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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Howl at the Moon

The Howling (1981) PosterWhen I was nine years old, my dad took me, my sister, his girlfriend and her kids to the movies.  Sweet huh?  In theory, sure.  In reality, notsomuch.  I was taken to see... The Howling.  

Before we delve into the creepy factor, I have to address the blatantly obvious "you were not old enough to be in an R-rated movie" or perhaps the "that was not appropriate for children your age" or maybe even the "what an irresponsible dad you must have had" crap!  

I will agree that you are right.  Not only was I not old enough to be in an R-rated feature film but it also contained content that was not appropriate for an adolescent my age.  I'll be completely honest, however, I loved the horror genre.  That notwithstanding, it was still highly inappropriate.  I can still vividly remember the nudity and sex scenes.  Folks, I'm 41... I was 9 when it came out.  Do the math.  Parents, do NOT act like these things don't "stick" with your children... they DO!  They'll remember... they'll remember the nudity... the sex... the violence.  There are some things they simply can not "un" see.  Once the damage is done, it's done.... However, my dad wasn't irresponsible... just made a bad judgment call.  Live and learn.  

...but I digress.  Let's talk about the creepy factor.

Simply stated -- this movie scared the shit out of me.  Granted, like I said, I loved the horror genre. As a kid, I used to watch horror and sci-fi movies with my grandmother's brother, Uncle Leon.  He liked them too.  He used to call ANYTHING weird from either genre "voodoo" movies.  We had a time.  For me, the creepier, the better... but something about that movie really scared me to death.  I mean, I slept with a flashlight for MONTHS after... 

... with the bathroom light on

... and I probably would have had a revolver full of silver bullets if I were given the option... 

... stored in a box of garlic... 

... that had been blessed with Holy Water.

And you know that a film has topped your creep factor when long after it's gone from the theaters it's still fresh in your mind.  

You see, my best friend, Shannon, lived 5 houses up the street from me. This meant that from time to time, I had to walk home from her house... 

after dark... 

alone.... 

Are ya following me here?  (Yeah, I thought you were, too, and that's why half the time I would RUN!)

You see this short journey home was far worse in the fall when the ground was covered with dried leaves.  We lived in an established neighborhood FULL of mature trees.  Once fall had crept in, yards were covered with them.  These were deep blankets of leaves... the kind you could rake into a pile  and jump in.  We didn't have lawn crews bagging everything up and blowing it all into the street to be carried away with traffic.  We had the yards that everyone played in... covered in a crispy blanket of terror!  

You see, those leaves -- while fun to play in during the day -- made me fear for my LIFE when I was walking home at night.

I had always been told that your senses become more acute when one of them has been removed... so think... nighttime... dark... moonless... alone... walking.... and then... the rustle of leaves... which obviously meant that a werewolf was about to attack and so you would RUN RUN RUN HOME as fast as you can!  If I ever heard a rustle (which was probably from a neighborhood cat running away FROM ME), I would run so hard because I knew that if I had turned around (like those idiots in the movies) I would have tripped and I would have been a gonner.  I know the werewolves would have been chasing me down Woodoak Drive.

With Halloween upon us this Friday, I'm thinking we'll stray from the macabre and watch Hocus Pocus instead after binging on candy corn.  


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

R2 Deeter

Last week at the boy's school was the Scholastic book fair.  We attended it the night of Open House. It was a great distraction for Benji who was pretty much done with the presentation of the 3rd grade's pioneer projects about half a nanosecond after he entered the room.  While I'm not a big proponent of these book fairs (primarily because I am not a fan of paperback books), I *am* a fan of (almost) anything that gets kids excited about reading.  (For instance, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, while it may be a good book, it's more of a comic strip to me.  Drew waited with baited breath for the next book in the series to be released and then the next one and he would devour them in about thirty minutes... but that's not true quality 'reading material' in my opinion -- it's fluff.)

However, by Benji attending the book fair, I was afforded the opportunity to peruse the various displays set up by Drew's classmates and hear their oral presentations on their chosen topics.  It was amazing to see and hear all the hard word they put into these projects.  I heard all kind of reports on life in the early 1800s from being a cowboy to working in a mill and from running a general store to quilting and toys.

