Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, my poor forgotten blog.... Why have I forsaken thee?

The answer is....."eh, I don't know". I've been lazy or busy or whatever. I'm not going to make a bunch of excuses. Besides, I've been fairly active on my family's blog http://www.thekidswereallwright.blogspot.com/ so I didn't entirely disappear. I decided I needed to pay more attention to my personal blog because when you are on my family's blog, it lists my blog to the right and says the last update was a year ago. Which isn't true, it was more than a year ago. But, for some strange reason, 666 people checked my blog in June 2011. The month before and the month after were like 6 and 10. Why the bip did 666 people check it in June? I find it strange and intriguing and think it's funny that it's 666. Today is the first time I've ever checked the stats on my blog, and I am taking it as a sign that I must start contributing to this blog more often.

I can't think of any interesting or funny things that have happened to me or my husband or animals. So, I decided I am going to talk about some movies. I love movies and I love to read, so I've decided a good way to get back into the swing of things is to do a post every time I watch a movie or finish a book. A year or more ago I attempted to do top 10 movies from past years, I did a couple of them, but I think it became more of a chore and I ended up not enjoying it that much. I might do that again, who knows. I will of course, do postings about other things too, like cats peeing in outlets, but this is a good start.

I'm going to try and post as soon as I watch or finish the book so it is fresh on my mind. And I'd like to somehow incorporate my cat, Pedro, into how I rate the book like 3 out of 5 Pedro's or something like that. For this post I am going to talk about 3 movies I've watched in the past couple of weeks. I think I've seen a couple more than these 3 recently, but I can't remember which ones. If I think of them, I'll do another post. Okay, here we go:

Cam and I watched this last Sunday, (our 7th wedding anniversary by the way). I didn't know much about Thor going in. I knew he was a god, not a man turned super hero, and I knew he had some sort of powerful hammer. And I had heard of his Dad, Odin. (I have a cat named Onan, and a few times people have thought I said his name was Odin.) I liked the movie okay, it had some fun action, but I had a little problem with parts of it. I'm not going to do a plot summary, I'll just do a sentence or two. Thor, his brother, Loki, and his dad, Odin live on a planet called Asgard, where Odin is king. Thor does something that starts a war with some ancient enemies and King Odin gets angry and banishes Thor to live on earth. This happens fairly early in the movie, so most of the movie Thor is living on Earth. The movie goes back and forth showing Thor on Earth and what is happening back at Asgard.

Natalie Portman and her team of astronomers or physicists or whatever they were, are the first people to come into contact with Thor. The biggest problem I had with this movie is the Natalie Portman character. She falls in love with Thor like the second she meets him and then acts really stupid around him every time they are together. I remember hearing someone on one of the movie podcasts I listen to mention this. I had forgotten about that until I was watching the movie myself. Anyway, I also found some plot points kind of confusing like how did those government people find out so quickly about the hammer? Did I miss something? And it seems like everyone just seemed to believe him almost right away when he said he was a god from another planet. And why did Thor have to break the rainbow bridge on Asgard? Maybe I'm dense and it was obvious, but I was very clear headed and paying attention when I watched this, and I ended up kind of confused.

Anyway, there is some fun action and all in all it was pretty good. I wouldn't pay to watch it again, but if it ends up streaming on Netflix, I'll give it a second watch and I'll watch the sequels. I'd say it's 2 out 5 Pedro's. Okay on to the next one....

Cedar Rapids was hilarious. How can you not watch this movie after seeing the DVD cover? I warn some of you that it is rated R and it is pretty raunchy, but in a really funny way. Ed Helms plays an insurance salesman named Tim Lippe, from a small town in Wisconsin. He is asked to reprensent the small insurance agency he works for at the annual convention in Cedar Rapids. Tim has never been outside his little town, so going to Cedar Rapids is a big deal. Tim's boss tells him to have a good time, but to watch out for Dean Ziegler (played by John C. Reilly). When Tim gets to Cedar Rapids he finds out he is sharing a room with Dean. The two of them have some adventures together with a couple other convention attendees. One thing I really liked about this movie is how well they captured the convention atmosphere. I have worked in the hotel industry for many years and I have dealt with these people and they got it spot on.

Ed Helms is the best in this movie. His character is a lot like Andy from The Office, so Ed has had a lot of practice playing this guy. John C. Reilly plays his usual kind of over the top goofy guy that needs to grow up, but I like him so I was very amused by him in this movie. Anne Heche has a big role in this movie, and she didn't bug me as much as I thought she was going to. She was actually pretty good. So I do recommend this to those who can handle a funny, yet kind of raunchy comedy. Haley, if you read this, stay away. And Bronwyn, I think you and Matt would like it, but there is a bathroom scene that will scar you for life. I'm going to give this one 4 out of 5 Pedro's.

Okay, yeah, I finally watched True Grit. This is a movie I've been wanting to see since I found out the Coen Brothers were going to make it. I think I first heard about it like 4 years ago. And I FINALLY watched it about a week ago. Why did it take me so long? I don't know. I rented it from Blockbuster when it first came out. Something came up and Cam and I didn't get a chance to watch it before it was due back. I always knew I was going to buy it, so I didn't want to rent it again and I didn't want to get it through Netflix, but I never just went and bought it. Seems like every time I thought about it I was already spending a lot of money and didn't want to add another $25 for the Blu-Ray. Guess it wasn't that high of a priority. Cam would ask me every once in a while why we didn't own True Grit, and I didn't have a good answer. Finally, when I was thinking of what to get Cam for our anniversary it hit me that I should get him this movie. We watched it and loved it, like I knew we would. I'm not going to say much about the movie. Jeff Bridges was fantastic as always, the little girl was incredible and Matt Damon was great too. I have seen the original True Grit with John Wayne a few times. In fact Cam and I watched it on AMC while this True Grit was in the theaters. This one is better. That's all I'm going to say because I am probably the last person in the world who saw this. Oh, except for 5 out of 5 Pedro's.

