Monday, January 16, 2006

books and movies

I went to see Memoirs of a Geisha with Mike, last week. Of course, because of the silly way I read novels -- rush through to find out how it all turns out in one reading if possible!-- I wasn't sure if I liked the movie at all. I found myself anticipating things that I thought had occurred in a certain way or order in the book, and the movie didn't unfold in the same way. Certain things that were huge in my mind, like the shocking collection of the doctor who won the bidding for the heroine's virginity--not mentioned in the movie. And I was prejudiced by a New York Times review that claimed the costumes were not authentic--and therefore found much of the exposed flesh and lack of the geisha's white makeup in many situations inexplicable. As to what was accurate and what was not, I really am in no position to judge, and therefore all the more frustrated. I usually enjoy the visual and auditory luxury of a movie.

I also did go out to ambush my son! Yes, he is still working through some difficult stuff and was a little emotional to have his mother accost him in such a fashion -- I'm only exaggerating a little! We had a nice supper and I ended up staying the night because he wanted to fix things about my car with the help of daylight. I'm very glad to have the headlights and windshield wipers fixed and in working order again. And I had envisioned riding to his rescue like mothers are supposed to, right? Seriously, I don't claim to have any answers, except that I believe in him and am proud of him. Yes, we all have problems and we overcome them bit by bit.

I surprised myself by enjoying a round or two of a table game one of his sisters had given him for Christmas. Its name had something to do with Las Vegas and involved some of the games of chance one might play in that city. Of course, I lost again and again, in increasingly worse terms, thoroughly enjoing myself. On my turn, I nearly always landed on squares that called for a hand of poker and having long ago forgotten how to play, had to keep reminding myself of what a good hand might be by looking at the rules of play, with Son offering strategies for how to play my hand if, supposing I had this or that...

I also had the great good fortune to have lunch with my daughters, whose company I enjoy more and more all the time. I have not-so-secretly, I suppose, started to wish for a home of my own that is closer to them, so that travelling to visit is not such a time-consuming affair. Am I ready to give up the peace of country life? Not really. I still crave the quiet and wildness, sometimes finding even now, here, that civilization intrudes...And I still want room to garden, room for my messy art work, etc... So, somehow, I believe the universe will take all my little wishes about the home I want and that home will come into my reality in good time.

Finally, today, I was able to concentrate on such pleasures as laundry, cutting back the hibiscus and lemon verbena, and trying to do up some cuttings of pelargonium, African violets and rosemary. Our landlords' stepmom was glad to have the cuttings of the hibiscus as we had talked about and was very sweet to bring me a cutting already rooted of a hibiscus ( a different colour from mine) of her own. Isn't that lovely?

Having heard, perhaps on my trusty CBC radio, that willow twigs soaked in water act like a rooting hormone as well as preventing cuttings from going moldy, I am brewing a willow-tea with which I plan to water the cuttings....I'll keep you posted on that experiment.

Bedraggled hibiscus after its haircut.

hibiscus cuttings for Sheila

I also uncovered a couple of pots of bulbs that I had buried under the leaves in a corner between the greenhouse and the back-step where we hang our clothes out on the line in milder weather...brought the pots of bulbs indoors and let them start warming up a bit in the laundry-room sink. Dried leaves and chunky bits of frozen snow clinging to the pots, I have to clean them up a bit before showing them off. Besides, although I am hopeful about the tips of green that have sprouted up, it has been a while since I tried forcing bulbs into bloom indoors. My method is always much more haphazard than the ones prescribed in such clear and precise fashion in books and gardening mags. However do people get to be so organized anyway?

said pots of bulbs in said sink

Seems to me I should be ordering seeds or something about now too, and I have no idea...I don't even have the catalogues I want yet, except for the online-heritage-tomatoes one...

Travelling along in the car these days, I am almost always singing along to Deva Premal's Embrace, mantras beautifully set to music. Makes the trip fly.

Fun stuff I got from the library:

videos of Episodes I and II of Mapp & Lucia, programs of London Weekend Television, adapted from the book by E. F. Benson; I watch them again and again to enjoy the wardrobe of the heroine, the wily and elegant Lucia Lucas. Maybe I should have been born to a different time because I would love to wear those clothes!

Encore Provence, New Adventures in the South of France, by Peter Mayle, which I re-read for perhaps the fifth time

The Madonna of Excelsior, by Zakes Mda, a wonderful book about people involved in the turbulent time around the release of Mandela from prison; magical realism, political and social satire and criticism all rolled-up into vividly portrayed real human beings

The Veiled One, an Inspector Wexford mystery by Ruth Rendell

I am also re-reading Awakening the Buddha Within, by Lama Surya Das along with a gift I received from Mike for Christmas: Conversations with God, an uncommon dialogue, book 1, by Neale Donald Walsch. While I always have books such as these or gardening books beside my bed and on the go, the fiction I mentioned above is something I don't indulge in as often. With books such as the Buddha, or Conversations with God, I am able to sedately read a chapter or two and put a book aside to go to sleep at a sensible (for me) hour, thoughtfully trying to digest what I have read.

But not so with most novels. I'm helpless when reading fiction. I inhale it, not eating, not sleeping, not bathing---disgusting really how addicted I become to the plot--how will it all turn out. And often, I cannot remember the names of the characters afterward. Eeek! the zipless.....! What have I become??


Anonymous joared said...

Enjoy your posts -- gardening descriptions, etc. Re books and movies, I have been disappointed in the differences between the two almost 100% of the time. I go to the movie of the book I've read now anticipating any resemblance between the two will be purely coincidental, including even the endings, sometimes.

1:56 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

yes, I think one should really expect two totally different experiences--book/movie. Most of the time I'd agree with you. A recent exception to the above rule: I did find the Harry Potter movies compared with the books pretty well!

11:06 p.m.  
Anonymous patrick said...

watched the movie version of Conversations with God recently; Neale Donald Walsch makes a good point about admitting that he's not perfect so he can move on with his life.

9:50 a.m.  

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