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Cincy Chic: You, yourself, fall in different generation than the one Queen of Babble targets. Do you have to tweak your writing style/communication to speak to that audience with such ease?
Meg Cabot:
While I am no longer 23, the memory of what it was like to be 23 is still as fresh as if it were yesterday…possibly because it was such a traumatic age for me. So many people seem to look back on their 20s with fondness; maybe because their butts looked so good at that age, but I personally hated that decade. I mean, the pain of trying to find the right job, guy, apartment and all of that will forever be cemented on my memory. I wish I could forget it, actually; but instead, I seem to keep reliving it through my fiction. I guess that's cheaper than therapy.

Cincy Chic: Is there a common thread that weaves all generations of women together?
Cabot:
I believe the answer to your question is Spanx and chocolate. But there are some women who seem unfamiliar with the former.

Cincy Chic: You've written more than 40 books, you travel non-stop, but you are still married and have a steady personal life. How do you manage to do it all and what words of wisdom do you have to offer other women out there striving for a happy work-life balance?
Cabot:
Um, again we return to Spanx and chocolate, and to that I would add caffeine, Unisom and an incredibly understanding, highly intelligent and good humored husband. Seriously, it's impossible to do it all without help and sacrifice. You'll notice I don't have kids. I decided long ago something had to give, and that was my choice. Since my husband wasn't too keen on the idea of child-rearing either – we both have plenty of nieces and nephews – it ended up working out. But seriously, there has to be a lot of compromise. And snacks. And over the counter sleep aids.
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Cincy Chic: From reading the excerpt on the back of your book, it looks like the main character overspeaks and starts a whirlwind of trouble, but she figures out a way to use her gift of gab for good use. Are you a Queen of Babble in real life? If so, do dish – what's the most memorable moment your babble put you in hot water.
Cabot:
Ha! The book is incredibly autobiographical, and the sequel, Queen of Babble in the Big City, due out June 26, is even more so! In it Lizzie becomes convinced her boyfriend's mother is having an affair, and blurts out a few things that get her in even worse hot water than in the first book (not to mention, she realizes the boyfriend may not be Mr. Right after all). I would have to say the worst hot water I was ever in was when my agent emailed me to tell me that my German publishers weren't interested in The Princess Diaries, saying that diary books didn't sell well in Germany. And I e-mailed her back to say of course not, look what the Germans did to Anne Frank. And then I realized I'd hit "Reply All," and cc'd the German publisher.

Yeah. That didn't go over too well. (P.S. the books were published in Germany now and are selling very nicely, thank you very much)

Cincy Chic: What is your favorite word and/or book and why?
Cabot:
My favorite word is, of course, dessert – the food, not the climate! That's self explanatory. And my favorite book is Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It's hilarious and also I think true to life, even though it was written in the 30s.

Cincy Chic: Do you write about specific people from your real life in your book?
Cabot:
No comment!

 

Cincy Chic: What is your writing process?
Cabot:
Well, I usually don't start writing something until I've mulled it over in my head for about a year (obviously, while I'm doing this, I'm writing other things. I back-burner the other stories I'm planning). Occasionally, I'll jot down a detail or two, but I'm paranoid about the outlining process – writing down anything before the actual novel itself. Once I feel like I've got a solid idea for the opening scene, a firm ending and a semi-planned out path for how I'm going to get there, I'll grab my laptop and work on it from about 10a.m.-5p.m. every day – if possible – until it's done. I used to work in bed, but cat allergies have driven me outdoors to the back porch. Some days, I work on one of those chair floats in the pool with an AlphaSmart. I love those because you can't edit as you go along. That's usually when I get the bulk of my first draft done!

Learn more about Cabot at megcabot.com/diary

 

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Ready for a fun fiesta, amigos? Let's start with the dress code: The tropical theme works beautifully this time of year. Ask people to wear Hawaiian shirts, flowing tropical-print dresses – prints are really in right now – and cute kitten-healed flip-flops. Places like Mt. Adams-based Elizabeth's Closet sell embellished shoes like this.

