Henry V (The Hollow Crown)

“After all that wonderful gamut of emotions, and after Henry V’s military triumph over all odds, he died of dysentery at age 35!  I must look it up.  E-coli, probably?  After surviving a hard-fought military battle and wounds, he died of diarrhea?  No bananas or guavas available, I guess.  How ungallant.”

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The Great British Baking Show/The Great British Bake Off

“Do you get to see The Great British Baking Show*?  It’s now in its second season on PBS although it might have had more seasons in the UK. It’s addicting!  I LOVE the show.  It’s all so civilized compared to US cooking competitions.  Everyone seems very nice!   I only noticed one person who seems to have a little chip on her shoulder– and she’s Welsh.  I suppose she shares some of the American Indian experience of being conquered and subjugated.”


*The Great British Bake Off is called “The Great British Baking Show” in America because the term “Bake-Off” is trademarked by Pillsbury.

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Saigo no Chushingura (The Last Ronin)

“We watched Saigo no Chushingura (The Last Ronin) which was an excellent movie.  Very Japanese, very slow-moving, but packed with lovely cinematography and great acting.  Very spare movie.  It’s subtitled well.  I don’t think [your husband] would like it because it’s SO Japanese but you might.  It’s set in samurai days.”

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“I’m watching Poldark on PBS and UGH, I got so angry when someone died!!!  I actually prayed to Jesus he wouldn’t but HE DID!! […] It made me want to write my own TV show!!”

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The Phantom of the Opera, 25th Anniversary Performance

“[Your father] and I saw the special 25th anniversary celebration performance of Phantom of the Opera at Royal Prince Albert Hall again last night.  Now that I have gotten over how the Phantom seemed to move his hands around more than the other performers (which was very distracting for me the first time I saw it on TV), I appreciated his performance a great deal more.  I think he openly emotes more too, which was bothersome at the time because it was out of sync with everyone else.  I thought he was overdoing it.  Now that I was no longer distracted by that because I expected the difference, I was very much taken by him and found that he was really good!!

It’s amazing how being annoyed takes away the enjoyment of the experience.  This time, I really appreciated how he portrayed the Phantom’s torment and need for love.  He probably was a victim of bullying and cruelty because of his deformity.  The interaction between Christine and him was amazing!  I didn’t really appreciate all of the emotions that each of them experienced with each other before.  It was heartbreaking for both of them.  I cried and cried at the end during the confrontation between Christine and him.

I was thinking how, if he were born today, he probably would have done very well with some cosmetic surgery and hair implants.”

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

“Have you seen Desolation of Smaug yet?  We saw it again, and it’s even better the second time around.  We took Jon and Sandy with us.  I don’t think they’re Hobbit fans the way I am but they thought the movie was pretty good.  I LOVED it.  Legolas and Tariel are super cool.  Legolas is even more elven-cool now compared to LOTR times.

The Dragon is great.  On this second viewing, I’m realizing that the dragon looks like Benedict Cumberbatch.”

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The Channel

“You know how a samurai sword isn’t straight — it’s bowed at one end? Well, he was holding it with the wrong end up! He wouldn’t have been able to cut that handkerchief so fast! What a boo-boo.”

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