Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Friday, February 25, 2011
Never fear, I'm still Cannonballing away, just had a few things come up (audition, casting, illness, espionage). You know, the usual.
I have an exciting Oscar weekend ahead, and all will be explained come Monday, along with the next Cannonball post!
Love and popcorn.
Monday, February 14, 2011
BOOK #8: Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
It was a strange and ironic jump to go from the laughable, calorie-counting escapades of Bridget Jones to the dark and cautionary memoir of Portia de Rossi's decades-long battle with eating disorders. Unbearable Lightness is, at times, both horrifying and inspiring--and if you've ever known anyone with an eating disorder, all too familiar.
While I flew through the book (de Rossi is a wonderful writer and storyteller), I couldn't help but be filled with a sense of frustration. Though having an eating disorder is no mark of one's intelligence, I kept thinking, "How stupid are you?! What moron behaves in this way??" The time and attention to detail that de Rossi spent on portioning her food and counting calories, and the ridiculous acts of extreme exercise and self-punishment are so unbelievable, you can't help but think that there is a lack of brains going on there. However (and this is extremely important to remember), anorexia and bulimia are diseases--it's not about not being smart enough, it's something you have to treat and cure.
de Rossi flashes back and forth (though it reads seamlessly) between her growing up in Australia-- attempting to be teenage model--and her career in L.A.--beginning with her landing the part of Nelle Porter on "Ally McBeal." I wasn't a big follower of the show (lawyer-talk bored me), but I do remember all the controversy surrounding the skeletal thinness of Calista Flockhart; I never seemed to hear anything about her costars. It seems, however, that de Rossi was going through an extraordinarily hard part of her life.
The book isn't completely sad, though: the epilogue is a reminder (both to the reader and de Rossi) that we can have happy endings. Hers took a lot of work on her part, but it also helped that she was able to come to terms with her sexuality (part of the reason behind her disorder and self-image) and find love.
That's the only tie I can really give you for posting this on Valentine's Day (happy heart day!), but regardless: it's an important book to read, whether you have or have not known someone with an eating disorder. It has a lot to say about how we treat ourselves and what we let happen to our bodies--we are worth so much more than we realize! We can treat ourselves better.
So, I urge you on this day of love, to remember to have love for yourself! If there's nothing else, it's all we've got.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
BOOK #7: Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
It's going to sound cliche, but Bridget Jones' Diary is a book every woman should read. Unless, of course, you're a total stick insect who has never not been in a relationship and spends her weekends lunching in Europe with her perfect millionaire boyfriend. Bitches.
But, seriously! While Bridget has her over-the-top moments, she is an extremely relatable character: her constant battles with impossible weight loss, crappy boyfriends, and soul-sucking jobs are fights with which we are all familiar. Her boozy-but-always-there-for-her friends are also something that we can connect with--any woman in her 20's or 30's can't deny that there are some problems that can only be solved with the help of good wine and good pals.
Stereotypical? Yes. Based in truth? You bet your ass.
That could also be said about the book itself: Fielding's Diary is cliched and character-y and all sorts of fluffy nonsense, but it's also honest and heartwarming and a wonderful read.
Bloody brilliant, really.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
BOOK #4: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Ok, folks: there's a lot of hype and hate about the Twilight series, but I believe that you can't judge a book by its cover. Usually. Seriously, though: before you pass judgement on a book, you should read the whole thing.
This is not the first time I have read Stephenie Meyer's young adult vampire novel: my junior year of college, a friend with whom I had a lot in common (at least regarding the books and tv shows we enjoyed) lent me her hardcover copy, assuring me I would love it. I did not--I made it halfway through and ended up returning the book.
Time passed, I graduated, and moved to New York. The first week in my apartment, my box o' books sent from home had yet to arrive, so I ambled on over to B&N to find some pages to occupy my mind. For whatever reason, I picked up a paperback copy of Twilight, deciding to give it a second chance.
Second time was the charm: I fell in love with Twilight. It's not a particularly well-written book, nor is it terribly original, but there is just something about a sparkly vampire and eternal love that gets to me! From a technical standpoint, Meyer does very well when describing places, but with people she falls into a rut of repeated adjectives; the build of the story is slow, but as soon as she hits a major conflict, the pacing becomes far too rushed for its own good. This is where I'll give credit to the screenplay of the movie adaptation for spacing things out a bit more realistically.
Well, as realistic as you can get when we're talking high school vamps.
On the upside though, I really do enjoy the romantic aspect of it all: in Meyer's premiere novel, she's managed to capture the "first love" feeling of youth, where merely standing next to the fellow of your dreams made your heart get all a-tingly. Cheesy, yes--but it doesn't lessen the fact that the simpler times of having a kiss as the be-all, end-all were awesome.
Hell, let's just say it sparkles.