Wednesday, March 05, 2008

15 Magazines a Weekend

Sorry I disappeared. I went on a little vacation to visit some family in Philadelphia. Unlike in my house where I am outnumbered by men, in this house the women rule. The supply of magazines and chocolate far exceeds what I am used to, and I had a little trouble controlling myself. I read no books, but I did read several back issues of InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, Romantic Homes, and a magazine called Lucky, which I couldn’t figure out at all.

We went to see the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, which we enjoyed, and then keeping with the 16th century theme also watched four episodes of The Tudors, the recent Showtime production about Henry VIII starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The Other Boleyn Girl (based on the book by Philippa Gregory) stars Eric Bana as Henry VIII. I can’t decide which Henry I prefer: Rhys Meyers captures Henry’s intelligence well but while good looking, seems too small for the part. Bana looks suitably bear-like but the writers didn’t give him a chance to seem very smart. I have read only one of Gregory’s books in her series about the Tudors (The Queen’s Fool), but I didn’t like it well enough to read any of the others. Thus I can’t comment on whether The Other Boleyn Girl was a good adaptation, but it’s an entertaining movie and despite the racy ads is perfectly safe for young teens if you have any who want to go.

The weather in Philadelphia was in the high 40’s Fahrenheit. This is a huge contrast to the months of below zero weather we’ve had in Wisconsin, with roads covered in ice, and more than 80 inches of snow. Getting around was so uncomplicated! And I could wear normal shoes. We went to the Philadelphia Flower Show, which is a tradition in our family among the women, anyway. Women were the majority of show attendees, I noticed, and the convention center did a smart thing: it converted several men’s rest rooms into women’s rooms. I thought the show itself was a bit underwhelming. Has the exhibit space shrunk in favor of space for vendors? It seemed like it. I did buy some clever pulley things that let you raise and lower your hanging flower baskets for easier watering. I had seen them a while ago on a British gardening Web site and had searched everywhere for them here, to no avail. A nice English vendor had them for $16 each and after I bought them, he said "thanks luv."

On the plane home I finished The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I will write more about that soon. It wasn’t a good choice for the plane because I kept crying, which as you can imagine, is awkward and embarrassing. I had to skim some parts near the end because I knew that if I read them with my full attention I might sob aloud, which would certainly discomfit my fellow passengers. Now I need to go back and re-read those sections when I’m home alone and can cry in peace.


Megan said...

I went to the Flower Show with a friend on Sunday. Having never been, I can't comment on how it compares to other years - but I thought it was awesome. I'd never really seen anything like it so I couldn't get over stupid things like "Hey, that's a really big tree growing in a building. And somebody brought that from somewhere." I was also impressed by how even the smallest details were accounted for in large landscapes!

Anonymous said...

I went to the flower show once and I liked it okay, but I'd rather putter in my own garden than see these created landscapes. Especially when surrounded by hordes of people!

Hey, Becky, I didn't know you had family here in Philly. I live in a northern burb (near the Jenkintown train station). Where are your chocolate & magazine loving relatives? Next time you're here, I'd love to meet you -- I think this is a great blog and your sagacity and wit infuse it.

Becky Holmes said...

Susan, send me an email to so I can reply with more details than I want to reveal in a blog.

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