Random Friday is now Random Thoughts Thursday

My neighbor had surgery yesterday, so she asked if I could take her kids to school and pick them up. No problem! I went to get her three kids, but only two got in the van. The third was walking home from a piano lesson. I talked with the mom for a couple of minutes, then said goodbye and drove off. I was out of the neighborhood and through the first major light when I suddenly stopped the car. “I forgot Harrison!!” Flipped a u-turn just as my cell phone started ringing. Oops. I was so distracted talking to my neighbor that I forgot she told me her son was coming and hadn’t gotten in the van yet.

And I wonder where it’s coming from when I get an email from Aiden’s teacher saying, “Have you thought about having Aiden tested for ADHD? He can’t focus and is easily distracted…”

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My birthday is in two days and there is a serious lack of chocolate boxes coming in the mail. I’m disappointed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This year, during our winter break, we get to go to San Diego to visit my aunt and uncle. I’m super excited because it’s not that far a drive and we just haven’t done it since we’ve lived here. FOR SHAME! That and my aunt and uncle are just plain awesome and we all have a good time whenever we see them. We have plans to go to the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park (I am not used to calling it that. It’s still the Wild Animal Park in my head!!), Balboa Park to the science center, La Jolla to see the seals, and I don’t remember what else. The biggest part is a surprise to the younglings. We’re taking them to a certain theme park (not the mouse theme park! I wish!!) that is in San Diego. It has to do with a certain kind of small building blocks… We’re not telling them a THING. We’re just going to get them up in the morning, get them dressed, and drive there. I will have to have my camera set on video for when we arrive and they see the sign. Oh, I’m excited. They have actually been asking to go for a while now and we just keep saying, “No, it’s too expensive.” or “No, we don’t have the time to take off and go there.” Can’t wait!! I know it’s not as exciting as the Magic Kingdom, but hey. That’ll be another trip, another time. We take what we can get. This will be grrrrreat (said in a Scottish accent, of course. Not Tony the Tiger).

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I was watching Netflix last night and started watching a movie called “From Prada to Nada”. It’s a modern day take on “Sense and Sensibility”. It was cute, just not what I wanted to watch. I mean, heck, the good version of S&S with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant is on Netflix. Why not just watch that? Anyway, I found it kind of amusing how this centered around a Latino family, so of course they had to change the daughters’ names from Maryanne and Elenor. Nora was a good fit. But the younger daughter was just Mary. Really? An Hispanic guy with THAT thick an accent is going to name his daughter Mary? Make it Maria and I’d find it more realistic. Just made me giggle. I might have to try watching the rest of it later today. It wasn’t bad. Just not great. I watched “Elizabeth” instead.

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Parker is determined he is going to be Thor when he grows up. “Then,” he says, “I can save you all the time, Mom!” What a sweetheart!

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How else is SO EXCITED for “The Hobbit” to come out?!?!?! I mean, sure, we have to wait a year. But that preview looks AAAAHHHHH. MAAAAAAAZE. INNNNNNNNG. I love Peter Jackson. I’m so glad he ended up doing this movie after all. Oh! And the guy playing Bilbo Baggins? He was Tim in the UK’s “The Office”. Nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My new motto: Fake it ’til you make it.
Is it working??

Movie Romance

I think you all know how much I love a good, romantic, Period piece for a movie (seriously, when is someone going to buy me Pride and Prejudice already? I need more Colin Firth in my life…). I love the Netflix knows how much I love them, too, and gives me suggestions to watch. I have a few movies (actually, most are BBC mini-series) in my instant queue I’m pretty excited to see. The last few days I have been watching “Wives and Daughters”, and while I honestly didn’t find the entire that thing as wonderful as P&P, it was still kind of enjoyable. I liked seeing Michael Gambon as someone other than Dumbledore.

I was watching the fourth and last part last night. Now, as a disclaimer… I have been extremely stressed as of late. I am not sleeping well, so rather than go to bed to toss and turn for hours on end, I stay up to watch movies or read books until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore and then I can go right to sleep (I should really buy some new Melatonin, I know). Because of lack of sleep, extreme stress and anxiety over everything going on in my life, and just plain old being the kind of girl I am, I was very emotional as I watched the movie last night.

