Tuesday? Nooooo, not Tuesday! Anything but Tuesday!

Well, will you look at that.  Is that what I think it is?  Oh, yes it is.  It’s a Razzleberry pie.  Creepy old chef with the rheumy eyes from The Shining came through.  Or maybe Darling Husband came through.  Either way, by the time I’m done writing this blog it will be baked and ready to serve.


I suppose those of you who know me might have wondered what possessed me (excuse the pun) to watch The Shining.

I’m kinda wondering what possessed me to watch The Shining as well.  I don’t do so well with scary movies.  In fact, they tend to torment me for years afterward.  I’ve written about it before so I won’t bother writing about it again.

What happened was that a friend mentioned something along the lines of how watching The Shining as a parent was different from watching before having children.  I asked what he meant being that I’ve never seen it.  He said, “Just watch it and see.”

So I did.

In silence.

No, I wasn’t the one being silent.  I watched the movie with the volume turned almost completely down.  We all know that scary movies aren’t scary without their soundtrack.  Consider this:

There’s little Danny riding his big wheel around and around the corners of the hallways in the empty hotel.  You know, you just know, that the ghosty girls are going to show up around the next corner asking for their playdate.  Then, just when you can hardly stand the suspense, the music lets out a big screech, the screen goes completely black and the word TUESDAY appears in big white letters and I swear, it makes you squawk in horror:  No, not Tuesday!  Anything but Tuesday!  Ahhhhh!

And then again on THURSDAY.  Oh, just stop!  My poor frayed nerves just can’t handle this.  That’s when I turned down the volume.

The thing is, nothing was happening.  Nothing at all.  Just this little kid riding around on his big wheel or some guy typing at a typewriter.  It’s all about the suspenseful music and loud crescendos.

But I understand what Victor meant.  As a parent you wanted to scoop little Danny up in your arms and say, “There, there, it’ll be ok.”  And they put him in the most adorable little outfits.  Mickey Mouse sweaters with little plaid shirts and red sneakers.  Oh, those red sneakers.  Adorable.  I even felt sorry for the creepy ghosty girls.  Poor little dead things.

Anyway, now I finally understand why Scott took one look at the typewriter in my living room and gleefully typed, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over and over.  And if he does it again, I’m kicking him out immediately.  Don’t be making my innocent typewriter act all creepy like that.

Maybe it’s because I don’t watch many scary movies but this one has stuck with me and not just because I can’t walk around the house alone anymore.  Mostly I’m just trying to figure out what it all meant.  Apparently, no one can figure out what it all meant, because Victor then told me to watch the documentary which tries to figure out what it all meant.

But I’m not taking Victor’s recommendations for movies anymore, so I guess I’ll never know.


Practicing with my new lens:



Home Alone and The Shining

For the most part, I’ve been ok after watching The Shining last week.  Until tonight.

Until tonight when Darling Husband headed off to watch a Doctor Who special with friends and I stayed home with the kids.   Everything was perfectly fine until I put them to bed and had to come downstairs alone after dark.

And now I’m feeling a little shivery.

When I get scared I try to break down exactly what the fear is and carry it to its furthest conclusion to see if it really warrants feeling the fear.  If I apply such cold logic to my fear, maybe it will go away.  No, it’s never worked so far, but I keep trying.

Ok, so let’s say that the ghosty twins appear right now!  (Aaahhhh!)  No, no—stay calm.

Let’s say they appear right now.  What would happen?  Well, in the movie, they just stood there holding hands and asking to play.  Later they were lying around in the hallway hacked up by an ax and covered in blood.  But beyond asking for a playdate and lying around all hacked up, they didn’t do much of anything.

Counterattack to the ghosty twins:  Don’t agree to a playdate and slowly edge away.  And uh…well, I guess that’s it.  Whenever Danny didn’t talk to them, they just sort of wandered off.

Fear of the twins–laid to rest.  (Laid to rest… in a bloody hallway, aaaahhhh!  No, no—stop.  Just stop.)

Next scary scene:  an old African American man with rheumy eyes will give a tour of the kitchen but while he’s talking to everyone, he’ll speak directly into my mind offering me ice cream and then give a smile that’s hard to read.  I don’t want anyone speaking directly into my mind offering ice cream.  I don’t much like ice cream.  Now if you want to offer me some razzleberry pie, I’m all for that.

Counterattack:  ~Do you want ice cream?~  ~No, thank you. But some razzleberry pie would be nice.~  See?  Easy peasy.

