Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm not sure about this whole thing

Scenario Scout came up with today: (5 1/2)

Pretend that I am a baby tiger and you are my owner and I am eating blood soup (she's really eating tomato soup). Pretend that you found me in the safari and my mommy tiger said it was alright, you could take me- she'll just make another baby- cause that's the spirit of Christmas.







Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dinner

Can I post something on here and still maintain the respect of my readers?
(if I had it in the first place that is).


You may all be surprised to read this but my family and I, well we are not perfect. My house isn't always immaculate. Rules aren't always followed to the letter. Our yard loo
ks like downright crap much of the time. This is a blog post I am writing partly in protest to the perfect little world I feel closes in on me sometimes. I read a great article and I wish I could sight references and give the person credit here, but it was quite some time ago. The article was about how the art of the family picture has changed drastically in the last few years. Photoshop is ruining the bad picture we all laugh at in those old albums (you that are privy to a certain family pic of mine may insert laughs here). Basically it was lamenting that red eyes are a thing of the past, and we can blur out imperfections in the background, etc. We can even see the pic right away, delete it so it is gone forever and retake a million times when before, you just took two and hoped for the best. I am really going to mess this up because there was something else I read and I don't remember if it was the same article or a different one, but this time it was talking about the perfect cookie cutter blog worlds we read about. Everyone has a blog- correct? Well, it is easy to show our best pics there and we can pick and choose to share only the wonderful, cookie cutter, Norman Rockwell moments in our lives (I would like to insert here that this is also happening on facebook. In fact, I have a few "friends" that every time they post a status update I want to pull my hair out by the roots from the sickening crap I read. Example: "Just got back from skiing with my family, went home, had hot chocolate, sang carols and now I am sitting in front of the fire with my hottie husband and we are sighing about what a beautiful life we lead." Parts left out: "kids fought all the way to the resort, I was mad and didn't speak to my husband for half the day because I detected a flirty voice when he said hi to the ski instructor, the fourteen year old went upstairs after the carols and smoked weed and we will be paying for the season passes we bought on the credit card for 8 years- but we had to buy them cause everyone else in the neighborhood has them and the ones that don't are going to be oh so jealous." (Ok, I probably sound a wee bit more cynical then I really feel, but that was a lot of fun.) Anyway, back to my point- in this world we are finding ourselves in, we can give and get the wrong impressions about everyone else's lives and start feeling bad that we actually have real problems and aren't perfect.

So that was a giant intro into what I was going to confess, which may or may not seem trite now, but whatever. This is all I was going to say:
My family has gotten into a bad habit for the past while which is simply this: We have eaten about 97% of our dinners in the living room in front of the TV. It has bothered me for a while now, but I have done nothing about it. One time a few weeks ago we were eating dinner and Scout asked to watch "Cash Cab" which is usually our dinner program of choice. Scout actually asking for Cash Cab got me thinking and I thought, "huh. Is this what I want Scout's memory of family dinner to be?". I brought it up to Rob and he thought about it for some days and came back to me in total agreement that we need to change this. (We have had this conversation a few times, but never quite acted on it, just kept doing what we were doing.)

Well, I am happy to report that we have had dinner at our dinner table every single night this week and we are loving it. I no longer shush my child while she talks through the answer to a trivia question- we have our own silly conversations instead. I now have a table to put my plate instead of my lap or the coffee table. When Elle spills a bit of dinner it is not on carpet anymore (or rather the towel I would put around her place to catch any errant food- and if you've e
ver seen her eat- there is plenty). Just writing this I am thinking to myself- why the bip did we put this off? Cash Cab certainly isn't worth it.

So anyway, I am not ready to air all our dirty laundry, but this improvement we have made is working out so great, there are plenty more things my little family can work on-- but one thing at a time.













RIP, old ornament

Rob and I got engaged a few days before Christmas, 2001. That year we went to Pier 1 and bought a few ornaments just for fun (I think I had a small tree in my apartment and had little to put on it). I believe we bought three: a paper elephant, a teeny tiny purple glass ball and a cool frosted blue one. The elephant was played with by Scout on one of her early Christmases and it has no trunk to speak of anymore, nor does it have a loopy thing to hang it from the tree. The tiny glass ball got pulverized around the same time. The last survivor was this beautiful glass ball. This week it fell from the tree under dubious circumstances (Scout blames Lola which is certainly under the realm of possibility, but the very fact that she is blaming Lola is suspect to me.) Although she may have validly witnessed the crime, she also may be trying to cover her little bum. This event resulted in a small hole which broke my heart a little, but I hung it back up pretending it never happened hoping somehow it would either magically heal itself, or survive for years to come with a small hole leaving us with a tale about the Christmas where tragedy struck, but it lives on. My dreams of this were dashed yesterday when Scout had a friend over and this time (according to said friend, the ornament just fell and broke into a million pieces)- it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this story is suspect especially since we DO have carpet and not some freakishly hard cement flooring you might think we have according to this ornament's fate from two falls.

Well, it does break my heart, but this picture is now the only remaining tangible evidence of my last remaining sentimental ornament from mine and Rob's first Christmas together. (Wait, we were dating the year before, but not so seriously and were not engaged, nor did we buy any ornaments.)
Anyway, that ornament was special to me and I hate to see it gone, but life happens.

Especially with a rambunctious little girl and one big great Dane.

Sigh.

At least we still have the detrunked elephant.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That WOULD be a miracle


Scout 5 1/2-

I don't remember what led to me telling Scout the entire story of Jesus on the way to ballet yesterday, but she asked me to, so I did. I started with His birth and went on from there. When I got to the part about how He healed the sick, blind, and lame, she took that in and then said, "maybe He could touch Elinor so she could walk".

I swear that girl thinks of everything.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rant

I'm really annoyed right now, so I ask you all to indulge me while I rant.

