Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Monday to one and all. It was a very productive weekend for me - many hours working on the booktalks, with fun Christmas movies playing in the background. I even listened to the Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Specials on PBS. Did look up long enough to see, remember, and grimace over those awful red or green, right down to the shoes, outfits the Williams brothers used to wear. PBS is having their annual fund raiser and also aired the Tribute to James Taylor special. Now that was worth looking up for. The Dixie Chicks and Allison Krause were wonderful, as was Carole King. I enjoyed every moment of that special.

Being in the Christmas spirit, Karen and I went to the matinee yesterday to see Holiday, with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. I am not a big Jude Law fan but he did a wonderful job of playing a single dad in this delightful Holiday movie. Diaz and Winslet's characters swap houses for the Holidays, both running from relationship break-ups. Winslet's character certainly gets the better setting - a California mansion for her rustic cottage in rural England, where Diaz's character is freezing her bippy off until she gets warmed up by Winslet's brother, played by Jude Law. I laughed and even got a bit teary eyed and overall, it was a wonderful couple hour break from writing.

As far as reading goes, I am currently into Zusak's The Book Thief, which I will wait and write about when I finish it. Not sure this was a good one to pick to read during the Holiday season as it is narrated by Death and set in Germany during WWII.

I did finish Mary Higgins Clark's Santa Cruise. As always, the bad guys are caught, just in the nick of time. You gotta love the two little bratty girls in this novel - the daughters of the mother who won their way on the cruise with her lengthy annual Christmas letter. She loves her daughters so much she hasn't a clue that the other adults on the cruise are not of like mind. You know the kind - the mother that writes about all the glorious things the family did the prior year. I'll keep that in mind as I write the Christmas letter in relation to the grandbabies! But the brats do pull the chair out from under, literally and figuratively, one of the bad guys on board. I liked Deck the Halls better - same set of characters, but they rescue private investigator Regan Reilly's kidnapped father.

Off to campus here in a bit. I have a new faculty gathering to share how our first semester at ECU went. As many years as I have been at this and with 4 different universities, I have to say, even though I have been as busy as a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter, it has been one of the best semesters I have had. What a wonderful group of students I have had in my courses.