Willy Wonka and My $9.00- Day Two and Three

I’m determined to have moths fly out of my wallet next time I open it.

MR and I agreed last weekend that we would think about our purchases and wouldn’t spend foolishly.  I had to remind him that buying coffee at 7-11 when it was already made at home was unnecessary.  I got a look.  Seems I’m the one who’s going to do the penny-pinching.

So I sent him to the store for milk and sauce.  He paid.

Yesterday I wrote a check (my last) for SEPTA, the special-education PTA.  I would have had to do it eventually, so I spent the $10 now.  It’s for a good cause.  Other than that, I haven’t spent a dime.  I did FIND $0.15 yesterday.  Woohoo.

As for eating up our stash, a pork loin from the freezer for the family and black beans and rice from the stockpile for me, with plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.  This week has been pretty easy, food wise.  The weekend may be harder since we’re going out to the beach house to be chased by zombies.  I’ll just have to pack smart.  And cheap.


While I was doing the dishes tonight, I watched one of my favorite movies, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.  You know, the first one with Gene Wilder.  I was home all alone, watching this movie that I’ve seen around 100 times.  And even though I’ve seen it that many times, there are things that have always bothered me, such as:

-How did Willy Wonka know Augustus Gloop was not going to continue on the factory tour? There are not enough seats in the “Wonkatania” in the next scene.

-“Invention is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation and 2% butterscotch ripple.” Willy Wonka must have failed math.  Mrs. Teavee does point out, however that it does add up to 105%.  Was she a teacher?

-Shouldn’t Violet’s clothes remained the same while she grew into a blueberry? They should have split open and she should be round and naked.

-Willy Wonka must not have been too attentive- Charlie and Grandpa spent a considerable amount of time in the bubble room and no one noticed they weren’t there when they went into the next room

-Why are there no female Oompa Loompas? (None in the newer Johnny Depp version, either.)

-Why is Veruca Salt the only kid that gets a song?  Charlie singing “I’ve got a Golden Ticket” with Grandpa doesn’t count.

-“Children are disappearing like rabbits”.    Huh?

-Does Mike Teavee like TV because of his last name or is this a weird coincidence?  What nationality is Teavee anyway?

Snozzberries are dicks.  Those kids licked dick-flavored wallpaper. Ew.

-There are WAY too many sexual references in this film.  Almost pedophilistic.  Yeah, I just made up that word.  Think Gobstoppers (you can suck them forever, they never get any smaller), “small boys are extremely springy and elastic. So I think we’ll put him in my special taffy-pulling machine.” (taffy-pulling small boys?), “Here it comes!  Here it comes”, as they shoot out of building and then  there’s that perverted looking Gobstopper machine- thrusting up and down. Thank goodness it goes over the kid’s heads.

-Why didn’t any of the Oompa Loompa actors get any credit at the end?

Okay, I know some of these ponderings are straight out of Roald Dahl’s imagination, but that doesn’t mean I can’t question his sanity as well.  If you follow me on Facebook, you would have seen many of these observations posted.  I got bored and lonely.  As one of my peeps asked me, “Where’s your Ebert, Siskal?”

I need an Ebert.  And a few more thumbs-up for this crazy, wonderful movie.



Zombiegirl in Zombieland

It’s no surprise to any of our friends that our daughter, affectionately named Zombiegirl, is a little bit of a freak. I owe all her freakiness to my husband, MR. He’s been spoon feeding her horror flicks since she was in Kindergarten. She loves zombies, vampires, aliens, blood, guts, gore, freakishly large creatures and all things Tim Burton. The Chiller channel and the SyFy channel are favorites in my house. According to her, she’s never been a “princess kind of girl.”

She’s a great kid. She does really well in school. She’s well liked by both boys and girls. Adults adore her. She cracks us up.

But she’s a freak.

Last year, she was Sweeney Todd for Halloween. The year before, she was a Punk-a-Zombith (her words.) Before that, she was a Pirate (yes, you’ve noticed the Johnny Depp theme, have you?) This year she’s going to be Coraline- yellow coat, yellow (somewhat) boots and blue hair. If you haven’t seen Coraline, make a point to. It’s an awesome, dark, fantastically animated movie.

