Friday, October 26, 2012

Have A Little Faith In Me

For my birthday, my BFF put a book on my Kindle called "Mr. Churchill's Secretary." She described it to me as "WW II Nancy Drew battles Nazis" -- so what's not to like? And I have to say so far, I am not disappointed. It is a delicious read. So delicious, in fact, that I got up before 6am this morning to feed the cats (what I like to call "doing the cat rodeo") make a cup of tea and return to be to indulge myself in another chapter. Of course, I am fascinated enough with the deliciousness of the book that I've been doing a little research about the author -- Susan Elia MacNeal -- who it turns out is a total smarty pants who has a wonderful literate education -- so it's no wonder that she's created such a delightful book. And a brief peek at her blog lead me to believe that she is a kindred spirit. Especially when it comes to matters most feline. No need to wonder what I'll be doing tomorrow morning before dawn. No calls please, I'm reading...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Good Dog

It's that time of year. There are too many rescue animals who need forever homes. It's time to start thinking about adopting for the holidays. And Duke is just another reason why your home should have a pet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

She's A Classic

Some chicks know that being a Cinderella after midnight has nothing to do with the dress or your shoes. It's all about the car. 

Just ask Margaret Dunning, a 102-year-old woman from Michigan who’s been making headlines since her recent appearance at a classic car show in Canton, Ohio. Dunning attended the show with her baby: a 1930 Packard 740 Roadster that she purchased in 1949 and restored to mint condition.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Origin of Everyday Words

As a disclaimer, I think you should know that this is cheesiest video I've ever watched. Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner met in 1950. They've been friends ever since. That's 62 years. I'd just like to have one lunch with them. The only video I've ever seen that makes me laugh harder is the one with "Carnac the Magnificent" providing the answer "Ciss. Boom. Bah" to the question "What does a sheep make when it blows up?" Enough said.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Cure For The Blues

Having a bad day? Feeling blue? There is only one thing that could possibly cure what ails you -- watching this absurdly cute Corgi puppy fight his nemesis -- the dastardly devilish door stopper. I dare you not to smile. It's just not possible.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oh It's Coming!

 I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait for the shenanigans to start happening on Season Three of Downton Abbey.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Best Day Ever

No words needed. The video is self-explanatory. Welcome home, Cassie. You were missed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's A Julia Kind Of Day

This is not going to be a very good day for me. I've got a bad cold and a few other things wrong with me -- some things could be more dire than others. I was feeling sorry for myself until I saw this little video of my hero, Julia Child, with David Letterman. She's adorable. Funny and flirty -- without a care in the world when things don't go her way. She amazes me. Her career as Julia Child didn't even start until after she was 50. Can you believe that? She's the ultimate "Cinderella after midnight." I used to go to a gynecologist that had a poster with a cat hanging by it's nails with the slogan, "hang in there, baby" above the stirrups. It never struck me as funny as it was supposed to be. It's all in the timing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Was Always The Plan

My mom and I have known something about autumn in Leelanau for many years. On her birthday, in late September, the color of the trees hasn't yet reached its peak. On my birthday, in late October, the color is past its prime. And the air takes on the distinct chill of the snow that is soon to come. So when is the best time to be in Leelanau to celebrate the colors of the season? Early October, of course. So that's when we'll all be there.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Virtues Of The English

 I've never liked January. All of the excitement of the holidays is over and there's really nothing to look forward to...until this year. January 2012 is when Downton Abbey is scheduled to return to PBS. And I couldn't be happier. I have delighted in every episode despite the fact that the HMA doesn't care for PBS and I have to watch most shows at 6am before work. Who cares? I'd stay up past my bedtime to watch this stuff! Two new 20 second trailers have popped up online. And last week there was a full length Season 3 trailer that leaked online that revealed even more secrets of the upcoming season. (Watch this before it gets taken down!) Read all about the upcoming season in! Will Matthew and Mary marry? Will Bates and his wife ever be together again? And what about Edith? All will soon be revealed.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just A Little Reminder

Find more videos like this on Womens Soccer United

 NBC's Olympic coverage from London has left a lot to be desired, but you can't fault them for providing a big stage all of the entertaining personalities that have gone on to fame and fortune from that one little island. Eric Idle is one of the best. Feel free to sing-a-long!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Less Than 90 Days...

