Summary of March 2011

I am a bit late with my monthly summary, but even this way I couldn’t finish everything I wanted before I could post. The theme of our lives seems to be that we have always more things to do than time for them.

Stella keeps growing in knowledge, skills, language, spirit, size and experiences. The big news is that she started going to daycare. Twice a week she spends there 3-4 hours, giving us/me more time to catch up on aforementioned tasks. The first week Anya stayed with her at daycare so she could get used to it. She always seems to have a good time, even thought sometimes she doesn’t want us to leave. She is picking up new words and habits real fast. Finally spring  arrived so we’re spending more time on the playground too. Here are some things she did for the first time this month:

  • Climb up on a climbing wall
  • Eat nori
  • Paint with a brush
  • Read numbers
  • Say more than ten Hungarian words
  • Rake leaves
  • Pick flowers and put them in her hair
  • Pet a rabbit
  • Attend a friend’s birthday party from the playground

Anya is busier than ever. She has three new bnei-mitzvah students. She has successfully migrated the accounting system of a business from a really antiquated one to the most modern one. Most importantly the weather allowed her to do gardening, so she cleared more of our garden and planted lots of veggies and some flowers too. She is also back on track of her fitness plan and doing well with the couch-to-5k program.

My own work is also going well. I made major steps with the eCommerce site I’ve been building and it will hopefully launch in April. I learned a lot of Drupal and even some more PHP in the process.

From my many hobby sites I spent time only with adding data to Jewish.FilmAndReligion.com. In the month of March I added 249 movies (725), 131 festivals (352), 141 links to reviews/blogs news (212). Furthermore I added/associated the movies played at 62 festivals (143). The totals the site has now in these four categories are in parenthesis. I added 30+ books to my SocRelig.com site, and collected 20+ items I wanted to blog about, but didn’t yet. I will add them in April, even though I will not enjoy one of the advantages of blog entries: their timeliness.

I managed to read a few books this month too:

  • Peter F. Hamilton: Pandora’s Star: Exciting, intergalactical page turner sci-fi. Waiting to get the second, concluding volume from the library.
  • Sofi Oksanen: Purge: Here is my full review of this multilayered novel set in Estonia.
  • Vivian J. Kaplan: Ten Green Bottles: The subtitle will nicely recap the story: The True Story of One Family’s Journey from War-torn Austria to the Ghettos of Shanghai
  • Steve Sheinkin: Rabbi Harvey and the Wisdom Kid: Graphic novel of a witty rabbi’s adventures in the wild west as he faces off with a modern con-rabbi.
  • Jókai Mór: Bosszú a túlvilágon: Three funny sci-fi-ish stories from this 19th century Hungarian author.

I’ve seen 35 movies in March, 18 of them as a previewer for the local Jewish Film Festival.

  1. 100 Voices: A Journey Home (2010, USA): Documentary about cantors visiting Poland and reliving and reviving Jewish culture there.
  2. Ahead of Time (2009, USA): Documentary about Ruth Gruber, who was the world’s youngest PhD at age 20, then a  reporter  and member of Roosevelt Administration.
  3. Amen. (2002, France, Germany, Romania): Story of how an SS officer tried to inform the Pope about Jews being killed off in concentration camps. (DVD)
  4. Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds (Arthur et la guerre des deux mondes) (2010, France): Third installment of Luc Besson’s animation, mostly set in our world and not down below.
  5. The Assassin Next Door (Kirot) (2009, Israel): Two very different women (an assassin and a battered wife) in Israel combine their powers against violent men. (DVD)
  6. At the Green Line (2005, Israel, USA): Documentary about the conscientious objectors Israeli soldiers.
  7. Baghdad Twist (2008, Canada): Visual memoir of a Jewish family’s life in Iraq before 1970.
  8. Battle: Los Angeles (2011, USA): Big budget, shoot-the-aliens action movie set in LA. (DVD)
  9. Be Fruitful and Multiply (2005, Israel): Documentary about orthodox Jewish women with lots of children. (DVD)
  10. Berlin 36 (2009, Germany): Feature film about a Jewish athlete and how she was prevented from competing at the 1936 Olympics.
  11. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010, USA): Family friendly adaptation of the adventure book. (DVD)
  12. Dear Wendy (2005, USA, Denmark, Germany): A boy in a nameless, timeless towns leads his friends into a cult of guns. (DVD)
  13. A Film Unfinished (Shtikat Haarchion) (2010, Germany, Israel): Documentary about people behind and before the camera in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  14. The Green Hornet (2011, USA): An adult son revenges his father’s death as a masked hero, with the help of his assistant. (DVD)
  15. How Do You Know (2010, USA): Love triangle story as a romantic comedy (DVD)
  16. Hugo Pool (1997, USA): Robert Downey Sr. directing/following Alyssa Milano as a pool cleaner. (DVD)
  17. I Saw Giraffes In India (2009, Israel): Documentary about an Israeli rock band’s tour in India, during and after the Mumbai terror attack
  18. The Investigator (A Nyomozo) (2008, Hungary): Thriller about a guy who is trying to figure out who hired him to kill his unknown brother.
  19. The Lost Future (2010, USA): Survivors in a post-apocalyptic world struggle with genetically mutating beasts and mysterious diseases.
  20. Love During Wartime (2010, Sweden): Documentary about the hardships of an Israeli/Palestinian couple.
  21. Mah-Jongg: The Tiles That Bind (1998, USA): Documentary about the mah-jongg game and its role in the life of  American-Jewish women. (DVD)
  22. My So-Called Enemy (2010, USA):  Documentary about teenagers who participated in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace.
  23. Precious Life (2010, Israel): Documentary about how an Israeli pediatrician and a journalist is trying to save the life of a Palestinian baby who suffers from an incurable genetic disease.
  24. The Romantics (2010, USA): Seven close friends reunite for the wedding of two of their friends. (DVD)
  25. Round Ireland with a Fridge (2010, UK): A comedian travels around Ireland with a fridge and has appropriate adventures.
  26. Serving Sara (2002, USA): A process server tries to serve an elusive female target. (DVD)
  27. Tamara Drewe (2010, UK): A young newspaper writer returns to her hometown in the English countryside, where her childhood home is being prepped for sale. (DVD)
  28. This is Sodom (Zohi Sdom) (2010, Israel): Monthy Python still reenactment of the Biblical Sodom story, by an Israel comedy group.
  29. The Tourist (2010, USAFrance): Johnny Depp  Angelina Jolie. The rest you can forget. (DVD)
  30. The Town (2010, USA): A bank robber falls in love with his hostage. (DVD)
  31. The Trotsky (2009, Canda): A high school student in Canada thinks he is a the reincarnation of Trotsky and acts accordingly. (DVD)
  32. The Way Up (2009, Israel): Follows the life of a young woman on the streets of Tel Aviv for three years, who is from Romania, a drug user and a lesbian.
  33. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (2009, USA): Biopic about the famous lawyer and civil rights activist. (DVD)
  34. The Yankles (2009, USA): Comedy about a baseball team formed at an orthodox yeshiva.
  35. Z for Zachariah (1984, UK): Depicts two people’s lives in a Welsh valley after a nuclear holocaust.

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