If you have not seen the movie and don’t want any spoilers, don’t read any further. For everyone else…

So Osbourne dies. We all knew it was coming. But I cried anyway. I cried for Osbourne. I cried for his secret French wife. I cried for his little child. I cried for The Squire (his father, played by Michael Gambon). The Squire carries Osbourne’s body back to the house and up to his old room. And then, when Molly (the central character) arrives, The Squire really starts to mourn. He cries and moans and sobs. And my tears are falling freely down my cheeks. I was so sad! I’m getting almost teary-eyed thinking about it now. I didn’t want sad, but there you go. I got it anyway. Things started to look up and I dried my cheeks from my tears.

And now, for the kicker…

At the end of the movie, Roger finally realizes he is in love with Molly. He is about to go off on another safari in Africa and wants to declare his love to Molly, but because he has been exposed to scarlet fever and Molly has not, her father (a doctor) won’t let Roger come see Molly. So Roger comes to Molly’s house and stands across the street, in the rain, and waits for her to look out the window so he can wave goodbye to her. Ahhh! So sweet! She waves and he waves, and then he’s off to meet his carriage. Molly decides she can’t leave it at a wave, so she takes off running from her home, in the pouring rain, to meet the carriage before it leaves. Alas, she is too late. She stands there, in the middle of the street, watching the carriage drive off, and looking so forlorn in the rain without a coat or a bonnet or anything. And then we hear a voice… “I couldn’t go.”

It’s Roger! He stayed behind!! Now both of them are standing in the rain and Roger declares his love and proposes and Molly of course says yes! And they are standing several feet apart and just staring at each other and smiling! They can’t come any closer, you see, because of the risk of scarlet fever. So they just stand there, staring and smiling and radiating love…

I was crying all over again. It was so beautiful! He couldn’t go. He just couldn’t go without seeing if he had a chance with Molly. And I was eating it up. I just love me some good movie romance. And now I’m off to find more romance and see what else I can cry over.

A Love Story

As much as I hate to admit it sometimes, I am a stereotypical girly-girl. I like reading chick-lit and watching rom-coms. ย I put on makeup and do my hair just to make myself fell good. I get excited about new shoes. I paint my toenails. I will never, ever complain about getting flowers. I loooooove chocolate more than anything in the world. I love Mr. Darcy almost as much as I love chocolate.

This weekend I watched movies about two of the greatest, most well-known love stories. First, on Saturday, I watched the Baz Lurhman (MTV) version ofย Romeo + Juliet. Last night, I watched a Lost in Austen, a Pride and Prejudice movie with a twist. Aiden asked me today why I likeromance movies (he said “romance movies” with a slight sneer. I guess that’s appropriate coming from an 8 year old who still tends to think girls have cooties or something). I told him that I actually only like romance comedies, but in my head I was thinking, “Because deep down inside I’m just a mushy romantic!” I don’t think he’ll understand for quite some time.

Now, I have seen Romeo + Juliet before. It came out when I was a freshman in college. I still had a crush on Leonardo diCaprio (left over from watching him on “Growing Pains), and everyone at the time was telling me I looked just like Juliet. Claire Danes was pretty cute, so I took it as a compliment. I have seen several versions of Romeo and Juliet in both film and on stage. I have read lots of books that take the same theme of the star-crossed lovers. I have seen West Side Story too many times to count. I have read Romeo and Juliet several times, too. That does not make me an R&J expert, but it certainly gives me an unshakable opinion.

I hate Romeo and Juliet. I mean, I really, really hate Romeo and Juliet. It’s just ridiculous and depressing. I mean, we start off with a whiny Romeo who is soooo in love with Rosalind and he can’t shut up about her, until he sees Juliet at the party he crashed. Suddenly, Rosalind never existed and he is completely in love with this other 13 year old girl. That’s right. THIRTEEN. Even in Shakespeare’s day that was considered young, thank you very much. So the two teenagers are “in love” and secretly marry. Meanwhile, their friends and relatives (many of whom -*cough*Mercutio*cough – I love as characters) are fighting and killing each other off. Romeo is banished for being an idiot and killing Juliet’s cousin. Her family is devastated by this death, yet they decide to marry Juliet off ย to Most Eligible Bachelor, Paris, right away. So she fakes her death. Romeo doesn’t get the memo, goes to her tomb, talks for probably 20 minutes, then commits suicide. Juliet wakes up from her fake death, sees a dead Romeo, and commits suicide. I always thought if Romeo talked for 2 more minutes (which wouldn’t have been a stretch by then), she would have just woken up and everything would end up fine. But know. He dies. She wakes up. She dies. Gag.

