zondag 30 september 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 Update - September 2012

Only four books this month, but I didn't feel like reading towards the end of the month. That feeling is gone already, because I'msuper excited for October. But first, what did I read in september.

# 39. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - 4,5/ 5
# 40. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - 5/ 5
# 41. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - 4,5/ 5
# 42. Animal Farm by George Orwell - 5/ 5

Average: 4,8

Favorite of the Month: Jane Eyre

Now the theme for october:

Off course october is the month where we have Halloween, so Stephen King is the perfect author for scary stories. But I'm not only going to read his horror novels. My brother has a huge collection of Stephen King books, so plenty to choose from.

Movie Trailer Sunday (54)

This weeks trailers are about a mysterious uncle, parasites, a place called Silent Hill, identity theft and Jackie Robinson

Description: After India's (Mia Wasikowska) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Director: Park Chan-wook
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney
Trailer: Trailer "Stoker"

The Bay
Description: The quaint seaside town of Chesapeake Bay thrives on water; it is the lifeblood of the community. When two biological researchers from France find a staggering level of toxicity in the water, they attempt to alert the mayor, but he refuses to create a panic in the docile town. As a result, a deadly plague is unleashed, turning the people of Chesapeake Bay into hosts for a mutant breed of parasites that take control of their minds, and eventually their bodies
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Will Rogers, Christopher Denham
Trailer: Trailer "The Bay"

Silent Hill 3D
Description: Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.
Director: Michael J. Bassett
Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Deborah Kara Unger, Carrie-Ann Moss, Malcolm McDowell
Trailer: Trailer "Silent Hill 3D"

Identity Thief
Description: Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (Melissa McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There's only one glitch: The ID she's using to finance these sprees reads "Sandy Bigelow Patterson"... and it belongs to an accounts rep (Jason Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Robert Patrick, Eric Stonestreet
Trailer: Trailer "Identity Thief"
Comment: It actually looks really bad, but... whatever.

Description: The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Harisson Ford).
Director: Brian Helgeland
Starring: Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Brad Beyer, Toby Huss, T.R. Knight
Trailer: Trailer "42"
Comment: The best trailer I saw this week.

zaterdag 29 september 2012

In My Mailbox (64)

Five cards again this week. The first one came from Kiev, Ukraine. A lovely cornfield. The sender is also a big fan of "Pride & Prejudice", both the novel and the movie (the one with Keira).

Sent: september 3rd 2012
Received: september 25th 2012
Distance: 1,722 km (1,070 miles)
Travel time: 22 days

From Lausanne, Switzerland I got this big clocktower. Really beautiful.

Sent: september 15th 2012
Received: september 25th 2012
Distance: 518 km (322 miles)
Travel time: 10 days

My favorite of the week also came from Switzerland, this time Schaffhausen. I love this balloon card. The sender wrote that he visited New York and he went to Bubba Gump Shrimp, from the movie "Forrest Gump". How awesome is that?

Sent: september 20th 2012
Received: september 25th 2012
Distance: 434 km (270 miles)
Travel time: 5 days

The smallest postcard ever came from Ternopil, Ukraine. This cute bunny card.

Sent: september 19th 2012
Received: september 28th 2012
Distance: 1,401 km (871 miles)
Travel time: 9 days

The last card came from Changhua City, Taiwan. It's a bird!!!

Sent: september 16th 2012
Received: september 29th 2012
Distance: 9,508 km (5,908 miles)
Travel time: 13 days

Thanks Kate, Lisa, Ben, Natalia and Li Ling Lo for the great cards!!

In the Picture: The Characters from "Alice in Wonderland"

Tim Burton alway sknow show to create a wonderful world in all of his movies. He did it again with the classic story of "Alice in Wonderland". I like to put the spotlight on the characters in the film.

Alice Kingsleigh
Played by: Mia Wasikowska
Alice is not who other people expect her to be. She clearly has her own will and doesn't want to marry well. Alice is stubborn, brave and non-girlie.

Mad Hatter
Played by: Johnny Depp
Although the Mad Hatter looks and acts very strange, I think he is just misunderstood. He has all the best intentions and has a vision of the world no one else can picture. Mad Hatter is very creative and loyal.

Iracebeth of Crims aka the Red Queen
Played by: Helena Bonham Carter
The Red Queen is the ruler and everything should go as she pleases. She is easily irritated and quick to anger. She rather wants people to fear her than people to like her.

Mirana of Marmoreal aka the White Queen
Played by: Anne Hathaway
Mirana is Iracebeth's sister and the complete opposite. She also likes the dark side, but is affraid to go in to deep. The White Queen is good hearted and has a better future in mind for her land.

