Saturday, February 13, 2016

Movie Night: The Nanny Diaries



The Nanny Diaries















A college graduate goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York family. Ensconced in their home, she has to juggle their dysfunction, a new romance, and the spoiled brat in her charge.



















The Nanny Diaries is a prime example of what happens when writers allow the movie industry creative rights to a film based on their book. The movie industry writes a completely different story loosely based on what the book is about then they change the story to suit their needs. What is sad about that is that the original author already had laid out the perfect formula for a movie if they had stuck with it.

Unfortunately the movie developers changed the story, they cut up the scenes, and the characters fall flat.

The movie has no real glue to create any emotional depth they try to establish and its not worth investing in because the movie speeds on to the next scene before they've really done anything for the previous one.

The parental neglect is glanced over, Nanny's previous experience is removed along with her personal sacrifice, you miss out on scenes that are fundamental to establish the bond between Nanny and Grayer and their journey together, extra characters are Hollow and literally carry no heart and no purpose in the film.

If they had extended the length of the movie and put in those scenes they left out of the movie that were in the book that made the book so much better I think it would have been great. Sadly they didn't.

The only scene I did like in the movie was the Nanny Cam scene where you get a reaction from Mrs X.

The additional predictable ending however I did not care for but I understand that to appeal to the non readers they needed to create something to give Mrs X last minute appeal.

I couldn't decide to rate this movie a two or three star rating so I went with three because while I didn't particularly care for the movie and really enjoyed the book a whole lot more, I did like Johansson's acting because you could tell did what she could with what she had to work with which wasn't much.














Original post:

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Nanny Diaries (Nanny #1) by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus


The Nanny Diaries - Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless--bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.

Who wouldn't want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn't work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.

When the Xs' marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.







My Review:


The X's and friends don't see the people that sacrifice everything including their own personal lives and families to ensure that these people sitting on cushions can continue looking down their noses at employees they consider below them meant to be unseen and unheard.

The X's and others aren't equipped to take responsibility for anything including their own children and can't see beyond the color filling their bank accounts.

The psychological turmoil these people cause their children by introducing and removing nannies and caretakers from their lives as easily as they do their husbands, wives and lovers is something you can't help but shake your head over.

You see the sense of disconnect between parent and child, the neglect, the complete sense of self centered selfishness that the X's are corrupted by as they push their children onto poor unsuspecting servants who despite their level of experience in the field really have no idea just how bad some of these people really can be.

Eventually it begins to wear on and test Nanny's defenses, her patience, and her morals. I liked that Nanny tried to stick with it for little G but in the end a person can only endure so much before you hit a wall. 

I really like how Nanny went out at the end because you think 'way to go, good for you.'

I was happy that after being so tolerant the entire time that Nanny finally spoke up.  I mean really. Someone needed to say it.

The Nanny Diaries was a book I wasn't sure I would like at first but once I started it couldn't put it down until it was finished. 

Its also a story that confirms my opinion that many upper crust people in society shouldn't breed.






My Rating:






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Original post:

Julia London's THE BRIDESMAID (Part 10) - Free Newsletter Serial


Joe felt the warmth of that smile trickle down his spine, slide into his limbs, his fingers and toes, and warm his chest like an atomic glow.

Catch up with Kate and Joe here >>



Chapter 10

Thanks to the generous number of bathrooms and irons in the Preston house, Joe was able to clean up and shake out a suit to wear to the wedding. He hadn’t seen Kate all day, but her mother would periodically pop in to give updates. “The girls are getting their hair done,” she would say. “The girls are at the nail salon.”

Seemed to Joe they spent more time on the hair and makeup and whatever else it was they were doing than the wedding itself. He didn’t mind, though. He was suitably entertained by the Preston men—father, brother, cousins, and friends. First, there was the inspection of a broken rototiller. Next was a rousing debate about the possibilities of the Seattle Seahawks going All The Way next year. Joe had been in Seattle enough to be able to toss in a few thoughts about the NFL and the Seahawks, and as a result, was hailed as “a guy’s guy.”

