Monday, February 13, 2006

snowy thoughts

1. I just finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha, and folks, I'm more than a little disappointed. I know, I know, it is shocking. If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and skip to #2, because this could be a spoiler. First of all, I cannot believe that I read the whole book thinking that it was based on a true story or a true character, and it is NOT. Second of all, I disliked the main character tremendously. I spent the first half of the book feeling sorrow for her plight, and the second half thinking her terribly self-centered, manipulative and heartless. Third of all (gotta keep the "of alls" going once I've started), the ending seemed to me to be a cop-out. We start out introspective, examining the feelings of the different characters, and yet the end is focused only on this neatly tied up scenario. Are we to assume that Nobu, a man that was incredibly generous and perhaps saved her life, has never wondered what happened to her? Does he never find out about the Chairman? The characters seem so concerned with the lack of kindness shown to Nobu throughout his life, but then toss it aside when convenient. The imagery and glimpse into Japanese culture I liked. The plot? Hrumph.

2. I picked up The Historian at Barnes and Noble this weekend, and although I am only on chapter 7, I feel confident in telling you to RUN don't WALK to get this book. I didn't even turn on the television yesterday, so intent was I on finding out more about the story. History and intrigue and spookiness! So far, I love it.

3. Josh and I are in discussions as to whether a "regular person" benefits from having a camera as high-tech as the Nikon D-70 or the Canon Digital Rebel. Do any of you own one of these? Josh says that if I really want one, I should take a class. Tell me he's crazy.

4. Josh had classes cancelled today, and the jealousy is KILLING ME SOFTLY. He took me to breakfast this morning, but still. I should be home reading. Or playing with the dogs. Or pulling up bathroom tiles.

5. I cleaned out my closet for the first. time. ever. in my life, but I forgot the camera at home. I'll share the pictures later tonight. Fascinating, I promise.


the lawmom said...

I've been reading the Historian for the last week or so and think it is great. Good choice.

Girl said...

Oh, I totally agree about Memoirs. I loved the 1st half of the book. The imagery and the language was so gorgeous...and then the 2nd half felt like it was written by someone else!!

On another note, I can tell you that having an SLR is worth it. I have a Nikon N65 and I absolutely love it. The best part is that you can really use the camera in so many different levels. If you want to not think about the photos you are taking, you can put it on automatic. If you want minimal thought, you can use one of the preset modes; if you want to think about it you can set the aperature and/or shutter speeds independently and it will arrange for the correct setting of the one you aren't setting. Or, if you want to go all out, you can do everything manually.

I, personally, like the Nikon better than the canon, because some of the lenses are interchangeable with the digital bodies. However, I am not sure that Nikon is going to continue to make non-digital cameras in the coming years.

Another consideration, is that when/if you have kids, you will most likely want a digital camera so that you can click through as many photos as necessary to get a good shot. Also, an SLR is a bit bulky to take to every event where you would want a camera; i.e. you wouldn't want anything bigger than the smallest digital to take with you skiing for a day, etc.

Hope that helped a little.


ccw said...

It has been so long since I read "Memoirs", but I do remember not understanding the hype all those years ago.

I would love to have a really great camera. I think it would be something you would greatly enjoy for years to come. A small camera is certainly convenient, but nothing beats the great pictures taken from the larger cameras.

I was officially no help, sorry. I cleaned my linen closet from top to bottom last week. Your closet was my inspiration. Do share your latest cleaning adventure.

KLee said...

I agreed with you on "Memoirs of a Geisha" as well. I felt much the same way you did, wondering where the sweet girl who was just trying to keep from being eaten alive by Momohatsu went, and who left this spiteful creature in her place?

If you enjoyed the imagery of "MoaG", you might want to try the (fictional) works of Laura Joh Rowland. Her Sano Ichiro series is about a samurai "detective" of sorts. Sano is the Shogun's cheif investigator, and it is up to him to muddle through all of the intrigue of the ruling class to find the killer or criminals. The series starts with "Shinju", and then "Bundori". Amazon has a few encapsulated reviews if you want to find out more about them. They really evoke the smae initial feeling that "MoaG" did in the beginning.

Maribeth said...

Boy did I really catch a lot of flack for proclaiming my dislike of Memoirs. My sister who loves all things Asian proclaimed me a bigot. My neighbor couldn't understand why I didn't want to pay 8 bucks to go to the movie.
Thanks for letting me feel that I am not some sort of freak!

halloweenlover said...

Well, I was speeding through the book because I wanted to see the movie, and yesterday I found out that Nobu is totally different from how he was portrayed in the book! I'm still going to see it, but I am sure I won't like it. Grrrr.

Karan said...

