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I’ve Been Tagged (by LazyGal)

 

The rules:

If you’ve been tagged, you should write your answers in your own journal and replace any questions that you dislike with a new question. Tag nine people. Don’t refuse to do that. Don’t tag the person who tagged you. (OK, I won’t make anyone but – Sardonic Girl? The Wife, the Mom? Marsha?)

The Meme

What song are you currently addicted to?
I can’t get Defying Gravity or A Wonderful Day from Wicked out of my head. Never mind it was over a week ago I listened to it.

What books are you currently reading?
I’m enjoying Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku (see previous post), Brightness Reef by David Brin, Blood Sins by Kay Hooper, Montana Legacy by R.C. Ryan (a trilogy that is the male version of Nora RobertsMontana Sky), and Content Licensing by Michael Upshall (professional book review).

What is the one skill you wish you had?
These days I think it’d be pretty cool to know how to fly an airplane.

If you had the chance to go back in time for 24 hours, where and when would you go?
I’m pretty satisfied with yesterday. I’d probably make less french fries or less cheese for my dinner.

What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have one favorite – there are too many that fit different occasions. Oh, I know. I head this last week. “Your granddaughters are beautiful.”

What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
Bewitched and Addams Family. I can remember as a kid I would pretend that Thing (the disembodied hand) would help me make my bed.

What websites do you always visit when you go online?
the crossword puzzle at the Boston Globe, the Reader’s Place Ning, Wordsplay (online Boggle) (personal) PubMed, other medical literature databases.

What was the last thing you bought?
A new book (The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear), a new pair of black walking sandals, and a surge protector for the laundry room.

Coke or Pepsi?
Coke

Do you get cravings? If so, what do you crave?
Chocolate, of course. Sometimes I crave salty so I keep crackers around too.

What do you do to change your mood?
It depends – read, cry, talk to someone, sleep, talk to a cat…

What was the last meal you ate?
Breakfast – vanilla yogurt, apple cinnamon danish, coffee

Five things you can’t live without.
My children, in-law-children, and grandchildren
My extended family
Sunshine (even though I stay in a lot)
My books and ability to read
The independence and freedom of my lifestyle

What is the closest purple thing near you?
A purple ink pen in my desk organizer. I never use it anymore.

What’s something that never fails to make you smile?
My granddaughters
My scrapbooks with my photos in them

What are you not looking forward to?
My extensive dental work continues Wednesday morning – at least 3 crowns and a bridge. I’ve already had 3 root canals in the past few months.

What significant world event that you have lived through stands out most in your mind?
(showing my age) Assassination of President Kennedy – there’s also the Challenger Explosion and 9/11

Name a movie you’d like to see, but just somehow haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.
Angels and Demons – I know it’s not as good as the book, which is probably why I haven’t bothered yet.

That’s a long list!

Reading Oddities

 

AvatarToday I went to see Avatar – the first weekend Imax wasn’t sold out the day before. I have lots of observations (you who have seen it – unobtainium???) but as I was watching it hit me…

In Avatar greedy humans concerned with the bottom line are trying to get the minerals underground, which will ruin the environment and the natives. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book, The Poisonwood Bible. And the backstory? Greedy humans concerned with the bottom line are trying to get the diamonds from underground, which will ruin the environment and the natives.

Follow Ups

 

Last night my family decided to have a Wii Mario Cart competition. That meant we didn’t watch Twilight until tonight. I didn’t love it or hate it. I thought they did an excellent job of staying with the book. Otherwise, it was OK. Edward’s day to day makeup was a little over the top – perhaps his lips should have been paler? And while Rosalie’s and Esme’s characters both were fitting, the rest of the Cullens didn’t match my Let Me Go by Helga Schneiderperceptions. (I also still think Alexis Bledel would have made a better Bella, but I’m not the casting director.)

I’m one of those wishy-washy people when it comes to this movie. It’s OK and while I’m not going to rush to see it again, I wouldn’t mind if it came on. I have decided I don’t want to reread Twilight. Instead, I want to reread New Moon.

I also have a follow up on my post about the book Let Me Go. I started reading Apocalypse Watch by Robert Ludlum today. I mention in my post about how Americans think of Hitler’s regime. The quote in the beginning of the book by David Ansen (Newsweek, December 20, 1993) confirms the beliefs I always hear:

To any sane person there has always been an unfathomable mystery about the systematic evil the Nazi regime perpetrated. Like a moral black hole, it seems to defy the laws of nature while being part of that nature.”