Okay, well that's all I got for this post. I'm going to be watching Kevin Smith's Red State in the next day or two, so I'll do a post about that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Apparently Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates scares the hell out of me.

12 years ago, after I saw Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, I had a terrifying dream. I dreamt they were filming the movie in Springville. They were using this old house on Springville’s center street as the Bates’ house. A couple hundred spectators, including me, were gathered out on the street watching them film.

The scene they were shooting isn’t one in the movie. It was a scene where Norman Bates, played by Vince Vaughn, was outside on this second story balcony with a woman. In the scene, he is supposed to slit the woman’s throat. I suddenly realized that Vince was actually going to kill this woman, not just act it out. I started telling people around me that we have to stop him; that he is really going to kill that woman. Everyone just kind of laughed at me. I suddenly looked up, and Vince Vaughn was looking me right in the eye. He knew that I knew he was going to actually kill her.

I started running, because I knew that Vince was going to come after me. The dream changes scenes and I’m running through the cherry orchards by my house in Mapleton with Vince right behind me. I’m terrified, knowing he is going to kill me, and then I woke up.

That dream was so real it has stuck with me for years. I can still picture scenes from it very clearly. It has made me laugh a few times because I kind of like Vince Vaughn. I really liked him in the Wedding Crashers, so I think it’s pretty funny that I dreamt him being so terrifying. And as for the 1998 remake of Psycho, I didn’t really like it that much. I think the original is much better, and I really can’t stand Anne Heche, so I’ve only seen it the one time.

A couple of nights ago I’m in bed. Cam is sound asleep next to me and I’m flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch while I tried to sleep. I saw that Psycho was on AMC, so I went to that channel, and saw it was the 1998 one. I saw maybe 15 seconds of it and changed it to something else. I would have stayed on it if it was the original. That night I have another nightmare about Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates.

I was home alone in the kitchen. Suddenly, Vince Vaughn, as Norman Bates, slowly walks up the stairs. I’m watching him and I grab a butter knife that was on my island in front of me. He and I struggle and I somehow get him pinned to my island with one arm, while I’m trying to stab him in the neck with the butter knife. It’s really not working; I’m mostly just scratching him. So I somehow manage to open the drawer where I keep the real knifes, and I grab one and start stabbing him. Kind of like the shower scene in the movie. It works and he falls to the ground. I bent down, like an idiot, to make sure he was dead and his arm moved and bumped mine, and I woke up.

What actually happened was Cam’s arm bumped mine. I woke up gasping and sat right up, which startled Cam and woke him up. He asked me what happened and I told him I was having a nightmare and he accidentally bumped me and it startled me awake. He apologized, and turned over and fell right back to sleep, and I fell back asleep soon after.

So, why in the world does Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates apparently scare me so much? Why did I have part 2 of a dream I had 12 years ago after only seeing a few seconds of the movie?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2001 movies!

It is time for my 2001 movie list(s)! I saw WAY more movies in 2001 than I did in 2000. Lots of good movies, lots of shout outs and lots of “eh’s”. I am going to do the top 10 in alphabetical order again, but there is one exception. There is a movie that came out in 2001 that is obviously my #1, I would seriously be disrespecting this movie if I just kept it in alphabetical order. I decided that my last post was missing pictures, so I’m going to add movie posters to the top 10. So, here it is, my top 10 favorite movies of 2001:

Black Hawk Down (R)- It was supposed to be a 1 hour mission in 1993 to capture a couple subordinates in Mogadishu, Somalia, but instead, it turns into a full on blood bath with 2 black hawk helicopters crashing, 19 Americans killed and about 1,000 Somalis killed. This is based on a true story and I highly, highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

Ghost World (R)- This is a great, independent film about 2 girls who are social outcasts and just graduated high school. Thora Birch, the girl from American Beauty, and Scarlett Johansson play the girls. And they become friends with a weird guy who sells old vinyl records played by Steve Buscemi.

I Am Sam (PG-13)- I didn’t see “Dead Man Walking”, so before I saw “I Am Sam”, Sean Penn was always Spicoli or the guy that married Madonna. I was really impressed with his acting here. And now, I think he is one of the best actors working today. He is amazing in Mystic River and Milk, and I cannot wait to see him portray Larry in the “The Three Stooges”. Dakota Fanning is just as impressive. I cannot believe she was only 7 years old when she did this movie! If you haven’t seen it, see it.

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (R)- I am a big fan of Kevin Smith movies, with the exception of “Jersey Girl”. Jay and Silent Bob are recurring characters in his movies, and they are my favorite. This is a fun, over the top, adventure movie that makes you feel like you’re watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon. If you like Kevin Smith movies, but haven’t seen it, then what is wrong with you? If you’re not familiar with Kevin Smith, you should check out some of his earlier films like “Clerks” and “Mallrats”, so you can become familiar with Jay and Silent Bob before you watch this one.

Joe Dirt (PG-13)- I love this movie! I love David Spade, I love his mullet, I love that he pulls a wagon with what he thinks is a meteor, but it’s really human waste from an airplane, I love Christopher Walken, I love how silly this movie is. This movie cracks me up, it is one of those silly, dumb comedies, and is one that Cam and I always end up watching whenever it’s on cable.

Mulholland Drive (R)- This movie is written and directed by David Lynch, so please don’t expect me to explain what this movie is about. All I will say is that it’s about a woman who gets in a car accident on Mulholland drive, loses her memory, and sneaks into another woman’s apartment. And the two of them try to solve the mystery of who she is. Sounds like it could be a kind of straight forward story, but it is by David Lynch, so there is a lot of Lynchy stuff all through it. I like a lot of his movies, but I would have to say this is my second favorite of his, “Blue Velvet” being my very favorite.