There are many things about the MTV version that I hate (so many things are just stinkin’ weird. And really? Drug use?? Could have done without that. ), but there are a few things that I actually love. As I may have mentioned, I love Mercutio. He is just a wonderful character. (I heard that Shakespeare had to kill him off because he was too strong of a character and was taking over, but the play was supposed to be all about Romeo and Juliet. Not Mercutio. I don’t know if any of that is true. I had a roommate tell me a professor speculated about it in her Shakespeare class. I like the theory, anyway.) I love how both Mercutio and Benvolio were portrayed in this version. Just strong, eclectic, complex characters. Not just Romeo’s buddies.

The main thing I love about this “new” version is the final death scene. In all previous versions I’ve seen, I hate how long and drawn out the scene is. I hate how straight-forward it is, too. Very dull. In the Baz Luhrmann version, Romeo is talking away, but is so overcome with grief that he doesn’t notice Juliet start to come out of her coma. It’s so slight… a finger twitch here, a flutter of the eyelashes there… but he is still going on and on and on about Juliet and death and… I don’t know. I tune him out now. Anyway, Juliet opens her eyes and sees her Romeo, smiles, then reaches up to caress his face. He drinks the poison just as she is reaching for him. And then there is this look. He sees that she is alive, and this look of complete horror quickly passes through his eyes and he realizes what he has done. And then Romeo dies. Juliet is confused, of course, and then comes the grief. It is the most heart-wrenching scene. It was done so absolutely perfect.

I still hate Romeo and Juliet. But I can forgive it for this one scene. Thank you, Baz Luhrmann.

Now, the other movie I saw is based off a romantic couple that I absolutely adore. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Yes, there is quite a bit of ridiculousness going on in Pride and Prejudice, but I love the wit of Jane Austen and the spunk of her characters. And yes, I love Mr. Darcy. I love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Someone needs to just buy me that version of P&P already. The wait on Netflix is too long.

Elizabeth Bennett can hold her own. That girl is strong and witty… I just love her and want to be her. Sure, she wants to get married, but she isn’t defined by it. She isn’t silly like her younger sisters, and she isn’t so complacent that she gets walked all over, like her older sister. Love her as much as I do, I just don’t admire Jane as much as Lizzy. Jane is a sweet girl, a pretty face, and all around kind… but she doesn’t have the depth that Elizabeth does. My opinion, of course.

The movie I watched yesterday is a cute, British flick called Lost in Austen. Amanda Price is a modern girl who isn’t really in love with her boyfriend and who just wants to read her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice. And who can blame her? It really is a lovely book. Amanda knows the world of Pride and Prejudice more than her own, I think. She has read the book so many times and seen the movie almost as many times. She dreams of gentlemen and ladies with kind manners and genteel wit. One night, she finds Elizabeth Bennett in her bathroom. That’s right, Elizabeth Bennett from her favorite novel. Lizzy has discovered some kind of portal between her father’s house and Amanda’s bathroom. Next thing she knows, Amanda is living as a guest in the Bennett’s home as a “friend of Lizzy’s” and Elizabeth Bennett is living in modern times, at Amanda’s house. We don’t actually see any of our favorite heroine. This story is about Amanda Price, not Lizzy Bennett.

Poor Amanda. She is transported to the “beginning” of the story, and before she knows it, everyone is doing everything wrong! Bingley falls for her rather than Jane! She just got that all straightened out, when Jane marries Mr. Collins. Mr. Bingley becomes depressed and drinks too much. Mr. Darcy is, of course, his usual stoic, prideful self. He drives Amanda nuts with his attitudes. When Wickham shows up, Amanda spends so much time trying to get Lydia to stay away from him that Lydia runs off with Mr. Bingley instead! Amanda discovers that Wickham isn’t quite the rogue that Jane Austen made him out to be, and is actually quite helpful towards Amanda. Georgeanna Darcy has her own secret about her’s and Wickham’s previous relationship. And Caroline Bingley, while still a reprehensible human being, also carries a secret that Amanda muses Jane Austen couldn’t possibly have imagined. In the midst of the story getting completely messed up (no matter how hard Amanda tries to get it “right”), Amanda and Mr. Darcy fall in love.