That was short lived, however, because soon Benji was back with his loot.  Once we were in the car on the way home, he wanted to read his new books.  Part of his new book bounty was a hardback (yay) book from Lego Star Wars.  [insert geekish mom grin here]


You see, much to my delight, over the last several weeks Benji has eeked into the the Star Wars phase of wonder and amazement.  He is completely enamored with Lord Vader.  So much so that I'm teaching him to say, "Come to the dark side.... we have cookies" to his older brothers.

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He has even sat still long enough to enjoy part of Return of the Jedi.  The story line is, obviously, quite over his head, although he does ask questions so it has piqued his interest.  However, right now, I'm just enjoying the fact that he loves it!  Fast forward to last night... he was stalling getting ready for bed at the bookshelf.  He would pull out a book from the two or three shelves containing his books and decide that wasn't "the one" and slowly push it back.  After about the tenth one, as I impatiently stood there waiting for him to find "the one," I remembered that I had moved ALL of our Star Wars books over to another shelf.  I pulled out this little gem... and that was all she wrote!  Bingo!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Winner winner chicken dinner!


Not only did we have a winner, but also, during the course of reading it, he proclaimed "I love this book.  It's my favorite." He flipped through each page stopping only to ask for help identifying characters or words he wasn't familiar with.  Initially, he wanted to read it to me but only "if you cwal up on my bed."  I leaned on the wall by his headboard as he opened the first page of this board book with complete excitement.  He just knew this was going to be a fantastic book.  It was pure delight for me to watch him take in everything on each page as he continued.  "A" is for Anakin.  "B" is for... Boba Fett (he knew this one).  "C" is for C3P0... and we proceeded through the alphabet.  Then you get to C's little buddy and yes, my friends, that is where "R2 Deeter" comes into play.  I love his Benji-isms.  I have to capture this on video, but in the event I'm unable to, I have this little nugget saved right here for eternity.  "W" is for "shew-baka."  We explained he is a wookie but his name is Chewbacca.  

The full genuine smile painted on his face was enough to make my heart burst.  It was a good day.  These are the moments that I truly love the little person he's becoming more and more.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Gotta Feeling

Today's Saturday 9 is all about The Black Eyed Peas!  Yay!  

1) What would make tonight a good, good night?  Sleep.  Uninterrupted sleep without backaches, stress, panic-inducing dreams, no night sweats, no stomach aches... just good solid, restful sleep.  I want to sleep like a tranquilized animal!  Passed out and sleeping HARD!

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2) In the song, he sings that he's got money and wants to "spend it up." How much cash is in your wallet right now?  None.  I gave it all to my kids for lunch money this week.
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3) The lyrics include "mazel tov," which means good luck or congratulations. What other Hebrew/Yiddish phrases do you know?  None.  I am neither Hebrew nor Yiddish so why would I?

4) The colorfully named Black Eyed Peas include Fergie (born Stacey Ferguson) and will.i.am (William Adams) and Taboo (Jaime Gomez). If you could choose a stage name, what would it be?  Batman.
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5) This song was crazy popular in Canada, debuting at #2 on the charts. Have you ever visited our neighbor to the north?  No, I can't say that I have although I really want to.  I mean, who WOULDN'T want to see sights like this.

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6) When's the last time you laughed really hard?  I try to laugh every day... and having three kids and three dogs -- there is no shortage of belly laugh inducing comedic relief.  I have to include this... see this ADORABLE little boy in the photo below?  I've included the source but it's NOT the TRUE source of the image.  How do I know that?  This my friend Amy's son.  Yes, I KNOW the source of this photo....but people have taken this photo and "made" it theirs... so while that's the source for the CAPTION, this is NOT their image to stake claim to!  This is Tommy.  Isn't he adorable!?

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7) Who received the last text you sent?  My son, Josh.  He got grounded for being a slob.
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8) Which sounds like more fun -- skiing or skating?  Skiing.
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9) Thinking of sports, are you looking forward to The Super Bowl?  Sure.  Not that I really will be upset either way...but I will root for my Broncos!



Want to join in the fun?  Link up at Saturday 9.






Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Minute Friday


Five Minute Friday

Join Lisa Jo Baker for her Five Minute Fridays.  You're given a word and you dump your brain in a stream-of-consciousness for five minutes.

