Monthly Archives: November 2005

Emma

I watched the movie Emma again today. This time though, I watched a different production of it that has . I must say that I far prefer the version that has Gwyneth Paltrow as the title character.

The main reason I like (besides the fact that I love Gwyneth in general as an actress) is because I felt that she made the character much more likeable.

Kate’s portrayal of Emma was that of a spoiled, meddling rich girl. She seemed snide, gossipy, conceited, and just overall not very likeable until the last few scenes where she did end up redeeming herself. But not enough for me to like the movie.

Gwyneth also made Emma out to be a bit spoiled and thoughtless at times, but you ended up really liking her in spite of her obvious faults. She really seemed to have the best of intentions, with the exception of her rude comments to poor Miss Bates.

It is funny how two movies, based on the same book and that have the same scenes and dialogue, can be so totally different. The viewer can come away with such a different feeling after watching different versions of the same tale based upon a single actor’s portrayal of a character, facial expressions, and vocal delivery.

Other reasons I liked the Emma movie that had Gwyneth as the title character:

  • More chemistry between Emma and Mr. Knightly which made the ending much more believable
  • Ewan McGregor. I just like him in general. 🙂
  • The overall movie seemed to have a better flow to it. I found it much easier to follow the plot, even though I knew what was supposed to happen in both
  • More development shown in the friendship between Emma and Harriet

Many people know that the movie , with Alicia Silverstone, is also based loosely on ‘s Emma as well, just told in a more modern day fashion. What can I say? I loved this movie, even before I ever knew it was based upon a classic. I recently rewatched part of Clueless, and it was a lot of fun to compare it with the original now that I am familiar with Jane Austen. It makes me appreciate Clueless even more as a fantastic movie.

Thanksgiving With My Family (pictures)

Adrianna and I
Adrianna and Amber

Adrianna stands all by herself (she had help getting into this position though)
Adrianna

Adrianna shows off her Thanksgiving Meal
Adrianna shows off her Thanksgiving Meal

Our family gathers for the feast
Thanksgiving Meal

Cindy, Karen, and Amber get some scrapbooking done
Scrapbooking

The rest of the pictures can be found in our November 2005 Photo Gallery

Paper Towel Confession

Growing up, us kids caused all kinds of things to break around the house. Mostly not on purpose of course. One time, I remember we had ran out of toilet paper in the primary bathroom. Somehow, a roll of paper towels ended up in this bathroom. Uh oh. As you probably know, paper towels are NOT made to easily break apart but instead pride themselves in how well they can hold together when wiping up messy spills. Thus, it is highly recommended NOT to flush them down the toilet.

Well, kids don’t think of such things. So, in lieu of having toilet paper to use after one had completed their doodie duty, paper towels were used. Unbeknownst to my poor parents.

Unfortunately, everything did not come out okay. It turned out so badly that a plumber had to be called. He told my parents what he found in the clogged pipes: paper towels. Poor little Karen confessed to the crime. I don’t think she got in trouble, but I do think that it was quite embarrassing for her as I think both our parents and the plumber reprimanded her for it.

Here’s my confession: Karen wasn’t the only one who had resorted to using those paper towels. This weekend, I admitted it to my family for the first time that I had also used those paper towels at least once. They were dumbfounded and asked why I didn’t say anything at the time. Well, I guess I figured since someone else had already stepped up to the plate and taken the blame, I didn’t feel the need to.

Plus, I am sure I was old enough to have known better.

Innie vs Outie

I had a “duh” moment on our way home from Wyoming tonight. I was listening to the radio, skimming through different channels. I listen to K-Love (a Christian music station) occasionally but they play so many repeats that I often switch the channel because I get sick of hearing the same songs over and over.

The current station that I had on began talking about our culture and how we view beauty and then proceeded to mention inner versus outer. For some reason, when I heard “inner versus outer,” my mind interpreted it incorrectly. I sat there shaking my head, wondering what in the world they were going to have to say about beauty in regards to belly buttons (as in “innie versus outie”). Then I realized that I had forgotten I was back onto K-Love and of course what they were really talking about was inner beauty versus outer beauty and had nothing to do with belly buttons at all. *shakes head* What a dumb moment. In my defense, well,…I got nothing.

Christmas with my family

We are celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family this weekend. (Now that Karen and I are both married, our parents have to share us for holidays so we will be spending the “real” Christmas with our in-laws.)

Greg and I got two games as gifts that I cannot wait to play: and . Encore is a game that involves singing, which I love to do. Scene It is a tv trivia game. Both games are a lot of fun to play with family and friends.

