Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 2008 Round Up

Blinkie by: Jo's Blinkie Obsession (no longer active)

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Parenting magazine is about it. I just can't get into any books at the moment. Believe me, I keep trying!

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Lots! At the theater: The Forbidden Kingdom, Get Smart, Hancock, Kung Fu Panda, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II. On DVD: Miss Potter, Enchanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. TV: Meet the Robinsons (the Disney movie), Curse of the Golden Flower, The Closer (so glad it's back on!), Mythbusters (new season starting), and Mad Men (we'll see if they hit a sophomore slump or not), plus still watching In Plain Sight and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (which seems to be getting better/back to normal; I was worried there for a while).

What special days did I celebrate and how?
DH and I celebrated 10 years of marriage! We went away for the weekend and spent loads of time in the movie theater, which explains that rather expansive list of films up there. Our anniversary is July 4, so that's how we spent the holiday. July is also my birthday month; I turned 32.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
We received the gift of time from family and friends. My parents came and stayed with Luke so we could go away for our anniversary, and my friend Ginny came and stayed with Luke (well, sat in our living room while he slept) so we could go see The Dark Knight on opening weekend. Tangible gifts are great, but the gift of time is equally precious. The diamond journey pendant DH gave me is pretty spiffy, though. The chain was pretty tiny, so I spent my birthday money on a new one. We also agreed to get satellite radio; I just need to decide on a receiver. And squeeking in under the wire, DH came home the evening of July 31 with roses for me. You have to understand, he's only brought me flowers two other times in the nearly 14 years we've been together! That was a shocker. I'm sure it is related to the fact that I bought myself some flowers last week (hey, they were on sale for less than $5, right by the checkout at the grocery store), but still!

And how could I forget? (I think I was still reeling from the flowers, LOL.) I received Firefly on DVD from my best bud in AZ, and LEGO Indiana Jones from my long-time best friend in Texas. Not sure how to tell her we already have it. I think I just won't mention it.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Luke got over his terrible cold from last month, just in time to give it to me for our anniversary. I was *so* sick, it was terrible. Couldn't breathe, had to carry tissue everywhere I went, kept coughing, and sounded like I'd swallowed a frog. Sooo romantic (rolls eyes).

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Besides go to the movies? LOL We were supposed to attend a wedding, but I didn't feel well. Nothing else exciting this month.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
This is another case of not really being new, but it's a place I haven't eaten in at least 10 years, maybe 15: Fuddruckers. There is one just up the road from us, near places we eat all the time. We just never went, for some reason. But my parents ate there recently, so we tried it again. Wow, was that a good burger! We just might have to start going again.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Garage door springs! That's not something you buy every day. Nor do you usually have them installed at 9 PM on a Saturday, but we did.

What were this month's disappointments?
Well, my boss's transfer was put on hold. Disappointing for her, but great for those of us who work for her. We found out the last week of July that it had finally gone through, though. She leaves Sept 1. Good for her, but sad for us. In general, work did not go well, through no fault of ours. Some acceptance testing has delayed about 30 projects, but there is nothing to be done about it except manage the fall out and do the best we can to get them done as quickly as possible once testing is complete. So things are largely at a lull right now, which we will pay for dearly come September (when testing is scheduled to complete and all held projects can start to proceed in a cascade).

What were my accomplishments this month?
Did I really accomplish anything? Nothing distinct comes to mind. How sad.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
We finished yet another sticker chart for pooping on the potty, this time earning an Indiana Jones figure set. No, he hasn't seen the movies, but he was very insistent about wanting the ghost (I haven't the faintest clue why, so don't ask). He did fine for about a week after, we had a few issues again, but the seem to have resolved. I really don't want to have to do *another* sticker chart. Let's see, we're also working on not stealing. Okay, that's a little harsh. He tends to bring home small toys from school in his pockets. If it happened just every once in a while, I could believe it was accidental, but more days than not for 2 weeks tells me it is at least somewhat intentional. So we talked about not taking things that aren't ours, and we also now do a pocket check before we leave school. Now we just need to work on looking at the person who is speaking to you (particularly when you are in trouble) to show that you are listening, and we'll be doing well. (Mom, stop laughing!)