If you are a fan of the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice, there is one scene in Lost in Austen you will love. I literally laughed out loud. Ches looked at me funny (he wasn’t watching it with me). I really liked the movie. And now I really want to watch P&P again. The Colin Firth one, of course. (Seriously, someone needs to just buy me the DVD already!! Could you guys let Ches know that it would be a perfect 13th anniversary gift. Our anniversary is coming up in just a few weeks… you don’t have much time!)

When you think of the greatest romantic couples in history or literature or whatever, Romeo and Juliet and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett are two of the couples that often top the list. I guess this was my weekend of romance. I’ll take Darcy and Elizabeth over R&J any day. It just makes me happy. But when I need a good cry? I’ll watch that final death scene. I’m weird like that.

Confessions of a Bookaholic

You all know how much I love to read. I talk about it enough, don’t I? Did you know that I also love (and I mean love) to see movies? If I could go to a movie every night of the week… well, maybe that’s still a bit much. But if I could go to a movie almost every night of the week, I could die happy. I love movies like I love books. They transport me to another world and another identity. I get completely involved in the movie. I like all kinds of movies, too. I like chick-flicks, dramas, comedies, indie films, foreign language films, action, fantasy, family, animated, musicals, adaptations, and any combination of these categories. Pretty much the only films I won’t watch are horror (I seriously get scared and can’t stomach it, no matter how “unscary” the film actually is).

I’ve discussed in the past how I love all different books. I will read anything and everything. I have a hard time not liking books, and when I don’t like something I’ve read it means that I really don’t like it. In fact, I end up hating it.

When my favorite books get made into a movie I hover between all-out excitement and all-out apprehension, bordering on complete horror. I know that some movies made from books are absolutely wonderful (such as The Lord of the Rings series, or Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth… yummy.) and some movies made from books are actually better than the book (Forest Gump), but most of the time the movie just never measures up to the book. I am usually able to keep the movie and the book in two separate compartments in my brain so I don’t end up hating the movie of a book I love and had high hopes for. Harry Potter is a perfect example of that.

I finally got to see Confessions of a Shopaholic yesterday (found it at the library, so I didn’t even have to rent it! Woot!). Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors because her books are light, witty, and just all-around fun to read. Confessions of a Shopaholic was my first Kinsella book and I immediately fell in love with the main character, Becky Bloomwood. She is a flawed character, but still so lovable, funny, kind, silly, clutzy, and loyal to her family and friends. Pretty much the formula for every Kinsella main character. When I first saw the movie trailer for CoaS, I had those old, familiar feelings of apprehension and excitement. Becky Bloomwood would make such a lovely movie character! She has such funny things happen to her, how could you not love a movie about her? But, and here’s a big but from me, in the books she lives in London and is British (except for the second book where she briefly lives in New York) and in the movie she is American, living in New York. Being an anglophile… WHY?? No one changed Harry Potter into a surly American kid? No one changed Bridget Jones into an (actually fat) American girl. WHY did you movie execs have to mess with Becky?? (And isn’t it ironic that they cast a British actress to play this American character who should actually be British? It’s like both the actress and the character are putting on accents! Okay, maybe that’s just me.)

In the movie I was disappointed at how shallow and self-centered Becky appeared. By the end we finally saw the Becky I love from the book. But it took the entire movie. Sure, they kept in some of my favorite things (Suze and Tarquin; calling her nemesis “Alicia B*@$# Longlegs”; having such adorable, if slightly crazy, parents), but that fun, lovable feel from the book just wasn’t there. Nope. Won’t be seeing that movie again. I’ll certainly read the books again. But not see the movie. Chalk it up to another failed book to movie adaptation.

Next up, Aiden has asked me to take him to the new Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He’s reading the books now, and loving them. He loves the first two Narnia books. I just read online that a bit of the plot is being changed in this movie. Hopefully he won’t react like I do to movie adaptations.

