Sunday, August 31, 2008

Like A Kid On Christmas Morning

The second day after "meeting" Bill online we decided to exchange email addresses. When Bill gave me his address, I had my first panic moment, wondering if he really was a psychotic killer or creepy nymphomaniac. His email address was I freaked out and said something to him about being offended and he quickly clarified that a crotch rocket is a type of motorcycle (also known as a bullet bike), his favorite kind. I breathed a sigh of relief. Obviously I am clueless when it comes to motorcycles. I had never heard of a crotch rocket before.

But Bill wanted one, bad. He wanted any kind of motorcycle, really. He's talked about it the entire 8 years we've been married. I always told him he could get one, someday, but in my mind that day was always far off in the distance.

That day has come. Bill's little red POS breathed its last breath a few weeks ago and he's been driving my dad's shop loaner mini van ever since. The wheels in his head quickly began turning, and even I couldn't deny the logic of buying something much more gas efficient to get him to and from work (one job is across the river, the other past the railroad tracks) and school (a half hour drive one way at best). It really did seem like maybe it was time to make his wildest dreams come true. I mean, the guy is working two jobs and going to school. Maybe he deserves treating himself to a little something. Or a big something.

And so, after much searching on craigslist, Bill is the proud new owner of a black 1980 Kawasaki 750.

It's a far cry from his dream bike (it's not a crotch rocket) but he doesn't care. He is glowing, giddy, ecstatic. He drives it every chance he gets. The kids think it is the coolest thing on the planet and instantly started begging for a ride. So yesterday we bought a kid helmet and Bill took them both for rides around the neighborhood. I know, a lot of you mom's are dying right now that I let my kids ride on the back of a motorcycle, but apparently I'm not that mom that says "No way." I just gave Bill a lecture (three times) about being careful and told the kids (three times) to NEVER LET GO. They loved it. They won't stop talking about it.

(Payson kept talking about Daddy's coyote motorcycle.
We finally figured out he was trying to say Kawasaki.)

A little boy's dream come true. And Payson's, too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of 2nd Grade

I know I'm a day late, but better late than never, right? This picture is less than stellar, but I was already madly dashing out the door as it was when I remembered to take a picture. Macy had already covered up her adorable dress with her old, grungy jacket and I had no time to tell her to take it off. We were still late for her first day of school. Yay, Mom. That extra half-hour of sleep really didn't seem worth it anymore. As we pulled up to the school (just as the bell rang) I realized she had no idea how to find her classroom from outside. I told her to go through the inside, I knew she could find it that way. She later told me she beat all the kids into her classroom, they were still lined up outside. I asked her if her teacher asked why she came that way and she said no. We like to make good first impressions, the Lepperts.

But despite my shortcomings as a mother, Macy still managed to have a great first day. She knows a lot of kids in her class and even gets to sit next to one of her best friends, Kenzie. She loves her teacher and thinks she's hilarious. I am so grateful and relieved that the unknown teacher is turning out to be a winner.

Meanwhile, back at home, I was quickly reminded how much fun it is for Payson to be home without a playmate. Loads. Of. Fun. He was instantly laying on me, whining, asking when he got to go to school. I had a flash of brilliance and remembered it'd been a while since Grandma had had some quality one-on-one time with Payson. But then Aunt Amy intercepted and before he could say "dead brain cells" Payson was on her couch playing Lego Indiana Jones on the XBox with cousin Anderson who didn't start school till today. He thought he'd died and gone to heaven. So did I. I debated for a moment crawling back into bed but was proud of myself for deciding instead to vacuum and mop my disgusting kitchen floor, do my dishes, clean off my counter tops that were covered in bills and papers, and clean my messy family room. It felt so wonderful being so productive and having a semi-clean house, all with no kids.

Then I picked up Macy and Payson and came home and crashed. Days with this headache: 16 and counting. Today as I lay on my couch willing the pain to go away, I actually began dreaming (in the wishful kind of way, not the sleep kind of way) of a catscan. I think it may really be time. They're not that expensive, right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Week in Hollywood

Back by popular demand! (And by that I mean the 3 people who said they missed it.) I will not set myself up by saying I will do it every weekend, but I will do it once a week to stay true to the name. You'll just have to be surprised from week to week when it pops up.

Nicollette Sheridan And Michael Bolton End Their Engagement

Reportedly, Sheridan decided to end the engagement when
she realized she was going to marry Michael Bolton.

Amy Poehler Expecting

When asked if she was going to deliver naturally or
use pain medication, Poehler put her hands up in the air
and said, "Ooooooh, ooooooh."
(Sorry people who haven't seen Baby Mama, you won't get that)

Jennifer Garner

When Jennifer found she had nothing to wear for this event,
the actress didn't stress...she knew exactly what to do with
her grandmother's curtains.

Miley Cyrus

You may think she's flashing an innocent peace sign,
but actually Miley had just been asked how many
more years it would be before she went all Britney on us.

Mary Kate Olsen

Lost and Found called....
they have your pants.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking Dawn Follow-Up


(I know this looks really, really long but really it's just because my post section is ridiculously narrow. Okay, it's a little long.)

I've been wanting to do a follow-up Breaking Dawn review for a while now, and after reading some disturbing things tonight, I thought now was the perfect time. My Twilight cyber-pal, Lauren, has my absolute favorite Twilight blog and has become so popular that she was featured on the Twilight Lexicon website a few days ago (this is the #1 Twilight fan site, endorsed by Stephenie Meyer herself). I was so excited for her, until I heard today that she received horrible backlash from evil trolls online who decided that just dissing her love of Twilight wasn't enough, they needed to take things very, very personal. As a result, Lauren is seriously considering deleting her blog and I am brokenhearted. Don't do it, Lauren!! We love you!!

Anyway, in reading her comments from all the haters and even from her supporters (which were a-plenty), I got to thinking about my own review of the book. I wrote it pretty immediately after finishing it. I hadn't read anything online, and only talked to about 4 people about it. I sat down and wrote exactly what had been going through my mind as I read it. I don't take back anything that I said--those were my opinions as I read it, nothing will change that. But, I have read, heard and discussed things since then that have made me look at some things in a different light. So, if anybody cares at all, here is my follow-up review to Breaking Dawn.

