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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Home-Work Balance = LOL!

I dearly love my family, but oh.my.gosh these people are driving me crazy!!! For some reason, my guys have decided that I need to be available to them 24 X 7 and I do mean 24 hours in EVERY day!

It doesn't matter what I am doing, they think I am just sitting there waiting to solve all their problems. I got a call at work from Blake's school yesterday at 2:00. He had a concert coming up at 2:15 that he had forgotten about and he wanted me to get his trumpet for him.  From home. Clear across town. 25 miles away. In 15 minutes. What does he think I am, the Trumpet Fairy?


I'm in back-to-back conference calls today and my other line keeps ringing. I can see it's my husband. I've told him not to call me multiple times in a row unless he is bleeding - literally. Since there have been several times when he HAS been bleeding, I take these calls fairly seriously. 


So I excuse myself from my conference call and answer the 2nd line, my heart in my throat. To give him credit, it was about a doctor - a doctor's bill anyway. The receipt that I requested to turn in to our insurance is going to be mailed today because they won't fax it. Are you KIDDING me? I about reached through the phone to strangle him. Uh gee honey, next time, why don't you text me, E-mail me, leave me a voice mail, fax me, write me a note, maybe even *gasp* wait until I get home tonight?


They just have no concept whatsoever that I have any purpose in life but to serve them. I finally had to make a rule because they kept interrupting me in the shower. I said if no one is bleeding, on the phone, or knocking at the front door, do.not.bother.me! 


If you do that, you will clean that bathroom from stem to stern. I am the only girl in the house, so you'd think they would be willing to give me some measure of privacy, but they will even interrupt me in the bathroom for the most trivial of things. 


Sheesh people, I only go maybe twice a week - are you sure you can't manage without me for that whole five minutes or so??? But no, they have to bug me every time. I think they have a special bathroom radar. Even the cats are in on the deal. More often than not, I'll see a little paw poking in under the door and hear a little meow. Et tu Buster?


Are all kids like this or is it just mine? It's not that I'm easy on them or anything. My boys know if they want to see steam coming out of my ears, just think about talking to me during a business call. Even if I'm in an hour-long conference call, staring off into space, I might be listening to the most important piece of information I've heard all week! And if I miss it, there is no rewind button. This isn't Tivo. I can't just wind it back 2 minutes and find out what the deadline is on the "do this or die" project. And I'm sure not going to be the turkey who pipes up and interrupts my boss in front of my whole department to tell her that I missed that vital piece of information, while my son was trying to tell me he wants to go play with the kid across the street. The same kid who is still going to be there an hour from now, a day from now, or a week from now!


And my husband is even worse than the kids. He doesn't believe that I may have someone important standing there in my office, or that I may be rushing out a report with a 5 minute deadline, or that I'm trying to squeeze in a few minutes of work between 3 back-to-back meetings.  When he wants to talk to me, he just assumes I'm available. Typical conversation:


"Hi, my boss's boss is on the other line, and I've got a meeting in 2 minutes. I can't talk right now!"


"Oh OK, well, since I've got you on the phone....."


Oh man, I need a vacation. In a yurt. In Mongolia. Where there is no phone, fax machine, or E-mail. I've got to get away from these people!





Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birthday Party #41 - Whew!

I think I'm a great Mom. Friday was Blake's 11th birthday and as usual, I put together a really nice birthday party for him. Everyone keeps telling me how crazy I am to have a sleepover party for 7 kids, but actually, we had a great time. The boys were a bit loud and crazy - probably from too much sugar and laser tag, but after I had a talk with them, they calmed down pretty well and they were good for the rest of the time.

I got some great pictures, but since I don't have permission from the boys' parents, I probably shouldn't post them. Here is the birthday boy with his new guitar.




His brother gave him a very cool guitar strap for it. I'll have to get a picture of that too. Blake likes Egyptian stuff and it's got King Tut on it and skulls. What more could a boy want? We also got him the game of Risk that he had been asking for - both the PC version and the Transformer version. And the rest of the Fablehaven books. Plus a bunch of other stuff including that cool shirt he is wearing. Does Mom know how to pick 'em or what? I've always been able to pick out great clothes for my boys and they nearly always love them.


