28 June, 2006

So I was thinking as I sat at my desk today that you all might be wondering what I am doing, now that I am a college graduate to keep my mind stimulated…The answer: plenty.

I am taking a class online through Barnes and Noble.com. It’s on the short story and I am really enjoying it. We’re covering types, writing styles, and different aspects. If you are looking for something FREE, doing in your spare time, learn something new then I would say look at B&N…Next time I am doing a book group on “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and a session on Wine.

Beyond that, I just got done reading “Wicked” (and have moved onto “The World is Flat”). “Wicked” was interesting. I’ve read “Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister” which was written by Gregory Maguire as well. “Wicked” is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and her life in Oz. Maguire has a truly unique writing style, you get sucked into this other world and it’s hard to remove yourself from it. It’s not cliché (as many spin-offs of Oz have been) and you get to see characters in a new light. In this book the Witch and Glenda are long time friends, the Witch’s (named Elphaba) sister is a skinny girl with no arms who rules Munchkinland with an iron fist. There is talking Animals that are being oppressed and forced to live as common animals. And below it all is a question about the root of evil and the appearance of good and whether these characters really are alone in their world. The journey Elphaba takes over the course of the pages is incredible and you can’t help but wonder if Maguire wasn’t going for a deeper meaning. It’s easy to see (and I want to see) why they made a musical out of this book. It’s good, a little wordy but good.

At home this weekend I saw “Cool Hand Luke” a movie I have heard a lot about but never actually seen… I liked it, until the ending! Are you kidding me? But then I thought about the symbolism and knew why they had to end it like they did. I was watching it on the History Channel and so every few breaks they would break into an interview with a history dude about the historical accuracy and symbolism in the film. For those who don’t know: “Cool Hand Luke” is about a chain gang in prison in the 1960’s. Luke is the cool, rebellious, unafraid inmate who comes into the prison after getting drunk and taking off the top of parking meters. He spends his time working on the chain gang and becoming the blood of his division. I guess, according to Mr. History Channel, that it is a symbolic film about the rebellion of the 1960’s. It’s hard for me to really comprehend that because when I think of the 1960’s (having not lived through them) I tend to go for the hippy, free love, it’s all about peace man stereotype and find it hard to believe that they would be intelligent enough to come-up with, or appreciate, this kind of symbolism – but that seems a wee bit judgmental… who know. I enjoyed the film overall…

Finally I want to talk about “Unfaithful” (yes I did watch it) especially in terms of the movie “A Perfect Murder.” Both have the same premise – rich wife starts having affair with bohemian artist they meet accidentally. Husband finds out….and the rest you have to watch. “Unfaithful” was a big deal because of the sex scenes between Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez, her lover. This movie was a wee bit more realistic then “Murder” until the last half an hour. Then it became a bad duplicate of “Murder” and I lost all interest. For once can’t someone make a movie about an affair, portray it from an honest stand point about how destructive and self-centered it is, without someone dying? Come on! I will admit the one part I did appreciate is in a conversation where two other women were talking about affairs and the first was saying how much she wanted one, and it could be a secret and wouldn’t hurt anyone – and the second admitted that she had had an affair, it was the biggest mistake she ever made, and it was the one thing she regretted in her life. I appreciated “Unfaithful” because it showed the deception and (hopefully) guilt that eventually gets everyone having an affair. But it seems that the director got two hours end, got his characters to a point and, not knowing what to do with them, decided to use a cliché he had seen once…It doesn’t have the same story line but they’re pretty dang close.

Spiritually: I am reading the most amazing book right now. It’s Richard Foster’s “Devotional Classics” and I LOVE IT!!!! It’s selected readings from the religious people of history covering the 12 Spiritual Disciplines. Amazing! They have them divided up into the 12 disciplines, but I am not following that, I am reading as the mood fits – and it is such a great book!!! It’s hard because I have felt extremely convicted about wasting time and allowing myself to be distracted and consumed by other things. The works and the verses are just speaking to where I am – exactly!!! I only give myself half an hour and usually end up studying for twice that amount of time. I can’t remember the last time quiet time wasn’t just a requirement for my faith. The book – get it! Even if you only read it randomly it’ll do so much!!!

One more thing (if you have made it this far), please pray for me. I need a job and don’t have the energy right now. Things have been really tuff since school got out and I am second guessing every major decision I have made since March. Just pray for an opening, and that I would have the wisdom to see it. And pray for strength because every time I think about what is going on I just want to curl into a ball and cry. (and I have – a lot!)

okay got to go meet a friend for lunch!

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© Amanda Lunday