Monday, May 27, 2013

I hate being sick!

About a week ago I started to feel a little under the weather.  No biggie I thought.  I chalked it up to allergies (Sonoma County is famous for it's seasonal allergies) and continued to go about my daily life.  By Saturday I was down for the count.  I could not recollect a time in recent history when I felt this horrible.  The fever and chills were bad enough but the sore throat felt like hundreds of tiny flame throwers in my gullet.  A trip to the emergency room (you know it's bad when a paramedic gives in and takes a trip to the emergency room!) gave me a few answers and whole mess of drugs. Might be viral, might be mono, but according to the doctor is most likely strep throat AND something viral.  Awesome!  Two for one.  I'm such a lucky girl.

Now to put this in perspective for all my readers our there.  I am so sick that I have not done any Zentangle in six days.  Yes you heard me, SIX days!  It's killing me but I just can't bring myself to do it, much less enjoy it. The only bonus is that it has started to rain and there is nothing I love more than to sit and watch the rain, I just wish I didn't feel so crappy doing it.   So I've been filling my time with reading (I just started a new book called The Misremembered Man) and watching movies on Netflix.  So I thought "Hey, I can't be the only one sitting around doing nothing.  Maybe I'll make a list of movies that I like that others might enjoy."  So here ya go!

Now for the record, this list is not my "feel good, romantic comedy" list.  This is my "you may never have heard of any other these but I think they have something to offer" list.  I'm a big fan of documentaries so there are quite a few in here but other's are a little more mainstream and I just feel like they didn't get the audience they deserve.

The Pledge is not for the faint of heart.  It's a story about a detective who is going to retire but makes a pledge to the family of a little girl that was murdered that he will find the killer.  There are some graphic scenes but this move is all about the acting.  It's got Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson, do I need to say more?

The Visitor is a quirky little movie about a guy who's always feeling sorry for himself until he finds himself in a situation where other's have it far worse.  

Now I know what your thinking.  A movie about The Perfect Cappuccino?  And that's what I was thinking too.  When I originally watched this I put it on as background noise while I was doing some projects but quickly became enamored with this cute little documentary.  It starts off as a hunt for the perfect coffee drink but quickly becomes something more.  I think you will be surprised.  

Grey Gardens is a documentary chronicling the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie who were the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  I won't even go any further with this, just watch it.  Just FYI:  there is also a more recent TV movie version but this original documentary made in 1975 is far superior.  

A Man Named Pearl is a  beautiful documentary about a self taught topiary artist.  This story is about racism, creativity, overcoming obstacles and doing what you love.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is an exploration about the value of art.  How much is art really worth and why do we value it?  What I loved most about this documentary is that it exposed me to a whole new world that I didn't even know existed.

You've heard the saying "Money can't buy happiness."  Well, the documentary The Queen of Versailles proves it.

Ok, now this one is a little weird.  Shut Up Little Man is a documentary about two guys who rent and apartment and soon find out that their new neighbors are a pair of violent, vocal jerks who like to fight at all hours.  They begin to record the conversations and the interest is generates is a sometimes disheartening look into what our society finds enjoyable.  This one is sort of like a car accident you can't look away from.

If you have any interest in art then this is a must see.  Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is an amazing documentary that tells the story of this mis-understood artist.  There is also a very glossy, overdone movie version of his life, but trust me, don't waste your time on it unless your into bad wigs and even worse acting.  

Ok, ladies.  Here's what you do.  You recommend that you and your husband spend some time together and then play this movie.  He thinks that you're doing something he wants to do (because it's a sports movie) which scores you big points, but in reality you get to watch a decent movie and stare at Brad Pitt.  I'm not sure why this movie got bad reviews, but I really liked it.  It's one of those rare sports movies where you actually have to know very little about sports.  It's more about business and economics and has a pretty good story line to boot.  I actually found the concept behind it pretty thought provoking.

I actually saw this movie on a fluke.  The Man from Elysian Fields came out the same week as My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  When my friends and I arrived at the theater to see the latter, it was sold out, and rather than go somewhere else we took the ticket sellers recommendation that we go see this instead.  It's about a male escort service (don't worry, no overly sexual stuff that I can remember) and a writers struggles with his conscience.  If for no other reason, you should watch this just to see Mick Jagger's performance.  Yes, you heard me right, Mick Jagger.

Cute, funny, feel good movie.  If you haven't seen Waking Ned Devine, what are you waiting for?

I had asked my husband for several months to set up our television so that I could stream Netflix.  As I have said, I love documentaries and was super excited to be able to have 1000's at my fingertips.  So when I came home on that magical day several years ago and saw that he had it already to go I grabbed the remote, went to the documentaries section and hit play just to make sure it worked.  This is what happened to be on and even though I tried to pull myself away, I couldn't.  The King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters is about a group of people who compete for high scores on popular video games, and you won't believe the lengths they go to.  No seriously, you won't believe it.  My husband and I were both so mesmerized by this one that we dropped everything and watched it right then.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit it.  

Yes, I'm a big Sean Penn fan and I think The Assassination of Richard Nixon is one his best movies.  It was released to a very limited audience so most people haven't seen it and that's a shame.  It's about a man in pursuit of the American dream while struggling with mental illness.  Not the most upbeat movie, but definitely worth your time.

