Fifty Fifty Me: Playing Catch Up

I am 26 books in and I better get crack-a-lacking on my goal of 52. It seemed so doable when I made the goal now it seems exhausting. In an effort not to panic, I am just going to play it cool. Read them as they come. I have been reading since I finished Wild. I needed to digest wild and think about it. I just couldn’t plunk myself into the next book very easily. Once I did, there was no stopping me. I enjoyed the last book. When I really enjoy a book and then finish it. I need to mull it over. It is hard for me to jump right into the next book with the same eagerness to read. It took a while, but I was able to move on after Wild.

I have been laid up with Bronchitis this week and when you are on vacation, nothing sucks more than being sick for part of it. What that has done is free up some time to read. I read 3 books this week and started another. I caught up on movies as well, 6 to be exact.

The Books:

The first one was The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlaine. It took me a fair bit of time to commit to liking this book. The early beginnings had me wondering what all the hoopla was about amongst my Goodread friends. The main character in the early stages was 16. With that comes bad choices and impossible situations.I remember being 16 and like the character I made choices that effected my entire life – and not for the good. On some level I could relate to the character, but most of me wanted to forget being 16, being naive, being stupid and mostly being seduced by older men. I understood the bad choices but I am pretty sure I knew the difference between morally right and wrong. i had the benefit of family teaching me the difference. This character did not.

As the story progressed I became more enchanted with the choices she was making. Eventually she set her life back to the moment of 16 – because 16 haunts you forever if you made stupid choices. The character rectified it all, making a huge impact on everyone in her life. That was when this story became the type of book I love, not being able to pt it down. The climax was marvelous.

The second book I read was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. Of all the books I read this week, this one I loved from start to finish. This was billed as a romance, but I never saw it as a romance. It was more about euthanasia and choices of others. I found this book to be a real metaphor for my life. No matter how badly you want something, other people’s choices affect you in a profound way. Wanting something bad enough and working towards that goal isn’t always enough when human choices are involved.  This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned on my Tourist journey. The characters in this book handled it remarkably well. It surprised me. Typically books turn out they would would hope them too. Maeve Binchy is a master of this never happening. The ugly duckling doesn’t become the beautiful swan, she just plods along, enjoying or dealing with what life throws at her. This is real life. You are dealt a hand and the purpose is to see what you make out of it, not throw them all away and get lucky by drawing a Royalflush. That never happens. I wish it did. So in an effort to find happiness, you look within – not externally. Buddha was right.

The final book was The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I really enjoyed the first book, but I was young and still hadn’t figured out stuff yet I thought I knew everything. I think I have moved beyond this type of book. I want more meat or substance from a book. The bottom line is I am busy, so I want a book that is worth my time, a book that makes me think. This book had New York going for it but that is no longer enough. 50/50 me challenge had opened my eyes up to new authors and genres. I can no longer go back to the books I loved in my youth.

Now that is not to say Young Adult books have left my peripheral vision. Fantastic Mr. Fox was recommended to me. I enjoy reading children’s books because I love to talk about them WITH children. Learning from children is an undervalued resource.

The Movies:

Since my love affair with the Avengers, more notably Tony Stark, I have watched 6 movies.

  1. People Like Us
  2. Bottle Shock
  3. Single man
  4. The Best Marigold Hotel
  5. Blade Runner
  6. Things you can tell by Looking at Her

Not only have my taste in books changed since the start of this project, but my taste in movies has as well. Lets just say, I appreciate art movies more than I did before. There isn’t one movie in that list that I enjoyed more than the others. I am crazy for superhero movies – not one of those is an action pack superhero movie with the exception of blade Runner. It comes close, but Harrison Ford got his ass kicked to often and there wasn’t enough swagger going on for my taste. When I watch sci-fi or action flicks, I expect the impossible. It’s fun to revel in the impossible for a while.

English: Chris Pine poses for a photograph at ...
Isn’t he just delicious?

People Like Us and Bottle Shock had the nicest eye candy. I still have a thing for the new young Captain Kirk aka Chris Pine. He has swagger and is sexy in all his roles. A man with swagger is delicious. Single man surprised me. The Best Marigold Hotel made me laugh because those old birds are delightful! I loved this movie as much as Calendar Girls. But the movie that made me think the hardest was Things You can tell by Looking at Her.

