21 September 2014

Updates Soon! (I promise. No really. I do.)

I think I'm finally hitting my stride for my book reading this year. I finished three books over the last few days, which puts me halfway through my goal for the year. It is anyone's guess if I'll be able to make it through another 25 in the next 15 weeks. (My gut says "No luck." but I'm totally ready to be wrong.)

I've also decided to (finally) watch Battlestar Galactica in my "free time" so that is one of the reasons the updates have slowed. Again. I have to be done by the end of the month, so I should be back to reading and blogging soon. Unless some other TV show catches my eye.

For those of you who started paying attention at the words "Battlestar Galactica" -- holy wow. I am LOVING this show. I just started season 4 so I'm almost done, but oh wow. I have a feeling there are still a lot of surprises in store for me. Also, be prepared for a post about the show, what it means to be human (which is kind of becoming a theme in the media I consume this year) and all of that jazz.

For the rest of you (or those who stopped listening when I started the nerdy talk), I am finally reading "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman.So far, so good. I'm only just 50 pages in but I like it already.
I am still slowly working on a book called "Alias Hook." I want it to be good but it is kind of letting me down. More on that hopefully in the next few weeks.

What have ya'll been up to? Watching anything good? Any new books (or old books!) catch your eye recently? Let me know!

08 September 2014

Labor Day Weekend Movie Reviews

Last weekend I had four beautiful days off. All in a row. Hello vacation!!

I finished a book (more on that later) did a lot of NOTHING and watched some movies. Ever since I finished the show Chuck (in like...a month? Don't judge!) (But seriously, if you haven't seen this show yet, do yourself a favor. You will thank me. Trust me!) I've been having trouble watching TV that doesn't make me laugh. My sisters always yell at me for watching dramas and serious shows and I've just kind of realized that they are right. I like watching high drama, suspense type shows most of the time. But I'm finding that I love smart and funny TV shows and that I love to laugh at my television. GO FIGURE. So I've been trying to find something new and funny to watch. Suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments!

Okay but back to my vacation weekend. Yeah. It was NOT filled with funny movies. But lets just dive right in and you can judge me later.

My friend Rachel emailed me one day to tell me she had seen Blade Runner, Harrison Ford was in it and through the course of the movie, he says "Rachel". Obviously I needed to see this movie! It wasn't until after I saw the movie that I was told there were like 16,000 different versions out. I ended up seeing the Directors Cut because that was the only version we had at the library. Generally, my thought is "Weird. Lots of weird." I love the concept of the film and the questions it raises, mainly what does it mean to be human? In an age of increasingly smart AI, who decides when it is time to pull the plug? I'm not sure I'm fully qualified to comment on the movie as a whole, since I saw a very different version, but what I saw was very ... odd. And I know that's a weird word to use and I've seen a lot of weird movies that I've loved and found other ways to describe but I'm afraid that is all this movie gets. It was hard to see because apparently it ALWAYS rains in the future. (Though I do want one of those umbrellas/light sabers they have. If someone wants to buy one for me I promise to use it.)
And I'm sorry but I have to comment on the scene with Deckard & Rachel. So something big has happened and they end up in Deckard's apartment. He is attracted to her and goes to kiss her. She says, "No." He doesn't listen; in fact, he seems to get angry. He tries again and is greeted with the same. It isn't until she is up against a wall and he is telling her what to say that they "mutually" kiss and, in my version, the scene ended. Now. I don't know if there would have been a point in my life where that would have been hot and a little sexy. If there was, that time has passed. All I heard was her "No" and apparently, as Lorelai Gilmore says, he was listening with... not his ears. I don't know but something about the scene didn't sit well with me.

