Saturday, August 20, 2011


Well, most of it anyways.

My favorite part is that it has made the neck that much more kissable.

(The broccoli on the forehead adds a nice effect, eh?)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Well, Elle had an MRI on Friday morning. Since we have been getting negative test results with the genetic testing, Dr. Carey thought it was time to rule anything out that might be found on an MRI. Which mostly would be structure problems, brain damage, or even a tumor or something. I knew months ago that getting an MRI was a possibility and I have been dreading it. It did indeed prove to be hard and scarey, but like everything else, we all got through it together and are grateful it's done.

Luckily, Matt and B happened to be down here staying with us (they went to a Bright Eyes concert the night before), so they were able to be home with Scout during the procedure. We had to be there at 6:30 in the morning! That meant we had to get up at 5:15 to make it up there. We did it early because she had to be sedated fully and therefore needed to fast, so they schedule the littlest ones early. This turned out not to be an issue. I fed her later then usual the night before and was able to give her a bottle up until midnight, so I gave her one around 10 and she never needed one after that (which is usual), so that all worked out great.

She slept the whole way there and woke up at the hospital. We had to register and check in and the place was totally empty except one nurse, one receptionist and a night watchman. The nurse did Elle's vitals and all of that stuff then we had to wait for another nurse to get there to start an IV. Elles was pretty cute. Then a little after 7 they put the IV in her hand (she hated that!) She doesn't like her hands restricted or held most the time cause those little hands have their own agenda which usually involves being up in the air and fingers clenching into fists. So taking her hand and putting it behind daddy's back was not too cool with her. Then they had the nerve to stick it with a needle and then wrap it up in bumble bee bandages. The nurse choose bumblebees cause she was wearing a smock with little smiling bees on it and Elinor loved it and kept leaning in to get closer looks. That was sweet of her. They gave her regular fluids for a while and she got pretty cranky. We had to do that and wait another half hour or so. I took her for that and rocked her and sang a few songs that did nothing to make her any happier of her treatment thus far. So I pulled out the big guns and sang C is for Cookie, complete with my terrible Cookie Monster impression, even though the door was open and I had an audience out there of 2 or 3. Anything for my sweet girl, especially cause that one works every time and I got a few smiles for my efforts.

Then we moved into the MRI room and they injected her hand with the sedative. She fought it. She was moving around, closed her eyes, cried a little. Got quiet, cried a little, moved around, etc. It took a few minutes for it to knock her out enough. Then came the hard part. I had to give my sleeping little girl to the nurse and watch her get carried to that big scarey machine, get hooked up to oxygen, heart monitors, and strapped to the table. I thought it was sweet that they kept Kiki with her and covered her with it. Then we had to leave. I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of her on the MRI table from the doorway (we weren't allowed in the room). Even though I can't imagine that I will ever be able to forget that image, we all don't need a picture of it.

We were sent to the recovery room where we paced (or should I say "I", Rob sat down. I'm the pacer). I was glad I didn't have kiki with me, it would have been too sad to hold it while Elles was in there. We discussed how hard it must be for parents that have to go through their babies having things like heart surgeries and stuff, cause this was hard enough. My heart goes out to parents that have to go through that kind of thing, I can't imagine.

We were told it would take about a half hour. I started doing fussy little things like clean the outside of the diaper bag and straighten the sheet of the gurney she was going to occupy. That's what I do when I'm nervous: pace and fuss around. We were worried about the actual procedure and also what the results would be. Nerve-racking! It ended up taking almost an hour (I stopped myself from cleaning this little portion of a wall divider next to me that had some sort of little spill on it- although I couldn't stop thinking about cleaning it and wanted to soo bad). I thought that was crossing the line into "crazy", but I think about that spot today and wonder if anyone has cleaned it. What a relief it was to see the nurse bring our little girl into the room, holding a wiggly little Elles. I asked if she was awake already and the nurse laughed and said, "well, her eyes are still closed". She gave her to me and she didn't open her eyes, but calmed down and fell back asleep. After a while I laid her on the bed cause she has always slept better lying down, spread out, rather then in arms. I wanted her to rest as much as possible. The nurse wanted to let her sleep for about 45 minutes then we were going to wake her up and let her drink a bottle and if all was good, go home.

