Sunday, May 31, 2009

What just happened?!?

Hi folks. Yesterday was the first day since Monday that I was able to pull myself off the couch after being glued in this one spot with book in hand. Sure, I went to work, made dinner, kept the house clean -- necessities. But every free minute was spent reading. What, you may ask, had me entranced in this way? Well if you're a FB friend, you may already know based on this little status update "conversation":

Me: "cursing Tracy for lending me her stupid Twilight book...and I can't get to sleep til I finish it!" -- May 27 at 11:51pm

Friend 1: "I have trouble putting it down!" -- May 28 at 12:12am

Friend 2: "That good? Maybe I should read it... My daughter read the entire series and is reading it again..." -- May 28 at 6:24am

Friend 3: "hee hee" May 28 -- at 7:58am

Friend 4: "Haaa! You've become one of US" -- May 28 at 7:27pm

And one "likes this" from Friend 5....

Well the one thing that I neglected to report in my status update (more out of shame than anything else) was that by midnight on Wednesday, I was trying to finish up reading the 3rd book: "Eclipse". Yep, blink twice because I surely did. By late Friday night, I had finished the series and was giving solid thought to re-reading the first book before returning it to Tracy. Here, I bitch and moan that I can't seem to make it through other books, but yet was able to become engrossed in the story enough to read 2,000 or so pages in 5 days. Sure, I didn't like the last book and agree with one review that calls what Meyers did with the story was "bunt" for an ending. I also agree with Stephen King in that often I found myself frustrated over the way things were phrased or descriptions that were repetitive beyond nauseating. But still...something drew me in to keep turning the pages.

Please don't ask me exactly what it was, because for someone that can't "write worth a damn", Stephanie Meyer kept me from my knitting and that takes a lot.

Well, if you excuse me, I now have a movie to watch....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My soapbox

Thank you dear reader for sticking with me this long; so tonight, I have a little rant to share. One that involves one of my all-time pet-peeves: movie theater etiquette and kids.

It's just shy of midnight, and Chuck, Sylvain, and I just got home from the 9:15 showing of "Terminator: Salvation". The movie was okay. I didn't have high expectations, but I didn't find it as bad as the reviews I had read lead me to believe it would be. I was more irritated by John Connor in "Terminator 2"....

Anyways, early on into the movie, a baby in the audience started crying. Yes, folks, an actual little baby. This went on for only about 10 minutes or so, but nonetheless, it made me mad.

There had been plenty of times that I set aside the things that I wanted to do to care for Sylvain when he was little. Movie attendance included. Those little ears are way too sensitive for the loud, seat-rumbling explosions and sounds of people yelling and crying in pain. I clearly don't understand why these parents feel that it's okay to bring small kids to these films.

And, if by some freak of nature, you happen to be that girl with the baby in the theater and you're reading this, please take the following to heart: "Lady, your baby is crying because it's probably distressed and scared because of the noise around it. If you can't afford a sitter, the movies is the last place you should be....Trust me, I've been in your shoes: keep your kid at home and watch the movie on DVD after they've gone to bed. In no time, they'll be old enough to enjoy the movie with you at the theater."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Movie update

It's been quite a while since I've been able to have time to write; time seems to be whizzing right by me and I'm writing this during my lunch hour between quick bites of salad.

I'd like to focus on the movies I've watched lately, but feel like I should also provide a fiber update: I completed a pair of socks for me in Regia using the Knit to Fit by Nancy Lindberg pattern and started a pair of socks for Chuck using the same pattern in Flat Feet yarn.

I've also taken up weaving and participated in a 3-week rigid heddle weaving class. My first project was a plain weave scarf in silk and Kona superwash merino. My second project is a market bag using the left-over Kona and Louet Euroflax Geneva. The weaving is done, and I'm now working on the finishing for it. Hopefully, my next post will be dedicated to that experience. My third project(s) are cloth dinner napkins, which required two heddles and took forever to get correctly warped. I've had to set that aside because I'm now busy test knitting two patterns for friends. That I'll keep mum about til they've published....

Okay, so in no particular order, here are the movies I've watched lately and what I've thought of them:

Ghost World (2001): Being a fan of Steven Buscemi, I can't believe that I hadn't seen this movie before. I think this one hit my Blockbuster queue while I was on a Scarlett Johansson kick, so was happy to see him pop up early on in the film. This movie was about two girls graduating high school and their uncertainty for "what's next". Without college in sight for either of them, one takes up a job that she doesn't like, but does it b/c it's necessary to be independent from family; the other dreams and acts out in frustration. I was entertained and would definitely recommend this film.

Equilibrium (2002): This was a pretty close rip-off of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. This movie stars Christian Bale (pre-Batman, but based on this movie, I can clearly see why he was chosen for the caped crusader role) as a monk in a new world order set on censorship and destroying all media that invokes an emotional response. The society he lives in is one in which emotion is surpressed by pharmaceuticals that all members (even the kids) are required to take. I was also entertained by this movie, but I also am a sci-fi/action fan. If you don't like to watch a lot of shoot-'em up scenes, this movie is not for you.