Moving right along...
I have seen a bunch of Hitchcock movies (from memory, my favorite was Notorious) and a bunch of Jimmy Stewart (too many, but my go-to is The Philadelphia Story)movies over the years.  I have actually seen Rear Window before and hated it. On second viewing though, I found it really enjoyable and decided to fully redeem the movie from The Hate List. Jimmy Stewart is a photographer with a broken leg in week 5 of his recovery, which happens to be in the hottest summer New York has ever seen. He spends his days sitting by the open window observing his neighbors, who are living their lives loudly through open windows across the back of an apartment complex. From Miss Torso (the dancer), the musician (arty type, throwing mad parties), the Newlyweds (who draw the shade over the open window as soon as they move in) and Miss Lonelyhearts (single woman desperately alone), Jeff is never lacking for entertainment. His own life has a small cast of characters: Stella, the insurance nurse who comes to see him every day; Lisa, his incredibly beautiful girlfriend (played by the always lovely Grace Kelly); Tom Doyle, an old friend in the NYPD.
One night, in the haze of the heat and sleep, he thinks he hears a fight between one of the married couples and then later is sure he sees the husband leaving the apartment multiple times in the middle of the night, in the rain. Oh and the wife? Yeah, he doesn't see her again. Was it murder? Jeff is sure of it. But he can't convince his friends, or the police department, without sufficient proof. At first all his friends think he is crazy. Too much time off work, too much time staring out the rear window of his apartment. But eventually they start to believe him. What if it really did happen? 
Right, like I said. I hated this movie the first time I saw it. This time though, I really loved it. I even did the whole sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thing toward the end. 

Next up is Ocean of Pearls. I was shelving this at work and decided to read the back of the box. Always a bad idea. I need to learn that if I'm working, I just need to put things back and NOT actually look at them. When I look at the items too closely (books, DVDs CDs -- whatever) I usually end up bringing them home with me. This accounts for the 5 DVDs, 1 TV series, 2 CDs, and 17 books that are currently taking up room in my apartment. I digress. 

Ocean of Pearls is the story of a Sikh doctor, Amrit Singh, and his struggle to live an authentic and devout Sikh life while trying to advance his transplant research in a world that only sees the turban he wears. I'm not sure if that was a good enough description but I really enjoyed this movie. I have found that I enjoy any movie or TV show (Little Mosque, I'm looking at you) that teaches me about other cultures/religions and some of their every day struggles to live in a different culture and thrive. I think it is also a good commentary of religious belief. No matter what you believe, there will be times in life when you will be asked to sacrifice what you value and hold dear for success or fame. The compromise might be small; the success might just be for the day. While compromise is necessary in life, I think we might get too used to comprise that when we are asked to compromise our values or beliefs, we seriously consider the pros and cons of doing so. 
Amrit begins to question the outward signs of his faith and begins to wonder if his faith is outdated. Isn't it the invisible belief that is more important than the outward signs of belief? Can you have one without the other? 

On the whole, I'd say I had a pretty stellar weekend for movies. Have you seen any of these? What did you think? Are you watching anything good these days? 

I'm hoping to have a book review up soon. Also, all you Divergents out there: the trilogy review is in the works. Get your comments for or against the books ready. I can't wait! 

PS: This weekend I did a stupid thing. I started a movie shortly after I got home from work Thursday night WITHOUT checking to see how long it was. Rookie move. I was up until like 5am watching Bugsy. On the one hand, it was really fascinating; on the other hand, super long. I have to check with Sherlock to decide if he was a psychopath or a sociopath, but which ever he was Ben Siegel was nuts. It was a great (but LONG) mobster film, oddly void of much of the drugs, sex, and blatant violence I've come to expect from movies like this. I'm guessing this is due to 1991 release date. Anyway, yeah. I liked it but whoa long. It took me all weekend to recover. 

31 August 2014

I finally caved and read Divergent...

In the last two weeks, I've read 4 books and I'm pretty proud of that.
I think I've talked about it before but I get in this rut where all books feel like work, even if they are really really good and I'm excited about them. I keep stumbling along until I hit that one book that I either read in one day (which is usually the case) or is written so well that I WANT to read it in one day (even if that is impossible).

