Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Reader

We stopped to watch these deer about a block from our house tonight on our way home from the movies.

We went to see "The Reader" and it was excellent. Definitely one of the best movies of the year. It's a fascinating, thought-provoking story, the acting is great, and it's thoroughly engrossing all the way through. I rank it much higher than either Slumdog Millionaire or Benjamin Button, both of which were good, but flawed.

My favorite movies of the current awards season (so far) are:
#1 The Reader
#2 Doubt
#3 Milk
#4 Rachel Getting Married
#5 Vicky Christina Barcelona

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gran Torino

Our snowy weekend turned out to be as snowy as predicted, but we only played one game of scrabble (which I won) because BB discovered, and quickly became obsessed with, an online Texas Hold'em game. It's played on Facebook and it's just for fun (no money) but once she started playing, she couldn't quit.

We didn't leave the house until late on Sunday afternoon when we went to a movie. We went to see "Gran Torino," which was TERRIBLE. We picked this movie because it was filmed in Detroit, and also because it's currently one of the most popular movies in the country (it made 29 million dollars in 3 days.)

We went because we were interested in seeing familiar Detroit settings on the big screen, and because we figured it had to be a fairly decent movie with so many people going to see it, but we were wrong.

Gran Torino is badly written, cliche', contrived and predictable. All the characters are one dimensional, with bad actors portraying them. Clint Eastwood does his Dirty Harry grimmace, and the rest of the actors are on par with what you'd see in a high-school play. There is also a lot of spitting.

It just kills me that droves of people are going to see this, and that it's making millions of dollars. How can this be???? Is the taste of the average American really THAT bad?!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Five to eight inches of snow are expected here today, so there's not much to do but hunker down for the duration. On days like this I'm really glad that I'm unemployed. Or rather somewhat sporadically employed. I do make a few bucks now and then, here and there. And I do work on my writing every day at home.

I recently sent off submissions to four literary journal contests, I'm working on some stories, some essays, and continue to revise the manuscript of my book and my query.

I've been able to concentrate on my work a lot better now that all the holidays are over, but it's Friday already, another week has flown, and here I am writing this instead of something I "should" be doing.

BB and I will most likely spend the snowy weekend playing lots of scrabble, reading, and maybe watching some movies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

getting the hang of this

Okay, so I guess I'm starting to get the hang of this. I've discovered some interesting blogs, put up some widgets, and even got my first "follower" (my lovely daughter-in-law.) But navigating around this Blogger world still seems pretty clunky to me. (Or am I just spoiled by Flickr?)

Monday, January 5, 2009


We went to the movies last night and saw Doubt, which was excellent. One the best movies I've seen in a while. Wonderful writing, incredible acting. I remember being in NYC when it was playing on Broadway. We were seeing some shows but I completly ignored Doubt in spite of the fact that it had won a Pulitzer Prize, because who'd want to sit through two hours of nuns, priests, and child abuse? Not me. I felt the same way about the movie at first too, but with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and all the buzz, how could I miss it?

In addition to the great writing and acting, the details were amazing and really took me back. I went to grade school in a building exactly like the one in the movie. In that exact time period. And the film was much, much less of a downer than I thought it would be.

Other good movies I've seen lately include Milk and Rachel Getting Married. Movies that were also good, but slightly disappointing, are Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button. I also enjoyed Bolt.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

some questions

So. Here's the thing... I'm still not completely clear about what I'm doing here. Is this just something meant to entertain myself, my family and friends, or should I be aiming my thoughts and observations at a larger audience?

I'm still not sure how this all works. It's not like Flickr where I can look at other people's work and comment upon it, or if it is like that then I haven't figured it out yet. I imagine there must be something like groups of bloggers interested in the same topics, but how do I find them? How do they find me?

It bugs me that we're living in a time when we're meant to learn new things intuitively, and no one bothers to write directions or instruction manuals anymore. I miss instruction manuals. Reading and comprehending instructions and directions was something I was good at; a valuable skill that's now almost completely obsolete.

In order to learn something new these days we're expected to spend a lot of time stumbling around until we figure things out for ourselves - which sometimes makes me feel like a lab rat in a maze. Or maybe I'm just guilty about the inordinate amount of time I've already spent fooling around online?