Okay, so it seems that the biggest complaint that most people had about the story was the anticlimactic ending with the Volturi just walking away. Like I said before, I really didn't care. The Volturi to me has always been a subplot that I had to endure to get back to the Bella and Edward parts. So the whole ending scene for me was just hurry-up-and-get-over-already-so-I-can-see-how-this-ends. I didn't care at all that no one died, in fact I was
glad no one did. One of my least favorite parts in Eclipse is the demise of Victoria. Being beheaded and ripped from limb to limb and set on fire. Um, no thank you. I am not, never have been, and never will be into violence and gore, and I was dreading any deaths that may have occurred in Breaking Dawn. I just didn't want to read about it. So, the Volturi walked away. Did we really want to sit and read about a bloodbath (or venombath I guess) in detail? Not me. I was bothered by the fact that Edward said something at the end to the effect of "they'll probably come back and pick us off one by one" but oh well, we won't have to read about it. This question was one that Stephenie answered at the concert, and hearing her response made me think, "Oh, okay." She said that she is not a violent person and knew that if a fight broke out, everyone would die. She didn't want to kill off all of her beloved characters, and we wouldn't have wanted her to. She's a happy-ending kind of girl and basically, this is how she wanted it. The bottom line is, she wrote the book, she can end it however the heck she wants. Makes sense to me.

My biggest complaint was the lack of things Edward. It still is, and I've heard a lot of people defend this or explain it by saying that it's told through Bella's point of view (so were the first 3 books, and there was plenty of Edward) and that she is so sick for most of it, then a new mom and a new vampire. (This is actually Stephenie's explanation for why there isn't more about Edward as a dad.) I get that. Yes, it makes sense that Edward is not in the foreground for all of this. That's not my complaint. I'm not saying I wish that Edward was telling us about the birth, or Bella's change or any of that. I'm saying I wish the story was taken in a completely different direction (like say, no Renesmee?) that would allow Edward to be a much more integral part of the story.

I was originally torn by the fact that a third of the book is told from Jacob's perspective. While I absolutely love Jacob and his humor, and it was
so nice to get out of Bella's head for a while, it was really hard for me to have to read about such huge events that I'd been waiting forever for through Jacob's point of view. After hearing Stephenie point out how crappy the book would have been if that section had been written through Bella's point of view, I realized she was so right. How much could I have taken of Bella relaying being stuck on bed rest, cooing about her alien love child? Um, none. Someone pointed out it could have been told through Edward's point of view, not Jacob's, but that (and I can't believe I'm saying this) would have been just as painful to read. Chapter 1: I hate myself. Bella's dying and it's all my fault. Chapter 2: I am a monster, someone should really kill me. You get the drift. So really, I totally get...and appreciate...why she chose Jacob, someone who could not only lighten the mood through this depressing, serious time, but who could take us away from the scene for some of the time. She's a smart one, that Meyer chick.

Someone pointed out to me that in my last review I said "it didn't go the way I wanted it to go," but that I never actually said
how I had wanted it to go. I thought about that long and hard, and I don't know if I have an answer. I can say how I thought it would go. I thought they would get married right away, have their "honeymoon" which of course would work fine, then I thought the Volturi would swoop in and demand that Bella be changed and in order to save her life, Edward would change her. I thought we'd get a small glimpse of Bella post-change (I sort of predicted she wouldn't be the typical blood-thirsty newborn, I think a lot of us did) and then it would end. I know, not very imaginative, very predictable, but definitely in line with the way the other books were written. I guess it's safe to say that's how I wanted it to go. However, I love that Stephenie mixed it up and threw in curve balls and totally shocked us all. I just can't say I love all the curve balls we were thrown.

The most important thing I wanted to say, especially after reading the comments I mentioned previously, is I feel there's one thing I didn't make clear. I am still a Twi-hard. I am still a Twilighter. I am still the Captain of Team Edward. Disliking a lot of the book doesn't change that. It doesn't change my opinion of Stephenie in any way. I completely look up to her and revere her. She is my inspiration to become a writer. There is no direction she could have taken this book that would have made everyone happy. Like I said, this is
her world, that she created. How can any of us say what should and shouldn't happen in a world that only exists in her head? We can't. I can't. I always understood my opinion of the book was purely based on my personal, selfish reasons for loving them in the first place: Edward and his love for Bella. Sure I was upset that I didn't get what I wanted for the finale, but that doesn't mean I thought I was right and she was wrong. I knew full well I was just a little spoiled kid who didn't get what I wanted and I was throwing a fit. Stephenie could have made the characters decide to join the circus after Renesmee ran for President and I couldn't complain, because it's her prerogative.

So rock on, Sista Meyer, rock on.

Oh, and here are some other Twilight related things I wanted to link to. Here are the rest of the pictures of my Forks trip and concert, for anyone who hasn't seen them yet. And here is the coolest thing ever, an interview with Stephenie where she answers most of our Breaking Dawn questions! Check 'em out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Dark Knight

I read a review of this movie a few weeks back that spent the entire article raving about Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker, and then, at the very end of the article, said, "Oh, and Christian Bale was in it, too." This reviewer hit the nail on the head. For most of the movie (all the scenes without The Joker, to be exact) I sat, forehead scrunched up, eyebrows together, mind whirling, trying to follow the storyline. Finally, at the point that my head started throbbing, I gave up and waited for The Joker's scenes. The first half hour had me completely lost, feeling like a Kindergartner thrown into an advanced calculus class. I was so worried it was just my blondness coming through, but since then other people have assured me it wasn't just me. (Whew.)