Julie and Julia

Ches and I love to watch movies, whether it’s a rental or in the theatre. Always have. Most of our dates before we were married involved going to see a movie. Heck, most of our dates since we’ve been married involves going to see a movie (the remainder of our “dates” would be going to rehearsal and not sitting near each other for a few hours…). I’m pretty open to what movies I see, however, like most girls, I seem to really enjoy the “chick flick”. Ches rarely wants to see what I want to see. When he’s in charge of bringing home movies for rental night at home, he’ll often bring home something involving destruction. It’s about war or a world disaster (earthquakes, volcanos, and astroids, oh my!) or an alien invasion… Not that I mind. I tend to like them, too (2012 was saved by the fact that is starred John Cusak. I’m not kidding.). What was I saying? Oh, it was my turn to pick. And I couldn’t find anything in THREE Redbox kiosks that Ches would be even remotely interested in, so I chose Julie and Julia. It’s one I’ve been wanting to see because 1) I heard it was great and B) I just love Amy Adams and think she’s adorable.

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know the premise of the movie, I’ll tell you what it’s about. No, it’s too long. I’ll try to sum up. The movie is based in part on the book “My Life in France”, which is Julia Child’s memoirs, and on a blog by Julie Powell in which she spent one year cooking all 500-something recipes of Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. There you go.

Something is probably wrong with me because unlike the rest of the universe, I don’t think Meryl Streep is the most amazing actress ever. I don’t worship everything she does. Do I think she’s a bad actress? Absolutely not. I think she is great. I just don’t go out of my way to watch Meryl Streep. Something about her actually bugs me a little. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know why. So while I love Amy Adams (did I mention I think she’s adorable? Because she is!), I wasn’t that excited about Meryl Streep. Hmmm, maybe it’s just all the hype. I hate people and things being built up and built up because they can never bee as good as they are made out to be. Ches wasn’t excited about the movie because it looked too girly or something. I’m not sure. So I turned it on while he sat with his laptop and got school work done.

Ches actually liked the movie. I think it was the cooking (don’t forget, Ches loves to cook. He’s quite good at it, when he has time). And the story was actually quite lovely, so while I don’t know that he will admit it, I think he was taken in by the whole story. I liked the movie a lot, too. And I found that I liked the parts with Meryl Streep better than the parts with Amy Adams. Interesting.

I found Julia Child to be such an intriguing character! I want to read her memoirs now and learn more about her. I would also love to have a copy of her cookbook and see what I can do. Some of the stuff looks so hard (and I’m not talking about boning a duck), but it also looks SO YUMMY. I love food. I want to eat that yummy, yummy stuff. And oh my goodness, if Julia Child can make that stuff in her tiny Parisian kitchen (you should see the size of that oven!! It looked like the size of a large Easy Bake Oven. I’m not kidding.) and Julie Powell could make stuff in her tiny Queens apartment kitchen, I can make that stuff in my tiny suburban kitchen (which, as small as it is, is probably twice the size of that one in Queens. Maybe 1.5 times the size. Whatever.) Julia Child just seems so pleasant and wonderful. Julie Powell… well, while her part of the story was interesting, I didn’t really connect with her or like her that much. She seemed a little too whiny and “woah is me”. I get that she was at a point in her life where she felt empty and depressed and needed something new. Really, I do get that. And I liked that this project really opened her up and “saved” her. But it didn’t make me like her any more. I wonder if I can find her blog and read it. Maybe I’ll like her then. I don’t know.

Watching this movie made me want to cook. A lot. And it made me want to blog. I mean, I do blog, but I don’t blog like I used to. It’s funny because there is a point in the movie where Julie gets in a fight with her husband over the blog. He accuses her of becoming narcissistic because of the blog. She has to be the center of the world, and it’s all coming crashing down on her when it doesn’t all go according to how she thinks it should. She has meltdown after meltdown, all in the name of this project she had for the blog.

I started to think about my blog. Wow. I’m pretty narcissistic, too. I mean, what made me think that other people would be interested in my thoughts? I didn’t start this blog as a way to keep my far away family members and friends caught up with my life and my children. I started this blog because I wanted to write and to have people read what I say and comment. I wanted to make a difference in the world. I wanted to be famous. Or infamous. Or something. I wanted to put my thoughts and ideas out there and I wanted to be loved for it!!

