Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Multimedia Faves

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - just a wonderful ending for one of the best series ever written - definitely the best on this list

2. Children of Men - I read the book years ago and still can have nightmares about it. I was unsure how the movie would compare - some marked differences, but held true to the theme and very good in its own right. Clive Owen was superb and the world created was so real and so frightening.

3. Waitress - truly wonderful little independent movie with tons of laughs (and Andy Griffith!)

4. Transformers - a big budget popcorn movie that did not disappoint - loads of fun!

5. Confessions of a Memory Eater by Pagan Kennedy - not written in 2007, but when I read it. The novel has so much to say about truth, relationships, memory and reality - keeps one thinking long after the book is put back on the shelf.

6. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan - short novel about a young couple's wedding night in the early '60s - quite thought provoking.

7. Smile by Lily Allen - I know Amy Winehouse gets all the press, but this was definitely the best song of the year (and especially by a young Brit woman).

9. Robin Hood on BBC America - I keep watching and watching the reruns - wonderful adaptation of an old (and sometimes tired) story. Jonas Armstrong and Lucy Griffiths have great chemistry and breath life into the main characters; interesting stories, dialogue and fun.

10. Moonlight - CBS (new shows whenever the writer's strike is over); modern day vamp in LA with sexy Australian in the lead alongside spunky young Brit (how can others do American accents so well, and we stink - with the exception of Gwyneth Paltrow and Renee Zellwegger?)

11. 30 Rock and The Office - the two best sitcoms on tv, hands down

12. Gilmore Girls - the final two seasons were not the best, but they sent them off well, and for that - I will always be grateful

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ginger Bread House Redemption!

Each year, it is part of my family's tradition to make a ginger bread house. And since I am insane, I choose to do this completely from scratch. I blame that book, Anne of Green Gables and a Christmas Treasury, which first led me to believe I could be just like Anne and make this easily and even have it look like her beloved farmhouse. Yeah, right.

This blog has chronicled past failures. And since Christmas is about grace and redemption, we have succeeded this year in the best Rio ginger bread house ever! Note Princess in the cutting and baking aspect. And then here is the final product. I keep looking at the house on its high perch (far away from cats and dogs), admiring such a thing of beauty. Ahhhh......

Friday, December 21, 2007

Breaking the Christmas Code

One of my childhood Christmas memories is the way my Mom would label Christmas gifts. Presents would be wrapped under a tree with a series of odd letters on them. For instance, a package of purple socks might have been wrapped for me with the label "BDOFCIPAIKIYFCT." These letters would stand for "Because Donny Osmond's favorite color is purple and I know it's your favorite color too." That way Mom knew the present was for me and not for my brother - even though Jerry and I had no clue whatsoever. Pretty good.

I have continued the tradition with my own twist. I usually put one word that reminds me of that particular child. One present under our tree is labeled "TIGHT" because Sonny Boy's wrestling uniform is tight. Another is labeled "RED" because Princess' Chinese name before she came home with us meant red, hot, popular. (Yes, we did choose a different Chinese name, because who wants a teenage daughter one day whose name means red, hot and popular?)

Princess started getting into making and wrapping presents last year. She decided to try her own codes. Well, this year she has trumped both Mom and me. She has been taking Chinese language all semester and her labels are written in Chinese characters. I only hope the package that smells like chocolate is for me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka

In honor of the heat wave we are having...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Concert Etiquette

Last week, Sonny Boy's middle school had a Choral Concert. The flyer from the Chorus teacher listed the following rules for Concert Etiquette -

1. Refrain from talking. does this include the toddlers? and how can I keep my mouth shut with so much hilarity in front of me (intentional or not)?
2. Refrain from unwrapping noisy candy wrappers during the performance. I leaned over to my mom and whispered, does it count if the candy wrapper is not considered noisy?
3. Turn off all pagers, cell phones and watch alarms. I particularly liked the rap song ringer that went off during Calypso Gloria
4. Do not wave to your child during the concert. Can you point a finger and give him the evil eye if he's cutting up on stage?
5. Do not take flash photography. what if the flash accidentally goes off? those darned digital cameras are beyond most middle aged parents
6. Please do not walk down the center aisle with your video camera. Can you walk down the aisle just to get a loudly whispering child to the bathroom or water fountain?
7. Do not leave as soon as your child's portion of the concert is over. I pointed this out to my Mom as she did this, but she just gave me the evil eye (guess it runs in the family).
8. Applaud at appropriate times. huh?
9. Do not leave the concert during the music. guess this rules out #6
10. Go to the concert expecting the best. You bet - some of the best laughs I've had in a while!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Sonny Boy has undertaken a new sport recently - wrestling. He joined the team a few weeks ago and had his first match yesterday afternoon. My knowledge of the wrestling world is quite limited. I had a little exposure in junior high when the wrestling coach made a point of saying "Rasslin!" continually. I knew they wore really tight outfits and rolled around on each other, but that was about it.

There are those moments when inherent gender differences seem to come to light. Yesterday was one of those moments. I sat with one of the other moms - as clueless as I was about the sport. We watched the boys in their little spandex getups rolling around all over each other, trying to pin the shoulder blades to the mat. It was just plain weird. And a little gross. But the boys love it. They won't ever hug each other, but they will be all over each other in little outfits for competition's sake.

I voiced my total support for Sonny Boy. I am proud of how hard he is working in this sport, and I am trying to learn the basic rules. Yet, I don't think I will ever quite get the love that males have for it. Just not made that way...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Obi Wan returns

Everyone who reads this blog knows that my Sonny Boy (age 13) thinks he is the coolest person around. Being so cool, when he needed a new jacket, it had to be a fleece hoodie from Old Navy. Supposedly, brown is the coolest color right now. So Sonny Boy is constantly to be seen in the brown hoodie, usually with the hood pulled up and hiding a good portion of his face.

Since I fancy myself something of a Lorelai Gilmore, I have taken to calling him Obi Wan. We were in the grocery store the other night and he was dragging behind, so I loudly called, "Hey Obi Wan, catch up!" I would not normally provide so much entertainment for the masses, but the opportunity to embarrass my kid was too great to resist.

Last night Obi and I went to a women's college bball game (my school versus a local one in Gboro). Not a big crowd, so Sonny Boy spotted his least favorite teacher from last year across the stands. I acted like we were going over to say hi at half time. The hood then came up and would not be removed. As we were leaving the gym later, I made sure to walk very quickly and was only about 2 feet behind said teacher. Obi was really dragging his feet and hanging his head under his hoodie, hoping she would not notice him. I had no intention of speaking to her (at one point last year I called her - not to her face - a dried up ol' prune) - but I had a blast freaking out Sonny Boy. He thinks his Obi Wan imitation saved him, but the Force was really with me and not the cool hoodie.