Friday, August 21, 2009

Seven Quick Takes


Well, I finished Jane Eyre. What a fantastic book. It is hard to imagine one better. I honestly cannot say yet as it is too soon after having finished it, but it may be my new all-time favorite. It is hard for me to imagine a book surpassing my Pride and Prejudice, but I don't think any other book has had the effect on me this one has. In fact, I wanted to start Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights next but I haven't been able to bring myself to begin it yet. My mind and heart are still lost in the world of Jane Eyre. I love the heroine in her persistent desire and effort to do what she believes to be right. I love the romance and the banter between the heroine and the man she loves. I love the strong theme of redemption in the book. I love this book. I am so pathetic that I have been having a hard time picking up any other book without being frustrated and disappointed that it is no longer Jane Eyre. So, after a few days not reading anything, I have surrendered. I'm rereading Jane Eyre and maybe, with the joy of that book always at hand, I will be able to read my other books, including Wuthering Heights at the same time.


For the first time I saw Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. It definitely has it's laughs. I loved Gene Hackman's cameo as the blindman but I think Igor (pronounced EYE-GORE) was the funniest for me. I did see some noticeable similarities to other Mel Brooks' films. In The Producers, the sexy blond assistant is Ulla; in Young Frankenstein the sexy blond assistant is Inga. In Young Frankenstein, Igor's hump keeps switching from his left shoulder to his right and back again; In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Prince John's mole keeps moving to different places on his face. Personally, I don't think it is his best. It was funny and worth a viewing, but I do like his Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It better.


I also saw Dark Victory in which Bette Davis plays a Long Island socialite forced to confront her own mortality. Bette Davis was fantastic in this tearjerker. The weakest part of the film for me was George Brent who played her physician. I just thought he was stiff and bland. But Davis acts wonderfully and the reality of our own mortality is tangible in this reflection on how we spend our time and what we would want to do if we knew our final hour were approaching.


The Sear repairman was scheduled to come yesterday between 8am and 12 noon. This was our third scheduled visit after the first repairman misdiagnosed the problem and ordered the wrong parts. We had a bad feeling though when, on Wednesday, we received a phone call telling us he might be there after 12. So basically, he became scheduled to come between 8am and the end of time. Around 11:30 he called to let us know he had one customer ahead of us but he would be installing a compressor for them and it would take about two hours so he would not be at our place before 2pm. At 3:30 I called him and he said he was finishing up where he was and would soon be en route to our place. At 5pm he still wasn't here so I called again and he said he was on his way. He arrived around 5:30pm. Nice guy but who does their scheduling? If you are going to schedule in a 2 hour repair, there should be time allotted. What is the point of this timing schedule when they so clearly do not abide by it? We actually had plans to run out on Thursday afternoon - those went out the window, but at least our ice dispenser seems to be working even though much louder than before.


Last night we finished watching Padre Pio: Miracle Man, an Italian 3 1/2 hour production on the life of the renown saint who bore the stigmata of Christ for 50 years, could read hearts and knew a person's sins better than the person, and suffered physical attacks by the devil. The acting is good and the actor who plays Padre Pio does look much like him. I also appreciated the range of his life the film covered from his youth to his death, from his supernatural gifts and difficulties to his natural human ones.  One thing that greatly annoyed me was this plot device of a bishop whose disbelief causes him to harass the saint until just before his death in the most hateful tone and it is to this bishop that the saint flashbacks his life story. I don't know to what extent the bishop is based on anyone but it is an overused plot device and quite unnecessary. It was definitely worth the viewing though.


Our garden has been thriving. Despite only getting so much sun and living in pots, we have a ton of jalapenos. We even asked James' mother how best to store them because there is no way we will be able to use them all before they go bad. She said to remove the stems, boil the peppers for a minute or so, move them to ice cold water to stop the cooking process, and then freeze them.


Cecilia has been asking to go see Ponyo again. Since we don't know how long it will be in theaters, we are going to try to take the girls to see it again tomorrow morning or early afternoon. If it is playing near you, I hope you get to enjoy it with your little ones or not so little ones!

Visit more Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary.


  1. I love "Jane Eyre." "Pride and Prejudice" is still my all-time favorite, though. I tried reading "Wuthering Heights" but just couldn't get into the writing style. I really enjoyed the BBC version on Masterpiece Classic last winter, however. Perhaps you can get it on video.

    My 12 year old son is a big Hayo Miazaki fan. But he doesn't want to see the Disney version of "Ponyo" because he doesn't like that they've picked the Jonas brothers to do voices or something like that. He wants a copy of the Japanese version on dvd and will just watch it with the subtitles. It's funny, because all of the previous ones ("Howl's Moving Castle," "Spirited Away," "Totoro") he had no problem with them being Disney versions. Go figure. I think the animation on his films is just gorgeous, and the stories are beautiful, as well.

    Great quick takes!

  2. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books as well. If you get a chance, check out the 1983 BBC miniseries with Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke -- it's an excellent adaptation. (It's available for instant view on Netflix.)

  3. I'm slowly watching it, episode by episodes. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'll have to watch the BBC version.

    I'm interested in seeing some of the Japanese versions of Miazaki's film but my children are too young to comprehend a film that is not in English so we haven't ventured there yet. Some day though. I agree with you about his animation - absolutely beautiful.