I have the D-70s and although it weighs 10,000x more than the current credit card sized digitals, it is so worth it. The SLR feature was hard for me to live without and now I have a camera that is essentially my film SLR with no film. I have full creative control over my camera and can once again create art. A class isn't a bad idea, but you can manage without one...although you should consider a nice handbook and not rely upon the D-70 manual that comes with the camera.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Thanks for the book reviews.

I hope that, instead of reading, you're watching Westminster tonight. Terriers are about to start (I like the Big Dog groups the best, of course, no offense to your boys).

halloweenlover said...

Ha! I'm watching Westminster right now. Of course, the toy dogs are MY favorite. Murray is watching along with me. For some reason, he is fascinated by the new TV and everything on it. He barks at the dogs and everything.

Abby said...

I can't decide on book or movie first with Memoirs. I'm reading mixed reviews! Anne Glamore loved the book. So I just don't know.

I recently married and need to move my clothes from my parents' house to my new one - which will require cleaning and purging of those clothes that just don't fit anymore. Grrrr.

Another Jess said...

Loved The Historian. I'm a sucker for vampires. I read a memoirs a long time ago---barely remember it, must have thought it was sort of meh. No vampires in it, that I recall.

You and I seem to lust after the same material posessions. I'm also giving my husband the hard sell for an SLR. I'm going for the Canon. We'll see.

wordnerd said...

Funny, I read Memoirs quite awhile ago and thought it was pretty good. However, I never thought it was a 'Great' book and hadn't ever heard of anyone thinking it was a 'Great' book until the movie came out, which, BTW (if you haven't seen yet) DONT...VERY disappointing...for me all of the things that were in the book that were good...were dropped in the movie.

ANyway, on to camera discussions. I just recently (like a month ago) bought a Digital Rebel XT (after thinking about it for a long time) BEST thing I ever did. The clarity with an 8 mega Pixel...spectacular...and it is VERY easy to use. You will see a noticable difference RIGHT away on a basic level. Sure, there are tons of things I can't do yet but I am SO MUCH MORE motivated to learn knowing the vast possibilities which are open to me with this new camera.

If you want an example of the clarity that is this camera...check this picture I took...and I am in no way a good's the camera, I swear...

Open teh 2nd picture on this's even better in a bigger format

That's my two cents worth! Have a good Valentine's Day!

Dawn said...

Did you read "The Life of Pi" I liked that one much better.

I also just read a bio of one of teh last empresses of Korea. Very very good.

And yes, spare me the victim shit with the Geisha's.

Jessica said...

Memoirs is my favorite book in the world (although I was tremendously disappointed in the movie - no surprise there).

I read Life of Pi and it was fine for a one time read - nothing I think I could "sit through" again, though.

We can agree to disagree, though - still love you, dear!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Chatty Cricket said...

Oh, I thought Geisha was beautifully written. It was like reading a piece of art, if that makes any sense.

I am going to go pick up Historian today! I have TWO gift certificates to use at two different book stores. I'm thrilled! Currently I'm reading Lost, by the Author of Wicked...I'm a huige fan of his work. But next up I have the Brith Of Venus scheduled. I may have to sneak Historian in there first though!!!!

As for the camera- we have a Cannon and it's a slightly more involved camera than your typical point and shoot. I do love it though and it can be very easy to use, and we all agree that it takes some amazing shots of Lady. I think the thing that is key when buying a digi cam is the number of mega pixels, right?

Does Josh want you to take a course on the camera itself, or a photography course? Either way that could be a great idea! You'd know the camera inside and out if you took a usage course, or if you took a photog course think of how fun that could be!! Maybe I would take one with you- wouldn't that be fun!?

Chatty Cricket said...

Um, people, I'd like you to know that I can spell. Really.

stacydh said...

I have to say that he is crazy!
I have the non-digital cannon rebel and several big expensive lenses. I would LOVE the digital version as well. You DO NOT need classes for these cameras. If you need to prove your point, I can direct you to some really expensive cameras and you can show him that these are for 'normal' people. LOL

Jess Riley said...

I must have ADD, because I couldn't get into The Historian...perhaps I shall give it a second chance. I read Memoirs when it first came out and enjoyed the writing, but you're on to something with the character's uh, character.

Woman with kids said...

I agree, loved The Historian, although if I put the book down, it took me 5 minutes to figure out who was talking and what was going on again. Going to read Memoirs again for my book club, but I agree with you. I just didn't particularly like the main character.

Chris said...

I'd love a nikon d70... LOVE it. I'd get it if you are in the market for a new camera.

Kristin said...

I listened to Memoirs and The Historian on audiobook (that's how I do most of my reading these days, on my commute). I was disappointed with Memoirs also but thought it might've been because of the abridgement. I didn't like the movie much either. It was sort of boring, though beautiful to look at.

The Historian was AWESOME on audiobook. So suspenseful that I didn't want to go in the house when I got home because I wanted to know what happened next. The readers were great, too. The ending - eh. I'm not so much into vampires, and the build-up was better than the resolution to me.