What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

29 January 2009

Hello, Wall-E!

Yes, I know, the rest of the world saw this movie back last summer. I'm slow, okay?

Anyway, I've heard from various sources (movie critic sources, that is) that Wall-E should be a contender for Best Picture. Not best animated picture; Best Picture. As in, "Take that, Benjamin Button!" Best Picture. But, alas, since the (lousy) Academy came up with the animated feature category, Beauty and the Beast will probably forever remain as the only animated film ever nominated for Best Picture. Anyway, I have seen a grand total of zero of the movies up for Best Picture, but I agree with all the critics; Wall-E was robbed.

Firstly, it's hard not to like a movie that starts with the songs of Hello, Dolly! Chad had already watched the movie without me once, so I felt no guilt about singing along to "Put On Your Sunday Clothes." Chad objected anyway; he seemed to think I was distracting myself. I didn't care. That cute little robot loves Hello, Dolly!; I love Hello, Dolly! I was totally sold from the first frame. :) And then when we got back to the robot lair and saw a clip from the film, they were still singing and dancing in front of the railway station-- only to skip (rather quickly) to Cornelius singing to Irene in the park about how he fell in love with her in a moment. Brilliant.

Okay, so this post is actually about Wall-E. There were too many moments to love-- him following Eve around, building a duplicate Eve, giving her a Rubik's cube, protecting her from the storm--then accidentally waking up John & Mary, setting loose the defective robots, leaving a trail of dirt for M-O to clean up (how much do you love that little robot?)--the captain learning all about Earth, Mary's "Get ready to have some kids!", and Eve frantically trying to save Wall-E. Seriously, this may well be the first DVD I ever purchase.

Apparently there are some complaints about the social commentary-- some say it is too heavy-handed, others say Pixar wasn't blunt enough. But really, that's not Pixar's job, is it? It is a love story, and if they want to make some money off our rubbish-lined highways and expanding waistlines while producing a brilliant movie, I will not be among the complainers. Plus, my answer to both sides of the argument is Hellooooo! Take a look around you! Do we really need the movie makers to point out the obvious?

So, I loved the movie. Long may Pixar reign.

25 January 2009

Have you ever...

So, I stole this little post from someone else. Bold are things I've done; italicised are things I'd like to do; red are "Never, I hope" or "Never again"; the rest are not my thing. Yet. :)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (the high school band counts, right?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (Seriously. Never. Again.)
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. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (A very kind friend asked when I'd be running Boston--just hours after I limped across the line at my first half-marathon. Maybe when I'm 80, and they let me in out of sympathy.)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
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 (Some of my ancestors. The really close ones.)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (Sort of... it's a work in progress. Very slow progress.)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (If you're not truly satisfied with what the Lord has given you, then it doesn't matter how much you make; you'll never be "truly" satisfied.)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s 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
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
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 (Aaaaaaaa!)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (Not enough money on the planet!!)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
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 (I think this would cause the broken bones!)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
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
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

24 January 2009

The T-shirt!

So I've had about 12 hours to think over this blog post. First things first: I am still alive and blogging. Unfortunately, most of the blogs over the past two weeks have happened in my head. But they were good ones! :)

There are now about four shirts that I have ever owned that have brought me delight to just receive them. The first one, undoubtedly, was my very first drama t-shirt my freshman year of high school, when we did Oliver. I don't know what happened to that shirt, but it was long gone by the time I graduated. Shame, too; I loved it. I was really in the drama club (I thought) once I owned that shirt.

Number two was probably my aim t-shirt. Same reasoning, really; after a few years of planning, dreaming, convincing parents, convincing a home congregation, and raising support, I had arrived. The glamour wore off after a while, and I gave that shirt away. I still have the one they gave me as an aim assistant; I use it as a running shirt. Hee!

Number three: My Scotland top, purchased in 2000. They've changed the top a couple of times since then, but I still own-- and wear-- the one the team was wearing at the one match I saw in person.

And now, we come to shirt #4, and the whole point of the post. Back in November, I raved about having met all three of my running goals in 2008 with a month to spare. We finally had the running club year-end party last night, and I now have hanging in my closet the visual proof that I am in the 66 mile club! I put it on as soon as we got home, so I could be all dressed up to watch Wall-E (more on that later). Since I miraculously didn't spill anything on it during the two hours I had it on, I'll also be wearing it to church tomorrow. And to work at least one day this week. And to any other place I can possibly think of. I worked hard for that t-shirt; much harder than for any of the other three. (Yes, please don't get out the aim-embossed tar and feathers, but running is waaaay harder than anything I did while I was in aim.)