What struck me was the mire these women were all stuck in. It made me think that although people’s lives look better from the outside, we are all the same.

 

My Friend The Reader just put me onto a great site that helps determine your next read. It’s called Whichbook.

You choose from a list of options what you feel like reading, Happy/Sad, Predictable/Unpredictable, Optimists/Bleak an d a myriad of other choices. Then it shows you which book best suits your mood. Sounds perfect for me! I will be giving it a try for my next book.

As for movies? I HAVE to get to the theatre to see BRave, Batman and Spiderman. Although, what was wrong with Toby McGuire’s Spiderman? Those were great movies! Ah well….happy reading!

 

Fifty Fifty Me: Wild

I guess I am behind. Guess what? Not caring that much. Guess why? Schooooooooooools out for Summa! Schooooooooooools out for ev-va! Okay not really, I have one more day of classes with my lovelies. I feel teary-eyed over the whole affair. I let a river monster sit in my lap and cry. I have to admit I kind of liked it. Not the crying part, the river monster was distraught, but the cuddle part.I shall think of him often wondering how he is doing as I also think about children of my past *cough* 24 years. I always think it is not possible to love the next round as much as this round because there is a lot of fear and apprehension that comes with September. This September is no exception. In fact I may be experiencing more fear than usual. Because of all of this accumulated chaos, I have not been up on my reading. I have hours and hours to catch up so I am sure I will meet my 50 book totals by December 31, 2012. I am hoping for 52. Currently I sit at 25. Exactly half-way. My record for a summer reading program is 15 books. We shall see how that goes!

The Book

I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I already talked about this book and the fear here. There was more to this book than just fear and reflection. Strayed was nearing rock-bottom when she set out for a trip up the Pacific Crest Trail. As a travel book, this story is enough for ME to want to hike the trail and I think of camping as incarceration. I have done t, loved it at one time, enjoy it occasionally, but prefer a 5 star resort now. There is something quite delicious about camping in the woods alone. That really appeals to me. I love to be alone with my thoughts and my imagination. I prefer not to talk but I can keep up with the best of them! Reflective is a word that describes me best. Or Self-reflective might be a better fit. There is a big long line of skills I am not perfect in or situations I could have handled better but like Strayed, I realize that those choices were important at the time. Learning things from mistakes and challenges is far more impact than by being awesome all the time. Sure I tell people I am awesome all the time, but the truth is – I am learning just like they are. The more I learn the less I know. I feel a real sense of kinship with Strayed. We both have come the same distance on a journey we had no idea how would turn out. I stepped into a crossroads and am ready to follow the path ahead of me after months of fear and indecision. I admit to being scared, but I also admit to it not holding me back any more.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Read it, loved it but it was not Pride and Prejudice. I love how her characters make me feel. It was a great read for those of you who can plow through books that are 200 years old. It’s not for everyone. But it IS for me. It is now official, I have read ALL of Jane Austen’s books. For those Jane fans out there, Netflix has a mini-series called Lost in Austen. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice and loved it, this is for YOU! I loved it – all four hours of it. It was funny and if you are a Mr. Darcy fan (who isn’t!!!) then delighting in this fantasy is fantastic!

I loved Wild. It was the right book at the right time for me. I recommend it to everyone. I hope they glean something amazing from it too.

The Movie

I have only been able to see a couple of movies, It’s a Funny Kind of Story and Avengers. Obviously Avengers wins hands down as my favorite but It’s a Funny Kind of Story if on Netflix and is quite amazing! It is about a boy – teen rather – who tries to commits suicide and his parents discover him and get mad and his poor choices. He then checks himself into a mental ward at the hospital. He meets the best characters. This movie is like One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – but with a happier ending. My daughter said it was a great book too. This is worth a look.

But Avengers…. BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE EVER! I hated the Hulk in previous TV shows and movies, but Mark Ruffalo is AWESOME. Shwarma steals the show. Because I am not objective, I have no idea if this is a good movie because I am a superhero geek or because it was a good movie. Not caring…loved it, want it and will own it when it comes out. That’s all I have to say about that. Since this is the second time I wrote about this movie…obviously I love it.

Next week I will read Under the Tuscan Sun – I hear it is awful. But the people who say it is awful loved Shades of Grey. Now THAT book is terrible… I suspect I will love random thoughts of a middle-aged woman’s mind, because after all that is what this blog is all about – that and other stuff.

