Journal ~ Reading/Watching


Book Review, Journal, Movie Review / Monday, March 31st, 2014

How’s the Weather?Today (yesterday) was nice and warm – 70’s – but WiNdY! As usual. I’d rather have warm windy than cold windy though. 

I’m going to do something different today and journal about the Reading and Writing section first. (You’re welcome Joel.)

Reading – 

~ Just before my trip I finished Pope Francis’s The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). I really enjoyed it and highly encourage everyone to at least skim it if you haven’t already. I appreciated the conversation about it with other adults at my parish Reading Forum and am a little sad I missed the last session on it. 

~ I’ve been reading my way through The Gospel of Mark during Lent and am surprised at all the stories I had forgotten about from not reading the Bible (aside from excerpted readings during Mass) in so long. I should really do that more often. 

~ One day the baby-toddler brought me a book from my bookcase – Praying with Therese of Lisieux. I don’t know how it got there but I decided to see what it was about and I’m loving it! It’s been the perfect Lenten read for me. 

~I also re-discovered a few of my spanish books from the good ol’ college year I spent immersed in Spanish Literature. It will be nice to re-read some of those short stories with my handy dandy Google Translate app close by and without the pressure of a deadline or 5-page essay.

~ Tomorrow (April 1) will be an exciting day because my pre-order of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom will arrive to my Kindle! Every time I read one of Lisa-Jo’s posts on her blog I feel uplifted and I actually want to be joyful as a wife and mother. So I can only imagine what reading a whole book of hers will be like. I can’t wait! 

~ I also pre-orderd Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidently Found It which comes out…at the end of April I think? Which will probably be just in time to fill the reading gap after I inhale Surprised by Motherhood

~ And, since I pre-ordered her book, I get a bonus FREE The Family-First Creative e-book that sounds like it was written just for me! (Which, in a way it was because I have asked her several of those questions about how to manage writing and keeping family first.) 

April is looking to be a very exciting reading month! 

Watching: Recently my husband and I watched –

Upside Down – with Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst. My husband and I didn’t have too high of expectations for this one but thought the idea sounded interesting enough to try it out. The theory behind it was cool…the actual way it played out – not so much. It could have been so much better. I wouldn’t say I recommend it unless you are bored and it’s the only thing on. (Who here ever has that problem?)

Fantastic Mr. Fox – What the “cuss”? That was…interesting. I guess I gotta give the creators credit because the way the animation and artistic set backgrounds were done were elaborately detailed and creatively impressive. The story was intriguing and got exciting towards the end but I was a little bored with it. Still, it made us both laugh out loud a few times – mostly because of it’s strangeness – but either way if a movie makes me laugh at the end of the day I’ll say it was worth watching. However, I can’t say I recommend it unless you are curious about it and want to make your own opinion of it.  We will not watch this with our kids though…maybe when they are a bit older if we still remember it. 

~ To the Wonder – did I already talk about this? I’m too lazy to look. We watched this a few weeks ago. This is another Terrance Malick Masterpiece.  I’m becoming a little obsessed with the guy and his movies. The more I watch and read about him and his movies the more I love them. We bought it and are going to watch it again soon and then I might share some more thoughts on it. 

Frozen – Ok, can I say something crazy? 

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Cuz for the first time in forever

I decided 

I don’t care what my movie critic friend Joel’s they’re going to say

it was time to to

let it go 

test the limits and break free

beware the frozen heart

and watch a movie with my kids without caring if it is

a bit of a fixer upper

and see that 

there’s beauty and there’s danger here

Ok, I’ll stop sing-talking now. Like I said on Facebook – My initial verdict is that we all liked it. The scary parts weren’t really that scary or drawn out. There were some surprising and disappointing twists but like everyone said, the general overarching themes and life lessons are very good and true to life. As usual this gives a good opportunity for family discussion about love and life and all that good stuff . There were, of course a few things I think could have been done differently but I’ll save that for another time or post for now.

My daughter and I have been discussing it more throughout the week and it’s prompted good discussions about not making rash decisions, the importance of honesty, and what “real love” and real “freedom” is. The Let it Go song lyrics honestly do grind on my nerves – not to mention the way Elsa’s image and wardrobe transform – but it’s incredibly catchy so it’s hard not to want to sing along with my daughter when she sings it over…and over…and over. We’ve been talking about that song a lot and I can tell the words don’t bother her as much because she’s too young to really pay attention.

