Monday, December 29, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

If someone asked me to describe this movie in one word I would know exactly what to say without hesitation: interesting. This movie was definitely interesting.

You know how Brad Pitt has been in hottie action movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Fight Club? And then he's also been in those loooooong sloooooooow movies like A River Runs Through It and Meet Joe Black? (Oh, you don't remember Meet Joe Black? Get in line.) But you sit through the long, slow movies because it's Brad Pitt and they keep showing his face?

Well, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button falls somewhere in the middle of these. It's long, it's slow, and they keep showing Brad's face, but it's all old and wrinkly and he's nearly unrecognizable for most of the movie. However, you keep watching not because you know that at some point they have to show Brad's beautiful face in all its youthful glory, but because you're fascinated. At least I was. My husband...not so much.

You've probably heard the intriguing premise of the story: A man ages backwards. This in and of itself piqued my interest enough to see the movie. On top of that, the much-talked about CGI they used to digitally age Brad Pitt made me curious. (No pun intended.) What I wanted to see was how it was going to work--a woman gives birth to an old man? Hmmm....

The story is told in a flashback, present-day being set in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina is starting to hit. (Which explains Brad's housing projects there the last few years.) The story flashes back to 1918, the night Benjamin is born. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that my questions were answered quickly: Benjamin is born a baby, with the health and characteristics of an old man. As he ages in years, he both grows like a normal person but becomes more youthful. Basically, you just have to see it to have any idea what I'm talking about.

The first half of the movie was slow. There were a lot of parts that dragged on and didn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It reminded me a lot of Forrest Gump, the story spanning his entire life, told in flashbacks, characters coming in and out at the snap of a finger and the main character seemingly doing more in one lifetime than most people could do in four. Even the two characters were very similar, with their blank expressions and southern drawls and completely naive outlook on life. I actually laughed when I discovered today that the two movies had the same screenwriter.

Things picked up when Cate Blanchett finally made her appearance and the love story kicked in.
Brad finally looked like Brad, and this was the only time, in my opinion, that he showed any kind of personality. After so long of seeing that face hidden under all those wrinkles and bald head, it was so refreshing to see his real face. I was still a little restless, though, as two hours came and went and there was no signs of stopping. But the movie truly came to life at the end, with the love story coming full circle and Benjamin nearing the end of his life, this time, as a perfect pink newborn with dementia.

Like I said...interesting. The coolest part was that during the whole movie, I thought to myself, "This seems like it could be an old novel, some old classic that I've never heard of." I couldn't believe it when the credits rolled and there, in huge letters, said "Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald." Am I the only one who had never heard of this?

Here are some of the things I liked and didn't like:

I liked the concept. It fascinated me. It was different from other movies, and I liked that.

I didn't like yet another movie that glorified adultery. (Note to Hollywood: If someone is married, it is not morally acceptable for them to sleep with someone else because that person is the love of their life. It doesn't put a one-night hold on their marriage license.)

I liked the aging CGI. It was amazing.

I did not like the "youthful CGI", i.e. lots of makeup and fuzzy lights. It made the characters look like they'd stepped out of an oil painting. Why was it easier for them to make Cate and Brad look 40 years older than ten years younger?

I liked the setting, in old New Orleans. I've always had a thing for New Orleans, and I loved that he was raised by a black woman who runs a nursing home.

I did not like the length, mainly because I can pinpoint the exact parts of the movie that could easily have been taken out and made the movie better for it.

My recommendation: Rent this. There's nothing you will miss seeing it on a small screen, and it's not worth the price of a movie ticket. It is worth the price of a movie rental, though, and definitely worth seeing once. Oh, except for you Nan, don't see this. Turns out they mean "button" literally. Lots and lots of buttons.

Aw Crap

I woke up this morning and instantly had this feeling of dread, and I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. As I lay there waking up, my mind cleared and suddenly the reason was painfully clear: It's that day. The day that comes every year for me. (Want proof? Click here and here.)

Today, for me, is what the actual day after Christmas was to most people. Horribly depressing. But the day after Christmas wasn't depressing for me, because my husband was still home and the vacation was still going.

But today, Monday, he is back at work after being home the last 4 and a half days. Christmas is over, and I'm trying to remember what I did throughout my day before making Christmas cards, going Christmas shopping, and wrapping Christmas presents. I honestly can't remember.

And, by some cruel twist of fate, all the snow is melting's actually raining. I seriously feel like someone somewhere is laughing at me.

The last of the Christmas treats are gone or stale and today starts the beginning of discipline again, as far as my diet goes. How's that for depressing?

My kids are watching The Grinch and it couldn't be a more perfect choice for today. I feel exactly like the heartless green creature.

So, Happy Rainy Monday After Christmas to you all. Oh, and Shayla, this really was supposed to be a fantastic birthday post to you, but, well, apparently I'm not capable of cheer and niceness right now, so...Happy Birthday! That's about all I can do for you right now. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Ohhhhhh fuuuuddddggggggge." -- Ralphie Parker, A Christmas Story

Let me just take a moment to pay tribute to my favorite holiday treat. I think I don't give it enough credit. In fact, every year I forget how much I love it until the holidays roll around and we are once again reacquainted.

I'm talking about fudge. Oh, dark angel, how you torment me so with your chocolaty goodness. Evil, so very evil. E-vil like the de-vil.