Anything else noteworthy to record?
We were under a boil water advisory for my birthday. That was fun. Oh, and my brother finally closed on his house! He's moving to become a professor.

Currently feeling: well movied

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Potent Potables and Hibachi Flames

Ah, everyone's favorite Jeopardy category. I had no idea what it meant until I was well into my 20s. And even then, most people would not consider that water fell into that category, unless you suddenly have to do without, at which point you realize just how potently important it is. Makes me realize how spoiled we truly are, when my biggest complaints were that I couldn't take a hot shower and I had to go buy some bottled water. It made me a little more appreciative of how truly blessed I am. A good birthday present indeed. And we did get the all clear to use our water the afternoon of my birthday, which also meant that we could go eat out near the house.

We chose our favorite Japanese place (Fuji Ya, up by Northlake Mall, for any of you locals). We actually just ate there for our anniversary three weeks ago, but we were alone. We had Luke with us this time, and it sounded really good at the time, so we decided to take him with us. It is technically not his first time there. In fact, he's been at least two other times that I recall. Once, he was still in the baby carrier, and he slept through the whole thing. That was probably Valentines Day 2005, if I had to guess. We took him again for what I think was my birthday in 2006? Not my actual birthday (that was a disaster, as I recall), but some weekend that my parents and brother were all here visiting. I remember this distinctly, because we all had to take turns.

You see, at Fuji Ya (and many other Hibachi places, I imagine), they start the "show" by lighting the table/grill on fire. Now, we know this. We knew it was coming. We told Luke it was coming. I even stood up and held him in the doorway, instead of having us still sitting at the table. The flame gets huge and very hot, and I was trying to keep him from being scared. Yeah, didn't work. He screamed, beyond terrified, and I had to take him out to calm him. I felt so bad. Then after that, he flatly *refused* to go back in the room where our table was. All I had to do was get near the door, and he started screaming. So we rotated, someone sitting out in the sushi bar area with Luke for a while, so the others could eat.

Since then, we just hadn't taken him back, but we decided that he is 2 years older now and has a better understanding of fire and safety (and realizes that if Mommy and Daddy aren't scared, then it is probably okay). We backed his chair up as far from the table as possible, we told him it was coming, he looked a bit concerned at the huge "whoosh" of hot air, but he grinned hugely, and all was well. And he thought the volcano (fire trick with the stacked onion rings) was really cool. Not that he ate any of the food. We did get him to try one bite each of plain rice, fried rice, shrimp, and teriyaki chicken. He didn't like any of it. Thank goodness we are smart parents and brought chicken nuggets with us, just in case.

Currently feeling: hungry for more

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boil, Toil, and Trouble

Well, happy birthday to me! We were informed yesterday that most of my county is under a boil water advisory. There was a power outage at the water plant Tuesday night due to the storms. No cooking, no drinking, no bathing, until it is lifted, without boiling the water for at least 3 minutes. Manageable for cooking and even drinking, but I'm not seeing how that works with bathing. Yesterday they were saying that the advisory would probably be lifted today. Good birthday present, I can take a shower! Now they're saying 1-2 more days. Ugh!

I think I'll probably risk a shower as "the advisory is mainly precautionary," and I certainly don't get water in my mouth when I shower. I just don't want to be icky on my birthday, is that so much to ask? Guess I'll keep using bottled water to brush my teeth. It also makes going out to eat tonight a little tricky (I don't cook on my birthday if I can help it, plus how would we wash dishes?). Virtually every place we routinely eat is also within the advisory area (makes sense that we would eat out near home, no?). I guess I just don't trust the restaurants enough. The Golden Corral we usually frequent is outside the restricted ZIP codes and in a different county; maybe we'll just do that. Not exactly what I had in mind, though.