So last weekend we took her to her second “R” rated movie- Zombieland. Now this kid LOVES Dawn of the Dead (new and old), Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, District 9, 28 Days Later and 30 Days of Night. We heard Zombieland was a comedy and not too gory. Gory enough, I was sure, for a 10-year-old but she’s not your ordinary 10-year-old…

The “R” rating was mostly for language and gore. I know she doesn’t drop the F-bomb herself and gets very indignant when someone around her does. But she’s not naive- she knows people use it and that movies are full of cursing so I didn’t have much of a problem with her hearing it. It’s the sexual innuendos that I try to shelter her from. And this movie didn’t seem to have much of that going on.

If you liked Shaun of the Dead, you’ll like Zombieland. If you didn’t see Shaun of the Dead, make a point to see that one, too.

Zombieland stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone (The House Bunny) and Abigail Breslin with a cameo by Bill Murray. It’s a fun, fast-paced movie without a lot of in-your-face-blood and guts. The parts I liked were the credits and the “Rules for Zombie Survival”. The credits seemed like part of the movie- for example- when a zombie ran through them, they crashed/broke/disintegrated. I like that kind detail in movies. The “Rules for Zombie Survival” showed up-literally- in the movies as they applied. Never, never forget #4- Doubletap!

The funniest part of the movie came not from the movie itself, but from Zombiegirl. When she saw Emma Stone, she turned to me and whispered, “Do you know who that is?” Who, I replied. “It’s NATALIE” she says, in a VERY deep voice. I knew EXACTLY who she was talking about since we had just seen The House Bunny and that’s how Anna Farris’ character remembers names! In those two words she let me know the movie and the character! And she did the voice perfectly.

Anyway, back to Zombieland…great plot, awesome one-liners (“When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go…were the fatties” and “You just can’t trust anyone. The first girl I let into my life and she tries to eat me.”) actors that play off of each other, and the quest for a Twinkie…you can’t go wrong for a fun-filled time at the movies.

And don’t forget Rule #31- Check the back seat

It’s time to nut up or shut up.

Shots are on Me!

10/15/09 addendum…for an update on the wicked Diva Cup, go here.

Warning: May contain material not suitable for men, persons with weak stomachs and Beena, who despises all body fluids, especially other people’s fluids. Dad, please don’t read this post. I don’t want you looking at me funny next time you come for dinner…

This post was started on Thursday, but I sunk into such a deep funk all I could do was lay on the couch and eat cheesecake. So much for working out… so I finished the post on the weekend.

I should have written this post last night. Last night I was happy and excited. Last night I was feeling adventurous. Today, not so much. Today, as I stated earlier, I’m cranky and irritable. Now- even more so. It’s been a bloody mess of a day. Literally.

Why was I so happy last night? Because I got my period.

Wait, what? Weren’t you all for punching Eve in the head for eating the apple? You hate your period. Why were you happy you got it?

Because, my friends, I GOT THIS.

No, it’s not a shot glass. It’s the Diva Cup.

See? Happy Diva Cup!

And I couldn’t wait to use it. No more tampons! No more pads! No more spending money on feminine products!

Last night, before Meet the Teacher night at Zombiegirl’s school, I quick shoved it in (how hard could it be? I’ve used tampons…) and ran out to the car. I sat down next to MR, and…ran back into the bathroom. You see, the Diva Cup has this nub on the bottom so you have something to grab to pull it out. But the way my cup was situated, the nub was partially out and rubbing and poking in all the wrong places. So I pushed the cup back in as far as it would go and hoped my body wouldn’t reject this foreign object.

Meet the Teach went well (I really like Z-girl’s teacher- Mr. S) and I went to the bathroom as soon as I got home. Aw crap. I leaked. I spent the next hour fiddling and prodding my insides to make this thing fits. I finally got so disgusted I took it out, washed it and put it in it’s little carrying pouch.

The next day I wore it to work, after inserting it in the shower. By the time I got to work, I was walking like I had a load of poop in my pants because the thing slipped so low and caused leakage. Not only was I battling cramps I was depressed because the thing I wanted so much to work wasn’t working. I want to be green! Instead, I was red. I want to save the landfills and not put pads and tampons in them! Instead, I was falling back on these reliable feminine products. Determined, I hobbled to my desk and googled “Diva Cup leakage.”

Okay! I’m not the only one with this problem! There’s a whole message board of poor women leaking! Seems I was putting it in wrong. After folding it into itself, and inserting, you have to twist it 360 degrees and check to see if it unfolded. Armed with this new knowledge, and a roll of paper towels, I headed back to the ladies room to try again.

