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Mprecs_2 Recommended Song or Album: Daveigh Chase performing "The Happiest Girl in the U.S.A." from Big Love. I keep finding myself singing this. Chase's rendition of this country classic is so gorgeous and kind of haunting. The original version is much more to-the-point and happy and has an "aw, shucks," quality to it, but Chase's version comes at the end of a particularly emotional episode in which all of the main female characters are awash in loneliness and confusion. It sounds especially wistful coming from the character of Rhonda, whose devious tendencies have left her very much alone, despite having many people around who claim to care for her. When Chase belts out "I love you," in the middle of the song with such yearning, I always get chills.

Recommended Book: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Tracey turned me on to this book, which I really appreciated because I haven't read much fiction in the past five years or so and had no idea what was out there. I've been (slowly) reading it and love it so far. Franzen's style of writing sits really well with me. It's plain but it flows so nicely. The story, a family that is rapidly falling apart tries to get together for one last Christmas in an attempt at redemption, is itself very engaging. I'm about halfway through it and am hoping that I can really dig into it this weekend.

Recommended TV Show: Weeds! What can I say? This show rocks and I'm so sad that I missed the first two seasons when they originally aired. While biting commentary on suburban life and glimpses into how people turn to crime are nothing new, Weeds really seems to take a new stab at both. Also, the writing is fantastic.

Recommended Movie: The Illusionist. I know that practically no one liked this movie, but the husband and I caught it on OnDemand the other night and we both really enjoyed it. It certainly doesn't break any cinematic ground, but in terms of a good movie to watch on a Friday night when you don't feel like thinking too hard, The Illusionist fits the bill. The story is intriguing and has a pretty great, though not totally unforeseen, twist ending. There's something very O. Henry about the whole thing.

Recommended Website: I don't know if I necessarily recommend this web nugget, but it's certainly worth seeing. TMZ.com has posted a video of San Deigo State University students being asked what year the September 11th attacks took place. Most of them didn't know, giving answers like, "2000? 2003? 1997? The Iraq? Such as?" Frightening stuff. Our schools are in bad shape, folks.

Recommended Other: I'm sort of piggybacking onto this post by Zoot. We all, every single one of us, needs to waste less, create less garbage, reuse more. Regardless of your political beliefs, I think we can all agree that we have a limited amount of space on the planet and conservation is not a dirty word. I'm working hard to pack my lunch every day for economical reasons, but I know that I go through tons of plastic bags and plastic wrap every week and that's just wasteful. So a few days ago I decided to order a Laptop Lunchbox. The lunchboxes are based on the Japanese concept of bento lunches, and allow for healthy, fresh lunches to be packed with a minimal or zero amount of waste. My new lunchbox is due to arrive on September 4th. Can't wait!

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Ooh, I own The Corrections, I just haven't read it. I'll have to remedy that.

I love Rhonda singing that song. I find it really interesting that she announced it as a survivor's song, which in her simplistic way would be describing how she's the happiest girl, but in turn, it's actually a biting commentary on her being so very freaking evil.

I'll have to forward some Bento lunch box sites that I have in my reader. Now, I don't have a Bento lunch box, I simply follow them because I like the pretty.


Oh- you should check out my fellow Balti-moron Sugarfreak's Bennto set on Flickr!

She has made some amazing and creative lunches and posts them for us to see- I look forward to the new ones.


ooh, thanks for the link BaltimoreGal. I was looking at similar sets on Flickr the other day. they make want to spend tons of money in fancy grocery stores!

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