Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ooooooh, Prettyyyyy!

Messing with my blog's colors and layout. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Alice Sebold

This is the true story of Alice Sebold, the author of "The Lovely Bones," a fictional work I read last year. Ms. Sebold was raped when she was a college freshman walking back to her dorm.

It's a sad memoir. It details her rather odd upbringing, including not enough touching and loving from both parents and her mom's "flaps" or panic attacks. (From as early as she can remember, when her mother could not deal with a stressful situation, she had freaky attacks where she would hyperventilate and rub the space between her breasts and rock herself back & forward,over and over, much to the mortification of Alice and her sister Mary. I don't blame them).

Ms. Sebold describes her teen self as weird, fat, odd. Pretty much everyone NOT in the popular clique. *nodding knowingly* She enjoyed art and writing. This was her talent, her escape.

She goes away to college rather than go to the one her father is a professor at, and her sister is attending. She wants to get away.

The book starts right off with the rape. It's sad and heart wrenching. She's trying to just survive. She'll do whatever it takes to get away from her rapist. And she does. A policeman calls her "Lucky" because another female was killed in the same tunnel she was. Lucky. Ha. What does he know?

She deals with the fact that from that second forward, she will never ever be looked at the same way by those who knew her in the 'before' of her life. She has some friends that are tried and true, but very few people know how to react, how to deal. People she's never met come up to her to talk, or just point and talk behind her back, or in front. She worries she'll never be wanted by a man.

She has the courage to go back to campus in the fall....and sees her rapist on the street. The book details the long, arduous road taken to convict this rapist, including line-up tricks, scumbag lawyers and parents who don't show up for the trial.

After the trial is over, she loses her best friend's friendship when that best friend is also their apartment, in Alice's room. The rapist even mentions Alice's name. Was this payback for the other rapist being convicted? We don't know, but we feel Alice's despair at losing her best friend to the same horrible thing that happened to her, and see other people blame her with their eyes.

It's a true story. I wonder if she was a "it could never happen to me" person like most of us are. It happened to her. This is her memoir, possibly cathartic, definitely read-worthy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Eggcellent Day

We spent the day at our friends Dana and Jeff's house for an Easter party. Lots of food and friends. There were lots of kids for Isabel to play with. She got WAY too much candy and is on a sugar high as I type. She & I just transported the candy in the eggs to the candy dish, which is located WAY up in a shelf she can't reach.

Open Sez Me

After almost two years (this June) with no garage door opener.........we have one!

Put up by DAVID, no less!!!

Me: Get Lowe's to put it up.
Him: No, I can do it.


Him: I wonder what this is for.
Me: Get the professionals.
Him: We need a hacksaw
Me: Get the professionals.

and then he calls me at work Friday.

Him: Guess what I did?
Me: Called the professionals?
Him: (pushing button - garage door opening noises in the background)
Me: Yay!!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crime And Punishment


I read Dostoevsky. I liked Doestoevsky. I 'll even admit that I spent a lot of time saying "Raskolnikov" whilst rolling my rrrrrrrrrrrr's constantly. It's a cool name, one that I had actually heard before in book-like conversations and articles, but never having read "Crime & Punishment," I did not know who Raskolnikov was. I enjoyed the book a lot. I found myself pacing at some points as I was reading, wondering what was going to happen next.

There were some great characters in this book. Luzhin, Dounia's fiance - what a piece of work. What an arrogant chauvinist pig, with his "marry a poor girl, she'll be beholden to you!" ideas. Ugh! I was so glad when Dounia finally dismissed him and even happier when his guise of trying to frame Sonia for theft was seen through by everyone and he left Petersburg in disgrace.

Katerina Ivanovana, Marmeladov's wife, was a wanna-be aristocrat. So much so, with all her heart and soul, that she would invent situations with the elite and then firmly believe her inventions. She felt she was more than her status, poor woman. She married a drunk and died consumptive and miserable.

I was confused by Svidrigailov. He loved Raskolnikov's sister Dounia (she was the nanny to Svidrigailov's step-children) so much, that it led to the point of madness and I could not understand this. He was rich, he was free with his (wife's) money. Was he a murderer in his past? It's hinted at. He lied to Raskolnikov about his feelings for Dounia (I'm over her), and then, in a disturbing scene reeking of attempted rape, holds her against her will, and then releases her when she screams she cannot love him. His suicide left me confused.

