The Oscars

Last fall I decided (for whatever reason) that I was going to watch all of the movies that won an oscar. I also decided to go in chronological order – as much as possible, figuring it’d be like the history of film making happening right before me. Surely the effects in the most recent films will be more stunning then the older ones. That’s being said some of the older ones did amazing things, especially considering they didn’t have all the advances we have now. The only bummer thing is the sound quality. I usually have to watch them on 60 (my volume usually hovers around 15) so when I do flip from watching the DVD to TV I usually give myself a mini heart attack.

Sadly for going at it since early November I’ve only made it through 6 (if you count in order. I have seen others but I’m planning on watching/re-watching them all in order (if possible)). I’ll have to be slightly more diligent in this task if I ever want to make it through. However I do sometimes think that to be even nominated for an Oscar the movie has to be forever long with lots of quite moments and if it’s a drama and will make the viewer perhaps sad double bonus. One side note, the lovely thing about Netflix is there queue system. I only had to go through the adding of the movies once, but they don’t have them all, as you will notice in my list.

  1. Wings – haven’t seen yet (not on Netflix)
  2.  The Broadway Melody – I don’t know what I was expecting but I found this movie fairly annoying. It begins in some sort of office building, more likely a studio though, when Eddie blazes in to introduce his hot new song ‘Broadway Melody’ (how convenient). Of course everyone there loves it and these two girls want to sing or dance to it for him. He turns them down because he already has his act picked out. His fiance, Hank, and her sister Queenie have just arrived in New York to make it big. Hank is a bossy penny pincher while Queenie is a bit of a worthless princess. Anyway Eddie goes to their hotel to meet them and sees Queenie for the first time since she was young. How he didn’t see her when he and Hank were courting I have no clue. The sisters only seem a couple years different in age – but what do I know. (Nothing in regards to this movie). Oh, I should add Eddie isn’t able to take his eyes off Queenie and thus the seeds for a love triangle are sown. Anyway lots of stuff happens and eventually Hank rolls over and lets Eddie leave her for her sister. It’s quite painful because their ‘love’ just blooms out of no where, but hey, that’s how they roll on Broadway apparently (back in the day).
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front – Wasn’t really a fan of this movie either. It was awhile ago so I can’t quite remember the specifics of why, but I’m not going to watch it again to refresh my memory. I remember for awhile in the movie though that a pair of boots were being past around and anyone who wore them ended up dying. I don’t care how comfortable those boots are, if several someones have died wearing them perhaps its best to pass on them.
  4. Cimarron – I rather hated this movie. It’s about this guy who has a bit of a wanderlust. He uproots his family to go to a developing town in Oklahoma (I think). The wife goes with him (of course) and doesn’t really like it. Somehow though everyone knows her husband, probably because he travels so much. She makes the best of the situation and eventually learns to love the town. It seems like the more comfortable she gets with the place the more the husband wants to leave. After a few years he decides to take off leaving her and the two kids behind. Then, years later, he returns and everyone is just so happy he is back. He essentially comes in, screws up what the wife has done over the past X years and then takes off again. This happens a few more times. I think I hate it so because the wife was seemingly a strong character to be able to move on after her husband left, but she wasn’t really. She was a huge doormat who never fought for what she really wanted. She just took up the mantle of what her husband had started once he decided to leave.
  5. Grand Hotel – I rather missed the point of this movie. It was fine enough, I believe I worked on a project while watching it, but like I said I missed the point. As I look back on it though it kind of reminds me of Love Actually, in that there were so many storylines going on and only some were then linked to one another. I don’t know if that happened a lot in the movies back then. Certainly it was the first Oscar winner to do that, so that’s neat I suppose. That being said though, I do remember bits of it being super random, and not necessarily in a good way.
