zaterdag 31 maart 2012

In My Mailbox (40)

A good week for me! I received eight cards in the mail today! The first one came from Belarus. A sweet card, for Eastern.Funny story, because Ekaterina sent me a card already but it got lost in the mail. She decided to sent me another one. Because I yhought that was very nice, I sent her a card in return.

Sent on: february 6th 2012
Received on: march 28th 2012
Distance: 1,720 km (1,069 miles)
Travel time: 51 days

I got a card from the capital of Russia, Moscow. It shows a picture of the Kremlin.

Sent on: march 13th 2012
Received on: march 26th 2012
Distance: 2,139 km (1,329 miles)
Travel time: 13 days

Then a card from Dortmund, Germany. A typical tourist card, not my favorite but I really liked the info on the back about the city.

Sent on: february 8th 2012
Received on: march 28th 2012
Distance: Distance: 109 km (68 miles)
Travel time: 49 days

I got a selfmade card from a fellow teacher from California, US. One of her students made it.

Sent on: february 27th 2012
Received on: march 28th 2012
Distance: 8,714 km (5,415 miles)
Travel time: 30 days

I got two cards from Belgium, First from its capital Brussels. I really love this card, it's my favorite of the week.

Sent on: march 25th 2012
Received on: march 28th 2012
Distance: 123 km (76 miles)
Travel time: 3 days

And from a place called Asse. Cute pig huh...

Sent on: march 19th 2012
Received on: march 29th 2012
Distance: 129 km (80 miles)
Travel time: 10 days

I got this really weird card from Bialysok, Belarus. On my profile it says that I don't like religious cards, but this was sent to me. I don't really like it.... It freaks me out.

Sent on: march 22nd 2012
Received on: march 31st 2012
Distance: 1,276 km (793 miles)
Travel time: 9 days

The last card I got this week came from Germany again. A pretty coast view with a lighthouse.

Sent on: march 28th 2012
Received on: march 31st 2012
Distance: 377 km (234 miles)
Travel time: 3 days

Thanks Ekaterina, Daria, Reinhold, Kami, Dragonhead, Veerle, Yana and Gaby.

50 Books Challenge 2012 Update - March

I read four books this month, not as much as I hoped. The romance month gave some really good books, but also a dissapointment. But the books got better while the month developed.

# 10. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux - 2/ 5
# 11. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks - 3,5/ 5
# 12. Emma by Jane Austen - 4/ 5
# 13. The Understudy by David Nicholls - 5/ 5

Average: 3,6

Favorite of the Month: The Understudy

Now the theme for april:

From cute romantic, too-good-to-be-true books, I'm going to read some realistic books in the non-fiction section. I'm planning on reading some books I've been wanting to read for a very long time. First, a book about one of my heroes, Nelson Mandela.

donderdag 29 maart 2012

Top 5 Thursday: "The Hunger Games" Characters

"The Hunger Games" has been a thing this week. It was the subject of my item "In the Picture" and I bombed you with pictures of Liam Hemsworth, one of the actors in the film, in my pic spam. So this weeks top 5 is also about "The Hunger Games" (book and movie) Here are my favorite characters from the first installment.

5. Haymitch Abernathy
Haymitch doesn't look like a reliable man when you first meet him, but once you get to know him he turns out to be the best mentor you could wish for. He has a certain sense of humor that not everyone understands, he's drunk or under the influence of alcohol almost all the time and always bickering with Effie.

4. Rue
Rue is one of the youngest tributes of the Hunger Games. People underestimate her becausse she's so young a small, but she is very clever. When Rue died, I cried.

3. Cinna
Cinna was the first person Katniss met that she experienced as 'normal'. He made her feel comfortable in a scary situation and Cinna was the last person Katniss saw before she was sent of for the Hunger Games.

2. Gale Hawthorne
Gale is Katniss best friend and hunting buddie. He takes care of her family when she has to enter the Hunger Games. Gale is loyal and kind and I seriously think he's the guy for Katniss.

1. Katniss Everdeen
It's very hard to not like her. Katniss doesn't like to be in the center of attention, but will do everything for her sister Primrose. She has a strong will, is very intelligent and has a good instinct. Katniss is one of the best movie/ book characters ever written.

