Friday, May 28, 2010

At Long Last

George has a job! Within the next month, we will be "stacking up our dreams and bric-a-brac ... and flitterin' again." We're heading to Des Moines, y'all! Please join us in giving thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Post for Brittnie. OR, Why I Now Hate Lost

Oh yes she did! Brittnie opened that can of worms on which you were all hoping the lid would stay tightly secured. My issues with Lost she asks? Where do I begin? There's not enough time.... Just be warned, I am NOT happy with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse at this point, and I may tend to argue as if with them.

Okay, let's give it a go. Shall we?

For starters, there have been lots of abandoned story lines over the years. But, I'm a patient girl (not really, but in this case...) and easily distracted, so I just kept watching. But eventually, I did expect to find out why the Others like to masquerade as people living in mud huts and what's so special and strange about Walt and why Ben and Widmore can't kill each other and what the numbers really mean and who is whispering and what Jacob is up to and what's up with all the hieroglyphics. Okay, so a few of those have been sort of answered. It just seems like they made a really really big deal out of them to just sort of go "oh, those are just...." like it's no big deal. Why all the mystery? I'll tell you why. They're cheaters. They put people and situations in the story that have no place being there. My English professors used to remind us of Chekhov's smoking gun rule which states, "If you fire a gun in Act III, it must be seen on the wall in Act I; and if you show a gun on the wall in Act I, it must be fired in Act III." The expression that goes "a place for everything and everything in its place" comes to mind too. In the end, there are lots of things, people, situations, and events that seem to have absolutely no place in our story. There are guns all over the wall in Act I and here we are, up to the final scene, and there is not enough time to fire those guns. Okay, there's always time to fire a gun, but there isn't enough time to answer a lot of these questions. I could care less how they do it, I am not partial to any one theory, but good story telling demands that they give an account for these things. The writers are accusing their audience of wanting to be spoon fed answers, and I think that's really unfair. The audience just wants a story line that makes sense. It's not lack of thinking we're all doing; it's that we are thinking and recognize that this is shoddy storytelling and lots of things don't add up. I trusted in an artful, intelligent, and sophisticated framework, and instead, I got "Across the Sea!"

That brings us to "Across the Sea." This episode made me a bonafide hater. To call it a child's fairy tale would be an insult to the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Walt Disney. As one of my coworkers put it, "It's like, here, give it to the dog- it'll eat anything!" It was so so so badly done that I was in disbelief. The acting was bad. The costumes were bad (did Jacob have snaps on his vest?!). The hair was just silly. And the holes! Oh the holes! Fake mom says "I've made it so you can't hurt each other." Really? Because Jacob beat the shazam out of his brother twice and then threw him into an absurd looking glow-y cave (what many message board folks like to call "the gate to Ferngully") to endure a fate worse than death. "What's dead?" Well, twelve year old child, it's what you were trying to make that boar you were hunting... Clearly Jacob had no idea what was going on because his mom never answered any of his questions. He knew she killed his real mom and that whole village of other people and yet, he has blindly followed her instructions for hundreds (thousands?) of years? Everyone on the show has beliefs about what is going on based on information that came from Jacob, and Jacob's information all came from psycho Allison Janney lady.

Back to the holes though. Flocke can't go across water without a boat. He can't leave the Island. So how did he appear as Christian Shephard of the Island on the freighter and in LA? Maybe Christian was a ghost in those instances instead of Smokey? Remember wet whispering Walt? He wasn't dead, so he couldn't be a whisper, a ghost, or a Smokey, but it also wasn't him either. Just what are the rules with Smokey? Can he appear only as someone who died on the Island? Because what about Isabella? Can he appear only as someone who has not been buried? Because what about Alex? And besides Smokey's holes, there are others. Ben and Widmore can't kill each other. Anyone watch on Tuesday? Richard can't die. Anyone watch on Tuesday?

The holes are boring. The stuff that is just totally stupid is more fun. Basically, all of the last two episodes- really, really dumb. And is Claire or isn't she "infected?" Is Sayid or isn't he "infected?" He did just martyr himself for the good guys, you know. What was the point of Dogen? What was the point of Illana? What was the point of Zoe? What is the point of any of it? There could have been any number of directions for the show to have gone that would have been rich and intriguing and well done. But with only two and a half hours left, I think there is little hope for any ending to save it.

Oh, see, I told you this was happen. Can opened. I have plenty more I oculd say, but I will stop here. We will be missing the series finale on Sunday because we will be on the way back from an interview at a church in Iowa. We'll watch it when we get the chance, and I am sad not to see it in real time, but not very sad. I mean, the circumstances keeping us from the television are quite worthy, but even so, not too sad. I think I have already sort of grieved the loss of what might have been a great show and am now just watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 style.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Worst Kind of Junk Mail

I got a support raising letter today from Planned Parenthood. What in the world?! I called them right away to ask them how in the world they got my information and to please take me off their list. I think it was that fun run I did this fall- the one for Congolese women? It was held by an organization called Women for Women International, an organization I know nothing about. I just wanted to run and support women from Africa. How was I to know they were chummy with the murderers of he unborn? Forgive me if that sounds brutish or calloused, I mean it to the contrary- let's not leisurely employ some anesthetized PC term and forget what it actually is (among other things, brutish). I asked the guy at PP if they share their lists, and evidently, they do. What a shame!