Next—Naked Young-Old Woman with a skin condition.  This one is a bit of a problem because I had my eyes almost entirely closed through this scene so I sort of missed what happened exactly.  But from what I saw with my eyes barely opened, Jack Nicholson kissed Naked Young Woman and then noticed in the mirror that she changed into Naked Old Woman with a skin condition.  She cackled at him, but he just ran away.

Counterattack:  Do not startle naked women from their baths and most certainly do not kiss naked women.  And if a naked young woman morphs into a cackling old woman with a skin condition, run away.

Oh, wait.  There was also that scary bit when Naked Young-Old Woman scratched Danny’s neck.  But Danny was only 6 years old and was probably a slow runner.  Even then, slow Danny managed to get away with just a scratch, so I’m sure I’ll be fine.

The last fear:  Jack Nicholson doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he only wants to bash them in the head, and he chases everyone with an ax around an empty hotel.

This is a tough one.  I don’t have a maze in my backyard or any snow, so I have no way to defeat crazy Jack Nicholson and his ax.

Dang it!

And, thus, I’m home alone feeling kinda creeped out.

More Snot, More Secrets I Cannot Reveal, and Something About Sewers.


Remember that old song from Sesame Street:  One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong?

Went to Lu’s Hibachi Buffet tonight with the girls.



Then went to see Les Miserables with the girls…

…and Eric.


I don’t know whether or not I liked the movie.  I mean, you may not know this if you didn’t take French in high school, like I did, but in English the title is “The Miserable”.  The Miserable?!  If I’d have known that’s what Les Miserables meant, I might not have gone!

How can anyone say, “Oh, yes, I loved a movie where every character slogged through years of pure misery dressed in dirty rags with bare feet in the winter, and almost all the characters (spoiler) died. It was great!”

There was lots of sweat and tears and snot and blood. I wish I could find a word besides “like” to describe how I felt about the movie.  I’m not sure I “liked” it, but I something’d it.  I’m just not sure what that something is yet.  Maybe I’ll have it figured out by tomorrow.  I suppose I can say that it was powerful, but beyond that, I’m at a loss for words.  (Imagine that!)

The movie was pretty long.  I wish they’d bring back intermission for long movies.  Gone with the Wind had an intermission.  I missed an entire scene in The Hobbit halfway through, because I had to go.  The Hobbit needed an intermission and so does The Miserable.  My bum was getting tired from sitting still for so long.  I wished I could get up and iron some clothes.

Look at this from Wikipedia about The Miserable:

“The novel as a whole is quite lengthy by modern standards, exceeding fourteen hundred pages in unabridged English-language editions, and 1900 pages in French. It is considered one of the longest novels ever written.

“Hugo (the author) interrupts the narrative with lengthy digressions on religion, politics, and society, including discussions of cloistered religious orders, the construction of the Paris sewers, argot, the street urchins of Paris, and the Battle of Waterloo.”

I am so glad that the movie didn’t interrupt the narrative with lengthy digressions about sewers.  ‘Course, the Battle of Waterloo might have added some interesting action sequences to the film.

On the drive home, Stacey and her sister Sarah started telling bizarre stories from their childhood.  I stayed really, really quiet hoping they wouldn’t notice me while I took mental notes.  But after a few stories, Brandi finally burst in, “Stop!  Just stopJackie writes a blog.  You do not want everyone knowing these stories!”  They made me vow that everything said in the van, stays in the van.

Good going, Brandi, ruining all my fun.  If I hadn’t caved and vowed not to tell their stories, tonight’s blog would have been awesome.   So, guys, if you don’t like the blog tonight—it’s all Brandi’s fault.

Hobbits, Wolves, and Microwave Ovens

We finally went to see The Hobbit today.  Finally!  We couldn’t go last Friday, like I’d originally told you, due to some nonsense about having a child with pneumonia and a Darling Husband with a monster headache and the only theater available after the party was tne that gives me headaches.

It was opening night and Darling Husband was going to surprise me by taking me to the movie but spilled the beans early.  I’m glad he did, because when I asked him, “So, you pre-bought the tickets, right? ” his response was, “Uh…” If you’ll remember, Darling Husband hates going to the movies, so he doesn’t understand about pre-buying tickets for opening night showings for hugely popular films.

Darling Husband likes movies well enough, he just hates to sit in theaters.  They don’t let you check the weather reports, surf the internet, or iron your clothes in the theater.  So, the only movies he’s seen in a theater in the past decade have been:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

(seeing a trend?)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

The Day After Tomorrow

The Hobbit

That’s almost one movie a year.  Well, what do you know?  I guess he goes more often than I’d realized.