Favorite Character: Iracebeth of Crims aka the Red Queen

vrijdag 28 september 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 42: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Story: No writer has ever been more naked in his contempt for power, or more ruthless in his critique of those who abuse it, than the Englishman born Eric Blair, better known to the world as George Orwell. In Animal Farm he restages the hypocrisies of the Russian Revolution with the principal figures played by, of all things, farm animals. By presenting atrocities in the terms of a fairy tale, he makes them fresh, restoring to readers numbed by the 20th century’s parade of disasters a sense of shock and outrage. Paradoxically, by turning Trotsky and Lenin and their followers into pigs and horses and chickens, he reveals them as all too human.
Start: september 24th 2012
End: september 28th 2012
Comment: I always thought that this book would be too hard for me to read. I have to say, the size didn't scare me, but it is indeed not the easiest book to read. "Animal Farm" is a political satire, not something I would normally read. I'm interested in politics, but sometimes I just don't understand it. I now understand why this book is one of the most powerful books ever. It is a heart breaking allegory about the failure of organised idealogy. The way Orwell wrote this book is just amazing, strong and convincing. Like "The Wind in the Willows", the animals lead the story and they almost feel human because you can identify with them. Snowball is probably the most important character in the book. He is full of good intent, he wants to start classes for the other animals to elevate their understanding of the world. "Animal Farm" is certainly not for just anyone, but definitely a book that got me thinking. And I had something to talk about with my very intellectual brother, haha.
Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 27 september 2012

Top 5 Thursday: "Family Guy" Characters

“Family Guy” is without a doubt the funniest TV cartoon ever! And it’s full of goofy characters. Here are my favorites.

5. Seamus
The older, crustier the sailor is, the funnier he gets. No one is older and crustier than good Seamus. This sea captain is distinctive in that all four of his limbs has been replaced with wooden pegs. Just that is hilarious. Seamus has a habit of popping up where you would least expect him.

4. Adam West
Adam West is weird. He might even be the most eccentric character on the show. He’s looking out for his city’s wellbeing in his own special way.

3. Peter Griffin
Peter wants to paint the world with all kinds of stupid. That’s the word: stupid. Peter is stupid. But that barely begins to describe him. Peter is almost insane with stupidity. Many of the show's funniest moments come courtesy of Peter's shenanigans.

2. Stewie Griffin
He is a baby who wants to dominate the world, hates his mother and is quasi-homosexual. He can actually act like a baby sometimes, especially when it comes to his teddybear Rupert. But Stewie is an evil genius adult trapped in a little boys body.

1. Brian Griffin
The fun thing about Brian is that he’s the dog of the family and the only intelligent one of the group. He has strong opinions about politics and society and I love his sarcasm. I seriously would want a dog like Brian.

They almost made the top 5: Bruce, Cleveland Brown, Lois Griffin, Tom Tucker, Death, Fouad and Joe Swanson

zondag 23 september 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 41: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Story: Meek little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. In the almost one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they've become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers' imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie. This Penguin Classics edition features an appendix of the letters in which Grahame first related the exploits of Toad.
Start: september 16th 2012
End: september 23rd 2012
Comment: I never read it as a kid, I only saw the movie. This story is about a mole, rat, badger and a toad, but could be about people. It's fun to read about it, substituting little animals for middle-aged Edwardian gentlemen. They have everyday problems and deal with daily situations. All the animals have their own character. Rat is very wise and resourceful, Mole is tender and caring, Badger is a wise mentor and Toad is self absorbed. A compliment to the writer, that you can actually identify with the characters although they are animals. The pace of the book seems to be very slow for a children's book and it's on quite a high reading level. The version I read had black-and-white illustrations by Ernest Shepherd. There's nothing like a well-illustrated children's classic! I'm sure, that as a kid, I would have appreciated it. Kids these days probably wouldn't anymore. Such a shame. There are good life lessons in it.
Rating: 4,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (53)

This weeks trailers are about two star-crossed lovers, an art thief, retired opera singers, boy scouts and a big business converging with the strength of small-town community.

Beautiful Creatures
Description: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is a young man longing to escape his small town and falls in love with Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson
Trailer: Trailer "Beautiful Creatures"
Comment: Haven't read the book yet, but now I just have to.

Description: Harry Deane (Colin Firth) is a London art curator who enlists a Texas Rodeo Queen (Cameron Diaz) in a scheme to con the richest man in England.
Director: Michael Hoffman
Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci
Trailer: Trailer "Gambit"
Comment: The screenwriters are the Coen brothers, that promisses a lot.

Description: Reggie (Courtenay), Wilf (Connolly) and Cissy (Collins) reside in Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Each year they stage a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday, which also raises funds for the home. Reggie's ex-wife Jean (Smith) arrives at the home and creates tension, playing the diva part but refusing to sing in the concert.
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Starring: Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, Sheridan Smith
Trailer: Trailer "Quartet"
Comment: Love Maggie Smith!