This particular rant is about my child's elementary school parking lot. First order of business:


I have been to two events at my child's school where the parents are invited. Both times of course the place was very crowded. This over capacitated the parking lot. But no problem, there is a church with a huge parking lot RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. So, I parked there and saw another mom I know and we walk in together to watch our children march in the Halloween parade. As I am approaching the front of the building, I notice that the entire red zone at the front of the school is totally full of parked cars. I made a joke to the other mother about how maybe blocking the entire red zone(ie- place where the fire trucks park if there is a fire), may not be the best idea at an elementary school where our children are (the other mother didn't seem to care) and then I dropped it. About a month later, one night there was an art show at the school and Rob and I and the kids went. They had a program and I think every parent and grandparent were there and you couldn't even fit into the gym. It was soooo crowded and I am sure over capacity. Again, we parked at the church across the street and as we walked in, AGAIN, the entire red zone was full of parallel parked cars. I pointed it out to Rob and this time it was just annoying to me. SERIOUSLY! What in the world makes you feel entitled to park in the red zone ANYWHERE just because the parking spots are full??? Let alone, the elementary school where hundreds of our children are? Especially when there is a perfectly fine half empty parking lot RIGHT across the street? No one is going to tow you out of an LDS church parking lot I assure you. And shame on the police department for not towing every single one of those cars parked in the red zone. I am no champion of safety here, but I know what is right and what is STUPID in certain situations.
1. You don't ever park in red zones anywhere, especially schools overflowing with children.
2. You don't speed in school zones.
3. You never ever park in handicapped spaces. Which brings us to what happened yesterday....


Scout was picked up by her carpool and as they were leaving the lot they were backed up into and got in an accident. The lady that backed into them, not only was driving a giant SUV, she had a huge decal advertising her husband's dental practice in the back window (decal letters, not the wraps that you can see through). She pops out and talks to the mother driving Scout home and was like, "I don't think it was anybody's fault". What the crap? Other mother (Scout's car) was not speeding and didn't see her. The SUV lady told the cops that she even saw the other car. What the crap again? Anyway, she was cited for backing into someone and also, was cited again because she happened to be backing out of a handicapped spot for which she had no business being in. This seems like another case of total self entitlement and this all just makes my blood boil (Self entitlement and laziness! One of the many reasons Americans are getting fatter- we can't walk across the street? Or park a few spaces further away instead of taking up a spot reserved for someone that legitimately can't walk?).

Ok, rant over. I feel somewhat better. Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What Emily's Been Watching, November Edition

I ran into a big stumbling block on the first day of November. My Salt Lake County library card expired after 8 years. If you've been keeping track, I moved to Utah County, but kept my card (shhh), since SLC has an incredible library system and I couldn't give it up. Cedar Hills has of course- no library. They do however try to compensate by reimbursing you for the library fee of surrounding cities. That's cool enough, so I got an account at American Fork. Guess what? American Fork has the most woeful selection of movies ever. It's probably more like what renting a video at the library is like in normal places though. Except I would expect more artsy and foreign movies of which I saw NONE, all they had was pure crap. I kept putting in movie titles to the data base and coming up with nothing. I canceled my Netflix like a year ago because our laptop died and that meant I could no longer watch streaming movies in bed. (I am not going to sit at my computer desk in our uncomfortable chair and watch movies.) Also, SLC had a great selection of movies- pretty much they had everything- so I was totally set without Netflix. Well, this has all ended and my selection of movies I watched this month will demonstrate this. No fear though- I am restarting my Netflix account, so things should improve and movies WILL be seen again.

Date Night (2010) [PG 13] :Comedy. Rob and I watched this one night while I helped him strip cabinets. We would rather had watched Shutter Island, but decided this one was a better flick to be working on cabinets to, since it was a movie you could watch while doing something else as opposed to Shutter Island, a film you want to pay attention to every minute. It turned out to be a pretty good choice. It was about what we expected- a few laughs, but mostly fairly stupid- but it did star two talented, funny people. Let's put it this way: we could have picked something worse. So if you have a project to do and want something playing in the background, Emily can recommend this. It did have the Thom Yorke look alike guy in it (that was just a fun fact).

Babies (2010) [PG] Documentary. I have been wanting to see this since I heard of it. Then, I saw a trailer for it, and ever since, I had REALLY been wanting to see it. Perhaps it is my status as a mother, especially one that has a little baby barely out of her first year of life. Perhaps it is just cause I am a chick who likes babies. I don't know, but it was cute and it will make your ovaries hurt whether you have them or not. It is a French documentary and it basically follows 4 babies through their first year of life. One lives in a hut in Africa, one in a little goat farm in Mongolia, one is a hippy baby from San Francisco (yuppie hippie not Haight and Ashbury hippie), and the last is a little diva baby in Tokyo. It was interesting seeing 2 from middle of nowhere, outskirts of the world juxtaposed with 2 from big and modern (yet culturally different) cities. All four being raised in very very very different environments, but of course, there were many similarities beings as how they are babies. That's the thing about babies, which I took away from this- babies are babies (I also took away from watching the 2 year old Mongolian older brother an appreciation for having had my kids 4 years apart. What a pill!!) There is a funny scene where the Japanese baby is playing with this toy and she is frustrated and keeps dramatically falling over. Made me laugh. But oh how that little baby from Namibia won my heart (the opening scene of the trailer, showcasing this baby, was what jet propelled me to see it- she won my heart in like 2 seconds). I have no idea if it was a girl or a boy- the name and the clothing were not gender specific to my American ears and eyes, but I suspect she was a girl. She was SO cute and SO smart. I was tempted to feel bad for her/him every time I saw her(him), but I couldn't do it. She was happy and healthy and smart and content and very loved. There was a funny scene where she is just lying on her stomach in the dirt, playing with it and eating it etc. Directly after it shows the hippie baby at a baby yoga class and you were obviously supposed to reflect on that and all that means and I did. Emily recommends this movie if (big surprise) you like babies. In fact, if you like babies, this is one not to miss. There is virtually no dialogue and what is said, is not translated or subtitled and I don't know about you guys, but I am only able to understand one of the four languages spoken. This is not really a factor though, you just watch the babies. There is also plenty of nudity, but it is of the National Geographic variety.

