Monday, February 20, 2012

Where was I?

I hate it when people blog about their blogging, so I'll make this brief: Sorry I was AWOL last week. I had a terrible cold, and just didn't have the brain-power to blog. I barely kept the Facebook page running. Heck, for two days, I didn't even leave the bedroom. I'm mostly better.

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But I did get to watch a bunch of TV and movies, as well as do some fun reading.

First of all, I pretty much blasted through the rest of The Hunger Games, and then immediately downloaded Catching Fire.

Which I also blazed through (see what I did there?). And, of course, I immediately downloaded Mockingjay.

I'm about 60% through it, but since I'm better I have to spend my time reading boring old textbooks now. But once I'm all caught up with school reading (ha ha ha ha ha... I love that joke!), I'll get back to it. Or, maybe I'll use it as a reward for finishing a specific number of chapters in my textbooks. Yeah, I like that idea better.

So, to say I'm enjoying the series is an understatement! I love it. Admittedly, it's young adult fiction, so it's not "high art" but it is still a wonderful story. Very gripping. And even though there are too many times I really want to slap the fantastic strong female lead, Katniss, for being completely clueless, I remind myself she's a teenager, and that's why she doesn't catch on to things as quickly as the reader.

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When I finally ventured out of the bedroom, I spent a couple of hours staring at the television screen. Some of it I even remember.

First up, the Nun's Story, with the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.


OK, a story about a Belgian nun didn't hold too much promise, but I kept watching while I was busy working on a bit of easy homework I couldn't put off for being sick. About 20 minutes in I found myself watching it more than not, and mid-way through I decided this would be a great SRPS movie suggestion. Sure, she's a nun, but she's a feisty nun. And a smart nun. Plus, how often do we get to see such wonderful character stories about whole groups of women working in science and medicine, working in Africa, and eventually working to save the ill and wounded during the war. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it turns out just like I'd hoped.

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The next movie was Fiddler on the Roof, because I hadn't seen it in a long while. I love musicals. And although it's a complex, sad story, it actually always seems to cheer me up. I think it's just me. But I love how Tevye and Golde's relationship grows closer as they deal with their love-matches of their daughters.

Plus, all three older daughters completely shirk their societal expectations and marry for love. How is that not a prime characteristic of a self-rescuing princess?

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After being forced to return to class on Thursday, sooner than I was really ready, I regressed a bit and spent Friday back on the couch. Having pretty much exhausted the silly television shows and recorded movies, I dipped into my Netflix queue for a surprisingly sweet film, Arranged.

On the surface, this would look like just another looking-for-love movie, with the twist of being about two very religious young women. But looking past that, we see a touching story about unlikely friends. Rochel Meshenberg is an Orthodox Jew whose parents are done waiting for her to get married, and have hired a matchmaker (see the tie-in to Fiddler?) to find her a suitable Orthodox Jew for a husband.  Nasira Khaldi is a Muslim young woman whose parents are interviewing Muslim men for her. Their friendship develops as they work together in a local school, Nasira is a fourth-grade teacher, and Rochel is an aide for a visually-impaired student in her class.

They seem to come together naturally, while everyone around them seems to question their friendship. They have quite a bit in common, despite the obvious political differences. They are both comfortable in their beliefs. They have no urge to break away from their backgrounds and are quite happy in their lives. While Rochel questions whether she will ever find a husband worth having, Nasira helps her keep her hope alive, and even gives the matchmaker a bit of assistance.

Again, this was a movie I didn't have terribly high hopes for, and yet I was thoroughly enamored fewer than 10 minutes in. I highly recommend it. Self-rescuing princesses are sometimes old-fashioned and conservative -- strong in their beliefs and willing to be friends with people whose beliefs are different but equally strong.

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I also watched a lot of television, and not all of it silly. But that's for another post. Now, back to those dreary textbooks. Wish me luck.


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