After laser tag, we went up to the park and let the boys run around until it got dark. Then they played flashlight tag and ghosts in the graveyard. That got them nice and worn out so I could get them to sit still and watch a movie before bed.


This is what Blake looked like the next morning - apparently some of the boys decided to "decorate" him while he was sleeping. I thought it was hilarious!




Then we fed them some pancakes and sent them on their merry way. Or tried to send them on their merry way. An hour after it was all over, I still had two little stragglers left. It just amazes me when people don't think to pick their kids up after someone has watched them all night for you.


I finally called one of the Mom's and after asking me three times for my address (she lives about 3 blocks away - but she is Chinese so maybe there was a language problem), she said she'd be by in half an hour or so to pick him up. This was an hour and a half after the pick-up time already, so at that point, I just said I'd bring him home myself - sheesh! And this was the kid that was an hour and a half late being dropped off and we made 3 trips to his house looking for them. The Mom said she saw my husband's truck go by, but she wasn't sure who it was. I guess it takes all kinds...


That's why Blake isn't allowed to go to that kid's house to play. His parents seem like real airheads and I don't think they watch him very carefully. The last time Blake was over there, the kids were playing with BB guns and the kid shot him in the back with it. Crapola! The other kid couldn't get in touch with his Mom or grandparents, so we ended up running him home also.


I was getting a little worried at one point that I might have to run one of them to the ER. Two of the kids were doing double backflips off the benches at the laser place. It made me a little nervous, but mostly I was pretty impressed because I know these kids aren't gymnasts or anything. They're just naturally coordinated. Wish I'd brought my video camera.


But other than that, it was really a pretty fun evening and all the kids got along great. Birthday party #41 is marked mission accomplished! (I'm adding up all the birthday parties from all three boys).








Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blockbuster Endings for my TV Shows

OK, now that American Idol, Grey's Anatomy and Dancing with the Stars are over, we can now all return to our regular lives. Isn't it amazing how we get caught up in all these shows? I'll bet half the conversations I've had lately have been about American Idol or DWTS. It's bizarre.

Naturally, I've sworn off of both of them after the way the finales turned out. Nobody that I liked won anything. My Idol picks would have been Adam, Danny, and Allison.  Never ever in my wildest dreams would I have picked Kris Allen.  He's a nice guy, but I wouldn't have paid to see him sing at the local pizza parlor.  My DWTS pics would have been Gilles, Melissa, and Lil Kim. Donny Osmond was a complete dark horse.  Not that he isn't a good dancer, but I think that one was more of a popularity contest than a dance competition.  I just don't understand why all of America doesn't see it my way!!! I'm sure my swearing off will last at least until they start up again in the Fall.


And Grey's Anatomy? Yep, that was a FINALE. I loved the 007 thing. Usually I can see those kinds of endings coming, but that one totally floored me. I was still getting over the idea of George being in the Army. There have been rumors all season that George and Izzy were going to be written out so I guess that's it. 


I was kind of hoping they'd off Christina and Alex Korev. They are my least favorites. And I sure wish they'd lose the lesbian love story between Cali and Arizona. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gay marriage and stuff - in theory. But I don't know if I'm up for two girls going at it right in the middle of my favorite show. Seems to be the fashion though.


Seems like half the shows I watch now are adding in a gay angle. I guess they're just going for ratings.


Anyway, speaking of life as we know it, tomorrow is Blake's 11th birthday and we're having half a dozen 5th grade boys over for laser tag and a sleepover. Yes, I'm just insane! But I've done it before and survived. HERE are the pictures from last year and HERE are the pictures from the sleepover we had the year before. At this point, I'm either so experienced or so numb that they don't really bother me any more. I'll Tweet about it tomorrow.  See I've finally gotten the hang of Twitter!  





Tuesday, May 19, 2009

John Edwards is a Dirty Dog!

OK, I haven't done a political post in a while. With Elizabeth Edwards book coming out and all the publicity she is getting, we're all hearing more about this whole scandal with John Edwards. And I am losing respect for him by the second. 

Can you get any lower than cheating on your terminally ill wife? I mean, in a year or two, you can do whatever the heck you want, why put her through all this unnecessary grief when she is already suffering the pain of having to say goodbye to her children and everything she loves?