Then there is the main character, Raskolnikov. What struck me most about Raskolnikov was that he didn't care about the actual crime. He did not care. He cared that it was not a success; that he did not become this "Napoleon-like" figure by committing it. In his mind he was an uber-human, but did not get the satisfaction of or ...some proof that validated his status as an uber-being, when committing the crime. He has zero remorse.

I think he was mentally ill. His mood swings, all within one train of thought, were all over the place. He was erratic. He was lunatic.

He was lazy. He does not want to work and lays in bed for days at a time, just thinking. Is he depressed? He feels above people, yet he does not want to do a single thing to get himself out of his poverty. He does not even commit the crime FOR money, just because he feels he can because he is above the law. And this even, does not bring him satisfaction.

The deed done, he acts insane. Yes, when one commits a crime like he did, it would make any human being erratic. But he was not acting erratic because of remorse, it was because of insanity. In his mind, nefarious people were everywhere. Everyone had a secret agenda to get to him, even the most innocent remark was taken as "he knows!" The internal conflict was so confusing, so all-over-the-place. He was a broken man.

He can't love; not his mother, not his sister, no one. Not until the very end, and I really don't know where that revelation came from. The revelation, the last "A-Ha! I Love Sonia!!" came too quickly for me. He's still not remorseful, even in jail. He just realized he loves Sonia and now wants to live life. I wonder what the future held for those two. I wonder if the mood swings and insanity reared their ugly heads in this relationship. It ends optimistically, but I don't see Raskolnikov changing in a blink.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Like Rain on Your Wedding Day??

I keep seeing these commercials from Target, with some new designers they've hired/paid for; Milla Jovovich and someone with the last name of Hawk.

Milla, as in:

Mila Jovovich


Milla Jovovich/ The Messenger/ Joan of Arch


Great movie, btw

So, they're talking about their new designs and they say stuff like fun, flirty, and then Milla says


Someone PLEASE explain to me how a DRESS can be ironic!! Cause it's driving me nuts every time I see the commercial!

To see it, click here. Give it a sec to load. In the middle of the screen there's a link that says "Commercial."

Monday, March 17, 2008

The First Time

horton hears a who

Isabel went to her very first movie in a movie theatre this Saturday. We took her to "Horton Hears a Who!"

And since I've been asked three times already "What, her first time to a movie??," Let me say...

She's FOUR People!!!

*Just* turned four. I did not want to be those parents who feel it's their right to bring a much-too-young child to a theatre, to ruin everyone else's experience, because they feel "entitled." Whatever. She was too young and now she's not.

She sat through the whole thing, completely engrossed....except when David snored. I kid you not, he SNORED. Thankfully, only she & I heard it. But then she proceeded to say in her sweet little high-pitched voice "No sweeping Daddy!!" *snort*

The movie was very good. David said for an animated movie, he gave (the parts he was awake for) an 8. Steve Carell gets an A+ from me on his work. Jim Carey was actually ok. Not great, but not crazy-over-the-top guy either.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

*Insert Banjo Playing Here*

We were going out for the afternoon today, but had to stop to get gas first. We don't normally gas up in our county because it is more expensive, but the gas light came on yesterday, so we decided to get 5 gallons until we made it to the next county over.

We live in a relatively rural area. The suburbs are slowly encroaching on the rural population though. We have our share of .... interesting folk.

David pulls in to a spot behing a red van and gets out to pump gas. I notice the guy in front of us, STARING at me.

I swear to you, he looked like Gollum...with a scruffy beard and splotchy mustache.

He was STARING at me all evil-like. Then I notice his van. Let me list just a few of the many, many bumper stickers on his car:

Don't be Ashamed to Be White (with a Rebel flag on it)
It's a White Thing, You Wouldn't Understand
Something about making January 19 a legal holiday. (??)

and the best of all......

The Original Boys in the Hood.

OMG, I found a picture of it on Photobucket. THIS is what the man had on his car:

original boys in the hood

Seriously!!!! In 2008. Still! Wow. Is this why the evil-stare-off? Was I too tan for him? Were my dark hair and eye brows a dead give-away that I'm not "white?"

