Parent category for wine, movies, restaurants and books.

Lessons From Wonder Woman

“You can do something or do nothing.”

Midnight Diner

Netflix has come out with a 10-episode season of Midnight Diner, which began as an award-winning manga, then a Japanese TV series and feature film. Like the filmAn this series is quiet, quirky, and offbeat…mixing food, of course, with characters a bit on the edge of Japanese society but entirely recognizable as classic Japanese characters. Tokyo is said to be not so much a big city as a collection of small villages

An (Sweet Bean)

“We were born into this world to see it and to listen to it.”


After our talk about great films*, I decided I needed to go out to the movies more…because I used to enjoy the experience of seeing film in a cinema so much and somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit of it. So I walked over to the Violet Crown and got the last seat for Carol. I was underimpressed. The acting was fine, the period sets and

The Martian

Adapt or die.

Virtues of Ben Franklin

“Either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” — Ben Franklin

Going Light with Backpack or Burro

Before I left on my trip to Patagonia, I came across this delightful little book at Recycled Reads. Written in 1951 by various members of the Sierra Club of San Francisco (the focus audience being people exploring the National Parks of the American West), the editor, David R. Brower, prefaces the sixth printing in 1962 with this message. “More than a decade later (and six printings later, each helped by

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

かぐや姫の物語 I was lucky to see this in the original Japanese-language version at the +Alamo Drafthouse.  From the info I could glean on the Internet about the limited release in other American cities, I was afraid it was going to be the dubbed version. So a big thanks to the +Alamo Drafthouse for showing it in the original language! Taken as a whole (story, visual, and graphics) I think Princess Kaguya is the

Guardians of the Galaxy

Bottom line: Great fun for 8-year-olds of all ages and genders.


“We do not seize the moment. The moment seizes us.”


The difficulty with making films about historical characters is that the audience comes armed with prejudice. The face is familiar to us in a way that creates rather than closes a distance. It is a face that stands for something so that the person the face belongs becomes a kind of shorthand for an ideal or a moment in time. That person ceases to be a human being. He is

We Need to Talk About Kevin

I had heard great things about Tilda Swinton’s performance. She is a mother racked with guilt and duty. She lives her life in a hollow-eyed state of post traumatic stress. What I wanted most from this movie was a character arc. I was disappointed. In an interview with Swinton that played before the film, she said she most enjoyed playing characters whose basic foundation was shaken–who were forced to change.

Retribution Falls

This was recommended to me as a fun bit of fluff, “Firefly in airships.” So I didn’t approach it with the bar set high. Even so, I apparently expect more from my fluff because I was disappointed. Reading it I spent most of my time wondering why it kept missing the mark. What sets a good book apart? What makes the beloved motley crew of Serenity beloved and the pale

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is straight forward action from beginning to end. In fact, it is very much like The Adventures of Tintin and I like them both for the same reason: simplicity. The good guys are good and the bad guys must be stopped. There’s a job to do and our heroes get it done. The focus is on the method not the motive. I also appreciate that Ghost

Hugo (3D)

Any sense of wonder was more cerebral than heartfelt