This time around, the book was Divergent by Veronica Roth. A lot of my friends and co-workers had read them and when we talked about books always seems shocked when they found out I hadn't read the series yet. Part of the delay was intentional. I had a lot of other things I wanted to read and I wasn't sure I was ready for another dystopian disappointment a la Catching Fire. My summer was quickly ending and I still hadn't finished a book so I asked my one friend to borrow his copy of it, just so I could see what the fuss was about. I ended up borrowing his ebook copy…which was a blessing and a curse: instant access and the pressing need to finish the book quickly. I started it on my dinner break and was blown away by how interesting I found the story. I had trouble getting back to work, wondering constantly what was going to happy next in the story. The philosophy and process behind the community and factions was fascinating. When I got home, I snuggled up with my e-reader and got to reading. I think I finished sometime around 3am and even though the writing was less than stellar, I really couldn't stop thinking about the story!

Chicago, years in the future. The city is split into five different factions, each representing a character trait and valuing that one thing above all others: Erudite values knowledge, Amity values peacemaking and kindness, Abnegation values selflessness, Candor values honesty, and Dauntless values courage and bravery. At sixteen, you take an aptitude test that determines the best faction for you to join. The decision is ultimately up to the person, but many people choose their faction based on the test. 

However, Beatrice Prior tests into three factions. How do you make a decision like that when you've spent your whole life depending on the test to decide for you? 

Honestly, the writing wasn't the best I've ever read. Better than Twilight, for sure, but still. Recently, I've been noticing the difference between Young Adult fiction and writing for young adults; this was writing for young adults. That made the reading quick and easy, if not a little frustrating. **
Like I said earlier, I LOVE the story and I'm still processing all of it. I'm almost finished with book three so when I'm done, maybe I'll do a slightly more involved post about the whole story. 

I'm also mostly through my first Colin Dexter mystery. It is different from all my Agatha Christie novels, but I kind of like it. More on that when I finish it. If that ever happens...

**Oh and I also saw the movie. Yikes. NOT great. I'm very sad that I wasted time watching that travesty. I mean, Theo James is never a waste of time…but the rest of it? Not so great. 

28 July 2014

More like a little match

I've been a slight fan of Dan Brown since the whole Da Vinci Code nonsense back in the day. Loved Angels & Demons, Digital Fortress & Deception Point. I loved that his novels all took place in a 24 hour period (as unbelievable as that was at some points) because it created a sense of immediacy to the story. There was no time for getting things wrong or falling in love (both invariably happening) because there was a mystery to solve and the world to save!

I wasn't overly thrilled with his last book,The Lost Symbol. (Plus, those of you who read it, that part near the end? That wasn't even creative storytelling! PLEASE!) But when Inferno came out I thought, "Well, I didn't really care about the Masons or the Illuminati, but Dante is a little bit more in my area of interest. It can't be too bad, right?"


Okay, it wasn't THAT bad…but it also wasn't great. Remember that sense of immediacy? Yeah, totally missing. I cared for a little bit and then things got confusing. Don't think I can't handle a complicated plot. I am reading Game of Thrones. I read Lord of the Rings. (AND I can keep the movie information separate from the book information!) I can do complicated.
Maybe this story wasn't complicated; maybe the storytelling was just lazy. A couple of characters were double and triple crossing loyalty lines and again, Dan Brown, that wasn't a "plot twist" or a slight surprise. That part felt like lazy story telling.

Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Italy with absolutely no memory of how he got there. Sienna Brooks, a doctor at the hospital, tries to help him make sense of what has happened to him. A woman storms into the hospital and shoots the other doctor who was assisting with Langdon's care. Sienna tries to carry a half sedated Langdon out of the hospital to safety. And honestly for the rest of the book, you feel half sedated.

The initial plot is interesting: one man thinks that the world will soon be overpopulated and will drain the world of all natural resources. In order to prevent that from happening, he takes a page out of the history books for the best way to fix overpopulation: plague. I mean what other way can you appropriately cull a portion of the world?
(By the way, even Brown's solution to overpopulation feels like a cheat. I am running out of different ways of expressing how disappointing this book was.)