Fast forward 20 minutes later. My cup is in but…the stall looks like a slaughterhouse. I don’t think there was a surface in that stall that I didn’t christen in blood. Thank goodness I brought in the paper towels to clean up…but they’re bloody too, and I can’t flush them. I sit down to wait until the bathroom is empty to throw them away in the trash.

How much blood does the Diva Cup website say you lose a month? Three to four ounces? It looked like a crime scene in that stall. And I was only on my first 12 hours…

I run out of the bathroom and to the pantry and grab the cleaning spray and pray no one goes into that stall. It’s wiped up, but until the HazMat team gets there I’m grossed out that someone else will use it and it’s not perfectly clean. While running back the Diva Cup slipped a millimeter, but still holds. I sanitize the bathroom, and my hands and go back to work.

I’d like to say the rest of the day was leak-free but I can’t- I did leak slightly by the time I commuted two hours home. Nothing major and pantyliner caught it. When I got to the comfort of my own bathroom I washed and set about taking it out. Yes, it does make a champagne pop noise if you don’t break the seal first. And yes, it is possible to dump the contents of the entire cup backwards into your underwear when it slips out of your fingers. But I will not give up. I will be the master of my Diva Cup. I suggest the following:

  • Since the cup can stay in for 12 hours, insert and remove while in the shower. It’s easier to clean everything up and who doesn’t like a nice warm shower after a hard day working while you have your period?
  • Buy the Diva Wash. I’m glad I did. I use it to wash my hands before playing around up there.
  • Always check the cup after insertion. If you feel any indentations, it’s not fully unfolded.
  • Cut a portion of the nub off. I tried it again on Saturday after I clipped the nub and it was much more comfortable.
  • Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. If you know your body, you’ll be able to master this.

I hope to be able to use the Diva Cup when we go hiking the Appalachian Trail, camping and swimming with Z-girl. Thoughts of carrying out tampons and pads while hiking, or strings sticking out of my bathing suit absolutely terrifies me.

Yeah, and the sight of that bloody stall didn’t? Yes, it did. I’m not the horror-movie freak in the family. That distinction belongs to MR and Zombie-girl…

NaBloPoMo#21- Dead Like Me

No, the title is not describing my physical state, even though after our camping trip I am exhausted. Some vacation- I cook, I clean, I do dishes, I come back more tired than I started. No, the title is this show we found on Hulu.com. MR and I watch a few episodes every time we come out to the beach house (thanks, Jeff!) It’s one of the things we do once Zombiegirl is in bed.

Why this show ran only two seasons and was cancelled is beyond me. We absolutely love it.

I’ll try to give a quick synopsis without giving too much info.

George (Ellen Muth), only 18 years old, is killed in a freak accident. Instead of going to Heaven (or Hell) she becomes a Grim Reaper, and joins a team of other Reapers lead by Rube (Mandy Patankin) . They have to collect the souls of people like you and me who die in other freak accidents so that they don’t experiece too much pain and can move into the “Great Beyond” without too much stress.

Our protagonist is a college dropout who couldn’t find her way in life and is having trouble finding her way in death. She’s cynical and wry and sarcastic- but not in a grating way that makes you dislike her. She’s a teenager who has to learn about life, and death. The team of Reapers is made up of Ruby (Jasmine Guy), a meter maid with an attitude, Mason (Callum Blue), a former drug addict and opportunist and Daisy (Laura Harris), an actress who was better known for her blowjobs than for her screen presence. The Reapers have all died with unresolved issues who aren’t allowed to go into the afterlife until their lives are resolved.

Also trying to resolve George’s death is her family. Joy, her mother, played by Cynthia Stevenson, is a cold and aloof mom who is realizing if she doesn’t change, she’s going to lose her other daughter, Reggie. Reggie (Britt McKillip) is trying to come to terms with her sister’s death- a sister she wasn’t really close to, but still looked up to. This cast is wonderful. They’re annoying and snotty but human and frail, too.

The show was created and produced by Bryan Fuller who was responsible for shows such as Heroes and Pushing Daisies (another show about Death). It’s a black comedy that uses humor to explore loss and loneliness, and mostly, regret. I’ve laughed through some tears, I’ll admit it.

Who would like this show? Anyone who loved Six Feet Under, Dexter, True Blood or Pushing Daisies.