It is a serious weakness of mine. A few years back I overheard my mom say, "It's just really thick frosting, that's all it is." At the time I shook my head at her blasphemy, but the next time I ate it, I realized how very right she was. Which explains my love for it. I also have a deep love for frosting. I have been ridiculed and persecuted for my request for the corner piece of cake with the giant rose on it. I also might have woken up in the middle of the night once and eaten half a container of frosting with a spoon. I might have, no one knows for sure.

So when Christmas comes around and with it the thick, rich, creamy chunk of chocolate heaven, I rejoice. I hadn't had any fudge until I went to my mom's on Christmas day. She sent me home with a fair amount of fudge that may or may not be gone already. I wanted to cry when I realized there was no fudge for breakfast, when my husband made a miraculous discovery. Hidden inside a bag of candy from a friend was the most beautiful sight my eyes had ever beheld: A large square of tin foil, which, upon opening, revealed a perfect block of fudgy bliss. I might have had some a half hour ago at midnight. Or not. I guess we'll never know.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

To The One I Love

We met inside a chat room
Eight short years ago
What each other looked like
We really didn't know

But something in that "jusa_guy"
made "blondegirl" fall in love
We always knew it had to be
some help from up above

Lots of people doubted
that it would ever work
8 years passed and 2 kids came
and we can only smirk

I never could have chosen
a better husband/friend
I can't believe I get to be
with this guy til the end
(and beyond)

He makes me laugh like no one else
and knows just what to say
When I cry about my issues
or have an awful day

Only Bill could sacrifice
his big day every year
by standing in the shadow
of One we hold so dear

But I'll always remember
that on this special day
you were also born, and so,
for that, I say "Hooray!"


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The True Meaning of Christmas

So my week of no Twilight blogging is over. It was actually over yesterday, and I was all set to do an obnoxiously over-the-top Twilight blog, just because I could, but, well.....LIFE IS CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. I have never in my life felt so stressed out at Christmastime. To the point where I am crabby, irritable, borderline depressed...not exactly the picture of holiday cheer. My headache has reached a new level and is frequently making me so sick to my stomach that I am having to miss out on yuletide activities.

This is so wrong! This is NOT what Christmas is all about! (Warning: Stepping up on my soap box now) I have been thinking about this a lot lately. As I lay in my bed nursing my head and just wishing life would slow down, I have plenty of time to think, and I can't help but see the irony in all of this. Why do we have Christmas? To celebrate the birth of Christ, the most humble, non-elaborate, simple birth ever to take place. To celebrate the life of a man who devoted His life to serving others and serving God. He had no need for material things, nor any desire to have any. Why then, why-oh-why, is the central-most focus of this holiday PRESENTS. SHOPPING. BUYING.

I know why. I know it is to represent the gifts the Wise Men brought the Baby Jesus. I get that. But I think what once was someone's good idea of honoring His birth by offering a simple token to a loved one, has been blown completely out of proportion.

When I was a kid it was all about the presents. And Santa Clause. That's what made Christmas magic for me. I could easily lie and say it wasn't, but every kid knew that's what Christmas was all about, at least, that's all we cared about. Sure, we'd sit through the ritual of listening to the story from St. Luke be read every Christmas Eve, the whole time thinking, "that's a nice story, when can we go to bed so Santa can come?"

The worst part is that now, as an adult, not much has changed. Only the focus from "getting" to "giving" has changed. Instead of fantasizing about what lay wrapped under the tree for me, I am constantly running through a list in my mind of what I have bought, what still needs to be bought, what I need to wrap, who I am forgetting, etc. etc. etc. Even as I attend church functions focused on the true meaning of Christmas, and am pulled momentarily from the hustle and bustle and reminded why we are doing all this, I walk out the door thinking, "Okay, what's next on the list? What do I have do be doing?"

I think about what this holiday should be. It should mirror that first Christmas, in that lowly stable. The miracle that took place, the love that was felt despite the absence of pretty things. There was no man dressed in red and white who came and left packages tied in bows. There was no caroling, or treats, or ornament exchanges. There were no brightly lit trees, old musicals to watch, or even snow to go sledding in. And yet, despite our best efforts to make each Christmas bigger and better than the one before, we have yet to compete with the original one.

I think we have it all wrong. What are we teaching our kids about Christmas? Sure, it's the Season of Giving. That's all well and good, but that's not why we have Christmas. I want my kids to associate Christmas with Christ, not presents, or Santa. I want to be able to sit back and relax and remember why we celebrate this man. I want to sit down with my family each night and tell a different story of His life and talk about how we can emulate Him more. As it is now, I can barely squeeze in a thought about this as I'm wrapping and baking and shopping and decorating.

This poem sums up exactly how I feel:

The Stranger

At Christmas time there was a man
who looked so out of place,
as people who rushed about him
at a hurried sort of pace.

He stared at all the Christmas lights,
the tinsel everywhere,
The shopping center, Santa Claus,
with children gathered near.

The Mall was packed with shoppers
who were going to and fro,
Some with smiles and some with frowns
and some too tired to go.

They rested on the benches
or they hurried on their way,
to fight the crowd for purchases
to carry home that day.

The music from a stereo
was playing loud and clear
of Santa Claus, and snow men,
and a funny-nosed reindeer.

He heard the people talk about
the good times on the way,
Of parties, fun, and food galore,
and gifts exchanged that day.

"I'd like to know what's going on,"
the man was heard to say,
"There seems to be some sort of
celebration on the way.