  6. Cavalcade – haven’t seen yet (on Netflix technically, but under the ‘save’ tab so who knows when)
  7. It Happened One Night – I enjoyed this one very much. It was just a cute romantic comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed Clark Gable’s character. Claudette Cobert’s too, for that matter. I remember watching this one and thinking it was the best I’d seen so far. Both in my ability to enjoy the story line, but also in cinematic quality. I would watch this one again, might go re-add it to my queue once I’m done with this post. Anyway, I liked the chemistry between the two leads and how natural the progression of their opinion for one another was throughout the movie.
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty – Absolutely hated this movie. It went on forever and grrr, I just hated the captain. So in that case it was good, that actor did a great job of making me hate him. But my dislike for the character combined with how long the movie drug on made it quite insufferable. I think the movie could have been half as long and still made its point, but perhaps I’m wrong. Not even my desire to see Gable in such a different role as he had played in It Happened One Night could get me to watch this movie in one sitting.
  9. The Great Ziegfeld – Although I may never watch this movie again, it did make me quite interested in looking into the work of Ziegfeld. In college I helped out with some of the student productions, and in general I’m quite interested in the performing arts. This movie makes me want to see all the things Ziegfeld envisioned. There was this one scene that lasted forever in which there was a, seemingly, unending spiral staircase. I’m seriously impressed be the ingenuity and engineering that would be required to pull of such a feat. Sometimes I feel like modern cinema/plays have limited themselves too much. They need to take a look at the past and pull out some of what has come before.
  10. The Life of Emile ZolaI was so confused as to the point of this movie. So by extension I didn’t enjoy it all that much, however I will say the second half seemed to have more of a plot or a line of thoughts and actions I could follow. This movie did make me want to learn more about Emile Zola, if only so I could understand the movie. I feel like the movie didn’t really have a point except that Zola wrote the truth and then saved a guy from continued imprisonment. But I can’t even know if that is true because there was a notice at the begging of the movie saying some of the events were only based on fact but that some of it had been changed. Perhaps I will read one of his books this autumn (since I’ve already completed my summer reading list).
  11. You Can’t Take it With YouSuper cute. I just finished this one and really enjoyed it. I’ve always enjoyed Jimmy Stewart and he does an excellent job in this movie. Of course the antics of the family are amusing. The Grandpa character is endearing as well. Just overall I liked it very much. AP and his wife did a good job of being disagreeable without making me want to not watch the movie (like in Mutiny on the Bounty). And in the end everyone learned their lesson. Although I do wonder what happened with the mergers.
  12. Gone with the Wind – haven’t seen yet
  13. Rebecca – haven’t seen yet
  14. How Green was my valley – haven’t seen yet
  15. Mrs. Miniver – haven’t seen yet
  16. Casablanca – haven’t seen yet and I’m really excited for it. It’s a classic and even if you haven’t seen it you know “Here’s looking at you kid”
  17. Going my way – haven’t seen yet
  18. The Lost Weekend – haven’t seen yet
  19. The Best Years of Our Lives – haven’t seen yet
  20. Gentleman’s Agreement – haven’t seen yet
  21. Hamlet – haven’t seen yet
  22. All the King’s Men – haven’t seen yet
  23. All about Eve – haven’t seen yet
  24. An American in Paris – haven’t seen yet
  25. The Greatest Show on Earth – haven’t seen yet
  26. From Here to Eternity – haven’t seen yet
  27. On the Waterfront – haven’t seen yet
  28. Marty – haven’t seen yet
  29. Around the World in 80 days – haven’t seen yet
  30. The bridge on the river Kwai – haven’t seen yet
  31. Gigi – haven’t seen yet
  32. Ben-Hur – haven’t seen yet
  33. The Apartment – My dad and I watched this one together. Something he requested for Christmas was that we each (his children) carve out time to watch an old movie with him. He knew I was doing this Oscar thing so he picked out a couple he liked. I decided you couldn’t go wrong with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine so I picked this.
