Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get-a-Way!

Just back from a weekend up the shore with my friend Elizabeth. *sigh* ahhhh - two nights of sleeping in a bed all by myself, a whole 24 hours without washing dishes, 4 Christmas presents made, one pair of jeans hemmed (we know how to party), glasses of wine on the deck, endless gazes at the big lake & the wonderfulness of being soothed by the sounds of the waves.

The only problem was, the weekend was too short!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Movies!

Another awesome perk of working at the library is MOVIES! We circulate a lot of movies. I am often on the wait list for months & months, only to have 5 or 6 come in for me at once! And so I often just return a bunch without watching them. Which stinks. Ah well. It's the dark time of year now so I figure more movie watching is in m future. And hopefully Santa will bring us a DVD player (wifi enabled, okay, I mean blu-ray player...) Anyway - I updated my viewing list. Here are my micro reviews of those:

THE MUPPETS - loved. Of course I saw it in the theater (with Dahlia & my Mom) and felt a little disappointed after seeing it. My expectations were HIGH! But after viewing again - at home with the fam - I really enjoyed it. I love the song & dance. I love seeing places that were in my neighborhood when I lived in Hollywood. I love that my kids are really starting to dig The Muppets.

THE HELP - I read the book when it came out & heard mixed reviews from people who had loved the book and hated the movie or vice versa. Weird. So I was nervous. But I think enough time had passed and I had forgotten some of the parts of the books or something. I really liked this movie a lot. This movie made me cry & think about how awful human beings can be to each other, and also made me think about the people that stick their necks out. Yes, I liked this film. (later, after watching, I started filling in the blanks of what the movie left out of the book - I guess it didn't bother me too much.)

THE SOCIAL NETWORK - I wanted to love this movie. But I didn't. I think it was kind of boring. I purposefully updated my status on my FB account several times while watching this film. Just to make a point. FaceBook still blows my mind and the movie was *okay* but not great.

UNKNOWN - I had never heard of this gem (starring the delicious Liam Neeson) but had seen it come & go from the library so snagged it one of those times. I loved this film. Well written & acted with lots of nice twists, a little action, not too much violence, but it kept me guessing. Steve & I actually sat down together & watched this film & we both really liked it. Check it out.

CONTRABAND - Eh. Typical - guns - drugs - money - heist - things go wrong  - it was okay. I like Mark Wahlberg & enjoy this genre now & then. But this was a bit boring & I kept falling asleep. I might just have been tired.

WHIP IT - I adore Ellen Page - I liked this movie. Cute, quirky. Not great CINEMA but very enjoyable. This film circulates like crazy!! Is it the Roller-Derby angle?

GAME OF THRONES - AWESOME. Need I say more? I have read the first book and 3/4 of the 2nd in the George RR Martin (not to be confused with the Beatles' producer George Martin....)  series and have really been enjoying it. The series, awesome. I think the casting was SPOT ON. Of course I knew the surprises that were coming up (who would die, etc) but it didn't matter. I loved it. Of course the book has WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more in it and there were a few things added to the series that were extraneous in my opinion, but ah well. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark is awesome but even more awesome is Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. That roll was BUILT for him. I am loving watching him.  I am re-invigorated to finish the 2nd book & move on to the third. I got to watch part of the first episode of the 2nd season last weekend and am chomping at the bit for more!! Dangit sometimes I wish I had cable!

THE HUNGER GAMES - waited forever to see this...finally got to. I enjoyed it but have been turning it over in my head ever since. The book is so much better. The movie hits all the right points & it's interesting to see it all laid out - but so many of the relationships are short-changed (and the entire moment of when she gets the Mockingjay pin...? Totally weird &different). And the whole idea of Katniss becoming someone that the entire district and then country gets behind is sort of lost in the shuffle. So, it's one of those cliche sayings - the movie was good, but the book was SO MUCH BETTER! Ah well. I enjoyed it.

