Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Best costume seen tonight

Proving that there's nothing wrong with teens trick-or-treating on Halloween, a teenager came to my door dressed in Red Sox gear, with devil horns on her head. She was Johnny Damon.

I think even Phantom would be OK with that.

Happy Halloween!

I have a couple of substantive posts rattling around in my head, but I don't have the energy right now to write them. So here's a list of my Halloween favorites (in honor of HalloweenLover).

Favorite Halloween candy: Reese's peanut butter cups. Mmm, loaded with transfats! So they're yummy AND scary. Perfect for Halloween.

Least favorite Halloween candy: Almond Joy or Mounds. I hate coconut.

Favorite scary movie: Silence of the Lambs. It came out in 1991, but I didn't see it till it was out on video in 1993. Seeing it on a smaller screen did not diminish the suspense. I still remember watching it for the first time at my friend J's house with 3 other friends. I and one other guy, S., hadn't seen it before--we were huddled up against one another for most of the film, peering at the screen through tiny slits in our fingers.

Favorite slasher movie: I was a huge fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The odd numbered ones tended to be better (that would be the Reverse Star Trek rule). My absolute favorite was the third, Dream Warriors. It had a great cast (Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne).

Favorite costume (childhood): Princess Leia. I remember that my mom had a hell of a time putting my hair into those crazy Cinnabon braids, so she called my aunt to come over and help her with it. My mom made my white gown, and I had a real Star Wars blaster. I wish I had a picture to post. I looked awesome.

Favorite costume (college): We got pretty creative in college. One year, there were some fires being set at the dorms in the southern part of campus (they were small fires, and no one was hurt--just some property damaged). My friends and I decided to go as "south campus on fire." We made awesome building costumes with paper flames coming out of them. At the last minute, another friend of mine called and complained that she wanted to go out with us but didn't have a costume. So I told her she should be the as-yet-uncaptured arsonist. When we went out in public, we buildings started running, and the arsonist chased after us with her lighter and (empty) gas can. All the while, I was carrying a boombox with Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" playing in a continous loop.

God, college was fun.

Favorite costume (adulthood): Shooting star. I am a fan of the zero-effort costume. All you need is a cardboard cutout of a star. Wrap it in aluminum, and put it around your neck on a string. Then carry a water gun and squirt people. Ta da!

Favorite Halloween TV special: The first Simpsons Treehouse of Horror is still the best. James Earl Jones is the coolest, and I love the Twilight Zone "How to Cook Humans" parody.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Three-sentence movie reviews

So I've been watching a lot of movies while out on leave (hooray for Netflix!). Here are my brief reviews of what I've seen so far:

The Cooler: Very good, if you can suspend disbelief. The actors pull it off so well, especially the always awesome William H. Macy. Alec Baldwin also lends depth and complexity to what could've been a one-dimensional character.

Transamerica: Not as good as I had hoped; I guess it didn't live up to the hype. The whole time I was watching, I kept wondering if Stanley/Bree had spent much time around women growing up, because he/she sure didn't act like any women I have ever known. I did like the character of Bree's sister, but she wasn't onscreen very much.

In Good Company: As the reviews had said, this was a nice, enjoyable movie. It had a few laugh-out-loud scenes, courtesy of Topher Grace. And Dennis Quaid was wonderful throughout.

V for Vendetta: Wow. I liked this movie a lot more than I had expected. Some of the speeches were over the top, but I still think that it was an important movie to make in this political atmosphere.

Akeelah and the Bee: Can't watch a movie in which Laurence Fishburne is a mentor to a child and not compare it to Searching for Bobby Fischer, one of my all-time favorite movies and one of the most underrated of all time. It was good, but not Bobby Fischer great--the ending was unbelievable but still enjoyable, if that makes sense. Also, I am in love with J.R. Villarreal, even if he was only born in 1992.

Inside Man: I like a good heist movie as much as the next person, but this had too many flaws for me to really enjoy it. I figured out too many of the "surprises" as I was watching the movie. Also, I never really bought into some of the characters' motives.

That's it for now. I've seen a bunch of other movies, but I'll review them later.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hallelujah!

I bought this yesterday. And this morning, for the first time in about a year, I made myself 2 cups of coffee. YUM. All is right with the world today.

Update: OK, so maybe having 2 cups of coffee in one sitting (about 300 mg of caffeine) after a year of only the occasional Coke (36 mg) or tall skim latte (35 mg) wasn't such a good way to ease back in to the whole coffee-drinking scene. My heart is racing and I feel all twitchy.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Viva la revolution!