Joe really liked these men. They were the sort of guys he would hang out with, go to games with, get a beer with. It would be something he could look forward to, if it weren’t for one small problem: Kate would be leaving soon.

The situation with Kate was difficult to think about on such a festive day. They’d shared a really weird and fabulous few days, but how could it ever be anything more than something to regale his friends with in the years to come? It wasn’t as if either of them would give up a job based on one long weekend. Joe thought he understood how these things went—you meet, you hook up, you go on with life. What other choice did he have? He’d allow himself a couple of days of moping about it, but what more could he do?

He told himself to have a good time tonight. Make it count. And then go on with your life.

He told himself that right up to the moment he saw Kate walking down the aisle in what was perhaps the ugliest dress he’d ever seen. It was a color not found in nature. It was wrinkled, and one half was less poufy than the other. But the remarkable thing about that dress was not how ugly it was, but how fantastic Kate made it look.

In a word, wow. She looked gorgeous with her hair swept up and ribbons cascading down her back. In spite of the condition of the dress, it fit her beautifully, hugging every curve. To Joe, Kate looked more beautiful than the bride, more beautiful than the flowers that adorned every pew and that altar. She was… everything. Everything that came to his mind when he thought of the perfect woman.

On the arm of some sad sack as she glided down the aisle, she caught sight of Joe and her face lit with a brilliant smile. Joe felt the warmth of that smile trickle down his spine, slide into his limbs, his fingers and toes, and warm his chest like an atomic glow.

He grinned back at her, and as she moved past, she gave him a subtle wink that made him as happy as a puppy. He was admiring her slender back as she walked by and almost missed the strange yellow-brown stain at the hem of the fluffy gown. And the wrinkled sash.

His smile went even deeper.

He didn’t actually hear much of the ceremony, as his entire being was focused on Kate. He couldn’t take his eyes from her.

Joe rode with Mr. Preston to the reception. It was in an industrial building, but the inside had been decorated to resemble what Joe guessed was a Southern plantation, with wispy sheers of silk draped overhead, a pergola dripping in fake wisteria over the bridal table, and tall, skinny floral arrangements bursting with lilies and more silk wisteria gracing the center of each table.

“Joe, over here!” Mrs. Preston called to him from near the buffet. She had dressed in a shade of peach for the occasion. “We’ve put you next to Kate,” she said, and leaned in next to him. “We had to move Aunt Emily, but she’ll be sleeping in her soup anyway,” she confided. She pointed to a seat at the bridal table.

“I don’t want to displace anyone,” Joe said.

“Trust me, Aunt Emily will be happier sitting with the Bergers. I don’t know about them…” She smiled. “Help yourself to champagne punch. The bridal party should be here any moment.”

Joe did as she suggested. He was chatting it up with another of Kate’s cousins when the bridal party arrived, streaming in like peach-colored ribbons.

Joe watched as Kate stopped to greet people she knew, hugging one or two tightly, laughing with another. When she finally reached him, he handed her a glass of champagne punch.

“Wow,” she said, beaming up at him. “You look so nice, Joe Firretti.”

“And you, Kate Preston,” he said, lifting his glass, “are stunning.”

“Oh, stop,” she said with fake modesty, and twirled around in the dress, almost knocking over a candelabra in the process. “What do you think?”

“I think,” he said, looking down at the dress, “that it is the ugliest, most hideous, god-awful poufy piece of taffeta in the history of the world,” he said, repeating the words she’d said to him in Dallas.

Kate burst out laughing.

“But I think it’s hanging on one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen.”

Her smile was glowing. “Thank you,” she said, curtsying. “You’re just being nice.” She touched her glass to his. “But I’m still going to memorize everything you just said and repeat it to myself several times a day.”

“I mean it. You’re beautiful,” he said solemnly.