But honestly, it didn't matter. No one will remember this movie for the politics, mafia, or bank heists. In fact, no one will probably remember this movie for the always-cool Batman gadgets, special effects, or action sequences. What people will be talking about for years to come is Heath Ledger as The Joker. I thought maybe I was expecting perfection, that I'd built up the performance I'd heard so much about too much in my head. I thought I might be disappointed. I wasn't. Not even a little. In fact, I was still blown away. The minute that distorted clown face appeared on the screen I went from confused and restless to completely engrossed. Never have I been so convinced that someone was psychopathic. It was disturbing, thrilling, chilling. I was so curious about The Joker's back story--what had happened in his past to make him become this insane killer? I thought, for one blissful moment, that we got a glimpse of that back story as he told how he got the disfiguring scars on his face. Then, twenty minutes later, he told a second, completely different story of how he got the scars, and I realized it was all part of the character: crazy. Although I do believe my interest in Mr. Ledger's performance is somewhat rooted in the fact that he recently passed on, I like to believe I would be just as fascinated if he were still alive. Because he was just. that. good.

Which is unfortunate for Mr. Bale, whom I adore. He is an amazing, amazing actor. He shone in Batman Begins, which I loved. He made the movie. He brought the saga back to life. He was rubber-suited perfection. And he still is, just...overshadowed. My only complaint about the masked man is that voice. Why is it that putting on the mask = talking like he eats lit cigarettes for every meal? It was unbearable to listen to (my husband literally clenched his fists every time he spoke), and almost ruined the character for me.

Maggie Gyllenhaal takes the place of Katie Holmes in the role of Rachel Dawes, Batman's main squeeze, and while there are some similarities in their facial features, the difference between the two actresses is like a kitten (Holmes) and a lioness in heat (Gyllenhaal). There are few things I hate more in movies than when a repeat character is played by a new actor. Oh, how I loathe this.

Aaron Eckhart plays Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and, although I won't deny the creepiness of the scarred half of his face, it resembled the guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark (you know, the one whose face melts off?) a little too much for my taste.

I honestly can't remember anything else about the movie, except for Heath, Heath and more Heath. Seriously, if he doesn't get an Oscar for this (it would only be the second time an actor received the honor post-mortem), there is no justice in this world.

Oh, and Christian Bale was in it, too.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I was tagged by my cousin Noelle. She knows how much I love these things. One of the many things we have in common.

8 Things I'm Passionate About:

1. movies
2. Twilight
3. sleep
4. blogging
5. my family
6. romance
7. food
8. friends

8 Books I Love:
1. (duh)
2. Harry Potter 1
3. Harry Potter 2
4. Harry Potter 3
5. Harry Potter 4
6. Harry Potter 5
7. Harry Potter 6
8. Harry Potter 7

8 Words/Phrases I Say Often:

1. "Oh my heck" (Yes, I'm Mormon, why do you ask?)
2. "Totally"
3. "Definitely" (Do I really talk like a valley girl?)
4. "I'm so irritated"
5. "I'm so annoyed"
6. "Knock it off right now"
7. "Are you kidding me?"
8. "Seriously"

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

1. Be in a movie
2. Write a novel
3. Publish a novel
4. Be famous...for something
5. Be skinny again
6. See the world
7. Watch my kids grow up, get married and have kids
8. Solve world hunger (just kidding, although it would be nice)

8 Things I Learned This Year:

1. I can't lose weight eating fast food and Oreos for every meal
2. I can believe it all I want, but Edward will never be real
3. What real friendship means
4. I can be a single parent...if I have to
5. You can get the flu on your birthday
6. My husband is my hero
7. Writing a novel is no easy feat
8. Family feuds are just plain stupid

I tag:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2

If you've read this, you know what kind of a place I was in as I viewed this movie. Very BFFish. So I think that really helped my opinion of it.. It was better than I thought it was going to be. I saw the first one forever ago when it first came out on DVD. I enjoyed it, it was just a little too cute for my taste. So I expected much the same going into this one. And it was. Much the same. But this time it felt a little deeper, a little more grown up to me. I don't remember a lot about the first one, but it seemed like it was more about true friends and first crushes and such. This one took on more adult topics like pregnancy and mental illness.

Once again, it follows the four friends on their separate journeys through life as they spread out around the world. They continue to pass the magic jeans (that miraculously fits them all) between them every two weeks, although this time not all the friends take the "magic" so seriously. The different storylines can get confusing, especially since the screenwriters seemed to think the 1st movie would still be fresh in our minds. Two funerals right from the get-go still leave me wondering who died. The one relationship I remembered from the original was never mentioned in the sequel, while another carried over but had me wondering who the heck he was. (Until my viewing buddy graciously reminded me who he was from the first one.) I thought I was confused because I didn't remember the first one all that much, but my friend, who had read all the books, was even more confused because apparently they decided to squish all three sequels into this one movie. Yeah, confusing.

But still entertaining. Alexis Bledel (Lena), is going to art school and nursing a broken heart, which she attempts to do in the arms of a hunky nude model. (That was kind of weird.) Blake Lively, as Bridget, takes off on an archeology dig ( she a soccer player or an archaeologist?) and ends up digging up her painful past. Amber Tamblyn, back as the kooky Tibby, is falling in love and scared, especially once she decides to take things to the next level in her relationship. (This storyline, which involves a pregnancy scare, didn't bother me or my three adult friends, but when I thought about all the 7th graders out there sure to watch this flick, I was a tad disturbed.) And America Ferrera, as Carmen, is worth watching the movie for alone. She is by far my favorite of the four, so real, so down to earth. (And can I just say how refreshing it is to see her up there, in all her 5'1", full-figured glory, with all those taller, skinny actresses?) Her character is off to Vermont to work backstage on a play but ends up closer to the front of the stage and falling for her leading man.

With the exception of maybe one, the different storylines kept me interested, even as they bounced back and forth. The part that seemed out of place to me, ironically enough, was the pants themselves. They were such a minimal part of the plot, thrown in here and there to remind us what the movie is supposed to be about, and every time it showed them, it was like, huh? Oh, right, pants. Even the characters themselves seemed ready to ditch the pants. (I think maybe they realized they weren't 13 anymore.) You'd think this would make me appreciate the way it ended, but instead it felt wrong somehow.

