Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review, Movie Review, Life Review

Three things I want to talk about tonight:

One, I am absolutely in love with this book: 

I am going through that depressing time when you have just finished a really good book and it's like you have nothing to come home to at night. I guess I have a husband. But I would really like a good book to come home to, too. And as I am number 679,900,5678 in line at the library for Tina Fey's autobiography (high lit at its finest), I need another good summer book to fill its place, stat. Any suggestions? Nothing by Shakespeare or Steinbeck, please, as I have had enough of them in the last four months.

I really don't know why I particularly adored this book. I mean, it was a NYTimes best-seller, and my grandma liked it, so I figured that I would follow the status quo. Also, it was heart-warming yet very real, and the varied perspectives kept me interested for 450 pages without being confusing, which can sometimes happen with that genre. It had historical elements but was fictionalized enough to have lovable characters, suspense, a villain that you absolutely despise, and an uplifting moral. Nothing super deep or insightful in my review., contrary to what you may have expected. When people hear that I want to be an English teacher they usually assume three things:

1. I am an uptight perfectionist/grammar Nazi (true of roughly 77% of my major, but not me)
2. I am a prolific poet (false)
3. I must be a book snob and only like the classics (also false). 

I don't really write poetry, much to my father-in-law's dismay (who is both an oral surgeon and a poet himself. A man of many great talents). I get good grades on things I write for school, and I enjoy the writing process, but I don't really write anything formal for fun. And, as far as lit recommendations go, I will just give you my opinion on a book's merits, and why I did or did not enjoy it. I probably will never recommend anything by Dante, Chaucer, or Milton for fun, unless you cross me and I decide to hate you. 

I echo what my visiting teacher, who is a dietitian says: she studies food because she loves it, not because she wants to tell everyone that eating a burger will lead to your swift and untimely demise. She will never tell you to give up chocolate or only eat leafy greens and whey. That would be dumb, because chocolate is awesome. So I am the same about books: I wanted to major in English because I love to read but I will never say that a book that is just enjoyable and is not necessarily great art to endure the ages is worthless because that would be just dumb coming from someone who just picked this major because she stinks and math, hates the thought of having to ever act "businessy" in life, and realized that acting silly in front of teenagers and trying to make them discover that reading is fun, while being paid a mere pittance, sounded like a sweet career choice.

Also, I was informed today that teachers coming from BYU are apparently often ill-prepared and unimpressive to school principals (well, at least the one that told me that). And no, it obviously did not freak me out or cause me to have a brief breakdown in the car afterwards. And, confession, in the previous sentence I just spelled "afterwards" which isn't even a real word. And did you see my run-on sentence in the previous paragraph. It read horribly. So I probably won't even be a teacher, I might just write book reviews for my low-traffic blog for the rest of my life.

Ok, I have spent wayyy too long on item of business number one. Bottom line: The Help was good. Don't read Milton for fun, ever.

Item number 2:

There is a cute little girl at the beginning, yeah, yeah, but the REAL action starts at 2:27 where DAVE sings. Yes, my husband has been in a Mormon Messages video. We are a really big deal. I say we, because as any good wife knows, your husband's accomplishments are really yours too ("we're in medical school..." I guess it evens it out if the guy says "we're pregnant"). I always get the story wrong, but as far as I understand, a friend of his brother and sister-in-law's was getting filmed for this down in Arizona when Dave was visiting them and they had him come and sing for them because they needed a lot of different shots. He definitely did not audition for this or anything, although his voice soars on angel wings up to the loftiest heavens in my opinion. 

This happened like a year and a half ago so we had totally forgotten about it, until it popped up on Friday. Needless to say I have watched it roughly 99 times because it just makes me laugh. I mean, he's adorable and sounds great, but it is just so funny. So, that is my movie review...sorry to get your hopes us. Two thumbs wayyy up  for the three seconds of David Mizukawa near the end.

Part three,, the life review:

I love my life. That is the simple version. Right now I am just working and Dave is going to school, so my late afternoons, evenings and weekends are very, very relaxing, seeing as he is doing homework during those times and I am doing nothing. This leaves much time for Zumba classes, trying to bake bread, and watching videos of "Extreme Couponing" whilst wishing that I knew how to coupon like those people, minus the cray-crayness and the excessive amounts of garage toothpaste hoarding.