Ocean’s Eleven (PG-13)- Seriously, how could you not love this movie? The cast is amazing, I love the story, I love Brad Pitt’s outfits and the fact that he is eating in pretty much every scene. I love Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould, I love the twin brothers who constantly bicker, I don’t love Julia Roberts, but she doesn’t bug me too much in this one.

Shrek (PG)- A fun original fairy tale with lots of cameos of characters from all sorts of familiar childhood stories. I love that Mike Myers gave Shrek a somewhat Scottish accent, and it was great to be reminded that Eddie Murphy can be funny. This is my favorite DreamWorks movie.

Zoolander (PG-13)- A movie I totally thought I would hate. Before I saw this movie I was NOT a Ben Stiller fan. “Reality Bites” made me hate Ben Stiller. I hated that movie so much, and I especially hated Ben Stiller in it. Then I saw “There’s Something about Mary”, and tolerated him, then I saw “Zoolander”, and now I will see almost anything he is in. “Zoolander” is great from beginning to end. Cam and I started giggling in the first couple minutes of the movie when Derek Zoolander says his first line, “cool”, and we pretty much laughed hysterically throughout the rest of the movie. Owen Wilson is great in this movie, and Mugatu is my favorite role Will Ferrell has ever done. Plus there is a cameo by David Bowie! This is one of those movies that people either love it or hate it, and I am so glad I love it. This would have been my #1 movie of the year had the next movie not come out in 2001.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (PG-13)- A movie my sister, Emily, applauded at the end because it was finally over, and I gave it a standing ovation because it was brilliant. I read the trilogy for the first time in 7th grade, and then 2 more times before the movies came out. So I was quite familiar with Middle Earth and everyone who lived there. I was a little skeptical when I heard movies were being made, because I just didn’t think they could pull it off and I thought they would be kind of cheesy. I had no idea who Peter Jackson was, so I wasn’t able to think “well, he directed (insert movie title), so he should do a good job”. So, I really wasn’t that interested in seeing the movies. Boy was I wrong.

Okay, that’s the top 10! I think it is a pretty good mix of movies. But, now it is time for the shout outs, or movies I liked, but not enough to make the top 10, and they are in no particular order:

Monsters Inc (G)- I like Pixar movies and I like monsters, so this is a no brainer. I also really liked the casting of John Goodman and Billy Crystal.

Planet of the Apes (R)- I will probably get some crap for this, but I really liked this movie! In fact, it almost made my top 10, it was a toss up between this and Shrek, and Shrek won barely. I like the looks of Tim Burton movies and I thought the gorilla army was terrifying.

A Beautiful Mind (PG-13)- I didn’t see this movie until about a year ago. My brother Matt spoke so highly of it that I had to watch it. I really liked it. I totally got caught up in the story.

Hannibal (R)- I had a really hard time watching someone else play Clarice. This movie would have made my “eh” list if not for 2 things. First, watching someone eat their own brain was awesome. Second, for months after we saw this movie, my friend, Doug, and I would answer the phone “Hello Clarice” every time we called each other. And we called each other a lot and it made us both giggle every single time. It’s making me giggle right now just thinking about it.

Ali (R)- I just really like biographical movies. And I thought Will Smith did a great job.

Moulin Rouge (PG-13)- I saw this movie twice. The first time, it was the movie they played on a flight I was on. I didn’t get the headphones, so I watched it with no sound, and that was very amusing. Then I saw it with sound and enjoyed it a lot.

Gosford Park (R)- Directed by Robert Altman, whom I think is my favorite director. Wait no, Woody Allen is my favorite. I don’t know, maybe it’s a tie. This is a fun murder mystery movie that is very Robert Altmany. Like always, there is a big ensemble cast and lots of quirky characters. Not my favorite Altman movie, but it’s not the worst either.

Saving Silverman (PG-13)- Two words: Neil Diamond. Not only is Neil in the movie, but the guys in the movie are in a Neil Diamond cover band, and have a Neil Diamond shrine at their house that includes one of Neil’s sequined shirts

That’s it for the shout outs. Next is the list of movies I saw and either hated or was just “eh”:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (PG)- Eh

Rush Hour 2 (PG-13)- Hated

The Mummy Returns (PG-13)- Hated- What happened to you Brendan Fraser? You had such promise in the early 90’s.

Jurassic Park III (PG-13)- Hated

American Pie 2 (R)- Hated- Please don’t think I saw this in the theater or rented this. Caught it on cable.

The Fast and the Furious (PG-13)- Hated

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (PG-13)- Hated

Training Day (R)- Eh

Shallow Hal (PG-13)- Eh

The Mexican (R)- Eh

Rat Race (PG-13)- Eh

A Knight’s Tale (PG-13)-Eh

The Royal Tenenbaums (R)- Eh- Oh how I wanted to like this movie! I loved Rushmore, and have loved every other Wes Anderson movie, but just one just didn’t do it for me.

Serendipity (PG-13)- Eh

13 Ghosts (R)- Eh

Bandits (PG-13)- Eh- Sorry Em!

Monster’s Ball (R)- Hated- I had heard really good things about this movie and I hated it! I am convinced that people liked it so much for two things: Halle Berry’s boobs.

Curse of the Jade Scorpion (PG-13)- Eh- I don’t love all Woody Allen movies. And Elizabeth Berkley? Seriously? She gets to say she was in a Woody Allen movie?

And that’s it for the hates and eh’s. Now for the list of movies that I meant to see, forgot about, and am reminded of them from doing this list so I will definitely check them out:

Iris (R)- Based on the life of one of my favorite authors Iris Murdoch.