When watching a movie about friendships based on magic jeans, this is the type of stuff I log away for my review:

~ The hair. I loved that most of the girls' hair was not perfect. In fact, "sloppy" seemed to be the theme when it came to the coifs, but I thought "natural." I loved it.

~ The clothes. I loved seeing all the different outfits and how they matched the girls' personalities. From Lena's perfectly put-together ensembles, to Bridget's sporty cas, to Carmen's laid-back basics, to Tibby's outrageous numbers, wardrobe must have had a ton of fun on this one.

~ The locations. Greece, Vermont, New York, Alabama, Turkey...the wannabe world-traveller inside me was definitely visually stimulated.

~ The quotes. My personal favorite: "How do you say 'lost pants' in Greek?"
"Greek girls do not lose their pants!!"

Bottom line: Fun chick flick to watch with friends. Try the kettle corn at Fairchild. It's yummy.

I'm Feeling A Little Verklempt

(image taken from Noelle's blog)

So I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. Seriously, it meant the world to me and really helped me get out of my funk. I am so grateful for all the wonderful, uplifting words and all the kind things that were said about me. Everyone needs to hear that stuff once in a while, and I was due! I especially want to thank those who stepped forward for the first time. (Marisa!! My mouth fell open when I saw your name, I was so happy to see you!) I am always shocked to hear about people who read my blog that I had no idea about, and always thrilled when I do. And to any that I still don't know about, read away! Don't feel bad about not commenting, I don't care.

Although all the positive comments completely made my day, I realized what I needed most was just to know that people were still there, reading. That I wasn't all alone in cyberspace. This definitely showed me that even if people aren't commenting, that doesn't mean they're not reading. I don't want anyone to feel like they have to comment on my blog now or I'll go all Debbie Downer on them again. I promise I won't. Just knowing you're there is enough. (Of course, if you have something to say, by all means, comment!) Thank you!!

So this is a pretty sappy post, I realize. But it's about to get sappier. You know when you have those days (or weeks) where you're just down and someone seems to know exactly what you need? That happened to me yesterday, when one of my very best friends called and said, "Let's go do something tonight." The prospect of getting out (away from my house and kids) and hanging with girlfriends was almost too much and I seriously almost started crying. We ended up seeing The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (review to come soon) with two other of my bestest friends, and (this is so unlike me) I couldn't help getting a little emotional as we sat all alone in the theater, just the four of us, watching a total chick flick about a pair of magic pants that keeps four best friends together. I highly recommend watching this particular movie this way. So thank you, dear friend, (did I just say that?) for knowing exactly what I needed last night.

Alright, putting the tissue away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

High School Musical 3 Trailer

So I haven't made it to a movie in a while (I am trying to see The Dark Knight on Saturday), but in the meantime I've had fun digging up trailers for much-anticipated movies online, ones that maybe you all have seen, but I haven't. I found this gem today.

I have no shame (okay, maybe a little) in saying that I am so friggin' excited for this movie. Now, let it go on record that tween romance movies make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Cutesy, giggly adolescents popping and locking their way to true love is the very antithesis of all that I believe in. Having said that, I love me some HSM! Loved the first one, loved the second one, can't wait for the third one.

Just like with Twilight, I was the biggest skeptic when it came to HSM. One listen to the soundtrack in my sister's car had me reaching for the door handle in search of an escape. So many of my friends were immediately hooked, and there was all that hype. I didn't get it. But, like everything else that is a hot topic, my curiosity got the better of me and I caved. I wasn't an instant superfan. It was enjoyable, between the cringes and dry heaves. The music was undeniably catchy. But as my 6 year old watched it over, and over....and over again, I found myself pausing over the dishes to watch my favorite scenes. Soon I was the one (and don't ever repeat this) requesting it at movie time. It wasn't long before we were listening to the soundtrack in our car, and I was singing along to every word.

Needless to say, I was excited for HSM2 to come out last summer, although, due to our lack of cable TV, I had to wait till it came out on DVD to watch it. It didn't disappoint. I loved it just as much as the first, soundtrack and all. Sure, there were parts (like every time Gabriella giggled) that made me remember why I was so skeptical in the first place, but for the most part, it was jolly good fun, bringing out my inner tweeny-bopper.

So when I heard that HSM3 was being released in the theaters (finally, it's about time they catch on that they could probably make a dollar or two in ticket sales), I was ecstatic. Everything's better on the big screen, and for once my kids and I can see it when it first opens, along with the rest of the planet. And if this trailer is any indication, we are in for another round of High School bliss.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Do You Love Me...Let Me Count The Ways

Okay people, I'm going to give it to you straight. I'm feeling blue. Very blue. I don't know why, but isn't that often the case when you're feeling blue? The bad thing is, this blueness is coming right after I decided to separate my blogs, a decision I am greatly questioning. Why? Well, to be honest, because I miss my comments. I'm not gonna lie, I miss them. A lot. And for anyone who has ever been lucky enough to experience the senselessness that is depression, you might understand that I'm beginning to develop somewhat of a complex. Bordering on paranoia.

I thought, worse case scenario, my comments will be split in half. Half will go to my personal blog, half will go to my movie blog. I'm starting to think maybe that would have been best case scenario. Where did everybody go?! I keep telling myself, it's summer, lots of people aren't blogging. Lots of people are traveling. I know I've been doing a lot of Twilight-themed posts lately, maybe everyone is simply vamped-out. But it doesn't make that number 2 or 3 next to the word comments any sweeter. It just doesn't.

So here's the deal. I considered having a giveaway. Nothing pulls people from the woodwork like free crap. But the thing is, I got nothin' to give and no cash in which to buy it. So (and I hope you'll all appreciate my honesty) I'm just gonna ask. I'm just calling out all my blogging friends to give me a shout out and maybe turn some of this blueness into....redness? (What is the color of happiness?) You can say whatever you like, just to let me know you're there, you're still reading, and you still like me. If you really feel like making my day, you can say something complimentary or something you know will make me smile. Or, you can go all out and tell me exactly why you love me, stating specific examples. But, whatever, it's up to you.