Fifty Fifty Me: The Shadow Wife

So I missed a week of 50/50 me. Reading The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada by Vic Murray and Effectively Managing Human Services Organizations by Ralph Brody apparently don’t count. I don’t find it dry reading, I quite enjoy it and find it enlightening. However, it doesn’t fit the criteria for the challenge. First of all, you need to read it cover to cover – who does that with text books? Secondly, these aren’t the books I read for fun. They are work. Fun is different. Although making the effort to expand my genre exploration hasn’t always been fun. Science Fiction isn’t very fun for me, nor is fantasy. I need to put effort into it so I am able to follow the story line. My preference is the ability to be LOST in a book. When I say LOST, I mean the story sweeps me away and I can’t wait to spend time with the characters. I do not mean LOST as in “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?”Hello Lord of the Rings…

The book I read this week brought me back to my favorite genre. I love family relationship stories. I love a strong female lead. I love reading about places with such detail that I figure I could go there on vacation and find my way around.

I watched 6 movies over the past 2 weeks… I know 6!!! When I was suppose to be sleeping or writing papers. I no longer watch TV, I just don’t have the attention span for interest right now. But a movie? Now that is something I like to get lost in. But enough with the musings… let’s get on with it shall we?

The Book

The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain was gobbled up by me in a couple of days. I read it over lunch at work and every spare moment at home. I was reading reviews on Goodreads by my friends and discovered this author through them. They love her…I can see why. This book was about two main characters intertwined through separate stories. They meet and their story connects. I became very involved in one story, then it stopped and started with the second character’s story. It would frustrate me because I never wanted to end and pick up the next story line. This is common for the books I prefer to read. Maeve Binchy is a master at it character development. I devour strong character building.

This story began with The lead’s parents in a commune in Big Sur. It reminded at first of a Barbara Delinsky novel called the Coast Road (also a good read). I like the whole hippy concept except the filth part, and the camping life part, and the lack of wealth part…okay in THEORY I like hippies, but I like to read about them and have coffee with them and learn about their life. I do not wish to be a hippy. Been there, done that to the best of my ability. I can peel logs, can food, grow food, identify edible plants in the wild, fish, and build a fire without the use of paper or fire starter. Trust me, I’d rather read about these adventures the relive them myself.

As this baby of the hippies grew up, her life changed into what I can identify with professionally. There was a twist at the end that blew my head off. The entire time I was reading this book I was thinking I like this book a lot, not sure I love it. By the end, with me not seeing the twist coming, I LOVED this book! I knew this writer always places twists into her books but there was no hint of it in this. I loved that – and now have ruined it for everyone because I am awesome like that.

When I read the twist, I was at work in the lunch room and yelled out “NO WAY!” That to me is the sign of a fun read. What more can you ask for? Surprise, independent strong females, family legacy, and beautiful scenery? Great summertime read!

This week  am tackling Oprah’s new book club – that’s right people she is back with an on-line book club! Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This book is uncomfortable for me at times. It is very relevant to me, but I am enjoying it immensely! I will let you know how it goes. This book places me halfway to the challenge of 50 books in a year. YAY! I have loved this challenge! It has brough me out of my comfort zone and into books I love. I never would have read Stephen King, The Room, or a multitude of other genres and storylines that have scared me in the past.

The Movie

I watched these movies over the past two weeks :

  1. Avengers
  2. Factory Girl
  3. Being Elmo
  4. Every Little Step
  5. Schindler’s List
  6. If Lucy Fell

Factory Girl was about Andy Warhol’s iconic Factory girl and the person she was in real life. All this movie did for me was make me see what a wingnut Warhol was and wondered how he paid for things. I love his art, but wow…

If Lucy Fell was an old school Sarah Jessica Parker movie – Boring….

Every little Step was a documentary of  the Chorus Line revival. I loved this. Pain, rejection, excitement all rolled into one. I have always fantasized about being on Broadway but I don’t have the strength it takes (nor the talent) to face rejection on a daily basis. Wow these people are amazing!

Being Elmo… Behind the scenes of being a Muppeteer? Are you freaking kidding me??? THIS WAS AMAZING and I cried. I loved seeing the Jim Henson Empire. I will watch this documentary over and over.