Life as a House (R)- I heard great things about this movie when it was in the theaters. And it has Kevin Kline, I like him a lot.

The Others (PG-13)- I heard this is actually kind of creepy. I like creepy.

Amelie (R)- I’ve heard lots of good things about this movie. I have always meant to watch it.

The Majestic (PG)- I remember this looked pretty good when it came out. I could be totally wrong.

Glitter (PG-13)- Hee hee, just kidding. I was just making sure you were still awake. And in case you’ve spent almost 10 years trying to get the image out of your head. Here is a picture of the movie poster for Glitter.

You’re welcome.

And finally, the list of movies that I have no intention of seeing, no matter how much you argue how good they are:

The Princess Diaries

Legally Blonde

Artificial Intelligence: AI

Bridget Jones’ Diary

The Wedding Planner

The Animal

Riding in Cars with Boys- The movie title alone does it for me. I don’t know or care what it’s about.

Well, that’s it for 2001! Tell me what you think, and stay tuned for 2002!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My 10 favorite movies of 2000 and other lists

If you know me, one thing you likely know about me is that I love movies. If you don’t know me, and for some reason you are reading this, then I’m telling you, I really like movies. I’ve always loved movies. I was raised by parents who love movies. My parents see a movie in the theater almost every weekend. We had a VCR when they first came out, (luckily my Dad didn’t decide that Beta was the way to go), and we had an extensive and ever-growing VHS collection. I have 6 siblings, and I feel confident stating that all 7 of us are movie junkies. I’m not going to go on about this, just visit http://thekidswereallwright.blogspot.com and poke around and see how much we like movies.

So, being the movie nerd that I am, I listen to a couple of podcasts that are about movies. I like to hear what other people think of a movie and why. One of the podcasts I listen to is called Filmspotting. The 2 hosts, Adam and Matty, always start by critiquing one new release, and then, they spend the rest of the time talking about non new release movies. I really appreciate this because a lot of times they bring up movies I’ve never heard of, or that I meant to see but forgot. One of the things they have been doing is counting down their top 5 favorite movies from different years. I think the most recent one I heard was top 5 of 1996. And this inspired me to kind of do the same.

I have decided to do a top 10 list of my favorite movies for the “oughts”, or beginning with the year 2000 and going year by year to 2009. I don’t want to start with 2009 because that was too recent, and there are movies that came out that I haven’t seen yet.

I'm going to just list them in alphabetical order, rather than 1 through 10. It is really difficult to rank them in order of how much I liked them. And I am only going to briefly go into why I like these movies so much. So, here we go, my 10 favorite movies of 2000:

American Psycho (R)- This was my first introduction to Christian Bale (sorry I missed Newsies and Empire of the Sun), and I thought he was great as Patrick Bateman. I’m always interested in characters that live double lives. Patrick Bateman is a bank executive by day and serial killer by night. He is truly a psychopath, he feels absolutely nothing for anybody, but he loves Huey Lewis and the News. Do I recommend this movie? Only to people who like the Showtime show Dexter.

Best In Show (PG-13)- Probably on everyone’s top 10 for 2000. Great ensemble cast, directed by Christopher Guest, with lots of doggies. How could I not like this movie?!?

Cast Away (PG-13)- Gotta love a movie where one actor can carry the entire movie and make you cry when a volleyball floats away. This is one of those movies I almost always end up watching when it’s on cable.

Drowning Mona (PG-13)- A fun, quirky, murder mystery set in a town where everyone drives a Yugo. Bette Midler plays the murder victim and her husband and son don’t care that she’s dead. Danny de Vito plays the sheriff trying to solve the case. Bette Midler is great, and I really like dark comedies like this, and the fact everyone in town drives a Yugo, is one of those little touches that I love in movies like this.

High Fidelity (R)- A movie I didn’t really like right away, it really had to grow on me. And it is now on my top 10 for the year. I love John Cusack, I love his top 5 lists, Jack Black is great (he is kind of hit and miss with me), I like the guy who also works at the record store, there are a lot of things to like about this movie. Not your typical romantic comedy, and that’s a good thing, because I tend to not like romantic comedies.

Memento (R)- I love it when a movie like this comes out and just blows my mind. It is extremely difficult to explain what this movie is about, but I’ll try. The main character, Leonard, looses his short term memory; he cannot keep new memories any more. His last memory is of his wife being murdered. So everyday he wakes up and tries to solve his wife’s murder. Everyday he writes notes and tattoos himself with new clues, so he has to go over them everyday and start new. Part of the story moves forward, and part of it moves backwards. I love it! And it introduced me to director, Christopher Nolan (thank you sir for The Prestige, Batman Begins and Dark Knight, all will appear on future lists.)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (PG-13)- All you really need to tell me is “It’s a Coen Brothers movie” and I’m there. This is a particular favorite. George Clooney is so funny; it’s great to see him have fun with a role like this. And John Tuturro and the guy that plays Delmar are so great. This is such a great interpretation of Homer’s “The Odyssey” that has the Coen Brother’s unique style all through it.

Shadow of the Vampire
(R)- John Malkovich is one of those actors that I will see anything he is in (okay, I just checked his IMDB page and he is in pre-production for Transformers 3, so I might skip that one). Put him in a vampire movie acting alongside Willem Defoe and I’m there opening night. This movie is about the filming of the 1922 silent movie “Nosferatu”. Willem Defoe is so creepy, he totally transforms into Count Orlock. If you like vampire movies and haven’t seen this one, you should check it out.

The Virgin Suicides (R)- I can’t really pinpoint what I like so much about this movie, but I really, really like this movie. James Woods and Kathleen Turner play the parents of 5 teenage daughters. The parents are very strict and religious and keep their daughters very sheltered from the outside world. A group of boys in the neighborhood become obsessed with the girls and try secret ways of communicating with them. I don’t want to say much more in case someone reading this hasn’t seen it and wants to. Not that my lame synopsis of the movie makes for a great recommendation, but I do recommend it. If you like movies set in the 70’s, you might like this.