  34. West Side Story – I’ve seen the actual musical (just this past Februrary) but not the movie. I’m anxious to see what changes there might be. During the musical there was a lot of Spanish spoken (obviously) but for some reason it threw me off, I wasn’t expecting it for some reason. Since Spanish is much more common today than it was in 1962 (I’m guessing) will there still be that? Can’t wait to see!
  35. Lawrence of Arabia – haven’t seen yet
  36. Tom Jones – haven’t seen yet
  37. My Fair Lady – haven’t seen yet
  38. The Sound of Music – I don’t know of any child who hasn’t seen this, or perhaps it was just part of my upbringing. I still remember that it’d break right when they were doing the puppet show, causing you to switch from tape 1 to tape 2. I wonder what happens on the DVD.
  39. A man for all Seasons – haven’t seen yet
  40. In the Heat of the Night – haven’t seen yet
  41. Oliver! – haven’t seen yet
  42. Midnight Cowboy – haven’t seen yet
  43. Patton – haven’t seen yet
  44. The French Connection – haven’t seen yet
  45. The Godfather – haven’t seen yet
  46. The Sting – I really enjoy this movie and will watch it again when it comes up between the Godfathers
  47. The Godfather Part II – haven’t seen yet and can hardly wait
  48. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – haven’t seen yet
  49. Rocky – We watched this in my senior comp class. I can’t quite recall the justification for it. Adrian!!
  50. Annie Hall – haven’t seen yet
  51. The Deer Hunter – haven’t seen yet
  52. Kramer vs. Kramer – haven’t seen yet
  53. Ordinary People – haven’t seen yet
  54. Chariots of Fire – haven’t seen yet
  55. Gandhi – haven’t seen yet
  56. Terms of Endearment – haven’t seen yet
  57. Amadeus – haven’t seen yet
  58. Out of Africa – haven’t seen yet
  59. Platoon – haven’t seen yet
  60. The Last Emperor – haven’t seen yet
  61. Rain Man – I don’t know if it’s because despite being a good actor I haven’t seen him in a lot of movies but I love Dustin Hoffman in this. He did an amazing job (I think)
  62. Driving Miss Daisy – haven’t seen yet
  63. Dances with WolvesI vaguely remember Kevin Costner in a wolf costume. However I think that may be a false memory so I’ll have to see it again to confirm.
  64. The Silence of the Lambs – Hello Clarice. I don’t know if I’ve seen this one or not but I don’t think so. I think I’ve only seen Hannibal. Can’t wait
  65. Unforgiven – haven’t seen yet
  66. Schindler’s List – haven’t seen yet
  67. Forrest Gump – Tom Hanks has played a LOT of different characters. 
  68. Braveheart – haven’t seen yet
  69. The English Patient – haven’t seen yet
  70. TitanicI was obsessed with this movie when it first came out (when I was in 6th grade). So much so that my sisters hardcore mocked me. Haven’t watched it since.
  71. Shakespeare in Love – I love Gwyneth Paltrow but am a touch confused by the ending. Did the boat really sink or is that just how he imagines it?
  72. American Beauty – haven’t seen yet
  73. GladiatorI think I watched this for the first time with my family, an amusing tale at that. It was my parent’s anniversary and my sisters and I decided to get them a DVD player. When my mom opened up the present her first response, “but we don’t even have any DVDs.” Gladiator was I think the only movie we decided to get them, you know, because nothing celebrates another year of marriage quite like carnage.
  74. A Beautiful Mind – haven’t seen yet
  75. Chicago – I’ve seen both the musical and the movie (but not in awhile). It was good, it’s always fun to see some actors try new things. Who knew Richard Gere could sing? Also, one difference I recall between the live version and the movie is that the song Mr. Cellophane was ommited from the movie. I rather like musical Otis, he seems much more tragic.
  76. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Of course I’ve seen it. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Which just goes to show some things don’t run in the family. I tried to get my sister to watch with me. I only have the extended editions of the movies and she made it through the first 5 (of 6). We were in the middle of a battle and she couldn’t finish. Her explanation “I’m good.” What the what? I do know that these things do happen in reverse though too. “Wanna go to the batting cages.” “No, I’m good.”
  77. Million Dollar Baby – haven’t seen yet
  78. Crash – haven’t seen yet
  79. The Departed – haven’t seen yet
  80. No Country for Old Men – haven’t seen yet
  81. Slumdog Millionaire – haven’t seen yet
  82. The Hurt Locker – haven’t seen yet
  83. The King’s Speech – haven’t seen yet
  84. The Artist – haven’t seen yet

