Dear Readers, when you are at the beginning of a long work week, do not accidentally replace your regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee. No good will come of it, and the headaches from the lack of caffeine are not even funny in retrospect.
On the bright side, I bought a new lens for my camera! It’s a Sony FE 85mm F/1.8 (for those of you who care at all), and I am quite excited about it. I plan to use it more thoroughly than I’ve had a chance to do so far (on account of rainy weather). The farmer’s market happening later today is calling my name, both for photo opportunities and the fact that I ran out of the tasty strawberry jam I bought at the last market. Also, there is a faint possibility of early vegetables. Or at the very least, there will be food trucks. And dogs. A lot of cute dogs.
Other happenings this week include work. A lot of work. And a lot of being cranky about work. My co-worker and his wife- whose vacation is inspiring this long workweek- are having a wonderful time, based on their Instagram feeds. I’m happy to see they’re enjoying themselves, and will be even happier when they get home, so I can have a couple of days off.
I read less than I thought I would this week. Part of this was because I was usually so tired by the time I got home, so instead of reading I watched a few things that have been on my Netflix queue for a while.
Iris – This documentary is about the nonagenarian fashion icon, Iris Apfel. Though her color choices hurt my eyes a little, and I fear the weight of her many, many bracelets and gigantic glasses will one day knock this little old lady over, I loved her sense of humor and her approach to fashion- if someone is happy with how they look, then who is she to judge what they’re wearing? I also appreciate that, in the fashion classes she teaches, she is introducing the new generation of designers to people who make cloth and clothes with traditional methods so that these arts have a chance to survive.
Woman in Gold – This quiet little film stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altman, an octagenarian seeking to reclaim the famous Gustav Klimt painting of her beloved aunt, Adele Bloch Bauer, and Ryan Reynolds as Randy Schoenberg, the lawyer who went to the United States Supreme Court and beyond to help Altman reclaim the priceless artworks that had been stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. This is an important film that has largely been overlooked. On the surface, it seems like it would be rather boring– it is, after all, a story about a lawsuit dealing with art restitution. But below that surface is a beautiful story about the perils of forgetting the past, the importance of family, and why we must never give up the cause of justice.
The Phantom of the Opera – This film, a cinematic version of the Broadway musical, was a bit of a beautiful disaster when it premiered in 2004. The side characters were fantastic, Gerard Butler’s Phantom was lovely, and I am in awe of Minnie Driver’s transformation (and ability to deliberately hit a painful note) into the diva Carlotta. After all this time I’m still trying to decide if I like Emmy Rossum’s version of Christine, while Patrick Wilson’s Raoul was a bit lackluster. But the film as a whole is beautifully shot, and those songs are still the ones I’ve been listening to since I was little. And it brings back memories of when I saw the stage production at Her Majesty’s Theater in London.
I did get some reading done, though less than I would have liked, given how many library books I still have on my shelf. I’m fortunate that none of my digital holds showed up this week.
- Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor, audiobook read by Robin Miles
- Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens by Alison Weir
My current reads include:
- The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar
- Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2) by Mark Lawrence
- The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
- Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
I’ve been looking forward to reading Grey Sister since I turned the last page of its predecessor, Red Sister, last year. So far, it’s as beautifully written and compelling as the first book was. I can’t wait to read the rest.
Clockwork Angel is a different story. I wanted to download a book to my phone for those spare minutes here and there, but I didn’t want to get one of the top choices on my Overdrive wishlist, which are pretty deep and quite long. I wanted something light and easy, so I thought I would give Cassandra Clare another chance. I had tried reading City of Bones before and didn’t like it, but I wasn’t sure if it was because Clary irritated me and I loathed Jace, or if I didn’t like Cassandra Clare’s writing in general. Now that I’m 30% of the way through Clockwork Angel and can’t help but give it the MST3K treatment, I think I can safely say that I do not like Cassandra Clare’s writing. It remains to be seen whether I will finish Clockwork Angel or not. Right now, it’s kind of fun to make fun of it.
I’m going to hold off on making any other reading plans for this week, because I’ve only just begun Grey Sister and The Palace of Illusions, and I’m going to be out of town for a day, so not much reading will be going on then.
I took a bunch of pictures during my lovely Sunday afternoon last weekend. I went to a little shop that makes homemade ice cream (I bought a scoop of raspberry rose sherbet), stopped into one of the indie bookstores downtown, got a coffee and a beautiful little chocolate caramel candy, and then went for a walk on the nearby college campus:
I doubt today will be as wonderful since it’s been so gloomy for the past few days, but a girl can hope!