February 1, 2011

January Revisited


Wolf: The Lives of Jack London - James L. Haley
Non-fiction. Easy and immensely readable bio of a great autodidact. Proof that passion and a good book can take you anywhere and can save you.

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Fiction. Classic. I enjoyed the translation, but I did not like her. At. All. Maybe in my great happiness with my marriage and life, I find it to difficult to imagine forsaking my children. Maybe Madame is just a little too much like some of the "ladies who lunch" in my neighborhood.

Blindness - Jose Saramago
Fiction. This is the best book I have ever read. Ever.

Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems - Folger Shakespeare Library
No Fear Shakespeare - Sonnets - Spark Notes
Poetry. A year ago, I decided to expand my horizons with The Sonnets and try one a day. I finally had time to start. So far I have made it through number 25. One of my favorites has to be number 2.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use
If thou couldst answer, "This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,"
Proving his beauty by succession thine.
or, from No Fear Shakespeare
"The effort I spent raising this beautiful child explains the sorry old state I'm in."

The New Testament - NIV
This is my husband's pet project, but I got drafted as well and it has turned into a family project. We will read one chapter of the New Testament every weekday. The goal is to finish in a year ... so far we have made it through Matthew 21.

Apologetics for the 21st Century - Dr. Louis Markos
Non-fiction. Apologetic. Dr. Markos brings together some of the great apologists of the last century and distills their basic arguments into an accessible overview. I have attended Dr. Markos' lectures on C.S. Lewis for 5 years now and I am excited to say that he is as great a writer as he is a speaker. I feel extremely blessed to count him as a friend.

Have A New Kid by Friday - Dr. Kevin Leman
Non-fiction. Our Sunday-school class is watching Dr. Leman's series on Value Packed Parenting, and my husband and I are enjoying it. Dr. Leman has a great sense of humor; so, when someone handed me this book, I took it and read it in about 2 hours. We have had the end vision of what we want our kids to be in mind since they were born. The book didn't offer me much as we tend to agree with Dr. Leman on quite a bit (no TV in bedrooms, 11 year old boys don't need cell phones, controls on the internet), but did give me a few great ideas. My favorite - unless there is blood, let them work it out on their own. So when the boys were fighting this morning, they went into a room on their own with the door closed. They figured it out and I didn't have to mediate ... or hear it.

Bread Givers - Anzia Yezierska


The King's Speech - Theatre
I had no idea what this movie was about, but friends invited me and I needed a night away from the liars and stupid people who have been populating my life lately. Who knew a movie about the King's speech impediment would be so pleasurable. But then again, Colin Firth never disappoints.

Yogi Bear - Theatre
The only good thing about this movie was that it ended. But not soon enough.

The September Issue - Home
Well done documentary about putting together the September issue of Vogue. Anna Wintour did not seem as scary as I thought she would. I liked her creative director. And her daughter. Girl Detective, thanks for the recommendation.

UP - Home
This was a gem. Emotionally and visually satisfying. I did not expect this from animation.

Julie & Julia - Home
I felt like this was two movies. The movie with Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci was worth 4★.
The one with Amy Adams and Chris Messina was worth about 2★.
By the end, I was fast-forwarding through the parts about the modern Julie to get to the parts about Julia. I read the Julie book a few years ago and didn't much like it either. I think I'll put Julia Child's My Life in France on my someday list.

Expelled - Home
Issues are meant to be wrestled with.
By the way. I am a Christian and that does affect my beliefs. Right now, I believe that there is some truth in Creationism. I believe that there is some truth in Darwinism. I believe that there is some truth in Intelligent Design. I believe the whole truth rests in the person of God and will only be revealed at the end of the world ... whenever that is. I DO NOT believe that the population of our planet was seeded by aliens. It truly surprises me that Dr. Dawkins would think that is any more a viable answer than that there is a God.

In the interest of fairness, here is a link to Scientific American's rebuttal.

Singin' In The Rain - Home
Ahhh. This is how movies were meant to be. All the boys in the house said it was a "chick flick," but the next day my younger son came down the stairs singing, "Good Morning. Good Morning to you."

Toy Story 3 - Home
The best of the trilogy. Why is it that the best movies I have seen this month were animated? Or older than me?

Meet Me In St. Louis - Home
Our new subscription to Netflix has allowed us to watch a few of the classics recommended in The Best Old Movies for Families by Ty Burr. No one was singing songs from this movie the next morning, but the husband and I enjoyed it.


Christmas Put Away - You laugh, but this is a bigger project than you think. I love Christmas and all the trimmings. Maybe next year I will buy a pre-lit fake tree. No. Maybe next year I will scale back on the decorations. Not likely. Maybe I won't host that tea for my friends. Come on. As long as there is one person who BELIEVES in this house, we will DO Christmas.

J's 5th Grade Bottle Bio Project - I know. Parents aren't supposed to do homework for their kids. It is a learning process. But when someone tells me the value of making a person out of a 2-litre bottle, I will stop "helping out" quite so much. The research paper complete with a "real" bibliography. That made sense and he did that entirely on his own.

DH's birthday present - I made him a Blurb photo book of our 2010 adventures. The books chronicles our lives last year and encompassed 92 pages of photographs. We were blessed with travel opportunities last year and visited Colorado, Glacier National Park, and The Field of Dreams. I am starting now on 2011 and I also want to start going backwards in time. 2009 included a week in Disney World. 2008 had us in Reno for the National Championship Air Races. If I eventually make it back far enough the books will include our trips to Beijing, Chile and Normandy.

Planned WEBELOS Arrow of Light ceremony and Pack Pinewood Derby - This is one of the activities I am in the process of shedding. I have been with these boys for five years. I have watched them grow up and they are a part of my life. And while I will miss them, running a Cubs Scout den and pack are huge time sinks and I will not be sorry to see the responsibilities go. I will still be minimally involved as M's den leader, but that will be a joy.

Finished the *@# Drivers Course

1 comment:

  1. I've tried the "don't bother me unless there's blood or a burglar" line, and while we haven't had a burglar, they have both drawn blood at different times. :( My 7yo has too volatile a temper and too low a frustration tolerance for "work it out with words" to work, FOR NOW, I add, with hope. My husband and I tried to watch Meet Me in St. Louis, but I couldn't stay awake, and didn't feel compelled to try again. But I did also love Up, Toy Story 3, and Singin' in the Rain, the latter of which we're going to try with our boys soon.