Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Last night I watched a replay of Roger Federer versus José Acasuso at the French Open. It was a very close, competitive match and Federer won, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 6-2. I thought Federer was going to lose, but I was wrong. The Tennis Channel starts live coverage at 5 am, then later in the day highlights are replayed in 3.5 hour increments.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Some video footage from Dallas DNA can be found here.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Above are a few more pictures of Jacob from his day at the 21st Annual Beyond the Rainbow Luncheon and Fashion Show benefitting the Children's Cancer Fund. The first is of Jacob and an Edward Scissorhand-type superhero. The second is of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James and Jacob. The last picture is of Jacob and his friend of the day, Channel 4 Fox News reportor Steve Noviello. Thanks to Mr. Noviello for providing these pictures to Jacob's mom!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
But the readings, talk, and question and answers session with two hot writers (Kathleen Kent and Cristina Henríquez) was another awesome book-related experience. Each of these authors spoke for a time, read from their works, and then together they sat down and answered questions from the audience. This forum was different from the usual and I think the authors enjoyed being on stage together after their respective time alone in front of the audience.
Cristina Henríquez spoke first and I was excited to hear that she had been a member of the Iowa Writers Workshop (as have the Harrisons of a previous blog entry). She had also lived in Dallas for 3 years before moving to Chicago. Her book is entitled The World in Half and relates the story of a college-age young woman traveling to Panama to try to find her biological father. I have started reading the book and am enjoying the fact that Ms. Henríquez put in a lot of research effort as the book deals with Alzheimer’s, geology (I work in the energy industry), and a different country and culture that I know nothing about. Her main character, Miraflores, and Ms. Henríquez have many similarities such as they both live in Chicago, are half Panamanian, are both shy, and are both rules followers (goody two shoes). I enjoyed her talk and reading and learned a few things such as it took her 4 years to write this first book, she had no idea how it would end until she started writing the last chapter, and that the construction of the Panama Canal created a lake that covered some mountains, of which you can see the tops of below in the water. Lastly, I was excited to hear that Isabel Allende had praised Ms. Henríquez’s first novel by saying it was “truly unforgettable.” I am a big fan of Ms. Allende and recently read four of her books, one after the other.
I saw Kathleen Kent previously at Legacy Books and enjoyed hearing her again speak about The HERetic’s Daughter. A very good point Ms. Kent made concerned the fact that people are the same emotionally as they have been since the Salem witch trials and even for the past 1,000 years: we all want to survive and have the same feelings of love, hate, and fear. Another good point she made was to ask what happens in a society where there is no separation of church and state? The answer seems to be that the most vulnerable are affected and those most vulnerable are women and children. I enjoyed hearing about her writing process in that she told no one except family that she was writing this first book, she used tapes of her grandfather to get the cadence of speech down to be more authenticate, and she stopped going to bookstores as she felt defeated by seeing all the books and authors displayed. Her writing consisted of discipline, hard work, and of locating her own inner voice. I would like to say that Ms. Kent gets a “well-played” for her elegant, black, belted dress and pearls. She reminds me of a taller Diane Sawyer.
Friday, May 15, 2009
One of the first movies I am going to see this weekend is Angels and Demons. Like almost everyone else, I read The Da Vinci Code before reading this book, even though Dan Brown wrote this one first. I enjoyed this book more than I did Da Vinci and was lucky enough to go to Rome after I read it and see most of the important places talked about in the book: Piazza Navona, Chigi Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, the Vatican, and many others. I do think the ending to the book was a little farfetched, so it will be interesting to see what Ron Howard does.
Besides this movie, my weekend and week will be filled with going to the Kimbell Museum in Ft. Worth for the Art and Love in Renaissance Italy exhibition, going to hear Kathleen Kent and Cristina Henríquez speak at another Arts and Letters Live – Fresh Ink event, going to the Meadows Museum for an Etruscan exhibition, and perhaps seeing Topol play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof on his farewell tour as the commercials for this have been endless.
Maybe some live music can be thrown in the mix as well.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Jen Lancaster has quite the personality with an awesome sense of humor. She is every bit as funny as Anne Lamott and almost as funny as David Sedaris. The reading she did was an excerpt from Pretty in Plaid about how she cheated in Girl Scouts to get a bunch of badges and how she redeemed herself by selling the most cookies when it was sale time. I love it when you get to hear an author read their own work, giving listeners the true sense of what he or she intended concerning all the vocal aspects such as gait, intonations, pauses, accents, and other considerations. Ms. Lancaster’s excerpt was from the portion of the book about the 70’s. Her metaphors are priceless such as when she referred to her sash having only a few patches as being, “a thimble of water in an ocean of merit." I was transported to my own Girl Scout days as she reminisced about sipping the Hawaiian Punch, while reading about the forgery of patches, but how the Girl Scouts organization “instills such fine values.”
