mindful living mondays: reading & watching

over the weekend,
i had a number of you ask me
what am i reading?
what foreign films will i be watching?
yes i did spend almost the whole weekend in bed
(but thankfully i'm done with the sore throat
the terribly sore muscles,
and the chills so bad they woke me up in the middle of the night)
but i spent it indulging in fascinating literature
and engaging foreign films,
which made it (almost) okay.

since we've gotten married,
i've become a lot more mindful about what i watch on the telly,
and what types of books i'm reading.

first of all,
we don't have cable tv.
we did in the first year of our marriage
(because it was free! it came with our rent!
and we had gotten an amazing new tv to boot...)
but once we moved, no more mindless afternoons
spent on the couch watching reruns of tv shows i didn't even care about.

now, we decide what shows & films we're interested in watching,
and find ways to get them.
netflix (at $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming movies)
has proved invaluable in this capacity.
paul (huge movie buff that he is) usually suggests about 4 or 5 movies a week
that he's interested in, and we'll research them,
watch the previews,
and decide which ones we're both down to watch.
foreign films are pretty big in our repetoire,
as are documentaries and political dramas.
this weekend,
we watched three foreign films,
and had fun pairing them
with a dinner (loosely) associated with each country.
friday night, we watched an italian film
called la siciliana ribelle,
a true story about a young woman who took on
the sicilian mafia in the 1980s,
and ate pizza (mmmmm.)
saturday, i was too sick to want anything other than soup,
so we munched on french bread and vichysoisse
(a french potato & leek soup, traditionally served cold)
and watched a creepy movie called a la folie... pas du tout
starring the darling audrey tatou.
sunday was nordwand, the true story of two germans
trying to scale an impossible mountain face,
accompanied by hamburgers
(this was a bit more of a joke,
considering i don't really believe that the hamburger
as we know it today
came from hamburg, germany).

even though i was sick,
i tried to spend my time napping & reading
(right now i'm in the middle of the autobiography
of emmeline pankhurst,
a pioneer of women's suffrage in england in the 1900s)
rather than watching daytime tv.
i've found (through lots of experience)
that too much tv makes me cranky, listless,
and even nauseous.

so when boredom hits,
i try to reach for a novel instead
(my favorites lately have been written by canadians,
with a strong female lead,
or of course anything by jane austen)...
or lately a beautifully written cookbook
(i'm still working my way through nigella lawson's how to eat),
and when i'm in doubt about what new novel to try,
i head to my local library,
look for something that's won a few awards,
and flip to the middle to read a few paragraphs.
our evenings,
when we're not out exploring our new city,
are spent indulging in movies
that we've both been excited about watching all day,
and that often spur discussion long afterwards,
rather than just turning on the tv and zoning out.

and compared to that free year of cable tv?
well, i like this much better.


  1. other than the sickness, that sounds like a fabulous way to spend the weekend! I need to train myself to reach for a book instead of the remote when boredom (or a free moment from work) strikes. I all too easily fall into the trap of bad reality TV, seductive as it is! but at the end of the day, I don't care about those drama queens and I'd much rather make a dent in my little library! you've inspired me... I hope it sticks! oh, and I love how you matched your dinners with the movies. so cute! makes a quiet night in a memorable experience, I think.

  2. Hope you are feeling better dear! We are watching Netflix right now, we use it allll the time:-)

  3. Get better soon!! I love this change of a tv for a books case!! Have a good week! :)

  4. I hope you're feeling better today koukla! My boyfriend and I love netflix as well - especially for the documentaries, foreign and independent films.

  5. Anonymous9/8/11

    Hope you are doing good. And this is an awesome way of spending weekend. Watching movies and making dinner which resembles foreign movie taste :) XO XO

  6. we've always loved living without tv.
    andrew is all about those foreign films & documentaries on netflix -- he would love to join you two for all of your movie choices!

  7. Our cable comes with our rent, too. My boyfriend and I watch a lot of travel shows and such on TLC and History, and the occasional NatGeo. And I love how you mentioned Nigella Lawson, I always have to refrain myself from eating while watching her show! And I admire you guys for your making your movie escapades meaningful.


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