Until next time~Q

Summer Reading List

When I was a kid I would have laughed at you if you told me that I would sometime have reading as my main hobby. I’m not sure why but I didn’t enjoy it, probably because I was slow. Which was a viscious cycle, I was slow because I never read, and I never read because I was slow, on and on. I’m not sure when the switch to “I love reading” happened, probably when I didn’t have required reading any more. Nothing like being told “you must read this somewhat depressing book” (Animal Farm for instance) to turn you off something. Anywho, since highschool and college I have found myself reading more and more, but oddly I have an affinity for choosing young-adult books – perhaps because I never read them when I was a young-adult…I guess I don’t know where the cut off of acceptability of reading those books is. Not like I’ll let that stop me. Also not like I’m an old adult either…I’m in that weird in between age, where you’ve been out of college a few years but don’t have the life experience yet to– let me stop there. This is getting wildly off topic.

Anyway, with Memorial Day Weekend around the corner it feels like summer will officially ‘start’ now. I don’t go by the calendar, the pool schedule is more accurate – so summer is day-to-day. Memorial through Labor which I think many people would agree. With that in mind even though I read all the time anyway I figured I should probably pick the books I want to for sure read. Having a goal in mind always helps, right?

  1. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Why it’s on the list: If you read my previous post this comes to no surprise. I have a giant book with lots of Doyle’s Sherlock stories in it. I especially like that it has the original illustrations by Sidney Paget in it. Also, they’ve tried to make it look like it would have looked when it was originally printed in The Strand magazine. Complete with an old and imperfectly printed font. Time will tell if this variance in ink coverage/readability will be annoying or not. I’ll be sure to reflect upon the matter. [Update – just checked my compilation book and it isn’t in there! Makes sense I suppose, I thought I’d looked through the book and it didn’t ring any bells. Look like I’ll need to run to the book store for this one. Likewise though that means I’ll be starting with a different book, one that is already on my shelf since I don’t have time this weekend to go]
  2.  1984 by George Orwell – Why it’s on the list: I started reading this while I was nanny-ing my nephew last summer. What a shock that I wasn’t able to finish, although you’d think with a 7 month old it’d be easy. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids of my own but I just had too much fun playing with the kid to read. (Once I called him ‘the kid’ to my sister (his mother) and didn’t hear the end of it for several days)
  3. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs – Why it’s on the list: I really like the show Bones. When I learned that the idea for the show somewhat stemmed from an actual book I decided I had to at least read a book from the series. My sister was getting rid of books (to make room for her kid’s books and toys) and happened to have a copy, seemed like the perfect time to collect it and now to read it.
  4. Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor – Why it’s on the list: Last December I listened to the first in the series. I promptly went out got the rest of the series but haven’t yet had the time to read the second one. I always enjoy when the story breaks off to follow different characters’ story lines. I think, inevitably, as a reader, I always side by whomever is narrating. If you follow many lines though it allows you to form a connection with more characters because you are allowed to see things from more views.
  5. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – Why it’s on the list: A few years ago I studied abroad in Italy. I’m 85% positive we were given a ‘you could read this if you wanted to’ list from our teachers. I believe this was on it. Safe to say I didn’t read it at the time but it’s been on my radar ever since. Once I heard of the book it seemed (for a time) it would crop out all over the place. That book cover would jump out as a browsed in a store, stuff like that. 3 years later I may do my suggested reading.
  6. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – Why it’s on the list: I guess I don’t really have a reason why this is on the list, the fact it’s an American classic maybe? Also, I use to be fascinated by all the references that were on Gilmore Girls. I was surprised I was able to place Pony Boy despite never reading the book. I felt a bit fraud-ish though, so perhaps if I read it I’ll feel better. No, lets go with the American Classic reason.
