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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Centaur by Algernon Blackwood

This book is entrancingly written. Algernon Blackwood's book takes the reader on a spiritual adventure with the main character, a highly imaginative and unusual man who has never felt he fit into modern society. The writing brings a sense of being there with him through suggestion and imagery. I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is available free online at

More information on Centaurs is available at

Come On, People Now!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Man on the Train

Both men in this film are interesting, and each envies the other's life. Their fates are intertwined ...

Getting Through the Holiday on a Diet ...

I do best on a low-carbohydrate diet, but I think many of these tips would work for any eating plan. It is from

Holiday Parties: 10 Steps to Low-Carb Success
Enjoying the Season With Fewer Carbs
By Laura Dolson, Guide

The holiday party season is here, and even more than parties at other times, it tends to be a real carb-fest! Cookies, candy, desserts, and holiday breads are added to the usual array of crackers, chips, and rolls. Before you eat your way into a carb-induced stupor, take some time to think ahead to avoid overindulging.
Before you Go
1. Make a game plan, and try to be realistic. Do you think you want to make it though the party totally “on plan"? If not, how much of a deviation do you want to allow yourself? Think about how you will feel afterwards. Having a few bites of something off-plan won’t break the bank, but you don’t have to give in to “all or nothing thinking,” either. Eating a cookie doesn’t need to be the beginning of a long night of “carbing out." On the other hand, you might decide that there is one special party where you’ll choose to indulge. The important thing is to see it as a planned deviation, and not slide into a frame of mind that says, “Oh, well, there’s always New Years.”

2. Ask the hostess if you can bring something, and make sure it is yummy, as well as on your food plan. That way you know you’ll have something to fall back on.

3. Don’t leave the house half-starved. That’s an open invitation to scarf down the first five things your eyes fall on. Eat a substantial snack with protein, fat, and fiber in it (example: "roll ups" of turkey slices with spinach dip as a filling). With stable blood sugar, you’ll be more able to think clearly and make good decisions, too.
When you Get There
4. Case the joint –- check out the food scene, and form a plan. If you’ve planned a treat, figure out what it will be, but don’t grab it yet. Just know that later on, it will be yours. (If you’re worried it will be gone, see if you can find somewhere to stash it.)

5. Continue to think “protein, fiber, fat.” Head for these things first, which will make it easier to limit your treats later. Good bets: veggies and dip, cheese tray (there is no law saying you have to put the cheese on a cracker), sausage cubes, nuts. Put a small amount on your napkin and go find someone to talk to, away from the food.

6. Get something to drink. Good choices are something calorie-free or dry wine. Avoid sugary mixers. Hold the drink in your dominant hand (right hand if you’re right-handed) as long as you’re standing near food. (This trick works better than you’d think. It delays the “reaching instinct” long enough for your brain to engage.)
The Party Continues
7. Keep your focus on conversation and entertainment, preferably away from the food table. When you veer closer, stick to small amounts and veer away again. Think “nibble” rather than “bite.”

8. After an alcoholic drink, make the next one or two calorie-free drinks. This not only cuts down on carbs and calories, but helps keep your good judgment intact.

9. If there is a buffet dinner, focus on the low-carb foods: salads, vegetables, meats, fruit. These usually are far more tasty than the potatoes and rice, anyway.
Sweet Endings
10. Now it’s time for your treat, if you’ve decided to have it. The rule is: Enjoy every bite. This requires focus. And be aware of the “Law of Diminishing Dessert Returns:” The first few bites are usually the best. If your enjoyment is lessening, why continue? You’ve had a great time celebrating, the evening is a success, and no regrets or “carb hangovers” the next day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Algernon Blackwood's works of fiction are transporting me. I am reading The Centaur, which is the tale of an Irishman who always felt alien amongst most of modern humanity; he goes on a voyage and meets some others like himself. 

I have never read such suggestive phrases as Mr. Blackwood's; they bring to life concepts of spirituality that are otherwise simple and hard to incorporate into the modern intellect. 

For example, in this book he illuminates the concept that the Earth is a living entity, far different from ourselves, whose projections we are. This is not a new idea, by any means, but as I have said, his way of presenting it brings it to life.

My Father Was a Con Man

The reconciliation of father and son in $5 A Day is unlikely and takes some doing. The father is a professional con man, Walken, and the son has had to do hard time after one of his father's scams went bad.

The film was surprisingly enjoyable. I was not at all sure I would like it, but though I did not learn anything from it, the cast was great and the long shots featured incredibly beautiful skies. Simple blue skies with clouds, amazingly gorgeous!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmas Lights (!?!)

The Tiny Tree Casts Big Round Lights

Mantel of Lights

Even the Back Door is Decorated!

The Front Entry ... Usually dark with a Wreath Only

This is my first year of decorating with lights because I have always thought it was wasteful but LED lights have changed all that! However, I am a real newbie. I have no real concept of how these things are managed by all the pathetic husbands I see out there putting up reindeer with moving heads. They are The Masters!
Anne in Hospital

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Un Pummel Vision


This Agnes Varda film is a cautionary tale, in my opinion. 

A young woman is found frozen to death in France near a vineyard. In flashbacks her tale unfolds ... a defiant woman who refuses to be enticed into any situation that entails responsibility. She wanders, sleeping in her tent, through a cold, bleak winter landscape. Those she encounters tell their experience of her. 

I thought she was rude and unpleasant, and her contacts described her as smelly and rough. She did not seem grateful to anyone who helped her and in fact, when a few could not help her she was angry and insulting to them. Strangely, some of them became attached to her. I did not. When she died I was not saddened nor (of course) surprised.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Political Ideology: "Conservative" Label Prevails in the South

Political Ideology: "Conservative" Label Prevails in the South

While some states are less conservative than others, it would seem the entire United States is becoming more self-identified as conservative. The ranks of the states are very interesting to see, though not surprising. While GW Bush was in office, conservatism declined and now it is rising again. Perhaps whichever party is in power sways the country in the opposite political direction?

In Limelight Charlie Chaplin is a washed-up music hall comedian who rescues a suicidal ballerina (Claire Bloom). I had never seen this movie before and despite the sometimes very lengthy performance scenes I found it quite enjoyable.

The movies used to be a way for the audience to see performances that were otherwise inaccessible to them. Now we all seem to see a lot of performance, and want our movies to be about the story and for many, the explosions or other special effects. Charlie does all sorts of very athletic antics, white hair and all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

AND I FOUND IT! One of my Ab FAB Faves!



OK now I am going crazy for 50s groups. I wanted the Coasters, but can't find a video of them performing :(

For Osprey to Explain My Chat ...

When Osprey said in chat, "Hey Bulldog" I responded with a bastardized version of "Hey Bird Dog", which predates the Beatles by at least a decade. Maybe they heard it?!? The Everly Brothers covered this song as well, but this version is fab.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Can't Believe She DID THIS!

Interactive Visual Visits to High Rise Buildings Around the World

First you see many apartments, then when you click on them you see a montage of photos in 360 degrees' view of their apartment, and then if you click on the special areas, there is a film/montage of what is meaningful in that particular part of the view. Ultra KEWL!