Monday, December 27, 2010

Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over



I love this sound! Makes me want to jump around and smile!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Movies

How to Train Your Dragon

I can't say enough about this movie. I even watched it twice to make sure I wasn't swayed by my glass of wine. To my joy, it wasn't the wine that made this movie so adorable. I'm not a collector of anything but I want to collect the figurines from this movie, I even want some stuff animals of the dragons. So why is it so good? It covers every human emotion, I cried, laughed, cheered, booed, it pulled me in to movie. Gerad Butler (always a plus) plays the very large viking dad, who never seems to understand his rather scrawny son, who doesn't seem to have any viking potential. The main dragon, Toothless (I so want one), is adorable, fierce, funny and loyal. There are a few things that may be disturbing to young viewers. There is a dragon raid of the village in the opening scene, these are not your friendly dragons. They are carrying away sheep, other livestock and people. There are battle scenes with the vikings and the dragons with both sides having causalities. Towards the middle we see some of the loot that the dragons take being dumped into a large pit, where a even meaner larger dragon lives. At the end this dragon comes out for the biggest battle. Now I don't want to give away anything else but right at the end there is a scene which is very heartbreaking and it will be OK but not for a little bit. Whew, I hope that doesn't spoil it. So I give this movie ☺☺☺☺☺

Toy Story 3

Before you ask, yes I watch adult movies, sometimes. But its hard to find movies that one female and four males all want to sit down and watch. So, anyway, I liked this movie too, which I was very surprised about. I wasn't a huge fan of the first two, I thought they were good but I didn't want to see them again. This one is the best of the three. It is appropriate for most ages, though the mean teddy bear and the creepy baby doll might scare some of the younger audience (the baby doll does come back around to the good side, not so much for the bear). I cried at the end, not because its scary but because I'm a mom and the ending is written from a mom's point of view, or at least that's how I saw it. The whole child grows up, leaves the house and is no longer a child thing, oh yeah, I cried. So all you adults out there, give into your inner youth and watch both these movies, you won't regret it. ☺☺☺☺☺




Saturday, December 18, 2010

Books, books and more Books!

This last semester was all about literature. I had one class about 18th century British literature and two classes about teaching literature and writing to middle school and high school students. I had to read a lot of books. Now that I have this break I wanted to share some of the books that I read, the good and the bad. My boys love to read (not sure where they got that - wink, wink) and I am constantly reading what they read and then trying to find new books to engage them in. So here goes my Saturday Book Club slash review.

First I am currently reading book one in a young adult fiction series called 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson. I will let you know next week how it is. Feel free to join me in this exploration of books. They won't all be young adult novels but I am trying to find books that I can use at the middle and high school level.

Now on to a review of a series that I have read. FYI, two of my sons have read this series and my husband is about to start book one. The first book in the series was a required read this past semester as an example of a good book with possibilities for using as a "whole class" read. Meaning I could use this novel to teach literary terms, it has possibilities for teaching writing techniques and with some homework on the teachers part could be used to do a literary analysis.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Let's get the basics out of the way, I liked this series. It was fast paced, easy to read and it kept me hooked until the end. For those of you who care, rumor is they are making these books into a movie. This is a three book series, Mocking Jay (book three) just came out. The premise is a world divided because of war. You have small communities of people with one central government who controls everything (for the good of the people, not so much). Every year they have the Hunger Games. Two people are chosen from every community to go and participate in a game of death, last one standing wins. The story focuses on one particular city and one girl who changes the course of the games and then eventually the course of the world. I think that is as much of a plot summary as I can give without telling everything.

What the book as going for it:

A.     This is not a "mirror" book, this is not written in the way that kids speak everyday. There are new vocabulary words and the dialogue is intelligent.

B.      The author uses description techniques really well, the movie making process in a readers mind needs very little help.

C.      You care about the characters and you can become easily emotionally involved. My boys would tell me that they were upset about how something went down or if they wanted a scene to go a different way.

D.      There is plenty in these books to have discussions about; war, ethics, loyality, decisions, consequences, accountabilty, etc.

Things parents might not like:

A.     Strong violence, battles - group and individual. Children die, sometimes in cruel and visual disturbing ways. Torture, cruel words and hurtful conversations.

B.     There is rebellion, children and adults. There are kids breaking rules and asserting their independence.

C.     There is no sex but there is kissing, though not written in any descriptive ways, just they kissed.

This book is for teens, though I would caution that it should be read by emotionally strong teens. If I were to teach from this book I would use it in 8th or 9th grade. I haven't given it to my 6th grader because I don't think he's ready to process the cruelty that is done, one human to another. This is a book that I would recommend to teens and adults. Happy reading!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

I can't believe I did it! I have just finished my first semester of my junior year at college. Next semester I start student teaching, it is truly mind blowing.




Now I just have to wait for grades to be posted and I can relax until mid-January when the madness starts all over.

I hope to get caught up on all my favorite blogs and see what's new in the community. Of course I will also be watching junk TV, reading some great books and of course watching some Bollywood movies (still dreaming of going to India).




Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Unspeakable Joy

Do you remember in the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" there is the part where his heart grows, so much so that it might grow bigger than his icky green body can contain? Well that's how I felt yesterday for a brief moment and I wanted to capture it here forever.