  7. A is for Alibi by Susan Grafton – Why it’s on the list:I think this series first blipped my radar when I was walking through a book store and saw a giant “M for Malice”. I admit I was intrigued, doubly so when I learned there was an entire alphabet series. In my head if someone has been able to write over 20 books on the same character it might be worth looking into. This logic doesn’t always work (I was never really hooked on The Boxcar Children for instance, but my sister’s were. Maybe the fact that I didn’t read was the culprit).
  8. The Trial by Franz Kafka – Why it’s on the list: I’ve read some of Kafka’s other works (The Metamorphosis comes readily to mind) and enjoyed them. I remember him being both thought provoking and imaginative, a welcome combination. I also may need to reread The Metamorphosis. See if it’s as good in a rereading scenario as it is in my memory. I can’t quite place why but I remember liking it.
  9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Why it’s on the list: Ever since the first time I saw the movie, I wondered if it was a book. I remember as a kid trying to check it out from the library, but alas we didn’t have it. So naturally I figured ‘well if our library doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist’. I’d be so sad if that were true. Not that we have a bad library. Actually it’s pretty good, but there are just so many good books I’ve come across that the library didn’t have, but I digress.
  10. Along Came a Spider by James Patterson – Why it’s on the list: Whenever I go to the bookstore or library I always see a new book out by James Patterson. Seriously, he has so many characters living in his head, I’m not sure how he keeps track. I’ve been interested in his Alex Cross series for a long time. That and the Witch and Wizard series. So I guess if I don’t read Along Came A Spider I’ll start the other. Or, crazy thought, read both.
  11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Why it’s on the list: Cyborg Cinderella story? How can you not be intrigued. Also, I love fractured fairy tales or reworked fairy tales (lots of Gregory McGuire on both my ‘to read’ and ‘read’ list too). Seriously though, if I were a cyborg I wonder how much lip I’d take from my sisters. I certainly paint myself the fool often enough as a human, although like I said I do the painting myself. So perhaps comedian is a better term.
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Why it’s on the list: It’s been on my reading list forever. It’s about time I read it. It’s a goal of mind to read something by each of the Bronte sisters. I read Wuthering Heights, and although I don’t fully understand why it is considered such a great love story, I did enjoy it. So after that I’ll just have one more sister and then I’m done…but I’m sure I’ll read more. It’s not like I’ll stop reading Bronte just because I’ve read 1 from each.
  13. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (Beatrice Sparks) – Why it’s on the list: Because nothing says summer relaxation like reading about the horrors of drugs. I don’t recall how I stumbled across it, probably looking for something along the lines of Wonderland and Alice was a natural correlation. However I don’t think this will be quite as whimsical as tea with the Mad Hatter.
  14. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Why it’s on the list: I am interested to see how the photos are incorporated. If it’s anything like The Invention of Hugo Cabret they’ll be quite important. My favorite thing was a friend of mine listened to Hugo Cabret. I think that is one of the few books that doesn’t translate well.
  15. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Maze RUNner by DASHner, I am amused. Why it’s on the list: I have a good friend who is in a book club and always telling me about the books they are in the middle of reading. I’m sure you can see where this is going but this was one of the books they read this past spring. She was telling me about it and I find it quite interesting, so we’ll see.

Above and beyond (if I some how manage to get through the top list. I’m pretty sure Crime and Punishment is forever long which is why it is at the bottom of both lists)

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  • The Hero of 1,000 Years by Christine E. Schulze
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I guess that’s probably enough for now…but as I look at my shelf, I don’t know. I see three new books that might need to be snuck in (The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life, What the Dickens and Slightly Irregular…also there is a shocking lack of Shakespeare. That must be rectified) As I said these aren’t the only books I’ll consume this summer. Just the ones I want to be sure to hit. And since there are only 15 weeks in the summer I should limit my official list to 15. Yikes, now that I remember how much I have going on this summer I may not be able to finish! Also I’m vowing that these are the books I’ll read NOT listen to…if they are enjoyed at all in the next 15 weeks. Time’s already slipping (even if it doesn’t start until Sunday). Better round up my books. Also if there are any suggestions on what to read, I’m always looking to expand my circle or reading. Otherwise it’d be full of mysteries and dystopian tales.