The Big Chill (1983) [R]: Comedy/drama. So I've heard about this movie my whole life but had never seen it. I needed something this week to watch while I did my eyebrows and folded laundry and Scout was at school. This was On Demand, so I gave it a go. My opinion: eh. It was ok. I have heard of The Breakfast Club being referred to as "The Little Chill" and I must say, I like The Little Chill better. Not that I didn't dislike this movie, I just wasn't "wowed" in any way. Perhaps it is a generational thing, meaning it speaks to a specific generation that I am not a part of. I can tell you with authority that the filming really sucked. Perhaps it is just a product of early 80's mid set, where these things weren't considered. I don't know, I do know that I am no authority on filming, but that should tell you how bad it really was- that it bothered me and I noticed. I am inclined to believe that perhaps since The Breakfast Club has been compared to it, I was expecting a character reckoning at the end where everyone learned something about themselves and came out changed people. In a way, these people did, but not as drastically, which made the ending fall flat a bit. Despite all I've said, I liked the movie well enough and Kevin Kline (as always) was a definite high point of the movie. Emily can't decide if she recommends this movie or not. I suppose it won't kill you to see it, it IS a good film about a specific generation and time in one's life (specifically, if you graduated college around 1969 I'd say). "Won't kill you to see it" something tells me I am being a wee bit hard on this movie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mornings around here

Mornings. I am not the biggest fan. The reason mostly likely is that I am a night owl. I can be sooooo tired in the afternoon, even into the evening. I can make pledges that "since I am so tired, I am going to bed early tonight!" Yes, that has actually happened once or twice in my life. More likely though, 9 or 10 hits and something happens to me. Suddenly, all thoughts of sleep are gone and I am abuzz with all the things I could do. My mind activates and my family sleeps without me. Rob is not a night owl. Rob would be very happy to fall asleep every day of the week at 9 o'clock. So, because of my busy nights, waking babies at 6 are pretty cruel. Luckily, I have good sleepers and even better little girls. On a typical morning, Elle will wake up at 6 or 6:30 for the day. This wakes Scout up in the next room (but believe me, she'd wake up soon anyway). Sometimes Elle will accept a bottle and possibly go back to sleep, but not likely. I will usually just make the bottle and pick her up and take her into bed with us. I always have a hope that she'll just fall asleep, but she doesn't. So, after the bottle, I turn on an Elmo's world video and sit her up next to me and I check back out. On lucky mornings, Rob gets up at that time too, and makes Scout her cereal. On unlucky mornings, I get up and make her a bowl and go back to bed.
Between the hours of 6 and 8 are Scout's best playtime. For whatever reason, that is the time that her imagination soars, she doesn't need tv, and she plays really well by herself. Other times of the day, she wants the TV on, or she begs me to play with her or a friend to come play, or she just follows me around talking my ear off. But perhaps as a survival instinct, in the wee hours of the morning, she is blissfully self contained and plays so cute. When I get up, usually 8ish, I make them and myself a real breakfast such as eggs and toast, and the day begins. Part of my morning routine is to go into Scout's room and get her clothes and I always take a look around and peek at what had occupied her time that morning. Sometimes I marvel at how early she must have gotten up that day to do all the things she had done (sometimes Scout is up at an indeterminate hour, proceeding her sister).
This morning's play, struck me as particularly cute and I had to take pictures. She got me up at 8 to come see her "ecosystem" she made.

(I am sure that every mother in the world can relate to this: I am greeted at least 100 times a day with, "mom, come and see something" there is never an explanation on what will greet me, it ALWAYS has to be a surprise. My surprises range very widely in interest. Sometimes I am dragged downstairs to see a piece of thread on the carpet. Many times I am shown a horse in a book or on the tv or computer and asked, "can I be this horse?" (most likely scenario). Sometimes it's to see that baby sister is seconds away from falling off the couch onto her head. And SOMETIMES it's for something really cute and I am so glad she came and got me to see (I am always glad she comes to get me when her sister is in peril too, make no mistake). Anyway, this morning, it was for something really cute.)

This was the path to the ecosystem I was to take into Elinor's room which was where her "world" that she made was housed.


Here is the overall view. Basically, she took all of Elle's stuffed animals and many of hers and separated them into their different habitats (yes she threw around words like "ecosystem" and "habitat". Good to know PBS is doing it's job.)

I will now take you on a tour of the different habitats that went up in Elle's room while she was watching Elmo with mommy (ok, mommy drifted off a bit).



The farm pastures
(her favorite horse family, a sheep and a pig (that's housey for all of you who remember).


This is the barn.
It housed a kitty family, some dogs and a duck.




In the crib, we had the South Pole.
(Two huskies, a penguin and a snowman (for good measure). I must say, I was pleased to see the penguin in the South Pole, not the North Pole. I choose to believe that she knew that's where they live and did it on purpose. You will visit the North Pole in a minute.)


First we will go to the ocean.
(dolphin, manta ray, shark and Nemo.
Oh, and don't forget Kermit, he lives on a lily pad in the ocean - I was informed).


Can't forget the giant sea turtle.


Here we have the North Pole housing who else but Santa and three reindeer.


This is the beach.
Just one lonely crab.
(Guess it was the only beach creature she could find.)


This one's my favorite. It's the forest.
(Hedgehog, rabbits and two moose. Are you wondering what cookie is doing there? Well, the forest is creepy to Scout, so she felt it needed a monster.)



At last we have the jungle.
(featuring lions and tigers and bears amidst a gorilla, elephants, one hippo toy, Pumbaa, and some
vine climbing monkeys).




I don't know about you guys, but I thought it lacked a savannah, desert and frozen tundra. But she did alright for herself.


















