Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Rec / Movie rec / Football

New Year's Resolution tracking

Writing progress:  Nada.  But feeling ok about it.  I need more time to "stew" about the beginning of my story and my characters. 

Weight progress:  The same as Friday which I ultimately consider progress.  I worked out both Sat and Sun and attended TWO child birthday parties involving cake and appetizers.  Knowing the scale didn't go UP in my mind is a win.

Reading progress:  Finished my book!  Finally!  Now onto the next three on my list:  The Fire in Fiction, The Serpent's Kiss and Beautiful Creatures!

Book review - "Burnt Toast" by Teri Hatcher

I honestly loved this book!  I would give it maybe 7 out of 10 personal opinion of course.  As I think I've mentioned before - this book definitely isn't for everyone and it's more in the "how to live your life" category or "biography" than an actual fictional story.  I've never actually watched anything that Teri Hatcher has been in...I know...crazy...I've never tuned into Desperate Housewives for the same reason that I have yet to look at Twitter...I know I would love it and find something else to waste my time and take me away from both my writing and my family.  So, I bought and read this book because a good friend recommended it for me and knowing me pretty well, I trusted her.  She was totally right.

First off - as I've also mentioned before - Teri must be one of "my people" and would surely be my BFF should we ever meet.  It's amazing how different someone can be from the mental image you may have of them that has filtered down to your brain from the media.  Of course, one could argue, this book is doing the same thing but I'm not going there.  Like most of us, she's insecure, self doubting, a multi-tasking perfectionist and competitive.  All qualities I struggle with and part of the reason I felt a connection to this book.  If you don't personally have these qualities you would most likely HATE this book.  

There were tons of great reminders and lessons to remember throughout living our lives and I actually highlighted some of my favorite items and can see myself going back from time to time to "relive" some of the things that I think are important to remember.  I thought I'd do so here as well so here are a few passages that really spoke to me.  Believe it or not this is very hard for me because there were SO MANY good ones.

"The decisions that we write off as momentary, insignificant, incidental, everyday encounters are exactly when we have a chance to define ourselves.  To find beauty, to engage the world around us.  To create memories"  This passage is one that really called to me.  It's so easy to find excuses and to be lazy in these parts of our lives each and every day.  I loved this reminder to make every moment count.

"It all comes back to vulnerability.  In a long-term relationship you have to relinquish control.  You have to let yourself need someone else."  Ummm...let's just say "guilty".  I'm huge control freak and need to work on this one BIG TIME.

"We live in a microwave society.  Hot food in seconds.  Velcro shoes.  Video on demand.  Instant Everything.  What does this do to us?  What does it do to our kids?  We push them into situations where they can't wait or aren't expected to wait.  We speed them through life, and what's the result?  They have no sense of delayed gratification.  If you grow up without delayed gratification, you'll never have the patience to suceed in life.  Good things take long-term investment and perseverance."  No comment necessary on this one.

And one of my favorites "The release was so powerful that the momory of that feeling has become something I can use to ground myself.  Sort of like a mantra.  I think of Africa, a place which was, is, and will always be bigger and stronger than I am.  There's comfort in that.  I'm not free-floating and alone.  Africa is big enough to contain me and all my emotional litter.  And so I urge you to look for the black or book or being that can do the same for you.  Do the daily work.  Make the small changes.  Follow your chosen path.  And, when the time is right, you'll find your Africa."

Honestly, there were so many good passages that I couldn't find all of the perfect ones to tell you about.  There was another passage on friends and when to let go of a friend if they aren't good for you that I thought was extremely good.  It's hard to do.  For those of us that have a hard time saying "no" to people, let alone someone we like, it's difficult.  But the truth is if there's someone out there who is always negative or dragging you down, you need to cut and run.  Sure, it may be hard but you'll be a happier person in the long run and you need to value yourself enough to have the courage to do it.

I could go on and on but I'll stop there.  Good read. 

"Coraline" - a cartoon movie by Tim Burton

I actually had to go look up what the rating for this movie's PG.  I almost had nightmares it was so dark.  I would say this movies was a personal 6 out of 10 for me.  It just didn't do much for me.  There was a good story behind all the creepiness but I would never let a child watch it.  And maybe it was made for adults, who knows.  I generally like Tim Burton's dark/eerie stuff but this one just didn't seem to flow just right.  It seemed long and I was ready for it to end.  Short review because, well, I didn't love it enough to gush.  I will say this - it reminded me how much I'd love to have blue hair.  Seriously.  Something about the punk rock colored hair has always appealed to me and if I didn't have a "real" job I would totally dye it.  

Moving on...the hubby and I watched the Packers/Cardinals game last night and it reminded me that sometimes I love football.  Granted, it has to be an exciting playoff game that is close in order for me to maintain interest, but I loved it.  And I was very sad for the Packers.  I felt they could have had a few calls made in the last few plays that would have helped...poor Rodgers got roughed up a bit and I kind of like him, he seems like a good kid.  No Favre...but who is?

We'll see if this lasts until Superbowl time...I fear there will be a lot of football watching at our house over the next few weeks. 

Hope everyone has a great Monday!  Back to the daily grind for me!


  1. Thanks for the reviews! I would never have considered picking up Burnt Toast, but now...maybe?

    Have a great Monday (if that's even possible). : )

  2. Like you, I think Teri Hatcher would be one of "my people." I've watched her on interviews and she just seems like a genuine, down to earth kind of woman. Someone who could easily fit in the low key kind of life just as easily as the celebrity world. I'm glad you liked the book, now I will probably check it out!

  3. I haven't seen the movie Coraline, but I did read the book, and it didn't leave me feeling much better than you did. I don't think I'd let a kid read it. It's creative, but scary as heck.

    And FYI, Tim Burton had nothing to do with the Coraline movie, so don't fall out of love with him yet! Henry Selick was the director of Coraline AND The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is probably where the confusion comes from. (Tim Burton was the PRODUCER of TNBC.) They tried to trick people into thinking it was Tim Burton film.

  4. Cheers to you for staying on track despite the birthday parties! My interest in football is now nil because my team is out of it. Bless them, they weren't very good this year.


  5. Kristi! You are so sweet, and defintely made my day when I read that you called me awesome on Kiersten's blog. So sweet! And I'm glad someone else thinks so (besides me, because it's kind of weird to think of yourself as

    Forget Teri Hatcher. You're one of "my kind of people". (That doesn't sound weird, right? If it does... I didn't mean it in a weird way. Promise.) : )

    Have a good day!

  6. Oh, and so I don't forget. A little birdie told me you should definitely visit my blog tomorrow. : )

    Have a good night!

  7. I think I may need to read Burnt Toast, if for nothing else... to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for the review.

  8. Chasing - I was honestly shocked by how genuine she was throughout the book and there's something about that insecurity and self doubt that as women we struggle amazing to see a beautiful, successful woman have the same problems I do!

    Kristin - Thanks for the tip!!! Tricky executives...seems kind of "wrong", doesn't it?

    Elspeth - Sorry your team is out...I'm luck in that I don't have a favorite in Football. Well, maybe a little...but not enough to be disappointed! There's always next year!

    Kimberly - I LOVE your post and I think it proves that you are TOTALLY one of my people! Seriously cracked me up! I can't wait to read your blog today!!!

    Eva - I honestly loved it! If you read it you'll have to let me know what you think! It was completely different than I would have expected!