Today's word:  HERO

Go.

When I hear that word, instinctively I go to the album cataloged in my mind of image after image of service men and women... the red, white and blue flags waving as they pass.... battlefields... shields of the brave policemen and women -- like my parents -- who patrolled the streets day in and out... the firemen and women who risk harm's way to save the lives of everyday citizens.  Absolutely those images come to mind...

Though, when I think about it... it just depends on who you are, where you are and what your circumstances are for what truly defines a "hero" to you.

If you're a child with no hope, no dreams... your hero may be the teacher that advocates for you because s/he sees something inside you no one else took the time to see.

If you're broken within and held down by the chains of your past, the person who sees through those bindings and doesn't let your past define who you are today, could definitely be your hero. 

If you're someone fighting for their life and a doctor recommends a clinical trial which sends you into remission, he has most certainly entered hero status in my eyes.

If perhaps you're slipping into a diabetic coma and the last thing you can be aware of doing is calling 9-1-1, that operator on the other end of the line sending you assistance will definitely be your hero.

If you're hungry, and someone feeds you...

If you're lost, and someone finds you... 

But, I also think about those heroes who are the voice for those without one... those in animal rescue.  It's a silent crusade with the odds stacked against them every day.  They know, however, for the one or two they save, they HAVE made a difference.  

I wish everyone would be aware of their hero status.  I think when you do whatever you do with great passion, you are always a hero in someone's eyes.

Stop.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday 13


Thirteen things on my to do list:

1) Make a Valentine's Day box for Drew.  We are leaning towards an R2D2 type Star Wars-ish theme.  Something like this
The Happenings Of An Absent Mind: {Star Wars Valentine Craft}
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2) Get my handman out to fix two light fixtures in my house.  It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again.  Well, I'm insane by definition then because the light fixture in the pantry is kaput and EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I walk into the pantry, I flip on the lightswitch even though I know it doesn't work!

3) Get Josh registered for his SCUBA classes.  He is going with his Scout group for a week-long trip to the Florida Keys this summer to do 11 dives.  SCUBA diving!?!?  How cool is that?!  But, because of his stringent baseball schedule, he will have to do the classes on his own rather than with the group of guys that's going.  
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4) Get my life insurance squared away.  Self explanatory.

5)  Plan February's book club for the Grapevine Colleyville Southlake Mom's League.  I lead a preschool children's book club.  We're studying Eric Carle this year.  It's fun.  
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6) Get my agenda finalized for Monday night's Committee meeting.

7) Order pictures of Benji for the wall.  My three-year-old has totally called me out on the fact that I have like ZERO photos of him up on the wall.  I suck.  

8) Make an appointment with the lab for more blood work and a UREA breath test to see if the h.pylori bacterial infection harboring in my gut is gone.  I sure hope it is.

9) Send a card to Timmy.  Timmy is a precious little pumpkin fighting brain cancer.  If you'd like to send him a card, too, please leave a comment and be sure you aren't a "no reply" blogger (or that I have your email address) or just e-mail me and I will send you his address.  We are trying to flood him with love from everywhere.

10) Purge the playroom.  It's a never-ending pain in the rumpus.  Benji told me yesterday on the way home from school that we needed to go "dare." 

"Where?" I asked.

"Daaa-uuuuuure" pointing to Target, "to da tore."

"Why do I need to go to the store?"

"You need buy me toy."

"You have enough toys."

"No, I not.  I need more toys."

"Well, you have a birthday in TWO months.  You'll just have to wait."

Audible sigh.  "Okay, Mommy."

11) Pull out size 12 clothes from attic for Drew.  He needs pants.  He's skinny enough for an 8 but needs the length for a 12.  OOOOh to have THAT problem!  

12) Give Lucy a bath.  Lucy HATES water.  The last time I tried, I wound up with bloody scratches.  You would have thought I was about to sever a limb.  I think something tragic must have happened to her to give her such a fear of water.... for it to cause such paralyzing fear... but it's very real and she's very afraid.  But lordy does she need a bath!


13)  Sleep.  Yes, I actually have this written on my to do list because I haven't been able to sleep well lately at all and I don't feel rested WHATSOEVER.  I feel like I have mono.  My body is NOT my friend.  Grrrr.