Nature Calls
Description: Scoutmaster Randy Stevens (Patton Oswalt) is a dwindling, apathetic troop ditches a scout meeting in favor of a TV-themed slumber party hosted by Randy's brother Kirk (Johnny Knoxville), his polar opposite and arch nemesis. When Randy rounds up the boys in the middle of the night, stealing them for an highly unauthorized/unorganized trip to the woods, all hell breaks loose as Kirk pursues with a pair of gun-toting employees (Rob Riggle and Patrice O'Neal).
Director: Todd Rohal
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, Rob Riggle, Maura Tierny, Patrice O'Neal, Darrell Hammond
Trailer: Trailer "Nature Calls"

Promised Land
Description: Steve Butler (Matt Damon) is an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company's expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company's offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt).
Director: Gus van Sant
Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook
Trailer: Trailer "Promised Land"
Comment: My favorite of the week. Really want to see this.

zaterdag 22 september 2012

In My Mailbox (63)

Not as many cards as last week, but my mailbox was happy five times this week. And again some really great cards. The first one came from Kentucky, US. A Marilyn Monroe card. Really beautiful.

Sent: august 26th 2012
Received: september 18th 2012
Distance: 7,067 km (4,391 miles)
Travel time: 23 days

From Coburg, Germany I got this amazing card with hot air balloons. The sender was about to travel to Denmark when she was writing this card.

Sent: september 7th 2012
Received: september 19th 2012
Distance: 364 km (226 miles)
Travel time: 12 days

Another card from Germany, this time Leipzig. A nice landscape. Very peaceful.

Sent: september 17th 2012
Received: september 20th 2012
Distance: 447 km (278 miles)
Travel time: 3 days

From Miass, Russia I got this wonderful tiger card. Such a wonderful card. And the writer and I have a lot in common. She also loves movies just as much as I do and her perfect nights are in the fall, with a blanket and a cup of tea watching a movie. Another funny fact: this was her first card to arrive!

Sent: september 11th 2012
Received: september 21st 2012
Distance: 3,555 km (2,209 miles)
Travel time: 10 days

Another tiger card, this time from New Jersey, US. I just love these big cats. Very happy with both of them!!

Sent: september 12th 2012
Received: september 22nd 2012
Distance: Distance: 5,992 km (3,723 miles)
Travel time: 10 days

Thanks Jorvan, Dagmar, Corinna, Anna and Danielle for your amazing cards!

donderdag 20 september 2012

Top 5 Thursday: SNL Skits with Host Seth MacFarlane

I'm going to admit something. I have a little crush on Seth MacFarlane. How funny is this guy. He created one of the funniest cartoons ever, directed and voices "Ted" and hosted the opening of the new season of "Saturday Night Live". Because "SNL" was such a succes, I decided to rank the skits. Here are my favorite sketches from "SNL" with host Seth MacFarlane.

5. Introduction to Puppetry
Bill Hader’s is actually the funniest man in this skit, but this is really a sketch that Seth MacFarlane could have come up with.

4. Opening Monologue
Seth MacFarlane is known for his voices. Some of the familiar “Family Guy” character pass by, like Peter, Stewie, Brian and Quagmire. We also hear Kermit the Frog, Droopy, Marty McFly and many others.

3. Wooden Spoon Warehouse
Tim Robinson and Seth MacFarlane play two Amish brothers who are trying to sell their wooden spoons on the internet. This is the address: double valley, double valley, double valley, time freckle, double valley, owl’s eyes, stringless harp, broken ladder, hurt snake, fine snake, fat snake, owl’s eyes, hurt snake, double valley, lean-to, fat snake with a sex penis, broken ladder, horse bridge, child’s toy, bull scrotum, the river what took my son, the three-fingered man, dot, com.

2. Lids Club
Seth MacFarlane, Kenan Thompson, and Jason Sudeikis play employees at a Lids store in the mall. MacFarlane tries to cheer Thompson up with the internet-popular “Gangnam Style,” which he can make appear with the press of a button. Bobby Moynihan plays Korean rapper PSY, including all the weird dance moves. Eventually the real PSY enters the stage as well. This was such a funny skit.

1. Seth as Ryan Lochte
Seth MacFarlane’s impersonation of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte seems spot on. Although Lochte is probably not that dumb, he sure sometimes acts like he is. Favorite quote: “It feels so weird to be dry.” Freakin’ hilarious!

They almost made the top 5: Basic Training and Blind Date

dinsdag 18 september 2012

Movie Moments: 50/50

After seeing this movie for the first time, it became one of my favorites. Very much overlooked bij the Academy too. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing as Adam. I love this movie.

