Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Wrap-Up, Lammy Awards, Bloggiesta

I'm experimenting with a new format for my Monday wrap-ups. I'll give it a go and see how I like it. :-)

This Week: I believe there is a Hebrew proverb that says, "If you want to make G-d laugh, tell Him your plans." This week is Spring Break at Trisha's school and the beginning of spring soccer season for Trisha and James. So we got hit with a few inches of snow.

On the up side, this gives me another week to work out how to get two kids to different Monday soccer practices, in different locations, at roughly the same time.

Wishing For: A time-turner. (The link is on the off chance that some of you aren't a Harry Potter fan. ;-)) Actually I'd rather have a TARDIS, but with all this getting two places at the same time, I'd inevitably cross time streams and rip a hole in the fabric of the universe. I guess it just isn't worth risking the destruction of the universe over kids' soccer.


I'm still reading the second book in the Song of Fire and Ice Trilogy. I'm loving it, but it's hard to find time to finish it.

One of the things I really appreciate about this series is that it retains the qualities that make classics like the Lord of the Rings series so compelling, but it's much darker and more complex with characters who are much more morally ambiguous. There is no clear line between Good and Evil here. We see characters to root for and to loathe -- or a combination of both -- in every faction.

Watching: I've been watching Merlin with The Hubby and two of the kids. It's a bit cheesy and predictable, with acting that is decent but not stellar. And it makes little effort to be true to the spirit of my beloved Arthurian legends. But it's imaginative and fun.

The Hubby, the teens, and I also re-watched Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. It's campy, sick, twisted, and awesome.

In Our Homeschool: The teens and I have been watching District 9 and Invictus and talking about apartheid in South Africa. District 9 led to an interesting discussion with James about why many people have such an irrational loathing of others who are different from themselves.

We got some additional history of South Africa from Story of the World. I felt it was important to look at causal links among different parts of history, including the sad legacy of European colonialism in Africa. I believe understanding these kinds of ideas is much more important than the quantity of historical facts learned.

We also discussed "The Philosophy of Evil." Some of the questions tossed around in our discussions:
  • If left to their own devices, will humans naturally devolve into a State of Nature," in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short?" Would we figure out it's in our best interests to make peace and cooperate? Or would we be motivated simply by what we feel is right?
  • Do humans have an innate sense of empathy and “an innate repugnance in seeing a fellow creature suffer?” Or does the capacity for empathy need to be learned and carefully nurtured?
  • Is it risky to overzealously repress our "dark side?"
  • How do movies and other media contribute to one's moral development? For example, what important lessons about life do we learn from films?
  • Does violent media desensitize us in harmful ways or is it a valuable catharsis for our "dark side?" On that note, I'm going to read them "Why We Crave Horror Movies" by Stephen King. That essay offers one perspective. ;-)
Making: I don't know yet.

Thinking About: Home school graduation and/or college planning for the teens.

Planning: Art Journaling classes for next trimester.

Bloggish News & Updates: Everyone in the movie blogging community probably knows about the Lammy Awards going on at the LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs). There were loads of nominations, and I was glad to see most of my favorite film bloggers on the list. You can see the full list here.

I am excited to see that our blog received nominations for Best Blog and Best New Lamb. We have no chance of winning; this is a new blog with a small readership. I'm totally cool with that -- our readership may be a small group, but what a kick ass group of awesome writers, bloggers, bibliophiles, movie buffs, and other assorted friends! I just wanted to thank the person who nominated us in each of these categories. What they had to say:
They always have great reviews of both movies and books. Plus I find it really sweet when Stephanie talks about her family in relation to the reviews she's writing. I like that personal touch.
I came across this blog on Twitter first, and was pretty psyched they were announced as new LAMBs. They are a great blogger to check out.
I've seen lots of great "For Your Consideration" graphics out there. To all the bloggers who are "campaigning," have fun and good luck! :-)

In book blogosphere news, the bloggiesta was held this weekend.

"The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend these next three days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing."

I missed it, which is a shame because this blog needs a lot of housekeeping.

My list, which I didn't get to (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions ;-)):
  • Write a book review policy
  • Update book and movie review directories
  • Clean up sidebars
  • Firm up an alternative to Google Reader, upon which I rely heavily, as it will be closing soon. I tried Pulse, but I'm not liking it as much as I thought I would.
Have a great week!


  1. Tucker and Dale vs Evil was hilarious. I can't wait until you get to Storm of Swords, that's when even more crazy stuff starts happening.

    1. You know, I keep hearing that about Storm of Swords. I really looking forward to it, and I'm just a bit apprehensive and freaked out.

  2. Oh, and you totally deserve your LAMMY nominations. Your blog is one of my favorites.

    1. Thanks! It's an honor to be counted by you as a favorite. :-)

  3. Hey, anything's possible! Don't write off your chances, you COULD win Best New LAMB.

    1. Well, you never know. Thanks for the comment. :-)

  4. "We have no chance of winning; this is a new blog with a small readership."

    Don't sell yourself short, my friend. You got votes from me!

    1. Thanks! Hearing that from you means a lot -- you know how much I like and respect you as a writer and blogging friend. And I'm not exactly selling myself short, it's just not a big deal to me. I just love being nominated and getting appreciative personal comments, if you know what I mean. ;-)

    2. Yeah I certainly do. We have the same mentality about it. I'm still baffled that people even read my stuff, let alome comment on it, LET ALONE offer nice things to say about it. It's insane.

    3. Ha ha! I know exactly what you mean. Well, humility is a virtue, right? ;-)

  5. You know, I actually really dig thus little blogging community we have...small readership be damned!

    Good luck!

    1. Agreed! I've always liked being part of a small party. :-) And I'm not really interested in winning stuff, I just like being nominated.

  6. That time turner could come in handy for so many things...sigh. If you ever find one I'd love to borrow it ;)

    1. I'll add you to the waiting list. ;-)

  7. owning a TARDIS would be awesome! talking about the TARDIS, I am now watching Doctor Who series 6...which I think is better than series far.

    I never join blogiesta because I just don't have the time.

    Thank you for the Stephen King's pdf file :) I am going to read it between my current reads

    1. I hope you enjoy the King essay, Novia. I really like it. "As long as you keep the gators fed."

  8. Good luck with the lammies, I hope you will be nominated for best new lamb!

    I'm making my way through Storm of Swords again, I should finish by Sunday but I must say the series passion for showing naked women is a bit justified since Martin can't write the scene between two members of opposite sex in romantic activities without writing in great detail about woman's body, usually using less than sophisticated words. That is my only complaint about the series :)

    All I know about Merlin is that dark haired chick - people on tumblr would want her to play Lyanna Stark, if the prequel to GoT is ever made.

    1. That must be Katie McGrath who plays their version of Morgan la Fay. She is very beautiful and looks right for Lyanna's part.

      Sometimes I think writers create these sex scenes for their own amusement and gratification. There's nothing wrong with that, but if it were me, I'd edit most of that stuff out before publication. Or not. Who knows?

  9. Don't know if you're happy with it or not, but I like your new format.

    Good luck at the LAMMYs! I'll be throwing my vote your way. :)


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