My 15 yo son and I were running some errands in our small little town and getting him some driving time on icy roads. We were at our last stop the Dollar Store, the parking lot was icy except for by the front of the stores, there it was slushy with puddles. As we leave the store and are on the curb, I am looking at the slush trying to find the least wet spot when my son reaches over takes my hand and says "OK on the count of three!" and we jump the slush. He doesn't let go of my hand right a way and in that moment I know that I love him. Not the he's my kid or he was a cute baby kind of love but the love that expands your heart and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt this love will last forever not matter what might come in the future.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Future Looks Bright I Oughta Wear Shades

I just got done reading the Hunger Games series because, a) my kid was readying it b) my teaching class suggested them since they are high on the young adult novel list. Here is what I think or though after I finished.

1.  The books are entertaining and easy to read.

2.  Young adults will not (most of them) understand or grasp the truth and sadness in the books. The idea that another human would treat someone so cruelly and cause so much pain seems unreal or unlikely to a young adult. That a government would destroy another country filled with innocent people is unfathomable.

Today I read about North and South Korea shooting missiles at each other and the rest of the world is sitting back doing nothing or passing judgement on who's right and who's wrong. In the books that is what the Districts (mini countries) do. They have become complacent and accept all that is told to them without thought or checking it out for themselves. It is the teens in the book, the children who cause a rebellion to stop the madness, will it be the same for us?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Writing

I haven't actually blogged in a while, partially because with school and family I've been very busy. However the other reason is that this semester I've had to do some writing, duh English major, and it hasn't been very good. Well OK not all of it and I suppose a "B" is good for some but I wanted to do better.

The one comment I keep getting is I don't have enough voice and my transitions suck. These comments led me to start thinking about how I would teach kids to put voice in their work. Like blogging when I write I tend to hold back, worried about what the person might think when they read the piece. While I know that a writer should not be so worried about this, as long as they are writing to their attended audience, it is still something I struggle with. (So are run-on sentences, but one thing at a time).

This idea of not censuring yourself to cater to others made me think about blogging and who I admire in the blog world who write to please themselves and two blogs stand out to me for two very different reasons. First up WaystationOne aka Brian. Here is a man who can write about anything, in any format. In the three years of college and the half dozen writing classes and a lot of books, he is one of my favorite writers. As far as I can tell there isn't a subject he can't write about and no format is to hard. I laugh, cry and sometimes just sit back and think about what he's written. to me he is what a writer is meant to be and say.

The second blogger is a little different but just as powerful. Over at Life Accourding To Candice you will always be surprised, sometimes shock and other times down right embarrassed that you like reading her blog so much, though to caution those with sensitive eyes it should sometimes come in a brown wrapper. Candice writes with the most extreme honesty, I've never read anything like it, is it shocking, R rated and even X rated at times? YEP. But she writes what she feels and regardless of what people might think she says what's on her mind. Her words are witty and metaphors and similes are priceless. I hope before I leave this earth I am able to capture a little bit of her in all that I say and do.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Movies

It's Thanksgiving break and  I can read what I want for fun and get caught up on movies! Yeah Me!

First up - The Karate Kid

I liked it, though it was predictable because of course I've seen the original. My boys who I don't think have seen the original loved the Kung-fu moves at the competition. Actually I was a little worried that afterwards they were going to try them in my living room by common sense prevailed. It gets a little cheesy with scenes between the boy and girl but roll your eyes through those and the rest will slightly entertain you older people and younger guys will really like this.





The Last Airbender -

I have a son who loves this series on TV and he was so mad that he left watching the movie to come tell me how bad it was. The characters are portrayed incorrectly, even down to their names being said wrong. The story lines have been changed, etc. I asked him if he hadn't been a fan would he have liked it and he said no. I thought perhaps he was biased so I asked my other son who doesn't watch it on TV and he thought it was lame. So if you're a fan don't watch it because you'll be knit-picking it apart and if you haven't well it sounds like it would be a waste of your time.




Letters to Juliet -

This is a beautiful movie to watch but then so is any movie shot in Italy. The story line is cute and predictable. I don't know I can't really tell you much because it didn't say or do much. The acting was fine but there were moments where it felt more like cue card reading? It's rated PG so young girls can watch it, my boys thought it was dumb. I liked it because it entertained me but when I was writing this I thought that it was the scenery that kept me going not the story line.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

PEOPLE ARE AWESOME

Are they talented or crazy?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Movies

Again I have to give you some recommendations from my family because homework has left me with very little time ti actually watch movies. I would have watched a movie last night but instead I had to pay to watch the UFC fights which were ok, except the main fight, which was to go 5 rounds, last a little over a minute! Ok so I transgress here are some movies that my guys (yep I am the last of the females) have recommended for you. (Please be warned I have not personally watched any of these in their entirety or some not at all).


Ok first up Jake (youngest) would like you to watch the Sandlot Kids and he would also suggest that you watch all three. Uh he thinks they're great and fun to watch. He wants me to tell you to have a nice day (such a great kids).

