Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The good guys…

January 13, 2009

As it turns out, my favorite non-Jack character, Tony Almeida, is not only alive, but is NOT a domestic terrorist after all! He is actually working undercover, DEEP undercover. Oh, how my mother will be appalled at this post. She cannot understand my attachment to Tony. Perhaps she should remember that lengths to which Tony has gone to protect Jack. I do acknowledge that he has certainly developed a bad habit of remaining in an almost constant surly glare. And he’s probably not the very best actor that has ever graced a television set…kind of one-dimensional. But still! He saved Jack and Audrey when they were being attacked by ruthless gunmen! He directed CTU through a biological weapon crisis while recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck! He kept Jack’s existence a secret! And Michelle, dear Michelle…

Alright, I’m going to return now to my regularly scheduled programming-the 2nd hour of 24 for the night!


Golden Globes 2009

January 13, 2009

Now, this is not a fashion blog. I am not the least bit fashionable, at least as far as a sense of originality or real passion for fashion goes. I’m known in my family as the one who buys the outfit on the mannequin.

I do, however, enjoy critiquing, admiring, loving, and loathing the gowns of the stars on awards show nights, so I decided to include my favorites from this year.

Kate Winslet, the classic beauty:

*By the way, I found it quite difficult to obtain photos WITHOUT Leo. I think you still get the idea of the loveliness of the dress.

Eva Mendes-I adore the combination of white and turquoise, and her skin is perfect for the dress:

Isla Fisher-I love this dress. It’s a bit unusual, but absolutely right for her:

Jennifer Morrison-The ladies of House were all quite stunning this evening, but I liked Cameron’s dress the most:

There were a few choices that I wasn’t quite sure about. Drew Barrymore wore a periwinkle blue dress (Pretty Cheap Dress, did I get the color right?) that might have been just a shade too light for her skin. Tina Fey’s dress was certainly more glamorous than her usual style, but I wasn’t completely swept away by it. I thought Angelina’s sparkling gown looked slightly frumpy. Yes, I did not feel the need to include her surname. I’m sure you all know exactly who I’m talking about.

As for the worst offenders of the evening, I’m going to have to go with J-Lo, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Renee Zellwegger, and Glenn Close. Too reminiscent of a certain green dress, anything slightly resembling animal print is no good, sheer black gowns with strange sleeves are a bad idea, and GLENN! Are you TRYING to look 20 years older? You bear no resemblance to the vicious, yet stylish, attorney I watched on Damages this past Wednesday.

What did you think of all of this fashion?

There’s a dryer in my kitchen!

January 9, 2009

Today was yet another day in the lengthy quest to finish the installation of the washer and dryer. It marked the fourth day that the two brand new, lovely appliances have been parked in the middle of the kitchen. I have persevered thus far with cooking dinner, but finally gave in and ordered pizza tonight.

My job for the day was painting the wall where the laundry hookups have been installed. It was a fairly simple task, although it wasn’t fun craning my neck and balancing precariously on my stepladder whilst painting a patch of ceiling that was uncovered when we took out a cabinet to make room for the dryer.

In the luxurious stretches of time while coats of paint and primer were drying, I watched old episodes of 24 (I’m having my own personal marathon in preparation for the season 7 premiere on Sunday), started Beowulf, my reading for class next week, drank a toasty mug of mint hot chocolate….it was lovely. Being semi-retired is really not half bad. By the way, I say semi-retired not because I currently have a job, but because I don’t plan to be without one indefinitely. Perhaps when the house is fully moved into?

I did unearth a few more boxes, and joy of joys, found ALL my cookbooks. They’re now sitting prettily on my new bookshelf, as you can see, just waiting to be lovingly thumbed through. I must admit, I’ve been somewhat selective about the boxes I’ve opened. I’ve walked away from several non-promising ones in the hopes of finding good ones!

Stuck in a pile of cookbooks I came across A Call to Character, a book that my mom purchased for all of us last year. It’s a great collection of literary pieces, each selected to represent a character trait, such as loyalty or compassion. I highly recommend it for teachers, mothers, or anyone who simply enjoys classic literature. I’ll include a tiny gem of an excerpt here.

from “A Bargain for Frances”, by Russell Hoban (yes, the same Frances in my childrens’ book list)

“Well”, said Thelma, “from now on, I will have to be careful when I play with you.” “Being careful is not as much fun as being friends,” said Frances. “Do you want to be careful or do you want to be friends?”

