Monday, January 30, 2012

Life is Busy

Things have been pretty hectic lately, more so than usual. My school does a Korean exchange program, and we are hosting two of the students. The girls have very limited English, and on top of that, they are quite shy. It's been fun to integrate them into our family, if only for a short time, but also more draining than I'd imagined. Two teenage girls added to the mix is a lot of work. The girls leave on Thursday, and then the normal rhythm of our family will return.

Another reason things are so crazy these days is that we have extended our soccer season this year. We're normally done by December, but we decided to step up to club soccer. I'm coaching Quinn's team, and so far we're doing great, haven't lost a game. We've really only been practicing as a team for a couple months, and we're beating club teams that have been together for a lot longer. It's a great group of girls and I'm having a blast. Scout's team is struggling. They did well in AYSO, but since they stepped up to the club world, they haven't won a game, and you can see the confidence waning. That's tough to watch. Scout and I had a long talk this weekend. It was one of those balancing acts, mixing empathy and time-to-pick-up-your-game. I think it went well, but that's the thing about being a parent, are you ever really sure?

I haven't had much time for movies lately, which always bugs me. The Oscar nominations are out, and my only real complaint is that Bridesmaids wasn't nominated for Best Picture. Meg and I always try to see all the movies up for Best Picture, and so far we've seen 5 of the 9. We still need to see The Artist, War Horse, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Moneyball. It looks like The Artist is the frontrunner. Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time getting excited about a silent black and white film. Anybody seen it? Thoughts?

We did watch 50/50 Sunday night. Joseph Gordon Levitt is outstanding as Adam Lerner, a guy battling cancer and learning a lot about himself and those who truly matter in his life. You could probably argue he deserved an Oscar nomination. There's one scene in particular that really got me. Lerner has a last ditch surgery, and JGL's face right before going under is so right on, the fear, it caught me off guard, it reminded me of a look I saw on my dad's face once, it brought tears to my eyes.

I have managed to keep reading despite the busy schedule. I finished Roger Ebert's memoir Life Itself on Saturday. I've been a fan of Ebert's since high school, when Siskel & Ebert taught me how to appreciate movies. I've become an even bigger fan the last few years as Ebert has used blogging and twitter to find a different kind of voice, and a powerful one at that. Ebert is a great writer, and his memoir is excellent.

I put a bunch of this year's award winners and nominees on hold at the library. I started The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka on Sunday. And finished it on Sunday. It's about Japanese women who came to the US as arranged brides. It's only 127 pages, and man is it good. Anybody reading any good books lately?

One last thing. I just signed up for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I really enjoyed the experience last year, so I'll give it another go. I haven't been blogging as much as I was last year, so hopefully I'll be able to do the Challenge justice. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

12 comments:

  1. You are a great father, husband and a teacher all at the same time!

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  2. I also think Ebert is a superb writer. I look forward to his memoirs. Right now I'm reading The Hunger Games and it's gripping.

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    1. Just wanted to say that Ebert is without a doubt, one of the finest writers living. He won a Pulitzer Prize? That says enough. Saying that he's a "superb writer" is like saying "I think a Ferrari is a fast car."

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    2. Adjective wars! Bring it on!

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  3. The Hunger Games is great. I've read it with my students the past couple years, and they really get into it. One of my reading goals for this year is to finish the trilogy. Looking forward to the movie.

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  4. I think that the Artist and Hugo may have gotten nods from the Academy because they both celebrate motion pictures. Just an idea. They are unquestionably great movies though.

    Bridesmaids was funny but best picture? Really? I mean...it was crude humor. Just a retelling of the three stooges, packaged in Prada, and involving women instead of men. The three stooges shouldn't have been given an Oscar nod either.

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    1. I agree with you about The Artist and Hugo. As far as Bridesmaids. I know, I know. But, it really cracked me up, and I think humor is often more difficult than drama. I also think it portrayed women in a way we don't normally see in the movies.

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  5. Wow, lots going on, Tim. And you got the new threaded comments, too!
    We had an exchange student stay with us a few years back, so I know what you mean about it being a lot of work. It's valuable experience for all, though.

    And "...mixing empathy and time-to-pick-up-your-game." That is a tough one, but "mixing" it is key. The club stuff will get better, too. Transitions. Not easy!

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  6. Hi Tim - Thanks for putting a plug in your post about the A to Z Challenge! I'm pleased you've added your name to the list.

    I am looking forward to seeing what awaits for April!

    And...I'm going to take your recommendation and read Ebert's book - I'm a fan of using the library too! I've always got something waiting to be picked up!

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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  7. Wow, I'm not surprised you were busy with two foreign exchange teenage girls in the house! I hope things have settled down a bit now.

    I'm getting myself organised for the A to Z and should hopefully complete it all this year. I'll see you there! :)

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  8. Saw 50/50 recently too. Liked it but was bummed that another set in Seattle movie was actually filmed somewhere else.

    I am so with you on the Life is Busy idea. Ugh.

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