Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mystery Madness: Veronica Mars and other obsessions

Friday morning on twitter I admitted that I am a Mystery Geek.

I was excited about seeing the Veronica Mars movie that opened seven years after the TV show ended. I loved the show, I love mysteries. I hooked on to Veronica Mars in its final season, and was sad when it got cancelled. When I discovered Netflix had the DVDs, I caught up on all the episodes I had missed, and I re-watched the last season only to be to be sad all over again when my viewing came to an end. Again, I found myself wondering: "Why didn't such a fun, well written show last?" In Veronica Mars, the snark factor is high, which makes the show's dialogue deliciously clever. (Update: My thoughts on the movie HERE).

The fact that I love mystery stories is no mystery to my friends and family. I can spend hours watching mystery shows and movies. I am especially fond of British TV mysteries and old 1940s and 1950s mystery movies. To me, Masterpiece Mystery! is the preeminent outlet for mysteries.

My love of mystery stories began when I was a wee child pouring through Agatha Christie mysteries. Then I discovered BBC's Prime Suspect, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Morse!!! Oh I was in heaven, entranced in these wonderful stories weekly or monthly based on when my local public television station would air them. Those three productions made me a mystery junkie and made me a life long Helen Mirren and David Suchet fan (he is most excellent). Inspector Morse mysteries have satisfying, tangled plots. Secretly, I want Inspector Morse's Jaguar. A few years ago I did an internet to search to find out what happened to it. Yes, I'm obssessed with that car. Look at it...what is not to love?

The famous burgundy Jaguar appeared in all 33 episodes of the
cerebral police drama Inspector Morse Mysteries. ~

Today, I still go through spells when I will O.D. on mysteries with the help of Netflix, Free Films (,, and Amazon.

Recently, I read how the third season of Vera (starring Brenda Blethyn) was available but heaven knows when Netflix was going to add it the their library (currently they have Season 1 and 2). I needed to see it, I had to see it, I couldn't wait. I googled my way around the Internet and found Vera streaming on YES!! I signed up for the 30-day free trial and devoured Vera season 3 in half a day. My Netflix queue is filled with old murder mysteries as well as 13 years of Midsomer Murders (1997-2010); of which I am on season 10, year 2007. Unless Netflix adds more seasons, I will be signing up for again because they have all shows right up to the current 2014 season.

Last week, I made an exciting discovery: or Free Films. I was running out of quality 1940s/50s mystery movies from what was available on Netflix. I was Internet searching for films I had not seen and hoping to find websites where I could stream or download the films. With all my mystery story watching I have never seen the movie "Gaslight", my internet search results pointed to Yippee! Not only did I find "Gaslight" and watch it immediately, I found a fairly deep catalog of 1930-1960 mystery, thriller type movies.

The very snowy Mid-Atlantic states winter we are experiencing has given us many snow days where I cocoon in warm blankets, and hibernate to enjoy watching mysteries. Besides the mysteries already mentioned, additionally my favorite mysteries are:

Vera (Watch this now, you'll love it pet)
Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
Inpsector Lynley Mysteries
Mrs. Bradley Mysteries (She is the queen of snark and sarcasm with fabulous hats)
Hetty Wainthropp (Patricia Routledge, a far cry from Hyacinth but just as great)
Endeavour (The stories of a young Inspector Morse, second season in production)
Luther (I guess this is really a mystery/crime drama. Whatever you call it, it's gripping and superb)

My love of mysteries is not reserved for screen and book. Oh no! For years, on Sunday nights I could be found glued to the radio listening to Old Time Radio broadcasts of "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar". In recent years, I have been freed on Sunday nights because now I can download or stream "Johnny Dollar", from a host of websites, any time of the day or night. My preferred sites for streaming Johnny Dollar are, and Hooray for podcasts. Oh yeah, that's my other addiction...podcasts. Do you know how many storytelling podcasts I listen to? Yes, I am a storytelling junkie. But that is a blog post for another day.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The U.S. is Corny

Playing with food made educational and fun! The United States is corny :)

Below is short video on the making of the food maps. Click here to see a slide show of the actual food maps. Link:

Food Maps from Kiwi and Eagle on Vimeo.

"These food maps created by Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves, with typography by Sarit Melmed originally were inspired by a passion for travel.  Exploring new places through the food you eat is often a portal to the cultural complexities of that place.

In this series we have taken many of the iconic foods of countries and continents and turned them into physical maps. While we know that tomatoes originally came from the Andes in South America,  Italy has become the tomato king. These maps show how food has traveled the globe - transforming and becoming a part of the cultural identity of that place. Who doesn't know the saying "throw some shrimp on the barbie" and not think of Australia? Who goes to France without eating bread and cheese?  And who makes a Brazilian caipirinha without a fistful of limes ?

These maps are a playful representation of our interpretation of food from around the world, painstakingly created with real unadulterated food.  This project speaks to the universality of how food unites people, brings us together and starts conversation -  just as we hope these beautiful maps will do too. "

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)