Monday, November 23, 2009

New Moon on a big screen

Wow. It left me speechless.

Overall impression: I love this movie. Makeup is better (except Jasper's), special effects are dazzling (although that whole Edward glows thing still is cheesy; do they not get it?), KStew's acting is much-improved, Taycob's acting has grown along with his...his.....excuse me, where was I? Oh yeah. The kid can act, and act well. He actually had me feeling sorry for him when Bella turned away from him to run to Italy to save Edward, who was about to commit vampire suicide by dazzling a bunch of people, the very same Edward who'd broken her heart by telling her that she doesn't belong in his world and then walking off into the woods leaving her behind to wander hopelessly until she falls onto the mossy moldy-leaf floor of the forest and curls into the fetal position.

That Edward.

Kristen did a passably good job of portraying a totally dead-inside jilted teenage girl. Actually, photos from the movie show a truly empty, heartbroken Bella better, but she did well in the movie. I wasn't terribly impressed the first time around (Twilight the movie) although I didn't think she was as bad as most (women) (teens) thought; Bella isn't that deep a character. This time, she looks like she has a huge hole in her chest from Edward's leaving.

Somewhere (some magazine cover) I saw that Robward said something along the lines that, in these movies, his hair does 75% of the acting job. He's right. His hair is just scrumptious, although in this movie it's a little shorter and less tousled. It's still doing some great acting. I think that probably another 20% of the job is done by his square jaw and those thin, crooked-smile lips. Basically, all he has to do is stand in front of the camera, smile or scowl, and he's deserving of an Academy Award.

The vampires aren't as chalky-white as they were in Twilight, although their makeup still looks awfully thick. Robward looks a lot more natural; even Carlisle doesn't look like he walked through a storm of talcum powder, although he still looks exceeding unnatural, even for a vampire. Maybe I have a big more liking for his character this time around since I've seen him on that Showtime series a few times. Can't remember the name, but he plays a sex-crazed doctor who can't keep his hands to himself.

But Jasper: for the love of God, makeup artists, tone down the hair. It's far too poofy; it practically has a life of its own. And those lips, always pursed, always looking as if he has some big stick shoved up his butt and is afraid to smile for fear of dropping it.

Alice is a doll, always fun to watch. Rosalie is still a bitch, although we find out a little more about why she's a bitch.

But why was the movie so bright? I know that there weren't many vamps around, so they don't have to have such dull days so they can come outside, but New Moon is the darkest book of the series. Bella's depression, Edward's pain at leaving her (the bloodsucking scum), Jacob's pain at becoming a werewolf without any forewarning, his pain at having to stay away from Bella in order to protect her from himself, his pain because Bella just sees him as a friend. Not even a friend with benefits. It's dark. It's brooding.

Now, it's not all sunny and summery by any means, it's just not as dark visually as the first one was.

It was such a treat to see New Moon on a huge screen. I rarely go to the movies; the last one was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I don't even remember how long ago that was. I saw Twilight first on our tv then on my laptop; the whole thing is definitely a lot more effective and enjoyable when the characters are larger than life.

I went with my niece, Kara, and her friend. We did the whole movie thing; $6 popcorn with "butter" that leaked out the bottom of the container and $4 bottles of water. Water. I should've brought a bigger purse and taken in some small bottles of wine. It would have been less expensive that way. Kara and Virginia are Team Jacob, while I'm Team Edward, so we disagreed about some fundamentals (cold made-up abs vs 108 degree real abs), but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Yes. Werewolves' temps run around 108. And vamps are cold and hard as stone. Didn't you know that? Did you want to know?

Friday, November 20, 2009

4 hours.....

*ducks and runs*

4 hours and 25 minutes......

Even I am finding this tedious.

Five hours.....

Still no new copier, but I find that I care about that less and less.

So, Blogger, why are you being such a pain in the ass about linking?

Finally. Someone who gets it.

Pretty much sums it up.

Edited to add: Shit. Click on this:

Less than six hours......

And for those other obsessive-compulsive crazed members of Team Edward, this photo amuses me. It's from

Click on photo to get the full effect.

