In a Lonely Place (1950)

Suspense/Noir/Thriller/Classic Cinema

Humphrey Bogart Gloria Grahame

Directed by Nicholas Ray

Vince, a volatile screenwriter in need of a career boost, invites an ingenue to his place to tell him the story of a book he’s to make into a screenplay. He soon loses interest in the story and the girl and sends her off to find a cab around the block.

The next morning, the cops are at his door. She’s been found murdered. Vince has a thin alibi–a beautiful neighbor saw the girl leave alone. Vince is grateful to and intrigued by this cool woman. In short order, they are mutually smitten and become a hot item. As the investigation keeps circling back to Vince as the prime suspect, Vince’s behavior suggests they may be correct. Laurel is torn between being madly in love with him and terrified of him.

If you like films of this era, don’t miss this one. Terrific performances by both leads. Edgy and suspenseful with a timeless story–while ink jars and old cars are gone, dangerous, passionate relationships spark up every day.

Click here to see official trailer:

Black Rainbow (1989) Jason Robards, Rosanna Arquette, Tom Hulce

Don’t get me wrong, I really really liked this movie, but oooh! The ending! I’m a big Rosanna Arquette fan and was tickled that Tom Hulce is in this. Remember him from Amadeus? This film wouldn’t have launched him to stardom but it’s not bad.  I wish I was in a movie club like a book club so we could discuss this film.  The plot: a psychic with an exploiting bastard for a father is kept virtual prisoner by him. They travel doing psychic shows and enjoy moderate success but the father squanders the money away.  The psychic begins to get messages from the dead… before they are dead. This unsettles everyone involved, most of all her.  For 3/4 of this film I wondered where the supernatural element was going to come into play as it seemed mostly a psychological drama. And it’s a good one.  But the ending…  Most films with a twist like Sixth Sense do a nice recap at the end where you can see where you were fooled. Not so this one. Now I’ve heard that a more recent version has been released with a commentary track. I need to hunt this down because, dang… the movie ended and I thought… wait. Did I go to the bathroom and miss something? Nope. So either there is a gaping plot hole that I fell into or there was a super subtle moment that I missed… or it ended up on the editing room floor. I don’t know. If you’ve seen this movie, please tell me your explanation of the ending!

See Internet Movie Database:

***Spoiler alert…. stop here if you haven’t seen it but intend to***  So the big question: When did she die? She doesn’t get shot in the final scene in the hotel yet she’s in two places at once. So I’m thinking she must have been already dead.  So is she dead the whole time?  If so, why on earth would she remain stuck doing essentially parlor tricks to keep her Dad afloat. And why have the fling with the reporter? Just cause? I’m so confused… 

My Soup Bible Cookbook

Hey all, I have a confession. I’m  a pantster cook. I don’t really follow recipes, I tend to wing it with ingredients on hand. And I have to say, this Japanese Hot Pot cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks for ideas. Let’s face it, soup is really forgiving; you don’t need to be fastidious with measuring.  I keep vegetable and chicken broth on hand as well as cooking sake, Mirin, oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce. From there I can make a soup base. Add veggies and a meat, simmer and voila, dinner.
The other day, I pulled some frozen mackerel out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge. I had a bag of baby bokchoy that I got at the Asian market, some frozen corn. Adding some noodles at the last  minute and ta da! I whipped up a fish noodle soup that turned out mighty tasty! And I have to thank this gorgeous cookbook. The pictures are mouthwatering, the recipes are simple and I use it mostly for inspiration. Lots of vegetarian ideas here too, folks.. mushroom hot pot, acorn squash hot pot…
Looking for healthy comfort food on a cold night? If this cookbook doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what to say!

JAPANESE HOT POTS Comfort One-Pot Meals by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat

It’s a Haint Blue Christmas!

Haint Blue needs a vacation. It looks like she’ll be alone for Christmas. Her relationship with Buster is in limbo. Why not slip off to the beach? She can almost taste the fish tacos and fried shrimp. But before she can make a motel reservation, psychic Aunt Moira calls. “I had a vivid dream this morning. There was a bright Christmas tree…children laughing…an empty deep freezer in a garage. You were wringing your hands in a red apron. Some weird nursery rhyme repeated ‘the larder was bare’. The dream tells me that you need to stock your pantry; you’re going to be a busy hostess this Christmas. Get your holiday cookbooks out, Sweetheart.”

Surely not.

As the 25th approaches, the phone calls begin.

“Haint? This is Yolanda, from Paco’s. Our restaurant stove–something is wrong. It’s gas. Sometimes it works and then suddenly nada. Sometimes I swear I smell gas. I’m not going to play with gas. I’m afraid of gas. We were wondering if you had a few cabins?”

“Haint? Max. Listen, my sister Nellavon thinks I’m dying. She’s got this hairbrained notion to get the family together. I can’t talk her out of it. I know business has been slow, and I was wondering, you gonna be open for the holidays?”

“We’re travelling with rescue alpacas… do you have space to exercise them?”

“We’re the Lame Brain Zombie LARPers…party of seven, do you have a cabin?”

“My client wants privacy.”

The calls keep coming. And odd little gifts keeping showing up and disappearing. What’s that about?
As the retreat fills to capacity, strangers become family for a Haint Blue Christmas.

Looking for a funny, feel-good holiday romp with a bit of mystery? This is the one.

Now available in paperback in full color (it’s chock full of pictures) or black and white and as an eBook.

Kindle book is free with Amazon unlimited:

King of Masks (1996) Chinese

I’ve seen this movie twice, and, both times got so sucked into the story that I forgot it was a movie and felt like I was eavesdropping on someone’s life.  The acting is so heartfelt you are unaware of acting.
The premise is simple… a lonely, elderly master of the Chinese art of face-changing  (which alone is worth watching the movie for) — feeling his mortality, wants to pass on his craft. His own son died twenty years prior; he has no family.  He adopts a child he calls “Doggie”. Doggie is grateful and devoted…
Here’s the description off the back of the DVD:

This scores high with me on many points:  acting, story, scenery, and the sweet bonding between a grandparent and grandchild.

{Reminiscent of another favorite, a lighter film, the charming 2002 French offering,  The Butterfly about a grandfather and granddaughter on a hunt to find an extremely rare butterfly that only mates at night. }

I’ve attached a link to a super-quick demonstration of face-changing as presented by magicians, Penn and Teller:

What Color is Your Mid-Life Crisis?

     Some folks, when they come into money buy big-ticket items: a house, a boat, a Mazeratti. I bought a dilapidated fish camp.

     Sexy, huh?haint-standing-touched-up-oil-look

    My dream was to convert it into a meditation retreat and host classes in yoga and mindfulness. It seemed like a good idea at the time. After fixing it up for over a year: dragging out the leaky bait freezer to find it had ruined the floor, repairing guest cabins, converting the boat house into a meditation hall, adding a full kitchen and dining hall, I was finally ready for my opening weekend. The theme was “Finding Inner Peace.”
     My best friend, Lorraine Chapman, and my super brother, Iggy, signed on to help teach yoga and tai chi.
     With only a few days to go, I suddenly realized I had focused on the food and the accommodations, and forgot to get the grounds mowed and the vines and poison ivy cleared. In desperation, I hired Bob.
      Well, there’s always how you want it to work out, and what really happens. Between Bob, the guests, the wildlife and the weather, the weekend was anything but peaceful…
     I hope you’ll read all about it in my first book, Monkey Mind.

Edy-Mae, inspiration for Naughty Britches