Saturday, August 29, 2009

15 Books that Changed My Life

I found this challenge on one of the blogs I follow called the Writing Bug. In 15 minutes, list 15 books that impacted your life.Here are mine:

Gone With the Wind (I read it as a teen when I was going through a difficult time in my family. It was a way for me to escape to another world. I read this book 13 times.)

Watership Down (The most imaginative and creative book I've ever read. My all-time favorite novel.)

Anne of Green Gables (Anne was everything I wanted to be: smart, funny, creative and adventurous. )

Roots (Fascinating story of Black history in America. Inspired the best TV miniseries ever created.)

On Writing (Best book about the craft of writing I've ever read.)

Chronicles of Narnia (Christian allegory at its best.)

Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis tackles apologetics brilliantly. )

Night (Elie Wiesel's biographical novel about his experience in a concentration camp. Heartbreakingly tragic.)

The Diary of Anne Frank (Inspired me to be a writer of life.)

The Kent Family Chronicles (John Jakes made American History exciting in this series of historical novels.)

A Christmas Carol (I read it every Christmas. It's become a tradition. I'm always amazed at how food is so highly prized in Victorian England. The family applauds when the main course is served. These people know how to enjoy their meals.)

White Fang (A wonderful story about love and hope. I'm a dog lover and this book inspired me to write my dog anthology.)

The Chosen (I learned a lot about the faith and practice of the Orthodox Jew. I also love stories where young people pursue their dreams, despite family opposition.)

Without Feathers/Getting Even/Side Effects (Woody Allen's collection of short stories and essays. Absolutely hilarious.)

The Bible (My daily bread.)

Dilbert Goes on a Date

(Scott Adams, you ROCK!)

Friday, August 28, 2009's about TIME!

Just ordered the newly-released "thirtysomething" season one dvd set. Now I can get rid of my old VHS tapes as new seasons become available. I didn't really get into the show until it was on reruns after it was cancelled. That's when I got hooked. I even bought the soundtrack CD!

The show is SO 80s! The hair (frizzy perms), the clothes (shoulder pads and tapered pants), the Reagan politics (GARY: Edwin Meese Attorney General? Are you kidding?)

Favorite storyline: Elliot and Nancy. I was so glad they got back together. The cancer stories were heartbreaking and so very real.

To ponder: I never understood why Ellyn was afraid of the dark cave.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Watching "The Savages" again...

I'm very impressed with this film. Yes, it's a sad and depressing story about dealing with an aging parent, but the thing that strikes me more than anything is that it's real. The relationships (between the parent and the children; between the siblings; between the siblings' and their signifcant others) are authentic. As a film, everything works to bring you into the story: the cinematography, the music, the script. A perfect movie. It's not for everyone, but a movie shouldn't be "for everyone," just those it's meant to be for.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Saturday Night

It's so fun to hang out with my friend J. R. We have so much in common, including our love for coffee, chocolate and movies. We went to the movies yesterday and saw The Proposal (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds)...a romantic comedy with a serious message about marriage, family and honesty. We could have done without the male stripper scene. Yoiks! I much prefer Oscar Nunez as the gay accountant in "The Office."

My favorite scenes were the dance in the woods and the accidental naked encounter.

Afterwards we spent several hours at Applebees. J R had the Chicken Quesedilla and a side salad (which just happened to be as big as a house; we thought it would be smaller...OY!) I had the Sante Fe Chicken Salad. Yum! After the meal we had coffee and discussed purses, spiritual warfare and guinea pigs.

It was 8:30 when we left the restaurant so we decided to stop by her house, pick up some gourmet chocolate and some films and go to my house to finish the party. I made popcorn and we watched Hangman's Curse (a family detective team solves a murder mystery at a high school). I was pleased to see Mel Harris as the Mom (loved her in "thirtysomething") and David Keith as the Dad ("Firestarter" and "Heartbreak Hotel.")

Speaking of "thirtysomething," I heard the first season DVD will be released next week! YAY!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Julie, Julia and Me

Hubby and I went to see "Julie and Julia" to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. For the record, while hubby (like most guys) enjoys action movies, he is a romantic at heart. So if you think he suffered through this movie for my benefit, you are mistaken. We laughed, we cried, we bought the T-shirt.

Afterwards, the plan was to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant. They serve complimentary chips and DIE for. I usually get the taco plate with tacos, refried beans, rice and guacamole salad...hubby likes the beef sopapilla. And of course, their margaritas are the best in town.

However, when we arrived at the restaurant, the line was a mile long. We had forgotten that it was Tuesday...that's when the margaritas are two for the price of one. So we decided to go to another of our favorite eateries, Poor Richards. I had the Wild Mushroom with Tenderloin tips and hubby had the Prime Rib. The meal was delicious.

Hubby takes his food very seriously. He will not return to a restaurant that has bad service or bad food. I take things in stride and allow that the server or the chef may have just had an off day. My policy is to give people another chance.

We are opposites in our menu choices as well. I like to try new dishes every time, but hubby sticks with the same thing. I know exactly what he will order when we go out to eat. At Poor Richards he always gets the prime rib, medium rare. At Olive Garden it's the soup (Zuppa Tuscana) and salad. At Casa it's the Beef Sopapilla. At Twin Dragon it's Pepper Steak.

I can occasionally twist his arm to try new restaurants, but if he doesn't like it, he won't go back no matter what. My mission is get him to try "2 Doors Down"...a quaint spot downtown with a fun atmosphere. I ate there a few weeks ago with my friend Zoe and it was fabulous!