 ..from now, I'm getting hitched. It's all going down in the northwoods of Michigan. It's my favorite little corner of the world. And this is the history of it. At one point, there's a little postcard of an old car heading down a dirt road with a large white house in the background. That was my grandma's house. I have many fond memories of summers in that house.

Friday, July 20, 2012

We All Need A Helping Paw Now And Then

It's just one of those days. When everything just seems a little off and you just can't make it come out right. In the immortal words of Bill Withers...we all just need somebody to lean on... 

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Monkey

For three months I've been dealing with a personal problem that has felt like a monkey on my back. Make that a 500 lb. gorilla doing Zumba aerobics on my back. I haven't felt like myself in too many days to count. Finally, with very little fanfare, my problem was brought to an end this week and I feel like a new person. Goodbye, gorilla! I hope you go back to the jungle, or the very nice zoo where you used to live and have a very nice life. I would prefer it if you never came and visited me again.

It's hard to describe how much better I feel. When I think about how to put it into words, my mind keeps wandering back to some of my favorite visual images. The best way to describe it is that I feel like I can dance like Fred Astaire. And I am certain my feet would behave just like his if only I could dance. Not that the fact that I can't dance has ever prevented me from dancing -- it's just that in my mind's eye when I'm very very happy -- I dance just as well as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

I love their movies. I've watched the scene of them dancing to "Cheek to Cheek" in Top Hat so many times, I think I've got all their choreography memorized.  It's so romantic and she looked so beautiful in that feathery dress. And then there's the tap dance number from Barkeleys of Broadway. Man, he could dance -- but boy, could she keep up with him.  Go, Ginger! Way to rock it, sister! But for me, the one scene of Fred Astaire dancing that I could watch over and over a million times back- to-back is from Daddy Long Legs with Leslie Caron. 

She's at a college dance in a red satin dress. All the other girls are in pastel colors, of course. And a bunch of young college hunks are hanging around the dance floor in dapper white dinner jackets when "old man" Fred Astaire strolls in wearing a black tux and a red rose on his lapel. Like he would need a dark jacket to stand out in a crowd -- just standing there you can tell he has better rhythm than anyone else. But I digress... then a singing group starts the "Slue Foot." And the fun begins. 

Leslie Caron glides across the dance floor with her startlingly handsome partner. She looks like she's having fun. But then Fred Astaire, who's been standing on the sidelines, gets pushed onto the dance floor by some rambunctious tomfoolery and ends up sheepishly cutting in on Leslie Caron's date -- which is all for the best because while not as handsome as her date, he is a much better dancer -- plus he's wearing the red rose that matches her dress. Her date really should've known. Fred stumbles around on the dance floor a little bit, but he can't hide his natural grace. And finally, Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire engage in what I can only describe in words as" happy dancing," as her date glowers on the sidelines. 

Ah…you'll have to watch it for yourself to see what I mean. It's heavenly. Absolutely pure bliss…and that's what I'm feeling right now.

"You put the old posterior out, and you manipulate it about. Then you holler, 'Slue foot'!"

Slue foot!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wedding CAT-astrophe #1

The bridal salon called the other day to tell me that my wedding dress had come in. We made a road trip down to pick it up. Somehow picking up my wedding dress had been transformed from an errand to an event -- and there ended up being two men in the party -- one of whom was the HMA. Fortunately, when you spend such a whopping sum of money on a dress, they give you a bag to put over your dress so your groom can't see it. Good news!