The Grammar Revolution will be publicized!

(Sorry, but I am the freak who used to love to diagram sentences back in the fifth grade.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Future jukebox hero

Cute email from NSAH regarding his drive to preschool this morning with AB:

Funny conversation in the car as I tried to understand what he was saying. “Shooker bonsy meet?” “What?” “What’s snooker boney mean?” “Snooker boney mean?”

Turned out he was curious about the line in Carbon Leaf’s Life Less Ordinary: “The night you came into my life, well it shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me.” I tried to explain that he had met a wonderful person who had changed his life … how do you explain metaphor to a 3-year-old?


I love that AB is trying to learn more about the songs he listens to these days. Just 6 months ago, he was asking only, "What's this song called?" Now he also asks, "Who sings this?" And he's getting more and more interested in the lyrics. You're going to think I'm crazy, but I am seriously thinking about getting him a little drum kit when he's a little older--he's got good rhythm, and I think he'd make a good little rocker.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vanity

I get points for just being dressed today (in non-elastic-waist pants, no less!): the new guy was a terror last night, eating and crying, crying and eating. I doubt that I got more than 2 hours of sleep last night/this morning.

After his 9:15 a.m. meal (which continued for about an hour), I ditched him at home with NSAH and took off on a walk to the closest Starbucks. I now have a skim latte and a pumpkin scone in my tummy. Both were divine. (Seriously--the foam on the latte was so creamy it looked like meringue. I actually went back to the barista after adding my sugar and told him it was the best-looking foam I'd ever seen on a latte. I honestly considered asking the dude what his hours were, so I could be sure to come back only when he was working.)

Love walking around in my neighborhood, and it's a shame that I wasn't able to do more of it during the summer when we had more daylight. But work was crazy, and toward the end of my pregnancy (by which I mean months 6 through 9), I didn't feel up to much in the way of physical activity.

On my walk, I got to see a lot of personalized license plates. In Virginia, "vanity plates" are very cheap, I think $10, so lots of people get them. I passed DOGSRGR8, UNC PHD and HARYPTR. I had a vanity plate back when I was in college. I initally wanted a reference to the sport I played, but--being the superstitious (i.e., Red Sox fan) person that I am--I figured that the second I did that, I'd get a career-ending injury like a torn ACL or a massive, Steve-Young-type concussion. No thanks.

So I decided to put my school and the year of my expected graduation on my plate. I don't know why I didn't think THAT would jinx anything. Well, sure enough, I didn't graduate that year (on the plus side, I graduated a semester early, so I graduated before the date on my license plate--I'm a total geek, I know). Still, that was stupid of me.

I'm thinking about getting a new vanity plate, but given that college experience, I'm naturally cautious about what I put on it. I won't put any reference to my husband or kids on it, 'cause that's just asking for trouble. I could try to put a college reference or sports team reference on there. I doubt my having a plate with "GO SOX" or some other variant would cause the demise of an entire franchise. I am wary of putting something law-related on there. The day I get a law-related vanity plate is the day I get fired from my job, probably.

Virginia's got a cool site to play around with plates, though. I must give serious props to our DMV for this.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The best new TV show you're not watching

Friday Night Lights isn't doing so well in the ratings. It's on Tuesdays (tonight!) at 8 p.m., which is probably not helping (I think it would do better in the 9 p.m. slot). You should watch it.

Now, granted, this is coming from the woman who admits that sports movies make her cry. In fact, as I type this, I'm watching Rudy again on cable (and trying not to cry).

But I think even for people who are not into football in particular or sports in general, Friday Night Lights is an entertaining and interesting show. It's beautifully filmed, much like the Peter Berg-directed movie of the same name that came out a couple of years ago. There's a realism to this show that I'm not used to seeing on TV (certainly not network TV). Not every storyline is pure gold (I really don't care much about Tyra, the trashy girl), but most of the characters are compelling, and everyone can act.

If you missed the first two episodes, you can read the recaps here. Anyone else watching this show besides me and NSAH?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pissed

This will make you furious.

That is, it made me furious. It also made me cringe in anticipation of the gutting of Virginia's Bill of Rights that will almost certainly occur this November.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My husband is harassing me to post

Here.











