Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Help

The Help was the first book I bought electronically, I have an iPad2 but bought the book through the Amazon Kindle app, why? Because it bugs me that Apple is so greedy. What was funny was that Apple made it intentionally difficult for me to find the Amazon Kindle store, but once I did Amazon had a little button to add the Amazon Kindle store to my apps, so I did that.

This being said I wanted to read The Help before seeing the movie, and it was good book, probably better than the movie in most ways a book usually is, there is more detail and more introspection. The book has different chapters each written by one of the characters in the story so there is more depth and understanding of who that character is and what motivates them. A lot more happens in the book, the movie simplifies everything. But the cast of the movie was pretty good, so I'd say it's worth watching the movie too. Although it's a bit predictable. I guess I'm luke warm about it. If I had to choose one, I would choose the book.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paint stripping from doors and door frames

If you are considering stripping paint from a door or a door frame, please reconsider. It must be one of the most frustrating, horrible, tortures you could willingly expose yourself to. I love DIY projects, I love to paint, venetian plaster, special finish walls. I am just as happy putting together furniture or fixing small things around the house. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, In fact when we first bought our current apartment I was most excited about steaming off the wall paper in one room. Well ok, I was most excited about having two bathrooms, but the wall paper stripping was a close second. That was a messy job, but I got to rent a steamer and of course wanted to get the whole room finished in one weekend so that I didn't have to pay any extra for the equipment rental. It was challenging, but satisfying.

Almásy: "Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again." from The English Patient.

The paint stripping is one thousand percent more difficult and only about 1/10th as satisfying. Because even if I am able to get nice solid chunks or sheets of paint off, there are crevices especially around the door frame that laugh at my sweaty brow, cramped hand and well worn six in one tool. Bits of paint layered in these crevices are almost impossible to remove. They taunt me, haunt my dreams and have just about beaten me. At the end of a few hours of working on this, I make a vow to just paint over everything the next day, that no one will notice and I can finally move on to finish painting the foyer. But the next morning I have just enough confidence (or foolishness) to believe I can do a little better and once again attack the paint first in a slow methodical way, then as time passes and I get tired and/or sore, my scrapping becomes frantic and half hazard and I don't believe It will ever end. To be honest I am almost finished, but the torture is that I've been almost finished for a few weeks now. One day I'll be finished, and one day I'll die, it will be interesting is to see which comes first.

If you still want to strip paint, here are some tips:
1. Use the paste version of paint stripper, I used 3M Safest Stripper (Semi-Paste) and also Back To Nature, Ready Strip.
2. Use Plastic wrap to cover the stripper, especially if you plan to let it set overnight. Try a humidifyer to keep the area from drying out completely.
3. Forget you ever thought about stripping the door or door frame and just get on with your life.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I blew through this trilogy in one weekend, angering John that I would stay up to all hours of the night trying to finish. They are very quick reads, and I loved them. Yes, the last book was a little uneventful especially compared to the big build up from the first two, but I still enjoyed it, and was surprised at how easily the author could bring me to tears. She did it in the first book so quickly that I was automatically hooked. A friend of mine recommended it to me, she said it's a Young Adult novel about teenagers who are forced to participate in the Hunger Games, to fight for their lives. As soon as she told me what it was about I was a little turned off, but I kept hearing so many great things about it. And once I started reading them, I fell for them hook, line and sinker. Katniss Everdeen is the heroine and she has many faults, but that's why she's so likeable and relate-able. The author Suzanne Collins was able to capture elements of life as a teenager that almost anyone could relate to, or at least any girl I know, but then just as swiftly put Katniss in situations that no one has had to face, and that's why these series work so well.
I highly recommend them, as I said I zipped through all three in one weekend, and now am waiting for the first movie to come out, hoping that they don't ruin it. And yes the idea of making people kill each other in a televised sport is not new, it definitely reminded me of the Running Man, but these books seem perfect for our time with reality television and apathy toward politics. I would really love to hear what teenagers who've read it think of it, I of course was all caught up in the love triangle. Yeah, I'm a sucker for all that stuff. But these books are a great distraction, so get to reading them already!

Friday, February 3, 2012


A few months ago we got free tickets to see Godspell. My husband was a little apprehensive about it, I didn't know much about it but was game. We almost left at the intermission. I was so embarrassed for the actors, although their singing and energy was great, the material was so hokey and it was directed in such a weird and juvenile way. There were so many cringe worthy segments it was difficult for me to look the actors in the eye, and since the theatre was a circle there was plenty of opportunity to look them in the eye. The theatre itself was actually very awesome, too bad the play was so .... simple. The casting of the blond haired blue eyed white guy as Jesus was just so predictable, as was the casting of a black guy as Judas. Seriously? In this day and age?? Whatever, I guess I'm not the target audience, because the only thing I'm glad about is that the tickets were free. During intermission they offered free wine in the tiny plastic cups (like they serve at those big evangelical churches) and several people swooped down from the audience to partake, We were a little suspicious that there was more than wine in the glasses given the heavy handed nature of the first act, so we passed. They also threw out mardi gras beads during the first act, gold ones to hammer home that greed is evil, but I was just glad no one had to flash to get their beads. Any way to each their own I guess, but I don't recommend it.