Schindler’s list. I was the only person left in the world who hadn’t seen this. It is now part of the Grade 12 curriculum in Alberta’s High Schools. Wow what a powerful movie. I found it interesting how he made enough money to save these people and then just before the war ended, so did the money. Divine intervention obviously played a hand.  4000 Jews live in Poland now, but 4 generations of Schindler’s Jews make up over 6500. Doing the right thing is never easy, but so important. If you haven’t watched this – you must. AND I can cross it off my 100 AFI list!

Then my favorite movie of the year. It is no surprise people. you all know how much I love superheroes and fancy myself as one. The Avengers was FREAKING AWESOME! Is it out on Blu-ray yet? I want it for Christmas Santa!! Please do yourself a favor, watch all the other movies first. This will help with the maximized enjoyment of the Avenger movie. Stan Lee I heart you.

This week movies? I have no idea. I have watched 42 on the year. I am in the mood for Brave but that isn’t until the 22. I want to see something that will make me laugh. Life has been hard this week, so laughter is in order!

Suggestions?

Fifty Fiftly Me: Shopgirl

Participating in the 50/50 me project, (you can read more about it here) was difficult this week. I was POISONED and didn’t die. However that left me with little time to feel like reading. I had read one book and havent felt like reading since. Truthfully, I haven’t had the time. I am busy finishing up projects for my University Class. While be sick in be and loving the Netflix app on my ipad, I was able to watch a couple of movies this week. I watch Never Let Me Go and An Education. Moving on with the words first…

The Book

I read Steve Martin’s Shopgirl last weekend. I have always been a fan of Martin’s dry wit and humors look on life. I never considered him a writer so when Shopgirl appeared several years ago, it was aff my radar. While reading my first foray into Martin’s work, I realized I could hear his voice as he stood to the side narrating the story for his readers. I’ve always been a huge fan of his but never gave credibility to his talent as a writer. I found his style to be delicious, and his words that were strung together like a beautiful sonnet. I could identify with the main character and felt her pain, yet was removed enough to see the reason for it. I am surprised the female character was so likable aside from her sexual attributes, typically male writers miss the mark for me when it comes to female character development. Martin’s dry wit showed through the story and I smiled with pleasure. I am so pleased I decided to give this book a try. I liked it enough that I downloaded two more of Martin’s books with hopes of reading The Pleasure of My Company this week. I must be honest and say, I don’t think I will get much reading for pleasure done in the month of June. I shall keep my fingers crossed though!

The Movie

I was able to watch Never Let Me Go and An Education. Both movies starring Carey Mulligan. I am finding myself

Cover of "An Education"
Cover of An Education

becoming a huge fan of hers! I watched Never Let me Go because I read the book last week and am always curious how the movie translates onto the screen. This particular movie was fairly close to the book. Tommy is less awkward in the movie and Ruth is less of a jerk, but for the most part, I wished it had more narration to go along with the story. It needed more insight into Kathy’s feelings and thoughts. However, this movie didn’t even come close to how much I enjoyed An Education!

An Education is based on an autobiographical article for the Granta by Lynn Barber. I loved the character. She was an intellectual caught up in the fun and fantasy of being the girlfriend of a rich older man. I saw a parallel with my life except for the rich part of the older man. Her choices were better and I found myself admiring her tenaciousness. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t like about this movie. Fashion from music to writing and mishaps, all were fun to watch. I was disappointed with her choices but she righted them in the end and went on to learn from them. This is what we all hope to do but some of us are more successful at it than others. I need to place this movie in my top 10 of all time. I know I will watch it again and again. There is something so sexy about the male characters who turn out to be such disappointments in the end. This is a definite chick movie for smart gals who long to be swept off our feet because of brains not just looks.

Next week brings Avengers, the superhero loves of my life and possibly a book to finish reading…I hope.

Fifty Fifty Me: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) I finished one book and started two others. Who does that? Who reads more than one book at a time that aren’t text books? I guess I do. I am reading Sense and sensibility by Jane Austen and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I only watched 2 movies, I must be busy or something. I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I didn’t think I would get through it but look at me! I did it! Anyways…. on with the words!

The Book

I didn’t expect to enjoy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was on my list of new genres to try and lots of people were talking about it. The creepy pictures caught my eye and I read a blog review that made me bump it higher on my To Read list.