Next we have Sean (middle) he thinks you should see Date Night. It's really funny and he thinks Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are way funny. He likes the part about the kill shot and how Tina's character can't control herself around Mark Wahlberg when he's shirtless (which is the whole movie).






Lastly Zech (oldest) he thinks if you have Netflix you should watch the Robin Hood series. This is  a very well done BBC series that seems to have lasted 3 seasons. I have watched a few and they are decent family entertainment. The boys in the family do seem to get a bit worked up though when a character gets out of line or does something contrary to what they think should be done. Alright then have a great week, see you on the Web!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Movies

I haven't had time to watch movies a lot recently with school and now midterms but I did take some time to see a few.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Nicolas Cage is delightful, charming, witty and fun to watch. This is really his style of movie lately. However as good as the movie could have been I couldn't stand the guy who plays his apprentice and it ruined the whole movie for me. His name is Toby Kebbell and he played the part so wimpy it made me cringe. He always looked uncomfortable in all his scenes and I get the idea that the apprentice was suppose to be reluctant but ugh, he just made me want to look away. I will say to Mr. Kebbell's credit this way of acting worked really well in the very funny and highly recommended move "Fan Boys", but no so much in this movie. If you are a Nicolas Cage fan watch the movie, otherwise I'd skip it.










Me and Orson Welles - I didn't like this movie but wait my husband really did, go figure. I thought it was long and boring and kept getting up to go do other things. However, my husband thought it was funny and very interesting. He liked the dark humor and thought the guy playing Orson Welles (Christian McKay) did a great job. So my only recommendation is if you like Orson Welles or if you are a big fan of Zac Efron you might like this movie. There is no action and it moves along really slow.What I did learn was the Orson Welles slept with just about any female who walked by, literally.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Something Old is now Something New

I’ve just discovered the ………………..Beatles! That’s right at 45 (just had my birthday Monday) I have discovered something that the rest of the planet has known about for – well forever. I just never seemed to care for their music, not sure why. Then yesterday and this morning (at 8 am because I had to drive two boys to a soccer game, which I then have to drive one boy to a football game at 9, watch the soccer game and then go to a different field to watch the football game 10, just wanted you to have a play by play of my morning – all on one cup of coffee!).


Where was I, oh yesterday and this morning I was listening to NPR and they are featuring John Lennon because it’s his birthday today and out of the blue I hear some explanation of the meanings of some songs, they play a clip and I love it, can’t wait to put it on my MP3 love it.

So folks I have final found another way to enter into the human race with my new found love and joy of the Beatles.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Will TV's really be obsolete?

I was reading an article the other day that was purposing that TV’s would soon be obsolete. Not only would it be our TV’s but our lap tops but even normal in home computers. These would all be gone because we are such a mobile society we will all have some kind of hand held to work with instead. We won’t need cable because we can stream TV and movies through our wireless. Netflix and Hulu.com already have made several venues obsolete. It’s been at least two years since I’ve been to a movie rental store.


I’ve looked at the hand held devices and I’m not sure I’m ready for a smaller screen and I don’t think I’d want to type my work using a screen the size of TV. I did try to stream YouTube through the TV using the wireless system of Play station 3 and the quality wasn’t very good.

I think what I find interesting is that I am of the generation who grew up without any of these gadgets. Shoot we didn’t have a dishwasher or microwave until I was in my teens. Now it seems everything is changing and fast. Best Buy is shutting down their music division because people don’t by music anymore, they download their favorite songs. I haven’t bought a movie in over a year as well. Why should when I can watch it for free online or through Netflix’s Instant watch? What is this saying about where we are heading as a society?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Teenage Boys

I have four, hungry and hungrier, growing and still growing,  teenage boys living in my home right now and it's killing me. No really its killing me.

They eat non-stop, Zech opened a box of Ding-dongs (I love that name) put one in his mouth and one in each hand. When I politely (because that's what a great June Cleaver mom I am) asked what he thought he was doing, he replied, "Well I'm hungry and you said dinner wouldn't be ready for 15 minutes (surely that must be a lifetime) and you did say first come first serve, so I came first and I'm serving myself. (Smart-ass 15 yo)!

I shop on Saturday and no joke all my food was gone my Tuesday! 3 gallons of juice, 3 gallons of milk, two loaves of bread and a variety of not so healthy snacks.

I'm going to get locks for the frig and pantry (not like that would help, after all they are teenagers and could find their way to food in a corn maze).

So tonight its back to the store but I'm buying 3 gallons of prune juice, rye bread and goats milk (I'd drink it but I think the name might turn them off)!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

British Literature

This semester I chose to take a British Literature class (because nobody stopped me). The Syllabus tells me that among other genres of British Literature we will be studying the pornographic novel. Now if that had been the course description I think the class would be fuller.

So far we've read "Moll Flanders" a woman who exchanges husbands and lovers for money and don't forget has 13 children but doesn't raise any of them, she leaves them behind. After she gets to old to bargain herself as a commodity she then spends the rest of her life as an accomplished thief.

