Monday, July 25, 2011

So, What'll We Do Now?

We finally watched "Happy Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2."

HP8 Pictures, Images and Photos

*sniff*  *sniff*

I seriously need a hug.

The movie was great fun.  Several things were changed (the kiss and where/how it happened,) some things were added (the Luna/Neville thing, which I liked; the extended battle scene) but all in all, I loved it.

I am glad they added the "19 years later" and I personally think they did a great job aging them.  They looked great.  Malfoy was over-done, but the rest looked like the aged gracefully and I don't think they under-did it at all.

Seeing Severus' death scene was rough.  I remember reading book 6 and then telling friends online "Severus is not bad. I bet you he did what he did because Dumbledore asked him to."   His flashback scenes with Lily etc. in the pensieve were some of my favorite scenes.

I also got weepy when McGonagall called forth the men to protect Hogwarts and the following scenes with all the teachers casting protection spells.  I was SO excited to see that they did not cut Molly's "Stay away from my daughter, you B*&%h!" (or something like that) quote when fighting Bellatrix.  That...was awesome.

As we're walking out of the theater, the woman in front of us says to her date/husband/male companion "So, what'll we do now? No more Harry Potter movies."  David turned around to see if I had heard and I said "I know!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello Ava!

We're all SO GLAD you're here!!

My sister Vicky and her daughter Ava

Ava, Vicky and happy dad Damian

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family Fun

David's sister and family are still here.  They spent a a week down at a hotel in Orlando for the gymnastics competition and then for their vacation.  Then they moved over to our house for four more days in the area. The first night they arrived, we made Harry Potter cupcakes.

Saturday, we headed over to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure to do some of the shows and playgrounds they did not get to do during their week here already.

As always, click the pictures to make them bigger.

Back left: Ethan in blue, Jacob, Emily, Jennifer,
David (pushing Juliette in a stroller, but you can't see her), Leif.
Front: Ellianna and Isabel.

Emily loves pink.

Ellianna & Isabel


Jennifer & Juliette come down the water slide in Fievel's Playground.

Isabel & Juliette's turn down the slide.

Isabel and Ellianna play inside a car at "Curious George Goes to Town" playground.

We take a break to watch the "Animal Actors" show. 
 After the show, we headed over to "Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Ride."  It's an interactive ride where the audience becomes part of the movie.  They asked for several volunteers, including three evil henchmen.  Behold evil henchman Jacob.


After all the different scenes and actors are shot, you head into a subway tunnel and sit in a train to film a major disaster in the subway station.   After everything is done, they play back a movie trailer that includes Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and all the volunteer actors edited in the scenes.  It was a lot of fun.

It was a HOT day.  David, Isabel & I left around 5-ish.  Jacob stayed with everyone else and they headed over to Wet N Wild to end their day with cool water rides.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

Little Miss Isabel is taking swimming lessons at the YMCA.  Little Miss can't even stand water on her face from the shower, imagine her dismay at taking swimming classes!  But living in this state, with many people owning pools, she must learn, whether or not she likes it.

I sent a quick text message to 3 of my 4 sisters asking them to send an encouraging text each to David's phone for Isabel.  (I was at work; he is taking her to classes.)   All three did.  One of them, who teaches at a school sent this quick video.

SO sweet, I got teary-eyed.  It's her class telling Isabel she can do it!

She is one of 6 kids in her group and the only girl.

 After the 1st session, she's actually excited to be going back tomorrow.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gymnastics at Disney's Wide World of Sports

David's sister is a gymnastics coach.  She owns her own studio in Chattanoga, TN and this weekend was  the AAU Gymnastics Age Group National Championships 2011 at Disney's Wide World of Sports.   We decided to head down for the day on Saturday and check out what was going on.  A lot of events that David's sister's team had to compete in had already happened on Friday, but with work and all, we could not make it until Saturday.  The day pass was $15 for us, $10 for kids 3-9.  Not bad.   Jacob stayed home to go attend a party at 3 p.m. at a friend's house.

Welcome to the Thunderdome.  :)

Isabel (center) learns how to make sports Avatars with her cousins Ellianna & Emily.

Here's one she made.  Cute!

Ellianna, Juliette and Isabel.  Cousins.  I wish we lived closer.  Isabel LOVES her  cousins
Ellianna had already competed by the time we arrived, but Emily still had to go up.  Juliette does not compete, and neither does their big brother Ethan (4 siblings).

We ate $4 pretzels and watched all these talented girls compete.

Emily on the uneven bars

Emily on the beam, her favorite event.
We were there for about 5 hours or so.  Jennifer and family were there for way more; at least 10, but smart mom & dad Leif packed a TON of food, snacks and supplies so the kids wouldn't have meltdowns.  They were very good.

After awards ceremonies for that day, and a little annoying 30 minute delay that I will post about later, we headed over to their hotel to eat dinner by the pool and go swimming.

(Side note: At dinner, Jennifer asked how I enjoyed the meat.  I said "It was ok" and then after two seconds passed, "click."  She meant the Meet, not the Meat I had eaten.  I burst out laughing and, pointing to my plate, said "Ohhh, the gymnastics meet, not my hamburger meat!" )

They had poolside karaoke and David got up to sing.  I have video from my cell phone, but I have been warned to delete it.  Heh heh.  Isabel had a blast, but I can't wait until her swimming lessons at the Y next week so she can no longer be afraid of the water.

And that was our fun day with David's family.  No pictures of the boys though (David, Jennifer's husband Leif and son Ethan.  Jacob was not there)  Bad photographer!   

Friday, July 1, 2011

All The Names


While working my volunteer job at the library's book store, I was picking up some books.  Twenty five cents each for paperbacks, or 5 for $1.  Needing to get one more, I picked up this book by Nobel Prize Winner Jose Saramago.

The author, Mr. Saramago, wrote the book with no chapter numbers, no heading, no quotations when people were talking.  When two characters are having a conversation, the only way you knew someone else was talking was the commas in the run-on sentences.  It was a bit distracting, but it also gave me a sense of urgency in the reading.  People love Mr. Saramago's prose.  This is my first time reading him, and I was a little overwhelmed with all the descriptions of every minute detail of everything around the main character, Senhor Jose.  It felt like too much.  (Maybe because I am reading a translation; I think it was written in Portuguese.)  

"All The Names" is set in an unknown town in an unknown time (possibly the 1950's, I'm not sure) where the protagonist, Senhor Jose lives.  Sr. Jose is a 50 year old low-grade clerk in the Central Registry, the government agency that records "all the names" of those who have been born, get married/divorced and die.  All work performed with cards, inkwells and pens, all by hand, the Central Registry is an archaic bastion of documentation; very strict, very precise; no one breaks rank or rules.  Except Sr. Jose. He is bored, lonely and slightly insane.

He quietly collects random facts of famous people on his off time; newspaper clipping, notes, articles, etc.  One day, deciding to break into the Central Registry to borrow the files of these famous people, Senhor Jose accidentally picks up the card of a random woman; someone he doesn't know, who is not famous.  Just a nobody.  This slip leads his mind to want to follow a path to find out who this woman is.  Senhor Jose breaks rules, lies to people to get information, breaks in places, imagines horrible fates, has panic attacks, talks to the ceiling (that talks back to him) and leads the reader on an odd journey through his mind and actions.

Jose's a nutter.  A sweet one, but a nut nonetheless.  He's lonely.  His life has no purpose.  He wants this because he wants to have something in his life of meaning.  He wants a connection with someone, even if it's this unknown woman on paper. Can we blame him this craving?  He wants to know her, because he wants her to feel she is known, just as he wishes he were known by someone, anyone, on a personal level.