Monday, October 31, 2005

Slurp slurp slurp

Well, it finally happened. Luke has learned to drink through a straw! Previously, if it wasn't formula in a bottle, or me putting my finger on the end of a straw and dribbling it into his mouth, he wouldn't drink it. I tried *everything* I could think of. But he finally got the hang of it this weekend (with tropical punch koolade as an incentive). Yay! He may not shrivel up into a raisin after all.
Currently feeling: thirsty

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

These shoes were made for walking

Literally. Guess who has his first pair of shoes? (Has for a couple weeks now, just the first I've remembered to post about it.) And they're size 7 wide, no less. Have I mentioned lately that he's only a year old?! He can walk quite well in them now, but he's still tentative about walking around outside of the house. (I know, it won't last.) Either he won't walk, or he wants to plop down on the floor, neither of which is a good option. We're working on it, though. Anyway, here they are.

The shoes:

And the beautiful model:

Currently feeling: like Sasquatch's mother

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Musing on Movies - October 25, 2005

Quick brother update: he's fine, just without power, and probably will be for several days. There are trees down on four cars in his section of the parking lot at his apartment building; thankfully, none of them are his truck. There are also at least five trees laying completely across the roads between his building and the entrance/exit to the complex, so he won't be going anywhere for a while. Or not anywhere he can't walk to. Thank goodness the weather has cooled down.

Now for a meme:

What are your favorite horror and/or suspense films? What horror/suspense films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of them, or do you avoid them completely? Do they give you nightmares and/or continue to "creep you out" for days, or are they gone as soon as you leave the theater?

I don't do horror movies. Ever. I need sleep. Jurassic Park is about as scary as I can handle these days (seriously). The last scary/horror movie I saw was SE7EN. It was a truly excellent film; I highly recommend that you see it if you like that type of genre. But *I* will never ever ever ever ever see it again. I *literally,* I kid you not, did NOT sleep for three days after seeing it. Watched it Friday night, did not sleep until Monday afternoon, and then only because my then-BF (now DH) went with me to my room to watch over me while I slept. Once he left (usually around dinner time, but sometimes around 9-10 PM), I had every single light on in the room (thank goodness my roommate was never there), and I didn't sleep again until BF came back to "help" me take a nap the next day. This went on for over a week before I was willing to sleep at night, and even then, I still had every single light on. That film bothered me and my sleeping for a couple of months, the images haunted me so badly. I couldn't sleep because every time I closed my eyes, my brain would replay those scenes and images over and over. ::shudder:: I swore I would NEVER see another horror film again, and I never will.

Suspense movies (often called thrillers), however, I love! Fallen is one of my all time favorites. Arlington Road was fun, especially with the particular crowd we watched it with (two huge macho guys screamed like little girls at one point; we all just died laughing, including the two of them). Frequency is somewhat in this category, but not completely; it is excellent, though, so you should see it. Psycho (Hitchcock's, of course) is really the gold standard, but Rear Window and The Birds are good as well (my brother is a Vertigo fan). The Sixth Sense was good, but it bothered me for a few days after (just a general creepiness); so did What Lies Beneath (that *one* stupid image, sheesh). I really wanted The Forgotten to be good, but the ending/resolution just didn't do it for me. I can't really think of one I thought was truly bad, especially since I see so few of them because I have to be so careful about not seeing "scary ones."

How do I know what movies are "safe" for consumption? My brother and I have a great system worked out. He adores all kinds of horror movies and suspense films (though not so much zombie or slasher type films), so he sees lots of them. He also knows what kinds of things I can handle and what I can't, so he usually previews movies for me and lets me know if they are okay for me to see. If he says no, I trust his judgement, and that's the end of it. If he says it's safe, then I'll go. So far, he's been right every single time (well, about the safe ones at least; can't speak to the scary ones, since I've never seen them! LOL).