At this point in his life, Langdon (world class symbolist from Harvard) just sounds like a pretentious prat. "Well, I DID write the definitive work on Christian symbols in the Islamic world." Nice. Through this book, it's more like, "In my lecture series that was sold out, I spoke about ALL the things we need to know to solve this mystery! Let me flash back to that series to remember that information..." And I'm not even kidding about the flash backs. I mean, come on.

I hesitate to finish this post because I realize that there is no way I could write a 400 page novel laced with historical references and visual descriptions of iconic vistas with any kind of ease. That isn't my skill. So I do pause before I seriously rip into someone who seems to have a gift. Or, at very least, has gotten a publisher to get the manuscript past the slush pile. But I was not thrilled with this book. Like I said, I liked some of his older stuff but the new stuff…I don't know. He's missing something. Maybe he is trying to weave too many things into one plot. Maybe he feels locked into the 24 hour things and is finding it more and more difficult to execute the idea properly. I don't know. I can say with almost 100% certainty that this will be my last NEW Dan Brown book. Sorry buddy. Two duds in a row and I'm out.

(That is, of course, until he comes out with some kind of thriller about Shakespeare. I'll be all over that one.)

21 July 2014

15 out of 50: Wonder

As I've mentioned before, this year's reading challenge is not going too well for me. I've just finished my 15th book of the year last week but I am still way behind my reading schedule for the rest of the year.  I have been making more of an effort to read and have been trying to read books I am actually interested in, but it has still been pretty slow going.

I finished Wonder by R. J. Palacio last Tuesday and I loved it. August Pullman is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, but unlike the other kids in his class, navigating a new school isn't the only thing that has him worried about his new school. August was born with a facial deformity that required many surgeries just about every year since he was born, preventing him from attending public school. 
Palacio lets August tell most of the story, but throughout the school year, we see events through the eyes of Summer (the girl who befriends him at lunch on the first day of school), Jack Will (the boy who gives August a tour of the school at the request of the principal and later befriends August), Via (August's older sister), and Miranda (family friend). I love that Palacio gives each character a unique voice and a different writing style when they take over the narrative. 

Yes, it's a coming of age story. I mean, what YA/teen book isn't? That is half the reason why I love the genre. The characters are always learning something vital about people, growing up and life (and of course, by extension, you as the reader learn those lessons as well).  But is so much more than just a coming of age story. It addressed the problems that disabled people face every single day. It holds a mirror up to society and shows us that even when we think people can't see us react, poke fun or otherwise be rude human beings to other human beings, WE ARE WRONG. They know. And to go a bit further, they are fully aware of who they are and how they look. August describes how people react to him a couple of times in this book as the "look-away thing": when they look at him, notice his deformity and quickly look away. He hates when people do that. 

As a society, I think that is all we do. We look away from people who look or act differently than we do. I think, partially, we think we are being kind by not staring, as if we are can ascribe dignity to someone by ignoring them. We are embarrassed, sometimes, for the person with a disability. Why is that? Maybe it's because they don't look normal. Okay. But that begs the question, what is normal and why is it the golden standard for living? 

Palacio makes the distinction part way through the book that August has a facial deformity but is not "disabled, handicapped, nor developmentally delayed in any way." I think too often people assume that if one part of a person is "broken," the rest of that person is broken too. August is a bright child. He does well in all of his classes. He isn't stupid. We make these assumptions about people with Autism or people who are deaf, I think. Even if people are any of those things that August is not (disabled, handicapped or developmentally delayed), they are so much more than just the disability. Maybe that is the point Palacio is trying to make with this book. People are people, first and foremost. Past that, they might be short or tall, fat or skinny, average or developmentally disabled. People are the sum of their parts, not just a single thing. 

