there’s a reason they’re called “the good old days”

There was a time…

When patriotism was at an all-time high.

World War 2 Poster || This battle continues...

When men were gentlemen and women were ladies.

1950 s diner fashion tumblr | fashion vintage 1950s 50s 1950s fashion theniftyfifties •

When movies were thoughtful and classic and intensely well made.

The Grapes of Wrath (dir. John Ford)

When women wore swishy skirts and gloves and lovely hats and just the right amount of make-up.

1940’s Hat.

When men wore suits and ties and trench coats and fedoras.

Dana Andrews in Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944)

When song lyrics actually meant something.

When movie stars were glamorous, debonair, elegant, classy…and not neck-deep in scandal.

Grace Kelly and Clark Gable arrive at the 26th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954.

And when the world moved at a gentler pace, for all involved.  

U.S. Summer 1938. New York street scene, Seventh Avenue at West 125th.

Maybe those times weren’t perfect.  But I still envy the people who lived in them.



what I’m doing {#4}


Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles, Book 5)

I haven’t been reading much lately since I’ve been sick – illness always saps my ability to concentrate, and it’s next to impossible to find a book that’ll hold my interest long enough.  But I have read a few things; I can’t do away with books altogether, no matter how sick I am, right?  I finished up Code Of Claw yesterday, one of many re-reads, and my only thought was “Why does Suzanne Collins have to make everything so heartbreaking?”.  I can take sad and depressing and all that, but it’s just as bad as Mockingjay, so that tells you something.  I had no problem with how the book/series wrapped up, though, unlike many fans.  Sure, Gregor has PTSD and he’ll probably never see the Underland again and his family still has problems…but there’s still some hope.  And I think that’s realistic.

Four by Veronica Roth is another book I read over the last few days.  That and Divergent are her two best books.  I never want to read Insurgent and Allegient again.  Four/Tobias is my favorite character in the trilogy, and reading an entire book written from his viewpoint (by the way, Roth did a much better job capturing his voice in Four than she did in Allegiant) was a great experience.  I also read an Al Lacy book – Whither Thou Goest – which I read a lot when I was younger (thirteen, or so) because I thought modern Christian fiction was the coolest thing ever.  Revisiting it after all these years was something of a rude awakening, as I didn’t like any of the characters (except the villain, maybe), the dialogue was too modern for a Western, etc., etc.  There were certain parts I enjoyed, but overall it didn’t impress me.  Now I’m reading a much better book, non-fiction, entitled The Greatest Generation Speaks, which is a collection of interesting letters and personal reflections from men and women who served during WWII.


Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

I watched Casablanca last night.  Partly because I wanted to, and partly because I wanted to refresh my memory concerning the film and see how it weighed, in my mind, against The Ox-Bow Incident, because Casablanca beat out TO-BI for best movie at the 1943 Academy Awards.  Oh, it was just as brilliant as I remembered, and I’m not going to even try to compare the two films…all I’ll say is that the decision must’ve been very tough.  So much of the dialogue was witty and clever and (duh) iconic.  And I know there are inaccuracies and plot holes and all that, but it’s still a fantastic film – there were some plot twists that I’d forgotten about, so it was nice to experience them all over again.

Yesterday I sat down and finished Daisy Kenyon.  I must say that the last half hour or so was vastly better than the first hour, although the whole thing was still messy and angsty and rather unenjoyable.  And kind of weird, too.  I really don’t like stories that center around adultery (so then why do I like the Combat! episode, “Off Limits”, so much?), which is probably a good thing.  Overall, it’s a one-time watch for me (at least that’s my view right now), but I don’t really regret watching it either – very different from The Maze Runner, where every time I watch it, I feel like I just wasted two hours of my life.

And I’ve been watching a lot of Wanted: Dead Or Alive too, because the episodes are addictive and short, which means that it’s easy to fit four or five in at one sitting.  The great thing is that my brothers enjoy it almost as much as Elisabeth and I do, so it’s fun to watch it with them as well.  We’re now up to The Jason Episodes and Millie wasn’t exaggerating when she said he was scarily annnoying.  He’s awful.  For starters, Josh doesn’t need a sidekick – he’s awesome enough on his own – and for another thing, he doesn’t need a sidekick who’s so lame and boring and such a wet blanket.  Ugh.  And the actor who portrays him imitates Steve McQueen all the time, which gets old very quickly.  But enough about Jason.  Josh is still Josh, with or without Jason.  Amazing and cool and just… *siiiiigh* (I wrote a spot of fanfiction about him.  Kind of.)