"And would you tell me who this is,
all dressed in red and white?
And why are children asking him
about a special night"?

The answer came in disbelief,
"I can't believe my ear!
I can't believe you do not know
that Christmas time is here,

The time when Santa comes around
with gifts for girls and boys,
When they're asleep on Christmas,
he leaves them books and toys".

"The man you see in red and white
is Santa Claus, so sly,
The children love his joyful laugh
and twinkle in his eye.

"His gift-packed sleigh is pulled
along by very small reindeer,
As he flies quickly through the air,
while darting here and there.

"The children learn of Santa
while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes, he is the most
important one of all."

The stranger hung his head in shame,
he closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief;
he did not understand.

A shadow crossed his stricken face,
his voice was low but clear,
"After all these years, they still don't know."
And Jesus shed a tear.

- Author Unknown -

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo Tag

I was tagged by Marilyn. This is the photo tag, where you post the 4th photo of your 4th folder in My Pictures. I swear, every time I do this tag it's a picture of Payson. I promise I take pictures of Macy, too, really I do.

This is Payson at his first t-ball game. Isn't he adorable with that tiny body and giant head?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Snow Wonder I'm Losing My Mind

On the one hand....

The world is covered in beautiful white snow and I love it.

On the other hand...

So is my carpet...and I'm not loving that so much.

On the one hand...

School delays have been giving me two extra hours of sleep all week.

On the other hand...

Payson and I have had a little too much quality time together with preschool being canceled.

On the one hand...

I don't have to worry about getting him out the door or picking him up or finishing his homework or taking snacks.

On the other hand...

Our XBox may break down from over-heating.

On the one hand...

My kids actually want to play outside. (This is unheard of.)

On the other hand...

Every five minutes my glorious solitude is interrupted with knocks on the sliding door (a sound that now makes my blood boil) accompanied by a child on the other side whining that so-and-so threw a snowball at them.

On the one hand...

I love having the excuse to stay indoors all day and be lazy and not go out into the cold.

On the other hand...

Those Christmas presents aren't buying themselves.

On the one hand...

Is a cute little mitten.

On the other hand...

Is a cute little mitten holding a snowball, and a little tongue licking away at it.

I guess that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

I feel like the Christmas season came earlier this year. I am someone who will only celebrate each holiday as we are in it. I don't even THINK Christmas until after Thanksgiving is over. Even then I don't usually do much Christmas shopping until a week or so after that. I usually don't decorate until December 1st, because it's December. November is Thanksgiving, December is Christmas. But this year, I think I may have actually bought some Christmas presents before Thanksgiving, and we decorated our house top to bottom all Thanksgiving weekend (due to the fact that we were having our Christmas Bunco at my house the following Tuesday). But I love it, because Christmas lasts longer and it makes all that work of decorating so much more worth it.

Still, it wasn't until this past weekend that it really felt like Christmas time. Why?

*Saturday afternoon Macy and I saw The Nutcracker. We haven't a missed a year since she was three. I never intended for it to become a tradition; in fact, every year I swore I would not take her again after having her whine for snacks and wiggle around on my lap and ask when it would be over. But every year for some reason I'd take her again and now that she's older it's something I absolutely love. There's just something so magical about The Nutcracker. The music, the set, the big auditorium, the dancing, the costumes...I love it all. And now that my two little nieces are in it, it makes it that much more special. Now if Macy would just stop cracking up when the male ballerina comes out in nothing but tights...and you too, Amy.

*Saturday night we had our church Christmas party. It was...well-attended, to put it mildly. We were busting at the seems. But I love a big Christmas party, and it was so worth seeing our bishop's family up on the stage singing "The 12 Days of Christmas," props and all. And seeing Payson sit on Santa's lap and rattle off every single item on his list, in full concentration. (He was on Santa's lap a good two minutes longer than any other kid with their one humble request.)

*We finally got our CD player fixed in our new car. The old one was broken, so we swapped it out with the CD player from our old van. Now I can finally listen to my Christmas CD's and my iPod in my car. This is something that has seriously been missing this holiday season. It seems the only time I can enjoy my Christmas music is driving. At home, it doesn't mesh well with the XBox and kid shows.

*I've been working non-stop on my Christmas cards. If you don't get one this year it's because I seriously miscalculated (me + math = duh?) the supplies bought and only made half the amount as last year. Why don't I just make more, you say? Because I order my supplies, I say. And because I was ready to be done with these cards two weeks ago.

and, most importantly...

*My world is a winter wonderland. And I am loving it. Every morning I get to sleep in two extra hours (school's been delayed all week...things pretty much shut down here when it snows) and with my new 4WD SUV I'm not risking my life every time I drive in it. I love love LOVE the snow. I told my kids, "NOW we can have Christmas."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can She Do It? YES SHE CAN!

Because I like a good challenge, I've decided to give myself a little one and declare this week "No Twilight Posts" week. Just to see if I can. So today started the first day of no Twilight posts, on both blogs. I won't even mention it. (Oh, this one doesn't count.) It will be hard, I admit, but that's where the fun lies, eh? And I'm not allowing comments because I don't want to hear anyone say how glad they are about this, because, well, I would cry. Well, not really, I'm not much of a crier. But I'm a good shoulder-slumperer and sad face-maker. You don't want that, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

10 Surefire Ways To Ruin My Cinematic Experience

*This is in no way meant to be offensive. Just keeping it real. Come on, you know you've all been victims of the Obnoxious Moviegoer.

