Tag Archives: Anna Karenina

What’s Making Me Happy (First of April 2013!)

1st April 2013, Easter Monday, April Fool's Da...
1st April 2013, Easter Monday, April Fool’s Day P1710412 (Photo credit: tomylees)

Happy April!  Happy April Fool’s Day!

 

 

 

I’ve always loved the 1st of a new month and I feel great affinity with April 1st, as it’s my half birthday!
(Really, who celebrates such a thing? I guess I do! )  
April is kind of the yin to my yang or something.  

 

 

April is also National Poetry Month and Autism Awareness Month, among other wacky holidays (National Welding Month? International Guitar Month?). I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate, so websites like Holiday Insights  are great places to find inspiration.  (e.g. 3rd Thursday in April (4/18) = National High Five Day, April 23 = Take a Chance Day, April 30 = Hairstyle Appreciation Day.)

 

 

It’s been a great start to April, so I’ll start the month with a list of what’s been making me happy lately!

 

 

Movies States
The United States of Movies
  • This is a fun new poster I have added to my walls.  I haven’t seen all the films (haven’t even heard of some of them!  SLC Punks?  Who knew?) but maybe that will be a goal sometime!  If not, it’s fun to look at and think about and a conversation piece.  
vodka stroganoff beets vodka
Anna Karenina celebratory meal
  • Had a few Walkie Talkies over for dinner and a movie!  The movie was the new Anna Karenina and before the movie we had vodka, beef stroganoff, yummy bread and brie, and pickled beets.  After the meal we had vodka and white Russian cupcakes.  The movie was engrossing and fast-moving and fun to watch!  Very cleverly done!  I can’t wait to watch it again!  
Keep Calm Chivery
Keep Calm and…
  • I saw this as I was browsing in B&N and thought it was pretty hilarious!  Love the Keep Calm stuff.  Love this even more.  
Pedis with the girls pedicure pampering spa
Pedis with the girls
  • Any day off is a good day off.  A day off spent with friends and family is the best day off ever!  Lots of times other people have to work on my days off (and vice versa) so I’m happy that it’s spring break this week!  
  • Today I also went to Macy’s because I won a door prize that I signed up for last week!  So I have two full-sized bottles of some perfumes I’ve never heard of before!  Good times!
  • And also today my mom decided we would celebrate opening day of baseball season with hotdogs, potato salad and ice cream while watching the Twins on TV!  Good stuff.  Mom loves a theme, too!
Easter Chicks
Easter Chicks (Photo credit: Flying Pig Party Productions)
  • I worked on Easter weekend but enjoyed the time spent with my fellow “Easter chicks,” as we dubbed ourselves.  We had some cookies, which looked like these above, and lots of jelly beans.
  • I am over HALF WAY DONE with Gone with the Wind!  Yay me!  I am more than 500 pages into this book of about 960 pages.  Ah.  Still enjoying it and can’t wait to have another dinner and a movie night!
  • I’m looking forward to book club tomorrow night – gonna make Mississippi Mud cake to celebrate!  Also bringing little Cokes in glass bottles and someone else is bringing the rum (relevant to the book!).  Always a good time.
  • I’m looking forward to a WEEKEND OFF!  Friday, Saturday AND Sunday!  Woot!  No big plans and a 4 hour meeting for work on Saturday, but excited, nonethless!
  • I’m looking forward to making my list of 44 Things:Q3!  I haven’t started yet, but will work on it this week.

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is my favorite poem about April.  I’ve shared it on my blog in another April post (2011, I believe).  I memorized it in high school and it still comes to mind when I think of springtime and April.  I would LOVE to know your favorite poems!  Send them my way!  

 

 

APRIL by Marcia Masters
It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s daisy.
It’s a roller-skating, scissor-grinding day;
It’s gingham-waisted, chocolate flavored, lazy,
With the children flower-scattered at their play.

 

It’s the sun like watermelon,
And the sidewalks overlaid
With a glaze of yellow yellow
Like a jar of marmalade.

 

It’s the mower gently mowing,
And the stars like startled glass,
While the mower keeps on going
Through a waterfall of grass.

 

Then the rich magenta evening
Like a sauce upon the walk,
And the porches softly swinging
With a hammockful of talk.

 

It’s the hobo at the corner
With his lilac-sniffing gait,
And the shy departing thunder
Of the fast departing skate.

 

It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s April!
A water sprinkler, puddle winking time,
When a boy who peddles slowly, with a smile remote and holy,
Sells you April chocolate flavored for a dime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Snapshot 3/24/13

A weird work schedule (really? it’s always weird!) has me feeling very Saturday-ish today, so I have to get in the Sunday mode!  Especially since I have to work early Monday morning!  Then a few days off before I work my very first holiday – Easter weekend.  I hope to make it to the interfaith service at the beautiful Chapel at St. Mary’s, at least for part of it.  Sunday morning can’t be that busy in the Emergency Department, right?

