Yes, we have no bananas

Holden-Hepburn-Sabrina

Yards of skirt and way off the shoulders.

There’s not a lot to say about Sabrina, except that if you haven’t watched it, or watched it lately, you should do so immediately.

Humphrey Bogart is kind of ridiculous (he was apparently a backup choice for the role, dealing with personal Bogie issues, and grumped at everyone through all of filming). And even though Audrey Hepburn was obviously born to play this role, her dreamy drawl begins to wear on one by the end of the movie. And the two of them together? Maybe one of the most awkward onscreen kisses in history.

But it doesn’t matter. It’s magic.

The second-to-last time I watched Sabrina, I actually listened to it. Precisely two years ago Robyn and I were driving from Coronado Island to L.A. and we put it on her iPod, safely tucked the device into the cupholder so as to watch the road!, and listened to it the whole way back so we wouldn’t fall asleep.

Amazingly, it works!

I mean, maybe it works better for those of us who have seen the movie 57 times. But from the “once upon a time” opening to the sound of crunching champagne glasses, the movie as-is (with the exception of the long dialogue-free scene where Sabrina writes her suicide note) functions remarkably well as a radio play.

Except if you go that route, you miss out on the fact that this is simply one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know what it is. I’m not a production person. I don’t know if they did something special with the film or with the lighting…but there is something about the crispness of the light, dark, and shadow in Sabrina that I have never seen (or at least, never noticed) in any other black and white movie.

I can’t explain it beyond that. Maybe you can. But practically every scene in this movie is gorgeous.

Oh, and it’s funny!

And it contains useful life lessons like, “There’s a front seat and a backseat and a window in between” and “Never an umbrella in Paris.”

So do yourself a favor and go watch this one–not the 1994 remake!–again, and consider whether “Isn’t it Romantic,” “La Vie en Rose,” or “Yes We have no Bananas” is the fairest tune of them all.

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Houseboat

MV5BMTM0NjIxMDM1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzU3MjUxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_Houseboat is basically a charming mashup of, like, Sabrina, Roman Holiday, and The Sound of Music. But with the aesthetic of Move Over Darling.

Cary Grant is Tom (Tom? Come on, he may be a Peter, a Brian, a Mortimer, a Dudley, a C.K. Dexter, but a Tom he is not), an absent father who returns from mysterious “government work” (clearly he is a spy) to take custody of his three children after his estranged wife is killed in an accident. His in-laws want to keep the kids (and, incidentally, separate them, because even though they live in a huge mansion and seem to have already had the kids living with them for months or years, they apparently don’t have room for both boys and one girl in the house).

He takes the kids to his flat in Washington D.C., only to discover that they are fairly messed up after the death of their mother and being semi-kidnapped by the father they barely know. David steals and peeps at naked ladies, Elizabeth can’t sleep, and Robert runs off and constantly plays the harmonica (yes).

But when Tom he loses his youngest son after a concert–incidentally inviting runaway socialite-turned-nanny Sophia Loren into their lives–

he decides they’d be better off in his sister-in-law’s country guest house. (She’s played by Martha Hyer, reprising her role from Sabrina as the lovely, appropriate, but ultimately un-lust-inspiring castoff). Alas, when the house is run over by a train (yes) the family + Sophia have no choice but to move into…you guessed it, a dilapidated houseboat!

The kids are surprisingly un-irritating, and the story actually takes a rather gentle and thoughtful look into the different ways they handle their grief and carry on with their lives. They slap some paint on the boat, CG learns to value his family above work, and the family finds their feet.

Then some snobby people–not realizing that Sophia Loren is no mere nanny/mistress, but actually the daughter of a world famous orchestra conductor!–are very rude to her at a fancy party that might actually take place on the set of the Larrabees’ patio from Sabrina. Naturally, this causes Cary Grant to realize that–of course!–he loved her all along. So she borrows Audrey’s wedding dress from Funny Face, the spurned sister-in-law acts as maid-of-honor, and they get married right on the boat. The kids, who love Sophia as a nanny but aren’t so sure about her as a mom, begrudgingly come around.

Best of all, it features this fabulous, uplifting ditty:

It gets a Bing! Bang! Bong! in my book!

Lullaby Grab Bag

We all think we have our favorite songs, the ones we know by heart.