This weekend my in-laws were in town because they sing in a choir down in St. George that was performing up in Salt Lake. They stayed with us on Friday night and it was very exciting...our first overnight guests! Let me just tell you, John and Elaine Mizukawa know how to party. We went out to dinner and dessert both nights we were with them...fancy! And, Elaine hooked us up with two giant storage ziplock sized bags of chex mix, so if the next time you see me I am waddling, was worth it. They are the greatest, I am really lucky that I enjoy my in-laws so much and that they are such nice, generous people. Even if they didn't always give us food I would still like them. And I don't think they even know about the existence of this blog so I don't even have to say that...I just wanted to.

Also this week, my sister Annie graduated from high school! I got to watch online, because our school district streams graduations for deployed military parents (and dead-beat sisters in other states). She was so cute and Dave was at a review during it, so I was home alone cheering like a dork for her. I even got a little misty...surprising, as my family kind of makes fun of getting emotional at high school graduations. I mean, is it really that hard to graduate from high school? I am pretty sure we had a trained monkey graduate with honors from my class. 

I think I was just touched that she is all grown up and my sisters and I are all old now. Anne is such a great girl and I am so excited that she is coming here in the fall. Hopefully she will want to hang out with us. She still kind of does whatever Grace tells her (my mom says they have a secret twin language which is weird because they very much are not twins) so maybe she can put in a good word:

Aren't my sisters cute? Tess looks 12...which I guess she is now...but I think that she should probably be a baby still. And Anne had deadly heels on which make her a foot taller than everyone else instead of the usual 6 inches.

There are a lot of other life things I could talk about, like how cute Dave is, but oh oops I think I already said that in this post so I guess I am done.


  1. So, I know you don't know me from Adam but I've read all your posts and have just laughed and enjoyed them all. I've known Dave since we were in first grade I believe (just for a vague reference to get an idea of who I am, haha). Reading your blog made me realize you and I have similar senses of humor and like lots of the same things but it was this post that convinced me we should be friends. I just barely finished "The Help" today at work! I LOVE IT! Also, I'm on the never ending waiting list for Tina Fey's autobiography. :) Just thought I'd mention that and say hi to you and Dave. Keep blogging because I love it. :)

  2. Your blog is always my favorite, so never stop with your run on sentences or self reviews. :) I keep trying to talk my folks along with Grams and Gramps into reading your blog. I think they would thoroughly enjoy it. Problem is, my parents don't really know how to navigate the internet that well (the only reason they read my blog is because it's their home page), and the grandparents are in the same boat. Besides, Grandma has a 250 megabyte max a month on her internet, so she only checks her e-mail. I didn't know there was such a thing as minimum internet time, but I guess it exists.

    PS - tell Dave impressive job from me. Did you mention he is in the mens choir? He has a very good voice.

  3. I completely got sidetracked--the reason I was commenting in the first place was to tell you that I just finished The Help about two days ago and it was true love. I was actually thinking about doing a mini blog post on it myself. :) You beat me to it. Regardless, I was quite depressed to watch the pages on the right side of the book thin out until there wasn't anything left to read. Such a good book. I also just finished Sara's Key (wouldn't suggest it), and began Water for Elephants (which I have enjoyed up to this point). If you want another good read, look into The Secret Life of Bees. It's not a good sign when you are reading three books a week at work. Thing's need to pick up!

  4. Oh my gosh Grandma does NOT have a limit on her internet! I thought that rip-off European hotels were the only places that still had such a thing. I can't stop laughing about that. Oh grandma and I love them!

    I am glad that everyone else liked this book as much as I did! I am actually on the waiting list for The Secret Life of Bees...our library is hopelessly backed up. And I started Water for Elephants but never finished it, so you will have to tell me how you like it.

    I am so excited to hear about your foreign adventure!

  5. Yes, she has a limit, which is more common than people realize. Most Internet companies are starting to impose them to prevent apartment owners from putting in a wi-fi and letting 20 apartments get free Internet. But the limits are usually high. What IS truly uncommon is the tiny amount of Internet that she gets. I think after the twelfth word of one email, then she starts going over.

    And on another note, your father-in-law isn't the only poet. Your own father can bust a pretty good rhyme, to wit:

    There once was a girl from Dundee
    Who fell down and scraped up her knee.
    While writhing in pain,
    She went down the drain
    And fell in a pool of warm brie.

    I just made that up on the spot. I can also do sonnets, iambic pentameter (as soon as I look up what that means), and cetera.