The beginning of this book was riveting. The Grandfather told crazy unbelievable stories just like my Grandpa did. This alone made me love him. As I became hooked, there was a moment when I thought this book might be too scary for me. Old me would have closed it and been scared of “What might have been”. New me sucked it up and kept pressing forward. I learned it wasn’t scary, but peculiar. By the end of the book I was so captivated I couldn’t put it down. I found it to be very exciting in a Harry Potter kind of way.

Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a Harry Potter knock off, but is had a similar feel as the Potter books – well for me anyways. I enjoyed the quirky nature and time loops. The best part for me was the photographs that showed who the characters were. These wonderful vintage photos of children doing impossible things all through the magic of trick photography…or was it?

This is a great young adult book and I think my children would quite enjoy it. Only they never take my advice anymore.I wish I could be deep and insightful about how it effected me, but it was just a fun read. And it made me miss my Grandpa. Sometimes books should be just fun.

The Movie

I watch two movies this week. One at home snuggled under a blanket and one at the movie theatre with my

The Jane Austen Book Club (film)
The Jane Austen Book Club (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

daughter. We saw The Lucky One, based on the Nicolas Sparks novel. For the first time, I did not read the book first. It was enough for me to enjoy the beauty that is Zac Efron. His eyes are something else! The story was magical and fate driven. I need that in my life right now. Was it my favorite of the two? Not by a longshot. My favorite was The Jane Austen Book Club.

This movie was everything I needed to see this week. Women having intelligent conversation about well written books, helping each other through various crisis in their lives. I need a book club in my life. Every character’s life resembled one of Austen’s 6 books. They discussed strength of character, doing the right thing and struggles of life. Just like the Austen books themselves. The difference being the movie gave insight into lives down the road. Austen ends her books usually with the marriage…and they lived happily ever after blablabla…but do they? How could you not with Mr. Darcy? But i suppose Elizabeth Bennett found his stories tiresome after 30 years of hearing the same one over and over. So maybe it was just as well they ended when they did. Austen never married herself, so perhaps she did not know what to write having never lived behind those doors. The movie, however, takes you to a happily every after a few years later. That was nice but unneccessary. Life doesn’t have to be happy, and often isn’t. The point is to feel it and be present for it. Most of the movie was just like that. Real. Maybe that is why I liked it so much. It has moved into my top 10 favorite of all time, and it has me reading Sense and sensibility for the first time. I don’t love it like I love Pride and Predjuce…but her writing is exquisite none the less.

Fifty Fifty Me: Fifty Shades of Grey – Please don’t Judge me!

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) I finished one book and started yet another. I watched 3 movies and played taxi driver for my son. So watching Taxi Driver seemed very fitting. As for reading, hmmm. Joining goodreads as been helpful! I invite you to join it as well, and add me as a friend. You can find the link on the left of my WordPress page. I finished 50 Shades of Grey and started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I have been so tired this week I have no made much progress with reading, but you will be updated!  Anyways…. on with the words!

Book

I felt the world collective pressure to read 50 shades of Grey by E.L. James. The internet is such a buzz about this book I felt compelled to give it a read. It is the first book in a trilogy and can I just say, I will not be delving into the other two books. This book was for me, like reading a dime store romance with BDSM elements. It apparently was based on fan fiction of Bella and Edward from Twilight. There are stalker elements and controlling behaviour, none of which is done in a healthy light of course, but there is reasons for it and therapy is being sought. This is not great fiction, nor does it pretend to be. What it is…is… well… interesting. I am not the girl who is naive and easily shocked. I understand this book is tame by many BDSM standards. It did take me down a road that I was curious about and did it in a non-threatening way. I think that is why this appeals to so many women, and making so many men happy. It provides insight and tools to spice up a love life that may be less than interesting or stellar.

The rules of this relationship are clear and both parties go into negotiations about hard and soft limits. Speaking up for yourself is the underlying theme. Being your own advocate in situations that make you uncomfortable resonated with me. I have been needing to do that a lot.

All in all, this book was not for me. I rate it mediocre. I have moved out of the romance genre in my early 20’s and moved into books about people struggling to find their way in life. I am currently reading a thriller-ish book. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The grandfather could be my own, so it hooked me from the start. I am not reading this as quickly as I normally whip through books, so I may or may not be finished next week.

