Monday, October 20, 2008

Grimsley - Page game

Even though I still feel like a newbie to Gboro, I have heard of the intense Grimsley-Page high school rivalry. Hubby has taken Sonny Boy to the annual football games the past couple year. All four of us went Friday night in non-stop rain, wind, and greatly reduced temperatures from the day before. I was so grateful to the Booster moms who make sure they sell hot chocolate at those things.

The game was a bigger deal than I had envisioned. I know it's one of the biggest (if not the biggest) rivalries in the state. Even with the weather conditions, almost 5000 people were there. About a week before all parents had received a 3 page letter from the Principal detailing the events of Grimsley-Page week, and especially what was not tolerated. We also got the big automated call about the week. Friday morning (in the rain), Grimsley-Page alumni participated in the annual golf tournament. 280 participated and almost $30000 was raised, to be split between the two athletic departments. Wow. Scholarships were given as well.

I was an ice cube by the time I got home, even though I had dressed appropriately. Princess and I left a little early to go home and thaw out. Sonny Boy (who had insisted on only wearing his 2008 Grimsley-Page tshirt and a pair of shorts) came home a little after that. "I'm freezing!" He said. "Everyone thought I was an idiot!" I responded, "Well, do you think they were right?" (Before the game, I had tried my best to get him to at least wear a jacket - but you can't force a 14 year old who is bigger than you are to dress more appropriately). Sonny Boy just rolled his eyes and went straight to bed.

No one should be surprised that he was sneezing, coughing and congested over the weekend. And when he had to leave science class today to call a parent to pick him up because he now has a fever, his teacher said, "I'm not surprised. Saw you at that game Friday night."

Sure hope next year's game has better weather! And sure hope Sonny Boy might figure out that dressing appropriately for the weather might actually not be uncool.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Breaking Dawn - the review

In the summer, I posted about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series - a juvenile fiction about vampires that I (along with millions of teen girls and their moms) became a touched obsessed with. I anxiously awaited the final book of the series, Breaking Dawn. Alas, it did not live up to my expectations. I really liked the first three books, but as I hear Edgy Mama say - "She really needs an editor!" It's a shame when someone becomes a big success that editors aren't willing to pare down or help reshape a book that really needs it.
And it wasn't just the length - the storyline just got weird. Bella has made her choice between gorgeous vampire Edward and rebellious human/wolf Jacob. I was fine with that. Gotta move forward in life, right? Yet, once that decision was made, things just got weird. Edward lost his dangerous mojo and was simply a boring, smitten, emasculated vampire. Bella, only age 18, suddenly became a strong, independent, and quite mature grown woman. And who didn't want Jacob to get a real life? He deserved it. The characters I grew to know so well just weren't the same people. The storylines didn't make sense because they weren't really the same people. Consistency is a must! Innovation yes - but once a character is fleshed out, how can they suddenly be a very different person?
Nessie (if you read it, you'll find out who she is) was just weird. I must say that Meyer still paints vivid images (can't wait to see them translated onto the big screen with The Twilight Movie next month). And I enjoyed the exchange between Jacob and Rosemary. But the rest was disappointing. Sad way to end something so promising.
My grade - C-

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tropic Thunder

I wish I could forget one of my most frightening Halloween memories. I was in college, and there were just no good parties to be found that night. One of my friends, Stephen, suggested to a group of us that we go see this new movie he'd heard was really good. "What's it called?" "Platoon." "What's it about?" "It's about the Vietnam War."

Okay, I thought. Always up for a good movie, and I did like history. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For anyone who recalls this movie, it was the beginning of those violent, rated R, movies about guys bonding together under the worst conditions imaginable. I had nightmares for weeks.

I've been reading about Tropic Thunder for almost a year. A comedy about making a movie along the lines of Platoon? Ben Stiller at the helm? Robert Downey, Jr. playing an Aussie actor who goes through a procedure to become "black" for the role in this pretend movie? It was either going to be great, or completely awful. I was hoping for the former.

And that was what I got. I actually saw it twice. I laughed so hard I literally cried. The movie pokes fun at the most ridiculous aspects of the Hollywood movie industry, and yet still finds some humanity in the midst of insanity. Robert Downey, Jr. was beyond hysterical. He was the ultimate "Russell Crowe" method actor. The man can take a big risk and make it work. And as much as I loved the movie, the "previews" and "commercials" from the big name actors in the fake movie at the actual beginning of the movie were really the icing on the cake.
Not a movie for everyone - still lots of violence and certainly some crude humor. But I can say I found some redemption from that nightmarish Halloween over 20 years ago.
My grade - B+