I was really shocked at how he said the affair came about. I thought it was someone that he had just fallen in love with, not that that is any excuse, but it's at least understandable. Do you want to know how this one came about? This girl was standing outside his hotel and she said to him as he went past "You're so hot". And that's all it took to throw away his 25 year marriage AND the Presidential nomination. God, men are SO stupid sometimes!


Honestly, here's what I think. I think he was freaked out about the possibility of being President and this was his version of the chicken exit. But geez, what if this hadn't come out when it did? What if the girl hadn't gotten pregnant and skipped town? 


This might not have come out until he had won the nomination or God forbid, the election. This would likely have torpedoed the entire Democratic party if it had broken during the later days of the election. 


What a chance to take - stupid selfish man! With Elizabeth's illness, no one would have batted an eye if he had just quietly dropped out on those grounds, but he insisted on hanging on even though he knew that the reporters would get wind of this sooner or later, they always do.


And that ticks me off because I really liked him. He had some good ideas and I was a fan of his before I got on board with Obama. His stance on the issues was the closest to my beliefs and I think I even voted for him in one of the early primaries. That is really scary when you see what a schmuck he turned out to be.


I'll tell you, we need to do a MUCH better job of picking our Presidents. I think we worry far too much about unimportant things like the candidates looks, hair, and how their wife dresses. It's like Susan Boyle and Paul Potts. Even though they both have amazing voices, they would never have stood a chance on American Idol. 


Because Americans are SO obsessed with looks and their perception of people that we aren't willing to look beneath the surface. We need to put away the media spin and really take the time to get to know people. Not that anyone could have predicted what a Boy Scout like John Edwards would have done, even his wife of 25+ years. I guess you never really know someone. I feel terribly sorry for Elizabeth, but I guess everything happens for a reason and I think this turned out the best for the country.





Friday, May 15, 2009

Trying to Get the Hang of Twitter

OK folks, I finally gave into the peer pressure and signed up for Twitter. Actually, I've been signed up for a while. I signed up during the Academy Awards because I wanted to make snarky comments about the show, but I hadn't logged back in since. Lately I've been logging in now and then and I've found a few people to follow (Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Seacrest and a few other celebrities I've found, along with a few blog friends), but I still have no freaking clue what I'm supposed to DO on there. 

I get all these mysterious posts with all these funny codes and things on them and I just don't get it. It took me a while to find my way around on Facebook, but at least on Facebook, there are menus and all sorts of things to click on. Twitter doesn't have much of anything to click on and I can't figure out who I'm supposed to follow or what I'm supposed to do about it.


How do you use Twitter? What kind of things do you Tweet about? How do you avoid the Dodos? I've had several people want to follow me that I don't know. They have a large number of followers, so I assume they are selling something, so I've been blocking them. Is that the right thing to do?  I'll get the hang of it eventually, but at this point, it's just totally bewildering.  





Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kids 'n Chores

What is it with kids and chores? They either don't get them (I forgot, Mom!) or they do such a lousy job that it's hardly worth the effort to get them to do it.

I give you Exhibit A:




This is what I found after Matt supposedly "swept" the front entryway. This was exactly 24 hours later, so unless we have some very messy people in this house, he did his usual half-assed job.


Exhibit B is what I found on the kitchen floor. No matter how many times I tell him, you have to MOVE the furniture and stuff to sweep around it and actually sweep UNDER stuff.




And he's got this great "disappearing chore" routine. Let's say I ask him to mow the lawn, or empty the catbox, or vacuum the floors today. If I don't make sure he gets it done today, the chore apparently vanished from his mind without a trace. It doesn't matter if the lawn grows up to his knees, or the catbox is spilling out onto the floor, it never seems to enter his mind that he is supposed to do something about it any time after today. It's like there's a 24 hour statute of limitations on his chores. Makes his Mama crazy!


And Blake is just as bad. Today it was his turn to do the catbox. Oh he cleaned it alright. He scooped everything right into the wastebasket. And then just left it there - ew! Gotta love those shortcuts.