They almost made the top 5: Effie and Primrose Everdeen

woensdag 28 maart 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 13: The Understudy by David Nicholls

Title: The Understudy
Author: David Nicholls
Story: Recently divorced actor Stephen C. McQueen (no relation, unfortunately) seems to have a knack for bad luck. But a failed marriage, a stalled career, a judgmental ex-wife, a distant daughter, a horrid little studio apartment in the far reaches of the London suburbs–all these pathetic elements seem to pale in the chiseled face of his newest tormentor: the Twelfth Sexiest Man in the World, Josh Harper. And just when Stephen’s sure he couldn’t resent Josh more, he meets Josh’s witty, restless American wife, Nora . . . and discovers he likes her a little too much.
Start: march 20th 2012
End: march 28th 2012
Comment: I stated my love for David Nicholls' books twice before, when I read "One Day" and "Starter for Ten". Stephen is kind of an anti-hero, desperate for succes. He did everything from playing a dead body to a dancing and singing squirrel. He gets an understudy role for the most annoying actor, but also very much adored by the audience, actor Josh Harper. When Stephen meets the perfect woman, Nora, the worst thing thinkable happens. She's married to Josh. Stephen isn't the perfect man, but because of all the bad luck he has and the visible flaws he admits to having, Stephen is an extremely likeable character. This book is just as irresistible, because it's thightly packed with sparkling dialogue, well paced comedy, quirky characters and uproarious plot turns thrown in for good measures. I can genuinely say David Nicholls is in danger of making the phrase 'laugh out loud' credible again. People say his writing is a lot like Nick Hornby's. I can see it, but I'm very close to even liking Nicholls more. "The Understudy" was such an enjoyable, romantic and witty novel. Good for every mood.
Rating: 4/ 5

dinsdag 27 maart 2012

Pic Spam: Liam Hemsworth

I saw "The Hunger Games" two days ago and I couldn't get my eyes of of Liam Hemsworth. He's perfect for the role of Gale Hawthorne, my favorite male character. And please take a good look at his beautiful eyes... Here are some of Liam's best pictures.

maandag 26 maart 2012

In the Picture: The Characters from "The Hunger Games"

I read the books and yesterday I finally saw the movie. I have been looking forward to this for so many months. Here are the characters from “The Hunger Games” and I’m going to apologize in advance, I picked two favorites….

Katniss Everdeen
Played by: Jennifer Lawrence
Katniss is 16-years old and lives with her mother and younger sister Primrose. After her father dies in an mine explosion, she hunts to provide for her family and she’s the glue that keeps the three of them together. When Prim’s name is called out during the reaping, Katniss volunteers as tribute for the Hunger Games. She promises her sister she will try to win the games and during the training she catches the eye of the viewers. She has to act like she’s in love with Peeta in order to survive and to earn sponsors. Katniss is a fighter and a survivor and does everything to return to her sister.

Peeta Mellark
Played by: Josh Hutcherson
Peeta is the son of a baker and the male tribute for District 12. He has been in love with Katniss for a long time. Peeta is loyal and brave, but can also act very arrogant.

Gale Hawthorne
Played by: Liam Hemsworth
Gale is Katniss’ best friend and hunting partner. When Katniss leaves for the Hunger Games, he promises her to take care of her family. Gale calls her “Catnip”. He is a true friend, because he keeps his promise and may even have feelings for Katniss. When he sees her kiss Peeta, he isn’t happy about it.

Haymitch Abernathy
Played by: Woody Harrelson
Haymitch is Katniss’ and Peeta’s mentor and a former Hunger Games winner from district 12. He is drunk, or at least under the influence of alcohol, most of the time. He sends Katniss gifts throughout the games to help her survive.

Played by: Lenny Kravitz
Cinna is Katniss’ stylist. He’s a sly and witty man and clever with his fingers and even smarter in the mind. His fantastic design for Katniss’ clothes, increases her popularity. Cinna has a strong connection with Katniss.

Effie Trinket
Played by Elizabeth Banks
Effie is the District 12 escort and always happy and bubbly. She has a very colourful appearance and helps Katniss and Peeta to get sponsors. Effie is constantly bickering and arguing with Haymitch. She also hates it when people don’t have proper etiquettes.

