September 2009: In Brief

Highlights:
Learning to Love 6 AM Again – I dreaded the change of going from our 3 AM summer bedtime to our new 6 AM school wake up time.  I shouldn’t have worried.  We made the change like we had been getting up at 6 AM all summer.

Dr. Horrible At Neighborhood HS – Our local high school did a fantastic job turning this into a play.  They had two actors– who looked almost like twins — play Billy and Dr. Horrible.  The best part was the video that played on the screen above the stage during the song "My Eyes".  Billy stalks Penny and Captain Hammer around the local sites of our town while the cast sings at the park on stage.

Mold, Basements, and the Flu –  Martin fixed the pipes, then cleaned, grouted, and repainted the bathroom, while I lived in the basement– the only mold-free part of our house.  Around that time I also got the H1N1 flu and coughed so much I was pretty sure I might cough up an alien.  Why yes, I did rewatch Torchwood while I was sick.  Why do you ask?

By the end of September, our house was mold-free and I was finally healthy.  Yay!

Fiction Books Finished:
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (*** 1/2) – The sequel to Hunger Games starts off slow but once it picks up; the story is tense and gripping.  Collins has a talent for creating varied interesting characters.  The story cliffhanges in a major way though and now I can’t wait until the next book. [YA for ages 12 and up]

Movies:
Amar Te Duele (***) – This Mexican Romeo-and-Juliet story starts when Ulises from the barrio meets wealthy Renata at the mall.  Though I could have done without all the fancy camera tricks at the beginning of the film, once those stop, the story of these two kids coming to terms with social pressures is sweet.  While I sort of knew how wide the gap between social classes is in Mexico, this movie really makes that point concretely.  As an American, I couldn’t help wonder if this is the way we’re going too.  [Saw on DVD; for teens and older]

TV- Top 5 Favorites of the Month (In A,B,C Order)
Castle, current season 2- has become one of my favorite shows.  It’s a light murder mystery starring Nathan Fillon (Firefly) as Richard Castle, a famous murder mystery novelist. 

In the pilot, Castle is called to help the NYPD solve a case where a serial murder seems to be recreating murders from Castle’s books.  Castle is so impressed with the lead detective, Kate Beckett, he decides to use her as a model for the star of his next mystery series.  (She’s a huge secret fan and has read all his books but doesn’t really want him to know. ) The mayor is a friend of Castle’s and so Castle is given permission to work with Beckett on cases. 

The writing and characters have come a long way from the troubled pilot.  Castle and Beckett’s relationship is dry and witty and his relationship with his levelheaded high school daughter and his spotlight-seeking mother are especially fun to watch.

Fringe, current season 2- has become another of my favorite shows.  Since the season 1 finale revealed secrets about the main characters, Walter’s quirks make a lot more heart-breaking sense.  Now I fear for what will happen to him, Peter, and Olivia.

Mad Men, current season 3

Skins, current series 3- does something unusual; it starts over with a whole new group of students at the Bristol school.  Effie, Tony’s younger sister, is the only returning character.  The first two episodes are unfortunate as they focus on Cook, the most unlikable member of the new group.  Things pick up at the third episode when the story begins highlighting the more likable members of the new group.

Torchwood, rewatched series 1,2,3 – When I’m not feeling well, rewatching my favorite TV shows beats eating chicken soup any day.

Sub Jobs:
1 day- Media Center Teacher
5 days- Ms. B’s 2nd grade class

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