Tuesday, January 06, 2009

start breathing [edited]

Hola amigos y amigas.

I know I still need to share my Grand Canyon and China photos, but I just haven't gotten my act together enough to comb through all the photos, pick my favorites, Photoshop if necessary, then finally post. Doesn't that sound like a lot of work? Ugh. ;-)

Between my boyfriend and I we took approximately 4,700 pictures in China and another 600 at the Grand Canyon. Do you now understand my inertia? lol

I've kept myself busy. Small events, but fun nonetheless.

We recently planned a trip to Vegas that was derailed by snow. We weren't allowed over that first mountain right past Rancho Cucamonga. We were able to cancel our hotel and Cirque de Soleil tickets because of the snow. They were actually quite understanding. We were both surprised that both venues agreed to refund the charges. We figured Vegas is hurting enough that they don't want people not to go back.

I've also been playing a lot of Rock Band on the Wii. Can you say... "Addicted"? As in a major way. I've even been dreaming of Rock Band. Seriously. We've come up with all sorts of rock band names, most are pretty silly. Wii Roq is the one that's stuck. We must look pretty funny from the street. We all play the various instruments. Everyone, but my niece, shies away from the microphone. I personally like the drums, except my shin starts to hurt after a while. Gosh, I'm old. lol I like to read an online comic strip called xkcd. The comic "caters" to geeks, nerds, mathmaticians. etc... They have some pretty funny strips. This strip has been on of my favorites to far.
Besides Rock Band, I've also been reading. I finished Paulo Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. It was good. I guess I had such high expectations after The Alchemist. Don't misunderstand me, this was a good book, just not what I expected. It's a story about love, destiny, being strong, resentment, and eventually speaking up for yourself and voicing what you want out of life. This book is in a triology with Veronika Decides to Die, which I read, and The Devil and Miss Prym. The Devil and Miss Prym comes highly recommended by a friend that's a voracious reader. I may give that one a try as well. Although, that's not making my current stack of books any smaller. :)

After By the River... I read, or should I say, listened to The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. It was read by Campbell Scott. The reading was a bit dry and monotonous. However, now that I read more about the author, this is his first non-detective novel. I assume the reader, Campbell Scott, may have read his other books which his tone would've been perfect for, but for this, it just didn't work for me. Other than that, the story was engrossing. It deals with the comprehension and "fallout" of the holocaust, and with illiteracy. I became a bit uncomfortable at the beginning of the book because it dealt with the relationship between Michael Berg & Hanna Schmitz. He's 15, she's 36. All through the book Michael's love of Hannah never leaves him. Even when he's older, he still compares all his partners to Hannah. Her scent and her command over him never leave him. The book comes together as the trial commences in part II of the book. The Reader was made into a movie (trailer link), which came out last month. I may wonder over to the theater to catch it.

Speaking about movies. We caught The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at the movies this past week. I loved it. I don't want to say too much about it because you should go watch it. The basic premise is that a young boy named Bruno, a Nazi commander's son, befriends Shmuel, a boy in a concentration camp at Auschwitz, which is near Bruno's new home. Bruno asks Shmuel why he's always wearing pajamas. Such a cute innocent kid question, Bruno has no idea how high up in the Führer's army his father actually is. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Even made me cry a bit. Worth checking out.

To top off my Nazi reading/watching, we also caught Valkerie (trailer link). I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, but he was decent in the role. It's the story of von Stauffenberg's attempt to kill Hitler and use Operation Valkyrie. I wasn't versed in Operation Valkyrie so it was a good action movie for me. I"m sure if you're well versed in the operation, it may not be.

When I'm not viewing or reading about Nazi's, I'm watching La Femme Nikita on dvd. Or should I say, I was watching Nikita. We finished watching the series a few days ago. While viewing it I vacillated between, "just kill her already!", or "I love Nikita!". Now that it's over, I miss the show. Waaaa! Although we just started watching Charmed on dvd. As a few of you know I really don't watch much tv, except for the various dvds we watch. We don't have cable... But we have alot of dvds. lol So I guess I do watch tv. :)

Also, this past Saturday I got together with a few scrapbook friends. Although, we don't scrapbook together anymore, we still hangout when the opportunity arises. We were reminiscing how long we've known each other, the various stages of life we've seen each other through, and the various highs and lows. It's amazing. This is one special group of women. We all got to know each other because of our love of scrapbooking. Since then a few have branched out and made a name for themselves in the industry or related industries. We've shared plenty of laughs, plenty of tears, plenty of phone calls, and plenty of memories. I'm honored to know these talented and funny women. I'm kicking myself because I forgot to take a picture. Here's an oldie but goody from our outing to The French General and Sweetpeas and Snapshots in LA in August of '06.
The book I'm currently reading, Reading Lolita in Tehran is very good. I started reading it a couple of months ago, but had to keep on putting it down for various reasons. Since picking it back up, I've become absorbed. There's a line in the book that reads, "A novel is not an allegory.... It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing."

What are you reading?


Shelley E said...

wow you do have alot of pictures to go thru- overwhelming I am sure. I am glad to see you posting- I like to keep up with you from your blog! :)

I am not reading anything- I need something light & fluffy right now...any recommendations?

Cristina said...

If you want something very light and funny, try "Free Range Chickens" by Simon Rich. I've only read a couple of pages. It's almost like reading a blog. Lot's of random thoughts. He's a writer for Saturday Night Live. Funny guy.

Anonymous said...

Cristina, I'm so jealous of you guys getting together! I sent out my new email address, but I don't think it has made it to the group list. :(

But I'm glad you all had fun! And, yes, I do understand your hesitation with your vacation photos! I have hundreds of soccer, football and kid program pics still to edit and upload. Ick.