Sunday, December 30, 2012

Riffday: not with a bang but a blog post

1.  We are in Florida on our biennial family trip.  As always, the weather is not all that great, but we are having a good time anyway. 

2. Dean and my older sister Val are both medical professionals.  Val and her husband are very conservative.  The first morning, the four of us got into a very interesting discussion about the state of medical care in our country.  The best thing about it, in my opinion, was the number of things we agreed on.  I was surprised and happy.  It made me realize (again) how divisive and counter-productive all this political posturing is.  If the four of us, who are diametrically opposed on many issues, can find things to agree on regarding such a controversial topic, there is hope.

3.  But I've also been surprised at how obsessed the two of them are with politics.  Normally on these trips we don't discuss politics, because none of us is all that interested.  Or at least, we didn't used to be.  Usually, we tell stories about our adorable children and we gossip about our relatives and family friends, and we talk about movies and books and TV shows, and whatever else we can think of.  But this year it keeps coming back to politics.  Ick.

4.  I already know what my new year's resolution is going to be:  I'm not going to buy any books in 2013.  And if you know me, you'll know that is impossible.  It's not gonna happen.  But I'm saying it anyway, so maybe I will at least make it several months.  This is inspired by a) me trying to put away my books from last semester and not even coming close to finding enough shelf space, and b) while doing that, remembering how many books we own that I haven't read and that I want to read.  There are dozens.  I definitely do not need to buy any more books. Oddly, this resolution feels scarier to me than any resolution I've made in recent memory.  And I'm thinking of three books that I "need" to run out and buy tomorrow before it gets to be 2013.  Ha.

5.  I'm kind of bummed that I haven't heard back about my thesis revisions yet.  I wanted to be able to enjoy the holidays with the knowledge that I am done.  But apparently my thesis committee didn't share the same vision, because I haven't heard back from any of them yet.  The deadline for getting it all done is January 18th, so there's still time.  I have no idea how much more work they'll want me to do:  a little? a lot? or--fingers crossed--none at all.

6.We went to see The Hobbit.  This was not a small thing.  All four of us adored the Lord of the Rings movies, and we've seen them at least half a dozen times, maybe even a dozen.  Dean and Nell are huge fans of the books (my personal opinion, and I may not admit to actually typing this if pressed, is that these are the only book adaptation movies I've ever seen that I thought were better than the books.)(OK, so shoot me.)  Anyway.  The Hobbit.  We were a bit disappointed.  It had some good stuff in it.  But there wasn't nearly enough story to support that long a movie, so it ended up seeming like a typical holiday blockbuster action movie instead of something unique.  As a holiday blockbuster, it's not a bad movie.  As a prequel to FOTR, it was kind of lame.  Bright spot:  Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, is terrific.

7.  Les Mis:  what's your opinion?  I haven't seen it yet, because I stayed home with my three youngest nieces while everyone else went.  Although I make exceptions for certain movies (like The Hobbit), I'm not that big a film fanatic-- I'm usually content to watch them at home.  Do I need to see this one on the big screen?  I do love the music.


  1. I love the idea of not buying any books. You'll have to get creative and trade or borrow!
    I just started up a group for people who aim to do or experience a new thing each week for the whole of 2013, so exciting. People apparently hunger for the new!
    Happy New Year, keep blogging!

    1. Is the group on fito? I would love to try that- I'll see if I can find it.

      The not buying books would be simple if we had a bigger library but our library is pretty small and almost never has what I want to read. Happy new year, Evah!

  2. (1) Thank you for using the correct subject-verb agreement with "none."

    (2) I am one of the few who feel that, with the exception of FOTR, Peter Jackson's trilogy is a pretty poor distillation of Tolkien's vision. The plot changes don't bother me; In fact, most of them were helpful. My issue is that when Tolkien went small, Jackson went big. There's a reason Tolkien mostly avoided narrating large battles (or did so in less traditional ways) and ended with the scouring of the Shire. He found the epic in the intimacy of the characters and the loss of innocence as the War of the Ring reached even the sheltered Shire. Jackson found the epic in action-oriented battle sequences, pay-attention-to-what-I'm-doing symbolism, and--increasingly throughout the trilogy--extensive CGI. In my opinion, Jackson became too concerned with grandness of what he was doing after the quite excellent FOTR. I haven't seen The Hobbit yet because of similar concerns.

    (3) M is questioning your sanity on waIting to see Les Mis in the theater. I won't go that far, but I do think there would be something lost without the big screen experience. M also says that when you see it and love, she'll go back with you to see it again.

    (4) Merry New Year.

    1. Good grief don't start commenting on correct usage or I'll get ulcers while typing blog posts. You seem to have overcome our east Texas roots better than me/I. I might could do it but I'm fixin' to stop. Lol

      Hmmm we should have the LOTR conversation when I'm not typing on a kindle keyboard. I agree with you but I've shhhhhh never been a huge fan of the books s(even tho i've read them three times) so it didn't bother me all that much that he changed them.

      I tried for about three minutes to get rid of that extra s. I give up.

      Still haven't seen les mis but probably Friday.

  3. Oh man, I'd be frightened of that resolution too, and I need them even less than you do! Good luck!!

    Haven't seen the Hobbit yet. It bugs me that he's stretching it out--one person on the film said it was cause they needed more parts for the big stars in the movie. Ease. Such a nice, neat, well told little tale, just as it was.

    I read the LOTR books just before seeing the movies. I didn't love them either, but I'm not big into fantasy. Too much walking. Walking walking walking. -- I didn't like the changes to the ents, in the movies. Hmph! They were my fave part of the books.

  4. Gah! No politics. But hey, Florida!
    (I want to see Florida some day.)

    No. 5, I'm going with "none at all."

  5. Why haven't I commented already? Beats the hell out of me. Maybe because I stifled myself so nicely over the holidays so as not to cause commotion over politics or gun laws or high school dress codes or arbitrary grading by teachers who should know better and now I'm mentally constipated. You're welcome. I know you needed that image.