Well, I’m not famous. I’m not infamous. I’m still… something. I don’t write like I used to, but I still put myself out there. I pour out my thoughts for you, hoping that what I say is worthwhile (I know it’s not always… I’m choosing to ignore that fact for the moment) and makes people think. But Julie and Julia has inspired me a bit. I’m going to keep writing. I’ll never be famous. Or infamous. I’ll always be something… Me!! Thanks for reading, guys.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, go watch Julie and Julia. And get ready to crave some beef bourguignon. I’ve never had it, but I want it. And I want to make it. Like NOW. (I think I’m asking for “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for my birthday this year.)

Happiness Is…

It’s snowing on my blog! I had this put on two years ago, and I honestly can’t remember how to do it. It just shows up in December. It’s fun, huh? (Sorry if it makes loading things slow. It’s only for December, though)

I had a fun time at Book Club last night. We read “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, but only a few of us actually finished the book. We discussed it for a bit, but also discussed “Catching Fire” (the sequel to “The Hunger Games”) and a few other books we had read recently. It’s just fun to sit around with a bunch of friends and talk. At Book Club I don’t feel like a frumpy, stay at home mom. It helps me remember I have a brain. I went to college once and I got a degree. It helps me feel more like Sariah than Mom. I love being Mom, but I miss Sariah.

My brother spent a few months up in Alberta, so when he was leaving and planning on coming down here for a visit, I gave him a list of chocolates and such that we love. We got a box in the mail yesterday, and I just ate an Aero bar. YUM.

I went to the video store today to rent some movies. I wanted the A&E version of “Pride and Prejudice”. You know, the one with Colin Firth. The good version. (Thanks a lot, Alyson!!) Anyway, they didn’t have it, but that’s okay. I got “A Muppet Christmas Carol”, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”, and “The Santa Clause”. Dallin is watching the Mickey Mouse one right now. I can’t wait to watch “A Muppet Christmas Carol” with the boys tonight.

21 days until my birthday. We don’t have any family in town, and since it’s Christmas Eve I don’t expect any friends here to be free to do anything, but I’m still looking forward to celebrating. Ches and my boys always make it special.

I’m just happy today. I have lots of reasons to be happy.

Tis The Season To Watch TV Specials

The December/Christmas TV special season has begun! Tonight we (the entire Phoenix family) watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Shrek The Halls” on ABC. We’re really looking forward to next Tuesday when we will watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the brand new “Prep and Landing”. That last one just looks funny. I love watching Christmas movies and specials on TV. I love getting new movies to watch. It’s just… festive. And fun. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone through my Christmas Must See list before, but I don’t feel like going through my archives to find it. So I’m just going to give you a brief look at my favorites. Here are a few Christmas specials/movies I have to watch every year:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
This is the best Christmas special out there. From the entire Peanuts gang dancing around Shroeder’s piano playing to Snoopy as the World War I flying Ace to Charlie Brown “ruining” Christmas with his sparse, little tree… it’s just perfect. My favorite has always been Linus standing on stage, wearing his blanket on his head to look like a shepherd, and telling the Christmas story straight from Scripture. It’s simple. It’s beautiful. I tear up every single time I see it.

2. A Muppet Christmas Carol
I’m a fan of classics, but I’m not a fan of Dickens. He’s just hard to read. However, you can’t have Christmas without a telling of “A Christmas Carol”. There are other versions that I do enjoy, but The Muppets really take the cake. Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo as narrators? Classic. Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Michael Caine as a serious Scrooge in the midst of these hilarious Muppets? GENIUS. And now that my kids are finally really into the Muppets (the ones *not* on Sesame Street), I am hoping to purchase it so we can watch it over and over.

3. Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
I was introduced to this by a friend in high school. She brought it in so we could watch it during Music Theory. I don’t know when I laughed harder in my entire life. The show opens with the shot of a beautiful Nativity scene, and Mr. Bean is playing with the figurines. Each figure has come to see the Baby Jesus and as they make noise, the other figures all shush the noise. Even when a helicopter brings in a cow. Oh man, I’m giggling just thinking about it. I love Mr. Bean’s attempt to stuff and cook a turkey. I love the Christmas tree he picks out. It’s all so classically Mr. Bean. If you don’t know this one… run, do not walk, to the video store and rent it today. You just can’t go wrong with Mr. Bean.

