Thursday, May 21, 2009

Watch, Listen & Read

watching a good movie - Doug and I keep dozens of films in our Netflix queue and have enjoyed some very interesting documentaries. "Wordplay," released in 2006, explores the "additive pastime" of doing New York Times crossword puzzles. The documentary interviews Will Shortz, New York Times crossword puzzle editor; several puzzle designers; and celebrity puzzle solvers, including Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton and Ken Burns. Contestants matching wits at the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, founded by Shortz in 1978, are also featured in "Wordplay." The tournament was held in Stamford, Connecticut for 30 years but moved to Brooklyn in 2008 due to increasing popularity. Nearly 700 people competed in the 2009 tournament, and while Doug and I don't do crossword puzzles on a daily basis, we thought the documentary deserved 5 stars!

listening to good music - While reading the March 2009 issue of Vogue, featuring Michelle Obama on the cover, I read a feature on the first lady of France, Italian-born fashion model and singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. I had known for some time that she was a singer-songwriter and decided I should buy her third album, Comme Si de Rien N'Etait (As If Nothing Had Happened). A review in the February 2009 issue of Town & Country called it "intimate and breezy . . . delightful" - I agree and was also impressed that Bruni is donating the royalties from the CD to charity, through the Fondation de France. In fact, the first payout was 280,000 Euros to a school in Haiti that had been wiped out by a tide of mud.

reading a good book - once Doug and I got back from our trip to Seattle for the Emerald City Comicon, I decided to read A Lion Called Christian, which tells the story of 2 young men, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, who bought a lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. The book chronicles several months of living in a London apartment with their energetic, rapidly growing "pet" and why and how Christian eventually was flown to Kenya and placed under the care of George Adamson, called "the father of lions." In 1971 the 2 Australians returned to Kenya for an unforgettable reunion with a mature Christian. A clip from this 1971 meeting gained world-wide attention on YouTube in 2008, and a revised and updated 2009 edition of A Lion Called Christian has garnered a "new life" on national reading lists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this extraordinary story.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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