entertainment overload

Awesome season finales: Fringe, Dollhouse, The Office

Okay finales: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, CSI Vegas, Survivor (Coach got robbed! ha ha ha, just kidding)

I haven’t seen NCIS, Mentalist, Unit, Lie to Me or Ghost Whisperer finales yet…so the jury is out. I did hear that CBS didn’t renew The Unit though, that’s a bummer. Although I always found the writing on that show kind of irritating – like they all took themselves too seriously, or the spoke in ways that normal people just don’t speak. Especially Army families – who I’ve been around my whole life. Still, it was a show my husband would watch with me, and they usually had pretty cool missions. I’ll be sorry to see it go.

I’m excited about Glee – I loved the season premiere or preview or whatever that was. Did anyone else see Lauren from So You Think You Can Dance (season 3) in that show choir from the other school? A few episodes in to In Plain Sight;s second season and I’m loving it just as much as last year. And there are some good things starting up…So You Think You Can Dance tonight, The Closer starting next month. Good stuff.

I also caught up on the last three seasons of Smallville. Awesome! I just loved it. I can’t wait for season 9. *spoiler alert* Although, the lack of detail on Clark and Doomsday’s final battle was annoying. I mean, they disappear and then there’s a distant fiery explosion and then Clark is okay? Clearly, Doomsday must still be alive…somewhere. And when are Clark and Lois going to finally hook up??? That tension is worse than Scully and Mulder! But I just love their relationship. Also looking forward to Ollie and the Black Canary hooking up – at least, I hope so. They’ve got to get rid of that crazy Tess person.

That’s it for the TV rundown. Oh, is One Tree Hill ending? They sure tied that finale up with a pretty little bow. Happy ending for everyone but Dan – and no one expects one for him anyway…but it sure seemed like a series finale.

As for movies, I’ve been making the most of my Netflix membership. I even got to the theater for Mother’s Day to see Star Trek. Loved it. Saw Benjamin Button the other day – didn’t love it. I liked it. I think I just couldn’t escape into it enough to stop questioning how other people were able to accept the wierdness of him, and how “the man” didn’t step in to run a million tests on him. Maybe that’s my love of sci fi talking, but it sure seems like someone would want to know how to reverse aging if it was a possibility. I’m not a particularly logical person, so my inability to just accept the premise of that movie really bothered me. I did love that in the scene where Daisy is performing in New York, and Benjamin comes to see her, the song she’s dancing to is “I Have Dreamed” from The King and I – one of my all time favorite songs in the whole world.

I just finished reading The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini – the latest of the Elm Creek Quilters books. I have to say, it’s one of the best ones in a while. I was glued to it. I just had to see what would happen to Joanna. Highly recommended.

I think that’s it – we’ve got The Reader and Valkyrie on deck, with lots of good movies in the queue. Just got The First Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld from the library, and again, SYTYCD starts tonight! My cup overfloweth!

Water for Elephants

I just finished this audiobook and LOVED it! I’ve been seeing this paperback in Target and Costco for months, and for whatever reason, I looked it up on Audible. Because everyone loves a circus (actually, everyone except me – I find them terrifying), I used my monthly credit on it. And boy was I glad I did!

It’s the story of a man – told alternately at age 90 (or 93 – he’s not sure) from a nursing home, and at age 23, from a train-traveling circus. Excellent narrators, wonderful storytelling. I found myself immersed in the mind of Jacob, living the drama of the depression-era big top, and equally immersed in his nursing home world, surrounded by people of varying degrees of age and healthfulness, trying to make sense of it all.

I have to say, the nursing home scenes were very sad. My own grandfather is in a nursing home, and I can’t help but know he must have many of the same feelings. I don’t think he knows who I am anymore, much as Jacob doesn’t know his own grandchildren.

And Rosie! I loved her. She’s the elephant, by the way, and for me, the star of the book.

Sara Gruen, the author, does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing. There are twists and turns and scenes from the beginning keep you guessing until the final chapters. I loved the ending – I couldn’t have imagined a more fitting end to Jacob’s story.

10 stars from me on this one![rating:5][rating:5]

some good books

Inn at Lake Divine coverI have been absent far too long. I’ve been a little worn out with the internet and it’s fathomless black hole tendencies on my time. So I’ve been steering clear. But I had to share the latest book I just finished: The Inn at Lake Divine by Elinor Lipman, my new favorite author. There’s a good synopsis on her website, so I’ll spare you that, and just say that I laughed out loud and I shed a few tears. I loved the heroine’s voice, wit and irony. I loved the hero (even if he doesn’t show up until half way through the book, maybe because of it), I loved the premise, and I especially loved the first chapter. Basically, I loved the whole thing. Lipman wrote a funny essay about the book here.

I also just read Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Cruisie and Warrior for One Night by Nancy Gideon. Both were great and quickly read, but not touching and real the way Lipman’s book was.

I think all this reading is another reason I haven’t been blogging. So, sorry about that.

Library vs. Audible

I love my iPod nano. It’s cute and perfect and holds a million hours of entertainment. It fits in my pocket. I love love love it. This is why I thought I’d love Audible.

In theory, I do love audible. I always have my iPod with me, so I thought having the audiobooks I’m listening to on there would solve the problem of always having to listen to audiobooks in the car. First of all, my son understands (perhaps ‘repeats’ is a better word) curse words now, so lots of books are out. Second, he gets tense and whiny when there’s a tense scene in the book. Not good. Plus, he loves air guitar and drums, so I’d rather let him enjoy music.

In comes Audible. I can listen to my book anywhere. Except, I’m really picky. I check out two or three audiobooks from the library each trip. I usually only listen to one all the way through. If I don’t like it, or I’m not looking to listen to the next installment, I give up on it and return it. With Audible, I feel like I have to choose so carefully because I’m paying for it. My first selection was Atonement and I could care less about it. (To be fair, I’m only on chapter 5 or 6, so I haven’t really given it a chance.) Now I have another credit sitting in my Audible account, and I’m kind of gun shy. I don’t want to waste it.

My first idea was to try out books from the library, and then, if I love the book, use my Audible credit to get it. But with the last audiobook I listened to, The Expected One, I felt like I already had it for free, and it would be wasteful to return the free book just to purchase the same book from Audible.

There’s one other problem. Lately, when I have the chance to listen to my iPod, I catch up on episodes of Slate’s Political Gabfest, This American Life, or Real Time with Bill Maher. Which is also why I haven’t given Atonement it’s proper attention.

So is the problem time? Maybe. How do I best use my time?

How do people deal with these dilemmas?

Please understand that I appreciate the bounty of my blessings as I write these things. I know there are people who can’t read, who don’t have books, who don’t have libraries, who can’t afford iPods or Audible accounts. These things don’t really help me. They just make me feel guilty.