Currently feeling: boiled

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My DH can take a hint

Being married for 10 years does have its perks. And my DH can take a hint. Especially when it is phrased as "hey honey, you know how you were saying you wanted something more 'special' than satellite radio to give me for our 10th anniversary? well I like *this* right here," said while pointing at a picture on a website. See ladies, you just have to know the right kind of hints to give! LOL

It's a sparklie! It is just barely larger than a US nickle (5 cent coin), and it is even prettier in person. I love it! The chain is thinner than I would like (teeny tiny box chain), so I'll be on the look out for a new one, but it's fine for the moment. I've been looking for just the right thing for a while now, knowing that a milestone anniversary was coming up and DH would be requesting suggestions. I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for; I'm more of an "I'll know it when I see it" type person. The other candidates I thought would be good turned out not so hot in person. I didn't find this until last week, so technically it is serving as my birthday present (I'll be 32 on Thursday), but I still think of it as more of my anniversary gift. Thank you, honey, for taking "hints" so well. ::giggle::

Currently feeling: gift-ed

Monday, July 21, 2008

Movie Musings: The Dark Knight

Here is my full review of The Dark Knight. I don't usually post full reviews on my blog, and I've been bad about posting even snippets so far this summer. I'll post some snippets (unless someone requests a full review, but I think most of my blog readers already receive the email version) of the rest of the movies we've seen sometime later this week.

The Dark Knight

In a Nutshell: Didn't live up to the hype, but then again, no film could. Generally good, with moments of greatness. Dark for sure, but should have been darker, IMHO.

Quick Plot: Batman has the common criminals running scared, and there's a new DA in town determined to keep hold of the newly gained ground. But the common criminals turn to an uncommon man, The Joker, a self-admitted agent of anarchy, to take down Gotham's protective dark knight, and much of the city burns in their wake.

In Detail: Good, just not as good as I'd hoped. It had moments of brilliance, no doubt about it, and it is a good movie, just not a great one. First off, it was too long by a good 20 minutes at least, which made the first hour or so drag quite a bit. And I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I think it should have been darker. If you're going to go there, then GO there! Don't take huge strides toward the line, then stop just short. I understand they need this movie to be a commercial success (that $180M US budget is looming large), and I understand that they wanted the movie to be rated PG-13, which I don't think could have been managed with a movie much darker than this one. But there was at least one scene in particular, and perhaps a couple more, that did not pack the punch it could have in terms of suspense and/or emotional tension, simply because I *knew* they weren't going to carry through due to the PG-13 rating (if they had, I swear to you, I'd have fallen out of my seat). I also think they tried to cram too much in there (see too long comment). I *really* think they should have let the Joker and Two Face each have their own film. Introduce Harvey Dent, fine, but save his arc for a separate movie. That would have allowed for a shorter, tighter story this time around, and yet still allowed for more Bruce Wayne (lots of Batman, but not much Bruce this time; shame to hide Christian Bale behind the mask and suit and voice for the whole film) and more Joker. And believe me, more Joker would have been a good thing. Heath Ledger is just as amazing as everyone said; you simply cannot take your eyes off him when he's on screen, and you can't wait for him to reappear when he's off camera. The make-up, the voice, the phrasing, the sheer presence, and the overlying melancholy of knowing that this brilliant man will never be seen on film again in a fully completed performance. It makes him all the more riveting. Ledger alone is reason enough to see it, so do rent it if you don't make it to the theater. And FYI, no coda (thanks Melissa!).

Will I Buy It? I don't know. Will have to discus with the spouse. Personally, I think I need to see it again just to fully appreciate such a fabulous performance by Heath Ledger. But after that, I don't see myself watching this movie over and over. I'll think about it.

Currently feeling: theatrical

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I love my friends!

Have I mentioned lately that my friends totally rock? I believe I mentioned that I babysat for my friend Ginny a few weeks ago so she and her husband could go see a movie. Well, Ginny read my (sad and pathetic) blog post from Thursday and has offered to return the favor. She is coming over Sunday night so that DH and I can go see The Dark Knight. Is she awesome or what?!! THANK YOU, GINNY!

Currently feeling: grateful for friendship

Friday, July 18, 2008

A friendly text message

I just received my first text message from a non-family member today. I'm ashamed to admit that it was quite a little thrill! LOL I primarily exchange text messages with my husband during the day (less disruptive than a phone call), and family texts happen a few times a week. I don't give out my cell phone number to everyone I meet, but most of our close friends have it. We're just not big phone talkers, any of us. We generally communicate via email, and call if it is urgent. No one really texts, except to family (similar to the way we do it). So thank you, Melissa, for my first text message from a friend! I feel so "in."

And it was good info, too. She tells me there is no coda at the end of The Dark Knight. Just so you know.