10. Leave your cell phone on during the movie. If it rings, answer it. For optimum effect, don't bother to whisper when you answer.

9. Bring your boyfriend/girlfriend, sit right in front of me, and make out.

8. Sit in my row, and repeatedly get up and squeeze your way out to the aisle, moving in front of me every time.

7. Talk to the theater people and make sure the copy of the movie I'm watching is defective. Give me a split screen for a while, or better yet, have the sound cut out during the climactic action scene.

6. Laugh at all the wrong parts. Especially the really intense, emotional parts. Laugh when it's an awkward moment on screen. Laugh at random times because a part in the movie made you think of something funny that happened that day. Clap at parts that you like. Make catcalls during love scenes. Clap at the end of the movie. Because, you know, they can hear you and stuff. Maybe if you clap long enough they'll come back out for an encore.

5. Talk to me throughout the movie. Especially at really intense, emotional parts. Better yet, crack a joke during those parts.

4. Bring your toddler. When they start to cry, wait SEVERAL minutes before taking them out of the theater, in case we can still hear some of the dialogue in the movie. Then take them out, kicking and screaming, but walk across the front of the theater as you do so, so we can all see.

3. Sit behind me and talk. Or sit anywhere in the theater and talk for that matter. It doesn't matter what it's about. Make comments about the movie, talk on your cell phone, or sit and chat it up with your friend about how obnoxious you are for destroying everyone else's movie...just talk. The whole time.

2. Sit behind me and kick my chair. Repeatedly. So often that you force me to turn around and give you my Evil Glare (you don't want to be on the other end of that). Then kick some more so that I have no choice but to turn around and ask you to stop, something I DESPISE having to do. Then...just keep kicking. Because I am a major wuss and will not have the guts to ask again. Instead, I will change seats, and continue throwing you the Evil Glare at regular intervals, but I will reserve my most fearsome Evil Glare for when the movie is over and the lights come on and you walk past me. Oh, yeah, that'll teach you.

1. Bring your child to a movie absolutely inappropriate for their age. If all of the above for some reason fail to work, this is a surefire way to ruin my movie. To guarantee a miserable time for me, bring said child to a scary movie, so that I can watch them shield their eyes and start to cry at all the scary parts and then I can imagine the months of horrifying nightmares ahead of them. And, by all means, take them to the really late show, the one where they'll still be there at midnight...and not at home in bed.

Believe me when I say that not a single person I have ever gone to the movies with has ever done any of these things, at least not with me. Except you Kim, you did kick my chair tonight. (Evil Glare) And, okay, Shayla, you were cracking up during the oh-so-serious Glitter scene, but, since the Glitter scene totally deserves to be laughed at, you are forgiven.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feeding the Addiction

Have you been wanting to see Twilight for the first time?

Have you been wanting to see Twilight for the second time?

Have you been wanting to see Twilight for the third time?

Have you been wanting to see Twilight for the fourth time? (yes)

No matter how many times you have (or haven't) see it,
it couldn't possibly be enough.

So join me, your local Twilight addict,
tonight at




for some messy-haired, sparkly-skinned, hairy-chested vampire goodness.
If you want to actually go WITH me, call me.

Come on, you know you want to.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Gem

I don't know what I love more, the actual Twilight or these spoofs. Hilarious.
P.S. This is for you, Brenda.

I Feel, Therefore I Am

I've been thinking about something.


No, not that kind of passion, get your mind out of the gutter. I mean passion as in feeling passionately about something. I had already been thinking about this in regards to my never-ending blog posts about Twilight, when I came across a blog post (of someone I don't know) that really touched a nerve with me. The post was titled Public Obsessions and basically bashed people who are outspoken about their passions. It said, among other things, that these people throw the words LOVE and HATE around too much, and that they are somehow doing their loved ones a disservice by saying "I LOVE my family" and also "I LOVE Twilight." It said they rely on something like a book or a movie to define themselves.

Okay, I could go a little crazy right now, but I'm going to attempt to stay calm, cool and collected and discuss this in an adult manner.

I am an extremely passionate person. (If you read my blog regularly, this will come as no surprise to you.) I have always been this way. When I find something I LOVE, I LOOOOVVVE it. When something bugs me, it bugs the holy CRAP out of me. When something makes me mad (like that post) it infuriates me. And when something makes me sad or hurt, it nearly destroys me.

I used to worry, and sometimes still do, that I take it too far. To the point of obsession. I have also always had this tendency. My mom has always said, "It's a good thing you never tried drugs because you would have been in big trouble." Sad, but oh so true. I have a very addictive personality. When I was diagnosed with a mild form of OCD, I actually thought, "Well that explains a lot."

But now...I embrace this quality. I LOVE being passionate. I LOVE feeling strongly about things. It makes me feel alive. I have to take an anti-depressant every day of my life that quite possibly numbs me in many ways (I see signs that this is the case every day). So when I feel something, and I feel it strongly, you better believe I'm gonna take it and run with it.

When I found Twilight, I was shocked at how strongly I reacted to it. I still don't know exactly why, but I have my theories, the main one being that I have always been a die-hard romantic and this LOVE story appealed to me in a way no other had before. It just seemed to bring something alive in me. I LOVE the way it makes me feel. I LOVE the warm, happy feeling I get when I think about it.