45 minutes later, we all did our best to wake her up. Not easy. She finally opened her eyes and tried to focus, but didn't have much luck. After a while (and a visit from the sedative specialist to check sleeping beauty out), we were cleared to go. She wouldn't have anything to do with the milk or the apple juice, and promptly fell asleep when put in her car seat. We were given discharge instructions and a paper listing things to watch for today, told she would probably be cranky today, but a nap would help that. She slept all the way home (with mommy watching her belly for breathing as instructed). She slept on the couch when we got home to Scout, Matt and B. Rob's fishing buddy called and it was his birthday and wanted Rob to fish with him. We thought that would be ok, even though the spot was a couple hours away. Elles was doing ok and Matt and B were around. Elinor finally woke up and was having trouble holding her head up and focusing, and she was making these shortened little yells and various weird sounds, but she drank a couple ounces of juice. Then it was back to sleep. Good, cause she was a little cranky. She woke up a little later and seemed to be up for good. I fed her some food and then put her in her Jumparoo thinking she had wiggles to get out. She snacked in there and mommy tried to rest a little. Rest is hard when Scout comes in as Bowser every minute or two and Elles is in the living room jumping and making her weird yips and noises that sound like general little protests of some sort. I finally took her out and she drank a bottle and I thought she looked a little tired still, so I put her in her crib. She slept for another hour or so, mommy gave up on napping and Bowser played.

Then we had Bobble head Elles again. Then she choked on some apple juice and puked on mommy, then hung out for a little while. Around this time, a little neighbor came over and asked if Scout could come over to play. YES SHE MAY! Then I decided Elles should go in her crib for a little bit to play. She pulled all the characters off her mobile, pulled off the round things the character's hang from, drank two bottles and finally nested in and fell asleep again. B and I used this time to watch the first episode of Sherlock. Shortly afterwards, B was hooked.

It was getting to be dinner time, daddy was expected any minute and grandpa thought we should order pizza. So Matt got pizza, I got Scout, we ate, no Rob, Elles slept. Matt and B had to drive to Ogden to pick up his cameras (long story), and I decided to lay down for a while. I started thinking about Elles and missing her, so I brought her in with me on the bed. She was totally knocked out. We cuddled and I watched a few shows and she didn't stir. I started thinking about how she had been awake for about and hour and a half total that day and decided to nudge her awake. She would not stir. Didn't even stretch (this is odd, she always stretches immediately when she is disturbed while sleeping). So I worked a little harder at it and got minimal response. So I thought I would check out her discharge sheet and go over it- just to be cautious. It said that child may be drowsy that day, but easy to wake up. Another part said that if you can't wake your child up, to call 911. I decided perhaps I should double up my efforts on the Wake Up Patrol. I walked her around but couldn't get her to open her eyes. Dale (my father in law) came upstairs at this point and I told him what was going on. We took her outside and after a few minutes got her to crack her eyes open. She wouldn't focus and kept wanting to just close them again. She at least had her eyes open (which was good, cause I was a few minutes away from calling the ambulance). Dale suggested that I give her a bath. Good idea, so I did and at first she just relaxed and tried to sleep in the water (she was in her safety seat), I poured a cup of cold water over her head and she barely protested, but seemed a little more alert and started playing with the toy in front of her. Scout asked if she could try, so I let her pour a little cold water over her head. This time, we got a welcome (for me anyway) gasp of shock and I hurried and poured warm water over it and we seemed to have our little little back for the most part (+ bobble head though). We had come to accept bobble head Elles as part of the family at that point, so no big deal there.

She finished her bath, got some new dunglees on, and Scout went to bed. Still no daddy. I did notice a missed call from him however, having come in around 4:30. He said that the guy had driven further then expected and that his phone was about to die. Lovely. Elles stayed up for a while, but started rubbing her eyes again. I was exhausted, so I put her in her crib. She had another bottle and just kind of hung out. It was after ten and Matt and B came home. We all went in to see Elles and I told them about my evening and we discussed Elle's beautiful spirit that makes her so inviting to be around. You can't help but feel good being around her. She truly has a special little aura around her. I then expressed my tiredness and how even all that went on tonight, I sure hope she sleeps all night. With all the sleeping during the day, my secret fear was that she was going to wake up at 2 with a major case of Elly Beans and be up the rest of the night. Matt and B had a wedding the next day and turned in.