The mostly female, aged 25-to 35-year old audience had some great questions:
Are your books going to be made into movies?
Television is her best bet as she is going to LA next week to talk to some TV people.
Any advice to a young girl or adult on being a writer?
2 things: 1) know your story so it will have authenticity and 2) know the voice you want to tell it in.
Any new books in the works?
Yes, My Fair Lazy and Involuntary, My Year of Giving Dangerously.
She also talked about her husband, Fletch, of whom most of the audience was very familiar.
I was going to stick around and get Pretty in Plaid signed, but I could tell I would be in line at least an hour. I decided just hearing Jen Lancaster read and talk (she’s another talker, reminding me of Elizabeth Gilbert) was a fabulous experience. Check out Jen’s blog at www.jennsylvania.com.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I was too young to remember the Star Trek TV series in its first run, but I sure did watch the reruns on the local UHF channel for many years. I liked trying to recognize the guest stars and enjoyed the characters. Captain James T. Kirk was, of course, my favorite. I have seen some of the theatrical releases based on the series, but not all of them, and thought they were “OK.” The Planet of the Apes movies and its short-lived TV series were my favorite science fiction subject and some of the actors played in various aspects of both. Some of the Ape people were invited to the Trekkie conventions (so I would read). Mark Lenard played Spock’s father in the TV series and some of the movies and was an important gorilla, Urko, in the Apes TV show.
Anyway, I decided to check out Star Trek on the spur of the moment. What an enjoyable two hours that flew by. I am going to write a few of the positives, negatives, and interesting aspects I found about the movie (thanks, Ennyman).
I think the casting for this movie was the finest aspect of this prequel. Chris Pine plays Kirk. I think he captured the essence of Kirk (his individualism, his humor, and William Shatner’s mannerisms and quirkiness, at times). Chris Pine was one of the young actors in the movie Bottle Shock that I wrote about earlier. Zachary Quinto plays Spock and he has a long list of credits in many TV shows and movies, most notably Heroes. He also has a great website where I learned I missed/slept through him on Saturday Night Live last night. When he is not in Spock character, he reminds me of a young Ken Olin (thirtysomething). I could go on an on about the wonderful young actors in this movie, but they are all over the internet now.
One of the negatives about the film for me is that I got tired of Kirk being beat up so much (some negative for some people, right?), as it got a little tedious for me. How could he keep going? Poor Chris Pine—I hope he didn’t have too many takes for some of those scenes. Also the movie tried to have a bar scene á la Star Wars, and I think they should not have copied the copiers (without Star Trek, no Star Wars). Since I am no Trekkie and don’t know enough about it all, I guess I better end the negatives.
What did I think was interesting about the movie? There were a few plot twists that I could mention but I don’t want to be a spoiler. I thought that the Romulans looked like a neo-Nazi biker gang. You could easily tell the good guys from the bad guys. I thought their tentacle-clad ship was creepy/scary. I couldn’t place Captain Pike until the credits (Bruce Greenwood). Something else I noted as I watched—I enjoyed the music. I hope they do a sequel.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Coffee with Cathy is a blog written by a journalist who lives in Alabama. I can identify with her Southern themes and enjoy most of her observations (especially about her grandson she has nicknamed Captain Adorable). She has posts on food, shopping, holidays, decoration, design, etc. and always tries to post at least one picture per post. I enjoy looking at pictures and love it when you click on them and they enlarge (I think wordpress.com may be better than blogspot.com in that regard).
Speaking of celebrities, I have recently been enjoying the blog of Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl, Family). Quinn is not acting anymore, but she has some great stories and personal observations. She knows how to find irony in almost any situation. Check outThe QC Report.
Hemingway’s Paris is a nice blog that mainly consists of some sort of picture or poster having to do with EH. However, this blog gets updated less than my own.
--EH by Helen Breaker, 1928
She Is Too Fond Of Books is second to my favorite books blog, book club girl. Dawn has nice giveaways as well.
From reading Melissa C. Morris’s blog, I found pve design. Patricia van Essche is a very talented artist and illustrator. She did the illustrations on Melissa’s blog. Maybe some day I will enlist her talents to spruce up my blog.
--a bookstore illustration by pve design (Patricia van Essche)
Blogging Away Debt. The creator of this blog, Tricia, has just finished paying off thousands of dollars in debt ($37,614 to be exact) with her husband and she is now turning control of the blog over to Beks, someone who has chosen to now blog about her debt payoff experience. Lots of good tips, info, and links are on this site.
Lastly, I have been following
Of course, I have many other blogs that I now read (one blog leads to another), but these are my favorites!