MJ MJ Monday: MJ’s Movies-ROB ROY (vs. BRAVEHEART)

Many years ago, a friend  who headed up the local cinephile society told me Rob Roy with Liam Neeson contained the best sword fight scene ever filmed. Being a huge fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel (MFTV 1982 with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour), I sincerely needed to check out Rob Roy.

The film came out the same year as Braveheart (1995), and was seemingly lost in the flash and dash of Mel Gibson, and that’s a shame. Yes, both motion pictures are historical Scottish stories, although they are set in completely different eras. Both portray the forever conflict with the “English,” but they are not at all similar.

I’ve seen Braveheart only once and remember being  not especially impressed with it. It was big. All encompassing. Broader in scope. Epic. Rob Roy tells the story of one man and his family and how the “English” occupation impacted them. The story is more intimate.  More personal.

And the sword fight scene my friend praised? Oh, wow. Again, no flash and dash. One man, weary to his soul, fighting for his honor.  The key word here is weary.

If you haven’t seen it, make an effort. Thoroughly enjoyable movie.

MJ’S Musings: Claustrophobic Feet

A social media acquaintance, after reading my lament about not being able to wear a pair of fun and funky boots, even though an ad for them beckoned me for months, said I had claustrophobic feet.

What a perfect description!

My reason is that my feet cannot abide being trapped inside boot or sneakers. If I can’t easily kick off my footwear, I don’t wear it.

But I really wanted those boots. So I bought them. I wear them.

They are cute as all get out. I am, however, of an age, where comfort should take precedence over cute. And I can’t wear them a full work day. By mid-afternoon, I am shoeless at my desk.

I live in a part of the US where we have winter. We have snow. We have feet of snow. So yes, I wear snow boots. And if we’re at an event in the winter, and I have to wear boots for any length of time, I go crazy.

But I’ve ruined several pairs of shoes in the spring when it rains because I just can’t abide wearing snow boots. My solution? Rain boots. Gardening boots.

Again, cute as can be. At least my poor feet won’t be stuck in them for hours.

Flipflop weather is around the corner.

MJ’s Musings: Another Pet Peeve


I use my own shopping bags. Have for years. I keep them in the trunk of my car so I always have them with me.

Every time I grocery shop, I tell the cashier, “Please don’t make the bags too heavy.” And every time, the cashier loads as much as s/he can into each bag.  It’s not as if I am costing the store money by using too many bags. I use my own. I’m saving them money.  I say please. I’m nice about it.

When you’re short and already can’t deal with the too-tall shopping carts, lifting a too heavy bag is painful.  We’re supposed to lift from our knees, not our backs. Not in my supermarket’s parking lot.

Even worse is when the cashier in his/her zeal to cram as much into each bag as humanly possible starts crushing my popcorn and chips to make the packages fit. I had to tell one last week, “Stop crushing my chips!”

So yes, this is a pet peeve of mine.



MJ’s Monday–Meals: Asian Veggie Buddha Bowl

My friend Kris introduced me to the concept of Buddha Bowls. This recipe is my variation on one of hers.

I used quinoa instead of rice for my grain base.  Quinoa can be a pain to clean and cook, so when I discover this, I was ecstatic.

I also keep precooked chicken in the freezer for convenience.

Kris taught me about chopped Asian Salad, too.

Here’s how it goes.

Boil the quinoa according to package instructions.

In the meantime, open the bag of salad. Take the dressing from the kit and add it to a frying pan. Set aside the noodles and almonds. Add the rest of the salad to the frying pan and stir fry.

While the quinoa and salad cook, thaw the chicken in the microwave.

When the salad is nicely stir-fried, remove from the heat.

Drain the quinoa according to package directions.

Mix the quinoa, chicken, and stir-fried salad together in a large bowl.

Kris made a marvelous tahini-orange dressing for her version of this, but I have never been able to replicate her success with the recipe, so I use dressing from a bottle.

Mix well…

and serve. Top with the noodles and almonds from the salad kit if you’d like.

There you have it. An easy, filling meal in less than 30 minutes.


MJ’S Musing: The Allure of Jeans

When I was a teenager, I loved jeans. Even as a young adult, jeans were my wardrobe of choice. Lately…not so much. I guess I’m getting cranky in my old age.

At Day Job, any day we can wear jeans is greeted with much elation, especially among the younger set. But I don’t find jeans comfortable anymore, maybe because I purchase my professional wardrobe to be comfortable.

The more I think about it, the more I realize jeans have never been comfortable. They bind. I remember when I was able to abandon snow pants for jeans–and discovered jeans didn’t really keep you warm in the snow. They’re too hot to wear in the summer.

So what is the allure of jeans?