I started getting a little miffed that Rob was still gone. My miffiness turned into worry around 11 and I didn't like that cause I didn't want to be worried about someone I was mad at. He came in sometime after 11 looking about as mad at the situation as I was. I was determined to get my point across and he heard about the day and felt bad. But he already felt bad cause he was not planning on being gone that long. I know he didn't, and heard his story about how the guy drove like 3 hours longer then Rob thought he would and he felt really helpless, it being his birthday and all and Rob was a hostage in his car. Lesson learned. No fishing on such days unless it is one of the local spots and you have control over how far and long you go and your cell phone is charged up nicely.

Elles fell asleep about 11:45 and I planned on checking on her about every two hours and laid down in my bed. Next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and it was light outside. I flew into Tiny E's room and there she was, sleeping peacefully. I touched her hand and it twitched and she stretched and went on sleeping. I smiled and took that as a sign that all was ok. I can't believe we both zonked out all night! That was the last thing I expected. She woke up later in the morning with the twinkle back in her eyes and we were sans bobble head. I missed that sparkle that was missing the day before. The little yips were gone too. My Ellesies was back and WELL rested. It was great. Missed that girl. Sleepy, yippy Elle had her charm too though, but I was ok with leaving that day behind.

The weekend had her coughing a lot and puking a little. Not sure if that was all related, but it's gone now. I got a call with her results Monday morning, and they came back as normal. Brain scan and a chemical analysis of her brain both normal. That means "more genetic testing is recommended". Relived about that. I was once again relieved that we are not looking at brain damage, as said before, it feels better to know that she is suffering from something that is in her genes and she was meant to have this since she was a little egg. It is easier for me to deal with mentally this way.

Wow that was lengthy. Sorry. I kind of wanted to record the day though.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A fast for the little little

(I posted this note on facebook tonight, and thought I would post it on here also, just to get it out there as much as possible.)

We have decided to have a group fast for our sweet little Elinor this Sunday (August 7th). We love this little girl so much and think it appropriate to have anyone that is interested, come together and fast and pray in her name. She is currently going through testing right now and we are anxious to find out what these tests will tell us. Getting a diagnosis is proving to be a long road, and we are really hoping to get answers- we are getting to kind of a critical time in this process (different directions to go, etc.)

If you don't fast (or even know what that is) and would still like to participate, we invite you to say a prayer in her name that day. Even if you don't pray and would like to participate, you could meditate or send thoughts and good vibes her way. We are spiritual people and believe in the power of a group of people sending prayers and energy in the name of someone they care about.

We couldn't adore this little girl more, and we feel so lucky and humbled to have been chosen to be her parents. We are prepared to be at peace and accept whatever life is going to hold for her. We also know that the Lord says that we need to ask, so that is what we are doing. We ask that Elinor may reach her full potential in this life and be the best she can be. That she has the opportunity to shine and teach us what she is here to teach us. That her little mind and body can work together to accomplish great things. As her mother, I feel a peace when I am with her, that makes me want to hold and cuddle her forever to maintain that feeling. I want that to last our whole lives. As her teacher, I need to know the things I need to teach her and the persistence and the fortitude to do it. I need to understand her and listen to what she needs me to know. That Scout may be blessed with the continued maturity to be the big sister Elle needs her to be. It is these things we are praying for, including a miracle (if that is in store for her), for we believe in those too.

We know that whatever happens, things will work out how they are supposed to, we have a lot of faith in that. Thanks for your time and support, and thank you for loving our little E, I know she is pretty easy to love, but it still fills my heart when I see the evidence of the love from those around her. It means a lot to me.

I am attaching all the comments from the facebook note here (I wanted them on my blog where I can see them instead of buried on a facebook note). It also became kind of the place where I posted a few updates from Elle's doctor.
I also included the original pictures on the note (when I pasted the note to my blog, I was on the notebook- so didn't have access to all the pics on my pc. Turns out, you can copy and paste pictures right from facebook notes to blogger. I'll have to file that away as useful information for the future.)