Isn’t that a good bit of advice for life?

Oh, shoot. I just realized, upon gazing with happiness at my cookbook shelves, that I actually haven’t found them all. Just when I began to convince myself that my shockingly large collection of cookbooks really isn’t that bad, certainly not an indication of compulsive buying and/or evidence of a cookbook addiction…

Well, it would have been nice if I had managed to pen my Top Chef recap by now-the episode was great! I shall never be able to compete with the EW columnist if I can’t finish my recaps by the day after airing! I should really get started on that!

A welcome return…

January 7, 2009

Now, I am NOT attempting to write any sort of recap on the ridiculousness that was The Bachelor last night-I leave that to the queen of all recaps, Lincee. However, I admonish you, if ever feeling in need of a laugh, to observe at least one episode from the current season, which premiered last night. It’s going to be a wild ride! The first episode was replete with cardinal sins of the Bachelor-drunkenness, telling the Bachelor that you’ve quit your job to meet him, writing the Bachelor a love poem despite never having met him, and, worst of all, wearing fake hillbilly teeth for your first impression moment. Lest you shrug, responding “Hey, that’s not one bit different from any other season!”, I must tell you, single dad Jason selected all but one of those women! See! You. Must. Watch. I have left you with a photo of single dad Jason and my favorite bachelorette, Jillian, otherwise known as the Hot Dog girl. Admit it, you’re curious!

My next European adventure…

January 4, 2009


Yes, I am the fortunate lady who will be traveling to Barcelona in February with my husband, who HAS to be there for work. Oh, the trials and tribulations of jobs that require trips to Spain!

I know very little about Barcelona, so I would greatly appreciate any recommendations or suggestions from my loyal few. I do know about la Sagrada familia, the famously unfinished cathedral by illustrious Catalan architect Gaudi, pictured above. What a wonderful thing it will be to walk around the city, admiring his work.

It is nice to have first-hand, trustworthy advice, so really, please pass on your Spanish travel anecdotes. It would be ever so convenient to be prepared for my journey with knowledge other than the difference between a Spanish tortilla and a Mexican tortilla.

That’s it for now! Off to attack the piles of boxes in the garage!

Merry Christmas! (from Coldplay and me :) )

December 24, 2008

The Thorn Birds

September 26, 2008

I’ve been meaning to write about The Thorn Birds for quite some time now. I read it a few weeks ago, just at the beginning of August, my last read before diving into the Twilight saga. It wasn’t my first time to peruse the pages of the epic story of forbidden love set against the starkly beautiful background of an Australian sheep station. (By the way, I just learned that “station” is the term used in Australia, just like we use “ranch” here-not that this is relevant at ALL to my thoughts on the book 🙂 )

I’d had a vague, distant memory of my mom and dad walking up to my grandmother’s house to watch the miniseries based on The Thorn Birds, starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward, and I knew that my mom loved the book, but for some reason, every time I picked it up, I just couldn’t stay involved long enough. I can’t imagine why not, because it is both a wonderful and fascinating read. The characters are all rich, well-developed, and incredibly strong in their own ways, particularly the women. While the central story is based on the impossible love that develops between Ralph de Bricassart, an ambitious Irish Catholic priest and Meggie Cleary, daughter of the station foreman, it is supplemented tremendously by the tumultuous and loving relationships within the Cleary family and the inner turmoil in Father Ralph’s conflicted soul.

At its core, the novel is about what it means to really love someone. Those are simple words, but the funny thing about love is that it’s equally as easy to fall in love with someone, swept up in the throes of passion, as it is not to realize how much you love someone in your life that you’ve always taken for granted. Even though the real, true love between Ralph and Meggie is at the story’s heart, it’s impossible not to be hugely impacted by the other love stories, particularly between Meggie’s parents, Fee and Paddy.

My favorite passage from the book is at its conclusion, which references the Celtic legend of the the title. The legend refers to a bird that only sings once in its life, once it has found a thorn tree. The bird immediately impales itself upon the longest thorn, and sings its only song, “one superlative song, existence the price.” The lesson of the legend? “For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain.” The final words of the book bring us back to the legend of the thorn bird.