That’s it, so until next time~Q

My Love affair with Sherlock Holmes

I have been a fan of the brain child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since before I can remember. You may think this to be hyperbole but in my instance it’s true. I clearly remember a time before I was even in school listening to my dad’s tapes. That’s right cassette tapes. My dad, somehow, had gotten his hands on the tapes of the old radio series that played during world war II. (This performance will be transferred by short wave to our men and women over seas is a clear statement that still rings in my head from the tapes. I remember as a child not really understanding what that meant.) As a kid those were the stories I fell asleep listening to, occasionally an episode of Have Gun will Travel or The Saint would slip in, but my favorites were always The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Especially the ones staring Basel Rathbone and Nigel Bruce-which were most of them. Oddly enough, I have yet to actually watch anything with those two in them, because I love the audio version so much…something I may need to alter. I have seen Basil Rathbone in movies (the main one that comes to mind is The Court Jester with Danny Kaye) and thought he was brilliant.

Then when I was in middle school I found an audiobook called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (also on cassette tape) and was introduced to a new Sherlock. Years later, after thinking perhaps I had made the book up because I couldn’t recall the books name, I refound the book. (One of the best parts of reading the book over the audiobook from the library was that I hadn’t realized it had been abridged. So I had bonus story and cases to read about-BEST SURPRISE EVER!) In quick secession I devoured the series until I finished it and although The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is still my favorite in the series (arguably it is actually my favorite book) I love the dynamic between Russell and Holmes. Even if Holmes isn’t quite the same man that Doyle created he is still his brilliant deductive self. If King would have turned Sherlock into a hopeless romantic or something it would not have worked. She presents the two characters in such a way that even the reader can see that there actions truly are what makes the most logical sense, and in that way I think it honors Doyle’s original character. But as usual I digress.

Recently, it seems, Sherlock has been revived once again, and both in his original home of the late 1800’s and in more modern way in the 2000’s. Where we’re use to him being first. When I found out that there would be a new movie of Sherlock I was quite ecstatic. Perhaps the fact that I had been studying abroad since the August before its release helped. It certainly came as a shock, I get back to the State mid-December and BAM a new Sherlock story. That it came out around Christmas was an added bonus – it could be a family activity. My family, like all families, doesn’t always agree. One thing we do all agree on are the Sherlock stories. It is one thing that the entire family enjoys. So although some of us didn’t see the movie until the following Christmas when it was out on DVD it was quite an enjoyable and a ‘bonding’ experience of sorts. Likewise I can’t remember the last time my mother and I went to a movie together in the theater. I can no longer say that now, as you know she and I went to Mirror, Mirror together. A month before that though, or so, we had gone to the second Sherlock movie, A Game of Shadows. A movie (like the former) that had a great balance between action/serious moments/comedic relief. Very enjoyable.

Now (well last year or so) the BBC has developed a modern series called simply Sherlock, and simply put I think it’s brilliant.  The second series just aired on PBS. The thing I like about this ‘system’ is that it aired in the UK on the BBC back in December. Why the lag between airing in the US and the UK I don’t know but coming full circle is that what I like about this system is that the second season has just been released onto DVD (yesterday, after the final episode in the series aired on Sunday). Guess what my birthday present to myself is this year. The writers of the show create such interesting twists from the originals, they really have made it their own (The Geek Interpreter vs The Greek Interpreter – love it!). Oh, I also love the dynamic between Sherlock and Mycroft. It makes it seems as a more adversarial relationship. Where clearly there is lots of left over baggage from a childhood of growing up far to bright for either of the brother’s own good . Before I had looked at the relationship as more one of mutual respect/acceptance. One where the two brothers, although both brilliant, don’t have scads in common so it’s just easier for the family dynamic to leave each other be, unless seeing each other is logical or necessary. In the Sherlock series they don’t call on one another unless necessary (that’s still the same) but when they do meet there is always an undercurrent of annoyance and arguing between the two. Which may be why Mycroft is always making John be the liaison between the two-which also adds to the comedy.

