Saturday, June 22, 2013

What I Have Been Up To....

It is hard to believe I haven't blogged in three months!  I am a terrible blogger!  I have been busy.  I have started a new hobby that I really like.

It started when I took a road trip with one sister to see another sister. While on the road my little sister was knitting.  It looked easier than I thought.  We ended up at Wal-mart buying supplies.

Soon my husband had a new hat and scarf.

It was 90 degrees the day I took this photo!  He loves the colors.  Go Clones!

This new hobby soon led to others getting new knitted items.

Yes, I made a green, unicorn hat.

Then I needed space.  I was beginning to overflow my area around my chair.  I have a spare room that had become a dumping ground for crap.

In the interest of full disclosure, this was after quite a bit of stuff had already been cleared out.  I just couldn't take a picture for the "real" before.

So after a trip to Goodwill, a couple of hours garage sailing, digging in my garage, one roadside pick up and a bed from my sister-in-law, I have a new guest room/craft room.

I have been having a good few months.  I started a new job I really love.  I have spent time with family.  I really have been working on my New Year's resolutions.  Now I have a great little room.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Coal Miner's Daughter - 1980 and Saturday Night!

I have very eclectic music taste.  I grew up in the seventies and eighties.  So disco and that horrific pop music of the eighties, (which I won't publicly admit is on my iPod) mark my musical upbringing.  But my dad was a huge country music fan.  We knew from a very young age that you don't talk during a Johnny Cash song. 

So I was familiar with Loretta Lynn early on.   It must have been on cable or an early video tape release when I first saw the movie.  I remember being young enough that I wasn't completely sure what happened in the motel room with newlyweds, Loretta and Doo. 
But it remains one of those movies that I still quote and sing along with.  I love that they show this couple warts and all.  Then I wonder what the real couple was like.   Both were still alive and very involved with the making, so there had to be some editing of their story.  Since seeing this movie, I have wanted to see Loretta Lynn in concert. 

Finally, Saturday night I did.

We got tickets and went to the casino show.  It started with her daughters, Peggy and Patsy, singing.  They are the babies that Loretta has after Patsy Cline is killed in a plane crash.

My husband was able to guess their second song by the drum lead in.  He is such a music nerd.

Not the greatest pictures, but better than the ones of Loretta.

She was so sparkly that she made photo taking almost impossible.  Now I understand why they said we could take all the pictures we want!  None of them were going to turn out.  The other distraction was the guy a couple of rows up whose butt crack was directly in my line of sight. 

I must ask.  How does anyone not notice their butt hanging out? 

Her bus was outside, but different from the one in the movie.  Looked pretty snazzy.

Loretta was great.  She was funny and sang pretty good.  Her dress had to weigh at least forty pounds and she did take a break in the middle of the concert.  (She is in her eighties!  She can take a break.) But unlike every other concert, she just pulled up a chair onstage and watched her band sing a couple. 
She also had tissues stuffed in the sleeve of her dress.  It made me laugh, cause every grandma I've ever met does that.  I have in the last year had to stop myself from doing this, so I guess it is inevitable. 
Loretta didn't have a set list.  She asked the audience what they wanted to hear.  Of course the whole place screamed for "Coal Miner's Daughter".  But Loretta is one smart cookie. 
"I don't like that one" She quipped.
I know from having gone to a few concerts over the years, they save their signature song for last.   Loretta didn't disappoint.  She sang her classics and some gospel music and then those distinctive notes started and the audience was on their feet. 
I did get a halfway decent picture of her leaving the concert and heading for her bus.  Then I bought an autographed copy of her cookbook.  It was a great night. 
I had a revelation that night.  Everyone makes a big deal about all of Taylor Swift's post break up songs.  But Loretta made a pretty good career of writing a song every time her husband ticked her off.  She is a true legend.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - 2013

Where did the last month go?  I started a new job and have been working different hours.  I also started a food blog with my husband.  But today I went to the movies.   My husband had been talking about Burt Wonderstone.  I had seen a few commercials and it looked like it could be really good or really bad. 

Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are magicians of the Sigfried and Roy vein, minus the tigers and homosexuality.  There was lots of sequins and flowing hair. 

