29 June, 2008

the critics are right


We took the girls to see Wall-E this morning. We went to the first showing we could find, at 10:15. Here's a tip for the annoyingly peevish couple with no kids seated directly in front of us. If you want to go see a G-rated movie on opening weekend and don't want to share the theatre with little kids, go to the 9:30 PM show. Actually I noticed lots of people there with no kids. That's the power of Pixar for ya.

Anyway, the first hour or so, before Wall-E leaves the Earth, is just heartbreakingly good. The animation has taken a giant step forward, yes, but it's the story and characters that really grab you. The simplest moments are the absolute best, and you just wish there were more of them. Bob Mondello said “The first hour of Wall-E is a crazily inventive, deliriously engaging and almost wordless silent comedy of the sort that Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton used to make.”
Once the humans come into the story, it loses its human touch, which is funny, right? The robot with his pet cockroach express more humanity than any of the human characters. Point taken, Pixar. Sadly, much of the film was too intense for Junebug, who is still processing. L. though, was fearless throughout most of it, only getting worried when things looked the worst for poor Wall-E. But of course a happy ending was assured. Which is good, because I would have been verklempt if anything had happened to that little tramp.

I know, but sometimes Reno 911 makes me laugh out loud

Like in that episode where the buxom blond cop talks the other cops into helping her marry her aged and rich fiancé before anyone finds out he's dead. While one of them goes to get the judge with cataracts, she says she'll go get her wedding dress from the trunk of the squad car. Then the, uh, let's say slightly mentally impaired brunette cop asks "You carry a wedding dress around in your squad car?"

Blonde cop: " Sure. I like to be prepared. I also carry a saddle, a bee-keeper's hat, and a couple of flower leis."

Brunette cop: "Wow, half the time I'm caught without a tampon."

25 June, 2008

riveting

Omg, I'm listening to Jill Bolte Taylor right now on Fresh Air, and she has quite a story to tell.

24 June, 2008

I could almost hear it whistling "je ne regrette rien"

Instead of simply adjusting the tally sheet on my sidebar, I thought today I would elaborate on my morning bike ride because it had a rather unusual start. Moments after leaving the street and entering the bike path, I witnessed a squirrel (daft, probably a close relation to a prairie dog) dash right in front of a car. Both car and squirrel were directly to my right and just ahead of me, positioned so as to afford the best possible view of the accident scene. It was quick and dirty, accompanied by a loud crunching sound. The driver did what little she could to avoid the collision but the swerve didn't work-the squirrel was already too close. I saw the squirrel working up to it just before. I could almost read its wee thought-balloons: "Not yet...not yet...NOW!". There were no other cars around. It could have waited 5 seconds to cross an empty street instead.

This made me start thinking about how the so-called circle of life has changed so much. How cars are such strange, brainless players in the circle. They aren't predators exactly, because they don't eat what they kill, and neither do their drivers. Surely the animals notice this. I wonder what in the world they think about them?

**UPDATE** As I was finishing this post, I heard a scratching sound at the window of this very room. I looked over to see a squirrel hanging on to the window sill. It peered in at me as it made a few confused passes back and forth before hopping up to the roof. I felt like it was saying "Yes, please tell our story to the World!"
I didn't have the heart to tell it that only about 4 people would ever read this.

21 June, 2008

this is what 45 dollars at my local Farmer's Market looks like



One dozen free-range eggs
1/2 pound of organic button mushrooms
1 pound org. asparagus
1 pint org. strawberries
1 pint org. sugar snap peas
1 pint org. snow peas
1 pint of the most phenomenally delicious honey evah!
a generous 1/2 pound org. salad mix
a generous 1/2 pound org. baby red chard
1 small bunch org. pak choy
4 ounces chevre with cranberries & walnuts

All local, all fresh, all transported home on my bike. Yum, ya'll!

18 June, 2008

perhaps a nickname is in order

It turns out the temporary boy next door is totally cool. And his charming grandfather was home the whole time, and knew where he was. After about an hour, though, I knew I needed to get this crew out of the house. We walked over to his Dad's house to see if he could come to the pool with us. The answer was yes, so we just got back. It was awesome. He entertained the girls for me and I didn't even have to get in once. Yea!

Now if L. could just pronounce his name correctly, we'd all be happy.

pray for me

My next door neighbor's 7 year old son is visiting from Florida, and he showed up at our doorstep half an hour ago, with no adult in attendance. The girls are delighted. They are all enjoying each other, despite the fact that L. can! Not! seem to remember his name.

I don't know if anyone even knows he is here. He said something about his Dad having to take a long drive for a business deal.

