Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ten O'Clock

Once upon a time, we had a baby that turned ten months old.  It's this baby:

It's just wild that he's a mere two months away from being a YEAR old.  It's hard to believe he's been around for this long--even though "this long" is actually not that long at all because he is still a little sprout.

What's Boo Boo up to lately?  Mostly the same things as last month--crawling, cruising, climbing.  He'll stand on his own sometimes but he's pretty hesitant about it.  If he doesn't notice he's standing though he'll stand for several seconds.  He quite good at pushing walkers around too.

Such a nice head of hair! Again! At last!

He eats all manner of foods and really loves bread, avocados and cheese (he has good taste).  Still has four teeth, with at least two on the verge.  

So satisfied!

The Noah's Ark (I use the term loosely) animals are his favorites right now, along with small tubes of Aquaphor and paper of any kind.  

He started clapping, which is super cute.  He also started saying "Mmmmmmama" but still doesn't seem to direct words at any particular person or thing.  But he does chat up a storm, fake coughs, whines, fake cries, laughs, growls and hollers. 

(So much for personal space)
In general, he's always been a pretty good sleeper. But from about months 4 to 9, the evening hours after he went to bed would be pretty up and down. While it wasn't the biggest deal ever (aside from those hours he slept great), it did make me reluctant to leave him with babysitters and it ate up a lot of the evening time.  But this last month, we CONQUERED that issue and he sleeps SO great!  All night long!  With nary a peep!  

High fives to you, baby!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS (Book Review)

Author: Rebecca Eaton, with Patricia Mulcahy
Year: 2013
Genre: Television/Memoir
Reading Level: Adult

Summary: Part memoir, part behind-the-scenes look at the origins, development and history of Masterpiece Theatre, as told by longtime executive producer Rebecca Eaton.  Includes insights from such Masterpiece alums as Daniel Radcliffe, Gillian Anderson, Julian Fellowes and Kenneth Branagh. 

Red Flags: Some occasional language

My Rating: B
As a history of Masterpiece, I think this succeeds quite well.  Obviously Rebecca Eaton knows what she's talking about and she explains the business side of things clearly.  She's conversational, praises various successes and owns up to mistakes as well.  I do think it is rather silly that Downton Abbey gets the last three chapters.  I know that it's a BIG deal and I'm sure they wanted to entice readers with plenty of Downton talk, but if your book is about Masterpiece as a whole, let's be a little bit more balanced, okay?  She hardly even wrote anything in one of those chapters because it was all quotes from Downton people.  But anyway, I learned a lot about Masterpiece so in that way I can't complain.

As a memoir, I think this works only about halfway, mostly because she stops talking about her personal life for the second half of the book.  She did a fine job of interweaving the two branches up to that point so I'm not sure why she dropped it halfway.  In the first half she talks about the conflict of working and missing her daughter's childhood--did this extend to her teenage years?  What are her thoughts about it now that her daughter is grown?  She throws out at the very end that she's getting divorced--what were the origins of that decision?  It's not that I want to pry or be nosy (though I am nosy), but the autobiographical aspect felt incomplete.  Maybe she became a workaholic and consequently had no personal life?  

Memorable quotes:
"Watching mysteries on television provides a feeling that says all's right with the world; now at least one of life's unanswered questions is settled: that's who did it.
"Phyllis [P.D. James] says: 'The mystery is an affirmation of a moral law that murder is wrong but men are responsible for their own deeds; and however difficult the problem, there is a solution.  All this, I think, is rather comforting in an age of pessimism and anxiety.'"--p. 72

"...a good idea is only the beginning of a very long haul..."--p. 177

"'With drama, all the time, you're trying to think of tension.  I always say that one of the hardest things to dramatize is happiness.  That's why, in the old days, Hollywood films ended with the marriage and the kiss--because the drama was over.'"--Julian Fellowes, p. 238

"'I don't have time for writer's block; I just have to get on, because I've made so many commitments.  Sometimes you write stuff, and it doesn't seem any good, and you chuck it out; but you have to keep churning it out.  If you want to be a writer for your living, and you're not just working on your book in the attic, you have to be grown up about it and not wait until you're in the mood.  You can't afford that.  Usually, if you go for a walk, you can come back with an idea of where you go next.'"--Julian Fellowes, p. 253

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Now that Boo Boo is nearing the big 1-0 (months) mark, he has started job hunting.  He's been such a great worker at home all these months, but I think he's ready to go big time now.  Everyone knows that a great resume is the key to getting a great job so I've been helping him out with his.  And because he's so cute, we made an illustrated resume. 

Traits and Skills:
...for success!

Eager to climb the corporate stairs ladder:

Good with money:
Knows what he wants and goes for it:

Comfortable with technology:

Not afraid of manual labor:

Previous work experience:



Music shop:

Reach for the stars, baby!  The world is your oyster!  Your future is only as bright as your dreams!  Dress for success!  Etc. etc.! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey

Author: Bob McCabe
Year: 2011
Genre: Film
Reading Level: Adult

Summary: A detailed look at the making of all eight Harry Potter movies, from casting to production design to filming.  Includes hundreds of color photos and production designs, and interviews with the cast, designers, producers and writers. 

Red Flags: None.

My Rating: A
I admit that when I got this for Christmas a few years ago I was excited but also daunted by the size (it's over 500 pages and quite heavy).  Maybe that's why it took me so long to read it?  But really the size is a bit deceptive because there are so many images and the actual text is perfectly manageable. And aside from that, it's very interesting so the pages really just fly by.  

As often happens when I read or watch behind-the-scenes stuff, I was just AMAZED at the amount of work that went into these movies.  So many people, so much money (though cutting costs was always a goal) and so much WORK.  At the same time, it's very clear that the people involved loved doing all this work and had great experiences.  Even making the book was, I imagine, quite a lot of work because it covers so much ground.  Naturally it doesn't include EVERYTHING, but I learned quite a lot.  

These are all rather disjointed thoughts so here's the takeaway: 1) Don't be afraid of the size.  2) If you loved the movies, you'll enjoy this book.  3) I loved the movies and I enjoyed this book.  It's a great journey through all the years of hard work and love that went into those movies.