What's on your to do list?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stealing Sunday

Sunday Stealing stole the Ask Me Meme from "Just keep swimming." -Dorthy, Finding Nemo

1:What was the last argument you had about?  
I don't argue.  
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2:How long is your longest relationship?  
Lifelong... Shannon, my first best friend, is still one of my closest friends.  I've known her for 36 years.  Hey, Shannon, I stole your picture off Facebook!  :)  Doesn't she have beautiful blue eyes?  

3:What is something not many people know about you?
I have Crohn's disease.  Silent trouble.
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4:Two truths and a lie. Go.
I drove through an automated, gated parking garage arm, breaking it off.  No, I didn't leave a note.
I would rather be in the company of people than be left alone.
I refused to pull over on a highway, forcing my friend to throw up in her new cowboy hat.
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5:Do you believe in fate/destiny?
I may say it, but it's just because it's something to say but do I actually believe that future events are just left to chance by some controlling power is the explanation for what happens in the world... yeah... no.

6:Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to live?
I've always wanted to live in an urban area... in a high rise apartment in the downtown of a city.  I nearly did when I lived in Ohio before we chose a townhome because we just wanted some "yard" too badly.  I think it would have been worth it to do then, before having kids, but I never did.
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7:Has there ever been a song that made you cry?
Of course.  Music is a huge part of me.  Angels Among Us is one I still - to this day - cannot listen to because it reminds me of my grandmother.


8:Do you jump/scare easily?
Yes.  I also hit, slap and punch the offending parties.  You've been warned.
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9:Which birthday has been your favorite?
They all kind of equally suck.  The ones from when I were younger were much more fun and it seemed nice that people actually went out of their way to do something for ME ... You know... that I didn't have to plan myself to celebrate "me".  Now, if anything is to happen, I have to plan it.  That's totally f'd up and so I say f that and I don't want to do anything.  My grandmother ALWAYS made me a homemade birthday cake.  She took the time to wrap a present.  Little things like that -- they mean the WORLD to me.  Now I get zero effort.  Zero cake.  Zero nothing.  It's pretty sad so I would rather just not bother with anything.  Isn't that nice?  Frankly... since you asked, I think birthdays are pretty damn special.  Without them, you'd be DEAD!  You SHOULD be celebrated and effort SHOULD be put forth... 
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10:Have you ever been pulled over? Arrested?
Pulled over?  Absolutely.  Arrested.  Absolutely not.
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11:Have you ever been to a fortune teller?
Does my grandmother count?  My maternal grandmother thought she was psychic, had crystal balls all over the house, read tarot cards and did numerology.  She even did a radio show.  I don't believe any of that crap.  Never have.  Never will.
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12:What’s your favorite series of books?
I don't have one.  I am, however, rereading Harry Potter right now so it's ONE of my favorite series, but again, I don't play favorites.  It's not fair.
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13:Who is someone that you think knows the most about you outside of family?
I'll never tell because divulging that information means that someone would know who to waterboard should the shit ever hit the fan since... ya know... I'm Batman.  You mustn't divulge such secrets.

14:What is the weirdest thing you've eaten?
I don't eat weird things.  Fear Factor... I would NOT be a contestant.
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15:List one of your quirks.
I have many.  I can't walk barefoot on anything but sand.  I have to have on slippers, socks or flipflops.  
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16:State 1 bad habit of yours.
Being on my phone too much.
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17:Has a scary movie ever given you nightmares?
YES!  There are too many to list... why the hell I watch those stupid things is beyond me.  I did see Paranormal Activity and then would freak out wondering if I was the one that left the door open or wondered if something was set down in another place but was moved.  I guess I would't say they were "nightmares" but it did freak me out!!!
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18:When was the last time you got your hair done in a salon?
A long time ago... I am not real good on the maintenance thing.  I'm the anti-high-maintenance thing.  Seems like you need to find a way to live within how you're made rather than throwing away ridiculous amounts of money for vanity purposes.