Now that we look cute, we can worry about the other things at this party. The following list and menu were created for a guest list of eight. Here's your to do list:

  1. Decide on your fiesta's date, time and guest list.
  2. For decorations, it's time to check out what you have on hand before making a list and heading out to the party store. First of all, you need to decide if you have enough presentable dishes, utensils and glasses to serve eight people. You'll need 16 small appetizer/dessert plates as well as eight dinner plates, eight glasses, plus enough utensils for dinner and dessert. If you have all that, great! If not, go with paper and plastic. It's plenty festive and much easier on the cleanup too! But at least opt for the cute colored, transparent plates though.
  3. Time to go to the party store. We recommend one-stop-shops, like The Party Source in Newport, to save time. Pick out some invitations with a Mexican or a tropical flair. (If you'd rather not send invitations, what about e-mail? Or even better, www.evite.com , where you can get free online invitations, e-cards, birthday invitations, party invitations and birthday e-cards. Pick up one red and one green tablecloth – plastic preferably, or pick some wild, tropical colors. Buy some fiesta-looking paper napkins. Get all the plates, napkins and utensils you need. Most party stores stock Mexican wall decorations, colorful paper flowers, piñatas and centerpieces. Get about a dozen or two small votive candles and as many lunch sized brown paper sacks. On the day of the fiesta, you will fill each with some sand or soil, insert a candle and place two rows of "luminarios" along the walkway to your front door.
  4. For music, visit www.itunes.com or your local music store for some toe-tapping, lively Latin music. Linda Ronstadt, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Julio or Enrique Iglesias, the Gypsy Kings, Santana – any of these will help get your guests in the right mood. Don't forget the Jimmy Buffet music. He's always a great mood-setter – especially with a tropical party theme!
  5. A couple of days before the party, make your grocery list. If you want the authentic stuff, go to places on the Web like www.MexGrocer.com .
  6. Before the party begins, set up your buffet and your bar. Make sure you have enough seats, either at a dining table or (more casual) in your living room so that everyone can sit down and eat comfortably.
  7. Lay out your most festive and fun serving plates. Lay out the ingredients for all the dishes you'll be making in the area of your kitchen where you'll be doing the food preparation. Decide who to assign as your assistant. Be sure to notify that person ahead of time and ask them to come a little early! Now, get dressed, light your luminarios, crank up the tunes and get ready to have a blast!


Here are the recipes for your never-to-be-forgotten holiday summertime fiesta:

SUMMER SANGRÍA BLANCA

Sangría Blanca is a lighter, less potent wine punch that is perfect for a summer evening. It's made with white wine, limeade, club soda and pineapple (instead of burgundy, brandy and the more hearty fruits used in Spanish-style Sangría). It's lighter and more tropical in its flavors. This makes approximately a gallon and a half and takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

1 6 ounce can frozen limeade
1 can water
16-20 ice cubes
1 gallon dry white wine, chilled
1 quart club soda, chilled
1 lime, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chunked fresh pineapple

Place limeade, water and ice cubes in blender and blend until slushy.

Pour half mixture into each of two large pitchers. Pour half of the wine and half the club soda into each pitcher. Garnish chilled wine glasses with lime and a pineapple chunk. Serve immediately.

AVOCADO-CRAB COCKTAIL

Delicately spiced and elegant, this will dazzle your guests. If you choose, you can use reduced or non-fat mayonnaise and then sit back and smile as you keep your salsa dancing hips lookin' good. Serves eight and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

4 avocados, cut in half and seeds removed
1 pound of crab meat (3 jars)
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp seasoned salt
pepper to taste
2 heads lettuce, shredded
8 hard cooked eggs, chopped
8 strips pimento
2 lemons, quartered
2 tomatoes, cut in 8 wedges
8 black olives

Dressing:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tsp tarragon
2 tbsp chopped chives

6 tbsp tomato puree

Flake crab meat and combine with hot pepper sauce, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt and pepper in large bowl. Place avocado halves on shredded lettuce. Fill with crab mixture and sprinkle generously with chopped eggs. Garnish with pimento strips, lemon and tomato wedges.