They spend years on the top, headlining in Vegas.  Then magic starts to change when Jim Carrey's Steve Gray comes to town.  (That is a lot of Steves!  My dog is also named Steve.  Weird!)


He is a Criss Angel style street magician with a penchant for doing shocking stunts that inspire his audience to throw up and then cheer. 

Olivia Wilde is almost understated in her role.  Something I wouldn't have thought her capable of.  But she does a good job as first Burt and Anton's magic assistant, then Steve Gray's. 

Alan Arkin is great as a magician that inspired Burt as a kid and gives him back the magic of magic.

Overall it was a fun movie.  A couple of laugh out loud moments.  I think it is one of those movies that I will need to watch again to catch all the jokes.  Some were predictable, but well executed.  Need to get to the movies more.  I did discover the CineMode app.  I earned a free medium drink just for checking in! 

It was a nice afternoon with a shared Philly cheesesteak, a little bargain shopping and homemade granola to snack on.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Post 300

This is post number 300!

My blog has been around for a year and a half or so.   I started out saying I would blog daily.  Which I did for over six months.  Then I had surgery.  In fact, Post 200, was about recovering from that surgery. Post 100 was in the middle of my Halloween postings.

This time last year I was on medical leave and ingesting pain killers.  It was awesome!  Now I am working on a second blog with my husband about food.  We are up to two posts and have a way to go to get to 300 posts. 

I have gone back and read a few of my blogs from the past.  I catch all my mistakes and mispellings.  I cringe at some misuse of words.  But it has been a great learning process.  I have been read by someone on every continent.  While it hasn't gone viral, I do enjoy knowing that my words are out in the world. 

I do wonder about my most popular posts though.

1. "Along Came Polly" 2004 is by far the most popular.  No idea why.

2. "Fried Green Tomatoes" 1991 this has about half the hits as Polly, but still huge. 

3. "Charlie Brown Christmas" 1965 got a little advertisement on the radio. 


4. "The Waterboy" 1998 I am thinking that the Adam Sandler factor is here.  I love Kathy Bates in anything. 

5. "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" 1982 This is mostly about Nic Cage, but it could be because I talked about Phoebe Cates' boobs.

Quite a variety there.  I still enjoy writing them,  Even  if the only readers are my family and friends, I will continue on.  We'll see where we are at Post 400.

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Identity Thief - 2013

Identity Thief.
My husband and I had one of our afternoon dates.  I love the afternoon date.  We get the matinee price for the movie and hit lunch after the rush, so it isn't busy.  We had coupons for the concessions and an Outback gift card burning a hole in our pockets. 
Since seeing the preview, we knew that we wanted to see Identity Thief.  I loved Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids and she is great on Mike and Molly.
Jason Bateman is solid as the slightly uptight guy he plays in almost every movie.
He plays Sandy Patterson who has his identity stolen.  It is his own fault.  Diana, played by McCarthy is a pro.  She has her own credit card making machine and everything.   You do have to suspend a little belief to get them together. 
Sandy is arrested under the pretense that he missed his court date for assault.  This is when he discovers that he is deep in debt and it is threatening his career and family.  In order to save his job and his credit rating he must track down the thief and bring her to justice.
I am thinking that he would just call his credit card companies and get it fixed that way.  But what kind of movie would that make.
Amanda Peet makes an appearance as Bateman's understanding wife.  Not a lot of her usual spunk in this role.  Could really have been played by anyone.
Eric Stonestreet pops up as Big Chuck and makes the most of his few minutes of screen time.  Definitely not Cam in this movie.
Overall there were a lot of fun moments.  It is really an hour and a half of Melissa McCarthy being pretty funny.  It was a pleasant way to spend a date.  It had a few laugh out loud moments.
For dinner we went to Outback.  Thanks to our son for giving us the gift card for Christmas!
I had the Outback special with Lobster Mac and Cheese.  (My reward for eating really well lately)
I also had a salad.
My husband had a Outback special with seafood.  He also had veggies instead of a potato.  He was a good boy too.  It was all delicious.
We had a fun afternoon. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Personal Paranoia

Here we are through January and I am still working on Sharpening My Saw.