People are still like this. How sad. Thank God he was really, really old. Maybe this will die out soon. Or am I pipe-dreaming?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


This is (not) SPARTAAAAAAAAA!!!


David's other brother was here this week on his Spring Break. We really did not have plans (I'm pretty much already using up my vacation for Jake's Spring Break and a two-week vacation I am taking at the end of June, beginning of July.)

While I worked & Jake was at school, they (David, his brother and Isabel), played video games, went to the beach, played video games, went to Blockbuster, played video games, went frisbee golfing and played video games.

Then.......He did it. David's brother 300 on Wii Bowling!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dead Run

Dead Run

I finished book three in the Monkeewrench series of books, Dead Run. I fell in love with the characters in book 1, Monkeewrench. Such a quirky, queer, crazy set of geniuses. Book two, Live Bait, was not as good as the first.

This book was a quick read. I did it in a day. We have our great characters stuck in a wild event that's a touch far-fetched, but if it involves Grace and Annie, as well as Road Runner, Harley and the rest of the gang, I'm there.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Little Party That Could

Eleven invitations mailed. Check.

Total of 31 people in those 11 invitations invited (actually 12 invites, but one was out-of-state and I was not expecting them). Check. There were some people I knew could not come for financial reasons. They were further away from us.

Cake ordered. Check.

Food, drinks & snacks purchased. Check.

Game prizes, Balloons and Goody Bag items purchased. Check.

Friday evening before the party: Get an e-mail from a relative not coming. Get a phone call from another relative not coming.

Saturday morning: get two phone calls, different relatives. Not coming.

I was in tears. Literal-running-down-my-face tears after the last call. The doorbell rang and I had David answer it because I could not.

Three invitations/Ten People came, none of them family. I had so much food & drink, games and prizes. Thankfully my friends, Kim/Three Hearts and her twins came, my friend Dana and her 7 yr old daughter and her M-I-L came, and my forever-faithful friends, Jose (co-worker), Nellie and their 3 boys arrived.

The four little girls tore the place UP. They had fun. Kim's daughters and Isabel were coincidentally wearing the same Gymboree group of clothes (kitty cats), but I forgot to get a picture of them. Jose's kids played with Jake. Us grown-ups toured the house, ate burgers and hot dogs on the grill and had a nice time.
The kids played two games (winners got prizes), then we had cake, opened presents and the party was over. Isabel really had fun with the girls and that's all that matters in the end.

She got embarrassed when everyone started signing. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I just finished another book on my Classics list, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo.

If you are thinking this:
Disney's Version

then stop right there. I never realized how BADLY Disney mangled the book until now.

First of all, Quasimodo did NOT have talking gargoyles. the hunchback of notre dame DUDE In the book, Quasimodo was just so lonely he talked to them.

Second, Esmerelda....NOT the tough girl that the Demi-Moore-Voiced Esmerelda was. The real Esmerelda was 16 and a love-sick fool. She frustrated me to no end. She falls in love with a soldier who rescues her from the clutches of someone trying to kidnap her. A soldier she's seen for all of 5 seconds. She's young and naive.

Third, Phoebus. *shakes head* SO not the noble character portrayed by Disney. Phoebus was a womanizer, a drunk and a jerk. He was not in the least bit likeable.

I enjoyed the book. Mr. Hugo's characters were alive with conflict. The archdeacon Claude Frollo, despicable as he was, was a tortured soul. Hugo's writing of his character was compelling, even as you grew to dislike him more and more. Some bits were a bit predictable (who Esmerelda's mother was) but I honestly did not know the ending and was shocked by it. NOT A Disney ending people. Esmerelda does NOT get Phoebus (she's an idiot for loving him, and of course he's one of the few who survives) and Quasimodo does not live happily ever after....or maybe, in his own mind, in that sepulchre, he really does.

A Visit

One of David's brothers travels with his work. One job took him to the city right next to ours, so he stayed with us. Excitement was had by all, see?

Clean House

Aren't pressure washers fun? They are!

Check out the difference. Be Careful! He has a gun and he knows how to use it! See? He killed the chair for talking back.