Last month when Matt was talking about moving out into his own apartment, I had a vision of what his apartment would look like. I think you'd have to go in there with a shovel and a rat trap. I mean, are you supposed to still be telling a 20 year old when to clean their room? It's pretty scary in there, so I try not to go in there more often that necessary, but once in a while, you have to just hold your nose and make a dash for it. I can't imagine if he had the responsibility for the whole house. Between his video games, his iTunes, and his guitar magazines, I think housecleaning is going to come really far down the line. Scary.....








Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day 2009

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Mother's Day. I thought I'd leave you with this awww-inducing photo:



We went Mother's Day shopping at Kohl's. Obviously Blake was very impressed, or maybe it was just a little too close to his bedtime, because he snuggled up on one of the racks in the Misses section while I was shopping. And fell fast asleep!  Awwwww...


Nike Has a New Haircut!

Well, Nike got his annual summer haircut. I think he looks completely ridiculous, but he seems a lot happier. He's what they call a "poor groomer" so his long hair ends up all dirty and matted. We've been shaving him down the last year or two and it seems to work out a lot better. It grows back just in time for fall and winter, though I do worry a bit about him getting a little chilly this early in the Spring. He feels so soft, just like velvet.

He went from THIS



To THIS:


Notice his eyes. They used to be just plain green but as he's gotten older, they've gotten these weird flecks in them. The vet says they are harmless copper deposits. Don't know where he's getting copper because all we feed him is their Science Diet Sr. cat food at $25 bucks a bag. I think that's why he's put on so much weight - I was shocked that he was up to 17 pounds. He was only 14 last year. Of course, that was pre-haircut. He probably weighs less now. They keep telling us to put him on a diet, but he's such a pain about it. He wants food in his bowl at all times and he's not at all shy about letting us know about it.  And he doesn't just meow, he goes after OUR food!

We ended up having to run him into the vet on Friday. He was acting like he was in terrible pain and I was afraid he'd gotten a urinary infection, or a bowel blockage or something. I don't know what the heck was wrong, but $200 later, he came home perfectly happy.

First they wanted to do a bunch of blood tests and other lab work, plus the haircut, then they wanted to do another $70 test for diabetes on him, then they wanted us to authorize another $500 worth of feline dental work. Good lord, I barely spend that kind of money on my children, let alone a 15 year old cat! 

We love him to pieces, but there's a limit to how much makes sense with an older pet. Though we may have to start him on insulin. They said his blood sugar was a bit high, but we have to talk to the vet a bit more. I hope not, it sounds like a total pain.

But look at that cute face. He's been a great cat. He's very smart and understands us perfectly when we talk to him. He doesn't always agree with us, but you can tell he understands just fine. All he wants is to just lie on your lap (preferably right in the way of your computer or book) and be petted. Not like the "Terrible Twosome". They only get petted when they want to get petted, which for Sassy is about once a year! Buster likes to be petted sometimes, but he has no guilt about using his claws on you when he wants down. Little stinkers.

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff"

Nike looks PISSED!



Camera Critters







Thursday, May 7, 2009

Questions About A Possible Tattoo

OK ladies, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo (I'm saying ladies - I don't think I've got any male readers. If I do, sorry guys!) Thinking being the operative word. I've been thinking about it for years now, yet I've never gotten the nerve up to even step a toe into an actual tattoo parlor. 

Part of the problem is that I have a ton of questions, but I'm too shy to just walk into a tattoo parlor and ask them. I guess I could ask one of my friends who have them, but I don't have anyone that I know all that well who has one.

Anyway, I know that a lot of you have a tat or two. Maybe you'll have answers to some of my questions. The design I'm wanting is a celtic knot. I'm Scottish and I have a ring that wear all the time. I just love it and it has a very intricate round celtic knot design that I think would make a great tattoo for my foot or leg. Here is a picture of it with a towel for some background color so you can see the details.  It's pretty isn't it?  

A tattoo is such a permanent thing, I really want to do my homework to make sure it's going to look right. I've seen some on-line pictures of celtic knot designs, but I don't like most of them. Most of them have a lot of red and they just look harsh. I want something that is going to be delicate and beautiful and very feminine.

