My Strange Reaction to “The Book Thief” (Spoiler Alerts, People)

December 12, 2013 § 11 Comments

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Photo courtesy of IMDb

I went to see “The Book Thief” with a friend a few weeks ago. I knew nothing about it except it was set in Nazi Germany and involved a girl joining a new family.

My friend and I discussed how we really do enjoy seeing a movie knowing little about the plot, as we like to see it unfold before us with no preconceived notions, and our reactions are genuine – usually finding delight in letting the storyteller take us to places we don’t anticipate. It’s a little like having a trusted friend lead you around when you’re wearing a blind-fold.

As the movie progressed, I felt as I expected – loving the good story, wanting to know what happened next, in awe of the amazing acting of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson – not to mention those marvelous child actors, Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch. I was lost in John Williams’ magnificent musical score, and impressed with the director’s ability to convey horror without gore. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Not Smarter Than a Fourth-Grader

December 11, 2013 § 17 Comments

This morning on the way to school, my fourth-grader and I had the following conversation.

Him:  Did you know sloths move so slowly that sometimes they mistake their arm for a branch, reach for it, and then fall to their deaths?

Me:  Sloths have arms?

Him:  Yeah!  Of course they do.

Me:  Sloths don’t have arms.

Him:  (disbelievingly) Yes, Mom!  They have REALLY LONG ARMS!

Me:  No, they don’t.

Him:  Yes, they do!

Me:  They do not.

Him:  (patiently) Mom.  I’m talking about SLOTHS.  S-L-O-T-H-S.

Me:  I know what you’re talking about.  Sloths.  Sloths don’t have arms.  Do they?

Him:  (exasperated) YES!  Sloths have arms!!!  S-L-O-T-H-S!

Me:  Stop SPELLING it.  I KNOW what you’re talking about!  Sloths have arms?  I never knew that!

Him:  (disbelievingly) HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT???

Me:  I really think they don’t.  I’ll have to look it up when I get home.  That’s really interesting.

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You see, that entire time HE was talking about sloths, he saw this animal in his mind.

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The entire time I was talking about sloths, and insisting he didn’t need to SPELL it out for me, I was seeing this animal in my mind.

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In my defense, they are both very slow-moving animals.

 

Happy ANYTHING, Okay?

December 2, 2013 § 31 Comments

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I’m a little late with this post, as it’s already the sixth night of Chanukkah. You may have heard (if you don’t live under a rock) that it coincided with Thanksgiving this year, and travel, and blah, blah, blah – so apologies for tardiness. However, it is NOT too late to discuss the nuttiness that surrounds these winter holidays.  In particular, I’d love to address addressing. Not as in envelopes, but as in in greeting people.  Specifically, in greeting ME.

There always seems to be a well-meaning discussion about how to greet others.  Do we wish them happiness in the holiday THEY celebrate?  Or do we wish them well in the holiday WE celebrate?  What do we say if we’re not sure?  How do we avoid offending? « Read the rest of this entry »

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