Category Archives: Movies and TV

Right Here Where We Live

Image from page 82 of "Catalogue no. 16, spring/summer / R. H. Macy & Co." (1911)

Have you seen Meet Me in St. Louis? The story of a mother, a father, a grandfather, and four daughters, all of whom almost move from St. Louis to New York City, but do not actually leave their hometown?

It is a pretty weird movie, but I love it. Judy Garland. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Homemade ketchup. Magnificent millinery. The horrifying antics of Margaret O’Brien. It’s all there, people.

Mike and I often quote the final lines of the movie to one another, because that’s just the kind of wild and crazy pair that we are. Here’s what happens: The family has made it through another year–they’ve escaped the move to New York City, Judy Garland and Margaret Bremer have found love, the homemade ketchup has the right amount of sugar in it, and everyone emerges from the house wearing fabulous flowered and feathered hats. They’re off to the World’s Fair!

As the whole impressively-hatted bunch takes in the wonder of the fair, Margaret Bremer says rapturously, “We don’t have to come here on a train or stay in a hotel. It’s  right here in our own hometown!” And Judy Garland, eyes shining, says, “It’s right here where we live! Right here in St. Louis.

I totally get it. It’s wonderful when the amazing things in the great wide world come right to your hometown. Of course, the World’s Fair hasn’t come to Saint James (I mean, not yet). But other wonderful things do come, or are already here. And as fun as it is to head out of town to do something special, there’s something even sweeter about finding the fun right here where we live.

right here.jpg

The star of the historical show. Isn’t it pretty?

Continue reading


1 Comment

Filed under All in the Family, Movies and TV, Thankful Hearts

Another Op’nin’, Another Show


Chorus girls, 192- / Sam Hood

These are not our costumes, but we do have some fabulous headgear.


Tonight’s the night! If you are in the Saint James area, come on over the the Saint James High School Little Theater for Mary Poppins. The show starts at 7 PM and you can buy your tickets at the door or by calling 507/375-4517. $10 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under; tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday. Don’t miss it!

Whether you’re able to make it this weekend or not, please do enjoy this video of the opening of Kiss Me Kate. It depicts our community theater rehearsal process perfectly. (Pro Tip: Of course it doesn’t. Enjoy it anyway.) Continue reading


Filed under Movies and TV, Music!

Never Had I Ever: Thomas the Tank Engine Edition

I don’t know how it happened.

I don’t even know how it started.

Was it the set of books from Uncle Paul? Was it something at day care? Was it just in the air somehow?

I don’t know how it happened, but our Leo is an absolute Thomas the Tank Engine devotee.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Movies and TV, Never Had I Ever, Your Moment of Leo

Three Things That Are Better When You Don’t Know All the Words

“I’ve been to church in Norwegian!” my friend S reported. (We were having one of those wonderful conversations where this was not even a non sequitur.)

“I could only understand about 3/4 of the sermon. Which is, for this agnostic, liberal type, a relief.” (Pro Tip: She then assured me that if it were my sermon, she would hang on every word. Which is what everyone else does on Sunday mornings, I am sure.)

I laughed, but I knew what she meant. Some things are better when you can’t understand all the words. For example:

1. Keanu Reeves. Remember that guy? When I was in college, I watched Point Break with my host family in Mexico. They had such confidence in my Spanish ability that they put on the dubbed version. Fortuitously, this meant that we did not have to listen to Keanu’s actual voice. Once the limitation of his voice and his acting ability are out of the way–hey, it turns out the reason Keanu was a movie star is because he’s pretty cute. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Movies and TV, Music!

Friday Fun: Marcel the Shell

Zoe and I had a Mankato matinee date yesterday. We saw Zootopia. It’s great! You should see it too if you haven’t already!

The best part–besides maybe the sloths–was the discovery at the end of the movie that Assistant Mayor Bellweather (a sheep) is played by Jenny Slate.

Image from page 30 of "Exotic conchology; or, Figures and descriptions of rare, beautiful, or undescribed shells, drawn on stone from the most select specimens .." (1821)

This delights me. Because, of course, Jenny Slate is also the voice of Marcel the Shell, who is my most favorite shell in all the land. (Pro Tip: “Only favorite” would also be accurate.) Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Movies and TV

Seize the (Labor) Day

Picknickkoffer / Picnic hamper

Happy Labor Day!

If you are lucky, you’re celebrating Labor Day on a lake or a boat or a hammock somewhere.  You’re firing up the grill or packing up the picnic basket.  You’re carrying a watermelon to your in-laws and hoping your three-year-old will take a really long afternoon nap.  (Pro Tip: That last one is me.)

If you are less lucky, you’re laboring on Labor Day.  If that’s the case–or if you’ve fired up the computer before hitting the lake or the backyard–please enjoy these labor-themed folk songs.  At my house, we sing them every Thanksgiving, sliding seamlessly from Christmas carols to Union Maid.  (And if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.)

Local 12103 on strike

First up: Pete Seeger singing Union Maid to a Very Reserved bunch of Australians in 1963.  I forgot about the last verse of this one.  It’s a little . . . retro.  But classics are like that, aren’t they?  Anyway: hit it, Mr. Seeger:

Next, Utah Philips singing the great Joe Hill song “There is Power in the Union”:

Finally, something light and not, technically, a folk song: Newsies.  Because how else are twelve-year-old girls going to get their consciousness raised?  YouTube let me down a little, so this is not the 1992 movie version but the 2012 Broadway version.  Which, I will admit, is still pretty great.  Let us seize the day:

What are you doing or not doing this Labor Day?  


Filed under Movies and TV, Music!

Friday Fun!

You have to watch this video.

It is Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation reading the Tweets of young female celebrities, and it is hilarious.  (For some reason, the “embed” link was not working, but trust me when I tell you it is worth a click.)

Even if none of that sentence makes sense to you, give this video a try.  Nick Offerman is so funny, and these Tweets are so silly.

Of course, they’re not significantly sillier than the Tweets and Facebook status updates many of us post every day.  But they are read by thousands of people.  And when they are read aloud in a deadpan voice by a manly man working with power tools . . . comedy gold, my friends.  Comedy gold.

Watch, laugh, check out the other videos in the series, and reflect on the silliness of your online communication.

And then, if you’re up for it, go make something out of wood.

Drill press operator, Allegheny Ludlum Steel[e] Corp., Brackenridge, Pa. (LOC)

What’s making you laugh on the Internet today?


Filed under Movies and TV