To make herbed mayonnaise dressing, combine mayonnaise, tarragon and chives in bowl. Add just enough tomato puree to make dressing pourable. Serve on the side.

MOLDED GAZPACHO SALAD

This exotic salad has a Spanish heritage. Molded Gazpacho Salad is simple to prepare, but delectable and elegant. It's fat-free and serves eight. Takes about a half hour to prepare – but make it the day before so it has enough time to gel.

1 envelope plain gelatin
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup red wine
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp diced green chiles
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
romaine leaves, rinsed and dried

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup warmed tomato juice. Heat remaining juice until almost boiling. Add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Add wine, vegetables and seasoning. Pour into a one quart mold. Chill overnight. Unmold on a platter lined with romaine leaves.

CHIPOTLE SEA BASS WITH VEGETABLES

Because the sea bass (it's called cabrilla in Mexico) and vegetables are baked together with wine, chipotle chiles and cilantro, the fish takes on a distinctive, mouth-watering flavor. Serves eight and takes about an hour to prepare. It makes a lovely centerpiece for your dinner buffet.

2 pounds sea bass, or 8 fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 – 2 tbsp minced garlic
2 – 4 chipotle chiles, diced (available canned in adobo)
2 1/2 lemons, quartered
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2/3 cup white wine
5 tbsp chopped cilantro

Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper, garlic and lemon juice. Sprinkle diced chipotle chiles over top. Melt butter in large skillet. Brown fish on both sides.

Transfer fish and juices to a 9 x 14 inch baking pan. Arrange onion and potato slices around fish and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, pour wine over fish and sprinkle with cilantro. Bake ten minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork and potatoes are done.

Arrange fish on large platter with tomatoes, potatoes and onions. Pour juices over fish and sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with remaining lemon quarters.

BAKED PINEAPPLE DELIGHT

Oh, yum, yum, yum. Simple and exquisite, Baked Pineapple Delight combines the tastes of fresh fruit, rum and custard to create a memorable finale to any meal. Serves eight and takes about 45 minutes to make – but you can do this ahead of time so it's properly chilled. Serve with cappuccino for a memorable ending to a memorable evening!

1 large or 2 medium sized pineapples
sugar to taste
3 tbsp rum
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Sauce:
2 cups half and half
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla

Lay pineapple on its side and take a thick slice from one side. Do not include green top. Set this slice aside. Carefully scoop out fruit and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Mix pineapple pieces with sugar to taste. Flavor with rum. Put pineapple pieces back into shell, dot with butter and cover entire pineapple with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While pineapple is baking, make sauce by stirring together half and half, salt, sugar, egg, egg yolks, cornstarch and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thickened. This will take about 10 minutes.

Chill until ready to serve. Serve pineapple warm with cold sauce on top and try not to blush when you get a standing ovation!

 

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Running With Scissors
Annette Benning, Jill Clayburgh, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes

A comedy? A tragedy?

Running With Scissors is a movie based on the autobiography of writer, Augusten Burroughs. Growing up in the seventies in a middle class neighborhood in Massachusetts, Augusten had a mother, a father and a dog. A quintessential existence? Think again.

Critically acclaimed author Augusten Burrough’s bizarre life story is told in magnified grandeur through the vehicle of film and the impressive adaptation of the novel, Running With Scissors by playwright, Ryan Murphy. Supported by an outstanding cast of film veterans such as Annette Benning, Jill Clayburgh, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes the acting alone is worthy of Oscar nominations.

Annette Benning and Jill Clayburgh were outstanding in their performances. One played a lost soul who abdicated her relationship with her only child. The other played a character who lost her soul when she lost sight of her dreams. Their performances were penetrating and raw. Very courageous for actresses in this youth obsessed culture to reveal their craft in such a riveting honest inelegant and ungraceful setting.

