Thursday, February 18, 2010

Books and movies.

What? You were expecting something different?

I suppose we could talk about the new restaurant I went to, or the great balsamic chicken salad I had for lunch the other day. I can still taste that salad, it was fabulous. Or, hey, we could talk about my weigh and measure at Curves the day after the chicken salad. I didn't lose any weight this month, BUT I did lose inches. That made me feel pretty good. At least the weight stayed the same as the month before, and with all of the dining out I've been doing that was a surprise. I've been adding in more exercise. And my clothes fit better; zippers are staying up when I sit down. ; ) I figure the scale is only a number, but why then does it bother me so much? It's strange how it makes my entire day if I see even 1/16th of a pound loss.

Bookclub was today. We'd read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larssen. I can't say I loved the book. The first 70 pages were rife with exposition and way too large a cast of characters, and all with those difficult spellings and pronunciations. Besides which, the author lost at least two threads in the story, and there was one too many sadistic sex scenes for my liking. It was an intellectual thriller, originally titled Men Who Hate Women, and truthfully I think that was the theme. It was translated from Swedish to English, and I think something was lost in the translation, because the characters came across as cold and unemotional. I have no idea why this book became a best seller as it was clunky in the storytelling. Maybe it was the sex. That sure was graphic. Now that I think about the novel, it was a rather thick and meaty stew that seemed to leave no ingredient out, so something in there for everyone. It had hatred, religious zealots, incest, sadism, corruption, greed, lust, and a forty year old mystery to solve. What's not to like?

On to the movies. I saw Crazy Hearts. I've always been a Jeff Bridges fan, and a fan of country western music, and he played the part very well. Unfortunately, having to watch a sloppy drunk for two thirds of the movie, and suspending my disbelief that Maggie Ghylenhall would fall for such a character, was too much of a stretch for me. Also went to see Extraordinary Measures, with Harrison Ford. Actually, I didn't go with Harrison, he starred in the movie. : ) It was good. A very tender and moving story. I enjoyed the acting and the storyline. When I'd seen the trailer I'd figured it wasn't for me. I couldn't buy into Ford's character, he seemed nasty and angry and I figured that it wouldn't be much fun. But Flo wanted to see it. He played the role of a jaded but dedicated scientist brilliantly, and I adored the character. I'm so glad my friend had insisted on this one.

Then I watched Precious. Oh my, what an amazing bit of acting. For those who are squeamish about the visuals of physical and sexual abuse, you might want to psych yourself up for this one. While most of the scenes are not too graphic, or fade out quickly, there is a lot of emotional abuse. The shouting alone has you on the end of the seat and sometimes with the noise, the soft spoken girl, and the dialect, you can miss out on parts of the dialogue. A good one to rent and watch at home. I swore I would never complain about my life again after seeing this movie.

My writing is going well, and I'm enjoying my new story. It's a romantic suspense set here in the desert. I love my hero. Seriously. Today I recieved a CD set for 24 online lectures that I'd ordered last week. The topic might seem boring to you: Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. But it's a fascinating study. I've already listened to two of the courses. The lecturer has a great voice and it's well-modulated. He's pleasant to look at, and stands at a lectern as he lectures. He doesn't patronize, he smiles occasionally, uses his hands when he talks, and is confident and at ease. Feels just like college, except you don't have to get up early for class, or get out of your pj's. : )