And finally…..

X-Men (PG-13)- It’s probably best that this movie ended up in this spot alphabetically, because I probably would have chosen it as my #1 movie of 2000. It would have barely beat out American Psycho and O Brother. In my very early 20’s I worked the graveyard shift at a 7-11. Between about 1am and 5am, I literally had nothing to do except help the occasional customer. So, I spent a lot of my time reading magazines and comic books that we carried. I especially liked the X-Men series. (A lot of people don’t know that little tidbit about my history, so I just totally outed myself as a geek!) Anyway, I looked forward to this movie for about 2 years, and when it finally came out, it exceeded my expectations and made the inner geek in me squeal with delight. (That last part was really cheesy and lame, but I’m leaving it in!)

So there is the top 10, but I’m not finished yet! I couldn’t leave it at that without adding some honorable mentions. Movies I liked, but not enough to make the top 10 are:

Pollock (R)- Ed Harris portrays the artist Jackson Pollock. I really like biographical movies, especially about people I like and/or admire.

Dude, Where’s My Car? (PG-13)- One of those dumb comedies that I’m sometimes in the mood for. Plus it provided Cam and I one of our favorite lines “No and then!”

Final Destination (R)- Really lame story line, but I’ve grown quite fond of the Final Destination movies and the weird ways they kill people off.

Cecil B Demented (R)- I love John Waters movies. This would have made my top 10 if Melanie Griffith wasn’t so bad in it that I wanted to gouge my eyes out.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)- Jim Carrey is a bit over the top as usual, but this is a favorite childhood book of mine, and I really loved the whole set design for Whoville.

My Dog Skip (PG)- I’m a sucker for boy and his dog movies.

Meet the Parents (PG-13)- Parts of this movie makes me laugh, but most of it just makes me feel really uncomfortable watching the situations Ben Stiller gets in.

But, wait! There’s more! I like to be very thorough, so here is a list of movies that I saw and either hated or was just kind of “eh”:

Little Nicky (PG-13)- Hated
Pay it Forward (PG-13)- Eh
Reindeer Games (R)- Eh
The Cell (R)- Hated
The Perfect Storm (PG-13)- Eh
Traffic (R)- Hated
Almost Famous (R)- Eh
Gladiator (R)- Eh
Me, Myself & Irene (R)- Hated

I’m still not finished. The next list are movies I totally meant to see, but never got around to it, then forgot about them until I started researching for this blog, so now I’ll make sure to watch them:

Chocolat (PG-13)
Dancer in the Dark (R)
Snatch (R)-my brother-in-law, Rob, will be disappointed in me.
The Patriot (R)
The Wonder Boys (R)-my sister, Emily, will be disappointed in me.
Requiem for a Dream (R)
Chicken Run (couldn’t find the rating)

And finally! This final list of movies are movies that did well in the box office and/or got a lot of buzz that I did not see, have no interest in seeing, and no matter how well you argue how good the movie is, you will not be able to talk me into seeing them:

Mission Impossible 2
What Women Want
Erin Brokovich
Charlie’s Angels
Miss Congeniality
Coyote Ugly
The Legend of Bagger Vance
Nurse Betty

Well, there it is; my movie breakdown of the year 2000. Perhaps my top 10 will change a bit after watching the movies I meant to see. In a couple of weeks I’ll breakdown 2001.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Huevos? Are you sure?

WARNING! Some may consider the story below a little crude. So if you are one of those people who think even the slightest little thing is crude or offensive, then don't read any further. If you decide to read it anyway, then please don't leave a comment telling me you don't appreciate this type of humor or you thought it was a little crude etc. YOU made the choice to read it after I gave you fair warning.

You probably thought I forgot about this blog, but I haven’t, I just haven’t been spending a lot of time at the computer lately. Besides, nothing too exciting has been going on at the Rydman household. Well, we did just finish painting the living room and entranceway and it looks freakin awesome. I’ll post pictures soon. And Cam finally wrapped up his almost year long job in St. George in January! Yay! It is so nice to have Cam home during the week finally. My brother, Dave, moved in with us on January 1st. It has been really great having him around and reconnecting with him. So, I guess things have been happening after all! I guess I just didn’t really think about blogging about it. But, the other night, something happened that Cam and I thought was pretty funny, and we decided I should write it down. It might just end up being one of those things that you really had to be there to find it funny, but I don’t care.

I got home from work about 5 pm the other night. Cam hasn’t been working much since the St. George job ended in January. He’s been working a day here and there, but nothing full time. He’s got 4 different jobs coming up, they are just waiting for permits and other red-tape construction things like that. It sounds like one of them is starting this Monday, so we are happy about that, especially Cam. He’s gotten a lot of little projects done around the house, and he did about 95% of the painting, so he’s been keeping as busy as he can. He has also taken on laundry and dinner duty, so that’s been very nice. But, he’s starting to go a little stir crazy, and I’m worried he’s going to start some huge, expensive project, if he doesn’t get back to work soon. I worry every day that I’m going to come home from work and find our bathroom is completely demolished.

Sorry, I digress. That above paragraph is my way of saying that Cam was home when I got home from work yesterday. Our friends, Lanny and Sean, were over visiting too. Cam had just put a chicken in the oven for dinner. I noticed that he had set out a box of corn bread mix. He told me he wanted to make corn bread with dinner tonight. I checked what we needed to add to the mix, and we needed 2 eggs. I told Cam that we didn’t have any eggs. I had dyed them all for Easter, and forgot to buy some last time I was at the store. He was very disappointed. I didn’t want to go all the way to the store for some eggs, so I suggested he go across the street and borrow a couple from Luis. Luis is the Spanish speaking neighbor I mentioned in the cat peeing in the outlet story. I looked out the window, and Luis’ truck wasn’t there, but his wife, Adriana’s, was. I told him Adriana was home, so he should go ask her.