No we are reading "Pamela" from Samuel Richardson and I think it might kill me. The guy (Lord of the house) in the first half of this very long novel keeps trying to rape this 16 yo girl (a maid). Then supposedly because of her virtue he changes tactics and decides to marry this lowly maid. The entire novel is told in letters, mostly hers and really can anyone talk about virtue for 500 pages and still keep the reader interested? Not today but the interesting thing is that both these novels, especially Pamela were huge in 18th century, like Twilight huge. Pamela was the first book with merchandise, fans, cups, banners, plates. Operas, plays and songs were written about it, all I can think is that people back then must have been really hungry for some entertainment.

I have to give a group presentation on this book Friday - so wish me luck.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Movies

Remember Me
I can’t remember why I put this movie on my list to watch. Perhaps the previews made it look like it would have a Romeo and Juliet like presence? The point is it doesn’t, in fact this movie has no point, no plot and no reason to have been made or watched. Rob Pattinson is the same character in this movie as he is in Twilight, slow, quiet and never really making a complete sentence. The movie opens up with a mother and daughter in a subway and two thugs shoot the mother. Now it was dramatic and left you wondering what this was going to do with the movie and the answer was NOTHING. The daughter didn’t seem too messed up by it (Pattinson’s girlfriend), the father might have been messed up by the incident or maybe he was also the brooding, yelling, tough cop, strict and overly protective parent all along. Who knows and therein lays the problem to this movie, things happen and you are left wondering why or why should I care. Since I’m not worried about anyone reading this actually watching the movie let me say that in the end (I know hard to believe I actually watched the whole thing) the boy (Rob) seems to be getting happy, he seems to be healing his broken relationships and then he dies in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, end of movie. Never saw that coming and it was not a good thing. So no stars for this movie, I can’t even think of one good thing I did like. Wait Pierce Brosnan looked.





Eat Pray Love
I liked this movie and noticed that I did not say loved this movie. I thought going into this it was a chick flick, you know tears would be flowing and love would be shown on the big screen in its perfect form. Well it wasn’t, at least not for me. But what it did do is something only really good films can do and that is instead of entertaining me to tears, it had moments where I felt like I had been pinched. The idea is that there were moments of really dialogue that sounded like things I wanted to say and moments where I wanted it to be me on the screen. The acting was good and the story was good, only as a woman said in the restroom after the movie, “I’m not sure what to take away from this movie, should I leave my husband and do my own thing, follow my own heart’s desire and hope everyone forgives me/” . What Ms. Gilbert did was courageous and maybe everyone would love the opportunity to do what she did but it is not a possibility for most and the reality is most women couldn’t imagine just leaving or putting themselves first for a year (ok reality check they don’t have that kind of money either). SO if you are a woman watch the movie, it is good and there are moments where you are reminded that it is up to you to make this life a better one for you, because you matter. If you are a man (who is married to the person sitting next to you) probably not going to be your thing, unless you want to go to bed wondering if your mate secretly doesn’t want to be married! P.S. I did read the book after the movie and it was the same as the movie.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sunday Movies

Legion - This movie was a hugh disappointment. We usually like movies about angels and the end of the world. The previews have a setting of good vs evil and angels as warriors coming to fight the demons and protect a girl and her unborn son. What it does do is rip off Terminator in a lot of it's ideas. There is way to much swearing and Dennis Quaid is awful in this film. The ending is left wide open and so unclear. I would not waste my time on this one at all.


The A-Team - If you liked Wild Hogs than this movie is just for you. I actually laughed outloud in the theatre much to the embarrasement of my family, though they laughed too, just without the squeal thrown in. Things blow up, the impossible is accomplished, the acting is good, the lines are funny. I will so go out and buy this movie as soon as it comes out and watch it again. There were kids of all ages in the theatre my youngest is 11. They kept the theme from the TV series shot 100 rounds and no one seems to die, well not in front of your eyes.






The Perfect Getaway - Nice twist in this movie, kindof creepy. I liked the way they filled in the blanks and let you in on the secrets of the story, not all at once but little but little. If you like suspense and on your edge of the seat moment you'll like this movie. Not for young children the killing is  there along with the blood, but not in a gory kind of way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Boys why oh why?

Thing one and thing two are at wrestling camp this week - yeah me! On Wedneday just as I pulled into the parking lot of work (Have I mentioned I'm working this summer, not sure I like it but I do love paydays!) Anyway here's the call:

Some Guy:   Hi is this Thing One's mom?

Me:  Why yes it is (Ok probably not so proper but yeah sounds like a teenager)

Some guy: I have Thing One here at the trainers office and we believe he has dislocated his finger or maybe broke it, would you be able to meet us downtown at the clinic?

Me:  Why of course, I'll just leave work and come right down, no problem (Ok again maybe I said that but what I was thinking was, now I have to call into work, drive 30 minutes to get to him and he will probably be just fine)

So away I went on my 30 minute drive and then I had me some mommy quilt. Poor Thing One was in a lot of pain. He did dislocate his finger (see below pictures) and because of the way it was bent he probably tore or ripped away some of the ligaments. So hand surgery here we come.  I did stop at Sonics on the way home to get him a treat for having an owie! There was also the plus side for him that some hot blondie athletic trainer took him the clinic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mama Kat's Assignment Time

5.) A snappy comeback! This is the prompt I chose because I just read this one on the web yesterday and I've been dying to use it - ready? Want to join the fun then fo check out Mama Kat!



