Hospitalité

Hospitalité is a one of a kind movie — or perhaps an odd movie is more like it. The main characters are Mikio, a middle aged man who’s taken over his family’s small printing shop, Natuski, his new, young wife, Eriko, his daughter from his first marriage and his sister who’s divorced. The daughter and the sister are sort of like prompts in that they appear when the plot needs a nudge. Otherwise, I didn’t think they seemed all that real.

The family’s pet parakeet goes missing and the young wife and daughter put up a notice in the neighborhood for it. A strange neighbor presents himself to help find the bird. Before they know it this odd ball Kagawa has been hired and then moves into their small home. A couple days later Kagawa brings his blonde wife to live there. The wife is a liar telling some she’s from Brazil and others that she’s from Bosnia. Chaos ensues. It reminded me of the Cat in the Hat but with the parents remaining home and allowing a nutcase teak over and never clean up.

Kagawa quickly discovers secrets both the husband and wife have and blackmailing them to get his way. By the end of the film the couple have completely lost control of their home as Kagawa practically turns the place like a youth hostel.

I found the film very different and unpredictable, but shortly after it ended I saw loads of holes in the story.
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Best of the Bonnets

Take a look at some of the Best Bonnets from the Running of the Roses, 2018.

Learn to make your own Kentucky Derby or wedding bonnet above.

Bourbon, Bowties & Bonnets

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Friday I went to a party at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum called Bourbon, Bowties & Bonnets, which celebrated the Kentucky Derby. My friend and I went with colorful, spring outfits, but we didn’t don bonnets because we just didn’t have any. Next year, we will. Still a lot of guests got into the spirit of the festivities and dressed up from head to toe. Many women had spectacular hats, but my favorite was a straw hat with a wide brim decorated with flowers, a small plastic horse and an old ticket from the Kentucky Derby.

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Mint Juleps

When we arrived we were given mint juleps, the cocktail most associated with the Kentucky Derby. A bona fide mint julep comes in a pewter glass and has crushed ice (not cubes), sugar (not syrup), bourbon and mint leaves (recipe here). Bourbon is the first alcohol invented in the U.S. and must be made up of at least 51% corn and be made in fresh oak barrels. After their first use, the barrels are sold to Scotland, Mexico and elsewhere. Those countries use the barrels to make other alcohol. Though distilled in Kentucky for the most part, Bourbon got its name from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where bourbon became popular.

With our mint juleps we listened to music and nibbled hot appetizers. We learned about the derby’s history.

Then we went upstairs and could taste three different cocktails: The Brown Derby, Old Fashioned and Boulevardier. My favorite was The Brown Derby with the strong Old Fashioned and Boulevardier coming in a distant second and third.

We could wander around the museum checking out this stunning Gilded Age home and the current exhibit on the history of chairs in America. In addition, they had a real life milliner selling gorgeous hats and fascinators, which would be perfect for anyone going to the derby or a royal wedding. Some of our fellow guests were planning on going to the Drake Hotel’s viewing of Prince Harry and Meaghan Markel’s wedding and got their hats here.

Sepia Saturday

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This weeks prompt shows happy people wading in the water. Now that we’re getting some warm weather in the Midwest, thinking about sunny days spent swimming seems reasonable.

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State Library of New South Wales, 1908

These friends sure have great smiles and modest suits.

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Florida Memories, 1949

Even my friends and I could do that.

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Nationaal Archief, n.d.

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Improvised sunscreen, Nationaal Archief, n.d.

To see more responses to this fun in the sun prompt, click here.

A Taste of Things to Come

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The musical A Taste of Things to Come is a clever, fun musical that entertains, however, it’s not for everyone. Set in the 1950s and 60s, A Taste of Things to Come is about four female friends who meet each Wednesday to cook and converse. They share their dreams and struggles while trying to win the Betty Crocker cooking contests. In the first act three of the women are married and one’s single. The single woman’s adventurous and modern, while the others are more conservative though they all are curious about social changes, which may upturn the order of this era. The play pokes fun at Dr. Spock’s advice and old fashioned feminine roles.

Act Two is set in the late 60s. Three of the women have embraced the fashion and freedoms the era offers, while Dolly, who’s a mother of six, clings to the old ways. Now three of the women have careers and are quite independent. At first the group is tentative as they haven’t gathered for ten years due to a falling out at the end of Act One.

A Taste of Things to Come is an entertaining trip down memory lane. The cast is dynamic and all sing well. The main drawback is that I don’t see the show appealing to people who didn’t live through the 60s or who doesn’t have a thorough knowledge of these decades. There are too many cultural references and the pacing is brisk so you don’t have time to find out what the characters are talking about.

The songs were upbeat, but not memorable. I enjoyed them while I watched, but I doubt anyone would have to get the CD. This is not a criticism, but I doubt any men would find the show that interesting. There’s no attempt to appeal to them. There are no male characters or no themes centered on how men were affected by these eras. All that’s fine. A Taste of Things to Come serves up an entertaining, light show, which is often what we crave.

The Jolliest Christmas Party

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Hosted by my friend Luzanne and her husband, last night’s Christmas party might have been the best Christmas party I’ve ever been to. It’s certainly the jolly-est (jolly-est? most jolly?) I brought my friend Sally as my driver.

It was so well planned and so much fun. First at 4:30 we were to go to this pizza place, which was decked out for Christmas with lots of lights, fake snow, etc. They had the party room and lots of people sported cheesy Christmas garb. I’m glad I wore a Christmas sweater and I was wrong not to have worn Christmas earrings. It would not have been too much (as I thought).

They had a buffet of pizzas and salads at each end of the room. Waiters served pitchers of whatever drinks people wanted. Some people got wine, which I didn’t notice till late. Each setting had a stocking with your name on a label and some candy inside.

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 1.12.21 PMAt 5:30 the candy buffet was set out. They had all these vintage candies — chocolate cigarettes, Ice Cubes, Good ‘n’ Plenty, and on and on. It was such a trip down memory lane. You were supposed to fill up your stocking with whatever candy. We also all got jingle bells and these awesome cheap-o surprise glasses.

At 6 pm we walked 2 blocks to the Music Box Theater. They had bought a block of tickets. First the organist played Christmas songs as the screen showed a nostalgic slide show of Christmas in Chicago photos from the historical society. Then the sing-a-long started and was led by four carolers. Time to use those jingle bells!

Then I think they showed the old time cartoon Suzy Snowflake. Click here to see it.

Santa appeared and led some more singing including a jingle the organist had written. The carolers reappeared and we sang some more songs.

Then they showed “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney. The movie has just the right amount of corniness, elegance (the clothes, the sophistication of going to night clubs), heart and holiday feel. When there was a song, the audience sang. When something funny happened or someone kissed everyone rang their jingle bells. People would call out with witty retorts and everyone hissed when the housekeeper did anything sneaky.

All in all it was such a joyful party. So well timed. So well planned. Luzanne sent out emails, twice, with updated parking lot info. The walk between the two venues was manageable.

Sally asked if she could come next year when we were leaving. Of course!

I’d love to go back with my nieces, nephews and family to the movie again or to see “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which is also playing till Dec. 24th. I think you should go to the movie. The pizza place is a good choice for dinner and Candyality where I bet Luzanne got the candy is just about three doors up from the Music Box.

For a few other Jolly posts:

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cheeky

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announce
ments, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts: