Happy Hour

Thirsty Thanksgiving

My devices heard me talking again and offered up a drink recipe in an ad, which I later went searching for and couldn’t find. I made up a drink based on the elusive eavesdropping that is now our modern life. I don’t need you, Internet! Recipe below:

Red Oat Chai

Place ice sphere in a lowball glass and pour 1 1/2 oz. Johnnie Walker Red Label over it. Add 1/2 oz. honey syrup, 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil, and top it off with your favorite oat milk. Stir. Dust with nutmeg and stir again. Cheers!

The Red Oat Chai

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 46: Virginia (The New World)

Category: Drama/Romance

Quote of Interest:

“I thought it was a dream, what we knew in the forest….it’s the only truth.”

–john smith

Three words to describe this film/state: Unsettled Love Story

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Cabin Boy 1, played by Tayla Kean
  • Leaf Garlanded Man / Warrior (uncredited), played by Henry Jaderlund
  • Doomed Sailor (uncredited), played by Terry Jernigan
  • Extra (uncredited), played by Melanie Reese

State food/recipe to try: Fried pies / Peanut soup / Chrysalis Wine

Earring Inspo Character: Pocahontas

Other Notes: Although I haven’t been a fan of previous work by Malick, I will revisit Tree of Life after seeing this film. It was a poem of scene and sound, with a love story tied in. It evoked strong emotion. The director has a thing for trees that I’d like to know more about. If I had learned more of my world history through rich and dreamy stories like this, I might have paid better attention. In it, the Lovers’ voices play back and forth like the purest pillow talk or most exquisite love letters, and at one point the Male Lover’s voice changes from John Smith to John Rolfe, from flawed but raw love to love safe/stable. The exchanges are like spiritual whispers, the unspoken language of souls that understand each other or are grasping to. It’s both painful and beautiful.

Grade: A

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/virginia

Next up: Washington (Singles). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 45: Vermont (The Trouble with Harry)

Category: Comedy/Mystery

Quote of Interest:

“Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.”

–capt. albert wiles

Three words to describe this film/state: bury, unbury, rebury

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Man Walking Past Sam’s Outdoor Exhibition (uncredited), played by Alfred Hitchcock

State food/recipe to try: Apple pie with cheddar / Sauteed fiddleheads / Switchel / Sugar on snow / Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Earring Inspo Character: Mrs. Wiggs

Other Notes: Watching The Trouble with Harry was like viewing an old Disney movie, and it probably could have been, dubbed with different lines. It’s been awhile since I’ve either watched or studied Hitchcock, but I remember enough to know that the dead body in this one really had nothing to do with anything. His films are more about the characters and their neuroses. No one seems shocked, scared, or really concerned that there’s a body there on what seems to be the most well-tread rural hill I’ve ever seen–and why is that? It’s been said that this film plays out like a Surrealist dream, with Sam Marlowe’s artist character and his abstract paintings a main movie reference point. I still found it tedious to watch, but that’s been the case for the last half-dozen movies or so, so it may just be me.

Grade: C

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/vermont

Next up: Virginia (The New World). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 44: Utah (SLC Punk!)

Category: Drama/Indie

Quote of Interest:

“Well, it’s a crazy fucked-up world and we’re all just floating along waiting for someone who can walk on water, man.”


Three words to describe this film/state: chaotic, anarchic drivel

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Liquor Store Fellow, played by Tom Jacobson
  • Poser, played by Dominic Gortat
  • Cowboy #1, played by Glade Quinn

State food/recipe to try: Navajo tacos / Funeral potatoes / Stone fruit salad

Earring Inspo Character: Trish

Other Notes: An awful and noisy movie with no message.

Grade: F

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/utah

Next up: Vermont (The Trouble with Harry). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 43: Texas (Friday Night Lights)

Category: Drama/Sport

Quote of Interest:

“Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter again in your life as much as you do right now.”

–coach gary gaines

Three words to describe this film/state: Another football movie

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Journalist Jim, played by Jeff Gibbs
  • Jake the Flag Boy (uncredited), played by Charan Andreas
  • WalMart Buyer (uncredited), played by Dan Burkarth
  • Hottie with Boobie Miles (uncredited), played by Sharri Jones

State food/recipe to try: Slow-cooked Texas-style beef brisket / Topo Chico / Micheladas / Balcones Distilling Whisky

Earring Inspo Character: Mrs. Winchell

Other Notes: The quote above is one of the main reasons I don’t understand football and likely never will. I found no merit or depth in this film and this quote sums up that sentiment. I can admire almost any singular pursuit, but #sportslife is not one of them. The movie tried to be artsy and attempted what I call ‘art-doco’ style, with its fancy documentary-type filming and drama. This mostly translated into looking like an ad for Marine Layer (and certainly didn’t cause it to stand out from any of the other sports movies out there). As always, someone’s momma was trying to get in the way of her boy’s hopes and dreams–because football is all there is and all there ever will be. This one was based on a true story and the team didn’t even win in the end…I’m all about slices-of-life, but what was the point of this one? Go read any of its ‘notable’ quotes online and see if you don’t agree.

Grade: D+

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/texas

Next up: Utah (SLC Punk). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 42: Tennessee (Nashville)

Category: Drama

Quote of Interest:

“Does it make sense that the churches should remain untaxed on their vast holdings of land and corporate investments? Does it make sense that a multi-million dollar income should go untaxed year after year? No, all will not be easy. But, we will bask in the satisfaction of having done what we should have done. And if we don’t get it done today, we may run out of tomorrows.”

–hal phillip walker

Three words to describe this film/state: Epic noisy nonsense

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Man at Lunch Counter (uncredited), played by Gailard Sartain

State food/recipe to try: Goo Goo Clusters / Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Hand Made Sour Mash Whiskey / Moonpies / Short Mountain Moonshine

Earring Inspo Character: Tricycle Man

Other Notes: This so-called epic film was a three-hour epic waste of time. I really don’t understand how movies like this get the accolades they do. Too many characters whose lives are interwoven into a clamorous blanket of inane nonsense. Even with subtitles, it was too noisy and chaotic to follow–too many people, too much babbling, too much singing. I can leave the house at any time to experience the idiotic racket that went on in this movie. Where does its merit lie? Please enlighten me by leaving a comment.

Grade: D-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/tennessee

Next up: Texas (Friday Night Lights). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 41: South Dakota (Dances with Wolves)

Category: Drama/Epic Western

Quote of Interest:

“Somebody back east is sayin’, ‘Why don’t he write??'”


Three words to describe this film/state: Accepted and adopted

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Pretty Shield, played by Doris Leader Charge
  • Toughest Pawnee, played by Wes Studi

State food/recipe to try: Hot beef commercial / Kuchen / Pasties / Wojapi with Indian fry bread / Tanka bars

Earring Inspo Character: Stands with a Fist

Other Notes: Another three-hour war movie, but not another war movie. There’s something classic about this one, with its quirky characters/conversational humor in the beginning, its warmth, and its genuineness without trying too hard. More on the theme of war/the stupidity of man, but most of the focus was on the humanity and potential of man to love and live in harmony with others.

Grade: A-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/south-dakota

Next up: Tennessee (Nashville). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 40: South Carolina (The Patriot)

Category: Action/War

Quote of Interest:

“Aim small, miss small.”

–benjamin martin

Three words to describe this film/state: Everything for one

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Continental Private Hit in Leg by Cannonball (uncredited), played by Danny Nunn
  • Redcoat Colonel Saying ‘Make Ready!’ (uncredited), played by Marvin Schroeder
  • Beach Slave (uncredited), played by Kemper Sease
  • Redcoat Hacked to Death (uncredited), played by Phil Warren

State food/recipe to try: Barbecue / Boiled peanuts / Sweet tea / Pimento grits at Five Loaves Cafe

Earring Inspo Character: Susan Martin

Other Notes: I’m not into war movies (why do they always have to be 3+ hours long??), and this one was okay. A little cheesy in parts. What struck me the most was how utterly stupid war is–thousands of men marching in lines to their deaths, to obliterate each other–and for what? Men are astoundingly stupid, but this is nothing new. No epiphanies here. And then there’s the part where the main character is ‘loosely based’ on several real-life characters who actually affected the war and its outcome. Just as in Mississippi Burning–why bother? Just make it fiction.

Grade: B-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/south-carolina

Next up: South Dakota (Dances with Wolves). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Happy Hour

Friday, Jr.

I’ve been re-watching Mad Men and re-obsessing over Don Draper. In one episode, he (literally) hops over a bar and fixes an Old Fashioned like he could do it in his sleep (and he could). I realized it’s the next drink I needed to make because I need to know my classics if I’m ever going to become a real, live bartender. It’s pretty simple and highly satisfying to make. Here’s the recipe:

Old Fashioned

  • small white sugar cube
  • 1/2 an orange slice
  • maraschino cherry (we used Bada Bing Cherries: no dyes, artificial preservatives, or HFCS)
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • 2 oz. rye whiskey

Muddle sugar, orange, and cherry with bitters. Pour in rye, add ice, and stir. Garnish with another cherry, orange slice, or both. Get back to work.

It’s Draper o’ clock