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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cherry Blossom Festival 2010

Our county park has more cherry blossom trees than Washington, D.C.!  Who knew?  After years (40) of hearing about the trees and many trips by the park without going in to really enjoy them, Rob drove me through on Easter Sunday afternoon.  I returned during the week to take my walk among the beautiful trees and to read about the history of the project that the county put together inside the visitors' center.

Monday, April 26, 2010

NY Film Critics Coming Attractions 4/5/2010

"The City of Your Final Destination" a Merchant Ivory Film was the first piece screened in the Spring 2010 series.  A favorite interest, the discussions that follow the screenings feature a NY film critic, usually Peter Travers, and a principal from the film.  James Ivory was the guest for this screening and Godfrey Cheshire was the critic (Travers suffered a broken shoulder).

Based on a novel by James Cameron, "City" stars Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney (the only two I recognized), and also Norma Aleandro, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexandra Maria Lara, Omar Metwally and Hiroyuki Sanada.  A young academic tries to persuade the heirs of a recently deceased Uruguayan novelist to permit an authorized biography of the novelist.  Lush settings, a rural pace, well-developed characters and attention to the details of relationships kept my interest in the story as it developed.  Left with much to think about....

Nutley Rotary Beefsteak Dinner 2010

April 24, 2010, another successful Beefsteak fundraiser.  The gym at the Parks and Recreation building was packed.  With 117 raffle prize baskets, 30+ grand prizes, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle, this all-you-can eat feast is anticipated every year.  GREAT FUN.

Most guests concentrate on the beef.  The slices of bread on which it is served become the raw material for the "bread sculpture competition."  Jackie and Adam Reeve (I know them well) bring a team each year that creates something original.  This is the second year that their team won the competition.  Here is a picture of the "SS Nutley Rotary" a sailing ship complete with gangplank and captain's wheel (is that Johnny Depp at the gangplank?)   



NY Film Critics Coming Attractions 4/12/2010

"Handsome Harry" a film by Bette Gordon was screened.  Jamey Sheridan was the central character trying to unravel the identity of the buddy who struck the crippling blow to a member of their group during a brawl which occurred while they served in the Navy together. One of the group, played by Steve Buscemi, worries on his deathbed, that he may have been the culprit.  He summons Sheridan for clarification.  Sheridan is haunted by the question and sets off to ask the others what they remember.  It is a journey of discovery that finds the buddies well along in their lives.  Their fortunes span the gamut of human experiences.  All have suffered in one way or another.

An excellent film, the conflict was absorbing and well-portrayed.  ...could not stay for the discussion with Bette Gordon.  Peter Travers was back to moderate.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Piano Teacher The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
     "Oh, Claire, what are you doing?" first reaction when beginning this absorbing historical fiction.
     Able to pilfer from her employer without a qualm in the first chapter, Claire's early lapse signals the reader that this story is all about character flaws, human imperfections and the struggle to survive. The war-time occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese is the setting that provides the stage for a cast of well-developed characters.

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This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
YEESSSS!  How is it that librarians understand these concepts and yet remain so invisible?  For every librarian who has lent self-less expertise without acknowledgement, Johnson understands.

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All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook by Mel Bartholomew

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Simple recipes for fresh produce, Joe Scarpelli's and Joanne Cocchiola's departments will host farmers' markets in municipal lot #1 behind the former Janette Store beginning June 6th. I'll be there with this book in hand. 

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"Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew

Mel Bartholomew is inspirational.  At the NJ Garden Show, he lectured on his square foot gardening method (and signed my book!).  The square foot method is do-able in the space I have.  The idea of abandoning planting in rows and the work that larger gardens entail is very appealing.  Mel is specific in his recommendations and explains techniques very well. There is an abundance of good information here. This is an excellent beginner's guide to a manageable vegetable garden that will produce from late spring through the autumn.

Can't resist a cute cupcake!

What's New, Cupcake? Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion What's New, Cupcake? Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion by Karen Tack

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Story

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6) by Jacqueline Winspear

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6)
by Jacqueline Winspear, Orlagh Cassidy (Narrator)
rating: 5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: mystery
status: Read in April, 2010

** spoiler alert ** December 1931. Maisie Dobbs, indomitable World Ward II nurse turned investigator, teams up with Scotland Yard's Detective Chief Superintendent Robert McFarland to unravel a nerve gas mystery. Terrorism is the theme of this mystery and much has not changed in its techniques and effects.

The story is also a poignant commentary on the condition of veterans with visible and invisible wounds. It provided some insight into the British "conscription" of scientists to counter the threat of chemical weapons during the war.

Best quote: "You look like hell."
"That's how people look when they have seen hell through another person's eyes."

I listened to this complex story as an audiobook downloaded from the library and will probably read more titles in this series.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Please vote for ConKerr Cancer

Thursday, April 1, 2010

AQS Quilt Show - Lancaster, PA

The highlight of last week was a two-day visit to the American Quilting Society show in Lancaster.  It was by far the largest quilt event I have ever attended.  Here are some pictures.