Moment # 1: Adam gets bad news
Adam has been complaining about his back and goes to the doctor. When the doctor enters the room, he starts recording his findings,without talking to Adam first. When he asks the doctor what’s wrong with him,he simply tells Adam that he has a tumor in his spine. There is a 50 percent chance he will survive, we hear “High and Dry” by Radiohead.

Moment # 2: Adam tells Kyle
After he found out about the tumor, Adam tells his best friend Kyle. Kyle feels sick after he hears it, but thinks the odds are pretty good. He mentions Patrick Swayze, but Adam tells him it’s a bad example because he died.

Moment # 3: Adam meets Katherine
Adam’s doctor recommended him to see a therapist. He meets Katherine. Adam thinks she is too young, like Dougie Howser. Adam finds out that he’s Katherine’s third patient. She is trying to connect with him, but Adam doesn’t really like it. Katherine tries it with a relaxation exercise.

Moment # 4: First chemo
Rachel drives Adam to his first chemo, but she doesn’t go with him. He meets Mitch and Alan, who are also having chemo. Alan offers him some cookies, with weed in it. They immediately connect.

Moment # 5: Adam shaves his head
He’s going bald anyway, so Adam decides to shave his head. Kyle is with him and is a bit scared because he thinks Adam is going to like like Michael Stipe, so Adam does it himself.

Moment # 6: Exhibit whore
Kyle is on a date and sees Rachel with another man. He takes a picture and shows Adam, when Rachel is also there. He calls the picture ‘exhibit whore’ and shares that he always hated Rachel. Adam doesn’t understand why she stayed with him al those nights, because he gave Rachel an out. Adam kicks her out.

Moment # 7: “I look like Voldemort”
While walking the dog, Adam and Kyle run into a cute girl. When they continue their walk, Kyle tells him she would totally do him. Kyle tells Adam that he could get any girl, because he’s sick. Adam doesn’t believe that, because he thinks he looks like Voldemort.

Moment # 8: Trying to pick up girls
Adam and Kyle are going to try and pick up girls. He thinks Adam should play the cancer card sooner, so when Adam introduces himself to a girl he immediately tells her he has cancer. Kyle realizes that it doesn’t work and that it actually sounds weird.

Moment # 9: Katherine gives Adam a ride
Katherine sees Adam at a bus stop and offers him a ride. She tells Adam that, if he feels sick, she will pull over. Adam tells her about Rachel and Katherine talks about her ex. How she still check his facebook status. She stops talking, because she thinks it’s inappropriate. Adam looks at her and all of a sudden he asks Katherine to stop and she thinks he feels sick. Instead of throwing up, Adam starts cleaning her car. He can’t stand the mess. At the end of the ride, Katherine gives Adam her number for emergencies.

Moment # 10: The painting
Rachel stopped by for her stuff and Adam is really done with her. He takes her painting to the yard and together with Kyle he starts throwing things at the painting. Eggs, knifes and an axe. At the end they burn it and they think it looks even better now.

Moment # 11: "That’s better"
Adam starts to talk about his parents to Katherine. She gives her good advice and they are really connecting this time. Katherine grabs his wrist and Adam smiles at her. At first he didn’t like it when Katherine did that, now it feels much better.

Moment # 12: Adam and his mom reconnect
After the talk he had with Katherine, Adam realizes that he should contact his mother more. When they are at the doctor’s office together, his mom tells him she joined a support group for parents with a child with cancer. Adam sees it’s also hard on her.

Moment # 13: Adam calls Katherine
Adam is having a mental breakdown. He calls Katherine and she’s glad that he called. Adam tells her about all the things he never did and apologizes to her for the last session they had. He was an asshole, but Katherine also tells Adam she was an asshole. Adam tells her he wished she was his girlfriend and Katherine smiles.

Moment # 14: Kyle read the books
Just when Adam thinks Kyle is a lousy friend, he finds books about cancer in his house. Books he read. That’s a real friend.

Moment # 15: Before the surgery
Right before the surgery Adam talks to his dad. When the nurses come to give him his anesthetic, Adam gets scared and realizes that this could be it for him. He hugs his mom.

Moment # 16: Katherine visits Adam at the hospital
Adam got through the surgery and Katherine visits him. He’s happy to see her and Adam tells her he wants to bake her pancakes. Katherine thinks that would be nice. She grabs his wrist and Adam grabs hers. They smile at each other and Adam tells her he’s peeing right now. Katherine tells him she won’t watch.

Moment # 17: The wound
Kyle has to put balm on Adam’s wound, but he thinks it’s scary. It looks like Quatto from “Total Recall”. He eventually does it, with his finger, when Adam tells him there are swabs to do it with.

Moment # 18: The date
Adam is getting ready for a date and when he opens the door it's Katherine. Kyle immediatly likes her and when he leaves Adam and Katherine are looking at each other and smiling. Katherine asks Adam "Now what?"

Favorite Moment: Moment # 15: Before the surgery