Monday, November 8, 2010

What Emily's Been Watching, October Edition

Lots of TV on DVD this month, and also two movies are tacked on at the end being ones I overlooked last month. So I watched them in September, but forgot while I wrote the post- so I am adding them here, at the end. (Alright- I can already tell I am going to be fairly incoherent tonight, perhaps I will finish in the morning....)

Dexter, Season 4 (2009) [NR-but we may as well call it R]: Crime Drama. Ok, I have been a Dexter fan for a few years now. I have loved it, considered it extremely well written, and interesting, and well acted. I have to say- Season 4 blew the other seasons right out of the water. The bar is raised. For those who don't know, Dexter is a show on Showtime about a serial killer whom you root for. He is a sociopath that works in Miami for the police as a blood splatter analyst. His father, (he was a cop and Dexter is his foster son that suffered from an unspeakable childhood trauma I won't get into) (don't want to spoil season 1!). Anyway, his father noticed (and was looking for) behavior from Dex that spoke of something being very wrong with him, so instead of snuffing it out, gave Dexter a "code" to kill by. So as an adult, Dexter follows this code religiously and kills people that have gotten away with horrible crimes either by not being caught, or getting off on trial from a technicality to soothe or quiet his "dark passenger". This is why you root for Dexter, cause he is killing bad guys (and it's fiction and also he is a very likable guy). Besides all of that, Dexter is trying to have a normal life with a family, and working murder cases for the police department, you can imagine that craziness ensues. It's a very interesting show and I really, really recommend it. Season 4 featured John Lithgow as another serial killer, and his character was MESSED UP! He did such a fantastic job, and was a guest star through the whole season. Anyway, awesome show and I am happily 3 episodes into the current season. Emily recommends Dexter if you have interest in crime shows and just really well done TV. There IS plenty of language and violence -mostly crime scene stuff-, disturbing content (as a mother, I have lost a little sleep over some aspects of the story, but after some reminders that it's fiction, I'm back for more). Some sex, but it's quite mild and downplayed for a show on these sort of channels. Basically, this one isn't for the innocents, but you probably already knew that.


Bleak House, Disc 1 (2005) [NR]:Drama. This is another BBC beauty, but this time, it isn't a mini series (I guess Dickens is long enough to warrant an entire tv season.) I have only been able to watch the first disc and there are three, so it's safe to say I am about a third of the way through. The episodes are a half hour long with the exception of the premier which was an hour. I am hooked, I must say. Another well written, well acted triumph. What makes this show unique and interesting is it's a period piece that is shot very modern if that makes any sense. The lines, costumes, and subject matter are all very 19th century Dickens, but the camera angles, the (I don't know the technical term for this) but the transitions from scene to scene have a very distinct cutting edge feel to them. I can't think of another show done this way and I find it really interesting. The shining star of this series is Gillian Anderson who plays Lady Deadlock. She has a commanding presence and the show wouldn't be the same without her. So far the story is mostly about the legal case of an inheritance that is so complicated it has been going on for generations. There are mysteries wrapped up in the plot that add intrigue. It's a very good story and I am enjoying it very much. I will get to disc 2 soon I hope........ Emily recommends this to anyone who didn't fall asleep from my description of it. There will be more to come with this review hopefully next month. Stay tuned.


Horatio Hornblower, The Duel(1998) [NR]: Action/Adventure. This was another recommendation from my friend Ami. She has a good track record with me, so I pretty much watch/read everything she tells me to (if I remember -by the way Aim, I finally read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society -awesome read, as always-). This was a recommendation from way back I just got around to (I didn't say I get to them right away). It's a movie that is actually a series of movies or maybe it's TV shows- it's from A&E. Anyway, whatever they are, they are adapted from the C.S. Forester novels that I have never read. I don't know about the rest of them, but I really enjoyed this one. The main dude was interesting and the plot was good and a swashbuckling good time. Wow, swashbuckling is actually a word (at least I didn't get the red squiggly line). So they take place during the French Revolution and Horatio is a young seaman from the British Royal Navy. Anyway, check it out, good fun for the whole family. Emily recommends this movie to really anyone- young and old alike. It's well done and has a good story and fun action, and a promise of more to come.

(Sorry, another fan trailer)

The Verdict(1982) [R]:Courtroom drama. Not going to say much about it here, this one is to be discussed in The Kid's Were All Wright movie marathon "Inglourious Picktures". Can't tip my hand just now. You are welcome to join us in the discussion of it sometime soon. When exactly- couldn't tell you.


Here are the movies I overlook having had watched last month:


Paper Heart(2009) [PG-13]: Documentary- kind of. This was a documentary dreamed up by a young comedian, Charlyn Yi. She wanted to do a documentary about love. Her producer friend suggested that she add a twist to it, by way of her doing a documentary about love and intermingle in it a fictional love story involving her and her secret boyfriend Michael Cera. You got that? So the documentary parts (interviews) are legit, real interviews involving couples talking about love. In the middle of this, Charlyn meets Michael Cera (playing Michael Cera) who falls in love with her while she is doing this documentary about love because she has never been in love and is convinced that she never will be- so love is an interesting subject for her. Even though the love story is fictional, apparently they did date in real life (secretly). Hope you stayed with me, cause I found this movie to be charming and warm and I enjoyed myself very much. I haven't seen a lot of Michael Cera movies and I know he is wearing thin with people, but since I haven't seen him much, I still find his shtick tolerable. Oh they also did this thing that I just absolutely loved- when they told a story, they had these paper diorama things act the story out. I just loved it and found it a very unique and charming addition to the movie. Emily totally recommends this movie if you like documentaries, if you still like Micheal Cera and if you don't know who Charlyn Yi is (or if you do and like her I guess)- I thought she was adorable and a very funny/great interviewer. It is a VERY soft PG-13 by the way, no sex, nothing but a little language and none of the really bad words either (well, the one really bad word I should say). My theory is that they pushed for the rating cause they didn't want a PG movie.