Does this mean my testimony has suffered somehow? Does my LOVE for Twilight somehow take away my LOVE for my Heavenly Father or my religion? Or my family? Heeeeeeck no. Because that's how passionate I am. I have just that much LOVE to go around.

Does Twilight define me? Contrary to what many believe, no. I am a complex, multi-layered person. There are many, many parts to me. Twilight just so happens to appeal to the part of me that I feel exceptionally passionate about: LOVE. And romance. And those are parts of me, parts that define me. Along with tons of other parts that also define me. It makes me happy and so I think about it. I talk about it. I read about it. I blog about it. One day, guaranteed, it will fade away and I will be sad.

Is it okay for people to be passionate about things? Yes, it's okay. Is it okay for people to be excited about said things and blog about them and even get a license plate declaring their LOVE for said things? Yes, it's okay. Is it okay for people who aren't so passionate to be judgemental and holier-than-thou about people who are? No--NOT okay.

Note to those people: While you're still standing in line trying to decide which movie to see, we'll be blowing past you, heading into the theater, Twilight ticket in hand. How do you like them apples?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Grown Up Christmas List

My husband just walked past me and saw the pictures I was putting on my post and said that maybe I should try doing a post that doesn't have anything to do with Twilight. I scowled at him and insisted this post was NOT about Twilight. It is about stuff I want for Christmas. If something(s) I want happens to be Twilight related, well then, in the words of Pam: suck it.

So here's my Wish List this year:

these dishes

Twilight: The Score


a gift card to this store

What's on your Wish List?
(Oh, that just sounded way too much like a Walmart commercial.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Obsess Much?

Me: Bill, can I go see Twilight?
Bill: Again? Seriously?
Me: Um, yeah.
Bill: Don't you think four times is a little excessive?
Me: Um, no. It's Twilight. (Shakes head in disbelief)
Bill: We really should be saving our money for Christmas presents.
Me: Whatever, a movie ticket is less than ten dollars. (Exactly one dollar less than ten dollars.)
Bill: I think you'll be okay if you miss a week of seeing it while it's in the theater.
Me: You don't know me at all! (Runs away crying)

Okay, the above conversation never really took place, but this is pretty much how I envision it going down if I ask to go see Twilight again. Because I don't feel like going to marriage counseling just yet (besides, the therapist would totally side with me), I'm going to have to make do with the next best thing: listening to the soundtrack while looking at my favorite movie stills online. Thank you thank you thank you Marilyn for my beloved Twilight soundtrack. I have listened to it over, and over, and over. I LOVE it. And last week I stumbled upon some new pictures from the movie, which was incredibly exciting since the same twenty pictures have been circulating the internet up until now.

So here are my favorite scenes/pictures and songs:

Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
(the baseball scene)

This is just a great picture. I'm pretty sure it's where
Edward says, "I tell you I can read people's minds, and
you think something's wrong with you..." Love that part.

Full Moon - The Black Ghosts
(the song that starts right after Edward catches the deer
at the beginning, when Bella is moving to Forks. One of
my favorites on the soundtrack.)

Another favorite scene, albeit a quick one. It's one of the
very few scenes where they're relaxed and happy and
just enjoying being together. And Edward looks hawt in
his 80's sunglasses.

Leave Out All The Rest - Linkin Park
(I can't remember what part of the movie this is on,
but I love this song, and I love Linkin Park)

I just really like this picture of them laughing.
I'm fairly certain it's not in the movie, I think it's
between takes. Because Bella is smiling.

Eyes On Fire - Blue Foundation
(LOVE this song. This is when Bella is trying
to figure out why Edward disappeared from school
after the first time they met.)

This really wasn't a favorite part of the movie,
I just love any shots of Oregon pretending to be

I love this picture, a) because of the sign in it and
b) because the caption underneath it on the website where
I found it said that it's The Gorge. This is what they're
overlooking when they're up in the tree.

Yeah...ahem...favorite scene...moving on...

Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron & Wine
(You might be familiar with this song from here;
it is beautiful, but I must confess the main reason I love
it is because it plays during this scene:)

Bella's Lullaby - Carter Burwell
(My favorite song on the soundtrack, which goes with my
second favorite scene:)

Clair de Lune - APM Orchestra
(I've always loved this song, but now it is permanently ingrained
in my head as the song that Edward twirls Bella to.)

This isn't in the movie, I just had never seen it before
and really like it.


along with the beauties above, I found these treasures:

They could have taken any still in the movie and Jasper
would have looked exactly like this:

The one time Edward is the opposite of sexy

Oh, the eyes...MY EYES!!!

and this one I had to save for last.
I still can't believe that of the 20 odd movie stills available
online, this somehow managed to be one of them.
The 2 seconds of the movie that still make me wake up
in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

Do you see the elbow grabbing? The shoving of the arm into
the mouth? The eye popping? Why, oh WHY did they have
to desecrate the image of perfection in my head that is Edward?

Okay, to end on a good note, here's a new one of Rob
I'd never seen before. Grrrr....

Friday, December 5, 2008

See Our Debut

Bet you didn't know we had moves like this.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wall of Lame

My cousin Michelle did this on her blog and I thought it would be so fun to do...until I read through the whole thing and saw how many things she had done and realized how LAME mine would be. It's embarrassing, really. But then I thought, well, maybe I'll do it just to show how lame I really am. So here goes:

Copy this list to your own blog and highlight those things you've done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (it was more like a large hill)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (as if I'd fess up)
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (of the heart?)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's The David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (with my romantic)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (one day.)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (seriously Michelle...NEVER?!)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (one day.)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club (but joining was as far as it got)
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (stepped on a dead one)
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own

See? What did I tell you? Lame. Feel free to copy this and do it on your blog. After my list you'll feel really good about yourself.