The Movie

This week I watched 3 movies. I started out with Taxi Driver and crossed that one off the AFT 100 list. THen I watched Bye Bye Birdie and Ballet Shoes. Could these three movies be any different? I am not sure if Bye Bye Birdie counts. I watched it when I was 7, but never saw it again since. It is no secret that I love musicals, Dick Van Dyke and the 60’s in THAT order. The dance sequences with Ann Margret were spectacular. The white dress with red polka dots and red flats that Janet Leigh wore in her dance sequence was so fabulous!I have only seen her in Psycho where she was a blond. Holy hottness was she stunning as a brunette!  Giving Ann Margret a run for her money. There were some great moments, the romantic leads were meh, and half the music was good. Was this my favorite? No, it came in third and THAt surprised me.

Ballet Shoes was a wonderful movie you should watch with your teenage daughter. It focuses on the importance of goals, strength of character, team work and support. Not one of the dreams was far fetched, and it showed that dreams come true only with hard work. I Loved this movie. It came in second.

Taxi Driver had a film noir feel to it, although I am not sure if it is classified as one. If it is, it need more narration

Cover of "Taxi Driver [Blu-ray]"

from De Niro. Can I just say, that man is AMAZING! I remember the scandal with Jodie Foster, her age and her role playing a prostitute. Let’s just say the times have changed and teen prostitution is no longer a taboo subject – at least in my circles – it is seen as a tragedy and a form of abduction and abuse. I think this may have been the first movie to show the seduction nature of the controlling pimps. Regardless whether it was or not, it sure got people talking about it. The seediness of New York was very fitting for this movie. After I finished it my immediate thought was, huh…wierd. But the inner struggles and character development was fantastic. I enjoyed this movie more the next day after thinking about it, then I did while watching and digesting it. If you haven’t seen it, it is on the AFI 100 for a reason. Simply amazing.

Next week I am looking to fulfill my girl talk need by watching The Jane Austen Book Club. It seems perfect for me and I am wanting to read some Austen, I haven’t read all 6 of her books so I think I might tackle Sense and Sensibility or Mansfield Park. It is only then I can say I have read all her books thoroughly.

Happy Reading and Happy Watching!

Fifty/Fifty.Me: The Lover’s Dictionary

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) I read one book and watched 4 movies. I have a sneaky feeling I will finish the movie portion long before the books. I have watched 7 movies in 2 weeks and will likely watch a couple more this weekend. I wish The Avengers was out. May 4 needs to hurry up.

The Book

I was reading some book reviews here on WordPress and stumbled onto a review about a little book called The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan of 10 things I hate about you fame. After reading some heavy books of late, this was like a sorbet between courses.

This story was from the male’s point of view. I wasn’t a love story, but a relationship story. It wasn’t all romance, wine and candles. It was real. I could relate with the couple on several levels and was captivated with their story.

Because the book format was very unique,it was dictionary format spanning the alphabet from A-Z focusing on a key word that describes the moment in time that pertained to the relationship, the reader was never let into their couples lives on a daily basis. We we allowed to see snipets the dictionary definitions let us see. This chapter or definition under U:

unabashedly, adv.

We were walking home late from a bar- and the term walking is used loosely here, because you were doing something between a skip and a stumble – and suddenly you started singing out your love for me. My name and everything, loud enough to reach the top floors of all the buildings. I should have told you to stop, but I didn’t want you to stop. I didn’t mind if your love for me woke people up. I didn’t mind if it somehow sneaked into their sleep.

You grabbed my hand and twirled me around, two sidewalk sweethearts. Then very earnestly, you stopped, leaned over, and whispered, “you know, I’d get a tattoo with your name on it. Only I want you to have the freedom to change your name if you want to.”

I thanked you, and you resumed your song.

I liked it for its quick read factor. It was a lovely change of pace from the more intense, emotional reads I have been absorbed in. I did find myself wondering about the characters themselves and wishing I had more information about them. Then I realized I may not like the heroine as much. I was surprised by the emotions generated by the man. That was something I did not expect but did appreciate.

Each word and definition was it’s own chapter, so the book moved forward quite quickly. I recommend this book for two reasons, It is likely the most unique format you will ever read and it is interesting. If a book is not interesting I will not keep reading it. Case in point, The Hunger Games. I have read the first Chapter and have no desire to finish it in spite of the hoards of people telling me to keep it up, it gets better. It is not better NOW, that is the difficult part for me. I read so much for university, when I read for fun – I need it to be at least fun, interesting, relatable or riveting.