4. A Christmas Story
This is another childhood favorite of mine. Ches hates this movie. I know many of you, dear readers, also hate it. But I LOVE IT. I know almost every line. I have no problem double dog daring someone to stick their tongue to a light post (not that it matters here in Arizona). Everytime I see a box (epecially around Christmas time), I must read the word “fra-gee-lay” then say “It must be Italian.” Last year we found little tree lights that were leg lamps. Ches wouldn’t let me get them. Sad! The other day, as we took the kids to Wal-Mart for their complimentary pictures with Santa, I so wanted to teach them each to tell Santa they wanted a Red Rider BB Gun. Ches wouldn’t let me (although he did laugh this time). And I love to sing “Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra…” This is another movie I really, really want to purchase this year.

Here are some of my new favorites:

1. Elf
This is just a funny, heart-warming movie. How can anyone not like Buddy the Elf? “Smiling’s my favorite.” My favorite scene, however, is the duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I’m not normally a Will Ferrell fan, but I love love love this movie.

2. The Holiday
Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. Jack Black is freaking hilarious. Jude Law is hot. Cameron Diaz isn’t normally on my “must see” list, but she’s in a few things I love. This didn’t get that many good reviews, but I like it. Kate Winslet is trying to get over a unrequited love, and Cameron Diaz is trying to get over a cheater and her busy, hectic life, so they switch homes. One is an idyllic English cottage, the other an L.A. mansion. They each learn a lot about themselves and the things that they want or are truly important. It’s a great little chick flick that makes me happy.

3. The Santa Clause
Okay, really, I like all The Santa Clause movies. Tim Allen is funny and I like just about anything that will make me laugh without being embarrassed even a little by the content. I also like that they manage to use all the same actors for all three films. And just the idea of Tim Allen turning into Santa is fun. We’ll be renting this one this weekend (I hope). Or all three. ๐Ÿ™‚

What are some of your favorites?

Catch-up Monday

I’ve been wanting to do a Random Friday, but Friday just didn’t turn out to be a good day to sit and write on my blog. I know I’ve been horribly neglectful of my little corner of the webiverse, but I have good excuses reasons. Do I have to share them?? Well, once I do all my catch up I’m sure you’ll see.

I’ve tried participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. I was moving slowly in my writing, but it was steady and I honestly thought I would finish all 50,000 words this year. Life just gets in the way, however, and I got behind again. I think I’m giving up for this year. Unless I’m hit by some major inspiration and can throw out 40,000 words in the next few days, it’s just not going to happen. My story wasn’t that great anyway. I struggle to write adequately. I struggle to find the words to go with the pictures and actions in my head. I can do short stories, but drawing things out is just not my strong suit. And people don’t like short stories. You have to already know and love an author to read a book of short stories, usually.

I love to write and I really do want to write and publish a novel someday. However, maybe I’m just not a novel writer. Maybe I should stick to my little blog. Maybe I’m not meant to be a novelist until I’m much older. I just don’t know right now. I’m not sad about it or anything. Just thinking it through. Changing my plans and ideals once again.

*****

I saw New Moon opening night. In fact, I got to do a double feature. Some theatres here were offering a double feature of Twilight and New Moon for just an extra $5. You got early seating and stayed in one theatre for both movies. I went with my friend, Kelly, and had a really good time. We were in the theatre hours and hours before the movie started so we’d have decent seats (last year we were in the second row for Twilight. Let me tell you, that sucked. Big time.). We met some really cool people and had fun talking about all sorts of things… vampires and Twilight and other good books (Gone With the Wind, for one) and book clubs and Surviver and The Amazing Race and places we’ve lived and candy and school… I need to email my new friend. She was cool. Kelly was feeling a little sick, but she lasted through the first movie and most of the second. Thankfully she had actually been to the prescreening Wednesday night, so didn’t feel horrible about having to leave in the middle of New Moon.