Joseph Cross plays the main character during his teen years. Incredibly, he seems the most normal of all of the bizarre characters in this film. A modulated performance by Cross served well in expressing the pain of his lost childhood. The reversal of roles in his relationship with his mother, Annette Benning, fit neatly into the lunacy of Augusten’s young life. The more erratic Benning’s character, Deirdre, became; the more Augsten was forced to be the adult.

If one is a fan of Augusten Burrough’s writing, then this movie will satisfy. It is full of crippled characters; specifically a delusional mother, a distant alcoholic father, an unscrupulous psychiatrist and several wounded souls.

My complaint is trailers that set the movie up to be a comedy/dramedy. This movie was far from being a comedy. It was a tragedy. It told the story of a young man’s life spent under the care of a deranged psychiatrist. And how this doctor managed not only to bankrupt his own personal finances; but more tragically, forever bankrupt the lives of his wife, children and patients.

They say, Whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. For Augusten Burrough, Running With Scissors didn’t kill him. It made him a famous author and a beneficiary of a movie that tells the story of his damaged, unconventional life.

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

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Five Things June 11: Clean House

Here are five things every woman needs to know about keeping your house clean.

 

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Women's health

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Cincy Chic: What is EXIT Realty?
Shari and Chuck Thompson:
EXIT is a full service international real estate broker providing realtors with the most attractive and innovative compensation and business opportunity ever available in the real estate industry. EXIT is the fastest growing national real estate company in history with an annual growth rate of 77 percent. EXIT projects to be the largest real estate company in North America by the end of 2010.

Cincy Chic: How did you get involved with it?
Thompsons:
The individual who purchased the franchise rights to Ohio is a personal friend of mine. He was telling me about EXIT and its phenomenal growth and unique approach in helping realtors build a business formula and based upon my business and human resources experience, I decided that this was a concept who's time has come.

Cincy Chic: When buying a home, what's the benefit to the buyer if they go with someone from EXIT?
Thompsons:
I believe that an EXIT associate by nature will be more entrepreneurial and motivated. EXIT associates keep a much larger percentage of the commission and as a result is motivated to provide the best service to their client. EXIT associates have an incentive to share information between each other as well. EXIT's growing franchise network (adding a new franchise every day) provides nationwide referrals of buyers and sellers to EXIT associates.

Cincy Chic: What's the greatest thing about working for EXIT?
Thompsons:
Only at EXIT can an agent earn more than 100 percent of his or her gross commision. Only EXIT provides multiple significant revenue streams to its agents. Retirement income and beneficiary income are unique to EXIT. EXIT provides high commission splits with no desk fees. The real EXIT advantage is that at EXIT, realtors have a real estate business, not just a job selling real estate for someone else.

Cincy Chic: What's the greatest thing about being a real estate agent in general?
Thompsons:
Real estate agents are independent contractors who essentially have their own business. They determine their work hours, effort and – as a result – level of income. You are assisting your client in making their most important purchase or helping them protect the sale value of their largest asset.

Cincy Chic: You are a couple in business together. How's that?
Thompsons:
We compliment each other well. As with all partners in a business, there are things that we each do well. Shari works primarily from home in more of a support role, so we are not together all day. After 25 years in corporate jobs, we know that this works best for us. We each also have a few individuals interests outside EXIT Realty Corporation International.

Cincy Chic: What's the next big trend in Tri-State real estate?
Thompsons:
Housing prices will remain stable to climbing in the Cincinnati area. Cincinnati is not susceptible to the rapid increases and decreases in prices that are evident on the coasts and vacation destinations. Communities with outstanding city services and school systems will continue to attract buyers. There seems to be a recent growth in the building of luxury condos on both sides of the river. The retirement of baby boomers points to a continued of availability of single family homes and growth in the condo market.

Cincy Chic: What's the most unique thing you've seen in a home?
Thompsons:
I have not seen this myself, but there is a classic car collector in Northern Kentucky that has part of his collection built into his house. Classic cars are visible in various places of his house.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite free time spot in Greater Cincinnati?
Thompsons:
We like to visit the Dairy Bar in Silver Grove in our 1958 Corvette in the summers.