Anyway, not much to fill you in on except that I watched the movie The Sessions last night – and it was just so good!

The Sessions
The Sessions (Photo credit: Librari Kameleon)

It’s based on a true story about a man who is a journalist and a poet and lives most of his day in an iron lung.  He interviews people with disabilities about their sex lives and then wishes to lose his virginity.  It’s a nice story about this humorous and intelligent man, his relationship with his priest, his caregivers and the sex surrogate he hires after seeing a sex therapist.    It’s about love and life and poetry.  Good stuff!

Here’s a link to the article written by Mark O’Brien after his sex surrogate experience.  I haven’t read it all, but will!

Next in my DVD player is The Intouchables – a story about a person who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident.   He’s very wealthy and hires a man from the projects to be his caregiver, and boy do they have fun!  Living life to the fullest.  Good stuff!

Triple these movies with the book I just finished for book club – We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg – and there’s a theme!  I love Elizabeth Berg books and this was no exception.  This book is about a woman who contracts polio late in her pregnancy and delivers a healthy baby while in an iron lung.  She remains paralyzed with full feeling in her body (like Mark O’Brien in The Sessions) and raises her daughter to be a strong independent woman.  It’s a fictional account of an actual person’s life (ala The Sessions, as well!).  Good stuff!

Good stuff that is coming up:

Hard boiled traditional Russian Easter eggs
Hard boiled traditional Russian Easter eggs (Photo credit: Steve White2008)
  • Planning an Anna Karenina viewing party with a few people (most of my fellow-walkietalkie peeps!) who love classical literature and may have started the book or intend to read the book sometime!  I’m the only one to have finished it.  🙂  We’re having beef stroganoff, pickled beets, white Russian cupcakes, and vodka (of course!)!  Love a good theme and in this early spring, Russian literature is a good one!
  • Some fun Aunt-related activities coming up this week, including a Seder dinner and a RockTown tour! And it’s a niece’s birthday today so my gift is a shopping trip, hopefully this week!
  • It will be weird to work on Easter weekend, but I try to remember that no one wants to be hospitalized on Easter, either, so I will do my best to be a blessing to those I see!
  • Book club on April 2 for We Are All Welcome Here – with a 60s feel!  Pizza burgers, potato chips, a classic dessert, Coke in bottles… good stuff!
  • Marissa got accepted into graduate school, so we will be exploring housing options in the Cities soon!  That is something fun to look forward to!
  • And I’ve gotta work on my list for 44 Things: Q3 as it is right around the corner!

But first, today I’m getting together with friend Beth to celebrate her birthday, which was on the first day of Spring!  Yay for friend time!

How about you?  What does your Sunday look like?  What are you looking forward to?

Happy Sunday, all!

What I’ve been Up to!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (left) and Amy Poehler...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been nearly a week since I last posted!  Wow.  I’ve looked at the “new post” page over the week and haven’t had too much to say.  I had an enjoyable four days and three nights babysitting in St. Paul and had some good quality reading time while there.  I finished a few books so I’ll catch you up on what I’ve read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to this on audio (a MUST if you’re going to read the book) and I even took time to look at the PDF and watch the SNL clip included on the last CD.  Tina Fey is a brilliant comedian that is fun to listen to and reminisce with.  I enjoyed her perspective on women in comedy, specifically women on SNL (and Second City).  She not only talks about the changes that she saw during her reign at both institutions, but also tells really funny stories about her life.  I drove around smiling the entire time I listened and even laughed out loud a few times.

A great listen!

I first read Faith Sullivan’s “Cape Ann” book ages ago and when I came across this one in the library I quickly picked it up.  It was a sweet and easy read about three women – Bess (18), her aunt Harriet (40 something) and great-aunt Kate (59).  They live together in a small Minnesotan community and the story takes place in 1952.  The story is told from all three women’s perspectives and conveys a lot of emotion in few pages.

A sweet story.

I’m still plugging through with the Anna Karenina readalong and last week even finished my pages on time and was the first one to post on the blog!  I’m not sure that will happen by morning, but you never know!  The segments we read each week average around 80 pages and are very do-able.  I found last week’s segment very thought-provoking and it has led to several conversations throughout the week.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up the book I had on hold

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

and then grabbed an audiobook The UncouplingThe Uncoupling.

I refused to be lured into the stacks to find more books to add to my ever-growing TBR pile by my bed.  I have several books that I want to read, either my own or on loan from friends, and I have to make some headway in Anna Karenina, read my November O Magazine, and read “The Book Thief” for book club in a few weeks.  I was successful in leaving the library without books, but I did grab three DVDs!  Ah, the library lure.  Good stuff.