In the end, it was a sad, strange insight into the way Pro-life supporters are viewed by those we might call "anti-life." The main anecdote from the letter was about how these "anti-choice" people were rallying outside a Planned Parenthood office for hours on end, days at a time, and how this one "brave" young woman made her way through the picket lines and went into the building to give a donation. Supposedly, the young woman let the people in the office know that she was giving the donation because the protesters made her so mad. What? That's the best they've got? "Support us, because there are people who don't want you to." I mean, I can't imagine what sort of story they could tell to rally people to their cause, but the letter didn't seem to even be trying. Its one story revolved around the idea that "anti-choice" people are really annoying and we should all stick it to them by giving money to the thing they are against. What a strange platform. Sadly, I am sure there will be people who will give to their organization upon receiving those letters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lists

Just to sort of catch you up with the random details of my life, I give you lists.

Movies I've seen lately:
Iron Man 2- in the theater, pretty good, sort of confusing, neither a letdown nor a surprise.

Fantastic Mr. Fox- I was too tired to enjoy it. And I wish Owen Wilson had a bigger role. I always love the tone of Wes Anderson movies though. There's something cozy and soothing about them. Does that make sense? Probably not.

The Young Victoria- I liked it. It was the kind of movie that sends me straight to Wikipedia for more information. Yes, Wikipedia, I'm lazy like that.

Adam- I liked it, but I was also saddened by it. I don't like to be saddened any more than I have to be.

The Men Who Stare at Goats- ? I am sure it was wonderfully done, but it could not hold my attention, even with the talented and dreamy Ewan McGregor playing the lead. Perhaps it is because the other lead was being played by a thickly moustached George Clooney. I'll never forget when my friend Stephen came back from Spring Break sporting a major moustache. I had a hard time even acknowledging that I knew him. Yes friends, I'm that shallow! Moustaches, they make even the most attractive men nauseating- no, they are not okay.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?- yes, it was somewhat hackneyed and very predictable, yes, Mary Steenburgen is annoying, yes, there was another giant moustache on a major character. What can I say? I had low expectations and I love Hugh Grant. He said mayonnaise!

Where the Wild Things Are- hated it. There are no words.

Celebrations we've had lately:

Well, we had a nice Kentucky Derby gathering a couple of weeks ago. I didn't get to invite everyone I wanted to, but I am just waiting to get out of school and have time to prepare for a big bash properly. I wanted to do the Derby party so badly that I threw it, but it was not nearly what I wanted it to be. Nonetheless, a few dear friends came, mint juleps, hot browns, and derby pies were consumed, hats were worn, and the race was run. I'll definitely be having one of these again- minus the hot browns because roasting a turkey to carve up to make sandwiches is silly. Recipe for mint juleps to come in time for next year's Derby.

We celebrated an early Cinco de Mayo with some old friends the Sunday before the actual day. The middle of the week is no good for us right now! Instead of doing all Mexican fare, I did sort of a Mexican twist on burgers. I made a chipotle mayonnaise and served chips and guacamole along with a yummy black bean and corn salad and mojitos. Okay, so that's not rocket science, but it was out of this world! Ba-dum-pum! I'll try to get some recipes up from that menu as well.

We also had a lovely anniversary date, my husband and I. We went out for sushi at a very swanky place in Clayton (Miso, for anyone who is interested). It was both of our first time, and we loved it. I knew we would. I have decided it is probably the perfect food. It's healthy and filling and delicious. What more could you ask for? More sushi, that's what! The dinner date was followed by our movie date to see Iron Man 2. The date was concluded the following day when we had a late breakfast and spent a few hours at a book fair. We're nerdy like that- we totally loved the book fair! Plus, I had a teacher discount! George's mom kept the kiddos for us the whole time, and the only thing I could ask for, besides more sushi, was more time!

But time dictated that we end the anniversary celebration and begin the Mother's Day celebration. George taught Sunday school on Sunday morning so we had to have everyone dressed and ready to go extra early to get across town to pick George's mom up and then across town another way to church in time for him to teach. I always like hearing George teach. This bodes well don't you think? I may be hearing him teach for the rest of my life (I hope so!). After Sunday school was the worship service, of course, and then we headed out for Mother's Day brunch (Jimmy's on the Park, for anyone interested). The seating assignment was perfect for a family with three squirrelly kids who had just been through three hours of sitting still at church. We had our own little cove right by a window. Plus, there were swords in our cocktails, so hey, free toys! I had crab cakes with poached eggs and cilantro lime hollandaise. I did. It was fantastic, especially because this year, I didn't have to cook! I also had a bloody mary which was only my second bloody mary ever. It was, sadly, a distant second to the first one I had a few months ago when my dear friend Rebekah made bloody marys for us at the river house. How does one make bloody mary plural? The world may never know. The only other time I had been to Jimmy's was also with Rebekah, so, as you can imagine, I really missed Rebekah on Sunday. I told her so. And now I am telling you.