I got Greg an awesome Christmas present this year. It was a present that I thought of on my own without having to ask him what he wanted. A really nice poker set that included a great, aluminum carrying case. I couldn’t wait to give it to him because I knew it would be something he would like to have. I love it when I can think of a good idea on my own (like his banjo a couple years ago.) Anyways, the surprise was actually given away last week before I had the chance to give it to him because I do not have a good “poker” face at all. hehe. Pun intended.

Greg and Shad had gone to Walmart last weekend to pick up some baby food and a space heater. When they got back, Greg showed me another purchase he had impulsively bought: a small set of nice poker chips. Instantly, the smile on my face fell, because I knew I had already gotten him a poker set for Christmas, albeit a bigger and more expensive one. He saw my expression change and, knowing that I had already bought him a gift, he immediately guessed that I had already bought him a poker set. ARGH. So much for my great surprise.

When we got home that night, he opened his gift from me. Sure enough, he did like it.

We played Texas Hold-Em with my family last night using his new set. I am usually not a brave better; I need to get better about that. But I still came from being in last place (due to my conservative bets and folding often) to coming in 2nd at the end of the night. Today we are going to play some more games or do some scrapbooking.

New Desktop Cleaner Available Now

If you want something to efficiently clean off your desk, may I suggest putting a 7 month old baby on your lap while sitting at said desk? With only a couple swipes of her little hand, I guarantee that all items on your desk will be promptly swept onto the floor, leaving your desktop sparkling clean.

Alpha Kitty

I was sitting at my computer when I heard one of the most awful and freaky sounds coming from outside the window. Another catfight. It is amazing just how horrible it can sound when two normally cute and cuddly kitties yowl at each other. This one sounded particularly bad and it gave me shivers because it really sounded like someone was out there torturing a cat.

Knowing Petey wasn’t in yet for the night, my brave husband got out a flashlight and went outside to see if Petey was involved. Chloe and Molly always get riled up when they hear catfights, so they went along. Chloe was barking her little head off and thankfully did not wake up Adrianna.

Petey is the alpha male in our little corner of the neighborhood. At least we think so. When he and our other cat that we had for awhile, Jimmie, were condemned to be outdoor kitties a couple years ago after committing an unpardonable sin (peeing in the house), there were lots of fights with the other neighborhood cats. Jimmie is a sweet and loveable kitty that we had adopted as a stray. We think he may have been inbred, because he was a little on the slow side, but he was a great cat. He also had 6 toes on each paw and was pretty clumsy. Poor Jimmie always ended up with sores on his tail from these catfights, because he would always turn tail for home. Petey always came home with sores and abscesses on his face and shoulders as he stood his ground.

Now it is a couple years later, and Jimmie lives on a farm in Kansas (really!) and Petey hardly ever comes home with sores. Since he still gets involved in fights, we think he has finally established his dominance.

We had to send Jimmie to the farm because one of our neighbors complained that he was going into their house through a pet door and beating up their cats. Now, I believe the going into their house part. I don’t believe he was beating up their cats based upon the wounds he would always come home with. He didn’t strike me as an instigator like Petey. We asked our neighbors if they were sure it was Jimmie and not Petey, and they said they were. So, in order to keep the peace, we found him a new home with some friends in Kansas. I still miss that cat. So do some of our other neighbors too. Apparently Jimmie visited lots of other homes too and made lots of friends. He would be gone for days at a time; I think he was hanging out at other peoples’ houses during that time.

After Jimmie left, the catfights didn’t stop. Our neighbors never said anything more to us about our cat. Maybe they felt bad about us giving away the wrong cat.

Petey was involved in that catfight tonight. But as usual, he came out on top with no visible injuries.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

My mom and dad were in town last night and were kind enough to watch Adrianna for Greg and I so we could go to see in the theatre. I had been looking forward to this date night for quite awhile now. It is the first movie we have been able to go out to see since seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in May.

I really enjoyed the movie. Sure, there were parts from the book that had been cut out of the movie, but when you think about it, the 4th book was quite a bit larger than the previous 3 and the movie is already 2.5 hours long as it is.

At this point, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, quit reading now or this may ruin it for you.