10.5 hours.......

*corners market on Shamwow (tm thingy)*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

29 hours......


Dear US Preventive Services Task Force: Bite me.

So some task force has decided that women shouldn't be screened for breast cancer, or even do a monthly self-exam, because it's not cost-effective for women under the age of 50. Evidentally women don't get breast cancer and die from it until they're at least in their 50s.

Just who are these people anyway? It's not the American Cancer Society's researchers who've come up with this gem. I suspect it's a bunch of bureaucrats who looked at the bottom line and decided that the government won't want to pay for all those "unnecessary" tests once the government assumes the mantle of Health/Death Experts.

Do you want to let these people (and I'll go out on a limb here and say that I bet most of them are men) take care of our health care/insurance system? What's next, no screening for cervical cancer, or prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, any other killer? What will happen when an elderly person needs a new hip or knee? Sorry, it has to go to someone younger who'll be able to take advantage of it longer? How about those really expensive injections of Lucentis that help to preserve vision in people with wet macular degeneration? Hey, that includes me. I guess that $2000 per course of treatment would be better used to what, give a new liver to some rock star? How about all those babies born so early that they'd die without medical intervention? How would you feel if your child or grandchild had some horrible illness with a relatively low rate of survival? Would you be okay with not treating that illness because it isn't cost-effective? Would the powers that be allow my oldest granddaughter to have SupprelinLA, at a cost of close to $20,000 per year, to let her have the opportunity to grow normally and not start her period at age 6? All kinds of health risks are associated with precocious puberty. Since those risks affect a small number of the population--mostly girls--should we just let a bunch of men in suits decide that the effort doesn't justify the amount of money spent, won't help enough people (read: girls) to make it worth the money?

What if it's decided that anxiety and depression aren't really chemical imbalances that are relatively easy to treat with medication? Will we be told to just suck it up and soldier on?

I'm scared.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't ask what the handwritten sign on the back of my front door says.

I've locked myself out of the house twice this week. It's only Tuesday, so that means I also did it on Monday.

I'm getting tired of forcing my way into the house. So I wrote a little reminder to my 6 a.m. self.

It's not pretty.

Damn you, Burger King

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just because I can

Four nights from now, I'll be sitting in a theater with my niece Kara watching "New Moon".

And we'll be drooling.

There's nothing better than aunt/niece bonding!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It is ours

The Cat House, that is. We signed the copies of everything that was emailed to us and faxed them back to the lawyer, then wired the money. It is finally ours.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Joan's Special Day

I present The Wedding Stole.

Oh. And that's Joan and her husband, Scott, proud parents of the bride.

Monday, November 09, 2009

We bought a new car. On Crack. During the wedding.

You know how Tom gets aggravated at me for using the Crack while in public? Guess who was emailing during Liz' wedding ceremony on Saturday?

Back up a bit. On Friday, on the way to Mom and Dad's house, we stopped at three Toyota dealerships. We told them that we didn't have time to hang around, wanted to see their Priuses, and wanted them to email us their best price. I'm thinking we were a little unusual since we didn't really care what color it was (except no black or bright red) and we didn't want to play car salesmen's games. Stopped first at the dealership in Harrisonburg. They had one Prius, charcoal gray metallic, which we like. Asked for the best price by email.

Went on to Charlottesville. We walked in, a guy asked if he could help us, we gave him the spiel. He jumped up, showed us the six cars they had, took our email addresses and within 15 minutes we had a quote. Still nothing from Hburg.

Before the wedding on Saturday, Tom and the guys went to the nearby dealership and were given the royal runaround. Let's just say that Tom is a man of few words and he means what he says. The salesman, manager, and owner (for all I know) wanted his driver's license. He refused since we're not trading in a car. Then they wanted his credit card and social security so they could do a credit check. We're financing the car through a credit union, so no go there. He walked out. I think that by then Dad and the others were kind of milling around like they didn't know Tom. Anyway, couldn't get much of a quote from him.

If that and the Hburg place had taken him seriously, they might have sold a car.