(memo to David: don't clean plastic lawn chairs with high powered pressure guns).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On the Dvd Front...

I am sad that this movie did not do well in theatres.
Because we really liked it. A lot. I would really like to own this one. DeNiro was HYSTERICAL. He gets three pink triangles and two snaps in a circle. It's a fun family fantasy flick.

Now, if you paid actual movie-theatre priced money to see this one...
The simpsons movie

I'm sorry. I feel your pain. We rented this one, thankfully. It was fun, but not movie-theatre-money fun. It was like watching an episode. Funny, but again, not really a movie experience for me.

And finally,
I enjoy period-piece movies. This story is loosely based on the life of Jane Austen. It was romantic and sad and beautiful.

And it has James McAvoy who I think is awesome (and not bad to look at)!!!!
Don't know him?

Starter for 10

No? How about this....


How about now?
Mr. Tumnus

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies)

I Love Everybody and Other Atrocious Lies

Ah, Laurie. You are so quirky and funny. We would be friends if we met....and I didn't have kids....or a 9-5 job....and hated cooking...and was a drinker. Anyway, YES, we would be friends.

I am GLAD that your book went to NUMBER ONE right as your loser newspaper was about to fire you. So glad you quit and could shove it in their noses.

This is another book of small "clips" of her life. Her QVC-addicted mom, her "Lifetime Television" addicted Grandma, her homeless karate-chopping tree trimming guy, her nephews and trips to Disney and stealing imaginary apples. Insane bosses with multiple personalities, twins crafted by God himself out of gold and fluffy goodness, who get her column pulled *right* as she makes it big with her first book.

It was fast, fun and I'm glad that this "Idiot Girl" is making it.

The Warden

I finished "The Warden" by Anthony Trollope, published in 1855. It was a small book given to my by my Mother-In-law.

If you give me a book, I HAVE to read it. I HAVE to. Even if I don't want to. I HAVE to. Fatal flaw.

His writing was funny. He had many "asides" aimed at the reader that I found humorous. But the book itself was o.k. I wasn't compelled by the characters. I found our Warden a bit spineless and just "meh." I finished it because it was quick. I read that Mr. Trollope was apparently loved by a lot of people. MAYbe I'll give his follow-up novel to this one (there are 5 in this series) a try.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Young Composers Challenge 2008

This is why Isabel's party was moved up a week: The Young Composers Challenge, hosted by the Orlando Philharmonic. The picture should take you to their site.

Jake's music teacher handed a flier out to her students. Jake was the only one in his school to attend! It was free. He spent the entire day learning about composing, writing, and the technology of music creating.

I drove him there at 9 a.m. for registration. It was not really at the Bob Carr like the web site said. It was as Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, a UCF school, right across from the Bob Carr. It was beautiful inside. They had the entire day structured and would take care of him including breakfast, lunch and snacks. Did I mention free?? We signed him in (cause you had to pre-register on-line), he got his badge and goody bag consisting of music writing program demos, 0utlines of the day's classes, granola bars and other cool stuff, and then I left. Around noon-time, I got a text message that said "Very Cool" from him.

He had to register (check), attend the workshop (check) and now has to compose a score. Quote from the site:

Spend the summer of 2008 writing an original score—either for full orchestra or for a chamber ensemble. All compositions should be no longer than 5-minutes long. Full orchestra compositions should be written for complete standard instrumentation, and chamber ensemble compositions should be written for some number of standard instruments. Standard instrumentation consists of: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 French Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, 1 Tuba, 1 Timpani, 2 Percussionists, 1 Harp, 1 Piano, 9 Violins (1st), 7 Violins (2nd), 5 Violas, 5 Cellos, and 3 Basses.

He then submits his piece and they pick winners. Depending on what type is written (Full Orchestra or Ensemble) they can win $1000 and $500 for their music teacher, or $500 and $250 for their teacher, PLUS their piece gets played by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert!

How cool is that? No pressure; it's his first year and he can do it until he's 18 years old.

Everyone wish him Luck!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Our baby is FOUR today! Her party is next week because today we are booked with a music symposium thing Jacob is going to, but

Happy Birthday Baby!

Yes, a haircut is in dire order.

My sister Brenda did this one.