Sunday, July 13, 2008

today's activities (movies, books, powerwashing?!)

Yesterday & today turned out to be quite active days. I went to the northerly cinema to use the free movie ticket I had (movie clubs are great to belong to! free popcorn & the occasional free movie) and saw Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Pretty fun, and it was really great to see Karen Allen back again. I think she's a knitter now & owns a shop, but can't recall at present, Went & checked & she is!) (Ok, her name is Karen Allen, not my original guess of Smith, but I was... semi-close ;) ) Doesn't hurt that I love Shia LaBeouf too. Fun action movie.

The movie I really wanted to see, however, was Prince Caspian. I knew this movie was going off the big screen shortly, so I went to see that today. I have to admit that I was both pleased & disappointed. I always love the costuming, the scenery is splendid, and the four young actors are terrific. The actor who played Prince Caspian did an excellent job & I look forward to seeing him in the next movie, the Dawn Treader movie. The nice addition was that the role of Susan was far more active, than in the book. However, the romantic sub-plot was totally contrary to what CS Lewis wrote (and totally contrary to what he would ever have written.) Some of the plot lines were shifted in ways I didn't care for, mostly because that's not how the book handled it & because it makes Lucy (the youngest) very much to blame for much of the deaths in the movie. Didn't like that one at all.

Read two really fun books. The first one brought a former coworker (and luckily, current friend, Hi Kate!) vividly to mind. Although I must admit I can't think of the Kate I know doing things like walking on her hands (maybe that's a talent I never saw?) or carrying around a bucket strapped to her waist. She does have lovely purses though.

This one was The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart. I can see why it was a New York Times bestseller. It is beautifully done in terms of good writing & good action driven plot, has great puzzles, and gives you a lot to think about. I love Reynie Muldoon & Miss Perumal (the tutor), Sticky, Kate, and even Constance, who is the irritating one in this book. It is lovely, and a great juvenile.

The other book I also just adored, which is the one by Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks of Gardam Street. If you haven't read the first one, The Penderwicks, do that before you read this one. I love the story of the father with four girls. This book absolutely puts paid to the idea that only bad people & bad events are worth reading about. Talking much about the plot will ruin it, so suffice it to say that each girl faces challenges, they all grow up (even the father) and many interesting events take place.

One thing I really love about the book is that I have friends in the Books & Readers Forum on Compuserve, who have complained that their daughters who suffer from depression also suffer from the fact that so many of the books read in schools are issue books. They deal with depression, suicide, divorce, abuse, drugs... and on & on. Why, they said, can't there be books that are not so issue-driven and depressing? One woman actually had a teacher suggest a different book for her daughter to read. The daughter started to read it, sighed & put the book down & walked out. Turns out that in the first page, the father of the main character dies.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need a better balance. And Birdsall does such a beautiful job with this one. (p.s. there's even football & soccer in the book, to give you an idea of Birdsall's talents).

Last but not least, I decided to scrape the garage, to get it ready for painting. But then I realized that someone had suggested using my power washer instead, so that's what I spent the last two hours doing. I have little flecks of white paint all over myself, the yard, and the driveway. The garage never looked elegant before, but now looks distinctly shabby & threadbare. Here's hoping the primer makes it look glamorous again..... (maybe dark green trim will help?)

I wonder what Annie thought, watching all this stuff going on & watching white flakes fly by & water shooting into the air. Here's a picture of her in the window (look above).

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