Shaun of the Dead(2004) [R]: Horror/comedy. This movie was apparently the "inspiration" shall we say for Zombieland (which I LOVED). No, I don't like inspiration- more like this movie opened the door for Zombieland. While I totally see why, they are very different films (this is not a Let the Right One in scenario- even though they come from different countries -England and America-). They both take the subject of a world where zombies have taken over and you follow a group of people fighting them all with a comedic element instead of terror. I can't say which one I liked better. I liked them both very much in their own ways. Both films are totally worth seeing. So I didn't start this review with the intention of comparing the two the whole time, but that's what I did. Oh well. I would say that Shaun of the Dead was a bit less gory then Zombieland perhaps, and Shaun has that touch of smart British humor that tickles me, while Zombieland has that GREAT setup of the titles and "the rules" that I just found astoundingly clever (I also liked the cool camera tricks (the twist on slow/mo). So seriously- they are both outstanding films and LOTS AND LOTS of fun-- if you like zombies and humor and I do indeed. Emily recommends this movie if you liked Zombieland (duh). Or if you haven't seen either and you like or think you might like comedic horror, check them both out! Good stuff.


May as well aye?



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jackass

An old story from my life was recently unearthed, one I had forgotten about (Rob hadn't even heard it) but it was retold as a submission to a podcast I listen to. I ended up being the only story they read on the air. The subject was "jackass moments" (this is a movie podcast and they were reviewing Jackass 3D that week and wanted listeners to send in their own stories). Apparently they were quite surprised that their best moment came from a girl. For prosperity's sake, I have decided to share it on my blog. I am just going to paste the original email so I don't have to re write it if that's alright with you guys and I am going to go ahead and file it under Journal of Funnies, I will allow mom to have one entry. If I'm not mistaken, dad has one:

Emily - 22

Sorry I'm late in the game, but I listened late. I have a story that is jackass-y but I didn't do it on purpose, so I am not sure it counts. Perhaps it's more of a "predicament".
So, whilst living in one of my apartments in college, one of my roommates dropped something behind the fridge. They were unsuccessful pulling the fridge out further then about 2 feet, so there wasn't any space to grab the item from anywhere but from the counter. Being tall (and therefore having long limbs), I volunteered to lay on the counter top, across the stove and reach my arms down to the floor, to grasp the object (I've forgotten what it was). So I get on the counter, lay down and all was well and according to plan until my hip turned on the burner under me. I immediately supported myself with my hands on the floor and the only thing touching the counter top were my toes. My roommates quickly assessed what was going on and turned the burner off. The problem continued, since once those electric burners start, they don't cool down anytime soon. While they were in a tizzy trying to figure out what to do and I am in the meantime doing a fairly complicated push up (and giggling a little because I realized it was funny and I had acted quickly enough not to get burned), our friend's 18 year old brother (he was visiting for the week) happens to walk in, takes the scene in for a second and falls into fits of laughter. He then ran out to grab his brothers, not to help mind you, but as a "you've got to see this!". By the time the guys got there, one of my roommates had finally figured out to put hot pads on top of the offending burner and I was in the process of trying to lift myself out.


Emily (Cedar Hills, Utah)

(Oh, the podcast is Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider and I happened upon the podcast by listening to a different movie podcast I like where "Snider" was a guest and I remembered him as being a roommate of some old friends from a different apartment I lived in, and I had always found him to be very funny. He apparently doesn't remember me but I have since earned myself the title of "Official Utah fan" anyways. From Bayer, not Snider.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh my little pony carnage

This is Lola's handiwork while we were at Smith's. I scooped it up quickly before Scout saw it, which is nice, she didn't need Halloween to come early this year. We'll see how long it takes her to wonder where Toula-Roola may have gone.

Her body and one leg remains missing. We won't worry about where they may turn up.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Emily's Been Watching, September Edition

Look at me! It's October 2nd and I am doing this post! I DID keep a list of this month's movies, only thing is.................I lost it. So- here is my attempt at remembering once again......


ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEASON ONE (2003-2004) [NR]: Comedy. I have been hearing good things about this show since it aired, yet it took me until now to finally say, "I need to rent this and see what all the fuss is about". As expected (by you and myself), I loved it. It's hilarious. I think this is actually the first thing I have really ever seen Jason Bateman in. I just checked IMDB and I forgot about Juno (didn't care too much for that movie), and I also saw Starsky and Hutch but don't remember him)- so never mind. But my point was that he is funny, he's cute, he's good- he should be in more stuff. Oh and it had David Cross in it of chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie fame! I am excited to see the other two seasons and wish there were more- but I guess there aren't because of people like me who ignored it while it was on air. BUT because of people like me that are enjoying it now on DVD, I believe they are going to make a movie with the original cast. Cool. That will be fun. Emily recommends this show to anyone really, it's about at the same "clean" level as the office and is a very clever comedy.




LAST STOP FOR PAUL (2008) [PG-13]: Comedy. This was a movie I just happen to walk by at the library, saw the cover was plastered with independent film festival awards, read the back and decided to give it a go. This was a film about two work friends, one of the dude's best friend dies (the other guy doesn't know him, it was a childhood friend). This dead friend had a trip planned to travel around the world and obviously, couldn't make it. The other guy was one of those guys that takes off on a whim to Mongolia for the weekend (or the like), so he talks the other guy into taking the trip for the dead dude and scattering his ashes along the way. So basically, the film is two guys going around the world and the adventures they come across (their ultimate goal is to go to the "Full Moon Festival" in Thailand). I watched this movie in two parts- while watching the first night I kept thinking "WHAT IS UP WITH THE ACTING? HOW did this guy get this gig?" Things felt really amateurish, etc. In the morning I googled the movie and found out some stuff about it. 1. The movie was directed and "written" by one of the friends (the better actor). 2. the movie had no script. 3. the movie was filmed with one little camera and had no crew. 4. the other friend was a producer with no acting experience (duh). 5. Practically everyone else in scenes they interact with are just locals that were stopped on the street and asked to be in the movie and fed lines.
This on hindsight made me forgive the movie of a few things. I thought that when I finished the movie the next day while folding laundry I would totally forgive it. This did not happen, somehow I got a tad more critical. But the thing is, I can't say I didn't enjoy it. I enjoyed the exotic locations and the plot was pretty interesting and kept my interest the whole time. I also have respect for that kind of film making. It was an interesting idea and he carried it through fairly well. After watching it however, I lost a little of my warm fuzziness for the movie when I watched the extras and found out that the directer/lead actor was a total douche. Mostly because in the out takes he kept getting REALLY pissed off when some hapless tourist would walk in front of the camera and ruin the scene. How are these people supposed to know that the little camera resting on the stairs is filming a major motion picture (if they indeed even saw the camera in the first place- most didn't)? I can see how that can get frustrating and he was no doubt under pressure, but to the average person watching from their couch, he seemed pretty douchy. Lastly, when reading the awards caked all over the cover, you figure out that they are mostly weird, never have I heard of film festivals, so that part wasn't as impressive as it seemed. That isn't really an issue here though. All in all I enjoyed myself and the acting far excelled "BTK", so did the (non existent) script and non existent cameraman for that matter. I also support independent movie makers with an interesting idea executed better then I could do it.