19:What was the last thing you did with your friends?
Went to the movies

20:What’s something that you like to do that others might see as weird?
Camp.  I like to be unplugged and in the middle of nowhere... in the quiet... cooking over a campfire... sleeping in a tent.  No electricity.  No phones.  No running water.  
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21:What was the last trip you took?
Vegas.  October 2013
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Want to join in?  Visit Sunday Stealing



Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Will Always Love You


It's time for my absolute most favorite meme of the week!  Saturday 9.

Saturday 9: I Will Always Love You

1) The Bodyguard is the best-selling movie soundtrack ever and this is the song most often associated with Whitney Houston. Is it on your iPod/mp3 player?  Nope, I can't say that it is.  I did Google the songlist.  Here it is:  

  1. I Will Always Love You
  2. I Have Nothing
  3. I'm Every Woman
  4. Run To You
  5. Queen of the Night
  6. Jesus Loves Me
  7. Even If My Heart Would Break
  8. Someday (I'm Coming Back)
  9. It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day
  10. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
  11. Waiting For You
  12. Trust In Me
  13. Theme from "The Bodyguard"
For the record, I really liked THIS Whitney:
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And, not THIS Whitney:

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So, yeah I have to say again.  No.  And ... yeah... never.


2) In the movie, Rachel (Whitney) sings "I Will Always Love You" after she realizes she can never see Frank (Kevin Costner) again. What song reminds you of a past love? 







3) Despite the movie's and the song's overwhelming popularity, Whitney Houston was awarded a Razzie Award as the worst actress of 1992. What's the most recent criticism you received?  You'll probably laugh.. it's that I'm too hard on myself and that I need to cut myself some slack because I hold myself to a ridiculous standard that can't be maintained.  Yeah.... bleh.  

It's kind of like Mr. Incredible saying, "What could happen to us?  We're Superheroes!"  And... then he gets sued.  

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4) On the bright side, share the last compliment you received.  Well, as much as I'd love to tell you, I honestly can't remember receiving one anytime soon.  I'm okay with that.  I'd rather receive none than my life to be filled with asshats filling my head full of fluff that wasn't true.  Besides, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Right?  

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5) In the 1980s, when Whitney first burst onto the scene, a trendy woman wore big hair, big bows and big shoulder pads. Can you think of anything you wore that was fashionable at the time, but looking back, makes you cringe? (An embarrassing photo to accompany your answer would be nice!)  I love you, but not enough to wade through boxes of photos!  LOL  I would probably have to say acid washed jeans were a nightmare... I had big 80s hair (who didn't).  Haha... I did a Google search for "big 80s hair" and I would just encourage you to do the same.  It's a great laugh! 

6) When this song was popular, cell phones were uncommon and Facebook was unheard of. Which has had a bigger impact on your life -- smart phones or social networking?  You know me, I refuse to choose. Social networking has kept me in touch (the easy way) with friends I've had since elementary school and beyond.  However, smart phones have kept me productive when I would usually just have ridiculous amounts of downtime.  I do see the need, however, to be intentional and completely unplug on a more frequent basis.  However, one USES a smartphone to ENGAGE in social media ergo, the to are not mutually exclusive entities but also one in the same!  Yay me!  I don't HAVE to choose.
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7) Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown left many people shaking their heads. Whitney and Bobby's daughter recently married the young man who was raised as her brother. Have you ever been in a relationship your friends/family didn't approve of?  WHAT THE HELL DID YOU SAY?  She married the man who was raised as HER BROTHER???? OH GOOD LORD where do they live??? KENTUCKY?  Okay, I looked it up... that's just gross....but whatever... I will never even attempt to understand those Hollywood types.

Wait, what were you asking?  Of course...hasn't everyone dated someone whom your parents considered (even just a teensie bit) unsavory?  That's part of being a stupid teenager.  

8) Whitney Houston's grave marker reads, "I Will Always Love You," so obviously her family is very proud of the success of this recording. How would you like to be remembered?  A mother that loved her children with every fiber of her being but didn't do everything for them... who equipped them to be successful, humble, peaceful men... and who loves Boston Terriers... and scrapbooking... and can type REALLY fast... and is... RIPPED...not SHREDDED like Dana Linn Bailey, but... bikini model quality!  HA!

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9) Whitney was born in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey. It's a major air, rail and shipping hub, and it's in the Eastern Time zone. Have you ever been to Newark ... or any town in New Jersey?  I have.  It smelled.  

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