First off, let me just say that I loved the movie. I thought the actors playing Cedric and Krum totally fit. Especially Krum. And Rita Skeeter was fabulous. So annoying and so perfect for the part. The scene with Moaning Myrtle was awesome and one of my favorites. Another scene I found funny was when Hermione has an emotional fit with Ron after the dance, and if you look in the background you see several other girls sitting on the stairs crying. It just reminded me so much of my first junior high dance when I did some crying of my own in the girls’ bathroom when I saw Jeramy Davis dancing with another girl. hehe.

Anyways, the movie was so well done. I only wish it were longer or that they could release an extended version of it since some good parts were cut out. It was a bummer to me that the House Elves, Percy, and the Dursleys were cut out of the movie entirely. Also, Sirius hardly figured into the movie plot at all. Anyone who hasn’t read the books may have had a little trouble following the plot line and understanding the significance of things such as portkeys and remembering what polyjuice potion was used for, even though the polyjuice is mentioned in the first movie. I also thought they could have done a much better job at explaining why Harry saw Cedric, the caretaker, and his parents come from Voldemort’s wand even though all of them were dead at the time.

For those of you who have seen the movie already, did anyone else cry when Cedric died? I cried, even though I knew it was coming up since I had already shed tears over it when I read the book several months back.

The death of Cedric wasn’t the only time I cried while watching the movie though. Seated next to me was a father who had two young children who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4. This Harry Potter is by far the darkest and scariest of the 4 movies so far and also got itself at PG-13 rating, and for very good reason. I just cannot fathom why a parent would allow such a young child to watch such a scary movie. These poor kids were obviously quite frightened by the movie. They would climb into their dad’s lap and I could hear them tell him how scared they were and he would have to cover their eyes and ears at times. I was so upset by this that I missed some dialogue in the graveyard scene because I was holding back my own tears for these two small kids. And the dad never took the kids out of the theatre. I cannot even express how disturbed I was by this whole thing and the sad part is that they were not the only small children in the theatre.

I was never allowed to watch such scary movies when I was young, and I am so thankful for it today. I think I had only seen a handful (at most) of PG-13’s by the time I left for college at 19. When Adrianna is old enough to want to attend movies, you can bet that I will do my research on any movies before I will allow her to watch them. Movies and scary imagery can stick with you for a long time. I had a friend make me watch Scream when I was probably 18 or 19. I hated it. I hate scary movies. I still can see some of the bloody scenes in my mind and I still get a shiver of fear when my phone rings when I am home alone. So how are these types of movies affecting young children who often have a hard time separating fact from fiction?

Please note that I am not knocking the Harry Potter movies here at all. I love them and I think they are great entertainment for older children and adults. I am just upset with parents who do not seem to be keeping their child’s best interests in mind. Do your research. Spend a little time thinking about what you are letting your child take in to their tender hearts and malleable minds.

The Nursery

I left Adrianna in a church nursery yesterday for the second time in her life. It was so hard for me to hand her over to strangers, even though they are caring moms too.

I still remember how hard it was the first time too. Even though I knew the lady who would be watching Adrianna, it is so hard leaving her with people who aren’t family! And just as I was getting ready to leave the nursery to go back up to the church service, the other little baby in there started just coughing up a storm. It was a gross, phlemy cough. I almost scooped Adrianna right back up and skedaddled out of there. But I didn’t. I gathered up my nerve and left her there even though my whole mommy mind was telling me to take her back up with me. She wasn’t fussy. The reason I had brought her to the nursery was because she was being talkative. As cute as that is, it can be pretty loud during a sermon.

I didn’t get a thing out of the service that day. My ears and pretty much my whole being was straining to listen for a cry from Adrianna, even though the nursery was downstairs from the sanctuary.

When I went to pick her up, Patty informed me that Adrianna had done just fine. No crying or fussing at all. I also later learned that the other baby was teething and that was the main cause for his gross phlemy sound. Adrianna didn’t get sick from this encounter, for which I was very thankful.

As I mentioned, I was nervous about handing Adrianna over once again. This time to strangers. But she was in a good, talkative mood so I couldn’t keep her in the service with me without being disruptive. There were several other young toddlers and babies already in the nursery when I brought Adrianna down. And there were 3 other young moms watching them. So I handed her over. She didn’t cry when I left. I think the leaving was much harder for me than it was for her.

Once again, it was hard for me to pay attention during the service. I did better this time; even though part of my mind was thinking about Adrianna the whole time and wondering how she was doing. Now that Adrianna is taking an interest in other babies, I was also wondering what she was thinking and if she was enjoying seeing all the other kids too.