Well, off to read!

 

Sense of Connection: Readalongs

WalkingAs you know, I’m participating in the Anna Karenina readalong, hosted by Wallace.  It’s fun to read at the same pace as a group of people and to have discussions along the way.  Especially with the size of this book!

The Walkie Talkie Book Club was founded on readalongs, really.  My friend, Beth, and I used to walk daily (almost) and then we started reading the same book and discussing it on our daily walks.  It just adds something to discuss something happening in the moment, rather than at book club every five weeks.

It’s a nice way to connect – with a good book and with good friends and with good readers.

Off to read!

Anna Karenina Readalong

Main characters and relations in Anna Karenina...
Image via Wikipedia

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” —C.S. LEWIS

Wallace at Unputdownables is hosting a readalong of “Anna Karenina.”  I was one of the first to tell her I was in and she had a copy of the book that she sent to me, so I have a BIG, beautiful copy of the book!  I was a little behind, as I didn’t start reading it until Wednesday night, but it was easy to catch up and I finished our assigned reading for the week last night.  Handling it in chunks is going to be nice.  Discussing it with others is going to be even nicer!

Because I just finished my book club book (“Loving Frank“) and just had book club discussion about it last night, it was still fresh in my mind when I was reading Anna Karenina.  So my first thoughts of the book are in relation to that book and the book discussion.

How are they related, you ask?  Mamah, the ‘mistress’ in Loving Frank was a language scholar and worked as a translator.  So when I began reading AK, I thought a lot about the translators and the roles that they play in the storytelling.  I thought the description that Mamah gave to Frank about how a good translator takes not only the words but the thoughts and feelings behind the words to find the best translation was very interesting, and something that I hadn’t really thought of before this time.  Frank and Mamah worked on poetry and prose together and attempted to put out beautiful translations.

Another topic that came up in discussion last night was whether or not affairs were more or less commonplace in the past than they are today.  There were mixed feelings about it, because the stigma of divorce and societal exclusion in the past may have made illicit affairs more common.  People had to go very underground if they were pulled by a new attraction.  People married for different reasons in the past (at least in these books!), not necessarily for love, so if they felt attraction and understanding outside of their marriage it may have been not as difficult to ignore.

I’m not sure of those ramblings made much sense, but it framed the thoughts that I had while reading this first section of AK.  I thought it was interesting that it was out there for all (in the family) to know when Stiva had an affair.  No secrets kept between husband and wife alone.  Makes you wonder about their relationship in particular and marriages in general in this time, in this country, in this nobility.

Well, those are some general (not specific to Wallace’s questions today!) thoughts about week one of AK!  Yay!

Off to read!

40 Things (35)

Title page of first edition of Anna Karenina
Image via Wikipedia

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, day 35 –

35) The longest book I have ever read

Once again, I am so thankful for Goodreads.  It was easy to look up the number of pages in several books that I have read.  If I had to guess without looking, I would guess that even the abridged version of “War and Peace” that I read in1994 was probably one of the longest books I’ve ever read.  The full version of the translated book clocks in at almost 1400 pages.  Yikes.  Looking at some of the big books that I’ve read, I noticed that I have listened to some of my lengthier books on audio – “Fountainhead,” “Jane Eyre,” and the Harry Potter books rank up there (The Half Blood Prince is 652 pages).  I guess the number of discs included and hours required doesn’t intimidate!  A few summers ago I read “East of Eden,” (600 pages) and loved it.

And today’s the perfect day to announce that I am participating in an “Anna Karenina” readalong with Wallace at Unputdownables, which starts this weekend, I believe!  Wallace is mailing me the Penguin classic version, which clocks in at 817 pages, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress – or sign up yourself, if you’re up to the challenge!  I’m excited to read this, especially with others, because a movie will be released in 2012 starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law.  There are many versions of the movie out there, so it will be fun to watch some of them after I’ve finished the readalong.  Love me some books and movies!

#35 on my list of things to do: Sing a solo in a concert.  In the fall of 2006 (after my daughter went to college!) a small group of us organized an adult choir to sing showtunes and other fun music.  We are still together, meeting weekly and doing little “gigs” in lots of different places in SE Minnesota.  I used to sing solos a lot as a child/teen and I was the mother in “Cheaper By the Dozen” musical, so it isn’t too far of a reach to sing a solo at a concert, but it had been years since I had, and the nerves were still there.  🙂 At our spring concert in 2007 I sang a song called “Crossword Puzzle” from a little known musical and it was great fun.  In 2009 I sang another solo called “The Hostess with the Mostes’,” also a lot of fun.  I love to sing and may even look for another choir to join in addition to “my” current choir!

Off to read!