- First of all, where should I put the darn thing?  I'd like some place where I can show it off without wearing anything too revealing, but I'd also like somewhere that I can cover it if I want to. The foot or the ankle seems to be the most typical place for the 40-something woman, but I've heard that is more painful than a lot of places. Any great ideas on where to put it?

- When you are getting a custom design like this, how does it work? Do you have to make an appointment to give them the design ahead of time? Does it cost extra? How do you pick an artist? Do you just walk in and take whoever, or are there people who specialize in different types of designs?

- Obviously this design is just silver, but I'm thinking I'll want a couple of colors to shade it properly and make it look nice. I'm thinking either two shades of green with a black outline, or else two shades of blue. Again, how do they do it with the custom design? Can you ask them to do up a sample using a couple of different colors so you can see how it looks?

- How big or how small to get it? The ring is tiny - about 1/2" or so. I'm thinking you'd have to go a bit bigger, say 1-1/2" or so to get the detail, but how do you decide what size is going to look best? I want something small and tasteful. I've seen some really huge, dark tattoos on some of the girls at work and they're not really my cup of tea, but I love some of the more artistic ones I've seen.

- What do you do about the placement of the design? I know when I went to the Fair this summer, I got a spray on design and it was all crooked and didn't look that great. I think I'd need to bring a friend along to double check the design and make sure the design looks right. Is the artist going to get mad if you tell them it's not right the first time?  A mad tattoo artist could be bad news...

- What about the pain? Obviously it's going to hurt, but how much is it going to hurt? I've had allergy testing which involved hundreds of shots along my back. Is it going to be worse than that? Is it worse than dental work? I am a big wuss, so that part kind of scares me, but I'm more worried about ending up with something that's going to look bad.

- What about after-care? I've heard that you have to keep it really coated with ointment and stuff for like a week. That is going to be so hard for me because I'm so busy and I have a hard time remembering even to take antibiotics and stuff like that. Is it going to be terribly sensitive? Do you have to be careful to not let anything touch it or rub on it? That's why I didn't want to get it in the winter-time because I would probably have to wear sandals or something. How do you keep the ointment from coming off all over your clothes and all over the blankets at night?

- Anything else? Is there anything that you wish you'd done differently when you got yours? Is there anything scary that I should be worried about? Do you wish you hadn't done it, or are you really happy with it? I've noticed that it seems to be kind of addictive, so people must like it if they're getting 8 or 10 of them.

OK ladies, help a girl out here. Inquiring minds want to know....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Update on Dancing/Idol Results shows

Seriously??? Lil Kim is going home while Ty is going to the finals? Are you kidding me? Is he getting the rodeo/Nascar vote out or something? Something is definitely fishy. I didn't much like Miss Plastic Face, but she was a great dancer and he is seriously horrible. You could tell even Ty felt terrible about it. He knows he doesn't deserve to be there, so it's got to be really awkward for him. Poor Kim, I don't think she deserved that.

I'm just now getting around to watching the Idol vote-off show. I think I have a love/hate relationship with my Tivo. I like not having to plan my life around my favorite shows, but I hate it that I usually don't get to watch the shows in "real time". It drives me crazy when I hear the results before I get to watch the show.

I loved Paula's number, that was really spectacular. She's so strange, I forget how talented she really is. I tried to watch her reality show - twice. I couldn't stand all the griping and crying and had to stop watching it. She is Drama Queen with capital letters!


PS: Why does Gwen Stefani look like a guy? She is totally gorgeous and I couldn't even recognize her when she came out in those baggy pants and wife beater t-shirt. And who was that weird robotic black guy in the white suit dancing in the background? Her whole group is really strange looking. Love the guy with the tutu and the bleached mohawk. Just the guy you want your daughter to date!

Now Chris Daughtry, he has really matured and come into his own. I think he's one of the few former Idols who has really lived up to his potential.


Oh my gosh, here we go again. Chris is staying and Alison is going home? Seriously? That is just wrong. I just do not get the way people vote. He's such a nothing while she is just dynamite. I think this is what drives me crazy about these contest shows. I think I'm out of step with the rest of America. At least 64 million of them!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dancing/Idol Recap

Well, it's getting down to the wire on both Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. This is where it gets the most interesting to me. You get rid of the hacks and get down to the real talent. Matt and I just finished watching the American Idol episode - I think this was definitely one of our favorites. Slash is one of his heroes, and we both like classic rock, so this one was very cool. I thought Slash did a great job of working with the kids.