House of Sand and Fog.  Great movie, plain and simple.  Oh, and Ben Kingsley.  Is there anything else to say?

This documentary changed my life.  I know that sounds cliché, but it really did.  Herb & Dorothy is the story of a couple with modest means who manage to collect one of the most prestigious and sought after art collections in the world.  It's their view on what make something "art" that totally transformed how I think about every art piece I now look at.  This is the movie that gave me the confidence to cement my belief that Zentangle is more than just "doodling".

Mystic River is the story of three friends that are reunited under tragic circumstances.  It stars Sean Penn (I promise this is my last Sean Penn movie), Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins and is directed by Clint Eastwood.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Plus there is a big twist you will never see coming.

I'm going to end on a happy note.  Chocolat makes me want to wear french clothes, eat decadent chocolates and dance in the streets.  It's a romantic comedy with an all star cast that's perfect to watch while curled up on the couch with a hot chocolate (and a little peppermint schnapps never hurt) on a rainy day.

All the movies I have listed are available on Netflix.  Some of them are also available to stream instantly.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and will take some time for yourself to sit down and relax and enjoy a movie or two.

Do you have a lesser known movie that you love to watch?  I've got plenty of time on my hands so let me know!


  1. We must like a lot of the same movies/documentaries. Except for two of these I have already seen the rest or they were already in my Netflix queue! I must say, you and I have interesting tastes. :):)

    Oh, and the two are now on the top of my streaming queue. ;)

  2. Hope you're feeling better... thanks for the movie reviews.. I have added some (the ones I haven't seen) to my movie que...

  3. Hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the movie recommendations. There's a long hot summer coming up. So these will be on my to do list

  4. Poor you! I hope you will recover soon and get back your geeling of tangling.

  5. Take good care of yourself, I hope you will feel better soon.

  6. Get well soon Erin, can I suggest Searching for Sugarman. A documentary we loved when we watched it, totally different. I have seen only three of the above list but love Waking Ned.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Chrissie! It is not available to stream instantly so I have moved it to the #1 spot in my queue. My husband is a music junkie so I think I'll watch this one with him. It sounds similar to another movie, Anvil, that I watched last year.

    2. What a same it 's not available for you. We first saw it on a cruise ship and were just fascinated by it. We are having a couple of weeks away getting some sun, but when home I am definitely going to look up some of the movies that you recommended.

  7. Erin - i'm sorry you don't feel well - that is no fun :(
    I am enjoying your movie list, and I got caught up on one in particular - A Man Named Pearl. I've been to Pearl's Topiary Gardens - a photographer's dream. You don't have to look at my pictures, but if you - or anyone else - should want to, here is a link to the post I made. Enjoy :) and please get better soon!
    Hope this link works - I'm on my iPad which doesn't always do what's it supposed to do

    1. Alice, thanks so much for the link! Love your pictures, especially the ones in the Love, Peace and Goodwill garden. That must have been a magical place to visit. I hope your daughter is on the mend and everything is going well for you. I have been keeping both of you in my thoughts.

  8. Hope you feel better soon! Also worth a watch and on Netflix for instant streaming is Castaway on the Moon--very quirky comedy sort of romance thing--very good! Gute Besserung!

    1. Jennifer, thanks for the recommendation. I am making some Throat Coat tea as we speak and am getting ready to sit down and enjoy your movie suggestion. It looks like it have great reviews!

  9. Loved your selection of movies! Some of my very favorites are there. My sister is a real movie buff and has a blog you might be interested in. It's called cimiliar cinema.
    We also belong to a film club where we see movies that aren't often shown in our local theaters and then discuss them afterwards.
    Hope you're feeling better.

  10. I hope you feel better soon Erin. And yes I do know of that feeling of NOT tangling. Im going thru the same Un- Zen like feeling and havent really tangled the way I used to. No health issues. Its a BLOCK and Im slowly getting over it.

    Get well soon...XOXOXO

  11. Hi Erin!
    Sorry you have been so sick, but hope you are better now!

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your movie commentaries. You have eclectic and exceptional taste! I love movies and especially documentaries. One of my favorite movies of all time is a movie called "Being There" with Peter Sellers. Although I am not a big Peter Sellers fan, this movie is quirky, charming and funny.

    Take care,

    Jacque Solomon

  12. Sorry to hear you've been down for the count. Thanks for the movie tips there are a few I haven't seen so will give them a try.

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  14. Wow... We don't own a tv and haven't for about 7 years, and rarely go to movies, but I was pleased to note that I've seen two of the ones you recommend (Waking Ned and Chocolat) so am going to make a list of what you've recommended. Thanks Erin for piquing my interest! Sorry to hear you haven't been well, and hope you are better now.

  15. Thanks for the great movies list! Most of them aren't available on Netflix in Canada, but I'm going to check out what the library has.

  16. I hope you were able to recover, Erin. Viral disease really does incapacitate a person from going around their daily routine and the worst is that it can be contracted almost anywhere. I hope you consider getting professional help to avoid incurring the same disease in the future. Thanks for sharing your insights on great movies! :)

    Liberty Swyers @ US Health Works



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