Caesar Flickerman
Played by: Stanley Tucci
Caesar is a TV-host and interviews the tributes before they enter the Hunger Games. He’s an extravagant man, with bright blue hair and pearly white teeth who knows exactly how to entertain a crowd.

President Snow
Played by: Donald Sutherland
President Snow is the president of Panem. He is loved by many and hated by maybe even more people. Mostly the ones in the lower districts. Snow is vicious and can’t stand the fact that Katniss was so smart during the Hunger Games.

Seneca Crane
Played by: Wes Bentley
Seneca is the head gamemaker of the 74th Hunger Games. He is appointed by President Snow and his job is to maximize the excitement of the Hunger Games. He looks very confident but remains aware he's at the President’s mercy.

Favorite Character: Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne (sorry, couldn’t choose)

zondag 25 maart 2012

Movie Trailer Sunday (30)

This weeks trailers are about a devoted family father, civil war in Mexico, a kid looking for his father, piranha's and Hell's Gate.

Mighty Fine
Description: Joe Fine (Chazz Palminteri) is a charismatic, high-spirited man, who relocates his family--wife Stella (Andie MacDowell), daughters Nathalie and Maddie--from Brooklyn to New Orleans, in search of a better life. Joe's devotion to his family knows no bounds, and he seeks to provide them with the ultimate in the good life, from a palatial home to a steady string of extravagant gifts. Unfortunately, Joe's spending spree is wildly out of touch with reality, as his apparel business is teetering on the brink of collapse, a fact he refuses to accept
Director: Debbie Goodstein
Starring: Chazz Palminteri and Andie MacDowell
Trailer: Trailer "Mighty Fine"

For Greater Glory
Description: What price would you pay for freedom? An impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as General Gorostieta (Andy Garcia), the retired military man who at first thinks he has nothing personal at stake as he and his wife (Eva Longoria) watch Mexico fall into a violent civil war. Yet the man who hesitates in joining the cause will soon become the resistance's most inspiring and self-sacrificing leader, as he begins to see the cost of religious persecution on his countrymen... and transforms a rag-tag band of rebels into a heroic force to be reckoned with. The General faces impossible odds against a powerful and ruthless government. Yet it's those he meets on the journey, youthful idealists, feisty renegades and, most of all, one remarkable teenager named Jose who, reveal to him how courage and belief are forged even when justice seems lost.
Director: Dean Wright
Starring: Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Peter O'Toole and Bruce Greenwood
Trailer: Trailer "For Greater Glory"

Jesus Henry Christ
Description: Precocious doesn't even begin to describe Henry James Herman (Jason Spevack), a petri dish child who writes rabble-rousing manifestos on the nature of truth... at age 10. This boy-genius misfit's world turns upside down when--to the dismay of the doting single mother who raised him--he embarks on a search for his biological father.
Director: Dennis Lee
Starring: Toni Collette, Michael Sheen, Jason Spevack and Samantha Weinstein
Trailer: Trailer "Jesus Henry Christ"
Comment: I like this sort of stories.

Piranha 3DD
Description: After the terror unleashed on Lake Victoria the pre-historic school of blood thirsty piranhas are back. This time, no one is safe from the flesh eating fish as they sink their razor sharp teeth into the visitors of summer's best attraction, The Big Wet Water Park.
Director: John Gulager
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, David Koechner, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Gary Busy and David Hasselhoff
Trailer: Trailer "Piranha 3DD"
Comment: Just for the sake of it...

The Legend of Hell's Gate
Description: In 1870s Texas, a ruthless bounty hunter and an Irish desperado flee the law with a young criminal claiming to possess a treasure more valuable than gold. Crossing paths with some of the West's most notorious figures, the three outlaws fight for their lives in the pursuit of fame and fortune.
Director: Tanner Beard
Starring: Eric Balfour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Henry Thomas, Jenna Dewan, Summer Glau, Jamie Thomas King, Kevin Alejandro, Tanner Beard, James Lafferty, Robert Buckley
Trailer: Trailer "The Legend of Hell's Gate"

In My Mailbox (39)

Two cards this week. The first card I received came from Jakarta, Indonesia. My first card from Indonesia and the first time I received a card after so many days. Past its expireing date.