 

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Knocked Up
Katherine Heigl, Seth Rosen, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd

"Surprisingly funny," "engaging" and "heartwarming" are just a few of the adjectives used by promoters and critics to describe this film.

Knocked Up is the latest work of Judd Apatow, who wrote and directed this film. Apatow takes the premise of an innocent one night stand and the ensuing pregnancy through the stages of anger, denial, depression and acceptance. Starring Katherine Hiegel of Grey’s Anatomy and Seth Rogen of The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Apatow links these two unlikely people (one gorgeous blonde and one overweight, listless, stoner) by a twist of fate. Katherine Hiegel proves she has comedic timing. And Seth Rogen’s character isn’t much of a stretch as he plays the same socially-challenged type from Apatow’s last movie.

Yes, it is funny. Yes, it is engaging in showing how real things – such as unexpected pregnancies – happen. It is heartwarming to see a film where we hope all the characters live happily ever after. But Knocked Up also is crude and strewn with vulgarity. Its raunchy dialogue overshadows any chance of sweetness to redeem it. Appealing to people who must use the F word for every kind of descriptive adjective —this movie got laughs!

Which brings me to this question: Why do actors use such language to “assist their craft” in movies yet, on TV they perform without use of such crass dialogue? Case in point: In this film Hiegle and Rogen are arguing and she repeatedly shouts to him “Get the F out of my car!” Her character on Grey’s Anatomy lost her fiancée whose body rejected a donated heart. That was a real tear jerker and it encompassed several episodes. Not once did Heigel’s character shout “Why the F did this have to happen?” Hmmmm…

The premise behind Knocked Up is all too recognizable; think King of Queens Leah Remini and Kevin James, The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason and Shelia MacRae, as well as According to Jim’s Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith. In the telling of this story, the ensemble cast, the plot and the director’s small daughters all serve to give this movie a sense of the familiar. Leslie Mann (Jeff Apatow’s real life wife) plays so convincingly the stereotype of the wife who is bored with her marriage and suspicious of her husband’s fidelity. Paul Rudd, as her husband, does a great job in portraying marriage as a lifelong sitcom with no ending.

Fans of director Judd Apatow’s 40 Year-Old Virgin will identify with the tender-hearted and at times irreverent moments in this film. With all his standard ducks lined in a row, Apatow was given an opportunity to make a comedy with merit. Instead he handed us a mediocre story called Knocked Up.

Should anything more be expected with a movie title like that?

Rating: Three Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.

 

 

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  • Give your new neighbors maps of local parks and hiking trails. Put these, along with plastic dishes, sparkling juice and some nice picnic foods inside a small picnic basket.
  • Make an activity box for the children. Include things such as crayons, markers, coloring books, puzzles and juice boxes. These items will keep them busy while the parents unpack.
  • Make a list with all of the neighbors' addresses and phone numbers and put it in a three-ring binder for the new folks on the block to use as a reference.
  • You could also make a similar binder that lists important local phone numbers such as civic agencies, municipal, schools and healthcare facilities, for example.
  • Make a binder for the children with pictures, names and ages of all of the other neighborhood kids. Include a calendar for setting up play dates.
  • Make your new neighbors a coupon for a tour of the neighborhood that can be redeemed at their convenience.
  • Put together a packet of takeout menus, local club information, library locations, community education booklet, garbage and recycling information, etc.
  • Bake a casserole that can easily be frozen or refrigerated for dinner that night or next week. Put it in a disposable aluminum tray so they don't have to worry about returning your dish. Or you could include a new dish as a housewarming gift.
  • Let them know resources for neighborhood snow removal, leaf removal and local babysitters. Glue a magnet onto the back of this information so that they can place it on the refrigerator.
  • Other possible gifts include a welcome mat or new house numbers for their mailbox.