When the service was over, I bolted out of there. I almost ran some little old ladies over in my attempt to get downstairs to the nursery as fast as possible. When I got down there, I peaked into a window to see if I could see Adrianna without her seeing me. She was sitting on the floor being a little angel. The nursery worker informed me that she did just fine. Another little kid have even grabbed her face (in their exuberance to play with the baby I am sure) and Adrianna handled it just fine and didn’t even fuss.

After the service, Lynette and I met up with Melissa. Melissa was to run the nursery for an after-service meal, so we hung out in there with her and her daughter, Kendra. Kendra is about a year old and pretty close to the same size as Adrianna who just turned 7 months old yesterday. I was able to watch the two little girls play together, which was quite fun for me. Adrianna was playing with a toy and Kendra, being more mobile and agile since she is older, took it away. Adrianna really isn’t to the point where she cares about that yet, so she took it in stride. Melissa made Kendra give it back. Kendra pouted, but only for a moment and then she was distracted by another toy.

Kendra also had a pacifier which she was happily sucking on. I happened to look away for a moment when I then heard some quiet fussing. I turned around and the pacifier was no longer in Kendra’s mouth. Adrianna was holding it and twisting her wrist around looking at it like she does with her toys all the time. I can only assume that Adrianna pulled it out of Kendra’s mouth. hehe. I gave it back to Kendra and all was fine.

Balancing the Checkbook

I realized tonight as I went to balance our checkbook with our bank statements that I have only done so once since Adrianna was born. That one time was back in May. So that meant that I had many months of statements to go through and compare to the notations in our checkbook. What a fun task that was!

We use our debit card for most purchases. Both Greg and I are pretty good about keeping our receipts so I can record them into our checkbook register later, but it never fails that several each month somehow get lost before they make it into the register.

Instead of recording each of the items found on our bank statements that were not found in our checkbook register, I decided to tally them up and just add the total for the 5 months worth. The total dollar amount of lost receipts for the past 5 months was not pretty – $729.52. Ouch.

During the past few months I have also been getting lazy about having to record all the debit card receipts into our checkbook. They sure pile up quickly! So, I have been using my credit card instead of the debit card for some purchases. We pay our credit card balances off each month, which means we never pay interest, so doing this isn’t a big deal. The bonus of this is that I only have to check the receipts against the credit card statement and don’t actually have to write them down. What a timesaver. But I noticed that I did write some down in our checkbook register anyways by accident. So what got charged on the credit card was written down as if it had been on the debit card. Good news – I was able to add $383.47 back to our balance.

The difference between $729.52 and $383.47 is $346.05. That sure sounds better than that $729.52 figure did. *sigh* I think I will be more on top of our statements from now on. It is a good thing we always leave a pretty good cushion in our account so I don’t have to watch it like a hawk. I would really be in trouble otherwise! And to think I majored in accounting for a little while. hehe. Maybe if I could drag myself to bed earlier than 1:00 a.m. and if I didn’t work at 6:00 a.m. and/or have a baby waking me up early in the morning I would fare better. I actually am really good at figures and enjoy working with them. I also enjoy problem solving, so this was a good little exercise for me to get everything back in order.

In my defense and so you don’t think I am a total slacker, I don’t get a lot of free time now that we have Babyanna, so the last thing I want to do with my free time is balance our checkbook or clean the house. I would rather waste my time on the internet instead. Just like I am now at 12:30 a.m.

Adrianna Discovers Her Shadow

Tonight Adrianna discovered her shadow. She saw it on the floor and decided to play with it by hitting it and trying to touch it. Thankfully we were able to sneak out of the room to get the video camera and get everything recorded without distracting her.

The Shadow Discovery Video is a bit long (3:50) but I couldn’t cut out her baby belly laughs at the end. If your computer or internet connection is slower, use this alternate Shadow Discovery Video link. I apologize to MAC users. My video editing program is a Microsoft program that came with my PC, and being the monopoly that Microsoft is, the program does not allow me to change the file type from saving as a .wmv.

Adrianna watched the video of herself tonight and gave her approval via happy baby grunts and a squeal or two while bobbing her arms up and down.

Top 20 Geek Novels

Greg clued me in to a link found on digg.com to a page that contains a list of the Top 20 Geek Novels written in English since 1932. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is #1. I just finished the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide. I actually liked it. My favorites were The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Mostly Harmless.

So I guess I am a partial geek since I have read one out of the top 20. While perusing the list, I see that my husband has read several. hehe. Go figure. I bolded the ones that I know Greg has read and we thus own.

