Monday, February 25, 2008

Walking, Affirmations

I've started a new project, ahead of my coming trip to Scotland with Dad and my sister Kimberly. Bob is my inspiration - he's been walking over 10,000 steps per day for over a month. I got a little pedometer like his, and have been walking now for almost two weeks. I reached 10K steps on the fourth day, and decided that I wanted to do 10,000 aerobic steps per day, 7 days per week, until March 31st, the day before we depart. I reached 10K aerobic steps this last week, and have maintained it daily now for four days. So I'll have about 5 weeks of that before we leave. I'm hoping that it will improve my overall health and stamina, perhaps lose a bit of weight, and definitely tighten up a bit. Blogging about the walks daily at

Yesterday, I paged through a book that Pig recommended, called Real Fitness for Real Women: A Unique Workout Program for the Plus-Size Woman, by Rochelle Rice. Her first step to fitness is crafting and using affirmations, as the way to develop your will, determination, courage to follow through. As I walked, I crafted my affirmation today, and noticed that as I said it to myself, my stride changed. I walked taller, more confidently, more powerfully. I want that all the time!

I am a powerful, healthy, beautiful woman. Remember.

I'm sure I'll change this as I go along -- it isn't quite what I was saying today, but I can't recall the original wording now. Do any of my readers have affirmations you use? Do you mind sharing?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Neil Young, Heart of Gold

Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006) is more than just a concert film. It is a biography of Young in concert, by masterful film-maker Jonathan Demme. With the DVD extras, you see this concert from the idea and song-writing to the actual performance. The concert itself is dreamlike and perfect. Neil Young is a genius who has enriched my life since I first heard his voice.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Terry Pratchett works

Terry Pratchett deserves his own post, so I'm excising stuff from previous posts.

(from a 2005 post)
Thanks to Thomas I have fallen in love with Terry Pratchett, and recently finished Monstrous Regiment (2003). Hilarious, as usual! A send-up of war, and gender politics, quite needed in these dark days as we close in on the elections. [hmmmm -- how much has changed?]

According to Terry Prachett, he has written 26 Discworld novels. I've read Hogfather, The Fifth Elephant, and Wyrd Sisters. So 22 more -- I'd better get on it! Hmmmmm - Heart O has 29:
1) The Color of Magic
2) The Light Fantastic
3) Equal Rites
4) Mort
5) Sourcery
6) Wyrd Sisters *
7) Pyramids
8) Guards! Guards!
9) Eric
10) Moving Pictures
11) Reaper Man
12) Witches Abroad
13) Small Gods
14) Lords and Ladies
15) Men at Arms
16 Soul Music
17) Interesting Times
18) Maskerade
19) Feet of Clay
20) Hogfather *
21) Jingo
22) The Last Continent
23) Carpe Jugulum
24) The Fifth Elephant *
25) The Truth
26) Thief of Time
27) Night Watch
28) Monstrous Regiment *
29) Going Postal *

Just finished my first non-Diskworld Pratchett, The Wee Free Men (2003), which I absolutely LOVED. And am about to embark on the second book about Tiffany Aching and her buddies the Wee Free Men (aka the Nac Mac Feegle, or "pictsies"), A Hat Full of Sky. Looking forward to the pleasure. I've been snacking on too many books, and not reading enough of them whole.

Finally got Going Postal by Terry Prachett (2004) from the library. What a hoot! This is a wonderful riff on modern communications and the nature of freedom, integrity and .... HOPE. Three cheers for Moist Van Lipwig, arch-swindler!

Good Omens is reviewed with the Neil Gaiman works:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How much is the Iraq war costing us?

Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis)

Marcel Carnes's Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) (1945) is a miracle of film-making, created under the most extreme circumstances of Nazi occupation and political and economic stresses, but appearing a light and perfect as a wedding cake. Every element of the film combines to create an artistic whole, although Carne had to create two films because of Nazi edict. I've put the Criterion DVD set on my wish list, and can hardly wait to see all the wonderful extras and the brilliant clean copy they are able to offer. This film has been lauded as the best of French film, as well as the best film of all time. I'm not qualified to make such a judgement, but many scenes are unforgettable, and it is completely engrossing. I intended to watch only the first half last night, but couldn't resist the second reel!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Joss Whedon, genius

Writer, director, producer and composer weren't enough for Joss. When his Buffy The Vampire Slayer went off the air in 2003, he wasn't done with the saga. So he decided to write a comic book series, or as they are now known, graphic novels! I've read the first collection, issued as Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight Volume I, and Fray, which I checked out in one book which collects issues one through eight of the Dark Horse comic-book miniseries.

Previously reviewed: Buffy, Angel (have only watched part of the series), Serenity:, and Firefly:

Under the Cherry Moon - Prince

Under the Cherry Moon (1986) was good, and I'm not a Prince fan. I enjoyed the acting, the dancing, the humor, the music, the black and white look of Nice on the French Riviera. Prince directed and stars, and of course wrote and performs all the music. His female lead is a very young Kristin Scott Thomas, in her first film role. Altogether a fun experience. Available at KCLS.

Zachariah - what a trip!

Zachariah (1971) was a completely unexpected pleasure. I couldn't figure out who the strangely familiar CUTE guy was, until I read the DVD box -- Don Johnson! In a film with Country Joe and the Fish! Actually, I couldn't stop shaking my head throughout the entire film, which looked just as fun as all get-out to make, on the lowest budget possible. Well, they did spend some money on great costuming, and the sets were cardboard or sticks and grass, LOL! Still, it all fit together, and although our young men obviously love one another truly, the road to happiness is rocky. There is a wonderful, exhaustive review of this film here:
IMDb: Available from KCLS.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Neil Gaiman works

Stardust (1999) is the latest Neil Gaiman book I've finished. Quite different than the movie of the same name, it is a delightful short novel. Coming of age by going to Fairie, and then never being able to go home again -- it's hardly a new plot. But Gaiman creates a hero who grows and changes, who has a history, who learns to love, and to change. As does the Star, who learns to live upon the Earth, to make a life here, to heal and forgive and love. Some of the minor characters grow and change too. I'm loving this Gaiman fellow!

Previously read and reviewed: Neverwhere, American Gods, the films MirrorMask and Stardust. Now reading Creatures of the Night (with Michael Zulli, artist: Dark Horse Books, undated), a graphic fantasy short collection. I liked the two short stories, and the artwork was OK. One can read the entire book in much less than an hour.

I'll review Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) here, although Terry Pratchett is listed as the first of the two authors, but he does say that Gaiman sent him the first six pages, LOL! They both say that they wrote the book as a lark, and were pleased and surprised as Punch when it was not only published, but became a Cult Classic. Very funny, and a wonderful blend of the two authors. I'm quite pleased that they were able to double-handedly avert Armageddon, which sounds very unpleasant!

Next up: Sandman, the graphic novel.

Charlie Chaplin's City Lights

City Lights (1931) is a nearly perfect film. Chaplin didn't want to make a "talky," even though that's what the public clamored for. The only "talking" is in the opening (hilarious) sequence, when some city blowhards voices are quacked through a reed -- by Chaplin himself. In fact, he composed the film score, also, so it is not a "silent" film. While this film is so funny that occasionally I could only wheeze, it also is thoughtful, and the final scene has to be seen to be believed, it is so perfect. It fills my heart with joy and sadness at the same time, and may be the best ending of any film ever made. Charles Chaplin poured his heart, his talent, his money, and his time into this film, and I think it will stand forever as one of the finest.