MOONRISE KINGDOM - I love Wes Anderson. I really do. RUSHMORE (and Bottle Rocket) are two of my favorite films. I love his goofy/dorky style. I love how he makes everything look & I love how he moves the camera. I thought that Moonrise was a very quirky, interesting film...but I wanted more. A little more story. A little more plot. I liked it, I liked it for it's oddity and simplicity and yet...I wanted more. Perhaps that's contradictory but ah well, my blog. There are a couple Anderson films I have yet to see and will rectify hopefully soon.

So there you have it! All caught up on my SO INCREDIBLY engaging movie reviews. Oh I'm also currently watching BREAKING BAD (season 1) and PARKS AND RECREATION (season 4). Oh and I caught up with WEEDS - which (super-micro-review) felt so much better than season 6...like it's getting on track to be the more fun show back when everyone was happy (!) in Agrestic!

I'm caught up on now on movies so hopefully some more will come for me this week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Micro Reviews!

I am alive & updated my reading list ---------------> over there tonight! whohoo! Amazing how working in a library gets you in the mood to READ ALL THE TIME. It's awesome. So - a couple of super short reviews:

FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY/FIFTY SHADES DARKER - crap. Total crap. Okay, okay - there's lots of sex and it is indeed "Mom Porn" but the writing is so bad. So yucky bad. I don't want to read the word "petulant" on the page more than once EVER but certainly not multiple times. I don't ever want to read the phrase "...my inner goddess...." again nor do I wish to hear about someone biting their lip. Ugh. I kept waiting for a plot. That was my problem. Needless to say, I resisted reading the third one. What a waste of time.

GONE GIRL - awesome. Loved it. The writing is snappy & interesting. There are TWISTS (!!!) that made me go SHUT UP out loud! I really enjoyed reading this book. A lot.

so much so that I read Gillian Flynn's two previous books:

DARK PLACES  - I really enjoyed this too. Dark yes, but good in a "true crime" sort of way.

and

SHARP OBJECTS - also really enjoyed. Also dark. Love the twists & turns. Enjoy her writing immensely.  (but GONE GIRL is still my fave)

BLOOM - the memoir written by a fabulous blogger whom I love Kelli Hampton . It's a book about redirecting your entire outlook after your world is rocked. In her case, having a 2nd daughter who has Downs Syndrome, and what that journey has been like. Her blog is awesome. Her photographs are beautiful. Her life is so incredibly blessed. It was a good read.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO - I wanted to see the movie, but wanted to read the book first....but don't have time, so listened to it at work (while buffing children's dvds, actually). I enjoyed it quite a bit although found parts really dry. I still haven't seen the film but cant' really believe they made it into one! I'm assuming they added some drama. It was a good listen. Not great, but good.

BELOW STAIRS - claimed to be the memoirs that inspired DOWNTON ABBEY - I had to read it! It is written very simply as an autobiography of a kitchen maid from that era. Enlightening. Not earth shattering but a very entertaining & quick read.

CUTTING FOR STONE - BEAUTIFUL! What I would deem modern LITERATURE. A story that takes time to unfold, draws you in without you realizing it and opens your eyes to worlds beyond in a subtle and very effective way. I loved this book.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - what a crazy book! I totally dug it. Sort of magical, sort of a mystery - easy to read with tons of creepy ACTUAL photographs from decades gone by. Fantastic & surreal, this book was a fun adventure. I dug it.

EATING, SLEEPING AND GETTING UP - HOW TO END THE DAILY BATTLES WITH YOUR CHILD - um, yeah.....that's where I'm at. This book was reaffirming. Meaning - it reaffirmed that I need to stick to my guns and not let a certain someone's tantrums get the best of the situation. *sigh* so much to remember all the time. I thought this was good....not a great parenting book, but had quite a few ideas I took away with me.

THE JOY OF LESS - love this book. Lots of great ideas to declutter your house & live more simply. Still working on it.

ALICE'S TULIPS - another book I listened to while mending books at the library. I've enjoyed Sandra Dallas's other works, and found this one entertaining as well. Not quite what I expected & it wasn't something I "couldn't put down" but I did enjoy it.

That sort of brings me up to date. I have two great books at home that I"m reading (GODS WITHOUT MEN and CLOUD ATLAS and another at the library waiting for me WILD)...I realize that working in the library there are too man books & too little time! such a great problem to have!