I personally don’t like how they encourage an anti-authority type of attitude but at the same time there does come a time in everyone’s life when it’s time to “break free” from our parents/authority figures and become our own person. I know my daughter will do this one day – and our sons. I just hope when it happens that she doesn’t turn her back on us or all the good we have done for her and especially not on God. That said, one day I do hope she will “let go” and choose God for herself – not just because that’s what we (and her teachers and others) have told her she has to believe in. If she does choose to follow God and His call for her, she will most likely face opposition from those “in the world” and she will have to find a way to “let go” of other’s expectations for her and follow what she believes God is calling her too. Just like her parents and many others have done before her. 

Aside from all that, I’m really glad I got to just enjoy a movie with our family together without having to pause or skip over the majority of the movie.  Everyone really liked it, even the boys and they’ve asked if we can watch it again. (even though they got to watch it twice.) Although, I think they might have enjoyed the short film that accompanied it a little more. (How could you go wrong with an old-fashioned brawl between Mickey and a mean old Bull-y?)

Ok, it’s late now and I’m tired of typing and you’re tired of reading so we’ll just call this a Reading/Watching Journal and save the other categories for another day. 

Have a wonderful week friends and family!

3 Replies to “Journal ~ Reading/Watching”

  1. First, your list of currently reading books makes me feel like a heathen. Impressive.
    Second, I will have to check out To the Wonder now. I am intrigued.
    Finally, your review for Frozen is pretty spot on with my thoughts. It would be a great movie if you could just get rid of that song. I don’t understand why that song has become so huge, “an empowering anthem”-because if you pay attention to the movie, the philosophy of “Let It Go”-didn’t really work out that well for Elsa. But people are eating that song up. It’s baffling to me. The movie’s message was good, but everybody seems to be taking away the message from the first 1/3 of the movie, before anything has been resolved. Maybe this is how our parents felt when we loved Hakuna Matata.
    12 year old me: “Yeah, Hakuna Matata-no worries! That’s me! What an awesome song!”
    My mom thinking: “But when he was living by that philosophy, Scar and the hyenas had taken over and everything was DYING. It was only when he started to take responsibility that good was triumphant.”
    Remind me to tell you my “Let it Be” idea.
    Joel recently blogged…Meal Plan: Week of March 24th- 30thMy Profile

    1. You are definitely not a heathen. But if it would make you feel better I could read 50 Shades of Gray…or whatever it is. No. nevermind, I couldn’t do that for you.
      Let us know what you think of To the Wonder whenever you get a chance to watch it.
      Frozen – yes! About the Hakuna Matata comparison! I still sing that song and love it. Although I’ve always applied it to help me be more trusting of God instead of “worrying” about how things might turn out.
      I think sometimes we think too much about kids’ movies with our adult minds and have to remember they don’t catch or notice so much of what we do now as adults and parents. I didn’t “love” Frozen like many others but I like that my kids – especially daughter – got to enjoy it and I didn’t want to take that away or ruin it with my overthinking.
      That said, I did want to know what her perspective as a 10 year old girl of it is so it’s been fun talking together and listening to her perspective.
      So the other day, Fr. Orr had a homily about our fears and how we have to “let go” of our fears before God can come into our hearts and lives. (I HIGHLY doubt he watched Frozen so this is pure coincidence.) As I listened to the homily, I couldn’t help but think of the movie and Elsa’s struggle with her own fears and isolation. Later that day, my daughter brought up his homily and said – “It made me think of Frozen and Elsa’s song and how she needed to let go of her fears but couldn’t.” She also related Anna’s persistent knocking at Elsa’s door to the “Somebody’s knocking at my door” Jesus song – Anna like Jesus trying to come into our hearts but the sinner, like Elsa, constantly afraid to let Him in. And in the end how when she (Elsa) finally does that is when she is truly free of her fears.
      I was so proud of my daughter that she came up with all that on her own!

  2. […] Blogged about this briefly back in March. Another Terrance Malick Masterpiece. I don’t think we would have appreciated this as much (or at all) had we not already become completely enamored by The Tree Of Life. There are so many interesting things about this one. I have to say the character of the priest was my favorite here as I can relate to his struggles between going through the actions of the Faith and truly living and breathing Faith. […]

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