Wonder Woman

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My daughter and I finally went to see this movie the other day, and I must say that I was thrilled.  I have never read comic books, so my only background for Wonder Woman was that of the 1970’s TV show staring Lynda Carter, so I went into the movie with no preconceived notions.

I have to say that I loved this movie.  What a tribute to “female power”.  I loved that first and foremost, Diana Prince, along with the rest of the Amazons, both looked like a woman who could fight, and fought like a hardened warrior.  These were not super skinny women, these were extremely fit women who could take care of themselves.  I also loved the way that Diana Prince walked.  She strode with all the confidence in the world.  That confidence was breathtaking, and I must say that I want some of that!

I don’t want to give too much away for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but I loved the movie.  In the realm of “power women” movies this is the best so far.  I encourage you to watch this, just to see what a confident woman looks like!

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Happy Things This Week

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I love the Minions!

Even though I’ve been in somewhat of a depression lately, there were some happy, joyful and glorious things that have happened over the past week or so.  The first of these was that after almost a year of not being able to use my oven, I got a new stove.  Yes, I was able to use the top of the stove, but I haven’t made any baked goods in a long time.  So, this week I bought apples and am looking forward to baking a pie over the weekend.  Yum!

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My daughter and I went to see Beauty and the Beast this week.  This movie was just wonderful.  Belle was portrayed exactly the way I always felt that she was.  A strong, intelligent woman who found her small town to be more than a little too small.  Belle has to be the one Disney “princess” with whom I feel an actual affinity.  Books, books, books!

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This was a big week, since my daughter and I also went to see The Sleeping Beauty by the Russian National Ballet this week.  This was actually my birthday gift from my birthday way back in September.  You have to wait for the good things.  I love, love, love going to the ballet, and this one was wonderful!  What a great time.

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Tonight, we’re going to see a middle-school production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  I know that a lot of people dislike going to these events, but I love them.  The kids put their hearts and souls into the play, they work really hard, and often-times they are the biggest surprise regarding the talent some of the performers have.  One of the girls my daughter babysits will be in the play, and I really look forward it seeing her.  She’s very talented, and I enjoyed the play she was in last year.  Lots of fun!

Those are my good, happy and fun things lately.  Please share your good things!

Vegan Recipe, a new Blender & Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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I haven’t posted a vegan recipe in a while, so I thought that since I’ve just concocted a new one, I would share it.  This one is for stuffed roasted acorn squash.

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Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

I used two medium to large acorn squashes, cut in half, scoop out seeds and fibers, rub a small amount of oil on insides, put in pan with about a half cup or so of water, cover and bake at 400° or until the insides are soft.

While the squash is roasting, make rice, I used one cup of brown rice along with spices.  I love sage, rosemary, thyme and basil.

Then mince about half an onion, and some fresh mushroom, I used about a half cup each (next time I’ll use a full cup).  Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil along with minced garlic and spices such as sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, coriander, and whatever you like.  I also added some sun-dried tomatoes that I had on hand.  Once the squash is done, scoop out as much of the flesh as you can without compromising the skin, and mix the squash with the finished rice and everything you sautéed.  Then pack the mixture into your roasted acorn squash.  Simple, simple, simple.  I served this with left-over Italian bread and a salad.  It was quite a filling meal, and very delicious.

I’ve had a blender for 31 years that has served me faithfully.  However, about three years ago, it became clear that I could no longer pull the entire thing apart to clean it.  The little seal at the bottom was going to fall apart if I continued cleaning it.  So, as I used this blender every day, I was waiting for it to begin to seep.  However, it didn’t.  I realized not that long ago, that at some point the thing was just going to stop working.  Not only that, but it was never made to be used constantly, nor to be used to blend up all kinds of fruit.  When I came to this surprising revelation, I knew that I would have to replace it.  Along came the Black Friday sales, and I knew that now was the time.  So, my daughter and I went out after dinner one night and bought one that was on sale at BJ’s.  I can’t explain how this has changed my life!  I can put all kinds of fruit into it, and it actually works!  How wonderful is that?  And, most importantly of all, I got it at a bargain price.

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Okay, and now for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  What a great movie!  As a Harry Potter fan, this movie was simply magical.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  The acting was good, the story-line was interesting, and the movie-making was magical.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and do so.  3-D is great!

Thoughts on Captain Fantastic

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First of all, I must say that I’m extremely “taken” with Viggo Mortensen – I think he’s not only handsome, but an interesting person (odd, but interesting).  I try to watch all the movies that he makes, since not only is he a wonderful actor, but he makes good movies.  Even if I find a movie difficult to watch (The Road and Good come to mind), any movie he makes is definitely fodder for thought.

So, with that in mind, I watched his latest movie, Captain Fantastic, the other night.  There is much to think about in this movie.  A quick over-view of the plot is that a husband (Ben) and wife (Leslie) decide to raise their children “off-the-grid” and away from all the “bad” influences of the modern world in the middle of the wilderness that is the Pacific Northwest.

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Who can argue with this assessment of the modern world?  I actually agreed with much of what Ben and Leslie believed.  Our food is poisoned; social media is invasive; schools teach to the test, and don’t promote much in the way of critical thinking; the pursuit of money and profit at the expense of people is pervasive.  These are all valid issues that should be discussed both individually and in larger venues.  So, with this in mind, the family grows their own food, hunts their own meat, learns survival skills and are almost completely independent.  Everything goes well, until Leslie’s mental illness makes her ability to cope (and live) frighteningly difficult.  Ben seeks help for her from her parents, and she is institutionalized.  While there, Leslie commits suicide.  The children want to attend the funeral that Leslie expressly did not want to have, and the family commences their exotic journey from the wilderness back into “civilized society”.

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However, as with most, if not all, reintroduction’s to “civilization”, they encounter stressful and comic situations.  In the first restaurant they go to, the younger children are convinced that the other people are ill due to their lack of physical fitness and weight.  When subjected to violent video games which their cousins are playing, the children are aghast, even though they all partake in actual hunting of animals for food.  Even though their aunt and uncle allow for violent game-play they refuse to let the cousins hear about the suicide of Leslie, finding no irony that their children routinely “kill” people while playing video games, but are too delicate to hear about mental illness.  This juxtaposing occurs throughout the movie, giving us fodder for the brain.

If you haven’t watched this movie, I hope that you do so.  If you have watched it, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.