Kate’s smile melted into something he understood. He was feeling the same regret and happiness, the same joy and sadness that he saw shimmering in her eyes.

Uncle Frank bumped into them at that moment and grabbed Kate up in a bear hug, giving her what Joe thought was an alarmingly rough shake in the process, yet Kate just laughed.

They were invited to be seated. Joe helped Kate into her chair and slid into his just as the happy couple arrived to rousing applause, holding each other’s hands. As they dined on filet of beef, the couple was toasted with champagne for a lifetime of happiness.

Then it was Kiefer’s turn to speak. “I’m not very good at this,” he said, taking the mic and standing. “But as a lot of you know, I’ve been around awhile.”

Someone in the back hooted at that, and Kiefer laughed. “Keep it down back there, Bryan. So anyway, I’ve been around awhile. I’ve had my fair share of relationships, but you know, I knew something was different when I met Lisa. I don’t know if I could put a word to it, but I knew, deep down, that she was The One. To my beautiful bride,” he said, and leaned down to kiss her.

In the midst of a lot of oohing and aahing and cries of “Hear, hear,” Joe and Kate exchanged a look. He saw the blush come up in her cheeks and felt a strange little swirl of recognition in his gut.

“My turn!” Lisa said loudly, and several people chuckled. She took the mic from her husband. “As several of you know, I almost killed Kiefer this week.”

The crowd laughed.

“But honestly, I can’t imagine life without him. My hope is that everyone here gets to experience the love we have for each other.” She suddenly turned and looked directly at Kate and Joe. “Right, Kate?” she asked, and the crowd laughed again.

“Oh my god, she didn’t just do that, did she?” Kate muttered under her breath to Joe.

“She did,” he muttered back.

When the speeches were done and the toasts concluded, the band began to play. Everyone gathered around the dance floor and watched Lisa dance with her father, then with Kiefer. They swayed back and forth, sharing a private laugh.

When everyone was invited to join the dance, Joe looked at Kate and held out his hand. “Do you dance?”

“Do I dance!” she said, as if she danced for the ballet, and slipped her hand into his. “Not really.”

Joe laughed. “Then that makes two of us.”

He led her out onto the dance floor, took her hand and tucked it in between them, pulled her in close, and began to move.

“Hey,” Kate said as they moved languidly around the dance floor. “You’re a good dancer. I would not have guessed that about you.”

There was so much about him that she didn’t know, that he wished she knew. “What? Didn’t you see me leap over the rope at the Hertz counter?”

“That was more like a hurdle,” she reminded him.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” he said. There was an easy grace to her. “By the way,” he said, “I finished your book.”

She gasped with surprise; her eyes glittered happily. “When?”

“This afternoon. I had a little downtime.”

“So what did you think?”

“Want to know the truth?” he asked.

Her smile faded a little. “Yes,” she said. “I do.” She looked as if she expected him to say something disparaging.

“I didn’t want it to end,” Joe said. “Don’t look that surprised,” he said, laughing at her shocked expression. “I liked those two. I wanted to know what happened after they resolved everything. What their children looked like, if she ever sorted things out with her mother.”

“You did?”

Kate looked so happy, and Joe liked that he had made her look that way. “I did. I don’t think I am going to break my lifelong habit of sticking to magazines and tech manuals, but yes, I really enjoyed it and didn’t want it to end. Do you ever feel that way?” he asked, referring to the books she edited.

Something flickered in Kate’s gaze. “Yes,” she said. “Actually, I’m sort of feeling that way now.”

Joe sighed and pulled her in a little closer. “Me too, baby.”

“You know, some might argue that this thing between us doesn’t have to end, but…” Her voice trailed off. She looked a little hopeful, and that made Joe uneasy.

“But I’m here, at a new job,” he said. “And you’re in New York.”

“And long distance never really works, does it?” she said sadly.

“Even if it did, east coast-west coast is not an easy distance to work with.”