10 Things Revealed In Twilight The Movie That Were Never Revealed In The Book

1. Edward drove a hatchback. Oh no he di'n't! I can't tell you how disturbed I am by the car he drove in the movie. Edward would never drive a hatchback.

2. Forks is a racially diverse place. Funny how Stephenie led us to believe that Forks is made up two kinds of people: White and whiter. Who knew Tyler Crowley was black? Or Laurent?! I'm pretty sure "dreadlocks" don't appear anywhere in the text.

3. Bella has an affinity for flannel. (And bowling shirts?) Oh, I get it, because it's Northwest Washington, right? So obviously all the high-schoolers are rockin' oversized, plaid flannel shirts, Cobain-style. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Twilight producers, but grunge hasn't been cool since Smells Like Teen Spirit was topping the charts.

4. Vampires fly Superman-style. It was never mentioned that Edward soared from tree to tree--vertically, no less--or scaled trees with his hands and feet. Those close up shots of their faces as they're soaring through the air, Bella's hair flying, look exactly like Clark Kent and Lois Lane did (even the quality of the special effects, which, I'm sorry, should be better than a movie made in 1978). What's at the top of my Christmas Wish List? A nice, fat budget for New Moon. And no more vampires flying from tree to tree.

5. Jacob has fangs. Who knew? You'd think this would be something Stephenie would have felt compelled to share with us. A werewolf with fangs? Intriguing. Maybe Jacob is actually some new mythological creature--half vampire/half werewolf. So--just humor me here--once Renesmee is finally old enough to hook up with Jacob (which should be about any time now) and they procreate, their offspring would be, what? A half werewolf/half vampire/half human with the only real set of fangs? I smell sequel!

6. Bella's friends were cool. Interesting how Stephenie kept Jessica's humor a secret, (or the fact that she was entertaining in any way) never spoke of Angela's glasses or 92 lb. body, and failed to mention that Eric Yorkie was a "hip, attractive Gaysian." (Okay, I stole that line from another website.) Seriously, who knew Bella's friends were actually people we'd want to hang out with?

7. Edward has chest hair. It's funny, but in all 9,572 descriptions of Edwards cold, hard, glistening, marble-like, gleaming, muscular (jump in at any time) chest, I don't recall ever seeing the word hairy. It could very well have been there, though, slipped in among the myriad adjectives, and no one would ever have noticed. I just can't take Edward's "perfect" body seriously with fuzz poking out the top of his shirt. Now, I don't promote shaving or waxing of chest hair by any means, but I think in this case, where someone is portraying an immortal character with skin made of smooth stone and the sexiest chest known to man, maybe waxing should have been on the to-do list for Rob's hair and makeup. You know, right after "muss hair" and "apply lipstick liberally."

8. Bella wears makeup. Speaking of lipstick, I find it hilarious that in the books, neither Bella nor Edward wear a stitch of makeup, and yet in the movie, they both do. In Edward's case, he's wearing red lipstick like nobody's business, obviously to attain the whole vampire look. As for Bella, she's not just wearing "movie makeup" that all actors have to wear. No, her character is actually wearing lipstick, mascara, and eye shadow. I love this, because it's like they read in the book that Bella didn't wear makeup (according to Edward, she didn't "need to." Blech.) and thought, "yeah, right" (just like all the rest of us did) and decided to make her a normal teenage girl who wouldn't be caught dead leaving the house without makeup.

9. Forks High School students are health conscious. I dare you to find a scene in the movie where one of the teenagers is eating anything resembling junk food. Apparently in Forks you're not cool unless you're eating a salad, veggies, or a garden burger. Bella's a vegetarian? Was that supposed to be some kind of tongue-in-cheek comparison to the Cullen's eating habits? There wasn't a single shot of any kid eating a hot dog, hamburger, pizza, etc. Nope, it was salad, vegetables, and salad for these kids. And salad. They even have Rosalie munching on a carrot! What the heck?! Details, people, details.

10. Vampires love monkey references. Two quotes that didn't make it into the book, but sadly, made it into the movie: EDWARD: "You better hold on tight, spider monkey." ROSALIE: "My monkey man." Uh.....awkward. Weird. Not funny. What's with the monkeys? Here's one that didn't make it into the final cut: BELLA: "Edward, I want to be like you. Change me. Change me now." EDWARD: "Yeah, when monkeys fly out of my butt." Where was that one?!

Oh, and I just have to add that this is Edward's car, as chosen by Stephenie Meyer, taken right off her website:

Look at that--NO HATCHBACK!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Go here for my Twilight review.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So after my week o' perfection last week I'm having a hard time not getting down this week. You know, like the day after Christmas or your birthday. Such a let down. I knew this would happen. I think I enjoy looking forward to things more than the actual thing itself. I love that feeling of excitement and anticipation, counting down to something you are so excited for. And when it finally happens, then what? I don't remember what I thought about before the Twilight movie countdown. Now what will I think about all day? At least I have a new car to cheer me up.