Incidentally, The Day After Tomorrow was hilarious.  Best comedy of the year.  There were people from Mexico in the theater sitting behind us.  During the scene where the Americans were frantically splashing through the river to cross the border into the safety of Mexico they were laughing until they couldn’t breathe.

Darling Husband laughed through the whole movie, too.  I think the feral escaped-from-the-zoo wolves who ended up on the Russian ship, which just happened to end up encased in ice next to the New York City Public Library where the only supply of medicine was for the main character’s girlfriend, who happened to have cut her leg while rescuing a child who was stuck in her seatbelt, but the wound was now infected…wow.  I can’t even follow that and I’m the one typing it.  I’m really not sure how to end that sentence.  All I know is that the plot was so over the top that it had to have been a comedy, right?

I’m pleased to report that Darling Husband loved The Hobbit.  There were some differences from the book, but not enough to make me have to endure any why’d-they-have-to-change-that rants.

Unfortunately, I was so busy singing along to the Christmas Carols they were playing before the movie started that I forgot to get a picture of Darling Husband in the theater.  I didn’t remember until after the 2 hour and 50 minute movie was done, and Darling Husband couldn’t sit still for another second.  It’s a bad picture, but proof he was there.


When we got home, I was using the microwave when it started making funny noises.  So…. in the last 6 weeks we’ve had to buy a new roof, car, dishweasher, braces (well–we have to pay for them in January), my iPad (bought before we knew all this was coming), the $1000 in van repairs, x-ray out of pocket costs (pneumonia—remember?), Christmas, Birthday Party…and now a microwave.

AHHHHH!  This is why we have 6 months of living expenses saved up.  Well, we used to have 6 months of living expenses saved up…

While I made cookies with the boys, Darling Husband went out to get a new microwave.  Darling Husband reported back to me that the guy at Sears asked him, “Do you need a gift receipt?”  Darling Husband said, “No!  Of course not!  I know better than to buy a kitchen appliance for a Christmas Gift!  Gift receipt, indeed—snort!”




Um…kitchen appliances are bad Christmas gifts?  Uh oh.  I might need to return the gift I bought for Darling Husband.  (insert uneasy smile here.)

Picture of the Day:


Edited to Add:  Oh, never mind about Darling Husband and movies!  Per the comments, he goes to the movies all the time.  Who knew!?

Cheesecake Recipe, Hobbits and…Headaches!?! Oh no!!!

I can’t see who is reading my blog, but I can see what search words they used to find it.  The top 10 searches that land on my blog include:

Jack and the Beanstalk

Beefy men (I’m sure this group is very disappointed when their search brings them to my blog)

Dental tools

Cleaning a mouse cage (Mouse cage searchers aren’t disappointed–the mouse cage post is pretty funny.)


Especially the cheesecake.  Pretty much every day someone ends up on my blog because they were searching for cheesecake.

All that to say that I’m getting ready to head to a Christmas party and I’m bringing little pudding/cheesecake things.  So, for you who are on your quest for cheesecake, here’s a little Christmas present for you.

The Easiest Cheesecake Recipe in the World:


Cheesecake pudding mix

2 Cups milk

Canned pie filling.

45 Filo dough cups (3 packages) You can find them in the freezer section by the pies and whipped topping.

To make:

Make the cheesecake pudding mix as indicated on the box (with the 2 cups of milk.)

Pour the cheesecake pudding into the filo dough cups.

Top with the pie filling.  (This picture has strawberry.)



Why am I posting so early?  Because after the Christmas Party, Darling Husband and I will be heading out to the theater to see The Hobbit and won’t be back before midnight.

I AM SO EXCITED.  I wrote in a previous blog about how much Darling Husband detests (abhors, loathes, deplores, despises) going to the movies and refuses to go to a theater to watch a movie unless there are Hobbits involved.

So, guys!  This is it!  This is my chance!  This is the first time in nine years that Darling Husband has gone to see a movie with me (since the last Hobbit movie was out.) Thank goodness for 3 part Hobbit movies.

Now, my remaining conundrum:  do I stuff myself full of Cheesecake Pudding Things at the Christmas Party or save room for popcorn?  I love me some movie theater popcorn.  But I also love the pudding things.

Oh, decisions, decisions.


Oh no!  Darling Husband just walked in the door with a monster headache.  He can’t go to the movie with a monster headache!  (Well, not unless the monster headache can pay for his own ticket…har har.)

Take some medicine, Darling Husband–fast!



Oh never mind.  It’s just not working out–we can’t go see the movie tonight.  Blah.

James Bond, Dragons, and Monkeys

Waaaay back before I started The Blog, I needed another outlet for my creativity.  So, I did a series of pictures of…well, I don’t even know what to say they’re of.  Just pictures that tell a little story.