In the cat-pee-outlet story I mention that Luis doesn’t speak much English. Well, Adriana speaks pretty much no English. Cam asked me what the Spanish word for “egg” was. At the same time, Sean, Lanny and I all said “huevos”. Cam seemed very surprised that that was the word for “egg”. Cam said he would wait until Luis got home. We weren’t in a big hurry, the chicken needed a couple hours to cook, so I didn’t think anything about it.

Lanny and Sean left about an hour later. A little while after they left, Cam looked at me with a very serious look, and said “Are you sure ‘huevos’ means ‘egg’ in Spanish?” I told him I was absolutely sure. He then told me that he had no idea it meant “egg”, because that is a pretty common word in the construction world for, well, I’m just going to say it, “balls”. He says he hears guys saying it all the time at work, as in “Takes a lot of huevos….” or “He must think he has big huevos…..” etc, etc. So, all these years, Cam has always thought “huevos” meant “balls”. He did not want to go over and ask Adriana for “dos huevos”. He said it was even worse that we just needed 2 of them! He was afraid that since Luis is also in construction, that Adriana would know that some American men use the word “huevos” for “balls”. He didn’t want her to misunderstand in any way what he was going over there for. So, I went over and borrowed them from Adriana.

Cam and I laughed about it all night. Especially when I asked Cam if this Sunday he wanted me to make one of his favorite breakfasts “balls rancheros”.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My newly painted kitchen!

After living in our house for almost exactly 2 years, we finally got around to painting the kitchen! Last year we did the guest room. Many of you probably remember the lovely Blue's Clues themed guest room. That room had to be done first, this year it was the kitchen's turn. I spent hours on the Lowe's website picking out colors. They have a really cool feature on their website. They have about 30 different kitchens, you pick the one that looks the most like yours, and you paint the walls online with the colors they offer. I have always wanted a yellow kitchen, then I decided I wanted one of the walls to be a different color of yellow, and I wanted the trim white. I spent more time working with the blue painter's tape, than I did actually painting. But, it's done and I am very happy with the outcome. Here are some pictures:

This was the first day. Cam and I spent that entire day cleaning and spackling and sanding the walls. Trisha helped of course.

A lovely example of my taping work. I think in this picture I've got the primer on the walls and the trim painted.

Here is the really yellow wall. It is my favorite wall.

This picture is a bit blurry, but this is a wall with the lighter yellow color.

The really yellow wall with my kitchen stuff moved back in.

The rest of the really yellow wall, you can see my new kitchen clock in this one. I love that clock!

An overview of the whole wall. You can probably tell this wall is my favorite. There are the jars of pickles I made yesterday!

A better picture of a wall with the other yellow color on it. For some reason, I just can't get a good picture of the other yellow color. I tried all sorts of features on my camera, and just couldn't get a good shot. But, you get the idea.
So, that's the new kitchen! It was a lot of work, but worth it. It is amazing what a difference a couple of coats of paint can make! I really want to do the living room and entrance way next, but I think it will be awhile before we can do that. Cam needs to be done with the St. George job, so we can knock it out in a few days. Cam was here for the wall prep day and primer day for the kitchen, then he had to go to St. George. So, I had to do the rest, and it took me forever!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Most women probably fantasize about having 7 firemen in their bedroom at 5:15am....

....but not this woman!

I've been feeling bad that it's been about 3 months since my last posting. A few weeks ago I had the idea of doing weekly postings while Cam is working in St. George. I don't know why, I guess mostly just to document happenings while he is gone. It also came to me that I might find myself in interesting and/or humorous situations while he is gone, because I have never in my life just lived alone. And with him being gone all week, I am pretty much living alone. Cam is one of those people who knows exactly what to do when situations arise, like the swamp cooler not working, pilot lights going out, dishwasher floods, etc. Me? I'm pretty much a spaz at that stuff. I'm usually there handing him tools while he is fixing these things, but I don't really pay attention. Ever since we heard that Cam was going to be working in St. George, I've been worrying that some catastrophe is going to happen at the house. It's funny, I'm not worried about break-ins or anything like that. Our dog, Tosh, is huge and an excellent protector, and I have my 22 pretty much ready to go, I wouldn't hesitate to use it, and I'm a dang good shot. So, nothing has happened in the last 3 weeks because Cam has only been in St. George one day each week, and then there was yesterday......

This is our cat Eddie. I'm including a picture of him because the story starts with him. Eddie is a very large male cat, and the only cat I have that will mark territory. He doesn't always do it, but sometimes if I leave an article of clothing against a certain wall in the bedroom, he will spray it. Monday night, I left a t-shirt and a kitchen towel on the floor by that wall. Sorry, let me back up a bit. The story actually begins about half an hour before Eddie's action. At about 4:30 yesterday morning I woke up to one of the cats jumping around the room. It was Trisha, there was a moth or some other flying bug in the room and she was chasing it. Chasing bugs is one of Trisha's favorite things to do. It's annoying, but I'm used to it and can sleep through it. So I fell back asleep. At 5am I wake up to this buzzing noise. Before I opened my eyes I thought "Trisha must have caught her bug", it sounded like a loud fly buzzing or something. Then I realized that was way too loud for a bug and I opened my eyes. I see Eddie running from his "spray wall" towards the bed. There is an outlet on that wall and blue sparks are coming out of the outlet and a loud buzzing sound is coming from it. Eddie's spray had gone directly into the outlet.