Currently feeling: friendly

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Joke(r) is on me

The Dark Knight starts playing in 5 hours. And I won't be there. Don't even think I'll make it to the theater before *next* weekend. If the movie was a little bit shorter, I might could squeeze it in after work but before daycare closes. But at 2.5 hours, NOT including previews, that just isn't do-able. So I have to wait. And ignore the media as much as possible. It's not gonna be fun.

Currently feeling: ready to see it

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blessings on the Garage Door Repair Guy

That would be Mike, who came out on a brutally hot and humid Saturday night to fix our garage door. I will gladly plug the Overhead Door Company without compensation, because they rock. And I also bless their marketing department for putting commercials on Atlanta's WSB 750 AM radio, otherwise I would have had absolutely no clue who to call. I still didn't remember the number, but I knew the name of the company, so I could Google it and get the number.

We had no idea there was a problem. We left the house to go pick up dinner from Zaxby's. We came back, pressed the button, and the door would only go up about 3 inches. Hmmm.... I mean, it is in our favor that we at least have *one* car out of the garage (thankfully the one with the car seat), but that won't help DH much on Monday morning when he needs to get to work. We go inside (through the front door, which never happens!), DH looks at the door from the inside, and sees nothing wrong. I stick my head out the door and say, "is there supposed to be a gap in the spring on the left side?" Um, no. DH starts ranting about how on earth do we know who to call about this, blah blah. I recall the radio commercial and look it up. "Bet they won't come until Monday, or it will cost an arm and a leg" he says. Well, according to the website, they do 24 hour call outs for no additional fee. Awesome! It was just a broken spring, but let me tell you, that door is freakin' heavy without its assistance! Sheesh.

Anyway, I call the number, and they dispatch a guy who is supposed to be there in two hours, after he finishes up the job he is currently working. Sure enough, at the 1 hour and 50 minute mark, he drives up. He takes a look, says yep it's just the spring. He asks how long we've had those springs, and we tell him that we assume they are the original ones, since we've lived here 7 years and the house is 10 years old. He's quite impressed that they lasted that long, since they are near the bottom of the quality scale (usual lifespan on those is apparently 3-5 years). He quotes us the price on replacing one and both springs. We decide to go on and do both, since it is clearly just a matter of (not much) time until the other one goes. We get a couple of fans running out there to try and help keep him cool (it was still in the mid-80s and extremely humid, even at 9:30 PM), and 40 minutes later after much banging (some of the bolts needed some, um, encouragement to come loose), we have two shiny new galvanized springs (guaranteed for life) and a functional garage door. Woo-hoo for 24 hour service and people who know how to fix things for these two woefully non-handy engineers! LOL

Currently feeling: springy

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crash, Boom, Bam

That huge crashing you heard this week was our current workload falling down around our ears, crashing and burning big time. I won't go into details, other than to say that things are currently a big mess with unexpected project delays. Yeah, it's been a fun week (not). If you can spare a thought for my boss, who is having to handle the fallout of all this (she's not being blamed for the problem (I don't think), it's just her job to pick up the pieces and devise a new plan based on the new facts), I'm sure she'd appreciate it.
Currently feeling: the sky is falling

Friday, July 04, 2008

Ten Years of Marriage

That's what DH and I are celebrating today. My parents will be here in a few hours, and then we'll be off for a weekend away while they stay here with the child. How about a little stroll down memory lane?

10 Years Ago:

5 Years Ago:

1 Year Ago (best I can do for a nice current pic):

I hope all of my American readers are out celebrating the July 4th holiday and having a grand time. For everyone else, I hope your weekend is worth celebrating. See ya next week.
Currently feeling: happily wed (still)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Sniffly Snivel

Which I think is redundant, but I don't much care right now. I have officially acquired Luke's terrible summer cold. I was bad enough yesterday, and I have gone dramatically downhill today. I feel rotten and miserable, and I am acquiring oxygen through my nostrils at the rate of approximately one molecule per minute.

Did I mention that tomorrow is my 10th wedding anniversary? Yeah, what fun that will be. [I'd snort, but I can't get that much air out through my nose, so you'll have to settle for a huffy sigh.]

Currently feeling: sick sick sick