I am looking forward to this four day weekend with my husband. Have I said lately how much I love that man? I still can't believe my luck that I stumbled into a chat room one day and he was there, waiting for me. How did I get so lucky? How are our personalities so similar? How do we always find the exact same things funny and the exact same things stupid? How are we both so insanely afraid of offending people and we both bend over backwards to help people? How do I think of something I need to call him about at work and just then my phone rings and it's him, asking me about that very thing? How did I find someone so willing to deal with my plethora of issues, someone who doesn't bat an eye when he comes home from work and the house looks like we were robbed and there's no dinner on the table...again. Someone who listens to my complaints and does whatever it takes to make things better. Someone who promised me when we met that he would not only make me happy, but keep me happy--and has honored that promise every day since. I don't know what I did to ever deserve him.

Wow, that came out of nowhere. Anyway, I'm going to spend Thanksgiving weekend making my first pies ever, re-reading Midnight Sun (to get back to the real Edward), cleaning my house, and trying very hard not to gain back all the weight. And by "very hard" I mean I might not have that second piece of pie.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Wanna Make This?

It's an adorable 2009 calendar that is super easy to make and a lot of fun.
If you want to make this, come to my sister's house tonight, Nov. 25th
at 7:00 pm for an all out stampin' good time.
(For anyone who hasn't come to one, it's more GNO than "official workshop,"
in case that was turning you off.)
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've added an update to my review, for those of you who have already read it. It's at the end.


I would say there are spoilers, but, come on, like you all don't already know what happens?

So. I saw Twilight last night. It was....surreal. That's the perfect word for my experience. Let me preface my review by clarifying a common misconception: I did not have especially high hopes for this movie. I know my blog posts convinced you otherwise, but really, I was just dang excited to see the movie. That didn't mean I thought it was going to be excellent. No, I was fully prepared to be incredibly disappointed. Even if they did it perfectly, I would have issues, because obviously it would never look the way onscreen that it did in my head. I think all of us who read and loved the books felt that way. So, having said that, here it is:

I....had...a very hard time with it. I cringed through probably 80% of the movie. I didn't walk away hating it, but I liked it less than almost everyone else I saw it with. This is not shocking--the more you love the books the less you're bound to like the movie. But enough of that. Here's my breakdown of what I hated, what was weird, what was cool, and what made my dreams very nice last night.

It started off awesome, the first shot a gorgeous picture in the very green, very wet Pacific Northwest forests. I love me my Washington. It was misty, the music was very sort of eery and dramatic, and it set the mood perfectly. The filming had this dark, grainy quality which gave the movie a kind of indy feel, which I loved. Enter Bella, narrating for the sake of the four people watching the movie who hadn't read the books. She was talking in this very sad, very depressing voice, and I half expected her to hang herself at any moment. As she spouted off the story of why she was moving from Phoenix to Forks, I thought it was a little weird that they chose to begin the movie with her spewing forth this information instead of revealing it to us later in a conversation with someone. It wouldn't have been hard to do--she could have told any one of the plethora of kids at her new school when they asked why she moved. But that's just the movie critic in me.

I thought I was really going to like Kristen Stewart's take on Bella. She really seemed to get the serious, shy, moody, part of her. But I soon realized that was her only take on Bella. She didn't give a real smile the entire movie. It was always this half-smile, as she awkwardly shifted her head and eyes around to show us how truly uncomfortable she was. I guess in some respect she succeeded--she was so convincing she made me uncomfortable. In almost every scene. I started silently pleading for her to just relax. Take a deep breath. Relax your face muscles. It was as if any moment she was just going to lose it--go completely postal and start screaming at everyone, wildly swinging a butcher knife above her head. Which, actually, I think would have been great. At least she would have shown an emotion other than melancholy.

And then, enter the Cullens. This is where the irony comes in. The part of the movie I thought I was going to have the hardest time with was the other members of the family. I was not thrilled with the casting, at all. But in the movie, they were fabulous. The parts they were in were some of my favorite parts of the movie (like when Edward takes Bella to his house to meet them--hilarious.), especially because Pylon Girl (Esme) only had, like, 2 lines. They really were able to make these ordinary real-life humans stand apart from the rest, thanks to makeup and an expensive wardrobe. I thought it was great how they introduced them, walking past the windows in slow-mo, one by one, of course saving Edward for last.

Our first shot of Edward was a classic example of how the movie completely ruined what should have been the best parts. As he rounded the corner into our view, they actually had this music in the background that sounded like angels singing. It. Was. Ridiculous. Of course the entire theater was cracking up, because I know we were all thinking the same thing. And that was just the beginning of the embarrassing, awkward moments throughout the movie, moments that could have, and should have, been amazing.

Their first several scenes together were literally painful to watch. I was in pain. Besides the above-mentioned acting by Miss Stewart, Rob Pattinson had two facial expressions he switched between for the first, probably half an hour: "I'm about to throw up" or "I'm about to cry." He looked in pain, which I know he was supposed to, but it could have probably been toned down. The fact that he covered his nose when she first walked in and looked like he was going to hurl at any moment totally ruined it for me. That whole scene, where he's just staring at her, then they zoom in super close on his golden eyes, was laughable. I was laughing. And I don't think they were trying to be funny, which makes me mad. And if they were trying to be funny, that makes me mad. There was nothing remotely funny about that part of the book.

