Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great Photography

There is a woman in my ward, Haylee Mcguire, who does photography and I wanted to post a link to her website. This isn't your normal I know someone who takes pictures kind of photography, this is really good professional quality (as you'll see when you click on the link). And yes, I have an ulterior motive, by posting this I get entered into a drawing to win a free session (the info is right there on her sight as well). Just go take a look.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Ender in Exile" Review

Ender in Exile (Ender) Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
True rating would be more like 3 1/2 stars. This is an interesting book in that it isn't one continuous story arc, so to speak, but it felt more like little stories compiled into novel length. I guess if you view it as Ender readjusting to peace time then it could be one story arc. Having said that though, I found all of his stories interesting (sometimes when it went to other characters, I got a little antsy to get back to Ender, but not too bad). The feel of the book was a mix between "Ender's Game" and "Speaker..." through "Children..." - the latter being more philosophical in conversations and internal thoughts. There were some beautiful letters - esp. Ender to his parents - and the true arc (I felt) was at the very end when Ender confronts Bean and Petra's last child that had been thought lost. I love his dialogue, which is always sarcastic and clever, and I love Ender. It may seem that the views on society are a little more heavy handed, and though I think they are a little, one has to be careful in jumping to assumptions about Card's own views based solely on the views of his characters (a lot of them are very much different).

View all my reviews.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Smart movies

I can't even remember all the movies I've watched, but these gems came to mind. Thank heaven for refreshingly smart screenplays, acting and directing!
This is technically science fiction, so it may not be for everyone. But, I loved it! The writing on this is so smart. The villain is complex and has very fascinating motives and is creepy. It's an interesting and original idea. And like all good sci-fi it's really more about moral decisions and about characters. And if you need a little incentive to watch it, Joss Whedon wrote and directed it. He's the creator behind "Buffy" and "Angel".

"Stranger than Fiction"
I love love love this movie! Will Ferrell is able to acheive what Jim Carrey never really was - you forget that he's a comedic actor. He gives such a sincere performance. The script on this thing is just beyond awesome - it's so clever. And Emma thompson as the quirky writer makes me smile. This is a must see. It's rare that I like contemporary settings, but this is wonderful.

"The Holiday"
Speaking of it being rare for me to like a certain genre - contemporary chick flicks (aka romantic comedies). This movie had so many earnest cheesy (some cliche) moments, but I LOVED every second of it! And the cheesy parts really almost felt like they were laughing at themselves, which redeems them. The characters are typical in having no qualms sleeping together, but apart from that they were so wonderful. And I have to say, tiffany, if you're reading this, the diaz-law kissing scene, a must watch (esp. after our conversation at playdate) If you haven't seen this, take this from a person who's very skeptical about chick flicks, RENT IT NOW!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Am I the only one?...

Just a thought... why is it that when you feel fat or discover you have gained weight, the first thing you desire to do is eat whatever baked good or sweet you can get your hands on? Or, is that just me?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Secret Life of Bees" review

The Secret Life of Bees The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! Lilly's voice is so unique and strong. I have to confess I enjoyed the creative cussing (I kept thinking, man alive, if I swore, I would definitely say that). Some of the psuedo-religious stuff was a little out there for me, but it didn't even begin to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. This to me is what a "feel-good" story should be, however much I cringe at that phrase - a story where the main character overcomes a large obstacle and learns to forgive herself and others, learns to love, and even helps others not give into anger, a celebration of life, however flawed it is, a celebration of friendship, a celebration of good. Would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. I can't wait to discuss this at book club.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

A Call to the Temple

I went to the temple a couple days ago to do some work for my family and as I was sitting there I had a thought which I've had before but not acted on. I couldn't think of who to try and do this with and then I realized, I should just see if there's any interest from anyone I know. I would like to organize a group that switches off babysitting and going to the temple. If you're interested, just comment on the blog (I won't post the comment if you don't want me to, it will just get emailed to me) and then let me know how often you'd like to go. Even if it's only for people going once a month, then half the group could go once a month and then babysit once a month while the other half goes. Going during the day is always less busy there, and I thought it would be nice to get to go to the temple more often. Let me know if there's any interest. I hope this is something than be regularly counted on though for participants, even though we'd also try and be flexible.