The music was ending. Kate glanced down and nodded. “I just wish… I just wish you weren’t such a great guy, Joe Firretti. I wish you’d turned out to be the armrest hog from hell, you know?”

Joe couldn’t help but laugh. “I kind of wish I had, too,” he said. He didn’t like feeling as helpless and hopeless as he was right now. But he was determined not to let the evening end on a somber note. “Let’s make the best of tonight.”

Kate’s smile returned. “What’d you have in mind?”

“Champagne to start. Then you, naked. Me, admiring you, naked.” He grinned, his body stirring at just the suggestion.

“I think that could be arranged,” she said coyly. “But we have to be careful. My parents have the ears of donkeys. And you might have to jackhammer me out of this dress.”

“That,” he said, leaning forward, putting his mouth to her temple, “will be my great pleasure.”


At half past two in the morning, Joe was lying on a cot in the library at the Preston house, his arms folded behind his head. He’d given up on Kate and figured she’d gotten cold feet in her parents’ house.

But then he heard the door. He sat up, saw her slip into the library wearing a flannel pajama top that came to the top of her thighs. She closed the door very carefully behind her, then tiptoed quickly across the floor and hopped on top of him. She instantly covered his mouth with her hand. “Shhh,” she whispered.

Joe nodded, slipped his hand under her top, and closed his eyes as his fingers slid over smooth, warm skin. Kate began to kiss him, sinking down onto his body, her hands sliding through his hair, down his side.

Joe had the hazy thought that this was what it was supposed to be like, that the times before Kate had been nothing, just diversions, a passing of time. And when he entered her, and slid into that state of pure, pleasurable oblivion, he could think only that this was right, this was so right.

So right that it was screwed up.




Original post:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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Original post:

Julia London's THE BRIDESMAID (Part 9) - Free Newsletter Serial


She had happy eyes, he thought. Big, green, happy eyes. He wouldn’t mind starting every day with big, green, happy eyes.

Catch up with Kate and Joe here >>



Chapter 9

They were lucky to be on the same flight, Joe figured, even if they couldn’t sit together. He could see just the top of Kate’s head above a middle seat a few rows ahead of him and wondered if she’d begun her attack on the armrest yet. Every once in a while, she would sit up, turn around, and smile at him. She had happy eyes, he thought. Big, green, happy eyes. He wouldn’t mind starting every day with big, green, happy eyes.

It seemed ridiculously unfair that Joe would meet a girl like Kate just as he was about to take the biggest step in his career. If he believed in fate, he would be calling it a few choice names right now.

They landed without a hitch in Seattle, but Joe could hear the guy behind him on the phone as they taxied to the gate. He was irate that the next leg of his flight had been canceled. Weather or air traffic, Joe didn’t know. He was thankful he was at last where he needed to be. Disaster had been averted; he would meet the boss from Switzerland and begin his new job.

He didn’t feel quite as excited about it as he had forty-eight hours ago.

Kate was waiting for him in the passenger ramp, the pink raft propped up beside her. She smiled brightly at him when she saw him and caught his hand. “Wait,” she said as he tried to move forward, and pulled him to the side.

“What’s wrong?”

“Okay,” she said, “Listen. My family is tight. Really tight. So tight they can be a little overbearing,” she said with a charming wince. “And I don’t bring guys home a lot. Maybe never. So…” She shrugged.

Joe smiled at her angst. “Kate, it’s okay,” he said. “I can handle them.” He picked up her garment bag, tossed it over his shoulder, and took her hand in his.

“So here we go,” Kate said, looking down at their clasped hands as they made their way up the passenger ramp.

“Here we go, two people who have been brought together by an epic travel meltdown.”

Kate smiled. But her smile didn’t seem quite as bright as it had earlier this morning, when she’d been so deliciously naked in his bed. Families had a way of doing that to a person.

At the baggage claim area, the little scream of happiness Joe heard turned out to be for Kate. He turned just in time to see an older woman who looked like Kate barreling right toward them, a couple of guys and another woman with her.