NaBloPoMo#3- Lobster Roll Review

I’ve been going out to the Beach House for about 17-18 years now. At the beginning of the season it’s always interesting to see what’s popped up or what’s been closed over the winter. One spring in 1999, this restaurant popped up almost exactly in front of the entrance to our little beach house community. Lobster Roll Northside is an extension of the famous Hampton’s eatery known to the locals as “Lunch”.

Ten years ago. And we just stopped in there this year.
Don’t get out much, do we?
While Zombiegirl was at camp, MR and I had the whole week to ourselves. After a few days of “so, what do YOU want to do?” we decided to go out to eat. We ended up here since it was so close and we were hot and tired from the beach. Nestled in a little shopping area that includes such stores as the East End Candle Shop, The Teddybear Factory and The Gingerbread Shoppe (oh, so quaint! lol!) this family-friendly restaurant is pretty- there are two outdoor eating areas and the inside areas are airy and open. There’s even a little playground for the kids. We requested seating in one of the outdoor areas where there are big blue umbrellas shading the tables.

We started off with beers. MR ordered a burger platter, and I ordered the Horseradish Crusted Salmon Special. Our waitress was great- very attentive. Food was good- the salmon was cooked perfectly. We noticed the Basket of Shrimp Appetizers and decided to take Zombiegirl here the day she got home from camp.

Fast forward to that day…

Zombiegirl, Rob, MR and myself go back to the Lobster Roll Northside. This is after we once again visit the LiV distillery. We again opt to sit outside, this time in the “tall” chairs. Rob and MR order beers and I order, on the waitresses recommendation, a “19th Hole”- vodka, lemonade and iced tea. I decide to support the local economy and ask if they serve LiV vodka. And they do.

Rob and MR get the burger platter (real original, these two!) I order the Grilled Vegetable Wrap and Z-girl orders the Shrimp basket (no kidding!) She also orders the Seafood Nachos- a $15.oo appetizer special. My kid has expensive taste! We didn’t mind, though- we missed her and I figured I could help out with the nachos.

Everything was good. I wouldn’t go raving about the food, however. On the whole I think it was a little high priced for the quality of the food we got. My two vodka drinks (I switched to LiV vokda and lemonade since the iced tea they gave me in the first drink was nasty) came out to $9 each. Which would’ve been acceptable if they were both in the tall glass I got with the first drink. Since I took away the iced tea, the drink came in a glass half the size of the first drink. Go figure. So you’re definitely paying for the ambience. And because it’s situated on Sound Avenue, it’s the perfect touristy type place to stop for a bite to eat on the way home from a trip to Greenport or the wineries. Soak the tourists, I always say! Will we go there again? Probably not. Been there, did that (finally) and wasn’t really impressed.

LiV at 5.

Hoo boy. I had to start this post three times. My spelling is shite right now because I’m a little drunk. Can you be a little drunk? I mean either you are drunk or you aren’t. You can be a little tipsy, right? But not a little drunk. So let me rephrase that. I’m drunk.

It started around 5:00 this afternoon. We were hot and tired from the beach. I had a headache because I came up under the beam in the bathroom (I’m re-painting) at the beach house. I swear my head was forced into the second vertebrae in my back. Plus I have a goose egg on my forehead. AND I wasn’t drunk at the time…

Where was I?

Oh. So we showered, got dressed and went to LONG ISLAND’S ONLY DISTILLERY. That’s right, folks, Long Island has a vodka distillery that makes vodka from LONG ISLAND POTATOES! Before Long Island was known for it’s grapes, it was known for it’s potatoes. So it just made sense to Richard Stabile and Dan Pollicino to start to make vodka from this bountiful crop. The end result is LiV Vodka.

We found this place passing by on our way home from Lewin’s farm, where I was in desperate need of some veggies. The minute we got home, I googled LiV, and found their beautiful website.

In a beautifully renovated farmhouse, LiV Vodka has tastings for $3.00. That includes the cute shot glasses. This vodka has a clean, crisp taste with a buttery aftertaste- even though I didn’t taste the butteryness until I started sipping it warm. It didn’t make me shudder when I shoot Absolut, or Grey Goose. It went down icy cold and smooth. I started envisioning this vodka with cranberry and with orange juice. THAT’s when the tasting lady whipped out the Limoncello.

Ahhhh. Limoncello. I fantasize sipping Limoncello on a beach in Napoli, or Greece. That smooth, tart taste that when served cold can cool you off on a hot summer day. Yummmm.