Let's get away from generalities. I am guilty of this thing that August hates: the look-away thing. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe it is an effort not to stare, maybe it is more than that. This book has challenged me to see people for the whole, not the parts. It has helped me understand, as far as the author was able to represent the perspective of one child with a facial deformity, the struggles that people with physical disabilities/deformities face every day. It has revealed my small minded view of people who look different than me and has challenged me to view other as whole beings, humans who have been created uniquely for a purpose.

Mr. Browne is the English teacher at Beecher Prep. Every month, he writes a precept on the board and challenges his students to understand it and apply it to their lives. If the lesson of this book could be summed up in a single sentence, I think his precept for September would be the sentence I choose: When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind -- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

Have you read Wonder? What did you think? What book have you read recently that has challenged the way you see the world? 

15 July 2014

Reading Rainbow: How I Fell in Love with Romance Novels

When people ask me what kind of books I like to read, I end up having a major existential crisis. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would have told you that murder mysteries were my favorite and that I was (probably) currently reading an Agatha Christie book. My dad was really into Agatha Christie then so we had something to talk about. Also, Agatha Christie was in the Adult section of the library and well, my reading skills were obviously better than other 11 year olds who were still in the Young Adult section. Amateurs. (And let's not forget to mention the feat that was reading Gone with the Wind in sixth grade--just because it was over 1,000 pages. Yeah. I have a problem.) 

If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said fantasy. I read a ton of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien one summer. Like not just the books they wrote, but books about their lives. I remember being really upset when the book on Tolkien I ordered interlibrary loan didn't come because it was a university book and they wouldn't lend to a public library. 

In the last 3-5 years, my love has been Young Adult fiction. I blame this, of course, on skipping them when I was trying to grow up too fast. I hope that I have a greater appreciation for them now and I often find myself wishing I had read the book when I was younger. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I read Looking for Alaska when it was published (the end of my junior year in high school) or if I had been able to read Paulo  Coelho's The Alchemist after both high school & college graduations. 

But I never say that I like to read romance novels. Ever. Never ever. I don't know when this started. I try my hardest to never read Nicholas Sparks novels. Occasionally, as I've confessed on this blog before, I do read/try to read one of his book, but with limited success. I don't read Harlequin Romance novels. Those novels are all the same, aren't they? One character is moneyed and privilege and one is lower class or rebellious and, of course, they are thrown together. Arranged marriages are usually involved, too. They hate each other at first, of course, but eventually actually "fall in love" and are happy. I hate that the plots are almost all the same with half-developed characters, and lets face it, mostly just about sex. So no, I don't like to read romance novels. 

What I do like to read is good stories whose characters happen to fall in love/find love. To me, that is something entirely different from romance novels. Maybe its just semantics and they really are the same thing. I don't know. But the way I see them, they are two very different things. 

Rainbow Rowell's books helped me figure out these distinctions with romance novels, I think. I picked them up at my friend Rachel's recommendation. (Let's face it, she has flawless taste in books.) I think what I love best about her books (and by the way, Landline was another home run) is that they are about real, ordinary people trying to live their lives. They aren't about a love sick teenage/adult who latches on to the first hot guy/girl they see. Actually, Rowell shows you in pretty much all of her books, that just because a person is attractive doesn't mean that they are a good person. Appearance and personality are not connected. That isn't to say of course that the only good people are ugly, not at all. In Landline, Georgie is constantly commenting on how her husband, Neal, is attractive and the little things she loves about him and the way he looks. By contrast, her writing partner (I have since lent my copy of the book so forgive me for not remembering his name…is it Scott?) is the quintessential adorable frat boy who has a new girlfriend every couple of months and becomes successful at everything he does…but is kind of a prat in normal life. A sincere prat at times, but still a prat. 

And before I make every reason I love her books about style and the mechanics of her plots, let's be real: her books make me happy. Watching, as it were, two people meet, argue, date, break up, get back together, work problems out and, of course, fall in love, makes me ridiculously happy. All readers connect in a very intense way to the protagonist; when they fall in love, you, as the reader, do too. And that is something that will seem like magic to me.