Currently feeling: creepy

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wilma attacking my brother

After going on and on about how it would be a tropical storm or a minimal Cat 1 by the time it got to the Miami area, and after going on and on how it would pass well north of him, part of the eye passed directly over him. He was awakened this morning by debris slamming into the walls of his apartment. A tree is down in his back yard, missing his apartment building by about 10 feet. The tops of the pine trees are just snapping off like twigs. Tree branches are being blown around like leaves and slamming into the ground hard enough to stand up. The Weather Channel is currently reporting 60mph sustained winds, and the western eye wall is now about to cross his location. Here is a picture he managed to send me once the eye arrived and there was a break in the chaos. This is the tree that is down, laying across the power lines, as seen through his bedroom window (reinforced for weather event just like this one).

After this experience, he has decided that if he is in the projected path cone with 24 hours to go before landfall, he is leaving. No offense to my weather professional friend, but apparently the ones down there went out of their way to assure everyone that there was no reason to leave (for the record, no evacuations (mandatory or voluntary) were issued), that things would be fine, and that it would at most be a "bad thunderstorm." Obviously, this is not the case. I've grown up with hurricanes. My family has lived on the east coast (actually on/near the ocean) for 15 of my 29 years; I know they don't know everything and they do the best they can, but there is a *huge* difference in a tropical storm and a Cat 3 hurricane.

Currently feeling: ready for this to be over

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Musing on Movies - October 18, 2005

You know you've had a busy week when you can't even answer your own meme in a timely manner.

Movie trailers: some love them, others loathe them. What do you think
of them? Do you make it a point to arrive in time to see them, or do
you try hard to walk into the theater after they're over? Do you ever
watch/download them on the internet? There is even a television show
that that only shows movie trailers. Do you watch that show, or would
you if it was available in your area?

I love movie trailers. BTW, did you know that they are called trailers because when they were first being attached to the reels, they did in fact follow the film (i.e. "trail" the movie)? Obviously, this is no longer the practice, but the name stuck anyway. Personally, I always make it a point to arrive in time to catch them. It lets me know what's coming out, it lets me get a feel for the film (hopefully; some are way off the mark, but not usually), and they're just fun! And yes, it annoys me when people come in late, and to me, that includes while the trailers are running. I'd rather folks come in then than *after* the film has started, though! But if you're going to come in once they've started, please find a seat quickly. Don't stand there loudly discussing the matter; some people are trying to watch. Thank you.

I will occasionally watch trailers on the net. Formerly (you know, BC - before children), when we were seeing 1-2 films a week, I had already seen most every trailer possible, so it wasn't an issue. Now (you know, AD - after delivery), when we're lucky to get to the theater once a month, it's a little more important, particularly for things like Harry Potter. Since that very well may *be* the next movie I see in the theater, I'd really like to see the preview before the movie, so I have started finding them onlie. I'd really like to find the WTC Spider-Man one to download and keep, but I haven't found a copy (not that I've looked very hard). And yes, due to the circumstances explained above (you know, BC/AD), I *do* watch the movie preview program. It's called "In Theaters," and there is a regular version and an independant film version. I usually only watch the regular one (in hi-def on the INHD channels), but I will catch the IFC one on occasion. I try to watch it about once a month (they do current and upcoming films, so that's about all I really need). They're so pretty in HD on our huge screen! :-) Our cable company also has lots of trailers available on demand for free, so that's pretty awesome. I go through that one every couple of weeks to see what's new. It helps tremendously with my theater withdrawal symptoms. LOL

Currently feeling: in need of a theater fix

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Luke's first birthday party

Finally, I am getting around to the very long overdue report (and requisite photos) of Luke's first birthday party.

I am very happy to say that things went *extremely* well! Just one or two teeny tiny things that glitched, but I can't expect everything to go perfectly, now can I?

Let's start with Friday (pre-party day). Dad called around dinner time. Glitch #1: His flight was supposed to leave at 6:30. They waited until the not-full 5:15 flight had left to announce that they were canceling the 6:30 due to the weather (tropical storm something or other; can't even remember now). Needless to say, he was not happy. We debated what to do, and finally decided that he would book a ticket for the first morning flight out, which leaves at 6:30 AM. If that one was cancelled, then he would still have time to drive and be here for the party (about a 5.5 hour drive). Great, no pressure! LOL Oh yeah, and we were up until 4 AM getting the food made and the cake decorated. (My mother makes and decorates cakes; she took the Wilton class almost 20 years ago. This is her own design with a little input on color and style from my brother and me.)