This has gotten quite lengthy, but I guess something that will always be true of me (if it has endured for the first 25 years of my life surely it will stay for the next 25 and more) is that I love Sherlock. Important that, I suppose? Until next time~Q

[Audio]Book Review: Delirium

Synopsis may be a better term. If you plan on reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver than you may not want to read this, slight spoilers and such, although I try my best to be pretty vague.

Anyway, I just finished reading Delirium, well listening actually. I’m an avid audiobooker. When I started the book I didn’t realize that it was part of a trilogy (my bad) which makes the casual pacing of the book make more sense. I’m not sure where the story will lead but I thoroughly enjoyed the opening bit. The worst part was when I had about 2 hours of the book left (so a handful of chapters) and I suddenly realized that things were too perfect. Well as perfect as they can be in a dystopian culture. Anyway, Lena had finally figured out she loved Alex, he loved her and things were going fine. I had to stop listening for a few days because I knew, somehow, that it wasn’t going to end well, particularly for Alex. How right I was. With 3 minutes left they were finally torn away from each other. What the what. That’s when I checked and discovered that it was the opening of a trilogy. The last installment doesn’t come out until next year. Even though I can read the second now I may have to wait for the third. I swear second books have a habit of ending in such a way that I really need to read the third immediately after (Hunger Games and Heroes of Olympus for two examples).

I remember in those last two hours when she is finally caught after confiding in her best friend fearing that Hana had tattled on her. I was pretty upset about that, but I should have known better than to allow those fleeting thoughts run through my head. My bad, so in that instance I was wrong, and I’m glad I was. Hana (in the end) was a reliable friends. She did get a bit shaky for awhile though.

Now to decide what to read next. Should I start a new book/audiobook or finish one of the handful of books I’m in the middle of reading. I fully plan on having a hibernation weekend at my place. Reading may play an intricate part of how I spend the time. Either that or cleaning or cooking or sewing. I have a laundry list of things I probably should do, but nothing is quite the same as reading an interesting book.

Until next time~Q

Weekend Update: A Yankee Cinco de Mayo

This weekend I “celebrated” Cinco de Mayo by going to a Yankees game in KC with a couple of my friends. I had to wear neutral blue to keep the peace between the two. One lives in KC and is geographically loyal to her hometown’s team while the other has been a Yankee fan for most of her life. It’s unlikely she cared who was playing when she was two.

Anyway we drove down and got there a couple hours early and enjoyed tailgating before the evening game. Then we watched a pretty poor game, luckily the Yankees did get a home run to prevent the game from being a total shut-out. Of course the Yankees won the two games surrounding the game we went to, which was too bad for my Yankee friend. Honestly me and my KC buddy just wanted to see a good game. Oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles right? I was a bit shocked how fast the first half of the game went. Right, back to it being Cinco de Mayo. I’ve never seen so many fake mustaches out in public.

I returned home on Sunday after having some fantastic homemade chocolate chip pancakes courtesy of KC friend. After a quick nap and a shower I headed out to the local theater to see “The Hunger Games”. I’d already seen it once, but I was excited to see it again. I really enjoyed both it and the books it was based on. My friends and I had a lengthy conversation reviewing it back when we all saw it in March and we came to the solid conclusion that it was a really could representation. That could be because the author was part of the team that wrote the screen play, as was the director. That had to have helped the purity of story or intent or what not.

To end the weekend update, here’s supper. Cheesy scrambled eggs with toast, yummy. So until next time~Q

Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning

After my workout the other day I decided that’d be the perfect time to go grocery shopping since I was going to town for other errands anyway. Big mistake. I’ve fallen out of the habit of meal planning which is very unfortunate. I spent perhaps an hour in the grocery store just wandering the aisles getting things that appealed to me. Fast forward to the next day when I decide to make pasta and I have no sauce. Luckily that was simple enough, I just walked to the local market* and got some. (*I should explain that the smaller town I live in now does have a market but it doesn’t care all the stuff I usually get so I usually only go there for a couple of things.  Otherwise I go back to my home town which has approximately a million different choices. Alright maybe not a million but more than 5, so yeah) Not planning my groceries or meals is how I end up walking out of an hour long expedition with 3 packages of jello and no fruit. Awesomesauce. It’s also how I make a 9×13 full of pasta and realize I’ll be gone for the next 7 meals. It better not go bad or I’ll be upset because it tastes good actually (review to come).