I liked New Moon. I think it was done so much better than Twilight. While watching Twilight we were making fun of Bella’s blinking, head twitching, and stuttering that she did in every. Single. Scene. Very annoying. She doesn’t do it nearly as much in New Moon. New Moon stuck much more closely to the book and had more details from the book. The thing I hated about New Moon was the hair. Alice and Rosalie were both stuck in aweful wigs. Jasper didn’t look as much like Edward Scissorhands this time around, but he did look like he had just stepped out of a Jane Austen movie. And Alice’s wardrobe was NOT Alice. What was that smock she was wearing at school the morning of Bella’s birthday party?? UGLY. I wish we could have seen more of Dakota Fanning (two lines was not enough. She looked and sounded amazing.). The Volturi were done so well! The “bad” vampires in general looked scarier than last time. The eyes were redder and the faces more pale. Laurent and Victoria were both much scarier. Oh, and I loved how much more red Victoria’s hair was in New Moon. Fit more of the “fiery” description of the book. So, that’s a start. I am more than willing to have discussions on IM or Facebook with anyone about anything New Moon. You know how I love to discuss movies and books and stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

*****

Speaking of books, I recently borrowed my friend’s book containing all of Jane Austen’s novels. I have actually only read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. I love P&P and I really, really like S&S and I really like Emma (although admit I love the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow more, no matter what Ches says about it. He hates that movie). I decided it was time to read the other Austen novels I had been missing out on. I started with Mansfield Park. I have to say, I don’t like it. I thought it was too quick of an ending, and the way everyone treated Fanny throughout the book was driving me crazy. And Fanny was just too weak and simpering for me. Elizabeth Bennett is a strong female with a mind of her own. Fanny Price just sits back and lets everything happen to her. I don’t like it.

So, after I have read the books I got from the library and this month’s book club pick (The Scarlet Pimpernel, if you were wondering), I’m going to read another Austen. I’m thinking Northanger Abbey, then Persuasion, then lady Susan.

What’s your favorite Austen, and why?

*****

In September I received an email from a girl at church talking about a new choral organization in the East Valley area. It’s called the East Valley Mormon Choral Organization, and they were holding auditions that week. AND they had a full symphony orchestra, also holding auditions. I pulled something together, and three days later I had auditioned for the orchestra. I felt the audition went really well, but I knew I would have to wait.

The first week of November I got the email telling me I made it into the orchestra! Rehearsals started the next week. Our concert is December 10th. Orchestra would only have 5 rehearsals (the choirs have been practicing since September) so I knew I’d have to be on top of my game.

I got to rehearsal and found I was the 3rd flute (I’m just happy to have made it!) and that I would be playing piccolo, too. Now that is a problem. I have a piccolo, but I’ve never really done anything with it. So I took home my music and practiced every single day (probably drove the neighbors absolutely crazy!), but I just couldn’t get out all the notes I needed to. Last week, for our second rehearsal, I apologized to the other two flutists and said I just couldn’t do it. I would continue to practice so I could do picc for a future concert, but it just wasn’t going to happen for this one. I didn’t want us to sound bad! The other flutists are very gracious and we switched around some parts. The next concert isn’t until March, so I’m going to keep working on my range and tone and hopefully I’ll get it!

This concert is going to be so good. I wish you could all come! If you are in the Phoenix area, our concert is December 10th at the Mesa Arts Center. You can buy tickets here. Or you can find out more information about EVMCO here. I’m really, really excited to be a part of this!!

*****

So, there you have it. I’ve been busy writing, practicing, and movie watching. Hopefully I’ll get a better handle on my life soon!! Until then, I’m off to attack the mountain of laundry.

Weasley is Our King!

Went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter last night (this morning??). I’m not going to write anything about it yet because I’m not going to spoil it for anyone. However, I really think this is the best one in the series so far. I can’t wait to discuss it with some of you!! Now, I’m off to try and get some more sleep in. It was a short night, sleep-wise.

Ya THINK??

So we were watching “Marley and Me” the other night, and there’s the scene where Jennifer Aniston’s character and Owen Wilson’s character are reading newspapers that they had each written an article for. The are reading each other’s articles. Being the supportive spouses and such. Owen Wilson works for a small paper and his article is really some blurb where the editor cut a bunch of it out and spell the character’s name wrong. Jennifer Aniston works for a large paper and has this huge article about something very important that continues on to another page and covers four columns of text.

Ches says, “That would be so hard, to be married and do the same thing but not have the same results.”

I just looked at him. Yeah. I don’t know how that feels at all.