...

17 June, 2008

guess who's seven??

That's right, my Junebug is seven years old today. I find it so hard to believe, considering how well I remember that day 7 years ago. She was such a luscious baby, right out of the box, so to speak. She was huge (8 pounds), plump and so very pink she was the definition of pink. A healthier newborn you never saw. And here she is just last evening, adding a bee to the giant flower she drew on our backyard patio. And then, after bath, she read to us from Ramona the Pest. She amazes.

We threw a Birthday Party for her last Saturday at our local gymnastics palace. She said her favorite part, aside from the cake and gifts, was the trapeze.



She looked pretty cute on the balance beam, too.


And it turns out that L. is fearless and a complete natural talent at gymnastics. We have got to find the money to get her into some classes. Here she is doing a forward roll on the beam.


The party was loads of fun, and I even (foolishly) got in on the action. Note to self: WTF were you thinking??

Wow, the simplest handstands are sofa king harder when you are 43 and fat and out of shape than when you are 12 and, well, just 12. I'm a lucky dragon indeed that I managed to avoid surgery-inducing injuries. My friends Erin and Trisha totally talked me into it, and I've always been spineless when it comes to peer-pressure. Also, the floors at that gym were irresistibly springy, I tell you! But Lordy, I was not-surprisingly sore for the next 2 days after just a few cartwheels, round-offs and handstands. Damn, I'm old.

Well, I'd better dash now. I have a cake to bake before Ice Age is over (I"m sure you were wondering why it's so quiet in here). I'll leave you with some more photos. The girls did lots of drawing last night, and embellished a drawing I made to inspire my little tomatoes to grow. My drawing was just a black line. R. decided some lurid color would improve it. She was right.






13 June, 2008

Girl Drink Drunk

Ever since Sinda introduced me to the delectable spirit St.~Germain, I feel a little like Dave Foley in this old sketch. I can't get enough St. Germain cocktails. And look, Ma: no blender, coconuts, fruit, or parasols required! Or paper clips. Okay, well, yes there is a lemon twist, but honestly I never twist a lemon. That unnecessary step would only delay the trip to my lips. So light, so refreshing, so floral, so perfect for summer.



09 June, 2008

Old Filth

Thanks to Maureen Corrigan, book critic extraorder on Fresh Air, I have a new favorite fiction writer. Her name is Jane Gardam, and I just this morning finished her novel "Old Filth". What an amazing story, what an amazing set of characters she created. Most especially Eddie Feathers, the titular hero of the book who, tossed about by the tubulent waves of personal tragedies and historical circumstances, manages to always miraculously rise to the crest. I feel as if I knew him long ago. I wish I had.

Here is a NY Times review of Old Filth, and more about Gardam.

David Soul - Black Bean Soup - live 1977

That's right, people. The song is: Black Bean Soup.

Eat it up.

07 June, 2008

give us a cuttle


Mr. Man sent me this news story. He knows the depth of my affection for the humble and adorable-if-not-quite-huggable cuttlefish. It turns out they are far more cunning than we ever imagined.

05 June, 2008

David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us

How scary and/or disturbing is it that I not only know this song very well, but can also name the b-side of the 45 rpm single (which of course I owned as an au courant 12 year old)? Check my sidebar for a little quiz on this topic. And no Googling, cheaters!

A little more info about Mr. David Soul, star of Starsky & Hutch, from Wikipedia: Soul first gained attention as the mysterious "Covered Man" on several appearances on The Merv Griffin Show in 1967 in which he sang while wearing a ski mask and explained, "My name is David Soul, and I want to be known for my music".




04 June, 2008

optimism

I planted some plants. This is a big step, in our teeny, tiny garden. I had sort of given up on it, as it seems like so much work for a short season. But our financial situation makes the idea of growing food pretty attractive. So last Saturday I rode my bike to the Farmer's Market and rode home with 6 tall plants in the front basket. Fun! And I got lots of smiles from the people I passed on the way home. The other plants came from our local nursery. Anyway now we have 4 tomato plants (sungold cherry, brandywine heirloom, celebrity & a new one for me: yellow taxi. I keep singing Joni Mitchell songs!), along with some herbs, peppers, eggplant and salad greens. I also planted flower seeds. It has been raining off and on all day, and we will probably have more rain tomorrow. Yea! The rain here is so unlike Texas rain. It rains for about 15-20 minutes and then stops. The rain actually soaks in, ya'll! And if you get caught out in it, you know it's gonna stop soon. We've taken the rainy day opportunity to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I love it still.

Also, VSL showed me this. I'm still thinking about it. Haunting.