There's no time limit, no rules, and (sorry) no prize. Well, except for the knowledge that you're helping out a friend in need of a serious self-esteem boost. So.....comment!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Slot Swap

Okay, I promise this movie blog will NOT only be about Harry Potter and Twilight. But seeing as both movies just released big news that actually overlaps, I have to post this:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has officially been pulled from it's November 21st release date and bumped to next summer's lineup, July 17th to be exact. As a major H.P. fan, I won't deny my disappointment. The studio explained their reasoning, saying basically that next summer proved less of a competitive time slot. I couldn't help but wonder to myself if a little vampire flick had them shaking in their boots, now that its popularity is undeniable.

And then this news was announced:

Twilight, originally set to open on December 12th, is being released three weeks earlier...on November 21st! So, I got over my Harry Potter sadness pretty quickly. I'm so easily satisfied.

Friday, August 15, 2008

All Smiles

So I was coming to tell you what my reason for smiling today is, and now I have TWO reasons to smile, all in the same day!

Reason #1
Reason #2

Oh what fun the month of March will be!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Turn This Frown Upside Down

What is it about coming home from vacation that always makes me depressed? Even a two day vacation. I don't know if it's the letdown after weeks of having something to look forward to, or coming down from the high of the trip, or just coming back to the reality of life, but these last two days have been HARD! This summer has been hard enough, but seriously, this week, Eeyore's got nothin' on me. I can't find the motivation to do anything, and I just feel like I'm walking around with a raincloud permanently residing over my head. My kids are probably wishing I was still gone and they could play with Daddy all day. Ugh. I've got to pull out of this. It doesn't help that I can't stop my head from pounding. I know it will get better, soon. It just sucks in the meantime. One thing that is making me smile? You'll find out tomorrow.

Twilight Trailer Spoof

Okay, this had me laughing out loud.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What A Trip

I know this is my third post in one day but I have to blog about our trip. My pictures are lacking, because we mostly used Kim's uber-camera. All I have are shots I snapped for posterity, almost none with me and/or Kim. She has all the really great pictures, but at least that way I'll leave her something to blog about. So here it is, our trip to Forks/La Push/Seattle. (Warning: LONG)

The 7 hour drive (which we made in less than 6) seemed more like three,
and was gorgeous, of course.

We drove to Port Angeles where we had planned to eat lunch at La Bella Italia, the restaurant where Edward takes Bella in Twilight. Little did we know they don't open till 4:00, and we didn't have time to wait. However, the doors were unlocked and the guy inside was unbelievably friendly. He let us in to take pictures and use his bathroom. Then, we were off to Forks.

I don't even have a picture of the "Welcome to Forks" sign, but I'm sure you'll see it eventually. Forks do I say it? A hole. Stephenie wasn't kidding when she wrote that there was only one stoplight in the entire town. The people who live there were...odd, but unbelievably nice. Like, overly nice. They are milking this Twilight Tourism for all it's worth. Which was good, because they didn't make us feel like complete idiots for asking them where imaginary people's houses were.

And although it was definitely nice for sight-seeing, I was a little disappointed at the lack of rain. This was Forks! The rainiest place in the U.S.! How dare the sun decide to shine.

Our first stop was the Thriftway/Forks Outfitters (kinda confusing, two stores melded into one). Bella grocery shops at Thriftway in Twilight and works at Forks Outfitters in New Moon/Eclipse. We had so much fun assigning characters to people we saw. All plain looking brunettes were instantly Bella, every cop we saw was Charlie. Alas, no Edwards to be found.

Bella's truck is parked outside the Chamber of Commerce. That was pretty
cool, because it seems to be her exact truck.

Inside the Chamber of Commerce was a crack up. An old couple was inside handing out maps to all the Twi-sights to giddy teenage girls (and two extremely cool moms from the Tri-Cities). They showed us their prized possession, an album they'd put together of all things Twilight, including all the mail they've received for Bella Cullen. Not kidding.

They even whipped out a small box addressed to Bella.
I asked what was inside and they replied, "Tampax." O-kay.

With our maps in hand, we set out to find somewhere to eat. Problem. There is nowhere to eat in Forks. Not a single McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wendys...thank goodness there was a Subway built into one of the gas stations, which featured the Twilight Sandwich. Of course, we had to get it. (Mike Newton made it for us. He was nice.)

Okay, I know it looks disgusting, but it was delicious.

We were super-stoked to be eating our Twilight Sandwiches in Forks, WA.

Then we set out to see the sights.

This was Bella's and Charlie's house.
(Sorry real people who live there. I know you must love the 50-90 tourists who come stand outside your house every day and pose in front of your sign. At least we didn't ask to see Bella's room, right?)

This was obviously a stretch. The good people of Forks desperately wanted to have a Cullen's House on the map, so they chose the biggest, nicest house they had--a bed and breakfast. But, it was on the map, and if they say it's the Cullen's house, then by all means, we're taking a picture of it!

They change the sign outside each day to explain the Cullen's absence.
It was nice of Esme to leave a note for us.

This is the school (duh.)

This is the parking lot where Edward saves Bella from the van.
Can't you just see it?

We also got pictures of Carlisle's parking spot at the hospital, the Forks Hotel, where we stayed, and probably other stuff I'm forgetting.

Then, we were on to La Push. For some reason, I was really excited to go to La Push, which is odd because I am so not Team Jacob. But I couldn't wait to stand on First Beach.

It was gorgeous, and although you can't tell from the pictures,
it was a warm, beautiful, sunny day.

We were really hoping to see a bunch of black-haired, bronze-skinned teenage boys (or any Quileutes, for that matter), but there were none to be seen. I was also determined to find those
multi-colored rocks Stephenie talks about, and after some serious searching, I think I may have found one. At least in my mind it's one.

I thought for sure this had to be Bella's and Jacob's log.

So crazy...this rock looks like a howling wolf.

I just love this picture.

Proof that Jacob was here.

Kim has the picture of what I am sure has to be Jacob's house.