Bad news! There was so much commotion when I tried on the dress in the store that I didn't notice that my dress was shorter than the sample dress I had tried on. Fast forward to the middle of the night, when much like the nun in the story of Madeleine, I knew that something just was not right. I couldn't sleep. I was sure the dress was tea-length.

So the next day, I attempted to try on the dress at home alone. This is difficult. Wedding dresses are not meant for you to get into them on your own. They are made in anticipation of you having an entire harem of women to zip, tuck and button you up. I wrestled my way into it, but I still couldn't tell if it was too short. So I put the other part of the dress and put my bathrobe on over it and I asked the HMA if he would mind coming to look at it. 

As I walked across the hallway upstairs, Roxy was just coming up the stairs. She took one look at the train following me around the house and her little kitty eyes lit up. You could see her thinking, "Eureka! Mom wants to play!" One leap and she landed in the middle of the train, in the middle of my very expensive dress.  And I couldn't reach her -- so there I stood in the middle of the hallway screaming "Roxy! Bad Kitty!" while spinning around in the circle like a one-oared boat trying to grab a cat who seriously thought she couldn't remember when she'd had such a fine time. Finally, I think she took the hint -- or got bored and she jumped off the train and took off on the hunt for some other kind of trouble to get into.

I don't believe Roxy's ride caused any or much damage. I still can't tell if the dress is too short. And the HMA wasn't much help. I can't imagine what the next wedding catastrophe will be -- but I know it's coming…

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'll Have What She's Having

I will miss Nora Ephron. She made my porn. For me, half the fun of going to the movies is to see the set decoration.  I have always wanted to sip a sloe gin fizz in the bar owned by Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca." I have dreamed about whipping up a vat of spaghetti Bolognese in the kitchen at the ranch owned by Brian Keith in "Parent Trap." If anyone knows where I can get my hands on the bathrobe that Kathryn Hepburn wore in "Adam's Rib", for Heaven's sake, let me know immediately.

Nora Ephron never disappointed me with the window dressing in her films. I have watched "Julie & Julia" more than a dozen times -- not just because I love Meryl Streep, but also because I loved the places she lived and the clothes she wore and the food that she ate -- all that had been lovingly selected for me by Nora Ephron, the writer and filmmaking goddess.

When I went to film school I was often in screenwriting classes where the guys would pitch these elaborate sci-fi stories that I didn't understand but seemed wildly creative -- and at the end of a half hour of pontificating about the wonders of the universe they had invented, they would say, "Oh, and I'm going to give him a love interest." That was the female character in the film -- no attention would be paid to her character development. She would be petite and busty and wear glasses. No doubt she would be in the same class as Denise Richards who played the most unbelievable role of Dr. Christmas Jones, astrophysicist in one of the more horrendous offerings in the James Bond series. Denise Richards, seriously?

The screenplays I attempted to write always started with the female character. It was all about her conflict and her inability to find love. So it was inevitable that I would find my way to the worship of Nora Ephron. She defined romantic comedies for a generation.  And now that she's no longer working -- it seems fitting that the romantic comedy is no longer working at the movies either. 

Will women have to put up with just being a "love interest" in the movies for the next generation? I know everyone loves "Girls" on HBO and the writer is supposed to be the voice of the new female generation.  She shows love as it is in reality -- and it ain't pretty.

But what about the Nora Ephron generation?

We need someone who will tell us stories about romance while also taking us on a fantasy tour of locations that we will never be able to see in person, but will always love from afar because Nora Ephron took me to visit there once. I've never been to Katz's Deli in NYC, but I know I'd love it and the pastrami is probably the best in the world. How do I know? Nora Ephron told me so.

In conclusion, I hope that somewhere out there beneath the star-filled sky, there lurks a female filmmaker who, of course, won't be able to fill Nora Ephron's shoes, but will at least pays homage to her and her style. And please make it happen soon.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sink-ronized Kitties!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this moment of cuteness.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Seems A Bit Off

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
It's sweet that they've been married for 65 years, but I'm not so sure about the dressing alike for this normal?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh, It's On!

