Tag Archives: toy drama

From PBS Masterpiece Theater – Mr. Selfridge

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This Masterpiece Theater Mini-Series of “Mr. Selfridge” produced by ITV is a tour de force of excellent performances of the actors, the finesse of drama scripts, gorgeous costumes, and classically elegant settings coordinated as truthfully as possible. It chronicles Harry Gordon Selfridge’s business adventures from the onset of establishing Selfridges & Co in 1908 until his farewell to his labor of love twenty years afterwards.

 From Episode I of Series 1 to Episode 10 of Series 4 (Final Season), we get to see a man named Harry Gordon Selfridge (1958-1947) who was something of a Napoleon Bonaparte knowing no word in his dictionary for “Impossible.” We see the man build a one-of-a-kind department store in London’s Oxford Street as an adventurous American tradesman against the British aristocratic chauvinism. Selfridge was a man who set a standard of modern department store; by placing the cosmetic/perfume counters on the lobby, Selfridge intended to sweeten the atmosphere of the floor in attempt to use it as a magnet for passers-by, especially women. In effect, Selfridge broke down the class-stratified fashion wall guarded by the rich/privileged by democratizing the luxurious items and making them accessible to common people as well.

Moreover, the ace portrayal of Selfridge would/could not be possible were it not for the fine acting of Jeremy Piven whose quintessential American accent doubled with inescapable American can-do attitudes triumphs over the transatlantic cultural differences in working with the British peers. The viewer will be left with a feeling of heartfulness of the characters upon finishing all of the episodes in this series and cannot help but applaud to Mr. Selfridge for his entrepreneurial effervescence and Mr. Piven for portraying the man in a stellar performance that evokes both pathos and respect.

At the cafe on a New Year’s Day

NEws Article about the upgraded cafe   (Click here for the cafe scenes)

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Benjamin Franklin in his Autobiography advises his reader for the New Year to resolve to perform what he ought and perform without fail what he resolves. Mrs. Lompstrompf’s bakery whose official business names is “Rilakuma Cafe” is accordingly decorated anew with a variety of new snacks at affordable prices to accommodate to the little ones’ pocket money. How thoughtful and generous the proprietor is! There is seldom anyone like Mrs. Lompstrompf in these days.

So after wishing Happy New Year to their families and friends, the little ones gather in their elbow room in Avonlea. What is better than uplifting your spirits with sweets and refreshment in a wintry afternoon?

The little ones are busy talking about their new year’s resolutions and plans among themselves, and listening to them makes anyone smile at their innocent wishes and simple hopes for the future, which is a prerogative of the young at heart.

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Episode VI – Ramen soup for the soul

Ramen night   (Click here for the ramen dinner)

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It’s a frightfully cold night tonight; so cold that it will freeze your toes out if you forget to wear your socks or have holes in your shoes. Boreas. god of the North wind in collaboration with the White Witch are at their zenith to in this time of the year and orchestrate the symphony of arctic winter in Avonlea, where the little residents gather together at home to warm their bodies and jettison their sprites from frigid cold.

Of all kinds of soup that can provide both delicacy and warm to the body and the soul of the Avonlea residents, they have chosen Ramen unanimously because (1) you can cook it in 10 minutes by putting the ramen noodle in the boiling water with ready-made seasonings in it; (2) there is a variety of flavors you can choose, such as vegetable, beef, chicken, and shrimp; (3) you can mix it with lots of creative additions, such as dumplings, battered eggs, cheese, minced scallops, tempura, fried shrimps, or tofu to your liking; and (4) a package of instant ramen noodle is pleasingly inexpensive. Hence, it is nicknamed – somewhat endearingly- “a poor soul’s victual” in some Far Eastern countries, such as Korea and Japan.

So here the repast of ramen noodle soup for the family. Tom is especially good at cooking a delicious bowl of the noodle soup for his friend Fred and himself.  The night is still young and  cold, but their home is warm and cozy. It seems that “God is in his heaven, and all’s well with this world.”

Episode V: Spaghetti Evening

A Spaghetti Dinner  (Click here, and it will take you to the House where you can read the dinner story with pictures of the characters.)

PROLOGUE

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Last thursday was a spaghetti evening at Mrs. Lompstrompf’s house, where Sally and Mathilda lodged. Sally was still recovering from a serious case of abscess on her neck due to her weak immune system for being anemic. The medication Dr. Humbug had prescribed to  her was Ajaxcillin/TMP 800/169 MG TB, which was to be taken twice per day. It’s an antibiotic, and Sally took 2 tablets a day religiously with her hands supplicant for a quick healing of the wound. The effect of the medication dovetailed with its name derived from Ajax the Great, a towering figure and great warrior of valor and strength fighting alongside Achilles and other famous Greeks against Trojans. One portant tablet would make Sally dizzy and her stomach feel light. No feeling of hunger would be shed over her. In a way, Sally thought this could be an opportunity to  lose some weight.

But Sally was prabably not meant to be thin because she could not resist the wonderful aroma of Mrs. Lompstromfp’s spaghetti. Mrs. Lompstrompf had receipts from her old Grandmother in Norway, the land of fjords and the Norse gods and goddesses, where her relatives were still thriving on their homemade dairy products.  Her spaghetti surpassed the most authentically Italian made one in flavor, texture, and contents filled with genuine affection for cooking and caring for whoever would taste her culinary blessing.

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So Sally gladly joined the dinner table with Mrs. Lompstrompf and partook in a convivial conversation. She talked about her Web log activities, how much she liked writing anything that came to her mind, such as poetry, novellas, and book reviews although the works published were not widely recognized. Upon hearing this from Sally, the good old Norwegian lady gently encouraged Sally’s somewhat downcast spirit by saying, “Sally, but your writings are all original, written bottomless from the bottom of your mind. And besides, you are writing in a language that is foreign to you when all these other people write in their own tongues. ast out literary, grammatical, and syntactical inhibition when you write. Be like Hercules whose confidence equals that of gods and goddess.”

With this inspiring word of advice and encouragement from the saintly lady, Sally suddenly felt a rush of appetite that had been quelled by the antibiotic agents, thus joyously enjoyed the delicious spaghetti. Anything coming from Mrs. Lompstrompf was opposite to deceit, flattery, and lie. She talked only truth like an oracle at Delphi. Surely, the spaghetti tasted better than ambrosia or nectar.

fa8e830c9e8170c16507cc49b7b0aeb7And what about Mathilda, another boarder? She was in her melancholic mood again, so she stayed in her room. It’s not that she felt uncomfortable with both of the ladies but that it was her nature to be solitary once in a while. She was by  the way a writer like Sally. Both Sally and Mathilda kept their traveler’s notebooks in which  they wrote their journals and drafted what they would post on their Web logs.

So it was a nice warm Thursday evening dinner. Sally’s spirit was emboldened by Mrs. Lompstompf’s truthful revelation, and her wound on the neck seemed to heal considerably. Sometimes, everyone needs good food for the mind and the body because as the ancient Greeks said, “Mens sana in corpore sano.” (A sound mind dwells in a healthy body.)

 

Pomp and Circumstance

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He bangs the drum and makes a grand entrance,
annoying gentlemen and terrifying ladies
in their fine costumes and sparkling jewels
grimacing at his brave face
radiating his crimson valor to break the silence
sealed in proprieties, the pillar of formalities, the flagpole of vanity fairs.
Forthwith he enters the ballroom full of all eyes and ears
and makes the ether vocal with a rude awakening of wild senses.