2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 Complete Blank

As part of my attempt to live a more balanced life in 2013, I have given myself the assignment to watch 2 movies and to read 2 books each month.  Here is my May report.

2 Movies

Small, Beautifully Moving Parts – Clever + truthful.  A pregnant, techie-oriented woman, who lives in NYC, goes to LA so that her sister may give her a proper baby shower.  Once on the west coast, the mother-to-be decides to visit her divorced parents.  Her father’s reaction to seeing her is delight, but her off-the-grid mother’s reaction is alternately hilarious or sad.  Recommended if you like honest characters + quiet triumphs.

Jesus Henry Christ – Tedious + confused.  I wanted to like this movie produced by Julia Roberts, but I didn’t.  The premise is that a brilliant 10-year-old boy, whose mother had in vitro fertilization, decides to find out who his biological father really is– and he does.  But the plot dragged on and the characters were of the over-the-top-but-supposed-to-be-endearing variety so that nothing in the story seemed interesting or plausible or worth caring about.  Not recommended.

2 Books

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Extraordinary + compelling.  Rebecca Skloot tells the true story of how one woman’s cells, taken from her without her permission, came to be first “immortal” human cells grown in a medical lab at Johns Hopkins University.  Plus, Skloot tells the story of Henrietta’s life, her children’s lives and all the subsequent injustices done to all of them.  Recommended if you like medical history + family stories that span generations.

Too Much Happiness – Well-written, but forgettable.  I know that Alice Munro is a writer with an enthusiastic following so I decided to read one of her books.  This book of 10 short stories was, perhaps, not her best effort– or maybe I don’t get her.  I found the stories to be depressing &/or mundane;  so much so that even her smooth writing couldn’t overcome it.  Recommended if you like glimpses into the darker side of human nature + need something to read that’s easy to put down and pick up as need be.

1 Complete Blank

In this spot I like to share something clever or funny that I saw/read/heard during the month, but I’m coming up with a blank here.  Oh well, whatever.  If anyone has something inspiring or cheerful that could be in this spot, just let me know & in it goes.  If not, I suggest that we all be like Quakers at a Sunday meeting and sit here silently reflecting upon the Divine.  The choice is yours, gentle readers.

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[As promised above, I’ve added your ideas to inspire or cheer thus filling in my Complete Blank.]

1) From Polly at caughtwriting, an Emily Dickinson quote:

“Forever– is composed of nows.”

2) From Zazzy at zazamataz.com, an e.e. cummings quote:

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

3) From Phil at Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge, a Judy Garland rendition of a popular song:

# # #

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

16 thoughts on “2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 Complete Blank”

  1. I have something: Forever – is composed of nows (Emily Dickinson). How true! What is forever if it’s not all the things we do in a day. Makes me want to make the most of every day or at least take steps in the right direction. Regarding Too Much Happiness, I signed up to a service called Daily Lit where they email you a chunk of story every day, the idea being if you are too busy to read, you can at least read these 5 minute slots. And the first one I got was a story from Too Much Happiness. It was the one about the young couple who hire the strange woman with the young daughter. The woman ends up breaking up the marriage, and the daughter grows up to be a writer and writes about it. Funny what you said about Alice Munro. I have a book of her short stories in the car, I came across again last week, I’d completely forgotten it was there or that I’d started it.

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    1. Polly, I like your verse by E.D. I’ve never heard it before. Will add it to above later in the day when I get the chance.

      I’m thinking that Alice Munro must appeal to something that I’m missing in my psyche. I know that I read great reviews of her work, but this book did not do it for me. Which is fine. There are plenty of other books in the sea, so to speak.

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      1. I’ve been several times and I enjoy them. Then I took my husband to Christmas eve midnight mass at our cathedral for all the pageantry. I thought he would croak!

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  2. The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. – e e cummings

    Your books and movies this month sound kind of sad. Sometimes sad is a good read though.

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    1. Zazzy, another great quote. Okay, you can also go up on the post when I get the time to update it.

      The movies weren’t sad at all. In fact the first one I found to be uplifting– and quietly, slowly perfect. Gentle, really.

      The Henrietta story is just amazing. I could not put it down. Well-written + historically accurate. Just amazing.

      But the Alice Munro book was sad. Definitely. I wonder if that is her thing? Don’t know, but don’t think I’ll be on the lookout for another one of her books.

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      1. Kind of ironic or appropriate maybe that the book was sad but was called Too Much Happiness.

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        1. Polly, I agree. I’m sure there’s some meaning to it all. But I’m a long time out of university so I don’t have to figure it out anymore! They can’t rescind my degree at this late date… can they?

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  3. How about a little song in a BW video. Judy Garland “Get Happy”? Might work with Catholics and those who appreciate vintage…Quakers? It’s got the Promise Land mentioned…but is pretty showy…
    [video has been re-positioned above]

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  4. You inspire me to watch more movies, although I haven’t turned on my TV for about a month. I need to do so!! I’m more of a reader and have books coming out of my ears right now.

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    1. Margaret, I’m not much of a movie person, but when I can find ones that aren’t mainstream, then I’ll give them a whirl. I like TV, but only series that are not currently mainstream. Netflix is my friend for all of this. Do you have it?

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      1. No, I don’t, but need to think about getting it although I’ve heard lots of complaints about it lately. (did they change their delivery system?) I’ve ordered a couple of interesting sounding films from the library; I’m probably number 200 in the queue. 🙂

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        1. We’ve had good experiences with Netflix. We have the ability to have a dvd + can use it via apps on computers & tablets + have a roku for one of our TVs which allows us access to Netflix. For the price, it’s a deal. I’d never, ever see a movie if I had to go through the library!

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