Books I've read lately:

Through the Looking Glass- this because of all the Lost references to it. Don't even get me started about how terrible Lost is shaping up to be. Anyway, I have been reading the book aloud to the children (we also recently read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). At the beginning of the book, there is a lot of talk about chess. I pulled out the chess board to explain to the children what the pieces were that Carroll was talking about, and before I knew it, I was teaching a very interested August how to play chess. We have already played several games this week. I went to get him in the office today (I was in the classroom late grading papers) and he was explaining to the receptionist and the second grade teacher all of the different pieces and how each of them moves. He didn't have a chess board with him or anything, he was just explaining from memory. That kid! He's turning out to be a big fan of math and games that involve "mathy" thinking. I don't know how to say what I mean- he just really likes card games and that Blockus game and now chess, and he's really good at building Lego things both from his own imagination or from the directions. He really loves math at school and enjoys plugging it in to the real world- he is always adding or subtracting and finding patterns in things.

Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and now Anne of Windy Poplars- I read the first two aloud to Amabel, but I figure the rest of the story is a little old for her. I am still reading my way through the series for the first time since junior high school. And I must say, I am finding myself quite frustrated with the miniseries which I had always thought was pretty close to the books. I now realize that most of the characters were sort of like dream people- a little of this person mixed with a little of this other person in a different location entirely and somehow connected with this other person from a different part of her life altogether. You know what I mean? Still, I am not sure one could argue for a redo as there is much in the books that is incidental or anecdotal which makes for a difficulty when trying to have a main story line. Perhaps the frustration is that I have replaced the original stories and characters from the books with the changed story from the movies as I have seen them more. That is the way it always happens with Jane Austen and Harry Potter too.

There's more, but I think we're at a good stopping point. I have these cookbooks I want to tell the world about, but that is another post for another time. 'Night, y'all!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Free Strawberries

If you're here in St. Louey and want to get some free strawberries, I just read that each child you bring to Eckert's (the Belleville farm) this Friday, May 14th gets to pick a free pint. All other strawberries are $2.09 a pound, so you would have to bring a bunch of kids to make this economical. Still, it's fun! All you have to do is tell them you're "with" MomsLikeMe.com and they will give you one free pint basket to fill for each child with you. The farm is open until 6pm and it's an all day offer, so there is no gathering or anything you have to do, just mention the website and the pints are free.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Do You Know Who Guildenstern and Rosencrantz Are?

I have noticed that the St. Louis radio stations have started playing copious amounts of Spin Doctors and Sister Hazel. All of the sudden. Weird, huh? Is this happening anywhere else? Let me know. I keep wondering if either band has a new album coming out and that is why all the stations are rocking out to "Two Princes" and "Champagne High." But it looks like it's just that there isn't enough new music worth playing. Not that Spin Doctors and Sister Hazel are worth playing. What new music are y'all listening to these days? I need something to take me away from the racket of live radio. (And, by the way, only one person in the world will get why I entitled my post this way, so don't feel lost. My older sister and I used to listen to Spin Doctors on the way to school when she had just gotten her license. It was about the only music we could agree on. There was a song on that album that mentioned Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, who she had encountered in literature before me, and after asking me several times if I knew who they were, it became a joke between us. Therefore, the title of this post was just a little wink at my sister, as she often comes to mind when I hear something by the Spin Doctors.)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Glad to be Madame George

At this moment exactly ten years ago, I was probably walking down the aisle for the first time as Mrs. George Edema. How long do Presbyterian weddings last? Maybe I was walking in to the Terra Cotta Cafe, the fantastic restaurant inside a charming cottage on Magnolia Avenue in Auburn, where our reception was held. Perhaps we were posing for pictures? But I don't like to think of those because our photographer was a bad word. And when all is said and done, your wedding is really the sum of the pictures you have of it. It's such a blur, what bride and groom could remember, if they even noticed in the first place? The cake? The guests? The food? The flowers? These are preserved in ones pictures- of which I have very few. But what I do have is far better. I have George. I don't have the emotional energy to write about what a blessing that is right now, but I wanted to say that at least- I am so grateful for George. Ten years of George. The only way it gets any better is when there have been ten more. And honestly, it could also be better if my last name wasn't an often misspelled, always mispronounced, makes people think of gross medical conditions, totally uncommon, phonetically unpleasant sounding "Edema." But I have since gotten over it. Given the choice, I chose George, and would again, dreadful last name and all.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ruminating

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

- I Peter 4:8

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