year 2008 archives
It’s spring here in Magic Valley. The snow has finally melted, and farmers are working the fields. When the wind isn’t blowing, I slip into a jacket and wander outdoors, seeking a crocus, a daffodil, or asparagus. It’s nice to be outside again, after a cold and blustery winter.
Occasionally you see a movie that gets it right, and that’s how I feel about the sleeper Neverwas. Written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, the first time I saw this movie I thought it was unfinished, that it had missed its mark. But the second time I watched the movie, alone with the volume up so I couldn’t miss a word of dialogue, I was impressed and glad I made time to watch it twice. It’s a story about a man coming to terms with his past, very well done and subtle. If you watch it, do so with no distractions. Ian McKellen was brilliant in his role as Gabriel Finch, the king of Neverwas. It made me wish I could go out and buy a copy of “Neverwas” by T. L. Pierson, but alas, if such book exists, it’s solely in Stern’s imagination.
True to my promise to read a Jane Austen book this year, I began Emma and swore it was the last Austen book I would read until Mrs. Elton appeared to give Emma some competition. Then the book became interesting. The icing on the cake, however, was an English tea hosted by a member of my book club. While discussing our favorite characters — Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax, and Mr. Knightley — we enjoyed real clotted cream and lemon curds on scones, cucumber sandwiches, and English tarts along with our tea. A good time was had by all, to which we own Jane Austen a great big thanks.
For my birthday, I was lucky enough to be in Hillsboro, Oregon, hanging out with my son and grandsons. Having received Rock Band for their Xbox 360 for Christmas, the boys spend hours strumming, drumming, and belting out songs like Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and “Buddy Holly“, “My Sharona” by The Knack, and “Move Along” by the All-American Rejects. Of course, the little kid in me had to try it too, and now I walk around the house singing, “Move alongggggg!” They even treated me to dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a birthday!
For culture, I coerced my husband and friends to go with me to see Menopause the Musical, a hilarious show about women and the change. We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. My husband even bought me a T-shirt that says, “It’s all about me.” Isn’t he nice?
I am currently reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, and enjoying it very much. Speaking of books, two of my favorite authors are releasing new books this month, Girlwood by Claire Dean, and The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman. You can bet I already have my book orders in. Alice is currently on tour promoting her book, and, if the book gods are with me, I may even get a chance to meet her in Oregon later this month. All in all, I’d say that’s a pretty great way to say hello to spring and goodbye to winter!
It still looks a lot like Christmas here in southern Idaho. In fact, we have more snow now then we did in December. School kids are enjoying snow days while winter storms keep the snowplows busy. You would think all this cold weather would be conducive to a lot of good writing. Instead, I’ve been huddled around the fireplace reading like a maniac. Since January 1, I have read The Secret Live of Bees, Chocolat, His Favorite Wife, Shattered Dreams, The Year of Magical Thinking, and reread Bill Johnson’s A Story is a Promise. Right now I am reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Why all this reading, you may ask. I am a member of three different book clubs, one in Kimberly, and two in Jerome. Two of them are affiliated with the Let’s Talk About it Program and will run for a couple more months. Then it will be time to be outdoors in the garden. PBS is also running a series on Jane Austen, which I’ve been recording and watching on cold snowy evenings with plans to read at least one Jane Austen book this year.
Next week I’m hosting one of the book clubs, and we will be discussing the book Chocolat. You can bet my kitchen counter is covered with recipes as I search for some decadent dessert to serve, not to mention the stash of chocolate I’ve slowly been building every time I go to the store. It should be fun, and we probably won’t need another chocolate fix until, well, Easter?
To break up the monotony of winter, Pat and I took in Sweeny Todd. If you’re a Johnny Depp fan and not squeamish, go see it. The opening scenes will have you wondering just what kind of world you dropped in on.