Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What's in My Garden?

Just as I suspected, our Cup Plant has grown to over 10 feet tall and is now reaching out to kill us all. Beware!

I believe this is Goldenrod, right?

Now it's time to play: Weed or Plant?Anybody know what these two are?

Check it out: the newest addition to our garden is a pool the perfect size for a raft and one extremely lazy person (moi!). I love nothing better than laying on a raft all day. Although I haven't been able to use it much due to a nasty ear infection, the paw prints on the edge lead me to believe that other creatures are enjoying it.

In case you're interested, I discuss the differences in the American and British versions of the Harry Potter books on my book blog.

Friday, August 24, 2007

There was a big storm yesterday afternoon and our power went out! It was out for about 24 hours. I had a hard time trying to decide whether I wanted to pretend to be a Pioneer Woman or a Jane Austin-Type. I settled on "old-timey woman" and got a big thrill out of walking around with candles. Suffering from severe internet withdraw, I wrote a letter to my cousin and attempted to read. Turns out: candles don't really provide that much light. Here's my living room...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DIY Jewelry Frame

I've been ruminating on the problem of what to do with my french hook earrings for a long time. Recently I envisioned the solution, and today: Execution! I love it! First, I bought a frame for just a couple of bucks at a thrift store:
The design was cool, but the color was ugly. I removed the glass and the backing, and spray painted it. Oh, silver spray paint, what would I do without you?
Then I hot-glued a screen (like the kind from a window) to the back of the frame. If it had been wood, I probably would have staple-gunned it. Then I trimmed the extra screen off with scissors.
I attached hanging wire to the back and added S hooks for necklaces.
VoilĂ ! So easy!

Like a market in Indiana!

The Daily Show actually sent one of their correspondents (Rob Riggle) to Iraq! Riggle is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and served in Liberia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Last night he did an awesome bit taking off from douchebag Indiana congressman Mike Pence (R) who said Iraq is "like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime." So Hoosier soldiers were on the Daily Show in abundance, explaining just how like a normal outdoor market in Indiana Iraq is NOT. And, there was a quick clip of Indiana icon, Bobby Night (threatening one of his players, natch). Ah, Bobby, you know we love ya! Check out the Daily Show this week! Here's the clip if you missed it:

Hoosier deaths in Iraq

Total Army Recruits by state (as of 2004)

The War as We Saw It, a brave op ed piece in the NYT by 7 soldiers on the ground (one of whom was shot in the head before the piece went to press). They wrote:
Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

But Mom! I don't want to be on the internet!

We had a lovely visit from friends this weekend, and they brought along Guitar Hero, which I have been making fun of ever since our Simpsons-like Game-store Guy told me it was "uh, like, totally awesome." God help us if we didn't end up at the game store this morning, purchasing our own non-guitar.

This new breed of Playstation Games (DDR and whatnot) remind me of the old-school Nintendo pad, which my brother used to kill. He used to play this racing game and he figured out how to move his feet really fast, and it was hilarious. His little screen runner ran so fast it looked like his legs were going to fly off. We used to just watch and laugh and laugh. Times haven't changed that much...

Here's another kid playing his heart out (someone get this kid a real guitar!)

And, while I'm posting video of underage children, I might as well put up this one of babies eating lemons...

BTW, check out my friend Sonya's blog of her whirl-wind cross-country trip for pics of people reading in Chicago as well as some familiar faces!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

You know how I'm a misanthropist? Here's merely one of the reasons why - we went to see The Bourne Ultimatum over the weekend and at 1:30 in the afternoon, it was ridiculously humid outside and the theatre was packed. So, rather than sit in the third row, I asked these people if they would scootch down a seat and as a result put three spread-out seats together for us. And they looked at me, and just sat there. So, I asked again. Politely, I'm telling you. Blank stares. Then I asked less politely, and they grudgingly moved over. One effing seat I asked them to move and it was like a row full of people were being asked to sacrifice their first born! What has happened to people? Since when is it NOT common courtesy to slide over one goddamn seat when politely asked to do so in a crowded movie theatre?!? Oooh, ooh, and this is the best, when we went to sit down, this woman hissed at me, "Well! I think you're being kind of nervy!" NERVY! NERVY? I'll SHOW you NERVY!

Anyway, we shall not let that bother us (much). We shall focus on the Bourne Whatever, which is really good! I loved the first in the series because Matt Damon is all "Oh my god, I'm an incredible fighter! I can scale buildings! I speak Russian! Just go with it!" Even though some of that novelty has worn off by this third movie - Bourne still does everything instinctively, and it makes for a damn exciting spy movie. This movie, which overlaps with the end of the 2nd movie, has the CIA continuing their search for Bourne, who peskily insists on finding out why the government changed his identity and turned him into a killing machine. (Ick, it appears to involve "waterboarding". Ah, the US government, it really makes you want to move to French-speaking Canada.) So, right from the beginning, Bourne's trying to figure out what's going on, while the CIA attempts to track his every movement from an office on computers (I KNEW they did that!) Aside from enjoying a fun movie, you'll learn all kind of tips about how to outrun the CIA if they're after you. Never forget, they're a bunch of buffoons, but, you've totally got to get a disposable cell phone (Veronica Mars uses those too!) because they track all the calls (btw, if you're not mad as hell about the eavesdropping amendment, or, soi-disant Protect America Act - HA! - that was added to the FISA Act over the weekend, you should be. Here's a list of the Dems who allowed it to go through. Thanks, Democratic Congress! You're really taking back the country! Effing jackasses...*) Also, an "asset" is the person they've sent to kill you, so watch out! (A certain husband has indicated that he would henceforth like be known as "the asset".)

Well, it's a great movie, and I think really captures the suspicious spirit of our times and also provides some good clean, blockbuster fun that's not even ruined by the presence of Julia Stiles. Not bad for a summer movie.

*PS DeBordian Perruque, what does "blue dog" mean?

Friday, August 03, 2007


This morning I watched a bunch of previews (so you don't have to!) Here's what I'm most excited about:

The new Wes Anderson!
The Darjeeling Limited

Lust, Caution, the new Ang Lee, with Tony Leung

A couple of movies that appear to be heavily influenced by Rushmore: Rocket Science and Charlie Bartlett.

Margot At the Wedding, a new Noah Baumbach with Nicole Kidman,

My Best Friend looks good, I love Daniel Auteuil,

and I can't decide how I feel about this King Kong movie with the teaser trailers - could go either way.

And, they've finally released the trailer for the new Coen Bros movie, No Country for Old Men, which looks really depressing, but did well at the festivals. I'm not into the whole Mystic River/A Simple Plan movies that make you want to slit your wrists after you watch them.