Here is the top:

And here is the side:

Saturday, we got up 7:30 AM (yes, three hours later, after Dad called to say that his flight was in and he was on his way to the MARTA station) to finish up the cooking and to start decorating the house. I was just finishing up taping things to the door when the guests arrived. There were six of us (me, DH, Luke, Mom, Dad, Jacob), and five of them (Mom's mom, Mom's brother, his girlfriend, and girlfriend's daughters age 7 and 4). Not bad, I don't think. I didn't want a ton of people, so that was just about right.

Glitch #2: None of the food was ready. It was all made, but nothing was cut or put into bowls or anything else. This actually turned out to be a good thing, because the girls wanted to know if they could help, so I had them open the paper products and put them on the table. This gave me enough time to cut the Rice Krispy Treats and the Salted Peanut Chews. All that was left was putting the Sausage Balls, Sweet Crispix Mix, and Goldfish crackers and pretzels in bowls, put chips and salsa in the tray, and add spoons. Everyone got their food, I got the hot fudge on the stove (Glitch #3: left it sitting for about 20 minutes, instead of stirring every 3-5. I think it boiled, so it wasn't its usual smooth consistency. Tasted fine, just looked grainy.), then started opening presents, since Luke had gotten up 30 minutes earlier from his morning nap than I thought he would, and he was already getting tired. He never really got the hang of ripping off the paper himself, but if you started it and handed him the edge, you could twirl the box and he'd hold on, so it worked fine. I'll spare you the details of everything he received, but here were some of his favorites:

Little People Kingdom Castle (entire set):

A luxurious Finding Nemo microfleece throw (soooo soft!):

And an adorable Finding Nemo hat:

Then it was time for cake. We changed Luke's outfit (so as not to mess up his cute new Nemo t-shirt), and got him all set up. Lit the candle, sang, clapped (softly, since loud clapping scares him), then gave him a piece of cake. In this case, a picture is worth 1000 words, or more:

::sigh:: So, Glitch #4: He wouldn't eat it, and he hated the way it felt on his fingers. What isn't shown in the pictures is that he actually picked it up and threw it off his tray at one point. We gave him Cheerios instead (that's what you actually see him eating in the rest of the pictures), then packed him off for his nap. Packed up food plates for everyone, saw them off, and all was peaceful again.

So, could have been a smidge better, but could have also been *so* much worse. Can't really ask for more. And one final picture:

The Gastons, one year later:

Currently feeling: *quite* pleased with herself

Monday, October 17, 2005

IMDb is 15 years old

That sure is hard to believe. It almost seems that IMDb has been around forever. I certainly don't know how I ever lived without it! Oh, yes I do. I either spent several phone calls and/or hours wracking my brain to make the connection between some actors or films, or it drove me mad for days. Boy, am I sure glad my brother sent me that link!

Currently feeling: congratulatory

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Musing on Movies - October 11, 2005

What is your favorite movie snack? Do you usually get something to eat and/or drink at the theater, or is it a rare treat? What snack (if any) do you usually eat while watching a movie at home?

I really like popcorn or Milk Duds, with a Coke, please. Movie theater popcorn is the best! And it's not healthy for you, which is why it's so fabulous, I'm sure. It's cooked in peanut oil, IIRC, which is incredibly high in saturated fat. I don't even add butter, I just love the saltiness straight up, plus it's less messy. Sadly, the Milk Duds are probably less fattening and healthier for me. LOL

When we were seeing 1-2 movies at the theater per week, we almost never got anything to eat or drink, particularly since we usually went to dinner right after. Movie treats were reserved for special occasions, like our anniversary or Valentine's Day. Now that we go so much less frequently (maybe once a month, if we're lucky), we do usually get at least a drink and some Milk Duds to commemorate the occasion. At our regular theater, I have a rewards card, so I earn free popcorn frequently, and they also have free popcorn on Wednesdays, which is when I try to catch a movie if I'm going to go by myself. Hey, free is free, and it's yummy to boot.