For the mental and emotional, I would like to talk about some of my weird, paranoid fears.  It doesn't help that I know that it is weird.  It still scares me.

When my husband and I were dating he asked me what my biggest fear was.  I told him that I didn't want to tell him.  He pushed a little and I was kind of in love with him already so I told him.

I was afraid of having ugly children. 

I was mostly scared that I wouldn't know that they were ugly.  I have seen a few ugly babies.  We use those keywords like, "oh how sweet!" or "what a happy baby!".  So I was also worried no one would tell me that they were ugly.

Some months later I had my son.

He was pretty cute and others told me so.

Since then I have other strange fears.

  • I can't eat at work potlucks.  Especially if someone else has already started eating.  Family ones where I have seen everyone's kitchens I am OK.
  • I am afraid to step on manhole covers.  I worry that it will rust through and I will fall into the sewer. 
  • Everytime I cross a bridge I worry about crashing into it and falling into the river and drowning because I can't swim.
  • I am super nice to all wait staff and never send food back.  I am afraid someone will spit on it.
  • If someone is late, I immediately jump to worst case scenario.  They aren't late, they've been kidnapped and just can't remember my number for the ransom call.
  • Mice.
  • Rats.
  • Those giant rat like things in South America.
  • I no longer really want to visit New York City because I heard they have more rats than people and there are like 8 million people there.
  • Eww.  I just googled images for Subway Rats in NYC and I saw things that will give me nightmares.

So what does this have to do with Sharpening My Saw?  I think of the movie "Defending Your Life".  Albert Brooks dies and has to review his life.  The whole movie is about overcoming fears.  So I will try to overcome some of them.    I was telling my husband about a couple of these while we were running errands today.  He told me that if we are in the car together when it goes over the bridge he will save me. 

He said he would use a life guard technique he learned for people who are freaking out.  You grab their hair and drag them along so they can't hit you and drag you under.

Great.  Now I am afraid to cut my hair.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook - 2012

"Silver Linings Playbook" is about broken people.  Bradley Cooper is Pat, a bi-polar man who is recently out of the mental hospital.  Jennifer Lawrence is Tiffany, a young widow.  Of course the trailer is like any generic romantic comedy.

I went to see this film as it is nominated for a lot of Oscars.  All the acting categories are covered, Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay. 

There are many aspects I'm not sure about.  First off, the way that Pat and Tiffany are brought together.  Pat's best friend invites him to dinner.  Tiffany is the wife's sister.  It isn't clear if it is a fix up or not.  They both say inappropriate things and leave before the duck is served.  We start to get bits and pieces of their back stories. 

One side note, Julia Stiles is wasted in a tiny little part.

Pat wants to get his wife back.  Tiffany wants to dance in a contest.  They work out a deal so they can both achieve their goals. 

Running along with this is Pat's parents played by Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.  Dad is obsessed with the Philadelphia Eagles and reminded me a little too much of those Bud Light "It's Only Weird If It Doesn't Work" commercials.  He has to hold a handkerchief and his remotes have to be a certain way and his son needs to be on the couch. 

Mom is always in the kitchen making appetizers. 

There is rapid fire dialogue.  I didn't understand even having the brother character.  He seemed kind of a waste of screen time. 

I really don't enjoy mental illness as a plot device.  In the movie he finds his wife in the shower with another man and beats the crap out of him.  I think there are a lot of men that would do this and they wouldn't have to be mentally ill.  I felt like they gave him a disorder to forgive him for this act that doesn't really need it.  

I don't like the widow thing either.  There is a lot of talk about how her husband died and when she reveals the story it felt anticlimatic.  Certainly not a guiltridden tale. 

There was a lot of running in garbage bags. 

A lot of sweaty dancing.  But there weren't a lot of answers to questions raised. 

It was OK.  I was hoping for a transcendent movie.  It was a well cast romantic comedy.  I might check out the book and see if it has more depth and understanding. 

I will think about it. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Finally My Golden Globes Review

Oh my, I don't know where this week went.  I had a sick day on Monday.  Not a whole day, I left after three hours feeling like I was going to throw up.  I got my Chicken N Biscuits and that helped.  But I didn't eat any dinner.  Here it is already Thursday and I haven't blogged. 