Twilight – the Movie

 

Twilight by Stepehenie MeyerLast year I discovered Twilight by Stephenie Meyer before I learned it was the beginning of “the set” of young adult fantasy novels to read currently (post Harry Potter?). Then the movie came out last fall, If there’s anyone in that age reading group in the United States who had missed it before, that person certainly now knows about Twilight, Bella, and Edward. The movie came out on DVD this week.

My younger daughter saw the film three or four times in the theater. She had the DVD preorderd as soon as possible. It arrived Monday and I’m fairly sure she sat down and watched it that night.

I never did make it to the theater to see it. But it arrived from NetFlix today. I’ll be watching it tonight. I think the books are great and know the movie can’t match up. But, presumably, they’ve done a good job with it. (Otherwise my daughter wouldn’t have seen it so many times in the theater.) I’ll probably want to re-read it afterwards, too.

F. Scott Fitzgerald – Long Time Online Reading Buds Can Say “I told you so”

 

For many years I proclaimed that F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s work didn’t interest me and I avoided it. I knew I wouldn’t like it. (Hear the snickers?)

Finally about a year and a half ago the stars aligned in such a way that I borrowed a copy of The Great Gatsby to listen to in the car. I was reluctant, but it fit a couple criteria I was wanting at the time. After finishing the book I revised my opinion of Fitzgerald’s work. (The snickers get a bit louder.)

A new movie came out a few weeks ago that caught my attention, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I immediately thought of the book I enjoyed so much a few years ago, The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. I wondered if Benjamin Button was a revised version of Max Tivoli so did my librarian thing and did some research. Benjamin Button was originally a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Me, being me, had to find the short story. I recommend Max Tivoli all the time (it’s a well done, poignant book) and wanted to read the short story that helped spark the novel almost 100 years later. So I put Before Gatsby on hold at the library. It’s a collection of “the first twenty-six stories” by Fitzgerald (written or published? I didn’t check). Again, this is me. I didn’t just flip to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I started reading from the beginning.

These stories may be Fitzgerald’s early work, but they demonstrate the quality of the writer (now the snickers are loud chuckles – they told me so). Somewhere in the introduction it is mentioned that these stories are dated because they rely on the themes of the Jazz Age in the 1920’s America. In one way that is true. Fortunately each story comes with an explanation of terms to help the modern reader understand the allusions. In another way, these stories are timeless. Because while times and environment change, people don’t. There are few women who haven’t met the mean-spirited Marjorie from Bernice Bobs Her Hair. I was glad Bernice gave her a come uppance at the end of the story. Then there’s the pathos at the end of Head and Shoulders that rings so true. I’ve enjoyed the humor of The Camel’s Back and the irony of The Cut Glass Bowl. In some of them I just don’t get the point – in my opinion you can skip Mr. Icky. But for the most part I now understand why my fellow reading friends told me to try Fitzgerald.

I did and I’m glad of it.

(Some one else has the book on hold at the library and it’s due tomorrow. I guess I’m paying a late fine because The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the last story and I’m not there yet.)

Books to Movies

 


As long as there have been movies, books have been put on film. Tonight I was reading Terry Pratchett‘s Lords and Ladies when I wanted a break. I flipped on the television and channel surfed. On the Sundance Channel I happened to stumble across Farenheit 451, based on Ray Bradbury‘s book titled the same.

The movie stayed fairly true to the book. It wasn’t as mesmerizing as the book, nor was it a great flick. Even so, I had fun watching it.

The “wall television” was smaller than the one that is in my mind’s eye. It looks like our big screen televisions today – foreshadowing? Yet the phones were the old fashioned kind – a couple with the box on the wall where you took the earpiece off and leaned into the mouthpiece. The sets and clothing were definitely from the 1960’s (it was released in 1966). That didn’t bother me like the phones did.

When Montag was being chased at the end, there were men in believable futuristic individual flying machines that wouldn’t be out of place in a futuristic movie made today.

In Bradbury’s book and in the movie, television is what replaces the book. Watching it now, it was odd not to see any sign of a computer or electronic console. I had to chuckle, as well, because one of the “book people” at the end was Ray Bradbury‘s The Martian Chronicles. It was a way for the movie to pay homage to a man who was already an impressive author by then.