So tasting-lady whips out the new Lemon Vodka that unfortunately is not on the market yet- they’re waiting for approval on the label. Oh. My. Goodness. This is wonderful stuff. It doesn’t have a “hint” of lemon. The whole lemon zest is soaked in the vodka, infusing it with a cool sunshine of taste.

I am drunk…

This shit is good. When it comes out- buy it.

The vodka, I think, is on the same par as Grey Goose. But Grey Goose is distilled from wheat (French wheat, at that). Potato vodka is best consumed straight, where as the wheat/rye vodka are best in mixed drinks. I think the LiV vodka will be best in both those worlds.

LiV Vodka– 2182 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, NY. 631.630.9322. Go and enjoy the view from the upper deck. It’s breathtaking! And try the vodka. It’s worth it.

Have you Heard About Pandora?

From Wikipedia- “In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. As Hesiod related it, each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mould her out of Earth as part of the punishment of mankind for Prometheus‘ theft of the secret of fire, and all the gods joined in offering this “beautiful evil” seductive gifts. According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar (pithos) in modern accounts referred to as “Pandora’s box“, releasing all the evils of mankind— although the particular evils are not specified in detail — leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. She might have opened the jar out of simple curiosity and not as a malicious act.”

From the Greek, Pandora means “all-gifted.” A specific gift she was given from Apollo was the Gift of Music.

A few months ago, a co-worker gave me a gift. He told me about Pandora.com. I opened it, used it, and flooded my musical tastes with all sorts of new music. Not to mention my iPod.

Pandora is a product of the Music Genome Project. Created by Will Glase, John Kraft and Tim Westergren to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level” using over 400 attributes to descrive songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them. Again, from Wikipedia- ” A given song is represented by a vector (a list of attributes) containing approximately 150 “genes” (analogous to trait-determining genes for organisms in the field of genetics). Each gene corresponds to a characteristic of the music, for example, gender of lead vocalist, level of distortion on the electric guitar, type of background vocals, etc. Rock and pop songs have 150 genes, rap songs have 350, and jazz songs have approximately 400. Other genres of music, such as world and classical music, have 300–500 genes. The system depends on a sufficient number of genes to render useful results. Each gene is assigned a number between 1 and 5, in half-integer increments. Given the vector of one or more songs, a list of other similar songs is constructed using a distance function.

To create a song’s genome, it is analyzed by a musician in a process that takes 20 to 30 minutes per song. Ten percent of songs are analyzed by more than one technician to ensure conformity with the standards, i.e., reliability.”

Wow. 20-30 minutes per song? They add 15,000 analyzed tracks to the Music Genome a month. They must have millions of songs in their collection!

Okay. So what? Big deal. What does that mean for me, you ask?

With Pandora.com (which I listen to at work to drown out the large ambient noises) you can set up “stations” using your favorite artist or genre. They will then play songs that are similar (using all those attributes and vector thingys) to what you initially like. For example (and don’t laugh) my stations are:

  • Stone Temple Pilots Radio
  • Billy Joel Radio
  • Queen Radio
  • Christian Rock Radio
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers Radio
  • Traditional Folk Radio
  • Soundgarden Radio
  • Rockin’ Holidays Radio
  • Swingin’ Christmas Radio
  • Classical Christmas Radio
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams Radio
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Radio
  • Panic At The Disco Radio
  • Fortune Faded Radio
  • Ramones Radio

Currently, I’m listening to “How’s it Going To Be” by Third Eye Blind, on the Red Hot Chili Peppers Radio. Now it’s “Rearviewmirror” by Pearl Jam on the Stone Temple Pilots Radio. I’m using QuickMix- you can check the Radio stations you want to hear, and they’ll “shuffle” for you. So I never know what I’m going to get, but I will know I’ll like it. The Music Genome said so.

“Hello Hopeville” by Michelle Shocked just popped up on the Traditional Folk Radio.

I also loaded Pandora.com onto my iPod. And I have a two page list I compiled this week of all the songs I need to buy from iTunes. Why? Because the Music Genome knows what I like.

Palmer Vineyards Yard Sale

Hey- if you’re planning on going out East this weekend, Palmer Vineyards is having their “yard sale”- save on your favorite wines! Unfortunately, we don’t head out to the beach house until soccer season ends, but we may go out for a day trip!