UNITED 93 (2006) [R]: Drama. First off, let me say that I have avoided this movie since it's release on purpose. The events surrounding Sept 11th 2001 still fill me with such an ickiness I do all I can to just avoid stirring up those terrible times again. While watching this movie I watched footage of the planes crashing into the towers and the falling of the towers for the first time in almost 9 years. Call me an avoider if you like (because it is pretty accurate).
I decided I was ready to face it this 9/11 and rented this movie (I mean it's not like I was there or anything- I was back, and safe in Utah in a little basement apartment when the planes hit). So I thought seeing this movie would be good therapy. I actually rented this from the library a year or so ago and it sat at my bedside for 4 weeks while I never got up the guts to watch it. Well, I did this time and it was crazy. What a story. What an event. This story nine years later is still SO unbelievable to me. Not really up to talking about the movie much so that's all I'm going to say. I confess to not having the guts to watch the extras with the real families and stories. Couldn't do it, maybe someday. Emily recommends this movie if you like an incredible story of bravery and sacrifice and fear (and if you aren't a whimp like me- if you are, perhaps you might give it a go anyways. Therapy.)




JANE EYRE (2006) [NR]: Romance. I have to give a GIANT thank you to my friends
Emily and Ami for bringing this movie to my attentions.
HOLY CRAP I LOVED THIS SO MUCH!

Confession: I watched it twice in it's entirety and about three more times in bits and pieces (my favorite bits and pieces of course which added up to about 3/4ths of the film) in a week's span. I had the long anticipated season 4 of Dexter in my possession and Bleak House I have wanted to see also for some time with me at the time, yet I shut it all out while I was in Jane Eyre land. Nothing else could interest me. The movie itself was so well done- it was beautifully stylized. The blend of gothic and softness was extremely well executed. They managed to make this film without playing up the gothic aspects too much. The shining jewel of this movie however was Toby Stephens. His portrayal of Rochester was epic in my eyes. I think Charlotte Bronte herself couldn't have been more pleased. I was so impressed by his performance and his mannerisms I had to watch over and over. He brought the essence of Rochester to life like I have rarely seen a character from a book before- I was fascinated and totally taken in. I could gush all day, but I suppose I will spare you all. The girl who played Jane did an excellent job too. I loved her despite the fact that she bore a stark resemblance to a childhood friend that was a little distracting at times. She was an excellent Jane and played off of Toby Stephens really well. Great on screen chemistry. By the way- what is it about those Brontes and their dark and brooding leading men? I don't know what it is, but it really appeals to me somehow. I have never seen a screen version of Wuthering Heights, but I LOVE that story too.
"Do you think I am a machine? That I can bear it? Do you think because I am poor, plain, obscure and little that I have no heart? That I have no soul?" Loved this movie!! Have started reading the book again (haven't since high school)...... Emily recommends this movie if you are of the "turns about the garden" and "fortnight" set. You know who you are (and you aren't Rob).


I had to use a fan trailer which I usually avoid watching at all costs (too dramatic), but the only other thing I could find was a spot done for BBC One that was even more dramatic then the fan ones. This was the best I could do.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) [R]: Horror. I have heard a lot about this movie lately, since America is remaking it. Fans are pretty wary of this fact since they feel that it is already a perfect film. Why remake it? Is it just to make a English language version? (The film is Swedish.) I can see their point. The movie was very beautifully made. I am in full agreement that the American movie makers are going to ruin that aspect. It has a distinct foreign style to it that an American one just won't have, it will be a shame to lose it. Don't get me wrong- we make good movies, but different and in different ways. I will still see the new version, but it will not replace this one- it will have to be a very different film. It is a story about a 12 year old boy who is bullied by classmates and he meets a little girl who turns out to be a vampire. They are protective to each other and form a very sweet little union. It's gory at times, and there is one scene with attacking cats that was REALLY weird (anyone that has seen this film, what the bip was up with that cat scene? Please share), all in all, it was most excellent and well worth seeing. Emily recommends this movie if you like a good, well made, interesting horror movie without a lot of excessive violence and gore. Watch it with the subtitles, I implore you. It was set to automatically play dubbed and I had to fix the audio to get rid of the English dubbing. I only watched for about 3 minutes that way until righting it, but had to go back to the movie after shutting it off once, forgot- and continued it and it was dubbed again and I was scandalized! The voices were so horrible, I fixed it quickly. Just don't do it- watch it in Swedish.



So that's it (I think). Good movie month.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Monkey's Gone to Vegas

Road trip!

Some months back, well, really a long ways back- Matt wanted to go to Magic Mountain in October. He was told that the lines are non existent then. So- we planned this year to go. Sue became on board, and we threw Disneyland in there (she has connections where she can get access to 3 free tickets on any given day) so we were going to take advantage of that (who wouldn't?) Not long after cementing these plans, Matt got the miraculous news that the Pixies were reuniting for a tour and they happen to be playing in Vegas on Sept 25th. Even though that wasn't QUITE October, it was close enough to seem like Kismet. So the ultimate trip was born.
Or so we thought.