We didn't stay in La Push too long (you can only take so many pictures of the same beach) before heading back to Forks. We got back at around 7:00, and although we weren't hungry, we ate dinner at some pizza place just to kill time. (Bella was behind the counter taking orders.) Then we headed back to our hotel because, well, Forks is a hole and there was absolutely nothing left to do. We read and did the Twilight Trivia that the Chamber of Commerce gave us, and ended up going to bed pretty early because we were both exhausted. The best part of the hotel was the super-thin walls that allowed us to hear the bikers next door get up and pee in the middle of the night. Sweet.

The next morning we ate breakfast at a diner then headed to Seattle. On the way there we stopped in Port Angeles again at the book store that Bella decides not to go into in Twilight because all the books were about spiritual healing and the lady inside looked like a hippie. It was actually a pretty decent bookstore where Kim finally found a copy of Twilight to buy (Forks had NONE) to have Stephenie sign at the concert and I picked up some souvenirs. We drove around for a while trying to find the spot where Edward rescues Bella from the would-be rapists, but gave up after about ten minutes.

We made it to Seattle just in time to find The Cheesecake Factory (I'd never eaten at one) and have some of the famed Avocado Eggrolls. They totally lived up to all the hype. I ate them, onions and all (!) Next time, I will get them without onions though. Then we had some cheesecake. Oh. My. Gosh. I don't remember exactly what mine was called (something about black tie, or white tie I think) but I remember exactly what it tasted like, and it was to die for. We left stuffed to the brim.

Then it was off to the concert. Once again, we were surrounded by teenage girls wearing Twilight-themed shirts (my favorite was one that said My Prince Charming is a Virgin Vegan). Once we got in the doors, I ran into my cousins that I knew were going to be there but never thought I'd actually see there. That was cool. We finally got into the auditorium and while we waited for the concert to start we messed around with our cameras (I gave up after 5 mins., Kim worked with hers till she got amazing pictures. She has all the pictures of the concert, I have none) and grew giddy with anticipation. There was one guy in the whole auditorium who was there to see Justin Furstenfeld, not Stephenie, and I was sitting next to him. It was hilarious to hear him whistle and go crazy for Justin, and sit still and quiet for Stephenie.

The concert was amazing. Justin Furstenfeld was awesome. Funny, laid back, cool. He sang 4 of his songs (which were extra cool because it was just him and his guitar, totally acoustic) and then Stephenie came out. Of course everyone went crazy screaming. She sat down with some deejay guy who asked her the questions she'd picked from what the audience had submitted (we missed out on that, don't get me started.) Some of the questions I already knew the answers to (like what advice would you give someone interested in writing) but some I didn't. She explained each book cover (I knew some, but not all) and said that (gasp!) Breaking Dawn is definitely the last book in the series because the story is finished, there is nothing more. But she did promise Midnight Sun but said she cannot promise a date for it, but will let us know as soon as she can. It was so amazing to sit and listen to her, I was in awe. Then Justin came back out and played some more songs, but this time they were songs that Stephenie had chosen and she prefaced each one with which part of which book it went with. That was awesome. (Example: Hate Me is when Edward leaves Bella in New Moon) I loved all the songs and can't wait to get them on iTunes.

And that was it. It was only about an hour, really short. Then we had to sit and wait for our turn to get our books signed. We sat and talked and read and listened to the music for about an hour before we got the brilliant idea to try and be last in line so that maybe Stephenie would talk to us. (Since the concert got done so much earlier than we'd thought, we didn't feel so rushed to leave.) Since they were letting the rows in the back go first, we moved up to the front, adding at least another hour to our wait time. However, we weren't the only geniuses with this idea, and despite our efforts, there were still at least 30 people in line behind us. Still, it was pretty exhilarating to be standing across from a tiny card table from Stephenie and watch as she signed my book and handed it me. I said thanks. She said you're welcome. It. Was. Awesome.

At that point I was dead on my feet, the exhaustion and emotional ride hitting me. But we were so close to the end of the line that we hung around outside the glass doors till she was done, thinking maybe she'd walk out the doors by us. At first it seemed she might, but at the last second before reaching the doors she turned and went down an escalator. Sigh.

So we went home. We got home at 3:30 this morning. It was so worth it, a trip I'll never forget. We had so much fun, and I'm having a hard time coming down off of the Twilight high and coming back to reality. If you're still reading this, thanks.

Breaking Dawn Review Back Up

I've had a lot of complaints that my Breaking Dawn review disappeared right when people had finished the book and wanted to read/comment on it. So until I can figure out the technicalities of getting all my posts onto the blog I want, I re-published the review on my movie blog. (Click here.) It will stay there till I can figure out how to get it on this blog. So please, if you haven't read it yet and want to comment, DO! I still love to hear everyone's opinions on it!

We're Baaaa-aaaack

We had so much fun....details and pictures to come....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Off To Forks and On To Seattle

I'm hoping to run into Edward

(btw, this picture looks identical to how I picture Edward in my head)

I'd even settle for Jacob

But I'll be completely satisfied with Stephenie

Be back Wednesday!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer

Are you as excited as I am?

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today was a great day. Bill and I spent almost all day in our garage cleaning it out. It was one of those things that has been on our list of things to do forever and it was ridiculously satisfying to finally cross it off the list, along with a few other "to do's" that came with it. I can finally park in my garage again, and that, to put it simply, rocks.

Tonight we had Partner Bunco. I haven't talked a lot about Bunco on my blog. It's something I've always just sort of taken for granted until I sit back and realize how amazing it is. I've been in the same Bunco group for at least 10 years. I remember hosting my first time at my parents' house and having my parents help me cut up the ingredients for taco salad. (Needless to say, I didn't cook.) I remember the Bunco where I announced I was engaged. I remember hosting in our tiny apartment after we got married. And being pregnant and miserable and missing a few Bunco's after each baby. The group has changed a bit throughout the years, but many of us are from the original 9. It's something I love being a part of, something I look forward to every month. Anyway, once a year our husbands or friends join us for Partner Bunco, and we all eat way too much junk and try to make each other laugh. For the first time ever Bill and I won High Score, which was a $40 gift card to P.F. Changs! I'm so glad I picked such a great place for the top prize when I bought the prizes.