Susan Wright Rydman, Amy Zussy Modracek, Erin CampoBasso and 5 others like this.
  • Ian Anderson Sending love Em. Thinking of you and your beautiful family.
    August 3 at 12:36am ·
  • Rachel Hill Count me in- I believe in the power if prayer, and especially the power of fasting! And whenever I have held your daughter, I feel a great peace and a deep level of spiritual communication with her- she is more than meets the eye! Love to you and your sweet girls!!!
    August 3 at 12:55am ·
  • Wendy Johnson Roberts Our thoughts will be with you. With a loving Mom like you, and a loving family both immediate and extended, I know she already has a miracle. She could not ask for a better situation for getting the support she needs. She will do very well!
    August 3 at 1:51am ·
  • Benedicte Chung I'll join in prayer from across the Atlantic on Sunday. E just looks PERFECT, and so loveable as you say...and also so much like Scout! I love your note, as always. a truly wonderful and super strong Mum you are xxx
    August 3 at 4:35am ·
  • Rachel Kelley Conditt Your girls are beautiful, Emily and so is your heart. I will definitely say some prayers!
    August 3 at 6:39am ·
  • Beth Croasdaile Adorable pictures! Your girls have amazing eyes and hearts! I'll be praying for you all.
    August 3 at 7:02am ·
  • George Wright I'm in!
    August 3 at 8:09am ·
  • Megan Scott Richardson thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to help!! love to you all!
    August 3 at 8:32am ·
  • Bronwyn Starlight Wright Those pictures are soo cute. We 're in!
    August 3 at 8:55am ·
  • Amy Wright Phister Love and prayers, as always, from us. Your strength, attitude, and love is truly inspiring, Em. We love your family so much.
    August 3 at 9:48am ·
  • Erin CampoBasso Many prayers headed your way!! Thinking of you all and sending lots of love xo
    August 3 at 10:00am ·
  • Emily Wright Pugh I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support! Thanks so much everyone, bless you all.
    August 3 at 12:21pm ·
  • Laura Chatterton Chaffin We are here for you all the way from the West Coast! Anything in the world you need you let us know.
    August 3 at 1:07pm ·
  • Jenny Baich Powell You guys will all be in our thoughts and prayers!!
    August 3 at 10:22pm ·
  • Jeanine Walton I am sending you love and prayers! Please call me if u need to talk medical stuff! Love u guys!
    August 3 at 11:00pm ·
  • Lorri Hubbard Wotherspoon The Wotherspoons are in and sending love and good wishes from T-town.
    Thursday at 8:12pm ·
  • Emily Wright Pugh Colin Farrell was on David Letterman tonight and talked pretty extensively about his son with Angelman's Syndrome. Pretty cool! Kind of wish that Colin Farrell wasn't the celebrity that has a son with the same condition they think my daughter has. That means I have to dislike him less. (He did a quick imitation of h is son that look remarkably like Elinor! It was really funny.)
    Thursday at 11:16pm ·
  • Jeanine Walton Wow Em, Angelman's! When will u know for sure? There is varying degrees so I know she will get best care and has the greatest parents and family. I will totally be there for you and my resources at my hospital:-)
    Thursday at 11:33pm ·
  • Emily Wright Pugh
    I'm not sure- she had a simple Angleman's test (that detects like 80% of the cases) and it was negative. Then he did some other test that we thought was a complete gene sequence, but it must not have been because what ever test he just did, that came back as normal. We got the test results from the lab, so they had no information except the actual result, so Rob called Dr. Carey and left a message. He called back the next day while Rob was in the shower (ARG!) so he left a message and explained that he recommends a complete gene sequence now, and is going to talk to her neurologist about doing an MRI too. That was two days ago and he said he would try calling again to explain more fully and we haven't heard from him yet.
    Friday at 12:18pm ·
  • Emily Wright Pugh Rett is the only other thing he seems to be even considering right now. Angelman's fits much better to all of us though.
    Friday at 12:19pm ·
  • Jennifer Peddy Berg Oh my.....lil E looks so much like younger Scout...and they both look so much like you. Beauties!! I will definitely send some positive thoughts to lil E. Stay strong sweetie - you are an amazing mom to an amazing little girl.
    Friday at 8:00pm ·
  • Jeanine Walton Whatever she has you will handle it! What a special little angel!
    Friday at 9:31pm ·
  • Emily Wright Pugh
    Dr. Carey called today and it looks like we will be scheduling an MRI for her on Monday. I am also grudgingly giving the possibility of her having Rett more weight. She definitely doesn't have classic Rett if she does have it, it would be a variation. Also, she has had two different Angelman tests as of now- one that catches 70% of the cases and one that catches 80% of the cases. If she has Angelmans at this point, it would be a mild case. After the MRI, and depending on the findings, we will be doing a complete gene sequence on the genes that affect Angelman's and Rett. We were also reminded a few times that we still may not have a diagnosis after all this is done. So that is the update. Kind of unsettled, but doing ok. We went to a pool party this evening and Elle had a fabulous time splashing around, she absolutely loved it. It was a nice end to a uncharacteristically grumpy day for her.
    Friday at 10:25pm ·
  • Benedicte Chung Em - this is really unsettling and you are dealing with it remarkably well. I have just looked up the 2 syndromes - I really hope you get more certainty and a diagnosis soon. In the meatime, prayers tomorrow, MRI on Monday, and lots of strength to you and Rob. Thinking of you lots, Love you xxxx
    Yesterday at 3:29am ·
  • Susan Wright Rydman
    We are in for the fast/prayers thing Em. Cam's family is also in. Lot's of love and support going out to you this weekend. I am so impressed with how strong you and Rob are in dealing with this. I The thing I'm going to focus on most this weekend, is just getting a firm diagnosis. Whatever that diagnosis is, we can move on from there. Ellse is such a sweet, wonderful, loving, beautiful little girl, we are all lucky to have her in our lives. I can't wait to go to the new Muppet movie with her in November. We are going to take her, right?
    18 hours ago ·
  • George Wright Doing so as I write now. Does that make sense?
    6 hours ago ·