I am aware that I have been missing-in-action from the Cinderella blog for awhile. I have several excuses. I've been working very hard. I've had some stressful situations I've been dealing with...and I'm getting married. That's right. Ole Cinderella is finally getting hitched. And I've decided that I will use this blog to tell you what it's like to shop for a wedding dress, plan a wedding and get married when you're plenty old enough to be 'Mother Of The Bride.'

But let me start by saying, after an afternoon spent at the Bridal supermarket and two rounds of cocktails, I did find the most beautiful wedding dress. It may or may not be in the above video. If you're the Handsomest Man Alive and you're reading this...don't watch the above video. Just in case.

Friday, April 20, 2012

How's Your Day Going?

It's one of those day when the only thing that will cheer you up and remind you that the weekend is almost here is a little dance from Harold and Fayard. Fred Astaire once called this the greatest dance number ever filmed. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding Myself In The Pages Of ‘Lost & Found’

I don’t think I realized how much emotional stuff came up for me while I was reading Lost and Found by Geneen Roth. I wasn’t aware that she had also written Women Food and God – a book that my boss was reading and that I recommended to my mother. All three of us had battled the bulge over our lifetimes. I knew that I had an emotional connection to food – and I’ve been working hard to conquer it. It wasn’t until after I read Lost and Found that I realized that I was going to have to battle my problems with money in the same way. And that my problems with money were very similar to my problems with food. I use food to comfort myself and punish myself. I do the same thing with money.

Lost and Found is about the author’s spiritual journey after she discovers that all of the hard earned savings that she and her husband had earned and set aside for retirement had been lost when Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was exposed.  Can you imagine that? Broke and struggling to figure out what to do next, the author goes shopping for glasses – even though she doesn’t need a new pair and has other pairs at home. She needs to spend only because she can’t spend. She’s restricted by her budget.

While Roth was writing this book, her first book, Women Food and God was becoming a New York Times best-seller. In the epilogue of the book, she says that she has made back all of the money she lost with Madoff and then some. (We should all be so lucky!) It is through the celebrity of Women Food and God, that she begins doing retreats and book readings that put her in touch with other women that are struggling with food and money. She shares all of her insights in this book.

I found this book to be one that I couldn’t put down. It helped me understand why I start to have a panic attack every time that I check my bank accounts online. Why I make so many spelling errors when I write checks. Why I’m willing to buy a shirt I don’t like that’s on sale, but not a shirt that I really like that isn’t. I’m acting out my emotional relationship with money.  I recommend this book to all women who use money. If you’ve ever held a quarter in your hand and wondered whether to buy a gumball, some bread crumbs to feed the ducks or put it in your piggy bank…this book is for you. It will make you look inward, and you might not be happy with everything you see.

You'll find more interesting discussion on this topic on the BlogHer website.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Caine's Arcade

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

I know this video takes a little time to watch, but watching the smile on this 9 year old's face is worth it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Azaila's Easter Cake

Well, I did it. 

I made the boiled white frosting from the Joy of Cooking and there's the bird's nest cake that my grandma used to make when I was little for Easter dinner. I wish my memory of those days was a little less hazy. It's definitely not improving with age. 

Easter in Michigan can be grey and dreary affairs. Easters in northern Michigan back then could almost be guaranteed to be snow-covered, or at the very least slushy with some cold winds coming out of Canada. There had to be some reason why most of my Easter memories involve being in the kitchen with my grandma. 

She and I made the boiled white frosting and the deviled eggs. She used to put everything but the kitchen sink into her deviled eggs. And she had this special tool for mashing up the yolks before you added the mayonnaise. You can imagine my surprise when I opened up my kitchen tool drawer and found the exact masher-up in my own drawer in California. 