I was going to read Night Circus, but I read the first page and realized I was not in a Circus Mood. I flipped through the 145 books I have on my eReader waiting for me to dive in and I had a difficult time deciding. I need an easy read. I have a ton of research to plow through and a bit of fluff is what I am needing to turn my brain off. There are a bunch of gals in my reading group that rave about the Fifty Shades trilogy. With THAT said, my next book is 50 Shades of Grey. I understand it to be a Twilight type series for Adults without the stalker bits, vampires and werewolves. I do know it is erotica and not romance, something I havent read since pre-mommy days. I am NOT a romance type gal, so if it turns out to be sappy – I will be outta there! 2 chapters in and I have a feeling this will be … interesting. I may learn a thing or two to spice up my sex life in the process (Hi Mom! Hi Granny!) I will report back once I know.

Now…on to the movies!

The Movie

When I read that I hear ‘Let’s go to the mooooovies, Lets go see the staaaaaaars” from Annie the Musical. I did not go to any theatre this week, all my movies I watched were via streaming.

  1. The Other Woman – mediocre – I hated the kid in the beginning but liked him in the end. I hated his dad too, so this wasn’t a stellar movie for me.
  2. Hugo – How did this win best movie? Are you kidding me? It was too long, too boring and too slow. But it was pretty. The highlight of the movie was the mechanical man. He was in the middle not even the climactic end. Was there a climatic end? I can think of a billion other movies that should have won before this one…snore.
  3. Water for Elephants – Book was better. This was too romancy and not enough of the circus adventure. Meh.
  4. Cabaret – This would be my favorite of the 4. It is also on my top 100 of the 20th century bucket list movies I want to watch. I didn’t think I would like Joel Grey as the Emcee. I had seen Allan Cummings on the tony Awards and on The Rosie Show where he performed parts of his Tony Award wining role. I loved his raunchiness. Joel Grey was goofy. Both very different both excellent. I would have rather watched the Cabaret part instead of having to sit through Sally Bowles weird life. Liza Minnelli is NOT her mother. However, she has great pipes too and I could listen to he perform all night. Singing is her strength – not acting. The story was meh, the music was amazing! I loves me a good musical! With THAT said…let the flaming begin.

The next movie I plan to watch? Hmmm.   I think I will try Annie Hall. I have a had a hard time streaming it. I will keep trying. I LOVE Diane Keaton. I need to see this one. It is also on the AFI 100. That would bring me up to 55 on that list. I think Extremely loud and Incredibly Close is one I want to see especially now that i have read the book. Contagion is another movie that I really want to see. Although with my  Howard Hughes freakiness when it comes to germs, this may have me quitting my job as a preschool teacher. Too many wet orifices that leak. The plus side is Matt Damon is in it. Since I saw him run forever in The Adjustment Bureau, I have fallen deeply for him. He is a close second to my future ex husband George.

A Whole Lotta of Nuttin’

What is it about New Years Day that leaves women all over the world laying on the couch/Chesterfield/sofa watching chic flicks? Is the the practice of creating an illusion of a perfect holiday for her family that sheer exhaustion requires her to enter a romantic vegetative state and watch movie after movie? Or is it that January first is a football day and worse, it is Yank football so none of us care. My American gal pals care….or so they say, and watch Tebow – or whateverhisnameis. I would watch hockey, but Canada beat the Yanks yesterday. The Oil are drowning and the Rangers don’t play until the 2nd. So chic flick it is!

I decided to instead make a dent into my 100 AFI best movie list. Oh man I feel a rant coming on! Clearly this “best list” is subjective.

In the last 2 weeks I have watched 4 movies from the list that I haven’t seen and 4 from the list that I had watched previously and decided I needed to review.

1. The Last Picture Show….. WOW, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz It was slow, boring and dull. Did I mention boring? The Texas town that was dying in Texas was dying on screen too. I guess I just “didn’t get it”.

2. City Lights. It amazes me that Charlie Chaplin made a silent picture “in Pantomime” at a time when people were flocking to talkies. Although I could see his brilliance. I think Buster Keaton did better physical comedy. Charlie, however, WROTE THE MUSIC AND THE MOVIE AND DIRECTED IT! Wow… I get his need for perfectionism. This movie was just too long for me. I would have been happy with it being a short. He was able to capture brilliance in 10 minutes, but then I was bored. This may have to do with the pace of life and movies in this moment of time, or…I am unable to focus for more than a 10 minutes. No, it must be the pace.