But at 3:30 a.m., in the dark, when you’re only half-awake and a tiny person is screaming in your face, and some voice deep inside you says, “I should probably sing a soothing song,” and you open your mouth wondering what will come out….this is when the truth is revealed.

Which songs are actually written into the muscle memory of your vocal cords? That you can sing from your brain stem, when higher functions fail? Probably not the ones you anticipated, eh?

Here, I’ve learned, are my top 10:

10. I Just Can’t Wait to be King Not even close to my favorite Disney movie or Disney song, but there it is. Also, the babe really likes the “bada ba dum bum, bada bum bum” intro. You know.

9. Good Morning I mean, who doesn’t fantasize about waking their charming children every morning with this song? Oh, not you? This one ranks down here only because, bummer, I realized I don’t know it as well as I thought and I got stuck on a second verse loop that I couldn’t find my way out of. Songs you have to think about don’t make the cut.

8. Put on Your Sunday Clothes This is another one where I tend to get stuck in the middle. But for bucking up and powering through those Blue Mondays, it can’t be beat.

7. The Tree Song Sang this one in church choir every year for approximately a decade, though we did not have such jazzed up accompaniment, let me tell you! Are you a downtown tree or a riverside tree?

6. In My Life Clearly, the only song to sing in the wake of a major and permanent life change. Reassuring to all parties.

5. Reel around the Sun Not really singable, but apparently her favorite thing in the world.

4. My Love How was this simple, sweet, image-rich song not designed for parents to sing to/with their children? I can’t wait until she is old enough to sing this one with appropriate hand motions, which I will obviously make up! Replace “I want you more” with “I love you more” if that makes you more comfortable.

3. “Hey little squalling girl, why are you a squalling girl” This, in case you couldn’t tell, is a creation of my own. No Puddles the Clown covers have been posted to YouTube yet, but this is more or less how it goes:

Hey little squalling girl, why are you a squalling girl?

Hey, little squalling girl, why are you a squalling girl?

You don’t have to be a squaller, instead you could be a sleeper

You don’t have a be a squaller, instead you could be a sleeper

Hey, little squalling girl, why are you a squaaaaaallliiiiiing giiirrrrrl?

So, you know, it’s pretty profound.

2. Edelweiss I mean, obviously. Bloom and grow forever, little girl! Frankly, I always assumed this would be my number one, but under pressure, it turns out something else has consistently edged it out.

And, drumroll please…..

1. Wouldn’t it be Loverly Cockney accent optional. Never would have guessed it, but I now sing this song about 100 times a day. I think a combination of factors come into play here: I know it forward and backward. Thanks, 6th grade musical + Big Note Broadway piano book + watching the movie 8,000 times when I was little. The range is pretty small. It’s not a stretch for a normal voice, and it’s easy to sing softly. No belting required. And, frankly, it’s a very sweet song about simple pleasures that was perfect for this first long winter. Who among us doesn’t want an enormous chair, lots of chocolate, warm feet, and to never budge till spring? Right? When I remember, I change the words from “someone’s head resting on my knee” to “Daisy’s head resting on my knee.” Better to paint the picture of a faithful canine friend than an unknown male supplicant, amirite? 

So, what songs have been resurrected from the depths of your soul and called into action in times of need?

Who I’m wearing

typicalThe only baby gear I bought new and paid full price for (even the carseat–yes, new–was on clearance) was the Boba Combo Box.

It was not cheap. It was an investment and a gamble. Did we really need three baby carriers? And I had my merry visions of a babe snuggled up to my chest, but what if our child hated it? Would we even use them?

Well. I have no philosophical or ideological feelings about babywearing. I’m all for strollers, cribs, swings, the floor…whatever works. But from a purely practical standpoint, I know that I would not have survived winter with a newborn without this stuff. I have used the Boba 4G carrier or the wrap (or both) every single day since the Fustible came home. (We can’t use the third product in the combo box, the Boba Air, until she reaches 15 pounds, but I’m looking forward to using it this summer.)

combobox

Since I’ve only been using consistently using Boba products so far, I can’t provide a real cross-brand comparison, but I can tell you how the products in the combo box–at least, the Boba 4G Carrier and the Boba Wrap–stand up to various daily activities. Boba has their own comparison chart, but I find that it doesn’t contain all the…..detail….one might wish for. So, in 12 weeks, here’s what I’ve learned:

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