books and her movies, was how the story showed us, finally, a really happy marriage to her third husband, Nick Pileggi.  Some believed that the husband of Julia Childs portrayed in the film, Julie & Julia, was inspired by Nora’s husband Nick.

 

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I loved watching the documentary, and my final thoughts:  who can take up the mantle she left behind?  Who can women find to inspire them like Nora did?

Just the fact that I’m using her first name here is a reminder to me of how much her books, movies, and essays have infiltrated our minds and hearts.  Especially those of us who came up during the 70s, 80s, and beyond.  Those who sought role models in the world of books and movies.

What do you think?  Did she inspire you? 

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: CHANGES?

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Yesterday found me at Dai Bai Dang in the neighborhood mall, eating and waiting for my chosen movie to start.  I love this place for pre-movie reading and eating, and the servers don’t mind that I take a two-hour lunch. 

I was reading The Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson, which I’ve since finished.  (Click for my review).

 

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I had this drink with my appetizer…it is called Blushing Geisha, and it was delicious.

 

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I saw the movie Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, among others…It was hard to picture Rooney as the girl in the Millennium saga movies.

 

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What can I say about the movie?  Very tastefully done…and I’m a big fan of both actors.

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Now I am contemplating the upcoming Bloggiesta, which will be carried out primarily on my Curl up and Read site (Click Bloggiesta link to sign up).  But other blogs may find themselves undergoing smaller makeovers.

Here I am, frittering away my morning on blogs, and have I had any kind of balance (my One Word?)  Well, that came yesterday, with my outing.  And the rest of today will be about movies, Netflix, etc.

And yes, I probably should get in some exercise.  Yuk!

How does one make changes when everything that is familiar seems to cry out for attention?  I do know that nothing changes quickly, at least not in my world.   So…baby steps.

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What does your interior world look like?  What are you trying to change, if anything?

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MOVING FROM MY INTERIORS TO THE WORLD OUTSIDE….

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Good morning!  It is Friday, and it’s time to ponder the weekend.  As I sip my third cup of coffee and visit various blogs for my Bookish Friday event, I luxuriate in my interior world…even as I plan to escape into the world outside.

Before I go, however, let’s take a look at some close-ups of my reconfigured dining room: (Below), this country cupboard I discovered in an old shop in Clovis, our neighboring village, which I filled with quirky things.  The colorful tumblers on the top shelf are reminiscent of the same vintage tumblers we had in my childhood.

The bowls and mugs with vintage cereal images (Cornflakes!), also take me back.  Then, of course, catch a glimpse of the Coca Cola sign on the wall…and the dining room table that is actually not vintage, but looks like it is.

 

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From the opposite side of the table (below), you can see this cupboard, which I found in another shop a few years ago.  I had it in my previous home, as well.  Only recently, I swapped positions:  this cupboard with the previous one (above)….to make more space available in the area.  This one is crammed with some favorite books, memorabilia, and Mary Engelbreit dolls and art.  On the right hand side of the photo, you can see lamps, etc., from the living room.

 

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All of my furniture, etc., are collections I have found over the years.  Some things I have given away and others are stored away.  My various purges over the previous months have left my dining room still filled with the most “stuff.”  I like the feeling of the collections surrounding me, even as I pare down other parts of my house.

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Now…on to my planned outings for the weekend:  The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro, Rene Russo, etc., is playing at our neighborhood theater.

 

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I like to arrange my movie viewing so that I can have lunch beforehand…and a cocktail, usually at Dai Bai Dang, since it is just steps away from the theater.

 

 

dai bai dang in sept

 

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I always love to take a book with me to the restaurant…and today I’m still reading House of Glass, by Sophie Littlefield…but before the weekend is over, I hope to begin The Good Neighbor, by Amy Sue Nathan (from NetGalley).

 

 

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Since Pippa will accompany me, there will be no problem switching over between books:

 

 

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Next week is Banned Books Week, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey. I will be reviewing my choice here, on October 3.  I downloaded a book that I have never read, but I have read several books by the author, Judy Blume, so I know I will enjoy it.  Forever is one of the books banned because of sexual content.

 

 

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You’ll never forget your first time…reading Forever, Judy Blume’s groundbreaking novel about teen sexuality, as an ebook.

When you build up something in your mind—really imagine it, wish for it—sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations.
True love is nothing like that.
Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can’t get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven’t been together all that long, they know it’s serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom.
But it’s senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big “first”: a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

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So….from my interiors to my outside world, and then back into the world of books…I love it!  A great mix of activities for me…and keeping busy helps fill in the missing places where my son and DIL were for most of the summer.

What captures your interest for the weekend?

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