I’ve talked about a few of them in the past.  Here’s my second favorite picture. I took it after I’d read yet another debate over creationism vs. evolution on a classical education forum.

I’ll explain it underneath for those of you who don’t commonly lurk on classical education forums or haven’t heard of the infinite monkey theorem.


London, 1860

Dr. Thomas Huxley stared back at the monkeys in stark disbelief. “An infinite number of monkeys, and not a single one of you majored in 16th century English Literature?! This’ll take longer than I thought…”

The theorem of the infinite monkeys states that an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, could randomly hit keys on a typewriter and end up typing out the entire works of Shakespeare.  The theorem is attributed to a pro-evolution contemporary of Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, as a way of explaining how evolution can work when given enormous amounts of time.

There’s lots of debate over whether or not Mr. Huxley ever said any such thing, or whether an evolutionist would actually use that theorem to explain evolution, but the theorem and Huxley are forever linked in Urban Legend.

So….I had the stuffed monkey just begging to be photographed, and I’d just bought the typewriter at a yard sale.  It was obvious that the two should go together.  I gathered all the monkeys I could find in the house and took the shot.  All that remained was the caption.  It took me a while of re-working the wording, but in the end, I find the caption absolutely hilarious.

At the time of the picture, Huxley hasn’t yet presented his monkey theorem to the scientific community.  So, he gathers an infinite number of monkeys (which of course, can’t be done-so that amuses me right there), so test his theory.

Huxley’s secret hope is that one of the monkeys studied Shakespeare in college and will quickly prove his theory correct by typing out Shakespeare’s works from memory.  But, of course, monkeys don’t go to college, and for some reason Huxley was never made aware of that fact.  His baffled disbelief when he finds out that none of the monkeys studied 16th century English Literature gets me every time.

Picture the scene:  Huxley is looking at the monkeys and railing at them.  They know they’ve done something wrong, but they can’t quite sort out what it is, but hang their heads in shame.

And then how Huxley says at the end, “This’ll take longer than I thought…” is the best part.  Maybe his original theory was that an infinite number of monkeys given a week, could randomly type out the entire work of Shakespeare.  But now it has to be amended to be longer than a week…longer than a month…than a year.  By the time he shares his theory, he’s had to change it to “an infinite amount of time.”

You get the sense that he’s really disappointed that it would take an infinite amount of time for those monkeys to randomly type the complete works of Shakespeare.


Picture of the Day;

You can choose whether or not you want to keep reading.  This is the part where I discuss the new James Bond movie, albeit in secret code so that I don’t spoil it for you.

Mom and I went to see the James Bond movie today.  Second time for me.  I saw it the other day and thoroughly enjoyed the action scenes, but forgot to pay attention to the plot.  It’s hard to follow the plot when there are komodo dragons distracting you.  This time around I could follow the plot and catch little nuances.  For example, the word association scene is much better when you know what “skyfall” means.  Click here for a trailer that starts with the word association scene.

Jo-Ann (remember her from lunch on Saturday?), she thinks that the ending didn’t really go down the way that it looks like it went down.  Remember how someone sort of disappeared for a while in the beginning of the movie?  She thinks that perhaps someone else wanted to disappear like that at the end of the movie.

At first I didn’t agree.  I thought what happened, really happened, and it happened because Ronson died of an untreated gunshot wound, so it was poetic justice.

But after the second watching today with Mom, Jo-Ann may be right.  Someone said to Bond, “How about we make a run for it?”  But there was no need to run anywhere.  It was done.  The movie was over.  Make a run for what?  Bond said, “I’m game if you are.”  I think they understood that someone wanted to disappear and that was what they meant by “make a run for it”.

But, on the other hand, there was a tear in an eye.  If someone was disappearing, there wouldn’t have been a tear.  Or an exhalation.  No exhalation would be needed if someone was disappearing.  Oh, it’s all very confusing.

Give me your opinion.  If you haven’t seen the movie (and are still reading), go see the movie and report back to me what you think happened.

Incidentally, Mom looks uncannily like Judi Dench (M).

Favorite M line: “Go ahead, eject me.  See if I care.”

And I love (love, love, love!) the opening song.  Here’s the song.  You can see the Royal Navy’s Wildcat Helicopter in the clip and Mom.  Er, I mean Judi Dench.  ‘Course I’ll never be able to say “crumble” properly anymore.  Crumbow.

Oh, and I think the bad guy upstaged Daniel Craig whenever they had a scene together.  My opinion: Best Bond Bad Guy Yet.