My mind is reeling with excitement for my upcoming trip. I don't think about much else right now. At some point, I will have to come out of the Twilight Zone, but for now I'm enjoying the rush. I promise a million pictures, whether you want them or not. There probably won't be a picture of me and Kim cuddling in our queen-size bed, although Bill thinks I should come home with a T-shirt that says "I spooned in Forks." Do you think they make one?

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Fresh Start

So, this is my new blog. I'm way excited to have a new start, a blank page, to do whatever I want with. Now that all my movie reviews will be over there, I'm gonna have a lot of space to fill with my thoughts, opinions, ideas (if I ever have one), etc. Be prepared for more deep thinking. I'm a deep thinker, and I have always wished I was more comfortable sharing my deepest, darkest thoughts on my blog. (You may be wondering right now just how much more personal I could get. Oh, if you only knew.) I titled my blog with the hopes that it would encourage me to do just that. Share with you all that stuff stowed away in the corners of my mind....stay tuned....

It's Time

Due to some great advice, I have decided to branch out and start an official movie blog. I am separating my personal blog from my movie review blog, and since this blog already has the header, name and url address I want for my movie blog, my new personal blog will be found here. If you come to this one, you ain't gettin' nothin' but a bunch of movie talk, reviews, discussions, opinions, basically the rants and ramblings of one passionate movie lover. I hope you check out both my blogs regularly, but I know most of you are probably thinking, "Seriously? Another blog? As if I need one more blog to read." I know, I know, but I'll try and make it worth your while. I'm so excited for my newest adventure in blogdom!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breaking Dawn


Oh, boy, where do I even start? I have wrestled with writing this review since I first started reading the book, and I have to say I am really nervous about it. I couldn't decide whether to write a spoiler-free, lightweight version of how I felt about it, or really say what I want to say, everything, spoilers and all. In the end, I decided to write everything I want to say, because, well, I have to. And because most people I know (there are exceptions) have finished the book.

First I have to preface my review by saying that you all know how strongly I feel about these books. I am obviously extremely emotionally attached to these characters, Edward in particular. This is where my dilemma lies. I don't feel I can be a true "critic" for this review, because I am clearly biased. Where someone who merely enjoys the books or even has a mild infatuation could easily walk away from Breaking Dawn saying "It was great, I loved it, I'm so happy with the way it ended," I....cannot. I guess maybe I didn't even realize how deeply I was invested into the lives of these fictional characters until I started to feel physical pain reading the final book. I'm sorry if you don't like my review, but you have to understand you are reading the opinion of someone who could not be satisfied with "happily ever after." Not only did I need it to end the way I wanted, but I needed the path in which they took to get there to go the way I wanted. I know, I really set myself up. So here it is, in all its psychotic glory (and get comfy, this is sure to be long):

Okay, so the book started off great. I loved the wedding, loved the honeymoon, although after the big build-up about "trying it, and will it work" I felt totally jipped. I didn't want a big graphic scene, just...something! But, I do appreciate the fact that she's keeping it clean, especially knowing that (grrrr) 8 year old girls are reading it.

FIRST JAW-DROPPER: Bella gets pregnant. What the.....??!! Did anyone think that was even a possibility? I was so shocked, but I have to say I was incredibly excited at this crazy twist. The thought of Edward becoming a daddy and knowing how much he would love was exhilarating. joy soon turned to horror and disgust as suddenly Bella was carrying the Spawn of Satan, an evil vampire monster intent on sucking the life out of her. I felt like I was reading a script to an X-Files episode.

But the worst part was (and this pretty much goes for the whole book) is suddenly, with the introduction of this "baby", Bella and Edward's relationship takes a back seat to everything else. And Edward all but disappears! He's like a prop in the background, always there but rarely talking and especially not letting us know what he's thinking and feeling. This is all I care about people! This is why I read the books! To read about Edward, his emotions, his thoughts, his feelings, and most specifically, his passion for romance and Bella. It's like she wrote a four-book series, the first three books the development of this amazing romance, and the fourth, the book to wrap the whole thing up, is suddenly this whole new story, with new major characters thrown in, nothing to do with the rest of the series! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

So Renesmee is born. Okay, first of all, the name. Oh. My. Gosh. This name will go down in history as the worst character name EVER. I literally had to focus on not gagging every time (all 976 times) my eyes skimmed over it. And Nessie was just as bad. In fact, I'm going to give her my own nickname for this review, just to spare myself having to call her either of those. From now on she will be called Ren.

And then....Bella's change. The event that the entire books have been leading up to. Once again, completely overshadowed by Ren's birth. What happened to the dramatic, climactic, dare I say sensual event that we all felt we'd been promised? Nope. Instead we get an emergency C-section followed by a few quick nibbles by Edward to save her. All the while seeing this through Jacob's eyes. Uh, why? Why are we seeing this through Jacob's eyes? Why was he even there??!!

SECOND JAW-DROPPER: Jacob imprints on Ren. Okay, that was AMAZING. I was so completely floored, literally, the floor fell out from under me. Halfway through the paragraph I realized what was going on and my jaw actually fell open, and that doesn't happen to me. It. Was. Awesome. So powerful, so unexpected, so perfect. I loved it. He was finally over Bella, finally happy, and finally connected to her and Edward in a way that was good, not painful. I loved that instantly they were like family, always together, and I loved seeing Edward's initial "Daddy" reaction to it, so not happy about his baby girl being imprinted on.

Meanwhile, Bella breezes through her change to vamp-world without so much as a squeak. It was incredibly weird for me to see her as a vampire. I never, ever thought in a million years I would ever say this, but I really missed the old Bella, and I hated the old Bella. But at least she was Bella! She was the character I knew for three books, the one Edward fell in love with. It was all just too different, too weird. And with Edward blending into the wallpaper, I felt like I could have been reading a totally different book, not of the Twilight series, with totally different characters with the same names.