“Oh thank God, you made it!” the woman shouted, and threw her arms around Kate, squeezing her tightly, weaving back and forth. Then she suddenly put Kate at arm’s length. “Where’s the dress?”

“Right there,” Kate said, pointing at Joe. Joe wondered how anyone in Seattle could have missed the arrival of the dress. “Mom,” Kate said, “this is Joe Firretti.”

“And the dress,” Joe added, holding up the pink raft.

“Oh, thank God again,” the woman said, her shoulders dropping with relief.

“This is my mom, Sandra,” Kate said. “And my dad, James. And my brother Colton and my sister Cassidy.”

“With a C,” the young woman said.

“Pleasure,” he said to them all, and he was still smiling when Kate’s mother moved. Joe thought she meant to take the dress from him. But instead, she threw her arms around him.

“Thank you so much for bringing my baby home,” she said, sounding almost tearful.

“He didn’t bring me home,” Kate said. “We were on the same flight, and we were both coming to Seattle.”

“Don’t try and downplay it, Katie-Kate,” her mother said, beaming up at Joe. “We owe this young man a debt of gratitude.”

“We’ll pay him later, Sandra,” Mr. Preston said, and clapped Joe on the shoulder as if they were old friends. “You didn’t take any liberties with my little girl, did you, son?”

“Dad!” Kate cried, clearly mortified.

Mr. Preston squeezed Joe’s shoulder and laughed. “Kidding! Come on, let’s go. I told Glen I’d help him get the bar set up.”

“And we have hair and makeup this afternoon,” Mrs. Preston added. “Come on, Joe, we’ve made up a cot for you in the library.”

“That’s not necessary,” he said quickly, holding up a hand. “I’ve got a reservation—”

“Nonsense!” Mrs. Preston said firmly. “You will come with us. We have plenty of room, and after what you did for Kate, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just call the hotel and tell them you’ll be there tomorrow.”

“What makes you think he did it all?” Kate asked. “It’s not like we mushed across the country.”

“Don’t be a sourpuss,” Mr. Preston said cheerfully, and grabbed her tote bag, handing it to Colton.

Kate looked helplessly at Joe. “See?”

He winked at her. He liked the Prestons. He liked them a lot.


The Prestons lived in the Queen Anne district of Seattle, an area of old and well-loved homes. The Preston house was a rambling turn-of-the-century, five-bedroom, three-bath home with wood floors and dark window casings and a view of Lake Union. It was charming and a little quirky, just like Kate.

As they pulled into the drive, people rushed from the house, shouting for Kate, embracing her as she emerged. One would think she’d spent forty days in the desert instead of two days traveling across country.

She glanced back at him more than once, her expression apologetic. “They’re nuts!” she insisted.

“They love you,” he said as they were swept along on a wave into the house.

“Here, dude, a beer,” someone said, shoving a bottle into his hand. It wasn’t even noon. But Joe wasn’t turning down a beer. He’d just taken a sip when he heard a woman shout from the top of the stairs. Everyone paused and looked up. “Kaaaaate!” the woman cried as she flew down the stairs.

The bride, Joe realized, had appeared.

She grabbed Kate, hopping up and down, babbling about backup maids of honor. “The dress,” she said.

“In the car,” Kate said quickly.

Why that should make the bride cry, Joe had no idea, but she burst into tears, and as he stood, dumbfounded, he watched Kate, Lisa, and little sister Cassidy with a C race upstairs.

“Get used to it,” one man said to Joe. “This is the family you’re marrying into.”

“Not me,” Joe said quickly.

The man squinted at him. “You’re not Kiefer? Who are you, then?”

“Joe.” At the man’s blank look, Joe couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m the guy who was sitting next to Kate when the plane was diverted to Dallas.”

The man looked confused. “Huh?”

Joe grinned and took a swig of beer. It was going to be an interesting day. “Is there anything to eat?” he asked.

“Are you serious? J. J. made his ribs. You like ribs?”