I was up late Sunday watching the Golden Globes.  Late for me anyway.  It just reminded me that I haven't seen any movies that were nominated.  But I did see the Best Drama, "Argo".  I love that the Globes has Drama and Comedy/Musical as separate categories. 

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were awesome hosts.

They had fun.

They were witty.  I loved this quip from Tina when 24 year old winner, Lena Dunham thanked the other nominees.

"Congratulations Lena, I'm glad we got you through middle school."

Jodie Foster kind of came out and kind of retired.  My husband who gets up even earlier than I do had just gone to bed when it happened.  I texted him.  (What?  He was upstairs.  I'm supposed to scream up the stairs?)

I texted:  Jodie Foster just came out on the Golden Globes.

(Yes, I am one of four people that spells out the whole thing in texts! And uses punctuation.)

He texted back: Wow.  Thank her wife or what?

(My husband is one of the four)

Me: Her coparent and former life mate.

Him: So she's available now?

That's my husband.  I love him.

So after the awards I think I going to see "Silver Linings Playbook".  I'm not sure what else. 

My favorite speech was Adele for Best Original Song.

"I've come for a night out with my friend Ida. We're new mums. We're literally here for a night out.  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your world for a night. It's amazing. We've been pissing ourselves laughing at all of you".

I love her songs but it is so funny to hear her talking like Eliza Doolittle. 

It was a fun night.  I am ready for the Oscars.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominations 2013!

The playoffs have begun.  My husband is watching football and I need to see some movies.  I have only seen one of the Best Picture nominees.  Last year was probably one of the worst years for new movies for me. 

I am a little ticked that they have 9 nominees.  In the old days with only five nominees I could crank those out in the month between nominations and the ceremony.  Now if I haven't seen them already, it is nearly impossible. 

I saw Argo.  I would like to see Silver Linings Playbook and Amour.  I'm not sure about Les Miserables.  I like a good musical, but I don't know about a couple of hours of fighting and crying.  I don't think I want to see Life Of Pi.   

For the acting categories, I did see The Master.  I will never get all the acting ones.

I did see two of the animated ones.  Brave and Wreck It Ralph were both awesome.

Should be an interesting awards season. 

See the list below:

Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life Of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook

Life Of Pi – Ang Lee
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Amour – Michael Haneke
Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
Beasts Of The Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin

Denzel Washington – Flight
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Alan Arkin – Argo
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Amy Adams – The Master
Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Sally Field – Lincoln
Jacky Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

The Pirates! In An Adventure WIth Scientists

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This Is 40 - 2012

On New Year's day, I went to see "This Is 40".  I was going to go with my husband but he had an important football game to watch.  I started to go by myself and remembered my resolution to sharpen my saw.  I called a friend I hadn't seen in months and we went together. 

The movie stars Paul Rudd and Leslie "Mrs. Judd Apatow" Mann.  They are reprising their roles of Pete and Debbie from "Knocked Up".

Whenever I see an established couple in a movie I try to figure out how they ended up together.  The bickering and criticizing couple are always a mystery to me.  How did they get past the dating stage to marriage?  Why did they stay married for so long? 

In the movie, the implication is that Debbie got pregnant and they got married.   But I still don't understand their attraction.  Pete is a typical movie man child, hiding in the bathroom to play Scrabble and Bejeweled Blitz.  Debbie is a control freak and list maker who seems irritated by everything Pete does. 

The movie is funny.

Melissa McCarthy steals every scene she is in. 

John Lithgow and Albert Brooks are great as Debbie and Pete's dads.

Paul Rudd is funny doing something I can imagine many men doing. 

Jason Segal reprises his role as lascivious Jason. 

Apatow and Mann's daughter's come back as Pete and Debbie's daughters.  They probably do the best acting in the whole movie.  The little one is great.  The ghost cow scene really made me laugh.

Overall, I laughed a lot.  It was very funny.  The poignant moments didn't work for me.  Leslie Mann can be a little shrill in her attempts to be funny.  Paul Rudd mugs for the camera a little too much in that "yeah, but ain't I adorable" sort of way.

I enjoyed the movie and know it isn't high art.  It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.