So, I’m watching this scene and Darling Husband is listening in and says from the other side of the table, “She has to get a flu shot?… Oh, wait, I see.  She needs a tetanus shot.”

Ok, maybe you had to be there.  It was funny in person…

My Lame-O Homeschool, What if You Morph Into A Monster, and The Theater has Sims Carpet

Took Boy9 to have his homeschool evaluation today.  What that means for us poor beleaguered souls in the hateful State of Pennsylvania is that we have to track down someone with a teaching certificate (Patti) who is willing to wade through our resume/scrapbook of worksheets and photos from the past year and assess whether or not the kids have learned anything.

I prepared Boy9 ahead of time, telling him that she would ask him questions and he was not to make goofy jokes and say things like, “Duuuuuh” and roll his eyes around in his head.  The problem is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and if Boy9 was in a class, he’d be the clown.

In fact, he already is.  When we attend the co-op, he’s the one that tried to convince everyone that there was a spaceship in the background of a Raphael painting of the Madonna.  These are the times when you look at the other co-op parents, shake your head and muse aloud, “I wonder whose kid that is?”

When we got to Patti’s house, she sat us down and looked through the scrapbook and then asked Boy9 a few casual questions.  And just like the frog in that Looney Tunes cartoon that won’t sing and dance for anyone except the one guy, Boy9 just sat there and croaked.

(Here’s a little clip of the frog singing, “Hello my baby.”  Here’s the full cartoon.)

Yes, people, Boy9, who normally talks your ear off, choked.   And sure enough, his eyes rolled around in his head.

It’s not like she asked him to diagram a sentence or recite his 8 times tables.  They were questions like, “What do you like to do for fun?”  “Duuuuhhh” eye roll.  “What’s your favorite subject?”

Oh, wait, he got that one.  For “What’s your favorite subject,” he answered, “History, because I don’t have to do anything.  Mom just reads to me.”

What?!  “History, because I don’t have to do anything?”  What kind of lame-o homeschool do you have, Ms. Lizard?

It’s totally not true.  I make him fill in blank maps (at least 2 a week), we listen to clips of Churchill speeches and bugle calls from the Crimean war, we look at pictures of the famous people and places, I make him fill in an outline, we discuss, discuss, discuss what we’ve read until we’re hoarse….

…but he has to go and say, “history, because I don’t have to do anything.”

Whatever!  Kids!

Patti and Frog Boy

We only have 8 more days of official school left to meet our 180 day requirement for the year, so we took off part of last week and all of this week.  Today after the evaluation, I took the kids to see The Avengers .  There wasn’t much of anything in the movie that was inappropriate for them, even though it is rated PG13.  Boy7 is a touch sensitive about things, so when meanie Loki took that guy’s eyeball, I had him look away, and when the Hulk changes the first time, I had him look away then, too.  He gets really creeped out when people morph into other things.  I know where he’s coming from.  Sometimes when I was a kid, sitting by my mom I’d wonder to myself, “What if she suddenly turned into an evil witch and tried to scratch me or stab me?”

What?  Didn’t you think like that when you were a kid?  No?  Oh well.  Let’s move on…

But in this case it wasn’t the movie that was difficult for Boy7, it was those intense previews.  Stoopid previews.  Here’s the shot of my drink that I didn’t get the first time I went to see the Avengers, but I got it this time.

Oh!  Alex does better than the T3i in low lights!  That’s another reason for you, Kevin!

And then, while the boys were taking forever in the bathroom, I was thinking that the carpeting in the hallway looks just some of the carpeting from The Sims. Here’s a shot of it:


After they got out of the bathroom Boy7 was full of energy and ran up and down the hallway.  I kept telling him, “Get outta my picture!” but after sitting still for two and a half hours, he needed to run, so he’s part of the picture now:

Boy7–gotta run!

Crazy People are Crazy and Dead People are Unreasonable

Oh, a conundrum.  I’ll be out today from 6:00 until after midnight, so if I don’t post something before 6:00, I won’t have the proper date-stamp on my picture.  But I won’t have a good picture until after 6:00!

At 6:00 we’re having our monthly dinner with Vince and Gail.  Remember Vince from last time?  Lying on the living room floor?  Pretending to eat the soup right out of the tureen?  I’m sure to get another great picture tonight, but won’t have time to post it, because right after visiting with them, I’m headed out with friends to a 10:20 showing of The Hunger Games. In Hanover—yuck.

I don’t like that theater.  The parking lot is kind of creepy.  It’s behind the other buildings, but also in the middle of fields, and I always expect to see a tornado coming toward it.  Or an alien ship.  Or dinosaurs.

Hey!  I’ll write about dinosaurs and scary movies–and then post a picture of us in the theater tomorrow morning.  It’s a plan.