To switch gears I have decided that ricotta is a tricky beast. It doesn’t really taste like anything but makes an awesome filler in pasta dishes. In my head, when I put it on the toast, it would be similar to brie. Not the case, but the weird thing is the toast would have been quite similar without it…I guess all I did was add calories which is rather unnecessary. On a slightly different note, I love honey Greek yogurt. It’s so yummy, which is why, on the rare occurrence it’s stocked, I usually get 2 tubs. Also if you then freeze it and do a half and half with sherbet the result is a bit magical. Quite sadly I used the last of my yogurt this morning and the store didn’t have any so now I am without. Looks like coco puffs for the next few days, so until next time~Q

Carrot Ravioli – fav or fail?

Last week I made ravioli. It’s a mixed bag on whether or not it was a fail. I started making everything on Tuesday. I decided since I had a ton of carrots to make carrot ravioli as well as sweet potato. I didn’t take into account that I’d have to bake/boil everything to get it to mashing consistency. By the time I got both fillings mashed and mixed with ricotta and cheese and the carrot ravioli stuffed it was too late to cook to eat that night. I didn’t even bother with the sweet potato. Instead I put everything in the fridge and called it a night. A bit of a mistake. The next evening after I stuffed the sweet potato ravioli I decided to freeze them since I had a ton of carrot ravioli. So I put the potato in the freezer and took out the carrot from the fridge. I flipped the container and out splatted a blob of mess.

Slice 1 = mashed carrot
Slice 2 = mashed sweet potato
Slice 3 = carrot concoction

Slice 4 = potato mixture
Slice 5 = carrot ravioli
Slice 6 = sweet potato ravioli

Slice 7 = wrapped ravioli
Slice 8 = sweet potato finished (left) & carrot finished (right blob)

Perhaps now I should mention that I didn’t make the ravioli part, just the filling. Instead I used won ton wrappers. I’ve done this before but when I did I also cooked them all immediately and it worked out fine. Part of the reason I like won ton wrappers is that they are the right size and with a pinch of water seal really well. If only I had thought that through.When I put everything in the fridge I didn’t account for the fact that it would acquire moisture in the container. Therefore when I returned the next day all the wrappers and adhered to one another as well. Awesome.

I ended up cooking the giant blob and taking a chunk off for supper. (Photo above) I decided to have it with some Cabernet Sauvignon wine. I think I’m more of a white wine girl (unless its sangria) because I nearly choked when I tried this, it was so dry! To be fair, I’m not good at pairing but I did try this before I started the meal so I don’t think the flavor was muddied by the food. It just wasn’t enhanced or complimented. I wonder what type of wine I am actually prone to…perhaps I should make a real effort to try different kinds.

The ravioli was quite tasty, unique, even. However leftover ‘unique’ isn’t my favorite. Perhaps carrot is an acquired taste, or shouldn’t be used as the sole type of filling for a meal. There are so many ‘what ifs’ for why it might not have tasted super awesome as a left over I can’t even begin. I don’t think I’ll necessarily be making carrot ravioli again. Sweet potato yes, carrot though, eh. I’ve already had some of the sweet potato and it was good (still have some frozen in the freezer which is nice). I think I may have to experiment with other types of filling and shells. Like using actual pasta not won ton wrappers. We’ll see.

Recipe* (In case you wanted it)

Carrot
1 cup ricotta
1 cup carrot
egg yolk
dash of basil

Sweet Potato
1 cup potato
1/2 cup Italian cheese
1/2 cup ricotta
egg yolk
dash of cayenne pepper

28-30 won ton wrappers/filling (60 for both)

*I can’t remember the exact recipe. I was using an existing recipe as more of a ‘vague suggestion’ and didn’t write down what I ended up doing. I think this is close though.

So until next time~Q