Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts On: Jumper

Tonight I took Stella and Miho, our Japanese student, out to dinner and then to see Jumper. I hadn't seen a movie popular with Kids These Days in quite a while. Here's proof that I'm turning into a fogey at a rapid pace - I freaked out at how friggin' LOUD the theater was. Seriously. My teeth hurt afterwards. Turn down that ruckus before I throw my cane at the screen!

So this movie is about a guy who was bullied as a teen but discovers he can teleport. So what does he do with this gift? Does he send himself to sites of natural disasters or emergencies and save people? Um, no. Why would he do that when he can do whatever he wants? What are you - a hippy? No. He robs banks and lives a completely self-indulgent and spoiled lifestyle. AWESOME, RIGHT? Well, not exactly. Sadly, he never experienced the love of a good woman because his mother left him at a young age (sniff, sniff). When his life becomes imperiled he seeks out his childhood sweetheart and endangers HER life just so he can be close to her. SPOILER - After an hour or so of excruciatingly loud and confusing fight scenes, he makes pseudo-amends with his mother and goes to live self indulgently ever after with the girl. It made me sick. There was not a single redeeming quality in any single character. It seemed like the main dude was all, "Oh hey. I remember that one girl. I'm going to jump into her life, nearly get her killed and then SAVE her! All without ever getting to know her! Then we'll just galavant around looking hot together. That's my purpose in life!"

I hate our culture and what it celebrates. I hate that I spent $25 tonight to figure that out.

So yeah....Jumper. Not recommended, y'all.

ETA: Sees I'm not the only one with this take on it.

I Don't Like To Complain About My Job

This has been a trying week.

While I often wish I had the patience of a zen master, the truth is I really don't. Not even close. The students are testing me this week. It's pretty astonishing how people who are older than I am, with more education and life experience, can act like such little kids when taken out of their comfort zone.

Everything at home is going really well, though. Stella has been, dare I say, downright pleasant lately! Maybe it's the influence of our Japanese student who will live with us for another week. Maybe it's hormones. I don't care - I just want it to last a little while longer.

I reached my limit on political coverage. D. will have to get his continuous IV drip of CNN, MSNBC, NewsHour, and god-knows-what-else from the tv in the bedroom from now until after the Ohio and Texas primaries. Maybe even until November. We'll see. I can only handle so many talking heads jibber jabbering about the same pointless non-issues (Barack Obama's middle name and its usage, for example).

My personal opinion on foreign policy is based largely on what I experience with large numbers of people from many different countries in my day-to-day life. I think it's good to talk to despots and potential enemies. I think the game of "meet my prerequisites first" is damaging and far too political.

I'm so ready for Spring.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For Kelly

So Robin's not the only one for whom Sunshine gave a makeover haircut this week.

I figured what the hell; I've had the same length hair for years now, after all. So she took off about five inches. We'll see how it looks once I've washed it and the curl comes back.

It was fun today at work when none of the students recognized me.


Monday, February 25, 2008

What We Do For Fun Around Here

We celebrated Robin's 31st birthday Saturday night. Before it was all over, the girls made a trip to her bathroom, Sunshine armed with a pair of household Fiskar's (she's really that good, y'all) and the desire to give Robin a new look. The result was transforming. Here's how it went down:

First it was necessary to fortify ourselves with Rotel dip and beer:

Then and only then was Sunshine ready.

Let's just call this Before.


And After. Hello, Gorgeous.

Baby Isabella caused instant mass ovulation.

I love this.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thoughts While Watching the Wisconsin Returns

It's nice hearing your comments in regards to this election.  

This new angle that Hillary Clinton's campaign has taken, attacking Barack Obama for his oratory skillz, is just so unfortunate and sad and misguided.  She won't let it go, though!  It's the desperate grasping of someone who is not accustomed to coming in second.  

This energy that he creates when he's really something.  And energy, as we know, can grow and spread and influence us in ways we don't even understand right away.  I can see it lifting us up, and in turn lifting up OTHER countries, other people struggling against lies and corruption and old boys clubs and sneaky backroom deals and wishing there were something, and someONE they could believe in.   

I believe in him.  

Mamas for Obama!  Stephanie - wanna make some t-shirts with me?  

Monday, February 18, 2008

Yes, We Can?????

I don't want to talk about inspiration vs. experience. I think it's a disingenuous if those two issues are opposites. It's a fear-based argument, currently being used to death by a candidate who is very afraid of losing her lead in the polls. And SOME PEOPLE (ahem, my grandmother) believe it wholeheartedly.

But whatever.

The reason Barack Obama excites me as a politician and potential world-leader is because he seems to GET IT. Plain and simple.

Want proof?

This article, an interview with his senior foreign policy advisor Samantha Power, I think shows exactly why his brain and gut and heart and instincts are in the right places. I can't wait to see her in a larger role, actually.

I feel like we, as a nation, are SO CLOSE to either fixing things and getting them right or imploding and losing international respect that I can hardly stand it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cabin Fever: Condition or Symptom?