The bird with the thorn in its breast, it follows an immutable law; it is driven by it knows not what to impale itself, and die singing. At the very instant the thorn enters there is no awareness in it of the dying to come; it simply sings and sings until there is not the life left to utter another note. But we, when we put the thorns in our breasts, we know. We understand. And still we do it. Still we do it.

I’d like to think that I live my life in this way, despite the pain of difficult things. I don’t find these final words to be bleak, rather, they speak of what is real and true, and that anything worth having in this life is usually obtained at great cost.

"I can’t wait."

September 26, 2008

Oh, the blissful happiness that ensues from watching an episode of The Office…I can’t deny that I waited in eager anticipation for the season 5 premiere, which was last evening. It did not disappoint! Funny, heartwarming, romantic, and satisfying, all wrapped up in an hour-long episode! Of course, the best part was when the writers of the show (who, unfortunately, may torture us loyal viewers with angst-y long-distance issues later in the season) decided to give us the perfect surprise, right up front in the premiere, of Jim proposing to Pam, IN THE RAIN. Sigh….

I couldn’t resist adding this video. It’s so sweet!

Suite Francaise

September 2, 2008

Suite Francaise, a recent read, was highly recommended to me by my beloved sister-in-law, whose taste is impeccable. It was a book she picked up last minute at the airport, not anticipating just how much she would enjoy it. She’s even more serious about reading than I am, and her fear of going on a trip without enough reading material to last for the duration of her journey is quite intense! There really is nothing worse for an avid reader than to be without a decent book to read.

Needless to say, while I was at the airport just a few months later, waiting on an eight-hour delayed flight, steadily making my way through the second book I’d brought for my trip, I decided to take the same course of action, and I picked up Suite Francaise for myself.

The book became quite the bestseller when it was published in 2006-it’s a two-part novel written by French author Irene Nemirovsky during the early years of World War II. Tragically, Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz, where she died. This renders the novel, which managed to survive a flight from war-torn Paris in a suitcase, even more poignant. Essentially, it’s a story of flight, survival, and finding humanity in the influence of an occupying force. I found it to be a beautiful, soulful work, marked by lilting, pastoral tones and quiet tragedy borne in the spirits of strong men and women. As always, I want to include some of my favorite lines and passages.

in reference to the old Parisian couple, the Michauds:
“They had always had a burning desire to be happy. Perhaps because they loved each other so much, they had learned to live one day at a time, deliberately not thinking about tomorrow.”

Lucille Angellier sitting in the midst of garden blossoms:
“The sun shone through them, revealing a pattern of interlacing, delicate blue veins, visible through the opaque petals; this added something alive to the flower’s fragility, to its ethereal quality, something almost human, in the way that human can mean frailty and endurance both at the same time.”

I love that line, “in the way that human can mean frailty and endurance at the same time.” Reading it makes me catch my breath-it’s like making the discovery that there actually is a way to put words to a feeling that you have about living.

Lucille’s thoughts walking home in the rain and discovering children vandalizing an abandoned garden:
“Despite the freezing rain, the village children darted back and forth between the trees in their blue and pink smocks. Every so often she glimpsed a shiny, dirty cheek gleaming in the rain like a peach. The children picked lilacs and cherry blossom and chased each other across the lawns. Perched high on top of a cedar tree, one little boy in red trousers whistled like a blackbird.

They were managing to destroy what remained of a garden that had been so well-tended in the past, so loved-a garden where the Perrins no longer came together as a family at dusk to sit in cast-iron chairs (the men in black jackets, the women in long rustling dresses) and watch the melons and strawberries ripen.”

Lucille and Bruno, her German, in the Angellier house:
“They felt a strange happiness, an urgent need to reveal their hearts to each other-the urgency of lovers, which is already a gift, the very first one, the gift of the soul before the body surrenders. ‘Know me, look at me. This is who I am. This is how I have lived, this is what I have loved. And you? What about you, my darling?’ “

Again, I was touched by the intensity of these words, the willingness to describe the most visceral of human feelings, falling in love.

There is much more to appreciate in Suite Francaise. As you can see, it’s written beautifully, and when considering the real background of the story, it’s even more compelling.


August 31, 2008