Tuesday, December 11, 2007

TRH Updates - December Madness

There are reasons why I hate starting every post with, "Goodness, I am so busy I barely have time to sleep these days." Firstly, it's boring, no one cares how busy I am. In fact, I don't even care, and I'm the one living this manic life. Secondly, being swamped with work doesn't count as almost every single person I know professionally and personally is in the same boat. Thirdly, I miss the comments, the emails, and frankly, the love, that I get from my blog and when I don't post, I don't get anything back. After all, you get back what you put out in the world, right?

So, I apologize in advance for the brief list-post detailing what's gone on in the past few weeks. I know it's just not the same.

1. Sales conference sucked up a good chunk of my life in the last couple weeks. However, it introduced me to Tim Winton, an Australian writer who has written a beautiful, lyrical and utterly compelling novel called Breath that I devoured in a 24-hour period (#77). It's not coming out until next year so I won't go into too much detail except to say that I would urge anyone and everyone to pick up his book of short stories The Turning and let me know what they think. It's the book that's top of my list now.

2. Another book I read before conference made me think that the subject matter of stories doesn't matter as long as the telling is compelling. (Am I rapping? Take it to the break! Yeah.). The Art of Racing in the Rain (#78) has a dog for a protagonist. A dog obsessed with race car driving. Do you think that deterred me? No, it did not -- it's a charming, engaging and sweet book that proves, much like Friday Night Lights, the power is in the storytelling and not the subject matter. This is an interesting lesson so late in life.

3. Zesty and I went to go see Atonement. I think she had a greater emotional response to the film than I did, having read the book and remembering how heartbreaking the story ends up being. It's a beautiful movie with an interesting soundtrack, and I think James McAvoy is simply delicious, but on the whole I'd give it a solid B, maybe moving on to B+ in certain parts. There's a scene when Robbie's at Dunkirk filmed in one long, gorgeous shot that truly brings home the destructive, debilitating experience for British soldiers in the Second World War. With none of the Hollywood-style American touches of huge explosions, instead showing a choir of rag-tag men battle weary and broken who are singing, the film takes a totally different point of view than that which we're used to in terms of exploring the war.

4. Awww, Enchanted. I was so glad that Tara was home for a whirlwind weekend that we got to see this film together. It was the perfect girlie movie. Amy Adams is delightful, and will probably get nominated for an Oscar. I can take or leave McDreamy. You get the feeling that his giant head wobbles a bit from walking around with all that hairy ego.

5. Dirty Dancing: The Stage Show? So not worth the money. The Evil Empire (where we were all employed three years ago, before half of us were unceremoniously fired) Ladies and I got together for a lovely pub dinner and set out to get our hearts broken by Baby. Only it never happened. Because the show is awful. Not even good-bad like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights which was awesomely bad, and hilarious. The stage show truly sucks, despite its lovely art direction: the dialogue is painful, the performances beyond wooden, and the leads don't sing. In a musical. And there's no dirty dancing except one very small part at the beginning. Trust me, it's not worth it, even for the laughter factor (we cackled through the entire performance). It's troublesome because we were laughing at the actors and not with them, which is never a good thing.

So that's about it in terms of my latest cultural indulgences. Lots more to come in terms of reading challenges, my top 10 books of 2007, my top 10 movies, and all kinds of other delightful lists that I adore making. And I promise, more regular updates.


Melwyk said...

Dirty Dancing was that bad? Oh dear. We just rewatched the dvd at work (hey, we were checking it for damage) and were all thinking perhaps a road trip to TO was in order. Guess not. Too bad. Maybe we'll all just go see Enchanted instead!

Deanna McFadden said...

It was awful. Truly. We were disappointed, not in the sense that we didn't have fun, because we did, but more so because a high school musical would have been of a better quality. It's worse than dinner theatre-bad. It's worse than seeing the 10,003rd showing of "A Chorus Line" at dinner theatre in Buffalo bad.

kathleen olmstead said...

Um, yeah. "A Chorus Line" could never be bad. Whatever are you thinking? Also, tidbit time, the original "Dirty Dancing" (movie) and the original "A Chorus Line" (broadway production) both starred Kelly Bishop. All roads lead to "Gilmore Girls".

Gallis said...

Gawd, there's nothing more excrutiating than bad musical theatre.

Kate S. said...

I haven't read anything by Tim Winton yet, but The Turning has long been on my list, and now I'll be looking forward to Breath as well.

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