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Emily's Been Watching, July Edition

I just would like to point out that it is Aug 1st. Also, I saw a respectable amount of movies this month. I think I've been feeling deprived the last few months and had to make up a little. Plus it's summer which is a good time to watch movies and shows. I also made some great choices (hold off your judgments past the first movie I watched this month please).

THE 'BURBS (1989) [PG] Comedy. The Burbs. This is a classic in my family and so when we got together this month for 4th of July festivities, this was on the docket one of those "let's start a movie at 1 am". All I feel compelled to say about this movie is that I know it is stupid as H, but it contains some of my very favorite Tom Hank's comedic moments ever.

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009) [PG-13] Romantic comedy. This is a movie that was recommended to me a million times when it came out, it made it to my Netflix queue and got bumped a few times and then I cancelled Netflix, then I reinstated my account after around 2 years and it was still in my queue and made it to the top again and I decided I might as well see it. All I have to say is: WOW was everyone right! I loved this movie. Now this is a romantic comedy I can get on board with. It was smart, interesting, well acted, well scripted, funny, sad, kind of the whole package. It was also the director Marc Webb's first movie- I am totally impressed and will definitely look out for his projects. I loved how they formatted the movie (documenting a relationship that lasted 500 days and showing the days in random order -if you by chance haven't seen this, the girl's name is Summer- also, I liked the narration). That format opened the film to a whole host of interesting possibilities, and they utilized it well. I loved the surprise "dance number" it was so funny and surprising and stylized awesome. I really liked Joseph Gorden-Levitt as the lead and I am a Zooey Deschanel fan (she had me at that Frasier episode she appeared in many years ago as Roz's niece). Anyway, the movie wasn't flawless, but I am not in the mood to nitpick, cause it is fully forgiven. Emily absolutely recommends this movie to anyone out there that happened to miss it the first time around as I did. Totally worth a watch. I kept it around the house until Rob and I had a chance to watch it together cause it seemed like a movie Rob would also appreciate. He did. Dear Hollywood, more romantic comedies like this please. Thanks, Emily.