Source: hgtv.com

 

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6/6/2007
2 p.m.
Beginning Knitting
Art & Craft Classes
Terrace Park
Fiberge


6/6/2007
6 p.m.
Spiral Stitch Necklace
Art & Craft Classes
Milford
AllyBeads


6/6/2007
6:30 p.m.
Handbuilding Clay Class
Art & Craft Classes
Oakley
Funke Fired Arts


6/6/2007
6:30 p.m.
Portrait Techniques of the Masters
Art & Craft Classes
Over-the-Rhine
Essex Studios


6/7/2007
1 p.m.
Sewing 101
Art & Craft Classes
Burlington
Boone County Cooperative Extension Service


6/7/2007
6 p.m.
Beautiful Basic Sweaters
Art & Craft Classes
Terrace Park
Fiberge


6/8/2007
9 a.m.
Professional Potter Series
Art & Craft Classes
Moscow
Artisan Center at Maple Creek


6/8/2007
9:30 a.m.
Watercolor in Cincinnati Parks
Art & Craft Classes
Over-the-Rhine
Art Academy of Cincinnati


6/8/2007
6 p.m.
Girl's Night Out
Art & Craft Classes
Symmes Township
Crackpots at Harper's Station


6/9/2007
9 a.m.
Shrinky Dink Jewelry
Art & Craft Classes
Oakley
Red Tree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop


6/9/2007
11 a.m.
Beaded Wine Charms
Art & Craft Classes
Milford
AllyBeads


6/9/2007
2 p.m.
Glass on Glass
Art & Craft Classes
Bellevue
W.W. Carpenter Enamel Foundation


6/11/2007
11 a.m.
Spiral Peyote Bracelet
Art & Craft Classes
Milford
AllyBeads


6/16/2007
5 p.m.
Scrapbooking Pajama Crop
Art & Craft Classes
Covington
Wood Master of KY Shop


6/18/2007
9:30 a.m.
Intermediate Drawing
Art & Craft Classes
Over-the-Rhine
Art Academy of Cincinnati


6/18/2007
1:30 p.m.
Introduction to Photo Darkroom
Art & Craft Classes
Over-the-Rhine
Art Academy of Cincinnati


6/19/2007
9 a.m.
Clay-Hand Building
Art & Craft Classes
Oakley
Red Tree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop

 

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

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Five Things: Sun and Kids
We’re helping to keep your family safe during the summer months. Here are the five things you need to know about your children, sun and applying sunscreen.



Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share your ideas for "Five Things"? Click here!

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Waitress
Kerri Russell, Adrienne Shelly, Cheryl Hines, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith

Waitress is like a little snippet of a slice of pie; so pleasing you may want to go back for seconds. Kerri Russell plays Jenna who is this no nonsense waitress who works at and concocts mouth watering, award winning pies for Joe’s Pie Shop and Diner.

Jenna is the leading lady whose story is told by her own voice overs as she describes making delectable delicacies that so aptly reflect life in this small folksy, southern town. For her personally, there is the I hate my husband, Earl Pie. (Of course it’s flambé). And then there is the I can’t believe I am having an affair pie; which her friend and fellow waitress tells her “As delicious tasting as that pie may be, they can’t print it on the menu with a name like that.”

The owner of Joe’s Pie Shop is played by an old, cantankerous Andy Griffith. He befriends Jenna. She is stuck with Earl, her good old boy husband in a controlling, abusive relationship. She even describes her life as a train wreck still heading down the wrong track. To some, that would be enough information to skip this movie all together thinking it was a downer.

It is nothing but a triumphant story. What makes this film work is the strong character development, the camaraderie of women relationships and the understanding of human relationships in all of life. Those within the confines of conformity and those within the confines of the human heart. Each supporting character bringing to life Adrienne Shelly’s wry, bittersweet script makes for pleasurable entertainment. From Jenna’s cohorts (waitresses played by Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelly) to the men in her life – no good Earl and the new doctor in town (played convincingly by Jeremy Sisto and Nathan Fallion); all add to the deliciousness of this film.

With tenacity and pluck Jenna manages to find the love of her life to share her talent for pie baking. She manages to live her life fully – on her own terms.

Who wouldn’t like a piece of that pie?


Rating: Four Chic Stars

 

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.