Sunday Salon {5/27/2012}

The interesting news of the week is really only from yesterday. Nick and I drove about an hour away in his pretty depleted 2002 Chevy Cavalier and we came back in a shiny 2011 Chevy Silverado. Yes, that’s right, my husband has finally got the truck he has wanted for years. I have to admit, I’m glad he has the truck, too. With all of our “renovating” at the new old house, having one truck is better than both of our mid-size sedans put together. Now, the truck is smaller than my two brothers-in-law’s trucks, but it’s also nicest because it’s the newest and won’t be worked as hard as theirs. Yeah, Nick will still use it–heck, we used it yesterday to haul a tank of water to water his mom’s trees–but it won’t be abused as much as the farmer’s or the construction worker’s.

Aside from the truck my week was normal. I ran a 5K distance twice to prepare for the 5K “race” (I’m not racing, I’m just trying to beat my own time) next Saturday. And I’ve started resting my legs with a walk on days between running. Work has been normal. I applied for a high school social studies spot at my alma mater, but haven’t heard back yet. I do miss teaching, not that I dislike the little tykes I “teach”. But I did watch a fair few new movies this week, so many more than I’ve been seeing lately. (Those are at the end of the post.) I can’t believe May is already almost over, but the first three weekends of June I’ve got big things happening so I’m sure it’ll fly by, too. That’s alright–it’ll make waiting to go to the lake on July 6th more bearable.

In the book/film world, I feel like I’ve been fairly productive, especially as of late. I haven’t yet finished reading Finding Manana by Mirta Ojito, but that’s what I’ve read most during the week. It’s my “read during naptime” book at work, which usually grants me at least an hour and a half of time to read a day. I sort of put aside COMC–my usual naptime book–in order to read Finding Manana because that is my book for  the month of May in the Around the World in 12 Books Challenge. At home, I’ve had a little time to read The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig, but I think I’d be finding more time to read it if I enjoyed it more. It’s not bad, but that interesting spark hasn’t really come out yet. I think it might have something to do with the beginning of the “series” (you don’t really have to read them in order, but it would make more sense as per the historical aspect of the book). The main characters in the second book made up a small part of the first, main characters in the third made up a small part of the third, etc. But as time goes on, the main characters are more and more not part of the prior book. So this time, book #9, the leading lady has come completely out of nowhere and the leading gent has barely ever been mentioned in any other book. I think it might be time for me to stop looking at it as a series. The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry has started to interest me more. Although the story did traverse to Palestine, it had me wondering if that is the correct name for the region in the mid- to late-1200s. I could have sworn that it wasn’t called Palestine then, but I could be wrong. Now it’s bugging me because I don’t know if that one historic fact is right or wrong 😕

The Iron Lady (2012; Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent)
This was rather a serious movie. I hadn’t expected it to be all unicorns and rainbows, of course. But I was a bit saddened by the circumstance of the story. The movie focuses on Margaret Thatcher, the first and, so far, only female Prime Minister of Great Britain (nicknamed “Iron Lady”). Through various flashbacks, her rise into politics and strong-willed journey through PM-ship are shown. The flashbacks and even hallucinations are due to a health issue I can only assume was a real issue for Thatcher. Throughout the movie, Thatcher’s late husband, Denis, makes and appearance as a hallucination–that is what I find very sad. After 50-some years of marriage, it doesn’t surprise me that she had issues realizing he was gone. Anyways, I found the movie very informative. Learning all my history from an American education, I honestly had no idea what went on outside the US in the 1970s and 1980s–unless it involved the US. For instance, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and there was actual war between the two countries for them. But I really did like this movie.

Moneyball (2011; Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill)
Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a man who puts together a team of MLB misfits based solely on statistics, much to the chagrin of many of his co-workers and fans of the Athletics.
There are only a couple of movies with Brad Pitt in them that I have enjoyed–the Ocean’s 11 movies. No other movie with him have I enjoyed. This one wasn’t bad really. But it was about a sport I find particularly boring. (Yeah, I admit that I don’t like the original American game…) Fortunately, the movie isn’t at all like watching a baseball game. I found it a little interesting, but I can’t put my finger on why. Statistics and baseball–two things I don’t care for at all–but I found it interesting.

Real Steel (2011; Hugh Jackman)
Set around 2020, Hugh Jackman plays a washed up boxer who is in the game of robot boxing. He’s got a gambling problem; needing money, he practically sells his son for money to buy another robot. But his son finds a 6-year-old robot (a 2nd generation “sparing” bot) and puts him up against the current world champ. The story still ends pretty happily, even if it’s not exactly a “perfect” happy ending. Just the right amount of sad and good.
I actually enjoyed the movie a lot. Of course it was pretty obvious by the time Charlie (Jackman) sold his son, Max, to Max’s aunt (on his mother’s side) that in the end he would want to “keep” him–that makes Max sound like a dog, “keeping” him. Anyways, I thought the idea of robot boxing was sort of inventive. It wasn’t a “based on real life” story of a human boxer, something I would’ve found pretty boring. There are a lot of sporting movies based on real events, most of which are uninteresting to me. But this one had that little hint of sci-fi to it 🙂

The Sitter (2011; Jonah Hill)
A totally irresponsible 20-something-year-old guy, Noah, gets suckered into babysitting these three kids so his mom can go out on a blind date. Pretty much nothing goes as planned, yet, by the end, the three crazy kids have “seen the light” as Noah showed them and are ready to be regular kids.
My little summary there might make it sound like I didn’t like the movie. But it was pretty hilarious. Think Date Night (Tina Fey, Steve Carrell) only from a babysitter’s point of view. It was a little cheesy that the kids were ready to be normal and accept themselves for who they are instead of trying to be something they’re not. But every movie can be a little predictable–unless it’s a scary movie, which obviously run on the viewer not knowing what will come next.  


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