What do you think about romance novels, friends? How do you define them and how do you decide what to read? 

Currently Reading:
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (yes. still.)
Wonder by  R. J. Palacio (I am LOVING this book!) 

03 June 2014

Six months and counting

June. Is. Almost. Here. 
I can't even process that. 

I lost most of April (long story involving a car accident that I don't want to relive, thanks.) and I'm just getting back into the swing of things. That has involved a lot of TV/movie watching and not so much reading. So here is what I have been up to/what I'm up to right now. 

I recently saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the first time and I was BLOWN AWAY. The sass! The simplicity! The relationships! I loved everything about it. I also think it was possibly my first Elizabeth Taylor movie and I am impressed (and I'm sorry, Liz, that it took me this long. You are wonderful!) 

I watched Avatar for the first time last weekend and LOVED IT. I mean actually really loved it. I vaguely remember there being some type of outrage over it when it came out, but I really don't remember why. The CGI was beautiful and not too over done (a la The Hobbit. Sorry guys. It's the truth.). I loved the story. I loved the philosophy in it-- can something artificial be "more real" to us than reality? Is that worth fighting for or should the fight be adapted and put into reality? What is integral to being a unique human being? For Jake Sully, it was the use of his legs. That seemed to be more important than anything else. And of course, underneath it all is that Beauty and the Beast love story. Sometimes we need to shut up and listen, sometimes we need to adapt and make compromises. Learn something outside your comfort zone. It might just do you some good. 
Anyway, I'm a big fan of this movie. I watched the theatrical release on DVD, but I might go back and watch some of the extended scenes. Or I might just watch it again. 

I'm watching one old and one new series from the BBC. Hurray! I'm almost done with Inspector Morse. The beginning of the series was a little rough, but by the end of the 1st season things evened out. I am super excited that Endeavor (prequel to Morse) season 2 will be on Masterpiece Theatre this summer! I loved the movie & season 1 of Endeavor so much. I love a good mystery…
And speaking of mystery, let's talk Broadchurch for a second. DAVID TENNANT. OLIVIA COLMAN. ANDREW BUCHAN. ARHTUR DARVILL. It is the best fun you will have watching a small town police force solve the murder of a young boy. (Am I allowed to say that? Oops.) I am only 3 episodes so DON'T SPOIL THIS FOR ME. I think I know what happens (thanks, internet) but I am pretending I know nothing. It's good writing, good acting and basically each episode makes you think the murder is a different townie. Makes me never want to live in a small seaside village. EVER. 
I love the relationship between David Tennant and Olivia Colman's characters. She is full of sass and he is full of snark. It's the best thing about the show.

I'll catch you up on the books I've read next time. 
Have you been watching any good TV recently? 

Currently reading:
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Is it just me? by Miranda Hart
North & South by Elizabeth Gaskill

28 May 2014


In just one weeks time, I have made a ton of progress in my reading. 

If two books counts as "a ton of progress" that is. 

My second Junot Diaz book Drown was just as lovely as This Is How You Lose Her. Lovely might not be the right word for it, but I loved reading his books. Both of the ones I've read have a memoir style to them which I love. I love reading something that makes me feel as if I'm getting to know the author, instead of just the characters. (Don't mistake me, I love fiction and I love that it shows me what the author thinks is important in life. It's just two different ways of looking at things, I guess.)
Anyway, pick up something by Junot Diaz. You won't be sorry.

The second book I finished was Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. No matter how hard I try (granted, it's not very hard I don't actually try) I just can't seem to keep away from young adult literature. I finished this book in a single night, ya'll. Basically one sitting. I don't think I've done that since The Fault in Our Stars (coming to a theatre near you June 6th!). And don't be fooled, it's a teen romance guys. The ending is going to hurt. Knowing it's going to hurt is half the point of the story, isn't it? Even if we know something won't last, sometimes it is worth trying anyway. 
(And yes, I cried. The tears were unexpected. Rowell doesn't mess around with how painful real life can be, and I'm not even talking about how intensely first loves can break our hearts. Be warned.)

