Monday, January 15, 2007

Cultural Checkpoint Charlie

Another new feature on MarathonMum: A weekly update on what I'm reading, watching, admiring...

What I read: "Lay of the Land" By RIchard Ford.
I finally finished this book last night, and boy, was I happy I finished it. I did not, however, feel the same sense of accomplishment I felt when I finished "Crime & Punishment." This was Ford's third book featuring ex-sportswriter, current realtor Frank Bascombe. The other two books, "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day" were brilliant; full of great details that I still remember years after finishing them. (Independence Day won a Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner award.) In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I was reading Mr. MarathonMum's Christmas present, which I bought for him, but started reading before him. He never even had a chance. But I digress. "Lay of the Land" had some nice bits and some surprises at the end, but I wasn't utterly charmed by it as I was the other two. Also, it was very, very long-- about the length of the other two Bascombe books put together. I would have given up on it if I didn't have a strong personal ethic to finish all books I start.

Next book up to bat: "Snow" by Nobel Prize winner Orham Pamuk.

What I watched: "Mission: Impossible III" (or, in poster parlance, M:i:III)
I was really putting to the test my theory, "Any movie Phillip Seymour Hoffmann is in is worth watching." (Even, yes, "Along Came Polly.") This was a difficult challenge to me, given that I find Tom Cruise these do I say.... oh, yes, creepy. But my theory about PSH holds up: I utterly enjoyed myself for two hours. There were no greater truths revealed, but PSH was GREAT playing a baddie. I was slightly creeped out that the woman playing Ethan/Tom Cruise's fiancee looked just like Katie Holmes. Like I said, creepy. Overal rating: 6/10
Six Degrees of Separation Note (or, how I VERY NEARLY know Phillip Seymour Hoffman): My friend Quigs was friends in high school with PSH wife! How about that.

Who we cheered for: On Saturday, Mr. MarathonMum and I discussed which American football team we would back in the playoffs, given the sad season of our No. 1, and STILL SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS (at least until the end of the month), the Pittsburgh Steelers. Given that I only knew a few of the teams in the playoffs, our choices came down to either supporting the Philadelphia Eagles (once the No. 1 team of my heart) or the Chicago Bears (once the No. 1 team of our heart, when we were first married and living there). In the end, we decided to back the Bears, soley because no self-respecting Steelers fan can switch sides to the Eagles. It's just not done. We chose well, because the Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Go Bears!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're killing me. How can you not love the Eagles in the year of "Invincible"! In any case, yes, the Bears are going ahead and the Eagles are not (who doesn't go for it on 4th down with under two minutes on the clock?), but Will and I and our life-size poster of Brian Dawkins will not forget this betrayal!