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey…………..

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? This is 2 hours I WILL NEVER HAVE BACK! Yes it was visually beautiful. This is the very reason I watch George Clooney movies. He is visually beautiful. Hello Davejust type ctrl alt del. Then kill Stanely Kubric.

4. Shawshank Redemption. This movie restored my faith in the subjective nature of the list. Although THIS movie needs to be WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY higher say #1 or #2 on the list. It was ranked #72!!!! Are You Freaking kidding me? 2001 was ranked #15! #15!!!! Oh for Crying out loud! Did the guy who picked 2001:S.O.  base it on the girl he was making out with on car load night at the drive in? Was it LSD night in the rec room? Where as Shawshank was brilliant and fantastic. I love every movie Morgan is in. He chooses well. I think I love every movie Tim is in, I need to investigate that. I was distracted by his long strong legs and dazzling smile…

I think the next flick I watch will be Cabaret. Sadly it isn’t with Alan Cumming. I know he is gay, and I am not his type…but I LOVED him in the revival…not that I ever saw it other than on the Tony awards, YouTube and the Rosie O’Donnell show. But comparing him to Joel Gray….wow so different. Tell me what you think.

I prefer the raunchier version. Or maybe because I will forever associate Joel Gray aka the Master of Ceremonies as Joshua Trundle – Clock Maker in T’was the Night Before Christmas. Thinking of him in this role for Cabaret….I just can’t picture it clearly.

At any rate, the lazy days of nothingness continue here in Edmonton. 7 more glorious fun filled days of no responsiblity. Loving every minute of it!

 

Give Me a Wink and a Smile!

My head has been swimming with Mission and Vision Statements for projects in my University Class.  It got me thinking about personal goals. If a business or an organization has a mission statement to remind them who they are and what they do. Maybe I need one to keep my focus and attain my goals too!

I could go to parties and say “that’s right, I have a mission statement”, and be all cool about it. I just reread that last sentence. There is nothing cool about telling people I have a mission statement.

But if I call it a Theme Song, then maybe I am on to something!

So let’s discuss the musical possibilities, shall we? I need to make a list of criteria that is important to me.

1.      The song must have a nice memory attached to it.

2.      The song must be catchy and make me feel like smiling

3.      At no point could the Wonder Girls ever have covered it. It would diminish it in my eyes.

4.      The song must have a good message to share with my Offspring, after all I still strive to be a positive role model and lead by example.

My first thought would be Brian Wilson by the Barenaked Ladies. Most days all I want to do is lay in bed. Let’s look at how it fits the criteria. 1> It has a very nice memory attached to it. Genetic Offspring often danced to it when he was two. He was cute to watch! 2> I only feel like smiling because of the memory – so I need to scrap this one already.

Brightside of the Road by Van Morrison 1> I have several great memories attached to this song. The most fun one is dancing barefoot in the park with several girlfriends on a hot summer evening. 2> I love Van – his music always makes me feel like smiling! 3> The Wonder Girls have never covered it, and if they have please don’t tell me! 4> Hmm This song is either about sharing a heavy burden with your love OR picking up a hooker in a dark alley.  Unfortunately this may be a fail.

Twist and Shout by the Beatles 1> This song has several great memories ranging from High School to Rock Band Friday nights with my family! 2> I always sing it loud and proud while smiling from ear to ear! 3> The Wonder Girls never covered it! 4> Not a stellar message. Just a dancing song. Rats – it’s a fail.

Wink and a Smile by Harry Connick Jr. 1> Again, several great memories from watching Sleepless in Seattle for the first time with my Honey. Going to Seattle with my sister for the best girls weekend ever – and when I say best – I mean I really hope we get to do it again soon! 2> The piano trills make me smile every time! I love how my shoulders keep time and its fun for me to sing!  3> The Wonder Girls have never covered this song!! 4> It fits with my life, from my Honey to my Offspring, from my Parents to my Granny. This song makes me smile and cry all in one. I even loved how it was placed as a theme song to Tom Hanks playing with his son Jonas on the beach in Seattle. It sends the message of family priorities. That will help me find balance. The perfect message for the Edmonton Tourist this year!  I think I found a winner!

Let’s listen shall we?

I want to hear what your theme song might be!