Here goes:

Ok, I don’t know a whole lot about scary movies because I can’t handle them.  In fact, pretty much the only time that Darling Husband goes all caveman and forbids me to do something is when a scary show is on and I’m tempted to watch it.  “No.  You are not allowed to watch that.  I end up having to deal with the aftermath, so…no.  No scary movies for you.”

He’s right, though.  Once I see something scary, it stays with me for decades.  In 8th grade they showed us a black and white vampire movie at school.  The people in the movie started to figure out who the vampire was when one guy thought he saw a woman’s face near his second story window.  But when he got to the window it was just a bat and he closed the window on the bat’s wing, but it got away.  The next morning a woman showed up with a bandaged hand…and then he knew.   Twenty-six years later, I still get a chill whenever I have to close a window at night.

Then there was the day that Pam couldn’t decide whether we should see Black Swan or The King’s Speech. I didn’t know anything about either of them and suggested we see both on the same day, so we did.

Big mistake.

The King’s Speech was delightful, but I did not know how creepy Black Swan was going to be.   Throughout the whole movie, Pam kept shrieking whenever something jumped out and shouting admonitions to the screen, “No!  Don’t do that!  Put the letter opener away! ”  It was at the letter opener scene that I stopped watching.  By the end, I was hunched in my seat whimpering with my eyes shut and rummaging through my purse trying to find my earplugs.  I missed the entire second half and had to rely on Pam telling me what was going on.  “She killed her!  There’s blood everywhere!  Oo!  It’s oozing under the door!  No…no, she’s not dead after all…”  When will the horror end?

I’ve boiled it down and realized that this is what bothers me most:  paranormal things and insanity.  You simply can’t fight back the paranormal stuff—it’s more powerful than you. And if you’re insane, you can never get away from yourself.

And crazy people in movies do crazy things.  I mean, if you know you’re crazy, why would you take a bath and submerge yourself under the water, and then open up your eyes while still underwater, just in time to hallucinate that someone’s leaning over your tub dripping blood into it?  If you know you’re nuts, stay out of the tub!  You should probably stay out of the shower too.  Sponge baths are the way to go.

The 6th Sense had me scared for years upon years upon years.  My coworker (Megan) told me “it’s not scary.  Not at all.  It’s a great movie.”   But Megan also used to merrily tell stories about the poltergeists that lived in her grandmother’s house and would take apart the grandfather clock mechanisms every night and leave the bits in a neat pile in front of the clock.  So, I guess if that doesn’t faze you, a fictional movie about dead people won’t either.

But why did the dead people have to be so creepy?  Why couldn’t they have just said, “I’m dead.  Can you avenge me, please?”  Why did they need to slam cupboard doors and throw up on you and sneak around in your hallway with half blown off faces?

I ended up curled up in the seat during that movie too.  I saw it with Joe.  He just shook his head laughed at me and then took me home and left me on the sidewalk in front of my house and drove off.  I raced up the steps to the house, in the dark, and tried to open the door with my shaking fingers just knowing that a dead person was going to jump out of the shrubbery and yell “boo!” and throw up on my shoes.  Poor Darling Husband asked, “How was the movie?” and had to deal with a quivering, whimpering wife for the next few years, as well as the increased electricity costs because I left all the lights blazing every night.

I don’t even need to actually see the movie for myself.  Jo-Ann only told me about a part in a movie where the psycho guy hides in the blind girl’s closet.  A blind girl’s closet!  Aw, man.  I still have trouble opening the closets sometimes.

Darling Husband has a real samurai sword.  When I would get home from work alone, I would get the sword and check under each piece of furniture and in the closets with the sword in hand.  I couldn’t relax until I was sure the psycho wasn’t hiding in my closet.  Fling open the door, poke the clothes with the sword, move on to the next closet…

And even waaaay back Jurassic Park bothered me for a few years.  When I’d come home to my apartment I’d wonder if the velociraptors were hiding in the kitchen.  It was a cute little apartment.  It had been a house that was converted into an upstairs and downstairs apartment.  We had the upstairs.  I’d listen for the cats as I walked up the steps.  If the cats were alive, then the raptors weren’t there.  But if the cats didn’t greet me, it could only mean they’d been eaten.

That apartment had a bathroom with a window right in the shower.  When a cloud would pass over the sun, the bathroom would get dark.  I’d be washing my hair, eyes closed, and if the room got dark, I’d pop open my eyes, knowing it must be a T-Rex with his dilating eye staring in the window.