Since finishing E&P, I have gone on to read Fangirl & Attachments with the same fervor. (Anyone with a fangirl obsession, obviously Fangirl is the book for you. Share with fellow fangirls. Are you an avid emailer? Read & share Attachments with that friend you are always emailing about EVERYTHING. You both will feel a deep connection with this book.)  Eleanor and Park & Fangirl have younger protagonists; Eleanor & Park are meant to be sixteen and Cath is a freshman in college. Attachments & Landline are "adult books," and by that I mean Lincoln is mid to late 20s, not sure what he wants from life (What? I do NOT connect to him on a personal level. Sheesh….) and Landline is about  Georgia, wife & mother, whose marriage is on the rocks. I love seeing the progression of characters, from young and in love to slightly adult and still looking for love. I think there is something unique about the way Rowell is able to capture those feelings of longing for life to be more than what it might currently look like to the reader. Dead-end job, lame-o boyfriend, bad family life, best friend struggles--she kind of covers everything without coming across as lame.
A friend has promised to let me borrow her advanced copy of Landline when she is done with it and I can hardly contain my joy. 

This is from Yulin Juang's youtube channel. She directed a series of "I Didn't Write This" clips from poems and parts from her favorite books. I LOVE this little scene from Fangirl and would pay BIG MONEY to see her do the WHOLE THING with these beautiful actors in it. LOVE. My gift to you :) 

And as a PS to all my nerd readers, I finished Star Wars this week  sometime in March, too. All of them. The original trilogy. And yes, I liked them. Return of the Jedi has to be my favorite. Any movie that actually makes me laugh is a win in my book. I think I was most surprised that not ALL of the special effects were horrible. With all the advances and computer stuff that is in all the things these days, I was pleasantly surprised when I caught myself thinking, "Is that really good environment matching/shadowing or is that really a built thing in that forest chasing those adorable Ewoks?" So yes. I'm a fan. And a little sad it took me this long to watch. There is a good chance they will make their way into my DVD collection. 

20 March 2014

Oh, hello March

How is it March already? How is it almost the END of March already?! 

After I finished last year's reading challenge, I got excited. I read 8 books over my goal. Fifty books in a year. Whoa. I did that without even trying, really. Imagine if I made 50 my goal…how many more could I read if my basic goal was 50? 


You read that right. 


We have completed almost three months of 2014 (!) and I have finished exactly one book. 

I have been having a hard time finding books that capture my interest. I've started reading Cloud Atlas, That Hideous Strength, Parade's End, Beyond the Summerland…and that isn't even counting the books I started but didn't finish last year, like The Hobbit, Emma, Northanger Abbey. (And of course not even MENTIONING the 10 books I've had checked out since….well, ahem. A long time.)

So if I haven't been reading, what have I been doing? 
Watching TV. Pretty much, that is it. (Oh and 80s movies.)
I finished MI-5, which I highly recommend. Love it. 
House of Cards. If you want to completely lose faith in the government OR root for all the evil people in the world to win, this is the show for you. Do not start it lightly and when you finish it, make sure you watch 30Rock or something so you remember how to laugh. 
Speaking of laughing, my go to hilarious show is Vicar of Dibley. So funny.
As if I didn't have enough dark drama on my plate already, I started NBC's Dracula. I am still not sure how I feel about it. I really was intrigued by the ending and now of course, it will probably get canceled. I suppose I'll just go back to watching Sleepy Hollow…if FOX doesn't cancel that show too. (They have such a history of canceling good shows **coughFIREFLYcough**)

I have a couple of books on my "to read" shelf that I think I might have more success with in the next few weeks. I'm really looking forward to that. Oh, and I've come to a point in my life where I think I'm finally ready to … watch Star Wars.
Oh boy. This year will be interesting.