The eggs turned out brilliantly, and I had more than my fair share. The cake turned out...and looked pretty good at first...and then it started to melt. I think I had under whipped the eggs. Didn't really matter, it tasted good. And that's what counts. Next year, maybe I'll try something else for dessert. Who knows? Maybe I should start a California tradition.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ninja Cats

Not just an urban legend any more...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Les Chats Parlez

They may be speaking French, but I don't need subtitles to know what they're saying. Cat in any language is still cat.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now Boarding The 10:15 To Paddington

Her Majesty and The Duchess of Cambridge kicked off the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a quick train trip to Leceister. The Duchess always seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to fashion. But the queen doesn’t look too shabby herself. It always helps when one can accessorize oneself with a little something-something from the Crown Jewel collection.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Simply Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

RIP RobertSherman. He and his brother were my favorite songwriters for the first ten years of my life. While many people may call “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” his best ever work, (And “It’s A Small World” the most insidious!) for me it will always be “Tuppence A Bag” that makes my heart sing. They just don’t write ‘em like that anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Story Behind "Keep Calm & Eat Cupcakes"

My fascination with all things British continues. Last night I watched three hours of fundraising on PBS in order to see the 25th anniversary of "Phantom Of The Opera." By the time it was done I was following a bunch of poncey British dudes who sing on the West End stage in London on Twitter. And then I found this little story about my favorite poster that was put up in Tube stations. I love the Tube. I love London. And on a non-related note, I love cupcakes. Bliss!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Favorite Tool

Seven years ago I was working for a magazine and I was on the early shift. I had to be in the office at seven in the morning, so I always had bad hair. Big bad frizzy hair. One of the editors suggested I try a flat iron. So on the way home one afternoon, I went to CVS and picked one up for $20. It helped. A little, but not a lot. I have a lot of hair. My parents both had curly hair. I have curly hair underneath and straight hair on top. So it always looks fluffy. But not in a good way. In a fluffy sheep dog kind of way.
I always feel like a princess when I get my hair done and the stylist makes my hair straight with her super duper expensive flat iron. For two days (if I push it) I look marvelous. And then it’s back to Fluffy the dog. And so that’s why after my last hair cut and color, I drove directly from the salon to the beauty supply and put down an ungodly sum of money for a serious flat iron.
It’s a life changer. Seriously. Finally in middle age, I have one or two days a week when I have really good hair. My BFF has taken to calling me “Flatso.” I don’t mind. And to be honest, I haven’t told her yet why suddenly my hair looks so good. (As if she hasn’t guessed.) But my new beauty secret is my flat iron. I learned a valuable lesson, when it comes to hair tools – go straight to the top!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reason #449 To Adopt A Cat

There’ a cat named Pudding in Wisconsin who saved the life of his new owner/servant within hours of being rescued from the shelter. How’s that for gratitude? You can read all about this hero-cat on the Green BayPress-Gazette.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome To Masterpiece Cat Classics!

When you love something (and I love Downton Abbey) you must make fun of it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bravo To My Favorite Puppy-Hoarder!

It's my favorite early morning event of the year. The Oscar nominations were announced at 5:30am this morning. There were a few surprises, but mostly I was pleased with the artists that the Academy members picked to honor this year. Most surprising of all -- I think we've seen all but two of the nominated "Best Film" features. I don't think that's ever happened before.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Joy Of Books

Oh, to be locked in this bookstore all night!

Monday, January 2, 2012

one, two, one two

It's the second day of the year. I haven't gotten out of my jammies yet. It was a busy day. I went for a walk out on the paseos -- it was filled with people running that I've never seen out there running before -- I suspect they'll be over their new year's resolutions by mid-February and it'll be just me and the coyotes out there until next January. I watched a hockey game. Downloaded some new apps and did a little research about Pinterest. Every year I try to pick out a new year to "live up to" in the year to come. I can't even remember the word I picked out last year. I do know that my word in 2006 was "Bliss". Would it be too on the nose if my word this year was "published"? I'll keep mulling it the mean time I'm sending out best wishes for a very happy and healthy new year.