Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Success Is...

"FAME" WAS FANTASTIC! It was everything I wanted it to be, and more. I loved the original, but they did such a wonderful job with this new one, I couldn't believe it. The "success" monologue near the end of the movie was spot-on. It talks about how success has nothing to do with money or material possessions, but loving what you do everyday and the people you are with. I teared up near the beginning of the movie and didn't stop until the end. Of the credits. Most of you wouldn't have recognized me had you been looking right at me.

I'm almost finished with the Steve Martin book, and I'm still loving it. I'm debating what to read next -- I have a few more audio books from the library and I might choose one of those randomly, but I'm sort of interested in an audio book I got from Danny.

Let me tell you about Danny.

Danny is one of the few people left from my Ann Arbor days that I actually still talk to on a regular basis. There's a quality about him that is challenging, but only because he challenges me. To be more intelligent, to be a stronger writer, to think through why I claim to be what I claim to be. (He probably didn't know I thought all of those things, so... ya know, Danny, if you're reading... uhhh, surprise.) Danny is the guy who, if I told him "this book is awesome and you should read it" he would research all the reasons online why he shouldn't read it and present them to me. I have this feeling that he might read it behind my back and never discuss it with me. And, strangely, it's one of the things I like about him. Apparently I'm drawn to things that frustrate me. Danny is also the guy who, if I told him, "I've decided to read 100 books this year" and we got into a discussion about a certain author, let's say, Clive Barker, and I said, "I've never read any Clive Barker" he would package up several Clive Barker books and mail them to me immediately.

I say this because it is precisely what he did. I'm praying to God that I like Clive Barker. (On the off chance that I don't, he also sent Reese's Cups and Kit Kat bars.) So, don't be surprised if you see a Clive Barker book on my list sometime in the near future.

He also sent an audio book of something that he keeps raving about called "Forever Fifteen". From all of his allusions to this book, I'm assuming it has something to do with vampires. I've half a mind to never read it, just out of spite. But I usually cave where he's concerned, so I'll probably read it. Sigh.

Tomorrow I have a day off of work, with no houses to clean. My plan is: to clean my house. I know this sounds mundane, but the thing is, I have a desperate need to get this household in shape. It's not a very popular outlook in this day and age, but I feel like, as the woman of the house, I need to be paying more attention to things around here. I work outside of the house as most women these days do, but I feel like this is where my main focus should be. The home, the family, my husband, the kids, keeping everything organized and, above all, clean. After I get home from work and try to unwind, I can't do it because I feel suffocated by my surroundings. I see things that need to be taken care of that neither of us really have the time to take care of, and then I can't completely relax. So, as part of my 'mental health day', my number one priority is, as often as possible, to make sure things around here are taken care of in a manner I deem appropriate. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but it's just how I feel. Plus, Steve works harder, more hours, is directing and choreographing a show, and coordinates the kids' extra-curricular schedules and checks their grades on a daily basis. I want to be there for him in any way possible to make things easier and/or more comfortable for him when he comes home. He deserves it. And frankly, I'd want to do it even if I didn't think he deserved it, because I love him. He's the kind of guy who, when I offhandedly mention I like bluegrass music four years ago and he sees me cracking up watching Steve Martin anytime I see/hear him, buys us tickets to see Steve Martin doing bluegrass music in Chicago for our anniversary.

I still haven't finished "A Wrinkle in Time". I've read a little more of it, a couple of chapters. I just... hmm. I don't really like it. I know, I know. Newberry winner, classic, whatever. I'm entitled to my opinion. I can't put my finger on it. I feel like it's almost predictable, to a certain extent. I did not know anything about it before I read it. I should have finished it in like, a day, it's so short and it's a young adult book, for goodness' sake. But I'm not even wowed by the psychological aspects of it. I suppose that back in 1962 when it was written it was probably quite avant-garde, and perhaps I'm jaded. But I sort of can't wait until I'm finished with it so I can move on to something that I enjoy. I'm not sure why I liked "A Ring of Endless Light" so much, but don't really care for this. I guess it's the sci-fi aspect of it. "Ring" was very straightforward and realistic. This one is just bizarre and somewhat boring at this point. I'll try and finish it tomorrow, and let you know which Clive Barker I'm starting on.

I might also have "Fame" on in the background while I clean the house, so if you try to call and I don't answer, it's because the music's too loud!

The weekend's almost here, and I'm ready to embrace it!


  1. Hi Steph. I've been enjoying reading some of your blog entries. Very interesting, and entertaining. I too had good intentions to read "A Wrinkle In Time".
    Stories about time travel have always been a favorite of mine. Though I had vaguely heard of this one over the years, I had never read it. I finally started it a couple of months ago. I didn't get far. I hated it. I found it stupid, boring, and annoying. I used to normally finish books that I started. However, the older I get, the more I feel that life is too short to waste time reading what you're not enjoying.
    This past year I discovered a writer that I thoroughly enjoy. Robin Hobb mostly writes fantasy, and I seldom have read much fantasy in the past. I tended to have the opinion that fantasy is totally made up, so the appeal eluded me. I love good science fiction, which many probably find indistinguishable from fantasy. I, however, view Sci-Fi as real possibilities, which fascinates me. Before I wander too far off my train of thought... I started with Robin Hobbs Farseer trilogy, and am now on the middle book of her Tawny Man trilogy, which is a continuation of the Farseer trilogy. Although never actually stated, these stories evidently take place somewhere very similar to Earth's medieval time period, but with obvious differences. Magic is real, not blatant or on the surface obvious, but more of the mental/psychic variety. Dragons exist, but not prominantly. I am finding the stories very engaging, easy to 'fall into', and ...addicting. Don't know if you'd like them, or maybe you've already explored them, but just thought I'd share.
    I plan to keep track of your blog. I like your writing style. Very comfortable.

  2. I know I read and enjoyed Wrinkle as a kid, but I have horrible long-term memory so I don't remember anything from it. I'll have to tunnel through the basement debris and pull it off the shelf to see if I still like it.

  3. Carl -- thank you for your feedback, and for reading! I appreciate it greatly. I feel there is a definite difference between sci-fi and fantasy. I do enjoy a bit of both, but usually more of the fantasy realm.

    Ben -- ugh. You can have my copy. Hehe.