Adam - I'm speechless. He's always amazing, but this was like amazing to the 10th power. He was just out of this world on both the individual and the duet portions.

Allison - she is definitely in the Jordin Sparks/David Archuletta club. I just don't get how High School kids can possibly be that talented and poised. Her solo number was good, but her duet was outstanding! Not so sure about the hair, I don't like the purple with the red, but at least she didn't go mousy.

Danny - I always love Danny, but I have to agree with the judges that this really wasn't his best genre. But I think the judges really gave him a harder time than he deserved. As I've said before, he's a dead ringer for my oldest son, so I'm probably a little big prejudiced. One thing I can't wrap my mind about is that he is a recent widower. I think I'd heard that his wife died just a few weeks before his audition. I know he doesn't ever mention her, which I really respect, but I just can't imagine going through all the stress of this competition and not having the person he'd most like to share it with around.

Chris - He's such a cute guy, but I have no idea how he has gotten this far. I honestly thought he should have gone home a couple of weeks ago. He's just not at this level. I think he's the one most likely to go home this week.

Simon, cranky as usual, but some of his criticisms are right on. Paula, is just in her own universe, but Randy and Kara, I think could carry the whole show. I am liking Kara more and more, he's very intelligent and you can tell that she really knows the music business.


Dancing with the Stars. I hate all the hype when you get to this stage. It seems like every 5 minutes they are talking about how hard this is, how many injuries the celebrities have, and how badly everyone wants to win, I hate all that. Just shut up and dance!

My pick to win is Gilles. He has so much natural talent and sex appeal that he could easily be one of the professionals. You can tell he really works hard at this and he is consistently amazing every week. He seems like a genuinely nice guy too.

My 2nd favorite is Melissa. She's a pretty decent dancer, and she is just so amazingly pretty. I always think she looks just darling, I can see why she'd had a whole room full of guys just dying to go out with her. I don't think I like her partner, Tony very much. He seems like a real hardass. I remember her yelling at Jane Seymour and I thought her husband was going to take him apart. I always wonder how the husbands and wives feel about their spouses getting so cozy with the dancers? My husband is not especially the jealous type, but I don't think he'd be too thrilled with me if I were hugging and kissing all over some guy every week.

Shawn - my goodness she is so chunky for a gymnast. Wasn't it just last summer that she was competing in Beijing? She must have packed on 20 pounds or more since then and she's built kind of weird anyway. Is that what's called "pigeon chested"? Compare her to Allison on Idol. They are about the same age, but they aren't even close in their level of talent.

Kim - that girl is so weird looking! I mean like freakazoid weird. She is at the top of the list on the Bad Plastic Surgery site. She's had cheek implants, lip implants, I think she has colored contacts, which make her eyes a really strange color, sort of a silver color. Then there's something very bizarre about her eyelashes, they're like huge spiders. And her body is even stranger. Huge boobs, huge butt and then she wears spandex that shows it off to it's absolute worst advantage, and she's had some kind of weird lipo because her stomach just looks unnatural. I can't even tell you how she dances because I'm so busy taking in all the strangeness and marveling at the fact that she actually PAID people to do this to her.

Ty - Oh my gosh, please send this guy home, pronto! I didn't think he was going to make it through the first two weeks. He is just ghastly - he totally has a stick up his butt and not the least bit of sex appeal that I can see. And you can tell he is very uncomfortable with having such a young and sexy partner. He just always looks like a fish out of water! He must have a lot of rodeo fans voting for him or something. I hope, hope, hope he goes home tonight!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Visit to the Scout Expo

We had such a good time at the Scout Expo this weekend. I'm so corny, I just love hokey little events like this. It always seems to me that little things like this just show us what is right with this country.

I think it's just fun to see what some of the different groups come up with. Some of them are very simple and inexpensive and some of them are really elaborate. They had knot-tying and paper airplane making. One booth had little boats made out of juice boxes and sails made out of construction paper. We spend so much money on STUFF, but kids can have so much fun with just some rope or a few pieces of paper. I think sometimes we need to give kids more of the simple stuff.