As sent by Palmer:

“It’s time for Palmer Vineyards Annual Yard Sale. This year, our sale will be one day only. We have very limited quantities to put on sale this year. We will open at 9am for our special customers, so come early for the best selection. Here is a sample of some of the items we will have this year:*

04 41/72 Merlot 50% off $6.49 per bottle
High Yield Chardonnay 50% off $3.99 per bottle
06 Sparkling Brut 20% off $17.56 per bottle
07 Sauvignon Blanc 30% off $11.89 per bottle
As always we will have a few surprises too! (They usually have live music…)
Mark the date and don’t forget to come early for the best selection.
*All sale items are while supplies last. All sales are on a first come first serve basis. No advance orders will be accepted. All sales are final.
Palmer Vineyards is located in Aquebogue. Directions are:
LIE to last exit (exit 73). Continue east on RT 58 to Osborne Ave. Turn left. Drive to end (Sound Ave). Turn right. Drive 6 miles to Palmer Vineyards, on the left. From the South Shore:Route 27-Sunrise Highway to 24 North. 24 North to Route 105 North. Right on to 105. Take 105 to the second light, Route 43. Make a right on Route 43 and go to the end, Sound Ave. Make a right on Sound Ave. The Winery is 1 1/2 miles on the left. From Orient:Stay on Route 48 for 25 Miles (Route 48 turns into Sound Ave). Winery is on right side.
Can’t beat the price for that Merlot!

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Have you seen this HBO show? I’m totally smitten…

I was ready to give up HBO after the Big Love season ended, and switch over to Showtime, where I can catch up with Dexter, The Tudors and Weeds. Then I watched this original HBO show- The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Yeah, it’s a mouthful. And I was skeptical about watching. I didn’t know what to expect since a) it takes place in Botswana, b) I knew nothing about the cast and c) I don’t like detective shows.

I should have known better. I know nothing about Botswana, but once I heard the music, I was hooked. I love Paul Simon’s Graceland with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. African music stirs something in me. Then, when I heard Jill Scott (who plays Precious Ramotswe) sing at her father’s funeral, I decided to continue watching as well as download her songs onto my iPod.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith. Mma Precious Ramotswe opens the country’s first and only female-owned Detective Agency in Gaboron after her beloved father dies and leaves her many head of cattle. He taught her as a youngster to be observant and patient, and to follow her dreams- all the things that make up a good detective. She opens her agency in what is the US equivalent of a strip mall and with the help of her new secretary Grace Makutsi (played by Anika Noni Rose) and her gay hairdresser neighbor BK (played by Desmond Dube) and the clients start slowly coming in.

So what makes this show worth watching?

  1. Jill Scott. She is beautiful to watch. She is so expressive, but in the slow, easy way of Africa. She is a “classical shaped” woman which is appreciated in her country. Her character often pokes fun of her own largeness, but she exudes a sexiness and self confidence that is refreshing in this MTV anorexic world. Her relationship with JLB Matekoni (played by Lucian Msamati) is totally sweet.
  2. The scenery. It’s filmed entirely in Botswana showcasing the middle class and their struggles to grow and prosper. They use locals as extras and existing locales as sets. The colors and people are vibrant, interesting and beautiful. And the wildlife (chickens, goats, giraffes) live comfortably on their doorsteps.
  3. The politeness of the people. I love how they greet each other with “Dumela, Mma” for a woman or “Dumela, Rra” for a man. Instead of saying “miss” or “sir” it’s “mma” or “rra.” When greeting someone, one waits for a detailed response to the question “how are you?” In NY, when you ask how someone is, do you really care? They do. They’re genuine. They’ll also offer you a cup of tea or a cold drink on a hot day. Supposedly, they are a very friendly people.
  4. The cases. CSI this isn’t. There are no bodies and very little violence. Cheating husbands, dating daughters, stolen cars and a bad dentist are more the speed of the clientele at this agency. But they assign them Nancy Drew-type names and manage to solve them all.
  5. The humor. Subtle and easy humor. Self-depreciating and honest humor.
  6. The accents. Okay, I admit the first time I watched this I had to rewind a few times to get what they were saying. But after awhile, I was able to get into the patter and rhythm of the African dialect.
  7. The cast.

I just finished watching the sixth episode, which happens to be the season finale. Already? Six episodes? They’re all On Demand, along with the author’s “journals”- a behind the scenes look at his inspiration and the execution of this little gem of a show.

So watch, eh Mma?