Sent on: january 9th 2012
Received on: march 20th 2012
Distance: 11,292 km (7,017 miles)
Travel time: 71 days

I also got a card from my Plauen, Germany. The sender forgot to put the ID number on the card, but I managed to trace her. So I got to register it after all.

Sent on: march 15th 2012
Received on: march 21st 2012
Distance: 439 km (273 miles)
Travel time: 6 days

Thanks Pipit and Julia for the cards.

zaterdag 24 maart 2012

Movie Moments: "127 Hours"

This movie blew my mind when I saw it. Especially because of the great performance by James Franco. Here are my favorite moments from "127 Hours".

Moment # 1: Opening
We see how Aron gets ready for his trip to the Blue John in the Canyonlands. We hear the song “Never Hear Surf Music Again" by Free Blood.

Moment # 2: Aron meets Kristi and Megan
When Aron is climbing, he sees two girls. He sees that they’re lost and their names are Kristi and Megan. Aron offers to take them to the Dome, the place they were looking for. The girls accept Aron’s help.

Moment # 3: Climb and squeeze
Aron tells Kristi and Megan that he knows how to get to the Dome, but he knows an ever cooler way to get there. The most fun they will have with their clothes on. They have to climb and squeeze though. The three have to get between two rocks, but Aron lets go and drops. Kristi and Megan are afraid that something happened to him, but when they hear his voice they know he’s fine. He dropped into a beautiful blue pool of water. Kristi also dares to let go and Megan follows pretty soon.

Moment # 4:Aron gets stuck
After leaving Kristi and Megan, Aron starts to climb down a canyon. Suddenly a rock comes loose, falls and roles on his arm. Aron is stuck. First he doesn’t really realize what happened, he tries to move the rock and screams for help. No one will hear him.

Moment # 5: Sunshine
The sun comes up and Aron enjoys the feeling of the warmth on his skin. It reminds him of his dad, when he was younger. Unfortunately the sunshine only lasts for 15 minutes.

Moment # 6: Do not lose it
Aron is filming himself, a video for the people who find him. When he hears something he starts screaming for help. It was nothing, but when Aron sees himself on the camera he tells himself not to lose it.

Moment # 7: Good morning everyone!
When the morning breaks, Aron starts filming himself hosting a morning show. He starts interviewing himself, admitting that he was selfish for not telling anyone where he was going. Oops…

Moment # 8: The only sulotion
Aron knows the only way to get out of there is to cut of his arm. First he has to break the bones and cut the nerves. His will to live is much stronger than his fear of the pain. He manages to cut his arm of and escapes the canyon.

Moment # 9: Aron finds help
When Aron gets out he still has to walk all the way back. Aron finally finds help, they make sure he gets water and they send him a helicopter to take him home. The song "Festival" by Sigur Ros is playing.

Favorite Moment: Moment # 3: Climb and squeeze

donderdag 22 maart 2012

Top 5 Thursday: Classic Movie Stars

My daily talk is about movies, movies popular today and the actors and actresses in those films. Sometimes I also like to think and talk about the stars that we once had. The classic movie stars. Here are my favorites.

5. Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly is most famous for his roles in “Singin’ in the Rain”, which I absolutely love, and “An American in Paris”. He was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid 1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s.

4. Marilyn Monroe
Not just a famous Hollywood actress, but also a model, singer, showgirl and sex symbol. Starred in “The Seven Year Itch”, “All About Eve”, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Some Like it Hot”. An icon in her time and never will she be forgotten.

3. James Dean
James Dean was a cultural icon. “Rebel Without a Cause”, where he played troubled teenager Jim Stark, defined his stardom. Later he starred in “East of Eden” and “Giant” which were also a great success. Dean's enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films. He died too young.

2. Audrey Hepburn
The only British actress on this list. She wasn’t only an actress, Hepburn was also a humanitarian. She was actually always very modest about her acting, which makes her likeable. Favorites off course “Breakfast at Tiffanies” and “My Fair Lady”.

1. Marlon Brando
Brando was, besides a fantastic actor, also a political activist. Brando had a significant impact on film acting, and was the foremost example of the "method" acting style. Great movies like “On the Waterfront” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” and later “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”. What an actor!

They almost made the top 5: Grace Kelly, Eva Gardner and Paul Newman