1. The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams 85% (102)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four — George Orwell 79% (92)
3. Brave New World — Aldous Huxley 69% (77)
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — Philip Dick 64% (67)
5. Neuromancer — William Gibson 59% (66)
6. Dune — Frank Herbert 53% (54)
7. I, Robot — Isaac Asimov 52% (54)
8. Foundation — Isaac Asimov 47% (47)
9. The Colour of Magic — Terry Pratchett 46% (46)
10. Microserfs — Douglas Coupland 43% (44)
11. Snow Crash — Neal Stephenson 37% (37)
12. Watchmen — Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons 38% (37)
13. Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson 36% (36)
14. Consider Phlebas — Iain M Banks 34% (35)
15. Stranger in a Strange Land — Robert Heinlein 33% (33)
16. The Man in the High Castle — Philip K Dick 34% (32)
17. American Gods — Neil Gaiman 31% (29)
18. The Diamond Age — Neal Stephenson 27% (27)
19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy — Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson 23% (21)
20. Trouble with Lichen – John Wyndham 21% (19)

Another Egg Story

My mom and I were talking about Chloe’s Egg Adventure from yesterday and it brought back to our minds a funny story from my childhood.

My brother, Brian, and I liked to pick on our little sister, Karen. For the record, sometimes she didn’t deserve it. Other times, she did bring it on to herself. Cindy pretty much was left out of it because she was even younger.

One day Brian and I decided to play a trick on Karen. She was probably 3-5 years of age at the time. Which mean that Brian was between 5 & 7 and I would have been between 8 & 10 and we should have known better.

We had a kitchen play set, complete with fake food. Including eggs. Brian and I took two of the fake eggs and put them into the egg container with the real eggs in the real refridgerator. So the stage was set.

We called Karen into the kitchen. Brian and I each grabbed one of the fake eggs and threw them onto the floor. They were plastic, which was unbeknownst to Karen, so they didn’t break. We then “egged” Karen on (pun intended) to throw an egg onto the floor. So she grabbed a real egg and threw it down. And of course it broke.

I am sure my mom punished Brian and I for this trick, but I cannot remember the punishment. I just remember how clever we felt and still get a smile on my face to this day when I think about it.

Egg Escapade

Greg made three hard-boiled eggs today. We figured we could add a little extra protein to our diet. While we were waiting for them to cool, we had them in a small bowl that was sitting on a tv tray next to our sofa. Greg had placed them there since I was sitting there watching tv and we figured we would eat them soon. After awhile, however, Adrianna needed to be fed so I took her upstairs to our bedroom to nurse her and take a quick nap. Normally I wouldn’t leave any type of food in a place that the dogs could possibly get to, but I didn’t think they would touch the eggs since they were still in their shell and everything.

How wrong I was.

A little while into my nap, Greg came into the bedroom and asked where I had put the eggs. I replied that I had left them where he had put them on the tv tray. He went back downstairs to double-check but, sure enough, they were gone.

Immediately we knew that one or both of the dogs had ran off with them. Molly, being my shadow, was sleeping in the bed with me. That left Chloe as the culprit. Greg searched the house and found her in the computer room with one of the eggs. The egg was completely intact. But the other two eggs were nowhere to be found.

Greg searched high and low. Well, mainly low since Chloe is long of body and short of leg. No eggs or even eggshells were to be found. Worried that Chloe had eaten the other two eggs, shell and all, he put her into her kennel in case she got sick. We didn’t want another puke mess to clean up. We were also worried about how eating eggshells would affect her digestive system or the expelling of the eggs later.

A few hours passed. Molly needed to be let outside to do her thing, so I took that opportunity to let Chloe out of her confinement. She immediately hightailed her little weiner body into the fireplace room. By the time I reached our kitchen to let the dogs outside, she had already retrieved an egg from a hiding place somewhere in there and dropped it on the hard, kitchen floor. I don’t know if she was dropping it at my feet to be a good dog or if she dropped it because seeing me startled her. Either way, Greg and I were very relieved to see another egg intact.

The third egg is still at large. We watched Chloe carefully to see if she would lead us to any other of her hiding spots, but to no avail. She did sniff around the couch cushions a lot and she has been known to hide bones among them on occasion, but we couldn’t find anything even after pulling off all the pillows and cushions.

I just hope it isn’t hidden really good to the point that we won’t find it for weeks. Long after it has produced a rotten-egg stench.

Time for a Haircut

The fact that Greg can fix his hair like this indicates to me that it is time for a haircut.

Greg needs a haircut