I immediately fly out of bed and stood there looking at the sparks trying to decide what to do. The first thing I thought was "throw some water on it", then I remembered hearing never try to put out an electrical fire with water, because it is usually liquid that starts them in the first place! Then I remembered we had a fire extinguisher in the hall closet. By this time smoke is coming out of the outlet too. I run back in the bedroom with the fire extinguisher. I've never used one before. I kept pushing down on what was obviously the lever that releases the white stuff, but nothing was happening. The lever wouldn't even push down. I think "it's broken!" My worry is turning into panick. Then I decided there must be something you have to do in order to make it work. I start looking at the extinguisher and notice a hand grenade looking key going through the lever. I pull out the key and push down on the lever and it worked! I spray the outlet, and it seems to have worked. The sparks and smoke stop. I was a little relieved, but I kept feeling the wall around the outlet to see if I feel any heat in the wall. I don't feel any heat, then I hear a loud pop and suddenly sparks just start shooting out of the outlet. More than before! I couldn't believe it. Then it hit me, maybe you're not supposed to use a fire extinguisher on electrical fires. I grab the extinguisher and frantically look for directions. I notice 3 pictures on it, one of a garbage can with flames coming out, one of flames and a gasoline can, and one of flames and an electrical cord. What does this mean? I look to see if there is one of those lines going through the picture, you know, the red circle with the line meaning "don't" or whatever. I don't see the line, so I figure it's telling me it's okay to use, so I start spraying again. That white stuff goes everywhere! And it doesn't help that the ceiling fan was on and circulating the stuff all over the room. This time the sparks stop, but smoke keeps coming out of the outlet. I'm picturing the fire going up the wire and catching the insulation on fire. I'm convinced that any second now I'm going to see that wall just burst into flames. During all this I noticed that my two male cats had run out of the room, but my two girls are probably under the bed. So while I'm spraying extinguisher stuff, I'm also stomping my foot to get them out from under the bed. Stomping my foot works for some reason, and I see both girls run out of the room. I know my cats, and know all 4 of them ran to the basement, which means they are pretty much as far from where the fire will start as they can be.

The sparks had stopped, but lots of smoke was still coming out of the outlet. I spent a few seconds deciding whether or not to call 911. I keep hoping the smoke will stop, but it doesn't. I've never had to call 911 to get myself out of a jam. I've called it a couple of times when I've witnessed a car accident, and once or twice when I worked the front desk of a hotel. One time I remember it was because a housekeeper walked in on someone od'ing from heroine. Anyway, I decide I probably should call 911. At that point only about 5 minutes had passed, and I realized I was only wearing a shirt. I decide that if this is going to turn into something major I better put some pants on. I went to grab the pajama pants I bought for Cam for Christmas one year. He doesn't wear them, and I've kind of adopted them. Then I thought better of it, because what if there is a huge fire and neighbors and news people show up, I don't want to be in pajama pants. So I put on a pair of jeans, and call 911. The dispatcher goes through all the preliminary stuff like my address and name, then she asks what the emergency is. I told her my cat pee'd into an electrical outlet and sparks and smoke have been shooting out the outlet. I told her I've sprayed it twice with an extinguisher, but smoke is still coming out. Then suddenly, sparks come shooting out again. This time they are shooting out about 3 feet. It's as if one of those TNT fireworks is in my outlet. I kind of yelped, she could hear the noise and asked if that was the sparks she was hearing. I told her it was, and she told me to get out of the house.

I grab Tosh and go ouside. The dispatcher tells me the fire trucks will be there any time. Then she tells me kind of hesitantly, "I have to send notes to the firemen. This was started by urine?" I said "yes, my cat sprayed the wall and it went in the outlet." Right then, I could hear the sirens in the distance. It's about 5:10am and I'm praying they will turn off the sirens when they get in the neighborhood. I didn't want a crowd. And I especially didn't want our neighbor across the street, Luis, to come out. Luis and his wife Adrianna have become pretty good friends of ours. Problem is, they don't speak much English. We can get by okay talking to eachother, and they have a 9 year old daughter, Julia, that speaks both English and Spanish, so she works as translator a lot. Luis knows that Cam is out of town, and Cam asked him to kind of keep an eye on the house. I keep wondering "how in the world am I going to explain this to Luis?" I picture myself saying the word "gato", then lifting my leg up (I mean that is the universal symbol for an animal peeing right?), and then I got stuck on how to describe "outlet" and "sparks" through hand gestures. ( I'm not kidding either, those exact thoughts really went through my head) I just hoped that if Luis came out, Julia would come out with him to translate. Just then the firetruck turns the corner, no sirens, but lots of lights. Then one comes through the neighborhood the other way, so I've got two of them in front of my house. While I was figuring out how to explain to Luis what happened, I was also thinking of my cats. I figured if there was a fire, some of the firemen can rescue the cats. I mean, that's part of their job, right? It's crazy how in situations like that, your brain can think of a bunch of different things at the same time in a linear way.

The firemen jump out of the truck and 3 of them follow me inside. I took them to the bedroom. Thankfully there is no fire, and the smoke had stopped. They have their axes with them, and I'm sure any second now they are going to start hacking through the wall. I didn't care, Cam could fix it. Instead, they pull out these gadgets with a laser and they start pointing the lasers on the wall and ceiling. The lasers are reading the temperature. They spend a few minutes doing that, meanwhile 4 more firemen have joined us. One of them goes back outside and tells the other firetruck they can leave, and then he comes back. They assure me there is no fire in the wall. They tell me the outlet is a bit hot still, but not hot enough to start a fire. I apologized to them and told them I hope I hadn't wasted their time. They assured me I did the right thing. They also told me it was a good thing we had an extinguisher, or it could have resulted in a house fire. They said some huge percentage of house fires are electrical, I don't remember the number, but it was pretty high.