I usually have something to drink (normally water) when watching movies at home. That's about it. We just don't tend to eat during films at home, unless dinner counts.

Currently feeling: hungry

Monday, October 10, 2005

What a year

Luke's first birthday was Friday. What a difference a year makes! See for yourself:

*Just* a few changes, what do you think? Special thanks to everyone who sent Luke birthday wishes (Annette, Valerie, Melissa, and Connie). Full report on his birthday party (which was Saturday) later when I have more time.

Currently feeling: amazed

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Musing on Movies - October 4, 2005

What are your favorite sports films? What sports films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of sports movies or very few, or do you avoid them completely? Which sports (if any) do you watch on television? Are those the same sports you enjoy as movies?

Ooo, I love sports movies. Sports are inherently dramatic and exciting, so we tend to see a lot of them. I'll even watch movies for sports I don't particularly enjoy watching on television, like hockey. Favorites? Oh dear, um.... Bull Durham, Field of Dreams (not a traditional sports film, but still), A League of Their Own (noticing a theme here?), Remember the Titans, Mystery Alaska. The Cutting Edge, while not a great sports film, is always good for a laugh ("toepick"). These are the first that come to mind; let me glance in the DVD case to see what else I thought was good enough to buy. Oh, The Rookie (with Dennis Quaid) is very good as well. We own a couple of others (DH's choice), but I don't really care for them (The Natural (horrible, since I read the book first) and Hoosiers). I saw Friday Night Lights recently, and I didn't like it much either. I don't do boxing movies, in any way, shape, or form. I don't care to watch people beat each other's brains out, in real life or on film (but other types of violence don't bother me; weird). And yes, as you can probably guess, I watch *lots* of baseball in addition to baseball movies. Just call me slugger! LOL

Currently feeling: sporty

Monday, October 03, 2005

I hate people

No one get paranoid, this is not directed at anyone I know online. It is directed at people currently mucking up my real life (and none of them were visiting last weekend, so don't *you* go getting paranoid either). Despite the fact that they do not read this blog, I'd still really rather not put it out there, just in case. I'm just tired of it, and I need to let it go. Hopefully by typing all of this out, it will help. Doesn't seem to be, but who knows.

Currently feeling: frustrated

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A new meme - The A List

Well, since I've started my own meme, I guess I should actually support a few others, no? Funny, just this topic came up on a meme this week, a new one called The A List that is run by a couple of lovely ladies I know. We'll just ignore the fact that it is a Monday meme and it took me until Saturday to answer. I imagine that will be the case more often than not. The only reason I can answer mine on the same day I post the question is because (being that it is mine and I know what question is coming) I answer it in advance, usually on Saturday or Sunday. *Anyway,* here it is, this week's The A List:

Why do you answer memes? Or read other people's answers? What memes do *you* read?

Well, I haven't been very good at answering memes in the past, and I really have no idea why. There are plenty of days I lament the fact that I can't think of anything worth blogging about, but I've never done a meme (other than the "one time" ones) on any kind of consistent basis. And it's not like there aren't plenty of memes available. I guess I just don't want my blog to turn into meme central. That would imply I have nothing interesting to say (if the shoe fits....).

I love to read other people's answers. It is a very interesting insight to how they think and what kind of person they are (and yes, I know that is improper use of "they," but I hate the whole he/she thing). And some of them are very funny! It's just a good way to get to know people better.

I read several memes, despite never answering them, except for my own Musing on Movies. Let's see, I follow: The Friday Forum (interesting and worthwhile, just not usually worth the substantial brain effort to answer, how sad for me; plus Friday is a really bad day for me to try to get anything done), Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week (not doing much stitching these days, so I feel silly doing them), Booking Through Thursday (which, given my love for reading and the fact that it is about the only hobby in which I still participate since the birth of my child, you'd think I'd actually get around to answering! I promise to try to do better), and the brand spankin' new The A List (obviously, LOL).
Currently feeling: revealed