Friday, February 6, 2009

A Week in Review

Welcome to another edition of A Week in Review, the post that tells you all about my week. I bet you’re on pins and needles.

School
I’m back at the learnin’. Last Friday after work I drove my newly repaired car down to the BYU bookstore in Provo to pick up my text book. It’s a great big thing called the Norton Anthology of English Literature. Sounds kind of cool, huh? I love just the word literature, and adding English to it gives me a thrill. The class is on the history of British literary history, and my first assignment is to read “The Dream of the Rood” and “Beowulf”. I wonder if watching that newish computer animated version of “Beowulf” starring Angelina Jolie would be the same as reading it, or close enough? Just kidding, I know it wouldn’t be. In fact I feel ashamed of myself for even comparing the two. Movies are great, but some of them sure do rip apart the classics. And besides, my roommate told me that this particular movie was terrible. I’ll just read the book.

I also went to my first French class since deciding to go back. I’m one of four students, and the only girl. The other three are men, two in their 30s and one who’s maybe in his 50s. I think it interesting that these guys are taking French. I don’t know why. I guess it just seems to me that French has more of a female appeal. Actually, one of them is a biker, and plans to go to France this summer to ride some of the Tour de France route. Sounds fun.

Speaking of movies…
I have to say that I’m worried about Joaquin Phoenix. What happened to that guy? He’s a very talented actor, handsome, had an ongoing career, and then he announced that he was going to give it all up to work on his music - rap music. What the hell? And then he grew out every hair on his head and started wearing sunglasses all of the time.

Dude, it’s backwards.

I know that other people’s life choices are none of my business, and a person can’t get too caught up in the world of celebrity. It’s not healthy. But still, I have to wonder what is going on? Someone really should try to help him out.

Another Oddity
I was in the ladies bathroom here at the COB yesterday and heard Guns and Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” playing from somewhere. I think it was a cell phone ringtone. Someone in this building has Guns and Roses on their phone. That’s awesome.

Steinbeck
I read on the Writer’s Almanac today that it’s the anniversary of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, and I mention it because I really love Steinbeck. When I was first back from my mission, I decided to read some of the classics that I had heard of all my life but hadn’t read, and many of those were from Steinbeck. I think that I started with “The Grapes of Wrath”. He has the unique ability to describe an object or event or idea or feeling with real depth and very few words. Not many writers can do that. Too many are way too wordy. Steinbeck can sum something up in a few short sentences, and you think, “Yeah. That’s it.” He makes it seem so simple.

He has a book called “Travels with Charley” that’s a nonfiction account of a trip he took across the country in his truck with his dog Charley. They started out in Maine, drove across the Northern US to California, and then through the Southern US back home again. It’s fascinating. Steinbeck made a point of going through Fargo, ND, which is right across the border from where I grew up, because it was always on the news as being one of the coldest places in the country, and because he’d noticed on several maps that it’s right in the middle of the country, right where the fold is in the map, or the break between pages in an atlas. I had never noticed that before. It’s a very good book. I’d love to drive the country someday. Start in San Francisco and take I-80 all the way to New York.

I think that’s it for this week. It’s been a while since I’ve had a quote to share. I’ll work on that for next time.
Until then, thanks as always for your….well, you know.
You are loved.

4 comments:

Tiffany said...

I would definitely rent Beowulf. I hated that book. I have no idea if the movie is close or not.

And Joaquin? Whoa.

And Steinbeck? Yum. The Grapes of Wrath moved me very much.

Kelli said...

Read Beowulf. Didn't like it much. Why did a handsome guy go for the Neanderthal look! Scary. Have't read Grapes of Wrath. I bow my head in shame. I will get on that. Favorite thing. Guns and Roses in the COB. Life is good.

Elise Peterson: said...

Listen and listen carefully: there is a movie version of Beowulf with Gerard Butler. It's actually called "Beowulf and Grendel". However tempted you may be to watch it simply because it has Gerard in it (that's why I watch it!) do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch this version! It is one of these adaptions that does indeed "rip apart the classic". I cry myself to sleep every night because I watched it. Definitely stick to the book. I really, really loved reading it in high school :)

Melissa said...

The movie is not close and it is very, very bad. The story is not that bad, its kind of interesting. While I myself am not a fan of Guns N Roses I also think it is awesome that some one at COB has it! As for Joaquin I think his unconventional upbringing has reared its head and made him crazy.