“Love ’em,” Joe said, and followed the man to the back of the house where he supposed he would find J. J. and his ribs.


When Kate pulled the peach monstrosity from the bag, Lisa sank onto Cassidy’s bed with a crushed expression. “It’s ruined.”

“No, no, not ruined,” Kate said quickly. “Right, Cassidy? We can steam out these wrinkles, and the sash, well… maybe I just go without the sash.”

“The sash makes the dress,” Lisa said morosely.

“Okay. It’s all okay, Lisa,” Kate said, thinking frantically.

“What’s that?” Cassidy asked, peering closely at the hem.

So did Kate. There was a yellowish, brownish stain that looked a little like mustard spreading across several inches of the hem. How had that happened?

“Oh my god!” Lisa cried.

“No one is going to see that!” Kate said, a little loudly. “And besides, everyone is going to be looking at you, anyway. It’s okay!”

Lisa sniffed. She examined the wrinkled dress. One half was less poufy than the other. Lisa forced a smile. “At least you’re here without weird stains, right? That’s the important thing. Now I have all the people I love with me.” She hugged Kate tightly for a moment. “And Joe is so cute!” she added as she let her go.

“He’s gorgeous,” Cassidy agreed. “Is he your boyfriend?”

“No!” Kate said instantly, and then flushed. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she smiled nervously. She couldn’t help it.

“What’s that smile?” Lisa asked, poking her.

“No smile,” Kate said, still smiling. “This is not a smile.”

Lisa suddenly gasped and sank down on the bed. “Ohmigod, did you guys do it?”

“Lisa!” Kate cried and looked at her kid sister.

“Well, did you?” Cassidy demanded. “I mean, he’s so cute, and you haven’t had a boyfriend in forever.”

“That,” she said, pointing at Cassidy, “that is not true.”

“You sure haven’t had a good boyfriend,” Lisa agreed. “And you obviously like Joe.”

“Yeah,” Kate said, her smile fading. “But he’s moving to Seattle.”

“No way!” Cassidy exclaimed.

“That’s great!” Lisa said. “You can get a job here! It would be so great if you came back! We miss you so much!”

“I can’t come back, Lisa. I have always wanted to be in publishing, and I have a great job.”

“Joe and Kiefer could be friends,” Lisa continued.

“They haven’t even met,” Kate pointed out.

“But they will!” Lisa said excitedly. “I just want you to be as happy as I am, Katie-Kate. I want you to know what I feel for Kief.”

Kate snorted. “Do you know how ridiculous you sound right now? Just yesterday you wanted to call it off.”

“You did?” Cassidy asked.

“Not really,” Lisa said with a flick of her wrist, as if yesterday had never happened. “I never would have done it because I love Kiefer too much. And I’m going to whip him into shape.”

Kate and Cassidy laughed outright.

“Seriously,” Lisa said, ignoring their laughter, “I know what a great guy Kiefer is. And it’s like I told you: great guys come around once in a lifetime.” She looked meaningfully at Kate.

That’s what Kate was afraid of.

She was relieved when her mother burst into the room and had a fit over her dress. “Well, I have my work cut out for me this afternoon, don’t I?” she sighed as she examined the sash. “In the meantime, you girls are going to be late to the hairdresser! Lori is outside waiting for you.”

“What about Joe?” Kate asked as Cassidy and Lisa gathered their purses.

“Don’t worry about him,” her mother said as she busily inspected the gown. “He’s out back with your father and your Uncle Glen looking at rototillers.”

Kate gasped. “Mom, no!”

“He’ll be fine! He looked really interested,” her mother insisted, and began to herd them out the door. “Right now, you have bigger things to worry about. If we don’t get Lisa married today, we may never have another opportunity.”

“Hey!” Lisa protested, but Kate’s mother had already pushed her out the door.




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Life's Too Frantic

So I haven't been around to blog since late November early December, I hope you all are doing well. I am keeping busy wi...