SHERLOCK: SEASON 1 (2010) Drama. This was another fine recommendation from my good friend Ami. Her recommendation came on the heels of a few other people mentioning it and loving it. I decided to not waste any time this time and I got right on it (it helps considerably that it is on Netflix Instant). This is a TV show done by the BBC, it had it's first season last year and the second season will air this fall.
So, before you give a little sigh that Sherlock Holmes has shown up again and reworked, let me tell you that this time it is different. First of all, it is set in modern London. Therefore, Holmes and Watson call each other by their first names, Sherlock seems to have a touch of asperger's, really likes texting, and uses GPS in fantastic ways to solve his cases. Oh, and pipe replaced with multiple nicotine patches. John (Watson) is a veteran of the Iraq war, and well, is basically Watson in every way. Funny thing about Watson- I heard he was played by Martin Freeman and my first thought was- really? I don't see it. For whatever reason, it didn't fit to me and even though I am a fan of the guy, I was dubious of their casting choice. That lasted about 4 minutes into the first episode. I immediately turned around and thought he was brilliant and the absolute perfect choice and wondered why I didn't see it in the first place. The guy that plays Sherlock is great too (Benedict Cumberbatch), if not a tad off putting. His skin color combined with the color of his eyes and lips, juxtaposed with the overall lens wash effect the show is given, distracts me a little. But that aside (and doesn't matter much in the first place), he makes a great Sherlock and I am totally on board. I really really like the filming style, camera angles and story lines (the two main actors have great chemistry too). I knew things were going to be good with this series during the climax of the first episode. I thought for a few moments I was going to find out what the sentence is that makes the guy lay down in the street in Radiohead's "Just" music video, but it turned out to be more "Princess Bride" in nature (if you got both of those references, then well- you are just the coolest person on the planet). There were only 3 episodes and it looks like there will only be three episodes this year also. This disappointment is soothed by the fact that each episode is over an hour and a half long, so it is like three movies- which is good. The character's are fun, the mysteries are compelling, and it is just all around well done. It has that great Sherlock Holmes vibe to it and I really like seeing these stories done in modern times. BRILLIANT.

Sorry- did some extra gushing because I think I know a lot of people that would like this and it might not be on their radar. Oh, I have to add one more thing: the season finale was mind blowingly fantastic. The puzzle Holmes had to figure out throughout it was superb and the last 10 minutes had me gasping and squeaking in shock and horror several times (ask Rob- he was sitting next to me while I watched it on the laptop with headphones on). Emily says check it out FOR SURE! I think this one is for practically anyone and everyone. Game: afoot!

official trailer

This is a little montage of the first episode and gives you a much better taste of the feel of the show and how it is filmed. (Contains some images that could be called spoilers though, so if you don't want that- skip this one.)

WASTE LAND (2010) [NR] Documentary. This was a movie revolving around this Brazilian Artist Vic Muniz. He has been very successful in America and decided he wanted to use his powers for good in his own country. So, Rio de Janeiro has the largest landfill in the world and there is a whole society that lives out there and picks through the garbage to find recyclable materials for money. He decides that this is his project, he is going to make some works of art with that garbage and donate the proceeds to the society to improve it. Before going, he talks about the place and pretty much paints the people there as THE roughest and worse society has to offer. Just an entire city full of crazy, thieving, crack heads. Instead, I think he was generally surprised at the humanity of these people. The doc mostly focused on a young leader trying to improve the town and society by forming a union of sorts, a nice old lady that cooks for anyone around that needs a meal (out of edible garbage), and a few young women that chose working there and make an honest living instead of the other choice of work opportunity for them- prostitution. (I am sure the crack heads are there too, but this film doesn't focus on them.)
I really liked this film. It was really uplifting and good. It was also very inspiring for the cause of recycling, which I was not expecting. The art was really interesting, and the stories of the people were so sad and inspiring. I like stories where people find themselves in a bad situation and instead of making excuses and rolling over, they roll up their sleeves and better themselves.
I am going to leave you guys with some words of wisdom said by the happiest old man in the world that has picked through garbage his whole life and has received virtually no education, named Valter:

"It's not bad to be poor. It's bad to be rich at the height of fame with your morals a dirty shame"
"People sometimes say "But one single can?" One single can IS of great importance. Because 99 is not 100, and that single one will make the difference."
I like that. I think that quote will stay with me a long time and be thought of often. Emily can totally recommend this movie too. I already went over the finer points, but it also really gave me a bug to visit Rio someday (probably not the garbage dump though). Geez I'm a jerk. Did I learn nothing from the film?