The hardest part for me about the whole movie was the romance between Bella and Edward. Any idiot off the street knows this is the essence of the books. This is why they are insanely popular. This is why we were in line at 5:30 to see a 7:05 showing of the movie. This is why I am obsessed. And it was not there. In my opinion, the entire essence of the books was missing from the movie. I didn't feel it. (Except for the make-out scene, I definitely felt that.) They went from "we can't be friends" and "why do you hate me" to "I don't care that you want to kill me, I trust you" and "you are my life now." If I hadn't read the books, I'd be thinking, "Yeah, so, how did they get to that point?"

The meadow scene, quite possibly the best scene of the entire book, was, well, destroyed. No, pulverized. Maybe the worst scene of the movie. (Don't get me started on the sparkly skin.) The drive back from Port Angeles, the key conversation, the start of their relationship, one of my all-time favorite chapters...missing. Just, gone.

And then it jumps to the action. The evil nomad vampires come in and the hunt is on. The stunt doubles come out and the wire-works begin. The big fight in the ballet studio at the end was actually cooler than I thought it would be, but they quickly ruined that, too, with the most horrible, absurd part yet--Edward sucking the venom out of Bella's arm and relishing it a little too much. I know I said something out loud, I can't remember if it was a groan or a "what the heck?" or a combination of the two. It. Was. Bad.

Thank goodness it ended on a good note: Bella, in the hospital, breaks down crying, pleading for Edward to stay with her and never leave her. Wait, are those...tears? Is that....emotion that Bella is showing? Oh, so she was just saving her acting skills for the final scenes, I get it. Well played, Kristen, well played.

And then, the last scene, the Prom. The part in the gazebo was gorgeous, and incredibly romantic with all the white lights and slow music and them dancing close...they nailed the "is he going to change her?" scene--I think there might actually have been steam coming off the movie screen when he leaned in and kissed her neck. Deep breaths, Alicia, deep breaths.

And then it was done. And my mind was spinning and racing and people were asking me what I thought and I I wanted to avoid it, but I knew it was unavoidable. When some of my friends asked me what I thought, I equated it to being asked what you thought of your first child being born. (I don't really feel the two are the same for me, I was just trying to think of something they could possibly relate to.) How do you answer that? It's too personal, there's just too much.

Other things I had issues with were some minor details they felt they needed to change for no apparent reason, stuff that so could have been left alone. Most of them have slipped my mind, but some that I remember are a) Bella did NOT have a cell phone b) Bella's computer was a dinosaur with dial-up, most definitely NOT a Mac and c) Converse and leggings to the Prom? Really?


I loved Rob. I did, even though I hated him in the beginning. Each scene he got better. Each scene he looked less nauseous and more perfect. Each scene he smiled more and relaxed more and looked more and more like Edward. And he nailed the accent. I was so impressed with the accent.

I loved the kissing scenes. If there was one thing they got right, it was drawing out that first kiss, even longer than the typical lean-in-super-slow-to-create-sexual-tension movie kiss. You could feel the fear, you loved Edward for telling her twice to hold still, and finally, when you think you can't stand it any longer, their lips finally meet It was definitely racier than the book (they NEVER kissed like that in Twilight), but, that's Hollywood. After that scene was over, I leaned over to my friend Kim and said, "My whole body feels like jello." Holy Hot.

I loved the baseball scene. I know! Imagine my shock when the part of the book that seemed so ridiculous to me, that I could not imagine looking cool in any sense of the word, was one of my favorite parts. The lightening and thunder, the rock music in the background, the speed and was awesome. I even liked the baseball uniforms! I know, so weird.

I loved Edward's room and all the gorgeous shots of "Washington". (I know it was Oregon, but whatever, like anyone can tell.) I loved when he took her up in that tree and the view behind them and he's up there smiling at her...loved it.

I loved the unexpected humor, mostly with the supporting cast, who were great by the way. I especially liked Jessica. She was perfect. Her "boob" comment was one of my favorites.

I loved seeing my favorite story played out before me, where I could see it. Even though so many parts were hard for me to watch, I still loved watching it. I can't wait to see it again.

I know there will be a million and one things I will think of later, so I'll probably have to do a follow-up later like I did with Breaking Dawn. I'm feeling really rushed right now (trying to go out with my husband) but I really wanted to get this done today for you all. So now I really, really want to know what you all thought. PLEASE comment and tell me, even if you totally disagree with my review.


Okay, second review coming. Yeah, so I took my husband to go see it tonight. And I have to say it was soooooo much better the second time around. Now that I knew what parts were going to be cheesy it made them so much more bearable. And my husband, who has never read the books, loved it. He keeps asking me questions about it and I can't believe I can finally tell him everything I know. (He's probably getting way more information than he wanted.)

I think I didn't give Kristen quite enough credit. I think she played Bella as best as anyone could. And I forgot about the part where Charlie (whom I've nicknamed Chief Comic Relief, by the way) gives her her truck--she actually laughs and looks happy and normal. So there was that one.

The one major thing I forgot to mention that really bothered me was the biggest change they made: how Bella found out he was a vampire. Instead of Jacob telling her on the beach, she had to buy a book and put it together. (Which, why did she google to find a book, buy the book, read something in the book, then google that thing. Why the heck didn't she just google the "legend" and keep on reading? Stupid lamb.) Anyway, another completely unnecessary change.

So I really loved it tonight. I noticed the music even more, and can't wait to buy the soundtrack. I especially love Bella's Lullaby and watching Edward play it. (That was really Rob playing that, btw. Is there anything sexier than a guy playing the piano? ) So for those of you who were as disappointed as I was, go see it again. Preferably with your significant other. Just tell them it's a vampire movie, they'll go.