Several booths had different kinds of jousting, usually with some kind of sticks padded with foam rubber padding and platforms made of wood with rounded bottoms. One booth had a very neat lathe set up made out of PVC pipe and turned with a crank. I thought that was pretty cool. 

We missed the Expo last year because his small, LDS neighborhood Cub Scout troop didn't want to participate, so we didn't find out about it until we read about it in the paper. I was heartbroken and so was Blake. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want their kids to participate in something that is so fun and so wholesome, but we begged them to go again this year and they didn't want any part of it. That's when we decided it was time for a change and I think it's one of the best decisions we've made.

This group had a pretty nice home-made climbing wall. Blake really enjoyed that one.













This was a large, elaborate obstacle course made out of tarps, boxes, fake grass, PVC pipe and old tires. That one was so popular there must have been 20 kids lined up for it and they went through again and again. Isn't that funny? Kids today just don't get a chance to make stuff like that just out of what is essentially trash, but they can have a darn good time with it.




















Here is Blake giving me the eye from the golf course. He looks so slick in his new grown-up Scout uniform. Notice the tucked-in shirt and the belt. His new troop is very strict about the uniform code and I think it's good for him. They have to do push ups if they are the slightest bit out of uniform, which I think is wonderful. I've noticed when he gets dressed for church now, he tucks his shirt in without even being asked. That's exactly the kind of self-respect you want a boy to get out of Scouting.




I forgot to get a picture of his troop's booth. They have one of the larger booths with a full sized teepee in it. They had two old wooden canoes that someone donated to the troop and they are in the process of rebuilding them. It was pretty interesting to see how they put them together with strips of cedar, about a billion staples and special glue. Since their booth was so unique, they were even written up in the paper about it.

We're definitely liking this whole new Scout thing. Should be an interesting summer!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Twilight Movie Review

I'm watching the Twilight movie for the third time. I know most of you have either read the book or seen the movie and I thought I'd see how you liked it. I give it mixed reviews, which is why I'm renting it instead of buying it. It's weird. There are parts of it I hate (the High School parts), and parts of it I love (most of the 2nd half). That's why I keep watching it, I'm trying to decide if I really like it or not.

Some of the casting is so good and some of it is so bad. They have her Dad, Carlyle, Rosalie, and Alice completely pegged. Edward, Bella, and Jacob are pretty good. Jessica, Emmett, and Erick are atrocious. Laurent, James, and Victoria are all perfect, but Jasper is just disturbing, which I guess is good casting. Come to think of it her friend Jessica is pretty disturbing too. I can barely stand to watch her, she's so dorky and twitchy - ugh.

Robert Patterson doesn't fit my concept of Edward at all. He delivers his lines kind of awkwardly sometimes and just doesn't seem to have the kind of elegance and tenderness I would have expected. Jacob is cute as a bug with those dimples, almost too cute. 

I've known a lot of indian boys. When I was in college, my best friend was a full-blooded Navajo. But I never saw one with dimples like that. I don't see how they are possibly going to make him big enough to make a convincing werewolf. Jacob is supposed to be about 7 feet tall when he gets his full growth. 

Bella - I just don't know. She's definitely got that awkward teenaged attitude down pretty well, but she's so weird you wonder how on earth Edward could be in love with her.

And the special effects, oh my gosh, were they on a tight budget or what? They would have been better off to just cut out the running scenes rather than show that stupid sequence with them running up the hill. The fight scene with James is pretty good though. Hope they have a biggest special effects budget on the next one, and some acting lessons....

They stuck pretty close to the book, thank heavens. But I wish they'd left in her birthday party. I would have loved to have seen what Alice came up with for decorations. The hotel they stay in in Phoenix, I swear that's the Holiday Inn I stayed in on my last business trip. I'll have to take a look next time I'm down there.

The Prom at the end totally makes the rest of it all worthwhile.

PS: I just saw some candid shots of the guy who plays Emmett. He's blond! That would have made him so much more believable if they'd just left his darn hair alone. That hairpiece they have on him in the movie is terrible and that's one of the reasons he just doesn't look quite "right" as Emmett. Hopefully they'll make some changes for the next movie.

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