OK, that's mean. Honestly, I would love to post more, but I'm so tired. I promise in this coming week I will write posts on: how awesome my bloggy buddies are; how schools aren't teaching cursive anymore (story I saw in the Post); the movies I've been renting (e.g., The Tao of Steve and Akeelah and the Bee); and maybe more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yes, more random bullets of sleeplessness (and some grrr)

  • The baby eats waaaaaay more frequently than I had expected. Unfortunately, he doesn't eat big, hearty, long-sleep-inducing meals. He'll cry and cry like he's starving, then when I start to feed him, he'll eat for about 2 minutes and pull away, like he's saying, "Enough, mom." Grrr.

  • Some Jackass let his dog crap in our front yard this afternoon, while we were home. NSAH saw him do it, and took off after him. Jackass, sensing someone was behind him and obviously guilt-ridden, took off in a run and went down another street. NSAH called off the hunt, but I'm hopeful that Jackass will think twice before letting his dog leave any crap in our yard again. I swear, it's Jackasses like that who give all dog-owners (such as myself) a bad name. Grrr. Still, NSAH gets props for trying to chase him down.

  • AB was very sweet tonight. We did lots and lots of dinosaur puzzles, and he was very good about going to bed on time.

  • We had an awesome dinner tonight (a shepherd's pie, dropped off by my buddy Nutso Ranter), and I'll be enjoying the leftovers for a few days. Seriously, it's the best shepherd's pie, from the local pie store. (And can I just say how much I love having a local pie store?)

  • Made my first mom-and-baby shopping trip today. Had to get a new baby bathtub at the Target. That's pretty much all I did today. But heck, that's the best thing about maternity leave. If you accomplish one thing all day, you're golden. Tomorrow I will try to run TWO errands (Post Office to pick up a priority mail box to send a certain bloggy pal my X-Files DVDs, and the bank to get some cash). May the Force be with me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Random bullets of sleeplessness

  • Go Tigers!

  • This new guy sure can eat. Saturday night (defined as the 10-hour period from 10 pm to 8 am) I don't think I got even 3 hours of sleep. Thankfully last night he woke me up only a few times, so I'm feeling tremendously rested. That's not sarcasm--I'd forgotten how well my body adjusts to surviving on 5-6 hours of sleep a night when I'm doing the new-mom thing.

  • New guy also has his eyes open more during the day than AB did at this age. AB basically just slept and ate during his first few weeks. That's my recollection, anyway. This guy likes to look around at his surroundings. And he has a relatively good temperment, except during the apparently traumatic diaper changes. Oh, the indignity! The wailing!

  • Like my first maternity leave, this time off is allowing me to catch up on movies. I've already seen: Hotel Rwanda, Walk the Line, School of Rock, and X-Men 3: The Last Stand. Hotel Rwanda had me crying, Walk the Line was very good, and School of Rock had its moments. As someone who loved (to the point of near obsession) the first two X-Men movies, I can only say I was very disappointed in the third one. I wasn't emotionally invested at all.

  • I'm also enjoying the new fall TV season ("Ugly Betty" and "Studio 60" are my two new shows, and this week is the start of "30 Rock").

  • I still don't fit into my jeans (even my mid-pregnancy "fat jeans"), but I've lost 20 pounds in less than 2 weeks, which is nice. Still, thank goodness for trackpants.

  • The new Toyota ads that use the song "Vehicle" aren't making me want to buy a Toyota, but I am heading over to iTunes to see if I can buy that Ides of March song.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pre-election random thought

How low would gas prices have to drop to get people to stop talking about the Foley/GOP coverup scandal?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Put on your thinking caps

Angry Boy is going through a Thundercats phase. I lay the blame entirely at the feet of this website, which has the intros for all of the cartoons I watched as a kid. AB loves the ones for Thundercats and Gummi Bears. Especially Thundercats.

He has taken to requesting being addressed as Lion-O, whom he appears to like because Lion-O was the leader and has a sword. He refers to his own mother as Cheetara. NSAH is now called Panthro, and Small Dog must answer to Snarf.

The newest member of the family? Tygra.

For purposes of this website, I'd rather not refer to something that attaches itself to my nipples as "Tygra," or any member of the big cat family. So I'm taking suggestions for a nom de blog for the littlest, newest member of the Angry family.

UPDATE: Sorry, thinking in my head again and apparently not transferring key details to the keyboard. The littlest, newest is another boy. I was thinking ALB for Angry Little Brother/Baby, but surely you all are way more creative than a sleep-deprived mama such as myself.

UPDATE II: OK, apparently I'm still not being clear. Again, blame the sleep loss. "Newest" = here. (How does Phantom type one-handed so well and so often? I suck at it.)