{listening to}

‘Lili Marlene’ is one of the most gorgeous songs I’ve ever heard, especially when Vera Lynn sings it.  Dietrich (from Rat Patrol) has great taste in music.  I’d heard of the song for the longest time, but it was only a couple days ago that I sat down and actually listened to it…and I was completely blown away.  It’s breathtaking.

And then I looked up ‘You Are My Sunshine’, because that song’s very special to a couple of characters in one of my new favorite books – Violins of Autumn – and it was incredibly sweet, and a little sad too.  Jimmie Davis’ version is the best, in my opinion, but I enjoyed Gene Autry’s too.  I also recently ‘discovered’ the Sons of the Pioneers, when I was looking up different covers of ‘Red River Valley’ (their’s is my favorite), and ended up listening to their version of ‘Dixie’.  Which is pretty much my new favorite song (at least for the moment).

What’ve you been reading or watching or listening to lately?


friday finds {#6}

{For something a little different, I’ve raided my sister’s Pinterest boards for this week’s Friday Finds, as a little shout-out to her. Enjoy!}

Grace Kelly and Edith Head

Little Elsa with her parents – so sweet!

Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Wendell Corey on the set of “Rear Window”.

How about no? 😉

Dana Andrews and his children, Katherine and Stephen, play with the family dog.


All the colours in this photo are gorgeous.

Steve and Peggy fanart by castlefreak005 (‘Paperman’ style)

U.S. Marine chats with scouting dog. (Guam – August 1944)

Well, yeah.


what to do when you’re sick

Randomly nice picture because I always like to start my posts out with one.

As you may have guessed, I’m sick right now.  Sore throat, a cold, the whole works.  And it’s not fun.  But since I rarely get sick, and I kind of have to be under the weather to write this kind of post (because someone who’s sick knows what works and what doesn’t), I figured I might as well capitalize on the situation and write this blog post.  Not all of the tips might apply to/work for you, but these are things that make me feel better (and, frankly, things I should probably be doing instead of writing this blog post), and I hope that if you’re reading this post while not feeling the greatest, it’ll give you some inspiration.

Here we go…

~Sleep in.  And I mean really sleep in.  Every minute spent in bed is a good minute.  Ten o’clock breakfast?  Perfectly fine.

~Drink lots of hot liquids.  Now, I greatly prefer coffee to tea, but when I’m sick, I’ll often go with tea, as I think it’s gentler, in a way, than coffee.  But if you want to drink coffee, that’s awesome too.  Hot chocolate is even better.  This tip works extra well if you’ve got a sore throat. (Oh, and cold drinks are fine too.  I just prefer warm/hot ones when I’m not feeling well.)

~Snuggle up with your favorite blankets/pillows. Make a blanket fort!  Luxuriating in soft, warm blankets…that’s what I want to do right now.

~Eat.  The old ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’ maxim is probably true.  I’ve never really researched it.  Whether or not its accurate, you can’t go wrong with chicken noodle soup, ice cream, and other comfort foods.

~Don’t get depressed.  If at all possible.  You probably know how it feels when The Sickness has been dragging on for days and days and it just won’t let you go?  That’s an awful feeling, and it’s easy to get all weepy and/or surly.  Movies like Despicable Me and TV shows like Get Smart and Hogan’s Heroes are great for chasing away unexplainable sadness.  Or if you’re really feeling down-in-the-dumps, watch something like The Magnificent Seven or The Avengers – entertaining, triumphant tales of high adventure.  I’ve also found prayer and Bible reading to be excellent deterrents against depression.

~Take a hot shower.  Not only will the steam help clear your nose, if you have a cold, but the whole experience is very relaxing and refreshing for an achy, feverish body.  I know it always makes me feel better.

~And when all else fails, there’s always Pinterest.


P.S. My computer has a stupid habit of denying me access to Youtube for months at a time, and it just started up again today , which means that my vlogging career – such as it was – is over for the time being.  I am extremely frustrated at the moment.  I had several smashing ideas for vlogs, and now…  UGH.  Anyway, just wanted to let you all know.

friday finds {#5}

Something to remember.


The Eiffel Tower under construction.


Sometimes, it’s the best thing.


HIGH NOON (1952) – Kathy Jurado, Grace Kelly, and Gary Cooper on the set.


Lovely crossover.


It seems that each of these posts is required to have a photo (or nine) of Audrey.


My favorite poster for this movie by far.