Amitabh Bachchan gave a funny dialogue of a South Indian film, "I will hit you so hard even Google will not be able to find you",

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trying to Be One of the Guys While Camping

Last weekend we went for a quick 3 day camp trip to start our summer. We found a camp sight without anyone else there,which worked out great since we brought two of our dogs. Dad and sons thing 2 and thing 3 left Thursday and thing 1 and I came up Friday.                                                                  
We had a great time, except I forgot to pack marshmellows so I was severely scolded every evening, though it didn't stop them from eating all the chocolate and graham crackers.

We (meaning I watched because I don't like pain) spent the weekend beating the crap out of each other with these nerf battle swords. I though nerf meant something soft but these were hard rubber and left welts, which they proudly had to show off. The men tried to climb trees like lumber jacks with their flip flops on, not much success there.

We played hide and seek and tag a lot. We also went to the river which was flowing really fast and very high. The men (really all immature toddlers) swam in an eddy and out to this rock, bringing the dogs with them. So the eddy is on one side of this rock and the fast, rapid flowing river on the other side. The men decide this is the prime time to learn how to do back flips - really! From my vantage point it looked like they were smacking their heads on the rock, they all survived, thankfully.

So all in all it was a nice relaxing (somewhat) weekend. I did get a two hour nap on Saturday which was blissful. Glad to be back home and to be back on-line!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Movies

Invictus - This is a good motivational and inspiring movie. Like all sports films it has its happy ending but along the way you learn a lot about the man Nelson Mandela. I would have liked the movie to focus more on his past story since the rugby theme was a given to be successful. At times the accents make it a bit hard to understand but Morgan Freeman does an outstanding job as well as Matt Damon. I think for me the problem was that while this was a great movie there were alot of smaller characters that you are given a glimpse into their lives that had great stories to be told but they are left incomplete. This movie is age appropriate for everyone and for young kids it is an opening for conversation about history.

Dear John - Another Nichols Sparks book made for  the large screen. If you are a fan of the Notebook I feel you might be disappointed. This lacks the same emotional depth that the Notebook had. It has some good moments enough to see you through to the end but the ending is strange since the time frame is never completely detailed so you are left wondering how much time has gone by and then you are asking where some of the characters are. Overall its ok but not one I would watch again. I did cry a little but it had nothing to do with the two main characters or their story. The father of John stole this film, actor Richard Jenkins does a great job and he is the only one that makes you feel anything. So enjoy this movie but keep it mind it is mostly fluff and time filler.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Routines

I never before realized that I am a creature of my routines. I always thought I was in control free to vary from routine to routine, never tied down to any one pattern in life. I was wrong.


How did I make this startling revelation? I’m working, ok no big deal but I never blogged and worked before. My blog is fairly new and I’ve been a student since I started, which means I would get up before classes and write in blog and read all the wonderful blogs I could. But with this work thing I’m all out of whack!

I get up at different times of the day (instead of the constant 6 am) and I get home at different times as well. I have discovered I don’t like to blog with other people awake in the house and that trying to read blogs while the boys are around is also not productive because I can’t read a whole blog without interruptions or they are reading over my shoulder ( I can’t stand that).

So I am going to have to make some adjustments in my mindset if I am to blog and read blogs this summer because I am not going to let something like a scattered routine steal these moments from me. Though I am going camping this weekend for four days , that might throw me off a bit, so I’ll try again next week. I am after all a very professional procrastinator! (Which has nothing to do with my ability to write and read blogs).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Movies

Black - I can't say enough about this movie. It is a beautifully told story about a deaf and blind girl coming out of the darkness and into the light. It has a Helen Keller feel about it but still it is touching and heartbreaking. It also instills the desire that we don't work hard enough to accomplish our dreams and that we take a lot of things for granted. There are subtitles but this is an easy movie to follow and appropriate for all ages. I give this movie five gold stars!


The Princess and the Frog - I'm a big Disney fan and so I was very disappointed with this movie. None of the music is catchy, matter of fact at the end of the movie we all tried to remember one song or a line from a song and out of 5 people nothing stuck. The voodo man is scary and when he is taken to the underworld, well this is not something a young child would want to see, I thought it was scary and even my teenage boy thought the demons were creepy. Overall I wouldn't buy this movie or watch it again and nothing about this film will make it a Disney classic.


Shutter Island - I was so pleasantly surprised by this movie. It keeps you guessing with its many twists and turns, We watched it Friday night and Saturday night we were still talking about it. It has a creepy feel to it so this is not a youngster movie. My teenage boys watched it and were fine, matter of fact they are doing most of the talking trying to figure the movie out and what was real and what was imagined. Again not a hugh Leonardo DiCaprio fan but he does a great job in this film. This movie takes place in a psych prison for the worst offenders but it  Leonardo's visions or memories that are the most disturbing. My family wants to watch this again to see if we missed any clues!




Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mama Kat's Assignment

Mama Kat has once again posted her writing assignments and this time I had a tough time choosing. I went with prompt number 2: Before I was a mom... (inspired by Loukia from Loulou's Views)




Before I was a mom I was one very confused young girl. I am a single kid who was raised by two gay women, in a small town in the 60’s and early 70’s. I didn’t know my mom was gay until she told me at 13. I suppose the reason it didn’t seem so odd to me was that I never hung around kids my own age but was always in the company of adult gay couples, it was all I knew. It was until we moved to a larger city in my junior high years that I realized that the reason I didn’t have friends was because my parents were gay. In a small town it was frowned upon. I didn’t go to birthday parties and was never invited to anyone’s house. I mention all this because later in my life things would get really out of hand. My mom would leave me with her lover when I was 16 and then I just went wild.

I was the girl that we all hope our teenage girls would not become. I was looking for a hero, a savior to come and rescue me and make it all well. I married the first guy who seemed to fit that bill, but mostly I fell in love with his family, though we did produce a beautiful little girl. I’m grateful that to this day my ex and I, as well as his parents are still very close and friendly. From 21-25 I jumped from the shallows to the deep end. I quit my normal 9-5 job, became a bartender and partied all night long. Quickly I lost all control and drank too much and became addicted to cocaine. Then in October of 1990 I just had enough and knew I had to get my act together. I quit my job and alcohol and drugs cold turkey. In November I met my new husband and we married that December (12-28-90). One year later on November 9 we had our first daughter. Twenty years this December and I can honestly say my life has done a 180. Now I am in college and now I know what I want to accomplish in life. Perhaps life doesn’t go as plan but it is still an adventure and the end has yet to be written.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Communication Breakdowns

Yesterday was our first real day of summer (which means it didn't rain) and when I got to work I thought I'd really like to a have a frappachino. So like a good wife I call my husband who should be leaving work to come home at this time ( I work a block or two away from home) and I of course assume he will be more than willing to stop and get me one and bring it to me.

Me:    Honey are you on your way home? ( Ok I know he is but I don't want to appear pushy)
Him:   Yes why, what do you need? (Not very lovingly)
Me:    Well I was feeling rather tired and I have to work till 11pm, so I was hoping you could stop and     get me a frappachino. I don't care which coffee shop you stop at, any one that's convenient for you! (I thought this was very considerate of me since Starbucks would have been out of his drive home)
Him:    Why don't you just get a coffee drink from the store or a Monster drink?
Me:     But honey they aren't blended!

There is about 2 minutes of him explaining what his plans are and where he is going, then:

Me:    Love muffin, I don't need it right now, just whenever you can get it here (again nice consideration on my part)
Him:   Fine.

About an hour later my son walks in with a coffee but it's an ice coffee not a frappachino. Really, we did have the conversation that I could get an ice coffee from work right? Oh well it's the thought that counts, so I just said thank you and drank my coffee.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grocery Store Moanings

I'm back to work at our local grocery store ( I worked there 11 years before going to college) and I have some grips about the general population, not anyone reading this blog, of course.

First I think that all stores should get rid of the store cards that the customers are forced to carry in order to get "in store discounts". The cards are meant to instill loyality but all they do is give the checkers headaches. Why not just offer great prices because you are that kind of store? Plus I asked a lady for her card and she pulled out two hugh (really big) stacks, rubber banded togethers and looked through each one for her card.

Second when a checker asks you (realize that you are the bazillion customer who has been asked) for your store card, please, please don't just rattle off your phone number as if you are the fastest speeding train in the world. And then when the checker has stopped what they are doing to find the new screen that you input the number on and asks you to repeat the number, don't talk in slow motion as if they are now stupid.

Third, please take a moment and put the person who you are having a very important phone call about who so and so did last night on hold, That way I can ask you for the store card and you can respond or at least pay in a timely fashion. Besides I don't want to hear about your personal life and who you went home with last night.

Fourth if you are an older (much older) person and can barely write a check and have no clue which buttons to push if you do try to use a debit card and require a half hour just to pay your bill. Plus you shake so bad you can't write or push a button I have some very big concerns about the fact that you drove to my store.

Ok so that's what I have after being back to work for a week. Thankfully I am flaoting around to different departments while people go on vacation otherwise I think I'd get really cranky!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm working again for the summer at my old job, which is great because being home with three teenage sons all summer - well didn't sound like a great time for me.
What's to eat and where can I drive them, was about the sum of what my summer would have been like. Though really after not working for two years this first week has been hard. I'm tired and cranky which is no excuse for not blogging but its the one I'm going to use. THe funny things is when I don't blog I don't read blogs either, which makes no sense because I think about the blogs I'm missing and it's not like I'm not on the computer or anything.

Have you ever been in a room where two teenage boys and their father are all playing Call of Duty? Well don't, it is heartbreaking to see that all your motherly parenting to be kind and to not use name calling has been completely wasted. I just leave the room, it gets so ugly. Like really! This is a game you are not really blowing off your dad's head and why is it so funny to sneak up behind your son and blow him up? I just don't get it but I must say they seem very happy - for hours!

I did something extrodinary yesterday, I went shopping at Walmart. Now wait it was no ordinary shopping experience, picture this, no kids, no spouse and all the time in the world. I returned an unused battery (car problems) and then I walked up and down every isle of Walmart. Here is what I learned about myself, I'm cheap. Well maybe frugel is a better word. I picked up lots of stuff and went oohhh and ahhh and then put it down. I've been wanting a new purse for years (really) but I couldn't find one I liked. This weekend we are at Macy's and hubby says buy a purse. They were all $80 and up, no way would I spend that kind of money but at Walmart I found a purse for $16 and I was so happy. I need shopping therapy!

