Wednesday, May 12, 2010


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!


jennifer h said...

Sounds like you've been busy! I am glad you had such a great anniversary, too!

Brittnie said...

How are you disapointed in LOST? AND, does it have anything to do with a preconcieved notion of how things, in your opinion, should be?

george said...

Don't get her started about Lost.

I think the day after we watch the last episode might end up being one of the single most life altering days of our family's history. It will be the day things get back to normal.

I curse the day Lost premiered!

Practically Perfect... said...

I really want to see "The Young Victoria" movie. I've heard good things about it :-)

Sarah said...

oooooo... I've been re-reading through the Anne novels too, and staying up way too late to do it!

e.c. said...

I loved The Young Victoria as well...thought they did a lovely job with it. And we all HATED Where the Wild Things Are...nothing redeeming about that movie. Such a disappointment...we took the whole family and spent $50 on that outing...ugh.

barlow said...

So glad to hear iron man 2 was decent.

Anonymous said...

what a fun post. I'm glad I stopped by. I just finished reading Anne of Green Gables...I'm in the mood for girly books with Peyton's arrival drawing near...I'm queer :) Glad to know sweet August likes Chess. I have forgoten how to play.

Jandy said...

What did y'all hate so much about Where the Wild Things Are? It was in my top five from last year; I loved every second. I do know some people who didn't like it, though - I'm always curious, because I thought it was beautiful. Seems to a polarizing film.

Abby said...

Jandy, you amaze me! I feel like you have this brain and eye for film that I will never have! I am sure it was artful in its own way, but it made no sense to me. And it was uber depressing- brown and sad and dusty. I don't know, I just didn't like anything about it. I didn't quite understand how the different "wild things" corresponded to a different emotion or whatever it was supposed to be. I got it on some level, but I missed a lot, I think. George tried to help flesh it out, but in the end, I thought most of the "wild things" were similar enough- all of them seemed negative to me. It just seemed like a bleak way to look at people- and this coming from melancholy me...

george said...

I liked Where The Wild Things Are.

But I don't think it is a good movie for little ones. And I think that might be why it is polarizing... since it is based on a children's picture book.

Assuming the movie and book are essentially about the same thing, the book simplifies and obscures the heaviness of the emotional reality of the situation in order to make a fun and accessible book for little kids. The movie takes the fun accessible version of the story and fills in all the dramatic weightiness. So, though they may be about the same thing, one is purposely framed for children whereas the other purposely un-frames it and thereby takes it away from children, in a sense.

Jandy said...


I think you're on to it. It's based on a children's book, but the film is very much made for adults - adults who remember what it was like to be a child, but are looking back on it through mature and somewhat wistful eyes. And with its arthouse tone and pacing, it was like a children's film that was made just for the child in me.


One film blogger I know disliked the film for similar reasons as you, I think - he thought it was mean-spirited and shrill. That every time Max or Carol tried to do something good and bring everyone together it ended up backfiring and making everyone unhappy. But that was what I liked about it - there were no easy answers, and it felt realistic in its portrayal of "you can't please everybody all the time, but you've just got to love them anyway."

I think the wild things corresponded more to elements in Max's life rather than emotions, at least in the film. Partially elements within himself (Carol is his petulant anger and also his need to be loved, Alexander [or is it Douglas? It's been a while] is his loneliness and sense that he's ignored, etc.) and partially elements around him (Carol is an exaggerated version of himself, KW is his mother, or possibly his sister in some readings). But they don't correspond directly, they're reimaginings and dream-world evocations of his real life - I also loved that shifting ambiguity. (Oh, and when "that dog" showed up for a nearly throw-away moment as a giant ambling creature? Loved that! Such a small moment, but so perfect.)

And the music. Guh. Love. In one way, the film is almost a music video mood piece. The blogger I mentioned before also didn't like the music, which I could see as a huge stumbling block to liking the movie, because it's so central to the mood and emotional drive of the film. Of course, I'd listen to Karen O sing the phone book.

I can see the bleak argument I guess, though, even though I don't think it's ultimately bleak. Maybe I just like bleak, also.

I haven't gotten around to The Young Victoria yet, but I really want to. I'm sort of wishy-washy on period pieces lately, but from all reports, this one is really quite good. And I do love Emily Blunt.

Brittnie said...

I tried to comment last week, but I guess it didn't work.

What are your problems/bummers about how LOST is ending? If you lived here, I'd invite you to my LOST Finale bash (on the movie screen at the people I nanny fors house), but sadly, you don't live here.

Are your issues based on your preconcieved ideas of how you think it should end?

Brittnie (olive)

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