They’re fantastic. Really.




movie review: the ox-bow incident

After a hard winter on the range, cowboys Gil Carter (Fonda) and Art Croft (Harry Morgan) ride into a fleabitten small town.  By and by, word reaches town that a local rancher has been killed by rustlers. With the sheriff out of town, a lynch mob is formed. Worried that they’ll be strung up, Carter and Croft reluctantly join the mob and head out of town.  In the dark of night, the group comes across three sleeping transients, and their guilt is immediately assumed by nearly all those in the mob.


There are movies that are thought-provoking.

And then there are movies, like ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’, that are really thought-provoking.

The main reason for this is the film’s chillingly accurate depiction of mob mentality, how far people will go when led by one or two (or more) strong personalities, which in turn leads you to ask the question “If I were in their shoes, what would I do?”.  Viewing the story from an objective point of view, it seems impossible that you – or anyone else, for that matter – could go to such lengths, stoop to such levels, all under a stubborn, self-serving sense of justice.  Such a thing can’t be true, can’t really be based on fact…right?


The answer is that it has to be based on fact.  It has to be, or else why would the whole thing be so uncomfortable, so horrific to watch?  As much as we might try to brush away the fact, lynchings such as the one in ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ did happen, and I’m sure similar things still happen all over the world.  Vigilantes executing innocent people.  You don’t need an old rope, horses, and a Wild West setting for that.

Not by a long shot.

Henry Fonda – Gil Carter – is the protagonist of ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’, and I will certainly be discussing his role in the film, but I want to talk about Dana Andrews first.  Because without his heartwrenching performance as husband/father Donald Martin, the movie might not have had the same impact.  In fact, I’m sure it wouldn’t have.  Dana Andrews’ portrayal of Martin walks a fine line between sympathetic and pathetic, and in the hands of a less talented actor, Martin would most likely have become more of a cringing coward than someone the audience can really root for.  But, thankfully, that’s not what happened.  Instead, we see a man, waking up to find himself in a hellish nightmare that gets worse and worse as the sky lightens; a man who’s scared for himself, certainly, but even more so for his wife and children; a man who isn’t afraid to stick up for himself and others against the vicious mob as much as he’s able to.  You can’t help but hope against hope that somehow, some way, he’ll be saved at the very last moment.  This is the first Andrews role I’ve seen, and I can’t tell you how impressed I was.  He does a fantastic job.

Just as ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ was my introduction to Dana Andrews, it was also my introduction to Henry Fonda. (I won’t venture the number of his films I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, because it’s embarrassingly large.)  Gil is an interesting character.  He’s not pure as the driven snow, by any stretch, but he’s a worthy protagonist because he doesn’t go with the flow of popular opinion.  Sure, he gets ‘sworn in’ as deputy right along with the rest and it might look like he’s taking the mob’s side at first, but he doesn’t.  Gil thinks for himself, takes a stand with the other six, and is the one to deliver the ending monologue in that clear voice of his.  Henry Fonda often plays this type of character – someone who doesn’t agree with the majority – and he was excellent here.

Art, Tetley, Farnley, Juan/Fransisco, and all the other characters were good or horrible or unfeeling as the story called them to be.  I haven’t a complaint to make with the acting, in any of the roles.  On a side note, I found it interesting that Jane Darwell played such an awful person in this film, and was also Ma Joad in ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.  Both Henry Fonda movies, but she has a totally different role in each, as well as a different relationship with Fonda’s characters. (Also, “Red River Valley” was played semi-frequently in both movies.)

How the film ended was genius: it closed exactly as it began, only in reverse.  Two guys riding out of a small, dusty town, on their way to a new destination, a lonely tune playing in the background.  The parallels show that, as much as it made an impact, the Ox-Bow incident really was just an incident in the grand scheme of things.

Even though the story is fascinating, as are the characters, ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ isn’t the kind of movie you can throw in the DVD player on a Friday night when you want to relax after a long, hard week.  It will jolt you awake.  It will keep you tense and spellbound until the last moment.  It will make you feel all kinds of emotions.  And it will make you think.  This is the kind of film that makes me angry, that has me rising up in a sort of righteous fury at the absolute injustice and stupidity of it all.  Three men dead, and for what?  To satisfy a thirst for revenge, to hide a weakness, to salvage wounded pride.

“What do you care about justice?  You don’t even care whether you’ve got the right men.  All you know is somebody’s got to be punished.” ~Donald Martin

Watch it.  You’ll never forget it.