Once Ren came out I could not make myself see her as this sweet, precious baby that everyone was falling in love with. I couldn't make the change from evil mommy killer. I seriously expected for most of the book for her to turn on them, killing them all, sitting on top of the pile of their dead bodies laughing, like Bella's dream. I never warmed up to her. She never felt right to me. I didn't even like that she was there. She was totally creepy to me, this walking, talking, big-haired baby. The only good thing that could ever have come from Bella and Edward having a baby would be watching Edward be the most amazing father, and I got none of that. I think he holds her twice in the book. Jacob's bond with her is more developed than Edward's. I understand why, but still, I hated it. And I could not get it in my head that Bella was a mom. I could not put this vampire mom together with the weak, selfish Bella from the old books. The fact that she was pregnant for all of a month and delivered a toddler didn't help.

The book easily could have ended with Jacob imprinting on Ren, but for some reason the book continued on for the entire second half. Sure, we got to see what Bella was like as a vamp, but like I said, that was too weird for me. Every time she mentioned drinking blood or hunting I just wrong. And the whole super-power an extent it was cool. It was interesting learning about Bella's shield, and how Ren's powers came from her parents, but I'm sorry, as the visiting vampires started pouring in with all their special powers and started training Bella, I kept expecting them at any minute to pull out their wands and start a good Quidditch match. And the scene in the meadow with the Volturi...X-Men anyone? IT WAS JUST ALL SO WEIRD!!! It was not like the other books, at all!! I just think maybe Stephenie has gotten so into her sci-fi that she took the books in completely the wrong direction. All I wanted was a final something about Edward and Bella's relationship, the entire point of the books. But instead of a finale it felt like the beginning of a whole new series. I didn't like it. I was seriously disturbed by it.

Of course, I loved that the ending was happy, especially since I was halfway convinced that at least Bella and maybe Edward were going to die. So needless to say I was thrilled when they didn't. I loved that they are living happily ever after in their little cottage, a real family. I'm not sure how I feel about Edward finally seeing in her mind. It was cool, but, again, a change.

So there it is. I'm sure I'm forgetting things that I wanted to say, but obviously I could go on forever. Sorry this was so negative. The funny thing is, I didn't hate the book. I didn't even dislike it necessarily. I'm sure if I wasn't so obsessed, it would have been a fabulous book. I'm pretty sure it would have been near impossible to please me. If there was something specific I forgot to mention, that you were curious how I felt about it, please ask, I'd love to answer!

Okay, so now....what did you think?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Twilight Madness

Wow. What a night!! What a blast!! What a Twilight high!! I have been dying to post about it, but, you know, I've been a little busy reading a certain book...which I'm only halfway done with. (I have a family, people!) Anyway, it was such a fun night. We started out with a little Red Robin.
There were other people there dressed in full-on Prom attire. We suspected they were headed to the party, and after running into them in the bathroom, found out we were right. We laughed and ate and debated "Team Edward" vs. "Team Jacob." (I was very polite and let everyone state their opinions. Then I laughed and pointed at the Team Jacob people.)

(from left to right: Jodi, Rachael, Lisa)

Jodi is showing Rachael her New Moon tattoos that she cut up and passed around. Of course,
Jodi claimed the awesome "Edward" one, so I wound up with a big flower tat on my arm. It was still cool. We had so many people come up to us, gasping, asking where we got the tattoos. I felt pretty special.

At 10:00 we headed over to Barnes & Noble. My first clue should have been how easy it was to find a parking spot. Yeah, that's because all the other attendees had been dropped off by their mothers. I'm not kidding. We were some of a very few who actually had high school diplomas. I knew there would be a lot of teenagers running around in formal attire, I just really thought there would be more, well, adults. At this point we tried to blend into the self-help books and figured out a way to pass the time for the next two hours. So we took lots of pictures...

(My sister Amy and me. And that's my Team Edward shirt. Yes, it's different than
my original one I posted about. Long story. This one was waaaaaay better.)

(Two beautiful chicas, Lisa and her cousin [by marriage] Danielle)

Ran into this adorable couple, who were fully decked out for the costume contest.
Aren't they cute?

So I really wanted to showcase some of the other people at the party, although I felt
a little creepy walking around snapping pictures of complete strangers. (Although not as creepy as the guy walking around trying to enlist unsuspecting teenage girls into his Satanic cult. No, I'm not kidding. I wish I was.)

These were some fellow "Twilight Moms" who also felt very awkward being there.

This is a girl, dressed up as Edward.

A bride and bridesmaid.

They were taking free Polaroids there, so of course we had to get some.

Me, Amy, Jodi

Me and Shayla

And I had to buy the limited-time, special edition, first time ever
Twilight Saga chocolate bar. Best 4 bucks I ever spent.

We actually had a lot of fun just wandering, people-watching, talking, laughing, nursing (in Amy B.'s case), holding the tiny baby and being surrounded by tons of people just as obsessed as I am. (Is that possible?) We kept having to branch off into smaller groups or couples, it was just too crowded to all stay together. Plus, Shayla and I were the only ones with the coveted bracelets, that secured our place near the front of the line. So, as midnight neared, we said "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya" and giddily took our place in line. (Oh, I should mention it was at this point that the other adults starting pouring in. Oh, too cool for the 18 and under party? Whatevs.) Shocking, the line went super-fast and Shayla and I were out of there within 15 minutes. I couldn't believe I was holding the book in my hands. And it's HUGE!!

But before walking out the door, my fellow obsessed cousin and I had to get a picture together
with our prized possessions.

And then I flew to Shayla's, kicked her out the car door, flew home and proceeded to spend the next three hours in vampire heaven. I've had many people ask me if I'm finished, and I feel like I'm letting them down somehow because I haven't, but when your husband is only home on the weekends, it's not really the best thing to go hole up in your bedroom and read all day. So I've switched my days and nights, taking loooong naps in the day and reading late into the night. I won't say a single word about what I think so far, until I'm finished. Til then, readers........