So today I will read my favorite blogs and then go to work and I will feel complete!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Movies

The Messengers - I thought this would be real heart breaking movie but instead I hated the characters of the two men who deliver the news of soldiers killed to their families. Instead of being a movie about compassion or even how hard a job this is, it was about what jerks these two men were and how messed up they were. It left me thinking less of the military instead of appreciating what a difficult job that would be.





 

It's Complicated - This is a must see movie, funny, so funny. My 15 yo son though so didn't get it and couldn't figure out why my husband and I were laughing so much. This movie had both of us laughing out loud which was a very hard thing for me since I have this cough and I would have to stand up and hold myself because I would start coughing so hard. Mr. Baldwin is one hairy dude - gross but funny. Meryl Streep is fabulous! Being an ex (however a long time ago) I could relate and in general this is a funny movie for anyone.


 

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief - This is a movie which is totally geared towards a younger audience. My 11 yo son thought this was one of the best movies he's seen. My husband and I just kept saying things like. "How did she know where those buttons were?" and my husband wants to know how you put an entire horse’s ass in a wheelchair and keep it hidden? So there are little things like why doesn't the boy get upset when his mother dies or at least he thinks his mother is dead, he just goes on with the day - really? My recommendation is if you are 10 yo and younger you'll love this movie, otherwise skip it.




Om Shanti Om - I had to throw in a Bollywood movie! This has great songs and dance numbers, a little cheesy but I'm getting used to it. Story of revenge and love and there is a great scene where over 32 Bollywood actors all show up in a dance scene in cameo roles.





Kites - This is a Bollywood movie that has been edited down from almost 3 hours to 90 minutes and it is at your local theatres now. I just say it and I have to say I liked it though I did miss the big dance numbers. Guys will like this because there are guns shot outs and lots of cars being blown up. You have a love story, murders, gangsters, robberies and more love story. So it has something for everyone - a good date night movie. Since it is shot mostly in Las Vegas and Mexico there is plenty of English spoken. The two love birds have the problem of one speaks Spanish and the other Hindu, so there are some subtitles on the screen. If you have been hesitant about seeing a Bollywood movie this would be a good one to start with.






Friday, May 28, 2010

Teamwork - Kind of

My oldest son worked on his death poems and got them finished just in time. I wanted to share what we came up with. He had to have art work with his poems so I've included what he picked as well.

The Sound of Life


Thump, pause, thump
Thump, pause, da thump, pause
Pause, thump, silence.









Thief

Death has come to me like a thief in the night,
He gave no warning, but left his calling card.

As I slept in blissful slumber, death stole by dreams,
He snuck in and snuck out taking the sunrise with him.

Death has made a mockery of love, what should have been forever,
He has now made eternally his and I am left alone.



Everybody Hurts

Pain.
Everybody knows.
Your heart aches
as though the hand
of God has closed around
You and breathing which once was
Second nature has become the hardest thing
to do, you’ve lost all feelings except one,
the pain that seems to fill your
entire body, your bones feel
it, your skin is
crawling with it.
Everybody knows.
Pain.




Suffocating

Bullets flying by, orders being yelled
-Move, move, cover your right!
I watch in disbelief as a car explodes
I can’t breathe, I can’t move.

My hands are tingling; my eyes are filled with tears.
I looked to my left to speak to Joe,
But only part of him has been left behind.
I can’t breathe, I can’t move.

All around me the sounds are dying out,
The colors of the flames and the blood
are muting into gray and black.
I can’t breathe, I can’t move.



Seven Lives

If I can get a redo on this life,
If when I die I can come back to you and do this all again
I will.

If there is more for me to learn and
If I must come back
I will.

If has become the now
If wouldn’t wait for you but
I will.






Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death in the Morning

Death in the Morning




I couldn’t sleep last night because my oldest son asked for help on his English project. He asked me to write five poems about war and death. They could be separate or together and then were some rules about what they had to contain. Ok I know why am I writing the poems?

Me: Why?

Him: Because you wrote other sons poems.

Me: silence…got nothing to say

Me: How many?

Him: Five and hey mom they can’t be that good, so don’t try to hard.

Me: silence again

Him (to dad): its cool mom’s an English major, it comes in handy.

So I was up early this morning trying to think about death and all the glorious ways it could be written about because hey that’s how I like to start the day. When son came down for breakfast I told him I had been working on them and he again told me to make sure they weren’t too good because he doesn’t want to have to read them aloud in class. So I have three done and I have to take a break from death besides now I have to think about how to write bad poetry.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Same is the Same Everywhere

I’ve come to understand of late that no matter what blogs you read or write at some point you will read about love, laughter, sadness, grief and joy. There are no emotions that are not expressed somewhere out there in the world of the WWW. I have read blogs that spoke to the sadness and despair that I was feeling at that same moment that I could have claimed as my own story. As well I have read stories that made me smile, giggle and laugh out loud (which is always hard to explain to those around me). Then there are the blogs which complain about some physical ailment and surprise I’m going through the same thing.