So, there you have it! You would also have a picture, but Chad is still sleeping and I don't want to disturb him. So, stay tuned.

09 January 2009

Goodbye, 2008

Yes, I realise it seems a little bit late to be bidding adieu to a year that concluded 10 (nearly) days ago. However, since I didn't work the first four days of the year, it has taken me most of the week to finish up all the end-of-year crap that plagues every office. However, I am finished and now I am ready to close the books, quite literally, on 2008.

Also at work... my deskmate of three years retired last month, and I "inherited" the lion's share of her workload. This is not as unfair as it sounds (and feels, some days!), because our work overlapped in a few areas anyway, and we could both do each other's jobs at need, so now I've just absorbed her stuff that fits with what I already do. Anyway, one of the jobs that is now mine is that of ordering and keeping track of office supplies. This week, my coworkers had any misconceptions they may have had of me being kind and gracious well and truly put to rest! My predecessor would order things whenever someone asked, meaning some weeks we got two or three orders, other weeks we got none. Not me-- I sent out an email saying I will place orders ONCE a week, and any orders I don't have by Wednesday morning will have to wait to the following week. My office manager agreed, so I am in the clear. :)

And finally... I broke down and ordered a new iPod to replace the dead one that's been sitting around my house since September. Tomorrow, it gets its first test at our first race of the year; it is already loaded up and ready.

01 January 2009

Rudolph: The lights are on, but nobody's home.

Sorry, Rudolph, but your song should start off, "Rudolph, the really stupid reindeer, had a set of rocks for brains."

Lest you think I am being overly cruel to the proboscisly-gifted bringer of happy Christmases, I invite you to a viewing of Rudolph's Shiny New Year. Baby New Year ("Happy") has run (well, crawled) off, an evil vulture intent upon stopping time is after him, and Father Time asks Santa to send Rudolph to find Happy and save the new year. They have about six days.

Now, Happy is a ridiculously cute baby New Year, with ginormous ears that everyone keeps laughing at. He's off in search of a friend who won't laugh at his ears (and I admit, it made me sad that he couldn't find a friend), and he's determined to crawl all through history if he has to.

Remember Rudolph? The reindeer who can fly, light up the night with his nose, and go all around the world in a single night? Presumably he can also kick with any of his four legs, and give the evil vulture one knock on the noggin that will solve the problem forever. Even if he didn't want him permanently off the bad guy list, I would think he could disable a wing long enough to save the new year, right? Or at the very least, fly faster than said evil vulture?

No. Rudolph sets off on foot with a bunch of friends who are marginally smarter than he is. Meanwhile, evil vulture dude is flying around, always spotting (and kidnapping) Happy just before Rudolph and his gang arrive. They manage to save Happy every time, only to lose him again. The climax comes when they arrive in a town having a 4th of July parade, and the townspeople are still laughing at Happy's ears as he crawls out of town. Rather than fly (or even run) quickly to catch up with Happy, Rudolph moans, "We're too late again!" and sits down to a cup of tea with the city fathers to explain why Happy left in such a hurry.

It's at this point in the movie that Rudolph finally remembers that he has a light-up nose, so they need not stop searching now. Well done, smarty!

So the intrepid searchers catch up to the evil vulture at his nest, get caught in an avalanche, Rudolph melts his way out of his snowball, and climbs up to the nest to rescue Happy. (I would draw the conclusion that the flying only works one day a year, but that doesn't wash with the rest of the Rudolph movies.) He, too, giggles at Happy's ears, before showing off his own shiny snoot to the delight of baby Happy. He then asks, "You haven't heard of me?" before Father Time intervenes to tell us that Rudolph is "too modest" to tell his own story, so the snowflakes & trees have to do it. (Father Time is too kind: the truth is more likely that Rudolph can't remember the words to the song. And I think he ruined the "too modest" take by asking if the baby had heard of him.)

Then, the evil vulture wakes up, starts laughing at Happy's ears, and falls out of his nest. Apparently, he went to the same school as Rudolph, because he also fails to remember that he can fly before crashing to earth.

This is the part of the movie where Chad turned off the TV, so I don't know what happened after Happy was rescued. So, well done Rudolph for saving the cute new year baby. Another time, though, turn in some of your frequent-flyer miles and take to the skies.

Happy New Year, everyone.