Now that I’m older Jurassic Park doesn’t bother me at all.  I don’t mind aliens or zombies or dinosaurs.  Now it’s just the paranormal and insanity.  And serial killers.  Don’t like serial killers.  Or demons.  But those fit into the paranormal category.  Like that demon movie with Keanu Reeves where the people were all demons in disguise.  I was watching that at home and didn’t have a clue it was a scary movie, until the demon people’s skin started rippling.  What!?  I thought this was supposed to be a courtroom drama!  I didn’t know they meant the literal devil’s advocate!  Sheesh.

I was forced to watch the entire movie because I was home alone and paralyzed with fright and was too afraid to move and leave the room. When Darling Husband got home and saw me stuck to the couch, eyes big, hyperventilating, he just sighed and prepared himself for the big electric bill.

I hate scary movies.

Is This How Everyone’s Mother-In-Law Makes Plans? Or Just Mine?

Went out to the movies with Mom today.  This is a picture of Mom in the theater.  No one else there!  Don’t you love when that happens?  (You’ll have to click on the pictures to actually see Mom.)

And this is a picture of us both.  I set the timer for 10 seconds and booked it to my seat with 3 seconds to spare.  Run, run, run, flop into seat, bright toothy smile (bing!), click.  Ran up and down the steps three times to get the best shot.

Gasp for air, smile for camera.

Making plans with Mom is an event in itself.   It usually extends over the course of many days and is an intricate dance, like the dance of honey bees.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1:  Mom wants to do something.  Like go to a movie.

Step 2:  Mom researches how to get this done.

When/where is it playing?  Hanover 4:35.

Who will watch the kids while we jet-set to the movies?  Dad, but not until 4:00.  We’ll barely make it in time.

Step 3:  Call me with the plan.  Tell me to re-research the plan and fact check the theater/time.

Step 4:  I check the facts.  Usually I only pretend to check.  But I didn’t want to go to Hanover.  The theater there is too crowded and the bathrooms aren’t as nice.  The same movie is playing in Gettysburg at 4:50.  This will give us 15 extra minutes to get there, no crowd, and better bathrooms.

Clearly a better plan.

Step 5:  Deep breath and call Mom with the alternate plan.  Sound cheery so that she’ll agree to it before she thinks about it too much.

Step 6:  Confuse Mom by spouting out the different times and different theaters back to back until we’re both in a muddle of :35’s and :50’s and which theater had which.

Mom is unconvinced about the new plan, because “it’ll be so late when it’s done.”  “Only 15 minutes later…”  But this seems to be a deal breaker.  Hang up.

Step 7:  Keep the phone nearby because within 10 minutes there will be a call back.

Step 8:  Five minutes later:  Ring!  “Hi Mom.”  “Hi.  How about if we go tomorrow?  Or maybe to an earlier show today?”

Explain, as usual, that that won’t work.  I planned my week around this and this is the only day/time available.

Mom keeps trying to find a date/time when we’re both free, but there are no date/times when we’re both free except for today at 4:00.

Mom says, “Well, how about we just to go the 4:50 show at Gettysburg.”


Last step:  Adhere to plan, being sure to call mom when I’m on the way to her house, so she doesn’t worry that we forgot the plan.

You may think this is a long and involved process, and it is.  But it’s our long and involved process.  You just have to know the steps to the dance.  And yes, twenty years ago this process used to leave me curled up in the corner banging my head on the wall between the phone calls, but as time passes you soften a little.  I feel almost affectionate towards the process.


Gorgeous clouds today.  Spectacular.

Of course, Melissa had to go and ruin my little cloud project.  My project has been to wait for a day with beautiful clouds, hop in the car, and find farms and fields to photograph with the clouds as a backdrop.

But last time Melissa gave me free lessons on Photoshop Elements she pointed out, “You don’t have to do that.  Save a few pictures of clouds and then use Elements to add them to your other pictures in the future.”

That took the wind out of my sails.

Soooo, here’s my first picture of clouds that I’ll save and add to another picture one day.



Still, the day was beautiful, so on the way home from Mom’s house, I pulled over to the side of the road and got a bunch of pictures with the clouds for fun.  Here’s one.

Purdy flowers.

And here’s another one.  This one is missing something.  It needs a cow or a horse or an alien–something.   Even though it’s a boring picture, I spent too much time messing with it in Elements not to post it.

Missing something.


Movie watched in the theater:  This Means War.  We liked it.  The men were pretty and they’re not married to any of my friends.

Unclassy People Have More Fun

Took the boys to the movies today.  What did I see?  The picture is a clue.  Can you tell what it was?

Here’s another clue.