I suppose what I’ve come to realize that is that bloggers have a lot in common. We might look different, live in different parts of the world and our homes may have nothing in common but the human race is not as complex as we have been led to believe. It is a shame that we can feel compassion, sorrow and joy for those we have never seen but we know nothing about our neighbors or our own families. Perhaps it is because if we are offended or made uncomfortable by a blog posting we just stop reading that page, no harm no foul. Whereas our neighbors and families are a face to face contact and not so easily removed from our lives.

I hope that my experience of emotions that I have had in reading the blogs of strangers in the virtual world might someday carry over to having more compassion for those in my real world.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Movies

On Netflix you rate the movies you've watched in a 1-5 star rating, 5 being the "I loved it" category. The first movie I want to tell you about I gave 5 stars too, but I didn't like the movie, I hated the people in it, I was enraged at their actions and sat in disbelief that this story was true. Tears ran down my face as I felt helpless and ashamed that I could do nothing. The Stoning of Soraya M. is a powerful, sad, though provoking story. Based on a true story of an Iranian woman whose husband wants a divorce so he can marry a 14 yo. He falsely accuses her of adultery and the story proceeds. This is not a movie for young people but as a woman I feel like everyone who is able should see this film and then look around you and be grateful and blessed that you do not live in a country (hopefully) that would condone this behavior.






The New Daughter stars Kevin Costner and is a supernatural thriller, or so it says on the dvd. This is a good movie, nothing to gross and a few good made me jump moments but what makes this movie a bummer is that the ending is so open. You really never get a sense of what really happens at the end. My husband thought perhaps they were leaving it open for part two but I think it is just a crappy ending. It has an interesting idea as its main idea but really never builds upon it or gives you enough information.





Planet 51 is an animated movie which we as a family rated as we didn't hate it but we didn't love it. Dwayne Johnson is the astronaut but I couldn't tell it was him, plus I thought it was werid that his character is very white, with red hair? Just seemed a bit odd. It is very predictable and fits most standard in space animations. Nothing real exciting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mama Kat's Assignment

I haven’t written anything for a while and even reading Mama Kat’s reading prompts was hard. I seem to have a bad case of writer’s block. Maybe because school is out my brain took a vacation too! But I made myself choose one so I could get back in the swing of things, so here goes it.


5.) “You know a happy ending isn’t really the end. It’s just the place where you choose to stop telling the story. Why not make everything work out when you have the chance?” Where would you could you place your happy ending? (inspired by The Myth Of You And Me pg. 137)


     Happy endings remind me of an end to the movie, the screen credits roll up and “The End” appears. You leave either thinking good thoughts or wishing you could have those few hours back to do something worthwhile. Perhaps that is what life is all about. Our happy ending could be the end of our life, with contemplation of how we lived our lives or it could be at the points in our lives when we felt we had achieved some measure of success, self-worth or milestone.

     I tend to think in Technicolor so my happy ending would be like something out of a Bollywood movie, lots of singing and dancing. Happy endings would come at times like graduations, weddings and births. Though, even some deaths would need to be celebrated with song and dance for a life well lived.

     Personally I envision a happy ending when I finish college and walk the isle to get my college diploma. I don’t think I will literally break out in song and dance but later I will. But I hope the story doesn’t end there. I am a long way off (I hope) from having the credits of my life rolling up. But every day has the possibility if a happy ending!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

School's Out and other Tidbits

Schools out for Summer! Can you hear me cheering and doing obscene gestures with my hands, ok probably not because the kids might see me but in my head I’m doing cartwheels and such! Now the process of waiting for grades to be posted, I did hear that they have to be done by next Friday, so that’s not too long.


My son (13yo) and I did something very interesting yesterday; we went to a worship service or prayer service at a mosque. We had to take our shoes off to enter and the men were very nice. I say men because the women go to a secluded room to worship and hear the sermon so we never saw them. The gentleman in charge answered some of our questions about what to expect and other things about India and Pakistan. We sat on chairs in the very back corner of the room and watched as the men came in and did their private prayers and then there was a 20 minute sermon which was basically keep your prayer live in tact because that will be what keeps you from doing wrong and how you can’t go and do something wrong thinking your prayers will make it all right. It sounded a lot like what I would hear in a church of my own faith. Then just as we thought it was all over the men all move forward and stand shoulder to shoulder as tightly as possible and pray together. When they sang (chanted) together it was truly breathe taking and beautiful. Afterwards my son asked some questions about things like why they touch their face, hands open by the side of the face. He was told that it is a sign of submission to God that they are here and listening. Also when the wipe their faces after prayer it is to remove the prayer from their lips and leave it in God’s hands. It was interesting because the men all come from different countries or sometimes just different regions of the same country and might do the gestures just slightly different because of their culture. The men did not shake my hand but were very warm to my son and shook his hand and wanted him to ask questions. In preparation for the two of us to go to India next summer we have volunteered to help some of the new refuges with their English, especially the women. There was one college student young man who spoke English fine (along with 6 other languages) but wants help with writing. So my son and I are looking forward to helping him because he is going to teach us Hindi and Arabic and will help him writing and conversational English.