The weather has basically sucked this weekend - nothing but cold, relentless rain and thunderstorms. Even though everything we'd planned to do this weekend was boring and chore-related, it somehow seemed more tedious and horrible because of this dreary, depressing weather. The artwork is finally hung in our new house, though. It makes a huge difference! D. is careful and exact, with the measuring tape and the pencil whereas I just eyeball it, hammer the hook in and spend the next 15 minutes readjusting. I know his method is better in the end but I just can't do it. Ahh, who cares - I have an entire wall dedicated to local artists!

We're hosting a Japanese student for three weeks who was supposed to arrive this evening. Their flight was canceled so what else could we do but make cocktails, watch crap tv, and play dueling laptops?

I've learned that I can never again live in a space that doesn't have a fireplace. Ever again. Not much in the world brings me more pleasure than building, starting, maintaining, and stoking a fire. And it can't be a wood stove. Or a gas fireplace. Please. No. I need to SEE the fire. Smell it. Wait for the coals to form and get warm. I LOVE IT.

We only have like five pieces left from the rick we bought in December. How could I let this happen? I'm panicking a little just thinking about the lag between the last fire and when the next wood can be delivered.

Oh other news. Remember when I asked for good vibes? worked. I got a raise and a promotion! I feel very happy, confident and vindicated about it all. It's really NICE to get a raise! Especially considering how our economy is going....But really, it feels good to work really hard and feel like it's worth it, to myself and to others. So I'll be working on all sorts of grants and special programs bringing students from all over the world here. I love it.

I keep forgetting to take pictures. But:

Tuesday's Dinner - roasted butternut squash soup w/ roasted red pepper purée, broiled salmon & jasmine rice.

Valentine's Dinner - grilled ribeye steaks, green onion mashed potatoes, baby portabello/red wine reduction sauce, & wilted spinach. Very tasty. Oh yeah...and baked brie w/ crostini & sliced(bosc & red) pear appetizer.

Time to go scale Mt. Laundry.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Final Nail In My Fogey Coffin

I was happy that Herbie Hancock won the Album of the Year award at the Grammys last night.

I am officially old.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Friday Night

I'm still learning how to use my new camera.

Happy Birthday Alana! I couldn't be consistently confused with a better lady!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Because "I Feel It All"

We're finally done moving and I just filed my taxes so I thought it was a good time to buy myself my early birthday present.

Two tickets to see Feist at Cain's Ballroom in April!

(So, uh, D. - I hope you can come with me)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Thoughts

  • This just keeps getting more exciting. I love seeing the huge increases in voter turnout.
  • Huckabee? Really, people? For those of y'all voting for him because he "represents your values," you might try doing just a little research into his ethics record in Arkansas.
  • Nothing irritates me more than the OVERDOSE OF GRAPHICS on the cable news channels. Enough. Nauseating.
  • I wonder what the Kennedy family get-togethers will be like this year.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Here We Go!

I know where I'll be all evening - watching returns on MSNBC (switching to CNN, I imagine, during commercials).


Arkansas has an early primary this year and gets to add its votes with all the other Super Tuesday states. This is quite exciting. Even though my grandmother and I canceled each other's votes. She thinks experience outweighs common sense and good judgment (just teasing, Mommom!).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Moving and Accelerating

Well...I guess we're pretty much moved. Now, I've moved probably 12 or 13 times in the past 15 years but this has been the hardest move I think ever. WE OWN ENTIRELY TOO MANY ITEMS.

I keep getting reminded of that old George Carlin bit, where he talks about how your things are your "stuff" but other people's things are their "shit."

As in,

"D. I've got all my stuff packed up, when are you gonna move the rest of your shit out of the music room?"


" you REALLY need to take all those old magazines and shit?"
"YES, of course. I use that stuff to make my collages."

So basically, we've got a two-car garage filled with shit and stuff.

This move has also shattered the carefully-preserved illusion that I'm not old and crotchety and pitifully out of shape.

I had a dream the other night in which someone asked me what gave me the greatest joy in my life and I answered, "Food." I was immediately filled with shame and defiant pride. Because, many ways it's true. I love food. It makes me happy to think about, shop for, prepare, serve, and eat. I have to counter this love of food, however, with a love for exercise and moderation. And I have to work on the psychological reasons for the shame and self-loathing. That's pretty clear.

I had another dream a few nights before that one in which I was riding on a bus. I guess some of the other riders had been harassing the bus driver before I got on, because all of a sudden he stood up and screamed that he couldn't take it any more, lit himself on fire, and jumped out the back emergency exit. Everyone on the bus looked at each other in shock and then the thought dawned on me, "We're in a moving vehicle with no driver, we're accelerating at a rapid pace and OH MY GOD, we're headed towards a bridge!" In a split second I figured out that no one else was getting up to take over the controls so I felt myself jumping up and running towards the front of the bus.

Then I woke myself up.

How's THAT as a metaphor for my life? OH MY GOD, I'm in a driverless bus filled with freaked out and possibly antagonizing passengers and we're going faster and faster and if I don't take control of his unwieldy vehicle, we're all going to die.

Why on earth would I possibly have an issue with anxiety?