And the final clue:

I could not pass up “The Princess Bride” on a big screen, even if the theater was an hour and a half away.  I saw it in the theater when I was 14, but I didn’t have it memorized from hours of study back then.  This time around, I could quote along.  So could everyone else in the theater.  And we pre-laughed at all the jokes, much to the confusion of Boy9.  “What are they laughing at?”

When you watch movies on the big screen, you catch all sorts of little details you just can’t see on the little screen.  For example, when I saw The Sound of Music on the big screen, there were three extra Von Trapp kids you don’t even notice on the small screen.  (Yuk, yuk, yuk.)

I wish they showed old musicals in theaters again so we could all sing along.  I’d love that!  “Doe a deer, a female deer, ray a drop of golden suuuuuuun….”

Then again, when I saw The Sound of Music, no one sang along, so maybe no one would sing.

Oh, I know why they didn’t sing!  It’s because The Sound of Music was shown in the Historic Senator Theater.  The people who went to the Historic Senator Theater (which is closed now, last I heard), were too refined to sing along.

If you want to have fun at a theater, either go to the midnight showing of a movie with the diehard fans, or go to the unclassy part of town.

For example, I went to see Air Force One in two different theaters.  Air Force One is about bad guys who hijack the president’s (Harrison Ford) plane.   The bad guys are shooting hostages.  In the end, Ford tells the bad guy, “Get off my plane,” and pushes him off the plane.

In the Historic Senator Theater with all the refined people, there was no reaction to the movie.  Everyone sat in their seats, silently eating their popcorn (refined people know how to do that), making no eye contact with strangers, quietly filing out when the movie ended.

But in the Westview Theater, with the unrefined people, it’s a whole ‘nother world.  Audible gasps when the hostages get shot, with a few Oh-no-he-didn’ts thrown in.  Cheering and clapping when the bad guy was thrown off the plane.  It’s like being at a sporting event.  I used to make a point of going to the Westview Theater, just for the audience reactions.

I saw Titanic at the Westview theater.  Lots of people saying “Ouch!” when that poor guy hit the propeller.  (How come that’s the one part everyone remembers?  The guy falling off the side of the ship and “Clang!” into the propeller.  “Ouch!”)  Lots of open crying at the bittersweet ending.  “Near, far, whereeeeeever you are..”  Titanic’s coming out again this summer in 3D.  Let’s all go together and all warble along.  I’m sure the other viewers won’t mind…


For fun, here are the opening paragraphs to the book The Princess Bride.  I adore the author’s writing style:

“The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette. Annette worked in Paris for the Duke and Duchess de Guiche, and it did not escape the Duke’s notice that someone extraordinary was polishing the pewter.  The Duke’s notice did not escape the notice of the Duchess either, who was not very beautiful and not very rich, but plenty smart.  The Duchess set about studying Annette and shortly found her adversary’s tragic flaw.


Armed now, the Duchess set to work.  The Palace de Guiche turned into a candy castle.  Everywhere you looked, bonbons.  There were piles of chocolate-covered mints in the drawing rooms, baskets of chocolate-covered nougats in the parlors.

Annette never had a chance.”

Isn’t that an awesome beginning?!  Draws you in from the first sentence.  It doesn’t begin with stupid descriptions of the scenery.  I hate it when books begin with the scenery.  If I ever write a book, I promise you that it won’t begin with descriptions of scenery.

Here’s an example of a very bad beginning to a book:

“The Jeb les Zubleh is a mountain fifty miles and more in length, and so narrow that its tracery on the map gives it a likeness to a caterpillar crawling from the south to the north.  Standing on its red-and-white cliffs, and looking off under the path of the rising sun, one sees only the Deserts of Arabia, where the east winds, so hateful to the vine growers of Jericho, have kept their playgrounds since the beginning.”

I’ll bet you didn’t even read the whole paragraph, did you?  And if you did, you probably already forgot what it was about.  Bad, bad beginning.  I’ve tried to read that book 3 times, and I just can’t.  It’s Ben Hur.  I’ll just watch the movie.

Here’s the opening of the book I’m reading now:

“It rained toads the day the White Council came to town.”

That’s a good opening line.  I’ve been enjoying the book.

Here’s the start of a Sherlock Holmes story:

“Holmes,” said I, as I stood one morning in our bow-window looking down the street, “here is a madman coming along.  It seems rather sad that his relatives should allow him to come out alone.”

I love that beginning.  “It seems rather sad that his relatives should allow him to come out alone.”  That could be reworked into a really good insult.  I’ll have to remember it and use it on someone some day.


Westley: I’ll explain and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon.

Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.


Star Trek Stat:

Number of shirtless men: 2.  Kirk and Spock.