By the time the firemen and I entered the house, the white extinguisher stuff had pretty much spread through the entire house. It just orbits in the air, it was all down the hall and into the living room and kitchen. When they determined there wasn't going to be a fire they said they would help me air out the house. I really just wanted them to leave, because I was still afraid Luis was going to come over. I told them it wasn't necessary, I could just turn on the swamp cooler and air it out. But they insisted on staying. So they went around the house opening windows and then they brought in these big gasoline powered fans and started airing out the house. The front door was propped open, the whole house was wide open. And for those that know me well, you know that I'm a freak about keeping my cats inside. I have very strict rules about closing doors behind you and not opening windows unless there is a very secure screen, etc. So, I was picturing my cats, especially Pedro, taking the opportunity to run outside. But, I was still feeling like I had wasted their time, and some of them looked like they had obviously just woken up to come to my house, that I didn't have the heart to ask them to close the door. I was really hoping my cats were so freaked out that they just stayed hidden in the basement. The firemen spent about 10 minutes airing out the house, they made sure I was okay, then they left. It was about 5:45 when they left. I looked across the street, Luis' house was still totally dark. I had adverted that whole awkward situation. And thankfully, no other neighbors had gathered in front of my house. So, either all my neighbors were still asleep, or they just don't care.

As soon as they left, I closed most of the windows and turned the swamp cooler on vent. My priority right then was to make sure all the cats were still in the house. I went into the kitchen and opened up a can of wet cat food, a noise that is sure to get their attention. As soon as I opened the can, my girls, Pedro and Trisha came running up the stairs. I was so relieved. They were the one's I was most worried about. My boys, Eddie and Onan are so skittish, I knew for sure they wouldn't have gone outside. But the girls, I wasn't so sure. Onan eventually came upstairs, but Eddie didn't. I didn't really care at that time, I was pretty angry with him. I got him and Onan when I divorced my first husband, and it crossed my mind while all this was going on that maybe I should track down my first husband and tell him to take Eddie back. I would never do that, but it did cross my mind.

So I fed the cats, and the whole time I'm just shaking. The whole morning so far just seemed so surreal. There is nothing worse than waking up and panick is your first emotion. In a mere 15 minutes time, I had woken up to sparks coming out of an outlet, using a fire extinguisher twice, worrying my house is going to burn down, calling 911, how to explain this to my Mexian neighbor, and two firetrucks in front of my house. Most mornings, my main dilemma is whether to warm up the coffee leftover from the day before, or make a new pot. I called my work and told them I wasn't going to make it that day. I didn't bother telling them why, I didn't think they would believe me. I had called Cam just before the firetrucks arrived, he didn't answer, I called him again after the firemen left, he didn't answer again. I didn't leave messages, because I didn't want to freak him out. I was still worried, so I went in the bedroom and laid at the foot of the bed, so I could be as close to the outlet as possible, and fell asleep. I woke up around 7:30 and called Cam again. This time he answered. I asked him if he didn't notice I had called him twice already. He said he did. He was asleep the first time I called and in the shower the second time. By the time he saw the missed calls he thought I was at work, so he didn't call me back. He was all nonchalant, he thought I was just calling him to say "hi". I explained what had happened, and he felt so bad he hadn't called me back. He could not believe what had happened. He immediately stepped up and said he was going to call the electricians his company works with and get them over to the house, etc. He kept apologizing for not returning my calls. I could tell he felt pretty helpless being out of town, but he was going to do what he could.

Cam made his calls and at about 10:00 our friend Andy came over. He's not an electrician, but does have some experience. Andy noticed it was strange that the whole incident didn't trip the breaker. So he and I, through turning off several breakers, found the right one, and turned it off. Andy removed the outlet and put in a new one. Then a few hours later, our electrician friend, Lanny, came over and double checked everything. He said our breaker box is really old, in fact they don't even make those type of breakers anymore. That is probably why the breaker didn't trip. So he is going to switch out the entire box this weekend.

So, that's the story. I was pretty jumpy all day yesterday. Every little noise made me jump. I think I came down with temporary OCD, because all day, every couple of minutes, I felt the walls around the outlet for heat. But, I did learn a couple of lessons. Put those child protector outlet things in all the empty outlets (thanks for the suggestion Cat, I bought some today), and make sure you have fire extinguishers in your house! If you don't have one, go get one. I not only successfully prevented a house fire, but I also prevented myself getting on the local news. One of my life goals, and I'm totally serious about this, is to not be on the news! I mean, if I save someone's life or something like that fine, but I never want to be the person on the news that viewers can kind of laugh at and/or feel sorry for. If my house had burned down, what would have been the headline? "house burns down because cat pees in outlet?" I will not be that person! Oh yeah, that reminds me. In the afternoon, Eddie finally showed up. The poor guy is singed on his belly, so he must have gotten shocked by the sparks when he sprayed. When I saw that, I remembered hearing a loud meow before I heard the buzzing sound. I did a little post about this on Facebook yesterday, at first everyone was quite concerned, then the comments got funny. My brother-in-law Rob had the best headline, "there was a house fire in Kearns today. The investigating fireman on the scene determined the cause of the fire to be a cat urinating on a wall outlet. The only injury reported is to the suspected cat…." And my brother, Matt, just found the whole story too funny that you can't come up with jokes, it's too funny the way it is.

One last comment. My bedroom was covered in fire extinguisher stuff. And that stuff really stinks! Especially combined with the smell of burning cat urine.

Here is a picture of the fire extinguisher, the t-shirt that got pee'd on and Andy taking out the outlet. If you look closely at Andy's foot, you can see the hand grenade key from the extinguisher.

Here is a picture of the outlet. So many sparks came out of it that they melted the plastic around the holes.