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PARTS 1 & 2 (2010-11) [PG-13] Drama/Adventure. It is no secret to my blog readers that I am a Harry Potter nerd. I LOVE the books, the movies however, I am not a huge fan of. They are fun and pretty well done, but the books are TOTALLY where it's at. However, I have to say- these two movies were fantastic. I really enjoyed the last installment (I am going to just lump them together for that since they really were like one continuous movie split into two parts). The final movie contained probably 8 out of the top 10 coolest scenes from all 8 movies. #1 being Snape's exit from Hogwarts. Holy crap! Geek me out that was awesome. Yes, I cried more then once and more then I am comfortable admitting. There are just some themes and scenes in that last story that really get me and you know what? I am not going to apologize for it. I was fairly hesitant to read the series (I came in to it after book 4 had come out -Ami again (and her husband and his friends)-) and by the end of book three, I was in with both feet. I think Rowling is truly a tremendously talented writer.
Back to the movie, I had to wait a week to see it (I waited to see it with B), and in the mean time I listened to all the movie podcasts I listen to and they ALL reviewed it to my delight. Now, all these guys have pretty much made fun of all the films so far to date (except 3- the Alfonso Cuaron one- they all seem to respect that one, which besides the absolute beautiful film set he created, it was my most disappointing story wise. But I understand his contribution to the movie series and really, he created a gorgeous world. I was pretty disappointed with it as a lover of the actual story.) Anyway, the demographic of the average movie reviewer with a podcast is: male, single, and late 20's to early 30's. There seem to be very few exceptions to this list. Anyway, this is NOT the demographic that the Harry Potter series is aimed at, so very very few have read the books and it just isn't their thing. My point to this tangent is that every single one of these reviews I listened to loved this movie. It seems to be an actual legit movie that is enjoyable and well made. Good job guys, you went out on a high note, and I personally, only had a couple gripes. Emily recommends this one (obviously), but I have one thing: if you haven't read the books but like the movies- just read the dang books. They still are far superior to the movies and I can't stand the thought of someone learning how the series ends by the movie instead of the book. That sucks. But maybe that's just me.

STEPHEN TOBOLOWSKY'S BIRTHDAY PARTY (2005) [NR] Documentary. As a few of you may know, I have pretty recently gotten into a podcast called "The Tobolowsky Files". It is basically a series of stories told by Stephen Tobolowsky about his life experiences. Who is that you say? Why he is a character actor in Hollywood that has been in like 200+ movies. You probably know him best as Ned Ryerston from Groundhog Day. Who knew that guy is like the most interesting storyteller on the planet? (and I am a girl that LOVES a well told story). In some ways he is a total nerd (but in a loveable way), but in other ways, he challenges your image of a nerd. This dude has led an interesting life and has a very compelling and smart mind, he is an excellent writer and a totally captivating story teller. How does all this relate to the movie I am reviewing? (besides the fact that his name is in the title) Well, one of the gentlemen I spoke of in my review of HP, saw this movie (Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party) enjoyed it so much, he figured that this dude had to have more stories in there somewhere, got in touch with him, and they created a podcast based on the theme of this movie. Which is basically Mr. Tobolowsky throwing a party for his birthday and telling stories to the camera and his guests. And that's the movie. The movie was totally enjoyable of course, but pretty much was just like the podcast, only you get to see his facial expressions and gestures (which where very entertaining) but really, I am just as happy listening to him on my ipod. Give this movie a shot, it is different, but if you too like a good story told by a master, you'll like this. Oh! Also- it's available right now on Hulu. And for goodness sake, check out The Tobolowsky Files. I can't recommend that podcast enough. It will totally captivate you, make you laugh, make you cry and make you think a lot. It is a must listen for everyone that likes to hear funny and interesting life stories kind of in the David Sedaris camp (funny, autobiographical stories of growing up, etc.). They focus a lot on the acting world, so it would probably be particularly interesting for actors (but I am not that nor have I ever been interested in that) it is just as interesting to people that like movies and behind the scene movie stuff. But it is also full of just good old life lessons and ponderings. This podcast would make a great accompaniment to a road trip I think.

The best advice for a trailer on this movie I can give you, is to go here and click the middle clip.

I've also been watching: I've revisted a few seasons of The Office this month and have stayed up too late too many times this month. I hadn't seen season 6, so I watched that and then noticed that I have only seen all the episodes one time each, so I thought they were worth a rewatch. It's been very fun.

So yeah, I did see a lot of movies this month. A lot of good movies! I think this might be my best list of movies to date. Lots of good ones- I really challenge you guys to see some of these and let me know what you think of them.
I have been thinking about exploring my "Wall of Shame" lately and think I will do something with that for the next while. A Wall of Shame is a term used by (I THINK) the IFC podcast (RIP), which is a list of very famous movies that you just have never gotten around to seeing (like Raging Bull or Lawrence of Arabia or other such films -one of those I have seen and the other I haven't). So, I am going to pick one from my wall a month and watch it.



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