Incident at Loch Ness (2004): This is a documentary about an expedition lead by Werner Herzog in search of the Loch Ness monster (or is it?). I will admit here and now that I am a fan of the E! channel; I enjoy watching pseudo-celebrity melt-downs (see "I trust you to kill me" with Keifer Sutherland; "Lost in La Mancha" with Terry Gilliam, etc.); and I definitely enjoyed this film. Again, the fake documentary (or is it?) might annoy folks who prefer an out and out serious film. If that best describes you, then watch this with wine.

The Wrestler (2008): Okay, so maybe it's me and I missed the Mickey Rourke craze the first time around (then again, I was 10 when "9 1/2 weeks" came out), but I didn't see what all the hype was about with this movie. Yes, it's a good movie; yes, the acting was fine and one can truly feel for the guy, but I didn't feel that it deserved all the "Best Film of the Year" accolades it received. For anyone left wondering, I recommend that they rent this to see what all the fuss is about for yourself. And please let me know if I missed something...

A Good Woman (2004): This is the movie adaptation of an Oscar Wilde play and has a great cast (ScarJo, Helen Hunt, and Tom Wilkinson). It's about judging others, independence of women, and doing the right thing. I enjoyed this movie and would be hard pressed to think of anything bad about this film.

Babylon A.D. (2008): I hold a special place for Vin Diesel in sci-fi movies, but this stinker tested the limits of that adoration. The plot made next to no sense; the ending was so rushed and could have used a little more explanation that I was actually mad when the movie ended. If you plan on watching this for yourself, stop reading now and skip to the next movie. If you've watched this already, please explain to me: why twins? Why one black and the other white? What does that really say? Childbirth kills Aurora, but not a missile to the face?!? A missile?!? To the face?!? Being someone that has gone through childbirth au naturale and without drugs, then hell, maybe I'm in the wrong profession and I should enlist in the military!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009): My affinity for Hugh Jackman is a bit different than that for Vin. I like Hugh in just about any film he makes, but why, oh, why did he go along with the stupid plot points in this film? I saw this in the theater (and much to the chagrin of nearby audience members and the embarrassment of my family) I openly laughed during "serious" moments and couldn't believe some of the stupid, out of character decisions some of the characters were making. While this movie did provide Wolverine's whole back-story, I really hope that it is followed-up by a far superior movie that makes it relevant why we needed this information.

Star Trek (2009): What else can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said, other than to give it my stamp of approval and tell you to run (not walk) to the nearest theater to see this. I saw it in IMAX and hope to convince the family to return to the theater this weekend to see it on the regular screen....

JCVD (2008): Much like Vin, I also have a special place in my heart for Jean-Claude and have tended to really enjoy his movies with a sci-fi angle. Timecop is a true love story. Universal Soldier paired the Muscles from Brussels up with He-Man himself (Dolph Lundgren). Sure, he's had his share of stinkers (for instance, see Street Fighter, which sadly had the distinction of being Raul Julia's last film; it was also Kylie Minogue's second film -- coincidence? You be the judge.). In JCVD, there's very little of the kickboxing action that he's famous for and has Jean-Claude playing a character named Jean-Claude Van Damme, who is an action-film star that's down on his luck. Just when he's thinking things are pretty bad, he walks into a post office/bank right at the moment it's being held-up. I enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dinner (and then some)

So it's been quite a while since I've had a chance to be left alone & write. I'm relaxing at dinner in Bar Divani in downtown Grand Rapids and am really enjoying myself. I'm in town for the Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference. My exhibit booth is set to go. I just need to put the finishing touches on a slide show that will be playing at our table, so the night is mine.

I've decided to just try wine by the taste and my first choice is the Cline, Ancient Vinex Mourvedre. It's not sharp on the tongue and very fruity. I've thrown the diet out the window (sorta) and ordered the cheese course: basil braided blue, chipotle cheddar, and brie with crackers, grapes, and strawberries. The cheese plate is excellent and is surprisingly filling. Taste 2 is a Peirano Estate Petit Sirah. It's also pretty good, but I prefer the Cline over it.

I'm also enjoying the banter of the strangers to the right of me as they argue out all the wrongs of the world (inadequate health care options in New York City, economics of short sales, and hedge funds). To the left of me is a table of Barbie-figured sorority girls who are thumbing through a 10 page wine list, but have decided to order margaritas (try a taste of something ladies! You know, you might like it, okay?!?).

Well, that's all that I have for now. Yes, I've had a hellish, busy month since returning from Disney. Yes, I have a ton of photos to share. But, both of which I'd rather not think about. Afterall, I'm enjoying my night out.