Before the wedding started, Tom called and emailed Hburg and Chville, bargaining with them. Hburg wouldn't give, but Chville sent their best price by email, which Tom received as the ceremony started. He emailed back "Deal!", and we bought the car. On Crack. During the ceremony. It's a pearl white 2010 Prius III with a lot of bells and whistles. We pick it up this evening.

That, my friends, is the way to buy a car!

When I have time I'll post some photos of the wedding. It was wonderful, and Liz was such a beautiful bride.

Friday, November 06, 2009

We're off to see the Lizard

(with apologies to Betty, from whom I stole it, and to Liz, who really is called Lizard sometimes, but on your wedding day, you're not Lizard)

Joan's Special Day is almost here. The family is gathering, all of us making our way to Chester, some of us there already, some of us ready to leave in about 40 minutes. One of us doesn't have a whole heck of a lot of things to copy today, so she's wasting lots of time. Facebook can be accessed by Crack.

I've been knitting 7+ hours each evening trying to finish The Wedding Stole. I haven't done much of anything else for the last couple of weeks. (Like that's such a stretch.) I make stupid mistakes and keep making them when I try to pay attention to whatever's on tv (my current favorite is "My Name Is Earl". Even after this marathon knitting (thousands of beads, I tell you, thousands), I still have a good 15" to knit. It just isn't going to happen.

You see, I started the thing by following the pattern directions and knitting the first 15" without beads. They're only supposed to be on the very ends of the stole, and it just was ugly. So I started the full beading, it looked much better, and I decided to cut off the part that wasn't beaded (the middle of the thing was on a provisional caston so I could pick up and knit in the other direction when I finished the first half). That wasn't a particularly enjoyable job, but I managed to pick up the stitches at the beginning of the beaded part and start off in the other direction.

So. Yeah. It's going to be shorter than I'd like, I'm afraid. I have a couple of hours to knit on the way to Mom and Dad's house, but that only equals a couple of inches. I've gotten faster at "uploading" the beads, but each pattern repeat takes over an hour to complete. That's 8 rows.

I ran out of beads. I'd bought a ton of them in Key West in April and again in June but used them for a scarf or two and for A's socks. I'd bought them for Shipwrecked, the shawl I plan to make at some point in my lifetime. I bought clear beads, silver-lined, black ones, and red ones to go with the yarn I had custom-dyed for the shawl. I ordered what I thought were the same beads on ebay, and they came really quickly, but they're the wrong color and size. I'll use them for something else. I was starting to panic last week when I had enough beads to get through a few more repeats, so I called Beads of Distinction in Key West and ordered another 50 grams of beads. They're just gorgeous. The owner only charged me $5 for shipping, but he shipped them out that day by Priority Mail, insured. $10. I'll buy more beads from that dear man!

This isn't a good shot, but it's about all I could get. It's hard to photograph that color yarn with clear beads. I'll get more at the wedding.

We've been looking at used cars. I insist on having a Toyota; I've had three Camrys over the last 20 years and love them. We debated getting an older one with many miles on it but a cheaper price, a newer one with fewer miles and a much higher pricetag, then decided that we might as well buy a new one while I still have a semi-decent income. Once we move to Florida, the car won't get nearly as much mileage put on it as it does now, and there won't be any mountains to cross, either, so we're looking for a new Prius. We might even buy one this weekend. Tom plans to start trips to Florida hauling stuff down and I'll have to have a car then.

Jennifer and the kids should already be in Chester; she was leaving right after school yesterday. They'll start back home tomorrow after the wedding so the kids won't miss more than one day of school. It's going to be such a wonderful weekend!

Someone is coming to look at the house on Sunday. We'll close on The Cat House toward the middle of next week. We'll be house- and car-poor until our WV place sells, with only a few thousand available to tent the place, tear off the deck, and fix the pool and a/c. Tom might rob his 401k next year to start more work on the house. Once the place over here sells, we can (more or less) finish The Cat House. Let's just hope that's soon; one more winter here is enough!

I'll leave you with some photos of The Cat House. If you have a weak stomach, be forewarned. It's not pretty.