Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gilmore Girls

In the last few months, I have watched almost every episode of all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. Ridiculously, I feel a sense of accomplishment about this. Also a sense of embarrassment. That's approximately 106 hours of TV watching.

In my defense, while I watched, I did a lot of knitting and caught up with a few years worth of entering receipts in GnuCash.

Mostly, I enjoyed the show. I liked all the references to books, music, art, etc. I liked the quirky characters. I liked the clever, funny, fast dialog.

I did not like the soap opera-like pace of the show and obvious manipulation to keep people (me) watching. It was so convenient for the money-makers that nobody on the show learns that honesty in a relationship is the best policy until the seventh season. But at least it all turned out right, and I can pretend that they've all learned their lesson and will never act like idiots again.

This is the nature of TV, though, and I'm hoping to stick with the 20-minute stuff in the future--The Office and 30 Rock. I feel kind of dumb that I've resisted 24 (2 1/2 seasons of which Jon and I watched) and Lost (watched the first season on DVD), but then I let myself get sucked into Gilmore Girls. Of course, part of the problem is that you can watch this stuff online now, which is really cool but requires more self-control than I have.

Oh, and I hated the theme song and the similar-sounding music that cropped up during the show. But I liked the town troubadour's music and other music in the background.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ironing sheets

Today I did something I've never done before: I ironed a sheet. I wanted to use it for my daughters' birthday party as a tablecloth, and here's the accompanying explanatory stuff:

  • Yes, that apostrophe is appropriately placed. My two daughters were born on the same day, five years apart, and we are still having joint birthday parties for them.
  • Usually we just have family birthday parties, with a cake that may or may not be fancily decorated. But this time, we decided to have friends over, which meant, to me, that I ought to try a little harder. This was our first ever girly party, so I wanted girly stuff, but I am cheap and also prone to last-minute inspiration (or desperation, I guess). I don't have any girly tablecloths, but I do have some girly sheets, so I used a twin-sized flat sheet as a tablecloth. It was almost a perfect size but very wrinkled.
  • My usual method of dealing with a wrinkled tablecloth is to put it on the table, spray it with water, and let gravity do its work. It's pretty effective, but this time it didn't look like it was going to do the job. Hence the ironing. Yeah, I won't put much time into planning a birthday party, but apparently I will iron a sheet so no 8-year-old girl is offended by wrinkles.

So anyway, some people actually do iron sheets! I think that's really weird, but apparently it's true. And now I'd like to know if they have a special giant ironing board for sheets. Because it was kind of unwieldy, and it was only a twin. On the other hand, I like to iron (although I almost never do it), and ironing a big flat thing is nice--no weird-shaped corners or sleeves or pockets. I think ironing cloth napkins would be the best. I don't see it becoming a regular event for me, though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

Watched this with the kids. I'm having trouble remembering it, so that's not a great sign. But after a little effort, I remember that it was okay. I'm assuming the Susan Cooper book on which it's based is better.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The author of The History of Love is married to Jonathon Safran Foer, who wrote Everything Is Illuminated, which I have not read. Just some trivia for you.

I really liked this book. There are several narrators, and sometimes things get a little confusing, but not in a bad way. It's funny and sad and complex. The characters are realistic, interesting and have plenty of depth.

Thanks to Ethan and Courtney for giving us this book! I thought it was really good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A few books I didn't finish

The older I get, the less I want to waste time on books I'm not enjoying. (Now if I could just apply that logic to a certain TV show that I am obsessively watching online. Well, I guess I'm enjoying that. Wasting time, yes, but enjoying it!)

The Constant Gardener by John le Carre

This is well-written and has a fascinating setting, but about halfway through I realized that I didn't give a flying crap what happened to the characters, so I put it down.

No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year by Virginia Ironside

Mildly entertaining, but the narrator's cavalier attitude about her three past abortions bugged me too much.

Just Like Heaven or If Only It Were True by Marc Levy

I really like the movie Just Like Heaven, so I thought it would be fun to read the novel on which it was based--I'd heard that it was pretty different from the movie and I was curious. But this book would make a perfect anti-textbook for a creative writing class; everything a writer should never do is included here, and I couldn't get past it. I guess I'm just glad that someone out there made a decent romantic comedy out of it, though I can't imagine how this book got published in the first place.

Also, "If Only It Were True" joins my list of terrible titles.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

I listened to this novella by the actor/comedian Steve Martin, and I liked it pretty well. The author read it, and some of the dialog reminded me of David Mamet movies that Jon and I have really liked. I liked the way the characters changed and grew during the story.