Did you know that Magic Mountain decided to close during the week after labor day this year? Yep. They are now only open for Sat and Sun until spring (probably something to do with those non existent lines). We couldn't figure out for the life of us how to make that work with a concert Sat night in Vegas, so we didn't. We scrapped the entire California leg of the trip since MM was the reason to go in the first place. Rob and Scout stayed home and Sue came along anyway, she had work off and has good friends living in Vegas she likes to visit when possible. It was handy having her there, besides the fact that Sue is a lot of fun, it enabled me to take Tiny E and relive a little burden from Rob since I was also making a wedding cake for his Aunt's wedding that day (I had to miss) so Rob had to see to the cake arriving and getting built at the reception. I would like to thank my cousin Jeanine for pointing out the MM fact for us, I can see us not finding that out, going there only to find ourselves in a Wally World-ish nightmare. So props there! We weren't too disappointed once we accepted the facts. The Pixies concert had easily become the big event of the trip anyway. Let me explain a little bit about Matt and the Pixies in a way my readers might understand. The Pixies are Matt's Radiohead. Besides that, they have been broken up since 92 (I think- around there anyways), they are not friends, and they have reunited only once and that happen to be while Matt was on his mission (his biggest mission sacrifice, here told). He thought he would NEVER be able to see them, this was a BIG deal.

So, we set off as early as we could after Scout's soccer game (thank you trip nazi* for letting me attend my daughter's game) *this was Matt's nickname given to him because he had carte blanche on the trip seeing as it was his mecca of sorts).


On the road

The day of the concert and countless days proceeding it, Matt was very scared that something would go wrong. He feared every fear there is that something would come between him and the Pixies. Car trouble, sickness, death, forgotten tickets, forgotten IDs, squirrels in the road, you name it. He also feared: they would sound terrible and Francis would not sound anything like he used to (this is a valid fear: I saw Peter Paul and Mary back in high school, and Mary sounded like she had smoked 5 packs a day for 40 years- which she most likely did. She still sang alright, but talking? Yikes.). Well I would like to report that not one of these things got in the way of Matt and the Pixies. In fact it was all he had ever dreamed that it would be. They sounded FANTASTIC! We were right up front besides the fact that when we got there after dinner there was a giant line and people were already being let in- we made it in and walked right up front. The only people in front of us was one line of people against the rail, and all of them were recording, so it would have been lame being there anyways. We parked ourselves in front of Joey (lead guitar) and close to Frank -this kind of gave Kim the shaft, but watching Joey play took precedence. The show was so fun! I haven't bounced around in the front row of a concert in a very long time and it was awesome. I was again grateful for being tall, since you can stick your nose up once in a while and get some relatively fresh air. I always feel so bad for the girls that are at armpit height at these things. They played the entire Dolittle album (it was called the Dolittle tour), and included a long series of clips from the movie that the song was based on. Slicing up eyeballs? Check. Un chien!
My favorite parts I can think of was the song, "Hey", "Into the White" (they fogged the place up a lot, in fact, you couldn't see the band the whole song, just fog. Being so close, we were also enveloped in a blanket of fog and it was one of those times that you just feel surreal (an indelible image if you will). Everyone was kind of quiet and probably going through the same thing as me and it was just cool. And which song was it Matt that Joey and Frank were playing together and it was just magic? That was also a favorite part. Also, when they started playing "Where is My Mind?" Apparently that is a very rare song to hear live and it was amazing and very unexpected. A VERY cool thing they did was email the mp3s of the concert to us! Seriously isn't that the coolest thing ever? I hope Radiohead does that when I see them in concert. (Note I said "when" not "if". If Matt can see the Pixies, I WILL see Radiohead).


Here are some pics we took with our phone at the concert. (I would like you to note how close we are, no zoom at work here.)
Black Francis


Joey Santiago


They had this up on the screen during "Here Comes Your Man" and it was such a cute thing. Best I can figure, they put each member of the band in a room alone and sat them down and filmed them listening to Here Comes Your Man. They kind of sit there looking awkward, they fidget, they nod their heads to the music, they smile, Frank messed with his glasses, they look awkward again. It was just really fun and I will most likely think of it for the rest of my life every time I hear that song.

The report from Sue while she babysat was that Elle was super good. I was glad to hear it. Apparently, she and Doug really hit it off. I texted her during the opening band (it was so bad it was not worth mentioning here), I asked Sue how Elle was doing and this is what I got back: "she loves Doug and is eating yogurt in her dunglees".

Sue and a knocked out Elles picked us up afterwards and we got some smart water and chocolate. Then we tried to watch a movie but ran into too many obstacles so it was shower and bed (we wouldn't have lasted more then 5 minutes into the movie anyways).

The next morning we woke up and then laid around waiting for Matt to wake up. We were hungry (especially Elles), so went to the ol' IHOP and watched Elle stuff her face with everything she could get her hands on. That girl LOVES breakfast foods.

Then before leaving town, we decided to explore a little (I haven't been to Vegas in about 7 years, so it was time). We took a series of pics of Elle in various Vegas spots -just for the record.
Treasure Island
This was about .5 seconds before the panic set in upon fully realizing her surroundings.

In front of a fancy-a store at The Venetian. This was really taken to get a shot of that glittery horse for Scout's benefit since she was unable to go.
Attempts at a good gondola shot. Elinor was unimpressed.


Group shot.
(I would like to point out my crazy slept-on-wet-hair-then-got-up-early-after-a-concert-and-tried-to-do-something-with-it-but-only-halfheartedly-since-it-was-a-travel-day hair).

So that's pretty much it. We drove home and made it back somewhere around 9. Then Matt and B drove home to Wyoming the crazy kids. Speaking of Matt and B you can read their account of the trip here.








Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy 1st!

Elle turned one last Saturday, and we had a great day
(some might even call it magical).

Grandma and Grandpa Wright came down from Wyoming to celebrate this important milestone (the "important milestone" being a cake set in front of a 1st birthday child wearing a crown -that's how we roll around here.)
The first order of the day was to obtain the neighbor's dog "Chelsea", she was staying with us for the full week and was due to arrive that morning. Second order was Sue coming in time for the third order- Scout's soccer game.



It was a lot of fun, even though Scout's team got owned. Scout managed to show some good form though and have some good fun. She played against her new best friend "Sam". (Sam is ALL I hear about when she gets home from school everyday. His mom came over after the game and goes, "So- you're Scout's mom...". Obviously, this is a two way street.)Baby sister watching the game.

After the game, Scout had another birthday party for her preschool best friend "Amber". I suspect Amber is the culprit that got Scout obsessed with horses. Anyway, Scout headed off to that, and the rest of us went to Kneaders and then Smiths and then picked up a few pizzas for the party.

Then Cat and Booker and Sarah arrived for the actual party.


Tiny E getting fitted for her crown.
Made by her sister, and sporting Elle's favorite things: a banana and Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Scout thought it was weird that only Elle was to wear a crown, so she made one for every one in attendance:

Yes, she made one for Chelsea too- but put it on her crate and you better believe that Lola had one.

Elle sitting awkwardly wondering why we were all staring at her.


Elle's hastily made cake.
Made hastily and started at midnight.
You try doing projects like this with a five year old. I usually opt for after bed time. This came late since we had exciting guests that night.


Elle was a very timid cake monster. Believe me, it took 20 minutes to get her to touch Elmo's head.
There is video of this which is very funny, but long and until I can figure out how to edit, I won't subject you to the footage.
Now, if only I knew someone who does video editing...

Warming up to the fact that she can get her hands dirty and squish the cake all she wants.
Note the eyeless cookie monster tossed aside.

It took a while to get there, but the cake did eventually wind up in her lap.

Good job Tiny E, didn't know if you had it in you.
Sometimes I wonder if her hands were only put on her body to flutter her wrists and fingers in a ladylike manner.


Scout scored a pony hoof from the pinata at the previous party she attended.
I had to make her point with it, if only for my own amusement.

Elle and her helpers opening presents.
She got a dollar bill from grandma in that card and kept it in her fist for the rest of the present opening.

Thanks to everyone that attended and to everyone that missed out- we missed you, but knew you were there in spirit.

Happy birthday baby!


Love you! Kisses.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Tiny E Does

It is time to do a yearly journal post for our little Elinor. This is her first one, seeing as this has been her first year, and also the fact that I just starting doing these for my girls this year.

What can I say about this little girl? For starters, she was long awaited and boy was she ever worth it. Our family has enjoyed her addition more then we can express. She has been the most content, non fussy little thing I've ever had the pleasure to meet. As a tiny baby, she hardly ever made a peep. Now that she has found her voice, she likes to be heard when needed, but it still isn't uncommon for her to be perfectly quiet and content playing with the buckle of a shoe for an hour or more. Perhaps she is content up to a fault, since it seems to be impending her need to get places. She still won't crawl, and she still curls her feet up to her body 89% of the time I try to get her to stand and put weight on her legs.

Elinor was born and we had in our minds that she would go by "Ella". Almost immediately, it was apparent that wasn't going to work for her for whatever reason, but Elle fits her like a glove. In addition to Elle, in a year she has gained the following nicknames: Tiny E, Little Little (mom and dad's personal favorite), Little E (this was born of a mistake of Scout's, confusing the former two nicknames on the list- I love it and call her that often), Ellesabubs, Smellinor (only at particular times), and Elsinore (Hamlet's castle). There are probably more, but those are on the forefront.

When Scout was in my tummy until present she has been known as "the monkey". She is indeed and it has stuck and everything but since meeting Elle, I now know that I had no idea what a monkey was. Elle embodies the moniker far more in every way then Scout EVER did. She has definitely taken it to new heights. Her feet are more hands then her hands are sometimes. They are really quite dexterous. My favorite is when she holds her bottles with her feet. It is rare, but quite a sight. Speaking of her legs and feet, she has had the cutest and funniest little legs since birth. Ever since she was about 5 weeks old, she has been totally intolerant of blankets confining them. When she was about 6 weeks old, I bought her one of those little sleep sacks and she would fight and fight those little legs and get no sleep until I would finally unzip it and free them. She also does what we call "cricket feet", which would be her rubbing them quickly against each other and make this zip zip zip noise. Cricket feet make an appearance when: she is excited, has recently gotten her shoes on (depending on her tenacity at the time, she may do cricket feet until she has cricketed at least one of the offending shoes off), when she's bored and wants to make the zip zip noise, or any time could be cricket time.
Legs

She used to hold her legs up like this all the time when she was newborn.








Scout took these. She is especially fond of Elle's legs while in the Jumparoo. She often gets the camera and take a picture of them when they strike her as being particularly cute. Or she will run and find me to have a look at them.


We shot some video of her fancy jumping, she does this every time we put her in her jumparoo. She RARELY jumps in it, if she does it is like 2 quick jumps a session. The rest of the time she has figured out a way to swing in it. The girl loves loves LOVES swinging.
Never is Elle happier then when Scout plays with her. Scout was the first one to get a belly laugh out of her and has kept her belly laughing since. Their little combined laughter is so contagious. Nothing can snap me out of a bad mood like hearing those two laugh together. Love it.









In these pictures, they were in her crib being "Wild Mustangs". They were in a cage to protect them from the tigers. Of course Elle has no idea what is going on besides the fact that Scout is in her bed with her playing and doing fun things (and letting her hold Wish Mustang). Life doesn't get much better.

I love this picture so much.





Elle has one sleeping position and one only......




Well, that's a little about Elinor. What a great year! (It's been Swellinor).

Here is a little slideshow to end the post:


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